If you ask, “How do I know what God wants of me at a given time,” the answer lies in the duty of the moment.
What is your next duty? It’s not a question of sitting around talking about the Holy Spirit! It is getting up at night to change or feed a baby, doing the duty of a nurse or the work of a man is supporting his family. Does one like it? That depends on how much one loves!
His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2:5
The world today needs saints—hundreds, thousands, and millions of saints! Hate, fear, despair vanish like mist in the sun before men and women in love with God, men and women of sanctity.
Sanctity comes from much loving. For this we have been created: to love our neighbor, and through him, to love God. Loving is fun. Loving is joy. Loving brings peace. loving means serving and forgetting oneself for others. Learn how to love and you will receive everything you need.
We are all called to be saints. Not to be a saint is the greatest tragedy that can befall a Christian today!
~ A Meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty
“You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love.” ~ Colossians 3:12-14
Every human being has an innate longing for an inner fire. The fire we long for is the Holy Spirit. Once the Spirit begins to burn in us, all the old, bad habits will successively be driven out. For this reason, the fire will create conflict. It isn’t our purpose to create conflict, but we must not be afraid of it when it comes. Conflicts, be they exterior and interior, are signs of health if they are a consequence of the Spirit burning within us.
Do not be afraid of the anxiety that the arrival of the Spirit may bring. Don’t go back to the lifeless peace which may have characterized your life up till now. Let yourself be shook up by the Spirit. The peace Jesus promised presupposes a complete reorganization of your life. Don’t be afraid to leave old habits behind; it’s natural at first to feel insecure and unsure. Don’t be afraid of the truth, even if it is uncomfortable.
Do not be afraid of becoming a sign of contradiction either. If the Spirit burns in you, you necessarily become a different person. You become a stranger in the world, a pilgrim on the earth. You will disappoint some people; others will consider you naïve. But you are not seeking the world’s peace. Jesus says: “…my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” (Jn 14:27).
The fact that God handed over his only Son to humankind is not a historical event in the sense that it belongs to the past and is over once and for all. God doesn’t refer to those who seek him to something he did a long time ago. He hands over his Son to each and every one in an eternal present.
The Father’s sacrifice of his Son and the Son’s perfect assent to the Father’s will is beyond time. God made this sacrifice yesterday, he does so today, he will do it throughout eternity.
The most glorious sign of God’s continuing giving of himself is the Eucharist, which the Church celebrates every day. In it, God’s sacrifice is present. Here God puts his Son so completely at your disposal that you get to eat and drink him. It must pain the heart of God when people, after having received him in the Eucharist, immediately can begin to doubt and question whether they are truly loved. What more could God do to prove his love?
When Jesus appears to Thomas (Jn 20:24-29), he complies totally with Thomas’s wishes. Jesus submits to him, puts himself at his disposal, makes of himself an object and an illustration. Thomas gets to touch him with his finger, verify that it is Jesus who is with him. Jesus surrenders to Thomas like he surrenders to you in the Eucharist. As often as you want you can receive Jesus, who gives himself to you completely disarmed. Can you doubt his love?
~ A Meditation by Father Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.
O Holy Trinity, Eternal God, my spirit is drowned in Your beauty. The ages are as nothing in Your sight. You are always the same. Oh, how great is Your majesty. Jesus, why do You conceal Your majesty, why have You left Your heavenly throne and dwelt among us?The Lord answered me, My daughter, love has brought Me here, and love keeps Me here. My daughter, if you knew what great merit and reward is earned by one act of pure love for Me, you would die of joy. I am saying this that you may constantly unite yourself with Me through love, for this is the goal of the life of your soul. This act is an act of the will. Know that a pure soul is humble. When you lower and empty yourself before My majesty, I then pursue you with My graces and make use of My omnipotence to exalt you. ~ Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul – Diary.
God will receive everything in your life. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt 22:37). Whatever you devote to society, your work, and your human relations are to be given in such a way that it is not taken from what you give to God. Is this possible? Yes! Through his own example, Jesus has shown it to be. He gave himself completely to us, but in handing himself over he did not in any way leave his Father. To the contrary, it was the Father’s will he lived in, when he turned toward us, and it was the Father’s love he communicated.
