It can be difficult to enter into Jesus’ Passion and death. It’s one thing to know He suffered so much for us. It is another thing to realize He suffered so much because of us. Then to take in that He didn’t need to; He wanted to. It’s simultaneously sobering and consoling. Consoling because, while we aren’t capable of understanding the magnanimity of His unconditional love, our eyes are opened just a little to it.
Praying the stations of the cross privately is one approach that will deepen our relationship with God by entering into His passion. By praying the Passion as St. Ignatius has taught us, we can make Stations of the Cross deeply personal.
When I was a little girl, like all little girls I had my favorite doll. Small, hard rubber with blonde hair and red dress. One day I decided she needed a bath in the sink and scrubbed her clean. I thought she looked beautiful, but my mom was soooooooo mad because her short hair was ruined and her skin turned a darkish color. Honestly, she was a mangled mess that only I could love.
Sometimes I think that is how my heart is to God. He gives it to us perfect and innocent, full of love and capacity to grow even more in love. But then we give it to the world instead of Him, and it comes back to us a mangled mess. Like the doll, there isn’t anything humanly possible to reverse that and make it innocent again. All we can do is give to God the remnants.
My confessor once said that when we entertain temptations or negative thoughts, we let Satan into the heart. If we do it repeatedly, then it’s like giving him a VIP card to our heart! So when we convert and decide to reject those temptations or thoughts, he still has his VIP card and is always knocking at the door wanting us to let him in. If Satan tempts or pesters us, it’s only because God gives him permission.
Now with only two weeks of Lent remaining, Satan will be pestering every way possible to interrupt our growth in God…
‘Lorica’ is personal body armor. God is the Catholic’s armor. St. Patrick wrote the Lorica for his protection against the Druids. For this reason, it is commonly prayed for spiritual warfare. The Lorica’s power is that it is a profession of Faith: the Trinitarian God, Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit through the Communion of Saints, God’s transcendence throughout creation, His omnipresence and omnipotence. If you are looking for ‘conversation starters’ in your mental prayer, consider making this a meditation.
It’s finally here: Laetare Sunday, the day we push the proverbial pause button on Lent and shout “rejoice”! We have made it half-way through Lent and survived the hungry belly-rumbles and headaches from fasting. Somehow barbequed steaks are more irresistible on meatless Fridays, and you might even secretly have been musing the notion of stealing one of your kid’s cookies out of their lunchbox! All were resisted, and there is hope to continue this success forward for the short time left before Easter.