Passio Domini Thursday Meditations
The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Beginning of the prayers of the Rosary: Creed, Our Father, three Hail Mary’s …
1. The Agony in the Garden
From the Gospel of St. Matthew (Mt 26:36-39): Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray. ” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, 1 and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me. ” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
It is for the love of His Father above all else that Jesus willed to undergo His Passion. Behold Jesus Christ in His agony. For three long hours weariness, grief, fear and anguish sweep in upon His soul like a torrent; the pressure of this interior agony is so immense that blood bursts forth from His sacred veins. What an abyss of suffering is reached in this agony! And what does Jesus say to His Father? “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me.” Can it be that Jesus no longer accepts the Will of His Father? Oh! certainly He does. But this prayer is the cry of the sensitive emotions of poor human nature, crushed by ignominy and suffering. Now is Jesus truly a “Man of Sorrows.” Our Savior feels the terrible weight of His agony bearing down upon His shoulders. He wants us to realize this; that is why He utters such a prayer. But listen to what He immediately adds: ”Nevertheless, Father, not My will but Yours be done.” Here is the triumph of love. Because He loves His Father, He places the Will of His Father above everything else and accepts every possible suffering in order to redeem us.
We offer you, 0 Lord Jesus, this decade in honor of Your mortal Agony in the Garden of Olives and we ask of You, through this mystery and through the intercession of Your Blessed Mother, a perfect sorrow for our sins and the virtue of perfect obedience to Your Holy Will.
Decade of the Rosary
May the grace of the mystery of Our Lord’s Agony, come down into our souls and make us truly contrite and perfectly obedient to Your Will.
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
From the Gospel of St. Matthew (27:25-26). And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and our children. Then Pilate released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him unto them to be crucified.
Christ substituted Himself voluntarily for us as a sacrificial victim without blemish in order to pay our debt, and, by the expiation and the satisfaction which He made for us, to restore the Divine life to us. This was the mission which Christ came to fulfill, the course which He had to run. “God has placed upon Him”, a man like unto ourselves, of the race of Adam, but entirely just and innocent and without sin, “the iniquity of us all.” Since Christ has become, so to speak, a sharer in our nature and taken upon Himself the debt of our sin, He has merited for us a share in His justice and holiness. In the forceful words of St. Paul, God, “by sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin-offering, has condemned sin in the flesh.” And with an impact still more stunning, the Apostle writes: “For our sakes He (God) made Him (Christ) to be sin who knew nothing of sin.” How startling this expression is: “made Him to be sin”! The Apostle does not say “sinner,” but – what is still more striking – “sin”! Let us never forget that “we have been redeemed at great price by the precious Blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
We offer you, 0 Lord Jesus, this decade in honor of Your Bloody Scourging, and we ask of You through this mystery and through the intercession of Your Blessed Mother, the grace to mortify our senses perfectly.
Decade of the Rosary
May the grace of the mystery of Our Lord’s Scourging, come down into our souls and make us truly mortified.
3. The Crowning with Thorns
From the Gospel of St. Matthew (27:28-29): And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
Christ Jesus becomes an object of derision and insults at the hands of the temple servants. Behold Him, the all-powerful God, struck by sharp blows; His adorable face, the joy of the saints, is covered with spittle; a crown of thorns is forced down upon His head; a purple robe is placed upon His shoulders as a mock of derision; a reed is thrust into His hand; the servants genuflect insolently before Him in mockery. What an abyss of ignominy! What humiliation and disgrace for One before Whom the angels tremble! The cowardly Roman governor imagines that the hatred of the Jews will be satisfied by the sight of Christ in this pitiful state. He shows Him to the crowd: “Ecce Homo. Behold the Man!” Let us contemplate our Divine Master at this moment, plunged into the abyss of suffering and ignominy, and let us realize that the Father also presents Him to us and says to us: “Behold My Son, the splendor of My glory but bruised for the sins of My people.”
We offer you, 0 Lord Jesus, this decade in honor of Your Cruel Crowning with Thorns, and we ask of You, through this mystery and through the intercession of Your Blessed Mother, a great contempt of the world.
Decade of the Rosary
May the grace of the mystery of Our Lord’s Crowing with Thorns, come down into our souls and make us despise the world.
4. Carrying the Cross
From the Gospel of St. John (19:16-18): Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.
