That One Should Gladly Meditate on the Passion of
Christ and How Fruitful One's Meditation May Be.

O lovable Passion! It takes those who meditate on it away from themselves, and renders them not merely angelic, but divine! For if you spend time in meditation sharing the torments of Christ, you do not even see yourself, but God; you always behold the suffering Lord, you want to bear the cross with him; you carry in your heart heaven and earth in a handful, and for his sake bear every burden lightly. You want to be crowned with thorns together with Christ, and your crowned with the hope of glory; you want to be cold with him on the cross without any clothes, and are made to burn with an excessive ardour of love; you want to taste the vinegar with him, and you drink wine of inexpressible sweetness; you want to be mocked with him on the cross, and are honoured by the angels and adopted by the Blessed Virgin as her child. Wanting to be sad with Christ, you are made glad; wanting to be greatly afflicted along with Christ, you are consoled; you want to suffer with the one suffering, and are made exceedingly joyful; want to hang with Christ on the cross, and Christ embraces you most sweetly; want to bow your face suffused with the pallor of death, and Christ, lifting your head, very gently kisses you. O lovable death, O delightful death! Oh, why was I not in the place where that cross was that I might have been nailed together with Christ, hand and foot! I certainly would have said to Joseph of Arimathaea: Do not take him away from me, but bury me with him in the sepulchre; I do not want to be separated from him any more. But even if I cannot do it in this way physically, I want at least to do it in my heart. For, it is good to be with him, and in him I want to take three tabernacles: one in his hands, one in his feet, and yet another always in his side. There I wish to rest quietly and sleep, to eat and drink, to read and pray. There I will speak to his heart, and I will beg him for what I want. In so doing I will follow in the footsteps of my most sweet mother, whose soul was pierced by the sword of her son's Passion. Wounded, I will speak confidently to her about him, and I will incline her toward what I want. And I will not only be there crucified with her son, but going back even to the manger, I will lie there, a baby with him, so that in the same place with her son I will get to nurse at her breasts. And thus I will mix the milk of the mother with the blood of the son, and make for myself a drink most sweet

O most loving wounds of my Lord Jesus Christ! For when I went to enter into them, as it were with my eyes open, my eyes became full of blood, and so, since I saw nothing else, I began to go in feeling with my hands until I finally came to the innermost viscera of his charity, and surrounded by this on every side I wanted never to come back. And therefore I dwell there, and what he eats I eat for my food, and there I am inebriated with his drink; there I abound in such great sweetness that I could never tell you. And he who first for sinners was in the womb of the Virgin now deigns to carry me, worthless me, in his viscera. But my great fear is that the time of his giving birth will come, and I will be cast forth from these delights that I enjoy. Surely, if he gives birth to me, he will have to nurse me like a mother at his breasts, wash me with his hands, carry me in his arms, comfort me with kisses, and fondle me in his lap. But surely, I know hat I'll do: no matter how often he gives birth to me, I know that his wounds are always open, and through them I will enter into his womb again. I will repeat all this over and over until I am inseparably merged with him. O the blindness of the sons of Adam, who do not know how to enter into Christ through these wounds! They labour beyond their strength in vain and the gates to repose stand open. Do you not know that Christ is the joy of the blessed? So why do you delay entering into that joy through the aperture of his body? What kind of insanity is this? The blessedness of angels is in sight, and the surrounding wall is broken down, and you don't bother to go in! Or perhaps you think that first your body should be got out of the way, because you believe that in its presence the soul could not manage to attain quiet in Christ? But believe me, O human, if you strive to enter through this narrow opening, not only your soul, but your body as well, will find quiet and amazing sweetness there. What is carnal and attracted to the carnal will, by entering through the wounds, become so spiritual that it will regard as nothing any delights other than those it experiences there. What is more, the soul may even sometimes dictate that you ought to withdraw in order to be obedient or to be useful in some way, but the flesh, bound by that sweetness, will say, you ought to stay. And if this sweetness is what happens to the body, how much sweetness do you think bathes the soul that is joined through that aperture to the heart of Christ? I certainly cannot express it to you, but experience it and know for yourself.