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Holy Week as the guns roar

by
29 March 2018

March 28th, 1918.

HOLY WEEK! Did it ever, in the history of the world, look so utterly unholy? Still week! Was ever the stillness we associate with it broken by such deafening noise? Incessant thundering of cannon, endless shrieking of shells, frequent crashing of bombs shatter our peace. The whole world seems full of din most hideous and appalling. If here we are outside the range of the loudest uproar, yet our thoughts are always with our sons and brothers who are in the thick of it all that we may continue in safety, and it is difficult to attune our minds to the contemplation of the mysteries of the Sacred Passion. And, if difficult for us, for them it must be well-nigh impossible. It is theirs to fight, and it therefore becomes our duty to pray not only for ourselves, but also, as it were, in their stead. In the words of the Litany, which nowadays is so seldom heard, we must pray with a new and unwonted intensity, By Thine Agony and Bloody Sweat, By Thy Cross and Passion, By Thy Precious Death and Burial, Good Lord, deliver us and them. We shall do well also if we remember in this dark hour of the nation’s trial and suffering that Holy Week, besides its memories of suffering and shame and death, and what the world thought failure, has those also of approaching triumph. That Body that lay in the grave on Holy Saturday without seeing corruption was about to rise the third day from the dead and to become the first fruits of them that slept. And so it is that, in fullest confidence and hope, we add to those other petitions, By Thy glorious Resurrection, Good Lord, deliver us. Spent in such holy exercises, even this Easter may well be for us a happy Easter; for if Christ is risen there can be in the hearts of His followers no other feeling than that of joy.

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