Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Good Friday’s burden

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 07, 2023

[Up until last week I had never—ever—written a poem. Then one morning, after Mass, this came to me, pretty much intact, so I wrote it down, and some people liked it, so...]

At last I could do no more.
The weight of past mistakes—and worse
Weighed down my shoulders,
More than I could lift.
My paltry efforts—
Too few, too weak,
Too often gone awry,
Only made the burden
More oppressive.
I knew at last I could not stand.

So finally,
More in shame than sorrow,
I asked Him to lift from me
This weight I could not bear myself,
Although it was my own.
It was too much for me.
But for Him—already burdened past endurance—
What difference would it make:
Another ton or two?

Then I watched,
Expecting his shoulders to sag
Under this new weight.
But his agonized posture changed
Not a whit,
As if He felt no difference.

Now I wondered:
Was his strength so great
That, spent though He was,
He still could take another burden
Without even a shrug?

Yes, but no.
His strength might be incalculable,
But here was something more.
I realized—far too late—
That He had taken my burden
Already, all through that bloody Day
That lasts forever.

So I joined the Woman
And her new-adopted son,
Who did not smile,
But looked on me with eyes
Softened by tears,
Yet warm and bright.
And when his Body finally sank
My heart was heavy,
Knowing well my role
In that blessed Disaster.
Yet my step was light,
My burden gone.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Apr. 15, 2023 8:11 AM ET USA

    Beautiful! Thank you for this!

  • Posted by: edward.caron2084 - Apr. 09, 2023 7:26 AM ET USA

    Wonderful poem! Thanks for sharing.