Big Pharm Trumps The Holy Cross
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Pain and suffering are two of the many consequences of Original Sin and of our own Actual Sins. It is only the true Faith, the Catholic Faith, that teaches men the truth about pain and suffering, exhorting them to recognize that each of must suffer on account of the vestigial after-effects of Original Sin in the world and on account of our own personal sins.
The Catholic Faith alone teaches men that they must see in suffering and pain and humiliation and rejection and calumny and ridicule and ostracism and poverty and ill-health the path of our sanctification and salvation.
The Catholic Faith alone provides men with the means to accept with joy and with gratitude each of the sufferings that come our way. She alone has the graces, won for us by the shedding of every single drop of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, to equip men to carry their crosses with equanimity as they seek to make reparation for their sins and those of the whole world as the consecrated slaves of the Divine Redeemer through His Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
Catholics understand that nothing we suffer in this mortal, passing vale of tears that is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and that caused His Most Blessed Mother to suffer as those Seven Swords of Sorrow were pierced through and through her Immaculate Heart. Catholics know that they have no reason to complain or grumble about anything that happens to them in this life. They have only to accept the adorable will of God as He manifests it for them in their lives, accepting suffering and pain and rejection as the means by which they can save their souls and give honor and glory to Him as they are conformed more perfectly with the patience and obedience exhibited by His only begotten Son on the wood of the Holy Cross.
While there are times when intense, debilitating and/or physically incapacitating pain can be relieved by various types of over-the-counter analgesics or prescription medications, we are not to expect that we can live our lives without enduring our share of pain. We are also to understand and to accept the fact that the we will suffer more and more pain, both emotional and physical, as we grow closer and closer to God through Mary Immaculate as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through His true Church.
Many saints prayed to suffer for love of Our Lord and the souls for whom He shed His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross, being willing to take up themselves various penances to make reparation for the sins of others just as Our Lord took our own sins upon Himself as He suffered and died for us to make atonement for those sins. Other saints prayed specifically for the gift of martyrdom so that they could make expiation for their own sins by a perfect act of self-immolating love for the Most Blessed Trinity and thus go straight to Heaven after their deaths. Catholics embrace suffering as the path of their salvation.
Although, as noted just before, it is licit to seek to relieve various types of physical aches and pains by the use of various palliatives, it is not licit to seek to anesthetize emotional pain by the use and/or abuse of prescription medications, whether obtained legally or illegally. No one of us suffers anything within the depths of our souls that can match what Our Lord endured in His Agony in the Garden. No one of us suffers anything within the depths of our souls that can match what Our Lady endured as she suffered a true martyrdom of her spirit as she stood so valiantly at the foot of her Divine Son's Holy Cross. The graces won for us by Our Lord and that flow into our souls through Our Lady's loving hands are sufficient for us to embrace with love each one of the crosses that we are asked to bear. We are never to have recourse to the devil's tools of "Big Pharm" to pollute our bodies and our minds in order to avoid emotional pain and therefore waste moments of suffering sent to us to help us make reparation for our sins and those of the world world.
Sadly, it is the case time and time again in our world based upon false, naturalistic, anti-Incarnational, religiously indifferentist and semi-Pelagian principles that men and women up and down the social divide, especially the rich and the famous who have access to a ready supply of "uppers" and "downers" to adjust their "moods" at various points of a day, resort to "Big Pharm" to "take the pain away." It is sometimes the case that the veritable cocktails of drugs used by those who do not understand or accept that suffering is the path to salvation result in sudden and most unprovided for deaths. That high-living freak shows such as Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, was once married to Presley's daughter, died after years of abusing their bodies by means of various pharmaceutical products so as to soothe their tortured souls should surprise no one.
