“We all go through tough times,” the saying goes. During our Lenten season, at times, our minds go to that moment in the past or present where rather than “tough times” we experienced “true doubt” or “abandonment.” We are not alone with this experience. Think of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane enduring his moment of darkness and where were his friends – sleeping. He tried to arouse them to be with him, as his mind raced with visions of what would occur the next day — to no avail. They would later deny even knowing him and hide while he was being beaten, tortured, and killed. So in our own past or current despair the abandonment of Christ resonates with each of us, to some extent.
Perhaps our self-esteem has been squashed by real or perceived Judges of the authenticity of our lives. Think of Joan of Arc who faced with overwhelming “authority” she was overcome with so much doubt she recanted, and later when she clung to her faith she was burned to death. History repeats, again and again, examples of abandonment and doubt brought on by “authority” or “judgment.” It is in these very moments of despair we find the living Christ, standing with us in solidarity. His message speaks to each of us who strive to uphold the voice of conscience in the face of those who attempt to impose their will on us. He comforts us by calling us “blessed” and makes us realize that nobody can make us what we are not, or take away who we are.