Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Meditation for February 27, The Scourges

A variety of instruments were used in the scourging of slaves: branches of flexible white wood, tendons of oxen, or thongs of leather. For the greatest criminals, the scourges were small cords or chains fastened to an iron handle and tipped with metal hooks which dug into the flesh and tore it to shreds. For Our Lord they used, in addition, thorn branches studded with knots and sharp points.

After this punishment, which some say lasted three-quarters of an hour, Jesus, on being unfastened, collapsed - bathed in His blood. The executioners scornfully poured out upon Him one last volley of abuse.

How strange is this cruel madness which at times takes posses­sion of certain people in a world already filled with suffering of all kinds! What atrocities have been committed during bloody revolutions!

Man, so beautiful as he comes from the Hands of God, is trans­formed by unbridled concupiscence into a voluptuous beast of luxury or a ferocious brute!

Humanity has revolted against the sovereign Majesty. As a consequence, the basest instincts of man will revolt within him and the vilest crimes will result. Our Lord has deigned to take pity on this vile world. He has offered Himself as the innocent victim for its sins. How He has loved us! Did You not know us, Lord?

"Oh, pardon, pardon for so many horrors, for all the blood shed upon the earth, for all tbe cruelties, the ferocities, the persecutions, the atrocities! How mucb love must be expended to atone for all these crimes!"
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

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