Practical Meditations For Every Day in the Year on the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ composed chiefly for the Use of Religious by a Father of the Society of Jesus. First translated from the French, 1868. Though primarily intended for Religious, the devout layman will find the Practical Meditations a most serviceable and bracing form of Spiritual Exercise amounting in fact to something like the daily practice of a Retreat.
Fifth Week of Lent: Sunday
Holy Women weep over Jesus: Jesus meets his Mother on His sorrowful Journey
1st Prelude. Behold those women amongst the multitude who bewailed and lamented Jesus, and specially His Holy Mother.
2nd Prelude. Ask for the grace of tender compassion.
POINT I. "And there followed Him a great multitude of people, and of women who bewailed and lamented Him."
CONSIDERATION. We do not learn that all the multitude were filled with the same compassionate tenderness as these holy women; many, perhaps the greatest number, apart from the enemies of Jesus, were attracted by mere curiosity, and were quite indifferent to the fate of their Lord about to die for them.
APPLICATION. Thus in our own times a great multitude follow in spirit the various phases of our Lord's Passion during this holy season of Lent, and you amongst the number can do so with more leisure than ordinary Christians, and at least give an hour a day to this exercise. But what are your impressions during this hour? Are you, like the holy women, touched with love, compassion, and contrition at the thought that it is for your sins, and for your sake, that Jesus suffers and is about to die?
AFFECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS.
POINT II. "And there followed Him..... women who bewailed and lamented Him."
CONSIDERATION. Although St. Luke, speaking of these holy women, makes no special mention of Our Blessed Lady, we may piously believe, in accordance with universal tradition, that the Son and the Mother met upon the road, particularly as St. John says explicitly that Mary stood by the cross when Jesus reached the end of His journey. Who can express the feelings of the heart of this the most loving of mothers, when, making her way through the crowd, she stood face to face with her Divine Son, disfigured, bruised, crowned with thorns, covered with wounds and blood, surrounded by soldiers and executioners, who loaded Him with imprecations, and dragged Him to death?
APPLICATION. God willed that Our Blessed Lady should be thus afflicted; that she above all the saints might have the largest share in the Passion of her Son and in the work of our redemption, and thus accumulate more merit and richer treasures of sanctity than all who have yet lived or shall live. Do not be astonished, therefore, do not murmur, above all, do not be discouraged, if God sends you much suffering and tribulation, but believe that He does so to increase your love and your merit.
AFFECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS.
POINT III. "But Jesus, turning to them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over Me, but weep for yourselves and your children."
CONSIDERATION. Here let us admire the greatness of Our Lord's tenderness to others. He forgets His own sufferings in His care for them. He warns them of evil days to come, and warns them to prepare for them by tears and penance.
APPLICATION. How different is Our Lord's conduct from ours! When we are suffering in body or mind, do we not often forget what we owe to others, fancying that every one ought to be interested in us and pity our condition; and if they do not do so, do we not indulge in ill-humour and discontent? If we look at Our Lord we shall be more generous, less occupied with ourselves, more attentive to the wants of those around us, making it a rule never to let others suffer through us.
COLLOQUY with our Blessed Lady meeting her Divine Son.