Friday, April 6, 2012

Passion

Passion comes from the old Latin word that means "suffering" or "enduring".

Passion of the Christ, therefore, refers to the sufferings of Jesus. After the last supper with his disciples, Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane where he was betrayed by Judas. He was subjected to a mock trial, beaten, scourged and crucified.

Jesus suffered out of love. To love is to risk suffering. We cannot separate the two. It is interesting that the English word, passion, has had these two meanings - suffering and ardent love.

It is better to love fully with all your heart even at the risk of enduring deep pains than to shy away from love in order to make sure to avoid suffering. Jesus chose the former. He loved us well and suffered greatly for it. The cross is the symbol of this suffering love. It hurts to love fiercely.

I have shied away from such love for some years. I didn't even realize what my heart was doing until a few years ago when I began to experience afresh fierce love. Then I realized how painful it was to love fully and love well. The pains were often unbearable. I did entertain the thought that it would have been easier and less hurtful if I didn't love so deeply.

But I am older and a bit wiser.

I choose to love fiercely and gladly suffer for it. Jesus said to carry our cross daily and follow him. Perhaps, to love with all our heart is to carry our cross.