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By Dom Cingoranelli, Catholic Stand, March 30, AD2018
Thinking back on my life, reflecting on my past, I feel a deep sense of remorse, especially at this time of the year. I regret the sinful past I lived—those times when I had broken off my relationship with Jesus because of my sins. The nuns and monks who taught me through high school, and my parents who raised me, sincerely tried to pass on the faith to me. However, I was bound and determined to do things my way, not God’s way. I ended up living the way of the world, giving in to the temptations of the flesh and the evil one. But even after coming back to God, I continue to sin. As St. Paul tells us in Romans 7:19, “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.”
My Sins Cause Jesus’ Pain
Reflecting on Christ’s passion and death, it is heartbreaking to think of how many times and ways I have hurt, and continue to hurt, Our Lord through sins of thoughts, words, and deeds. At Gethsemane, He sweats blood over all the sins of humanity, including all of my sins. At the scourging, our sins—my sins—caused him the lashes with the flagellum. The thorns that punctured his scalp and his skull were my sins puncturing His sacred head. Every time He fell under the weight of the cross, it was my sins that he was carrying on His back. My sins drove the nails into his hands and feet. He suffered for three hours in agonizing pain because of my sins.
My Sins Cause Our Blessed Mother’s Pain
All the while, Our Blessed Mother helplessly watched Him suffer the tortures He endured, as well as His horrific death on the cross. He—our Lord and Savior, perfect and sinless in all ways—suffered for each one of us. At the same time, she—the one person who was born sinless and remained sinless all her life—suffered right along with Him. She had to personally suffer each blow He received. She personally suffered the beatings, scourging, thorns, and crucifixion. And I have caused this terrible, unspeakable suffering experienced by the two of them.
I Grieve with Our Blessed Mother
The Thirteenth Station of the Cross is difficult for me to ponder without tears: “…He was taken down from the cross by two of His disciples…and placed in the arms of His afflicted Mother. She received Him with unutterable tenderness and pressed Him close to her bosom.” Our Mother Mary, given to us by Jesus from His cross, holds His battered, bloodied, broken body in her arms. She, the perfect disciple, experiences the loss of her Son in all its totality, as only a mother can. I want to be able to comfort her. Yet I know that I’m part of the reason she suffers so at this time.
From Sins to Sanctification
Jesus willingly accepted His cross from the Father, for me, in spite of my unworthiness. He would have done it just for me if no others existed or needed salvation. Our Mother Mary willingly accepted her role in it all, giving up her only Son for my redemption. They are perfect examples of unconditional love and total surrender to the Father’s will. In spite of my sinfulness, Jesus knows my heart and He forgives me and gives me another chance. Mother Mary still loves me as a son. For this, I am exceedingly grateful.
Jesus, my King, and my Commander, thank You for Your love and for making my salvation possible. I value Your merciful love and forgiveness above all else. Give me the grace to accept and carry my cross as You carried Yours for me. Grant me the grace to fight the battle honorably for You and for Your Greater Glory. I can’t do it without You, but with You, all things are possible.
My Blessed Mother, I am sorry for the pain I’ve caused you and Your Son, Our Lord. Intercede for me that I may discern and follow His will always, imitating your humility and trust in Him. Keep me always under the protective mantle of your love.
By the cross with you to stay
There with you to weep and pray
Is all I ask of you to give