Whenever we utter an angry word or raise a hand against our neighbor, we are driving in another nail to keep Jesus up on that cross. The principle underlying the Passion is that out of his infinite mercy, the Lord has taken our suffering upon himself. As long as any living creature is in pain, so is Jesus, for he lives at the heart of all. Wherever violence breaks out, no matter how cleverly we try to justify it, we are crucifying the spirit of Christ.

"Patience" and "passion" both come from a Latin word meaning to suffer or endure. When we speak of the Passion of Christ, we are recalling the suffering he endured on the cross. But it is good to realize that whenever we practice patience -- cheerfully bearing with somebody who is irascible, or enduring discomfort rather than imposing it on others -- in a small way we are embracing the principle of the Passion.