From the Cross to the Resurrection
By Judie Brown
As we begin our Good Friday contemplations, our hearts are filled with sorrow. To reflect on the crucified Christ, one must understand that, in His human nature, He suffered greatly, even though He possessed a divine nature and was at all times one with God the Father. Preaching on this fact, a wise priest once reminded us during an Ignatian retreat that our constant thought should be: “Jesus Suffers; Jesus suffers for me; What do I suffer for Jesus?”
It is indeed in that very sobering challenge that I find the motivation to persist in defending God’s innocents from creation to death. It is not always a pleasant life experience, but rather a call to set aside personal comfort in favor of doing that which is difficult and, at times, disheartening. Following Christ usually brings with it a strange discomfort that is also spiritually rewarding.
As I write this, abortionist Steven Brigham is in the news again. His abortion facility, American Family Planning, has failed its last three inspections, and according to many pro-life sources, is notorious. Located in Pensacola, Florida, AFP and its owner have been consistently in violation of health and safety standards, and yet he remains!
But Brigham is not alone in his shoddy facilities. According to an Americans United for Life report entitled “Unsafe,” this facility joins over 25 locations in having questionable staff and unsafe facilities. The article states: “At least 133 abortion facilities in 26 states were cited for not properly training staff or failing to document that staff had proper training. 115 abortion facilities in 27 states allowed unlicensed, unqualified, and/or untrained staff to provide patient care.”
If this is the face of safe and legal abortion in America, is it any wonder that—along with only God knows how many babies—women are dying?
Contrast this with the absolutely sensational news that the 40 Days for Life campaign—which takes place in hundreds of American cities and other countries as well—has saved more than 18,000 babies from abortion since its inception. And thus, it has saved expectant mothers from the living hell that they would have suffered after the abortion. It is success stories like this that help us see the ultimate glory of Christ’s resurrection—His victory over evil.
This is why we are heartened, remembering the words of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: “Unless there is a Good Friday in our lives, there will never be an Easter Sunday. The Cross is the condition of the empty tomb, and the crown of thorns is the preface to the halo of light.”
To put it another way, which Pope Francis did in a Palm Sunday homily: “Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love He conquers it, He defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Jesus does for us on the throne of the Cross. Christ’s Cross embraced with love never leads to sadness, but to joy, to the joy of having been saved and of doing a little of what he did on the day of his death.”
Today, as we think about Christ crucified and look forward to His resurrection, it is appropriate to renew our dedication to saving the babies, healing the culture, loving our enemies, and understanding that truly “Unless there is a Good Friday in our lives, there will never be an Easter Sunday.”
May the blessings of Almighty God be with you today and every day.