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MEDITATION IV.

WEDNESDAY.
Jesus is Scourged at a Pillar, and Crowned

with Thorns. PILATE knowing that Jesus was innocent, but wishing to satisfy the Jews, condemned him to be scourged, hoping thus to deliver him at least from death. Our Blessed Redeemer submitted to this most grievous torment, in order to make satisfaction for all sins committed by our senses; according to the prediction of the prophet: Ipse autem vulneratus est propter iniquitates nostras, attritus est propter scelera nostra. Isa. liii. 5. It was then, O my Saviour, my sins, and not the scourges which rent and tore thy sacred flesh; had I committed fewer sins, thou wouldst have been less cruelly tortured. I love thee, my sovereign good, and I am sorry with my whole heart for having so often offended thee.

The Jews, still not satisfied, instigated the soldiers to crown him with thorns, and to treat him as a mock king. They stript him, therefore, again of his garments, clothed him in a purple robe, placed a reed in his hand, and pressed a crown of thorns upon his head. My beloved Redeemer, my consent to many sins and my wicked desires were the cruel thorns which pierced thee with so much torture. I now hate and detest them above every evil. Then did they mock him, saluting him as king of the Jews, and buffeted him, illudebant ei, dicentes : ave, rex Judæorum. Matt. xxvii, 29. St. John adds: Et dabant ei alapas. Jo. xix. 3. Ah! my Jesus, thou art now the king of scorn and suffering: but I recognise thee as my true king and Lord, and I thank thee and love thee above all things. I love thee, O Jesus, scourged and crowned with thorns for my sake. Ogrant me to renounce all things else, that I may love nothing but thee. O Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me.

MEDITATION V.

THURSDAY.

Pilate presents Jesus to the People, exclaiming,

Ecce Homo. Jesus having been again brought before Pilate, and Pilate seeing him so dreadfully torn and mangled, persuaded himself that, if he presented him in such a state before the Jews, they would relent and be appeased. Accordingly he went forth upon an open gallery, leading our afflicted Saviour, and said to the people, Ecce homo. There was Jesus, with a crown of thorns upon his head, and clothed in a purple garment: Exivit ergo Jesus porians coronam spineam et purpureum vestimentum. Jo. xix. 5. Behold thou also, my soul, thy Redeemer, and reflect to what thy loving shepherd has been reduced to save thee, his lost sheep. O my Jesus, I thank thee. Misericordias tuas, Domine, in æternum cantabo. . . • But the Jews, when they saw him, instead of relenting, cried out, Crucifige, crucifige eum. Pilate nevertheless sought to set him at liberty, knowing that he was innocent; but they continued to cry out, Tolle, tolle, cruicifige eum. Ah my Jesus, and I also, iż some measure, have cried out thus for thy death, by expelling thee from my soul: and thou hast nevertheless sacrificed thy life upon the cross in order to save me. My dear Redeemer, I am conscious of the wrong which I have done thee, and would willingly die of sorrow for it. I am sorry with my whole soul, O infinite goodness, for having hitherto thus contemned thee; but now I love thee above all things, and value thy grace above all the goods of earth and of heaven: for without thy grace, what would the whole

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world avail me? Thou hast loved me even unto death, and I desire to love thee in like manner. Do thou grant me perseverance, give me thy holy love, grant that for the time to come I may never more displease thee, and think of nothing but how to love thee.

O blood of Jesus, inebriate me with thy holy love: O death of Jesus, induce me to die to all earthly affections. My beloved Saviour, deliver me from hell which I have so often deserved; in hell I could no longer love thee, but must curse thy sacred blood, thy death, and all thy other graces. No, my Jesus, I desire to love thee, and to love only thee. Grant me the grace to love thee, and dispose of me as thou pleasest. O Mary, refuge of sinners, help me, a sinner, who desires to love God and has recourse to thee. Thou listenest to all who pray to thee ; hear me then for the love of Jesus Christ whom thou lovest so tenderly,

MEDITATION VI.

FRIDAY.

Jesus is condemned by Pilate, and carries his

Cross to Calvary BEHOLD Pilate ascends the tribunal and condemns Jesus to die upon the cross. The unjust sentence is read aloud as passed by Pilate ; but had been first decreed by the

Eternal Father, when he willed that his Son should die for our salvation. Jesus receives it with perfect resignation to the divine will, and humbly submits to it in order by his death to free us from the eternal death which we had deserved. Humiliavit semetipsum factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. Philip. ii. 8. My beloved Redeemer, thou acceptest of death in order to give me eternal life; if thou hadst not died for me, I should have been lost for ever. I give thee thanks, O love of my soul, thy. death is my hope. And since thou, my God, didst accept of death for the love of me, I accept of death for the love of thee, both as to the time and the place which thou shalt appoint, with all the pains that will accompany it. I beseech thee to give me the grace to die with the desire of pleasing thee, and of doing thy will.

Behold, Jesus goes forth from Pilate's hall, bearing the cross on his shoulders, on his way to Calvary, the place of execution. Behold the grand spectacle now exhibited to the world—God, the Creator of all things, going to die for his creatures! Ah! my Saviour, Jesus, O love of my soul, thou art about to die for me, I desire not to leave thee, but to go and to die with thee. How miserable have I hitherto been, in disregarding thee and turning my back upon thee;

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