Dear brothers and sisters, Saint Teresa of Avila said: “Set your eyes on the Crucified One and everything will be little for you.”
What great wisdom of this great Spanish mystical saint. There is no doubt that life is full of moments of all kinds. Just like the moments of the Lord’s life as we consider them in the holy rosary. Likewise, all of us go through moments of joy, light and peace, but there are also moments, if not many, moments of pain, suffering, tribulation and trial.
For those who do not have faith, these most difficult moments represent an absurdity, a nonsense, a reason for bitterness that becomes embedded in the soul until it becomes a bitter way of living life.
But for those who believe in the power of the Crucified One, the one of whom each one can say like St. Paul: “He loved me and gave himself (to death) for me,” everything changes. The perception of our sufferings has another meaning. These become a magnificent opportunity. Everything charges or recovers its fair value. Tears become precious diamonds; the sufferings, in a sublime expression of love and in the antechamber and prelude to the most immense joy. Misunderstandings, in an unfading crown of glory. Your cross, not the one you wear around your neck or on your chest as an ornament, nor the one that adorns the walls of the home or churches, but the Cross of your daily life, becomes a participation in the Cross of the Crucified, of Him who out of love once went to Calvary with a Cross lying down, of Him who also gave up his whole soul out of love. The final and inevitable defeat inflicted on us by death will be your triumph.
Set your eyes on the Crucified One and you will understand that it was not He who deserved it. As the prophet Isaiah will tell us: “He has been wounded for our iniquities and struck down for our sins. He endured the punishment that gives us back peace, and by his stripes we have all been healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Does your life hurt, does your cross hurt? look at the Cross and turn to Him, dead or dying, if He helps you, with that prayer attributed to Saint Ignatius of Loyola:
“Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, While before Your face I humbly kneel And with burning soul, pray and beseech You, To fix deep in my heart, Lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, True contrition for my sins And a firm purpose of amendment. While I contemplate with great love and tender pity, Thy five most precious wounds, Pondering over them within me, And calling to mind the words that David, Your prophet, said of You , my Jesus, “They have pierced My hands and feet, They have numbered all my bones.”
Soul of Christ, sanctify me!
Body of Christ, save me!
Blood of Christ, inebriate me!
Water from the side of Christ, wash me!
Passion of Christ, strengthen me!
O my Good Jesus, hear me!
Within your wounds, hide me!
Permit me not to be separated from You!
From the wicked foe, defend me!
At the hour of my death, call me!
And bid me to come to You, that with Your saints I may praise You. Forever and ever.
May you have a holy Holy Week and a happy Easter.