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and they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for an only son, and they shall grieve over Him, as the manner is to grieve for the death of the first-born. In that day there shall be a great lamentation in Jerusalem ;—and the land shall mourn: families and families apart.-In that day there shall be a fountain open to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem : for the washing of the sinner.-And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will destroy the names of idols out of the earth, and they shall be remembered no more ; and I will take away the false prophets, and the unclean spirit out of the earth (Zach. xii. & xiii.).
Mark well how many wonderful graces are to come in these days when we shall look on Him Whom we have pierced What wonder that our Catholic forefathers never tired of multiplying images of Jesus crucified ! They loved to find Christ on His Cross in the streets and in the squares, that the passers-by might pause a ttle while to think if there were sorrow like to His sorrow. Outside the city wall also, in country-places, they set up the holy rood on the hill-top that the weary traveller might find refreshment by looking on Christ crucified. On the sea-beaten rock too the crucifix stood, that the shipwrecked might turn their eyes to Jesus on Calvary. And by the graves of the dead the cross was erected, that bereaved mourners might find some rest for their breaking hearts by thinking on Christ Jesus and His forlorn Mother.
What wonder, on the other hand, that as long as Jesus was on earth Satan never ceased to urge upon his followers his blasphemous war-cry : Cut Him off from the land of the living ! (Jerem. vi.). What wonder that now, as in all ages since the first Christian Pentecost, Lucifer's watch-word ever is : Let His name be remembered no more!
What should be our hearty counter-cry? If I forget Thee, O Calvary, let my right hand be forgotten : let my tongue cleave to my jaws if I do not remember Thee if I make not Calvary the beginning of my joy (Psalm cxxxvi.).
It will help us much to remember our Lord and His Death, if we form the habit of dividing the day and the night into the watches of the. Passion, each watch of three hours. This we can do with less effort of the mind than if we attempt to note the clock of the Passion hour by hour. The four watches of the night and the four watches of the day are easily remembered; and the Divine providence that overruled Satan's plans and the plans of the Jewish Priests, and arranged that the Sacred Passion in every one of its incidents should conduce to the salvation and sanctity of men, decreed, among other details, that it should just fill up and consecrate all the watches of one night and all the watches of the following day.
During the first night-watch, from sunset till nine, our Blessed Saviour is in the Supper-room.
During the second watch, from nine to midnight, in the Garden.
During the third, from midnight to the cock-crow, in the house of Annas and the judgment-hall of Caiphas.
During the fourth watch, from the cock-crow till daybreak, in the hands of the servants.
After daybreak, during the first watch, from six till nine, the Council of the Sanhedrim meet, and after condemning Him lead Him to Pilate, to Herod, and back to the Prætorium, to be degraded below Barabbas.
During the second watch, from the third hour (that is, from nine o'clock) to mid-day, He is scourged, crowned, and presented to the people, condemned, and led to Calvary, and crucified.
From mid-day till the ninth hour, the third watch, He hangs on the Cross.
From the ninth hour to sundown they are burying His Sacred Body. And so all His work is completed.
Before He died, He said: It is consummated. All the work My Father gave Me to do is perfectly accomplished. Among the rest, this salutary work also is done—all the watches of the day and the night are now coloured by the holy light that comes from Calvary and Gethsemani.
We often see a large apartment filled with the beautiful and softened light that comes from the lamp with its coloured shade upon it. Even so from Calvary, under its veil of darkness, there is spread over the Christian world a mellow and softened and hallowed light; sad, if you will, and mournful, but so beautiful, so consoling, so full of loveliness and heavenly grace, that it has sufficed to draw away the hearts of men from all that this world can offer. Calvary is become the home of the Christian heart. Every night and every day, from sunset to sunset, is for the faithful Christian become a Good Friday, hallowed by the night-watches and the day-watches of our Saviour's Passion, and by the everlasting Sacrifice of the Altar, the clean Oblation offered from sunrise to sundown and from sunset till dawn, to show the Death of the Lord.
May we have the grace to adopt the resolution of the Spouse in the Canticles: Till the day break, and the shadows retire, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense (Cant. iv. 6). That is to say, till my soul escape out of the shadows and darkness of this world, till the bright day of eternity dawn upon me, my restingplace, my shelter, the home of my heart, shall be on the mountain of myrrh, on the hill of frankincense; there to embalm with the myrrh of a devout remembrance the wounds of my Lord crucified, and there with the frankincense of prayer to look on Him Whom I have pierced.
