Updated: Sep 2, 2021
Friday Book Pick: The Wood of the Cross
It can be tempting at the end of a long Lent to want to race ahead to Easter, breezing past the long-familiar, and no longer shocking (if it ever was shocking), sight of an executed man—Jesus—hanging on His cross. Let’s not sleep through, or race through, this dark day, this horrible day, this mysterious day we call “good.”
Jesus didn’t skip ahead to Easter. He let the reality of betrayal, the reality of the dark will of His enemies, the accumulation of the disobedience of man, wash over Him. He did not flee to escape the chaotic barrage of water that once swallowed up Pharaoh’s army as it came crashing down on Him. Jesus let it come, He let it crash, and gave Himself over to the tsunami of disorder and the diabolical dissension of man departing from God—children hiding from their Father. No, Jesus did not race ahead to resurrection, He walked every step of His passion and shed every drop of His blood.
Today we have the chance to pause and to be sorry for what we have done. Sorry that we have been so selfish and so sinful and so blind.
There is no book for today. For no book is needed other than that of the Cross. Might I encourage you to find a crucifix, perhaps one from a wall within your home, and taking it in your hands, go into your room and shut the door.
Set an alarm for 15 minutes.
With crucifix in hand, gaze upon the body of our Lord—His feet, nailed mercilessly to the wood, His gentle, healing hands pierced through, His side lanced to expose a heart pure and sacred and given. His head, mockingly crowned with thorns, His face, swollen and bloodied and yet mysteriously serene.
Sit alone with the crucifix. Let your silence accompany the Word today made silent. Speech is inadequate in this moment. You need not even think. Just stay with Him. Let every silent moment reveal to you His love. Jesus is showing you what you mean to Him today. Do not race past it. Let it wash over you—like a tidal wave of love.
Mother Clare, CFR