MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: And They Came Into The Place, Which Is Called Golgotha, Which Is A Place Of Calvary: And They Gave Him Wine To Drink Mixed With Myrrh Gall~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J.
And they came into the place, which is called Golgotha, which is a place of Calvary: and they gave him wine to drink mixed with mirth gall: and when he had tasted, he would not drink: and it was the third hour.
Consider first, the ascending of this hill, how painful it was unto thy Lord, how he enforced his tender and consumed body, that it should not fail to procure thy salvation, but that in the mountain nearer unto heaven he might stand before God the Father, and offer Holocaust as a savor of sweetness for thy sins. Follow thou the Lord ascending his hill as near as thou canst, and stand by him in this hill even until death. Consider secondly, how the executioners made ready the Cross: how they bored the holes for the nails, and prepared nail, hammers, and ropes; thy Lord beholding them with his eyes. Do thou also behold them, and lament, and bear; because thou doest prepare a Cross for thy Lord, as often as by thy sins thou deserves a place in hell for thy soul, which is created to his own likeness.
Consider thirdly, that according to the custom of such as were put to death, they offered a cup to Christ, but much differing from that was used to be given to others. The drink was mixed with wine, Myrre, gall, and vinegar (for St. Matthew useth instead of wine this word: Vinegar) that none of his senses should want his pain and punishment. His cruel enemies compass him round about, troubled his sight; their cruel words, upbraidings, and blasphemies tormented his hearing; the stench of the place, and of the filth, which covered his face, offended his smelling; his touching suffered most grievous pains all over his body; and because no sense should be without his torment, this most bitter drink was given him to afflict his taste. Is it not reason then ( thinkest thou) that thou shouldest suffer some afflictions, or trouble for thy Lord, which for thy sake had no part of his body free from pain? But Christ tasted this foul potion for thee, to draw from thy soul to his own body all the sharpness and bitterness of thy sins; and left for thee sweet wine, mixed with no sourness, that is to say, the grace of God, and a pure and quiet conscience.
Consider fourthly, When he had tasted, he would not drink: for Christ took upon him thy sins in his body as in his mouth, but he polluted not his soul with the filth of sin: that thou also shouldest as it were taste the malice of sin with the sourness of penance, but by no means suffer it to enter into thy soul.
Consider fifthly, that the hour of his execution is noted, to wit, the third hour, which in the Equinoctial is from None of the clock in the morning till twelve at noon: whereby thou mayest note the great hast, which they made, partly least Pilate should change his mid, and partly least Christ should die before he was crucified. Saint John writteth, that the sentence was pronounced almost at the sixth hour, that is a little before noon: And Mark affirmeth that Christ was crucified the third hour, that is, before the clock had struck 12. Consider then what hast was made, how cruelly thy Lord was pulled, drawn with ropes, and whipped forward. Take heed, least they feet run unto sin, but run cheerfully this way of our Lord, and casting away all impediments, fly unto the cross of Christ, and pray him to remove all sourness & difficulties from the exercise of virtue.