Professional victimologists, such as the not-so-"reverend" Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr., are trying to pin the blame for Michael Jackson's death three days ago on the cardiologist who was with poor, poor man at the time he collapsed and died at his recent home in the Los Angeles, California, area. The truth is, however, that Michael Jackson is responsible for Michael Jackson's death. He chose to hire the doctors who would prescribe the pharmaceutical products he wanted to anesthetize his emotional pain over the years. Michael Jackson, a man who was absolutely bereft of any knowledge of First and Last Things and whose "talent," such as many people believe it to have been, was never used to give honor and glory to the Most Holy Trinity or to advance the sanctification and salvation of souls, starting with his own.
Despite the fact the walking freak show known as Michael Jackson never used his "talent" for the honor and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, the late "pop star" has been praised by the editor of L'Osservatore Del Naturalista (known more commonly as L'Osservatore Romano) as ranking with
"Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and John Lennon" as "never die in the imagination of their fans" (see Vatican-paper-hails-Jackson). As Janis Joplin, Jim Hendrix, Jim Morrison and John Lennon each did the devil's work and each had bad, violent deaths outside of the Catholic Church, it is quite a telling commentary that an editor of the conciliar Vatican's semi-official newspaper would talk about the "immortality" of these little demons in the "imagination of their fans" rather than exhorting Catholics to expunge all memory of their work from their minds as they destroy all of their records and tapes and compact discs and videotapes and digital video discs in their possession without delay.
Michael Jackson, like so many ordinary Americans who don't dye the skin on their faces and engage in bizarre, self-destructive behavior, was a product of a naturalistic society where it is considered to be "natural" and "normal" to be totally self-absorbed in one's own "pain" so that it is considered "necessary" to drink alcoholic beverages to excess and/or to take various pharmaceutical products, whether obtained legally or illegally, to get up in the morning and to have the "energy" to do one's work during the day and to feel "happy" and "pain-free" at all other times before taking some kind of pill to get one to sleep at night. Michael Jackson, who had an immortal soul made in the image and likeness of God that was redeemed by the shedding of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross, was yet another victim of the sad, sick, perverted world created by Martin Luther's diabolical revolution against the Divine Plan that God Himself instituted to effect man's return to Him through the Catholic Church.
This sick, perverted world created by Luther's revolt against the Catholic Church has wound up convincing non-Catholics and Catholics alike that there is "no purpose" to human suffering, which is why even the pain from the mildest headache must be alleviated immediately and why any kind of permanent discomfort must be treated with a variety over-the-counter and/or prescription pharmaceuticals. This naturalistic, sentimentally-based aversion to pain and suffering, rooted in Luther's belief that one is "saved" by making his "profession of faith" in the Name of Our Saviour Jesus Christ without having to work out one's salvation in fear and in trembling as one seeks to make reparation for one's sins and those of the whole world, leads many people to conclude that it is morally licit to starve and dehydrate brain-damaged human beings death, that it morally licit to use increasingly higher doses of morphine in a hospice or a hospital to expedite the death, by heart failure, of a terminally ill patient, that is an act of "compassion" to kill an innocent preborn baby who has been diagnosed in utero with some kind of malady that would cause him to suffer throughout his life.
As I used to explain to my college students when I exploded the various shibboleths and slogans used by pro-aborts to justify the chemical and surgical execution of the innocent preborn under cover of the civil law:
"Which one of you can tell an expectant mother that her baby will be perfectly happy throughout the course of his life?
"Which one of you can tell an expectant mother that her baby will never get ill, will never experience pain of any kind, will never break a limb, will never be ridiculed by his siblings or peers, will never be rejected in friendship or in love, will never fail an examination, will never lose a job, will never suffer from economic distress?
"Which one of you can tell an expectant mother that her child will never die or know the sufferings of old age prior to death if it is God's Holy Will or them to live a long life?
"Each of us comes into life with spiritual deformity, Original Sin. Each one of our Actual Sins deforms our souls all the more, darkening our intellects and weakening our wills. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became Man in His Most Blessed Mother's Virginal and Immaculate Womb to remedy these deformities, to make it possible for us to make reparation for our sins so that our souls would be as white as wool.
