Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given to his Mother
Over the past few years whenever we come upon the season of Lent I always try to ask the Lord and what exactly is it that HE wants me to do for Lent. This is because a couple of years back there was a time I was doing so many devotions I was overwhelmed and exhausted. One day just before Lent a few years ago, when I was angsting over what else I should be doing, I was sitting in the chapel and suddenly the Lord told me to “stop it.” I was shocked. “Lord, you want me to STOP my devotions?” He replied, “you’re trying to earn my love but you already have it. You never lost it. Listen to me and I will guide your Lent.” I cried in thanksgiving, realizing once again that I was trying to save myself instead of letting Him be my Savior.
This began another turning point in my prayer. You see, I love Him so much I wanted to make all of these sacrifices, but I was doing it of my own accord, without consulting Him. That Lent became very fruitful for me because most of what I ended up doing (besides the Rosary which I commit to daily) was just sitting in the chapel talking to him. I let him guide my prayer. On certain days he would lead me to a particular devotion or scripture passage for that day, and other days we just sat; And He wrapped His arms around me. It was here in these intimate moments with my divine spouse that I felt the most revelation pour over me. I have noticed that many of us, myself included, who know the truths of the church and are actually trying to follow them, sometimes we do things out of fear instead of out of love and this fear brings about a spirit of control. This spirit will exhaust you and wear you out. Consult the Lord in all you do because this brings peace, not exhaustion. It also brings joy even and especially in the midst of the storm surrounding the church. The institutional church seems to be spiraling out of control with scandals and infighting, and yet, in the midst of it, I have never felt closer to God. This is because of surrender. I cannot control the scandals, nor punish for them, and so I just have to let go, pray, and trust. Jesus I trust in you. I feel 100% certain that God is a way better savior than me (lol). I will not lose my faith because of the scandal of men. I believe the Lord when He says;
Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,”says the Lord. Romans 12:19
This passage goes on to say;
Rather, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good. Romans 12:20-21
So who am I that I should doubt the Lord? I will continue to treat people with love (hopefully).
So here we are today, and I still just before starting Lent ask the Lord what He wants me to do. This Lent He wanted me to focus on the sorrows of His Mother, which I have spoken about before along with meditation on His Holy Face. The sorrows of His Mother who walked the path to Calvary with Him, this is a powerful devotion.
I have a peaceful place in my home where I go to pray:
I kneel in front of His Holy Face and I pray the Chaplet of Sorrows. Y’all can see the box of tissue on the floor, something I have needed quite a bit lately. This prayer has become immensely intense for me. I sometimes, in between each chaplet, cry and lament my sorrow to Christ and His Mother for the sins of the world. And Mary showed me something yesterday. She showed me herself standing at the foot of the Cross with John and the women. She showed me herself holding the Body of her Dead Son. She was saying a prayer. I recognized the prayer. “Eternal Father, I offer you the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of my dearly beloved Son, in atonement for their sins, and those of the whole world.” It was the prayer of mercy that Saint Faustina gave to us. It was as if she showed me she was the first to pray it, though she without sin, prayed it for us. She was making an offering of Him for us. In her humanity, in her pain, she still knew God’s plan was greater and she was offering for us because she was resting in the will of the Father. She shows us how. She made the offering for those who were immediately surrounding her, and for all of us. And Jesus, had given her to John just before He passed. A Priest at her side while Jesus made the perfect sacrifice, and she too offered Him for us. The way the church offers Him to us through the Priest at Mass. And it made me realize the church herself, because she is guided by the Holy Spirit, is resting in the will of the Father and the sins of men shall not prevail against her. And I wept.
Mary, our Mother, not only said yes to birthing Him, she said yes to giving Him back to the Father so we could be saved by Him. And I thought about the Mass and how I should want to offer all I have on the altar as well and how the church brings this opportunity to us. To give back to God what was His to begin with because by doing this it will help me love others the way that He does; the way that His Mother does. Myself, my spouse, my children, my home, my work, my finances, my fertility, they all belong to Him. None of it is mine. I should be making this offering on the altar too, placing all of that there, for His plan for all of it is greater than any plan of mine. Every single suffering and gift I have had, if I lay it on the altar and offer like Mary did, her son can bring resurrection to my life. I intellectually know this, but here with this devotion my heart was infused with this knowledge.
All of these devotions we have, they are connected to one another. The Chaplet of Sorrows connected me to Divine Mercy. The Sacred Heart, it is Divine Mercy. The Immaculate Heart brings us Divine Mercy. This is all linked to the Eucharistic Sacrifice. This Mercy wants to bring us everlasting life so give all of yourself at Mass, and no matter which devotion you do this Lent, make sure you let Him lead it because He will bring you Mercy, which brings you God’s peace.
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.