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Franciscan Spirit Blog

Lent with St. Francis: ‘By Your Holy Cross’

Apr 2, 2021
Lent with St. Francis: "By Your Holy Cross"

Easter Triduum: Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13—53:12;
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12–13, 15–16, 17, 25;
Hebrews 4:14–16; 5:7–9;
John 18:1—19:42

“One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.” —John 19:34


The Passion According to St. John is always read on Good Friday. It gives us a perspective on the death of Jesus that reminds us that it wasn’t simply a tragic occurrence in the life of a good man. It was the culmination of the earthly ministry of the Son of God, his hour of glorification, that moment when heaven and earth are joined and the life of Christ became the ongoing life of the Church.

For St. Francis, meditating on the Passion was not some medieval exercise in masochism but a means of uniting himself completely to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, a way of living so thoroughly into the mystery of Christ that he was able to lead others into this mystery. He wrote in his Testament:

And God inspired me with such faith in his churches that I used to pray with all simplicity, saying, “We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all your churches in the whole world, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”

Francis’s conversion began with his prayer before the cross of the ruined chapel of San Damiano and culminated in his experience of the stigmata on Mount La Verna. As we journey with him, he brings us always to the cross and to Christ.


Prayer

Happy those [Death] finds doing your will!
The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks,
And serve him with great humility.
Amen.


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Comments

Submitted by Dr Eileen Quin… (not verified) on Sat, 04/03/2021 - 01:29 PM

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Christ's suffering brings tears to my eyes as I think how much and how deeply He suffered for us. His agony on the cross is one that all have participated in from the COVID. Some have participated in it intentionally as they pray for many who are suffering in mind and body. May we offer our prayers to our heavenly Father today in obedience to His will for us. I briefly talked to a Mother today with a screaming baby (about 6 months) She was overwhelmed in trying to care for her child. She had too much to drink and was trying to cope in a meaningless way. I asked her if she wanted me to pray with her for a minute, she said yes. I asked God to bless her and her child and give them the peace and joy of new life. She responded well to the prayer and I asked her if she sang to her baby and that she might want to do that for a minute while she held her. Both the prayer and the music calmed her and the baby. All done on the sidewalk in front of her house in Jesus' name. She certainly responded to Christ suffering in her own life and was willing to change the lens toward goodness and joy. She thought that for today she could substitute water for alcohol. Amen.

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