Crucifixion

The Crucifix’s Reminder

It’s not easy to be Christian in today’s world. It seems that those who treat their neighbors as stepping stones prosper, that those who seek pleasure have the most fun, and those who disregard even the natural law flourish. It is natural, perhaps, to feel as if we should be rewarded in this life for our obedience to God. And […]

The Day We Call “Good”

"The Crucifixion" (detail) by Leon Bonnat

We have committed the greatest sin imaginable. Deicide. The creatures have killed their Creator. The mysteries of today abound. We never could have killed our God if He hadn’t allowed it. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again” (John […]

Daily Quote — from Fr. Romano Guardini

"Pietà" (detail) by Michelangelo located in St. Peter's Basilica

“If one were to ask of the New Testament: What is Man? It would reply with the words of the apostle John: That creature whom God ‘so loved . . . that he gave his only-begotten Son . . .’ (3:16). The answer immediately evokes a second: Man is that creature who dared to slaughter the Son God sent him…” […]

My people, what have I done to you?

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

The Reproaches The Good Friday Reproaches, or Improperia, are among the most unsettling prayers of the Church’s liturgical tradition. They are fitting for the most unsettling day of the year: that day we dare to call “Good,” the day our churches stand stark and empty, the day when the comforting words of the Holy Mass are not uttered, the day […]

Why Do We focus on the Death of Christ?

When I was younger I watched a South Park episode about the premiere of the movie, The Passion of the Christ, in which the characters determined that it was silly for people to focus on the death of Jesus, arguing that we should merely focus on His life instead. At the time, I was enamored with this simple thought and succumbed […]

Daily Catholic Quote — from Fr. Romano Guardini

"Pietà" (detail) by Michelangelo located in St. Peter's Basilica

“If one were to ask of the New Testament: What is Man? It would reply with the words of the apostle John: That creature whom God ‘so loved . . . that he gave his only-begotten Son . . .’ (3:16). The answer immediately evokes a second: Man is that creature who dared to slaughter the Son God sent him…” […]

Shall I Crucify Your King?

"Ecce Homo" by Antonio Ciseri

As we approach Palm Sunday and Good Friday, we also approach one of the most difficult moments in liturgy: our call to crucify Christ. For the reading of the Passion accounts in these liturgies, there is the option for the Gospel to be read by multiple readers. I would venture to guess that most parishes read the Passion account this […]

The Hope of Christ’s Wounds

"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (detail) by Caravaggio

Everyone should have to answer the theological questions of five-year-olds at least once or twice in their lives.  It’s incredible what their innocent perceptivity will lead them to ask… and leave you to try to explain! My nephew Sammy: “Joannie, where is God?” Me: “He’s everywhere, Sammy.” Sammy: Long pause. Looks up at the ceiling. “Even in that vent up […]

The strangest of days

Today our God has died.  Tomorrow we wait. There is much written about Good Friday, for obvious and good and holy reasons. But the past few years I have felt myself more and more drawn to Holy Saturday.  I have more books and fruit for meditation on Good Friday than I could get through in ten lifetimes.  But Holy Saturday […]

Peter, Judas, and the Mercy of God

"Peter's Denial" (detail) by Carl Bloch

This past Sunday we heard of the forgiveness of Christ towards the Woman Taken in Adultery, the week after hearing the story of the Prodigal Son and the Merciful Father.  We need these reminders of God’s mercy in the weeks leading up to Palm Sunday, when we will all cry out the dreaded, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” If that moment in […]