The Twenty-second Hour: From 2 to 3 PM
Third Hour of Agony on the Cross. Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Word of Jesus. The Death of Jesus.
Fifth Word on the Cross
O my dying Crucified, clinging to the Cross, I feel the Fire that Burns all of Your Most Holy Person. Your Heart beats so strongly that, pushing out Your ribs, it torments You in such a harrowing and horrible way, that all Your Most Holy Humanity undergoes a transformation that renders You unrecognizable. The Love that Enflames Your Heart withers You and Burns You completely; and You, unable to contain it, feel the intense torment, not only of the corporal thirst, but of the shedding of all Your Blood—and even more, of the ardent thirst for the salvation of our souls. You would want to drink us like water, in order to place us all in safety within Yourself; therefore, gathering Your weakened strengths, You cry out, “I thirst.” Ah, You repeat this voice to every heart, “I thirst for your will, for your affections, for your desires, foryour love. A water fresher and sweeter than your soul you could not give Me. O please, do not let Me Burn. My thirst is ardent, such that I not only feel My tongue and My throat Burn, to the point that I can no longer utter a Word, but I also feel My Heart and bowels wither. Have pity on My thirst— have pity!” And as though delirious from the great thirst, You abandon Yourself to the Will of the Father.
Ah, my heart can no longer live in seeing the evil of Your enemies who, instead of water, give You gall and vinegar; and You do not refuse them! Ah, I understand—it is the gall of the many sins, it is the vinegar of our untamed passions that they want to give You, and which, instead of refreshing You, Burn You even more. O my Jesus, here is my heart, my thoughts, my affections—here is all of my being, to quench Your thirst and give a relief to Your mouth, dried and embittered.
Everything I have, everything I am—everything is for You, O my Jesus. Should my pains be necessary in order to save even one soul alone—here I am, I am ready to suffer everything. I offer myself wholly to You—do with me whatever best pleases You.
I intend to repair for the sorrow You suffer for all the souls who are lost, and for the pain You receive from those who, while You allow sadnesses and abandonments, instead of offering them to You as relief for the Burning thirst that devours You, abandon themselves to themselves, and make You suffer even more.
Sixth Word on the Cross
My dying Good, the endless sea of Your Pains, the Fire that consumes You, and more than anything, the Supreme Will of the Father which wants You to die, no longer allow us to hope that You may continue to Live. And I—how will I live without You? Your Strengths are now leaving You, Your eyes become veiled, Your Face is transformed and covered with mortal paleness; Your mouth is half-open, Your Breath is labored and interrupted, to the point that there is no more hope that You may revive. A chill and a cold sweat that wets Your forehead, take over the Fire that Burns You. Your muscles and nerves contract more and more because of the bitterness of the pains and the piercings of the nails; the Wounds rip open more; and I tremble—I feel I am dying. I look at You, O my Good, and I see the last tears descend from Your eyes, bearers of Your nearing death; while You, with difficulty, let another Word be heard, “All is Consummated.”
O my Jesus, You have now exhausted Yourself completely; You have nothing left—Love has reached its end. And I—have I consumed myself completely in Your Love? What thanksgiving should I not render to You? What should my gratitude not be for You? O my Jesus, I intend to repair for all—repair for the lack of correspondence to Your Love, and console You for the offenses You receive from the creatures, while You are consuming Yourself with Love on the Cross.
Seventh Word on the Cross
My dying Crucified, Jesus, You are now about to give the last Breaths of Your Mortal Life; Your Most Holy Humanity is already stiffened; Your Heart seems to beat no longer. With Magdalene I cling to Your Feet and, if it were possible, I would like to give my life to revive Yours.
Meanwhile, O Jesus, I see that You open Your dying eyes again, and You look around from the Cross, as though wanting to give the last good-bye to all. You look at Your dying Mama, who no longer has motion or voice, so many are the pains She feels; and You say, “Good-bye Mama, I am leaving, but I will keep You in My Heart. You, take care of My children and Yours.” You look at crying Magdalene, faithful John and Your very enemies, and with Your Gazes You say to them, “I Forgive you; I give you the Kiss of Peace.” Nothing escapes Your Gaze; You take leave of everyone and forgive everyone. Then, You gather all Your Strengths, and with a loud and thundering Voice, You cry out, “Father, into YourHands I commend My Spirit.” And bowing Your Head, You breathe Your last.
My Jesus, at this cry all nature is shaken and cries over Your death—the death of its Creator! The earth trembles strongly; and with its trembling, it seems to be crying and wanting to shake up souls to recognize You as True God. The veil of the Temple is torn; the dead are risen; the sun, which until now had cried over Your pains, has withdrawn its light with horror. At this cry, Your enemies fall on their knees, and beating their breasts, they say, “Truly He is the Son of God.” And Your Mother, petrified and dying, suffers pains harder than death.
My dead Jesus, with this cry You also place all of us into the Hands of the Father, because You do not reject us. Therefore You cry out loudly, not only with Your Voice, but with all Your Pains and with the voices of Your Blood, “Father, into Your Hands I commend My Spirit and all souls.” My Jesus, I too abandon myself in You; and You give me the Grace to die completely in Your Love—in Your Will, and I pray that You never permit me, either in life or in death, to go out of Your Most Holy Will. Meanwhile I intend to repair for all those who do not abandon themselves perfectly to Your Most Holy Will, therefore losing or maiming the Precious Gift of Your Redemption. What is not the sorrow of Your Heart, O my Jesus, in seeing so many creatures escaping from Your arms and abandoning themselves to themselves? Have pity on all, O my Jesus—have pity on me.
