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CHAPTER III. HOW IT WAS WITH HIM ON THE CROSS ACCORDING TO THE EXTERIOR MAN.

Eternal Wisdom.—When I was suspended on the lofty tree of the cross because of My unfathomable love to thee and all mankind, My whole frame was very grievously distorted, My bright eyes were extinguished and turned in My head; My divine ears were filled with scoffing and blasphemy; My delicate nostrils were wounded with foul smells; My sweet mouth was tormented with bitter drink; and My tender feeling with hard blows. The whole earth was not able to afford Me any rest, for My feeble head was bowed down with pain and distress, My fair throat was unnaturally distended, My pure countenance polluted with spittle, My beautiful complexion faded. Lo! My comely figure withered entirely away, as though I were an outcast leper, and had never been the fair and Eternal Wisdom.

The Servant.—O Thou most gracious mirror of all graces, in which the heavenly spirits regale and feed their eyes, would that I had before me Thy delicious countenance in its deathly aspect until I had well steeped it in the tears of my heart; would that I might behold again and again those beautiful eyes, those bright cheeks, that tender mouth, all ghastly and dead, till I had fully relieved my heart in fervent lamentation over my Love. Alas! sweet Lord, Thy Passion affects so deeply the hearts of some people that they are able to lament over Thee with the greatest fervour, and weep for Thee from their very hearts. O God, could I, and might I, now represent all devout hearts with my lamentation, might I shed the tears of all eyes, and utter the doleful words of all tongues, then would I show Thee to-day how near to my heart Thy woeful Passion lies.

Eternal Wisdom.—No one can better show how deeply his heart is affected by My Passion than he who endures it with Me in the practice of good works. To Me, a free heart, unconcerned about perishable love, and ever intent on following the main thing according to the type of My contemplated Passion, is more agreeable than if thou didst always bewail Me, and didst shed as many tears from weeping over My torments as there ever rained drops of water from the sky; for the following of Me was the cause in which I suffered bitter death, although tears are also pleasing and agreeable to Me.

The Servant.—O sweet Lord, since then an affectionate following of Thy meek life and voluntary Passion is so agreeable to Thee, I will in future be more assiduous in a voluntary following than in a weeping sorrow. But, as I ought to have both, according to Thy words, teach me how I shall resemble Thee in both.

Eternal Wisdom.—Renounce thy pleasure in dissolute sights and voluptuous words; let that savour sweetly of love, and be grateful to thee, which before was repugnant to thee; thou shouldst seek all thy rest in Me, shouldst willingly suffer wrong from others, desire contempt, mortify thy passions, and die to all thy lusts. Such is the first lesson in the school of wisdom, which is to be read in the open, distended book of My crucified body. And consider and see, whether, if any one in all this world were to do his utmost, he could yet be to Me what I am to him?

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