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Was then, O my Saviour, thy desire to suffer for us so vehement, that thou must of thyself go to meet death ? Ah, my Jesus ! behold I am now about to approach the altar to renew the same sacrifice of the cross which thou didst consummate upon Mount Calvary. How do I lament that I should ever have displeased thee, who hast so loved me as to appoint me to be one of thy Priests! Hitherto I have forsaken thee, but now I desire only to be united with thee. Pardon me, I beseech thee, before thou enterest, this morning, into my breast; forgive me all the anguish which I have ever occasioned thee, for I detest all sin above every other evil. Never permit me, my beloved Redeemer, again to displease thee. I love thee, O Jesus, dead upon the cross for my sake; I love thee, my God, infinitely worthy of love; I love thee, my only good, and renounce every thing for thy love. Deus meus et omnia. Thou alone art sufficient for me.
I offer thee, O Eternal Father, this sacrifice, in thanksgiving for all thy gifts bestowed on Jesus as man, on the Blessed Virgin, and on all thy saints my advocates. I recommend to thee the Sovereign Pontiff, my relations, benefactors, friends, and enemies. I likewise recommend to thee all infidels, heretics, and all sinners who are living in
thy displeasure; give them light and strength to arise from their miserable state; and since, as I hope, thou hast restored me to thy grace, grant me perseverance. And do thou, Mary, mother of holy perseverance, never cease to intercede with Jesus for me.
Jesus is brought before Caiphas and condemned
to Death. The iniquitous High Priest, finding that there was no evidence against the innocent Jesus upon which to condemn him, sought to ensnare him in his speech, so that he might be able from his own testimony to pronounce him guilty of death. Accordingly, he insidiously demanded of him in the name of God, Adjuro te per Deum vivum, ut dicas nobis si tu es Christus filius Dei. Matt. xxvi. 63. And Jesus hearing himself thus solemnly called upon in the name of God, immediately declared the truth; Ego sum ; et videbitis Filium hominis sedentem a dextris virtutis Dei et venientem cum nubibus coeli. Marc. xiv. 62. Caiphas hearing this, rent his garments, and cried out: What need have we of further evidence? You have yourselves heard him blaspheme: Tunc princeps sacerdotum scidit vestimenta sua dicens : Blasphemavit ; quid adhuc egemus, testibus? Matt. xxvi. 65. Then said he to the other priests: Quid vobis videtur? And they answered: Reus est mortis. But this same sentence had already been decreed by his Eternal Father, when Jesus offered himself to suffer the punishment due to our sins. O my Jesus, I give thee thanks, I love thee.
No sooner was this unjust sentence pronounced, than they began and continued to torment him throughout the night, until they were wearied; some casting their filthy spittle in his face, others striking him, and others buffeting him and deriding him as a false prophet: Tunc expuerunt in faciem ejus, et colaphis eum ceciderunt ; alii autem palmas in faciem ejus dederunt dicentes: Prophetiza nobis, Christe, quis est qui te percussit. Matt. xxvi. 67, 68. And, as St. Mark adds, they blindfolded him with a scarlet rag, and then by turns struck him.
Ah! my Jesus, how many injuries hast thou endured for me, to satisfy for the injuries which I have offered thee! I love thee, O infinite goodness; I am exceedingly sorry for having offended thee. Pardon me, and give me the grace of becoming wholly thine. I desire to be wholly thine, vouchsafe to make me such. Mary, my advocate and my hope, obtain this for me by thy holy intercession.
TUESDAY. Jesus is derided by Herod. As soon as morning came, the Jews conducted Jesus before the tribunal of Pilate, in order to be again condemned by the governor, and then put to death. Pilate having weighed all the accusations which they brought against our innocent Lord, declared that he could discover no reason for condemning him: Ego nullam invenio in eo causam. Jo. xviii. 38. And to free himself from the insults of the Priests, whó persisted in requiring him to put Jesus to death, knowing that he came from Galilee, and was a subject of Herod's, Pilate sent him to Herod, Herod had long desired to see Jesus, in the hope of witnessing one of the many miracles which he had heard were frequently wrought by our Blessed Saviour. Accordingly, when Jesus was brought before him, he put many questions to him, but received no reply: Jesus was silent. Herod and his court being incensed at this, treated him as a fool, clothed him with a white garment, and sent
him back to Pilate: Sprevit autem illum Herodes cum exercitu suo, et illusit indutum veste alba et remisit ad Pilatum. Luc. xxiii. 11. O my Jesus, truly indeed had the prophet Isaias foretold of thee, that thou wouldst be treated as the last and vilest of men upon earth: novissimum virorum. But since thou, my Redeemer and my God, hast been pleased to be despised for my sake, I will accept and
embrace all the contempt that may be cast upon me by men, and will not resent it, as I hitherto have done, to thy great displeasure.
Unhappy Herod! By his iniquity he had rendered himself unworthy to be spoken to by Jesus. O my Saviour, how often have I rendered myself unworthy that thou shouldst speak to me, and deserved to be abandoned by thee! but for thy mercy's sake, speak unto me. Loquere, Domine, quia audit serous tuus. Hitherto I have not listened to thee; but now, as I love thee, I will obey thee in all things: say what thou willest of me, for I desire to please thee in all things. Ah, Lord, when shall I become wholly thine, and no longer devoted to myself? No, I will no longer resist thy loving calls. O Mary, thy prayers are all-powerful; beseech thy Son to make me such as he would have me to be.