Posts

Showing posts from March, 2018

Fourth Word: My God! My God! Why have You Forsaken Me?

Image
Fourth Word: My God! My God! Why have You Forsaken Me?


The first three words from the pulpit of the Cross were addressed to the three predilections of God: enemies, sinners and saints. The next two words, the fourth and the fifth, betray the sufferings of the God-Man on the Cross. The fourth word symbolizes the sufferings of those abandoned by God; the fifth word the sufferings of God abandoned by man.

When Our Blessed Lord spoke this fourth word from the Cross, darkness covered the earth. It is a common remark that nature is indifferent to our griefs. A nation may be dying of famine, yet the sun starts and plays upon the stricken fields. Brothers may rise up against brother in a war which turns poppy fields into Haceldamas of blood; yet a bird, safe from the fire and shell, chants its little song of peace. Hearts may be broken by the loss of friend; yet a rainbow leaps with joy across the heavens, making a terrible contrast between its smile and the agony it shines upon.But the sun r…

The Third Word: Woman, Behold Your Son

Image
The Third Word: Woman, Behold Your Son

An angel of light went out from the great white Throne of Light and descended over the plains of Esdraelon, past the daughters of the great kingdoms and empires, and came to where a humble virgin of Nazareth knelt in prayer, and said, "Hail, full of grace!" These were not words; they were the Word. "And the Word became flesh." This was the first Annunciation.

Nine months passed and once more an angel from that great white Throne of Light came down to shepherds on Judean hills, teaching them the joy of a "Gloria in excelsis", and bidding them worship Him Whom the world could not contain, a "Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger". Eternity became time, Divinity incarnate, God a man; Omnipotence was discovered in bonds. In the language of Saint Luke, Mary, "brought forth her firstborn Son... and laid Him in a manger." This was the first Nativity.

Then came Nazareth and the carpenter s…

The Second Word - This day you will be with me in paradise

Image
The Second Word - This day you will be with me in paradise
There is a legend to the effect that when, to escape the wrath of Herod, Saint Joseph and the Blessed Virgin were fleeing into Egypt with the Divine Child, they stopped at a desert inn. The Blessed Mother asked the lady of the inn for water in which to bathe the babe. The lady then asked if she might bathe her own child, who was suffering from leprosy, in the same waters in which the Divine Child had been immersed. Immediately upon touching those waters baptized with the Divine Presence, the child became whole. Her child advanced in age and grew to be a thief. He is Dismas, now hanging on the Cross at the right hand of Christ! Whether the memory of the story his mother told him now came back to the thief and made him look kindly on Christ, we dont know.
It might have been that his first meeting with the Saviour was on the day when his heart was filled with compunction on hearing the story of a certain man went down from Jerusa…

The Seven Last Words by Bishop Fulton J.Sheen - A Series

Image
This is a post after a long time, but its not my reflections but the words of Archbishop Fulton Sheen written more than half century ago. It has proved to be an excellent book for spiritual reading, especially during the season of Lent.



Introduction
Three elements conspire in the making of every great message: a pulpit, an audience, and a truth. These three were present in the two most notable messages in the life of Our Blessed Saviour, the first and the last which He delivered to the world. The pulpit of His first message was the mountainside: His audience, unlettered Galileans: His truth, the Beatitudes. The last message He delivered had for its pulpit the Cross: for its audience, scribes and Pharisees who blasphemed, Temple priests who ridiculed, Roman soldiers who gambled, timid disciples who feared, Magdalene who wept, John who loved, and Mary who grieved as only a mother can grieve. Magdalene, John and Mary- penitence, priesthood, and innocence - the three types of souls to be …

The First Word : Father, Forgive them for they know not what they do.

Image
The First Word : Father, Forgive them for they know not what they do.
It seems to be a fact of human psychology that when death approaches, the human heart speaks its words of love to those whom it holds closest and dearest. There is no reason to suspect that it is otherwise in the case of the Heart of hearts. If He spoke in a graduated order to those whom He loved most, then we may expect to find in His first three words the order of His love and affection. His first words went out to enemies: "Father, forgive them,"His second to sinners: "This day you will be with Me in Paradise," and His third to saints: "Woman, behold your son." Enemies, sinners, and saints - such is the order of Divine Love and Thoughtfulness.
The congregation anxiously awaited His first word. The executioners expected Him to cry, for every one pinned on the gibbet of the Cross had done it before Him. Seneca tells us that those who were crucified cursed the day of their birth, the ex…