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Good Friday

alec vanderboom

(Drawing by St. John of the Cross, 1574 -1577, made after a vision he had at prayer in the Avila, Spain)

I'm a Carmelite who really struggles with getting her prayer time in daily. I'm still messed up with my priorities. I feel like I'm "stealing" time from  my kids whenever I pray. Yesterday, was Good Friday, so I let myself do the Divine Office without any guilt. The prayers for Good Friday were extraordinary. I copied and pasted a homily from St. John Chrysostom to my husband and my two oldest kids. Then I had an amazing time coaching my 12 year old daughter through her own Good Friday prayer time with God.

I keep forgetting that the prayers that benefit me, also benefit my husband and my kids. I'm so used to seeing religion as this "personal" thing for me, like working out or writing or knitting a sock. The practice of prayer is something deeper. The mysteries of God overflow from my heart and head and bless the people around me.

I find this walk with God so difficult at times. Ahh, the colic! Ahh the scruples! Ahh the dryness and irritation and loneliness. Good Friday shows up in lots of times during my calendar year.

I will not forget how wonderful it feels to encourage someone who is carrying a heavy cross beside me. I will not forget what true friendship feels like. The only way to get to the joy of Easter Sunday is to carry my own burdens with persistence and patience like Jesus.

Lord, forgive me my sins. Help me to be more faithful to you in the coming year.