Bernardino Ochino: Contemplating Jesus on the Cross

Sermon preached in Vinegia on the Saturday after Passion Sunday M.D. XXXIX (1539)

Translated by Patrick Colbourne OFM Cap

Translator’s note:

This translation is based on the introduction, text and footnotes which were published by P. Costanzo Cargnoni OFM Cap. In I Frati Cappuccini: Documenti e testimonianze dell primo secolo, Edizioni Frate Indovino, Perugia, vol III/1, pp.2215-2230. The only additions to the notes made by the translator are references to Francis of Assisi: The Early Documents, edited by Regis Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap., J. A. Wayne Hellmann, O.F.M. and William J. Short O.F.M. Conv., New York City Press, New York, London, Manila, for an English version of quotations from the Writings or Biographies of St Francis.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Castanzo Cargnoni O.F.M. Cap.

In this striking sermon Bernardino Ochino lists a few wrong ways to contemplate Jesus on the cross, such as, for example, by adopting a derisive or superficial attitude, considering it out of curiosity or with angry zeal against the Jews, or with only natural feelings and compassion. He proposes that for the faithful the appropriate method which continues to be more delicately perfected is to contemplate Christ’s Passion with a view to imitating him. We should contemplate it as applicable to ourselves and our sins. We should think about its cause which was God’s love for humanity. We ought to ponder on the continuous martyrdom in the heart of the Sorrowful Mother. Finally, we should contemplate in an awe-inspiring way by considering the mental suffering of the Christ Crucified, which means contemplating the gift of the Saviour’s Passion “with vibrant faith and ardent charity” and thus come to love the Crucified.


5714 I imagine that Joseph and Nicodemus experienced great reverence as they took Christ down from the cross and anointed him with precious aromatic spices.[1] However, Magdalene showed even greater reverence when she wanted to touch the risen Christ in the garden.[2] John the Evangelist showed no less respect when he bowed his head and slept on Christ’s side at the Last Supper.[3] I think that John the Baptist must have had great respect when he was baptising Jesus in the Jordan.[4] The Madonna must have had great respect when she wrapped the Son of God in the bands of cloth.[5] We can recognise how indescribably happy Simeon was when he held the infant Jesus in his arms in the temple. He was so happy that he said: “Lord, according to your word, now you can dismiss your servant in peace.[6] Lord, now happy I would be to die, if you wanted that, because I have seen you and touched him who will save the world and whom I have wanted to see for such a long time.” I also see the same kind of reverence in the Centurion when he realised that Christ regarded him to be worthy for him to come to his house. He said: Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof [7] etc.

If all of these people treated and cared for Christ in the flesh, when he was mortal and capable of suffering, how much more reverence, honour and gratitude should we be obliged to show towards Christ on the wood of the cross. Consider the good news that we have come across this morning as it shows the way and the method of contemplating Christ on the Cross,[8] with a spirit of vibrant faith and ardent charity. I am sure that the Madonna did this more than any other creature. (Pause for a short while in silence.)

5715 The Virgin Mary (remain silent for a while)[9], the holy Virgin who, with vibrant faith, and more perfectly than any other creature, contemplated Christ hanging on the cross with vibrant faith. This is the way that we ought to engage in contemplation.

Note this point: contemplating Christ on the cross is so important and necessary that contemplating this with reverence is more significant than when a priest administers the Sacrament of the Body of Jesus Christ. The reason for this is that when you receive Christ you take him into your spirit, but when the priest administers him, he only touches him with his hands.[10] Because the spirit is nobler than are hands, this kind of reverence is necessary. This is not to say that a priest is not obliged to do everything possible to prepare and make ready to administer this most holy Sacrament. However, if the priest does not compose his spirit and does not have the right intention there will be no Sacrament.

