|(St. Agatha's, Canastota, NY)|
I have been journeying through Lent this year with the aid of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas. I thought you might find the following worthy of reflection and contemplation this Passion week:
“The Passion of Christ suffices to reform completely our entire life. For whosoever desires to live perfectly, need do nothing more than despise those things which Christ on the cross despised, and love the things which Christ loved. For no example of virtue is absent from the cross.
If you seek an example of charity here it is, ‘Greater love than this no one hath , that he lay down his life for his friends.’ Christ did this very thing on the Cross…
If you are looking for an example of patience, behold there on the cross the most excellent example of patience. For great patience is shown in two ways. Either when anyone endures great pain with resignation or when anyone endures that which he was able to avoid and did not avoid. But Christ endured great sufferings upon the cross…Likewise Christ was able to avoid these sufferings but did not avoid them.
If you are seeking an example of obedience, follow Him Who ‘became obedient unto death’….
If you are seeking an example of humility, gaze upon the crucifix. For God willed to be judged by Pontius Pilate and to die at his hands…
If you are seeking an example of despising earthly things, follow Him Who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; in Whom are all the treasures of wisdom; yet behold Him naked on the cross, mocked, spit upon, struck, crowned with thorns, given gall and vinegar to drink. God dead upon the cross. If you wish to be unaffected by dress and by riches, behold the Christ…Unaffected by honors, behold how Christ endured mockery and scourging…
Behold the greatness of His sufferings, and the malice of His persecutors, if you wish to profit by Christ’s example, of humility, patience, charity, forgiveness, and love of suffering!"
(From Saint Thomas Aquinas – Meditations for Every Day)