The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery – THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS

It was Roman law that condemned criminals had to carry their own cross to the place of crucifixion. In Our Lord’s case, this was a special cruelty because of His extremely weak condition.

As He staggered along on the way of the cross, He verified the prediction of the prophet: We have seen Him and there was no beauty in Him; He was contemptible and the least of men. He chose in His incomprehensible love and humility actually to look the part of a bedraggled, beaten, dying criminal suffering the penalty of his crimes. Only it was not His crimes but ours that He was carrying with the cross. And in doing so He was giving the in­spiration to carry our own cross with patience;­ and resignation.

“Jesus, carrying my cross for me, help me to carry mine with Thee!”

His meeting with His holy Mother must have been heart-rending for them both. The sight of a loved one suffering is harder than to suffer oneself. What was the consolation they could give each other? No human consolation, surely; only the conviction they shared that this was God’s holy Will for them both, and the hope that in losing each other they would find us poor sinners converted and returned to their love.

“]esus and Mary, separated for love of us, grant that we may never be separated from you!

In His meeting with “the daughters of Jeru­salem” Our Lord revealed His divine suprem­acy over suffering. These , good women were giving vent to their compassion for His sad state and it would have been easy for anyone else to let his thoughts be filled more than ever with his own sufferings. Instead, Our Lord’s generous Heart was moved to think not of His own fate, but of the trouble to come upon the women themselves. “Weep not for Me, but for yourselves!”

Jesus, ever thinking of me, let me think less of myself and more of Thee; let me pity myself less, and learn to pity Thee, and grow to love Thee ever more and more!