In order to see that the sacrament of Christ on the cross is so precious remember that the end is nobler than the means.[11] This means that seeing as the Sacrament of the Altar has God as its objective; it is much nobler to be in God and in Christ than to regard the sacrament considered simply as a sacrament. To prove this Christ said: do this in remembrance of me.[12] Elsewhere he said: As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.[13] At his death the light of the sun failed [14] so that we would be enlightened. The veil of the Temple was torn,[15] so that our ignorant eyes might be opened; the earth shook, as we tremble with reverence when we see what Christ has done for us, the rocks were split, which represents nothing but the shattering and breaking open of the harshness of our obstinacies; the tombs were opened,[16] so that through Christ the stone of bad conduct might be lifted; the dead were raised[17] just as we rise from sin.

This morning we shall speak about such reverence and how we ought to do practical things which are indeed most useful for sincere Christians. Now blow out a little[18] and we shall begin.

Wrong ways to contemplate Christ on the Cross

5716 The more exalted and grand something is the more dangerous it is. Plato said: “the more exceptionally intelligent people there are in a city or republic, the greater the danger.”[19] It was said of Themistocles, who was a young, intelligent and very active man: “He will be either the salvation or the ruin of the fatherland.” A gentleman of Vinegia who is good and prudent is very beneficial for his city. However, if he is bad and wicked this will be enough to ruin and destroy his nation because of his malevolence if he is not restrained. What you are will have an influence on us.

Whoever does not contemplate Christ on the cross in the correct way but adopts false methods and ways that veer off, not only derives no profit but causes damage. On the other hand, a person who has vigorous faith and ardent charity considers Christ in the flesh with the dynamic eye of his heart and derives much fruit and inestimable delight.

There will be some who consider Christ’s Passion to be foolishness and they are the worldly wise of whom Paul said: We proclaim Christ crucified a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the gentiles.[20] If you ask a worldly wise person to believe the Christ on that cross is God, he will think that this is stupidity.

There are others who are evil preachers and speak to souls of Christ crucified with their lips, but who have no feeling for Christ’s Passion in their hearts.[21] O what kind of false preaching is this?

There are others who contemplate Christ on the cross out of curiosity asking when it took place, how did it take place and why did it take place, etc. This is useless meditation. There are others who have Christ, or a passage from Scripture, or a copy of the Gospel hanging around their neck believing that they will not suffer a bad death.[22] It is futile to think of Christ in this manner because you should have Christ engraved on your heart.

5717 There are others who when they contemplate Christ think of the Jews who arrested and scourged him, of Pilot who passed an unjust sentence, and crucified him among others who were being crucified, with great suffering, so that they burst into so much anger against the Jews that they become like savage dogs. In certain cities I have seen that around the time of Good Friday Jews are not able to leave their homes or they would be killed.[23] This is not a good way to contemplate Christ and indeed you are doing just the opposite. Oh! God died only out of love and we want to do just the opposite by showing hatred. Where we think we are gaining merit we are falling into sin. No, you should not do this![24] I want you to hate the sin of the Jews, but not their bodies. Indeed, I want you to think of them as your neighbours and to ask God to put aside his hardness of heart and enlighten their blindness and gloom.

There are others who want to contemplate Christ with devotion and to arouse themselves to a few tears try or who in their imagination try to place the mother of the son of God before their eyes, being mindful that mothers have a tender and sweet heart with respect to their children. In their minds they image certain conversations, imagining how the Madonna acted. If that person has children and loves them in order to become more aroused, they will consider Christ’s Passion from this perspective. This is neither a good way to contemplate nor is it fruitful.[25]

There are others who contemplate Christ on the cross concentrating exclusively on the sufferings, the crucifixion, the torments, the scourges, the nails in his hands and feet and his open side. Since they are sensual people their sorrow comes from natural love and that is how they feel compassion and cry over the sufferings of Christ. What is happening to them is the same as what happened to the women who were weeping over Christ on his way to Calvary. Christ said to them: Daughters of Jerusalem weep not for me, but for yourselves. [26] Do not weep over me, because I do not need it, but weep over yourselves and your sins. This is not crying out of love or charity but following nature and even sinners can feel this kind of sorrow.

There are many other ways of contemplating Christ on the cross that are neither useful nor meritorious.

