The Mystical Vine
A treatise on the Passion of Our Lord

Saint Bonaventure

Translated from the Latin by a Friar of S.S.F.
Edited by Matthew Dallman




The cruel scourging of our most gentle Lamb, our rose-hued Jesus, constitutes the fifth bloodshedding. What a tremendous amount of that very sacred blood must have dripped from his torn flesh on to the ground through the scourging! Ponder the great cruelty of those raging sinners. Ponder the great rage of those cruel men, who scourged the dear Jesus. Yes, he accepted all this to save us from the scourge. “The ungodly,” he says, “compassed me about and scourged me without a cause.”[1]

“Without a cause” is true enough—unless those miserable and perverse men deemed his good works to be worthy of punishment. If so, it must be said of them that they “held down the truth”[2] in falsehood.

But, as usual, these sufferings have something to teach us. From them we learn to bear our most blessed Father’s chastenings with equanimity, just as our most dear Lord Jesus bore for us so patiently the chastisement he received from those most evil men.

For what scourges would not a man, born to labour, reared in an environment of sin, and deprived of his heavenly heritage, be prepared to undergo, when he sees the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the most loving Jesus, worn down by such severe scourgings—“he who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth”?

“Hear now this, O man, foolish and without understanding,” receive instruction. The temptation to escape from instruction must be resisted, but also “you must lay hold of it, lest your Lord be angry and ye perish in the way’;[3] for he “spared not his own Son,” but delivered hum up to scourging for your sake.

1. Roman Breviary. Palm Sunday respond to the ninth lection, and respond for third lection for Feria IV on a greater Saturday.
2. Rom 1:18.
3. Ps 2:12.


© Akenside Press and Matthew C. Dallman, 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Akenside Press.