Christ’s Passion and Death

Some meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ during this Holy Season of Lent:

 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.  When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.  After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.  Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst.  Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar and hyssop, put it to his mouth.  Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.”  ~John 19: 25-30

“Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.  He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth. He was taken away from distress, and from judgment: who shall declare his generation? because he is cut oh out of the land of the living: for the wickedness of my people have I struck him.”  ~Isiah 53: 3-8

“The Cross I ever adore.”  ~St. Thomas Aquinas

“Death blossomed in paradise but was slain on the cross.”  ~St. John Chrysostom

“The cross is the ladder to Heaven.”   ~Catechism of the Cure de Ars

“No one can obtain salvation unless through Christ and the merits of His Passion.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“He gave Himself wholly to you: He left nothing to himself.”   ~St. John Chrysostom

“The Blood, poured out in abundance, has washed the whole world clean.”   ~St. John Chrysostom

“You should carry the passion of God in your hearts, for it is man’s consolation in his last hour.”   ~St. Nicholas of Flue

“O the wonderful power of the Cross! O the unspeakable glory of the Passion!”   ~Pope St. Leo I the Great

“No one can be just unless he is granted a share in the merits of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  ~Council of Trent

“Jesus Christ by His passion and death gave to the sacraments the power of conferring grace.” ~Catechism of Pope St. Pius X

“Without the priest, the Death and Passion of Our Lord would be of no avail.”   ~Catechism of the Cure de Ars

“What, O Lord, could more clearly show me than do thy Wounds, that thou art sweet and mild, and plenteous in mercy?”   ~St. Bernard

“Let us go often to the foot of the Cross… We shall learn there what God has done for us, and what we ought to do for him.”   ~St. John Vianney

“From the sufferings and death of Christ we learn God’s love for man and the evil of sin, for which God, who is all-just, demands such great satisfaction.”   ~Baltimore Catechism

“It is certain that, if I had sinned less, Thou, my Jesus, wouldst have suffered less.”   ~St. Alphonsus Liguori

“And while He hangs from the cross are we not at a loss which to deplore, His agony, or His ignominy, or both?”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“The Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross because in the Mass the victim is the same, and the principal priest is the same, Jesus Christ.”   ~Baltimore Catechism

“Triumphing over the agonies of the Cross, the bitterness of death, the shame of the most ignominious tortures, nothing costs Him too dear when He has to prove that He loves us.” ~Catechism of the Cure de Ars

“The Holy Mass is the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ offered on our altars under the appearances of bread and wine, in commemoration of the Sacrifice of the Cross.”   ~Catechism of Pope St. Pius X

“In His Passion and death the Son of God, our Savior, intended to atone for and blot out the sins of all ages, to offer for them to his Father a full and abundant satisfaction.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

For if the very idea of impending evils was overwhelming, and the sweat of blood shows that it was, what are we to suppose their actual endurance to have been?”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“Even the demons were not solely responsible for crucifying Him; it was you who crucified Him with them, and you continue to crucify Him by taking pleasure in your vices and sins.”   ~St. Francis of Assisi

“Let us fix our gaze on the blood of Christ and know how precious it is to His Father because it was poured out for our salvation and brought the grace of repentance to the whole world.”   ~Pope St. Clement of Rome, 1st century A.D.

“For by the sacrifice of His own body He did two things: He put an end to the law of death which barred our way; and He made a new beginning of life for us, by giving us the hope of resurrection.” ~St. Athanasius

Christ’s Passion – A Satisfaction, A Sacrifice, A Redemption An Example. The pastor should teach that all these inestimable and divine blessings flow to us from the Passion of Christ.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“Again, it (the Passion of Christ) was a sacrifice most acceptable to God, for when offered by His Son on the altar of the cross, it entirely appeased the wrath and indignation of the Father.” ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“His hands and feet were fastened with nails to the cross; His head was pierced with thorns and smitten with a reed; His face was befouled with spittle and buffeted with blows; His whole body was covered with stripes.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“On the Cross Jesus Christ prayed for His enemies; gave His own Most Blessed Mother as a Mother to St. John, and, in his person, to all of us; offered up His death in sacrifice; and satisfied the justice of God for the sins of men.”   ~Catechism of Pope St. Pius X

“Remember then, that although you were made from nothing, you were not redeemed with nothing. In six days God created all things, including you, but for thirty years he worked out your salvation including the ignominy of dying on the cross.”   ~St. Bernard of Clairvaux