"Those who are born with physical or mental deformities are given to us by Our Lord to see His very image within them as we seek to serve them as we would serve Him in the very Flesh. Those who suffer are given to us to be occasions of grace for us so that we can go out of ourselves and to perform for them the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Far being something to flee, suffering is a great gift of the merciful, loving God to permit us an opportunity to make reparation for our sins as we conform our hearts to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
"Nothing you or I can ever suffer is the equal of what we caused these twin Hearts of matchless love to suffer during the events of Our Divine Redeemer's Passion Death. Embrace suffering with joy and gratitude. It is the path to your salvation as a member of the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order."
Can you see why I am no longer employed as a college professor of political science? (Yes, I am still sending out applications now and again, still getting rejected time and time again. I am still making the effort to find full-time employment, especially since non-tax-deductible financial gifts to support the work of this site have become most minimal. Blessed be the adorable will of God. All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!)
As noted before, even many Catholics today, imbued with the ethos of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service that rejects "outward signs of penance" as "belonging to another era in the history of the Church (see Paragraph 15 of the General Instruction to the Roman Missal), have attitudes about pain and suffering that are indistinguishable from those of Protestants and Jews and pagans and the neo-barbarians who graduate from America's concentration camps (public schools).
Alas, Americanism served as a "carrier," if you will, of transporting the sentimentality and naturalism of Protestantism and Judeo-Masonry during the decades prior to the advent of the "Second" Vatican Council. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was just as much as a walking pharmaceutical laboratory was were Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, and he may have died from the toxic mix of chemicals flowing through his bloodstream if he had not been assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963:
Vigor was the byword of the Kennedy years. After the wrinkled decorum of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy's America would feature people like him, the kind whose hair waved in the wind as they scrimmaged on the lawn at Hyannis Port, Mass. But for more than a decade now, as biographers have burrowed under the New Frontier, another J.F.K. has come into the picture. That would be the one with a multitude of serious illnesses whose life was a hidden ordeal of pills and injections, the one whose severe chronic back pain led him eventually to find relief in amphetamine shots from Max Jacobson, the celebrity physician later known as Dr. Feelgood. "I don't care if it's horse [water]," Kennedy is reported to have told his disapproving brother Bobby. "It works."
Now enter Robert Dallek, a well-known historian of the presidency, bearing another stack of evidence and more bad news. At work on a Kennedy biography, Dallek became the first scholar to examine J.F.K.'s medical records on file at the Kennedy presidential library in Boston. Somewhat to Dallek's surprise, a summation of his discoveries published in the December issue of the Atlantic Monthly has set off a firestorm. It's not news that J.F.K. was in poor health much of the time, but Dallek paints the fullest and most unnerving picture yet of a President in constant pain from degenerative bone disease and heavily medicated. It raises the obvious question of whether voters should have known more about the health of a man who Dallek says often could barely climb a flight of stairs and could not put on his own socks. Dallek describes X rays showing that some of J.F.K.'s vertebrae collapsed while he was still in his 30s. The historian also learned that J.F.K. had nine secret hospital stays during a 2 1/2-year period in the mid-1950s.
"When I read about the hospitalizations, my eyes widened," says Dallek. "We never knew about this." Another revelation was the sheer quantity of medications Kennedy took daily during his presidency. "Steroids for his Addison's disease," Dallek writes, "pain-killers for his back, antispasmodics for his colitis, antibiotics for urinary-tract infections, antihistamines for allergies and, on at least one occasion, an antipsychotic (though only for two days) for a severe mood change that Jackie Kennedy believed had been brought on by the antihistamines." Johnny, we hardly knew ye.
Dallek believes that many of Kennedy's worst difficulties can be traced to the corticosteroids he took, perhaps starting as early as 1937, to relieve his colitis, an ulcerous inflammation of the upper bowel. Their heavy long-term use can promote osteoporosis — progressive bone disintegration. They also suppress the body's immune system, leading to the kind of serious infections Kennedy frequently suffered. But other common side effects are hair that stays thick and dark, plus skin that turns the yellow-gold of a permanent suntan. Another would be intensified [desires to sin against Holy Purity]. All of which suggest that Kennedy's very Kennedy-ness was partly a side effect of his medication.
