Sunday, 30 March 2014

Fourth Week of Lent: Sunday - Traditional Lenten Meditation

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.

The Scourging of Jesus Christ

1st Prelude. Behold our Lord Jesus Christ bound to the pillar.

2nd Prelude. Let us beg for the grace of making our meditations on our Lord's sufferings as fruitful as those of so many holy souls.

POINT I. The preparation for the scourging.

CONSIDERATION. "Pilate took Jesus, and scourged Him." Our innocent Lord heard Himself sentenced to the humiliation and suffering of scourging. He was dragged to the place of punishment. He saw the preparations for it; and He felt all its horror by anticipation. How terrible must this fear and horror have been to His sensitive nature! But He never wavered in His purpose of bearing all for us, and He went resolutely forward.

APPLICATION. How differently do we act! How often do we not only waver, but actually shrink back from carrying out our resolutions! And only because we are terrified by the anticipation (which generally exaggerates matters) of the trouble or suffering they would cost us; for instance, rising at the proper time in all seasons, doing such or such an act of penance or mortification, keeping to a certain position in prayer, or faithfully fulfilling a particular duty. Is not this true?


POINT II. The suffering of the scourging.

CONSIDERATION. The horror of this punishment is beyond the power of words to describe; but in order to realise it as far as possible, imagine yourself undergoing it; imagine your clothes torn off, yourself covered with blood and bound to the pillar, while strong men, armed some with whips, some with straps, some with cords and iron spikes, scourge you till their arms drop with fatigue, until your body is but one sore, your flesh torn, and the ground covered with your blood. Then, perhaps, you may form some idea of the suffering of that scourging which your Divine Saviour endured for you.

APPLICATION. In all your troubles, whether of mind or body, fix your eyes on Jesus your King bound to the pillar; the sight of Him will make all your sufferings seem light, and you will bear them with courage and with love.


POINT III. The motives for the scourging.

CONSIDERATION. It was a cruel and cowardly expedient on Pilate's part to appease the people and to save Jesus from death. Our Lord bore it from His heroic love for us. He gave up His body into the hands of the executioners, that He might expiate, in His innocent flesh, the shameful and countless sins with which men of all ages and conditions have degraded, and do daily degrade, their bodies; sins by which they dishonour and trample under their feet the image of God, in whose likeness they were created.

APPLICATION. Had I but once grievously offended against holy purity, I ought to say to myself, Here is my work! It is I who, by the hands of the executioners, have torn the Body of Jesus, who have covered it with blood and wounds; and besides this, the memory of my frequent acts of self-indulgence ought to be sufficient to produce in me a deep compunction, a contempt of myself, and an ardent desire to labour and suffer much for the love of Him to whom I caused such bitter sufferings.

COLLOQUY with Jesus bound to the pillar.

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