MEDITATION OF THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
Our Lord Jesus Christ gained our salvation with His Passion and Death on the Cross, which occurred on a Friday. It is an ancient custom in the Church to contemplate the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ which makes us realize of the immense love He has for each one of us, a love which is capable of suffering and death in order to free us from our sins.
St John Chrysostom wrote:
“We should read our Lord’s Passion constantly; what great benefit we will gain by doing so. Even if you are as hard as stone, when you contemplate that He was sarcastically adorned; then ridiculed; beaten and subjected to the final agonies, you will be moved to cast all pride from your soul (St John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of St Matthew, 87, 1).”
One day while St. Thomas Aquinas was visiting St Bonaventure, St. Thomas asked him where he had learned and acquired his remarkable doctrine that he set out in his works. St. Bonaventure showed him a crucifix, which was blackened from all the kisses he had given it, and replied: “This is the book that tells me what I should write; the little I know I have learned from it (Cfr. St Alphonsus Liguori, Meditations on Christ’s Passion, 1:4).” On his part, St Thomas Aquinas said that the Passion of Christ is enough to serve as a guide and model throughout our lives (St Thomas, About the Creed, 6).
Dear friends, our knowledge of Jesus’ love for each one of us could only be enhanced and deepened by frequently considering His life, more particularly, His Passion and Death, in our personal prayer, which we could make as a habit during Fridays of the week. Furthermore, the rewards of doing so are numerous:
- Knowledge precedes love. We need to get to know Our Lord more and deal with Him frequently, meditating on His Sacred Humanity, not only to assimilate his life and teachings, but above all to grow in our intimacy and love with Him.
- It will also help us think more than once on the gravity of sin and lead us to reject it for it is the cause of Our Lord’s Passion and Death.
- It also offers us a mature and supernatural perspective on the redeeming value of suffering –illness, pain, problems, contradictions– which we all experience in our life and thus confront it with faith, hope and love, identifying ourselves with Our Lord’s reaction towards suffering.
- It leads us to be thankful and indebted to Our Lord for all the He has done for us.
- It also brings us to correspond with love to Jesus’ love for us: Love begets love.
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