Thursday, March 03, 2005

"I praise your suffering and bow to your compassion"

During Lent, in the Eastern churches, during the week there is Presanctified Liturgy. This means there are no consecrations during the week, the Blessed Sacrament consumed during the week is all consecrated the previous Sunday. This is like the service in the Western Church on Good Friday. Each week, during this Liturgy of the Presactified Gifts, there is a special prayer. Below is an exerpt of this week's prayer, one that spoke to my heart.

" +Glory the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; Now and always and forever and ever, Amen.

He, though unapproachable in His being, today becomes approachable to me. He endures suffering to free me from suffering. He who grants light to the blind is spat upon by lawless lips and gives His back to be scourged like a lowly slave. When His pure virgin Mother saw him on the cross, she cried out: My Child, what have You done? You whose beauty exceeds that of all the children of men appear disfigured and lifeless! Alas my Light, I cannot look at You asleep in death. I am so deeply wounded; the fearful sword pierces my heart; but I praise your suffering and bow to your compassion. O long-suffering Lord, glory to You!"

This brought back vivid images from the Passion of the Christ. Mary, broken hearted, but praising. This is the mystery of the cross - suffering praise. Painful joy. Being wounded, but whole in Christ. This is why I love the wisdom of our Faith - it is the only answer to the unanswerable "Why???" that bursts forth from our broken hearts in our times of anguish.


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