October 28, 2020

Christina Rossetti: Good Friday

Scenes from the Life of Christ: Lamentation (detail). Giotto

Good Friday
By Christina Rossetti

Am I a stone and not a sheep
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy Cross,
To number drop by drop Thy Blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon—
I, only I.

Yet give not o’er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.


  1. Susan Dumbrell says

    Good morning sleepy people.
    Did I keep you awake for one hour of your entire year to watch and pray. Do the Math. A tiny shard.

    I sound patronizing.
    Don’t condemn me for that.
    Maybe I am but I just wanted to a sense the devotion possible to the day amongst the IMonkers listening today.
    It is not for me to know your devotion to our Lord Jesus this Holy Day.. Look to your hearts.
    Chaplain Mike has given us such good studies this week. Thank you.

    I do not presume, as you might think me upperty, to tell you how to approach the Easter Devotions.
    This is a Jesus Shaped Spirituality.
    We all wax lyrical about our theology during the rest of the year but the simple truth is Jesus died on a Cross. We watch from 2000 year ahead and sometime yawn.
    We could have watched, really not so hard,

    from the Antipodes

    • Pellicano Solitudinis says

      Also from the Antipodes, slightly further south. Have a blessed Easter, Susan.

      We went to church this morning but I hardly took in a word of the sermon. The six-year old is a keen beginner reader and he wanted help getting through the Bible story. The hymns were lovely, though.

      I wish my church was more traditionally liturgical.

  2. Susan Dumbrell says

    Mary, at the Cross

    from afar I watch
    your life crumbles as I gaze
    catch me, hold me up.

  3. Susan Dumbrell says

    John, you are now my son
    my Son is dead. I see no future for me
    Where shall I look and search for you again
    You were my son but the empty blackness
    enfolds me.
    I cry dry tears. You promised so many things.’three days’, you said.
    I should live so long.
    John take me home. I need to sleep.
    Tomorrow I must anoint his body.

  4. in baptism
    Jesus’ broken body
    is made mine

  5. in the distance
    a mob of geese declaim loudly
    under gentle rain

  6. Lenten Season, 2017

    scars across his back
    thorns on his head and pierced side
    I want my MTV

  7. Jesus Haiku

    Jesus loves me. This
    I know is a strange haiku.
    Poetic license.

  8. One Thing I’ve Learned
    (R. Rosenkranz, 2016)

    God has taught
    me one thing:
    His grace is

    Also, that
    I’m clueless.

    I guess that’s
    two things, eh?
    God’s funny.

  9. The Things He Carries
    (R. Rosenkranz, 2006)

    I lay dying
    Crushed by the weight of the bad things I’ve done
    All the little white lies and the not-so-white piled on top of my body
    Heaped upon the deceit of my pretending to be pure
    The black hole of my selfishness collapses it all upon me
    I lay dying
    My last breath is a gasp

    A man bends over me
    Breathes in the black clouds that darken my soul
    My eyes open to see blue skies of hope

    I shiver as if lying in frozen snow
    He touches my cold skin
    His hand is like a blanket
    Warmed by the summer sun

    He lifts my dark burdens with a groan
    Drapes them around his shoulders
    I stand up, feeling light as spring air
    Alive, free
    I shout with joy

    I turn to thank him
    He lay dying
    His body crushed by the weight of the bad things I’ve done
    I have killed him with my sin

    I weep, bend over him, this man who saved my life
    He wipes away my tears
    Smiles and tells me I am forgiven
    That he came to take the things that were killing me
    To take them with him
    To the grave

    He breathes his last breath
    It ascends toward the heavens
    Pure as a white dove.

  10. An Aloha Kinda Guy
    (R. Rosenkranz, 2008)

    It struck me today,
    the circular beauty of the word Aloha;
    Hello, goodbye, hello.

    Like a diamond ring, it’s a word that begins
    with the glittering sparkle of friendship and love,
    its golden band leaves, wraps around,
    comes back to itself again, infinitely;
    Hello, goodbye, hello.

    It’s perfection in a single word,
    made complete by its opposite meanings;
    Aloha, Hello. Aloha, Goodbye.

    It’s a word loaded with joyful
    implications, even in parting;
    Aloha, Goodbye for now,
    but we’ll meet again soon.

    The perfect circularity of that word, Aloha,
    brings to mind the words of a man,
    “I am going away and I am coming back to you.”

    It makes me think Jesus was an Aloha kind of guy,
    perfect in his own circularity,
    birth, life, death, resurrection re-birth.

    And if Jesus had known of the Hawaiian word
    I believe he might’ve uttered it in his last breath
    when he died upon the cross.


  11. As a Catholic this is my favorite liturgical season. We are soon off to Good Friday services and looking forward to the Tenebre tonight.

    When we finally get past Easter Sunday I would love to see a discussion on the Pope’s words on the subject of Hell in a recent informal interview he was involved in. From my limited understanding of EO theology this somewhat aligns with the eastern Church view of things (or at least some EO theological thinking) whose theological development was not influenced by Dante and Western Church 1100-1300 AD. Looking for input from Dana Ames, Mule, Tokah and others who live that tradition.

    • Dana Ames says

      Well Rad,

      “past Easter Sunday” is another week for us… I do have some thoughts, but I will be AFK from Thursday through Sunday inclusive. Would not mind waiting until after that. In the meantime, search the archives at Fr Stephen’s blog as you have time.


  12. Christiane says

    He lays motionless
    the stone is placed and guarded
    A great silence rules