[The genuine way to contemplate Christ]

5718 One ought to contemplate Christ in another way, not in Simeon’s arms, nor on Mount Tabor with Peter and the others beholding him transformed, transfigured in his glory, nor with the eyes of the senses, nor with material eyes, but with an active faith that is moulded by charity and with closed eyes in order to be better able to enter into the holy darkness, that learned ignorance to discover that Christ on the cross had no other motive other than charity when he suffered bitter death to redeem the soul. Remember that you need an active faith like the Apostles had. As a proof of this read what Christ said: Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.[27] Oh, you blessed ones, who were the first to have had such faith and been worthy to enjoy my presence. Elsewhere he says: Blessed are those who have not seen but have come to believe.[28] Blessed also are those who although they were not present in the flesh yet believed through having faith in me and in the Father.

[The way of example]

5719 Come, brother, how should we understand this?[29] This is to be understood in two ways that is as an example and as an offering.

St Peter said in his Epistle: Christ suffered for you leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.[30] If we want to contemplate Christ on the cross validly and perfectly we have to follow the example that he set, follow his life and follow in his footsteps etc.

In the first place we have to consider with a watchful and ardent eye how when Christ came from heaven to earth, he never had either a house or a tent during thirty-three years. Foxes have holes, birds of the sir nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.[31] The Son of God did not have a house or tent. He always ate in the home of one friend or another and you know how hard it is to eat in the house of another.

He was born in greatest poverty, abjection and humility. When you are contemplating this with active faith say to him: “my Lord, when I see your humility and inferiority, and how you despise earthly things I want to try to follow your example in being poor in spirit and detached from all earthly affection.”

When I see you wandering around finding it hard at the age of thirty-three, I say: “I want to try to exert myself for your honour for my entire life. How many things I want to undertake! From now on I want to act only out of love for you in everything that I do.”

When I think of how at the Last Supper you gave yourself with so much love as food to nourish our souls, I want to try to nourish myself with virtuous actions. Because I see how after you had eaten you laid out your last will and testament to your Apostles and taught, instructed and enflamed them by what you said, I want to try for whatever time remains for me in the world to act on your example, to recall, admonish, persuade every creature to live in you and recognise your gifts.

5720 When I contemplate you, O Christ, I see you on your knees washing the feet of your Apostles[32] so sweetly and with such humility. You are not only washing the feet of those who love you, but you include Judas who would betray you. Then out of love for you I am prepared to become humble and forget the injuries that I have received.

Oh, when I contemplate you in the garden, I see you so distressed that you said: I am deeply grieved even to death.[33] Then following your example I want to experience the bitterness of the Passion in my heart for my entire life.

I see you once again in prayer, begging the Father three times as you lay in agony, with your precious body shedding blood.[34] Then I want to try from that day on to remain always with this agony and I desire to shed my blood for you.

I then see you arrested and bound by those Jewish dogs.[35] Then following your example I want to bind myself to you, and never be unbound from your will. Then I see you taken to the house of Annas and Caiaphas while being struck repeatedly.[36] Then in order to have a closer experience of your Passion I want to afflict my body with some kind of discipline. I see your face being spat on:[37] well, this says to these noble women to not to want to make their faces more beautiful, but be content with the beauty that God has given them.

I see you not wearing a regal crown, because you have rejected the kingdom, and taught me that your Kingdom is not here, and that they have given you a crown of thorns.[38] Then once again following your example, Christ, I no longer wish to be concerned about rank and temporal ambition, but like you, be crowned with thorns and by so doing, smothering my vainglory.

5721 Then I see you bound to the column and flogged most severely and lead out in front of the people for more insults when they say; Behold the man.[39] Once again, O Lord, following your example, I no longer want to be concerned about how much shame or insult I suffer. Then you go towards Calvary with the cross on your shoulder.[40] Again I want to go with you for the rest of my life. When I fall beneath the cross, I am content, and I promise to carry every cross for you.

When you have arrived on Mont Calvary, I see you attached to the cross, nailed by your hands and feet,[41] I want to firstly put a nail through my left hand washing away whatever blood of the poor was there. Then I want to pierce my right hand so the works of mercy may flow out from what I honestly own, to be given to my neighbour.

