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,
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