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Monday, April 02, 2007

Contemplating Death

As I mentioned earlier, this week the retreat has us contemplating Jesus' death on the cross and his entombment. The excerpt below from the retreat material says this contemplation isn't really very difficult ... I'd disagree, which probably means I'm missing something. Here below is a little of the help given by Creighton for Week 29 of the retreat ...

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Spending a week with Jesus at Calvary is really not very difficult. It is only a matter of focus ..... We want to be touched by the meaning of his death for us. This is not a week of theological reflection. This is a time to focus on the reality of death. Our culture rarely faces the reality of death. We distance ourselves from its experience. For all of the death and violence around us, few of us have witnessed anyone's death or touched a dead body to experience the coldness of death's "lifelessness." People rarely die at home and "funeral homes" take the body of a loved one fairly quickly and embalm it, put makeup on its face and hands, dress it up, and lay it out, like the person is only sleeping.

This makes it more difficult for us to imagine looking up at Jesus hanging in this terribly cruel and unbelievably painful form of execution. It makes it doubly difficult to imagine his lifeless body - the sign of the reality of his death. But as we focus each morning on our desire to be with him in his death, the graces we have received up to now will help us desire to follow him all the way to the end of his life. As we focus on each area of our lives touched by the death of Jesus, as outlined in the guide, we can end each day with some words of gratitude .....


- Pieta by Bouguereau


3 Comments:

Blogger Liam said...

I don't think you're missing something. When I wrote my stations of the cross posts last year, it was a very powerful experience, but it wasn't easy.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Cura Animarum said...

Contemplation of the death of Jesus, the whole process of death he endured, is anything but easy. I've been doing that since seeing my SD last week and I have to tell you, it's shaken me up. As I re-read my journal, again and again and as I pay attention to the movements of my own emotional state duirng the times I'm not in 'official' prayer and reflection, I'm quickly becoming an emotional basket case!

2:54 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Thanks you guys - it's good to know it's not just me :-)

3:24 PM  

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