Good Friday: An Open Heart

This is the great day of mercy in which the reality of daily life finds its true meaning in the commemoration of the event which is at the center of all history.  The preoccupation with “reality” as we know is no longer the focus of our attention.  The narcissism of relating everything to ourselves cannot endure the gaze of the Crucified.  It is though we must now focus a camera on the background instead of the subject.  The unfortunate reality is that we are too often focused on ourselves, even in religious matters. Religious experience and not the service of God and his people is too often the object of our quest.

The oxymoron of “reality tv” is a profanation of the humane.  The self-indulgent staging of life must stop in the face of today’s reality.  It is the reality of what our sins do to God.  It is the reality of what the Love of God does for us poor sinners.  The “big reveal” is symbolized by the unveiling of the Crucifix:

Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Savior of the World.

Come let us adore. Continue reading

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One Heart, Seven Swords: Many Hearts, One Sword

This will be my only communique for the week.  I just arrived in Maine, NY at our retreat house, and in the morning I will begin my yearly five day retreat, in solitude.  Thank God.  Please pray for me.  I will pray for you.

SF asked a question in the comment section of my recent post:  The Spirit of Mary Victrix.  It is the second time it has been asked—I received an email with the same question from someone else:

Fr. Angelo, can you explain this part of your post: “The enemies of Mary are, in a sense, transfixed with the same sword that has pierced Her heart. Her apostles know the point of that sword all too well, with memories both bitter and sweet. It is swordplay that is well-landed upon both friend and foe.”

Here is what I answered the first time it was asked:

I think of St. Luke’s (St. Simeon’s) reference to the secret thoughts of many laid bare by the piercing of Mary’s Heart (Lk 2:35).  It is a question of compassion, i.e., whether we will open ourselves to it our not.  We make ourselves vulnerable as She was when allow Her to pull down the wall that separates us from God.  When that wall comes down, the ones that separate both friends and foes come down as well.  The price of unity is paid for in the coin of compassion, and that means sorrow.  Hence it is both bitter and sweet.

Some times we write about what we know.  But sometimes we risk writing about what we do not know about what we know.

If that sounds like a bit of mystification, it is because I am mystified.  There is something there to learn, and I still have to learn it.

I would just add that when I said that the “enemies of Mary are, in a sense, transfixed with the same sword that has pierced Her heart,” I meant to say that we all suffer and largely for our sinfulness.  Our sins constitute the sword that pierced the Heart of Our Lady.  Suffering sometimes brings even the hardened to their knees and it is an opportunity for them.  Their response reveals the secrets of their hearts, especially insofar as they are challenged to accept the Mother in order to rise in compassion and generosity.  Her friends suffer also, and sometimes—all too often—with as much reticence as those who are far away from God.  That reveals their hearts too.

Over and out.