Tuesday 28 April 2020

Meditations on the Crucifix - James Hahn - They Shall Look Upon Him Whom They Have Pierced

Meditations on the Crucifix: 
They Shall Look Upon Him Whom They Have Pierced
James Hahn
Real Life Rosary
ISBN 9781507846186

I read this book a few weeks before Holy Week. It is an excellent resource for Lent and Holy Week, but it can be an excellent resource for throughout the year. I actually picked up this book a few years ago, but it somehow never got around to reading it. That is my loss. It is a volume I know I will be returning to often.  The chapters in the book are:

Prayer Before A Crucifix
The Cross
The Cross Without Christ
The Birth Scar
The Knees Of Christ
At The Feet Of Christ
The Side Of Christ
Into Your Hands
What I Have Written

The beginning of the preface states:

“Many people think of meditation as painting a picture in your mind and spending time looking at it.  Meditation is much more than that.  Meditation is trying to place yourself in the actual event and drawing from your experiences there.  It is more than just viewing, it is thinking and being.  It is living the experience and asking God to open up His mysteries to you.  For instance, when we meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries we are not supposed to just view an image in our head while rattling off our Hail Marys.  We are called to be with Christ, to hear the crowd, to smell the blood and the hate, to feel the pain, to hear the lashes and feel them on our own back.  We are called to share in the crucifixion with Christ.”

James goes on to recommend if possible, doing these meditations before the blessed sacrament. And to begin with the Prayer Before A Crucifix. In the first reflection he states:

“The cross, two pieces of wood set in opposition at a perpendicular angle.  The vertical beam represents God’s will.  The horizontal beam represents man's will.  If man’s will always coincided with God’s will, there would be no cross.”

The twelve meditations in this book are excellent. Hahn has a way of drawing us into the topic and experience. It is wonderfully written. I was most moved by the reflection What I Have Written, the thought of judging a priest based on ownership of a game console, and a later realization. It was deeply moving, and one I needed to experience at this time. 

This book is one that any Catholic would benefit from reading and meditating upon. To be honest any Christian would benefit from reading this book! It is an excellent volume. And I know I will be reading some of the other books from Hahn soon. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by James Hahn:
4 Simple Steps to Better Meditations
A Visit to Church: A Picture Journey
Meditations on the Crucifix
Rosary Meditations for Help with Addictions
Rosary Meditations for Real Life
Rosary Meditations for the Family

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