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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Reflections on the Sorrowful Mysteries

Earlier today, I visualized a certain transformation that should happen to us as we journey in faith. We begin our journey as sinners whose guilt rightly includes wrongdoing that the Lord atones for in his passion and death. So in meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries, it is our sins that unfold before Jesus, bringing him to tremble at the thought of his impending sacrifice. It is our sins that scourge him, and our hands that hold the scourge that flays and humiliates him in excruciating pain. Our idolatry of power, comfort, wealth and things of the world above right worship of God add to the thorns that adorn his crown, and add to the shameful verbal abuse of crying Ave! Ave Rex Iudaeum! with our hearts somewhere else. It is our sins that weighs down the cross that he resolves to carry through to Calvary anyway. It is our sins that nail him to the cross in a holocaust for our ransom.

But there is a transformation that should take place as we journey. The more we cooperate with grace and allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify us, the more we participate in the passion and death of Christ. Since we are in the Body, that same body that suffered and died for us, then as we are willing, we unite our own sufferings with Christ. We participate in agonizing for souls, making their pain and suffering (due to sin) our own -- a work of compassion. We join our tribulations and persecutions with his, as he foretold we would encounter as his disciples, bearing the scars of scourging on our backs, and humbling thorns on our heads. We carry our daily cross, and bear the burdens of others too, as best we can. Finally, we mortify ourselves, dying to sin, dying to ourselves and concupiscence. And we experience the tremendous grace that the Father sends through the Spirit, because of love. The Sorrowful Mysteries come alive in our lives more and more as we allow them to, and by God's grace and mercy, we slowly switch sides. Rather than the perpetrators whose sins wound Christ, we become participants of Christ's sacrifice, sharing some of the pain and redemptive work of love in our lives, with the hope of thereby sharing in the glorious resurrection one day.

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