by a Kiss from
Source: THE SCHOOL
OF JESUS CRUCIFIED, Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus,
BOOKS, with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1895
1. OUR Blessed Jesus, after the bloody sweat,
by which He was greatly exhausted, rises from prayer, and with
courage advances to meet Judas, who at the head of a land of armed men
is already approaching the garden, to betray his Master, and deliver
up into the hands of His cruel enemies: "Arise," He says to His
"let us go; behold the traitor is at hand. There is no time for
My soul, what is the source of this courage in Jesus? Prayer. Prayer it
is that has filled His soul with heavenly fortitude, and imbued Him
strength to triumph over every difficulty in the obeying of His
Will. Behold the example which you have to follow. Do you feel any
in overcoming yourself? Do you fear suffering? Do you tremble at the
of penance? Have recourse to prayer, and then say to your timid
heart, "Arise, let us go to combat our enemies. Let us mortify this
let us pardon that injury. Jesus resisted even unto blood in overcoming
His difficulties, it is right that we should follow His example." The
constant you are in the practice of virtue, the more easily will you
temptation, and very speedily all your sadness and sorrow of heart will
be dispelled, if you fortify your soul by prayer.
2. Judas had said to the soldiers, "Whomsoever
I shall kiss, that is He, hold Him fast." Conformably to his agreement,
the traitor draws nigh to Jesus, for the purpose of embracing Him,
Him, throws his arms round His neck, calls Him Master, and imprints
a kiss upon His sacred face. My soul, give one glance at Judas. Of how
many crimes is he not guilty in this single kiss! What execrable
to make use of the sweetest mark of peace and friendship as a signal of
betrayal! What hatred of the blackest die, affectionately to salute
at the very instant of delivering Him up into the hands of His enemies!
How atrocious an insult! To call Him Master for whose blood and for
death he is thirsting! Good God! By what means can Judas have fallen so
low? Judas the Apostle, the familiar friend of Christ, the witness of
miracles, His disciple, His companion at the same board! Ah, into what
excesses may not, and does not a ruling passion lead us! It blinds our
eyes, hardens our hearts, perverts our reason, and finally conducts us
even to the depth of iniquity. If you do not early restrain your
you will surely fall very speedily into the most fearful crimes.
3. There is no trial more painful to a feeling
heart than to be betrayed, and there never has been more frightful
than that of Judas, and yet observe with what meekness and patience
submits to what is a source of such acute sorrow to His tender Heart.
repels not that unnatural monster of ingratitude, but receives him with
humility and sweetness, and embraces him with every demonstration of
most ardent charity. He selects this last moment to bestow upon His
the tenderest additional proofs of unbounded love, and by the interior
movements of His grace and exterior demonstrations of friendship, He
invites, and urges him to repent and be converted. Oh, charity of my
When will you also learn not to resent an offense, and not to be so
toward those who offend you? When will you learn from the example of
to bear patiently any trifling injury?
Jesus answers the traitor who
is making such an assault upon His sacred Person, calls him His friend,
assures him of His love by His encouraging language, and offers him His
pardon and friendship. "Friend," He says, with ineffable sweetness,
"whereto art thou come? Dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss?
Judas is as a deaf man, and persists in his crime. How many times, when
you have been on the point of committing sin, has Jesus most lovingly
you by name, and said to your heart, "Son dost thou betray Me thus?
What harm have I done thee that thou shouldst thus offend Me?" But you
were as a deaf man, and continued in sin. Weep over your ingratitude,
return to Jesus.
Do not flatter yourself that
you love God, if you allow any passion to predominate in your soul.
this day what your predominant passion is; resolve to overcome it at
cost, and to resist all its unjust pretensions. Ask God's pardon for
ingratitude with which you have frequently corresponded so ill with His
loving inspirations, and in time of temptation; or when in danger of
sin, imagine that you hear Jesus saying to you, "Wilt thou betray Me
thus?" and you will never have heart to offend so good a Father.
In the midst of your occupations,
and even of your amusements, you may keep up in your heart a lively
of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. St. Philip Neri used frequently to
several youths to an open spot, where they could recreate their minds
some innocent amusements, which he himself would set on foot; and then
he would retire aside to read or meditate on some point of the Passion
out of a little book which contained the whole history, and which he
accustomed to carry about with him. What is there to prevent you also
retiring at least into the recesses of your heart from time to time, to
bestow one look of love and compassion upon your suffering Jesus?