Good Friday

The Passion of the Lord

To behold the Cross and to behold the truth are acts which can only be accomplished with the virtue of courage. The pusillanimous need not apply.

Why Don’t I Feel Bad for Jesus?

On the evening of Good Friday, as on the evening of every Good Friday as far back as I can remember, I was reading from Saint John Henry Newman’s Parochial and Plain Sermons, published by Ignatius Press. (I was surprised and disappointed to learn recently that Baron Friedrich von Hugel, the Catholic spiritual writer of … Read more

Christianity Is Not Trump’s Native Tongue, and So What?

Last week, President Donald Trump wished the country “Happy Good Friday,” and all hell broke loose. Suddenly, everyone was an expert on Catholic theology—or, at least, the emotional rubrics going along with Holy Week. Sure, most religious folk would not use the phrase “Happy Good Friday.” But most religious folk understood what he was trying … Read more

The Real Absence

“I have sowed sackcloth upon my skin, and have covered my flesh with ashes. — Book of Job 16:16) “I hereby release everyone from fasting and abstinence. I think we’ve suffered enough already.” — Bishop Luke Warm, Diocese of Acedia “Whatever…” — Book of None These three responses pretty much encapsulate the three broad ways … Read more

Don’t Look Away

One might find it surprising, but it is impossible to discover an image of the crucifix existing before the sixth century. Even then, the only one that can be found is carved on the massive bronze doors of the cathedral in Ravenna. It is a mere panel among a number of other panels. Tucked away … Read more

Was the Cross Really Necessary?

The cross. No doctrine is more central to the Christian faith and, yet, more of an offense to our human sensibilities. For the unbeliever, it represents everything that is wrong with Christianity. A wrathful God who must be appeased by the brutal murder of his own son is deserving of contempt not worship; any religion … Read more

Good Friday: The Start of a New Beginning

To the sophisticated Romans of the ancient world crucifixions were a hum-drum affair. They were as routine as writing a traffic ticket. For instance, in 71 B.C. seven thousand slaves led by Spartacus revolted. After they were captured, each one was crucified. Suetonius tells us that the line of the crucifixions extended for 240 miles, … Read more

Good Friday Reveals the True Revolutionary on Calvary

Every year, we are fortunate to hear two accounts in church of the Passion during Holy Week—the first one on Palm Sunday and the second one on Good Friday. The latter account is always from Saint John’s Gospel. On Palm Sunday, we rotate among the Synoptic Gospels according to Cycles A, B, and C. This … Read more

The Goodness of Good Friday

The goodness of Good Friday is not supremely evident until Easter Sunday. By that, I mean there is no way we can call a crucifixion good unless and until it is surpassed. And surpassed it is! The Resurrection does not remove Calvary from history. No, what it does is show that evil and sin would … Read more

Answer Me!

Before I became a priest, or even entered seminary, the Good Friday liturgy was always one of my favorites. After my first experience of the Good Friday service, I rarely missed it. Even in those times when I wasn’t exactly practicing my faith very well, Good Friday seemed to always call me back.

Shroud Skeptics Bump against Science

On Good Friday, I received this e-mail from a reader in France: Your article about the shroud of Turin makes me almost hysteric, I was almost dying of laughter. Thank you for this high piece of burlesque. Nowadays, everyone and his dog knows that the shroud was created in 1347, simply in applying the shroud … Read more

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit

The Easter Antiphon, Regina Coeli, states that Christ “has arisen as He said.” This phrase is remarkable. It is one thing, however astounding, to maintain that Christ arose from the dead. But it is another thing to add that Christ arose just as He said that He would. Lazarus, for instance, did not know that … Read more

The Anchoress: Why I Am Still Catholic

The Anchoress has written a beautiful piece for NPR: “Today, on Good Friday, Why I Am Still A Catholic.”   When have darkness and light been anything but co-existent? How do we recognize either without the other? I remain within, and love, the Catholic Church because it is a church that has lived and wrestled … Read more

A Sacred Work for Good Friday

As Robert Reilly reminded us in this morning’s article, Holy Week is an incredibly rich time, both liturgically and musically. And for me, Good Friday is certainly the high/(low?)-water mark. For the last 15 years or so, I’ve tried to take the time to listen to one of the Bach Passions from beginning to end. Kids … Read more

Good Friday Morning

Given the day, it didn’t seem quite right to go with the usual free-for-all round-up of news and offbeat links, so here instead are two Good Friday links — Cardinal Ruini’s meditations for the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum in Rome today, and Paul Robeson’s beautiful rendering of “Were You There.” Feel free … Read more

‘Be it done unto me according to Thy word.’

This morning at Mass, while trying to keep my pack in line/sitting on the pew/speaking in a stage whisper rather than shouting/etc., I was struck by how unsettling yet fitting it is to be celebrating the glorious commemoration of the Incarnation only a week before Good Friday. In many ways, the seemingly awkward juxtaposition is a perfect example of … Read more

All Is Grace

I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. . . . God will have to do my will in heaven, because I have never done my own will on earth. The 24-year-old Frenchwoman who spoke these oft-quoted words shortly before her death as a Carmelite nun on September 30, 1897, was Thérèse Martin, born … Read more

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