Jesus was led away, and carrying the cross by himself, went out to what is called the Place of the Skull. There, they crucified him.John 9:17-18
I used to get distracted throughout the Rosary, and occasionally I still do. I announce the mystery, let my mind wander, and only remember which one I’m on when I pray the ninth or tenth Hail Mary. The things that help me to contemplate each mystery are the fruits of the mysteries. I ponder how the fruit applies to its respective mystery and I pray to embody that fruit in my own life. As you meditate on the fruits of the Sorrowful Mysteries, open your heart to receive the fruits and ask Jesus and Mary to reveal where you can grow in that fruit.
The First Sorrowful Mystery is the Agony in the Garden
The Fruit of the Mystery is Conformity to God’s Will
After the Last Supper, Jesus took Peter, James, and John to pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was anxious about his upcoming Passion, so he turned to his Father in prayer. Jesus knew that he had to suffer and die so that we could enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He did this out of love for us, but in his humanity, he was scared. Just like us, he asked God if he really had to do this. In the end, Jesus said “not as I will, but as you will.” Sometimes God asks us to do hard things. Naturally, we tend to feel afraid, question if we really have to do them, and look for a way out. In these moments, we can turn to Jesus in his agony and remember that he was there first. He accepted God’s will for him, and he can help us to want what God wants for us.
The Second Sorrowful Mystery is the Scourging at the Pillar
The Fruit of the Mystery is Mortification
When I meditate on this Sorrowful Mystery, I can’t help but picture how gruesome scourging is. It’s a sharp, stinging, bloody scene, and it hurts my heart to think of Jesus feeling that pain. It’s almost unbelievable that Jesus went through all of that for us. And then I turn around and assess my own life. I think of my attempts at fasting and mortifications and how I bargain and make excuses. I want to do penance for myself and for the world, but it’s difficult. I look to Jesus, bloody and exhausted from the Scourging at the Pillar, and remember what he endured for our sins, and I ask him to make me stronger so that I can share in his suffering.
The Third Sorrowful Mystery is the Crowning of Thorns
The Fruit of the Mystery is Courage
Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek, and he did this during the Crowning of Thorns. He didn’t fight back or run away. He didn’t have to stand and take the crowd’s mockery, but he did. Unfortunately, too many people still reject Jesus. The world still mocks and persecutes Jesus, and they do the same to us because we live for him. Regardless, we stand firm in Jesus. When we’re harassed and bullied because of him, we remember his courage. Jesus didn’t back down when he was taunted by the crowd, and the words and threats of those around us won’t shake our faith.
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery is the Carrying of the Cross
The Fruit of the Mystery is Patience
Patience is a virtue that I’ve always struggled with. A few years ago, I learned that patience isn’t about waiting. It’s about keeping a good attitude while you wait. Jesus’ journey to Calvary wasn’t easy. As he carried his own cross and felt the stung of fresh wounds, thorns in his head, and words of spectators, he walked a painful road to the hill where he would die. He wasn’t exactly joyful, but not once did Jesus lose his temper or despair. He encouraged those around him and he showed love and kindness to the people he encountered on the Way of the Cross. In the tedious, difficult, and time-consuming tasks throughout our day, it’s easy to give in and allow ourselves to get irritated and frustrated. Instead, we can take our time. We can find ways to offer it up or to do little things with great love.
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery is the Crucifixion
The Fruit of the Mystery is Forgiveness
By Jesus’ death, we were set free from sin. As he suffered and died on the cross, he took on a debt he didn’t owe. Jesus paid the debt that we couldn’t pay so that we could spend eternity in his Kingdom. We look to the cross to recognize God’s forgiveness as a free gift. There’s nothing we have to do to earn his forgiveness. All we have to do is accept it graciously. In the in the pain of suffering and the ugliness of death, we find the most perfect example of true love within the Crucifixion. The Crucifixion reminds us that there’s nothing that God won’t do to show us his love, so in all things, we can love him in return.
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If you enjoyed these meditations with a focus on the fruits of the Sorrowful Mysteries, click here to read another set of meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries. Check out reflections on the fruits of the Joyful mysteries, the fruits of the Luminous Mysteries, and the fruits of the Glorious Mysteries.
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