Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday: Life Affects Liturgy Affects Life

Easter Triduum - the great Three Days - has been my favorite time in the Church ever since I came into Full Communion at the Easter Vigil in 1987.  Each year I look forward, especially through the last weeks of Lent, to this great celebration. This year has been no different, although I found the excitement somewhat tempered, since I still have difficulty trusting fully in the God who nine months ago allowed the untimely death of the man I loved. What I did not expect was how deeply this would affect my experience of Triduum. 

I want to be fully immersed in the annual accompanyment of Jesus to the cross and beyond to resurrection. I want the familiarity of that annual communal walk. However, I knew I was in trouble, when at choir practice about a week ago, the refrain of Psalm 31 for Good Friday "ambushed' me emotionally... "Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit." How to surrender to God's will for the circumstances of my own life?  How to "let go and let God"? These are my big spiritual questions right now - and they stand squarely between me and a full immersion into the Good Friday experience.

It is always true that we are affected differently by a passage of Scripture each time we hear it - depending on what else is going on in our lives at the time. Apparently the same is true of ritual experience itself. Today's ritual - the reading of the Passion and the Veneration of the Cross - is one of the most powerful of the Church Year. It also calls for a surrender to the power of the Cross that asks us to abandon our own doubt and despair about the circumstances of our human life and embrace the suffering and death of Christ as a call to hope - a hope that asks us to step out of our own suffering and into His - and beyond.

This afternoon, I will do this as well as I can right now, knowing that God knows who I am right now in my journey and knows I still need more time to get to a better place. I will be placing my faith in the only thing I can trust at this point in my life - that God's compassion is infinitely greater than my own sorrow.

Pray this day for all those who mourn - who wait at the foot of the Cross for healing.

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