"Two richly traditional Catholic devotions capture the profound meaning of Christ's passion--the Stations of the Cross and the Seven Last Words of Jesus. Both these devotions draw deeply on the Scriptures and plunge those that participate in them into the experience of Christ's dying and rising. In this beautifully written book, Owen Cummings captures the heart of both these devotions. His knowledge of the Scriptures and his sensitive reflections on contemporary human experience make this work first class spiritual reading."
--Donald Senior, President Emeritus and Professor of New Testament, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
"Deacon Owen Cummings offers a compelling reflection on the traditional Seven Last Words for contemporary readers. Cummings weaves together poetry and Scripture, contemporary culture, and pastoral experience to shed new light on the mystery of the dying of Jesus. The book is rooted in Cummings's scholarship but is both pastoral and accessible."
--Michael G. Ryan, Pastor, St. James Cathedral, Seattle
"Some of the most treasured teachings of Jesus are to be found in his final discourse the night before he died. But in his fine book The Dying of Jesus: Words and Thoughts from the Cross, Deacon Owen Cummings takes us even closer to the death experience of Jesus and helps us to understand those seven further words of Jesus, uttered now from the podium of the cross itself. Even for Jesus, who was Life, the final experience on this side of the divide was painful and violent--as also that of his slain and persecuted disciples of the 21st century--and his final seven words about forgiveness and fidelity, about the Father awaiting him and about the likes of the good thief being with Jesus in Paradise, have become the script for all his faithful disciples awaiting the consummation of the present pain. Thank you, Deacon Owen, for sharing with us such an awesome and yet consoling meditation."
--Abbot Gregory Duerr, OSB, Mount Angel Abbey, St. Benedict, OR
"Deacon Owen F. Cummings has done it again! This gifted writer, with his singular grasp of the English language, has written a fresh and captivating reflection on Christ's final thoughts from the cross. His clear and insightful approach to the traditional Good Friday theme of the 'Seven Last Words' is based on solid theology, sound spirituality, cogent scriptural insight, and a mature understanding of the human heart. I have been impressed over the years with Deacon Cummings' facility in writing about such diverse topics as liturgy, comparative religion, ministry in today's church, spirituality and systematic theology. Yet, what emerges from these pages is not only the product of a gifted scholar, but also the insights of a man close to the Lord with a facility for speaking to people's lives, whether in the seminary classroom or the parish Church. While anyone's last words are certainly compelling, this is even more the case when it comes to our Savior himself. What a gift that although Jesus had the 'last words' from the cross several thousand years ago we can still ponder their echo in this gem of a book."
--John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe
"In the contemplative tradition of Richard Rolle and St. Francis de Sales, Deacon Cummings guides us along the via cruces and our own 'reality of tears,' enveloping us in a cloud of witnesses, from the Fathers to contemporary poets. A luminous meditation."
--Seymour Baker House, Professor of Church History, Mount Angel Seminary