Meditations For Saturday Morning: Christ Taken Down From The Cross + Pitiful Lamentation Of The Blessed Virgin Marie + Why Are All Just Persons Afflicted In This Present Transitory Life
MEDITATION FOR SATURDAY MORNING
This day (after thou hast made the sign of the Cross, and prepared thy self here unto.) thou hast to meditate upon the piercing of our Saviors side with a spear. Of his taking down of the Cross. And withal of the pitiful bewailing, and lamentation of our blessed Lady. And of our Saviors burial.
THE TEXT OD THE HOLY EVANGELIST
Then the Jews (because it was the feast of Easter) that the bodies should not remain upon the Cross on the Sabbath day, (for that day of the Sabbath was very solemn among them) besought Pilate that there legs might be broken, and that they might be taken down from the Cross. Then came the soldiers, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other, that was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, and ſave that he was already dead, they brake not his legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forth- with there iſſued out blood, and water. And he that saw it, bare witness, and his witness is true.
And when the evening was, come, there came a certain worshipful knight, called Joseph of Arimathia, (one that looked for the kingdom of God) and entered boldly unto Pilate, and demanded the body of Jesus. And Pilate marveled, if he were already - dead..and called unto him the Centurion, and asked of him, whether he had been any while dead. And when he understood the truth of the Centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
There came also with him, one called Nicodemus, who was wont to resort to Jesus by night: and he brought with him of Myrrh, and Aloes mingled together, about a hundred pounds. And Joseph bought a linen cloth, and took down from the cross, and wrapped him in that linen with those sweet savors, according to the custom, which the Jews observe in the burial of the dead.
And in that place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid. There they laid Jesus, by reaſon of the Passover of the Jews: for the sepulcher was near.
And Marie Magdalene, and Marie the Mother of Joseph marked the place, where they laid him.
MEDITATIONS UPON THESE POINTS OF THE TEXT
Hether to (O my soul) thou hast celebrated the death and grievous pains of the son: It is now time for thee to begin to celebrate, and bewail the grievous sorrows of the mother. Wherefore down a while at the feet of the prophet Jeremiah, and taking the words out of his mouth, and deeply with a bitter, and sorrowful hart, say thus unto her. How happen it (O moſt innocent virgin) that thou art now alone? How is it (O lady of the world) that thou become a widow? What? have they set so sore a penalty upon thee, without having committed any offence at all? O most holy virgin, I would gladly comfort thee, and I know not how I would gladly eaſe ſome part of thy great griefs, and anguiſhes, and I know not which way O Queen of heaven, if the cause of thy sorrows, were the sorrows of thy blessed son, and not thine own, (for that thou didst love him more then thy self, ) his sorrows are now ended, for so much as his body suffer no more, and his soul is now altogether glorious. Cease therefore (I beseech thee) the multitude of thy sorrowful sighs, and bewailing, seeing the cause of thy sorrow is already ceased, and gone. When he wept, thou did weep also: reason it is therefore, that thou should rejoice with him, now that he rejoices. Shut up the springs of thy most pure eyes, more clear than the waters of Esebon, and now ſore troubled, and dimmed with the showers of so many tears. The wrath and anger of almighty God, is now pacified with the ſacrifice of the true Noe. Ceaſe therefore the flood of thy most holy eyes, and let the earth be cleared again with new brightness.
The dove is now departed out of the arke, and when ſhe retourneth, ſhe will bringe with her ſignes of the mercie, and clemencie of almightie God. Reioyce therefore à bleſ. ſed virgin, and comforte thy ſelfe with this Meditation for cant... hope, and ceaſe now I praie thee, theſe thy mournefull ſobbinges and fighes. Thy owne deerelie beloued ſonne him ſelfe putteth thy dolefull mourninge,and teares, to ſylence,and inuiteth thee to a newe ioye in his Canticles: ſayeinge: The winter is now paſt,the ſhowers and tempefteous ſtormes are ceaſed, the flowers do appeare in our lande. Ryſe vp therefore my belbeloued, my darlinge, and my turtle doue, that abulºft in the heles ºf the rocke, and in the cleftes of the balle. That is to ſaie, in the ſtrookes and woundes of my bodie. Leaue mob this habitation, and come and dbell bith me.
I ſee well 6 bleſſed Ladie, that none of all theſe thinges are able to comforte thee: be- cauſe thy ſorrowe, and greife is not hereby taken awaie, but oncly changed. One martir- dome I ſee is ended, and an other now be- ginneth. The tormentes of thy harte are re- newed continuallie, and thowgh ſome goe awaie, yet others do ſuccede with newe kin- des of tormentes: that by ſuch changes, the torment of the Paſſion maie be dowbled vnto thee. Hetherto thou haſt lamented his pai- nes, and ſorrowes: now thou lamenteſt his death. Hetherto thou haſt lamented his paſ- ſion: now thou lamenteſt thyne owne ſolita- rines. Hetherto thou haſt lamented his grei- fes, and troubles: and now thou mourneſt for his abſence. One waue is paſt,and an other commeth on to ouerwhelme thee. So that the ende of his paine, is a beginninge of thyne.
