The Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ: The Fourth Word
The Fourth Word
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk 15:34)
At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“Be eager to adore, yearn to make reparation, suffering quietly and calmly. Then Jesus’ words will come alive in your lives: ‘he who does not take up his cross and follow me, is not worthy of me’. Our Lord becomes more and more demanding with us. He asks us to make reparation, to do penance, and the time comes when he makes us experience a fervent desire to want ‘to live for God, nailed on the Cross with Christ’. But ‘we have this treasure in vessels made of clay’, which is fragile and brittle, ‘to show that the power that shines through us is not ours but God’s’.
“‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not without hope,’ or sustenance; ‘we are persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; we carry about continually in our bodies the dying state of Jesus.’
“We may even imagine that Our Lord does not hear us; that we are being deluded, that all we hear is the monologue of our own voice. We find ourselves, as it were, without support on earth and abandoned by heaven. Nevertheless, we have a real and practical horror of sin, even venial sin. With the stubbornness of the Canaanite woman, we go down on our knees as she did, adoring him and imploring ‘Lord, help me.’ The darkness will vanish, vanquished by the light of Love.”
St. Josemaria Escriva
Friends of God, no. 304
Prayer of Abandonment to God’s Providence
My Lord and my God:
into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future,
what is small and what is great,
what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot,
things temporal and things eternal.
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
The Seven Last Words is a beloved devotion of the Church that invites us to recall and meditate on Jesus’s last words as he hung on the cross.
In this collection, each word is accompanied by the corresponding Gospel passage and a reflection and prayer from St. Josemaria Escriva. The devotion can be prayed over a week—each day devoted to one of the seven words— or it may be prayed in a single day.
Holy Week, especially Good Friday, is an ideal time to make use of this devotion for personal prayer: to silently and prayerfully contemplate Jesus’s passion and death, to be united to him in his suffering, and to dwell on the strength and mercy of his love.
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The St. Josemaria Institute was founded in 2006 to promote the life, teachings, and devotion to St. Josemaria Escriva among all men and women who desire to find meaning and happiness in their daily lives by growing closer to God. The St. Josemaria Institute produces and distributes digital and print media as a means to spread Christian values around the world and to help people navigate and live well in the digital age.