Ave Maria Meditations
Meditation on the passion of Christ will stir up genuine compunction of heart:
First of all, no attention is paid to the last things; God’s blessings and all that the Son of God endured for us in his bitter passion are consigned to oblivion; the obligations and duties of each one’s state in life are negligently discharged; no precaution is taken against the dangers that beset our life from all sides. Since the world then is filled with iniquity Jeremiah rightfully complains when he says: All the land is desolate with desolation.
Is there a remedy for these evils? Indeed there is! I should like to explain on bended knees to all prelates, pastors, priests and other ministers of God that this remedy is at hand, at least in great part: the devout exercise of the Way of the Cross. If by their zeal and care this devotion spreads through individual parishes and churches it will indeed be a powerful protection against the surging tide of vice and fill all with the greatest blessings of virtue who engage in loving reflection on the sufferings and love of Jesus Christ.
What salutary insights will the continued meditation on the bitter passion of the Son of God stir up in the soul! Daily experience has taught me that by this devout form of prayer men’s lives are quickly changed for the better. For the Way of the Cross is the antidote for vice, the cleansing of unbridled desires and an effective incentive to virtue and holiness of life. Indeed, if we set the excruciating sufferings of the Son of God portrayed in so many vivid pictures before the eyes of the soul we can hardly refrain from abhorring the defilements of our own life because of the abundant light that fills our souls. Nay, I should rather say we will be urged on to repay such great love with our own love, or at least to bear willingly the misfortunes that from time to time in every walk of life fall to our lot.
St. Leonard of Port Maurice