Blood and Blessings

Think about love. It can be glorious and it can be painful. The Romance languages know this. Amore and amour mean literally “to death.” A-morte. I love you to death. That little arrow from cupid can really hurt, even if it’s a blessing. And look at the word “blessing.” It comes from “blodden,” an Anglo-Saxon word meaning to bloody, as in an animal sacrifice. We can’t sacrifice what we don’t break open, even violate in some way. I once read that the word “blessure” in Old French means both “blessing” and “wound.” The Catholic Passion Week is a love story where wounds and blessings can’t be separated, and where each is needed to complete the sacrifice.

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