Come Holy Spirit, Ignite Our Hearts in This Holy Week

(An announcement : For those who wish to reconsecrate or newly consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary, tomorrow April 10th is the start day for the 33 days of preparation with consecration day landing on the 100th Anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima, May 13th.)

The third Lenten homily given this year by the preacher of the Pontifical Household, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, provides an incredible meditation concerning the Holy Spirit’s Presence and Action in the paschal mystery: “The Holy Spirit Leads Us Into the Mystery of the Death of Christ.” It is a deep and long meditation with the complete text found at Zenit. I share but a few passages below as we enter the Sacred Mysteries of this Week. A tip which may inspire you: our dear friend of this site, YD, meditates on the Gospel of John as he prepares for Holy Week.

Perhaps, this year, we might also take into our contemplation of Christ’s death, the reality that the old ways of this era are dying all around us. It is excruciatingly painful to observe and live, yet, Christ carried it all and carried each of us, in particular, to His Cross, the Cross He e.m.b.r.a.c.e.d. with Pure Love, thereby blunting the impact of what we now experience and feel. He, first and foremost, endured the suffering each of us is experiencing, whatever it may be, in these days with confusion and division everywhere. Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He IS alive. He IS fully human. He dwells in each of our hearts and He intimately knows and f.e.e.l.s. what we’re suffering.

Just as He entered His tomb at death, we are entering the tomb of these times. As Fr. Cantalamessa stresses, Christ was not simply paying our debt. He died “by crucifixion so that the suffering and death of human beings would be inhabited by love!” Christ is the Anchor Who will get us through the major difficulties yet to come and at the very heart of our core message – acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope – is HIS LOVE. Our own hope springs from knowing as surely as Christ rose victorious from death, we shall rise again, through, with and in Him, to a New Beginning as a renewed people in a renewed world. But for now, we must make our way on this worldwide Via Dolorosa which we ourselves have brought to pass.

As we stand at the Foot of the Cross of Christ this week, let us also remember our Mother, given to each of us just before Jesus expired. As we carry our own crosses, let us accompany our Blessed Mother and appeal to her intercession while we continue to pray for one another, our families and our world. In solidarity, we pray and live TNRS way. In union of prayer, I place each of our petitions on a Relic of the True Cross with which I sleep each night, often awakening and praying an aspiration from the Anima Christi prayer, as a wise priest advised: “Passion of Christ, strengthen me.” May the Passion of Christ strengthen one and all as we continue on our way.

From Father Cantalamessa’s homily:

… The Letter to the Hebrews says that Christ “through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God” (Heb 9:14). The “eternal Spirit” is another way of saying the Holy Spirit, which is confirmed by an ancient variation of the text. This means that Jesus, as man, received from the Holy Spirit dwelling in him the impulse to offer himself in sacrifice to the Father as well as the strength that sustained him during his passion…

The connection between the Holy Spirit and the death of Jesus is highlighted primarily in the Gospel of John. “As yet the Spirit had not been given,” notes the Evangelist concerning the promise of living water, “because Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn 7:39), that is—according to the meaning of “glorification” in John—Jesus had not yet been lifted on the cross. Jesus “yielded up his spirit” (Matt 27:50) on the cross, symbolized by the water and the blood; John in fact writes in his First Letter, “There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood” (1 Jn 5:8).

The Holy Spirit brings Jesus to the cross, and from the cross Jesus gives the Holy Spirit. At the moment of his birth and then publicly in his baptism, the Holy Spirit is given to Jesus; at the moment of his death, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit. Peter says to the crowd gathered on the day of Pentecost, “Having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear” (Acts 2:33). The Fathers of the Church loved to highlight this reciprocity. “The Lord received ointment [myron] on his head,” says St. Ignatius of Antioch, “to breath incorruptibility on the church.”…

The Church’s creed ends with the words, “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” It does not mention what will precede resurrection and eternal life, that is, death. Rightly so, because death is not the object of faith but of our experience. Death, however, touches all of us too closely to pass over it in silence.

In order to evaluate the change brought by Christ concerning death, let us see what remedies human beings have looked to in order to deal with the problem of death, especially since they are the ones with which people still try to “console themselves” today. Death is the number one human problem…

Perhaps better than thinking of our lives as “a mortal life,” we should think of it as “a living death,”a life of dying. This thought by Augustine has been taken up from a secular standpoint by Martin Heidegger who made death, in its own right, a subject for philosophy. Defining life and a human being as a “being-toward-death,” he sees death not as an event that brings life to an end but as the very substance of life, that is, as the way life unfolds. To live is to die. Every instant that we live is something that get consumed, that is subtracted from life and handed over to death. “Living-for-death” means that death is not only the end but also the purpose of life. One is born to die and for nothing else. We come from nothingness and we return to nothingness. Nothingness is then the only option for a human being…

“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 15:54-57)

The decisive factor occurs at the moment of Christ’s death: “He died for all” (2 Cor 5:15). But what was so decisive at that moment to change the very nature of death? We can think of it visually this way. The Son of God descended into the tomb, like a dark prison, but he came out on the opposite side. He did not turn back to where he had entered, as Lazarus did and then had to die again. No, he opened a breach on the opposite side through which all those who believe in him can follow him.

An ancient Father writes, “He took upon himself the suffering of man, suffering in a body which could suffer, but through the Spirit that cannot die he slew death, which was slaying man.” St. Augustine says, “By his passion our Lord passed from death to life and opened a way for us who believe in his resurrection that we too may pass over from death to life.” Death becomes a passageway, and it is a passageway to what does not pass away! John Chrysostom says it well:

We do indeed die, but we do not continue in it: which is not to die at all. For the tyranny of death, and death indeed, is when he who dies is never more allowed to return to life. But when after dying is living, and that a better life, this is not death, but sleep.

All these ways of explaining the meaning of the death of Christ are true, but they are not the most profound one. This one is found in what Christ, through his death, came to bring to the human condition, more so than what he came to remove from it: it is found in the love of God, not in the sin of human beings. If Jesus suffers and dies a violent death inflicted on him by hate, he does not do it merely to pay an insolvent debt owed by human beings (the debt of 10,000 talents in the parable is forgiven by the king!); he dies by crucifixion so that the suffering and death of human beings would be inhabited by love!...

