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The Easter Octave - Tuesday


Easter Tuesday: The Apparition of Jesus to the Apostles

Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them, and saith to them: Peace be to you; it is I, fear not. But they, being troubled and frighted, supposed that they saw a spirit. And He said to them: Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? See My hands and feet, that it is I Myself; handle, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see Me to have. And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they yet believed not, and wondered for joy, He said: Have you here anything to eat? And they offered Him a piece of a broiled fish and a honey-comb. And when He had eaten before them He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures and that it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead the third day.

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow upon the apparition of Jesus Christ to His apostles assembled together at Jerusalem, and we shall see: first, the esteem which the risen Jesus had for His sacred wounds; second, the esteem we also ought to have for our own sufferings. We will then make the resolution: first, often and lovingly to kiss our crucifix and above all the sacred wounds imprinted on it; second, cheerfully to accept all the trials of life. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of Our Lord: “See My hands and feet” (Luke xxiv:39).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us transport ourselves in spirit into the midst of the apostles. Let us lovingly kiss the wounds in His feet, in His hands, in His sacred side; let us beg of Him to let grace flow down upon us from them, and to raise us up also to a new life.

The esteem in which the risen Jesus held his wounds

It is not only during the week of sufferings and on the cross that Jesus Christ presents His wounds to our meditation; He shows them also to us during the week of paschal joys, but with this difference, that last week these wounds appeared to us bleeding and painful, whilst today they appear to us as glorious and shining with the rays of the divinity. Jesus Christ willed to preserve them in His risen body: first, as being an irrefragable proof that it was really the same body which had suffered for us; second, as being the glorious marks of the victory which He had gained over the enemies of God and of the salvation of men; third, as the insignia of His love for us, which He delights to show to heaven and earth in order to inflame our hearts with reciprocal love; fourth, as so many divinely-eloquent mouths which plead our cause before His Father and which ceaselessly address to Him, in our favour, an all-powerful prayer; fifth, as sacred fountains out of which we may draw grace continually, with an unlimited confidence in their merits. O divine wounds, so dear to the heart of Jesus, of which you open the doors, how beautiful you are! It is you which cause God to be eternally blessed by all the angels and all the saints, who delight to sing the evangelical canticle: Behold how God has loved man (John xi:36); it is you who, on the great day of judgment will confound those who have not willed to profit by the benefit of the Redemption (John xix:37). O adorable wounds! I revere you and I love you. You command me to behold you: I contemplate you lovingly; you are my refuge: I repose in you; you are my light: I instruct myself in your school; you are my strength: you will sustain me in my discouragements; you are furnaces of love: I will approach you, I will keep near to you by an humble, affectionate, assiduous meditation, and I shall be warmed, for you cannot keep near to a great fire without feeling the heat of it!

The esteem which we ought to have for our own sufferings

Whether we will it or not, we must suffer: suffer in our body, suffer in our mind, suffer in our heart; suffer from others who displease and molest us; suffer from ourselves, from our inexplicable fits of sadness, of impatience, of melancholy, and of bad temper; suffer from all human things: sometimes from the death of persons who are dear to us, sometimes from a reverse of fortune, sometimes from the failure of an undertaking, of a humiliation which we have received or have imagined. Now, these sufferings which are the inevitable lot of our humanity ought to be highly esteemed by us: first, because Jesus Christ has said: Blessed are those who suffer, blessed are those who weep; second, because our divine Saviour has glorified them in His own person, deifying and rendering adorable His very wounds, which enabled Him to merit the glory of His body, His resurrection, His ascension, His repose at the right hand of His Father, and the honour of judging at the last day the living and the dead; third, because without suffering there is no virtue, no merits, consequently no recompense, no salvation; we become attached to this world and forget heaven, we think only of enjoying the present moments and we do not occupy ourselves with our eternity; whilst, on the other hand, suffering, borne in a Christian manner, is the source of merits, conduces to the practice of virtues, is the warrant and the measure of the happiness of heaven, so that we deem to be the most beautiful days of our life those in which we have most suffered (Ps. lxxxix:15); fourth, because suffering endured with patience renders us dear to the heart of God the Father, who then sees in us a resemblance to His divine Son. It brings Him near to us to console or relieve us (Ps. xc:15), for, says the Psalmist, He stretches His paternal hand over the just, weighed down beneath the cross, in order to sustain him (Ps. xxxvi:24). Daniel is cast into the lions den, the children of Babylon into the furnace, Joseph into prison; God is there that He may save them; fifth, because suffering has always been the delight of the saints. I take pleasure, said St Paul, in afflictions, whether they be infirmities which attack my body, of calumnies which attack my honour, or poverty which reduces me to be badly-lodged, ill-clothed, badly fed, or persecutions from without, or troubles from within (II Cor. xii:10), for it is then that the virtue of Christ dwells in me (Ibid. 9). Either suffer or die, said St Teresa; I cannot live without the cross; so entirely has Jesus Christ in taking suffering upon Him robbed it of its bitterness and embalmed it with His divine sweetness. Now, in what degree do we esteem suffering? How do we bear what annoys us? Let us beg of Our Lord to give us more Christian sentiments.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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