An amazing, thoughtful work. But dense in that it is circumlocutious and wraps around and around in a very philosophical manner as Father Neuhaus explores the meaning of the seven last phrases. He refuses to offer platitudes or simple answers. He searches for the truth, sometimes in places I would not have thought to even look.
It is beautiful in how the book showcases such love for the truth of who God is and what he has done. And ultimately what that means for each of us now.
It is brilliant and well worth the read.
In Veratatis Splendor, John Paul notes that we cannot always do the good that we would do, but those who live against the horizon of martyrdom can always not do what is evil. To live against the horizon of martyrdom is to have internalized the words of Jesus, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his own life?" The encyclical cites the examples of many martyrs in the Bible and in Christian history and appeals also to the moral widsom found in non-Christian traditions. "the words of the Latin poet Juvenal apply to all: 'Consider it the greatest of crimes to prefer survival to honor and out of love of physical life to lose the very reason for living.'
And I also liked all the historical and cultural notes. Such as:
After each reproach is the acclamation. It is called the Trisagion, the "thrice holy," and has played a prominent part in Eastern Orthodox liturgy since the fifth century. It was received into the Latin Rite only in the eleventh century, and then only for the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, precisely for the occasion when it might seem most inappropriate.
Holy is God!
Holy and mighty!
Holy immortal One, gave mercy on us!