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Good Friday: Standing by Your Friend

Good Friday

Since today is Good Friday, I'd like to reflect a little on suffering and what eases suffering, pointing the way to redemption - friendship. Because our world is imperfect, each one of us suffers, whether in body, mind or soul. Some of the wounds we bear are visible, but many remain unseen to the naked eye. Oftentimes it's these scars, the ones left on our souls, that take the longest to heal; indeed, they might stay with us our entire lives.

How do we overcome the pain of the world, the pain inside our souls? Only with patience and compassionate friendship. The old saying "Misery loves company" can have a positive meaning when there's a friend who stands by your side during your darkest days and your most excruciating trials. Good Friday is that moment of truth for all humanity, when Our Lord stood up as our friend and champion to suffer alongside us, through all our woes, calamities and crimes, in order to heal our souls and free us from death's long shadow. We endure not towards eventual nothingness, but to the resurrection of all those close to our hearts and the life of the world to come.

Throughout my legal career I've strived to be an advocate for my clients - to fight for them, protect them, and pray with them in their hour of need. The British poet Alexander Pope expressed in verse the great humility of a compassionate soul, who "feels another's woe" and shows mercy to others. In the great battle that is life, we're all in this together - there's nothing like a friend who stands with you when all seemed lost.

Teach me to feel another's woe,

To hide the fault I see;

That mercy I to others show,

That mercy show to me.

Mean though I am, not wholly so,

Since quickened by thy breath;

Oh, lead me wheresoe'er I go,

Through this day's life or death.

This day be bread and peace my lot:

All else beneath the sun,

Thou know'st if best bestowed or not;

And let Thy will be done.

To Thee, whose temple is all space,

Whose altar, earth, sea, skies,

One chorus let all being raise;

All nature's incense rise!

(Alexander Pope, "The Universal Prayer")

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