On His Most Arduous Cross-Bearing

He who carries all the heavens without pain,
who beckons to the stars and they obey,
is burdened with the heavy yoke of servitude.
God lays the unbearable on him to bear;
he takes the whole world's guilt upon his shoulders.
Ah, now Divinity's high power is revealed
as life-blood that in human weakness
flows when human skill and efforts fail.

Ah, he has taken my cross also with his own.
God's body consecrates all that it touches:
how can so sweet a burden be despised?
Whatever flows from blessing's well must flourish.
He bears not just his own cross, but also me with mine.
The tree of knowledge radiates a love divine.

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On My Most Worthy Saviour’s Crown of Thorns

You, crown of all angels, Heaven's jewel and glory
from whose most worthy head divine rays flash,
you let the crown of thorns pierce the Throne of Majesty.
The tiger-pressure bursts your veins.
Yes, each thorn-prick opens up the spring of life:
blood rubies spray from that redemption-sap.
My heavenly crown hangs on these thorn-tips
won in this war of suffering.

They should have pierced my heart and not his head!
But no, both my salvation and your love
must walk this thorny path to reach their goal.
You endure the barbs, and win for me the roses.
O Love, for whom, with love, I would willingly be pierced,
let me spread your name abroad in crowned and starry streets.

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On My Dearest Jesus’ Painful Scourging

O Body, one with God, earth's greatest sanctuary,
you spirit-filled temple, throne of heavenly virtue,
heart of the Trinity and God's true son!
Must you be scourged by sin and sinners?
You patiently endure the bloody beatings.
Utmost innocence bears punishment for mortal crime:
you endure the pain; I revel in the pleasure.
To redeem me, you submit to mortal danger.

Ah, ah! every lash goes through my heart and soul,
my spirit wrung from me as your blood from you!
Were it not ingratitude and rude affront,
I would refuse redemption, since it makes you suffer.
Yet, because your great love conquers mine,
love's ardour flows like blood within me.

Click here to read this sonnet in the original German.