Yesterday was the third session of the four-session Lent Reflection Series I am offering at the University of St. Thomas School of Law this year. During our first session, my talk focused on the traditional Lenten observances of fasting, almsgiving and prayer. Last week our subject was sin: our need to acknowledge both our own personal sins and our participation in social sin, and to recongize our need for God’s help and open ourself to God’s love and grace.
This week our subject was Walking with Jesus in His Passion. As I said to the participants at the outset of my talk, praying with the passion of Jesus has a long tradition. Although the practice predates them, both St. Francis and St. Bernard had tremendous devotion to the idea of entering into the suffering of Jesus. For St. Ignatius of Loyola, praying with the passion and death of Jesus is an importnat part of the Spiritual Exercises. (That is Week 3 of the Exercises.) Pope John Paul II, in one of his Lenten messages, spoke of following Jesus to Calvary and the Cross so as to share with him in the glory of the resurrection.
Most Catholic parishes include praying with the passion in the form of Stations of the Cross as part of their Lenten observation (usually preceding or following a Friday night Fish Fry.)
In my talk, I reflected on what we seek to do in praying with the passion and how participants might do so in the coming days.
You can access a recording of my talk here or stream it from the icon below. (The podcast runs for 22:43.) A copy of the the handout I distributed to participants, which I talk about near the end of my talk is here.