“For, through the Sacraments, as through a channel, must flow into the soul the efficacy of the Passion of Christ, that is, the grace which He merited for us on the altar of the cross, and without which we cannot hope for salvation.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“And yet there is truly nothing that more eloquently proclaims His supreme love and admirable charity towards us, than the inexplicable mystery of the Passion of Jesus Christ, whence springs that never-failing fountain to wash away the defilements of sin.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“In a certain sense it can be said that on Calvary Christ built a font of purification and salvation which He filled with the blood He shed; but if men do not bathe in it and there wash away the stains of their iniquities, they can never be purified and saved.”   ~Pope Pius XII

“You cannot better appreciate your worth than by looking into the mirror of the Cross of Christ; there you will learn how you are to deflate your pride, how you must mortify the desires of the flesh, how you are to pray to your Father for those who persecute you, and to commend your spirit into God’s hands.”   ~St. Anthony of Padua

“The Master takes upon Himself the stripes belonging to the servant, the servant is glorified by the glory of the Master. That is why the cross can be called the cross of the Lord of Glory, and why every tongue can confess, to the glory of God the Father, that Jesus Christ is Lord.”   ~St. Gregory of Nyssa

“What is a man able to find so valuable that he can give it for the ransom of his soul? Yet one thing was found that was worth as much as all men together. It was given as the ransom price for our souls, the holy and most precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He poured out for all of us; we were, therefore, ‘bought dearly’.”   ~St. Basil the Great

“Eden was now being reversed. Three things cooperated in our fall: a disobedient man, Adam; a proud woman, Eve; and a tree. God takes the three elements that lead to the defeat of man and uses them as the instruments of victory: the obedient new Adam, Christ; the humble new Eve, Mary; and the tree of the Cross.”   ~Archbishop Fulton Sheen

“Should anyone inquire why the Son of God underwent His most bitter Passion, he will find that besides the guilt inherited from our first parents the principal causes were the vices and crimes which have been perpetrated from the beginning of the world to the present day and those which will be committed to the end of time.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“Indeed, if one thing more than another presents difficulty to the mind and understanding of man, assuredly it is the mystery of the cross, which, beyond all doubt, must be considered the most difficult of all; so much so that only with great difficulty can we grasp the fact that our salvation depends on the cross, and on Him who for us was nailed thereon.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“Death has become like a tyrant who has been completely conquered by the legitimate monarch; bound hand and foot the passers-by sneer at him, hitting him and abusing him, no longer afraid of his cruelty and rage, because of the king who has conquered him. So had death been conquered and branded for what it is by the Savior on the cross.”   ~St. Athanasius

“The mystery of the divine redemption is primarily and by its very nature a mystery of love, that is, of the perfect love of Christ for His heavenly Father to Whom the sacrifice of the Cross, offered in a spirit of love and obedience, presents the most abundant and infinite satisfaction due for the sins of the human race; ‘By suffering out of love and obedience, Christ gave more to God than was required to compensate for the offense of the whole human race.'”   ~Pope Pius XII

“Now our Lord being truly the Savior wished not by saving Himself, but by saving His creatures, to be acknowledged the Savior. For neither is a physician by healing himself known to be physician, unless he also gives proof of his skill towards the sick. So the Lord being the Savior had no need of salvation, nor by descending from the cross did He wish to be acknowledged the Savior, but by dying. For truly a much greater salvation does the death of the Savior bring to men, than the descent from the cross.”   ~St. Athanasius

“We were enemies of God through sin and God had appointed the sinner to die. It was necessary, then, that one of two things should happen: either that God, in His truth, should destroy all men, or that in His loving kindness He should blot out the sentence. But behold the wisdom of God: He preserved both the truth of His sentence, and the exercise of His loving kindness. Christ bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that by His death we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”   ~St. Cyril of Jerusalem

“Jesus goes forth to them wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, not resplendent in kingly power, but laden with reproach; and the words are addressed to them, Behold the man! If you hate your king, spare him now when you see him sunk so low; he has been scourged, crowned with thorns, clothed with the garments of derision, jeered at with the bitterest insults, struck with the open hand; his ignominy is at the boiling point, let your ill-will sink to zero. But there is no such cooling on the part of the latter, but rather a further increase of heat and vehemence.”   ~St. Augustine

