Easter is now less than two weeks away. Like Advent, I like to use these times of the year as opportunities to give my attention to the life of Jesus in a heightened way. In the days leading up to the specific remembrance of His death and resurrection, I will be writing a series of short posts to aid in meditating on this breathtaking part of the story of Jesus. The goal will not be to actually offer meditations on the scenes described. Nor will I attempt to give detailed explanations for why the scenes should be understood in the chronological order that I am presenting. My hope is simply to offer brief snapshots of key points in the narrative that provide a basic framework for those who desire to adore the Lamb as He journeyed toward Calvary. I pray that He would use these frail words for His glory and that His sufferings would be precious to us.
…That is why the saints have always taken up meditation on the sorrows of Jesus Christ: it was by this means that Saint Francis of Assisi became a seraph. One day a gentleman found him weeping and crying out with a loud voice. On being asked why he did so, he answered, “I weep for the sorrows and ignominies of my Lord: and what makes me weep the most is that we, for whom he suffered so much, live in forgetfulness of Him.” And on saying this he redoubled his tears, so that this man too began to weep. Whenever the saint heard the bleating of a lamb, or saw anything else that reawakened the memory of Jesus’ Passion, he immediately fell aweeping. Another time, when he was sick, someone told him that he should have a book of devotion read to him. “My book,” he replied, “is Jesus crucified.” Hence he did nothing but exhort his brethren to think of the Passion of Jesus Christ at all times. St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ, p 10-11