The Side of Jesus Wounded
Source: THE SCHOOL
OF JESUS CRUCIFIED, Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus,
OUR blessed Saviour having expired, a soldier, more cruel and impious than the rest, imaging that He may yet be alive, wounds Him in the side with a lance. Consider:
1. The cruelty displayed towards Jesus on this occasion.
The barbarity of the enemies
of Jesus is not satiated by all the inhuman tortures inflicted upon His
living Body, but, more cruel than death itself, they turn their rage
the sacred Body of their dead Redeemer. A man, however wicked he may
been, is an object of compassion when once he has given his life in
of his crimes. The outrages offered to Jesus alone are endless, the
heaped upon His sacred Person alone are unlimited. Jesus is already
why then open His side with a lance? Why is not the hatred borne Him by
the Jews at last extinguished? Why is their cruelty not yet satiated by
all the sufferings which have been inflicted upon their innocent
Behold how that sharp lance, directed by eager hands, inflicts a deep
upon the breast of Jesus, and pierces through and through His adorable
Heart. Oh, cruel spear! But oh, far more cruel hands that direct it!
frequently have you, O Sinner, not merely crucified Jesus anew by sin,
but persisted in wounding and lacerating His most holy Heart over and
again by your continual offenses! Repeatedly have you thus cruelly and
impiously outraged your loving Redeemer. How many times have you
that wound? Detest your malice, bewail your ingratitude, and cleanse
the stains wherewith your soul is defiled, in that Blood and water
issues from the side of your Redeemer.
Jesus feels no pain from the wound at the moment of its infliction, but He suffered it by anticipation, and by the knowledge He had of the atrocious cruelty of the man who would inflict it; still He willingly accepted this indignity and submitted to so barbarous an outrage. Jesus spares not Himself in any way where the salvation of your soul is concerned, whereas, oh, how ungenerous and niggardly are you in His regard! Ah, such is not the manner in which you should correspond with the infinite love of Jesus, who has deigned to suffer for your sake with so much generosity! >
2. The love displayed by Jesus for us.
The Son of God was not satisfied
with giving us proofs of His love during life, but it was His Will to
us additional proofs of it even after death. It was His Will thereby to
show us that His love was not quenched by death. Therefore He permitted
that His sacred side should be opened with a spear after His death, so
that we might behold His divine Heart pierced for love of us. Thus was
a door opened for us, through which we might enter, and behold the ever
living, ever burning love of the Heart of Jesus, even after death. His
sufferings might deprive Him of life, but not of love, which, like a
fire, burned more brightly and clearly still, when fed with the fuel of
sufferings. Do I desire to increase in love for Jesus, I need but fix
eyes upon Him as He hangs dead on the Cross for love of me, and behold
how His sacred Body has been lacerated and immolated for my sake. Those
wounds which bleed no longer because every vein is emptied of the last
drop of its blood, tell us loudly how great, how excessive, is the love
of God for us, since it has reduced Him to such a condition for our
But why add a fresh wound to the lacerated Body, from which the soul is
already separated? Oh, truly precious wound, inflicted by reason of the
excessive charity of a God, whose desire it is to make known to us how
great, even after death, is His love for man! His Heart is a furnace of
love, which not all the waters of the sea can ever extinguish. Oh, is
anyone to be found, who can contemplate that open side, that tender,
loving Heart, without feeling himself obliged to return love for love?
Enter, my soul, enter into the burning furnace of the tender Heart of
enter it frequently in spirit, and there thy incredible hardness of
will be softened, and thy icy coldness warmed; thou wilt be inflamed
holy love for thy God. Behold the last drop of warm blood issuing from
that sacred Heart, and bathing the soldier who has inflicted the wound!
The scourges had not drawn that last drop, neither had the thorns, or
nails, but now, at last, the spear opens it a passage, and it flows
O surprising and excessive charity of Jesus! Who gives even the last
of His Heart's blood, and gives it for the good of those who inflict
wound upon Him! And are you so fearful of bestowing too much upon
if you bestow all your love upon Him, that you are obliged to share it
with a thousand vain objects? Permit me, O my Jesus, to kiss Thy
side, and to enter into Thy Divine Heart, where thou mayest destroy my
malice in the flames of its charity, transform me totally into Thyself,
and fill my soul with Thy Divine love.
From the side of Adam asleep, the Almighty took a rib, of which He formed Eve, the mother of all the living, thereby representing in figure what would be accomplished in the death of Jesus. The death of our Redeemer is but the sleep of the Second Adam, the Repairer of the evils brought upon the world by the first. Therefore, while He is sleeping the sleep of love upon the Cross, His side is pierced by the lance, in order that the Church, His beloved Spouse, the Mother of all the faithful, may come forth from His side, that is to say, from His adorable Heart. Behold of how great a Mother your faith makes you the happy son! She derives her existence from the most pure Heart of a Man-God. Must not your origin be Divine also, since you are the son of such a Mother? What therefore can be more suitable, since you derive your existence from the most loving Heart of Jesus, than that you should return whence you came forth, and should be unable to find true rest or happiness, save in the Heart of your Lord? From that wounded Heart has likewise flowed the water which sanctified you in Baptism, and which has so often cleansed you from your sins in Confession. Comprehend, if possible, the price, the value, the dignity, and merit of holy Baptism, and the excellence of the august title of a Christian, which it bestows upon you. Through it you are born again to a new life of grace, you are put in possession of the precious inheritance of the sons of God, you acquire a right to the eternal inheritance of Heaven, you become one of the people of God, the brother of Jesus Christ, His co-heir, and a member of His mystical Body, the Church. So numerous, therefore, are the favors, so noble the prerogatives, which you derive from the wounded side of Jesus! What gratitude do you feel toward your Divine Redeemer for blessings so great and innumerable? Have you ever even thought of them with the slightest emotions of gratitude? How often have you thanked your Lord for His infinite goodness and mercy? Strange as it may seem, it yet is a fact, that Christians live and die without having perhaps once returned God thanks for so extraordinary a favor as that of being children of the true Church of Jesus Christ, or having even considered the grace of being Christians as any extraordinary favor! Value so great a happiness as it deserves, and be grateful for it to Jesus, through whose wounded Heart it has been bestowed upon you.
Consecrate yourself this day to the love of the sacred Heart of Jesus---the center of all hearts. In all your trials and temptations, take refuge in the side of your Redeemer, endeavoring to make most fervent and lively acts of love for His adorable Heart. Return God thanks every morning and evening, for the singular favor He has bestowed upon you in making you a Christian, and a member of His Church. Glory in being, in appearing, and in professing yourself a Christian on every occasion. Do not disgrace the august and venerable character bestowed upon you in Baptism, by committing sin, or by leading a life unworthy of a Christian.