Over the years, I’ve engaged in a variety of practices to think and meditate on Christ’s journey to the cross during Lent. The ritual or tradition that has come to mean the most to me has been absorbing Max Lucado’s Six Hours One Friday.
I usually read “Hurricane Warnings” on Ash Wednesday, with a goal of finishing “The Final Glance” on Good Friday.
Pacing myself is part of my personal encounter with Christ during this season.
I want to go further faster. Being reminded that “my life is not futile”, “my failures are not fatal” and, like Christ’s, “my death is not final” is a soothing salve for my soul. The balm is healing and I want to soak it all in now. But Jesus didn’t rush to the cross. No, he steadily and deliberately approached it. So I try to live like him – steadily and deliberately moving toward the cross and the last, but not the final, word.
Beyond the last chapter, there is a Reader’s Guide that I didn’t realize was there on my first reading. For each chapter, there are ideas to ponder in one’s heart, scripture passages to consider in light of the text, and suggested activities to do. I have found that taking the time to reflect using the guide leads me to deepen my piety, come to know Him better through the study and nudges me toward apostolic action.
I’ve purchased and given away many copies – to reunion sisters, family members, people I’ve sponsored, and other friends.
I share the book, but it’s been a rare thing for me to ever hear anything of it later. This is perfectly fine, of course. I didn’t give the book with any expectations or strings attached. I have occasionally wondered, though, if it has helped my friend in his or her walk like it helps me in mine. I grew up spending weekends and patches of my summers on our family’s houseboat. Did Lucado hook me into his narrative right off because of his houseboat story? Did my boating experiences help me understand the need for anchoring deep? Maybe, but as cursillistas, we’ve been made very aware of how easy it is to unintentionally drift away.
Via de Cristo has given us reunion groups to help prevent us from becoming lost at sea – to help us be intentional in our 4th day. So I’m thinking that even those among us who have never set foot on a boat will recognize the value in the sailor’s advice to “anchor deep, say a prayer, and hold on”.
I pray that your 2022 journey through Lent will draw you closer to our brother, Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My friend, anchor deep.
—Carolyn Witham, Secretary
Visit Max Lucado, online at https://maxlucado.com/
Order his book, Six Hours One Friday.
John is NLS President, from 2021 to present. A retired engineer and Naval officer, I have been an active member of Via de Cristo for over 23 years.