We might as well admit it right up front – this is a Lent like most of us have never seen in our lifetime. A killer virus is sweeping the planet. We’re virtually quarantined in our homes; the kids are off; events are cancelled; the churches are closed; and we’re all drowning in toilet paper (or trying to). Could it get any worse? Probably, but let’s not go there.
by Kathleen Beckman
Lent’s forty days of prayer and fasting offer a process of healing and liberation. In Lent we place ourselves nearer to the suffering servant, Jesus Christ. We ponder the Redeemer’s suffering. We remember that Christ’s Passion sanctified all human suffering. We relate to His pain because we are touched by the corporate weight of sin and evil in the world. It rubs against us in ordinary life. The Christian is called to push back the tsunami of sin and evil. Read the rest…
Great suffering brings great graces. Those words are etched permanently in my soul. It is those who have walked the path of suffering with Jesus at their side, that those words hold a treasured meaning. I, a sojourner on the path can assent that those words true. I also can encourage you with the blessed assurance that when we are too weary, He carries us.
“On Him we have set our hope that He will deliver us again.”
-2 Corinthians 1:10
God will intervene. He will come to our aid. He does have a plan. And His plan is devised for our welfare. This calls us reflect prayerfully on the challenges we are facing, the difficulties that are presenting themselves, the trials that are bearing down on us, and to ask this question: Where is God in this situation, and what is He saying to me? I know that He is involved — Scripture has told me that. So what are His will and His purpose in the midst of this event?
“The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The passage reveals an important truth to us about the virtue of charity: true love of neighbor flows from true love of God. Jesus tells the scribe that the first commandment is to love God with the entirety of our being. Then we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. The love of God is a prerequisite for love of neighbor and
for every charitable action.
Practicing the corporal works of mercy is a practical way to grow in the virtue of charity. Seek at least one way that you can do so this week.
(1) Feed the hungry.
(2) Give drink to the thirsty.
(3) Clothe the naked.
(4) Shelter the homeless.
(5) Visit those in prison.
(6) Comfort the sick.
(7) Bury the dead.
“Sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them.”
-Catechism of the Catholic Church 1869
Each person who sins cooperates in bringing suffering to the world. To what extent do you give in to temptation and sin?
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25
“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”
–Louis de Bernières, Captain
“You will never be happy if your happiness depends on getting solely what you want. Change the focus. Get a new center. Will what God wills. and your joy no man shall take from you.” -Venerable Fulton Sheen