Come then, O my soul, and set thy Lord and Saviour before the eyes of thy heart.

Imagine that thou seest Jesus, the Bridegroom and delight of thy soul, standing before thee.

Imagine Him so pitiably crimsoned with blood, and mangled with wounds, and disfigured, and heart-broken.

Imagine Him suffering these things in order to espouse thee in thy foulness as His bride, and to cleanse, heal, and adorn thee, and to free thee from all thy debt.

How canst thou suffer to see the Beloved of thy heart so miserably treated?

Wilt thou not desire with thy whole heart to be utterly dissolved in tears, in order to wash the all-wounded Body of thy Beloved, and to cleanse it from all its disfigurement?

O happy thou, if all the marrow of thy bones, and thy very heart’s blood, could be distilled in ointment so as to anoint all thy Bridegroom’s wounds!

Oh! that thy heart itself might be melted in the fire of love, and be changed into grateful food for the sweetening of the mouth of thy Beloved, which hath been made so bitter by the vinegar and gall.

And although thou canst do none of these things in reality, yet in desire thou wilt do them, and that is enough for thy Beloved, Who weigheth thy heart rather than thy deeds.

Wherefore, when thou hast thus washed and anointed thy Bridegroom, lay Him to rest with great devotion and reverence on the sweet bosom of God His Father, as on the most pleasant bed that thou canst think of.

Place His worshipful Head, which has been so cruelly punctured by sharp thorns, and which hung so long upon the Cross without anything to rest upon, on the tender breast of God, as on the softest pillow that thou canst find, that He may take His rest.

John Tauler (c.1300-1361): Meditations on the Life and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 33.