From a reader:
At my parish, we have a tradition of taking down and stowing away the San Damiano Cross replica that hangs from the ceiling over our sanctuary. This year, I discovered the plenary indulgence for praying before a crucifix on Fridays during Lent, and now there’s no way for me to achieve that in our chapel (I have a crucifix in my bedroom, but the experience isn’t the same somehow). Is this something I should be concerned about?
I should say so. Other than the fact that that was a silly thing to do at the beginning of LENT, for the love of God, the removal of the Cross makes is that much harder for many people easily to gain an indulgence offered to all the faithful during Lent on Fridays.
Holy Church has attached a plenary indulgence to praying before a Crucifix on Fridays during Lent. I will grant that that grant does not specify the Crucifix in the parish, but why remove a Cross during Lent when we even have… wait for it… Stations of the CROSS?
There is a laudable custom of covering over images and the Cross on what in the traditional calendar is called (1st) Passion Sunday, which in the new calendar is the 5th Sunday of Lent. We do this because Holy Church enters into a greater and greater liturgical deprivation, in imitation of the Passion and death of the Lord, as we move through pre-Lent, Lent and Triduum.
I don’t understand what they priests are thinking when they take away things during Lent which are of benefit during our time of spiritual combat. The remove Holy Water from stoups, for example. That is a useful sacramental in a sacred season when the Enemy is working to make us fall. Meditation on the Crucified Lord can be of consolation to those who are suffering and for those who are feeling weak in their resolve.
“Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.” as my old pastor would have said… and did say when he heard of things like this.
In any event, here is the text about the indulgence on Friday:
8 §1. A plenary indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who:
2° in any Friday in the season of Lent piously recite the prayer En ego, o bone et dulcissime Iesu, before an image of the Crucified Jesus Christ after communion; …
(Reference: Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, 4th edition, al. concessiones.)
. . .
It doesn’t specify how long after Communion. I suppose if you go straight home after Mass that’s fine. I guess you could use the Crucifix on the Rosary hanging from your rear-view mirror, instead of from your hand.
Here is the prayer which could be useful.
Sometimes you get ready and get in place and then can’t think of what to say. Holy Church helped you out!
This is always good, especially after Mass… in the church… before the Crucifix which ought to be there:
En ego, o bone et dulcissime Iesu, ante conspectum tuum genibus me provolvo, ac maximo animi ardore te oro atque obtestor, ut meum in cor vividos fidei, spei et caritatis sensus, atque veram peccatorum meorum paenitentiam, eaque emendandi firmissimam voluntatem velis imprimere; dum magno animi affectu et dolore tua quinque vulnera mecum ipse considero, ac mente contemplor, illud prae oculis habens, quod iam in ore ponebat tuo David Propheta de te, o bone Iesu: «Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos; dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea».
Behold, o good and most sweet Jesus, I fall upon my knees before Thee, and with most fervent desire beg and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart a lively sense of faith, hope and charity, true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. And with deep affection and grief, I reflect upon Thy five wounds, having before my eyes that which Thy prophet David spoke about Thee, o good Jesus: “They have pierced my hands and feet, they have counted all my bones.”