“Lord, have mercy!” It’s an expression I’ve heard occasionally, used as a mild oath. And yes — mild though it may be, it’s a sin against the Second Commandment about taking the name of the Lord in vain. But as a kid, I heard it from adults all the time, and didn’t think anything of it.
The poet, Rumi, submits that we live with a deep secret that sometimes we know, and then not.
That can be very helpful in understanding our faith. One of the reasons why we struggle with faith is that God's presence inside us and in our world is rarely dramatic, overwhelming, sensational, something impossible to ignore.
“What do you think was the bravest action ever?” my husband asked at breakfast last Sunday. “I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe the first rodeo clown who ever voluntarily jumped in a barrel and let a Brahma bull head-butt him across the arena?” I thought my guess was brilliant, but it wasn’t as simple as Larry’s conjecture.
Years ago I was blessed to see Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. There were so many beautiful things to see there, but the image that has stayed with me more than 20 years was the Pietà by Nicholas Coustou that is behind the altar. I wanted to stay and stare at it for hours, but my tour group was moving on to other sites, and I had to leave this glorious statue of Mary holding her now dead son, both being attended to by two angels.
The biblical accounts of Jesus' passion and death focus very much on his trial, describing it in length and in detail.