If we read the lives of the Saints, we might notice that meditation on the Passion keeps emerging as a prominent theme. In addition we might notice that the Saints have a tendency to exhibit joy in the midst of suffering.
How can we too exhibit that joy?
Meditating on the Passion might help us.
What do we do when we meditate on the Passion? We focus on Christ’s love for us – a real love, a self-sacrificial love, an infinite love, a love greater than death, a love greater than the worst suffering. Our minds might be attentive to the ability of Christ to bring good out of every kind of suffering.
What can happen to a soul that tends to meditate on Christ’s Passion? That soul might gradually start to learn how to suffer well. That soul might see suffering in his life as an opportunity to grow closer to Christ and as an opportunity for good to arise. That soul might learn to love like Christ. The meditation might have kindled a longing to love like Christ, and the soul might respond by putting Christ’s love into action by imitating His example. That soul might love Christ more. That soul might become a Saint.
How can we meditate on the Passion?
First it is helpful to understand meditation. Meditation is a form of mental prayer (prayer that engages the mind). It is a kind of prayer that involves reflection – in which a person thinks about God or anything divine while God is present.
That is true meditation.
When a person engages in this kind of prayer, he might be making use of a passage of Scripture, a sacred image, or a statue, calling to mind divine truths by thinking about the meaning of what is in front of him. He might even be calling an image to mind or a piece of music. The concept is the same no matter what method the person is using.
Meditation on the Passion is very simple. It is thinking about the Passion in prayer. Somebody could use various means of approaching meditation on the Passion. For instance somebody could use Lectio Divina – a particular method of prayer – with a passage from the Holy Bible taken from a Gospel account of the Passion of Christ. Alternately somebody could pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, or somebody could meditate on a Pieta statue, thinking about the Passion and death of Christ and what it might have been like for Mary to witness that. Somebody could pray the devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows in which he meditates on the Seven Sorrows of Mary with one Hail Mary for each Sorrow.
There are various ways. No matter what way is used, we should meditate on the Passion using that method.
It is helpful to regularly meditate on the Passion – even daily. Furthermore we should make devotion (devoting ourselves) to the Passion a prominent part of our lives as Catholics, taking note of the Passion when it arises and drawing our attention to it. We should use moments where the Passion arises in our lives as opportunities for prayer – whether they involve an account of the Passion in the Gospels or some kind of suffering that we are undergoing. God can bring so much good out of devotion to the Passion – acts of charity, the offering of suffering for good intentions, and joy in the midst of suffering, to name examples. We should give Him the opportunity to bring this good into our lives by meditating on the Passion as often as He wills.