A priest once said “When Jesus looks at you, He does not see your sin. He sees through your sin to the images of God still remaining.”
St. Claude de Colombiere wrote “Men may deprive me of property and honour; sickness may take away my strength and other means of serving You; I may even lose Your grace by sin; but never, never will I lose my hope in You.” That is Divine Mercy.
It is Easter, Halleluiah! Easter isn’t just a day; it is an entire season for us to rejoice with Him in our resurrection in Christ! Yes, He rejoices in us, in our smallness, our vulnerability, our fidelity through thick and thin. We pushed through Lent with steadfastness. Now is the season to think about how to keep that up, maintain Jesus in our heart despite the confusing world around us. He wants to help with that.
Lent now comes to a close, and we prepare to embrace the Truth of our salvation, our redemption, as foretold to us in the Old Testament scriptures and fulfilled in Jesus Christ. How distant those ‘tales’ may seem to our current life, and yet some things never change…
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…
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.