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Ave Maria Meditations

He is a man of sorrows. He is covered in bruises and stripes. He has made a laughingstock. He is crowned with a crown of thorns. A reed is put into His hand for a scepter, a tattered soldiers cloak is thrown over His naked shoulders. His eyes are blindfolded. His face is covered with filth. He is bound like a dangerous criminal. His own people have chosen a murderer before Him. His friends have forsaken Him. The kiss of treason burns on His cheek.

“He has no comeliness whereby we shall desire Him!”

And He is condemned to death. Behold the Man abiding in mankind! He had put on our humanity. He had covered Himself with our shame, blindfolded His eyes for our blindness, bound Himself with our slavery to self. He is bruised by our falls. He bleeds from our wounds. He sheds our tears. He has made himself weak with our weakness. Faint with our faintheartness. He is going to die our death.

He alone, of all men born, need not have died; but because things are as they are, because we have to pay the price of our sins, and our life on this earth must inevitably be a journey through suffering to death, Christ has chosen to give Himself to everyone who will receive Him, so that each person who will, can tread that road with the feet of Christ, and at the end of it he can, if he wills, die not his own death but Christ’s.

This is why death is the choice of divine love: “Do you think I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once send Me more than 12 legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” (Mt 25:53-54). His bound hands hold back the legions of angels.

“Behold the Man!” 

In Him behold mankind! Yes, and behold in Him yourself.  Each one of us can recognize himself, a sinner, in the disfiguring, the bruising, the ugliness, hiding the beauty of the fairest of the sons and daughters of men. “Behold we have seen Him disfigured and without beauty; His aspect is gone from Him; He has borne our sins and suffered for us; and He was wounded for our iniquities, and by His stripes we are healed.

From the Way of the Cross by Caryll  Houselander


Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Author Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Our Lady found this unworthy lukewarm person and obtained for her the grace to enter the Third Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. May this person spend all eternity in showing her gratitude.

More posts by Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

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