… I perhaps sound like a broken record. Every Lent, Holy Week, and Paschal Triduum, I sound the same: “one danger of Holy Week is to be too busy,” “another danger of Holy Week is to be too sad,” felix culpa! felix culpa! I play scandalously discordant notes, someone may think. In other words, I only sound like a broken record on the supposition that the background noise is a different tune.
But, well, it is not only me repeating over and over again the joyful side of Holy Week in its entirety. As Saint Francis de Sales wrote to a correspondent, we don’t want “exaggerated or mournful piety, the fruit of your own ideas,” when anything else is available and on offer. There is no sense is settling for less. “Mournful piety” which is the fruit of our own racking of the brain is only better than no piety. Joyful piety, finding the joy in even the sadnesses of Holy Week; placing ourselves intimately close to Jesus and his blood, rather than distancing ourselves by concentrating on our sins: all of this is, on the contrary, far more dispositive to contemplation and to virtue, for it is less of our own doing.