Eternal Wisdom. -- Thou must not despair. Did I not come into the world for the sake of thee and all sinners, that I might lead thee back to My Father in such beauty, brightness, and purity, as otherwise thou never couldst have acquired?
The Servant. -- O what is that which sounds so sweetly in a dead and outcast soul?
Eternal Wisdom. -- Dost thou not know Me? What! art thou fallen so low, or hast thou lost thy senses, because of thy great trouble, my tender child? And yet it is I, the all-merciful Wisdom, I Who have opened wide the abyss of infinite mercy, which is, however, hidden from all the saints, to receive thee and all penitent hearts. It is I, the sweet Eternal Wisdom, who became wretched and poor that I might guide thee back again to thy dignity. It is I, Who suffered bitter death that I might bring thee again to life. Lo, here I am, pale, bloody, affectionate, as when suspended between thee and the severe judgment of My Father, on the lofty gibbet of the cross. It is I, thy brother. Behold, it is I, thy bridegroom! Everything that thou ever didst against Me will I wholly forget, as though it had never happened, provided only that thou return to Me, and never quit Me more. Wash thyself in My precious blood, lift up thy head, open thy eyes, and be of good cheer. Receive as a token of entire peace and complete expiation My wedding ring on thy hand, receive thy first robe, shoes on thy feet, and the fond name of My bride for ever! Lo, I have garnered thee up with such bitter toil! Therefore, if the whole world were a consuming fire, and there lay in the midst of it a handful of flax, it would not, from its very nature, be so susceptible of the burning flame as the abyss of My mercy is ready to pardon a repentant sinner, and blot out his sins.
The Servant. -- O my Father! O my Brother! O all that can ravish my heart! And wilt Thou still be gracious to my offending soul? O what goodness, what unfathomable compassion! For this will I fall prostrate at Thy feet, O heavenly Father! and thank Thee from the bottom of my heart, and beg of Thee to look on Thy only-begotten Son, whom, out of love Thou gavest to bitter death, and to forget my grievous misdeeds. Remember, heavenly Father, how Thou didst swear of old to Noah, and didst say: I will stretch My bow in the sky; I will look upon it, and it shall be a sign of reconciliation between Me and the earth. O look now upon it, tender Father, how cruelly stretched out it is, so that its bones and ribs can be numbered; look how red, how green, how yellow, love has made it! Look, O heavenly Father, through the hands, the arms, and the feet, so woefully distended, of Thy tender and only-begotten Son. Look at His beautiful body, all rose colour with wounds, and forget Thy anger against me. Remember that Thou art only called the Lord of Mercy, the Father of Mercy, because Thou forgivest. Such is Thy name. To whom did Thou give Thy best-beloved Son? To sinners. Lord, he is mine! Lord, he is ours! This very day will I enclose myself with His bare extended arms in a loving embrace in the bottom of my heart and soul, and living or dead will never more be separated from Him. Therefore, do Him honour to-day in me, and graciously forget that wherein I may have angered Thee. For, methinks it were easier for me to suffer death than ever to anger Thee, my heavenly Father, again. Neither afflictions nor oppressions, neither hell nor purgatory, are such causes of lamentation to my heart, as that I ever should have angered and dishonoured Thee, my Creator, my Lord, my God, my Saviour, the joy and delight of my heart. Oh, if for this I could give voice to my grief of soul, through all the heavens, till my heart should burst into a thousand pieces, how gladly would I do it! And the more entirely Thou forgivest my evil deeds, so much the greater is my sorrow of heart at having been so ungrateful in return for thy great goodness. And Thou, my only consolation, Thou my tender elected one, Eternal Wisdom! how can I ever make Thee a complete and proper return of thanks for having at so dear a rate healed and reconciled with Thy pangs and wounds the breach which all created beings could not have made good? And, therefore, my eternal joy, teach me how to bear Thy wounds and love-marks on my entire body, and how to have them at all times in my keeping, so that all this world, and all the heavenly host, may see that I am grateful for the infinite good which, out of Thy unfathomable goodness alone, Thou hast bestowed on my lost soul.
Eternal Wisdom. -- Thou shouldst give thyself and all that is thine to Me cheerfully, and never take them back. All that is not of absolute necessity to thee shouldst thou leave untouched; then will thy hands be truly nailed to My cross. Thou shouldst cheerfully set about good works and persevere in them; then will thy left foot be made fast. Thy inconstant mind and wandering thoughts shouldst thou make constant and collected in Me; and thus thy right foot will be nailed to My cross. Thy mental and bodily powers must not seek rest in lukewarmness; in the likeness of My arms they should be stretched out in My service. Thy sickly body must often, in honour of my dislocated bones, be wearied out in spiritual exercises, and rendered incapable of fulfilling its own desires. Many an unknown suffering must strain thee to Me on the narrow bed of the cross, by which thou wilt become lovely like Me, and of the colour of blood. The withering away of thy nature must make Me blooming again; thy spontaneous hardships must be to My weary back as a bed; thy resolute resistance to sin must relieve My spirit; thy devout heart must soften My pains, and thy high flaming heart must kindle My fervid heart.
The Servant. -- Now, then, fulfill Thou my good wishes, according to Thy highest praise, and according to Thy very best will; for indeed Thy yoke is sweet, and Thy burthen light: this do all those know who have experienced it, and who were once overladen with the heavy load of sin.