Words from the Cross

April 4, 2020

Father, forgive them,

for they do not know what they are doing.

Luke 23:34

We shall not cease from exploration

and at the end of our exploring

will be to arrive where we started

and know the place for the first time

TS  Eliot



Opening Meditation

Who were the ones who didn’t know?

Soldiers- obeying orders:

religious leaders- upholding the faith:

civil authorities- keeping the peace:

the crowd- eager for the latest spectacle

yes, and sympathizers- busy keeping their heads down.

And Jesus cried,

‘Father, forgive them;

they do not know what they are doing.’


Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Yes Lord, we were there; we are there.

All of us are there and the tragedy is

that it takes a crucifixion to make us aware of the fact.


Father, forgive us the sins

which at the time

don’t seem all that terrible;

but are sins which play a part in crucifying others.

Forgive us our hasty judgements,

our hiding behind custom or tradition

and our refusals

to face upsetting criticisms.

Forgive us our unwillingness to be involved

in other people’s troubles

and the plausible excuses

with which we deny responsibility,

or assume we have discharged it

with a small donation to a worthy cause.

And forgive us that we manage

to so dull our senses

that most times

we do not even know what we are doing.


Father, forgive,



To consider…


  • What actions do I believe I would be incapable of doing? Why do I think I could not?
  • How does acknowledging our sins bring us closer to God?
  • How have I been callous to the needs of others? Are there blocks, prejudice, inside me which prevent me caring for particular areas of concern?
  • Whom have I excluded or harmed? Do I sometimes hurt others and not know what I am doing?  From Jesus’ first words from the Cross, what can I learn about forgiveness?
  • Remembering when somebody forgave us can help us realize what Jesus’ words mean. How did I feel when this happened to me?  How did it change my thinking about that person?
  • Who is waiting for my act of forgiveness, my decision to forgive? What is holding me back?




Closing meditation


Before you die, Jesus Christ,

And the world goes into deep darkness,

Take from our lives,

From our souls,

From our consciences

All that has offended you,

All that has hurt others,

And the intransigence

Which has made us numb to the plight

Of those whom we could help or heal.


Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

Have mercy on us.


Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

Have mercy on us.


Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

Grant us your peace.


On this day, at this time,

Irrespective of our faith or lack of it,

We accept deeply in our hearts

The only words that can set us free:


Your sins are forgiven,

Your sins are forgiven,




To think about:

  • We never lose the love of God.


Prayer is: 

  • Keeping company with God- Cyril of Alexander
  • The expression of our longing for God- Thomas Aquinas
  • A surge of the heart, a simple look towards heaven, a way of recognition of love embracing both trial and joy- Teresa of Avila
  • Waiting for God- Sheila Cassidy
  • Primary speech. God hears all the voices that speak out of us; our vocal prayer, the prayer said in our mind, the unvoiced longing rising from our hearts, the many of voices of which we are not conscious- Anon


Do we inoculate ourselves with small doses of Christianity to prevent us catching the real thing?

^ top
Filed under Cathedral Life \ News

Leave a comment

Fields marked * are required