Friday, October 12, 2007

Exhortation to Contemplate the Passion of Christ

~by St. Bonaventure

Be strong, then, my weak and wretched soul, and rise aloft; on the wings of faith and hope, fly to this garden of love; concentrate the scattered vision of your mind, and follow the zeal of the bee in gathering for yourself the honey of devotion. Rise to the paradise of love--rise, I say, to the heights of the heart; behold, the One you seek has been lifted up.

But have no fear: being exalted, He was humbled. For He was not lifted up on the cross to show Himself less accessible to those who seek Him, but in very truth to make Himself more accessible to all. And as you approach this paradise with trusting heart, feel the love of the Crucified expressed by the open arms, feel the embrace of Him who offers Himself to you and calls you, and who, wondrously combining misery with mercy, exclaims: "Turn, turn, O Sulamite, turn, turn, that we may look at you." Turn away from your evil will, from your evil deeds, from your obstinacy and despair; turn back to Me, for you have turned away from Me. Let Me look upon you with the eyes of grace wherewith I looked upon the sinful woman and upon the thief.

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