The Fear of Holy Week


This Easter will be 5 years since I came into the Catholic Church. 5 years ago today I was crawling into my bed as I landed from my trip to Rome where I am pretty sure that I met Jesus as a shepherd on a walk on my last afternoon there. That Holy Week was one full of grace and love and mercy and all the things that God does when we are scared little souls who need all the reassurance that everything will be ok if we give our lives to Him. Five years later Holy Week is so much different.

I have been down the road of suffering, of wanting to walk away, and of fearing for my soul and salvation while wondering where that loving God has gone. For so long when I was a teenager in the Baptist Church I thought that if you were suffering it was a sign that you were living a lie, that you were not saved and that there was some defect in you that you were refusing to face so God could not bless you.

As a Catholic I came to understand that all suffering is redemptive because the One who redeems took suffering upon Himself and changed a weapon of torture into a door to salvation. For years I was very happy to know this but in the last few years it has been harder to live it. Not because I don’t know how to suffer. When you are raped and molested at the age of 5 years old, you grow pretty accustomed to pain. I am a survivor, that I know, but what scares me is that God will not show up. That for some reason I am not one of those people who He loves and will come to save. In so many ways I am still that little girl who is waiting for someone to come in and save me from the most painful thing that ever happened to me. I am stuck there, laying on that bed wondering when it is going to be over. Where was God when that was happening to me? I do not know. I find comfort in the words of Jesus on the cross “Why have you forsaken me?” because in so many ways, I ask that question every day of my life.

So Holy Week scares me.  I am scared of the gift of salvation. I am scared that it is not a gift that was ever meant for me, or one that I will never figure out how to accept. Five years ago I could not wait to jump in feet first into this life of being Catholic and now I am scared to death of not being good enough.

There seems to be so much fear in my life now and I can’t even understand where it is coming from except that it is all about me. I am looking forward to this Holy Week and everything that it brings because I really want to turn my attention back to the One on the Cross who died for me. Looking at Jesus there is a reminder that God Himself knows fear and pain. That He did not do that so that He could let me go, even if I am wrong about so many things.

I want to be able to stand at the foot of that cross this year and lay down all of that fear. To say “yes” to whatever He has in store for my life and to be able to be free of what happened to me and use it to help others. For me to be able to take on suffering as a gift of God’s providence and not evidence of my own shortcomings.


5 thoughts on “The Fear of Holy Week

  1. I came into the Church five years ago too! This year is probably the hardest that I’ve had. I’ve wondered so many times lately if I should just walk away from it all. The problem is really my inability to submit entirely to God and His will. And even though I know that’s the problem, I’m still not sure how to let go or if I’m even capable of it!

    Prayers for you this week. My prayer and my hope is that we both let go of the weight we’re carrying and can find ease and comfort in saying yes to His will!


  2. I have found a lot of help from reading He Leadeth Me. It’s been a huge spiritual experience reading it.

    Prayers for you and me!! We will get there, Jesus will not let us go.


  3. Leticia,

    I’m so sorry that you’ve experienced such evil.

    Evil has crossed my path as well, mine in a much different form, but the effect of evil is still the same. As I was walking back to my desk, I had that feeling of anger rise and fall, rise and fall and as I began reading your post I was reminded of something I was introduced to last month – Psalm 22.

    I’m sure you probably know this already, but it was such a revelation to me that the question, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” is really not so much a question, but the beginning of a prayer. A beautiful prayer. Thank you for reminding me, that even in that despair as I ask that question, it can actually be the beginning of a prayer.

    For he has not spurned or disdained
    the misery of this poor wretch,
    Did not turn away* from me,
    but heard me when I cried out.

    I will offer praise in the great assembly;
    my vows I will fulfill before those who fear him.
    Psalm 22: 25-25

    God bless and much peace and love during this Holy Week!


  4. More than anyone else I read, you make me confront my own fears. I don’t know why. You life story is very, very different from mine, and the particular problems you have confronted have been different from mine. Somehow you manage to keep me realizing that all evil is at bottom the same, and the source of all goodness is the same for all of us all the time.

    I think it is because you are a good writer.

    Not that I LIKE to confront my fears.


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