Greetings in Jesus and Mary...
The sixth dolor, Jesus Taken Down from the Cross, is the grief Our Lady had to endure after the experience of the Passion and Death of Our Lord. Father Faber states that when the strife is over, then we become conscious of the drain which grief has made upon our strength. It is almost harder to bear than the actual suffering that just occurred. It is like beginning life again at a disadvantage. We seem to be less able to do what it was that we once did.
Let us go to the foot of the cross with Mary, John, Mary Magdalene and start with the moments after the death of Our Lord. It was now time for the persecutors to be sure that the three men were actually dead upon their cross. It was customary to break the legs of the crucified to end the suffering and to ensure death. The executioners approached Calvary armed with a strong heavy bar of iron of such weight to speedily fracture the limbs when they are struck. It was a fearful sound for Mary to hear, the dull crashing of the flesh and bone, and the agonizing cries of the sufferers. But when they came to Jesus, they did not break His bones because they saw that He was dead. “These things were done, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, You shall not break a bone of Him.”
But there was another Scripture also to be fulfilled, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.” One of the soldiers drew near, and drove his spear into our Lord’s right side, across His Body, and through His Sacred Heart. Our Lord then shed His last drops of His Most Precious Blood making this one of Mary’s worst sorrows. Life was gone but He was and is the object of Her Love; an unspeakable love of Mary for the Body of Her Son – Who was God. Because this Heart is the Heart that only throbbed with love for all of mankind….the piercing of our Lord with the spear was to our Blessed Mother by far the most awful sacrilege which was in the power of man to perpetrate upon the earth toward its God.
Now they fixed the ladder against the Cross and Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, John, Mary Magdalene all participated in this event with Mary. How all of them must have been filled with unspeakable graces to perform such an act. It is claimed that the angels were present and assisted in the complexity of this event. Such as removing the crown from His head which was all so entangled in His hair and embedded into His skull. From the top of the ladder was Joseph who removed it and passed it to Nicodemus and then to John and then to Mary who received it on Her knees and received it with such devotion as no heart but Hers could hold.
Next Joseph loosened the nails and they were each passed to Mary. But a greater grief was yet to come. The Body was detached from the Cross. Mary stretches the clean linen cloth over Her arms and hold them out to receive Her Son. Can She bear the weight? Which weight? The sorrow or the Body? He is tenderly placed upon Her lap and there was not a feature of His Blessed Countenance, not a mark upon His Sacred Flesh, which was not at once a sorrow to Her Most Immaculate Heart. It is claimed that Our Lady told St. Bridget that His arms remained outstretched and that it was difficult to bring them down. What a meditation for us….His arms remained outstretched for us. Mary spent many moments tending toward each and every wound and anointed His Most Sacred Body for burial. How can we even imagine the thoughts and prayers of reparation made by Our Mother when She cleansed and annointed His every wound which was inflicted upon Her Son for our sins.
Lessons learned… Father Faber states, "The spirit of reparation is a beautiful spirit, a spirt of human beauty fit to wait on the Humanity of our dearest Lord. It is the true Mary’s lap within our souls, in which the Blessed Sacrament should ever lie, the pure white corporal of our most disinterest love!"
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!