The Franciscan Institute Trinidad and Tobago, a sponsored Ministry of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother (SSM) is hosting Faithful Friday- ‘Praying the last Seven Words of Christ’ starting February 19 and continuing every Friday for Lent.
Director of the Institute Sr Julie Marie Peters SSM, who is based in Rome stated via email, the Faithful Friday series “is an experience of an actual pause to stand under the cross, virtually, real, or metaphorically to pray the seven last words.” The focus was chosen because she considers a spiritual pause to pray as a contemplative break to quench thirsting souls during this arid pandemic time.
“It is a stop at the well to drink fully of the seven last words of Jesus.”
A pictorial mediative prayer video a little over one minute long will be presented giving participants the opportunity to experience faith as a relationship with the human Jesus. She explained, “It is an invitation for Catholics and other Christians to get serious about Lent, to be faithful to prayer in a regular, sustained, and meaningful way during this Season”.
For the seven Fridays in Lent, participants are encouraged to stop, take a prayer break, just as one stops for lunch, or takes a health pause. Sr Julie said, “This is gifting yourself with a reflective pause that will help you to be open to God’s transformative power throughout your Lenten journey.”
Faithful Friday experiences are meant to be reminders of both mortality and a desire to turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel. Sr Julie said, “As a Caribbean people we know about honouring the last words spoken to us by our dying loved ones from their ‘death bed’. We never forget them, we cherish them, we try to be faithful to them.” For some people, she added, “these momentous words are powerful change agents setting the hearer on a new path, different direction and fermenting fervour that was not there before”.
Sr Julie hoped the last words of Jesus would have some of the same transforming and lasting effects and more. “… that by praying these final words we can rediscover our faith and have the utmost confidence that the cross we are each called to carry is not a conclusion but part of the journey- the Way of the Cross! God’s way of drawing us ever deeper into the salvation offered by Christ’s cross.” The public can access Faithful Friday at the Franciscan Institute’s Facebook page @Franciscaninstitute, YouTube @Franciscaninstitute and website www.franciscaninstitute.org. A Lenten retreat is also being conducted on Sundays 5 p.m.-6 p.m. Register at the link: https:forms.gle/1dJLru2b3YTNer6P7