“Besides these incomparable blessings, we have also received another of the highest importance; namely, that in the Passion alone we have the most illustrious example of the exercise of every virtue. For He so displayed patience, humility, exalted charity, meekness, obedience and unshaken firmness of soul, not only in suffering for justice’ sake, but also in meeting death, that we may truly say on the day of His Passion alone, our Savior offered, in His own Person, a living exemplification of all the moral precepts inculcated during the entire time of His public ministry.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“The Creator suffers for His creatures, the Master for His servant. He suffers by whom the Angels, men, the heavens, and the elements were made; in whom by whom, and of whom, are all things. It cannot, therefore, be a matter of surprise that while He agonized under such an accumulation of torments the whole frame of the universe convulsed; for as the Scriptures inform us, the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent, there was darkness over all the earth; and the sun was obscured. If, then, even mute and inanimate nature sympathized with the sufferings of her Creator, let the faithful consider with what tears they, the living stones of this edifice, should manifest their sorrow.” ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“That man should be delivered by Christ’s Passion was in keeping with both His mercy and His justice. With His justice, because by His Passion Christ made satisfaction for the sins of the human race, and so man was set free by Christ’s justice; and with His mercy, for since man of himself could not satisfy for the sin of all human nature, God gave him His Son to satisfy for him. And this came of a more copious mercy than if he had forgiven sins without satisfaction: Hence St. Paul says: ‘God, who is rich in mercy, by reason of His very great love wherewith He has loved us even when we were dead by reason of our sins, brought us to life together with Christ.”   ~St. Thomas Aquinas

“When we meditate on the sufferings and all the torments of the Redeemer, nothing is better calculated to stir our souls than the thought that He endured them thus voluntarily. Were anyone to endure all kinds of suffering for our sake, not because he chose them but simply because he could not escape them, we should not consider this a very great favor; but were he to endure death freely, and for our sake only, having had it in his power to avoid it, this indeed would be a benefit so overwhelming as to deprive even the most grateful heart, not only the power of returning but even of feeling due thanks. We may hence form an idea of the transcendent and intense love of Jesus Christ towards us, and of His divine and boundless claims to our gratitude.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“Formerly, it was looked upon as an object of horror, but Jesus Christ has made it so worthy of respect and veneration, that kings and princes have forbidden the punishment of crucifixion to be continued, in order to do honor to those faithful servants, who gloried in a punishment which our Lord and Savior has so ennobled. And this wood to which the Jews had nailed our Lord, accompanied as it was by so many outrages and insults, has become so worthy of honor, that kings have imprinted it on their foreheads, and in union with the lowest of their subjects they look upon the cross of Jesus Christ as the ship which will guide and carry them safely into harbor. So strong sometimes are the storms of life that strength of arm is of no avail, and there is no other means to save us from shipwreck than trusting in the cross of Jesus Christ by which we are consecrated.”   ~St. Augustine

“The Victim alone saves the soul from eternal ruin, the sacrificing of which presents to us in a mystical way the death of the Only-begotten, who – though He is now risen from the dead and dies no more, and death will no longer have dominion over Him, for He lives immortally and incorruptibly in Himself – is immolated for us again in this mystery of the sacred oblation. For His body is eaten there, His flesh is distributed among the people unto salvation, His blood is poured out, no longer in the hands of the faithless but in the mouth of the faithful. Let us take thought, therefore, of what this sacrifice means for us, which is an ever present re-presentation of the suffering of the Only begotten Son, for the sake of our forgiveness.”   ~Pope St. Gregory I the Great

“The fact that He suffered death precisely on the wood of the cross must also be attributed to a particular council of God, which decreed that life should return by the way whence death had arisen. The serpent who had triumphed over our first parents by the wood (of a tree) was vanquished by Christ on the wood of the cross. Many other reasons which the Fathers have discussed in detail might be adduced to show that it was fit that our Redeemer should suffer death on the cross rather than in any other way. But, as the pastor will show, it is enough for the faithful to believe that this kind of death was chosen by the Savior because it appeared better adapted and more appropriate to the redemption of the human race; for there certainly could be none more ignominious and humiliating. Not only among the Gentiles was the punishment of the cross held accursed and full of shame and infamy, but even in the Law of Moses the man is called accursed that hangeth on a tree (Deut. xxi. 23, Gal. iii.13).”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent


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