The Sorrowful Mysteries
1. The Agony in the Garden
At the age of eleven, Blessed Alphonse Marie heard the lesson of the parish priest about the suffering of Christ in the Garden of Olives: “Look children, what Jesus, our Redeemer, suffered for our sins and how this anguish made Him sweat His blood. Look children, how severe this anguish must have been. Anguish is severe already if it causes somebody to sweat, but what must it be like when if it makes one sweat blood? The sufferings of Jesus, however, have been caused by our sins.” These words impressed her very much. She was sighing inwardly: “O my Jesus, all through my life I don’t want to commit a sin any more. No more sin!”
2. The Scourging in the Pillar
Blessed Alphonse Marie teaches us: When you meditate on the scourging of Jesus, imagine our Lord enduring terrible pains and say to yourself: “O what a weak creature I am! At the slightest suffering I complain, I cry, I call for the help of medicine in order to get, if not immediate healing, at least relief. And see Jesus, He is covered with wounds, torn by lashes, streaming with blood, yet silent, uttering no complaint, shedding no tear, quiet, submissive, and praying for those who are beating Him.” Consider why and for whom Jesus suffered so much and you will see that it was for the sinners, that was, for the enemies of His glory and His name and that happened out of love for them.
3. The Crowning with Thorns
Blessed Alphonse Marie contemplated the cruel coronation in all of its details and why Jesus endured this cruel coronation. She said to her Divine Spouse: “O my Jesus, what made you suffer this pain?” Jesus answered: “Look, my child, pride and obstinacy have caused this.” Then she saw in her vision how terribly and awfully pride distorts the soul and what the consequences are. At the same time she also saw the frightful image of the Ecce Homo in His passion. Seeing the Savior suffer so terribly, she cried: “O my Divine Spouse, let me know how I have offended you, O my love, and how often I pressed these thorns into your head.”
4. The Carrying of the Cross
Blessed Alphonse Marie teaches us: In the sufferings, there is no better way of bearing them with joy than meditating on Christ’s Passion. How could it be possible that a soul didn’t want to suffer everything willingly when she regards the innocent Jesus, how terribly He suffered, how cruelly He was despised, mocked, spurned, slandered and persecuted, if she considers that He suffered innocently, whereas she has deserved everything she suffers a thousand times? However, one shouldn’t believe that one could get to this surrender and joy in suffering at once and in one day. No, to get there takes will-power, efforts, perseverance in prayer, and therefore also time.
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
Blessed Alphonse Marie teaches us: When you meditate on Jesus’ passion, take a cross into your hands, open your heart to the influence of grace and completely abandon yourself to all the thoughts, feelings and movements the Lord let arise in you. First meditate on Jesus’ right hand and consider: What pain must that have been at the moment when the tortures nailed a big nail into the middle of this hand in order to fix it to the cross? Then turn your eyes on yourself and think what pain would you feel if a big nail is run through your hand, as was the hand of our Divine Redeemer. How could you bear it? Let the feeling of gratitude and love stir in your heart.