My God, My God, Why Have You Abandoned Me? ~ Psalm 22 by Glen Shulfer, featuring Helen Sigur, Soprano:
Some Good Friday meditations to accompany the psalm provided by Bad Catholic:
Perhaps it would be best to remind ourselves of what the Christ is facing. He and he alone — being an infinite being — can redeem mankind’s infinite distance from God. He must become Sin, and be destroyed, so that Sin may be destroyed. He must take on the guilt and condemnation that belongs to every genocidal monster, pedophile priest, rapist, and murderer who ever existed. He must experience the sting of every human insult, hatred, oppression, and violence. He must enter every broken, masturbating, porn-addicted, drug-riddled shell of a man, and experience the total sum of our modern loneliness. This is what Love demands. Again, Love is desiring another’s ultimate good. What is our ultimate good? Eternal union with our Father. What price must the Christ pay for our ultimate good? Suffering unto death, the death of God.
The martyrdom of the modern Christian is humiliation. It was rather mean-spirited of Blessed John Paul II to point that out, considering that our natural response to the threat of humiliation is “I’d rather die,” or that fiction-writing cliché — “I wish the ground would swallow me whole.”
Death is final — humiliation is drawn out like a cancer. We’d take the lions before the libel, calamity before calumny, for while we may keep our sense of dignity and worth in death, humiliation strips us naked. Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You…
Catholics have a terrible habit of imagining ourselves dying stoically for love of Christ, linking arms with Kolbe, Agatha and all the rest. We rarely imagine having our reputation destroyed, our fellow Christians desert us, and our faces made synonymous with feces — and then not dying. Truly, not dying may be the more difficult task.
So it is with Christ. It was not enough that he should die for us — he was utterly humiliated for our sake. He was [quite literally] the most detestable human being to ever crawl the face of the Earth. He became humanity’s scapegoat, containing within his frame all the guilt, shame and sadness we whores deserve but barely feel.
Jesus Christ had thorns forced into his flesh. The Evangelists’s claim — that if everything about Jesus were recorded “the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” — approaches literal truth. How can enough be said of this Crowning?
Jesus Christ had thorns pressed into his head. It is bitter, yes. But turn the world on its head and see that Christ blooms up from the thorns. He is the blood-red Rose we offer to the Father, that we might be reconciled and brought back to our home. Christ’s Sacrifice reaches the Father and is pleasing to him — not only because it is beautiful, but because it is raised on a thorny stem. For Love, in order to be Love, demands suffering. The image of Christ crowned teaches us of what a lifetime of friends, lovers, and children gives a glimpse — you cannot grow a rose without its thorns.
Red State: Good Friday 2012