What has then changed about death because of Jesus? Nothing and everything! Nothing in terms of our reason, but everything in terms of faith. The necessity of entering the tomb has not changed, but now there is the possibility of exiting from it. This is what the Orthodox icon of the resurrection illustrates so powerfully, and we can see a modern interpretation of it on the left wall of this Redemptoris Mater Chapel. The Risen One descends into hell and brings Adam and Eve out with him and behind them all those who are clinging to him in the infernal regions of that world…

Death is also a baptism. That is how Jesus describes his own death: “I have a baptism to be baptized with” (Lk 12:50). St. Paul speaks of baptism as being “buried therefore with him by baptism into death” (Rom 6:4). In ancient times, at the moment of baptism a person was completely immersed in water; all of one’s sins and one’s fallen human nature were buried in the water, and that person came forth a new creature, symbolized by the white robe he or she was wearing. The same thing happens in death: the caterpillar dies, the butterfly is born. God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4). All those things are buried forever…

All of this, however, has given someone the pretext of saying that Christianity advances by means of the fear of death. But this is terrible error. Christianity, as we have seen, is not here to increase the fear of death but to remove it; Christ came, says the Letter to the Hebrews, to “deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage” (Heb 2:15). Christianity does not advance because of the thought of our death but because of the thought of Christ’s death!

For this reason, it is much more effective to meditate on the passion and death of Jesus, rather than meditating on our own death, and we need to say—to give credit to the generations that preceded us—that such a meditation was the daily bread of spirituality during those past centuries. It is a meditation that generates emotion and gratitude, not anxiety; it makes us exclaim, like the Apostle Paul, Christ “loved me and gave himself for me! (Gal 2:20).

A “pious exercise” that I would like to recommend to everyone during Lent is to pick up a Gospel and read the entire account of the passion, slowly and on your own. It takes less than a half an hour. I knew an intellectual woman who claimed to be an atheist. One day she unexpectedly got the kind of news that leaves people stunned: her sixteen-year-old daughter had a bone tumor. They operated on her. The girl returned from the operating room with an IV drip and all kinds of tubes coming out of her. She was suffering horribly and groaning; she did not want to hear any words of comfort.

Her mother, knowing her daughter to be pious and religious and thinking it would please her, asked her, “Do you want me to read you something from the Gospel?” “Yes, Mamma.” “What do you want me to read?” “Read me the passion.” The mother, who had never read a Gospel, ran to buy one from chaplains; she sat next to her daughter’s bed and began to read. After a while the daughter fell asleep, but the mother continued reading silently in semi-darkness right to the end. “The daughter fell asleep,” she said in the book she wrote after her daughter’s death, “and the mother woke up!” She woke up from her atheism. Reading the passion of Christ had changed her life forever.

Let us end with the simple but powerful prayer from the liturgy, “Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi, quia per sanctam tuam redemisti mundum,” We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”

(Translated from Italian by Marsha Daigle Williamson)

About Beckita

Beckita, widow, mother and grandmother, lives in Missoula, Montana. After more than thirty years of service, she retired from two careers: elementary school educator and director of liturgical music ministry in a local parish. Serving the Catholic Church in many capacities since early childhood, she now provides care for a nearly 90 year old priest of Chinese origin and collaborates with him in evangelizing the Chinese people. For more than twenty-five years, she has welcomed words from heaven concerning these sobering times in which we live and, like so many, takes seriously Our Lord and Our Lady’s call to intercede for the return of souls to God. Responding to heaven’s call for prayer, for her, included making pilgrimages to shrines in Europe, Asia and South America. She says these travels, added to her years as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa in the mid-seventies, have expanded her heart to hold dear all peoples of the world. She is a longtime member of TNRS community and when she began reading Charlie’s posts, immediately, she found that his mission and message harmonize well with Church approved private revelation of our times. In September 2015, she accepted an invitation to become part of TNRS Answers Team. As events of the Storm evolved, last fall (2016), she accepted Charlie’s invitation to become managing editor of TNRS should he need to leave the site. With great gratitude to and for Charlie, founder of TNRS, and with great respect and admiration for the lifelong experiences and God-given gifts he brought to bear on his work at this site - she knows we all know he’s irreplaceable – still, she considers it a great privilege to serve the TNRS community.
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110 Responses to Come Holy Spirit, Ignite Our Hearts in This Holy Week

  1. Donna says:

    What was the name of the book? I’d love to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “After a while the daughter fell asleep, but the mother continued reading silently in semi-darkness right to the end. “The daughter fell asleep,” she said in the book she wrote after her daughter’s death, “and the mother woke up!” She woke up from her atheism. Reading the passion of Christ had changed her life forever.”

    Thank you once again Beckita..I am deeply touched by your many words of wisdom. God has given you a beautiful gift here. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Julia says:

    Beckita, thank you for reminding us all here about Consecration start date 10th April.

    It would be great if you were able to post the daily readings from one of the Consecration sources. So we could walk together to the great anniversary on 13th May 2017.

    Immaculate Heart of Mary, Triumph and reign, and in the name of Jesus, and for the love of Jesus pray for us and our families. To Jesus through Mary.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Beckita says:

      God bless you, Julia. I think you can find the entire consecration readings posted at MoG from their previous times of preparing together for consecration.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Julia says:

        Yes Beckita, I use the resources on MoG to prepare for Consecration.

        I just thought that maybe on account of some of the contentious threads there, it would have put some people off even going to MoG for the Consecration thread. While here there may be more souls who would join in the Consecration preparation if it were available. God bless, and thank you for your reply.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Marie says:

        This is new to me, so I looked for an audio version, I think it’s the same consecration, if not, Beckita, please say so. A day late I know, but for those who prefer audio over print:
        http://totalconsecration.newevangelizers.com/schedule/

        Liked by 1 person

        • Beckita says:

          Ooo, Marie. God bless you. The link takes people to the Consecration by St. Louis de Montfort which is the original 33 day prep which Pope St. John Paull II did. (So did I originally.) Fr. Gaitley’s version is newer to the scene but also rich and wonderful as he draws on St. Louis’ teachings as well as those of Pope St. John Paul II, St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Teresa of Calcutta. Thank you so much for sharing this resource!

          Liked by 2 people

          • LordprotectYourlittlemess says:

            https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pU3sxhfq6vLAn1QDzgvVUAItZ8tq7oiILCi198uOI7s/htmlview#gid=0

            This is a Google doc that has links for each day of Father Gaitley’s 33 day prep….a podcast, a audio recording, and if you scroll all the way to the right, there is a link for the written version out of Father Gaitley’s book.

            In case that link doesn’t work, I will also link to one step earlier in the process

            http://33daystomorningglory.blogspot.com/p/33-days-audio-podcast.html

            From that page under the 33 Days Audio Podcast, there is a link that says “Click here for daily podcasts”. That should take you to what I tried to link in the first place above.

