THE WORDS OF JESUS ON THE CROSS
While Jesus upon the Cross is being outraged by that barbarous populace, what is it that He is doing? He is praying for them and saying: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke xxiii. 34). O Eternal Father, hearken to this Thy beloved Son, Who, in dying, prays Thee to forgive me, too, who have outraged Thee so much. Then Jesus, turning to the good thief, who prays Him to have mercy upon him, replies: This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. (Luke xxiii. 43). Oh, how true is that which the Lord spake by the mouth of Ezechiel, that when a sinner repents of his sin, God, as it were, blots out from His memory all the offences of which he has been guilty: But if the wicked do penance � I will not remember all his iniquities. (Ez. xviii. 21, 22). Oh, would that it were true, my Jesus, that I had never offended Thee! But, since the evil is done, remember no more, I pray Thee, the displeasure I have caused Thee; and, by that bitter death which Thou hast suffered for me, take me to Thy kingdom after my death; and, while I live, let Thy love ever reign within my soul.
Jesus, in His Agony upon the Cross, with every part of His Body full of torture, and deluged with affliction in His Soul, seeks for some one to console Him. He looks towards Mary; but that sorrowing Mother only adds by her grief to His affliction. He casts His eyes around Him, and there is no one that gives Him comfort. He asks His Father for consolation; but the Father, beholding Him covered with all the sins of men, even He too abandons Him: and then it was that Jesus cried out with a loud voice: Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matt. xxvii. 46). My God, my God, and why hast Thou also abandoned Me? This abandonment by the Eternal Father caused the death of Jesus Christ to be more bitter than any that has ever fallen to the lot of either penitent or Martyr; for it was a death of perfect desolation, and bereft of every kind of relief. O my Jesus, how is it that I have been able to live so long a time in forgetfulness of Thee? I return Thee thanks that Thou hast not been unmindful of me. Oh, I pray Thee ever to keep me in mind of the bitter Death which Thou hast embraced for love of me, that so I may never be unmindful of the love Thou hast borne me!
Jesus, then, knowing that His Sacrifice was now completed said that He was thirsty: He said, I thirst. (John xix. 28). And the executioners then reached up to His mouth a sponge, filled with vinegar and gall. But, Lord, how is it that Thou dost make no complaint of those many pains which are taking away Thy life, but complainest only of Thy thirst? Ah, I understand Thee, my Jesus; Thy thirst is a thirst of love; because Thou lovest us, Thou dost desire to be beloved by us. Oh, help me to drive away from my heart all affections which are not for Thee; make me love none other but Thee, and to have no other desire save that of doing Thy will. O will of God, Thou art my love. O Mary, my Mother, obtain for me the grace to wish for nothing but that which God doth will.