Friday, April 14, 2006

Further Adventures in Catholicism

So, Good Friday found me once again darkening the door of a Catholic church. Perhaps along with my yearly Ash Wednesday visit, this Good Friday visit will also become a tradition.

Today’s new adventure was the Stations of the Cross liturgy. I tried explaining my experience to a friend of mine who grew up Catholic. As I told him, I never really got the whole Cross piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is Christian existence. That made truly knowing Jesus “in the fellowship of his suffering” a little more challenging.

There have been notable experiences in my life recently that have helped out with getting more in touch with that aspect of Jesus. Watching The Passion of the Christ was clearly one of them. The centrality of the Cross is also a huge part of the Living Waters curriculum. Participating in the Stations of the Cross today marks another long mile along that journey.

Walking the path of Jesus’ torture and execution step by step, and focusing so intently on every word and emotion, the reactions of other people, and the fulfillment of prophecy was more affecting than I can say. The other thing I told my friend was that I have to remember to bring tissue on these excursions, because I always find myself crying and snotting profusely. With only my hands to wipe my eyes and nose, it gets very messy very quickly, and shaking hands with people afterward leaves me feeling very, very guilty.

Anyway, putting myself in Jesus’ shoes helps me to feel closer to him and gives me a greater appreciation for the sacrifices that he made to put himself in mine. I still have immense difficulty feeling worthy of the sacrifice, but I am eternally grateful for the love that made up the difference between the price he paid and the prize he won, me.


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