04 October 2015

The Rosary: The Scourging

The Scourging of our Lord Jesus Christ by the Romans - at the command of Pilate - is a favourite visual image: it has more action than the Crucifixion and also more blood.  Movie makers love it: it's gory and allows them to play others off Jesus as bad guys.  See how cruel the Romans are to this peaceful teacher? Since the Occupied Nation could not do such things to her own citizens, it was the Romans who did it. The scriptures say Pilate wanted to let Jesus go but had him scourged just to make a point.  Roman cruelty towards its occupied peoples. Ever see Spartacus?  Ben Hur?  Romans are often the Bad Guys.

In mediƦval piety there was a great fascination with the scourging: how many times was Jesus struck with how many whips? How many tails on each whip? How many leaded hooks on each tail? The count of the wounds let to a different level: how many drops of blood from each wound? Without flippancy, my first comment is: they had no television.  Church provides all the brightest and most colorful visuals in an otherwise dull life pattern. This is not a visual, however: this is a counting and calculation.  This is mental play for when there is no pageantry.

When praying this mystery, I used the embolism "scourged at the pillar":

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, scourged at the pillar. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The Byzantine Rite text I modified for this meditation comes from the "Akathist to the Divine Passion of Jesus Christ", available in full at Monochos. It's quite a vivid text.  Since approved liturgical sources rarely provide authors and dates, we're left with guessing: my guess would be Russian and mid to late Victorian era.

The Second Dolorous Mystery:
The Scourging of Our Lord by the Romans



Let us contemplate in this Mystery how our Lord Jesus Christ was most cruelly scourged in the house of Pilate.

Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen

Having true power as High Priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek, Thou didst stand before the criminal high priest Caiaphas. O Lord and Master of all, Who didst accept torture from Thy slaves, accept thy Mother's prayers for us
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Wishing to deliver mankind from slavery to the enemy, Thou didst humble Thyself before Thine enemies, O Jesus, and like a lamb that is dumb Thou wast led to the slaughter, and didst endure wounds all over, that having healed the whole man, he might cry: Alleluia!
Hail, Mary, &c.


Jesus, Innocent Lamb, torn by cruel scourges, rescue me from mine enemies! Jesus, High Priest, Who hast entered the Holy of Holies with Thy Blood, cleanse me from fleshly impurity! Jesus bound, Who hast power to bind and to loose, absolve my grievous sins! Jesus, Son of God, remember us when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom!
Hail, Mary, &c.


Jesus, Son of God and Son of the Virgin, tortured by the sons of iniquity! Jesus, mocked and stripped, Who givest the flowers of the field their beauty and deckest the sky with clouds! Jesus, covered with wounds, Who satisfied the hunger of five thousand men with five loaves of bread!
Hail, Mary, &c.


Jesus, King of all, who instead of a tribute of love and gratitude receivest cruel tortures! Jesus, Who art wounded all the day long for our sake, heal the wounds of our souls! Jesus, Son of God, remember us when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom!
Hail, Mary, &c.


Thou wast all arrayed in Thy divine blood, O Thou Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment. I know, indeed I know with the Prophet why Thy garments are purple. I, Lord, it is I who wounded Thee with my sins. So to thee Who was wounded for my sake I thankfully cry: Alleluia!
Hail, Mary, &c.


Foreseeing Thee in spirit covered with shame and wounds, the divinely inspired Isaiah cried in horror: We have seen Him, and He had no form or beauty.
Hail, Mary, &c.


Jesus, enduring dishonour, Who hast crowned man with glory and honour! Jesus, on Whom angels cannot gaze, slapped in the face! Jesus, Who was struck on the head with a reed, bow my head in humility!
Hail, Mary, &c.


Jesus, Whose bright eyes were darkened with blood, turn away my eyes from beholding vanity! Jesus, Who from head to feet hadst not part whole, make me perfectly whole and healthy! Jesus, Son of God, remember us when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom!
Hail, Mary, &c.


Thou wast a spectacle and marvel to men and angels, and to Pilate who said of Thee: Behold the Man! Come, then, let us worship Jesus Who suffered abuse for our sake.
Hail, Mary, &c.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

O Mother of God, Fountain of Patience, through those stripes thy only and dearly beloved Son vouchsafed to suffer for us, obtain of him for us grace to mortify our rebellious senses, to avoid the occasions of sin, and to be ready to suffer everything rather than offend God.  Amen.