It is customary among Catholics to prepare for the celebration of the principal festivals of the year by certain pious exercises, such as fasts, novenas, triduums, and meditations on the divine mysteries; also by reading the lives of the saints and striving to imitate their virtues, mortifications, and heroic actions. In this manner the faithful prepare to solemnize the feasts of Christmas, Pentecost, and Corpus Christi; of the Immaculate Conception, Nativity, and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin; of All Saints, and of those saints for whom they have a particular devotion. They not only devote days and weeks to preparing themselves for the worthy observance of those feasts which they purpose to celebrate with special piety, but they also consecrate whole months to the honor of the objects of their particular devotion. For instance, the month of May is dedicated to the celebration of the glories and triumphs of the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ; the month of June to the commemoration of the Most Sacred Heart of our Holy Redeemer; and in recent times the whole of November, particularly in Catholic Spain and the Southern Republics, has been devoted to the souls in purgatory. Now, if the faithful so commendably dispose themselves to celebrate those feasts which may be considered secondary ones, why should we not do as much, and even more, for Easter, which is the feast of feasts? I say Easter, because on that day our Holy Redeemer triumphed over the world, over death, and over hell, achieving this threefold victory by His glorious resurrection, and sealing, as it were, the fulfilment of that grand and memorable sacrifice which released us from the bondage of sin and the tyranny of hell, made us heirs of heaven, and declared us adopted children of God. The most practical way of preparing -ourselves for the celebration of Easter is not alone by prayer, penance, mortification, and retirement,-acts peculiar to the Lenten season,-but also by meditating on the passion of J esns Christ. Though this is a devotion adapted" to all seasons, it is particularly suited to Lent, because our holy Mother the Church has consecrated this time to the commemoration of the sufferings of the Man-God. My object in preparing this work was to provide a spiritual guide for secular persons; and, knowing from experience how difficult it is for them, when engaged in temporal affairs, to apply their thoughts to serious and merely abstract ideas, I thought it proper to render the consideration of the sufferings of Jesus historical, moral, and, as far as possible, local. But the passion of our Lord is of such a nature, that in order to derive profit from the history of it, it is not sufficient to read it as we read the lives of the saints and other histories: it requires meditation. It is true that the word "meditation" dismays, at first, persons who are not accustomed to such spiritual entertainment, and sometimes even those who frequently make pious reflections. For such persons I have obviated all cause of alarm by reducing the present considerations to simple spiritual reading, which will yield the fruits of meditation by mere perusal. But I request that these considerations be not read in haste nor many at a time, but slowly and with reflection, one every day, either in the morning during Mass, or in the evening before retiring. For those persons consecrated to God in a special manner, and who are accustomed to meditate, I have divided each consideration into two parts, which will furnish matter for morning and evening meditation during the Lenten season.
Rev Francis De Perinaldo OSF, Brother Hermenegild TOSF, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1501031120, ISBN 13: 9781501031120