MEDITATION ON OUR LORD'S PASSION: And Casting Down The Pieces Of Silver In The Temple, He Went Aside, And Going Away, He Hanged Himself In A Halter
GIOTTO di Bondone
No. 28 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 12. Judas' Betrayal
And casting down the pieces of silver in the Temple, he went aside, and going away, he hanged himself in a halter, & being hanged, he brake in the midst, and all his bowels were scattered.
Consider first that the fact of Judas, which exceeded all measure of revenge, deserved no other Judge, or executioner, then Judas himself. For if he had been put to death by another, he might have hoped for pardon: But hanging himself, he committed a new sin of murder, & desperation. Behold how one sin is increased by another, if thou dost not prevent them in time.
Consider secondly how wickedly the Apostates from faith and religion do commonly perish. Take thou heed least thou forsake the Church or thy vocation: For thous shalt fall into the snare of the Devil, and the Devil will stand at thy right hand, (which David fore-spake of Judas) tossing thee here according to his will, and at last casting thee down into Hell.
Consider thirdly, what is the end of sinners: Even this, that hanging in the air they shall touch neither Heaven nor Earth, and possess nothing but the rope. For they reject heavenly things and are deprived of temporal goods, which only they sought after, and being inchained with the chain of sin, they are detained and held up by the Devil the Prince of this air. And certainly at the end of their life, these things do always happen to sinners, & oftentimes even in this life to some, who being despoiled of their earthly goods. are nevertheless so cooked up with wicked desires that they can hardly lift up their eyes to Heaven.
Consider fourthly, that he cracked in the midst, and his bowels poured out: that he, which had lost the bowels of charity, might also loose his own bowels, & that he which employed all his care to enjoy many things, might loose also his own entrails. Do thou with Judas cast away money, riches, and all worldly things, but go to no other tree, then the Cross of our Lord, and pray him that he will tie thee fast unto him, and loosing all the knots of thy sins, bind thee with the chain of his love: For if Judas himself (as St. Leo affright) had obtained remedy from Christ crucified, if he had not hastened to the halter, thou mayest have an assured hope to obtain pardon and grace.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616