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Making the Passion Real

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Finding God Through Meditation (Week 6 of 7)


Making the Passion Real

One thing you have to love about St. Peter of Alcántara: he's immensely practical. What we've been reading is a handbook that is as applicable to us now as it was to Teresa of Avila and her contemporaries hundreds of years ago.

What is it that makes it so relevant to us? For me, it is passages like this, from this week's chapter:


Moreover, in meditating on our Blessed Savior’s Passion, we must set him before the eyes of our souls, imagining that we see as present the pangs of his heavy sufferings; and we must not only insist upon the bare history of his Passion, but we must consider other circumstances; namely, these four: First, who it is that suffers? Secondly, for whom? Thirdly, how? Fourthly, why?

First, he that suffers is God, omnipotent, infinite, immense. For whom? The most ungrateful creature in the world and less regarding his benefits. How? With most profound humility, charity, bounty, meekness, mercy, patience, modesty, etc. Why? Not for his own commodity, nor our merits, but for his immense piety, mercy, goodness, and love towards us.

Finding God through Meditation, Chapter VIII, Paragraphs 3-4

Though I never wanted to be a journalist, not really, I did spend a school year as my FFA Chapter Reporter. In that time, I internalized the “Who, What, Where, Why, How?” of the journalist's trade. Those questions, it seems, apply to more than just writing a news piece.

I had only been Catholic a couple of years when Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ was released in theaters. When my husband and I went to see it, I found myself completely unprepared.

As it turns out, I had NO IDEA what the Passion was all about. My idea of what Jesus suffered for me was limited to the sanitized pictures and crucifixes in the churches and homes around me. I hadn't ever researched it, hadn't even thought of looking into it.

I couldn't have thought my way to what that movie did for me in terms of making the Passion real. Suddenly, I had a tangible, visual, very real notion of how much Jesus loved me, me! He did THAT for ME!

And for you.

And for that annoying person who cut you off in traffic, that kid who won't quit whining, that coworker who snaps her gum right as your brain's about to explode.

For each of us.

St. Peter's approach, and the suggestions he gives for each day of the week, are an invaluable resource for all of us. They strike me as the basics of prayer, the nitty-gritty-what's-important. I suspect, too, that they won't ever get old for me.

Reading Assignment:


Discussion Questions:

1. What challenges do you face in your prayer as you consider the Passion?

2. Which of St. Peter's meditations was your favorite from this chapter? Why?

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at and is the author of a number of books for families.

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