Today, Good Friday, as children around the world prepare their Easter baskets and adults prepare their restaurant reservations we commemorate one of the most forgotten and ignored truths of our contemporary era: What the spiritual journey is all about. The symbol of Good Friday, undoubtedly the most powerful of our age, is the undisputed portrayal of Unconditional Love… “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” says a deeply suffering and deeply aware individual who acknowledges the distinction between the pain and misery being inflicted upon him and the bewildered state of the lost souls performing the acts of violence.
The “celebration” of Good Friday is an acknowledgment of the suffering of life, and how that suffering has purpose in initiating Unconditional Love (Christ) through exposing it in reality (the world) so that the truth may be tangibly comprehended and directly known (as spiritual potential). We acknowledge that what conditions made Christ suffer and die are the very same conditions which still exists in our world; That hierarchies, rulers, regimes, iron fists and ruthless tyrants still hold office from top to bottom of the pyramid and enforces circumstances which guarantees injustice, discord, poverty and pain for us all. Despite that, there is no ‘person’ to blame, as there was no ‘person’ who crucified Christ, who was in fact sentenced to death by an empire, a machine, for political reasons. There is no “face” of Evil in reality. It is again the lost and bewildered state of the surrounding souls that provoked Christ to utter his words of ultimate Forgiveness and it is the same lost and bewildered souls, and faceless machines, which causes the torture we see in our world today.
The suffering of carrying that burden and yet having the heart of forgiving compassion is what forms the roses and thorns that surrounds the Sacred Heart. The spiritual ecstasy which comes from such stigmata is not matched by any other form, power or grace in the creation: It is the testament of God’s Love. It is the highest spiritual potential of humanity present in the hearts of great mystics and saints. It is the entrance into eternal life, the Kingdom, in all of Its mystical splendor; Yet It is not an ‘ascension’ climbed through mere positive thoughts, self-righteous entitlement and the belief that the icky parts of life are somehow below us, and will never affect us if we are good, or if we are chosen or favored by God. The great overcoming of this life and world is to go through the gateway of life and the world itself. It is not by avoiding suffering that we learn to transcend it but being aware, patient, mindful, observant and kind while we suffer may allow us to better recognize our greatest teachers. Indeed it is the All of life which takes us and meets us in the Sacred Heart where we are finally capable of forgiveness. It is through the embracing and surrendering to the All that we are taken at once to merge with Unconditional Love. Today, like no other day, we celebrate that surrendering to that Love.