I decided to pray the rosary this morning as we near the end of Holy Week, as per Bishop Barron’s lovely rosary series on YouTube, meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries, which reflects upon the Passion of Christ. I’ve been considering how this relates to me as a person, and what I can learn from this mystery. I’ve been thinking a lot about human nature after living through the pandemic, and seeing and feeling the way the Canadian government responded to it, especially during the recovery phase of it. What I have concluded thus far relates perfectly to the sorrowful mysteries of Christ’s suffering, and how through meditating on these mysteries, I can find strength and courage, transcending past the challenges of this earthly plane.
The history and etymology for the word “passion“, other than meaning to endure or suffer (“pati” in Latin), is also the root word for “patience”. In my imitation of Christ, having patience is the cornerstone of my direct relationship with God, and therefore, with others (including myself). I do not find it strange that I am required to find patience through endurance, in fact I am not sure how else I could learn. I am reminded of what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5.3-4, “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Whenever I am finding myself frustrated by mine or others inconsistencies, I can remember that as long as I am alive, I can be confident in my many opportunities to practice perfect patience.
After Bishop Barron’s explanation in his video of what the crucifixion meant to the early century Christians (21:56), and the historical meaning of the crucifix, he states, “All of our dysfunction is revealed on that cross. In the light of the cross, no one can honestly say, ‘I’m okay and you’re okay.’” And while I have taken a holistic wellness approach to life, in which I ultimately no longer look at factors in this world as good or bad, I am grateful this Good Friday to admit that fundamentally, I still battle with myself and my surroundings. The difference today is I can better transmute that warring energy before inappropriately releasing it and thereby perpetuating further injury.
The Sorrowful Mysteries remind me that I can overcome my challenges through acts of trust, discipline, and surrender. I don’t need to have all of the answers in order to make a decision, and I don’t need to be afraid of making a decision without having all of my ducks in a row. This is how God’s ways are different from the world’s. It’s okay to lift up my cross, even when at times that might make me feel irrelevant on various levels. I can practice humility and remember what we observed at the beginning of this Lenten season – the reality that we will return to dust. With that recognition, I want to make peace with the parts of me that I identify with and that interact in the world which don’t come from a place of humility, and I am so grateful to have an opportunity today to reflect on where I have come from, and where I want to go.