In 1947 J.F.K., then 30, learned he had Addison's disease, a dysfunction of the adrenal glands that, among other things, regulate blood sugar and the body's response to stress. The treatment? More corticosteroids. In the years that followed, as he rose from Congressman to Senator to presidential hopeful, Kennedy denied rumors of Addison's, some of them passed along to reporters by political opponents like Lyndon Johnson. He finally admitted to it in 1960, more or less, when he issued a statement acknowledging an "adrenal deficiency."
Kennedy's bad back was harder to deny, especially after near-fatal back surgery in 1954, when he was a Senator too much in the public eye to disappear for the eight months he needed to recover. But the back was absorbed into his legend, laid to football injuries and his indisputable heroism during World War II, explanations that merely buffed the chrome of J.F.K.'s image.
Historians have long complained that Kennedy's inner circle has been secretive and worse about his health. While preparing his 1993 book President Kennedy: Profile of Power, Richard Reeves requested access to J.F.K.'s medical records but was refused. He did succeed in interviewing the surgeons who performed the 1954 back operation, as well as Dr. Hans Kraus, who oversaw J.F.K.'s physical therapy in the last months of his presidency. "All of them told me they were asked to destroy certain records," says Reeves. "And they did. (How Sick Was J.F.K.? - TIME)
"Big Pharm" trumps the Holy Cross in our shallow, sick, perverted world of naturalism wrought by Protestantism's revolt against the Social Reign of Christ the King that was institutionalized by the multi-faceted and inter-related forces of Judeo-Masonry. Got a problem? Take a pill. Take lots of pills. Who wants to suffer? The result? Drop dead without the true Sacraments.
As one famous woman, Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren Ford, who was addicted to alcohol and pills wrote, "I liked alcohol. It made me feel warm. And I loved the pills. They took away my tension and my pain."
We have returned to a world that looks very much like the one that existed before Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Incarnation, Nativity, Hidden Years, Public Life and Ministry, and His Passion, Death and Resurrection, a world described by the late Father Edward Leen as one where people lived lives that alternated between pleasure and cruelty:
"Under the reign of Satan men were hard and unfeeling, without pity or tenderness. The one thing they looked up to was the physical power to dominate, and the one thing they feared was the helplessness of poverty. Their life was divided between pleasure and cruelty.... Conversion of heart was for them extremely difficult. What God required on the part of man as a necessary condition of their friendship with Him was to them abhorrent, for the practice of the Christian virtues of submission, humility, and patience would be regarded by them as degrading." (Edward Leen, In the Likeness of Christ.)
Father Leen went on to remind us that it is our lot in this passing, mortal vale of tears to suffer not only the effects of our sins but to suffer from others. After all, didn't we cause Our Lord to suffer once in time? Don't we wound His Mystical Body today? Don't we continue to wound the Immaculate Heart of Mary by means of our sins? Who are we to complain about suffering from others, no less to seek to anesthetize this suffering?
"In other words, it is the law of things as they actually are that we must continually suffer from others; it is the condition of our being that we shall be the victims of others' abuse of their free wills; it belongs to our position that our desires and inclinations should be continually thwarted and that we should be at the mercy of circumstances. And it is our duty to bear that without resentment and without rebellion. To rebel is to assert practically that such things are not our due, that they do not belong to our position. It is to refuse to recognize that we are fallen members of a fallen race. The moment we feel resentment at anything painful that happens to us through the activity of men or things, at that moment we are resentful against God's Providence.
"We are in this really protesting against His eternal determination to create free beings; for these sufferings which we endure are a consequence of the carrying into effect of that free determination. If we expect or look for a mode of existence in which we shall not endure harshness, unkindness, misunderstanding, and injustice, we are actually rebelling against God's Providence, we are claiming a position that does not belong to us as creatures. This is to sin against humility. It is pride."
