I don’t know if you’ve discovered it yet, but something extremely beneficial to the soul is the meditation of the Passion of the Lord. It’s really too bad that the majority of protestants (and many Catholics!) skip the cross and go straight to the resurrection. Imagine if you were to go through something painful in order for someone you know to receive a certain benefit. Would you like that person to think only about what they’ve gained, or also to remember all that you suffered for their cause?
If you’ve ever gone through a hard time, it’s very likely that you still remember the people who were there to support you. It may feel awkward accompanying someone in their suffering, but it’s so important, and it creates a union that nothing else can make. Meditating the Passion is like being there with the Lord while He suffered it.
The thing is, if you do it to console the Lord and grow more united to Him, He NEVER lets Himself be outdone in generosity! It is so helpful to take time to contemplate what the Lord suffered for us! It helps put things in perspective, seeing them through the Lord’s eyes. If you are suffering, you can unite your pains to those of the Lord. You can also grow in understanding towards those who suffer, and you can learn to be grateful to Jesus for what He’s done. When you begin to meditate on the Passion, you’ll begin to understand how much Jesus truly suffered for us, and how much He loves us. It’s strange, but contemplating the passion also brings an inner joy that can only be explained supernaturally.
How to meditate the Passion? Take the Stations of the Cross and pray them slowly, imagining each scene. Contemplate and adore the five wounds of Christ, asking forgiveness, strength, and graces in relation with each one. Remember the movie The Passion and imagine yourself as one of the characters. Speak with Jesus, Mary, St. John, Simon of Cyrene, the good thief, the apostles who ran away. Contemplate the motives and attitudes of the Jews, Pilate, Herod, the Roman soldiers, the disciples, each person who was there, and compare yourself to them. There are also a lot of books and written meditations that can guide you through the Passion of our Lord. Don’t rush, let your soul go at its own pace.
I’m going to leave you with some things the saints and mystics have said about meditating the Passion:
- St. Paul of the Cross: “It is very good and holy to consider the passion of our Lord, and to meditate on it, for by this sacred path we reach union with God.”
-Sr. Josefa Menendez, a 20th century mystic, asked Our Lady how she, being so weak, could resist strong temptations. Mary’s response: “Meditate the Passion of Jesus.”
-St. Alphonsus de Liguori suggests it as an protection against mediocrity.
-Jesus told St. Faustina: “There is more merit to one hour of meditation on My sorrowful Passion than there is to a whole year of flagellation that draws blood.”
“You please Me most when you meditate on My Sorrowful Passion.”
“The contemplation of My painful wounds is of great profit to you, and it brings Me great joy.”
“Today consider My Sorrowful Passion in all its immensity. Consider it as if it had been undertaken for your sake alone.”
Well, get to it.
Another Beginner, but with really good teachers