Does it please you to go through all of My pain and to experience grief with Me?
Then consider the plots against Me and the irreverent price of My innocent blood.
Consider the disciple’s pretended kisses, the crowd’s insults and abuse,
and, even more, the mocking blows and accusing tongues.
Imagine the false witness, Pilate’s cursed judgment, the immense cross pressed on My shoulders and tired back, and My painful steps to a dreadful death.
Study Me from head to foot. I am deserted and lifted high up above My beloved mother.
See My hair clotted with blood, and My head encircled with cruel thorns.
For a stream of blood is pouring down like rain on all sides of My Divine face.
Observe My sunken, sightless eyes and My beaten cheeks.
See My parched tongue that was poisoned with gall. My face is pale with death.
Look at My hands that have been pierced with nails and My drawn-out arms.
See the great wound in My side and the blood streaming from it.
Imagine My pierced feet and blood-stained limbs.
Then bow, and with weeping adore the wood of the cross.
With a humble face, stoop to the earth that is wet with innocent blood.
Sprinkle it with tears, and carry Me and My encouragement in your devoted heart.
Poem on the Passion of the Lord, Lactantius (authorship questioned), from Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, 1999 Hendrickson Publishers