When did the likes of Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley or Betty Ford, who is still alive at the age of ninety-one, or Rush Limbaugh, who abused pain-killers to such an extent that he lost his hearing for a time, or even John Kennedy ever learn such truths such as those written by the late Father Edward Leen in In the Likeness of Christ? How many Catholics attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism have ever learned such truths?
None of us has any right to complain about our sufferings, no less to seek to escape from them. All we need to do in the midst of suffering and pain, whether physical or emotional or both, is to turn to Our Lady, who suffered as one with her Divine Son as He died in atonement for our sins on the wood of the Holy Cross:
Such were the outward, or rather let us call them the official, occupations of Mary during the first hour upon the Cross. Her inmost occupation, and yet outward also, was that which was above her, overshadowing her in the darkness, and felt more vividly even than if it had been clearly seen,--Jesus hanging upon the Cross! As our guardian angels are ever by our sides, engrossed with a thousand invisible ministries of love, and yet all the while see God, and in that one beatifying sight are utterly immersed, so it was with Mary on Calvary. While she seemed an attentive witness and listener of the men dividing our Lord's garments among them, and of the nailing of the title to the Cross, or appeared to be occupied with the conversion of the thieves, she did all those things, as the saints do things, in ecstasy, with perfect attention and faultless accuracy, and yet far withdrawn into the presence of God and hidden in His light. A whole hour went by. Jesus was silent. His Blood was on fire with pain. His body began to depend from the Cross, as if the nails barely held it. The Blood was trickling down from the wood all the while. He was growing whiter and whiter. Every moment of that agony was an act of communion with the Father. Mysteries, exceeding all mysteries that had ever been on earth, were going on in His Heart, which was alternately contracted and dilated with agony too awful for humanity to bear without miraculous support. It had divine support; but divine consolation was carefully kept apart. The interior of that Heart was clearly disclosed to the Mother's inward eye, and her heart participated in its sufferings. She, too, needed a miracle to prolong her life, and the miracle was worked. But with the same peculiarity. From her, also, all consolation was kept away. And so one hour passed, and grace had created many worlds of sanctity, as the laden minutes went slowly by, one by one, then slower and slower, like the pulses of a clock at midnight when we are ill, beating sensibly slower to reproach us for our impatient listening.
The second hour began. The darkness deepened., and there were fewer persons round the Cross. No diceing now, no disturbance of nailing the title to the Cross. All was as silent as a sanctuary. Then Jesus spoke. It seemed as if he had been holding secret converse with the Father, and He had come to a point when He could keep silence no longer. It sounded as if He had been pleading for sinners, and the Father had said that the sin of His Crucifixion was too great to be forgiven. To our human ears the word has that significance. It certainly came out of some depth, out of something which had been going on before, either His own thoughts, or the intensity of His pain, or a colloquy with the Father. "Father! forgiven them; for they know not what they do!" Beautiful, unending prayer, true of all sins and of all sinners in every time! They know not what they do. No one knows what he does when he sins. It is his very knowledge that the malice of sin is past his comprehension which is a great part of the malice of his sin. Beautiful prayer also, because it discloses the characteristic devotion of our dearest Lord! When He breaks the silence, it is not about His Mother, or the apostles, or a word of comfort that affectionate forlorn Magdalen, whom He loved so fondly. It is for sinners, for the worst of them, for His personal enemies, for those who crucified Him, for those who had been yelling after Him in the streets, and loading Him with the uttermost indignities. It is as if at Nazareth He might seem to love His Mother more than all the world beside, but that now on Calvary, when His agony had brought out the deepest realities and the last disclosures of His Sacred Heart, it was found that His chief devotion was to sinners. Was Mary hurt by this appearance? Was it a fresh dolor that He had not thought first of her? Oh, no! Mary had no self on Calvary. It could not have lived there. Had her heart cried out at the same moment with our Lord's, it would have uttered the same prayer, and in like words would have unburdened itself of that of which it was most full. But the word did draw new floods of sorrow. They very sound of His voice above her in the obscure eclipse melted within her. The marvel of His uncomplaining silence was more pathetic now that He had spoken. Grief seemed to have reached its limits; but it had not. The word threw down the walls, laid a whole world of possible sorrow open to it, and poured the waters over it in an irresistible flood. The well-remembered tone pieced her [Our Lady] like a spear. They very beauty of the word was anguish to her. Is it not often so that deathbed words are harrowing because they are so beautiful, so incomprehensibly full of love? Mary's broken heart enlarged itself, and took in the whole world, and bathed it in tears of love. To her that word was like a creative word. It made the Mother of God Mother of mercy also. Swifter than the passage of light, as that word was uttered, the mercy of Mary had thrown round the globe a mantle of light, beautifying its rough places, and giving lust re in the dark, while incredible sorrow made itself coextensive with her incalculable love.
