MEDITATION ON OUR LORD'S PASSION: Meditation Of The Women Following Christ
MAINERI, Gian Francesco
Christ Carrying the Cross
The 32. Meditation of the Women following Christ.
And there followed a great troop of people, and of women, which mourned, and lamented him: and Jesus turning unto them said: O Daughters of Jerusalem weep not over me, but weep over yourselves, and over your Children.
Consider first, that an innumerable multitude of people flocked together to this sorrowful spectacle, to whom perhaps (as the custom is in some places at this day) there was some sign given of the future execution. And because the women only are said to lament & weep, it is an argument, that there were many mockers & curious spectators according to the saying: They spake against me, which sat in the gate. But with what affection wilt thou follow thy Lord. With what mind wilt thou suffer with him? With what eyes wilt thou behold him? Doest thou want occasion of sorrow & tears in this spectacle, since our Lord goeth thus laden and deformed for thy sake, and not for himself? Thou didst play abroad in the street, and in the Kings privy chamber, & sentence of death was given against thee. The only begotten Son of God heard it, and he went forth, putting off his Diadem, clothed in sackcloth, wearing a Crown of thorns upon his head, barefooted, bleeding, weeping, & crying out that his poor servant was condemned. Thou seest him come forth, thou askest the cause & hearest it. What wilt thou do? wilt thou still play, and contemn his tears? or rather wilt thou not follow him, and weep with him, and esteem the greatness of thy danger by the consideration of the remedy?
Consider secondly that the tears of these women were grateful unto our Lord, who in sign of love turned himself towards them in the midst of his torments. Yet he reproved them, because out of a wrong conceit of human pity they lamented his death, as the greatest evil, and extremist misery, without any benefit at all. Do thou mourn, lament, and weep, First, because thou wert the cause of all these so great pains. Secondly because thou hast hitherto born an unthankful mind. Third, because perhaps this death of thy Lord will not be the cause of thy salvation & glory, but of thy greater damnation.
Consider thirdly, the diffculty of this thy lords journey, which cause the women to follow him with tears. Remember thou the seven hard ways, which thy Lord walked for thee in this his Passion, that he might stop up the seven ways of the seven deadly sins, which lead thee unto Hell, & might open the way to everlasting life, by the seven gifts of the holy Ghost. For he went, First, from the house where he supped, to the Garden. Secondly from thence to Annas. Thirdly to Caiphas his house. Fourthly to Pilate. Fifthly to Herod. Sixthly again to Pilate, & seventhly to the Cross. Do thou in all thy travels meditate uoon these ways, and for the love of the Lord run in the way of his Commandments.