The Sufferings Of Our Savior On The Cross

The Sufferings Of Our Savior On The Cross

The soul who frequently meditates upon the Passion of Our Lord obtains abundant grace. By reflecting on His sufferings, we awaken true repentance and a greater love for our Savior within our hearts. This meditation reveals both the suffering of our Savior and the infinite love of God.


The Torments Of The Body

WHAT our Saviour suffered on the Cross not even an Angel of Heaven could adequately describe, for His sufferings were immeasurable. Jesus on the Cross suffered two kinds of torments: tortures of the Body and agonies of the Soul.

The most painful tortures imaginable were inflicted upon the holy Body of Christ; it was submerged in an ocean of suffering. Through the inhuman scourging, His sacred Body was all torn and wounded. Through the brutal Crowning with Thorns, His adorable Head was pierced with numberless wounds. When Jesus was nailed to the Cross, His sacred limbs were violently extended. St. Mechtilde once asked Our Lord which was His greatest suffering on the Cross. Jesus deigned to answer: “Dreadful were the torments I experienced at the crucifixion, but inexpressible were My tortures when My Body was so frightfully distended that all My bones could be numbered. If anyone thanks Me for this suffering, he renders Me as great a service as if he had anointed all My wounds. Whoever thanks Me for the thirst I endured, I accept it from him as if he had quenched My thirst.”

What martyrdom our Divine Saviour endured in His Sacred Body during those three long hours He hung upon the Cross, when every moment was an agony sufficient to cause death! The cruel nails were driven through His sacred hands and feet in the very place where all the nerves and sinews meet. But His torturous thirst was above all human comprehension.

His Anguish Of Soul

Jesus is God. Through Divine assistance He endured all the evils, all the sufferings in His most holy Body and most blessed Soul. Jesus is innocent. For me He hangs on the Cross; through the Cross He reconciles me with the Father and opens Heaven for me. Oh, how I ought to love my Saviour! How I ought to thank Him!

The greatest suffering of His Soul was that He was forsaken by His Heavenly Father. Had God deigned to cast but one compassionate look upon the Soul of Jesus, He would have been comforted. The Soul of Jesus found in God only inexorable rigor and justice. Jesus alone can fully comprehend all the torture His Sacred Humanity endured in His dereliction on the Cross.

What a suffering must it have been for the loving Heart of the Son to see His holy, sinless Mother at the foot of the Cross, her soul overwhelmed in an ocean of grief and compassion; to see her heart pierced by the “sword of sorrow”!

How cruelly bitter was the anguish of His Heart at the thought that His death on the Cross would be suffered in vain for the greater part of mankind, and that many would even curse Him, all of whom He wished to redeem and save!

“Had this sorrow been something material, neither the distance between Heaven and earth, nor the immensity of the universe would be capable of containing it,” writes a soul privileged by God. Alas, we think too little of the sufferings of the Body and the holy Soul of Jesus when we look at the crucifix! What an awful thing sin must be, that the God-Man had to suffer thus to expiate it! Nothing preaches the justice of God more impressively than the bitter Passion and Death of Jesus Christ.

What Does Our Saviour Say To Us from The Cross?

The image of the Crucified shows us not only the justice of God, but also, and even more, His infinite love for man. This Our Lord revealed to St. Gertrude as she one day affectionately held her crucifix and kissed it. “Every time one kisses the crucifix,” said Jesus, “or looks at it with devotion, the eye of God’s mercy is fixed upon his soul. He should then listen within himself to these words of tenderness from Me: ‘Behold how I, for love of thee, hang on the Cross—naked, despised, My whole Body wounded, all My limbs distended. And still My Heart is enkindled with such glowing love for thee, that if it were beneficial for thy salvation and thou couldst not be saved in any other way, I would for thee alone endure all that I suffered for the whole world.’”

Through such meditation man is incited to gratitude, for it is always a great grace when one looks lovingly at an image of the Crucified; while, on the contrary, a disregard for this precious sign of our Redemption would bring sad spiritual losses. Another time, the same Saint, while lovingly contemplating the image of the Crucified, understood that “When anyone, with tender devotion, looks upon this image, Our Lord in turn looks upon him with such merciful compassion that his soul receives a most consoling impression from Divine Love, so that the whole Heavenly Court is filled with joy. The oftener he does this on earth with reverence and love, the greater will be his reward in Heaven.” Is this not a most consoling promise, capable to incite us to look very often with love and devotion upon our Crucified Saviour!

This article is taken from a chapter in Devotion to the Precious Blood by The Benedictine Convent of Clyde which is available from TAN Books

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