Hours of the Passion
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church
In his Preface to “The Hours of the Passion”, Saint Hannibal calls every consecrated: priest, monk, nun, to so many souls that had been consecrated to the service of God, and also we can said it, to every baptized.
O souls who love Jesus Christ, O souls who make a profession of spiritual life, and especially you, Spouses of Jesus Christ, consecrated to Him either through vows or by belonging to sacred Congregations, consider from all that has been said above, how much pleasure you give to the Most Holy Heart of Jesus by practicing these Hours of the Passion. It is for you, in a special way, that these Hours of the Passion have been inspired by Our Lord in that solitary and contemplative soul, who has been practicing them for many years with great profit to herself and to the whole Holy Church. Special graces have been reserved for you if you take to heart this holy daily exercise, penetrating the same sentiments and the same dispositions as those of the soul who dictated it, and who has been practicing it for many years.
From the sentiments, so intimate, and from the dispositions, so loving, of this soul, you will pass into the very sentiments and dispositions of Jesus Christ Our Lord, during the 24 Hours in which He suffered for love of us. And it is impossible for the soul, in this compassionating exercise, not to encounter the most sorrowful Mother Mary, and not to unite to the same compassion and the very incomprehensible affections of the Sorrowful Mother of God! It will be like living with Jesus suffering, and with Mary co-redeeming, gathering immense eternal goods for oneself and for all!
What to say about how great this tool would be for each Religious Community in order to advance in holiness, to be preserved, to grow in the number of chosen souls, and to obtain true prosperity? How much commitment, then, should each Community have in the constant practice of this pious exercise! And the souls of that Community who attend Holy Mass daily would receive Communion with such dispositions of fervor, and with such love for Jesus, that each Communion would be a renewed marriage of the soul with Jesus in the most intimate and increasing union of love!
If because of one soul alone doing these Hours, Jesus would spare a city chastisements, and would give grace to as many souls for as many as are the words of these sorrowful Hours, how many graces could a Community [or any group of faithful] hope for; from how many defects and relaxations would it be healed or preserved; and for how many souls would it obtain sanctification and salvation by practicing this pious exercise!
If only there were one soul in each Community, who would apply herself to practicing it with more attention during the day, at times even in the midst of daily occupations, and also in the evening, and at nighttime with a little bit of vigil...! But it would be the summit of the divine, and the maximum profit for that Community and for the whole world, if this exercise were practiced by all, in turns - day and night!