I retreat now to celebrate the Triduum and leave behind links to a few articles I read and liked this Holy Week.
The Entire Mystery of Christ
And so today the week without compare since the creation of the world begins. Suffering, death, resurrection – all of it strange, even the resurrection tough to take in, given how it comes about. You can see that in the way the apostles are still stunned, for no little time, despite the empty tomb.
Good Friday, Holy Day on Ice by John Zmirak
A holy day, but the farthest thing from a holiday, at least in the sense of that Katharine Hepburn movie. Holy means something set apart, stark and appalling, like the burning bush that Moses feared to look on lest he would die; like the precinct of the Inner Temple where once a year the Jewish high priest would, on the Day of Atonement, whisper the Name of God. What rendered that old place sacred was the piling up of prayers and bloody sin offerings, and it's hard for us moderns to fathom what that must have meant -- how ancients could feel reverence and awe in a place full of cattle entrails, smoking corpses, and running blood. But that's what the ancient Temple was, and perhaps remembering that can help us more rightly approach the Cross.
Heather King on Finishing the Race: Christ as Athlete and Agoniste
The Crucifixion was Christ's "race." He trained all his life. He took the gravest of risks. Like my runner friend, he declined to measure effort in a rational or strategic way. He worked up his bloody sweat, his agonia, in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before. He endured betrayal, scorn, ridicule, and all the evil in men's hearts. He bore the scourge, the crown of thorns, the sponge soaked in gall, the nails. With his last drop of strength, he consoled the thief beside him. With his dying breath, he commended his spirit to God. He refused to return violence for violence and thereby established the eternal triumph of faith over fear, love over hatred, good over evil, life over death. He finished the course.
Taking the Measure of Relics of the True Cross
Once he had estimated the weight of the cross, de Fleury calculated the size, or more accurately, volume, of the cross, which came to 10,900 cubic inches. But the total volume of all the fragments he had measured came to only 240 cubic inches. The number surprised him, so he made a generous allowance for fragments that were in private hands or otherwise had not come to his attention, as well as fragments that had been lost over the centuries or destroyed in war or during the vandalism of the Reformation. He multiplied his original number by 10 and arrived at a new figure: 2,400 cubic inches, not even a fifth of the estimated size of the cross upon which Christ was crucified.
Lee Strobel, How Easter Killed My Faith in Atheism
It was the worst news I could get as an atheist: my agnostic wife had decided to become a Christian. Two words shot through my mind. The first was an expletive; the second was “divorce.”
Easter: The beginning of a new and unspeakable joy,
C.S. Lewis captured this basic Christian understanding very clearly when he wrote that, “Christianity is a thing of unspeakable joy. But it begins not in joy, but in wretchedness, and it does no good to try to get to the joy by bypassing the wretchedness.”