Fruits of Meditation on the Passion
It cleanses us from our sins . — It is impossible for a soul who takes our Lord’s sufferings seriously to heart, to continue offending God willfully, especially by mortal sin.
St. Alphonsus impresses this upon us by affirming: “A soul who believes in the Passion of Jesus Christ, and frequently thinks thereon, will find it impossible to go on offending her Savior.
It strengthens us against temptation .— Frequent and devout meditation on the sufferings of our Lord has the wonderful power to enable us to overcome our passions. St. Augustine writes in his “Confessions” that whenever he was tempted by the demon of impurity, he resisted Satan successfully by meditating on the Wounds of Jesus. “As often as I am tempted,” he says, “I seek refuge in the Wounds of Jesus. I fly into the Heart of the mercies of my Lord!”
It will lead us to perfection before our death. — One of the principal sources of our sanctification is the tender and compassionate remembrance of our Savior’s sufferings. St. Bonaventure addresses these words to the soul seeking perfection: “If thou, 0 man, wouldst advance from virtue to virtue, if thou wouldst lead a perfect life, then meditate daily on the Passion of Christ. Nothing else can so powerfully urge the soul to holiness. The painful Wounds of our Savior’s Body penetrate even the hardest of hearts, and inflame the coldest of souls with love.”
It gives us the assurance of a happy death. — “Souls that are tormented by the devil and tremble for their eternal salvation will feel great consolation in withdrawing their eyes from the outward world and fixing them on the Cross where Jesus hangs, bleeding from every Wound.” — St. Alphonsus Liguori.
It insures for us a special glory in heaven. — This was revealed to St. Gertrude. Once on the feast of St. John the Evangelist she beheld how this beloved apostle enjoyed a special bliss in heaven, because he had always begun his contemplations with the remembrance of our Savior’s Passion, of which he had been an eye-witness.
Moreover, we should love to meditate upon the Passion because therein our Savior makes His virtues shine forth with great brilliance. He possesses every virtue in His Soul, but the occasions of manifesting them especially arise in His Passion. His immense love for His Father, His charity for mankind, hatred of sin, forgiveness of injuries, patience, meekness, fortitude, obedience to lawful authority, compassion, — all these virtues shine forth in a heroic manner, for our imitation. Jesus in His Passion is our Divine Model in suffering. If, therefore, we frequently contemplate His sufferings and strive to imitate His virtues, we shall receive special graces which will transform us little by little into His likeness, and prepare us to share in His glory in heaven.