Pope Benedict said at the beginning of the Way of the Cross in Rome yesterday that in the “hour of darkness” of the Church and the world, God reads “the open book of our frail hearts.”
What comforting words taken from the opening prayer of the Via Crucis this year!
I would like to share with you this Holy Saturday afternoon that opening prayer written by Sr. Maria Rita Piccione, O.S.A., President of the Our Lady of Good Counsel Federation of Augustinian Contemplatives in Italy.
Lord Jesus, you invite us to follow you in this, your final hour. In you, each one of us is present and we, though many, are one in you. In your final hour is our life’s hour of testing, in all its harshness and brutality; it is the hour of the passion of your Church and all of humanity. It is the hour of darkness, when the “foundations of the earth tremble” and man, “a tiny part of your creation”, groans and suffers with it; an hour when the various masks of falsehood mock the truth and the allure of success stifles the deep call to honesty; when utter lack of meaning and values brings good training to nought and the disordered heart disfigures the innocence of the small and weak; an hour when man strays from the way leading to the Father and no longer recognizes in you the bright face of his own humanity. This hour brings the temptation to flee, the sense of bewilderment and anguish, as the worm of doubt eats away at the mind and the curtain of darkness fall on the heart. And you, Lord, who read the open book of our frail hearts, ask us this evening, as once you asked the Twelve: “Do you also wish to leave me?” No, Lord, we cannot and would not leave you, for you alone “have the words of truth” and your cross alone is the “key that opens to us the secrets of truth and life”. “We will follow you wherever you go!” Following you is itself our act of worship, as from the horizon of the not yet a ray of joy caresses the already of our journey.