The greatest thirst of Jesus on the Cross was His thirst for souls. He saw then the graces and inspirations He would give me to save souls for Him. In what way shall I correspond and console my Saviour?
COMMENT: Once again, there are so many things that one could meditate on today. The Passion is a rich and inexhaustible source of meditation for us. It has converted many souls and formed great saints. St Teresa of Avila, for instance, lead a relatively mediocre religious life until one day she reflected on an image of Jesus being scourged at the pillar and was deeply transformed by the experience.
Today’s quote from Fr Doyle focuses on the thirst of Jesus on the cross. Reflecting on this thirst has had a powerful effect on many others saints, and specifically on the life and spirituality of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. As Venerable Pope John Paul said at her beatification:
The cry of Jesus on the Cross, “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28), expressing the depth of God’s longing for man, penetrated Mother Teresa’s soul and found fertile soil in her heart. Satiating Jesus’ thirst for love and for souls in union with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, had become the sole aim of Mother Teresa’s existence and the inner force that drew her out of herself and made her “run in haste” across the globe to labour for the salvation and the sanctification of the poorest of the poor.
Certainly it was a physical thirst, after all of the exertions and torture and loss of blood of the preceding several hours. But the thirst was also spiritual in nature. St Josemaria Escriva tells us:
He thirsts for us, for our love, for our souls and for all the souls we ought to be bringing to him, along the way of the Cross which is the way to immortality and heavenly glory.
We shall conclude today with a meditation from a 19th century book entitled “The School of Jesus Crucified” by Fr Ignatius, an Italian Passionist priest.
Besides this corporal thirst, Jesus suffers from another spiritual species of thirst, which I cannot be so easily assuaged.
Jesus thirsts for our eternal salvation, He thirsts for souls. This is the thirst of which he complains, and which is consuming His very life’s Blood. Jesus most passionately desires that the Blood He has shed should benefit mankind by saving them from Hell; and yet He foreknows that there will be many eternally lost, notwithstanding all His love and all His sufferings. Oh, truly does this thirst consume the loving Heart of Jesus, and its sacred heat slowly but surely deprives Him of life!
My soul, reflect now what things thy desires tend to, and what thou dost thirst after. No doubt thou thirstest after worldly goods, after honours, pleasures, comforts, and amusements, but thou thirstest not after thy salvation; thou art not desirous of gaining Heaven, of entering into the possession of that eternal, undying bliss which Jesus has purchased for thee at so dear a rate. Jesus Crucified thirsts in an especial manner after thy salvation and progress in Divine love. If thou hadst been present on Mount Calvary, and hadst heard our Redeemer saying ‘I thirst’ wouldst thou not have relieved His sufferings by giving Him a little water? Know that even at the present moment it is in thy power to relieve His burning thirst. He says to thee from the Cross, ‘My son, I thirst for thy soul.’ Art thou desirous of affording thy Redeemer some solace in His sufferings from thirst? Offer Him thy thoughts by frequent consideration on His goodness and sufferings. Give Him thy heart with all its affections by constant protestations that thou lovest Him above all things, andwill ever love Him in preference to all created objects. Give Him thy soul with all its powers, and often renew thy resolution to work out thy eternal salvation, however much it may cost thee, and hope that thy efforts may be crowned with success, through the merits of His Passion. Thus mayest thou relieve Jesus in His thirst.