The Two Lines of the Cross

 

cross and prayers
Photo taken by me last night (Good Friday) Prayer and Meditation at the Cross, Taize style in my Parish.

 

God will receive everything in your life. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt 22:37). Whatever you devote to society, your work, and your human relations are to be given in such a way that it is not taken from what you give to God. Is this possible? Yes! Through his own example, Jesus has shown it to be. He gave himself completely to us, but in handing himself over he did not in any way leave his Father. To the contrary, it was the Father’s will he lived in, when he turned toward us, and it was the Father’s love he communicated.

It was precisely because Jesus lived so fully in his Father that he was unable to forget the world and humankind. The Father is, after all, Father of us all and loves us all.

The cross shows us that there was no separation between the Father and us in Jesus’ life. It was not an either-or, but rather a both-and. When Jesus reached the culmination of his love for us, he also reached the culmination of his love for the Father.

The cross consists of two beams. The vertical beam expresses our relationship with God. The horizontal beam points to our earthly relations. These two meet each other and become one in the intersection of the lines, the center and locus of the heart of Christ. His heart burns with a singular love, and this love makes him stretch toward the Father and out toward the world to embrace us all.

~ A Meditation by Father Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.

 

 

Good Friday

 

cross of Christ
Photo taken by me at the Parroquia Santa Teresa de l’Infant Jesus in Gràcia (Barcelona, Spain) 

 

John 18: 1-19, 42


The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint John.


 

In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Today is Friday,” three Roman soldiers are unwinding in a Jerusalem bar on a Friday night. It had been a long, hard week. It was Passover, which meant that they had worked double shifts because of the crowds. And to make things worse, a would-be Messiah named Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem the previous Sunday and almost caused a riot. But everything had taken care of itself. Passover was coming to an end, and when Jesus was crucified his disciples dispersed.

While downing their drinks, two soldiers are talking about their day’s work.

1st Soldier: Ain’t I seen ’em? I seen plenty of them [crucified]. I tell you [Jesus] was pretty good in there today.

2nd Soldier: You’re a regular Christer, big boy.

1st Soldier: Sure, go on and kid him. But listen while I tell you something. He was pretty good in there today. (210)

A third soldier remains quiet. He is sick. He had seen just as many crucifixions as the other two, but somehow this one had been different. He cannot put into words how it was different or what he had seen but it had made him sick. The story ends with the soldiers going back to the barracks and one of them saying to his sick comrade, “You been out here too long. That’s all.”

Hemingway’s story reveals one of the ways in which God’s grace breaks into our lives. When we have a new reaction to a routine experience, when we see the old and the ordinary in a new light, we experience revelation. Like the soldier in the story, we may not be able to put into words what is happening to us, but revelation happens not in the explanation so much as in our awareness. How often do we become sick because the tenderness of God’s love exposes the callousness of our lives? At such moments, we can be tempted to say to ourselves something like the soldier said to his comrade. “I’ve been working too hard.” Or “I’m taking myself too seriously.” We can readily dismiss feelings of uneasiness or guilt over a long-standing behavior as nothing but merely a passing mood, when in fact, however, such feelings may contain a divine invitation.

~ A Meditation by Marc Foley, O.C.D.

 

 

Within the cross is life’s mainstay and consolation, and it alone provides the way to our salvation.
~ Saint Teresa of Avila, O.C.D.

En la cruz está la vida y el consuelo, y ella sola es el camino para el cielo.
~ Santa Teresa de Ávila, Carmelita Descalza 

 

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Gethsemane

 

Jesus en oracion en el huerto
Oración en el Huerto, art by Vicente López Portaña (1806) Valencia, Spain

 

My Beloved,
I sit quietly
by Your side.

You gaze at me
I gaze at You.

That is all I yearn for,
to be present
and be in Your Presence.

Rabboni,
the Passover Meal  
has finished.
Now You are alone
with the Alone.

This night of grief
has just begun
and is so long. . .
The weight of Your sorrow
is so unimaginable.

Yet, You remain
still
in communion with
Your Father.

Beloved,
the angel is nearby
to give You
strength.

My sweet Jesus,
let me dry Your tears,
let me console Your Sacred Heart
in silent love
till dawn comes.

 

~ My Personal Reflection