Meditation On The Passion: This Is Your Hour, And The Power Of Darkness.

ALTDORFER, Albrecht 
The Arrest of Christ 
1509-16
And Jesus said to the chief priests, and magistrates of the temple, and the ancients, that were come unto him: Are ye come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs? When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Lk.xxii.
Consider first what account was made of thy Lord, to wit, as of a thief, for the suppressing of whome there needed so great an army.

Secondly how he showed that he was no thief, as he which had hurt no man not lye hid like a thief, but had done good, and had taught nothing in secret, but always publicly, and called those men for witness thereof whome he saw stand ready to be the officers for his death, therefore he admonished them to call to rememberance the doctrine which had taught them, & to change their minds; for they should find nothing in it but holy, learned, & wholesome council.

Consider thirdly by what words he gave his adversaries power to rage against him, without which they could do nothing, and every word hath his force: (this is) as if he said, you care only for the present, & respect not the time to come, which is the property of sinners, not the of just men: (hour) all present time is short, all the pleasure of sinners passeth like an hour, also all the afflictions of the just passeth away: (your) this short time is granted unto you to do everything either for your salvation or damnation: I say this precious time which after this life will not remain, (and the power of darkness) that is to say a dark power, both because they deserve it through the darkness of their sins, & also because they, which use it, are carried to the darkness of Hell, & also because darkness remaineth in the power of the wicked, and, to conclude, because, power was given to the Devils, the princes of darkness to do all mischief unto Christ.

Consider therefore the multitude of the pains of Christ, and their greatness when it was permitted to wicked Spirits being practiced & most ready in doing hurt, to persecute Christ by these his most willing ministers. Admire here also this most willing permission of Christ, give him thanks & offer thy self ready to endure all labors and torments, for his sake & pray him that thy power may not be in darkness, but that all hy actions may be perfected with the light of faith and of his divine grace.

Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616

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