Monday, February 14, 2011

Spring 2011

Whenever I think of the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, I think about the expression "tough love." He was a man, a brilliant man, who was passionate about his faith and not afraid to express what it really means to be a Christian--what it costs to become a disciple of Christ. His love for God and for his fellow man gave him the courage to say things others might avoid. He would risk hurt feelings, tested sensibilities, and an offended ego rather than let anyone off the hook in the extremely difficult vocation of becoming a saint.

This spring our Seasons of Reading book selection is a meditation by Fr. Neuhaus on the Seven Last Words of Christ entitled, Death on a Friday Afternoon. Fr. Neuhaus invites his readers to linger on Good Friday--not to rush to the victory of Easter Sunday--and explore the meaning of that horrifying and still wonderful day in history when when God turned the worst evil into the greatest good. Fr. Neuhaus writes, "We must not turn away from what we have done to God, lest we be found to have turned away from what he has done for us. It is not easy to look, to really look and see."

It is not easy. We are urged to spend time at the foot of the cross witnessing Christ's suffering through the eyes of Mary and John. We are urged to imagine that day through the eyes of Dysmas, the good thief. We are urged to remember that, in fact, we were there. We were there when we crucified our Lord.

This is a profound work that will challenge you to think, really think about what Good Friday means to all of us. In one of the most often quoted passages of this work, Fr. Neuhaus states, "If what Christians say about Good Friday is true, then it is, quite simply, the truth about everything."

I hope that you will make Death on a Friday Afternoon a part of your own Lenten/Easter observance. It will be available for purchase or special order in St. Patrick's Book & Gift at 20% off the regular retail price from now until the end of May.

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