Christ Carrying the Cross, El Greco, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Christ Carrying the Cross, El Greco, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

The Pope’s Holy Thursday homily. 

St. Dominic In Penitence, Met Museum, NYC

St. Dominic In Penitence, Met Museum, NYC

First Reading from Good Friday: (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)

13 See, my servant shall prosper;
he shall be exalted and lifted up,
and shall be very high.
14 Just as there were many who were astonished at him[a]
—so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of mortals—
15 so he shall startle[b] many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
53 Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by others;
a man of suffering[c] and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces[d]
he was despised, and we held him of no account.
4 Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people.
9 They made his grave with the wicked
and his tomb[e] with the rich,[f]
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain.[g]
When you make his life an offering for sin,[h]
he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.
11 Out of his anguish he shall see light;[i]
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
The righteous one,[j] my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Dali, Christ of St. John of the Cross.

Dali, Christ of St. John of the Cross.

Spy Wednesday


Judas agrees to betray Jesus

Can I just say I love the name of today? “Spy Wednesday.”

Today is the day that Judas went to the Sanhedrin and agreed to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver:

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

–Matthew 26:14-16

Luke puts it even more darkly:

3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

–Luke 22:3-6

Fisheaters give us this information about customs for today:

Today and during the Sacred Triduum, the Matins and Lauds of the Divine Office are often sung in a haunting service known as the Tenebrae service (“tenebrae” meaning “shadows”), which is basically a funeral service for Jesus. During the Matins on Good Friday, one by one, the candles are extinguished in the Church, leaving the congregation in total darkness, and in a silence that is punctuated by the strepitus meant to evoke the convulsion of nature at the death of Christ. It has also been described as the sound of the tomb door closing. During the Triduum, the Matins and Lauds readings come from the following day’s readings each night because the hours of Matins and Lauds were pushed back so that the public might better participate during these special three days (i.e., the Matins and Lauds readings heard at Spy Wednesday’s tenebrae service are those for Maundy Thursday, the readings for Maundy Thursday’s tenebrae Cercis siliquastrumservice are from Good Friday, and Good Friday’s readings are from Holy Saturday’s Divine Office).

Legend says that the tree upon which Judas hanged himself was the Cercis siliquastrum — a tree that is now known as the “Judas Tree.” It is a beautiful tree, native to the Mediterranean region, with brilliant deep pink flowers in the spring — flowers that are said to have blushed in shame after Judas’s suicide.




Real Life Saints

Tabernacle and Adoring Angels, Chapel of St. Cecilia, Motherhouse of the Nashville Dominicans, Nashville, TN

Tabernacle and Adoring Angels, Chapel of St. Cecilia, Motherhouse of the Nashville Dominicans, Nashville, TN

“We need saints without cassocks, without veils – we need saints with jeans and
tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music, that hang
out with their friends (…) We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs,
that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the
Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with
their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theatre. We
need saints that are open, sociable, normal, happy companions. We need saints
who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without
being callous or mundane. We need saints”.”
–Pope Francis



Catholic Women’s Daybook No. 57




Outside my window::

spring rain. The grass is that lovely bright early spring green and daffodils, crocus and even some tulips are appearing! The trees suddenly got their white buds and early green leaves yesterday (of course it was almost 80 degrees, so I bet that helped.)


jeans, grey v-neck t-shirt, silver earrings. I had an early lab draw at the Resort this morning so I chose an easy outfit.


Just finished Letters to Malcolm, which is one of the books my brother got me for my birthday last week. It was lovely, as is everything Lewis wrote. Reading B XVI’s Holy Women now but might finish that today. Also re-reading Inside the Passion and the second part of B XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth: the Holy Week book.

Around the house:

Surprisingly, not a whole lot. I have to mop the kitchen floor and work on the master bath a bit (change the bathmats in there) but the place is in pretty good shape!

In the Kitchen::

Well Friday will be sort of short shrift, eh? :) Tonight is chicken and vegetables, Tuesday is 2 bean weeknight chili (it’s amazing), Wednesday is a turkey burger and Thursday–no idea. Maybe pasta?

Working out::

Rehab M and W, not Friday. Going to yoga class tomorrow and maybe Thursday morning? We’ll see if I can get up in time. :)


It’s a big week. Hoping to make it to adoration at my church M and W, definitely will tomorrow. Holy Thursday Mass at 7:00 and then adoration following; Good Friday service starts at noon (my parish has someone preach the Seven Last Words), and then Easter, of course. :)

In the CD player::

Rotating between Part II of Messiah and Lent at Ephesus. Really, part II of Messiah is so overlooked. And it’s great music.


Hosanna to the Son of David


"Entry of Christ into Jerusalem," Pietro Lorenzetti

“Entry of Christ into Jerusalem,” Pietro Lorenzetti


The most solemn week of the Church year is once again upon us–really, it’s my favorite week of the year.

Mass began with the solemn procession, and yes, we went outside, bearing palm branches and singing “All Glory, Laud and Honor.” The Passion was read (not chanted), there was a brief homily, and the choir sang wonderfully. “Jesus, Remember Me” was the recessional.

Here’s some food for thought as we head into Holy Week:

Every Palm Sunday we enter into the holiest week of the Church’s liturgical year, the time when we are invited to contemplate and partake in what we believe to be the most hidden and awe-inspiring mysteries possible. And what is at the center of these fathomless mysteries? A passion, a Passion of the incarnate God. And even though we call that day “Palm Sunday” because of the traditional procession, its proper name is actually “Passion Sunday”, just as Holy Week is another name for the Week of the Passion.

We habitually say that we will “celebrate the Lord’s Passion”, or “read the Lord’s Passion according to Matthew”, or that “The Lord is now entering into His Passion.” But do we ever reflect sufficiently on this apparent coincidence, that the climax of our redemption through Christ’s suffering should bear the same name as that “passion of love” which is one of the ways in which we could translate the term eros? It is to be expected that many are puzzled as to why exactly it is that suffering should bring about redemption. Our understanding of this mysterious correspondence can be helped along, I think, if we expand the meaning of suffering from simply “undergoing pain” to include “the willing activation of all the passions of the soul,” intended to put love in the place of the beloved’s refusal to love. Christ redeems us because he passionately embraces our rejection of him with a love unto death, and he will not let go of us.

–Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis