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Consider the extreme sorrow wherein thou leavest me by thy departure, the hope and desire I have of seeing thee glorious, impassible, immortal, wholly resplendent with light and majesty. Rise again, therefore, by returning to life, O Lord ! thou wilt restore it to my soul, it will revive with thee, in order to possess thee and be possessed by thee, to be absorbed and transformed into thee, O my Jesus, my love and my sovereign happiness.
CONTEMPLATION.—On the eternal Father concerning these words of our Saviour : “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”İ. O eternal Father! Father of mercies, and God of all consolation, acknowledge the voice of my Saviour, hearken to the last words of thy Son. He has pronounced them for me, and he pronounced them at his death that I may never lose the remembrance of them, that they might remain engraven in the bottom of my heart, that I might pronounce them at the hour of my death, and that thou mayest receive my spirit as thou didst receive his.
How conformable are these words to those he pronounced in his infancy: he said then, did you not know that I must be about my Father's business ?—Luke ii. 49. He was obedient unto death, had thy will continually before his eyes, and also resigned himself to it at his death. That obedience is the source of my happiness : those words are my riches, my light, my consolation, and my cure; because by seeing my Saviour thus remit his spirit into thy hands, I discover that those hands are full of grace and mercy; that it is to them Iought to have recourse in all my necessities, pains, and dangers ; and, that I shall find in them everything that is necessary for me.
That divine Master has told us, that where he is, there shall his servant be. Is it not for that reason he throws himself into thy hands, 0 eternal Father! that we may throw ourselves therein after him, seek him there, and find him there?
II. If those powerful hands restrain me not, O my God ! if they suffer me to wander among creatures, what shall become of me? I shall be miserable, abandoned, a vagabond, and always in danger of losing myself. But if they protect me, if they support me, I shall fear nothing, and nothing shall be wanting to me. Hear, then, O heavenly Father ! the words of thy Son. Receive me by him, and with him, into thy divine hands. I know how unworthy I am thereof, but I also know very well, that he has acquired for me, by his obedience and death, what I cannot merit of myself. Thus I presume, O my Father and Lord ! to commend my spirit, soul, body, senses, and powers into thy hands. I put my sins also into them, that thou mayest pardon them; my wounds, that thou mayest heal them; my blindness, that thou mayest enlighten it; my trepidity, that thou mayest inflame it.
I throw myself entirely into them, such as I am, and such as thou knowest me, that is, weak, inconstant, poor, naked, deprived. . of all good, capable of all evil, and more miserable still a thousand times than I can imagine. I cast into them my thoughts, views, designs, affections, consolations, and pains—all I am, all I have, all I hope for, all I fear, and all that can befal me. Receive me into thy hands by those of thy Son. May those divine hands conduct me according to thy holy will; may they refer to thy glory all that is in me; may I acknowledge those hands in everything I see, and in everything I suffer ; may I kiss them and adore them even when they strike me; may I retire therein, dwell therein, and repose therein.
III. O divine hands! that created heaven and earth for me, permit me never to depart from your guidance. O beautiful cross, ennobled by the blood and death of my Saviour ! more brilliant than the stars of heaven, and more precious than all earthly riches, thou art the end of his labours, the beginning of his glory, his field of battle, the trophy of his victory, and the chariot of his triumph. But thou art also my portion, inheritance, and the succession which the Lord has left me. He died in thy arms-poor, naked, deprived of all, and content with possessing thee alone. I reverence thee, O precious cross ! I embrace thee and regard thee as my treasure and only relief. Thou art the support of my weakness, the terror of my enemies, and the fountain of my hopes. The heavens already acknowledge thee, the world reveres thee, hell fears thee, and the devil knows that he who has expired on thee is the true Son of God. Thou hast now lost thy ancient rigour, art become a light burthen, an agreeable yoke, a source of glory, and the asylum, strength, and repose of all those that throw themselves into thy arms. I reverence thee, O tree of life! I reverence thee, O source of wisdom! I reverence thee, O furnace of love! Receive me into thy arms, support me, and sanctify me. May he that died on thee, for love of me, receive me.
O most holy Mother of God ! Queen of angels, star of the sea, and refuge of sinners! You, who with extreme pain beheld him to whom you had given life, die so cruel a death, obtain that I may be crucified with him; that he may receive me into the number of his servants; and that I may die, live, and reign with him. saints of heaven! who this day contemplate that divine, glorious, impassible, and immortal Lamb, and who possess him with assurance never to lose him, look down upon me, obtain me the grace of being crucified on earth with Christ, and of being crowned by him in heaven. Amen.
Contemplation on Eleventh Suffering
XII. The austerity of his Life
Contemplation on Twelfth Suffering
XIII. His Hunger and Thirst after Justice
Contemplation on Thirteenth Suffering
An exposition of the Lord's Prayer in relation to his Hunger
and Thirst after Justice
A thanksgiving to Christ for the Truths he taught us whilst
on the Cross.—The sentence of Death pronounced against