Friday, April 09, 2004
"All week I had been reading the penitential psalms and examining my sins. The exercise had been a satisfying one since my sins were clear and undeniable, and what was required of me to be rid of them was just as clear.
But now it was Good Friday. What did you do after you'd confessed all your sins and cleaned out all your closets? ...
But what else was there to do on Good Friday? ...
Nothing. Quite obviously just nothing. The soldier who confessed, 'Truly this man was the Son of God,' and the one who pierced his Savior's side with the spear, both were equally helpless there, I suddenly saw. Because Good Friday is the day when you can do nothing. Bewailing and lamenting your manifold sins does not in itself make up for them. Scouring your soul in a frenzy of spring cleaning only sterilizes it; it does not give it life. On Good Friday, finally, we are all, mourners and mockers alike, reduced to the same impotence. Someone else is doing the terrible work that gives life to the world. Good Friday is the day we can do nothing at all.
No matter that I repudiated my old transgressions. On Good Friday, all one's fine feelings count for nothing. If there was to be anything new about life after today, it had to come from some source beyond myself. That is why there was nothing more to do on Good Friday ."
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