Holy Week

"The Crucifixion" (detail) by Leon Bonnat

The Day We Call “Good”

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 […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Daily Reflection—The Lord’s First Word is Forgiveness

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Almighty God, Merciful Father, in the Name of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ and by Thy Spirit, prepare for us that mystical space of prayer where we encounter Thy Presence. Holy Spirit, open our minds and hearts, directing us to all that you would reveal. Strengthen us […]

"The Last Supper" (detail) by Duccio

Eucharist — The Body of Christ

Holy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper aka the Lord’s Supper, the institution of the Holy Eucharist — why did Jesus do what he did and say what he said? What did he mean when he said “This is my body and this is my blood” and “Do this in Memory of Me”?  And what does the Catholic Church […]

Daily Reflection—Know That God Is With You

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6) We sometimes […]

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]

The realness of Christ

“From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road, to bypass the land of Edom…” began the first reading at Mass one day this week. Years ago, perhaps I would have pictured a brightly-colored cartoon derived from a picture Bible of my youth, or maybe an aging Charlton Heston would walk across my mental image […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Daily Reflection—The Lord’s First Word is Forgiveness

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Almighty God, Merciful Father, in the Name of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ and by Thy Spirit, prepare for us that mystical space of prayer where we encounter Thy Presence. Holy Spirit, open our minds and hearts, directing us to all that you would reveal. Strengthen us […]

Daily Reflection—Spy Wednesday and Gratitude

“Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.” (Mark 14:10) Today is known as Spy Wednesday for it is believed that on this day of Holy Week, Judas agreed to betray the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. No one loves me more than Jesus. My God, […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Good Friday Reflection—Forgiveness

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Almighty God, Merciful Father, in the Name of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ and by Thy Spirit, prepare for us that mystical space of prayer where we encounter Thy Presence. Holy Spirit, open our minds and hearts, directing us to all that you would reveal. Strengthen us […]

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 […]