MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: And The Soldiers Did These Things: And Sitting Kept Him, And The People Stood Beholding

ANGELICO, Fra 
Crucifixion 
1420s
And the Soldiers did these things: and sitting kept him, and the people stood beholding.
Consider 1. (And truly the Soldiers did these things) as if he should say, Christ praying in the torments of the Cross, his Mother suffering the sword of sorrow, his friends weeping afar off, the Soldiers did these things. Whilst the Church suffereth persecutions, whilst the poor perish with hunger, whilst the just man is punished; the wicked play and are merry, they cast lots and dice, they are idle, and spend their time in vanities, neither is there any man, which suffereth upon the contrition of Joseph. And what doest thou thy self, whilst Christ and his Church is afflicted?

Consider secondly, that Christ is kept more carefully, the Theives, lest his disciples or any others should free him from his punishment. But as it was then, so ow also the fervor of Catholics is too cold, to adventure any danger for the name of Christ. Do thou with all care keep Christ in thy heart, and conserve his grace.

Consider 3. the people stood beholding, for os it is to be read, for expecting) some of them scoffing, some marking every thing. Do tho draw near, and standing on thy feet, ready to fulfill the will and commandment of thy Lord, behold, and constantly look upon him fastened to the Cross. Do not slightly pass over all his members, all his pains, all his reproaches: but behold him with a constant view, and do not rest in the outward form only, but rather meditate on those things, which lie hidden within. For under these wounds, spittings and thorns. lurketh the hidden Manna, which no man knoweth, but he which receiveth it. Stand then before table of the Cross, like a little dog before his masters table, expecting and observing the gesture of him, that sitteth, and catching every thing that is cast from the table. Do not imitate the people, curiously beholding Christ, & going to the church for vanity only, and hearing divine service carelessly: But rather imitate the Virgin mother, Who let no word pass, which she did not keep, observing it in her heart. And pray thy Lord to cast large gifts unto thee from his Cross.

~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J. 

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