“That Christ did indeed die for us is so hard to conceive that scarcely is our mind able to grasp it….So great is God’s favor and love in our regard that He has done more for us than we are able to understand.” –From “Sermon in a Sentence: A Treasury of Quotations on the Spiritual Life; Vol. 5: St. Thomas Aquinas,” pg. 124. Selected and Arranged by John P. McClernon.
Some days, I kneel before the Crucifix, gazing upon Our Lord’s passion and death memorialized forever in this sculpted artwork, yet I cannot feel sorrow. That God Himself should die for me…it is too much. My mind draws a blank where there should be springing tears of contrition, of tender love, of fervent resolutions never to crucify Him again. But some days I simply kneel there and cannot feel anything. It is in these times that I wonder at the power of God’s grace to make me understand what Christ’s Passion really means. I cannot grasp it on my own–it takes the gifts of the Holy Ghost to effect in me that knowledge and understanding, ever so little as we are capable of comprehending, that will lead me to sorrow, humility and contrition.
And some days, when I feel this way and ask Our Lady and the Holy Ghost for the graces to pray well, to think and meditate well upon this most holy mystery, it is as if a switch has gone off in my mind. I suddenly see, I suddenly understand. I can see and hear the agonies Our Lord suffered; I can place myself at the foot of the Cross and beg Our Lady to let me mingle tears with her, and at the feet of my patroness Mary Magdalene, who never left the foot of the cross, and ask her to obtain for me the grace of ever remaining at the feet of Jesus. I can ask of St. Cecilia the grace to follow her, she who followed Our Lord in the pains of death in perfect obedience to God’s will, the grace of martyrdom.
And on Fridays, when we make our stations of the Cross, that switch goes off again as we linger on each agony that Our Lord suffered and beg of Jesus the grace to never offend Him again.
Our Lord’s Passion and Death are so powerful a means of sanctification, if we only take the time and ask the grace to meditate on them well. It is no wonder that the Stations are the most heavily indulgenced devotion! Let us make a special effort this Lent, that blessed season which Holy Mother Church gives us to weep for our sins and look to Our Lord on the Holy Cross, to meditate on His Passion and His Crucifixion–that most Holy Sacrifice of Calvary which is renewed in an unbloody manner at every Holy Mass–and beg of Him the grace to have our hearts nailed to His feet, ever to remain there, never to quit Him again.
+We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee;
Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.+