On this 33rd day of our prayer cycle, we pray a decade of the Rosary focusing on the Crucifixion.
I am asking you to consider a key moment leading up to the event itself.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Mat. 16:21-23)
When we are most human we think the way Peter used to think. That God should suffer and die? God forbid! But thinking like man and not like God deserves a strong rebuke.
After all, look at the way Christians get themselves into trouble.
- If you are a bishop and your diocese contains a priest who has abused children, you shun the cross and cover up what you can, doing anything to protect the Church and keep her from the embarrassment and ignominy that will follow. "Be it far from thee, Lord!" and children's lives are ruined while you think like men and not like God.
- The most important thing is to save babies. Your pro-life cause is threatened by people you see as moral rigorists, who tell you that even for such a noble cause you may never lie, or tempt others to sin; that we have an obligation to witness to abortionists and to treat them with respect, and that the Church has always been clear on this. But ... but God forbid! Such a solution involves apparent failure ... entails the cross. "Be it far from me, Lord!" and you are compromised, tarnished even in the midst of trying to do good.
- You have a special secret sin, your precious. Nailing it to the cross would kill you. You read the following ...
When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin. (Ps. 32:3-5)
Your suffering, your wasting away, your groaning, the heavy hand of God could be healed in a moment. But it would require a little death, a simple confession, a renunciation, a failure, admitting a weakness, submitting. You see the life at the other end of this death ... but, but ... never!
Let us meditate upon our worldly ways, savoring the ways of men and not the Way, the Truth and the Life ... which always involves a death.
And let us pray ...
To you, Immaculate Heart of Mary, we consecrate ourselves – our hearts, minds, wills and lives and all those works we undertake so they may be for the glory of God, for the sake of the Gospel and the salvation of souls. Holy Mother, our Queen and our Joy, give to our hearts the dimensions of yours and form us in the image of your beloved Son.