By Marco Casanova ‘My Jesus, hide my soul in Your heart as You lie in the sepulcher alone. Let my heart be as a fire to keep You warm. Let my desire to know and love You be like a torch to light up the darkness. Let my soul sing softly a hymn of repentant love as the hours pass and Your Resurrection is at hand.’ (Stations of the Cross)
Casanova men don’t sob; profound emotion is not our strong suit. I’ve trained myself to control tears. I don’t like to be undone.
But I want to experience emotional release for the life Jesus won for me. Any full-bodied disciple wants this. Holy Week invites me to accompany the sorrowful Savior.
My girlfriend Ania and I recently made a pilgrimage to Mexico City. When your lady lives in Poland, it calls for international creativity. Spiritual adventures in Mexico? Why not! No worries – we had separate rooms. It was a holy trip!
The miracle of Guadalupe is astounding. More miraculous still is how Mary and Son have moved millions of pilgrims over the last 500 years. This pilgrim was moved.
Hands down, Ania is a more devotional Christian than me. She keeps me fit with Catholic devotions, including the ‘Stations of the Cross.’ This guided reflection passes through fourteen moments of Jesus en route to Calvary. Centuries old, this devotion began with early Christian visitors to the Holy Land who walked Jesus’ path to Golgotha.
Ania wanted us to pray this sobering devotional together in the gigantic plaza on which the Basilica rests. Each station was a work-of-art set around the square.
My simple intention: to keep the ‘man of sorrows’ company along the way (Is 53:3). Stunned, I began to lose my capacity to speak. Emotion overwhelmed me. I tried in vain to not come undone, to hold myself together. Jesus wanted His friend to be sorrowful with Him.
At the third station, I broke. I couldn’t stop sobbing. What was going on? The Spirit deep within reminded me of Jesus’ kindness to broken ones like me. He paid for my freedom from same-sex domination and freedom for this beautiful lady walking alongside me on the ‘Via Dolorosa.’ I witness His suffering as I aspire to wholeness.
It was good to be vulnerable, to come undone before Ania. She never heard me sob face-to-face. She summoned my deep heart and I was free to give it. Relationship with Ania is the fruit of His Cross. His sacrifice frees me for another.
I invite you this Holy Week to accompany Jesus. He paves the way for our partnership in His route to Calvary. Yes, we suffer. Yet might you, like me, weep tears of gratitude for His faithfulness?