The SorrowFul Mysteries

The Cup of Tea Rosary is designed to be prayed while taking a tea or coffee break during the day. The first of the Mysteries in this series is The Sorrowful Mysteries. They seem very appropriate for Holy Week. This is followed by the Glorious Mysteries for The Easter Season. The central prayers of the Rosary – the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be are recommended, if only short breaks are taken, to be said Once Only per Mystery. St John Henry Newman described the Rosary as a mini creed and he loved this devotion because grew closer to Christ through it. His thoughts will help us to pray. He also liked drinking tea and had a muti-coloured teapot!

 Let us now begin:

1. The Agony in the Garden

“I have given you an example so that you may copy”
(John 13:1-15)

Saint Peter had learned from his Saviour’s pattern not to think prayer a loss of time. Christ had taken him up with Him into the holy mount, though multitudes waited to be healed and taught below. Again, before His passion, He had taken him into the garden of Gethsemane; and while He prayed himself He called upon him likewise to ‘watch and pray lest he entered into temptation’ (Matthew 26:41)

 (Parochial and Plain Sermons Ill, 21)

Pause and Imagine yourself with Jesus.

Then, Pray One Our Father, One Hail Mary and One Glory Be

2. The Scourging at the Pillar

“By force and by law he was taken; would anyone plead his cause ?”
(Isaiah 52:13-53:12)

If Christ thought your salvation worth the great sacrifice of voluntary sufferings for you, should not you think… your own salvation worth the slight sacrifice of learning to meditate upon these sufferings? Can a less thing be asked of you, than, when He had done the work, that you should only have to believe in it and accept it ?

(Parochial and Plain Sermons Vl, 4)

Pause and Imagine yourself with Jesus.

Then, Pray One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be.

3. The Crowning of Thorns

“The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church 1432)

And my second remark Is this: that it is only by slow degrees that meditation is able to soften our hard hearts, and that the history of Christ’s trials and sorrows really moves us. It is not once thinking of Christ or twice thinking of Christ that will do it. It is by going on quietly and steadily, with the thought of him in our minds eye, that by little and little we shall gain something of warmth, light, life, and love. We shall not perceive ourselves changing. It will be like the unfolding of the leaves in spring. You do not see them grow; you cannot by watching, detect it. But every day, as it passes, has done something for them; and you are able, perhaps, every morning to say that I am more advanced than yesterday. So it is with our souls; not indeed every morning, but at certain periods, we are able to see that we are more alive and religious than we were, though during the interval we were not conscience that we were advancing.

(Parochial and Plain Sermons VI, 4)

Pause and Imagine yourself with Jesus.

Then, Pray One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be.

4. The Carrying of the Cross

“ Ours were the sufferings he bore, I was the sorrows he carried”
(Isaiah 53:4)

Of course no one but yourself can know what your trial is -that is, none but God and yourself- and He who knows you so much better than you know yourself will support you, and the more you lean upon Him, the more he will do for you. It is no comfort to tell a soul in trouble that others have suffered before it, and as keenly -but it ought to be a great comfort to be told that in trouble God never disappointed those who trusted Him, and that is the experience, not of one person only, but of many. He is a sure friend and makes openings for us, when we least expect it. And your letter just received shows me how fully in your secret heart you respond to such such truths.

(Letters and Diaries XXVIII p.426)

Pause and Imagine yourself with Jesus.

Then, Pray One Our Father, One Hail Mary and One Glory Be.

5. The Crucifixion

“Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to the Father. He had always love those who were his in the world, but now he showed how perfect his love was.”
(John 13:1-15)

The more numerous are our acts of charity, self denial, forbearance, of course the more will our minds be schooled into a charitable, self denying temper. The more frequent our prayers, the more humble, patient and religious are our daily deeds, this communion with God, these holy works, will be the means of making our hearts holy, and of preparing us for the future presence of God. Outward acts, done on principle, create Inward habits. I repeat, the separate acts of obedience to the will of God, good works as they are called, are of service to us, as gradually severing us from the world of sense, and impressing our hearts with a heavenly character.

(Parochial and Plain Sermons I, I)

Pause and Imagine yourself with Jesus.

Then, Pray One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be.

Illustration by Elizabeth Wang, Code: T-00568-OL, copyright © Radiant Light,