Prof. Micheal Ogunu
The devotion to the Passion of Our Lord and Saviour, is of all forms of Catholic devotion, the most ancient, the most venerable, and the most universal. Jesus Himself has written the remembrance of His Passion deep into the hearts of His faithful. In order to imprint most deeply in our souls the remembrance of His Sacred Passion, Christ instituted Holy Mass, the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross. Perhaps, there is no subject for meditation more suitable for anyone than the most sacred Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In it, many sinners find the encouragement and graces necessary for their conversion; many beginners derive strength and favour wherewith to subdue their passions; many good Christians discover fresh incentives to advance in the paths of virtue. In short, there are none who will not find in it an inexhaustible mine of hidden treasures, and an endless source of graces and spiritual blessings. In all ages it has been a favourite exercise of the Saints, who greatly to their consolation have been in the habit of spending hours, day and night, in meditation on the bitter sufferings of their Saviour. So much is not required of the average devout Christian, but one is expected to daily spend half, or at least a quarter of an hour, in attentive consideration of some point of the Passion of Jesus.
How to Meditate on the Passion of Christ
– Performing the Stations of the Cross (not only during Lent, but throughout the year)
– Meditating on the Five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
– Saying prayers in honour of the Passion such as: the famous fifteen prayers of St. Bridget, which are in the “PIETA” prayer book and also the collection of prayers about the passion in an excellent little publication by TAN Books Publishers entitled: “Devotion to the Passion of Our Lord”.
Anne Catherine Emmerich’s famous book on the Passion – The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, is a great treasure inspiring thousands since it first appeared in 1833 – being based on the detailed visions of Our Lord’s Passion and Death as seen by Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774 – 1824), a German Augustinian nun, and recorded by Clemens Brentano, a prominent literary figure of the day. A saintly person from her youth and a great mystic and victim soul, Sister Emmerich was privileged by God during almost a lifetime of ecstatic visions to see all the events of Our Lord’s suffering and death, which visions we can now understand in hindsight were a great gift from God to the world. Her account of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, while faithful to the Bible, is heart-rending, edifying and surprising because of its intimate detail.
The Dolorous Passion recounts with incredible precision the horrendous sufferings undergone by Our Saviour in His superhumanly heroic act of Redemption. Also illuminating is its description of Mary’s participation in the sufferings of her Son, so that this book gives the reader a poignant understanding of why Our Lady is often called our “Co-Redemptrix” and “Queen of Martyrs”, THE DOLOROUS PASSION is a singular book that conveys a lasting impression of the terrible Agony of Our Lord, of His infinite love for us that motivated His Agony, and how His Passion and Death were brought on by each person’s sins. Copies of the book are available in Pauline bookshops.
Also useful for meditation on the Passion of Our Lord is a book entitled The Mystery of the Crown of Thorns written by a Passionist priest. But there can be no substitute for reading and meditating on the accounts of the passion narratives in the Gospels of St. Matthew, Mark and Luke in Catholic Bibles.
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