for July 21st – July 26th, 2014
Ordinary Time

Liturgical texts here



IN truth, brothers and sisters, since writing the “Flame of Love” series on our Mother and Lord’s plan (see The Convergence and the Blessing, More on the Flame of Love, and The Rising Morning Star), I have had a very difficult time writing anything since then. If you’re going to promote the Woman, the dragon is never far behind. It’s all a good sign. Ultimately, it is the sign of the Cross.

By this, I mean that if you’re going to follow Jesus, it is not all “resurrection.” In fact, there is no resurrection without the Cross; there is no growth in holiness without death to self; there is no living in Christ without first dying in Christ. And all of it is a process that weaves in out of Golgotha, the tomb, the upper room, and then back again. St. Paul puts it as such:

We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. (Friday’s first reading)

What a beautiful insight. For one, we realize that St. Paul—like you and I—felt his weakness to the core of his being. He felt that sense of abandonment that Jesus Himself experienced on the Cross. In fact, I recently asked the Father about this in prayer. This is the reply I sensed in my heart:

My beloved, you cannot see the work I am doing in your soul, and therefore, you only see the external. That is, you see the cocoon, but not the emerging butterfly within.

But Lord, I do not perceive life within the cocoon, but only emptiness, death…

My child, the spiritual life consists in a constant mortification, constant surrender, humility and trust. The path to the Tomb was a continual descent into darkness. That is, Jesus felt deprived of all glory and only felt the entire poverty of his humanity. It is and will be no different for you. But it is precisely in this mode of complete trust and obedience that the power of the Resurrection is able to enter the soul and work the miracle of new life….

In other words, we carry in us the dying of Jesus (the feelings of abandonment, weakness, dryness, fatigue, loneliness, temptation, frustration, anxiety, etc.) so that the life of Jesus (His superantural peace, joy, hope, love, strength, sanctity, etc.) may be manifested in us. This manifestation is what He calls the “light of the world” and “salt of the earth.” The key is to allow the manifestation to take its course; we have to allow this work to be done in us: we have to persevere. Yes, this is tough to do when all you feel are the nails and thorns. But Jesus understands this and so is infinitely patient with your and my constant failures in this regard. [1]“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” (Heb 4:15-16) After all, didn’t He fall three times? And if you fall “seventy-seven times seven times,” He will forgive you each time you pick yourself up and begin to carry that daily cross again.

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, and will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? (Tuesday’s first reading)

When I was a little boy, my mother drew a picture of a train with three cars: the engine (upon which she wrote the word “faith”); the caboose (upon which she wrote the word “feelings”); and the middle cargo car (upon which she wrote my name).

“Which one pulls the train, Mark?” she asked.

“The engine, momma.”

“That’s right. Faith is what pulls your life forward, not feelings. Don’t ever let your feelings try to pull you along…”

The readings this week all essentially point toward this one thing: either faith in God, or lack of it, to which He replies:

You have been told, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Monday’s first reading)

What you and I must do, then, is persevere in it. I promise you—as do 2000 years of Christians before us—that if we do, God will not fail in His part to accomplish in you all that He promises His faithful ones.

…let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:4)

Even though this has been a tough month, I know the Tomb is not the end… countless times, the Lord has always rescued me at the right moment. Let your present trials, then, be not a cause to despair, but to lay at His feet and say:

Jesus, I do not feel your presence, but trust you are here; I do not know where I am going, but believe you are leading; I see nothing but my poverty, but hope in your riches. Jesus, despite all this, I will remain faithfully yours insofar as I live by your grace.

And persevere.

…in the streets and crossings I will seek Him whom my heart loves. I sought him but I did not find him. The watchmen came upon me, as they made their rounds of the city: Have you seen him whom my heart loves? I had hardly left them when I found him whom my heart loves. (Tuesday’s optional first reading)

Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing… I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. (Friday’s Psalm; Wednesday’s first reading)




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1 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” (Heb 4:15-16)

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