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5 Meditations to ponder during Holy Week


Exe Lobaiza | Cathopic CC0

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/29/21

Take a step back during Holy Week to meditate on Jesus' Passion, death and resurrection.

Holy Week is a beautiful time in the liturgical calendar, but often we don’t take the opportunity to step back and meditate on the profound events that happened nearly 2,000 years ago.

We may look forward to Easter, and forget about those fateful days that led up to it.

It is important that we pause for a moment this week to ponder Jesus’ sacrifice of love and see the beauty in his suffering.

Here is a list of 5 meditations that can be used during Holy Week, immersing ourselves into the profound love God has for us.

Please click on the article titles for the complete meditation.

Meditate on the love of God with this prayer invoking the Precious Blood of Jesus

Here is a prayer to the Precious Blood of Jesus from the Raccolta, a collection of prayers from the 19th century. It can help in our meditation on God’s love, allowing ourselves to be washed clean by his love.

Most Precious Blood of life eternal, price and ransom of the whole universe, drink and bath of the soul, ever pleading the cause of man before the throne of heavenly Mercy. I adore Thee most profoundly: I would, if I were able, make to Thee some compensation for the outrages and wrongs Thou dost ever suffer from men. Who will not bless this Blood of value infinite? Who does not feel himself inflamed with the love of Jesus, who shed it all for us? What should I be but for this Blood, which hath redeemed me? And who drew it out of the veins of my Lord, even unto the last drop? It was love. O immense love, which gave to us this saving Balsam! O Balsam beyond all price, streaming forth from the Fount of immeasurable love! Give to all hearts, all tongues, power to praise, celebrate, and thank Thee, now and ever, and throughout all eternity. Amen.

Meditate on this biblical scene when you are feeling alone and unloved

Living in a fallen world, we often experience rejection and betrayal from those we love the most. It can be difficult to bear and as a result, we may feel unloved by everyone and utterly alone.

It is during those times that Jesus wants to speak a message of love to us, and there is one particular scene in the Bible that can bring us consolation and peace.

The scene does not immediately lend itself to meditation, but when looked at more closely, it can provide hours of prayer. It is from the Gospel of John and features a brief moment when Jesus’ “beloved disciple” rests on his chest during the Last Supper.

One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side … He leaned back against Jesus’ chest (John 13:23, 25).

There is much to unpack in this short verse.

The invitation the Bible gives us for Holy Week

Holy Week is the most sacred time in the Church’s liturgical calendar, entirely focused on Jesus’ Passion, death, and resurrection. A recurrent theme throughout the week is a call to accompany Jesus during this most painful part of his life on earth.

On Good Friday, we read the Passion narrative again and then in the liturgy, the priest raises the crucifix for all to see and each one is encouraged to come forward to venerate the cross, with a kiss, touch or bow. We are transported to Mt. Calvary and may even meditate on how Jesus didn’t ascend the mount alone. He was helped by Simon of Cyrene and had his face washed by St. Veronica. Then at the foot of the cross, his mother Mary and St. John stood there to keep him company.

Then at last on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, we join the Marys and go to the tomb, only to find it empty! Jesus is no longer there and has risen!

As we look forward how to celebrate Holy Week, let us not forget to accompany Jesus and follow in his footsteps so that we can rejoice when we find that he is no longer in the tomb!

Meditate frequently on Jesus’ Holy Face

Have you ever meditated on Jesus’ Holy Face? It could be an image of Jesus in his glorious state, or it could be an image of Jesus suffering on the cross.

Jesus’ face can have a profound effect on our spiritual lives as we dwell upon his love for us.

Many artists have provided for us various ways to see Jesus suffering during his Passion and death. These depictions can create within us emotions of compassion and love, drawing us deeper into the Paschal mystery.

A simple spiritual exercise for Holy Week

Let us, on each day of the Holy Week, follow [Jesus] in our minds, and silently draw an inward picture of Him in some one moment of His Passion. Let us try to think it well over in the mornings, and get it strong before our mind’s eye, that we fly back to it, and gaze upon it in silence and humility, as often as we have any leisure during the day.There is not one of us, that has ever heard or read the Gospels for this week with any attention [and] has a sort of picture in his mind, more or less distinct, of the crown of thorns, the purple robe, the soldiers spitting and bowing the knee in mockery, the Cross laid upon our Lord, His sacred and adorable feet and hands so cruelly fastened to it, the offering vinegar, the bowing of His head, the loud cry … the soldier piercing His side, His burial by Joseph. Now, what imaginations we have of all these unspeakable things … let us dwell upon them … Keeping this in mind, let us really try, this one week of our lives, to have Christ and His Cross constantly before us. We cannot tell how much good such holy pictures may do us.


Read more:
8 Different ways to pray the Stations of the Cross

Holy WeekLent
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