Of The Five Wounds Of Our Blessed Saviour: The Left Foot
The Left Foot
As we have noted in the right foot Constancy in the love of our Savior;so in this we will consider Conformity of our will unto God Almighty's, which is one of the highest Perfections we can seek after in this life; the which although we can never arrive unto, in that perfection in which our Savior had it, his will being the will of his Father: yet we are bound to aspire to the highest perfection in it that can be attained unto by creatures; praying daily to have the will of God here on earth performed as exactly as in heaven.
1. See with what readiness our Savior giveth up his left foot, to be dealt withal like unto the right, and seeing it to be the will of his heavenly Father that the steps of each Foot should be alike, most mildly permitteth his Crucifiers to place it by the other and to pierce it also with a nail. What torments thou hast imagined to be in the other,consider the same to have been in this; and here see that of the Prophet fulfilled: Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos, dinumeraverunt iomnia ossa mea: They have digged my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones.
2. Learn out of this painful experience which thy Savior would give thee of his most perfect resignation, to conform thyself in all things to his blessed will and to take all things as sent from the hand of a most loving Father, and think not in this that thou dost a matter of supererogation; for whether thou wilt or no, these & these Crosses will happen unto thee, of which it lyeth ion thy hands to make crowns of glory , or perpetual punishments. This resignation of thine to the will of God, is but rationabile obseqietium,a service which standeth with reason, unto which whosoever shall commit the contrary, shall not show himself a reasonable creature, but be like beasts that have no understanding.
3. It is requisite the will of God be laid open unto us before we follow it, our will being led by our understanding;but when that blessed will of our Savior is known, then it (as far as we are able) to be put in execution, our wills serving as handmaids unto his. Prompt & ready was the Prophet David in conforming himself to the voice of God: Lucerna pedibius meis verbum tuum, et lumen semit is meis: thy word (saith he) is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my paths; so that he attributeth all the light he had unto the inspirations of our Lord, to the which having an obedient ear, he walked in great light, and without danger of erring.
4. Laui pedes meos, quomodo inquinabo cos? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them? thus saith our Blessed Savior to the Espouse. Twice only we read of the washing of our Saviors feet; once they were washed with the tears of his beloved Magdalen, & here they were washed with his own most precious blood, both precious baths, the one of Penance the other of Innocence, both of love: the one of love recalled, the other of love consummated, both in a most fir time: the one in the entering into the painful journey, of his passion, the other at the end of it; and of these washings of his feet he speaketh to the Espouse; and considering they were cleansed with such precious baths, he is loath to have them defiled again, through the offences of men.
5. Imitate thy Savior, and if it be not granted thee to wash thy feet in blood, and to die for him, yet wash them in tears of deepest Contrition, wherewith those feet that are defiled in the ways of this world are only cleansed: and having once purified them by this most sovereign bath, endeavor to keep them so by walking the ways of innocence and purity. If unclean thoughts endeavor to draw thee forth, and seek to make thee defile those feet of thine (already made by the bath of tears more pure than snow,) ask them, Quemodo inquinabo eos? my feet are washed, my ways are purified, how should I defile them? Infinitely were thou blinded if being now pure, thou wouldest return to thine uncleanness which cannot be washed again but by tears.
6. Think not with thy self that a bath of tears is easily purchased, and with conceit deluded make sleight of defiling thy steps, presuming easily to purge & cleanse them again; nothing is more hard (assure they self) then to gain true tears of contrition ; especially for him who is habituated in sin. Christ never wrought a greater miracle then in converting the holy Magdalen. Let us not look for more miracles to be wrought upon us, for if Gods infinite mercy hath given us now tears of true repentance, let us keep our selves from defiling,and our souls from those wounds,which require so precious a medicine,and so hard to be found.
And here the meditations end of the five glorious Wounds of our Savior, which I have placed only as lights, to lead thee into further contemplation upon them, out of which infinite comfort floweth daily upon souls who are devoted unto them.