GOOD FRIDAY. That day when we, the fruit of the Cross, seek to console the Consoler; to comfort the Comforter; to love the Lover.
O Beloved Jesus, all I have to offer you is the vinegar of weakness on the sponge of humility. That you would receive my efforts to console you… and my gratitude for so great a gift as your very Life.
THE word fell into my heart like the first droplet of Spring from an icicle: “There is coming a “Lord of the Flies” moment.”
If you have seen the motion picture The Lord of the Flies, then read on. If you haven’t, you will need to rent it or read the book before continuing (WARNING: the film’s language is raw, but real). I honestly believe it is a picture of what is happening in the world, and what is coming, and that Christ is bringing this picture back to memory for a reason. When I watched this movie recently, keeping in mind the “word” I seemed to hear from the Lord, it blew my mind.Continue reading
WHAT the heck.
I decided to drive our tour bus down Times Square, New York City.
It was late at night. Our faces stared upwards at block after of block of bright lights, billboards, and video screens. New Yorkers stared upwards at us: six kids, faces plastered to the windows. They were as amused as we were dazzled.
Dazzled. During Eucharistic Adoration after Mass this morning, I pondered on these brights lights which lit Broadway like daytime. And the words came to me, “It is a false light.” Indeed, behind every bulb was the promise of some “thing”: visual pleasure, money, sexual gratification, souvenirs, liquor… things. But no where did I see a promise of lasting happiness–inner peace and joy which can only come from the Light of the World.
It was all alluring… but in the same way, perhaps, that a moth is drawn to a bug zapper.
IF Christ is the Sun, and his rays are Mercy…
humility is the orbit which keeps us in the gravity of his Love.
THERE is much talk these days of darkness: "dark clouds", "dark shadows", "dark signs" etc. In the light of the Gospels, this could be seen as a cocoon, wrapping itself around humanity. But it is only for a short time…
Soon the cocoon withers… the hardened eggshell breaks, the placenta depletes. Then it comes, quickly: new life. The butterfly emerges, the chick spreads its wings, and a new child emerges from the "narrow and difficult" passage of the birth canal.
Indeed, are we not on the threshold of Hope?
THERE will come a moment when we will walk by faith, not by consolation. It will seem as though we have been abandoned… like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. But our angel of comfort in the Garden will be the knowledge that we do not suffer alone; that other’s believe and suffer as we do, in the same unity of the Holy Spirit.
Surely, if Jesus continued along the Way of his Passion in a certain abandonment, then so will the Church (cf. CCC 675). This will be the great test. It will sift the true followers of Christ like wheat.
Lord, help us to remain faithful.
JESUS does not take away our crosses — He helps us to carry them.
So often in suffering, we feel God has abandoned us. This is a terrible untruth. Jesus promised to remain with us "until the end of the age."
OILS OF SUFFERING
God permits certain sufferings in our lives, with the precision and care of a painter. He allows a dash of the blues (sorrow); He mixes in a bit of red (injustice); He blends a bit of grey (lack of consolation)… and even black (misfortune).
We mistake the stroke of the coarse brush hairs for rejection, abandonment, and punishment. But God in his mysterious plan, uses the oils of suffering—introduced into the world by our sin—to create a masterpiece, if we let him.
But not all is grief and pain! God also adds to this canvas yellow (consolation), purple (peace), and green (mercy).
If Christ Himself received the relief of Simon carrying his cross, the consolation of Veronica wiping his face, the comfort of the weeping women of Jerusalem, and the presence and love of his Mother and beloved friend John, will not He, who commands us to pick up our cross and follow Him, not also permit consolations along the Way as well?
WITH URGENCY I write this tonight… we must put our hearts right with God. We must look squarely at our sin, and repent of it — leave it behind, at the foot of the Cross.
CONFESSION… we must go regularly. St. Pio said every 8 days. Pope John Paul II said every week. Once a week… come to the Father, pour out your heart, and let him speak words of forgiveness and healing. Why be afraid of so great a gift?
I can hear objections. But it is more important than work. More important than kid’s soccer. More important than watching television. Our soul is more important than these things.
We must prepare our hearts to receive a great Light by ridding anything in our heart which would create a shadow.
IN REPLY to someone who wrote, doubting that God could speak through the violence of nature:
Creation belongs to God, and as such, he has the right to assert his presence when and how he pleases. We know from the revelation of Jesus Christ, and of scripture, that God is not just loving, God IS love. Thus, he is merciful, patient, and forgiving. But he is also just, and because he is our Father, scripture teaches that he also disciplines us.
Neither does God force humanity to love him… but the wages of sin is death. In other words, humanity reaps what it sows. If we sow destruction, that’s what we reap, both naturally and spiritually. Continue reading