The vain delights that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood…
Holy Week is not for the faint of heart. A good prayer at the beginning of this sacred time is to have the courage to face these events as they unfold, not to turn away from them, not to busy ourselves with all the things that we do in order to escape the truth about ourselves.
Yes, we feel acutely the pain of not being able to gather together this year for this solemn observance of the paschal mystery. Yet, might there be gain as well as loss? I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to let go of a number of “vain delights that charm me most” in this time of quarantine. While this does not guarantee in itself the quality of attention and the disposition of heart that these events deserve, it gives us the best shot at a deeper sort of personal participation.
Today’s events and those that follow oblige us to see up close the treachery of the human heart. That’s our heart, not just “those guys.” This is not so much to rub our noses in it, but to help us see what we are invited to see when we look at the Cross: the immensity of God’s love for us. The tragedy of our lives is not that we fall short of the life God wants for us – that we sin – but that we fail to see how very much we are loved. During this time of distress, we need to know that.