            I hope something there made sense, because this is a handy resource.

            My brain seems to be melting, so I will try to stop putting words together now, except to say, may God Bless each of you, and I continue to pray for all requests brought here.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Beckita says:

            Thank you so very much, Littleness!

            Like

          • Julia says:

            Ou, Cheeky Julia just pushing the boundaries one little bit more. Would it be possible to put these links to the Consecration under the tab at the top, so we can find them more easily. The place we find link to videos and so on.
            Just asking. God bless and thank you Beckita for all you do for us.

            Like

          • Beckita says:

            Julia, LordprotectYourlittlemess has provided a link I think you could use by simply bookmarking it and making a daily check-in.

            Like

  4. avaeadie says:

    This was a beautiful read! Truly inspiring material for the week ahead!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Doug says:

    “Christianity, as we have seen, is not here to increase the fear of death but to remove it”

    I love that line! God bless you Beckita and all here this Holy week!

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Kati says:

    VERY timely, Beckita. I had decided to do the 33 Days to Merciful Love…beginning today! Thanks for this post. 😀

    Liked by 4 people

  7. just a sojourner says:

    I would like to remind everyone that the Novena of Devine Mercy chaplets starts Friday (Good Friday.)

    Liked by 9 people

  8. Linda says:

    Hehehe… I came on here to remind everyone that the consecration to Jesus through Mary begins today for the 100th year anniversary of Fatima… lol I should have known you all are all over it!!!! Boom!!!! 😉 May this Holy Week bring the whole world great spiritual blessings. xoxo

    Liked by 9 people

  9. flora potter says:

    May the whole world hear the great Alleluia of this coming Triduum,
    “CHRIST IS RISEN, HE IS TRULY RISEN!”

    Liked by 6 people

  10. jtbrannigan says:

    I am profoundly struck by this posting. In all my years I do not think that I have ever encountered, and I certainly have never pondered, the reality of the Holy Spirit being present in Jesus’ death. In my mind the Holy Spirit arrived forty-some days later on Pentecost well after the trauma and drama were done. The Spirit came after the time of the walking, risen, Jesus among us. After HIs resurrected self had finished cleansing and healing us from the horrors of the cross.
    Reading today’s words I was immediately struck by the silliness of how I viewed all of this. Of course the Holy Sprit was present, accompanying the Lord into that most real of all human journeys. As it was for Jesus, so it is and will be for us.

    When I was new to this Life, I often wondered about the martyrs. How did they do it? For many of them could have avoided their deaths by submitting to the world, but somehow they did not. Maximilian Kolbe stood out as an enigma to me. How could he volunteer to die? A wise friend, knowing my questions on this, said to me. “It is a grace. It is the Holy Spirit who aids and supports the martyrs in their walk. You can’t imagine, you can’t summon up the grace ahead of time. You can only believe it will be there, the Spirit, will be there when you need to choose.”
    Since I first heard those words I have taken them to heart. When I contemplate my own death I pray “Let me be ready, God. Give me the grace to say yes!”

    The posting today leave me understanding that it was the same for Jesus. He, the most human of humans, faced our fears, faced our doubts, and the Holy Spirit was there to provide the grace, the strength. As the Spirit will be for each of us, it we accept and let it be so.

    Thank you Beckita. I think I just received one of my Easter gifts a few days early.

    Easter blessings and joy to all who are here.

    JT

    Liked by 16 people

    • SteveBC says:

      JT, that is an interesting thought. When I have thought of the Crucifixion, what stands out to me is the moment when Jesus says, “God, why have you forsaken me?” All this talk of the Holy Spirit being there throughout Jesus’s entire Passion and death seems to ignore that specific moment and statement.

      If I think of the Holy Spirit and of the essential requirement for Jesus to suffer *all* as we do, it has always seemed to me that at that moment for a short time the Holy Spirit withdrew, leaving the true man part of Jesus bereft as so many of us feel at times. To me this is the moment when Jesus suffers the most, when he suffers truly as we do, alone, and then almost immediately after this he dies, his body dies, the body can’t continue without the Holy Spirit strengthening it. Then suddenly, at that moment, all becomes possible. From deepest despair Friday at 3 pm, to resurrection and glory when the Holy Spirit comes rushing back with Him early Sunday morning.

      I realize this is probably a wrong interpretation. I’m no theologian. I don’t know the status of the Shroud, but the scientists who have studied it recently say the Resurrection moment involved an incredibly short burst of incredibly intense energy. So between the moment when Jesus says he has been forsaken to the moment when the Shroud was possibly created as an image, the Holy Spirit was elsewhere, was it not? It would seem neither was Jesus there, while He was in the realm of the dead. Only his body remained in the tomb. To me, that is why the Resurrection is so powerful. God withdrew. And God came back.

      But that’s just me. I’m interested in how many will tell me I’m totally nuts to think this. It will be a learning experience for me! 🙂

      Liked by 8 people

      • Doug says:

        “My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?” I have often pondered this to mean that God literally turned his face away from Jesus because at that instant, he literally carried all the sins of the world on him and in order to make infinite reparation, God had to look away. Because God is not time bound, that instant was actually eternity. Once, for all as Roman’s says. God had to look away because sin cannot be in his presence. So this had to be an eternal action because God is eternal. I also imagine that at that instant Jesus experienced infinite loneliness. These were pains deep in his soul that are not expressed the same as the physical pain he suffered, but probably magnified his physical pain to the nth degree. Because there was no sin in Jesus, he does not suffer the eternal consequences of sin. Oh how great a love he has for us! Oh marvelous Jesus! Oh how you paid the price for me! I am in awe and wonder! What a great mystery!

        Liked by 11 people

        • Stephen Maresch says:

          Actually Doug Jesus was quoting scripture here is a good explanation from Father Echert;
          Mark records the following with regards to the dying words of Jesus:

          15:33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “E’lo-i, E’lo-i, la’ma sabach-tha’ni?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” 15:35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Eli’jah.” 15:36 And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Eli’jah will come to take him down.” 15:37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.

