Man of Sorrows: a meditation

Man of Sorrows - Guido Reni

Man of Sorrows – Guido Reni

In our penitential yet joyful Advent period of preparation for the Birth of Our Sovereign Lord and King, Fr. Charles Arminjon brings us this reflection to ponder – the great mystery of Our Saviour coming to us as the ‘Man of Sorrows’. 

“Jesus Christ could have appeared among us, radiant with joy and encompassed by divine splendour, amidst the glitter and pomp of His sovereign majesty. He deemed it more worthy of His glory and more profitable to the salvation of men, to show Himself to them girt with a diadem of thorns, clothed in purple and stained with blood, His face bruised, the gaping grimace of death on His lips, bearing the bloody unction of the nails imprinted on His hands and feet. In uniting Himself closely with suffering, Jesus Christ assuredly did not smooth all its severity and all its pangs; but He removed part of its bitterness, corrected and destroyed its poison. He made the chalice of His Blood fruitful. Like the brazen serpent set up by Moses in the desert, He implanted Himself in the centre of the world as an inexhaustible instrument of mercy, life, and health. Owing to this transformation, His divine wounds, like fountains ever gushing, remain eternally open to all straying and fallen souls who are eager to escape from their coarse, sensual aspirations, wanting to immerse themselves anew in the joys of sacrifice and the honour of purity.”


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9 Responses to Man of Sorrows: a meditation

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    A very poetic piece of prose – if that’s possible.


  2. 000rjbennett says:

    Joy, joy, joy. Those whose thinking is in fashion in the Church today seem positively giddy with the idea of joy. But, giddy with “the joys of sacrifice”? Unfortunately, not so much.

    Few people are willing or able to accept it, but the joy of sacrifice is the only kind that really lasts.


  3. GC says:

    JH, A very poetic piece of prose – if that’s possible. I should have thought anything better than your average novel or homily, for instance, (but not limited to those), is poetic prose. The everyday common media today probably isn’t, with all due respect to toads here and there, of course.


  4. toadspittle says:

    “I should have thought anything better than your average novel …”
    Oh, really GC? What would you personally describe as “your average novel”?
    “War and Peace”?
    “Madame Bovary” ?
    “The Da Vinci Code”?


  5. GC says:

    Dear Toad, how nice to see you, to see you, to see you nice.

    Well, I’m not exactly an expert in these things, but you sort of know when something is a real good’un, without being abundantly exactly clear why it is so. I’m sure you have had a similar notion? Anyway, who are we to judge?


  6. johnhenrycn says:

    Oh, this is nice, a “Best Novel” competition! The best novel I’ve never read is Proust’s Magnum Opus (still working on it…Vol. 2, pg. 394). As for the best novel I’ve actually read, it used to be, in my early 20s, The Fountainhead, since superceded, in my semi-mature years, by Middlemarch.


  7. johnhenrycn says:

    …and as for the best movie ever (to plumb the depths of evil anyway), I think The Take (ITV 2009) is it. Several films by that same name, but this is the one I refer to. Shakespeare could not have done better.


  8. johnhenrycn says:

    The Take is about the English underworld that calls itself ‘Catholic’, much like those places in Italy that do the same.


  9. toadspittle says:

    Just finished re-reading “Bring Up The Bodies.” Highly recommended.
    I’m impatient for part 3.


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