“We must never say that the kind of sanctity, forgetfulness of self, love of the cross, self-immolation and so on-are not for us. That is our human way of looking at things. If God wants them of us, he will send the necessary graces; all we must do is to hold ourselves in readiness for anything that he may ask of us, and go ahead fearlessly.”
Dom Augustin Guillerand, O. Cart., French Carthusian monk and revered spiritual author
The question in my meditation time today was, when is the last time that you were happy? Such an odd question for Day 2 of Lent, when I was expecting the scourging at the pillar. But this Lent has been different for me, very different, as I had already spent my time in the desert prior to entering this Lenten season.
Instead, I felt Ash Wednesday as an opening. There was joy instead of pain, peace instead of sorrow. My foot entered the door of His kingdom and crossed over into an infinite threshold. There was no fire, or brimstone or darkness, but only light; light in my vision, in my body and in my soul. It was almost as if I entered heaven.
But how could this be? Was I not destined to be thrown into the darkness for self-evaluation, state of consciousness and penance? Yes all those things are important. But why had I entered the gates of eternal freedom?
Because, the Lord said, you have chosen the cross
In two or so months of suffering, it wasn’t until a single moment leading up to Lent that I sat with myself and decided to make that choice. I had had enough suffering, and I was willingly ready to hop on that cross. But if I chose death, would he give me life? It was worth the chance…
My soul is sorrowful even to death
When I gave up my soul to the cross, the tears ran dry. I could still feel every inch of the pain; but that was until I crossed over to the other side. And as I slid into my spiritual death, the pain, the willingness to give it all to Him, the suffering suddenly stopped. I was inside the book of Revelation; He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying or pain…and there wasn’t.
The cross was true to it’s word- it did not fail me. I could only feel the splinters but for a second.
And suddenly my great pain turned into great joy, and my mourning to turned into dancing! The welcomed cross, the humble cross, the needed cross.
Choose life, God said, by choosing death
What a strange dichotomy. What an absolute wrecking of soul. But He is the God of the living, not the dead. And I praise the cross of His execution every time I get down on my knees.
O great physician of the soul! Oh great Master! May I die to self a thousand times a day to feel your infinite love!
“When I cried to the Lord, he heard my voice; he rescued me from those who attack me. Entrust your cares to the Lord, and he will support you.”
Psalm 55; A Lament over Betrayal