+IHS Of The Passion Of Our Lord: The First Meditation Of His Going Out Of The House From Supper
The Last Supper
And a hymn being said, Jesus went forth beyond the torrent Cedron according to his custom, and his disciples followed him. Mt.xxvi. Mk.xiv. Lk.xxi. Jn.xviii.
Christ began his passion:
First from prayer:
Secondly,from his going out of the place of supper, both because he would not be apprehended as an eater & drinker, but as one praying unto God, and the patron of man-kind, and also because his host with whom he supped should sustain no damage by his passion, which ought to profit all men and to hurt none.
Thirdly, he went beyond the torrent Cedron, by which way in old time David fled from his son Absalom: A torrent in the holy scriptures signifieth the incommodious things of this life, as in this place, My soul hath passed the torrent Ps.125: all which calamities being very great, our Saviour overcame with exceeding constancy of mind.
Fourthly, he went into the Mount Olivet: Mount signifieth excellency, and Olive charity. Here do thou consider that Christ began his passion with great, earnest, and fervent prayer, with much constancy of mind, and exceeding charity, in which virtues he was well exercised, as appeareth by these words (according to his custom) He inviteth thee likewise to the same virtues when he carried his apostles with him: For except thou be diligent in prayer, except thou avoid the perils of evil occasions, except thou makest a resolution purpose, except thou best inflamed with the love of God, and to be brief, except thou doest diligently use virtues, thou shalt never overcome thy temptations. Follow then our Lord with his Apostles, and pray him that he never leave nor forsake thee.
Then Jesus said to them: All you shall be scandalized in me this night. For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Mt.xxvi.
And Jesus saith to them: You will all be scandalized in my regard this night; for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be dispersed. But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Mk.xiv.
Christ in his passion took the beginning of his griefs from his Disciples, who seeking to save themselves by flight, did all either waver in faith, or openly deny our Lord:
Consider every word:
All First not one shall stand for me.
Yee Secondly, whom I have bestowed so many benefits upon, & loved so dearly.
Shall suffer scandal that is, shall sin being estranged from me, and none of you in this time of my passion shall be free from sin: yet shall suffer scandal, but I will not give it.
In me of whose words and deeds after the flight so many miracles ye can justly take no manner of offence:
In this night that is, by and by, or in the night of ignorance.
Now call thy wits unto thee, and mark whether these same things may not happen unto thee, I say, unto thee, on whom God hath bestowed do many good things at whose councils & deeds nevertheless thou takest offense, for that trouble of thy vicious mind in adversity is referred unto Christ our lord, who either sendeth them, or at the least permitteth them. But such kind of scandal riseth always in the night, that is, from thy blindness, for if thou wouldest all at once look upon the benefits received at Gods hands, & the rewards prepared for thee, and the evils which thou hast committed, thou wouldest resolve in thy mind never to be moved with any adversity. Consider here the cause of thy offense and scandal, I say, thine own evil and troubled will, and pray unto God, that he will lighten thy darkness, because thou hast never any just cause of anger & discontent. Christ promiseth that he will go before them into Galilee, in which promise he declareth this own goodness, who never foretelleth any afflictions, without hope of consolation. Admire here the benignity of Christ, and pray him that he never suffer thee to be tempted above thy power, but that he will increase his grace in thy temptations, that thou mayest be able to sustain it.
And Peter answering, said to him: Although all shall be scandalized in thee, I will never be scandalized. Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, that in this night before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. Peter saith to him: Yea, though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner said all the disciples.Mt.xxvi
But Peter saith to him: Although all shall be scandalized in thee, yet not I. And Jesus saith to him: Amen I say to thee, today, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shall deny me thrice.But he spoke the more vehemently: Although I should die together with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner also said they all Mk.xiv
The Apostles after the Communion of the body of our Lord had made a firm resolution to live well, and were fervent, and followed Christ, as thou often times, especially after the receiving of the holy Eucharist, dost seriously resolve to amend thy life, but in time of consolation thou must also think of the time of desolation, and of the expectation of contrary things, least thou shouldest desist from prayer through vain confidence; resolve therefore to do well, but before God, and praying for his help, be vigilant and observe all thine own actions; be not rash nor negligent, for if the prince of the Apostles did slip being the foundation & rock of the Church, who spake confidently out of his love and charity, how can he stand that through pride and ambition, or for some other cause hath too much confidence in him self, & that doth seldom resolve to amend his life, nor set God before his eyes?
Contemplate here also that the sorrow of Christ was not small, to leave his Disciples whom he loved so dearly, troubled & sorrowful for his departure.
This place is very fit to meditate upon those things which a man feeleth in time of consolation, as quietness of mind, joy, illustration of the understanding &c.
And contrary wise on such things as he feeleth in time of desolation, as perturbation, sorrowfulness, and darkness of understanding, to the end that he may in time of prosperity propose unto himself such good things, as in adversity he shall not change.
Pray unto Christ that he never forsake thee in time of adversity.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616