From the Times Online, April 14
""THE Pope will deliver a blistering attack on the “satanic” mores of modern society today, warning against an “inane apologia of evil” that is in danger of destroying humanity.
In a series of Good Friday meditations that he will lead in Rome, the Pope will say that society is in the grip of a kind of “anti-Genesis” described as “a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family”. He will pray for society to be cleansed of the “filth” that surrounds it and be restored to purity, freed from “decadent narcissism”.
Their author is Archbishop Angelo Comastri, Vicar General at Vatican City. The tone of the meditations is striking in its contrast to the contemporary fashion for feel-good religion.
While some will regard their emphasis on sin and the dark side of human nature as retrograde, others will welcome them as a sign of the strong and conservative leadership that Pope Benedict XVI was elected to provide. All Roman Catholic churches and many others, including Anglican churches in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, celebrate a liturgy around the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
The 14 stations begin with Jesus’s condemnation to death, take Christians through meditations of the “Way of the Cross” and the Crucifixion and end with the laying of Jesus’s body in the tomb.
At the Third Station of the Cross, where Jesus falls for the first time, Archbishop Comastri has written: “Lord, we have lost our sense of sin. Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication.”
At the Fourth Station, where Jesus is helped by Simon the Cyrene to carry the cross, Pope Benedict and his followers will pray: “Lord Jesus, our affluence is making us less human, our entertainment has become a drug, a source of alienation, and our society’s incessant, tedious message is an invitation to die of selfishness.”
One of the strongest meditations warns against the attack on the family. “Today we seem to be witnessing a kind of anti-Genesis, a counter-plan, a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family.”
There is a moving meditation for the Eighth Station, where Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem, describing the “River of tears shed by mothers, mothers of the crucified, mothers of murderers, mothers of drug addicts, mothers of terrorists, mothers of rapists, mothers of psychopaths, but mothers all the same”.
The Pope will also confront the question of evil in the world in a meditation that asks: “Where is Jesus in the agony of our own time, in the division of our world into belts of prosperity and belts of poverty . . . in one room they are concerned about obesity, in the other, they are begging for charity?”"
These prayers capture a lot of my thoughts on this Good Friday- Lord, forgive me- I am a sinful man in a world of sinful people.
We deserve to die, but beg of you for mercy.
I am worried about the shameless pride among our young and disconnect of the law. I am worried about our out of control lust for leisure and sex. I am worried about our apathy and cowardice.
We live in a time of weakened borders and national resolve- we have cast Christ out of our public discourse- we are lovers of self, lovers of money, disobedient to authority, whiners, and complainers, negative
And now I think of you- my Lord and Savior, hanging on that cross.
And I realize once again- that I have never met a person whose sins are worse than mine.
Come to Jesus, Come to Jesus- ..... and LIVE.