Good Friday

A reflection for Good Friday (featuring music from this afternoon’s online Good Friday Service. Thanks Sarah (violin) & Randall & Janine (voice & guitar):

Good Friday Service at 3.00pm today at the National Liturgy Office website or click on the image below.

A reflection on suffering from a 2002 interview: Cardinal Ratzinger with Peter Seewald

Today what people have in view is eliminating suffering from the world. For the individual, that means avoiding pain and suffering in whatever way. Yet we must also see that it is in this very way that the world becomes very hard and very cold. Pain is part of being human. Anyone who really wanted to get rid of suffering would have to get rid of love before anything else, because there can be no love without suffering, because it always demands an element of self-sacrifice, because, given temperamental differences and the drama of situations, it will always bring with it renunciation and pain.

When we know that the way of love–this exodus, this going out of oneself–is the true way by which man becomes human, then we also understand that suffering is the process through which we mature. Anyone who has inwardly accepted suffering becomes more mature and more understanding of others, becomes more human. Anyone who has consistently avoided suffering does not understand other people; he becomes hard and selfish.

Love itself is a passion, something we endure. In love experience first a happiness, a general feeling of happiness.

Yet on the other hand, I am taken out of my comfortable tranquility and have to let myself be reshaped. If we say that suffering is the inner side of love, we then also understand it is so important to learn how to suffer–and why, conversely, the avoidance of suffering renders someone unfit to cope with life. He would be left with an existential emptiness, which could then only be combined with bitterness, with rejection and no longer with any inner acceptance or progress toward maturity.

Thanks Billy for the Good Friday LEGO art below and Edward above.

7 Responses to "Good Friday"
  1. I love the children’s lego depictions of the crucifixion. Well done children. An interesting reflection on suffering by Cardinal Ratzinger – there can be no love without suffering. It is difficult to imagine a world without suffering – a world without love.

  2. The Cross is the ultimate depiction of Love/Suffering.
    But by His life, love and light He saved us. Lord help us in our loving and in our suffering.

  3. We are encouraged to explore the paradoxes of our Christian maturity.
    Life is suffering and love. The depths of suffering equals the depths of love.
    Suffering is part of our ongoing education for growth, maturity, personal identity.

    Good Friday epitomizes the depths of the suffering and death of Jesus – his arrest, trial, mental and physical suffering and death on the cross.
    The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus illuminate the depths of his transforming love and gives the light of oneness with humanity.

    My prayer on this sacred day is that humankind is blessed with the benevolence of the Spirit of light, humility, hope, love and compassion. +


  4. Good Friday 2020 is universally unique, calls us all in solidarity to pray for all, reach out to others in compassion, love . A wake up call and make changes to make a difference personally , communally, and in a wider context… By your cross you have redeemed the whole world.

  5. Thanks Father John, what an important reflection, especially on Good Friday.
    Cardinal Ratzinger is a very wise man, we only need contemplate our own children to see the validity of his words. If one of our children was to die the pain and suffering would be just about unbearable, but if we did not love our children their death would only touch us as the death of an acquaintance.
    When we read about someone being killed in a motor accident, for example, we are not really emotionally affected and just offer up a prayer that Jesus will take that person to be with him forever.
    If however, it is a friend we feel sorrow and grief because we have love for that person. If a family member, even more intense sorrow and grief as the love is proportionately more, or perhaps not proportionately but exponentially more, thus the more you love the more you suffer.

  6. If one thinks euthanasia which is very much in the news, this is a wonderful answer why it is Gods plan that we love each other and we share the suffering of others and grow through loving and suffering, It is part of Gods plan, they both go together

  7. Loved today’s Good Friday service. It was so relatable and boy has that young man got a fabulous voice! What a family of singers too. Lovely to see our own Lorraine at the beginning.

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