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The Week 28 guide for the Online Retreat in Everyday Life is here.

This week we’re led to the Passion. It’s hard for me to read it through new eyes. We hear it every year around this time, and though I know it’s amazing, I still struggle.

What happened to Jesus during the Passion seems so distant. After a while, it doesn’t even sound so bad.

When I saw the movie “The Passion of the Christ” a few years ago, I was shaken to my core. That is what happened? That?!

It’s good to have reminders of just what the Passion entailed, of just what a gruesome experience it was, of just what a sacrifice Jesus made. This year, I found the same sort of reminder, one that rocked my world, when I downloaded the Lenten special from Divine Mercy podcast. In it, the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary are examined, one by one, using readings from the writings of Saint Anne Catherine Emmerich (you can read her writings here and here). St. Anne was taken there, to the Passion. She saw it, and she described it. Her writings are what Mel Gibson used as inspiration for the movie “The Passion.”

Lent is a good time for a wake-up call, and, for me, both the movie and these decades of the Rosary are a not-so-gentle nudge in my spiritual backside. They’re a spur in my reflections, inspiring me to go deeper than just the “Jesus loves me” happy huggy stuff to explore just what love it must be to have experienced that.

This week is a challenge to us. Here we are, near the end of Lent. Whether we’ve done well or not, it’s almost over. The temptation, for me, is to sit back and call it done. But it’s not done! It’s only just beginning!