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Posts Tagged ‘Good Friday’

Pope Benedict calls us, in these next three days, to recognise that Christ’s love for us is shown by “the total gift of himself on the cross.”

The whole life of Jesus is oriented towards this hour, characterized by two aspects that illuminate each other: this is the hour of  ‘passage’ ( metabasis ) and the hour of ‘love (agape ) until the end’ In fact, it is the divine love, the Holy Spirit of which Jesus is filled, which allows Jesus to ‘pass’ through the abyss of evil and death, and sees him emerge into the new ‘space’ of the resurrection. It is the ‘agape’, the love which brings about this transformation, so that Jesus goes beyond-the limits of the human condition marked by sin and overcomes the barrier that keeps man prisoner, separated from God and eternal life.

By participating in faith in the liturgical celebrations of the Paschal Triduum, we are invited to experience this transformation brought about by agape. Each one of us is loved by Jesus ‘to the end’, that is to the total gift of Himself on the cross when he cried: ‘It is finished!’ (Jn 19.30).

Let us allow ourselves to be touched by this love, to be transformed, so that the Resurrection may really be realized in us. I invite you, therefore, to live the paschal Triduum intensely, and I wish you all a holy Easter!

The Pope made his remarks to 11,000-plus pilgrims who were gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his Wednesday general audience.

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(From an email I received – but I’m in.)

Greetings!

Imagine what might happen if every Catholic in the world would pray a Rosary on the same day! We have an example in October of 1573, when  Europe was saved from the invasion of the mighty Turkish fleet, by the praying of the Rosary by all Christians – the origin of the Feast of the Rosary.

In the 1920s, the Church in Portugal experienced a miraculous resurrection in the face of the fiercely anti-Catholic republican government, because the ordinary people who had seen the miracle of the sun in October 1917, willingly complied with Our Lady’s request to pray the Rosary every day …

In Austria in 1955, the Soviets voluntarily withdrew the Red Army of occupation, after 10% of the population joined in a Rosary crusade with public processions …

So, on Good Friday, let us all pray a Rosary for suffering and persecuted Christians wherever they might be, for peace in the world and the return of moral values into our communities. If possible, please pray your Rosary between Noon and 3:00pm.

Let’s unite in praying one of the most powerful prayers in existence,for these intentions, on one of the holiest days in our Church year.

Ave Maria !

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This morning, I turned on EWTN in time to catch the end of Pope Benedict’s meditation at the end of the Way of the Cross in the Roman Colosseum.

This night we have contemplated Jesus’ face full of pain, ridiculed, insulted, disfigured by the sin of man. Tomorrow night we will contemplate his face full of joy, radiant and luminous. Since the moment Christ was placed in the sepulcher, the tomb and death are no longer hopeless places where history is closed with the most complete failure, where man touches the ultimate limit of his powerlessness. Good Friday is the day of greatest hope, that matured on the cross.

While Jesus dies, while he exhales his breath, he sighs crying out with a loud voice, “Father into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Surrendering his existence, given into the hands of the Father, he knows that his death becomes fount of life. As the seed in the ground has to be broken so the plant can grow. If the grain of wheat fallen in the earth does not die, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Jesus is the grain of wheat that falls in the earth, is torn, is broken, dies, and because of this, can bear fruit. From the day on which Christ was raised up on it, the cross, which looks like a sign of abandonment, loneliness and failure, has become a new beginning. From the depths of death is raised up the promise of eternal life; upon the cross already shines the victorious splendor of the Easter dawn.

In the silence that envelops this night, in the silence that envelops Holy Saturday, touched by the limitless love of God, we live awaiting the dawn of the third day, the dawn of the victory of the love of God, the dawn of the light that enables the eyes of the heart to see life, difficulties and suffering in a new way. Our failures, our disillusions, our bitternesses that seem to signal the collapse of everything, are enlightened by hope. The act of love of the cross, confirmed by the Father and the radiant light of the resurrection, envelops and transforms everything. From betrayal, friendship can be born; from rejection, pardon; from hate, love.

Grant us, Lord, to carry our cross with love, our daily crosses, in the certainty that they are enlightened with the radiance of your Easter. Amen.

Amen. Five hours until the Easter Vigil and counting.

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