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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

The Wounds of a Savior

February 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Ariel McKinney, Prayer, Rosary, Suffering

Dirk_van_Baburen_-_Kroning_met_de_doornenkroon wikimedia commonsI was resting my head on the stiff airplane seat, exhausted from having woken up so early to get on my flight. As my New Year's resolution, I had decided to initiate a strictly spiritual commitment, having felt the urge to jump-start my prayer life. I promised myself to recite the rosary once a day, in honor of my consecration to Mary, as well as to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary. I had been faithfully fulfilling my prayer commitments for two weeks already, ecstatic that I was finally carrying out a plan that I had just never seemed to accomplish before.

As soon as the plane took off, the gentle hum of the engines serenaded me to sleep. From my deep sleep I was abruptly woken up- but not from turbulence or the man snoozing next to me. My body didn't even jolt up from my slouched position, nor did I open my eyes, but my mind was entirely alert. At that moment, I witnessed the Roman soldiers weaving the crown of thorns, their harsh, brute hands hastily forming its disfigured shape. The soldier approached Jesus. There I was, right next to Christ, so close that I could have held His hand. I saw how long the thorns were, and I wanted to crouch back in fear and disgust; but before I could move a muscle, I suddenly felt a ferociously intense pain down my entire spine as they thrust the crown into his skull. My stomach jumped into my throat as my head started to pound. I could no longer feel my heartbeat. Although I was sitting right next to Christ, I was entirely helpless as I witnessed the horrific scene. I wanted to cry, but was so frightened that I couldn't actually produce any tears. I was feeling his pain as he experienced it- at the same exact time He was. I thought that my own head had actually been pierced by the thorns, but upon opening my eyes, I realized that I was actually still seated in my seat on the plane. There I was, next to a hundred other travelling passengers, most of them sound asleep, totally oblivious to what I had just witnessed, felt and undergone.

I hadn't been dreaming about Christ's passion and death the night before, nor had I been thinking about anything of the sort that morning as I boarded the plane. But nevertheless, I suddenly found myself wide awake from my nap- sitting right next to Our Lord, immediately and entirely aware of the horror and pain that Christ felt when those thorns tore through his hair and skin, crushing his skull. I have never experienced something so raw, profound and real before in my entire life. It was as though that split second of sheer pain and agony that I felt held within itself more reality than all the days of my life put together. My mind was not replaying the movie scene from The Passion of the Christ, nor was I recalling some recreation that I had conceived in previous meditations during prayer. It was an entirely new experience for me. I sat stunned and speechless for a while until my mind could finally process what had just taken place.

Upon starting my rosary that night, I realized it was a Tuesday, and that I would be reciting the sorrowful mysteries. I had completely forgotten what day of the week it was, and had no idea that my experience today would be one of the mysteries of which I was to meditate on. I was absolutely astounded. Needless to say, I certainly had a vivid moment to relive in my heart and mind as I prayed that evening.

As terrifying as it was, I thank God for giving me such insight and understanding into His heart. I am no one extraordinary or special. And yet, for a brief moment, I was thrust into the very depths of Christ's passion, understanding at least a minute amount of pain that our Lord underwent out of love for us, His beloved bride. I was given a beautiful gift that day. Horrific, but beautiful. I only hope that I can hold on to that vision and reflect on it every day, so that I never fail to forget the length at which Christ suffered for me, poor and little as I am.

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About Ariel McKinney

Ariel is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in vocal performance and opera. She is a fervent Catholic who enjoys all that is artistic and beautiful; she also has her own photography business, Song of Songs Photography. www.songofsongsphotography.com

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  • Babs

    Powerful! Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  • rjk123

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful experience the Lord gave you. I suspect that it will be a forever reminder to you of His love for you and will have depths of meaning that He will continually reveal to you. God bless you. Rest in His love. Rachel

  • judeen

     Jesus……. is our destination…. I have met so many that love God so much.. that Jesus has shared His life with them.. back into the time of the passion or walking on dirt roads in sandles…. a love so deep for our savior.. that Jesus Him self shares His life.. with us… so treasured is the pain that is shared…. yet could one endure this all the time like padre pio? and so many of the saints…. one understands Jesus when He begges not to go through it… but not my will YOURS be Done….. He prayed….. each of us can share a part of Jesus life…if we seek Him deeply… what part? it depends on our jobs in life…and our witness of God…. it is the Fathers Will we seek… and to do this it must be Jesus we seek.. Mary helps us to get there…. Lord… I run from you…and the pain I could share for souls…….to weak and afraid… into your hands I give myself

  • That is a very beautiful experience.  And trust me, you will be able hold onto that for life.  You will never forget it!  It is now part of you.

  • Jeanette

    You received a very powerful blessing from Jesus Christ. It has obviously increased your faith, hope and love. Thank you for sharing this with us. God bless you always in all ways.

  • ymader@gmail.com

    trust me, you will never forget the experience, any of it.
    God bless,
    Yvette

  • What a spiritually intense image you have portrayed…Thank you for sharing your vivid experience. especially for this time of Lent….
    I have also experienced what it is like to have been blessed with a vision, a clearer and deeper understanding of the Lord’s Passion or a special prompting through the Holy Spirit. These revelations that come to us beyond the Veil come by trusting in God to lead and show us His Way by keeping an open heart and an open mind with a visual acuity…and as I describe it, you awake and then start to ‘connect the dots’.within your own life and the appreciation for those around you… .
    It culminates in teaching us to be grateful for the lessons we learn from our experience and it brings us one step closer to holiness in following in Christ’s footsteps to Calvary as we too learn to carry our crosses. I have also found that meditating during Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament at the “Gethsemane Hour ” (Devotion to the Precious Blood) is another beautiful way to be close and in tandem with Jesus during his Passion.

  • BeckitaMaria

    Thank you for sharing this profound experience, Ariel.

    We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world! 

  • You are so very blessed to have been given a share in our Lord’s Passion! What a great gift! What a beautiful way to experience His great love for you! May our Lord continue to bless you more and more and draw you ever closer to His heart.

  • Hannah T

    Haunting and beautiful! I got chills while reading the second paragraph. I wish I could experience something like that…..

  • To share in Christ’s passion is an extreme gift from God. To understand in fullness of our hearts body soul and mind what Jesus suffered for our salvation giving us his body blood soul and divinity in his passion in the Eucharist. A very moving reflection how God calls us all to share in his passion. Thank you!

  • LizEst

    Thank you for sharing this, Ariel. Your experience, which provides more insight into the Lord’s crown of thorns, gives much to meditate on. God bless you this Lent and always.

  • Work2SnowSki

    Thank you.

  • $19933969

    +
    Thank God for this grace! – and thank you for sharing this with us.  It is quite an encouragement to pray the rosary – not that we will all have this experience, I’m sure – but the thought of being that close to Jesus… 

  • $1650412

    Thank you for sharing this, Ariel!

  • Thank you Ariel. You are challenging me in my own prayer life. I pray Rosary everyday but it seems i am not in it completely yet. Lets pray for each other

  • Linda Ulanday

    I have read all of the comments and all I can think to say is Thank You Ariel and Amen! Glimpses of Christ’s life makes our lives seem small but yet so precious in the eyes of the Lord. May God continue to bless you always and Happy Easter!

  • Pat

    WOW!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Thomas Reynolds

    Ariel, be sure to get and use a good spiritual director. The Evil One will not like what is happening with you. But ‘Be not afraid.” Read Psalm 121.

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