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much, he himself disclosed to St. Bridget. " So fervent was I in my hatred of sin, so fired with zeal to promote holiness, that if I could have converted the whole world to God, I would not for a moment have spared either my life or labours.”

M. St. Mark in his Gospel twice mentions that St. Peter was at the fire warming himself. As St. Peter told him many other things that we read in his Gospel, was it he who wished this fact to be recorded, which he afterwards deplored? We may be sure that this thought would intensify his contrition, that he was warming himself while his Master was in chains and covered with bruises. There are times when self-indulgence seems more unpardonable. Urias could not be persuaded to go into his house to eat and drink and sleep, while his general and his fellowsoldiers were lying on the battlefield.

We spend our lives going round about the holy altar on which the Sacred Passion is perpetuated. So that when we indulge ourselves unduly, we have reason to lament with St. Peter that we are warming ourselves while our Lord is in chains and covered with bruises.

N. The story of our Lord's life is told in two words: “Subditus erat-He was subject. These other two words: Calefaciebat se "-he was warming himself, is a short epitome of a selfish, sensual life. Even in prayer, sometimes, love of our own comfort predominates.

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As in these chapters some thoughts have been borrowed from the book called The Mystic City of God, by the Venerable Mother Mary of Jesus, commonly called Mary of Agreda (the town in which she lived), it is necessary to give some information about her and her writings. When they were first published, one of the official censors pointed to pronounce upon them was Father Andreas Mendo, of the Society of Jesus. From Father de Backer's Catalogue we learn that this Father de Mendo lectured on Sacred Scripture with distinction at Salamanca; was Rector of the Irish College in the same city; was appointed Preacher before the Court; and was author of several works on Moral Theology, on questions of Canon Law, and other subjects.

His commendation of the writings of the Abbess is very strong:

As I read them through, emotions of astonishment and admiration were as many as there are lines in the volumes. I have learned more from these volumes concerning the questions treated in them than I have from the many books which I have in the course of years studied with persevering diligence. This is due to the clearness, the cleverness, the depth of thought with which the subjects are handled. It is easy to see that the doctrine is from Heaven; and that a supernatural hand is guiding the pen. The book is a precious mine which has been discovered to enrich the Church.

“One thing excites surprise: that a woman could write such a masterly work in which is discovered a rare knowledge of all the Sacred Books; and in which great light is shed on many passages in the Holy Scriptures, and many interpretations suggested which are a wonder, when we consider that the writer had never been trained by a course of theological studies.

“Scholastic questions are also frequently explained tersely and with great clearness. Nowhere do we discover traces of temerity or ignorance.

“She wrote these volumes simply out of deference to the commands of her Superiors; and also in obedience to commands from our Lord and His Holy Mother.

“The commands from her Superiors were not given till the spirit of Sister Mary of Jesus had been carefully studied by appointed confessors, who were eminent theologians. The Superiors of the Order, moreover, did not act in haste. Nothing was pub. lished till several years after the death of the Abbess, and after her writings had been again submitted to a severe censorship.”

The Jesuit Father continues: “By her own unaided powers, the Venerable Mother could never have comprehended mysteries so abstruse. Human imagination could not of itself sketch out such scenes. Human intellect could not have produced so admirable a harmony. Pious meditations could not have linked together such a precious chain.

“ To give my assent to the publication of these writings I wanted no other persuasion than the reading of the volumes; and I think they will have the same effect on others.

“ True it is that many events and much information about the prerogatives of our Lady, not found in other writings, are met with here; but let any one read the work through, and, I think, all suspicion of rashness will disappear. It has pleased God to communicate many lights to St. Catherine, St. Bridget, St. Teresa of Jesus, and in later years to Marina d'Escobar. The hand of God is not shortened. One thing that inspires confidence in the writings of the Venerable Abbess is the fact that for twenty-five years she was, by dispensation, re-elected to govern her convent, and continued in office till her death, with great satisfaction both to her Superiors and her subjects.

“By the providence of God it happened that the General of the Franciscan Order assisted her on her death-bed, and testified

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warmly to her remarkable obedience, her profound humility and singular patience; which virtues justified the high idea commonly entertained of her sanctity. It was he who, after looking at her writings, wished them to be again carefully revised, in order that her own Sisters in Religion, and the faithful outside also, might benefit by them."

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And the men that held Him, mocked Him and struck Him

(St. Luke xxii. 63). A. The command of the High Priests, before they retire to rest, is again and again repeated and enforced with stern threats, that Jesus of Nazareth must be guarded and watched with the utmost strictness, lest He escape. Wo to His keepers if they are negligent !

The Rulers are, as usual, devising vain things against the Lord, and against His Christ. All the guards may safely retire to rest with their masters. Every door may stand open. One little child is strong enough and wise enough to keep Jesus safe, for He Himself wills to be a captive. But “Alas! Sion," He is saying in His Heart, these things are hidden from thy eyes.

B. Therefore, having led Him through the outer court to the prison, they there carry out their orders with merciless severity.

In the account which the Spanish Abbess, Mary of Jesus, has left of this scene of the Passion as shown to her, the prison is described as an underground dungeon, reserved for the worst criminals.

According to that ancient cruel rule, victis," this dungeon is so arranged as to aggravate all the sorrows of

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the doomed prisoner. The light of Heaven can scarcely enter; the fresh air not at all.

The stench from long-accumulated filth has poisoned the confined air. In the middle of that rocky floor stands a pillar of about two feet in height. This pillar is said to be one of the three still preserved in Jerusalem and Rome.

As it is seen by the Abbess, it appears to be like a pointed rock projecting from the ground. To this pillar an iron ring is attached, and to this ring His wrists are tightly tied. His legs are also bound to the pillar. Secured in this way, He cannot lie down, and cannot stand upright, but must remain bent double. Some of the more active of the Priests and Ancients wait there to see the orders carried out; and during the whole time spent in leading Him to the prison, and making Him secure, the word of the Evangelist is abundantly verified: The men that held Him, mocked and struck Him.

Like everything else during the Sacred Passion, this work is done quickly. The Priests and Ancients, as soon as they feel sure that His escape is impossible, make haste to quit the fetid air.

But before they go, they pour out parting words of derision and blasphemy. “ You will not be able, Jesus, to do much towards building up the Temple to-night.” “You will want your twelve legions of angels to help you."

Jesus autem tacebat." He opened not His mouth. He is dumb as a lamb before his shearer.

They depart, and the door is locked and barred, and our Lord remains, to our human eyes, alone. Our poor wisdom would say that the word is fulfilled : I am become miserable and bowed down to the end (Psalm xxxvii.).

C. But, as He said in the Supper-room: I am not alone. The blessed angels are all watching round their King. And in the narrative from which some of these details are taken, we are told that full of pity for the exhausted and weary Body of their Lord tortured by this new cruel

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