On Good Friday, Christians find themselves face-to-face with Christ on the cross. But we can also find crucified people much closer to home.
On Good Friday millions of Christians prayerfully mark the way of the cross. Pope Francis often notes that Christ’s crucifixion is not just historical but plays out today, and when we commemorate Jesus’ path to the cross we recognize the oppressed and violated in our world.
In his first papal homily, Francis urged a focus on journeying with people, building the church, and professing Christ crucified. As we prepare to celebrate Easter, Pope Francis asks us to inhabit rather than pass through Good Friday.
Lent didn’t begin as a season of guilt, and it shouldn’t stay that way.
Memories of a Catholic boyhood. It is Ash Wednesday, and the choice about what to give up for Lent finally take effect. I remember that Ash Wednesday meant the beginning of things like no candy, no ice-cream sodas, and most difficult of all, six Saturday afternoons without a Hopalong Cassidy movie at the neighborhood theater. Such choices were made after a bit of comparison shopping (What are you giving up?) and not without a spirit of one-upmanship. We hadn’t absorbed much about Jesus’ command to do good deeds without parading them before others.
Prayer isn't easy. There's a reason it's called a discipline.
How do you pray? The way I pray changes often. Sometimes it’s intentional, quiet, in front of a candle even. At other times, it’s simply sitting quietly on my commute to work, purposefully avoiding my email and social media while I mindfully observe my surroundings. For a while there in the summer, after putting my son to bed, I would sit on my back porch and attempt watercolor paintings of the scenery around me.
The liturgy of Good Friday gathers believers of every generation before the Tree of Life.
Those of us in our 60s and beyond remember something like this from our youthful Good Fridays: After what seemed like an eternity of Latin readings (mostly John’s account of the Passion), followed by another eternity (during which the interesting part was seeing if you could actually get both knees on the kneeler before the pastor semi-chanted, “Levate”), we got something more than words: a procession.