Outlines of Some Meditations on the Passion

I. Prayer and Agony of Jesus in the Garden

"And being in an agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground." (Luke 22:43,44)


1. The natural fear and anguish of Jesus at the near approach of His Passion - how each of His impending torments rises distinctly before Him. Compassionate Him in His agony.

2. His hatred of sin, the clearness with which He sees its malice and deformity, the enormous multitude and wickedness of all the sins of the world laid upon Him. Reflect that He is the Son of God, innocence and sanctity itself, and that He has an infinite hatred of sin; hence gather what pain it caused Him to take them upon Himself.

3. His infinite love and goodness towards men, shown by willingly accepting the burden of their sins; His submission to His Father's will, His resignation, earnestness and perseverance in prayer.

Conceive a tender compassion for Him, a hatred and detestation of sin, and grieve for your own sins, so heinous in the sight of God. Resolve never to commit sin any more, to pray earnestly and perseveringly to God for assistance; watch and pray, and prepare for temptation.

II. Jesus Betrayed to His Enemies by Judas

"Behold a multitude: and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near to Jesus, for to kiss Him. And Jesus said to him: Judas, dost thou betray the Son of man with a kiss?" (Luke 22:47,48)


1. The pain inflicted on Jesus by the malice and ingratitude of Judas; His grief at the treason of so favored a disciple.

2. The gentleness of Jesus, and His readiness to forgive: He calls His traitor "Friend." What mercy and compassion! So He addresses you when you would commit sin; He endeavors to recall you by goodness, mercy, etc. How often have you sinned, notwithstanding!

3. The obduracy of Judas: he is not even moved by the loving kindness of Jesus.

Let Judas be a warning to you; fear familiarity with sin, which hardens the heart and leads to final impenitence. Condole with Jesus in His grief; learn of Him gentleness, kindness, readiness to forgive, etc.

III. Jesus Insulted and Condemned by the Chief Priests

"What think you? But they answering said: He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in His face, and buffeted Him, and others struck His face with the palms of their hands." (Matthew 26:66,67)


1. The confusion and pain of Jesus to be thus treated by the ancients and the priests; the insults and blows He receives; how unjustly condemned to death.

2. The hypocrisy of the Jews; their arrogance, pride, etc.; their impieties blasphemies, falsehoods, etc.

3. The silence, forbearance, and patience of Jesus. What an example of meekness! He endures thk ignominy in silence to atone for our murmurs when justly reproved, etc.

Adore the infinite goodness of God bearing patiently such contempt for your sake. Make reparation for the insults He receives; grieve for your own sins, which are infinitely offensive to God. Pray to be delivered from all pride, arrogance, hypocrisy, etc.; conceive a hatred of blasphemy and pray to prevent it.

IV. Jesus before Pilate

"And they brought Him bound, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor. . . . And he had then a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. They therefore being gathered together, Pilate said: Whom will you that I release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus that is called Christ? .... But they said: Barabbas." (Matthew 27:2,16,17,21)


1. The sufferings of Jesus when dragged from tribunal to tribunal; the contempt with which Pilate regarded Him; the ignominy of Jesus, the innocent Lamb, in being compared to a robber and murderer.

2. The injustice of Pilate; the iniquity of the Jews clamoring for Barabbas. How often have you done the same, yielding to vile passions, choosing sin instead of God!

3. The love of Jesus for our poor souls enslaved by sin. He willingly remains bound to deliver us from the bondage of sin. We sinners are released, while Jesus dies for us.

Resolve to imitate the love of Jesus; to be kind, self-sacrificing, loving towards others. Conceive a sincere shame and confusion for wishing to be esteemed more than others. Often reflect on the charity of Jesus delivering Himself to death for you.

V. Jesus Derided By Herod

"And Herod with his army set Him at naught, and mocked Him, putting on Him a white garment." (Luke 23:11)


1. The outrage committed by Herod on the wisdom, innocence, and holiness of Jesus.

2. The iniquity of the Jews assisting at this mockery of their Saviour.

3. The composure, meek and silent endurance of Jesus. He atones for our pride, vanity, etc.

Learn, hence, the value of innocence; regret your foolish esteem of the things of the world; henceforth esteem everything else vain but the virtue and innocence of Jesus. Grieve for the insults Jesus here suffered; adore His wisdom, truth, and sanctity.

VI. Jesus Scourged

"Then Pilate took Jesus, and scourged Him." (John 19:1)


1. The virginal body of Jesus torn and mangled by the scourges; the intense pain He endures; His exhaustion, loss of blood, etc.; His confusion at such exposure, etc.

2. The manner in which He bears this humiliation. What patience, meekness, etc. His charity and mercy towards us: He bears the wounds we deserve for our sins.

3. The cause of this special suffering: our many secret sins; our luxury, softness, pride, and pampering of the body; our shameful nakedness before God, etc.

Compassionate Jesus bearing so many stripes; weep for your own offences, your love of ease, luxury, etc. Resolve henceforth to check the indulgence of the flesh by mortification, self-denial, constancy in prayer, etc.

VII. Jesus Crowned with Thorns

"And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon His head: and they put on Him a purple garment." (John 19:2)


1. The sacred head of Jesus suffering the most excruciating torture. What an agony for Jesus! Think how painful would even one thorn be to you.

