Spiritual Crusade – Day 29

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This is day 29 of our 54 day spiritual crusade. We are now praying thanksgiving for the graces received during the first half of our crusade. Please continue to pray with us.

Intention: in thanksgiving for the graces for the protection of unborn children in Ireland and around the world granted in answer to our spiritual crusade

Prayer: Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary

A reflection on the Fifth Sorrowful Mystery – The Crucifixion of Our Lord

“As the soul acts through the body as its instrument,—in a more perfect way, but as intimately, did the Eternal Word of God act through the manhood which He had taken. When He spoke, it was literally God speaking; when He suffered, it was God suffering. Not that the Divine Nature itself could suffer, any more than our soul can see or hear; but, as the soul sees and hears through the organs of the body, so God the Son suffered in that human nature which He had taken to Himself and made His own. And in that nature He did truly suffer; as truly as He framed the worlds through His Almighty power, so through His human nature did He suffer; for when He came on earth, His manhood became as truly and personally His, as His Almighty power had been from everlasting.

“Think of this, all ye light-hearted, and consider whether with this thought you can read the last chapters of the four Gospels without fear and trembling. For instance:

‘When He had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest Thou the high priest so?’

“The words must be said, though I hardly dare say them,—that officer lifted up his hand against God the Son. This is not a figurative way of speaking, or a rhetorical form of words, or a harsh, extreme, and unadvisable statement; it is a literal and simple truth, it is a great Catholic doctrine.

“Now I bid you consider that that Face, so ruthlessly smitten, was the Face of God Himself; the Brows bloody with the thorns, the sacred Body exposed to view and lacerated with the scourge, the Hands nailed to the Cross, and, afterwards, the Side pierced with the spear; it was the Blood, and the sacred Flesh, and the Hands, and the Temples, and the Side, and the Feet of God Himself, which the frenzied multitude then gazed upon. This is so fearful a thought, that when the mind first masters it, surely it will be difficult to think of any thing else; so that, while we think of it, we must pray God to temper it to us, and to give us strength to think of it rightly, lest it be too much for us.

“Yes, we shall all of us, for weal or for woe, one day see that holy Countenance which wicked men struck and dishonoured; we shall see those Hands that were nailed to the cross; that Side which was pierced. We shall see all this; and it will be the sight of the Living God.

“This being the great mystery of Christ’s Cross and Passion, we might with reason suppose, as I have said, that some great thing would result from it. The sufferings and death of the Word Incarnate could not pass away like a dream; they could not be a mere martyrdom, or a mere display or figure of something else, they must have a virtue in them. This we might be sure of, though nothing had been told us about the result. But that result is also revealed: it is this—our reconciliation to God, the expiation of our sins, and our new creation in holiness.

“This is why He ‘humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’ ‘Christ hath redeemed us,’ says the Apostle elsewhere, ‘from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us.’ Again, he says that Christ has ‘made peace by the blood of His cross.’ He has ‘reconciled’ us ‘in the body of His flesh through death, to present us holy and unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight.’ Or, as St. John says, the saints ‘have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ And no one speaks more explicitly on this great mystery than the prophet Isaiah, many hundred years before it was accomplished. ‘Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ [Gal. iii. 13. Col. i. 20-22. Rev. vii. 14. Isa. liii. 4-6.]

  • Bl. John Henry Newman, “The Incarnate Son, a Sufferer and Sacrifice”, Plain and Parochial Sermons, (Vol VI).