‘Dip it into the sauce of the blood of Christ’

‘If ever anything sad befalls you, or anything grieves you, or if perchance something causes you weariness or bitterness of heart, or sweetness of soul turns insipid, lift up immediately your eyes to your Lord hanging nailed to the Cross. Look upon Him, His head crowned with thorns! Gaze upon the nails, the iron nails which fasten Him to the Cross, and upon the lance piercing His sacred side. In all trying moments, picture and contemplate the wounds in His hands and feet, picture to yourself the wounds in His most blessed head, the wound in His sacred side, the wounds of His whole body. Call to mind that He was wounded for your sake, that he suffered for you and that His sufferings were so great because He loved you beyond compare.

‘Believe me, a glance at such pictures and thought on such sufferings will quickly change your sadness into joy. What was heavy to bear will become light. What causes your weariness will become something to love. The rugged and the difficult will be changed into sweetness and relish, so that soon, with Holy Job, you will begin to exclaim: “The things which before my soul would not touch,” now when I look upon the “anguish” of Christ “are my meats” (Job vi, 7.) It is as though you were to say: The good things which were distasteful to my soul are now become through the passion of Christ, which I realise, sweet and savory.

‘In the Chronicles of the Franciscan Order there is related the following story (Cf. Chronicles xxiv, 3): A certain man being converted and having entered the Order eventually became impatient with the frugality of the Friars. The discipline of the Friary, too, upset him. Once, being very perturbed and lost to all patience on account of these things, he threw himself down before a crucifix. With bitter tears he enumerated the intolerable hardships he was called upon to endure: the burdens of the religious life, the scant and frugal fare, the tastelessness of the food and drink. While he poured forth his grievances, suddenly blood began to ooze from the side of the image of Christ nailed to the cross. As he continued his weeping and wailing, the bleeding image of the crucified Christ spoke to him these words: “When you find your food or drink distasteful, dip it into the sauce of the blood of Christ.”’
-St. Bonaventure, Holiness of Life, Chapter VI: Remembrance of Christ’s Passion

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