The words of Jesus on the Cross might almost have been a dolor by themselves. They were all of them more touching in themselves than ny words which ever have been spoken on the earth. The incomparable beauty of our Lord's Soul freights each one of them with itself, and yet how differently? The sweetness of His Divinity is hidden in them, and for ages on ages it has ravished the contemplative souls who loved Him best. If even to ourselves these words are continually giving out new beauties in our meditations, what must they be to the saints, and then, far beyond that, what were they to His Most Blessed Mother? To her, each of them was a theology, a theology enrapturing the heart while it illumined he understanding. She knew they would be His last. Through life they had been but few, and now in less than two hours He will utter seven, which the world will listen to and wonder at until the end of time. To her they were not isolated. They recalled other unforgotten words. There were no forgotten ones. She interpreted them by others, and others again by them, and so they gave out manifold new meanings. Besides which, she saw the interior from which they came, and therefore they were deeper to her. But the growing beauty of Jesus had been consistently a more copious fountain of sorrow all through the Three-and-Thirty Years. It was not likely that law would be abrogated upon Calvary. And was there not something perfectly awful, even to Mary's eye, in the way in which HIs divine beauty was mastering every thing and beginning to shine out in the eclipse? It seemed as if the Godhead were going to lay Itself bare among the very ruins of the Sacred Humanity, as His bones were showing themselves through His flesh. It was unspeakable. Mary lifted up her whole soul to its uttermost height to reach the point of adoration due to Him, and tranquilly acknowledged that it was beyond her power. her adoration sank down into profusest love, and her love condensed under the chill shadow into an intensity of sorrow, which felt its pain intolerably everywhere as the low pulsations of His clear gentle voice ran and undulated through her inmost soul.
The thought which was nearest to our Blessed Saviour's Heart, if we may reverently venture to speak thus of Him, was the glory of His Father. We can hardly doubt that after that, chief among the affections of the created nature which He had condescended to assume, stood the love of His Immaculate Mother. Among His seven words there will be one, a word following His absolution of the thief at Mary's prayer, a double word, both to her and of her. That also shall be like a creative word, creative for Mary, and still more creative for His Church. He spoke out of an unfathomable love, and yet in such mysterious guise as was fitted still more to deepen His Mother's grief. He styles her "Woman," as if He had already put off the filial character. He substitutes John for Himself, and finally appears to transfer to John His own right to call Mary Mother. How many things were there here to overwhelm our Blessed Lady with fresh affliction! She well knew the meaning of the mystery. She understood that by this seeming transfer she had been solemnly installed in her office of the second Eve, the mother of all mankind. She was aware that now Jesus had drawn her still more closely to Himself, had likened her to Himself more than ever, and had more their union more complete. The two relations of Mother and Son were two no longer; they had melted into one. She knew that never had He loved her more than now, and never shown her a more palpable proof of His love, of which, however, no proof was wanting. But each fresh instance of His love was a new sorrow to her; for it called up more love in her, and with more love, as usual, more sorrow. . . .
