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Growing in faith through His passion


This Friday, at 7 p.m., the parish of St. Ann’s invites our community to walk with us as we pray and meditate on the passion and death of Jesus, called the Christ. Seating is limited; lawn chairs are recommended. If it rains, we’ll have an alternate plan!

As followers of Christ, we believe in His life, death, and resurrection. Much of our focus is on His life, teachings, and resurrection, central to our beliefs, and the core of our hope in this life eternal life through, with, and in Him, who by his Passion and death paid for the sins of all.

As Catholics, we pay special attention during Lent to Christ’s suffering and death, praying the Stations of the Cross not as a morbid obsession with the agony of his suffering and death, but to remind ourselves of His great sacrifice for us. We realize the damage our sins do, and can unite our own suffering with His.

Saints remind us that meditating on Christ’s passion helps us grow in our faith.

“But especially I commend earnest mental prayer to you, more particularly such as bears upon the Life and Passion of our Lord,” said St. Francis de Sales, in Introduction to the Devout Life, on “The Necessity of Prayer.” “If you contemplate Him frequently in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with Him, you will grow in His Likeness, and your actions will be moulded on His.”

According to St. Peter of Alcantara in A Golden Treatise Of Mental Prayer, Christ’s Passion helps us reflect on, among other things, the bitterness of Christ’s sorrow, helping us grow in compassion; the greatness of our sins, “that we may abhor them”; and the many virtues of our Savior, “éthat we may partly imitate and partly admire them é”.

In the Passion of our Lord, writes Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus, in The School of Jesus Crucified: The Lessons of Calvary in Daily Catholic Life, “é may sinners find the encouragement and graces necessary for their conversion; from it may beginners derive strength and fervor wherewith to subdue their passions; in it may the good discover fresh incentives to advance in the paths of virtue. In short, there are none who will not find in it an inexhaustible mine of hidden treasures, and an endless source of graces and spiritual blessings.”

Whatever mystery we choose to meditate upon, Fr. Ignatius suggests we consider:

¢“The infinite greatness of Him Who suffers.

¢“The excess of suffering and ignominy which He endures.

¢“How great is the love with which He suffers.

¢“The infinite unworthiness and vileness of those for whom He suffers.

¢“That His principal aim in all His sufferings is to be loved by men.”

Everyone is welcome Friday evening, to walk with us as we walk with Him, who gave His life so we might have eternal life.

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