Through the ages, the saints have written that the surest way to grow in holiness is to meditate on the Passion of Jesus. So, over the past month or so, I’ve been making a more concerted to do just that.
I can attest that meditating on the Passion leads the soul deeper into the mystery of and union with Christ. The times of deepest union in my meditation has been after Mass and in adoration.
Recently during my weekly holy hour, I’ve been reading The Way of Divine Love written by Sister Josefa Menendez, a nun and victim soul who lived in the early 1900s. Jesus appeared to her, and in obedience to her superiors, she wrote down all that He said. Jesus shared with her the events that occurred during His Passion along with His thoughts and feelings.
I must say, it is extremely difficult to read – not for its words, but for its meaning and for the realization that he endured so much for me. It’s unbelievably humbling. I can only read about two pages at a time, and I invariably shed tears. “No greater love is there than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend.” (Jn 15:13)
Last night in adoration, I read Jesus’ words of His agony in the Garden. I share with you two excerpts that moved me deeply. I pray you will take these words to heart, and they will lead you to seek Him with all your soul.
Sister Josefa Menendez, pray for us! Anne
The hour had come for the Son of God made man, Redeemer of the human race, to shed His Blood and give His life for the world. And that I might surrender Myself to My Father’s will I forthwith betook Myself to prayer.
Dearly loved souls, come and learn from your Model that the one thing necessary, whatever the revolts of nature, is surrender to God’s will in humble submission and by a supreme act of the will to accomplish the will of God whatever the circumstances may be. Learn also from Him that all important actions should be preceded and vivified by prayer, for only in prayer can a soul obtain the strength needed in life’s difficulties. In prayer God will communicate Himself, will counsel and inspire, even if His action be unfelt.
I withdrew into the Garden of Gethsemane, that is to say, into solitude. God is to be sought within, away from distraction and noise. To find Him the soul must enforce silence on all the disturbances by which nature often fights against grace; on interior arguments and prompted by self-love or sensuality. These constantly tend to stifle the inspirations of grace and keep her from finding God within… (The Way of Divine Love, TAN Books, p. 256)
I went back to My prayer, and again falling on My face I worshipped My Father and implored His help…I did not call Him “My God” but “My Father”. It is when harrowed with pain that you too must call God your Father. Beg for His help, expose your woes…your fears, your longings…and let your cry of anguish remind Him that you are His child. Tell Him that your body is exhausted…you heart is sorrowful even unto death…that your soul is experiencing what seems a very sweat of blood. Pray with a child’s confidence and expect relief from your Father’s Heart. He Himself will comfort you and give you the strength necessary to endure the tribulation or suffering, whether it be your own or that of the soul confided to your care. (Ibid. p. 258)