We have already spoken of the parallel between the Crucifixion and the Annunciation, which is another peculiarity of the fifth dolor. She became our Mother just when she lost Jesus. It was, as it were, a ceremonial conclusion to the Thirty-Three years she had spent with Him in the most intimate communion and at the same time a solemn opening of that life of Mary in the Church to which every baptized soul is a debtor for more blessings than it suspects. In the third dolor He had spoken to her with apparent roughness, as if her office of Mother was now eclipsed by the mission which His Eternal Father had trusted to Him. In this fifth dolor He, as it were, merges her Divine Maternity in a new motherhood of men. Perhaps no two words that he ever spoke to her were more full of mystery than that in the temple, and now this one upon the Cross, or ever caused deeper grief in her soul. They are parallel to each other. With such a love of souls as Mary had, immensely heightened by the events of that very day, the motherhood of sinners brought with it an an enormous accession of grief. The multitudes that were then wandering shepherdless over the wide earth, the ever-increasing multitudes of the prolific ages, all these she received into her heart, with the most supernatural enlightenment as to the malice of sin, the most keen perception of the pitiable case and helpless misery of sinners, the clearest foresight of the successful resistance which their free will would make to grace, and the most profound appreciation of the horrors of their eternal exile amidst the darkness and the flames of punishment. Our Lord's word effected what it said. It made her the Mother of men, therefore, not merely by an outward official proclamation, but in the reality of her heart. He opened up there new fountains of inexhaustible love. He caused her to love men as He loved them, as nearly as her heart could dome to His. He, as it were, multiplied Himself in the souls of sinners millions of millions of times, and gave her love enough for all. And such love! so constant, so burning, so eloquent, so far above all earthly maternal love, both in hopefulness, tenderness, and perseverance! And what was this new love but a new power of sorrow? We cannot rightly understand Mary's sorrow at the Crucifixion under any circumstances, simply because it is above us. But we shall altogether miss of those just conceptions which we may attain to unless we bear in mind that she became our Mother at the foot of the Cross, not merely by a declaration of appointment, but by a veritable creation through the effectual word of God, which at that moment enlarged her broken heart, and fitted it with new and ample affections, causing thereby an immeasurable increase of her pains. It was truly in labor that she travailed with us when we came to birth. The bitterness of Eve's curse environed her spotless and unutterably in that hour of our spiritual nativity.
We must not omit to reckon also among the peculiarities of this dolor that which it shares with the fourth dolor, and in which it stands in such striking contrast to the sixth,--her inability to reach Jesus in order to exercise her maternal offices toward Him. So changeful can sorrow be in the human heart that the very thing which will minister sorrow to her by the fullness of its presence in the Taking down from the Cross is a sorrow to her here by its absence. But they have mourned little, too little for their own good, who have not long since learned to understand this contradiction. It is hard for a mother to keep herself quiet by the deathbed of her son. Grief must be doing some thing. The wants of the sufferer are the luxuries of the mourner. The pillows must be smoothed again, the hair taken out of the eyes, those beads of death wiped from the clammy brow, those bloodless lips perpetually moistened, that white hand gently chafed, that curtain put back to give more air, the weak eyes shielded from the light, the bedclothes pressed out of the way of his difficult breathing. Even when it is plain that the softest touch, the very gentlest of these dear ministries, is fresh pain to the sufferer, the mother's hand can scarcely restrain itself; for her heart is in every finger. To be quite is desolation to her soul. She thinks it is not the sill of the experience of the nurse which dictates her directions, but her hard-heartedness, because she is not that fair boy's mother; and therefore she rebels in her heart against her authority, even if the chances of being cruel do in fact restrain her hands. Surely that foam must be gathered from the mouth, surely that long lock of hair must tease him across his eye and dividing his sight, surely that icy hand should have the blood gently, most gently, brought back again. She forgets that the eye is glazed and sees no more, that the blood has gone to the heart, and even the mother's hand cannot conjure it back again. And so she sits murmuring, her sorrow all condensed in her compulsory stillness. Think, then, what Mary suffered those three long hours beneath the Cross! Was ever deathbed so uneasy, so comfortless, as that rough-hewn wood? Was ever posture more torturing than to hang by nails in the hands, dragging, dragging down as the dead weight of the Body exerted itself more and more? Where was the pillow for