On Tuesday of Holy Week 2004 I took my first step home. Quite fed up with Evangelical attacks on the Church I was being drawn back to Rome. Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ was out that year and whole churches were packing theaters to see the movie. I wanted to see it too but I wanted to see it by myself. On a Tuesday evening when Hubby was out of town I went to Mass for the first time in almost two decades and then went to see the movie. I haven’t seen it since.
Through the scourging scene I just prayed over and over, “Pray for us sinners, pray for us sinners”, and of course our Lady does.
Evangelicals were raving about the movie, and for good reason, it’s very powerful, but I remember watching and having flashbacks of the Stations of the Cross statues on the walls of the church I attended as a child. I don’t recall ever actually praying the Stations, but I absorbed the info somehow. I remember thinking I just watched an extraordinarily elaborate way of the cross, and guys that’s a Catholic devotion from way back when, so why are you again embracing the Church’s devotions and attacking the source?
I went to Easter Mass that year and was stunned down to my core to realize that I knew the words to the Nicene Creed. They tumbled out of me like an old familiar childhood nursery rhyme. Something you’ve heard so many times it’s permanently etched on your soul. I cried as I prayed “one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins” and realized what my parents and the Church had done for me. I cried because I had believed that my infant Baptism was invalid and had been baptized again. It was an honest mistake, but still.
I came home four years ago today, the quintessential prodigal, starving, wishing I could fill up on the pods I was feeding the swine, asking for forgiveness, and a chance to work on my Daddy’s farm. And he said yes.
Lord, look at your only begotten Son and have mercy. I offer you the pains of his scourging, his wounds and blood for all your people who are living under the weight of the curse due to the sins of their ancestors and their disobedience for breaking their covenant with you. May you set us free through his scourging, heal us through his wounds, and save us through his precious blood. Amen. Barnabas Nwoye: The Precious Blood Devotion