Saturday, March 10, 2012

It seems that God planned to heal the madness of our sins with the madness of His grace. If it sounds absurd that God gave His only Son for us, let’s first ask whether it is absurd to turn our back on a God that is so good and merciful.
The principal commandment is to love God above all things. This might sound impossible to
us. It sounds impossible because there are so many things that are not God that seem very attractive and useful to us. These things have the power to seduce us, even to the point where they can hypnotize us and inhibit our potential for doing good.

Human reason wants to do without difficulties. We might be able to recognize the beauty of a life that places God first, but it is also very obvious that this kind of life, in practice, doesn't follow what human reason tells us is best. We become separated from God because, on the one hand, our natural reason pushes back in fear of living only for a God we cannot see--when so many people live as if he does not exist--and on the other hand we are pulled towards the attractive material things which we can see--and so many people live as if those things are all that matter.
That is why we need a new kind of strength, an invincible power, a reason that is above our limited human reason, an efficacious grace for our weak and sick souls. That strength is the Cross. The Cross is a love that is before, above, and beyond any other kind of love. That is why the love of the Cross is at the heart of the Christian message, the Good News.
The Cross tells us that we can trust in God. He inspires us to an unlimited trust and gratefulness from the wood of the Cross.
We might wonder: Why does the Gospel today say that Jesus didn’t trust in people? Perhaps because until a person's love is founded on something lasting, that person won't have the strength necessary for it to last. If someone's love is founded on what they like or how they are feeling, then their love can change when that person changes. No, their love needs to be attached to the living temple, The Body of Christ, the Church.
This is a good way to bring out the concept, with reference to the first reading: Some Protestants find pleasure in criticizing us by saying that Catholics idolize images. If only the problem of idolatry could be solved by doing away with images! The problem is not in the holy images inside our churches. Actually, if we make good use of them, they can help us by inspiring piety and devotion. The problem resides in the perverse idolatrous tendency of the human soul that can even make an idol out of the brick and mortar temple of God.
Now we have a strong reason to live close to the Cross of Jesus. All of us as human beings find ourselves in the depths of the love of the Heart of Jesus . From that Sacred Heart we should never cease to give thanks for the great gift of our redemption.
Lord, help me to spend this time with you. Inspire me to live my life with more and more love for you so I will be the Christian and the saint you always hoped I would be. Lord, through this meditation, help me overcome my natural tendency to reserve large parts of my life for myself, and only give you the crumbs of my life. Help me to see how to live entirely for you. Jesus, I think so much about what I want and what I need. Instead, I need to think about what you want and need from me. I need to give you my heart and my life so that by fulfilling my daily responsibilities I can help in my own small way to begin to return you to men and women everywhere.

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