His Head? If it strove to rest itself against the Title of the Cross, the crown of thorns drove it back again; if it sank down upon His breast, it could not quite reach it, and its weight drew the Body from the nails. Slow streams of Blood crept about His wounded Body, making Him tremble under their touch with the most painful excitement and uneasiness. His eyes were teased with Blood, liquid or half congealed. His Mouth, quivering with thirst, was also caked with Blood, while His breath seemed less and less to moisten. There was not a limb which was not calling out for the Mother's tender hand, and it might not reach so far. There were multitudes of pains which her touch would have soothed. O mothers! have you a name by which we may call that intolerable longing which Mary had, to smooth that hair, to cleanse those eyes, to moisten those dear lips which had just been speaking such beautiful words, to pillow that blessed Head upon her arm, to ease those throbbing hands and hold up for a while the soles of those crushed and lacerated feet? It was not granted to her; and yet she stood there in tranquility, motionless as a statue, not a statue of indifference, not yet of stupor and amazement, but in that attitude of reverent adoring misery which was becoming to a broken-hearted creature who felt the very arms of the Eternal Father round her, holding her up to live, to love, to suffer, and to be still. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, published originally in England in 1857 under the title of The Dolors of Mary, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 248-252; 264-267.)
How can we even think about sinning again, even venially, my friends? How shallow is our appreciation for the Passion of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in which His Most Blessed Mother participated perfectly and suffered completely in her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. What thoughts must fill our hearts and souls when we assist at Holy Mass this day, Passion Sunday in 2008, and every day for the rest of our lives? The Mass is Calvary! The Mass is the means by which we have any chance to know forgiveness from God and thus to offer to others as He has bestowed it upon us so freely and at such a great cost. Oh, how we must strive to cooperate with the graces won for us on Calvary by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer that flows into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of His Most Blessed Mother, she who is our Mediatrix, our Co-Redemptrix and Advocate. Who are we to hold back forgiveness from anyone when considering what our sins, both great and small, caused the Theandric Person and His Most Blessed Mother to suffer during His Passion and Death?
Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., explained how deeply we must always united ourselves to Our Lord's sufferings:
Christ and His members must be one. They must walk the same road, not only during the liturgical service, when they are lifted up together in the mysteries of the sacrifice, but also in every event of life. Christ welcomed suffering, and accepted it freely; He did not flee the hardships of life. He makes suffering in us, His members, serve the spirit; He uses it as a means of freeing us from the world and all that is temporal and thus raises us from things of his world to the thins that are eternal.
Now, during Passiontide, we must begin to live and treasure pain and suffering. In the cross, in suffering, in or crucifixion with Christ, we shall find salvation. For Him and with Him we should bear all the slight injustices committed against us. For Him we should suffer freely and willingly the unpleasant and disagreeable things that occur to us. But our faith is weak. We flee from from the cross instead of holding it dear, instead of loving it and welcoming it our as Savior did. (Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., The Light of the World, Volume I, B. Herder Book Company, 1954, p. 595.)
The tragedies associated with the deaths of the likes of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson and countless other anonymous souls in this country of naturalism and sentimentality and religious indifferentism and semi-Pelagianism (the heretical belief that we are more or less "self-redemptive" and can stir up "graces" within ourselves to be good and to be holy and to save our souls) is that they lived their lives without ever knowing the beauty of the sufferings from which they fled as they enslaved themselves to the devil's pills manufactured by Big Pharm.
We will be ending the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in but two days before we enter into the month of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, the month of July. May we always trust in the tender mercies of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as we fly unto It through the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that we can embrace suffering with love, knowing that a safe and sure shelter awaits us in the love of these two Hearts if only we persevere until the end in states of Sanctifying Grace as members of the Catholic Church.
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Irenaeus, pray for us.
Saint Zachary, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints