How to better meditate on the Lord's Passion? Or should I just pick something else?

I’ve been trying to do daily meditations and prayers on the Lord’s Passion since the beginning of this year and for part of last year. I have some admiration for the Passionists and it seems very important to consider our Lord’s sacrifice for us. I do this almost every day for about 20 minutes. Since March I have missed maybe 1 to 3 days a month and made up all my missed days.

However, I don’t feel like I’m doing a great job of really “feelin’ it” if you know what I mean. At first I thought if I just said the daily prayers, eventually I would find the way to go deeper, as that’s how it often works for me. But it doesn’t seem to be working as fast as I hoped. Occasionally I also use meditation aids but they aren’t always available. One problem is that I have heard and seen the Passion and Crucifixion story over and over so many times, it has lost some of the impact in the retelling. I also have seen Passion of the Christ and a host of other such films - the one that had most impact on me was actually “Barabbas” where you don’t see Jesus but just a cross being carried past a bar where Barabbas, newly released, is partying. That, and the end of the 70s film version of Jesus Christ Superstar where they all get back on the bus, had more impact on me than seeing all the blood etc.

I know I’m probably not going to turn into St Gemma or similar (she’s not one of my go-to saints, we don’t have much in common) but I just wondered if anyone had any tips for this kind of meditation. Especially tips that don’t require a meditation aid. Or should I just give up and choose to meditate on something else like the Eucharist? It seems like the Cross is central to just about every devotion so I would rather not just give up, especially since I committed myself to at least finish this year and possibly do a second year before shifting focus.

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I have a favorite meditation. If you feel stuck in just meditating on Our Lords Passion perhaps say the rosary and include the sorrowful mysteries more often.
Or perhaps read some books from Catherine Emmerich. Or look at the passion through the eyes of Mary.

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I think my problem is the opposite. I try to meditate on the Stations of the Cross but all that comes to mind is horrifying, bloody, too painful and too shocking. So I can rarely finish the Stations the few times I do it. I have a natural aversion to suffering and pain, even walking into a hospital quickly depresses me, I feel the pain in the air and want to run away. I have to work on it.

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I wish I felt more like you do about Jesus’ suffering. From a logical standpoint I know it’s awful, but from an emotional standpoint I’ve heard it and seen depictions of it so many times it’s become overfamiliar to me and lost a lot of the horror.

Our Priest says when he prays he holds onto a Crucifix. Also there are pretty graphic pictures or statues out there of our crucified Lord that you could use to help you meditate on Our Lord’s Passion. I have one in my bedroom.

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Maybe it’s because it is easy for me to imagine. Sometimes it feels like I’m there and I see the bloody footprints and I look up and Jesus is unnaturally bent under the cross trying to move. Other times I hear a big noise and I look up and Jesus is on the ground the cross on the side and he weeps. And I just cannot see more I have to run away.

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Perhaps a book on the meaning of the crucifixion, rather than just the physical pain and gore, will help you.

“The seven sayings of the saviour on the cross” a w pink
And
“52 reasons Christ came to die” John Piper

Are two (protestant) good ones I can name off the top of my head but I’m sure there are plenty of good Catholic ones too

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A W Pink’s book, that I mentioned above, is in the public domain if you are interested
https://gracegems.org/Pink/seven_sayings_of_the_savior.htm

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Try praying this prayer by St. Alphonsus Liguori - by the merit of each particular pain which He suffered in His passion:

O my Jesus, by that humiliation which You practiced in washing the feet of Your disciples, I pray You to bestow upon me the grace of true humility, that I may humble myself to all, especially to such as treat me with contempt.

My Jesus, by that sorrow which You suffered in the garden, sufficient, as it was, to cause Your death, I pray You to deliver me from the sorrow of hell, from, living for evermore at a distance from You, and without the power of ever loving You again.

My Jesus, by that horror which You had of my sins, which were then present to Your sight, give me a true sorrow for all the offences which I have committed against You.

My Jesus, by that pain which You experienced at seeing Yourself betrayed by Judas with a kiss, give me the grace to be ever faithful to You, and nevermore to betray You, as I have done in time past.

My Jesus, by that pain which You felt at seeing Yourself bound like a culprit to be taken before the judges, I pray You to bind me to Yourself by the sweet chains of holy love, so that I may nevermore see myself separated from You, my only good.

My Jesus, by all those insults, buffetings, and spitting’s which You suffered on that night in the house of Caiaphas, give me the strength to suffer in peace, for love of You, all the affronts which I shall meet with from men.

My Jesus, by that ridicule which You received from Herod in being treated as a fool, give me the grace to endure with patience all that men shall say of me, treating me as base, senseless, or wicked.

My Jesus, by that outrage which You received from the Jews in seeing Yourself placed after Barabbas, give me the grace to suffer with patience the dishonor of seeing myself placed after others.