          Some people wrongly assume that Jesus despaired in his final moments. Not so. Jesus was quoting the opening words from Psalm 22, which psalm has great significance as to the messianic identity of Jesus. The entire text of the psalm is worth reading, especially since Jesus would have identified not only with the opening lines, but the entire text and sentiment of the psalmist. Psalm 22 follows:

          22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? 22:2 O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest. 22:3 Yet thou art holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 22:4 In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 22:5 To thee they cried, and were saved; in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed. 22:6 But I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people. 22:7 All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads; 22:8 “He committed his cause to the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” 22:9 Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother’s breasts. 22:10 Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God. 22:11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help. 22:12 Many bulls encompass me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 22:13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast; 22:15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death. 22:16 Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet — 22:17 I can count all my bones — they stare and gloat over me; 22:18 they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots. 22:19 But thou, O LORD, be not far off! O thou my help, hasten to my aid! 22:20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog! 22:21 Save me from the mouth of the lion, my afflicted soul from the horns of the wild oxen! 22:22 I will tell of thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee: 22:23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! all you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel!

          The associations with Jesus, especially in his suffering and vindication, are unmistakable. So by quoting this psalm, at least the first words, Jesus is identifying Himself with this Suffering Servant of the Lord. Beyond that, we can also say that while Jesus did not despair, he took upon Himself the agony of a most horrible death and the feeling of isolation that abandonment on the cross would cause for a human being. In fact, it is natural for a human being to seek to live and avoid death, and so Christ is reflecting the struggle of mortal man against death, which brings separation of the soul and body. But even beyond physical and emotional suffering, Christ took upon Himself the spiritual weight of all sin. By allowing Himself to experience the abandonment of the psalmist which reflects the condition of humanity unredeemed, He more conforms Himself to us, with ever having sinned Himself. It is not that He lacks hope for the resurrection or has any crisis of faith, but His own experience of death gives us consolation, knowing that God knows in the humanity of Christ the fear we have of death, even with faith.

          Rather, we should see the cry of our Lord as a fulfillment of the psalm of the OT and expressing the fact that in the final moments of His mortal life, it would seem that Jesus allowed Himself in His humanity to cease feeling the consolation that He normally experienced by His hypostatic union with His Divinity. This would be similar to the experience great mystics and other Christians have, who go through periods in which God withdraws His consolations. The great mystic St. John of the Cross would describe this as the Dark Night of the Soul. And in such manner, Christ experienced this aspect of human existence, in which we know by faith that God loves us and cares for us, but allows us the dark night of the soul without emotional and spiritual comfort.

          Neither must we assume that somehow God separated Himself from Christ at this moment: NO WAY! Had this been the case, then it could not be said that God experienced death on the Cross, understood in the sense that the Divinity was joined to the humanity of Christ. The union between the Divinity and humanity in Christ was such that the Divine Word was and is inseparably joined to the humanity of Christ. Upon death, the Divine Word remained joined to the human soul of Christ and to His flesh, but His human soul ceased to exist with the mortal body, which is what we mean by death. So just as in any human being, the separation of body and soul occurs at death, so too in Christ, except that the soul and body of Christ remained joined to the divine Word. Three days later, the soul of Christ was joined with the resurrected Body of our Lord. ©

          Father Echert

          Liked by 4 people

          • Beckita says:

            Beautiful, Stephen!

            Liked by 1 person

          • SteveBC says:

            Stephen, thank you for this article from Fr Echert. It is pretty close to what I was trying to articulate with my less polished writing. I don’t believe God turned away from Jesus at that moment, rather that the knowledge of His presence was for a moment lost by the true man part of Jesus, who had to die physically. The fact is that God could have stayed alive on that cross forever if He chose to. How else to obtain a death than by withdrawing something critical from the true man and allowing the death to occur? And how else to obtain access to the world of the dead than through true death of the body and release of the spirit?

            Everything else in Jesus’s life was done just like it would have been for any person, was it not? How else could He be true man otherwise?

            I’m a little odd on this kind of stuff. For example, I wonder about basic matters. When he was doing carpentry, did he ever hammer his thumb or cut a finger? If so, how long did it take to heal? When he was small and presumably played with friends, did He ever fall and skin His knee? If He did, did He cry like any little 6-year-old boy would? How else could He have been human? How else could He have experienced pain and suffering before the Passion? It’s little questions like this that sometimes stump me, yet they lead to interesting thoughts about being human or about the idea that God did *not* simply “play” at being human. This was serious business.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            I love your thinking, SteveBC. The Scriptures tell us Jesus was like us in *everything* but sin, so yah! His thumb hurt just as much as ours would if we were developmentally incapable of hitting the nail squarely every time. Many mystics have written that Jesus revealed to them he began shedding His blood for us, not just at His Passion and death, but from His infancy, such as at His circumcision. What really captures my heart is His statment to St. Faustina of how hurt He is when we don’t forgive ourselves. He gave His life for us and He not only wants to forgive, He y.e.a.r.n.s. to forgive us. Amazing, just amazing is our God Who is fully human with all the feelings we ever have.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Funny you mention this Beckita. The St. Bridget 12 year prayers start with the circumcision as the first blood shed by Christ. Seems strange to meditate on a circumcision.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Beckita says:

            Christ redeemed every detail of our existence, didn’t He, Doug?

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Ah yes Beckita! That is the beauty of love. Love is concerned about every little detail of the relationship. It is like one who brings cut flowers. One may think it a waste and impractical, but to another, it is a deep expression of love. I was very much the former and learning to be the latter. I am also learning how our Savior also brings us beautiful bouquets every day. This is some of the bewilderment that MP has expressed and illustrates when he writes.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Funny Steve. I wonder these things sometimes too. Did he ever get a mosquito bite? Pimple? I imagine not as I can see the mosquitos respecting the Son of God. I am not looking for an answer, but I do wonder though 😎

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Thanks Stephen. It imagine it to be the most profound moment in history with much significance.

            Liked by 1 person

      • maryopl says:

        Dear SteveBC,
        I have read that Jesus is reminding the Pharisees and Priests of Psalm 22 which starts with those words and describes the Passion and death of the Messiah and how that Psalm is not a lament because God is there with him. The last verses are:
        “For kingship belongs to the LORD,
        the ruler over the nations.
        *All who sleep in the earth
        will bow low before God;
        All who have gone down into the dust
        will kneel in homage.
        And I will live for the LORD;
        my descendants will serve you.
        The generation to come will be told of the Lord,
        that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn
        the deliverance you have brought.”

        Liked by 7 people

        • luvmercy5775 says:

          Exactly. Jews of that day often memorized scripture. Quoting the first line of a passage was a memory aid to what followed. For instance, if I said “Oh say can you see…” most would know I was referring to the Star Spangled Banner. Scripture has many layers.

