During Lent this year I made an effort to say the Stations of the Cross more regularly. This past week I have been able to get into the chapel or go to a church and walk the journey with Our Lord and His Passion every day. This exercise has caused me to physically ache and weep at times for the pain and disappointments I have caused others, and for the pain I have caused and continue to cause Our Lord each day.
I often get stuck on the Eleventh Station where Jesus is nailed to the cross. I try to imagine the pain in His body as the Roman soldiers were so practiced in this means of torture, they knew precisely where to position the nails so they would pierce specific nerves making the pain travel all the way through the body to the brain in undulating, never-ending pulses of agony. And yet Our Lord has told many mystics the worst pain He suffered during His Passion was not the physical, it was the emotional and psychological pain of being deserted by His Apostles, being deserted by those He loved most and by His knowledge of the great sin of all humanity.
St Faustina’s meditation on the Eleventh Station says it all:
XI STATION: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross.
Jesus to Saint Faustina: My pupil, have great love for those who cause you suffering. Do good to those who hate you (1628).
Saint Faustina: Oh my Jesus, you know what efforts are needed to live sincerely and unaffectedly with those from whom our nature flees, or with those who, deliberately or not, have made us suffer. Humanly speaking, this is impossible at such times more than others, I try to discover the Lord Jesus in such a person and for this same Jesus, I do everything for such a people. ( 766). Oh purest Love, reign in all your plenitude in my heart and allow me to love more than what human measure allows me to. (328).
We are called to forgive my friends, most especially those who persecute us the most because those who persecute us will turn us into saints. Yes the truth is, the difficult people in our lives are those who will get us to Heaven and so we must pray for them in gratitude and thanksgiving as they are part of our cross on this earth. They may be family, they may be friends, whoever they are, they are loved by Jesus just as He loves you, and His ultimate desire is to get them to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Lets help them arrive there by praying for them as Jesus prays for all of us. Let us ask blessings for them, “as they know not what they do.” Let us in the eternal glory of Easter Sunday realize this most magnificent day is always proceeded by the suffering of Good Friday. Why should our lives be any different, any easier than the life of the most perfect One of All, Our Almighty Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ?
Let us offer Him eternal gratitude for His sacrifice for us, and let us remember to sacrifice ourselves always for the good of others, for those who are furthest from Him, for those who we may believe we hate, but are called to love. This is the meaning of the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord and why it is the most significant event in the liturgical year. The never-ending mystery of goodness, compassion and mercy of God is shown to us each year at this time as Our Father in Heaven gives us His Son to suffer for us, the most ungodly creatures of this world, simply because He loves us.
Glory to God in the Highest and Peace to His people on Earth! God Bless you my friends best wished for a Blessed Easter and Easter Season to you and your families. Know you are loved!