Jesus Crucified! Oh, what a spectacle to the Angels in Heaven to behold a God Crucified! And we? What sentiments should we conceive when we behold the King of Heaven hanging on a gibbet, covered with wounds, agonising, dying of pure unmitigated pain! O death of Jesus! O love of Jesus, take possession of all my thoughts and affections!
I. Jesus Crucified! Oh, what a spectacle to the Angels in Heaven to behold a God Crucified! And we? What sentiments should we not conceive when we behold the King of Heaven hanging on a gibbet, covered with wounds, agonizing and dying of pure, unmitigated pain!
O God, why does this Divine Saviour, this innocent and Saintly One, suffer such torments? Ah, He suffers them to expiate the sins of men. And who has ever seen such an example? The Lord suffering for His slaves! The Shepherd dying for His sheep! The Creator immolated and offered as a holocaust for His creatures!
Jesus on the Cross! Behold the Man of Sorrows foretold by Isaias. Behold Him on that infamous tree, full of exterior and interior sorrows. In His body He is torn with scourges, thorns, and nails: blood flows from every wound, and each member suffers its own torment. In His soul He is afflicted with sadness and desolation; He is abandoned by all, even by His very Father. But what tormented Him most severely was the horrid sight of all the sins that the very men, redeemed by His blood, would commit after His death.
Ah, my Redeemer, among these ungrateful ones Thou didst see me, and all my sins. Then I too had a great part in all Thy afflictions on the Cross, when Thou wast dying for me. Oh that I had died, and had never offended Thee!
II. Oh, Jesus, my Hope, death terrifies me. I know I shall then have to render an account of all the insults I have offered to Thy love. But Thy death encourages me, and makes me hope for pardon. I am sorry with my whole heart for having offended Thee. If I have not hitherto loved Thee, I now wish to love Thee during the remaining days of my life, and I wish to do and suffer all things in order to please Thee. O my Redeemer, Who died on a Cross for me, assist me.
Lord, Thou hast said that when Thou wouldst be exalted on the Cross, Thou wouldst draw all hearts to Thee. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself (Jo. xii. 32). By dying on the Cross for us, Thou hast already drawn to Thy love so many who, for Thy sake, have forsaken all things, their goods, their country, their relatives, and their life. Ah, draw also my poor heart, which, through Thy grace, now longs to love Thee. Permit me not to love mire, as I have hitherto done. O my Redeemer, would that I could see myself stripped of every worldly affection, so as to forget all things, to remember only Thee, and to love Thee alone! I hope for all things from Thy grace. Thou knowest my inability to do any good: through the love which made Thee submit to so cruel a death on Calvary for my sake, I pray Thee to assist me. O death of Jesus, O love of Jesus, take possession of all my thoughts and affections, and grant that, for the future, Thy pleasure, O Jesus, may be the sole object of all my thoughts and desires. O most amiable Lord, hear my prayer, through the merits of Thy death.
O thou, too, O Mary, who art the Mother of Mercy, hear me: pray to Jesus for me. Thy prayers can make me a saint. Such is my hope.
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