LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Point to Ponder - Two O'Clock

Why is He making all this effort ? It is in order to speak to us: Pater, dimitte illis. Yes, may He indeed forgive us, we who are His executioners. But a moment later His body begins to sink down once more . . . and the tetanisation will come on again. And each time that He speaks (we have anyway preserved seven of His words), and each time that He wishes to breathe, it will be necessary for Him to straighten Himself, to get back His breath, holding Himself upright on the nail through His feet. And each movement has its echo, so to speak, in His hands, in inexpressible pain (those median nerves once again!). It is a question of periodical asphyxiation of the poor unfortunate Who is being strangled and then allowed to come back to life, to be choked once more several times over. He can only escape from this asphyxiation for a moment at a time and at the cost of terrible suffering, and by an effort of the will. And this is going to last three hours. O my God, may You be able to die !

I am there at the foot of the cross, with His Mother and John and the women who attended upon Him. The centurion, who had been standing a little apart, is observing the scene with an attention that has already become respectful. Between two attacks of asphyxiation, He draws Himself up and speaks : ‘Son, behold Thy Mother’. Oh, yes, dear Mother, you who adopted us from that day ! - a little later that poor wretch of a thief manages to have the gate of paradise opened for him. But when, O Lord, are You at last going to die ?

I know well that Easter awaits You, and that Your body will not decay as ours do. It is written : Non dabis sanctum tuum videre corruptionem. But, O poor Jesus (forgive a surgeon for these words), all Your wounds are becoming infected; this was certain to happen. I can see clearly how a light-coloured transparent lymph is oozing from them, which collects at the deepest part in a wax-like crust. On the earliest wounds false membranes are forming, which secrete a serum mixed with pus. It is also written : Putruerunt et corrupta sunt cicatrices meæ.

A swarm of horrible flies, of great yellow and blue flies such as one finds in abattoirs and charnel-houses, is whirling the whole time round His body, and they swoop down on the different wounds in order to suck at them and to lay their eggs. They set on His face and cannot be driven away. Fortunately, the sky has during the last moments gone dark, and the sun is hidden; it has suddenly become very cold, and these daughters of Beelzebub have one by one taken their departure.

Dr Pierre Barbet ~ 'The Corporal Passion' from 'A Doctor at Calvary'

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