And AnSatturdaie morninge. 113 And as though this thy paine were to litle, I ſee that theſe cruell tormentors prepare yet an other paine for thee, no leſſe then this. Clo- ſevp thine eies therefore 6 bleſſed Ladie:cloſe them vp out of hande I beſeach thee:and loke not vpon that longe terrible ſpeare, which . with greate violence in the aier, to ſtri- e the place wherevnto it is leuelled.Now haſt thou 6 holie virgin thy deſire fulfilled. For now arte thou become a buckler to thy ſon- ne, forſomuch as this blowe ſtriketh not him, but thee. Thou diddeſt deſire the nailes, and thornes, and they were ordeyned for his bo- die; but the pearcinge ſpeare was reſerued for thee. O yeccruell miniſters? Oyee hartes of iron? Were the paiues, and tormentes to li- tle (trowe yee) which his bodie ſuffered be- inge aliue; that yee woulde not pardon it euen after it was dead? What furie and rancor of enmitic is there ſo outragious, but that it is pacificd when it ſeeth his enemie dead be- fore him? Liftewpyour cruelleies a litle 6 you vnmercifull and cruell miniſters, and beholde our ſauiour: Beholde I ſaie his deadlie face, his dymme eies, his fallinge countenance, his pale and wanne colour,and ſhadow of death. For though you be more harde, than either iron,or the Adamante ſtone yea though ye be more hard, than your owne ſclues, yet it maic be, that in beholdinge him, your furie and malice wilbe appeaſed. Wherefore are ye not contented º the woundes yee haue geuen Meditation fºr to the ſonne, but that ye will wounde his bleſ. ſed mother alſo:Herye doe wounde with that ſpeare: vnto her ye geue the ſtrooke; and 2- gainſt her ſorowfull hart threateneth the ſhar- pepoynt of that cruell lawnce.
Now commeth the wicked miniſter with a longe ſharpe ſpeare in his hande, and pear- ceth the verie naked ſyde of our ſauiour with great furie.The croſſe ſhaked in the aier with the mightie force of the ſtrooke: and from thence iſſued water, and bloude, wherewith are waſhed the ſinnes of the worlde. Oriuer that ronneſt out of paradiſe, and watereſt with thy ſtreames all the face of the earthel O wounde of the pretious ſyde of my ſweete Sauiour, made rather with his feruent loue towardes mankinde, than with the ſharpe iron of the cruell ſpeare! O gate of heauen! ô windowe of paradiſet 6 place of refuge! 6 tower of ſtrength 6 ſančtuarie of iuſt per- ſons:6 ſepulchre of pilgrimes! 6 neiſt of clea- ne douesi 6 floriſhinge bed of the ſpouſe of Salomon! Alhaile 6 wounde of the pretious ſyde of our Sauiour, that woundeſt the har- tes of deuout perſons? O ſtrooke that ſtri- keſt the ſoules of the iuſt? O roſe of inſpe- keable bewtie O rubie of ineſtimable price! O entrance into the harte of my ſweete Sa- uiour Ieſus Chriſt! O witnes of his loue, and pledge of euerlaſtinge life! Throwghe thee doe all liuinge thinges enter into the Arcke of the true Noé, to be preſerued from the floude Jatturdaiemorninge. 114. floude. Wnto thee doe all .as are tempted repair : In thee doe all thoſe that are heauie, and ſad finde comforte: by thee are the ſicke ſoap, 4. perſons cured: throwgh thee doe ſinners en- ter into heauen: and in thee doe all baniſhed perſones, and pilgrimes, ſleepe ſweetelie, and take theire reſt. O furnace of loue?O howſe of peace? O treaſure of the Catholicke Church? O veyne of liucly water, that ſpringeſt vp euen vnto life euerlaſtinge. Open à moſtlo- uinge Lorde, I beſeache thee, this gate vnto me: receaue my harte into this moſt delite- full habitation: geue me paſſadge through the ſame vnto the tender bowells of thy loue:let me drinke of this ſweite fountaine: let me be waſhed with this holiewater: let me be ma- de dronke with this moſt pretious licour. Let my ſoule ſleepe in this ſacredbreſte. Here let it forget all the cares of the worlde: here let it ſleepe:here let it eate: here let it ſinge ſveit- ly with the Prophet; ſayeinge:This is my reſting placefreuer,and euer:here billi dwell: for thispla- Pſalm. 131.