This morning I prayed the Stations of the Cross with the monks at Portsmouth Abbey on the coast of Rhode Island.
The men were outside in what sounded like a gale-force wind. You could hear the cries of the seagulls.
Straining to hear, my ear practically laid against my laptop out here in California, it came to me that we have been straining to hear all this Holy Week, and in fact since the quarantine began.
Straining to hear through spotty wifi, endlessly buffering vimeos, broken links, bilingual liturgies, staticky zoom gatherings, live-streaming Masses with people blabbing on the sidebar, a litany of the Sacred Heart led this morning by LA’s own Archbishop Gomez that I simply could not watch because of the distracting stream of virtual hearts someone had launched and that were floating up from the bottom to ruin the screen.
Still–the hunger, the tears of gratitude, the desperation to be close to Christ as today he walks the Via Dolorosa, is scourged, crowned with thorns, nailed to a cross, and gives up his spirit.
Consummatum est–“It is finished”–and even in this pale, seemingly pathetic imitation of solidarity and communion, let me be there with Him.
Sneaking a snack, looking at my phone, sweeping up around my desk, I won’t even be a repentant thief–just, as usual, a thief. Who he died for.
Whispering my name.