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Tuesday in Holy Week


Tuesday in Holy Week: What Christ Suffered from His Enemies

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow on what Jesus suffered from His enemies in His Passion, and we shall see: first, what were His sufferings; second, what were His opprobriums. We will then make a resolution: first, heartily to embrace all opportunities of humiliating and mortifying ourselves; second, to renounce all pretensions to pride and self-love, as well as all kinds of sensuality. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of the Apostle: “Christ therefore having suffered in the flesh, be you also armed with the same thought” (I Pet. iv:1).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us adore Jesus Christ teaching us by His example, before leaving the world, to tear out of our hearts the two passions which damn the majority of men: the passion for pleasure and the passion of pride. He combats, the passion for pleasure with the most poignant of sufferings, the passion of pride He combats with the most ignominious of humiliations. Let us ask of our divine Saviour pardon for our corruption, the expiation of which has cost Him so dear, and let us thank Him to have been so willing, in order to save us, to submit to so many torments and so much ignominy.

The tortures which the enemies of Jesus Christ made him suffer

These men, who, carried their inhuman and cruel proceedings to the point of ferocity, did not leave any part of His body untouched by suffering. On the night which preceded His death, they wounded His adorable Face with blows; on the very day of His death they lacerated His flesh with scourges; the blood flowed, His whole body was nothing but one great wound, all His bones were exposed, and His head was crowned with thorns. After having suffered all these tortures, they made Him carry His cross to Calvary, they pierced His hands and feet with nails, they gave Him gall and vinegar to drink. Let us meditate upon these frightful sufferings; let us enter into the thought which inspired the God who suffered them, and who willed thereby to inspire us with the hatred of our own flesh. Who, after meditating on all this, would dare to flatter his body, to humour it, to spare it, to procure pleasure and enjoyment for it? Who would not be determined to mortify it and make it suffer? For we are not Christians excepting under these conditions. What an examination ought we to make here of ourselves! what a reformation there ought to be effected in our sentiments and our conduct! We love pleasure so much, we are so afraid of discomfort and suffering! How dare we call ourselves Christians?

The opprobriums which the enemies of Jesus Christ made him suffer

In the Garden of Olives, Jesus was bound and led from there, like a criminal, to Caiaphas in the midst of a thousand insulting cries. On the night which followed His arrest He was given up to the mercy of His enemies, who wounded Him with blows and with cuffs, who spat in His face, and, after having bound His eyes, showered great blows upon Him, while saying to Him: Guess who it is that has struck Thee. On the day which followed this terrible night they march Him through the streets of Jerusalem, covered with the robes of a mock king; they rail at Him and insult Him with being a fool. Brought back from thence to the tribunal of Pilate, He is put in comparison with Barabbas; the whole of the people, who but a little while before had received Him in triumph, proclaim that Barabbas, a thief and assassin, is less guilty than He; and with cries of rage and fury, they demand the death of Him who had never done anything but what was good. Then they crown Him with thorns, they put upon Him a scarlet garment, in imitation of a royal mantle, and they place in His hand a reed by way of sceptre; and all the people rail at Him as being a mock king.

Farewell to the renown of His wisdom: He is considered as being only a fool; farewell to the renown of His power: nothing but weakness is visible; farewell to His reputation for innocence and holiness: henceforth, in the opinion of the public, He is nothing more than a criminal, a blasphemer, a man more worthy of death than are thieves and assassins. He is crucified between two thieves, as being the worst amongst them; and all the people gathered together round His cross overwhelm Him, down to His last sigh, with insults and expressions of contempt. Behold how Jesus Christ teaches us humility, submission, dependence; behold how He condemns pride which cannot bear the least contempt, and becomes impatient over the slightest things, and complains at the slightest contradictions; self-love which revolts at seeing the preference given to others, susceptibilities and pretensions; behold how He teaches us to be content with the esteem of God alone, and to count human judgments as nothing, together with public opinion and the vain speeches of those who mock at piety. What fruits have we derived up till now from these divine lessons? What progress have we made in the bearing of a want of consideration for us, words which wound us, things which hurt our self-love? O Jesus, so humble, have pity on us, convert us!

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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