I then see you lifted up with much abuse. Then I want to endure all the injuries that I have received. I then see that your love is so great that you ask your Father to forgive those who are crucifying you.[42] Then I promise that following your example I wish to forgive all my enemies and embrace them with charity.

I then see your open side.[43] I wish to open my heart to empty all my sins, especially those that lie within my heart and are hidden. I then see you after you had died, going to take souls out of Limbo and I want to go to Confession and strip my soul of all sin. Christ, you then rose on the third day.[44] With your help I wish to rise from Hell. I then see you send the Holy Spirit upon your disciples.[45] Then I wish to hope that the Holy Spirit will enflame my heart with genuine love for you. I see you go to heaven.[46] I trust that by means of your merits I will come to be with you.

Beloved soul, this is how to contemplate Christ on the cross by taking him as an example and looking at him with active faith in spirit and charity. To do otherwise wound not be meritorious.[47] (Pause for a little.)

[The life of giving]

5722 There is another way of contemplating Christ on the cross which is no less noble than this but more praiseworthy and excellent. When preaching to a large number of people St Peter said about this method: Christ whom you crucified died.[48] When they heard these words they were overcome with alarming fear and said: Brothers, what should we do?[49] What are we to do to cancel this sin? Peter replied: Repent and be baptised.[50] Note something that is very important: because of this word alone, more than three thousand people who attended this sermon were baptised. You should contemplate Christ on the cross for you and within you because the eternal God sent him to suffer death and the Passion, not for his sins but for our sins. Christ was innocent and did not deserve to die. However, because he washed away our sins, we became the reason that he died on the cross.

Your pride forced him to become pitiable in this manner. My sins forced him to spend thirty-three years without having anything of his own. It was because of my sins that at the Last Supper he created food and medicine for my soul. When he was at prayer in the garden, he prayed for me to the Father so that my sins would be forgiven. Because I was bound by the hands of Lucifer, Christ wished to be arrested and bound by the Jews. For the sins that I have committed he wanted to be flogged. Because of my vanity he was spat on in the face. Because of my arrogance Christ wanted to be scourged and crowned with thorns. To extinguish the desire in my inordinate affections, Christ wanted to be stripped naked in front of Caiaphas and Pilate. However, through my bad example I was the one who stripped Christ of many souls. Because of my faint-heartedness my Christ permitted Peter to deny him, and immediately converted him by one glance, in order to let me know that his infinite mercy is much greater than my wickedness.

5723 Because of my great pride he wanted to be displayed shamefully as Christ in front of all the people. Because of my sensuality and worldly pleasures, he wanted to be scourged severely. Because of my great avarice Christ wanted his hands and feet to be nailed, so that I might see his precious blood flowing from everywhere. Because of my vainglory, Christ wanted to be lifted up high and be mocked by all the people. Because of the hatred and anger I have in my heart, Christ was content to open his side. To make amends for what I gulp down my throat, Christ wanted to drink gall and vinegar. Thus, through so many sufferings and so many punishments, Christ still would have wanted to suffer for the benefit of his elect.

Yet, my dead city, you should weep over the Passion not because of him, but because of yourself, since it was our sins that caused his death. Paul put it very well: Experience this in yourself.[51] Think of the Passion as if you were enduring it, since we caused it and are crucifying him every day. This is why he told the children of Jerusalem not to cry.[52] This is what the Prophet said: On account of him all the tribes of the earth will wail, and not wail over him.[53] This means we should cry with Christ who is within us. Therefore, we ought to contemplate Christ because he is on the cross for us and on account of our sins. This is the way to contemplate with faith, hope and charity. Such contemplation will be fruitful for salvation.

