4th station

The daily practice of saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet, especially at 3pm, is one that all of us should do. As recommended in The Divine Mercy Chaplet, I was on the fourth day, and that meant meditating on the Fourth Station of the Cross, Jesus Meets His Mother. Think about and reflect on that most sorrowful meeting.

Picture the meeting of Mother and Son. Think about what each must have been feeling. How would we feel if our son or daughter is being tortured, and brutalized, in the way Jesus is. Yet nothing is recorded about that meeting other than the painful glances that were shared. Her heart must have been bursting with sorrow, choking her very breathing, as she witnessed the pain and suffering that her Child was being forced to bear. What woman has ever experienced such sorrow, such agony?

And Jesus, He, too, remained silent. But He knew what His mother was feeling, what she was enduring. The agony that both endured, remained bottled up inside them. To cry out would only make it worse for the other. And so, they suffered in silence. Yet, inside, both felt terrible anguish, terrible grief and sorrow. This meeting of Mother and Son speaks directly to each of us, both as a parent and as a child.

As a parent, we can feel the agony of what Mary was enduring, when we see our children suffering and feel so useless, because we are unable to help them. We wish that their hurt, their sorrow, their confusion would go away; and yet, we are powerless to do anything about it. And, so we pray. We pray for our child’s strength, and their enlightenment. We ask God to help them overcome their pain, their suffering, or even make it go away.

As a child, we know the strain we have placed on our parents, at times. Though we saw their conflict and agony, we persisted in our actions, in our way of life. What was important for us, at that time, was our own satisfaction, our own benefit, our own need. We were unable to even think of what our actions were causing our parents. They would understand!

But you see, that is the irony of the entire situation. Mary and Jesus were suffering, suffering terribly, yet each knew that what was happening was necessary for all of mankind. The horror of the whippings, and beatings, and insults, and pain, all sorts of cruel injustice, all of these were accepted and carried within their aching hearts, because they knew there was a benefit at the end of this. How can there be a good associated with being whipped, tortured, insulted, and ridiculed? Mary was just a woman, but she had faith, a faith that told her that God was present, that He was aware of all that was going on, and that HE PERMITTED THIS FOR A REASON. Because of her believing, and knowing that God is a God of Love, she knows that He has a purpose for even this horrific scene.

It is here, at this juncture, that we, you and I, slowly move away from Mary. Where she sees God’s love, God’s will, we see just the scene. How does this affect me? How does this hurt my son or daughter? How does this break my parents’ heart? We limit our sight to just the action and its’ effects. Our faith in our God doesn’t even come into play. Or, if it does, it is to ask God to make it go away. This is not how God wants us to believe, nor to act. His love for us is so true, so deep; He wants us to feel, to know and to experience His love. Do we really believe that an all-loving God would playfully allow us to be harmed? Every problem, every sickness, every death has a purpose. We may not see now, or even ever, why such evil enters into our lives. But if, like Mary, our focus is on our loving God and not the evil, we will trust that there is a very good reason. We will trust our loving God even in this.

Here are some other Posts that have a similar theme. Click on any one of them:

1) Dark Night, Emptiness, Sadness
2) Mercy Sunday and Trust
3) Dolindo Ruotolo segment 1
4) Dolindo Ruotolo segment 2
5) Dolindo Ruotolo segment 3