Skip to main content

The Royal Road of The Cross (Good Friday)

I originally posted this last year on Good Friday.

El Greco's: Jesus Carrying the Cross 1581
"Jesus has many lovers of His heavenly kingdom, but few cross bearers.  Many desire his consolation, but few His tribulation.  Many will sit down with him at table, but few will share His fast.  All desire to rejoice with Him, but few will suffer for Him.

Many will follow Him to the breaking of the bread, but few will drink the bitter cup of His Passion. Many revere His miracles, but few follow the shame of his cross.  Many love Jesus when all goes well with with them, and praise Him when He does them a favor; but if Jesus conceals Himself and leaves them for a little while, they fall to complaining or become depressed."  from Imitation of Christ-Thomas A. Kempis Book 2, Ch.11:1 

Yesterday marked my 30th Good Friday; 30th simply because of my age.  For the first time in my entire life I had to work on this day; even though it was only for a half day I was still distressed.  You see I wanted to make this day special.  I wanted to commemorate Jesus' passion and suffering in a unique way.  I wanted to be there for Jesus, if not physically then at least in my heart and spiritually. I wanted to treat this day like I was going to a funeral for someone I loved.  I wanted the day to be solemn, sad, and dignified.  You see if this was an actual funeral then I wouldn't have had to work, it would have been understandable, I would have gotten the day off, but how can I expect my society, my culture, my country, my internship site to understand when Jesus is consistently, daily pushed aside in their day to day dealings.  But Jesus did honor my desire.  He was able to give me at least, however briefly the opportunity to partake in his sufferings spiritually...

As soon as I left my internship site I immediately sped to my parish, Holy Cross.  Even though I do not condone it I definitely sped hitting the 80 MPH threshold.  I wanted to be there early,  I wanted to get front row seats in the unfolding of Jesus' passion.  I did not want to be a Peter, I wanted to be a John.  I wanted to make my 30th Good Friday memorable.  I wanted to console Jesus.

Simon helping Jesus from movie The Passion of The Christ
Through my somewhat reckless speeding I was able to get to church early.  I decided to bring with me Thomas A Kempis' spiritual masterpiece,  The Imitation of Christ.  I had no plan in choosing what section to read.  All I did was continue from where I last left off, Book 2.  Wow, how the Holy Spirit worked, the two sections that I read both dealt with the cross!  The sections were appropriately titled,   "On the Small Number of The Lovers of The Cross" and "On The Royal Road of the Cross."  As I reflectively peered through these pages I was reminded anew of the terrible price that Jesus payed for my sins.  I did not think about the sins of the word; all I did was focus on my sins realizing that it was them that caused Jesus to suffer.  But despite my inward shame and guilt a strange consolation was beginning to engulf my being.  I realized somewhat joyfully that Jesus choose to suffer for me and if he had to do it all over again he would, just for me.  This thought greatly consoled me and brought me peace.

The highlight of the service came during the veneration of the Cross.   As Father brought the austere, large, unassuming, wooden cross in front of the altar I realized finally the time had come for me to console Jesus.  But it was not simple, you see I was very hungry since I had been fasting,  I was tired since I slept a little the night before,  I was impatient, and worse off my mind was preoccupied with every conceivable fear.  I was not at peace. I was in anguish.  I wanted to scream, I wanted to get out, I wanted to go home,  I wanted to run away from the cross.  Then suddenly it dawned on me that all of this inner turmoil was a gift from God.  He had honored my request to suffer for Jesus in a most beautiful and poetic way.  He allowed to feel however briefly, however weakly the poignant anguish of the cross.  He had honored my request; he allowed me to share in the suffering of Jesus.  Now I could finally say that I truly experienced a profound Good Friday.  My 30th Good Friday was truly memorable it was the day that I truly was able to console the Lord on that royal road of the cross.


  1. Dear Author,

    keep on writing. The Holy Spirit brought me here. And I am glad to be able to share your sentiments. Life is good when we have the Lord right. What reminds me in every circumstances, the Lord is faithful. I am blessing you in the name of Jesus Christ! May you have peace in your heart!

    Jonah Aiza


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

10 Great Quotes from The Book of Sirach

The book of Sirach is a book that is often overlooked in the bible. This is unfortunate since this book contains many wise, practical saying on how to live a virtous life. The book was believed to have been written between 200-175 B.C.E.

Here are ten quotes that I feel best reflect this timeless work.

1."Do not become a beggar by feasting with\borrowed money, when you have nothing in your purse." Sirach 18:33

2."In all you do remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin." 7:36

3.."Glory and dishonor come from speaking; a man's tongue is his downfall." 5:13"

4."A wise man is cautious in everything." 18:27

5."One who trusts others is light minded." 19:4

6."If you pursue justice, you will obtain it and wear it as a glorious robe." 27:8

7."Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but no many as have fallen because of the tongue." 28:18

8." In all of your work be industrious and no sickness will…

George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and The Afterlife

I was stunned, as was most of the world was when I heard about the passing of George Michael on Christmas day.  Michael possessed enormous talent was and one of the most successful acts in the 1980's and early 90's

Shortly after Carrie Fisher died.  Fisher was famous for her legendary role as princess Leia from the Star Wars movies.  Strangely her mother also died the day after.

2016 was a notable year for celebrity deaths.

Some names include Prince, Glenn Frey, David Bowie,  Doris Roberts, Alan Rickman, and Muhammad Ali.

As a Catholic these deaths got me thinking about the transient nature of life and the inevitability of death.

Marcus Aurelius, the stoic, emperor, philosopher king wrote about the passing nature of life as he reflected, "Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."

Even though I agree mostly with Aurelius&…

Me vs. The Almighty

There is a famous scene in the Bible where Jacob wrestles with God.  Jacob fights with God until God takes out a bone from Jacob's thigh. Interestingly, God eventually relents and stops fighting with Jacob. After this dramatic incident, Jacob is renamed Israel which literally means, "he who struggles with God."

I can relate to this story.  Many times in my life I have argued with God. I still do. (my wife can attest to that.) Many times I have criticized his tactics, his ways, and his wisdom. In my worst moments, I have even used choice language. I have a complicated relationship with God. Like Jacob, I have wrestled with God. (thigh bone still intact)

Recently I approached a priest friend of mine and told him of my struggles with God.  I expected that he would chide me for my lack of respect and informality. What this priest said was illuminating and encouraging. He told me that it was OK at times to be angry with God, God understood. He, in fact, encouraged this honest…