“Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” john 15:13
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
In our last newsletter we saw how the word ‘icon’ has a far more sacred meaning than the context in which it is generally used today. This time we would like to look at the true meaning of ‘victim’ – another word which is commonly used in a different context than it was formerly used. Today we hear of victims of abuse, victims of war, of violence, and so on. But what is a victim in the traditional sense?
In the Old Testament, a victim was an animal offered in sacrifice to expiate for sin, in thanksgiving, or as a peace offering. In the New Testament, Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself became the most perfect Victim, the fulfilment of all the former sacrifices. He was offered up in sacrifice to atone for our sins, appeasing the just wrath of God and drawing down graces from Heaven upon mankind. As St. Paul puts it:
“He hath appeared for the destruction of sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Heb. 9:26
This Sacrifice of Calvary is renewed and continued in every Mass and we are particularly reminded of this during the holy season of Lent.
The Mass ought to be the centre of the spiritual life of every Catholic. We ought to identify ourselves with the little white host which becomes transformed into Christ Himself. This is exactly what each one of us is called to: union with Christ; to have Him truly present within us just as He is truly present within the Host.
“For to me, to live is Christ; and to die is gain”, “with Christ I am nailed to the cross. And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me.” Phil. 1:21, Gal.2:19-20.
Next to Our Lord Jesus, Our Lady was the most perfect victim. It is true she was not physically crucified with Christ on Calvary, nor did she shed her bood for God as the martyrs did. Instead she suffered a martyrdom of heart by her love and compassion with the sufferings of her Divine Son.