I kiss Your Head crowned with thorns, and I ask Your Forgiveness for my many thoughts of pride, of ambition and of self-esteem. And I promise You that every time a thought arises in me which is not completely for You, O Jesus, and that I find myself in occasions of offending You, immediately I will cry out, “Jesus and Mary, I commend my soul to You.”
O Jesus, I kiss Your beautiful eyes, still wet with tears and covered with dried Blood, and I ask Your Forgiveness for all the times I have offended You with evil and immodest gazes. I promise You that every time my eyes are led to look at things of the earth, immediately I will cry out, “Jesus and Mary, I commend my soul to You.”
O my Jesus, I kiss Your Most Sacred Ears, deafened by insults and horrible blasphemies up to the very last moments, and I ask Your Forgiveness for all the times I have listened to, or made others listen to discourses which move us away from You, and for all the evil discourses made by creatures. And I promise You that every time I find myself in the occasion of hearing unseemly discourses, immediately I will cry out, “Jesus and Mary, I commend my soul to You.”
O my Jesus, I kiss Your Most Holy Face, pale, bruised and bleeding, and I ask Your Forgiveness for the many scorns, offenses and insults You receive from us, most miserable creatures, with our sins. I promise You that every time I have the temptation of not giving You all the glory, the love and the adoration which is due to You, immediately I will cry out,“Jesus and Mary, I commend my soul to You.”
O my Jesus, I kiss Your Most Sacred Mouth, dry and embittered. I ask Your Forgiveness for all the times I have offended You with my evil discourses; for all the times I have contributed to embittering You and increasing Your thirst. I promise You that every time the thought comes to me of making discourses which might offend You, immediately I will cry out, “Jesus and Mary, I commend my soul to You.”
O my Jesus, I kiss Your Most Holy Neck, and I can still see the marks of the chains and of the ropes that have oppressed You. I ask Your Forgiveness for the many bonds and for the many attachments of the creatures, which have increased the ropes and the chains around Your Most Holy Neck. And I promise You that every time I feel disturbed by attachments, desires and affections which are not for You, immediately I will cry out, “Jesus and Mary, I commend my soul to You.”
My Jesus, I kiss Your Most Holy Shoulders, and I ask Your Forgiveness for the many illicit satisfactions; Forgiveness for the many sins committed with the five senses of our body. I promise You that every time the thought comes to me of taking some pleasures or satisfactions which are not for Your glory, immediately I will cry out, “Jesus and Mary, I commend my soul to You.”
My Jesus, I kiss Your Most Holy Breast, and I ask Your Forgiveness for all the coldness, indifference, lukewarmness and horrendous ingratitude You receive from the creatures; and I promise You that every time I feel my love for You become cooler, immediately I will cry out, “Jesus and Mary, I commend my soul to You.”
My Jesus, I kiss Your Most Sacred Hands. I ask Your Forgiveness for all the evil and indifferent works; for many acts rendered malicious by love of self and self-esteem. I promise You that every time the thought comes to me of not operating only for love of You, immediately I will cry out, “Jesus and Mary, I commend my soul to You.”
O my Jesus, I kiss Your Most Holy Feet, and I ask Your Forgiveness for the many steps, the many paths covered without righteous intention; for many who move away from You to go in search of the pleasures of the earth. I promise You that every time the thought comes to me of moving away from You, immediately I will cry out, “Jesus and Mary, I commend my soul to You.”
O Jesus, I kiss Your Most Sacred Heart, and I intend to enclose in It, with my soul, all the souls redeemed by You, so that all may be saved—no one excluded.
O Jesus, lock me in Your Heart, and close the doors, that I may see nothing but You. I promise You that every time the thought comes to me of wanting to go out of this Heart, immediately I will cry out, “Jesus and Mary, to You I give my heart and my soul.”
Reflections and Practices
Jesus Burns with thirst. And do we burn with thirst for Jesus? Do our thoughts and affections always have the purpose of quenching His ardent thirst?
Unable to bear the thirst that consumes Him, thirsty Jesus adds, “All is Consummated!” So, Jesus consumed Himselfcompletely for us. And we—do we strive, in each thing, to be a continuous consummation of love for Jesus? Each act, word and thought led Jesus toward His Consummation. And does each act, word and thought of ours move us to be consumed for love of Jesus?
O Jesus, Sweet Life of mine, may Your Consumed Breath always blow in my poor heart, that I may receive the mark of Your Consummation.
On the Cross Jesus fulfills the Will of the Father in everything, and He Breathes His last with a Perfect Act of Abandonment in His Most Holy Will. And do we fulfill the Will of God in everything? Do we abandon ourselves perfectly in His Volition without looking at whether it is advantageous for us or not—just being content to find ourselves abandoned in His Most Holy Arms? Is our dying to ourselves continuous for love of Jesus? Can we say that, although we live, we do not live; that we are dead to everything in order to live not from our own life, but only from the Life of Jesus? Does everything we do, think, desire and love call the Living of Jesus within us, so as to make our word, our step, our desire and our thought die completely in Jesus?
O my Jesus, may my death be a continuous death for love of You, and may each death I suffer be a life that I intend to give to all souls.