In order not to lengthen further this Sunday’s Mass, I will offer just a few brief thoughts for our reflexion.
This week, which we call Holy Week, let each of us spend at least 15 mn each day meditating upon the the Passion of Our Blessed Saviour. There is more fruit in this exercise than in fasting for a whole year, praying all the Psalms, or taking the discipline to blood. How does one meditate on the Passion? It is very simple: reflect lovingly on any part of the sufferings that Our Lord endured for our sake, linger over them with gratitude, and ask for the grace to imitate His love.
This brings us to the second point: there is no need to go looking for big penances. Let each of us this week strive to accept those crosses that we already have in our lives. These crosses come from our health, our family duties, our work, the demands made on our time, the weather, the unexpected changes in our plans, the hurtful words or attitudes of those we live or work with. There is also another cross that we are not accustomed to considering as such, but it is, namely, the temptations we have to endure. If we remember that passion and patience have the same Latin root – pati – one can easily perceive that by enduring temptation, saying some short prayers and waiting patiently for the temptation to pass, we are doing something very pleasing to Our Sweet Saviour. Try looking at your temptations as crosses to carry, and like Jesus, bear them manfully. Like His passion, they will pass, you will be made stronger by them, and you will be at peace.
Finally, let us not forget that, according to the teaching of St Paul, we can unite our little sufferings with Our Lord’s great sufferings, and if we do, they atone for sins and make us partaker of all that is good. Let us then, to use the apostle’s words, fill up in our flesh the sufferings that are wanting to the passion of Christ for the sake of His body which is the Church (Col 1:24).
If we do but these small things with great love, especially if we offer them through Our Lady of Sorrows, this week will truly be holy and the blessed Easter festival will bring with it spiritual joy the world cannot know. Amen.