About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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"Bishops have a duty towards both wise and foolish. They have to rouse the devotion of the carnal people with material ornament, since they are incapable of spiritual things."
— St. Bernard of Clairvaux (†1153)

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The Passion Revisited
published 21 April 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

It was very different seeing the Passion for the 4th time at the seminary on a huge screen instead of in a home with many distractions. The context of these reflections is a previous conversation where I was insisting that I didn’t have to adopt the kind of spirituality where you “pretend” not to want consolations in order to be in union with God. My holier friends insisted, instead, that if you want consolations then you don’t really want only God’s will. I wound up just saying that if Jesus wanted me to be more like them in this respect, I would pray for Him to show me.

Watching The Passion led to these new graces:

As I watched the violent scenes of the scourging, I felt a deep desire to suffer for Him more. I wanted to suffer more for my sins and those of others, and at the same time to rejoice even more with Him because He is in heaven and He will bring me there one day.

That is the paradox for me, not so much to want only God’s “will,” in some abstract sense but to want only Jesus, both the Jesus on the Cross and the Jesus who is in heaven.

I thought I want to say the Jesus prayer and the Hail Mary all day long – in my heart as I go through my day.

It is not so much that I want only His will, but just that I want Him, His heart in my heart making it into love.

I felt I wanted to count up the sufferings of each day, small and large and rejoice that I am worthy to suffer for Him, my Bridegroom. To offer these sufferings for my family, seminarians, and all those friends and others who ask for my prayers.

Some think The Passion is too gratuitously violent. I think only such realism can break through the defenses of people like me.

I said to a seminarian sitting next to me during the Eucharist scenes “If you are willing to suffer ANYTHING WHATSOEVER for Him, you can be a priest.” (Many seminarians start thinking the sacrifice of 6 or so years of seminary is unbearable.)

As usual, the horrible scenes reminded me of how we say a proof of the Resurrection is that if these men who knew what a crucifixion was really like, were willing to risk death by following Jesus as Christians, they must have seen the Resurrection.

Of course, this exalted mood will pass, but please pray that it leaves an impress on my frantic little soul.

Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.