Silent Mysteries of the Rosary: A Powerful Meditation on Christ’s Death & Burial

William-Adolphe Bouguereau / Public domain

To hear God speak to us, to our hearts, we need silence.

So many people today are so scared of silence that they intentionally leave the television or music running all night long just to have some background noise to go to sleep.

But God requires us to get into a position of not only being still, but silent, with virtually no distraction at all to hear his voice or to contemplate deeper meaning to life.

All the major religions of the world have realized this for millennia, but as Christians, we have the distinct advantage of entering into a deep meditative state with God made visible in Jesus Christ.

We are able to use our imagination to place ourselves at the feet of Jesus, to listen to Him, to watch him, to talk to Him, and to make ourselves available for an incredibly deep of union with him.

After having prayed the rosary daily for 25 years, reaching that beautiful union with Christ in such a profound way, I began to realize that there would be great value for anyone and everyone to spend time with Jesus in what I have called the Silent Mysteries.

The First Silent Mystery: The Moment of Jesus’ Death

Jesus Breathed His Last.

The one that has loved you the most has now died for you. How do you feel as you look upon his face? This is what it took to save you. It is priceless and yet heartbreaking to see Our Lord in this state. There is no sound–just Him and you.

This scene goes beyond words. This meditation will draw you into the entire meaning of your life.  Nothing is separating Him from you or you from Him.  He is bloodied, crowned with thorns, maimed beyond recognition, and now he sleeps in the time of death.

For the moment, all is quiet, but unsettling. Tell him you are sorry for your sins.

Public Domain

The Second Silent Mystery: The Earth Quakes and the Temple Veil is Torn in Half

In the Temple, the veil that separated the Holy from the Holy of Holies is torn in half, or rather, the veil that separated us from God no longer exists.  Our division with God is ended, our division with one another is ended. Or is it?

Meditate on why we have allowed division in our lives when Christ already ended it.

National Library of Wales / CC0

The Third Silent Mystery: Jesus Is Pierced in the Side

A soldier pierces Jesus’ side, and blood and water flow.  In the combination of the earth quaking, the solar eclipse, and the love Jesus expressed on the cross, this causes the centurion and all the other soldiers to come to believe that Jesus truly is the Son of God.

Can I put myself in their shoes?

In the past, I have mocked Jesus, spat on him, and scourged him. Yet, from the cross he forgave me and all my friends. “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)

Be still and believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Wail and mourn for Jesus.  Be silent and have remorse for all your sins.  Soon enough, mercy will be upon you and you will be forgiven.

Gerard de la Vallée / Public domain

The Fourth Silent Mystery: Jesus is Placed in Mary’s Lap

Jesus is now taken down from the cross. As tradition has it, he was placed into Mary’s lap.  She is covered in the blood of her Son and her Son lays lifeless in her lap.

There will be no consolation to her cries.

You can hear her moans and cries and see the pain expressed in her body from her outpouring of tears.  She helped give us the Savior of the world, and we condemned him with our lies and sins.

Mourn with our Blessed Mother and weep, to help in some small way, her weeping.

What is it like to see that love which Mary has for the Lord? Ask God that you may share in that love and sorrow for the Lord too.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau / Public domain

The Fifth Silent Mystery: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus Entomb Jesus.

Sisto Badalocchio / Public domain

They bring burial clothes and myrrh for Jesus’ body.  They bring Jesus’ lifeless body to the tomb prepared for Him.  They were both silent disciples of Jesus.  They tenderly wash his body, cover him in an oil of myrrh, and wrap him in linens for burial.

This was a lengthy process, as was the Jewish custom.

In silence, help wash the blood off of Jesus’ body.  Mourn for the one who lived selflessly. Mourn for the one who takes away the sins of the world.

Lastly, they lay him in the tomb and seal the tomb with a large rock. All day Saturday there is nothing but silence.  The world waits. The disciples wonder.

What would you like to tell Jesus?

Beg for forgiveness.  Weep for your sins–for those of your family, and for those who you call friends who throw their lives away.

Sunday will come, and we will celebrate, because then and only then will we learn that Jesus has conquered sin and death and has truly risen from the tomb.

But for now we sit in sacred silence, regretting our past and yearning to be with Jesus forever.

[See also: “We Need Our Church Back”: A Priest’s Spiritual Combat for Coronavirus Pandemic This Holy Week]

[See also: Unite Your Suffering to Jesus: A Priest’s Stations of the Cross for the COVID-19 Pandemic]