Of The Five Wounds Of Our Blessed Saviour: The Side
ANDREA DI BARTOLO
Christ on the Cross
And now descending from the Mercy & Justice of our Saviuor, let us repose our selves in the seat of his divine Love; and beholding it as it is in heaven glorious, let us adore those streams of his ardent Love, which issued out of that sacred heart, the citizens of heaven exulting at the sight of so immense charity. Fluminis impetus laetificat civitatem dei, The violence of this river (sayeth the Prophet) maketh the city of God joyful, when those blessed Inhabitants beheld the violence and force of this bloody river, bringing into that haven of felicity new Colonies, to replenish the seats of fallen Angels; this being that river which issued out of the place of pleasure, to water paradise, as well that celestial Paradise, by replenishing it with daily increase of glory, as the terrestrial Paradise of the Church, by prospering and increasing his graces, the seeds of glory.
1. First therefore let us behold this glorious wound in the side of our Saviour hanging upon the Cross, in which we are not to consider and grief, this wound being inflicted after his death; out of the circumstances therefor frame thy pious meditation, as that, as soon as the soldier with a spear had opened his side, presently there came forth blood ad water; that being here fulfilled which was prefigured by Moses striking the rock with his rod. O happy wound of the gracious side of our Saviour, out of which, (saith holy St. Augustine) issued the holy Sacraments.
2. That River which watered Paradise divided it self only into four, but this that streamed from the sacred side of Jesus; multiplied itself seven times, making seven most precious bathes, whose nature is to wash souls, & make them pure for heaven. When thous makest thy access unto these divine Sacraments, remember the four whence they did spring, and let thy devotion be suitable to the dignity of those mysteries thou desirest to be partaker. Think (saith St. Chrysostome) when thou commest to drink of the holy Chalice, thou doest put thy mouth unto Christ his side, and suck thence his scared blood.
3. Consider with thy soul how zealous Divine Love shows itself towards mankind in the business of his Redemption. Nature endeavoring to succor the humanity of Christ, drew into the last hold as much strength as was possible, striving to fortify the heart, divine Love triumphed over this humanity in such sort, as even after death it entered this sacred fort, being the sole commander thereof, and drew forth all those forces, with which Nature endeavored to have resisted. As thou doest admire this fervor of Love, so bend thy forces to imitate the same, and stick not upon toys, and trifiles of this world, that endeavor to keep those from a entire oblation of the self to Almighty God. Canst thou see thy Saviour opening his very heart to give thee his last blood, and yet retain unto thy self such foul resolutions, that are so much displeasing unto him?
4. No part of our Saviour was free from a particular affliction, but the heart was partaker of all the torments which every part endured; the heart was whipped, the heart was crowned with thorns, with the hands and feet the heart was pierced, the heart was tormented in them all, as the prince in his subjects; and therefore while any part suffered , the heart desired to be entire, that is might feel part of all. To all the tormented parts of thy Redeemer how infinitely art thou bound, & chiefly to this sacred heart that suffered most of all for thee, and only to gain thy heart? Stir up thy frozen affections, and with a most fervent zeal desire with holy St, Anselm, to have not feet but such as should travail for thy Saviour, no hands but such as should labor for him, no head but that which should think of him, and no heart but that which should most ardently love his divine goodness.
5. behold the infinite conversions of souls wrought by the powerful side of thy Saviour, the which pouring froth a bath of blood upon them, hath cleansed them from all impurity , as it were creating a new, clean hearts: Filij tui de longe venient, et filia tua de latere surgent: O Lord, thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall rise from thy side; they who were greatest sinners, and were far off from thy grace, shall render themselves thine, and thy sacred side shall as a fruitful womb bring forth a spiritual generation.
6. Of which happy generation, beg (by the mediation of the Blessed Virgin) that thou mayest be one, and hoping that she hath obtained for thee thy petition, behave thy self as as child of so admirable a parent, who to bring thee forth was faine to die, and to have his heart pierced with a lance, that thou mightest live; be ever mindful of thy offspring, which was ardent charity; & be not base as to degenerate by doing any thing that should be contrary to this virtue, which hath made thee the child of God, and Coheir with Christ Jesus
Written by J G of the Society of Jesus