The Passion

SAINTS: Mary — A Mother At The Foot Of The Cross, by Greg Friedman

April 14, 2017

From: Lent With The Saints Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42 No mother should bear the death of her son. I heard that sentiment expressed in my family as a teenager, when my favorite uncle died of cancer in his forties. My grandmother was never the same afterward. The Stations of the Cross capture similar feelings, at the fourteenth station, popularly known as the Pietà. It is a scene full of grief, a mother holding the lifeless body of her son. John’s Passion story, read on Good Friday, depicts Mary at the foot of the cross. Standing next to the disciple whom Jesus loved, Mary hears Jesus say, Woman, here is your son. And to the Beloved Disciple he says, Here is your [...]

SAINTS: John Paul II — The Witness Of A Pope, by Greg Friedman

April 13, 2017

From: Lent With The Saints Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-5 On Holy Thursday, 2003, Pope John Paul II issued his final encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, “On the Eucharist and Its Relationship to the Church.”  At the beginning of chapter one, the Pope quoted tonight’s Second Reading from Saint Paul, on the institution of the Eucharist.  The Holy Father wrote: The words of the Apostle Paul bring us back to the dramatic setting in which the Eucharist was born.  The Eucharist is indelibly marked by the event of the Lord’s Passion and death, of which it is not only a reminder but the sacramental re-presentation.  It is the sacrifice of the Cross perpetuated down the [...]

JESUS: The Suffering Of Jesus, by Hubert van Zeller

April 11, 2017

From To Be In Christ We are told in the Fioretti that, Through love and compassion Francis was wholly changed into Jesus.  This took place initially on Mount La Verna but persisted for the rest of the saint’s life.  The transformation seems to have been immediate, though clearly Francis had been preparing for it, without knowing what was to come, since he first set himself on the way to perfection.  This kind of change is something which, less dramatically, should be taking place in all of us.  The passage quoted adds: The marks of the nails began anon to appear on the hands and feet of Saint Francis.  The word “anon” and later the word “after a space” would seem to show that the significant grace was the [...]

JESUS: The Acceptance Of Jesus, by Hubert van Zeller

April 4, 2017

From To Be In Christ That Jesus accepted the Father’s will at every moment of his life is not in question.  That he submitted to the yoke of the Roman occupation and to the authority of the Levitical priesthood is clear from a number of incidents recorded in the gospels.  What we are more concerned with here is with such everyday circumstances as we might ourselves experience.  His patience must often have been tried by the obtuseness of his disciples, by the tepid service given to the Father on the part of those who considered themselves religious, by the disappointments he met with in his work, by the legalism and exaggerated ritualism which prevailed everywhere he turned, by the want of consistency and above all by the absence [...]

LENTEN MEDITATION: The Mystery Of Jesus by Blaise Pascal

April 3, 2017

From: Pensées Jesus suffers in his passion the torments inflicted upon him by men, but in his agony he suffers the torments which he inflicts on himself.  He was troubled.  This punishment is inflicted by no human, but an almighty hand, and only he that is almighty can bear it. Jesus seeks some comfort at least from his three dearest friends, and they sleep: he asks them to bear with him a while, and they abandon him with complete indifference, and with so little pity that it did not keep them awake even for a single moment.  And so Jesus was abandoned to face the wrath of God alone. Jesus is alone on Earth, not merely with no one to feel and share his agony, but with no one even to know of it.  Heaven and he are the only ones to [...]

LENTEN MEDITATION: In Mirrors by Walter Wangerin

February 23, 2016

From Reliving the Passion In mirrors I see myself.  But in mirrors made of glass and silver I never see the whole of myself.  I see the me I want to see, and I ignore the rest. Mirrors that hide nothing hurt me.  They reveal an ugliness I’d rather deny.  Yow!  Avoid these mirror of veracity! My wife is such a mirror.  When I have sinned against her, my sin appears in the suffering of her face.  Her tears reflect with terrible accuracy my selfishness.  My self!  But I hate the sight, and the same selfishness I see now makes me look away. “Stop crying!” I command, as though the mirror were at fault.  Or else I just leave the room.  Walk away. Oh, what a coward I am, and what a fool!  Only when I have the [...]

PRAYER: It Was In This Word’s Passion That, by Catherine of Siena

April 3, 2015

the fire hidden under our ashes began to show itself completely and generously by splitting open his most holy body on the wood of the cross. And it was to draw the soul’s affection to high things, and to bring the mind’s eye to gaze into the fire, that your eternal Word wanted to be lifted up high. From there you have shown us love in your blood, and in your blood you have shown us your mercy and generosity. In this blood you have shown how our sin weighs you down. In this blood you have washed the face of your spouse, the soul, with whom you are joined by the union of the divine nature with our human nature. In this blood you clothed her when she was naked, and by your death you restored her to life. O agreeable, peaceful [...]