Showing posts with label Good Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Good Friday. Show all posts

14 Apr 2017

Grief and Gratitude on Good Friday

Great griefs are like great joys: they bend time. My sister died twenty years ago. Sometimes it seems so long ago that mercifully, I can barely remember the details. Other times, those details rush back at me so sharply I have to steel myself for impact.

Suicide does that.

I can smile now at the memory of my sister. I felt disloyal the first time I did that, as though permanent grief could be the only fitting monument to her memory. Time, mercy, and God’s grace have done their work, bit by bit.

For the first time since her death, I am writing about her and about losing her. This is an anniversary, and the time is right. For years, I thought she had taken Easter away with her and left nothing behind but wreckage. Gradually I found that she left me other things: a greater appreciation for the gift of my family, and how to live with gratitude despite wounds that are bone-deep. Those aren’t compensations. They don’t cancel out anything. They are gifts nonetheless.

I extend my hand to anyone who’s facing a loss, or anniversary of a loss, this Good Friday. I can’t make the pain go away. I can only say that you’re not alone. All I have is compassion, “suffering with,” in whatever way I can manage. The time and mercy and grace I mentioned were not my doing, and I couldn’t rush them.

Read the rest of the post at

26 Mar 2016

The Gift of Abandonment

The Gift of Abandonment - girl in field

What had happened to my life and how had things turned so quickly? We had renewed our vows on Valentine's Day, and it seemed, even to me, that we lived the perfect life. We had four beautiful little boys and another child on the way. Our large home had been built, much of it by our own hands, in an upscale neighborhood. Yes, it needed a lot of work, but we were looking forward to making it "perfect" together over the years. Friends and family were welcome and visited often. Laughter was a constant companion in days filled with sunshine.

Challenges and darkness had risen ugly heads in the past, but they seemed to have faded and finally been replaced by a deeper Love, a Love that comes only from choosing to face hard times with maturity, Trust, and sheer stubbornness, the refusal to succumb to defeat.

To read the rest of the post and see how abandonment can be a gift from God, please join me at
Happy Easter & God Bless...

2 Feb 2016

For Friends in Crisis

Today I take one last stroll through "Prayerful Thoughts of St. Ignatius of Loyola," this time searching for wisdom in the face of my friends' deep suffering.

©Rick Schroeppel/Getty Images

Please join me in prayer at Praying with Grace.

3 Apr 2015

“Who Would Believe What We Have Heard?” Behold…

He grew up like a sapling… like a shoot from the parched earth;
there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him...

Way quote. Good Friday_Spurned-Avoided
Behold the Way, the Truth, the Life!  BELIEVE.
>>Click Here to Read More at: The Way to Nourish for Life>>

'He saw and believed.' Sunday Reflections, Easter Sunday

From The Gospel of John (2003) directed by Philip Saville

Gospel of the Mass during the Day, John 20:1-9
The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night
The Easter Vigil is not an 'anticipated Mass'. It stands on its own and is the most important liturgical celebration of the whole year. One may fulfil one's Sunday obligation by attending either the Easter Vigil or the Mass during the Day. One may also receive Holy Communion at both

The Resurrection of Christ, Rembrandt, c.1639

At the Mass during the Day    Gospel John 20:1-9 

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem  [Referred to in the poem below as 'Church of the Saviour']
Full post here.

18 Apr 2014

Jesus: Tortured; Executed; Buried - - -

(From Tintoretto, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Detail from Tintorett's "Crucifixion.")

Nailed to a cross after a night and day of torture and humiliation, Jesus was "raised high and greatly and greatly exalted ... so marred was his look beyond that of man."
"3 See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.

"Even as many were amazed at him - so marred was his look beyond that of man, and his appearance beyond that of mortals -

"So shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; For those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it."
(Isaiah 52:13-53:12)
Today's readings start with the prophet Isaiah's words, and end on a gloomy note....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

7 Sep 2013

True Love and the Cross

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of LOVE?

A chubby baby dressed as a Greek god for Halloween?
Sappy pictures of hands joined together?
A red rose?
A box of favorite chocolates?

Let's go a bit deeper, shall we?  Relationships.  Cuddly feelings?  

Are these really great examples (or even, for goodness' sake, realistic) examples of true love?  (By the way, I never really understood the whole last part of The Princess Bride where they rated the kisses ~ what kind of job would that be to do such a thing?  It would stink.)

But, it seems as if society has twisted the definition of true love.

One of the definitions for "love" on is
 "a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection". 

If love becomes reduced to a happy emotion, it quickly deteriorates and loses its value. 

"Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained" ~ C.S. Lewis

What is the greatest of all loves?  The love that set the world afire.  It happened over 2000 years ago.  It happened in a small village under foreign rule.  And the thing is, 


There is a definite path for us to travel; it is full of suffering and heartache, but it is genuine.

"Love, to be real, it must COST ~ it must HURT ~ it must empty us of self." ~ Mother Teresa

But it will be rewarding because we are sharing this sacrificial love with Christ.

Read the rest here.

29 Mar 2013

Watch and pray with Jesus--every day

"Could you not watch one hour with me?" Jesus asked His disciples (MT. 26:40). On Good Friday, our hearts and minds turn towards the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus began to suffer for us. He was abandoned by those who loved Him, even after pleading with them 3 times to watch and pray with Him. We hear the call on this holy day. We go to venerate the Cross. We watch "Jesus of Nazareth." We read the account of the Passion. We take time to pray.

But what about the rest of the year? Do you abandon Jesus as soon as Easter Sunday is over? Is daily prayer low on your list of priorities? Are you "too busy" to spend time with the One who suffered and died for you?

Resolve today to commit (or re-commit) yourself to prayer. If you can't watch for one hour, try half an hour. If that's too much to start with, try 15 minutes. Read from a book of meditations. Gaze at a holy picture that fills your heart with love for God. Think of all Christ did for you and thank Him for it.

Make a habit of prayer. You won't be sorry you did. It will change your life.

See also: Why should you pray?   and 7 Ways to make time for prayer

Stabbing Myself in the Heart

Christ is the only sacrifice who redeems and heals us, not our own self-inflicted suffering. I stood at the sink, pain lancing my ...