Friday, March 19, 2010

Journey into the past, and into our future...

Why zero in on the Iron Curtain as a Lenten meditation 21 years after its fall?

Not far from my house is a beautiful Franciscan Shrine to Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted.  On the grounds is an extraordinary Stations of the Cross carved in granite, depicting the horrors of the Iron Curtain. I discovered this Way about a year ago and I have been thinking about it ever since.  It's haunting, beautiful, historic, timeless.  Works such as these must be shared.

Perhaps THIS STATEMENT by Karel Schwarzenberg of the Czech Republic can shed some light on another of the reasons I've chosen this particular Way of the Cross to pray these next 14 days. Schwarzenberg says:

", who did not experience it, can hardly imagine the lack of freedom especially in the 1940s and 1950s. Even completely innocent people were sent to prison because they were farmers, private entrepreneurs or priests because the regime did not like them. 

"It is worth remembering it. Not only in order to commemorate  them, but to remind us that fight for freedom does never stop. Freedom is always in danger."

How right he is...but my third reason is that it's not always a murderous dictator who binds us in chains.

Lord Jesus, as we walk with You during the next fourteen days,
remind us not only of your anguish,
but teach us the meaning of our own sufferings.

Teach us the vital importance of staying true to ourselves,
true to You and to Your Church.

Remind us that we are not merely flesh and blood, 
but also spirits meant to soar into the arms of our Father in heaven.



Eddie Ray said...

I lived right up the street from the Shrine when they first built those stations.........Even as an 8-9 yr old I found peace and closeness with Christ when I walked around. The Shrine is another one of those best kept secrets of Youngstown and I highly recommend to all when you get some time, take a walk around.

Gina said...

It's a beautiful place. You feel it instantly as your tires hit the parking lot that you're on holy ground. I don't know about you, Ed, but I think there's a reverence for the sacraments there like nowhere else in our Diocese.

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