The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery – THE CRUCIFIXION

The physical agony of the cross consisted not so much in the fact that nails pierced the hands and feet, as that the nails pierced living nerves in the hands, and the criminal was sus­pended by the nails through these nerves. Any one who has had the experience in an accident or in medical or dental treatment of having a living nerve touched ever so lightly can faintly imagine what this torture must have been for Our Lord. Indeed, physicians who have tried to determine the exact cause of Our Lord’s Death trace it to this fact of being suspended by nails or spikes through living nerves. The result, they say, was a series of agonizing muscular spasms, first in the lower arms, then in the upper arms, then the shoulders, the chest; and finally around the heart until He died in a convulsion of agony around His Heart; literally died of pain!

Jesus, dying of pain for me, teach me to suffer patiently for Thee!

The mental sufferings of Our Lord on the cross were even more terrible. “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” was the expression of this mental suffering. On Mount Tabor His Father had said from heaven: “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased!” And the love that breathed in those words was greater than every beat in the heart of a mother bending over the crib of her little child; greater, infinitely greater than the love of all mothers of all time for their little chil­dren.

Yet on Calvary, when Our Lord was laden with the sins of the world, with our sins, and looked up to heaven to that same Father, heav­en was blank; and if He heard a voice, it was the stern relentless voice of divine justice; “For the sins of My people I have struck Him!” Incomprehensible is this mystery of what sin could do even to the relation of love between God the Father and God the Son; but for us it can surely mean:

Jesus, abandoned even by Thy Father for my sins, help me to abandon all sin for Thee!