By Mau Obon
When I think of “lent”, I imagine shades of violets and crosses. There’s a kind of sombreness in the air and it reminds me of death.
As a kid, other than forbidding me to eat meat during Fridays, I was not also allowed to take baths on Tuesdays and Fridays. Yep, the days when the Sorrowful mysteries are meditated upon when praying the rosary. I also remember that silence is to reign over the house from Holy Thursday until Easter. It was excruciating for a kid who loves t.v. and yes, talking.
Fast forward to the present day, I now only observe meatless Fridays, but I’ve grown to love the season. Guess which day is my favorite? Good Friday. The day when I feel like I’ve gone semi-deaf, hungry, and submerged in gloom of grave like proportions. Why? Because amidst the melancholic atmosphere, it’s the time when I hear God’s voice in its loudest and clearest form. The funeral color may be ubiquitous on that day, calling forth memories of loss and grieving. However, in the midst of it, is love overflowing.
In our culture, “Viernes Santo”, is usually equated with “suffering”. I have lots of Good Friday moments in my life and would have done everything to avoid it. But I always remember what a friend told me once, he said, growth is always uncomfortable. That changed my perspective about life’s difficulties. When a Good Friday moment looms over me, I tell myself to see it as an opportunity for growth, not an enemy to flee away from. It made life easier.
No, I’m not glorifying suffering by saying I love Good Fridays. I would still prefer a life without it. However, as long as I am enclosed in this mortal body, troubles will hit me, even unexpectedly. But how I see it is up to me. I can focus on the amount of the tears I shed and the sleeps I’ve lost; or the lessons I’ve gained, and the faith restored and strengthened. I can also choose to see the negative as an indispensable element for the positive to come out.
Good Friday is an oxymoron. It is death and victory at the same time. Whether I will see the “good” in Good Friday, is entirely up to me.