Thursday, March 29, 2012

Listen and Weep Over Your Ingratitude

On Good Friday, the Roman Missal recommends the chanting of the "Reproaches" during the Adoration of the Holy Cross.  I provide here a youtube version of the Latin chant.  It is really magnificent and worth the listen.  You can hear the deep sorrow and agony of Our Lord as he recounts all the good that he has done for us and how we have turned away from him with such enormous ingratitude.  It helps, I think, to make us see more clearly how our sins are really an insult to the One who has given us everything. 

On Easter, we should rejoice that Christ is Risen.  Before then, we ought to pause and ask for the grace to weep over our sins and our ingratitude.

The Reproaches:

My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!
I led you out of Egypt, from slavery to freedom, but you led your Savior to the cross.
My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!
Holy is God! 2: Holy and strong! 1: Holy immortal One, have mercy on us!

For forty years I led you safely through the desert. I fed you with manna from heaven and brought you to a land of plenty; but you led your Savior to the cross.
Repeat "Holy is God..."

What more could I have done for you? I planted you as my fairest vine, but you yielded only bitterness: when I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink, and you pierced your Savior with a lance.
Repeat "Holy is God..."

For your sake I scourged your captors and their firstborn sons, but you brought your scourges down on me.
My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!

I led you from slavery to freedom and drowned your captors in the sea, but you handed me over to your high priests. "My people...."

I opened the sea before you, but you opened my side with a spear.
"My people...."

I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud, but you led me to Pilate's court. "My people...." 

I bore you up with manna in the desert, but you struck me down and scourged me. "My people...."

I gave you saving water from the rock, but you gave me gall and vinegar to drink. "My people...."

For you I struck down the kings of Canaan. but you struck my head with a reed. "My people...."

I gave you a royal scepter, but you gave me a crown of thorns. "My people...."

I raised you to the height of majesty, but you have raised me high on a cross.  "My people...."

1 comment:

  1. The danger of opening ourselves up to such pain Father Barnes is that we must be forever changed. How can mankind admit it's participation in the greatest crime ever committed, the murder of the Son of God, and not be affected. It was long in coming but I have come to realize that each of my sins is like holding the nails of the Crucifiction while each of my acts of decency is like lifting the weight of the Cross of His shoulders.

    Brian Butler