Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid, and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, "Where are you from?"
1 Samuel, Chapter 12, Verse 20
“Do not fear,” Samuel answered them. “You have indeed committed all this evil! Yet do not turn from the LORD, but serve him with your whole heart.
Jesus was fearless. He is the model of a true Israelite. He as a man was fearless. He as a man was sinless yet He associated with the sinful: Judas who betrayed; Peter who denied, Nicodemus who was silent; Herod who mocked, Pilate who washed his hands, and all the people who preferred Barabbas and cried for Christ’s torture and death on the cross. Yet He did not turn from his Father but served Him with his whole heart; which was pierced for our sins. We have indeed committed all this evil—yet because of Him we can serve with our whole heart.
Now our goal is to be God’s sons and daughters-Saints of God. To fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully you must live the Beatitudes of Christ. I recently revised my book on the Divine Mercy Hikes. Perhaps today would be a good day to hike and meditate on Christ’s beatitudes.
Hike of West Fork Oak Creek Sedona, Arizona
West Fork Oak Creek is a popular trail. There is a pleasant little stream that ripples along the canyon floor as you hike it where you can look up at the dizzying cliffs that tower above it.
During this hike you will meditate on each of the ways you may have been walking away from God; marking each of the meditations as you cross the stream multiple times. On the return hike, you will meditate using the walking towards God meditations as you cross the stream. Remember every journey away from something is a journey toward something—the first meditations are the seven deadly sins with fear added as an eighth; and you will be meditating on the Beatitudes of Christ on the way back in reverse order.
Walking away from GOD
(Have I been/Shown?)
1 FEAR: Terror, Dread; Horror, Fright; Panic, Alarm; Trepidation, Apprehension.
2 PRIDE/HUBRIS: Arrogant; Conceit; Smugness; Self-importance; Satisfaction; Pleasure; Delight.
3 ENVY: Jealousy, Desire; Resentment, Spite, Malice, Meanness.
4 WRATH: Anger, Annoyance, Rage; Fury, Aggravation, Frustration.
5 AVARICE: Greed; Materialism; Covetousness, Acquisitiveness.
6 SLOTH: Laziness, Idleness; Sluggishness, Inactivity; Indolence (condition that is slow to develop or be healed and causes no pain-i.e. fail to resist evil) Apathy.
7 GLUTTONY: Excess, Exclusivity; Over indulgence; Intemperance.
8 LUST: Yearn, Desire; Long for, Hanker for; Hunger for, Ache for, Crave.
Walking toward GOD
(Have I failed to be, do; or show?)
8 CHASTITY (PURITY OF HEART): Cleanliness, Wholesomeness; Spotlessness, Clarity; Transparency, Knowledge, Honesty, Wisdom. Opposing Deadly Sin: LUST
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. The clean of heart are those who preserve with care the innocence with which they are invested at holy Baptism, or seek to regain it, when lost, by penance; those who keep their hearts and consciences unspotted from all sinful thoughts, particularly from all unchaste thoughts, desires, words, and acts, and who endeavor in all things to have a pure intention directed to God alone. They shall see God, that is, they shall know Him even here upon earth, for as the eye that is to see must be clean, so only souls that are pure and unstained can behold God. But further, our knowledge is like our hearts; the purer the heart the clearer and greater is the knowledge of God. But in the world above they shall see, know, and possess Him as He is. What blessedness! Strive, therefore, to keep your heart clean. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
7 TEMPERANCE (POOR IN SPIRIT): Sacrifice, Give Up; Forgo, Let Go; Surrender, Tithe, Self-Control, Abstention. Opposing Deadly Sin: GLUTTONY
The poor in spirit are: 1. Those who, like the apostles, readily forsake all earthly things, and for Christ’s sake become poor. 2. Those who, happening to lose their property by misfortune or injustice, suffer the loss patiently, in resignation to the will of God. 3. Those who, like Jesus, are content with their poor and humble position, seek no higher or happier one, and would rather suffer want than enrich themselves by unlawful acts, by fraud or theft. 4. The rich and noble who set not their hearts upon the riches and greatness of the world who use their riches and influence to relieve the misery of the needy and oppressed. 5. Finally, the truly humble, who, convinced of their weakness, their helplessness and misery, think lowly of themselves, and regard themselves but as beggars, who are always in need of the grace of God. To all these, therefore, in whose hearts the world has no place, there is assured, as their inheritance, the kingdom of heaven; here the kingdom of grace there the kingdom of glory. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
6 DILIGENCE (HUNGER & THRIST FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS): Fairness, Impartiality; Righteousness, Evenhandedness; Fair Dealing, Persistence, Effort, Ethics, Rectitude. Opposing Deadly Sin: SLOTH
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill. Hunger and thirst denote the most ardent longing after those virtues which constitute Christian perfection; such as humility, meekness, the love of God and of our neighbor, penance. Whoever longs for these virtues as the hungry man does for food and drink, and prays to God for them with perseverance and earnestness, shall have his fill; that is, he shall be enriched with them, and one day shall be satisfied with eternal Happiness. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