ST. IGNATIUS' METHOD OF CONTEMPLATING
THE PASSION OF OUR LORD.
When you, devout reader, and many other persons meet together in a lecture-hall, or at a concert, or for an evening entertainment, there are three things, among many others, which you often do.
I. First, you watch with your eyes some person who enters, or comes near you. You study his face, his dress, his gait, his manner; and, through his outward appearance, make guesses and conjectures as to his age, his position in life, his inward dispositions, his character, his mental qualities, or his present frame of mind; and after some time you come to some conclusion : “ This man, I think, is amiable, or he is stern. He is mild, or he seems haughty and harsh.”
If you know the person already, then your conclusions or judgments are merely about his present state of mind : “ He seems to be in trouble to-day; or he is in a good humour; I think he must be unwell ; or he seems in much better spirits than usual”.
Or again, your thoughts may take a turn of this kind : “How pleasing it is to find a man of such high position so simply dressed ; or one of such eminent abilities so
unpretending ; or one whom I know to have such sorrows of his own so thoughtful of others”.
So that sometimes you are engrossed with a study of the outer man; sometimes attending more to his inward qualities.
After this study of the person to whom your attention has been drawn, you then often turn upon yourself, or reflect upon yourself, and ask yourself some question of this kind : “What shall I do? Shall I make acquaintance with him,
? or not?
Or, if I know him already, “ Shall I go to speak to him, or keep out of his way? There is something that I want to get from him ; does this seem to be the right moment ? Is he in a good humour ?” and so on.
II. After a while this person whom you have been studying goes away out of your sight. Your occupation is gone. What, then, are you now doing ? “ Are you studying some one else with your eyes ?” “No, I am not.” “What, then, are you doing?” “I am listening with my ears. Two or three friends are around me, and I am listening, and I have just heard one say that there was a fire yesterday in the East End, in the very street where my uncle possesses many houses.
Well, what then ? " Why, when you came up I was thinking about myself, that is, turning upon myself, or reflecting upon myself, and asking : What I ought to do? I am my uncle's only nephew, and a great favourite with him. This fire may concern me more than a little. I am thinking whether I ought to go down to the East End to see after things; to find out whether he has suffered, and whether I ought to wire to him, and the rest.”
At another time when you are listening, what impresses you may be that the speaker is so high-minded ; that his principles are so good, his advice so sound; or that he sees deeper into the subject than others do; or that he weighs his words carefully; and you afterwards find yourself considering what sort of things he praised and valued, and what were the things that he disliked and condemned.
Or, on the other hand, it may be that you perceive a tone of exaggeration, a spirit of harsh criticism, which scares you, or you hear some oracles uttered which
mistrust. After listening in this way, you turn on yourself to see whether you shall avoid this speaker, or try to have him as a friend.
- I am
III. Half an hour later, when this point has all been settled, some one comes and asks : “What are you doing now? Are you studying any particular person with your eyes, as you were an hour ago ? · No, I am not." you listening to any
“No, there is no speaking to me." · What, then, are you doing?” looking at what is going on in that corner. There is movement there. There is a crowd gathering, and some disturbance there. I think I saw some one fall down; and I heard a cry, and I then saw some one run out of the room, holding a cloth which seemed to be stained with blood."
"Well, what then ? ” “Why, I was just thinking about myself (turning back on inyself): considering what I ought to do. Can I be of any use ? Shall I go and see whether they want some brandy, or some bandages ? or whether a doctor should be sent for ? "
Here, then, are three ways in which we occupy our minds on these occasions when we are in the presence of other persons.
1. "We look with our eyes and study some particular person, some one individual, and after gazing and studying for a time, we turn back or reflect on ourselves, and think what we ought to do.
2. We listen with our ears; and if we hear something that strikes us, we turn, or reflect, on ourselves, and consider what we ought to do.
3. With our eyes again, we watch, not now some one person quiescent, but some movement, some action; as, for instance, one striking another, a policeman leading away a prisoner;
one stealing from another; or some persons buying or selling; and thus after watching actions we turn again or reflect on ourselves, and think, “What shall I do?”
We may, doubtless, safely say that all persons are very frequently occupied in one or other of these three ways. No great ability is required for any of these exercises. The work of studying an individual with our eyes, and then making up our minds whether we shall go up to him or not, requires no special cleverness. We are all capable of this effort.
So, too, we have all ability enough to listen to what a neighbour says, and then reflect and consider, “What shall I do?"