On the Passion of our Lord

Watch with your mind, brethren, that the mysteries of this season may not pass away without profit. The blessing is plentiful. Provide clean receptacles; display devout souls, watchful senses, sober emotions, and chaste consciences for such great gifts of grace. In good truth, not only does your confession of faith admonish you to take care in this matter, but it is the practice of the universal Church, whose sons you are. For all Christians cultivate holiness in observance of these sacred seven days, display modesty, pursue humility, put on gravity, either according to or beyond what is usual, that they may in some way seem to suffer with Christ’s suffering. For who is so impious as not to be sorrowful? Who so proud, as not to be humbled? Who so angry, as not to forgive? Who so luxurious, as not to abstain? Who so sensual, as not to practice self-restraint? Who so wicked, as not to repent during these days? And rightly so.

For the passion of the Lord is at hand, even now moving the earth, rending the rocks, and opening the tombs. Near also is His resurrection, in which you will celebrate a festival to the Most High, entering with enthusiasm and eagerness into the most glorious deeds which He has accomplished. Nothing better could be done in the world than that which was done by the Lord on these days. Nothing more useful or better could be recommended to the world, than that it should by perpetual ordinance celebrate year by year the memorial of these things with longing souls, and show forth the memory of His abundant sweetness…

Marvelous is Your passion, O Lord Jesus, which repelled the passions of all of us; made propitiation for our iniquities, and is found effectual for every one of our plagues. For what is there of death that is not destroyed by Your death?

–Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon 24

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