The Sufferings of Christ

Prayer is the heart of Christian living - an intimate sharing between Lover and the beloved.
"Our prayers should be delicious and hot victuals that come from the fire of a heart overflowing with love."

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

The Sufferings of Christ

Our Lord suffered from all kinds of people; from kings, governors, judges, courtiers, soldiers, pontiffs, priests, officials of the temple, and lay members; from Jews and Gentiles, from men and women; in fact, from everyone. Even His Blessed Mother's presence added painfully to His sufferings for, as He was dying, He saw her standing at the foot of the cross engulfed in a sea of sorrow.

Moreover, our dear Savior suffered in every members of His body. His head was pierced with a crown of thorns. His hair and beard were torn out; His cheeks were buffeted; His face covered with spittle; His neck and arms bound with cords; His shoulders weighed down and bruised by the weight of the cross. His hands and feet were pierced by the nails, His side and heart opened by a lance; His whole body lacerated by more than five thousand strokes of the scourge, so that His almost fleshless bones became visible.

His most holy soul was grievously tormented because every sin committed by man was an outrage against His Father whom He loved infinitely; because sin was the cause of the damnation of so many souls who would be lost despite His passion and death; and because He had compassion not only for all men in general but for each one in particular, as He knew them all individually.

All these torments were much increased by the length of time they lasted, that is, from the first instant of His conception to the moment of His death, because all the sufferings He was to endure were, in the timeless view of His wisdom, always distinctly present to His mind.

To all these torments we must add the most cruel and the most fearful one, namely His abandonment upon the cross which caused Him to cry out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" . . .

Rupert adds to this that at the Incarnation, the Eternal Father proposed to the Son the saving of the world either by joyful means or by suffering, by acquiring honors or by suffering contempt, by richness or by poverty, by living or by dying. Hence while remaining Himself glorious and triumphant, He could have redeemed men and taken them with Him along a way paved with joys, delights, honors, and riches had He wished to do so. But He chose rather to endure the cross and sufferings in order to give to God His Father greater glory and to men a proof of greater love.

Further, He loved us so much that instead of shortening His sufferings He chose to prolong them and to suffer even more. That is why when He as hanging on the cross, covered with opprobrium and plunged deep in sorrow, as if not suffering enough, He cried out, "I thirst." For what was He thirsting? Saint Laurence Justinian gives us the answer. "His thirst arose from the ardor of His love, from the depth and abundance of His charity. He was thirsting for us, thirsting to give Himself to us and suffer for us."

By St. Louis de Montfort (+ 1716)

Action Item: Sponsor and Adopt Souls

The Church teaches that one of the spiritual works of mercy is "to pray for the living and the dead." May we invite you to sponsor a Beloved? If you have already done so, would you consider 'adopting' another soul, and agree to pray for their repose?

May God bless you abundantly here and in the life to come!