Newman’s Reflection and Prayer to the Lamb of God

Blessed Newman composed “Twelve Meditations and Intercessions for Good Friday.” He explained that they could be used, adding two others, as considerations for the fourteen stations of the Cross.

Each one of the considerations explains a truth about the Son of God, and concludes with a prayer. Today we limit ourselves to reading the complete passage.

(1) Jesus the Lamb of God

“BEHOLD the Lamb of God, behold Him who taketh away the sins of the world. So spoke St. John Baptist, when he saw our Lord coming to him. And in so speaking, he did but appeal to that title under which our Lord was known from the beginning. Just Abel showed forth his faith in Him by offering of the firstlings of his flock. Abraham, in place of his son Isaac whom God spared, offered the like for a sacrifice. The Israelites were enjoined to sacrifice once a year, at Easter time, a lamb—one lamb for each family, a lamb without blemish—to be eaten whole, all but the blood, which was sprinkled, as their protection, about their house doors. The Prophet Isaias speaks of our Lord under the same  image: “He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearers” (liii. 7); and all this because “He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins; … by His bruises we are healed” (liii. 5). And in like manner the Holy Evangelist St. John, in the visions of the Apocalypse, thus speaks of Him: “I saw, … (Apoc. v. 6), and behold a lamb standing as it were slain;” and then he saw all the blessed “fall down before the Lamb,” … (verses 8, 9), and they sung a new canticle saying, “Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God in Thy blood, out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (verse 9) … Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction” (verse 12).

This is Jesus Christ, who when darkness, sin, guilt and misery had overspread the earth, came down from Heaven, took our nature upon Him, and shed His precious blood upon the Cross for all men.

Let us pray for all pagan nations, that they may be converted.

O Lord Jesus Christ, O King of the whole world, O Hope and Expectation of all nations, O Thou who hast bought all men for Thy own at the price of Thy most precious blood, look down in pity upon all races who are spread over the wide earth, and impart to them the knowledge of Thy truth. Remember, O Lord, Thy own most bitter sufferings of soul and body in Thy betrayal, Thy passion and Thy crucifixion, and have mercy upon their souls. Behold, O Lord, but a portion of mankind has heard of Thy Name—but a portion even professes to adore Thee—and yet thousands upon thousands in the East and the West, in the North and the South, hour after hour, as each hour comes, are dropping away from this life into eternity. Remember, O my dear Lord, and lay it to heart, that to the dishonour of Thy name, and to the triumph of Thine enemies, fresh victims are choking up the infernal pit, and are taking up their dwelling there for ever. Listen to the intercessions of Thy Saints, let Thy Mother plead with Thee, let not the prayers of Holy Church Thy Spouse be offered up in vain. Impute not to the poor heathen their many sins, but visit the earth quickly and give all men to know, to believe, and to serve Thee, in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, who with the Father, etc.”

3 Comment(s)
  • Barbara Wyman Posted February 18, 2017 9:20 pm

    Agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi — Jesus as the Lamb is one of my favorite images of our Lord … the lamb without blemish caught in the thicket .. these are lovely words from Cardinal Newman …. Thank you for this meditation. Lord, that the world might see! Mundus videat!

  • Jim Baker Posted February 19, 2017 11:48 am

    I look forward to the rest of this series.

  • Raul Espericueta Posted February 19, 2017 5:07 pm

    From blood sprinkled door posts to blood shed in the same form on a cross we see salvation history culminate in the greatest act of love known. Let us not fear the depth of this love that invites us to the same cross that we may be truly free. Look forward to more from Newman!

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