From the Hours of the Passion
Excerpts from the 1 AM Hour
Jesus shoved into the Cedron Stream
My beloved Lord, half asleep, my poor mind follows You. How can I give myself completely to sleep, when I see that everyone leaves You and flees from You? The apostles themselves - fervent Peter, who a short while ago declared his desire to die for you; the beloved disciple whom You let rest upon Your Heart with so much love — all abandon You, and leave You at the mercy of Your cruel enemies!
My Jesus, You are alone! Your most pure eyes look around to see if at least one of those to whom You did good follows you to defend You, and prove his love. And when You see that no one at all has remained faithful to You, Your Heart aches, and You burst into tears. For You suffer more from the abandonment of Your most trusted friends than from all that your enemies inflict on you.
… And my beloved Jesus seems to say to me, “My child, let us weep together for the lot of so many souls consecrated to Me who neglect or desert Me because of the little trials and disappointments of life. Let us weep for so many timid and cowardly souls, who abandon Me for want of courage and trust. Let us weep for so many souls who, finding no profit in Holy things, do not care for Me. Let us weep for so many Priests who preach, say Mass, and confess for love of gain and self-glory - and while they seem to be near Me, always leave Me alone. O My child, how hard this abandonment is for Me. Not only do my eyes weep, but My Heart bleeds. O I pray you to make reparations for My bitter pain by promising never to leave Me alone. ”
Yes, O my Jesus, I promise You this - with the help of Your Grace, and the steadfastness of Your Divine Will.
But, as You weep over the abandonment of Your dear ones, O Jesus, the enemies spare no possible outrage. O My Good Jesus, You are so tightly tied and bound that You cannot take even one step by Yourself. Your enemies trample You and drag You over paths full of rocks and thorns. Every movement that they force you to make You stumble on the rocks and prick Yourself on the thorns. O my Jesus, while they drag You, I see that You leave a trail of Your Precious Blood, and with the golden hair that they tear from Your Head. My Life and my All, permit me to gather Your steps, and bind them to all the steps creatures take to offend You, even at night. Indeed some use the night to offend You even more than the day-light - some with meetings, others with pleasures or theaters, and still others with sacrilegious thefts. My Jesus, I unite with You to make reparations for all these offenses.
O my Jesus, we are now at the Cedron Stream. Now the treacherous Jews push You in, they throw You into the stream, hurling You against a nearby rock so hard that Your Most Precious Blood pours from Your mouth, marking that rock. Then, pulling You down into the depths of that putrid water, they force it into Your ears, Your mouth, and Your nose. O, Unspeakable Love, You are immersed and, as it were, cloaked by that foul, nauseating and frigid water; and in this state, You vividly portray the pitiful state of creatures when they sin. O, how this cloak of filthiness covers them inside and out! How it disgusts Heaven and all who see them, drawing down upon them the Wrath of Divine Justice.
O, Life of my life, could there be greater love? You permit Your enemies to plunge You into this stream to strip us of this cloak of filthiness. In this way, make reparation for the sacrileges and coldness of the souls who receive You sacrilegiously - souls who force You more than the stream - to enter into their hearts, and experience all the nausea of their souls! You even permit these waters to penetrate your inner organs, so that your enemies - fearing that You may drown - pull You out to save You for greater torments, But You are so loathsome that now your touch disgusts them.
My Tender Jesus, now You step out of the stream. My heart cannot bear seeing You bathed in these sickening waters. I see that You tremble from head to foot from the cold. You look around, seeking with Your eyes, what You cannot ask with Your voice, for someone at least to dry You, to clean You, and to warm You - but, all in vain. No one is moved to compassion for You. Your enemies ridicule You and scorn You. Your dear ones have abandoned You; and Your gentle Mother remains far away from You, because the Father has willed it so!
Here I am, my Jesus! Come into my arms. I want to weep until I form a bath for You to wash You, to clean You, and to arrange your tangled hair with my hands. My Love, I want to enclose You in my heart to warm You with the fire of my affections. I want to perfume You with my ardent desires. I want to make reparation for all these offenses, and unite my life to Yours to save all souls. And, I want to offer You my heart as a resting place where You can refresh Yourself from the pains You have suffered up to now. Then, together, we will resume the way of Your Passion.1
Brook of Cedron
The name designates in Holy Writ the ravine on the east of Jerusalem, between the Holy City and the Mount of Olives. The word Cedron is usually connected with the root Qadár, "to be dark", and taken to refer to the colour of the stream or ravine; but its exact origin and precise meaning are really unknown.
The Valley of Cedron begins with a slight depression near the Tombs of the Judges, a mile and a quarter northwest of Jerusalem. It runs first south towards the Holy city, and then turns nearly east, passing to the north of the tombs of the Kings. Next, it bends to the right towards the south, deepening as it follows this general direction between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. Opposite St. Stephen's gate, it is fully 100 feet deep and about 400 feet broad; its bed is shaded by venerable olive-trees and crossed by an old bridge. Below the bridge, the valley presents the first traces of a torrent bed. It narrows gradually and sinks more rapidly leaving to the east the church of the tomb of the Blessed Virgin, and next, Gethsemani…
The Cedron is first mentioned in Holy Scripture in connection with David's flight from Absalom, during which he crossed it [2 Samuel 15:23]; and next, in connection with the prohibition to Semei against his ever crossing it [1 Kings 2:37]. It was at the torrent Cedron that King Asa burnt the filthy idol of his mother [1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16]. It was into it that Ezechias and Josias cast all the impurities which had polluted the House of the Lord (cf. 2 Chronicles 29:16; 30:14; 2 Kings 23:4, 6, 12). The torrent Cedron is last mentioned in the O.T. in Jeremiah 31:40, apparently as part of the common cemetery of Jerusalem…
In the New Testament it is spoken of only once, in connection with Christ's going forth over it to Gethsemani (John 18:1). In the present day it is the desired resting-place of both Jews and Mussulmans, and the supposed scene of Last Judgment.2