          Liked by 5 people

        • SteveBC says:

          Yes, Maryopl, I have heard that before. What occurs to me though is that quoting that scripture doesn’t mean He was only quoting scripture for the sake of scripture or establishing His bona fides. It could *also* be a cry of disconnection, bringing all the points in the psalm forward into His situation in shorthand form, not to make a point but to tell us with an old scripture how He actually felt at that moment. And, wheels within wheels, that scripture was likely given and recorded so many years before so that He could have it available when He needed it. I doubt He would have declaimed the entire text at that moment just prior to death. Who would have paid attention in the heat of that moment or even written it down accurately? How much better to have an already-existing statement of His situation ready for Him when He needed it and when He *felt* it in his bones, in His humanness.

          Liked by 2 people

      • sodakrancher says:

        Well Steve I sure don’t think you are nuts. Its impossible for anyone who is interested in the Easter story to not speculate and wonder , But it is the Paschal “Mystery” after all . To me the heart of that mystery is how could Jesus be both God and man? to me that question is comparable to : How could God have always been? ( never had a beginning ,but has always been )? Some things we are not meant to be able to comprehend , but to accept with faith what our senses tell us is true

        I do believe even in Jesus’s darkest moments during his agony ,persecution ,and crucifixion , he always had to know he was Gods son , and he always knew why he was here on earth . As a human ,that didn’t ease his suffering I’m sure ,but it must have helped him to endure .

        Someone asked Mel Gibson ; ” How could any man endure and survive as Jesus did through his Passion ” Mel Gibson responded ” He was not “any man” he was Jesus “

        Liked by 5 people

        • SteveBC says:

          Actually, Sodakrancher, I don’t have any problem with God having always been. He is not tied to time. My problem is why God exists at all. *That* really curls my toes. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

          • Recall what it was like to wonder as a child. I think children handle the bewilderment better. We get older and think ourselves more clever… and the discomfort sets in. Maybe the simple answer is to get content with bewilderment again. The little red wagon comes later.

            Liked by 6 people

          • Beckita says:

            You know, MP, I have a new name for you. I hope you don’t mind. In my heart and mind you’re our NRS Desert Sage. 😉

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Oh. I like that Beckita. It fits beautifully.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            It is mind blowing Steve. It is difficult to fathom eternity. I’m not saying I accept this, but it opens up possibilities on many things. For example, if God created the universe with the big bang and it will eventually contract. Who is to say that this has not already occurred a million billion times? When infinite time is factored in, it is plausible. I still have some hair. So it curls my hair when I think that God exists. It is curled even more when I think about how much he loves each of us 😎

            Liked by 3 people

          • Beckita says:

            Wow, Doug! Your comment evokes an image of you with an Afro!

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            Ha! I wish I had the hair. More like I am catching up with Steve. I bet Mick has a few curls thinkong about such things though 😎

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mick says:

            Ha, Doug and Beckita! I’m about to get my curls all shaved… time for the 4-guard and the summer ‘do. 🙂

            I try not to think about most things too hard; I’m a pretty simple, non-philosophical person, and thinking too deeply just makes my brain hurt. I hate it when my 20-year-old wants to discuss the ins and outs of Thomas Aquinas. ARG!!! He’s been a philosopher since he was a small child (he’s like my husband that way). He’s all Lord of the Rings and Peter Kreeft; and I’m all Hallmark Movie Channel and Family Circus. Different strokes, I guess. 🙂

            Liked by 5 people

          • Beckita says:

            😉 Love it, Mick.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Well Mick, if you have a 20 year old that wants to discuss the ins and outs of St. Thomas Aquinas, I would say you are doing quite well as a mother! What a blessing! By the way, what is a 4 guard do?

            Like

          • Mick says:

            Ha, Doug! Like I said, my kid is his father’s son…. Very early in our marriage, I remember a time when Chris and I had a non-theological argument and he started quoting Aquinas at me. I no speak-a Aquinas, so it was a short argument. 🙂

            A guard is the thing put on the hair clippers at the barber shop; it determines how long your hair will be when you get it cut/shorn. I like a 4-guard because it’s short, but not too short. My boys like a 1- or 2-guard; but I’ve asked them to go with a 3 because the lower guards make them look like they just got out of the juvie.

            Liked by 2 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Ha! We used #2 for our dear Ryan when he was a boy. I rubbed his little head afterwards and called it his peach fuzz. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Ha! It is hard to imagine you don’t speak Aquinas Mick. I have to say though, I like the education I get here. Now I know what a 4 guard is. Happy Easter!

            Liked by 1 person

      • jtbrannigan says:

        Steve: I did not mean to imply that Jesus would not have suffered the fear and agony of a cruel and unjust death. I have always been taught and viewed Jesus’s death the way you describe it. The cry of “Father, why have you forsaken me?” being at a time when Jesus could not connect with the Father and was totally alone. After thinking about Beckita’s post of yesterday, I have begun to wonder if Jesus at that moment was very much like us. We often feel, sense, believe we are alone, but God is actually still with us. We just cannot experience it at the time.
        I am no theologian (although in college, the Dominican Fathers did a wonderful job of emptying much of the foolishness out of my young brain and replacing it with right teaching about God and scripture). I cringed after I posted yesterday, thinking that I may be delving into fields far removed from, and way above, my training as a simple lawyer.
        I think it helps to ponder these things. If gives a more profound sense of the great and glorious mysteries that God has opened to us. My rock and safety line, to keep myself from getting too crazy, and too far out in this, it to realize that I must always submit to the magisterium of the Church. If my thoughts bring me places that are contrary to the Church’s teachings it is my place to submit and allow myself to be educated by that great body of knowledge carried down through the centuries.
        It does amaze me that even after so many years there is still so much we have to learn.

        JT

        Liked by 5 people

        • SteveBC says:

          Oh, JT, I didn’t think you had implied any such thing. In fact, your original comment simply got me thinking about that whole situation, and I put down my thoughts to see if anyone might “school” me or confirm for me the parts that were on track. I appreciate your comments. Thank you!

          Liked by 4 people

        • jlynnbyrd says:

          JT, I was fortunate to see Doug Barry/Radix live decades ago at a Chicago Marian Conference perform his one man show “The Passion”. I just watched an EWTN 2011 performance on YouTube of “The Passion” and Doug has an interesting take on these words of Our Lord.
          ***It is a tear jerker.

          Liked by 4 people

          • SanSan says:

            Doug Berry does an awesome job of bringing the Passion to life. I’ve seen it many times and have shown it to my Confirmation students.

            Liked by 2 people

        • Doug says:

          JT, it is OK to ponder and ask these questions. It shows the innocence of a searching child. It is a seeking to understand such beautiful and great mysteries. It is part of our lot to discover. Definitely room in the red wagon for you!

          Liked by 2 people

          • You’d think I would know by now..but what is the red wagon?

