caring, carrying

BY BRENNA DAVIS | March 30, 2021
Today’s Readings

“Will you lay down your life for me?” John 13:38

During recent spiritual direction sessions, we’ve been exploring how I don’t feel spiritually strong enough to carry the world’s pain. A sense of being tossed around on a boat during a storm without firm footing is with me every time I read the newest headline. It hurts too much to care, and I have used my old friends—distraction and avoidance—to try to calm the storm and quell the pain.

caring, carrying

Having a job that allows me the privilege to work remotely, I’ve also been able to go into physical hiding from this suffering during the pandemic. My home and its promise of safety and comfort have been my “tomb” this past year. While we prepare for Jesus to emerge from his tomb this Easter, I have the sense of wanting to stay in here a little longer. Even though I know there is life and goodness waiting outside, I don’t feel ready to engage. 

For this reason, I am captivated by the image of Veronica wiping Jesus’ face in the Stations of the Cross. She does what I feel I cannot; Veronica looks into the eyes of the world’s suffering through Jesus and responds with compassionate love in action. While I am sure she is filled with deep grief and sadness at the fate of her dear friend, she has the interior freedom and fortitude to hold space for pain and woundedness in the face of despair.  

Veronica invites us to gaze lovingly into the woundedness of the world, and St. Ignatius  asks us to consider what is preventing the interior freedom to open our hearts fully. We cannot care for or carry each other at a distance—we know that the only way to sustain the long journey towards justice is in community. 

For Reflection: 

  • How are you being called to emerge from the tomb this Easter season?
  • In what ways do you attempt to avoid or distract yourself from the world’s suffering? 
  • How do you sustain yourself for the work for justice in the face of suffering?

5 replies
  1. Avatar
    Kathleen Monte says:

    Isn’t it interesting that more and more people are getting vaccinated as Easter Sunday approaches and we are able to emerge from our tombs, our homes, from the pandemic? Although I’m not feeling quite so free just yet and, like our reflector, could stay here a while longer. I think it’s easy to distract ourselves from the world’s suffering if we want to, but we must choose to look at it and keep up the fight for those in need of help. It is our duty to help others in whatever small way we can. The only way to sustain ourselves is to look to the saints as our examples.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Dr Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    I am an assistant editor for a igital magazine inwhich we interview people about their lives, how they live them in union with God. These are people with immense goodness and strength to live a life with Christ in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit. I also review books about all that is going on. I read about sexual abuse of minors, I read about human trafficking, I read aboutthe prevalence of mental illness, addiction and other issues. At times I feel overwhelmed by the issues of the world but I remember that the graces of Baptism are still there for me. So I rise from the tomb by spending time in quiet prayer where I let the Holy Spirit move in my soul and ask him to take the blinders off all of uss who no longer can see the goodness of others. I ask the Holy Spirit to help me share the graces of my Baptism readily as all of us rise from the tomb to begin a life filled with the joy of being His disciples.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Kathy says:

    Your post expressed much of what I am feeling. As a single woman in her 70s I have used Covid as a reason/excuse for not participating in activities that would require exposure to many people. Being in my “nest” has become pretty comfortable. Now that I have received my second vaccine dose I need to reevaluate integrating myself back into the world.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Veronica is an inspiration for all time. A rare human being. A role model. May her tribe increase.

    Reply

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