Twelfth Hour: From 4 to 5 AM
Jesus at the mercy of the soldiers
My Most Sweet Life, Jesus, while sleeping, clinging to Your Heart, I often feel the pricks of the thorns which prick Your Most Holy Heart. And wanting to wake up together with You, that You may have at least one who notices all of Your pains and feels compassion for You, I cling more tightly to Your Heart; and feeling Your prickings more vividly, I wake up. But, what do I see? What do I hear? I would like to hide You in my heart to expose myself in Your place, and receive upon myself pains so intense, insults and humiliations so incredible. But only Your Love could bear so many outrages. My Most Patient Jesus, what could You expect from people so inhuman?
I now see that they are making fun of You. They cover Your Face with thick spit; the light of Your beautiful eyes is covered by the spit; and You, pouring rivers of tears for our salvation, push that spit away from Your eyes, and Your enemies, with hearts incapable of seeing the Light of Your eyes, cover them with spit again. Others, becoming braver in evil, open Your most sweet mouth and fill it with disgusting spit, to the point that they themselves feel nausea. And since some of that spit flows away, revealing, in part, the Majesty of Your Face and Your superhuman Sweetness, they shudder and feel ashamed of themselves. And in order to feel more free, they blindfold You with a miserable rag, to be able to hurl themselves, unrestrained, at Your Adorable Person. And so they beat You up without pity; they drag You; they trample You under their feet and they repeat the blows and the slaps to Your Face and over Your Head, scratching You, and tearing Your hair, and pushing You from one point to another.
Jesus, my Love, my heart cannot bear seeing You in the midst of so many pains. You want me to notice everything, but I feel I would rather cover my eyes so as not to see scenes so painful, which tear the heart from any chest. But my love for You forces me to look at what happens to You.
And I see that You utter not a breath, that You say not a word to defend Yourself; that You are in the hands of these soldiers like a rag, and they can do with You whatever they want. And in seeing them jumping on You, I fear You may die under their feet.
My Good and my All, the sorrow I feel for Your pains is so great, that I would like to shout so loudly as to be heard up there in Heaven, and call the Father, the Holy Spirit and all the Angels; and here on earth, from one point to another, to call Sweet Mama first, and all the souls who love You, so that, forming a circle around You, we may prevent these insolent soldiers from drawing near You to insult You and torment You more. Together with You, we repair for all the night sins, especially those committed at night by sectarians, over Your Sacramental Person, and for all the offenses of the souls who do not remain faithful in the night of trial.
But I see, my insulted Good, that the soldiers, tired and drunk, would like to rest, and my poor heart, oppressed and lacerated by Your so many pains, does not want to remain alone with You—it feels the need of another company. O please, my Sweet Mama, be my inseparable company; let us embrace Jesus together, in order to console Him! O Jesus, together with Mama, I kiss You and I bless You; and with Her, I will have the sleep of Love upon Your Adorable Heart.
Reflections and Practices
In this hour Jesus is in the midst of the soldiers with imperturbable courage and iron constancy. God as He is, He suffers all the strains which the soldiers inflict upon Him, and looks at them with so much Love that He seems to invite them to give Him more pains. And we—are we constant during repeated sufferings, or do we lament, get irritated and lose peace; that peace of the heart which is necessary to allow Jesus to find a happy dwelling within us?
Firmness is that virtue which makes us know whether God really reigns in us. If ours is true virtue, we will be firm in trial, with a firmness that is not inconstant, but always balanced. And it is this sole firmness that gives us peace. The more we become firm in good, in suffering, and in working, the more we enlarge the field around us, in which Jesus will expand His graces. Therefore, if we are inconstant, our field will be small, and Jesus will have little or no space. But if we are firm and constant, as Jesus finds a very extensive field, He will find in us His shelf and support, and the place in which to extend His graces.
If we want our beloved Jesus to rest in us, let us surround Him with His own firmness, with which He operated for the salvation of our souls. Being sheltered, He will remain in our heart in sweet rest. Jesus looked with Love at those who mistreated Him, and do we look at those who offend us with the same Love? And is the love we show to them so great as to be a voice for their hearts—so powerful as to convert them to Jesus?
My Jesus, boundless Love, give me this Love and let each pain of mine call souls to You.