My Jesus, by that pain which You suffered in Your most holy body when You were so cruelly scourged, give me the grace to suffer with patience all the pains of my sicknesses, and especially those of my death.

My Jesus, by that pain which You suffered in Your most sacred head when it was pierced with the thorns, give me the grace never to consent to thoughts displeasing to You.

My Jesus, by that act of Yours by which You accepted the death of the cross, to which Pilate condemned You, give me the grace to accept my death with resignation, together with all the other pains which shall accompany it.

My Jesus, by the pain which You suffered in carrying Your cross on Your journey to Calvary, give me the grace to suffer with patience all my crosses in this life.

My Jesus, by that pain which You suffered in having the nails driven through Your hands and Your feet, I pray You to nail my will to Your feet, so that I may will nothing except that which You will.

My Jesus, by the affliction which You suffered in having been given gall to drink, give me the grace not to offend You by intemperance in eating and drinking.

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Continued . . .

My Jesus, by that pain which You experienced in taking leave of Your holy Mother upon the cross, deliver me from an inordinate love for my relatives, or for any other creature, so that my heart may be wholly and always Yours.

My Jesus, by that desolation which You suffered in Your death in seeing Yourself abandoned by the Eternal Father, give me the grace to suffer all my desolations with patience, without ever losing my confidence in Your goodness.

My Jesus, by those three hours of affliction and agony which You suffered when dying upon the cross, give me the grace to suffer with resignation, for love of You, the pains of my agony at the hour of death.

My Jesus, by that great sorrow which You felt when Your most holy soul, when You were expiring, separated itself from Your most sacred body, give me the grace to breath forth my soul in the hour of my death, offering up my sorrow then to You, together with an act of perfect love, so that I may go to love You in heaven, face to face, with all my strength, and for all eternity.

And you, most holy Virgin, and my Mother Mary, by that sword which pierced your heart when you beheld your Son bow down his head and expire, do I pray to assist me in the hour of my death, so that I may come to praise you and to thank you in paradise for all the graces that you have obtained for me from God. Amen.

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Maybe you should also meditate on Jesus’ emotional suffering within his passion. The way Jesus, God. was betrayed, left alone, mocked, slapped, wrongly accused and humiliated. Some would actually say that Jesus’ emotional and spiritual suffering during His passion is the most “painful” for them. Well I should say, it’s deeply humbling.

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Have you tried putting yourself at the foot of the cross? Perhaps imagining how you would have reacted if you were our Blessed Mother or St. John? Sometimes You can get the most amazing insights this way.

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This is a good point. Also his knowing that his sacrifice would save the few not the many in the future ages. Knowing the heresies that would come, the Islamization of whole Christian countries, the corruption of some, the indifference of others, all very painful to know.

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Phillippians 4:8

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

I don’t personally understand fixating on the Passion, but it is a pure, good, and lovely subject. It has facets contained in the Sorrowful Mysteries of The Most Holy Rosary of The Blessed Virgin Mary. When I pray the Rosary, I am struck by the cruelties our Lord endured, such as the Scourging at the Pilllar, and the Crowning With Thorns. Contemplating the Sorrowful Mysteries humbles me. I was once a soldier (before I knew Jesus), like the Roman soldiers. As soldiers we were abused and dehumanized and we learned to abuse others. As I contemplate the behavior of Roman soldiers toward Jesus, I am humbled and shamed a tiny bit. I am forced to confront the truth of pride and hard-hardheartedness that I once believed were military virtues, but I now repent of as spiritual weakness.

Nevertheless, it is equally good, and balanced to contemplate the other three Mysteries of the Rosary: The Glorious Mysteries; The Luminous Mysteries; The Joyful Mysteries

An incomplete and non-ordered list of those Mysteries includes The Conception by the Holy Spirit; The Nativity of the Lord; The Visitation; The Baptism of the Lord; The Finding of Jesus in the Temple; The Transfiguration; The Wedding at Cana; The Resurrection; The Ascension; The Institution of the Eucharist; The Coronation, etc.

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I recite the Anima Christi prayer as part of my daily devotionans.
I take my time and really meditate on each phrase.Finally when I get to the “ Passion of Christ,strengthen me”,I visually go through the sorrowful mysteries,envisioning Our Lords Passion as it was depicted in the move,Passion of Christ. I rarely finish without tearing up.:pray:

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Try fixing yourself prostrate in the crucified posture while meditating. As you feel the discomfort, offer your sacrifice in union with His on the Cross.

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Acts of the will are more important than emotions. We can’t turn on our emotions, but we can make acts of love, faith, hope, repentance.

From my own experience regarding emotions…I can feel bad and sad about not overcoming certain faults or thinking of Our Lord’s sufferings, but if I don’t focus and plan to change certain thought patterns with prayer then the feelings didn’t help.

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Thanks everyone for your great ideas in this thread. I’ll defiiinitely be trying them out.

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