Let us meditate upon Jesus Christ on the way to Calvary laden with His cross. He falls under the weight of this burden. To expiate sin, He wills to experience in His own flesh the oppression of sin. Fearing that Jesus will not reach the place of crucifixion alive, the Jews force Simon of Cyrene to help Christ to carry His cross, and Jesus accepts this assistance. In this Simon represents all of us. As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, we should all help Jesus to carry His Cross. This is the one sure sign that we belong to Christ, if we carry our cross with Him. But while Jesus carried His cross, He merited for us the strength to bear our trials with generosity. He has placed in His cross a sweetness which makes ours bearable, for when we carry our cross it is really His that we receive. For Christ unites with His own the sufferings, sorrows, pains and burdens which we accept with love from His hand, and by this union He gives them an inestimable value, and they become a source of great merit for us. It is above all His love for His Father which impels Christ to accept the sufferings of His Passion, but it is also the love which He bears us.
We offer you, 0 Lord Jesus, this decade in honor of Your Carrying Your Cross, and we ask of You, through this mystery and through the intercession of Your Blessed Mother, to give us great patience in carrying our cross in Your footsteps every day of our life.
Decade of the Rosary
May the grace of the mystery of Carrying the Cross, come down into our souls and make us truly patient in our trials.
5. Crucifixion and Death
From the Gospel of St. Luke (23:45-46): It was now about the sixth hour and the sun’s light failed, so that darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. While the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.
At the Last Supper, when the hour had come to complete His oblation of self, what did Christ say to His Apostles who were gathered around Him? “Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends.” And this is the love, surpassing all loves, which Jesus shows us; for, as St. Paul says, “It is for us all that He is delivered up.” What greater proof of love could He have given us? None. Hence the Apostle declares without ceasing that “because He loved us, Christ delivered Himself up for us,” and “because of the love He bears for me, He gave Himself up for me.” “Delivered,” “given”. To what extent? Even to the death on the cross! What enhances this love immeasurably is the sovereign liberty with which Christ delivered Himself up: “He offered Himself because He willed it.” These words tell us how spontaneously Jesus accepted His Passion. This freedom with which Jesus delivered Himself up to death for us is one of the aspects of His sacrifice which touch our human hearts most profoundly.
We offer you, 0 Lord Jesus, this decade in honor of Your Crucifixion on Mount Calvary, and we ask of You, through this mystery and through the intercession of Your Blessed Mother, a great horror of sin, a love of the Cross and the grace of a holy death for us and for those who are now in their last agony.
Decade of the Rosary
May the grace of the mystery of the Death and Passion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, come down into our souls and make us truly holy.
Leader: Pray for us, 0 Holy Mother of God.
All: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray:
All: 0 God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation.
Grant, we beseech Thee, that while meditating on these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
If time permits, the leader (or each one Silently) can pray:
Jesus, I beg You for a drop of Your most Precious Blood in this hour of Your most bitter agony for [insert intention]
-for the Holy Church
-for our Holy Father
-for our bishops
-for the sanctification of priests
-for vocations to the priesthood and religious life
-for the conversion of sinners
-for our country
-for an end of abortion and contraception
-for an end of divorce
-for sanctification of family life
-for all who are dying
-for the Poor Souls in purgatory
( … for personal intentions)
Prayers for the intention of the Holy Father
Holy, holy, holy …
Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is repaid by so much forgetfulness, negligence, and contempt, behold us prostrate before Your altar, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Your loving Heart is subjected. Mindful that we, ourselves, have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Your pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those who straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their infidelity to follow You, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their Baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Your law.
We are now resolved to expiate each and every outrage committed against You; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holy days, and the blasphemies uttered against You and Your Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Your Vicar on earth and Your priests are Subjected to, for the profanations by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Your Divine love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations, who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which You have founded.
Would that, O Divine Jesus, we were able to wash away these abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Your Divine honor, the satisfaction You once made to Your Eternal Father on the Cross and which You continue to renew daily upon our altars. We offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Your Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense as far as we can with the help of Your grace, for all neglect of Your great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel, especially that of charity.
O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to You, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where You with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign one God, world without end. (Pope Pius XI, Encyclical, Miserentissimus Redemptor).
The texts of the Circular Letters are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without written permission.
©2021 Opus Sanctorum Angelorum Inc.
Back to Meditations Index →