            Janet

            Liked by 2 people

          • Doug says:

            Well Janet, the red wagon sort of evolved from discussion about YD desiring to travel the Universe after we reach heaven. I chimed in that that was something I also desired to do and there was much dialog on the subject. At some point, it was mentioned we could go in a little red wagon. The concept is from the Gospels “unless you become like little children, you can never enter the kingdom of God”. So what better way to become like children than to play in a little red wagon? This evolved into our around the Universe trip in our little red wagon train and all who desired are welcome and we cordially invite everyone to join. Now this sounds silly, but it does bring out certain truths of the Gospels about being innocent and trusting like children. That said, who really knows but that maybe there is a very real possibility to travel the Universe when we reach heaven? Knowing how merciful, kind and loving our God is and seeing virtually endless wonders of nature in time, who is to say we will not continue to see these wonders and even greater wonders in heaven? In Corinthians “No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has prepared for those that love him”. So I and many here endeavor to dream big. So this is a synopsis. Anyone else, feel free to chime in.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Beckita says:

      God bless you, JT. As we have continued in these days of intensifying Storm, or purification as some name it, I have thought much of the special graces the martyrs received at death. I have been especially taken with the account of the youngest Ugandan martyr, a teenager, who skipped with joy on his way to death remarking how excited he was for he was going to see Jesus, face to Face. That had to come from special grace with Holy Spirit’s fruits.

      I like to remind myself and others the graces we need for the toughest days ahead aren’t yet here but, in faith and in prayer, we can ask and count on Our Lady to deliver.

      JT and Steve it wasn’t until adult catechesis that I was taught more clearly (or maybe that was when I was ready to hear it) that wherever One Person of the Trinity is accomplishing a work, we know the other Two are also there at work. They are distinct yet inseparable.

      I have a phenomenal priest teacher in my midst who synthesizes his in depth knowledge from theological studies with his vast knowledge of revelations to the mystics. On a retreat given by him about 10 years ago, I first discovered just how happy were all those saints who had died before Jesus resurrected. There are accounts which convey how St. Joseph rejoiced to see his foster Son in limbo. But the part that really captured my attention is that all those souls ready to enter heaven followed Jesus around in all He did on earth (after His Resurrection) before He ascended into heaven, for it was then that He opened the gates so they could all finally enter their True Home.

      Steve, I appreciate that info about the “short burst of incredibly intense energy.” There is a prayer I pray which acknowledges it was Holy Spirit’s Power which brought Jesus back from the dead. Awesomeness.

      Liked by 11 people

      • jlynnbyrd says:

        I recently read or heard that God gave Jesus the Holy Spirit as His Guardian Angel. How amazing is that to ponder? ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sr Lorraine says:

          With respect, that is not theologically​ correct. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, and not an angel. Angels are God’s creatures. The angels were with Jesus during his life, for example the angel sent to comfort Jesus in his agony in the garden. But we can’t confuse them with the Holy Spirit, who is God.

          Liked by 5 people

      • Phillip Frank says:

        We must also remember, Jesus said “I have power to lay down my life and power to raise it up again”.(John 10-18).

        Liked by 5 people

      • luvmercy5775 says:

        Beckita writes > wherever One Person of the Trinity is accomplishing a work, we know the other Two are also there at work. They are distinct yet inseparable. >
        A profound and obviously true thought. I like to think of the Father and the Holy Spirit holding Jesus’ outstretched hands as they accomplished redemption for all mankind in one accord.

        Liked by 4 people

    • Doug says:

      Most eloquently said JT. We up in NH wish you a very blessed Easter!

      Liked by 3 people

    • PrayerPartner says:

      So beautifully said-THANK YOU. Does my heart good to read your observation

      Liked by 3 people

    • Joe Crozier says:

      “The Fifth Sorrow of Mary
      The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

      There stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother
      ” (Jn. 19:25). St. John did not feel it necessary to say more than these words with reference to the martyrdom of Mary. Picture Her now at the foot of the cross beside Her
      dying Son, and then ask yourself if there can ever be sorrow like Her
      sorrow. Remain for a while on Calvary and consider the fifth sword
      which transfixed the heart of Mary — the death of Jesus.

      Meditation

      As soon as our agonized Redeemer had reached Mount Calvary, the
      executioners stripped Him of His clothes, and piercing His hands and
      feet with nails, they fastened Him on the cross. They raised the cross
      and left Him to die. The executioners left Him, but not Mary. She came
      up close to the cross to be near Him in death. “I did not leave Him,” She
      revealed to St. Bridget, “but stood nearer the cross.” Ah, true Mother,
      most loving Mother, Whom not even the fear of death could separate
      Thee from Thy beloved Son. But, O God, what a spectacle of sorrow
      must have confronted those who could see Jesus hanging in agony on
      the cross, and His Mother there at the foot of the cross suffering all
      His torments with Him. All these sufferings of Jesus were also Mary’s
      sufferings. Saint Jerome says, “Every torture inflicted on the body of
      Jesus, was a wound in the heart of His Mother.” “Anyone who had been
      present then on Mount Calvary, would have seen two altars on which
      two great sacrifices were being offered: the one in the body of Jesus —
      the other in the heart of Mary.” (St. John Chrysostom)
      “I did not leave Him but stood nearer the cross.” Mary His Mother, the created Holy Spirit, the Mediatrix of all grace, did not abandon him. Through His blood encrusted eyes he could see her and knew she was close at hand. He beheld the Handmaid of the Lord. Close to Jesus to the last.

      Liked by 8 people

  11. PrayerPartner says:

    More so than in previous years, the numerous tragedies and the growing sense of evil have me thinking even more deeply of Our Lord’s passion and all that He suffered for us. Even in moments of personal despair, I watch and listen for a sign of grace, that I may know we are not forgotten. Lord, we walk with you in faith this week.

    Liked by 11 people

  12. MaryT says:

    Beckita,
    this latest post of yours so inspired me that I went to confession yesterday, a much needed thing for me to do.
    It was a really good confession and I am so glad I went!
    Today I happened upon (on the internet) a video titled Fatima and the Sacrament of Confession given by Father Isaac Relyea. It really hit home for me and hopefully you’ll post the link I am providing so that others’ here can also watch, listen and learn from this wonderful priest. He tells it like it is. I think it’s a must for this Holy Week. Please give it a listen to Beckita, and then decide to post it here or not. I am so very glad I listened to it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Beckita says:

      Thank you for your witness to the importance of confession, Mary. I listened to the You Tube video and did some research on Fr. Relyea. He reminds me of St. John Vianney with his reputation for spending hours and hours in the confessional. His witness to the importance of this sacrament is solid, that is, if he simply teaches about confession without attacking Pope Francis in regards to it.

