Eleventh Hour: From 3 to 4 AM
Jesus in the house of Caiaphas
My afflicted and abandoned Good, while my weak nature sleeps in Your Sorrowful Heart, my sleep is often interrupted by the pangs of Love and sorrow of Your Divine Heart. Between vigil and sleep, I hear the blows that they give You, so I wake up and I say, “My poor Jesus, abandoned by everyone! There is no one who takes Your part. But from within Your Heart I offer You my life as support for You, as they knock You about.” And I fall asleep again; but another pang of Love of Your Divine Heart wakes me up, and I am deafened by the insults that they send You, by the whispering, by the shouting and by the running of people.
My Love, how is it that they are all against You? What have You done that they want to tear You to pieces like many rabid wolves? I feel my blood freeze in hearing the preparations of Your enemies, and I tremble and am anguished thinking of what to do in order to defend You.
But my afflicted Jesus, keeping me in His Heart, squeezes me more tightly, and says to me, “My child, I have donenothing wrong, and I have done everything. Mine is the crime of Love, which contains all sacrifices, and Love of Immeasurable Cost. We are still at the beginning; remain in My Heart, observe everything, love Me, be silent, and learn. Let your ice cold blood flow in My veins so as to refresh My Blood which is all in Flames. Let your trembling flow within My limbs, so that, being identified with Me, you may be strengthened and warmed in order to feel part of My pains, and you may also acquire strength in seeing Me suffer so much. This will be the most beautiful defense that you can make for Me. Be faithful to Me, and be attentive.”
Sweet Love of mine, the clamor of Your enemies is so intense and so great that I can no longer sleep. The shoves become more violent. I hear the noise of the chains with which they bound You, and so tightly as to make living Blood ooze from Your wrists, with which You mark those streets. Remember that my blood is in Yours, and as You shed It, mine kisses It, adores It and repairs It. May Your Blood be light to all those who offend You at night, and a magnet to draw all hearts around You, my Love and my All.
While they drag You, the air seems to be deafened by shouts and whistles. And You arrive before Caiaphas. You are all meek, modest, humble; Your Sweetness and Patience is such as to terrorize even Your enemies; and Caiaphas, full of rage, would want to devour You. Ah, how well can Innocence and sin be distinguished!
My Love, You are before Caiaphas as the most guilty, in the act of being condemned. Indeed, Caiaphas asks the witnesses what Your crimes are. Ah, he should rather have asked what is Your Love! And some accuse You of one thing, some of another, speaking nonsense and contradicting themselves. As they accuse You, the soldiers who are near You tear Your hair, and unload horrible slaps on Your Most Holy Face, such as to resound through the whole room; they twist Your lips, they hit You, while You remain silent and suffer. And if You look at them, the light of Your eyes descends into their hearts, and unable to sustain it, they move away from You. But others take their place, to make of You a greater slaughter.
But in the midst of many accusations and offenses, I see You pricking up Your ears and Your Heart beats strongly, and is about to burst with pain. Tell me, my afflicted Good, what is it? I see that Your Love is so great that You anxiously await what Your enemies are doing to You, and You Offer it for our salvation. And in total calm, Your Heart repairs for slanders, hatred, false witnessings, and for the evil done to innocents with premeditation; and You Repair for those who offend You upon the instigation of leaders, and for the offenses of the ecclesiastics. And while I am united with You, following Your own Reparations, I feel a change in You— from a new sorrow, never before felt. Tell me, tell me, what is it? Share everything with me, O Jesus.
“Child, do you want to know? I hear the voice of Peter who says he does not know Me. Then he swore, and then, again, he perjured and anathematized of not knowing Me. O Peter, what! You do not know Me? Don’t you remember with how many gifts I filled you? Ah, if others make Me die of pains, you make Me die of sorrow! Ah, how wrong it was of you to follow Me from a distance, and so expose yourself to the occasions!”
My denied Good, how quickly the offenses of Your dearest ones can be recognized! O Jesus, I want to make my heartbeat flow within Yours to soothe the harrowing spasm that You suffer. And my heartbeat in Yours swears loyalty and love to You, and repeats and swears thousands and thousands of times that I know You.
But Your Love is not yet calmed, and You try to look at Peter. At Your Loving Glances, dripping with tears because of his denial, Peter is moved, and he cries and leaves. And You, having led him to safety, calm Yourself, and in this way Repair the offenses of the Popes and of the leaders of the Church, especially of those who expose themselves to occasions.
Meanwhile, Your enemies continue to accuse You; and in seeing that You do not answer to their accusations, Caiaphas says to You, “I beseech You, for the sake of the living God, tell me—are You really the true Son of God?”
And You, my Love, having the word of Truth always on Your lips, with Supreme Majesty, and with sonorous and gentle voice, such that all are struck, and the very demons plunge themselves into the abyss, answer, “You say so. Yes, I am the True Son of God, and one day I will descend on the clouds of Heaven to judge all nations.”
At Your Creative Words, all remain silent—they shudder and feel frightened. But Caiaphas, recovering after a few moments of fright, and full of rage, more than a fierce animal, says to all, “What need do we have of more witnesses? Hehas already uttered a great blasphemy! What more are we waiting for to condemn him? He is already guilty to death!”
And to give more strength to his words, he tears his clothes with such rage and fury that all, as though one, hurl themselves at You, my Good; and some punch Your Head, some tear Your hair, some slap You, some spit on Your Face, some trample upon You. The torments that they give You are so intense and so many that the earth trembles and the Heavens are shaken.
My Love and my Life, Jesus, as they torment You, my poor heart is lacerated by the pain. O please, allow me to leave Your Sorrowful Heart and face all these offenses in Your place. Ah, if it were possible, I would like to snatch You from the hands of Your enemies. But You do not want it, because the salvation of all requires it, and I am forced to resign myself. But, Sweet Love of mine, let me tidy You up, fix Your hair, remove the spit, dry Your Blood, and enclose myself in Your Heart, as I see that Caiaphas, tired, wants to withdraw, delivering You into the hands of the soldiers.
Therefore, I bless You; and You, bless me and give me the kiss of Your Love. And I enclose myself in the furnace of Your Divine Heart to sleep. I place my mouth on Your Heart, so that in breathing, I may kiss You, and from the differences in Your heartbeats, more or less suffering, I may sense whether You are suffering or resting. Therefore, making wings of my arms to keep You sheltered, I hug You, I cling tightly to Your Heart, and I fall asleep.
Reflections and Practices
Jesus, presented to Caiaphas, is unjustly accused and subjected to unheard-of tortures. Questioned, He always says the truth.
And we—when the Lord allows that we be slandered and unjustly accused, do we look only for God, Who knows our innocence; or do we rather beg esteem and honor from creatures? Does truth always arise on our lips? Are we averse to any trick and lie? Do we bear with patience the mockeries and the confusions that creatures give us? Are we ready to give our life for their salvation?
O my Sweet Jesus, how different I am from You! Please, let my lips always speak the truth so as to wound the heart of those who listen to me, and lead everyone to You!