It Acts Upon My Soul Like a Sacrament

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This devotion is the one that is most closely linked to the Eucharistic Sacrifice; like the Mass, it continues to recall to us the death of Jesus: "Mortem Domini annuntiabitis donec veniat -- You proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes" (1 Cor 11:26). Abbot Marmion on the Way of the Cross

If you have not yet purchased your copy of Blessed Columba Marmion's classic work, Christ in His Mysteries, visit Zacchaeus Press and do it now! Passiontide begins in less than two weeks, and you will want to read and meditate what are, to my mind, some of the most beautiful pages ever written on the Way of the Cross. In Christ in His Mysteries, Blessed Marmion offers a meditation and prayer for each of the stations of the Way of the Cross.

Dom Marmion's own devotion to the Stations of the Cross goes back to his seminary days at Holy Cross College in Ireland. There, the young Joe Marmion fell under the beneficent influence of the saintly Father John Gowan, a Lazarist. Faithful to Father Gowan's suggestion, Marmion never omitted his daily Way of the Cross.

During the last years of his life, Blessed Marmion made the practice of the Way of the Cross the object of a vow. Even on his deathbed, Dom Marmion endeavoured to make the Stations of the Cross to unite his last sufferings to those that marked the final hours of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Concerning the Way of the Cross, Blessed Marmion wrote:

After the Sacraments and liturgical worship I am convinced there is no practice more fruitful for our souls than the Way of the Cross made with devotion. Its supernatural efficacy is sovereign. The Passion is the "holy of holies" among the mysteries of Jesus, te pre-eminent work of our Supreme High Priest; it is there above all that His virtues shine forth, and when we contemplate Him in His sufferings He gives us according to the measure of our faith, the grace to practise the virtues that He manifested during these holy hours.
At each station Our Divine Saviour presents Himself to us in this triple character: as the Mediator Who saves us by His merits, the perfect Model of sublime virtues, and the efficacious Cause Who can, through His Divine Omnipotence, produce in our souls the virtues of which He gives us the example.

A few months before his death, Blessed Marmion wrote:

When I have worries, when things go wrong with me, when I endure aridity and dryness, it is enough for me to meditate on the Passion of Jesus in making the Way of the Cross in order to feel strengthened; it is like a bath in which my soul is plunged; it never comes away without its vigour and joy being renewed; it acts upon my soul like a sacrament.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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