The Twenty-third Hour: From 3 to 4 PM
Jesus, Dead, is Pierced by the Thrust of a Lance. The Deposition from the Cross.
My dead Jesus, all nature has sent out a cry of sorrow at Your last Breath, and has cried over Your sorrowful death, recognizing You as its Creator. The Angels, thousands upon thousands, hover around the Cross, and cry over Your death. They adore You as our True God, and accompany You to Limbo, where You go to beatify many souls who have been ardently longing for You for centuries upon centuries. My dead Jesus, I cannot pull myself away from Your Cross, nor can I be satiated of kissing and kissing again Your Most Holy Wounds, which eloquently speak to me of how much You have Loved me. In seeing the horrendous tearings, the depth of Your Wounds, to the point of uncovering Your bones—ah, I feel I am dying! I would like to cry so much over these Wounds as to wash them with my tears. I would like to love You so much as to heal You completely with my love, and restore the natural Beauty of Your unrecognizable Humanity. I would like to open my veins to fill Your empty veins with my blood and call You back to Life.
O my Jesus, what can love not do? Love is life, and with my love I want to give You life; and if mine is not enough, give me Your Love. And with Your Love, I will be able to do anything—yes, I will be able to give life to Your Most Holy Humanity. O my Jesus, even after Your death You want to show me that You Love me, prove Your Love for me, and give me a refuge, a shelter, in Your Sacred Heart. Therefore, pushed by a Supreme Force, to be assured of Your death, a soldier rips Your Heart open with a lance, opening a profound Wound. And You, my Love, shed the last drops of Blood and water contained in Your Enflamed Heart.
Ah, how many things does this Wound, opened by Love, tell me! And if Your mouth is mute, Your Heart speaks to me, and I hear It say, “My child, after I gave everything, I wanted this lance to open a shelter for all souls inside this Heart of Mine. Opened, It will cry out to all, continuously: Come into Me if you want to be saved. In this Heart you will find Sanctity and you will make yourselves saints; you will find relief in afflictions, Strength in weakness, Peace in doubts, company in abandonments. O souls who love Me, if you really want to love Me, come to dwell in this Heart forever. Here you will find True Love in order to Love Me, and ardent Flames for you to be Burned and Consumed completely in Love. Everything is centered in this Heart: here are the Sacraments contained, here My Church, here the Life of My Church and the Life of all souls. In It I also feel the profanations made against My Church, the plots of the enemies, the arrows they send, and My oppressed children— there is no offense that My Heart does not feel. Therefore, My child, may your life be in this Heart—defend Me, repair Me, bring Me everyone into It.”
My Love, if a lance has wounded Your Heart for me, I pray that You too, with Your own Hands, wound my heart, my affections, my desires—all of myself. Let there be nothing in me that is not wounded by Your Love. I unite everything to the harrowing pains of our Dear Mama, who, for the pain of seeing Your Heart being ripped open, falls into a swoon of sorrow and Love; and like a dove, She flies in It to take the first place—to be the First Repairer, the Queen of Your very Heart, the Mediatrix between You and the creatures. I too, with my Mama, want to fly into Your Heart, to hear how She makes reparation to You, and to repeat Her reparations for all the offenses You receive. O my Jesus, in this Wounded Heart of Yours, I will find my Life again; therefore, anything I may be about to do, I will always draw from It. I will no longer give life to my thoughts; but if these want life, I will take Yours. My will will no longer have life; but if it wants life, I will take Your Most Holy Will. My love will no longer have life; if it wants life, I will take Your Love. O my Jesus, all of Your Life is mine—this is Your Will, this is my will.
Jesus is deposed from the Cross
My dead Jesus, I see that Your disciples hasten to depose You from the Cross. Joseph and Nicodemus, who have remained hidden until now, with courage and without fearing anything, now want to give You an honorable burial. And so they take hammers and pincers, to perform the sacred and sad unnailing from the Cross, while Your Pierced Mama stretches out Her Maternal arms to receive You on Her lap.
My Jesus, while they unnail You, I too want to help Your disciples to sustain Your Most Holy Body; and with the nails they remove from You, nail me completely to Yourself. And with Your Holy Mother, I want to adore You and kiss You, and then enclose myself in Your Heart, never to leave again.
Reflections and Practices
After His death, Jesus wanted to be wounded by a lance for Love of us. And we—do we let ourselves be wounded in everything by the Love of Jesus; or do we rather let ourselves be wounded by the love of creatures, by pleasures, and by attachment to ourselves? Also coldness, obscurity and mortifications, both interior and external, are wounds that the Lord makes to the soul. If we do not take them from the Hands of God, we wound ourselves, and our wounds increase passions, weaknesses, self-esteem—in a word, every evil. On the other hand, if we take them as wounds made by Jesus, He will place His Love, His Virtues and His Likeness in these wounds, which will make us deserve His Kisses, His Caresses and all the stratagems of a Divine Love. These wounds will be continuous voices that will call Him and force Him to dwell with us continuously.
O my Jesus, may Your lance be my guard that defends me from any wound of creatures.
Jesus allows Himself to be deposed from the Cross into the arms of His Mama. And we—do we deposit all of our fears, our doubts and our anxieties in the hands of our Mama? Jesus rested on the lap of His Divine Mother. And do we let Jesus rest by casting away our fears and our agitations?
All: My Mama, with Your Maternal hands remove from my heart all that may prevent Jesus from resting in me.