5 CHARITY (MERCIFUL): Compassion; Kindness, Pity; Bigheartedness, Clemency; Openhandedness, Forgiveness; Liberality, Understanding; Leniency, Will, Benevolence, Generosity. Opposing Deadly Sin: AVARICE
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. The merciful here spoken of are: 1. Those who willingly forgive the injuries done to them. 2. Those who have compassion on their poor neighbors, and, according to their ability, sustain them by alms. These shall obtain mercy; that is, God will forgive them their sins and endow them abundantly with the goods of this world and of the world to come. Thus God deals with us as we deal with others. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
4 PATIENCE (PEACEMAKERS): Relations, Mediation; Negotiation—Prevents Destruction; I.E. Stem Cell/Abortion, Sufferance. Opposing Deadly Sin: WRATH
Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God. By peace-makers we are to understand those who have peace with themselves, that is, a quiet conscience, and who endeavor to maintain peace among others, or to restore it when broken. Such are called the children of God, because they follow God, Who is a God of peace, and Who even gave His only Son to reconcile the world with Him, and to bring down upon earth that peace which the world itself could not give. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
3 KINDNESS (MOURNING): Grief, Sorrow; Remembrance, Respect, Loyalty, Integrity. Opposing Deadly Sin: ENVY
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. By them that mourn we are not to understand such as grieve and lament over a death, a misfortune, a loss of worldly goods, or the like; but those who are grieved that God should be in so many ways offended by themselves and by others that His Church should be so heavily oppressed, and thereby so many souls lost that have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. The only evil really to be grieved for is sin, and the tears shed on account of sin are the only tears that are profitable, for they shall be recompensed with everlasting joy. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
2 HUMILITY (MEEK): Modesty, Not Assuming, Reverence, Altruism. Opposing Deadly Sin: PRIDE/HUBRIS
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land. That man is meek who does not murmur against God for sending afflictions upon him, who is not angry at men who do him injury, but who rather suppresses impatience, anger, envy, and revenge, nay, who seeks to recompense the evil done him by his neighbor with good. Such a one is greater than he who takes by storm fortified cities (Prov. xvi. 32); he possesses an unfailing fountain of peace, quiet, and cheerfulness; by his meekness prevails over the most hostile minds, is by such means truly a ruler upon earth, and will one day, for his portion, obtain heaven, the land of the living, there to enjoy eternal peace. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896)
1 LOVE & COURAGE (FAITH-BE NOT AFRAID): Affection, Adoration; Friendship, Confidence; Courageous, Trust; Valiant, Reliance; Heroic, Assurance; Bold, Conviction; Daring, Belief; Fearless, Devotion; Plucky, Loyalty. Opposing Deadly Sin: FEAR
Love Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind. Do not be afraid: Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows “what is in man”. He alone knows it. So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life.
Passion Week Timeline
The Trials of Jesus Christ
· First trial, before Annas [nightime hours]; Annas is looking for an accusation, biding time till Sanhedrin is gathered at High Priestly villa
· Second [and primary] trial before Sanhedrin, Jesus is condemned, misused
· Third trial, immediately at dawn [meanwhile, Peter denies Jesus a third time; Jesus looks upon him]; the condemnation repeated, then Jesus taken to Romans
· Fourth trial before Pilate [till "beginning at Galilee"]
· Fifth trial before Herod [looks for miracle]
· 6th trial before Pilate
o Jesus is scourged; the city cries, "Crucify Him or we will tell Rome!"
o Jesus is finally turned over to be crucified
o Jesus mocked (Roman soldiers); crown of thorns
o Judas hangs himself
o Jesus bears His cross to gate on north of city and is crucified around 9 am
Jesus' Seven Sayings from the Cross
The Death of the God-Man
About 3 pm; veil torn, rocks rent; some graves opened and people rise [to mortality] and go into the city
WHAT does the Church commemorate on this day?
The death of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of the Father, and the Savior of the world, who on this day was scourged, crowned with thorns, and most cruelly crucified between two thieves; through which bitter and ignominious passion and death He accomplished the redemption of mankind.
Attending the Good Friday Service
The sacrifice of the altar is not offered on the day commemorating the sacrifice of the cross, and though communion may be distributed, the faithful are discouraged from receiving it without good reason. Instead, a mournful service is conducted. The priest, vested in black, reads several passages from the Bible, including the Passion account from the Gospel of John. Afterwards, the "Solemn Prayers" or "Collects" are offered on behalf of all classes of men, from the Church to the heathen. This is followed by the veneration of the cross, during which time the dolorous "Reproaches" are chanted. The service concludes with the "Mass of the Presanctified," a solemn communion rite.