2. The mockery and insolence of the soldiers putting on Him a purple garment; their cruelty; the malignant taunts, etc., of the Jews.

3. The submission, meekness, and patience of Jesus; how severely He atones for our sins of thought, for our wanton complacency in evil, etc.

Grieve for the sufferings inflicted on Jesus; adore Him as your Lord; admire His patience, love, etc. Nevermore indulge in sinful thoughts, in pride, arrogance, and evil desires; imitate the humility, submission, etc., of Jesus.

VIII. Jesus Carrying His Cross

"And bearing His own cross He went, forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha." (John 19:17)


1. The long and painful way; the prolonged sufferings and fatigue of Jesus; the Pharisees, priests, and the multitude driving Him on with taunts, blows, execrations, etc. Such was the reward He received from men for His works of love and mercy.

2. The manner in which Jesus accepts His cross - His alacrity, joy, submission, etc. He shows how we are to follow Him in carrying our cross gladly and patiently.

3. The comfort He derived amid so many sufferings from the fidelity of Mary, His Mother; the compassion of the holy women and others who wept for Him.

Resolve to repent sincerely, and grieve for your sins; they laid this heavy cross on Jesus. Take courage from His example to bear your own cross willingly. Your only way to heaven is by the way of the cross. Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him.

IX. The Crucifixion of Jesus

"And they gave Him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but He took it not. And crucifying Him, they divided His garments." (Mark 15:23,24)


1. The contempt and ignominy surrounding Jesus; the cruelty of the soldiers offering Him such a bitter drink; His previous wounds, sufferings, fatigue, etc.

2. The tender hands and feet of Jesus pierced by iron nails. What pain and agony He endures on the hard bed of the cross! Compassionate your Lord. How easy is it to sin. But see what it cost Jesus to atone for your sins; look at His bleeding, mangled hands and feet.

3. The obedience of Jesus unto the death of the cross; His patience and silence when stretching out His hands to be nailed to the cross, a victim for your sins.

Deplore your sins that drove those cruel nails into the hands and feet of Jesus. Learn from Jesus, stretched bleeding on the cross, what an evil sin is in the sight of God, since it requires such an atonement. Thank Him for all He has suffered for you; learn to make some sacrifice for His sake; abandon some predominant vice, etc.; never say that too much is required of you; in all trials imitate the sublime virtues of Jesus, His obedience, patience, etc.

X. Agony and Death of Jesus on the Cross

"And the sun was darkened: and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said: Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, He gave up the ghost." (Luke 23:45,46)


1. The prolonged agony of Jesus on the cross, sustained meekly and patiently for three hours; the constant increase of pain in His wounds; His desolation when forsaken by His Father; His thirst quenched with vinegar.

2. The insults and mockery heaped upon Him to the last moment; the merciless taunts, curses, and blasphemies of the soldiers. What anguish their sins cause Him!

3. His charity and kindness even to His enemies; His last and greatest example of love and mercy; His tender and consoling words to His sorrowing Mother, John, and the good thief; His last cry to His Father. Thus Jesus dies for you.

Kneel in spirit at the foot of the cross; there weep for your sins; weep for the long and painful sufferings they inflicted on Jesus. Weep with Mary, John, and Magdalen for His death. Here at last learn to love and nevermore to offend so good a Master.

XI. The Burial of Jesus

"Now there was in the place, where He was crucified, a garden: and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. There, therefore, they laid Jesus." (John 19:41)


1. The sacred lifeless body of Jesus aid in a tomb. What a mystery of love and mercy, that the Son of God should be thus buried in a strange, lowly tomb, mourned by His own creatures!

2. The bereavement and desolation of Mary and the friends of Jesus; with Him, the life and light of the world, their hope seemed dead.

3. The door of the sepulchre is closed. Jesus is also no longer with us; He shall no longer live and speak with us. What an evil has sin done! It drove us from paradise; now it has also deprived us of Jesus.

Mourn at the sepulchre of Jesus for your own sins; here bury yourself with Jesus; bury your sins, at least, in true contrition, that you may rise to a new life.

XII. The Sorrows of Mary

"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His Mother." (John 19:25)


1. The tender, loving Mother of Jesus, overwhelmed with grief at the foot of the cross; the anguish of her maternal heart at the sight of the nails, the thorns, the wounds and mortal agony of Jesus, her Son; her helplessness at the foot of the cross.

2. Her innocence, love and devotion to Jesus; how the tumult and cries of His enemies around the cross afflict her; how cruelly they who crucify her Son by sin wound her, etc.

3. Her constancy and fidelity; her compassion for her Son; her desire to suffer with Him, to relieve Him, and her grief for sin. How sublime are her resignation and her imitation of the virtues of Jesus - of His submission, patience, charity, etc.!

Resolve never to forget the sorrows of your heavenly Mother. Condole and sympathize with her sorrowing heart; place yourself by her side at the foot of the cross, and learn of her to imitate, love, and serve Jesus; to hate and grieve for sin; to fear the justice of God; to set a true value on your soul. Implore her intercession in all your necessities.

- text taken from Flowers of the Passion, taken from the letters of Saint Paul of the Cross