THE PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST IS OUR CONSOLATION.
Who can ever give us as much consolation in this valley of tears as Jesus crucified? What can sweeten the prickings of remorse, arising from the remembrance of our past sins, better than the consideration that Jesus Christ has voluntarily suffered death in order to atone for our sins? He, says the Apostle, gave himself for our sins (Gal. i. 4).
In all the persecutions, calumnies, insults, loss of property and honour, which may come to us in this life, who is better able to give us strength to bear them with patience and resignation than Jesus Christ, Who was despised, calumniated, and poor; Who died on a Cross, naked, and abandoned by all?
What more consoling in infirmities than the sight of Jesus crucified? In our sickness we find ourselves on a comfortable bed; but when Jesus was sick on the Cross on which He died, He had no other bed than a hard tree, to which He was fastened by three nails; no other pillow on which to rest His head than the Crown of Thorns, which continued to torment Him till He expired.
In our sickness we have around our bed, friends and relatives to sympathize with us and to entertain us. Jesus died in the midst of enemies, who insulted and mocked Him as a malefactor and seducer, even when He was in the very agony of death. Certainly, there is nothing so well calculated as the life of Jesus crucified to console a sick man in his sufferings, particularly if he finds himself abandoned by others. To unite, in his infirmity, his own pains to the pains of Jesus Christ is the greatest comfort that a poor sick man can enjoy.
In the anguish caused at death by the assaults of hell, the sight of past sins, and the account to be rendered in a short time at the Divine tribunal, the only consolation a dying Christian, combating with death, can have consists in embracing the Crucifix, saying: “My Jesus and my Redeemer, Thou art my love and my hope.”
In a word, all the graces, lights, inspirations, holy desires, devout affections, sorrow for sin, good resolutions, Divine love, hope of Paradise, that God bestows upon us, are fruits and gifts which come to us through the Passion of Jesus Christ.
Ah, my Jesus, if Thou, my Saviour, hadst not died for me, what hope could I, who have so often turned my back upon Thee and so often deserved hell, entertain of going to behold Thy beautiful countenance in the land of bliss, among so many innocent Virgins, among so many holy Martyrs, among the Apostles and Seraphs? It is Thy Passion, then, that gives me hope, in spite of my sins, that I too shall one day reach the society of the Saints and of Thy holy Mother, to sing Thy mercies, and to thank and love Thee forever in Paradise. Such, O Jesus, is my hope. The mercies of the Lord I will sing forever (Ps. lxxxviii. 2). Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me.