O Jesus, who in Thy cruel Passion didst become the “Reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows,” I worship Thy Divine Face.
St. Teresa of the Child Jesus.
Merits Derived from Meditating on the Passion of Christ
THE Devotion to the Passion of our Lord and Savior is, of all forms of Catholic devotion, the most ancient, the most venerable, 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.
For what reason did Jesus leave the impression of His bloody and disfigured Countenance on the cloth Veronica presented to Him? Why did He take care to have the instruments of His Passion preserved, such as the Cross, the nails, the crown of thorns and the winding-sheet? Was it not that we should keep vividly before us the remembrance of His bitter Passion?
Tauler, one of the great mystics of the Middle Ages, says: “Once when a venerable servant of God asked our Lord what a man merited who exercised himself devoutly in meditating upon His Passion, Christ answered: ‘By such meditation he merits: —
1. To be cleansed from his sins. (Mortal sins, however, must be confessed.)
2. To have all his negligences supplied by the merits of My sufferings.
3. To be strengthened so that he will not easily be overcome by his enemies.
4. That My grace will be renewed in him as often as he reflects on My sufferings.
5. That I refuse him nothing that is profitable, if he earnestly ask for it.
6. That I lead him to perfection before his death.
7. That I assist him in his last hour, protect him against his enemies, and give him an assurance of salvation.’ ”