(1) It is related in the annals of Clairvaus that St. Bernard asked Our Lord which was His greatest unrecorded suffering and that Our Lord answered,
“I had on my shoulder while I bore My cross on the Way of Sorrows a grievous wound which was more painful than the others which is not recorded by men. Honor this wound with devotion, and I will grant thee whatsoever thou dost ask through its virtue and merit, and in return to all who venerate this wound I will remit to them all their venial sins and will no longer remember their mortal sins. ”
(2) At the crucifixion, a young soldier, Longinus, thrust a spear into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Water spilled forth, washing Longinus, and Blood followed, giving Longinus the grace of conversion. Having been touched by the healing contents of Our Lord’s Sacred Heart, Longinus became a martyr, giving up his own life for the One he helped crucify. Longinus opened a Door into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This Door stands open, ready to receive all. We each have many opportunities to cross this threshold, to enter this Door, to be immersed in the Love within. How we respond to that invitation is dependent on how much we love. This Door can be wide, but it is often hard to pass through.
Jesus of Nazareth underwent Jewish and Roman trials, was flogged, and was sentenced to death by crucifixion. The scourging produced deep stripelike lacerations and appreciable blood loss, and it probably set the stage for hypovolemic shock, as evidenced by the fact that Jesus was too weakened to carry the crossbar (patibulum) to Golgotha. At the site of crucifixion, his wrists were nailed to the patibulum and, after the patibulum was lifted onto the upright post (stipes), his feet were nailed to the stipes. The major pathophysiologic effect of crucifixion was an interference with normal respirations. Accordingly death resulted primarily from hypovolemic shock and exhaustion asphyxia. Jesus’ death was ensured by the thrust of a soldier’s spear into his side. Modern medical interpretation of the historical evidence indicate that Jesus was dead when taken down from the cross.
Lord, by shedding his blood for us, your Son, Jesus Christ, established the paschal mystery. In your goodness, make us holy and watch over us always. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.