"whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you
remember Christ crucified and be silent"
John of the Cross
today I think of Mary
of her life as Jesus' mother
and simply wish to be with her at the cross
as she sees her son crucified
"woman behold your son"
the Jerusalem sky darkens
the weight of the air settling on those remaining
along with a sense of inexplicable dread
slowly strangling by the air he cannot exhale
can only pant
there is one who captures his gaze
who captivates his heart
this one leaning on John
what does he feel
as his eyes lock
with those of this woman
who bore him in her own body
does his heart break
reaches toward his face
refusing to take her eyes from her son
"woman, behold your son"
and to John
"behold your mother"
and the eyes of Jesus close
brought into the world with the shame of illegitimacy
taken from the work with the shame of crucifixion
demons begin their premature celebration
God's chosen vessel suffers her own unique pain
give me the courage to pray as your mother did
"be it done unto me according to your word"
and when I waver
let me remember nothing I can suffer
can ever compare with the agony you faced on Golgotha's hill.