Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday of the FIrst Week in Lent

On the Same Subject of the Passion of Our Lord in General.


Jesus is the victim of all time and of all men, the victim of both sinners and the just. As he has loaded himself with all our crimes, he has crowned himself with all our sufferings! As there are none of his creatures whom he has not loved, there are none for whom he has not suffered. But he suffered for me and he bestows great graces on me which are the fruits of his sufferings. He has ever held me in remembrance, and I never think of him! I do not love him as I ought nor do I desire to suffer for his sake.


Why did Jesus die? Why did he desire the unspeakable anguish and misery that he endured? He died to return to me the life which I lost through sin. He rendered himself miserable to secure for me eternal happiness. He delivered himself to the power of his enemies to deliver me from mine! He did not question the judgment of Pilate, he did not work miracles as he might have done, to deliver himself from their hands. He suffered throughout his life. His heart was transfixed to the cross with his body. The greatest of all his sufferings was in not suffering. It was his chief desire to be baptized in his own blood, to drain the chalice of his passion, and die. And all of this for me.

Resolution: I will not complain today, either to others or myself, when I am faced with suffering of any kind such as aches, having to wait, being treated unkindly. Instead I will offer them to the Father together with the sufferings of Jesus.

Prayer: Oh, sweetest Jesus! thou wert not displeased with thy enemies for doing that which thou didst so much desire, and which enabled thee to suffer without measure. It was only their sins and malice which diminished thy satisfaction, and added to thy griefs. The torments which they inflicted on thee cannot be surpassed in cruelty, nor could they make thee suffer more. They loaded thee with opprobrium and ignominy. They treated thee as the most miserable of all slaves and the most abandoned of all men. Couldst thou have suffered more than thou didst suffer, or die in more cruel agonies than thou didst?

And I avoid all suffering and mortification, and would even escape death. I wish to live surrounded by delights and enjoyments, when, if justice were awarded me, I should at this moment be suffering all the pains of hell. Where is it that I do not find examples of thy goodness .and tender mercy? Where is it that I do not discover my own malice and presumption? Where is it that my ingratitude is not apparent?

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

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