      The group to whom he is preaching this mission obviously follows the Fatima Center, a group that has focused on attacking Pope Francis since the inception of his papacy. I’ve noticed in my personal experience with local people supporting this group that they also easily fell, hand in hand, for the Maria Divine Mercy (MDM) deception. To prove that Pope Francis was an “anti-pope” and a “false prophet,” as claimed by MDM, the followers of the Fatima Center distributed literature from the Center which continually criticized our Holy Father. As a local priest here conveyed, this adds to the confusion and division plaguing the Church. He was more blunt when he addressed the individuals distributing the materials from the Fatima Center as he said they foment schism.

      In this video, Fr. Relyea, unjustly accuses the Holy Father of attempting to eliminate this sacrament. This is a totally false accusation. In many ways, Pope Francis has promoted this sacrament. For example, he has said God never tires of forgiving; it is we who tire of confessing. Since last year, Pope Francis has supported efforts from the Vatican to have a worldwide Day of Adoration and Confession. He, then, humbly makes his confession. So, I cannot advise anyone to view this video. There are far more excellent resources which promote confession, for they do so without casting aspersions on Pope Francis.

      Liked by 6 people

      • MaryT says:

        Beckita, thank you for this information. I have been drawn into his video because he has so many of the old time flavors as my own mother taught when I was growing up dinosaur years ago:). I have listened to a few more of his videos and he has said that he loves Pope Francis, he just doesn’t agree with everything that comes forth from him. I am trying to discern here because I love to hear some of the things, actually most of the things he says, and now I am torn. This is something I need to pray about. Thank you Beckita for taking time out of your day to watch the video and to answer me. I really appreciate it and all you do here for all of us!

        Liked by 4 people

        • Beckita says:

          God bless you, Mary. I think, then, you would really like the talks by Fr. Chad Rippinger and Fr Wade Menezes which are posted on You Tube. As well, you might search using “Mercy Fathers” and Fr. Jacques Phillipe. They all provide solid, edifying and inspirational catechesis.

          Liked by 2 people

  13. SanSan says:

    GOD BLESS THE TNRS FAMILY
    THANK YOU FOR THIS AWESOME MEDITATION

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Julia says:

    Pondering on the article about death and immortality, it occurred to me.

    We have now seen with the advancement of science; it has been discovered that when a child is conceived there is a flash of light within the womb at the moment of conception.

    Then I was watching the extraordinary event which takes place each year on Easter Saturday night in the Orthodox Church at the tomb where it is believed Jesus was buried and the Resurrection took place.
    There is a Holy miraculous Light which becomes a flame and candles are lit from the flame. Amazingly for twenty to thirty three minutes the flame does not burn anyone. Many people who witness this event have spoken about the flame which does not cause hair or skin or clothing to catch fire. From what people say it would appear the miraculous flame takes on the normal characteristics of fire after that initial period.

    Anyway what occurred to me at the moment of the Resurrection the flash of light that happened at our conception bringing life to our soul in the womb, occurs once again at the end of time, bringing immortal life to the body, bringing us to the fullness of life in the same way as Jesus, Who was and is the first born in God’s Kingdom. Please don’t think I mean we will be Jesus, no; but born into eternal life with our bodies glorified as Jesus and able to live for all eternity. We are told there will be a resurrection for all of us at the last day.

    I hope this is not a heretical way to think; but you have to wonder why God permits this extraordinary event to take place each year, and it can be witnessed by ordinary people as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of the Lord.

    Liked by 7 people

    • vkmir3 says:

      I just caught the tail end of a discussion on The Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio about the Holy Fire. Drew was discussing this with Fr. Richard Simon who also has a show on Relevant Radio and is a priest in Skokie, IL. Drew posted a link to an article Fr. Simon did in 2010 about the history of the Holy Fire and also mentioned that the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church Easter celebration is on the same Sunday this year. Here is the link to the article. http://reverendknow-it-all.blogspot.com/2010/04/whats-with-this-holy-fire-nonsense.html
      Come Lord Jesus!

      Liked by 5 people

    • Doug says:

      Nice reflection Julia!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Karen says:

      Julia, like you I was stunned to read about the recent scientific discovery of the flash of light at the moment of conception – it set off an endless train of thought. I think I settled upon the idea that it must be the effect of the soul joining human creation, bringing about the human being. But it seems that there is so, so much more here – and it all stems from Genesis 1:3 (and where did that name come from – it certainly is relevant to this topic!).

      It is absolutely mind-boggling – and to use your own phrase – “I hope this (mind-boggling) is not a heretical way to think” as applied to the effect of the Work of the Holy Spirit! It would be great to compile a list – and probably it has already been done many times – of extraordinary “light” moments in biblical, and private revelation, history.

      And yes, the fascinating, mysterious Easter Light which miraculously ‘arrives’ at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Great Saturday, or Holy Saturday, the day preceding Orthodox Easter, is almost upon us again as the Western Christian churches and Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter together (or I should say, on the same day!) this year. The following, and much more, about the Ceremony of Holy Light from http://www.holyfire.org/eng/ : The Holy Light is not only distributed by the Archbishop, but operates also by itself. It is emitted from the Holy Sepulchre with a hue completely different from that of natural light. It sparkles, it flashes like lightning, it flies like a dove around the tabernacle of the Holy Sepulchre, and lights up the unlit lamps of olive oil hanging in front of it. It whirls from one side of the church to the other.

      Of course the ONE moment which we are commemorating in this centennial year is the Oct 13 Fatima Miracle of the Sun.

      1 Corinthians 15:52 tells us we will be changed in the “twinkling of an eye” when we are resurrected, maybe like a supra-atomic burst of light!

      “You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy” (Isa 26:19): He is risen indeed. Hallelujah! A Happy and Holy Easter to you Julia and to all my dear friends here!!!

      Liked by 6 people

  15. Joe Crozier says:

    Prayer used by Fr Matthew McGettrick R.I.P. before and after each session of contemplation:
    Before,

    “Come to us Holy Spirit as You came to the apostles,
    Open our minds that we may see the hidden things of God,
    Send love into our hearts like a flame of fire that our lives may be changed by the power of your Spirit,
    To do God’s work on earth and bring people with us to heaven.”

    After,
    “May the grace we have received sink deep in our hearts, bear fruit in our lives and keep us always in thanksgiving in praise of your name.”

