13 April 2010

The Path of Life lies open before you

This reflection was written by a Carthusian monk at Nuremberg in the fifteenth-century. It’s evident by the way this is written that this monk’s interior life was well-ordered. May this edifying writing give aid to our interior life as well!

‘Be unto me a house of refuge’ ~ Psalm 30:3.

O Lord Jesus Christ, inexhaustible Fountain of love and of grace, I praise and thank You for the Wound of Your most holy Side, received after Your death; for then, O Saint of saints, was Your right Side so deeply pierced by the soldier's spear, that the point of the iron penetrated through Your Breast even to the midst of Your tender Heart, and from this large Wound began to flow for us the healing stream of Blood and Water which fertilizes the earth and saves the world. O beneficent and wonderful shedding of Blood from the Side of Jesus slumbering on the Cross in the sleep of death for the redemption of the human race! O most pure and sweet stream of Water, coming from our Saviour’s Breast to wash away all our stains!

Moses, in the desert, struck the rock, and there came out a refreshing water intended simply for the use and comfort of the people of Israel and their flocks; but when the fearless soldier Longinus with his sturdy hand struck the Rock with the spear, that is to say, when he cleft the right Side of Christ, there came out, then and evermore, a mysterious fountain of Water and of Blood from which our chaste Mother, the Holy Catholic Church, draws her saving Sacraments. Eve was called the mother of all the living, and was formed from a rib of her husband, Adam. The Holy Church militant is called the Mother of all who are living by faith, and she is formed from the Side of Christ her Spouse.

O great, precious and loving Wound of my Saviour, you are deeper than all the others, and opened so wide that the faithful can enter in! O Wound from which flow unlimited and endless blessings, Wound of the Side inflicted the last, but become nevertheless the most celebrated! Whosoever drinks deeply from the holy and Divine source of this Wound, or takes even a few drops, will forget all his ills, will be set free from the thirst for fleeting and vile pleasures, will be inflamed with the love of eternal and heavenly things, and filled with the unutterable sweetness of the Holy Spirit. Then will flow into his soul ‘a fountain of water springing up into life everlasting’ (Saint John 4:14).

Enter, O my soul, enter into the right Side of Your crucified Lord. Enter through this blessed Wound into the centre of the all-loving Heart of Jesus, pierced through and through out of love for you. Take your rest in the clefts of the Rock sheltered from the tempests of the world. Enter into your God! Covered with herbage and fragrant flowers, the path of Life lies open before you. This is the Way of salvation, the Bridge leading to Heaven.

The Heart of Jesus is the City of refuge in which we are safe from the pursuit of the enemy. It is the City of refuge which defends us from the wrath of an angry Judge. This Heart is the inexhaustible fountain of the Oil of mercy for truly penitent sinners. This Heart is the source of the Divine River springing up in the midst of Paradise to water the surface of the earth, to quench the thirst of the dry and barren human heart, to wash away sin, to extinguish the unholy fires of concupiscence, to regulate the flights of the imagination and to allay the fierceness of anger. Draw near then and take the draught of love from this Fountain of the Saviour, in order that you may no longer live to yourself, but in Him Who was crucified for you. Give your heart to Him, for He has opened His Heart to you. Give not your heart to the world, but to Christ your Lord. Give it not to vain worldly wisdom, but to the eternal Wisdom. Where can you rest more peacefully, dwell more securely, or sleep more sweetly than in the Wounds of Christ crucified for you?

O all-glorious and most amiable Jesus, Creator of the mysterious and invisible world of grace, Guest of loving hearts, crucified Example of souls crushed under the weight of the cross, You Who contain all the riches and all the gifts of Heaven; Jesus our King, Saviour of the faithful, Who has willed that Your Holy Side should be opened by the point of a ruthless lance, I humbly and fervently beseech You to open to me the Doors of Your mercy, and suffer me to enter through the large Wound of Your adorable and most Holy Side, into Your infinitely loving Heart, so that my heart may be united to Your Heart by an indissoluble bond of love. Wound my heart with Your love. Let the soldier's spear penetrate my breast. Let my heart be opened to You alone and closed to the world and the devil. Protect my heart, and arm it against the assaults of its enemies by the sign of Your holy Cross. Amen.