The Judas Tree, And Other Legends of the Betrayer

judas2

This is cercis siliquastrum, the Judas Tree:   It is, according to legend, the type of tree from which Judas hanged himself, and its once-white blossoms blushed with shame to be part of such a terrible history. Or perhaps it’s called the Judas Tree because the clusters of blossoms sometimes hang from the branches, suggesting [Read More...]

The Shroud of Turin 2.0

Photo Mar 28, 12 50 08 PM

Three big news items about the Shroud of Turin for Holy Week: new dating, a live broadcast, and a new app: 1. New Confirmation of Shroud’s Antiquity The flawed 1988 radiocarbon tests dating the shroud to the Middle Ages have been challenged for years. Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of [Read More...]

“God is dead, and we have killed him”

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb by Holbein (Click to enlarge)

  “Descended into hell”—perhaps no other article of the Creed is as alien to our contemporary mode of thought as this one. And yet, does not this article, which, in the course of the Church year, is liturgically ordered to Holy Saturday and which is especially significant for us today, express in an eminent degree [Read More...]

“When the desire of the Lord comes to us, it comes in the night”

Posting will be light throughout the Triduum. Go ahead, turn off your computers. If you had a “bad Lent,” if you didn’t meet the obligations you set for yourself, find some peace by unplugging and spending the next four days walking the final steps with Christ. He never asked much of us, really. All he wanted [Read More...]

Understanding the Washing of the Feet

Pope in Dalmatic

One of the most striking traditions of Holy Week is the washing of the feet at Holy Thursday mass. Once again, we are reenacting something Christ himself commanded us to do, and the somewhat awkward and uncomfortable way the tradition is performed at many modern masses does nothing to undercut the potent symbolism of the [Read More...]


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