Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sorrowful Mysteries 5 - The Carrying of the Cross

Having suffered in mind, body and emotions, Our Lord now receives the burden of the Cross. It is probably not presumptious to wonder about the the thoughts and feelings that He experiences as he is forced to carry the very instrument upon which He will shortly be tortured to death. Here all the aspects of His suffering come together, He must again feel the fear of what is to come, take the weight of the rough wood upon the unhealed stripes on His back, and endure tthe further taunts of the crowd as He trudges the road to Calvary. It is little wonder then that He is described the 'Man of Sorrows' and hardly recogniseable as the leader fondly welcomed into Jerusalem a few days previously. As we shall see in the final Sorrowful Mystery, His humanity, with all the frailty and weakness of mankind shows to the fore, and overshadow His divinity in the sight of onlookers - His Godhead must feel far and remote.

As He walks towards His place of execution, He stumbles and falls several times; the help of a bystander is enlisted lest He die before He gets there; and yet, He continues to get up and walk again, inexorably towards His fate.

In the light of this scene, it is perhaps shocking to us that He demands that we, too, take up our crosses and suffer for His sake, stating that unless we do so we are unworthy of Him.

Crosses come to us in many forms: sickness, persecution, stress, bereavement, our own passions, sexuality and pride, our greed and envy, fuelled by the propaganda of the world, temptation to despair at the state of humanity... the list could go on and on. I recall Michael Voris remarking in his talk in London a couple of years back that the one prayer sure to be answered, and answered promptly is praying for a cross.

Having received our crosses we, like Jesus, tend to stumble and fall under the weight: we lapse back into sin despite our best intentions and the 'firm ourpose of amendment' we express when we confess; we easily fall back into complacency and fail to put our best efforts into confronting the challenges that we face in life.

We can, however, take comfort that Our Lord understands this - He has shared our humanity and knows its frailties. What he asks is not that we do not fall under the crosses we are sent, but rather that, like Him, we hold on to them, get up again and continue to walk towards the fate He has planned for us. In that way, just as His Resurrection followed His death, so will our ultimate salvation, joy and resurrection follow from our sufferings.

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especailly those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Well done, Matthaeus.

    With great respect, if our new Pontiff (soon to be elected) gives Spiritual Addresses similar to this Post of yours, then we will have an excellent Pope.

    Thank you for this Series.

    in Domino


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