Saturday, March 24, 2018

The darker the night ...

Christ couldn't wait - he climbs the cross.
"To make it possible for us to climb to this perfection,
Christ actually made for us a staircase of his body!" 
- Catherine of Siena

"And if you ask, 'What is the way?'  I will tell you it is the way Christ chose, the way of disgrace ..." - S. Catherine

While reading the Passion narratives, and especially the Gospel for Passion week, one can very much understand what Christ suffered from those around him.  Soon to be thrust into the hands of sinful men, in the words of the psalmist his suffering from the chaos and confusion is revealed:

Many bulls have surrounded me,
fierce bulls of Bashan close me in.
Against me they open wide their jaws,
like lions, rending and roaring. 
But I am a worm and no man,
scorned by men, despised by the people.
All who see me deride me.
They curl their lips, they toss their heads.
"He trusted in the Lord, let him save him;
let him release him if this is his friend." - Ps. 22

It is a great grace to share - even in the smallest way - in this darkness Christ endured.  To share his shame as Paul wrote in Hebrews.  To go to him outside the camp, to sit alone and ponder his sacred Passion.  We hear the scorn of men, we know what it is to be despised and derided and mocked for our confidence.  What an unimaginable grace that is.  What perfect joy, as St. Francis would say.  All of the saints, but especially the martyred, the abused, those who counted for nothing.  They shared in the passion of Christ - they even rejoiced.  In times of strife, confusion and chaos, remember that Christ is there - he is within us even in the deepest darkness.  No pit is so deep, that his love is not deeper still.  Betsy ten Boom said that in the concentration camp.  

The darker the night, the greater the light...
... even darkness is not dark for you
and the night is as clear as the day. - Ps. 139
In the Passion narratives, with the plots against Jesus, and the taunts against him, it is very easy to see the parallels in our day: the attacks against Christians, the real persecutions and martyrs, as well as all the dissent among Catholics.  Christ continues to suffer in us.  He loves us so much, he cannot deprive us even just a little share in his sacred Passion.

I trusted, even when I said:
"I am sorely afflicted,"
and when I said in my alarm:
"No man can be trusted."
How can I repay the Lord
for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the Lord's name. - Ps. 116


  1. Just heard this today: the Cross is the Throne of Jesus.

  2. A blessed Palm Sunday and Holy Week to you, Terry and to all of your blog readers.

    May we all be found at the foot of the Cross in preparation for Easter Sunday!


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