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Fifteen Good Friday Things That Caught My Eye Today: The Promise of Easter, Taking Up the Cross & More

Something from me: After a year of fear, are we ready for the promise of Easter?

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2. Bishop Thomas Olmsted: Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling

God’s love for us did not stop at the Incarnation. He did not just become one of us and share our life from conception to death and redeem us through His suffering, Death and Resurrection. His self-giving love went beyond by becoming our very nourishment. The Eucharist reveals how much Jesus loves us. Saint John Vianney, the patron saint of priests, expresses eloquently God’s extreme love for us in the Eucharist: “Never would we have thought of asking God to give us His own Son. But what man could not have even imagined, God has done. What man could not say or think, and what he could not have dared to desire, God, in His love has said it, planned it and carried His design into execution. We would never have dared to say to God to have His Son die for us, to give us His Body to eat, His Blood to drink… In other words, what man could not even conceive, God has executed. He went further in His designs of love than we could have dreamed” (The Eucharist Meditation of the Curé D’Ars, Meditation I).

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4. Fr. Roger Landry: The Choice We Face: Is It Christ or Barabbas?

How could anyone have shockingly barked for Barabbas and hollered for Jesus’ death? Archbishop Fulton Sheen, in his powerful meditations on the Way of the Cross, helps us all to see how in every moral decision we are faced with a similarly momentous choice.

“How would I have answered [Pilate’s] question had I been in the courtyard that Good Friday morning,” Sheen asked. “I cannot escape answering by saying that the question belongs only to the past, for it is as actual now as ever. My conscience is the tribunal of Pilate. Daily, hourly, and every minute of the day, Christ comes before that tribunal, as virtue, honesty, and purity; Barabbas comes as vice, dishonesty, and uncleanness. As often as I choose to speak the uncharitable word, do the dishonest action, or consent to the evil thought, I say in so many words, ‘Release unto me Barabbas,’ and to choose Barabbas means to crucify Christ.”

Every choice between good and evil, Sheen stressed, is between Christ and Barabbas-in-disguise. If Christ was crucified to take away the sins of the world, every sin, to some degree, is a choice for him to die.

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6. Fr. Richard John Neuhaus:

Every human life, conceived from eternity and destined to eternity, here finds its story truly told. In this killing that some call senseless we are brought to our senses. Here we find out who we most truly are because here is the One who is what we are called to be. The derelict cries, “Come, follow me.” Follow him there? We recoil. We close our ears. We hurry on to Easter. But we will not know what to do with Easter’s light if we shun the friendship of the darkness that is wisdom’s way to light.

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8. Fr. Thomas Weinandy: The Work of the Cross

However, while sin had made humankind God’s enemies, the Father’s response to sin was not that of allowing humankind to suffer its just fate. Rather, the Father’s salvific goal reconfirms his plan first inaugurated at the dawn of creation. He desires that we share fully in the eternal life of the Trinity (see: Eph 1:3-14). Being conformed into the likeness of his Son through the Holy Spirit, the Father becomes our Father. The Trinity then is the source and goal both of creation and redemption. Thus, in love, the Father sent his Son into the world so that we might not perish in our condemnation, but have eternal life with him (see: John 3:16; 1 John 4:9).

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10. Joseph Pearce: Revisiting Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ”

11. Some worthwhile Lenten sermons from Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa

12. Rod Dreher: Father Sergei Mechev, Man Of God

13. Father John Tauler, O.P. (a German Dominican priest who died in 1361; from The Sermons and Conferences of John Tauler):

Out of death comes life that dies no more. There is no true and undying life in us except the life that comes forth from death. If water is to become hot, then cold must die out of it. If wood is to be made fire, then the nature of wood must die. The life we seek cannot be in us, it cannot become our very selves, we cannot be itself, unless we gain it by first ceasing to be what we are; we acquire this life through death.

In very truth there is, rightly speaking, but one death and one life. However many deaths there may seem to be, they all are but one, namely, the death a man dies to his own will, to his sense of proprietorship, to division and multiplicity and activity—in so far as this is possible to a creature. And there is one life, and only one, namely, the one ineffable, incomprehensible uncreated, essential, divine life. Toward this life all other life hurries on, is driven forward, streams along, being irresistibly drawn to possess it. The nearer our life comes to this essential life, and the more it is likened to it, the more truly do we live, for in this and from this life is all life, and not otherwise….

Whosoever will have this divine life living within him, made most essentially and most truly his own, such a one must most essentially and most truly die to himself. Whosoever fails to die will fail to live. And whosoever totally dies to self, such a one is wholly made alive in God and without any separation. And this death has many degrees, just as life has. A man, for example, may die a thousand deaths in a single day, and each is instantly followed by a joyous life in God—death is no longer death. This happens perforce, because God cannot refuse the offering of death nor resist its plea for life. And the stronger death is and the more complete, so is the life that responds to it all the stronger and more integral; just as death is, so shall life be. And as life succeeds to death, so does life prepare a man to die a more perfect death to himself.

14. Listen to Fulton Sheen on Good Friday.

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