I am writing you today from the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, USA. Our family is taking a brief break, as the last leg of our concert tour unfolds.
WHEN the world seems to be caving in on you… when temptation seems more powerful than your resistance… when you are more confused than clear… when there is no peace, just fear… when you cannot pray…
Stand still beneath the Cross.
BENEATH THE CROSS
Mary was faced with the immense suffering of watching her only Son—and her God—suffer on the Cross. She represents all those who are powerless; all those who are faced with situations of helplessness, where circumstances are beyond your control. It may be over family members, whom you are helpless to change. Or it may be finances. Or a disaster. Or a family death. You are helpless in the face of such pain and torment, whatever the situation.
John stood by her side… but he wasn’t always there. Like the other apostles, he fled the Garden—he abandoned Jesus. John represents all of us who have abandoned the Lord in our hour of temptation… and now face Him with shame, guilt, and the sorrow of many sins.
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph “who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him” (Matt 27:55-56) watched “from afar.” They are those who have served Christ, and now feel a great gulf between themselves and God… a gulf of self-doubt, or distrust in God’s providence, tiredness, or the gathering clouds of spiritual warfare.
The Centurion in charge of the crucifixion represents those whose hearts have been hardened by sin, who have rejected Jesus and the voice of their conscience. And yet, like the Centurion, hear echoed within their own hearts the words Jesus cried out from the Cross: “I thirst.” The Centurion stands beneath the cross, the seed of faith crying out for a droplet of LOVE to give it life.
Yes, they all stood still.
When the side of Christ was pierced, MERCY flowed from His heart upon each soul standing still. Mary was given the gift of spiritual motherhood to the brothers and sisters of Jesus. John became the author of the Gospel and letters of Love, and was the only apostle to die a natural death after writing Revelation. The two Mary’s became the first witnesses to the Resurrection. And the Centurion who ordered Christ’s side to be pierced was in turn pierced with the lance of Love. His hardened heart broke open wide.
This Sacred Side pierced two thousand years ago continues to flow with LOVE and MERCY. You must do one thing:
Stand still beneath the Cross.
Let complaining cease. Let solving matters cease. Let manipulation cease. Let straining cease. Let all cease… and stand still before the flow of Grace.
The Eucharist is “the Cross.” It is the sacrifice of Jesus made present to us through the hands of His beloved priests. Find your way, then, to the foot of that Cross. Find your way to the Mass, or to the little Calvary Hills we call Tabernacles.
And there, stand still.
Sit before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Do not worry about words, prayer books, or Rosary beads. Sit still. And if you’re falling asleep, then fall asleep. This too is standing still. All that is needed to tan your skin is to sit still before the sun; all that is needed for LOVE and MERCY to begin transforming your soul is to stand still before the Son. Yes! Test these words, and find out for yourself what, or rather, Who awaits you in the Blessed Sacrament! (If you are unable to go to Jesus in the Eucharist, light a candle in the quiet of your room and make a “spiritual communion.” That is, unite yourself to wherever Jesus, “light of the world,” is being offered in the sacrifice of the Eucharist, or wherever He is in a Tabernacle near you. Simply say his name for a few brief moments…)
To pray “Jesus” is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2666
The storms may not cease immediately, but you will learn to walk on water. Faith floats.
But first, you must stand still.
The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice… In the Eucharist the Church is as it were at the foot of the cross with Mary, united with the offering and intercession of Christ.
—Ibid. 1367, 1370
Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
Behold, for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth–the tabernacle–and from this throne I desire to enter into your heart. I am not surrounded by a retinue of guards. You can come to me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and I desire to grant you grace. –Jesus, to St. Faustina; Diary of St. Faustina, 1485
They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)