We can learn much by praying before a crucifix. There we can see a Jesus who is gentle and suffering—a grieving heart. For whom is he grieving, if not for us and those about us? He may seem to be saying: “What are you up to? Do you care about my people? Are you seeking yourself in your prayers or are you seeking what is important to me?”
It is likely that Jesus always united his prayer to his Father to his concern for what was important to his Father, namely, the salvation of humankind. Christian contemplation is not merely an exalted state of mind. It has to be a loving state of heart as well—as open to a fallen creation as the heart of Jesus.
The prayer of grieving with Jesus as he once grieved is very appropriate in a world in which there are so many reasons for grieving. It is not sad in the way pagan grieving is sad. The One who grieves in us is the source of hope.
If I grieve as you have grieved, Lord, let me also hope in you. The world is redeemed. Show me how to be your outreach so that others may learn how to hope in your saving love.