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Photo: Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
'How Dreadful Was Jesus' Suffering'
The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
By Chris Sparks (Dec 5, 2014)
Twelfth of a 20-part series on the Mysteries of the Rosary. Next week: The Crowning with Thorns.
He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, knowing pain, like one from whom you turn your face; spurned, and we held Him in no esteem. Yet it was our pain that He bore, our sufferings He endured. We thought of Him as stricken, struck down by God and afflicted, but He was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole; by His wounds we were healed. — Isaiah 53:3-5
Anyone who has seen Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has a sense of the torment of Christ's scourging. But that terrible suffering reflects the gravity of our sins and the depths of Christ's love, said Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC.
"He was taking all of that abuse on Himself to save the world," Fr. Anthony explained. "Sins have consequences. When we sin, we have to make up for it. If we're playing baseball in our yard, break our neighbor's window, and ask for forgiveness, that's fine. But we also have to fix the window."
Yet the full penance that we incur by our sins is beyond anything that we could humanly perform, so Jesus, the God-man and innocent victim, accepts the punishment we deserve to bear, Fr. Anthony said. "He gives us infinite graces if we are just willing to accept what He has done for us and unite our little suffering with His suffering."
Saint Faustina saw visions of the scourging and tells us through her Diary how greatly Christ suffered for souls. "I saw how the Lord Jesus suffered as He was being scourged. Oh, such an inconceivable agony! ... His blood flowed to the ground, and in some places His flesh started to fall off. I saw a few bare bones on His back. The meek Jesus moaned softly and sighed" (188).
She also wrote, "I saw the Lord Jesus tied to a pillar, stripped of His clothes, and the scourging began immediately. I saw four men who took turns at striking the Lord with scourges. My heart almost stopped at the sight of these tortures. The Lord said to me, 'I suffer even greater pain than that which you see.' And Jesus gave me to know for what sins He subjected Himself to the scourging: these are sins of impurity. Oh, how dreadful was Jesus' moral suffering during the scourging!" (Diary, 445).
In the scourging at the pillar, Fr. Gramlich says, "Jesus is becoming a slave, identifying with the people who are just cast aside in life and seen as nothing, not even as human beings, not even as people."
In light of Jesus revealing to St. Faustina that He suffered for our sins of impurity at His scourging, let's seek the intercession of Mary Immaculate for all those who are addicted to pornography or other forms of sexual addiction. May they repent of their sins and receive healing, knowing that "by His wounds we were healed" (Is 53:5).
1. The Annunciation
2. The Visitation
3. The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus
4. The Presentation in the Temple
5. The Finding in the Temple
1. The Baptism of Jesus
2. The Wedding at Cana
3. The Proclamation of the Gospel
4. The Transfiguration
5. The Institution of the Eucharist
1. The Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning with Thorns
4. The Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord Jesus
1. The Resurrection
2. The Ascension
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption
5. The Coronation