The Sorrowful Mysteries (Fr Slavko Barbarić, OFM)

We continue with our preparation for Holy Mass. The Sorrowful Mysteries introduce us into the mystery of suffering. Holy Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of the New Covenant. Christ gives Himself up for us totally. As we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries, we enter with the heart into the mystery of His passion and death, in order to be able to experience the beauty and the depth of the forgiving love of Christ. This love led Him to suffer, and Christ’s suffering was a permanent expression of love and forgiveness. As we look at Christ and Mary who suffer, they help us to experience in the right way the beginning of Mass and the Penitential Act. God forgives gladly, but at the beginning of Holy Mass, we should become personally aware of our sins and iniquities. We need to repent. Only then can we be converted and spiritually healed, and encounter Christ. 


Jesus, now I desire to come closer to You and follow You on Your path of suffering to Calvary. I want to be present when You die on the Cross and share in the pain and suffering of Your Mother Mary. Give me the grace to enter with my whole heart into the mystery of Your suffering, and to feel with my whole heart how terrible sin is, in order to discover the depth and the length and the height of Your love. Give me the grace to be grateful, because You are worthy of all glory and honour and deep gratitude for the love, with which You suffered for us. 

Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, who were faithful in pain and suffering, I come to you so as not to leave you alone in suffering. Receive me. I am not worthy to be near you, because I know that the lack of love in my heart caused your pain on Calvary and causes it today, but at this moment, I want to be near you with my whole heart and soul. Thank you for arousing this desire in my heart, although I know that my heart is not burning enough with love and gratitude. At your intercession, O Mary, may the Lord give me a pure heart full of love. May He, who suffers for me, enable me to encounter Him and to encounter you, who co-redeemed me with your pain. Let this encounter be filled with joy. 

1. The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane

Thank You, Jesus, for having celebrated Your first Mass before going to the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Your Passion began. Thank You for the love, with which You took the bread and the chalice and gave them to Your disciples to eat and drink, and to do it in memory of You. Thank You, O Christ! 

At the beginning of Your journey in this world, it was told to Your Mother that Your name was Emmanuel, God-with-us, and at the end of Your journey, You accomplish and make eternal Your presence among us. You are Emmanuel, Divine Bread with us and for us. Thank You! 

You are alone in the Garden of Gethsemane. You are in mortal agony. Your apostles are physically near, but spiritually far away. They sleep. Mary is physically absent, but with her heart she is spiritually always close to You. Thank You for Your words: 

Father, not My will, but Your will be done!

Thank You for the anguish that You suffered and for Your words: 

Father, if it be possible, let Me not drink of this chalice!

Jesus, I am preparing myself for the encounter with You in this Holy Mass. I confess that I left You alone, I am sorry for it, and I ask myself: Do I really believe that You are truly present in the Sacred Host? I take so little time to adore You in the Eucharist. I have so often received Holy Communion in a superficial and absentminded way. I answered, “Amen, I believe!” but my heart was far away. I regret it. In this Holy Mass and in this Holy Communion, I truly desire to encounter You. Heal my faith in Your eucharistic presence. Let me understand with the heart that You are truly present. 

I pray for all those who will come to this Mass. Awaken their faith in Your presence, and there will be no more superficial and sacrilegious Communions or encounters with You. 

I also pray for the priest who will celebrate this Holy Mass, and for all other priests. Forgive them for leaving You alone so often, for not organising Adoration in our churches. Forgive them if they serve the mysteries of faith not from the heart. 

Purify our hearts, awaken those who fall asleep, console those who are in anguish, free those who are enslaved by blasphemy, give inner freedom to those who are addicted to drugs, alcohol and other evils. Give humility to those who are proud. To those who cannot forgive, give strength to forgive, so that they may find inner joy. To those who are stingy give the spirit of love and readiness to take part in other people’s suffering. To those who bear the burden of family conflicts give peace and reconciliation now. To the fathers of families who are enslaved by vices give freedom. To those who are unfaithful to their families give back love and fidelity. To those who are enslaved by immorality and immoral habits give strength to become able to respect their body and the body of others. 

Lord, I present to You all those who do not come any more to meet You in Holy Mass because they have lost faith and are now restless and far away from You. Let them believe in You again. 

Be close to the sick who desire with their whole heart to come to Mass, but cannot. Console them as the angel consoled You. Together with Your tears and pains, Your anguish and suffering, Your sweat and loneliness, I offer now to the Almighty Father all their pains and sufferings for the salvation of the world. 

Jesus, let not one of those who belong to You stay asleep. At Your call, let their body and their spirit be ready for a new life, a new fidelity. 

A great treason happened in the Garden of Gethsemane. It must have hurt You when Judas came and betrayed You with a kiss, but in Your immense love, You called Your traitor a friend. You gave him the possibility to understand what he was doing and not to commit treason. 

In this preparation for the encounter with You, Jesus, I include all my betrayals. I present to You all the encounters with the sick, the poor, the rejected, the prisoners, the hungry, the thirsty and the afflicted in whom I did not recognise You, in whom I offended You by my shallowness. Forgive our betrayals to all of us who gathered together to encounter You in this Eucharist. Forgive the betrayals of those who do not seek You any more in the Eucharist. Forgive and have mercy… and thank You for forgiving us gladly, so that we may joyfully await this encounter with You. Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory be, O my Jesus.


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