Thursday, April 05, 2012

Via Crucis XII: The Word is silent

Jesus dies. The same breath that rippled over the waters at Creation ceases. The earth heaves, the heavens turn away their face, all creation groans.

In a comment here, Robin writes of the dissonance many who mourn feel around Easter. Twenty-five years ago, my Lenten fast slid directly into Easter. In a dining room abuzz with laughter and packed with pastel clad Easter outfits, I struggled to swallow the bowl of strawberries my sister had brought back from the buffet for me. I couldn't hold both realities in my mind — death and resurrection — and so my response to the spiritual discord was physical. If it was still Lent, if I were still fasting, maybe none of this had happened.

In this moment of extraordinary dissonance: the Word that brought the world into being, that sustained it with the breath of the Spirit, has died, is silent for this unendurable moment. Jesus is dead. Yet God stands firm from eternity. Rock and fortress, immutable. I cannot help but think the response was physical. The very earth heaved, the universe convulsed, unable to bear the distance between the two realities.

Meditation is from the feature published in the March issue of the Catholic Standard & Times. Follow the meditations under the tab above: Via Crucis: Meditation on the Passion.

Photo is from carulmare at Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. That image of the world being torn in two is a powerful one. Thank you for connecting it for me with the dissonance between material and spiritual.

  2. I realize I suggested that you were connecting dissonance. :-) I meant to say that I appreciated the idea of the Spirit dying causing the earthly world to fall into upheaval.