Sunday, April 01, 2007

Walking into Holy Week


for Palm Sunday:

"Today, you adore the Cross of Christ, which you carry across the world, because you have believed in the love of God that was revealed in the crucified Christ."

~~ John Paul the Great, to young people on Palm Sunday, 2005 (the address was read by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, as the Holy Father was too weak to deliver the address himself)

~~~~~

and, from Fr. John Hardon:

There is a passage in the writings of St. Ignatius that I almost hesitate quoting for fear of having him misunderstood. The saints sometimes said strange things. But it is worth the risk in order to make clearer what I think is so much needed today to protect people from what I consider the heresy of instant mysticism. When all sorts of fads and gimmicks are being sold to the faithful as means of becoming "their oneness with the Absolute." I quote St. Ignatius:

"If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain. Do you want to become a great saint? Ask God to send you many sufferings. The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity of the Savior used to finish His sacrifice. All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ."


We may object that these are the sentiments of a great mystic who, as all mystics, spoke in symbolic terms and are not to be taken literally. Not so. They are the prosaic words of all those who believe that the most pleasing prayer to God is one that proceeds not only from the lips or even from the heart indeed, but one that is suffering in union with the heart of the innocent Lamb of God. Not all the faithful are called to the heights of this kind of prayer, although no Christian is exempt from his share in the life of the Master whose prayer to His Father was so elevated by the Cross.

Other things being equal, the more my prayer life is crucified, the more meritorious it becomes. The more what I say to God is combined with what I offer to God, the more pleased He will be. The more my petitions to the Lord are united with sacrifice willingly made, the more certainly what I ask for will be received.



4 comments:

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Beautiful!

ascozyasspring said...

Thank you for this post, Karen. It has given me much to think about as we begin this solemn week.

Suzanne Temple said...

An inspiring reflection to begin the holiest week of the year.

Angel said...

Thank you. I needed this today.