The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary are a contemplation of the Face of Christ in His sufferings. “There is no beauty in Him, nor comeliness: and we have seen Him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of Him. Despised and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and His countenance was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed Him not” (Is 53:3–3).
One who prays the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary daily, or at least frequently, will grow in the spirit of compunction. Blessed Abbot Marmion says that compunction is “an habitual feeling of regret for having offended the divine goodness.” He also says that, “While making us conscious of our offences, compunction gives us also a keen realization of the divine pardon. It is thus a source of peace and confidence — a source likewise of joy, humble but profound.”
The Sorrow Mysteries are, in effect, a form of lectio—meditatio—oratio—and contemplatio on Isaiah’s prophecy of the Passion of Christ. They are also a way of interiorizing the prayer of the suffering Christ given us in Psalms 21, 30, and 68.