A Meditation On The Crucifixion of Jesus
by Ignatius Cardinal Kung
Written in Prison in China 1955 -1988
Background information on this manuscript: Cardinal Kung had a very strong devotion to the Crucifixion of Jesus and to His Holy Mother. During his 30 years of incarceration, he was placed mostly in solitary confinement. When he was placed in prison cells with other inmates, the communist authorities were careful not to permit him to have any contact with other Catholic prisoners, clergy or religious. For 30 years, he had no Catholic reading material, no bible, rosary, crucifix, Mass or sacraments. He had no letter or visit at all. This meditation was written on a very small piece of thin, rice paper, hidden from the prison guards and it miraculously survived the repeated searches of the prison cells. This manuscript was smuggled out of China. This Meditation was first published at the funeral of Cardinal Kung on March 12, 2000.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
Our Lord Jesus is on the Cross. His whole body is covered with wounds, His hands and feet are nailed to the Cross; His head is crowned with thorns; for His drink, only vinegar and bitter gall. Although He suffered so much, He knows that many will remain indifferent. This mental anguish is even more painful than His physical torment.
God suffered so much for me. Why am I not willing to give up some worldly pleasure and accept some suffering in this life? I know well that Jesus suffered in reparation for my sins and yet I still go against His will and commit sin. How can I reject His grace and increase His sorrow?
Jesus accepted suffering inflicted by every kind of person. The apostles betrayed Him, the Jews made accusations against Him, the Gentiles cursed Him, and high priests, officials, soldiers and other people all determined to kill Him. Because Jesus suffered in order to save all classes of people, so He accepted sufferings caused by all kinds of people, including all of us. Are we not increasing His suffering by our lack of faith, committing sin and not loving His Sacred Heart?
Where was our Blessed Mother at that time? She was weeping beside the Cross, watching Her Son suffer. This was not just the human love between mother and son. She united her love of Jesus with her love for all mankind, offering it in sacrifice to God the Father for the salvation of the whole world. Our Lady is indeed the Mother of our salvation.
Each and every one of us should imitate Our Blessed Lady, contemplating Jesus on the Cross. We should offer our sufferings in reparation for our sins and those of others, asking for mercy and forgiveness and not fail to respond to the graces Jesus obtained for us through His Passion.