Love to the End

This post is based on Week Seven of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. This is a painful week in the Spiritual Exercises as I accompany Jesus in his final hours. In entering the Gospel passages of the Passion, I place myself in the scenes as an onlooker and witness a man who is betrayed, arrested, and unjustly sentenced. He is spat on, jeered at, slapped, mocked, tortured, and condemned to a brutal, drawn-out death. The pain […]

Lamentation: The Weight of Grief

Niccolò dell’Arca’s Mourning over the Dead Christ, often simply called Lamentation, moves us into the depths of Good Friday’s grief. (See a video of this piece of art below the article.) There is no way to prepare for the visceral images of six life-sized terracotta sculptures mourning over Christ’s body. The grief is palpable as viewers find themselves nearly frightened of the masterpiece. This grief is not quiet. The first figure we encounter is Joseph […]

An Imaginative Reflection on the Crucifixion

When we heard that Jesus had been arrested, I went with Mary to help her through this terrible time. She had a premonition that something bad was going to happen. I don’t know how she knew, but I’ve learned to trust her instincts. I hope this won’t end badly, but standing outside the governor’s palace, we can hear the words, “Crucify him!” My blood runs cold, and I can feel Mary stagger and sag into […]

Joseph of Arimathea and Burying the Dead

In honor of the feast of St. Joseph of Arimathea on August 31, we share this reflection based on Luke 23:50–53. Joseph didn’t witness the death of Jesus. He sent me to watch and to notify him when Jesus was pronounced dead. As I headed to Golgotha, Joseph went boldly to Pilate to request Jesus’ body. Joseph knew how to work within existing leadership structures. He wanted Jesus to have a decent burial, not to […]

The Seven Last Words

On this Good Friday, you may like to take some time to pray with the Seven Last Words of Jesus. For centuries Christians have prayed various forms of devotions around these phrases recorded in the Gospel accounts of the Passion. Loyola Press offers an online version for your meditation this day. Pray with one word or all seven, as your schedule allows and the Spirit directs. Another option for your prayer today is Arts & […]

Arts & Faith: Lent—Good Friday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

As we move from Lent to Easter, we’ll provide Ignatian prayers for the Triduum, inspired by videos from Arts & Faith: Lent. The video and prayer for Good Friday are based on John 18:1—19:42. The art is Andrea Mantegna’s The Dead Christ (Lamentation of Christ). Preparation Prepare for a period of meditation by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and breathing deeply for a moment or two. Allow any present concerns to move across your mind […]

The Crucifix and Good Friday

Why turn to the crucifix? Because the crucifix is a sign of victory and hope. It holds the fact that our lives will hold suffering and pain and sin and the effects of sin. We look at the crucifix, at Jesus on the cross, and we remember that Jesus understands our suffering and what we are going through. Jesus dealt with pain due to the effects of sin and evil in our world. On Good […]

Arts & Faith: Lent—Good Friday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

As we move from Lent to Easter, we’ll provide Ignatian prayers for the Triduum, inspired by videos from Arts & Faith: Lent. The video and prayer for Good Friday are based on John 18:1—19:42. The art is “The Capture of Christ” by the Master of the Karlsruhe. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then […]

Arts & Faith: Lent—Good Friday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

As we move from Lent to Easter, we’ll provide Ignatian prayers for the Triduum, inspired by videos from Arts & Faith: Lent. The video and prayer for Good Friday are based on John 18:1-19:42. “He said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” —John 19:30 Preparation As you begin this time of quiet prayer, I invite you to find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight and […]

The Meaning of a Kiss

During Holy Week I’ve encountered two very different and yet equally profound meanings in the act of a kiss.  The first, of course, is the act by which Judas symbolized his betrayal of Christ: a tender, intimate act which was a lie and a travesty.  The other was the act by which we show reverence for the cross of Christ in the liturgy of Good Friday. I celebrated Good Friday liturgy with my family at […]

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