O happy souls who delight in wanting to see Christ, in being with Christ, in speaking with Christ, not by saying many Our Fathers; but from the depths of your heart, because of this you will derive much fruit, much enlightenment, much grace, and Christ will teach you many virtues and by way of his humility strip you of pride, licentiousness, avarice; and by bestowing patience free you from anxiety, and by his kindness free you from malice, and by his prudence free you from foolishness, and by his strength free you from laziness, and finally, if you gaze on Christ with genuine faith you will really see him and all his goodness and all the paradises that you could be seeking. Therefore, my city of Vineggia, make Christ on the cross your guide, your refuge, you banner, your protector, your model, your rule, your companion, your wellbeing, your rest, your hope, your defender, your captain, your Lord, your God.[54] Let us pause for a while.

[The third way: meditating of God’s charity as the reason for the Passion]

5724 Do not think that it is sufficient for you to contemplate Christ on the cross, with receiving many strokes of the whip and undergoing many sufferings and dying. This is not enough since even the Jews believe this. Even sinners believe that he died. Something more is required that the two things that I have told you, when I suggested that you contemplate him by imitating him, and that you contemplate his Passion as originating within yourself and being caused by your sins. You ought to look into it more deeply, that is, by considering the reason why God sent his only Son into the world. He had no other reason than the great love that God and Christ had for all of his chosen ones. Did he not wish to see them? Christ tells you: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.[55] God so loved the world that he gave his only Son in whom is all God’s wisdom,[56] all of his power and all of his goodness. He could not have given more than he has done.

Scripture is full of all his charity. Paul said: Out of the great love etc.[57] that he had in his heart for his friends.[58] We could not have experienced more love from Christ than that he gave his body, his soul, his life and heaven. When speaking of his charity towards us and the fruit of the Passion Christ said: And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself,[59] wishing to give the impression that in Christ’s Passion such most ardent charity would be made clear. This would enflame our hearts so much that we would be drawn and driven by his love.

He certainly came among us as one who had assassinated someone on a road in the forest and had hidden the body where nobody knew about it except the emperor. Now the Emperor had an only son and he was accused of the murder and assassination. Because of this he was innocently sentenced to death and led through the city to be put to death when by chance the one who committed the crime saw him being innocently led to die. What do you think that the one who had really committed the crime would say in his heart? I honestly think that such a person, as he recognised that he was the criminal, when he saw the Emperor’s son who was innocent being led away to death, would be very internally upset with remorse at the thought of someone who was innocent was going to die. God caused the same thing to happen to us since we could not make satisfaction for our own sins, he did not spare his own Son. Paul says: He did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for us all.[60]

5725 Certainly he showed great charity. Therefore, we have to follow his example by imitating his charity and have to once more walk the path that he walked. I will give you an example: suppose that there was a woman who had committed every fault in the world and who deserved to be cast out and put in prison and be given the death sentence. Because he loved her very much, when her husband came to Rome secretly, and without her knowledge, he not only asked for the favour of the death penalty being commuted but that he would be made Emperor. When he wrote and told her that he would be coming to Rome and would become Emperor, he told her that there were two possible routes, one that was beautiful and pleasing with good accommodation, but it was quite dangerous. The other one was narrow, thorny and went through forests that were overgrown but very safe. Which of the two roads do you think the woman would select? I would say for certain that as she loved her husband she would say: “If my husband has travelled by the bad road I can also do so, and if that made him tired, I also want to be tired, particularly because this road is safe and not dangerous.”

You ought to do the same. There are many paths to heaven, but I think that the safest one is the one that Christ has pointed out to us as the way of the cross. Everyone ought to be satisfied with his cross since in this life we will always have a cross therefore let it be of greater benefit to our soul to accept the path of God. If we are upset about what we have to wear let us comfort ourselves with Christ who came into the world without any garments. When we are given sickness, let us endure it for the love of God in imitation of our Master Christ on the wood of the cross who was so obedient to the will of God as to never want to do anything but what his eternal Father wanted. If you have an only son and God asks you to let him go you ought to say: “O my Lord, I know that you love me and I am very sure that you should do to him and to me what you please”. Therefore, accept all of the crosses that you have to carry in this life for the love of your Christ. Let us rest for a while.

