Voices January 06, 2021
Follow Veronica and Simon in helping Jesus with his cross
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary is the Carrying of the Cross.
A great mystic, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, wrote, “As soon as the cross was thrown on the ground before Him, Jesus fell on His knees, put His arms around it, and kissed it three times while softly uttering a prayer of thanksgiving to His Heavenly Father for the Redemption of mankind now begun ... Pilate’s horsemen were now ready to start, and the trumpet sounded. They jerked Jesus to His feet, and then fell upon His shoulder the whole weight of the cross, of that cross which, according to His own sacred words of Eternal Truth, we must carry after Him. And now that blessed triumphal procession of the King of Kings, so ignominious upon earth, so glorious in the sight of Heaven, began ... Jesus, with the wood of the cross bound on His shoulder, reminded me in a striking manner of Isaac carrying the wood for his own sacrifice on the mountain.”
On Palm Sunday Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. On Good Friday Jesus carried the cross, walking out of Jerusalem to die for us. The cross is the symbol of human suffering. A spiritual writer pointed out that Scripture gives us different ways to understand the mystery of human suffering.
One way is to attribute evil to personal sin; evil on earth is the results of the sin of Adam (Gen 3:16-19).
A second way is the concept of compensation: those who are suffering now will prosper in the time of messianic bounty. Sinners who are enjoying pleasure now will be deprived of good fortune in the future (Lk 6:20-26; 16:19-26).
A third way is to see suffering as educating punishment. In Deuteronomy 4:25-32) we see how God taught the people in a four-phase cycle repeated throughout history: the people were unfaithful, God chastised them through suffering, the people turned to God, God sent them a liberator and brought them peace.
The best solution is to see suffering as expiation. Suffering can become the instrument of salvation. Jesus freely accepted suffering for our salvation, and he invites us to do likewise.
In his letter to the Colossians, St. Paul wrote, “[I] now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the Church.”
We might ask, what are the things that are wanting in Christ’s sufferings? Pope Pius XII pointed out, in regard to the winning of grace for the salvation of mankind, that there is nothing lacking in the sufferings of Christ, but in regard to applying the saving grace to souls, God does demand our co-operation.
These are the things that are wanting: prayer and sacrifice are indispensable in applying the saving grace of Christ to souls. Our Lady herself told the children in Fatima, “Many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and sacrifice for them.”
One of the most important sacrifices we can make is to accept our daily crosses. Suffering can become the instrument of salvation.
On the Way of the Cross, Christ was assisted by Simon and Veronica. Simon helped Jesus by carrying the cross. We participate in the work of redemption by the carrying of daily crosses.
A spiritual writer wrote, “Happy Veronica, whose ready help was not less agreeable to Jesus Christ than that of Simon, though it might have seemed less useful, but He looks only at our intention in all that we do for Him.”
Veronica is a model of reparation. By performing acts of devotion in the spirit of reparation and love, we comfort the Heart of Christ.
St. John Paul II wrote, “When the cross is embraced it becomes a sign of love and of total self-giving. To carry it behind Christ means to be united with him in offering the greatest proof of love.”
玫瑰經痛苦五端的第四端是背負十字架。真福Anne Catherine Emmerich寫道：『當十字架擲在祂面前地上時，耶穌跪在地上，雙手環抱它，三次親吻，輕柔地作禱，感謝祂天上的父親，開始救贖世人…比拉多的馬伕已作好準備，號角也已吹響。他們把耶穌拉來，把整個十字架的重量都放在祂肩膀上。以這十字架，據祂自己永恆真的的聖言說，我們要背著跟隨祂。現在這君王中的君王凱旋的巡遊在世上是何等的恥辱，在天國中是何等的光榮，開始了…耶穌，木十字架背負在肩上，使我想起依撕格背負著要使自己作犧牲的木上山。』