Meditation: On Saturday The Bountifulness Of Christ Our Saviour And The Lamentation That Was Made For Him Is To Be Remembered.
GIOTTO di Bondone
No. 22 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 6. Christ among the Doctors (detail)
On Saturday The Bountifulness Of Christ Our Saviour And The Lamentation That Was Made For Him Is To Be Remembered.
First call to mind that bountifulness of his, when he being but a child of twelve years old, presented himself to the people,and was seen in the church, declaring thereby, for what cause he came into this world, which was to impart liberally to us the treasure of his celestial wisdom and heavenly grace. Therefore, have thou ever before thine eyes, the cause thou camest into this world: Which was not, that thou shouldest follow thine own pleasures, and commodities, or to cherish thy self too much: but rather to renounce thy self, & wholly to offer thy self to the will and service of God, and to the commodity of thy neighbor and that thou rather pleasure another man then thy self.
Secondly, be mindful of Christ his great goodness to all men; when at sometimes he stood in the midst of the people crying out and saying: If any thirst let him come to me and drink: showing that he was ready to help all men necessity. Be thou in like manner liberal to all men: and if it so happen that you cannot relieve them indeed, yet show by godly words and other outward means, that thou art such a one, so that it may be known thou hast a liberal hart.
Thirdly have in remembrance how liberally he proffered thee the precious blood of his heart, at what time his side was pierced and he shed all the blood that was left in his body: so also show thou thy self kind to him again, and for the love thou bearest him, willingly do all things, be they never so painful to thy nature.
Fourthly, beare well in mind the great inward sorrow of his holy mother, what sorrow pinched her hart, all the time of his passion, when she stood by and saw before her face her dearly beloved sonne nailed on the Cross, when she looked on him being in such anguish, and beheld when he died amidst all these torments. And to be brief, at what time when he was dead, she laid him in her lap and was very sorrow at heart when she cast her eyes on all his wounds that tears gushed abundantly: for this cause call thou often to mind the death of thy spouse, and pondering well the same with thy self, suffer also with Christ and his blessed mother, provoking thy self to some sorrow, for that Christ thy saviour suffered such grievous torments for thy sake: Behave thy self (whilest thou livest here) soberly and discretely without any inconstancy or wavering of mind: and thus do for all causes whether it be in prosperity or adversity, in joy or sorrow.
Fifthly and lastly, consider advisedly how sorrowful the virgin Mary and divers other devout persons beare Christ the son of God. Thou must always in like manner, bear in hart Christ thy Lord his passion, and at sundry times revolve the same in mind: besides that, thou oughtest to cleanse and wash many times the filth of the conscience, with true contrition of hart and confession of mouth: finally, thou must have a willing and ready mind (in remembrance of Christ his passion) do such penance, as thy sins require, and do all this to the honor of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who with the Father and the holy Ghost reignest God which is blessed for evermore, Amen.
And in the end of the Meditation, pray in manner following.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who art a most mighty and bounteous God, who most liberally bestowed thy self upon us, at what time in all thy greatest labors and sorrows of heart, thou without all respect or care of thy self, required all that thirsted, to come to thee, that thou might give them the water of life, and in most liberal wise participate to them the treasures of heavenly wisdom, who also most plentifully spilled all that sacred blood, which was contained in thy holy bowels, and very heart, to the end thou might altogether bestow thy self onus, I heartily beseech thee to give me a liberal hart, that I may frankly refer myself, and bestow all I have wholly, not only to thy honor and glory, but to the salvation and help of my neighbors: grant also I request thee, I may deeply and continually imprint in my hart thy blessed passion, and sorrow of thy most holy mother, in remembrance whereof I may pass over this life, so as a Christian man ought to d, as my case requireth: And that I may so dispose my heart, that it, by thy grace, be accepted as worthy wherein thou maist rest and abide, with the Father and the holie Ghost, for ever and ever Amen.