The Passion of Jesus

March 27, 1994
Brother John Raymond

	It is a common practice among the saints to have a special
 devotion to the Passion of Our Lord. Some of them so identified with
 Jesus's Passion as to reflect His Wounds in their own bodies. St.
 Francis of Assisi bore wounds in his side, hands and feet. St. Rita
 shared in the Crown of Thorns. She bore the wound of one thorn on
 her forehead. The list could go on and on. The important point to
 learn from this is that devotion to the Passion can really help
 one's life of prayer.
	Jesus wants us to remember His Passion. He instituted the Holy
 Mass with the words "do this in remembrance of Me." What is the Holy
 Mass essentially make present and remember? Let us look at what the
 Consecration says. "This is My Body which will be given up for you.
 . . This is the Cup of My Blood. . . It will be shed for you. Our
 Lord is most definitely talking about His Passion and Death. He
 wants us to meditate on it and be thankful for it. The "you" in the
 Consecration is important to hear. Jesus died for you! It is a
 personal relationship - Jesus and you. He saw you during His Passion
 and Death.
	That is what makes meditating or praying about the Passion and
 Death of Jesus so important - that He died for love of you. "No
 greater love does a man have than to lay down his life for his
 friends." Jesus wanted to show you and me how much love he had for
 us - nobody has more! When we think and pray about the Passion and
 Death of Jesus we are drawn to love Jesus more and more. We come to
 a deeper and deeper appreciation of His love. We want to honor Him
 by honoring the Wounds He bore for us. We want to compassionate Him
 by entering into His Passion. Jesus in turn loves when we pray about
 what He did for us. He told one holy soul that it was worth more to
 Him for someone to meditate on His Passion than to spend a whole
 year fasting on bread and water. That's how important it is to pray
 about the Passion.
	Another example of the importance of this practice would be the
 Divine Mercy devotion. Our Lord wanted people every day to stop at 3
 o'clock and recall His Passion. Even the Sacred Heart devotion
 brings us to the Passion. Jesus showed St. Margaret Mary His wounded
 Heart surrounded with thorns. And showing her His Heart Jesus said,
	There are many ways of meditating on or praying about the
 Passion. One can read about the Passion in Sacred Scripture or as
 revealed through various writings of the mystics and reflect over
 it. Also, there are many devotional prayers dedicated to the
 Passion. Some of these are very familiar to us: The Way of the
 Cross, the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, etc. One particular
 devotion that I have recommended before is the Fifteen Prayers of
 St. Bridget of Sweden. Many people, young and old, have drawn near
 our suffering Lord by the instrumentality of these prayers. In fact,
 a young man visiting us now has been praying them every day since
 last May. (You can obtain a copy of these prayers by ordering "The
 Pieta Prayer Booklet" from the Miraculous Lady of the Roses, 1186
 Burlington Drive, Hickory Corners, Michigan 49060. Telephone:
	As we move toward Good Friday let us cultivate a love for the
 Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us honor His Wounds by which
 we are healed. Let us be another Simon of Cyrene being with Jesus as
 He carries His Cross.