Devout Affections on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ
It was revealed to St. Gertrude that reading and meditating on the Passion are far more useful and efficacious than all other spiritual exercises. As those who handle flour cannot avoid contracting some of the flour's powdery substance, so no one, however imperfect his devotion may be, can occupy his mind with the Passion of Our Lord without receiving some benefit therefrom. And, however cold and lukewarm our devotion, Our Lord will look upon us with greater long-suffering and mercy if we never omit the memory of His Passion.
O Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal sweetness and jubilee of those who love Thee, remember all the presentiment of grief Thou didst endure from the moment of Thy conception, and especially at Thy entrance into Thy Passion, when Thou didst say: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; and when, by reason of Thy overwhelming dread and anguish and grief, Thou didst sweat, as it were, drops of Blood trickling down upon the ground. Remember all the bitterness of Thy sorrow when Thou wast seized upon by the Jews, accused by false witnesses, condemned by three judges, buffeted and smitten, spit upon, scourged, and crowned with thorns. O sweetest Jesus, I implore Thee, by all the sorrows and insults Thou didst endure, have mercy on me, a sinner.
O Jesus, paradise of the delights of God, remember now all the dread and sorrow Thou didst endure when Pilate pronounced on Thee sentence of death; when the godless soldiers laid the heavy Cross on Thy shoulders, and fastened Thee thereon with rude and blunted nails, cruelly stretching Thy sacred limbs so that all Thy bones could be numbered: I beseech Thee, vouchsafe to pronounce a merciful sentence on me in the day of judgment, and deliver me from all punishment. Amen.
O Jesus, Heavenly Physician, remember now the languor and the pain Thou didst endure when lifted upon the Cross, when all Thy bones were out of joint, so that no sorrow was like to Thy sorrow, because, from the sole of Thy foot to the top of Thy head, there was no soundness in Thee; when, notwithstanding, Thou didst put away the feeling of all Thine own griefs, and pray to Thy Father for Thine enemies, saying: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. By this, Thy charity and Thy mercy, grant that the dignity and worth of Thy Passion may be the entire remission of all my sins. Amen.
O Jesus, mirror of the eternal splendor, remember now that sadness which filled Thy Heart when Thou didst behold in the mirror of Thy Divinity the reprobation of the wicked and the multitude of the lost; and by the depth of the compassion Thou didst show to the robber on the cross, saying: This day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise, I beseech Thee, O compassionate Jesus, show me Thy mercy in the hour of my death. Amen.
O Jesus, King most beloved, remember now the mournful desolation of Thy Heart, when Thou, forsaken by all, wert mocked as Thou didst hang on the Cross; when Thou didst find none to comfort Thee but Thy beloved Mother, who stood by Thy Cross to the last, and whom Thou didst commend to Thy disciple, saying: Woman, behold thy son, and to the disciple: Behold thy Mother. I beseech Thee, O compassionate Jesus, by that sword of anguish which then pierced her Heart, do Thou condole with me and console me in all my tribulations. Amen.
O Jesus, inexhaustible fountain of pity, remember now that bitterness which Thou didst endure when, Thy strength being exhausted and Thy sacred Body dried up, Thou didst feel that burning thirst, and hadst not one drop of water to cool Thy parched tongue, but only vinegar upon hyssop; I beseech Thee that Thou wouldst extinguish in me the thirst of carnal concupiscence and worldly delights. Amen.
O Jesus, mighty King, remember now that when Thou wast plunged into the bitter waters of Thy Passion until they closed over Thy head, Thou wast forsaken not only by men, but by Thy Father also, and didst cry out with a loud voice, saying: My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? By this Thine anguish and dereliction, I beseech Thee, forsake me not in my last agony. Amen.
O Jesus, strong Lion of the tribe of Juda, remember now the sorrow and the woe Thou didst endure, when all the forces of Thy Heart and of Thy Flesh failed Thee utterly, and Thou didst bow Thy Head and cry: It is consummated. By this Thine anguish and Thy woe, have mercy on me at the end of my life, when my soul shall be troubled, and my spirit disquieted within me. Amen.
O Jesus, splendor of the Father's glory and figure of His substance, remember now that earnest commendation with which Thou didst commend Thy Spirit to the Father, saying: Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit! and when, Thy most sacred Body being torn and Thy Heart broken, and all the bowels of Thy compassion laid bare for our Redemption, Thou didst give up Thy Spirit: I beseech Thee, by all that love which moved Thee, the Life of all that live, to submit to death, that Thou wouldst mortify and kill in my soul whatever is displeasing to Thee. Amen.
O Jesus, true and fruitful Vine, remember now the lavish, the excessive profusion wherewith Thou didst shed Thy Precious Blood, when on the Cross Thou didst tread the winepress alone, and wast crushed as a cluster of ripe grapes; when Thou didst give us water and Blood from Thy pierced Side, so that not one drop remained in Thy Heart. Then wast Thou hung up as a bundle of myrrh, and Thy tender Flesh grew pale, and Thy moisture was all dried up within Thee, and the marrow of Thy bones consumed. By this Thy most bitter Passion, and by the shedding of Thy most Precious Blood, I beseech Thee, O most loving Jesus, wash my soul at the hour of my death with the water which flowed from Thy Sacred Side, and adorn it with comeliness in the Precious Blood of Thy sweetest heart, and render it acceptable in Thy sight in the fragrant odor of Thy Divine love. Amen.