By Mary Sayad
Many **bulls surround me;
Fierce bulls of **Bashan encircle me.
They open their mouths against me,
Lions that rend and roar.
Like water my life drains away;
All my bones grow soft.
My heart has become like wax,
It melts away within me.
As dry as a potsherd is my throat:
my tongue sticks to my palate'
You lay me in the dust of death.
Many dogs surround me;
A pack of evildoers closes in on me.
So wasted are my hands and feet
That I can count all my bones.
They stare at me and gloat;
They divide my garments among them;
For my clothing they cast lots.
But you Lord, do not stay far off;
My strength, come quickly to help me.
Deliver me from the sword,
My forlorn life from the teeth of the dog.
Save me from the lion's mouth,
My poor life from the horns of wild bulls.
24- "You who fear the Lord, give praise!
All descendants of Jacob, give honor;
Show reverence, all descendants of Israel!
For God has not spurned or disdained
The misery of this poor wretch,
**Did not turn away from me,
But heard me when I cried out.
In Chapter II, of Psalm 22 ** Bulls refer to the enemies of the psalmist for they are portrayed in less-than-human form, as wild animals.
**Bashan refers to a grazing land east of the Jordan, famed for its cattle.
Clearly the above psalm or prayer also prophesized Jesus' accusers and the last events of his Passion.
In Chapter III of Psalm 22 **Turn Away: literally, "hides his face from me," an important metaphor for God withdrawing from someone.
The above Psalm is a message of hope. God is our conqueror and Jesus' Passion and Crucifixion is the message of salvation and victory promised in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament.
In conclusion to these Psalm postings, I again beseech you to make Bible reading a daily part of your life. Time and space doesn't allow me to post all the Psalms or to provide in-depth explanations, but these specific messages relating to Lent are meant to open your hearts to the Sacred Scriptures and to briefly assist you in understanding their purpose and meaning.
As Christians, it is a responsibility to promote prayer, longing and a deep love of Our Heavenly Father through Jesus and Mary.
Increase your spiritual wisdom. With spiritual wisdom comes peace of mind, dependence upon the Will of God, and the courage to endorse the reading of the Holy Scripture to family, friends and others.
In my December posting, I gave explanations for three of the seven sorrows of our Blessed Mother. Her four remaining Sorrows are as follows:
The below dictation by Our Lady of Sorrows to St. Bridget of Sweden has been condensed and written in italics and in bold so that her dictation may be distinguished.
During Jesus' Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane Our Blessed Mother privately prayed to God Our Heavenly Father that she would also experience Jesus' physical and spiritual pain and indeed her appeal was granted.
"At the first blow (of the scourging), I fell as if dead, and on recovering my senses, I beheld His Body bruised and beaten, to the very ribs, so that His ribs could be seen.
"As my Son was going to the place of His Passion, some men struck Him on the back and others hit Him in the face. And He was struck so violently and so brutally that although I did not see the person striking Him, I distinctly heard the sound of the blows."
John the Apostle accompanied Our Lady on the way to Calvary and as Jesus approached them, undoubtedly, Our Blessed Mother struggled to witness Jesus' pain and suffering. John supported her and remained with her during the entire procession and Crucifixion. Her anguish was indescribable. When she met Her Son along the way, she embraced Him tenderly but some of the Roman soldiers scorned her while other soldiers gently directed her away from the crowds.
When I came with Him to the place of the Passion, I saw there all the instruments prepared for His death.
He was ordered to take off His robe, and He immediately did so. And after He had undressed Himself, the soldiers said to one another: "These clothes belong to us, because He who is condemned to death will not use them again."
Now upon being ordered to do so, He lay down on His back on the Cross and stretched out first His right arm. Then His cruel executioners seized Him. First they attached His right hand to the beam, in which a nail hole had been prepared, and they drove the nail in the part where the bone was firmest.
Then they pulled His other hand in the opposite direction with a rope as it did not reach the other nail hole, and they nailed it down in the same way.
Next they nailed His right foot, and over it the left, so that all the nerves and veins were torn apart and broken.
Then they replaced on His holy head the crown of thorns which caused such deep wounds that His blood streamed down, filling His eyes and His ears and matting His whole beard.
..And my anguish was so bitter that I could not look up again until He was completely attached to the cross.
And when He looked down at me ...and saw me so overwhelmed with grief, my sorrow made Him suffer so much that all the pains which He felt from His wounds were surpassed by the sight of grief in which He beheld me. Therefore, I boldly assert that His suffering became my suffering, because His Heart was mine. And just as Adam and Eve sold the world for an apple so in a certain sense my Son and I redeemed the world with one Heart. a man came up and drove a spear so forcefully into His side that it almost came out on the other side. As soon as he drew it out, its point was all red with blood. The Heart of my beloved Son was so violently and mercilessly pierced that the spear split His Heart in two ..I felt that my heart was likewise pierced, and it was a wonder that it did not break.
All my Son's limbs became stiff and cold in death, and the blood which flowed over them during His Passion adhered to them. But I was indeed consoled that I could touch His body and take Him onto my lap, examine His wounds and dry up the blood. .Thus, though I felt grief over the death of my Son, that could not be compared over any other, I also rejoiced in my soul, because I knew that my Son would not die again, but would live forever.
Oh how gladly I would have allowed them to entomb me alive with my Son, if it had been His will! I can truly say that when my son was entombed, there were two Hearts in one sepulcher. Is there not the saying: where your treasure is, there is also your heart? Therefore, my thoughts and my heart were always in the Tomb of my Son.
After all these things had been accomplished, the good John came and led me to his house.
Your companion in prayer,
The Power of the Cross Is Always With Us