Today, Christians all over the world celebrate Good Friday. Whether one is Christian or not, Good Friday should impact everyone. It resonates in every decade, every century. A man is crucified for speaking about God. He is tortured and crucified. Man shows his ugliness, our violence.
In 2005, I felt no hope. Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope and I was outraged. I had not read him. I only knew him from CNN reporting and my colleagues who bashed him. I believed my colleagues. I could not believe the Cardinals had elected such a vile man to lead the church and I took it upon myself to find out more about him. Why I did that and why I just didn’t walk away, I don’t know. I am so grateful I did. For if you read and watch, anyone would discover what I did – a gentle, loving, kind and spiritual person who shared his journey with us.
There is a hit piece in The Atlantic this week. I had almost gotten used to the quiet. One knows Ratzinger is and was the real deal just by these kinds of articles. The world hates him. I personally do not understand why others do not see what I do when they read him or watch him. If you are Catholic, his Way of the Cross from 2005 will tell you all you really need to know. And if you disagree with his meditations, I would ask you to reflect on Jesus a little bit more. In fact, I would ask you to see Benedict’s work as a reflection on the Master. He loves the Master. Everything is centered on Jesus, crucified and resurrected. Contemplating that tells all.
The 2005 Way of the Cross was the Ratzinger reading that changed my mind about the man. But it also changed my relationship with God and the Church. In your contemplation of Jesus’s suffering and death today, this reading will help you accompany Him. You can find it here: the Presentation http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/2005/documents/ns_lit_doc_20050325_via-crucis-present_en.html and the Stations http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/2005/documents/ns_lit_doc_20050325_via-crucis_en.html