Tag Archives: Good Friday

With Love, There is Joy

The latest issue of the Sisters of Life newsletter has an article about Cardinal John O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, talking to the sisters about a crisis of faith he had experienced many years ago. Excerpts of this hopeful message is very apropos for Good Friday.

Many years ago,as a priest, I felt I had lost my faith. I was in Okinawa, many thousands of miles from home….I was the only priest, for thousands of men without families, without the ones they loved, torn by a thousand temptations….I would offer my Mass each day. I would hear confessions, I would preach. I would work, if anything, harder than usual.

Then the long night would come. I felt total emptiness, of Christ on the Cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” I would go to my little tin hut chapel and there I would kneel in the darkness before the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, in the glow of the little red tabernacle lamp. There, I would pray to what it was very difficult for me not to believe was but an empty tabernacle….It was an experience of extended, indescribable, terrifying desolation, of emptiness, of meaninglessness….While I had no sense of faith, and surely no sense of hope, I never completely lost the love of the Eucharist.

And the  one day, as quickly as it came, the darkness and the desolation left and the glory of the Resurrection filled the totality of my being….I knew that I would never waver in faith or hope again.

There may be some who find it difficult to believe in the Eucharistic presence of Christ. Don’t try to believe. Just let yourself love and be loved by the Eucharistic Christ. When you receive Him in Holy Communion don’t ponder theological questions. Say, “This is my love. I have receive my love; my love has received me.”

Without love, there can be no joy. One could truly define the absence of joy as an absence of love, a failure to love. I felt no joy in Okinawa, and I felt no faith and felt no hope because I had suppressed love. The Love remained, the Love saved, the Love purified, but I had to let it become active again within me….I had to remember that the Eucharistic Christ is not simply the presence of Christ, but the presence of Christ who is love. And oh how I prayed through Mary, Mary, the womb of the Eucharistic Christ; Mary the womb of love!


An Inhospitable Place for Humans

On Good Friday, we ponder what appeared to be the greatest crime in human history — the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

The world seems like a dark place. On Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI, reflecting on his trip to Mexico and Cuba, warned that when God is removed from society,  “the world becomes an inhospitable place for humans.” One could also add that the womb has become an inhospitable place for human beings. However!!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).

Meditation for Good Friday

Here is a translation of the sermon delivered by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., preacher of the Pontifical Household, at the Good Friday liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica in 2008.

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“When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was without seam, woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, ‘Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,’ in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says: ‘They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots'” (John 19:23-24).

It has always been asked what the evangelist John wanted to say with the importance that he gives to this particular detail of the Passion. One relatively recent explanation Continue reading Meditation for Good Friday