Lent, Easter and the Rosary
by Karen Mahoney
Ice cream, chocolate, and cookies all have something in common.
They’re all things people give up for Lent.
While those small sacrifices are good, attending daily Mass, performing acts of charity or praying the rosary puts more emphasis on enhancing our spiritual life. To prepare for the gift of resurrection, we must show contrition for our sins, mortification for our senses and our souls, and patience and willingness to die to ourselves.
Meditating on the sorrowful mysteries during Lent keeps the image of Christ’s suffering in our minds as we say the Hail Mary prayers. As we pray, our love for Jesus intensifies.
When we recite the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, the first is the “Agony and sweat of blood in the Garden.” The second half, the “sweat of blood,” is often not mentioned, but has tremendous bearing on the remainder of Christ’s Passion.
In extreme fear or apprehension, blood vessels of the skin undergo excessive dilation, and rupture into the sweat glands, causing a blood and sweat mixture to exude. Called haematidrosis, Jesus suffered this condition, which caused the whole surface of his body to be bruised and tender.
After hours of abuse before the high priests and Pontius Pilate, Jesus was stripped of his garments and scourged with a flagrum. This consisted of two leather thongs with sheep bones or pieces of metal in the ends. During his brutal attack, the lashes broke his skin and even tore pieces off.
The crown of thorns was fashioned out of thorn branches called, “Camel Thorn.” The spikes on this bush are one and a half to two inches long and jammed into Jesus’ scalp. As the scalp bleeds profusely, blood would have run into his eyes and onto his beard.
In the fourth sorrowful mystery, Jesus was forced to carry a piece of lumber about six inches side and eight feet long on a sore and bleeding shoulder and back.
Clothes stuck to his wounded flesh were stripped off. His arms stretched out, and roman nails hammered through each wrist and into the wood. The cross was lifted and a final nail hammered through both feet into the wood.
For three hours, he suffered. The severe trauma Jesus suffered caused fluid to gather around his heart, so that when the soldier pierced the right side of his chest, blood and water flowed out.
In his final words, Jesus opened heaven to the thief and all of humanity. He presented his mother to John and to us, and gave himself to his Father in heaven.
The Rosary has changed thousands of lives, why not give it a chance to help yours?