walking the talk

Feb 17, 2024

.

A traditional Catholic devotion is the Stations of the Cross. This Liturgy is simple, often creative, and involving movement with voice and gesture, all in a profound and intimate journey of prayer with Jesus to and through the Cross.

In last weekends Upper Hutt parish mission I shared a reflection on a time of difficulty in my own life. I was struggling and there seemed to be nothing I could to to escape the suffering.

I prayed.

First I prayed that the suffering would quickly and magically disappear.

Nothing happened.

Then I turned to Jesus, hanging on the beautiful yet rather gory crucifix at the corner of my desk. I prayed in one word: “why?”

And quickly an answer came. Certainly not an answer I wanted, but there was comfort in knowing that my question of Jesus was being answered by Jesus. I wasn’t being ignored.

I sensed that Jesus, while hanging on his cross bruised and bleeding to death, was smiling at me saying John, you said that you wanted to follow me and this is where we are going. We are going to death.

Surprisingly I was not distressed or fearful. Instead, at least in that moment, I understood. For we Christians the cross, present in any suffering we experience, can be a pathway to transformation, re-direction and more abundant life.

For the Christian, death does not have to be an end; rather a transition into life. This Resurrection reality is the heart of the Lenten journey and the foundation of our faith.

The now demolished Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament’s journey of The Way of the Cross with Llew Summers’ Stations of the Cross and Bernadette Hall’s reflections is a vivid and inspiring guide with images of each of the 14 stations, and powerful inspirations.

Happily for those who are in Christchurch Saint Augustine’s bookstore (in the foyer of Christ the King Church in Burnside – open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 11.00am – 2.00pm) has a supply of these beautifully presented books to give away. Drop in and tell them that FFF sent you, and pick up this Lenten gift free of charge.

While you are there take a moment to look around their great selection of pre-loved spiritual books, and support the great work they do in recycling inspiring reading material.

 

5 Comments

  1. I remember you shàring this anecdote in Lincoln. It is deeply affecting.

    Reply
  2. I can relate to the ‘Why?’ prayer in times of suffering. The answer I got was ‘It was part of bringing us back to Him’. Journeying on with you all during this Lenten season.

    Reply
  3. While the cross holds hope for me the idea of Jesus death on the cross being greater suffering than children bombed in Gaza, someone suffering hunger and poverty everyday those having suffered sexual abuse is no longer valid. The cross calls me in my privilege to be grateful. Every Time I look at the cross in Upper Hutt’s St Joseph’s Church, I am challenged to look passed any minor suffering I have in life and go out to those who need the love compassion and hope that Jesus’ entering into our suffering offers all. Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours. I am dedicating this Lent to the service of others in need who come into my life. For me this is having life and living it abundantly.

    Reply
    • Teresa, thank you for sharing this moving and meaningful reflection on how the image of Jesus on the cross leads you to service. Bless you.

      Reply
  4. Teresa is quite right, the poorest person in NZ would be considered very wealthy by people living in rubbish dumps in India for example. We must develop our gratitude and find ways to help others worse off than us. Make no mistake, there is always someone worse off than we are.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

Annunciation

Annunciation

With her encounter with the angel, Mary’s life became an adult adventure of mature faith.

growing up

growing up

Thomas was not doubting as much as seeking; he was expressing the desire of one who truly yearns for adult faith.

blessed assurance

blessed assurance

The point of this Easter Season is that we personally experience the 2024 reality of God in Jesus Christ present with us.

so much colour

so much colour

Jesus is present, alive, active, with us and filling our existences with the cosmic and eternal colour of abundant life.

let’s get physical

let’s get physical

Turn to Jesus today begging him to reveal himself personally, intimately and physically