St. Therese Society

a group of college and young professional women in St. Louis seeking to deepen their spirituality and grow in holiness while discerning a possible vocation to religious life

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Location: St. Louis, Missouri

"Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places...in a word, that it was eternal! My vocation, at last I have found it...My vocation is Love!"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Sorrow of Christ

In the Agony in the Garden and in the three hours upon the Cross He voluntarily withdrew, as it were, the light and the sweetness which He always had by right as God, and by merit as Man. He allowed a veil, a cloud — as the darkness covered the sun at that hour — to spread over His soul. He allowed a darkness to be drawn between the sweetness and the light of His Godhead and His human soul; and why was this? It was for our sakes. It was as voluntary as His Incarnation, as His Temptation, as His Agony, as His Death; He was offered up, because He willed it; He was troubled in the Garden, because He willed it; He was desolate upon the Cross, because He willed it. It was His own voluntary act, and that for our sakes.

It was not only voluntary; it was also vicarious — it was suffered in our stead. And why? Because the penalty of our sin is separation from God; because separation from God is eternal death. Because the loss of God is Hell; because the penalty of sin is the loss of God. Because, even after death, those who are saved, unless their sins be perfectly expiated, will be detained from the vision of God; because in this life every sin we commit is followed by a shadow; and that shadow is darkness, and that darkness is a part of desolation. And because we are under this law, holy, just, and good, by which every sin is followed by the penalty of desolation, He who, to expiate all our sins and pains, voluntarily and vicariously suffered all that His sinless and Divine Soul could suffer, permitted Himself, in that moment of His agony, to be deprived of the sweetness and consolation and light even of His own Godhead. The inferior part of His Humanity, which suffered like as ours, was in the dust of death, in the sorrows of this world, and in the desolation of the hiding of His Father's face.
--Cardinal Henry Manning

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