    Liked by 6 people

  16. I have no idea why, but I was led to Charlie’s page and clicked on The Storm, which led me to one of his articles from 2014. The article titled “The Storm Deepens” is absolutely perfect for my heart and soul today. Praying hard for guidance to weather the storm as it rages larger and closer to home, and praying for all here. Strength and Blessings to you, my friends in Christ!

    Liked by 7 people

  17. Snowy Owl says:

    This, from Pope Francis today, is just so beautiful and gives such hope to keep on hanging in there! May God greatly bless him! (In case anyone missed this )
    “We find hope in embracing our crosses with love.”
    ” As the Church this week reflects on Jesus’ crucifixion and death, Pope Francis said that it is the cross that gives us hope, and urged faithful to enter into the mystery of Christ’s death by contemplating the joy that comes from sacrifice.
    “During these days, days of love, let us be enveloped by the mystery of Jesus who, like a grain of wheat, in dying gives us life. He is the seed of our hope,” the Pope said April 12.
    “Let us contemplate the Crucified Christ, the source of hope. Little by little we realize that hope with Jesus is learning to see, indeed right now, the plant in the seed, Easter in the cross, life in death.”
    Speaking during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Francis told pilgrims he was giving them some homework. He instructed them when they get home to stop in front the crucifix, look at Jesus and tell him: “With you, I can always hope. You are my hope.”
    “Now imagine the crucifix,” he told the crowd, “and all together say to Jesus Crucified, three times: ‘You are my hope.’”
    Here’s more 🙂 http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/Vatican.php?id=15386

    Liked by 6 people

  18. Joe Crozier says:

    “Do not worry about the squalls or the storms. Isn’t Mary with you? The Virgin is so good! There is no pain that she does not soften; there is no happiness that she does not sanctify”St. Rafael Arnaiz Baron.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. avaeadie says:

    I began my day this morning at this post again, and this time read all the dialogue between the commenters. It has been a most profound encounter. IN past years, before the Triduum would arrive, I would have good intentions on how I wanted to live them, but sadly, as will too often be the case, work and family life would intercede to detract and distract me. This post, however, and the dialogues, have been an impetus for me this morning…my heart is longing to engulf myself in the mystery of Christ’s Passion. One thing that has come to me with it all is that last expounded “Cry” of Christ… We have a priest who at our Holy Hour on Friday’s before the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, utters all the “7 words” of Christ as he leads the 5th mystery of the Rosary. And the thing that began to occur to me this morning was this…That 4th “word” of the 7, for which Jesus, took what-nothing-left of his frail, beaten, bloody, broken body He had, and forced the breath from his lungs from a point of height into the whole of the WORLD, for all humanity to hear resounding and reverberating through the ETERNAL. It is the only word he “CRIED OUT”. None of the other words he expressed were told to us “Cried out”. IT was his last breath of a teaching moment to all the Jews present at that instant in Time and all of us who were yet to be. And what was he still trying to Teach to THEM and to US in his absolute last AGONY? That final “Cry” of Jesus on the Cross wrings at my heart. An apologist says it well, “With one of Christ’s last breaths on the cross, He tried to get people to understand that He was the Messiah.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Beckita says:

      You have written a beautiful reflection, avaeadie. I removed the link because I think it could be inflammatory. The writer begins by speaking of the problem of measuring truth in different ways and states that the Bible alone can resolve the problem. Actually, there are more 30,000 different Christian faiths and the divisions have occurred because there is lack of agreement on how to interpret the Bible. Further, Catholic teaching is based on a tripod of sources to support our beliefs: the Bible, Tradition and the Teaching Magisterium. I was also uncomfortable with the accusation (perhaps subtle, yet still there) against the Jewish people for not realizing at Christ’s death that He was the fulfillment of the OT Scriptures. Charlie has reminded us that we, people of faith, are equal partners in this Storm. I look forward to the day when we are united as one flock.

      Liked by 2 people

      • avaeadie says:

        Since I took the bottom quote from the article, I had to give credit to the source. I had googled the 4th word to see if I could find an apologetic that had the same understanding to which I had just. I wanted something Catholic, but did not have time this morning to fully research (though I did see that the source I was quoting was not Catholic). The confusion and interpretations of the “4th word” Christ speaks from the Cross, remind me of the confusions and interpretations that take place when Jesus waited to arrive to Lazarus knowing full well he was very dead, and dare I say, relishing in the miracle he would be performing for his dearest friends and inner circle for the sake of God’s Glory and His own manifestation of Divinity. And that again seems to have parallels with the first words he speaks on the Cross, “Father, Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

        Liked by 2 people

        • avaeadie says:

          You must to monitor as you feel is best. I found the Jewish reference to have nothing to do with an accusation of his death, but that last effort at convincing His chosen people to believe He was who they had been waiting for, “It is Me. I am your God, the one you have prayed for, the One you have Worshiped, you are my Chosen people…”Those words we say at the Lenten Stations of the Cross, “I led you out of the Land Of Egypt, Oh my People, What more could I have done for you?” It is really heart wrenching, to love so deeply and not be recognized for who you are by the one’s you love.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Doug says:

      Have a blessed Easter of love Avaeadie!

      Like

  20. Judith says:

    Wish wise Charlie was here, commenting on current events [national and world wide]. Things sure are getting stormy. “Jesus, you are my hope!”

    Liked by 5 people

  21. just a sojourner says:

    I don’t have all the answers or even too many but I do know that the first step toward discerning the truth starts with properly stating the question in order to aim more correctly toward the answer or truth. I would offer some points to ponder which frame our thinking. A basic principle is that we should argue or reason from the known to the unknown. In order to do this properly we must first clearly establish in our own mind the known.
    Is fear of death more associated with pain that may accompany death or with the fear that we may not be pure enough to ultimately make it to heaven? It has been said that the souls in purgatory, in the midst of their suffering, rejoice in the knowledge that eventually they would be blessed with the beatific vision of being fully in God’s presence. Did Jesus fear death itself or did He fear the great suffering he knew he would have to endure? He had no reason to fear death itself because He fully knew what awaited Him on the other side. I have seen no evidence that death itself is painful. People normally pass out when their pain or suffering become more than any human can endure. Jesus never did pass out. He endured every moment of His suffering deliberately because at any moment by a simple act of the will, He could make it all stop. Some people have a peaceful death while evil people often are described as having a very troubling passing perhaps fearful of the eternal punishment they know they are facing yet powerless to avoid. Near death experiences and people who awaken from prolonged comas would seem to indicate that the soul remains conscious and aware even though the body is disabled.

    Liked by 2 people

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