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Lenten Meditation: The Holy Shroud of Our Lord


Authors Introduction: That is the third of a collection of meditations based mostly on the Lenten Votive Plenty of the Ardour of Jesus which have been prayed all through the historical past of the Church in varied usages. Some have their origin in early medieval occasions and have been utilized in varied locations in Europe and particularly spiritual orders. Some may be discovered within the 1955 and 1962 editions of the Missale Romanum. Some parallel prayers may be discovered within the present English version of the Roman Missal in addition to the Missal of the Holy Land. These meditations are given to supply us an previous but new solution to enter into the Ardour of Jesus and the salvation He gives us that’s rooted in scripture, custom, and historical past of the Church. Might praying with and reflecting on them allow you to to develop in Divine Intimacy with Our Lord Jesus and His saving graces this Lenten season and everytime you enter into prayer.

This was given as a meditation throughout a Lenten Forty Hours Devotion on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at Saint Mary’s Church, Washingtonville, New York.

The scripture readings and textual content of the prayers of this mass may be discovered right here. 

Opening Accumulate: O God, Who has left us the traces of Thy ardour with the holy Shroud whereby Thy most Sacred physique, taken down from the cross, was wrapped by Joseph, mercifully grant that by Thy demise and burial we could also be delivered to the glory of thy resurrection.

When one goes as much as the Chapel of Golgotha within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, one sees a really attention-grabbing Greek Orthodox altar to the far left of the altar that marks the spot the place Our Lord Jesus was crucified. At this altar, one can see a Greek icon of the Nativity at its high. It depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, and the angels in humble adoration of the newborn Jesus, wrapped in swaddling garments, resting within the manger with the sunshine of the star of Bethlehem glistening down upon his face and physique. 

Beneath this icon, on the very heart of this altar, we see one other icon depicting Our Lord Jesus crucified, lifeless, and his damaged physique taken down from the cross. He’s held within the Blessed Virgin Mary’s arms for the final time, wrapped in his burial shroud by Joseph of Arimathea, Saint John the Beloved, and the opposite remaining disciples. Mary holds her son, and Saint John kisses his Rabbi, Lord, and Grasp’s crucified hand as they put together to position his physique within the tomb (Gospel of the Mass – Mark 15:42-56). Jesus, in His humanity, comes into the world within the joyous, peaceable, hidden gentle of a star. He who’s the one true God, Mild of the World, Messiah, Son of God, and Son of Man enters this world as a humble small child boy humble and lovingly obedient to the Father’s will.  Now within the darkness of his ardour, he leaves this world simply as he entered it, humble, obedient to the Father’s will to the tip. In each moments, he’s regarded upon with love by his Mom. Our Girl retains the mysteries of salvation unfolding round her each in pleasure and in sorrow with the utmost reverence, pondering them in her coronary heart at the same time as she is pierced with a sword of agony. At this motion, the prophecy that Isaiah as soon as mentioned of the Struggling Servant is now fulfilled: “Who’s he that comes from Edom, in crimsoned clothes, from Bozrah? Who is that this, superb in his attire, striding within the greatness of his power? “It’s I, I who announce vindication, mighty to save lots of.” Why is your attire crimson, and your clothes like one who treads the winepress? The wine press I’ve trodden alone, and from the peoples nobody was with me. I trod them in my anger, and trampled them down in my wrath; Their blood spurted on my clothes, all my attire I stained. For a day of vindication was in my coronary heart; my 12 months for redeeming had come. (Lesson of the Mass – Isaiah 63:1-4)

Jesus, who was betrayed by Judas, who was unjustly put to demise by our sinfulness, by that very same demise conquers sin, demise, and Devil by love. He, whose burial material is seen by the eyes of the world as an indication of demise and defeat, now transforms this similar material stained along with his personal sweat and blood right into a royal banner of victory.

The Mild of the World, the King of kings, now enclosed within the darkness of demise and the tomb nonetheless shines forth the sunshine of redemption for all who settle for it by his humble give up to the Father’s will as his physique lays wrapped in his burial material within the tomb. The trustful give up and humble obedience of Jesus to the desire of the Father is how he defeats evil, sin, demise, and wins our salvation. The burial material of Jesus would come into the custody of the Cathedral of Turin, Italy, and later turn out to be a relic of the eagerness that might obtain vital veneration all through the Christian world.

Related to this facet altar depicting the wrapping of the new child child Jesus in swaddling garments on the manger in Bethlehem in addition to his wrapping in his burial shroud on the foot of the cross is a huge stone slab discovered on the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. That is the place Jesus’ physique lay prostrate after his demise and elimination from the cross and earlier than it was positioned within the tomb. It was additionally the place the place his physique was held for the final time on earth by His mom Mary whereas the opposite disciples wrapped it within the burial shroud. The posture of prostration is completed by deacons, monks, and bishops on the day of their ordination in addition to by spiritual women and men on the day of solemn career of vows. Prostration can be a posture of the center that husbands and wives embrace with their “I do’s,” of their alternate of vows once they enter the Sacrament of Matrimony collectively. Jesus prostrated himself in prayer in his agony within the Backyard of Gethsemane in the beginning of his ardour. He once more repeats this motion on the shut of His ardour by his demise in loving obedience to the Father’s will on the time of his burial.

The gesture of bodily prostration implies a complete give up and letting go in a manner that doesn’t subjugate and repress. It represents a loving, free present of self, an providing of 1’s total life, will, and experiences to God. This bodily dimension of prostration is symbolic of a motion of the center that each one the baptized owe unto God out of justice and love. The act of prostration speaks to the truth that my total particular person is made and outlined by the love and worship of the Holy Trinity, the one true God. It additionally represents that in a lifetime of religion and even in my demise, I belong fully to God and that I by no means reside purely for myself. Love and worship is unified within the gesture of prostration and so they suggest a specific order rooted in fact and obedience. Obedience to reality doesn’t shackle me and reduce my freedom however somewhat allows me to obtain extra from God by his grace than I can by my very own energy and talent.

