A quiet morning of reflection, after a hectic busy weekend

And now the soldier advances, lance in hand, and, with all his strength, plunges it into the bare chest of the Savior.  The cross shakes in the air with the force of the blow, and there gushes forth water and blood for the healing of the world’s sin.  O river flowing out from Paradise, and inundating all the earth with Thy screams!  O wound in the sacred side, caused by love for men rather than by the iron of the lance!  O gateway of heaven, and avenue of paradise, refuge, and fortified tower, sanctuary of the just, lasting resting place of the pilgrim, nest for the spotless doves and flowered bed of the Spouse of Solomon!  Hail!, O wound in that precious side, which rends devout hearts; wound, which pierces the souls of the just; rose of beauty unspeakable; ruby of priceless worth; door into the heart of Christ; witness of his love and pledge of eternal life!


That holy woman (Mary Magdalene), a sinner once, wept also, and embracing the Savior’s feet exclaimed: “O light of my eyes and healing of my soul, wearied with sin, as you see me, who will now receive me, who will heal my wounds, who will answer for me, who will defend me from the Pharisees?  O how different were these feet when I washed them, and you welcomed me as I knelt!  O beloved of my heart, who will tell me that I may die with you?  O life of my soul, how can I say I love you, since, though holding you dead before my eyes, I yet live?”

Thus all that holy company wept (at the foot of the Cross) and lamented, bathing and cleansing with their tears this sacred body.  As the moment of burial approached, they enveloped the holy body in a white winding-sheet, covered the head with a linen cloth, and then placing it on a stretcher, made their way towards the tomb.  There they laid this precious treasure.  The sepulcher was closed with a stone, and the virgin Mother’s heart with a dark cloud of sorrow.  There, for the second time, she (Mary) separates herself from her Son and, once again, feels her loneliness, there she sees herself despoiled of all her good; there, where her treasure is, her heart lies buried.  –St Peter of Alcantara ‘Treatise on Prayer & Meditation’


Leave a reply