[The martyrdom of Mary at the foot of the cross]

5726 There is not a creature in the world that has experienced Christ’s Passion more intently than the Madonna. However, this was not as some say when they claim that she shouted and hit out and did other foolish things.[61] No, no. Do not believe that the Mother of God did anything like that because she was most prudent and never ventured beyond what was reasonable. She remained quiet and kept things within herself. And it is said that she treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. [62] She mulled over and digested the mystery of Christ in her heart.

Most certainly believe that she experienced extreme sorrow especially as she knew that her Son had to die but did not know when. This was a crucifixion, a torment that went on continuously after the birth of Christ, since not knowing the time she was constantly expecting it to be the hour.

Beside this, she experienced very great sorrow because she did not know the kind of suffering. I believe that there is no greater suffering in the world that you can imagine that is as rough, as sharp, and as bitter as this as it had to involve her Son’s body. Someone might say: “Oh, the Madonna knew the Scriptures and ought to have been well aware of the time of his death and of the nature and kind of suffering that it involved.” Even if she knew, it was still a very great sorrow because that meant that knowing it involved thirty-three years of sorrow. From the day that he was placed on the cross, I imagine that she had the thorns, the nails, and the lance, as well as all the other torments, continuously in her heart. I imagine that every time she looked at Christ, she experienced so much bitterness of heart that she could not look at him without thinking of the great Passion that he had to suffer.[63]

[Christ’s greatest sorrow]

5727 You may think the same way about Christ who, in agreement with the will of his Father, wanted to redeem the world. This does not mean that he did not experience more pain and more torment than any other Passion could have involved including that of all the other saintly martyrs put together. The saints suffered for their own sins, whereas Christ suffered for the sins of others. On the cross Christ experienced the passion so strongly because his infinite charity was so great that in his body, he endured all the martyrdoms and torments that his chosen ones should have suffered.

On the cross it was also his great sorrow to see all of the hardness of heart and obstinacy of many sinners who, because of their hardness of heart, did not want to be saved. This was the greatest cause of all his pain and suffering. Know for certain that whoever takes a balance and places all the torments and all the scourges that Christ had on the cross and all the martyrdoms that the chosen ones suffered on one side, and on the other side just one mortal sin, that mortal sin would be the cause of more sorrow and torment than all of those martyrdoms. Since his charity is infinite, and he had given his life for us, he would have given his life millions of times more to honour his eternal Father. This was the greatest crucifixion and the greater Passion that Christ experienced on the cross. This is the opinion of doctors who maintain that Christ’s sorrow over the hardheartedness of sinners was so great that had his divinity not been united to his humanity and sustained it he would have died and not lived for thirty-three years. I do not hold this opinion.[64]

[Final exhortation]

5728 My city of Vineggia, I beg of you not to be one of those who are obstinate and do not share in the Passion of the Son of God or who indeed crucify him an infinite number of times every day. Therefore, change your sinful ways. Experience and contemplate the bequest[65] of the Passion with active faith and ardent charity by considering how, because of sin, God punished his innocent Son. Think: if they do this when the wood is green, what will they do when it is dry?[66] If he who was innocent has suffered, think of what will happen to obstinate sinners. Therefore, fall in love with the crucified Christ! Always have his Passion in front of you. Do what the people of Israel did when they had been bitten by snakes and having no other remedy they gazed on the uplifted brazen serpent and were cured of all their sickness by doing so.[67] This will happen to you if you continually contemplate Christ on the cross. He will keep you safe, guard you, give you life, enlighten you, and fill you with heavenly grace. So I beg and exhort you to make this your glory, your path, your truth and your life, so that by doing this, you will be happy and possess heaven in the next life. To whom be the… etc.


