7 Great Sources for Meditation During the Passion

During Holy Week normal life should pause as we focus our attention on the Passion of Jesus. To help us in our meditation of his suffering and death, in addition to reading the Gospel narratives, here are some powerful reflections

Meditation is an important part of prayer. When we hear or read something about our faith, meditation unpacks this by reflecting and applying to our lives. It is too easy for things just to pass us by if we don’t stop to think them through. Meditation sets us up for deeper prayer by engaging our minds and hearts in the mysteries of faith.

During Holy Week normal life should pause as we focus our attention on the Passion of Jesus. To help us in our meditation of his suffering and death, in addition to reading the Gospel narratives, here are some powerful reflections on the Passion. The first four are short and only the sixth is unavailable online.

1. St. Alphonsus Liguori, Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord

Liguori is a popular figure during Lent because of his famous version of the Stations of the Cross. These meditations help us to enter into a great devotional love of Jesus as he endures his Passion for us.

2. Ven. Fulton J. Sheen, The Seven Last Words

It has been a long standing practice to meditate on Jesus’s words spoken from the Cross. Fulton Sheen, one of the greatest American evangelists, offered many versions of this meditation, including this short one that draws us to the Cross.

3. St Bridget of Sweden, Fifteen Meditations on the Sacred Passion

St. Bridget was a great mystic of the Middle Ages and these meditations are comprised of prayers that help us to relate to Jesus in his suffering for us, honoring the wounds he suffered for us.

4. St. John Henry Newman, Mental Sufferings of Our Lord in His Passion

Newman draws our attention in this sermon to an overlooked aspect of the Passion: Jesus’s interior suffering, which actually exceeded his physical pain. 

5.  Bl. Mary Catherine Emerich, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Bl. Emerich is another mystic, who offers detailed descriptions of the sufferings of Jesus in the Passion. This work is much longer, but you can select aspects of the Passion on which to meditate.

6. Thomas a Kempis, On the Passion of Christ According to the Four Evangelists

Kempis wrote one of the most famous spiritual works: The Imitation of Christ. This work on the Passion comes from separate sermons and prayers that draw us into the Gospel narratives.

7. Watch The Passion of the Christ.

If you are looking for a visual meditation, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ provides a powerful way of entering into Christ’s suffering. 

Are you looking for a way to enter more deeply into Holy Week this year? Join thousands of men around the world for the final 7 days of Lent and finish Lent strong: Click here to start now!


Dr. Staudt holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Ave Maria University and B.A. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN). He serves as Director of Content for Exodus and as Visiting Associate Professor at the Augustine Institute in Denver. He was previously the Associate Superintendent for the Archdiocese of Denver. He has founded a Catholic school and served as a DRE in two parishes and as Director of Catholic Studies at the University of Mary. He is the author of How the Eucharist Can Save Civilization (TAN), Restoring Humanity: Essays on the Evangelization of Culture (Divine Providence Press) and The Beer Option: Brewing a Catholic Culture Yesterday & Today (Angelico Press). His editing experience includes six years as the managing editor of the journal Nova et Vetera and the books Renewing Catholic Schools: How to Regain a Catholic Vision in a Secular Age (Catholic Education Press) and The University and the Church: Don J. Briel’s Essays on Education (Cluny Media). 

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