Friday, April 19, 2019

GOOD FRIDAY

GIOTTO
THE CRUCIFIXION

I am eating a large slice of three-day-old bread, sitting in my room with the fan turned up in a feeble attempt to drown out the construction noise in the apt above mine, and thinking of
Christ, scourged, bloody, exhausted, thirsty, being nailed to a cross on Mt. Calvary.

I'm also contemplating how I can complete the cleanup I've committed to at one one of many meetings in ten minutes flat later today, then race to St. Andrew's for the Good Friday service at 1:30.

Wonderful reflections in Magnificat this Holy Week.

From the First Station of the Via Matris--The Way of Our Sorrowful Mother (modeled on the Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross)--by Fr. Peter John Cameron. The First Station is The Prophecy of Simeon at the Presentation, when Christ as an infant was presented at the Temple to be consecrated to God, and Simeon, an elderly prophet, told Mary: "And you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed."

"What Mary is promised on this joyous day is sorrow. How many of us come to God with presuppositions, prejucides and presumptions about how life should be. We are cursed with the desire to bend destiny to our own way of  seeing things, our skewed expectations. Left to ourselves, we idolize our urge to establish meaning and value as we would like them to be. We wonder: How can humiliation, contradiction, persecution, privation, pain, betrayal, suffering, or loss in any way contribute to our happiness? There are the very thoughts that the pierced heart of Mary lays bare for us."

And from the First Station of the Via Crucis: Jesus is Condemned to Death, by Monsignor Charles Fink:

"Lord life seems very unfair at times, and we are apt to feel sorry for ourselves. Why do others get recognition when we do not? Why do the evil prosper while we, trying to be good, barely make ends meet? Why do things so often go not as we would like them to? Lord, when such questions arise to haunt us, let us find comfort in you--perfect innocence, unjustly condemned. Let us remember that ever since the Fall of Adam, life has been, and ever will be unfair; that we are called to be good not for immediate good but because you are good; that if we are treated unfairly, it is nothing compared to the unfairness with which you were treated; and that the response is not "Why me, Lord?" bur rather, "Lord, I know that you are with me in this trial."

It's true--I tend not to be terribly surprised when life treats others unjustly; but I'm always shocked when life treats me unjustly. I like to think my role is to comfort, console and support those who have been treated unjustly--seldom does it occur to me that my role is to cast my lot with the rest of humanity/the Mystical Body, and put up with being treated unjustly myself.

It's always a comfort to know I'm not doing anything "wrong." I haven't failed at being a good manager and controller. I've just one more time been shown that all the managing and controlling in the world doesn't prevail one iota against the human condition, against reality.

And this from last night, Holy Thursday:

"One day [Christ] said to Saint Catherine of Siena: "I take thy heart from thee and give thee mine."

Ponder THAT for a moment--as Christ commends his spirit to God and, in the final Agony, breathes his last.

TRADE YOU!

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