MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: Then Jesus Went Forth, Carrying His Thorny Crown, & Purple Garment. II

CIGOLI 
Ecce Homo 
1607

Consider secondly, that this sack of the body of Christ which came down from Heaven, full of grace and truth, is now opened, and torn if all parts, breathing out of his holy bowels a wonderful savor, so sharp, that it driveth away Devils; so piercing, that it entereth into stony hearts, and so sweet that it draweth the Eagles from all parts of the world. For when the body shall be, thither also will the Eagles be gathered. Purge thou the nostrils of thy heart,purge thou the filth of thy vices; that being stirred up with the sweetness of the savor of God, Thou mayest run into the sweet savor of these ointments. And pray unto our Lord to draw thee after him with his sweetness, & to instill into thy heart the love of his Passion, that thou mayest contemn the world in respect thereof.

(And he said, behold the man) by this word, Pilate endeavored to move some commiseration, showing first the bitterness of his punishment, as if he had said, know that he is a man and not a beast; if he have committed any fault, he hath paid well for it: therefore o men, take pity upon a man, it is the part of beasts not to spare the conquered.

And again, behold his is a man, & a most miserable man, whom ye have accused as King of the Jews; there is no cause, why yes should be afraid of this King, whom though the great deformity of his body, & cruel torments, yes can scare know to be a man.

Do thou apply these profitably unto thyself in this manner:

First (Behold the man) he is set before thee to imitate, in this habit, in these gestures, and in this shape of body, and mind. Abraham was proposed to our Ancestors for an example of life. Mark the Rock (saith Isaias) out of which eye were cut, Here a man is proposed unto thee, of whom our Heavenly Father saith: Hear him: and the Son of God: Learn yes of med, for I am meek and humble of heart. Look therefore not upon other mens manners, but upon this mans, upon this face of Christ: who although he be God, whose virtues and deeds thou canst not attain unto, yet he is true man, induced with the same frail and human nature like thee and other men. Thy first Father Adam made thee of a man like to foolish Beasts: if thou wilt return to the ancient dignity of human nature, join thyself with this man.

Secondly (behold the man) to whom thou maist fly in all thy necessities: these spitting are suffered for thee; this blood is shed for thee; and all these evils are endured for thy sake: both that thou shouldest take away thy sins, and cure thy wounds by these medicines, and also that thou shouldest pay them to the eternal Father for thy infinite debts.

Thirdly (behold the man) mark what thy sins have brought unto this man: thy pride hath caused these irrisions and this contempt; thy covetouness, this nakedness; thy drunkenness, this effusion of blood; thy lust, these thorns; and thy sloth, these bonds. O man, behold this man: but who art thou, and what is he? thou a man like a worm, he a man and God. O how great glory is due unto him, and how much shame unto thee? yet what is he become for thy sake? and what suffers, or doest thou for him, he is made a worm and no man, a scorn of men, and an abject of the people. And this, because he would carry thee up to God. But thou being careful of nothing less, then of exalting his glory, applyest thyself about thine own honor, wealth, and commodity .

Fr. Francois Coster S.J. 

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