On the night before the paschal feast, seated at supper with his disciples, Our Lord declared “I am the way, I am truth and life.” They were in the presence of truth Himself, of life Himself, and they would soon see what the world thinks of both life and truth. The next afternoon, he was, at the behest of a mob, sentenced to death and executed as if he were no different than the thieves crucified beside him.
We profess in the Nicene Creed of the Church each Sunday: “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.” “But are we,” wrote then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “really expecting this resurrection? And eternal life?”
Two weeks away from graduation, I felt everything slipping from my control, into a place where every question was open ended. And there seemed no answers. Would I get a job? Would I be a failure?
My daughter, . . . I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open.
It is always a challenge to enter more deeply into the spirit of Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion. I often feel as if I cannot get where I want to be. As if the celebration of the passion of the Lord doesn’t penetrate my heart and life as much as it should—or as much as I want it to.
The entire meaning of Lent, Holy Thursday, the Easter Triduum, can be summed up in this sentence from the gospel of John, “He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end,” since it speaks about the entire content of the life and mission of Jesus Christ; that is, to love his disciples and his brethren—us, you, me, humanity—to the very end.
I still remember being eleven years old, watching in wonder as Pope Benedict XVI gave the declaration of canonization for St. Rafael Arnaiz Baron. At the time I thought monks only existed in Buddhism, and was pleasantly surprised to find that monks are a vital part of the Catholic Church.
It was a death in the family. I didn’t expect to be so shaken by the footage of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral, a building I had scarcely seen in tiny photographs, let alone in person, crumbling at the touch of so many flames.