Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

I posted this piece before, but it is so appropriate for Good Friday I'm putting it up again. It's about how the liturgy makes the events of Good Friday alive for us.

Ths is from the book The Week of Salvation by James Monti. He quotes an article titled "Good Friday in Venezuela" that appeared in the April 1941 issue of Catholic Digest (It must be in the public domain by now!) The author was Heywood Broun.

"Some few years ago I went on a spring cruise. The steamer touched the northern tip of South America and paused for a day at the port... When we reached Venezuela word came that Gomez, the old dictator, lay dying in the capital. And, as we went up the winding road, I noticed that all those who walked along the highway were clad in black or purple. Young and old all seemed to be hurrying to some central point. And, naturally, it was my notion that they were hurrying to the palace to learn the fate of Gomez...

"But at the door of the cathedral the driver stopped and said something to my companion. My friend translated and explained, 'The driver says this is the service to mark the three hours of agony on the cross.' And it came to me that they mourned not for Gomez, but for the Son of God. Out of bright sunlight I came into cool darkness flecked, but not wholly broken, by the light of many flickering candles. And all about the walls and statues and across the shoulders of the worshipers I saw the Holy Week badge of purple.

"I have seen church services in far and near places, and many were impressive, but here for the first time I saw a people who seemed to feel that the Passion of the Lord was actually occurring again.
"Pilate was not a famous dead procurator of Judea who washed his hands in an ancient city long ago. It was but yesterday that Jesus stood before the Romans on trial for his life and was condemned. And at the very moment the living Christ hung on the cross....
"It was as if one of their own lay dying in a room at home. And all of them lived in a world in which each year Jesus again walked the earth and Judas brought betrayal in a pleasant garden. Many stood outside upon the steps under the hot sun and peered through the doors and down the dark aisles. They waited for some word from the mourners. Almost they seemed to say, 'What is the news? How fares our Lord on Calvary?'"

2 comments:

Ruth Ann said...

Sister Marianne Lorraine, I was aware of these letters and all the controversy surrounding President Obama's appearance at Notre Dame. I wished it wouldn't happen. Yet, since it went on as planned, I decided to watch the speeches and to look for the good. After all, we believe that "all things work together unto good." I think what I most appreciated is the president's call to find common ground and not to turn those with whom we disagree into caricatures. I also liked many other points he made. Did I agree with everything? No. But I feel hopeful that there can be progress. Furthermore, I am convinced that we need to patiently listen to our opponents and win them over through our love and respect.

Sr. Lorraine said...

Well, we can only hope so, but to be honest I am doubtful that the pro-abortion side is sincere. Consider this news article detailing what Obama has actually done so far on this topic:

He has named abortion rights advocates to top jobs; Dawn Johnsen, a former legal director of Naral Pro-Choice America, is his pick to run the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. He has repealed the so-called Mexico City rule, which prohibited tax dollars from going to organizations that provide abortions overseas; lifted Mr. Bush’s limits on embryonic stem cell research; stripped financing for abstinence-only sex education; and is seeking to undo a last-minute Bush regulation giving broad protections to health providers who refuse to take part in abortions.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said she told allies that their movement was emerging from “eight years in the wilderness.”

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