Tasting pain as Holy Week begins

As you ponder Holy Week, consider these poignant thoughts from the Irish Jesuits and the Sacred SpaceKenyan way of the cross prayer site.

Holy Week, as it is called, marked the steepest learning curve in the lives of Jesus' disciples, and we might gear our prayer to the events and lessons of each day. It seemed to start well, with the Hosannas of Palm Sunday, when Jesus, mounted on a donkey, entered Jerusalem in triumph.

(Luke 19:28) But he had no illusions. Approaching the city he wept over it, ‘If you had only understood the message of peace!' As we watch the Passion unfold, we can appreciate the verdict of Saint Peter Claver, who spent his life in the holds of slave-ships, ministering to African victims condemned to hopeless suffering: ‘The only book people should read is the Passion.'

Or Saint Therese of Lisieux in the anguish of her last illness: ‘What does it mean to have written beautiful words about suffering. Nothing! Nothing! One must experience it to know what such effusions are worth.'

In prayer this week we need to live with the taste of pain and triumphant evil.

[Sketch of Jesus taken from the Kenyan way of the Cross available here, as a wonderful Holy Week exercise.]

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