Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday of Holy Week

On the Thirst of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Jesus said, "I thirst;" and they offered him only vinegar and gall to drink! He desired this torment to make satisfaction for our gluttony, and to bear the penalty of the sins we commit by excess, or too great a fondness for delicate and expensive food. He was abandoned in his soul and body. In his soul by a suspension of all sensible consolation; in his body by the suffering of all imaginable evils.

All his senses, corporal and spiritual, were crucified on Calvary. His eyes by the sight of his enemies; his ears by their blasphemies; his smell by the noxious odors of the place; his touch by the wounds that covered his body; his taste by the vinegar and gall; his memory by the recollection of our crimes; his spirit by the darkness which seemed to conceal from him the will of his Father and which wrung from him that bitter cry "My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?;" his will by fear and dejection; his appetite by disgust, sadness, and grief. There was no part of his body that was not pierced with wounds, no power of his soul but what was plunged in unspeakable grief. He suffered as if he had been a mere man, the difference being a mere man would have died much sooner under such great suffering. God wrought a miracle, not to relieve his Son from suffering, but to prevent his dying under those sufferings and you desire him to work a miracle to preserve you from suffering and death.


The divine Victim was torn by whips without, but within he was yet sound. For this reason he made the bitterness of his chalice descend into his body by enduring the most cruel thirst that was ever suffered and drinking the vinegar and gall which they offered him. It was then that the book of the Lamb was written within and without. Within by the justice of his Father, without by the cruelty of men. Within by interior pains, without by exterior sufferings.


Jesus complained of being thirsty knowing well that they would give him vinegar and gall to drink. He complained of his sufferings only that he might suffer more. He made known to us his grief that we might know his love. He thirsted for our salvation. He was consumed with the desire of bringing sinners to repentance, of freeing the captive, and making the miserable rejoice. It was love that made him complain, love that made him suffer, love that made him die.

Resolution: I will not let the suffering of Jesus for my salvation have been in vain. I will live from this day forth working to save my soul. I will renew this resolution every day by remembering that there is nothing more important than my eternal salvation, that nothing must ever get in the way of my being in heaven for all eternity.

Prayer: Oh Jesus, my Lord and my merciful Redeemer, I am the cause of the thirst that consumes thee as in thy suffering on the cross for my salvation. But never again will I cause thee to suffer so great a thirst for my soul. Grant me, by thy great thirst, the graces to leave the sins that so often wound thee; forsake my evil companions who may cause me loss of my soul and who daily offend and displease thee; approach thy cross by continual meditations on thy sufferings; be frequent in prayer; receive thee often in holy Communion; abstain from evil talk and slander; pardon the injustice and injuries inflicted on me and keep silence when angry. In this way I purpose to quench thy thirst, alleviate thy sufferings, refresh thee, and console thee. Oh Virgin of Sorrows, intercede for me that these graces will be mine and that I may live to console thy Son and thee.

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

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