Forty Hours' Devotion
It is traditionally believed that the duration of time from Christ's death until His Resurrection is forty hours, from 3 p.m. on Good Friday until 7 a.m. Easter Sunday. As early as the 100s it was customary for some of the faithful to fast and keep vigil during this entire period.
Other Good Friday Customs
If a devotion of forty hours could not be done, many Catholics observed Good Friday as a day of austerity as best they could. Fasting more than was required was common. Attending the Three Hours' Devotion, or Seven Last Words of Christ, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (the hours our Lord hung upon the cross), has also been popular. Liturgically speaking, this is a relatively new observance, begun in Peru in the early 1700s, but it is a very effective one. An older tradition that has lamentably been forgotten, on the other hand, is that of the Holy Sepulchre, a special shrine set up to house either the Blessed Sacrament or a crucifix which the faithful could visit on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
The Sign of the Cross
The most basic Christian gesture in prayer is and always will be the Sign of the Cross. (Pope Benedict XVI) “…by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal 6:14) Martyrs made the Sign as they were taken to their deaths.
The Sign of the cross is used in every single liturgy of the Church: sacraments, exorcisms, consecrations, and blessings
· "The sign of the cross is a symbolic expression of the principal mysteries of Christianity, a confession of the Catholic faith. It reminds us of the Crucified, of the price of our redemption, and of the value of our soul; it enkindles love of God, strengthens hope, and animates us to follow Christ on the way of the Cross. It indicates that in the cross we are to find our honor, our salvation, and our life; that we should prefer the folly and weakness of the cross to all the wisdom and power of the world, that, as disciples of the Crucified, we should combat under the banner of the cross and by this sign triumph over all our enemies."
· St. Francis de Sales: "We raise the hand first to the forehead, saying, 'In the name of the Father,' to signify that the Father is the First Person of the Most Holy Trinity, of whom the Son is begotten and from whom the Holy Ghost proceeds. Then saying, 'and the Son,' the hand is lowered to the breast, to express that the Son proceeds from the Father, who sent Him down to the womb of the Virgin. Then the hand is moved from the left shoulder or side to the right, while saying, 'and of the Holy Ghost,' thereby signifying that the Holy Ghost, as the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, proceeds from the Father and the Son, that He is the Love that unites both, and that we, through His grace, partake of the fruits of the passion. Accordingly the sign of the cross is a brief declaration of our faith in the three great mysteries: of our faith in the Blessed Trinity, in the passion of Christ, and in the forgiveness of sin, by which we pass from the left side of curse to the right of blessing."
· The Sign of the Cross is likened by the Fathers to the true cross of Christ.
· The Sign of the Cross is source of all blessings and graces, the weapon and armor of our defense against the evil spirit... as sign of Christ's victory over sin, death, and hell.
· God has imparted to the sign of the cross an efficacy, because of honors and merits of the Crucified.
· Efficacy greater if sign of cross made with devout and believing disposition, recollection of mind, devotion of heart, love towards the Crucified.
The Three O’clock Hour
In His revelations to Blessed Faustina, Jesus asked for special, daily remembrance at three o'clock, the very hour He died for us on the cross:
· "At three o'clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony: This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion." (Diary, 1320).
· At 3:00 o'clock we can pray:
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fountain of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. (Diary, 1319).
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You. (Diary, 84).
Good Friday Top Events and Things to Do
· Several good movies depict Jesus' crucifixion. One is Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004). It focuses on the suffering and pain Christ endured.
· One tradition on Good Friday is to make and eat hot cross buns. The bread, which is slightly sweet, has a cross on the top that represents the crucifixion. It is thought to be an English tradition that dates back 500 years.
· The disciples felt grief and abandonment after Jesus' crucifixion. Contact someone you know who has suffered a recent loss.
· Attend a procession depicting the crucifixion of Christ. They are popular in Mexico and in Catholic communities in the United States.
Divine Mercy Novena
Unlike other novenas, where people ask for something from God through the intercession of His Holy Saints, Divine Mercy Novena is intended to be prayed for graces and/or salvation to be given to other people. Jesus asked that this novena be prayed prior to the Feast of Divine Mercy (the Sunday after Easter), beginning on Good Friday. He gave Sr. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said: "These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy." In her diary, Faustina wrote that Jesus told her: "On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls."
The different souls prayed for on each day of the novena are:
All mankind, especially sinners; The souls of priests and religious; All devout and faithful souls; Those who do not believe in Jesus and those who do not yet know Him; The souls of separated brethren; The meek and humble souls and the souls of children; The souls who especially venerate and glorify Jesus' mercy; The souls who are detained in purgatory; and The souls who have become lukewarm.
This is prayed along with the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
First Day - Today bring Me all mankind, especially all sinners.
Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins, but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
Today bring to me the souls of all mankind; especially sinners
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 2. The Sign of the Cross.