Endnotes:

  1. Cf. Jn 19: 40
  2. Cf. Jn 20: 16-17
  3. Cf. Jn 13: 25
  4. Cf. Mt 3: 13-15
  5. Cf. Lk 2: 7
  6. Cf. Lk 2: 28-29
  7. Cf. Mt 8: 8
  8. This is the whole point of the sermon and it is wonderfully exemplified in the Sorrowful Virgin Mary.
  9. Note the expressions within parenthesis. In the Latin text it says “reportatus” to indicate the spontaneous reaction of those who are listening. This is not part of the text of the sermon. Ochino is asking the people to be silent and concentrate on listening to the sermon.
  10. Emphasis on the precedence of the spirit is typical of Ochino and of the spirituality of the Capuchins before the Council of Trent.
  11. Finis est nobilior eis quae sunt ad finem.
  12. Lk 22: 19, 1 Cor 11:24
  13. 1 Cor 11: 28
  14. Lk 23: 49
  15. Mt 27: 31; Mk 15: 38; Lk 23:45
  16. Cf. Mt 27: 51
  17. Cf. Mt 27: 52-53
  18. Before going ahead with the sermon he invites the faithful to blow their noses.
  19. Plato spoke about this in the Republic.
  20. 1 Cor. 1: 23.
  21. Note the critique of rhetorical preachers that were loathed by the early Capuchin evangelical preachers.
  22. This kind of superstition was widespread at the time.
  23. Bernadino Ochino wants the Jews to be respected and condemns the anti-Semitism of Christians.
  24. Deve here, in the text dic.
  25. Ochino is saying that he is not very keen on the product of fantasy, constructs of the imagination or sentimentality.
  26. Lk 23: 28
  27. Lk 10: 23
  28. Jn 20: 29
  29. Imaginary questions and objection are a devise that Ochino used in popular preaching to make sure people were awake and paying attention.
  30. Cf. 1 Pet 2: 21
  31. Cf. Mt 8: 20; Lk 9:58. By mistake the text has a line in parenthesis.
  32. Cf. Jn 13: 5
  33. Mt 26: 38; Mk 14: 34
  34. Lk 22: 39, 44; Mt 26: 36-37; Mk 14: 32-33, 41
  35. Cf. Jn 18: 12
  36. Cf. Jn 18: 12-13, 24
  37. Cf. Mk 27: 30, Mk 15: 19
  38. Cf. Jn 19: 2; 18: 36; Mk 27: 28-29; Mk 15: 17
  39. Cf. Jn 19: 15
  40. Cf. Jn 19: 17
  41. Cf. Jn 19: 18; Mt 27: 33, 35; Mk 15: 22, 24; Lk 23: 33
  42. Cf. Lk 23: 34
  43. Cf. Jn 19: 34
  44. An expression taken from the Creed. Cf. also Acts 2: 31
  45. Cf. Acts 2: 2-3
  46. Cf. Lk 24: 51; Mk 16: 19; Acts 1: 9.
  47. Thus Ochino is meditating on Christ’s Passion along the lines of the Franciscan affective tradition. This is like Bernardino da Montolomo, Girolomo da Molfetta, Bernardino da Balvano, Mattia da Salò and other Capuchins which are treated in the first part of this volume.
  48. Acts 2: 36
  49. Acts 2:37
  50. Acts 2: 38
  51. Phil 2: 3
  52. Cf. Lk 23: 28
  53. Rev 1: 7
  54. Compare this song on the Crucified with the ending of the 1536 Constitutions.
  55. Jn 3: 36
  56. Col 2: 3
  57. Eph 2: 3
  58. Jn 15: 33
  59. Jn 12: 32
  60. Rom 8: 32
  61. Adhering to the Gospel, Ochino is against all poetic or popular dramatisation.
  62. Lk 2: 19
  63. This sketch of the inner feelings of the Sorrowful Virgin is splendid. This is the kind of spirituality that prompted Vittoria Colonna to compose her Pianto sopra la Passione di Cristo (cf. Vol. II, nn. 2050-2055) and that inspired the Pietà of Michelangelo Buonarroti.
  64. Note the topic of Christ’s inner sorrow, his mental suffering which are greater than his bodily sufferings. This topic is developed in the spirituality of Blessed Battista Vrano and also by Ubertino da Casale, St Caterina da Siena and in the Revelationes of the great Medieval mystics and also revisited by Mattia da Salò.
  65. This term was used with respect to “beneficio di Cristo Crocifisso”.
  66. Lk 23: 31
  67. Num 21: 8; Jn 3: 14