AFTER the Divine Liturgy (Ukrainian Mass) during Lent, all of us enter into the aisle beside the pew, while the priest recites a prayer: “Having suffered the passion, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy us.” Then everyone kneels and bows their face to the ground. This is sung three times–a beautiful act of humility and homage.

This morning, as the priest began to recite the prayer, I heard in my heart what I felt immediately was my guardian angel speaking: “I was there. I saw him suffer.”

I bowed my face, and wept.

Covenant Sign

 

 

GOD leaves, as a sign of his covenant with Noah, a rainbow in the sky.

But why a rainbow?

Jesus is the Light of the world. Light, when fractured, breaks into many colors. God had made a covenant with his people, but before Jesus came, the spiritual order was still fractured—broken—until Christ came and gathered all things into Himself making them "one". You could say the Cross is the prism, the locus of the Light.

When we see a rainbow, we should recognize it as a sign of Christ, the New Covenant: an arc which touches heaven, but also earth… symbolizing the twofold nature of Christ, both divine and human.

In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth. Ephesians, 1:8-10

Dense Forest

FEELING the drag of my flesh after Communion, I had the image of being on the edge of a very dense and ancient forest….

Barely able to move through the dark thicket, I was entangled in branches and vines. Yet, the occasional ray of Sonlight pierced through the foliage, momentarily bathing my face in its warmth. Instantly, my soul was strengthened, and the desire for freedom was overwhelming.

How I long to reach the open plains, the rugged wild where the heart runs free and skies are limitless!

…then I heard a whisper, seemingly carried on a shaft of Light:

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

OFTEN we enter Lent with a sense of trepidation–a fear of the sacrifice of dying to self.

I suppose it is how the grain feels as it is buried beneath the furrow, or the caterpillar as it is entombed by the cocoon, or the trout as it is encased beneath the winter ice.

But how tragic if the seed were to lay on top of the furrow, only to be blown away by the wind! Or the caterpillar to refuse the cocoon and never rise with wings! Or the fish to escape icy waters and suffocate in the snow!

O Soul, embrace this Cross before you. There is Resurrection beyond the tomb!

ALL day, I sensed the Lord wooing me to prayer. But for one reason or another my regular prayer time was bumped until after midnight. “Should I pray or go to bed? …it will be an early morning.” I decided to pray.

My soul was flooded with such joy, such peace. What my heart would have missed had I given way to my pillow!

Jesus is waiting for us, yearning to fill us with indescribable love and blessings. As we carve out time for supper, we must carve out time to pray.

Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. –John 15:5

The First Truth

JESUS said "the truth will set you free."

The first truth which sets us free is the recognition not only of our sin, but of our helplessness. To admit one’s poverty, one’s emptiness, is to create a place in the heart which can then be filled with God’s riches and fullness.

It is actually liberating to admit one is a slave; healing to admit that one is wounded.

We must realise the necessity of accepting our weaknesses and God’s strength, and of showing them to the world. —Catherine Doherty, Staff Letter

JESUS! I love you!

Someday, I will lay at your nail-scarred feet,
and kiss them,
holding on to them for as long
as eternity will let me.

Echoes of Warning…

 

 

THERE were a few times this past week when I was preaching, that I was suddenly overwhelmed. The sense I had was as if I were Noah, shouting from the ramp of the ark: "Come in! Come in! Enter into the Mercy of God!"

Why do I feel this way? I cannot explain it… except that I see storm clouds, pregnant and billowing, moving quickly on the horizon.

FROM today’s talk at the Okotoks Teacher’s Faith Days:

“As I have traveled throughout Canada, it has become clear: what makes a school “Catholic” is not the name bolted to the side of the school; neither is it the religious policy statement of the school district; nor is it the spiritual programs initiated by the school board or principal. What makes schools truly Catholic––truly Christian––is the spirit of Jesus living in the staff and students.”