It was precisely because Jesus lived so fully in his Father that he was unable to forget the world and humankind. The Father is, after all, Father of us all and loves us all.
The cross shows us that there was no separation between the Father and us in Jesus’ life. It was not an either-or, but rather a both-and. When Jesus reached the culmination of his love for us, he also reached the culmination of his love for the Father.
The cross consists of two beams. The vertical beam expresses our relationship with God. The horizontal beam points to our earthly relations. These two meet each other and become one in the intersection of the lines, the center and locus of the heart of Christ. His heart burns with a singular love, and this love makes him stretch toward the Father and out toward the world to embrace us all.
~ A Meditation by Father Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint John.
In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Today is Friday,” three Roman soldiers are unwinding in a Jerusalem bar on a Friday night. It had been a long, hard week. It was Passover, which meant that they had worked double shifts because of the crowds. And to make things worse, a would-be Messiah named Jesus had ridden into Jerusalem the previous Sunday and almost caused a riot. But everything had taken care of itself. Passover was coming to an end, and when Jesus was crucified his disciples dispersed.
While downing their drinks, two soldiers are talking about their day’s work.
1st Soldier: Ain’t I seen ’em? I seen plenty of them [crucified]. I tell you [Jesus] was pretty good in there today.
2nd Soldier: You’re a regular Christer, big boy.
1st Soldier: Sure, go on and kid him. But listen while I tell you something. He was pretty good in there today. (210)
A third soldier remains quiet. He is sick. He had seen just as many crucifixions as the other two, but somehow this one had been different. He cannot put into words how it was different or what he had seen but it had made him sick. The story ends with the soldiers going back to the barracks and one of them saying to his sick comrade, “You been out here too long. That’s all.”
Hemingway’s story reveals one of the ways in which God’s grace breaks into our lives. When we have a new reaction to a routine experience, when we see the old and the ordinary in a new light, we experience revelation. Like the soldier in the story, we may not be able to put into words what is happening to us, but revelation happens not in the explanation so much as in our awareness. How often do we become sick because the tenderness of God’s love exposes the callousness of our lives? At such moments, we can be tempted to say to ourselves something like the soldier said to his comrade. “I’ve been working too hard.” Or “I’m taking myself too seriously.” We can readily dismiss feelings of uneasiness or guilt over a long-standing behavior as nothing but merely a passing mood, when in fact, however, such feelings may contain a divine invitation.
~ A Meditation by Marc Foley, O.C.D.
Within the cross is life’s mainstay and consolation, and it alone provides the way to our salvation.
~ Saint Teresa of Avila, O.C.D.
En la cruz está la vida y el consuelo, y ella sola es el camino para el cielo. ~ Santa Teresa de Ávila, Carmelita Descalza
When the disciples gather for the meal on Holy Thursday, Jesus is aware that it is the last time he will be together with them. For this reason, everything he says and does has a special significance. Every moment is filled with meaning. Jesus leaves his legacy.
He kneels before his friends and washes their feet, a service normally carried out by a house slave. John, who recounts this episode, emphasizes two things.
First, the devil has already given Judas the idea to betray Jesus. Jesus doesn’t wash the feet of the disciples because they are good and loving. He does it because he loves them with a love that can do nothing but go on loving until the end. Jesus makes himself small before them. Even Judas—already possessed by the devil—sees his master at his feet.
John emphasizes, secondly, that Jesus is wholly conscious that the Father has handed him everything, that he has come from God and is now returning to him. At this hour, Jesus knows he is God. The gesture he is making is not just friendliness toward one’s companions. Neither is it a teacher’s example of humility. What happens is that God kneels before his creation and serves it. God has not only become human, he becomes the slave of humankind and takes the absolute lowest place.
Before this mystery it is both comical and ridiculous to observe our propensity for wanting to dominate others, and maintain our rights and dignity. If we want to be like God there is only one way: to bend low and serve.
~ A Meditation by Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.
Wishing you all a very blessed and prayerful Sacred Triduum!