The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Crucifixion and a Curtain Torn from Top to Bottom

As we draw near the end of Lent, we pause to reflect on the Fifth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary: the Crucifixion. Growing up in a very Catholic family, in a very Catholic neighborhood in Chicago, and attending a Catholic school ensured that I was in church every Friday afternoon of Lent for the Stations of the Cross and on Good Friday for services that included the reading of Jesus’ Passion. Among the many things that I […]

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Carrying of the Cross and the Heaviness of Discipleship

As we continue our Lenten journey, let’s reflect on the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: the Carrying of the Cross. When Jesus was sentenced to death by Pilate, he was made to carry his Cross—most likely a wooden cross beam weighing about 75–100 pounds, which would then be attached to a wooden pole already in the ground on Calvary. The Gospels and the Stations of the Cross remind us that, under this burden, Jesus, in his weakened […]

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Crowning with Thorns and a Different Kind of King

Today we pause to reflect on the Third Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary: the Crowning with Thorns. According to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ Passion, Jesus was mocked by the Roman soldiers. One of these acts of mockery was to place a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head to ridicule the king of the Jews. This mockery went further with the placing of a purple robe on Jesus’ wounded body and a sign placed above his […]

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Scourging at the Pillar and the Protection of the Voiceless

As we journey deeper into Lent, we pause to reflect on the Second Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary: the Scourging at the Pillar. This violent scene is depicted in all four Gospels (Luke’s Gospel refers to Jesus being “beaten.”) with very little description, yet it is one of the most vivid images of the Passion, because it was such a barbarous act intended to humiliate the victim and instill fear in onlookers. It’s important to […]

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Agony in the Garden and the Myth of Self-Sufficiency

As we venture deeper into this season of Lent, let’s reflect upon the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary—those events that lead up to and culminate in the Crucifixion and Death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. In this first installment, we reflect on the Agony in the Garden. The Book of Genesis introduces us to the Garden of Eden—that place where Adam and Eve enjoyed absolute intimacy with God. It is within that paradise that everything […]