The Infinite Miracle Mercy that was demonstrated by Christ in assuming our humanity for love of us would take an eternity to even begin to comprehend!
This week, my very dear friend – the grandmother of little saint baby Charbel, who was born to eternal life on All Saints Day last year – reminded me that her little grandson would have been 9 months old if he had lived.
This dear friend is living her life, going to work, doing her shopping, socialising with friends and family. When we strangers pass her on the street all outward appearance must seem fine. But inside – hidden from view – she celebrates the birthdays that will never be – and will probably celebrate those all the days of her Earthly life.
Reflecting upon my friend’s secret sorrow I recalled a list of secrets that one of my sisters had sent to me some time ago. They are called the fifteen secret tortures and sufferings of Christ as revealed by Christ to Saint Sister Mary Magdalene of Sancta Clara!
Now, I can almost hear the questions and before you ask me – I have no idea if these sufferings have been verified by the Vatican. However, one thing that I do know for sure is that these secret tortures are at the very least possible and at the sadly more likely to be probable.
Regardless of whether these specific sufferings occurred or whether others did, one thing we can agree on is that Christ, God Made Man, endured terrible, terrible suffering for our sake!
The list is confronting. It tells us that Christ, while naked, was tied by the feet and dragged over steps, He was beaten with iron chains, a thorn from His crown of thorns was driven into His tongue.
We did so many terrible things to God Himself that the mere idea of His secret tortures causes profound grief.
I have not reproduced even a third of the list of secret offences against God Himself. Frankly if I spent every remaining moment of my Earthly life meditating upon and making penance for only ONE of the secret or hidden tortures of Christ, I would not have spent enough time to merit even a moment of Salvation!
And yet, Christ – the DIVINE God of the Universe Himself – in assuming our Humanity, assumed all our sorrows. Imagine that! God – who is without sin and therefore merits NO SUFFERING – assumed all the suffering of the world onto Himself for LOVE of US!
How poignant this is! Saint Pope John Paul II told us to remember that we are never alone because Christ is on this journey with us. Christ literally suffered our sorrows before us, not only to redeem us, but to remind us that when we suffer now, He suffers too. He relives His passion and death eternally FOR LOVE OF US. While God the Son has no personal need to have suffered His Passion the first time - much less re-live that suffering – He does so willingly, JOYFULLY, for love of us!
There were secrets for Christ too! His secret sorrows that he PROTECTED us from knowing. His secret grief. His secret tortures.
So, when we feel most alone and despised and the secrets of our soul are most sorrowful, perhaps we can look up at the feet on that Cross – because before they were nailed there for love of us, they were bound and dragged down stairs.
Perhaps, in reflecting on that – the continual and ongoing sacrifice of the Son to the Father through the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, which remains a secret from us through a mystery of faith – we can finally understand that God is literally a God of relationship. In dying for love of us, He ensured that even despite our secrets – we are never alone. Because, He, God Himself, despite all His secret tortures – through the mystery and perfect communion of the Holy Trinity – is never alone!
For with prayer, everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.