Jesus echoes these inside inclinations of worship of the Father by the Spirit and the give up of all he has to him within the depths of his Sacred Coronary heart simply earlier than he dies on the cross. He echoes this disposition in his closing phrases, “Father into your arms, I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46), which he’ll echo in his physique by its prostration on the burial slab in his demise and burial. Saint John of the Cross speaks of the identical  prostration within the prayer of religion with the give up of all that we’re to God:

Individuals have to be emptied of all such issues, insofar as they will, in order that nevertheless many supernatural experiences they might obtain, they are going to frequently reside as if denuded of them and in darkness. Just like the blind, they have to lean on darkish religion, settle for it for information and lightweight, and relaxation upon not one of the issues of what they perceive, expertise, really feel, and picture. All these perceptions are darkness that may lead them astray. Religion lies past all this understanding, style, feeling, and imagining. If they don’t blind themselves in these items and abide in whole darkness, they won’t attain what is larger: the educating of religion. (Ascent of Mount Carmel 2.4.2).

This fashion of denuding and give up that John speaks about is that stripping of our hearts to obtain the entire indwelling of the love of God. It mirrors the whole self-gift that Jesus started when he was a toddler in swaddling garments within the manger in Bethlehem. It is usually mirrored in his closing present of self along with his demise on the cross, wrapping in burial material and the putting of his physique within the tomb. This grace of give up and its disposition of vulnerability is what strips us of our former sinful self and allows us to understand, love, and reside within the new lifetime of the Resurrection. This self-surrender is harking back to the younger baby studying from his dad and mom, studying transcend his personal impulses and impositions to lastly learn to stroll rightly. The soon-to-be-saint Charles de Foucald additionally speaks of the truth of self-surrender in prayer, its character of worship, and the disposition of freedom that God offers us by it by his well-known Prayer of Abandonment:


I abandon myself into your arms;

do with me what you’ll.

No matter chances are you’ll do, I thanks:

I’m prepared for all, I settle for all.

Let solely your shall be achieved in me,

and in all of your creatures –

I want not more than this, O Lord.

Into your arms I commend my soul:

I provide it to you with all of the love of my coronary heart,

for I really like you, Lord, and so want to provide myself,

to give up myself into your arms with out reserve,

and with boundless confidence,

for you might be my Father.

Somebody who represents that whole give up to the Father is a younger Chinese language woman who witnessed the ransacking of her parish church by the Chinese language Communist Military in 1948. They seized her parish priest and positioned him underneath home arrest. In addition they ransacked the church, charging on the tabernacle and spilling a ciborium stuffed with Our Lord within the Eucharist all around the flooring. This woman journeyed at night time to her parish church for over a month whereas it was nonetheless occupied by the Chinese language Communist Military. She would sneak in underneath the quilt of darkness, lie prostrate on the ground and devour every of the consecrated hosts on the ground, licking them up along with her tongue. She did this out of a way of reverence and love in direction of the true presence of Jesus within the Eucharist. Her parish priest noticed this woman enter the Church each night time and devour the Eucharist forged on the bottom in entrance of the altar. Each time he noticed her from his rectory window, he would pray for her safety. Lastly, the younger woman entered the Church for the final time to devour the ultimate consecrated host on the bottom. As she obtained down on her knees to fall prostrate to lastly devour the final consecrated host, she by chance knocked over an object, attracting the eye of the communist guards. Her parish priest watched in horror as this younger woman died a martyr’s demise being bludgeoned to demise by rifle butts. On this act of give up and worship earlier than our Eucharistic Lord, this younger Chinese language woman who died as a martyr entered into the fulness of that thriller which Jesus within the Eucharist extends to us each time we obtain him – the everlasting lifetime of Heaven. This story later grew to become the motivation for Archbishop Fulton Sheen to make a holy hour every single day of his priestly life for the sake of the salvation of the church and the world. 

To develop in prayer means to cooperate with grace in such a manner that I let go of my disordered attachments, ego, woundedness, and delight. I do that once I fall prostrate interiorly in trustful give up to God the Father as Jesus did after he died on the cross and was wrapped in his burial shroud along with his physique flat on the ground. On this posture of give up to grace, I’m then stuffed with the Divine Lifetime of Heaven that overcomes all sin, evil, and demise. I then endure a type of demise or stripping of my coronary heart however on this posture, I then turn out to be like Jesus, the grain of wheat that falls to the bottom and dies to bear the fruit of Divine union (Cf. Jn 12:24). Even within the darkness of this demise, like within the Icon of the wrapping of Jesus within the Shroud, I’m positioned within the arms of Our Girl and God the Father who each maintain me and place me in that relaxation that provides new life and everlasting life. So we pray that by the Holy Shroud of Our Lord Jesus Christ that we might study to entrust and prostrate ourselves earlier than the Father even within the face of demise. Might we be held by Him in our brokenness and vulnerability and so lifted up by Him into the brand new lifetime of the Resurrection that pierces the darkness of demise and the tomb. 

Opening Accumulate: O God, Who has left us the traces of Thy ardour with the holy Shroud whereby Thy most Sacred physique, taken down from the cross, was wrapped by Joseph, mercifully grant that by Thy demise and burial we could also be delivered to the glory of thy resurrection.

Picture of the Shroud of Turin, public area, Wikimedia Commons.


Victoria Joy
I am an independent lady, working hard to share my ideas from my experiences to the whole world. I want people to be happier and to understand that your life is very very important. Walk with me and experience the beauty this world can offer by following simple logical steps.


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