August 30, 2009

A Meditation on the Cross for the Comfortable


I’ve prayed to know your cross,

to know your suffering, pain, and death.

To be in perfect union with your life on earth.

I don’t know what I’m asking.

You were spit upon,

blunt iron nails ruined your hands and feet

and the scorn of others made your life a failure.

Even your friends deserted you,

and your Father even refused to save you

from a hideous death.

My life is so good.

I am not homeless as you were,

and I have friends and family

that have not deserted me


My health is good.

I can go out when I feel like it,

seek entertainment

and lawful pleasure.

How can I experience

your passion in my life

when there are so many good things?

I cannot become a monk

because of family obligations,

and monks eat well anyway,

and few seem to be suffering with you.

I want to pray with you in Gethsemane

and be taken with you in the garden.

Let some of the scourging you received

fall on me.

Grant me thorns, too,

and let my blood mingle with yours.

I don’t know why I want this,

except maybe that I need you so much.

I will take your company

any way I can get it.

I would rather be crucified with you

than be separated from you

for another moment.

Please grant this prayer,

that as much as it is possible,

I may share in your sufferings

and so be united with you completely.

William E. Rushman, February 1998

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