Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash.

A reflection for Holy Week as together we enter into the Lord’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection:

All of us experience moments of darkness, when everything we do can feel like failure, everything we want to change we can’t change yet.  Patience isn’t asked; it’s required.  Virtue by default.

The weight presses down, squeezes out a tear here and there.  And then there’s the darkest moment–when the soul is black and blends in with the darkness, but the Shepherd’s voice calls out, searching for His beloved lost sheep.

In the darkness, you, His beloved lost sheep, cannot see Him, but you hear His voice:  “My child, I am here.”

He is here, and you feel His presence.  You see before you a heavy wooden cross, splinters sticking out at the ends.  He hands it to you, and you see all of your weaknesses, all of your failures, and all of those things beyond your control nailed to the cross.  It’s too heavy for you.

“I can’t–” you say, but He puts His arms around yours and embraces you with the cross.

“I am with you,” He assures you.

You embrace the cross too, and light fills you.  The weight is not lifted, but you are able to carry it.

“I will do these things for you,” He says.  “Just stay with me.  Abide with me, in my love.”

You nod and say, “I trust You.  I trust You, my Jesus. I trust You.”

“I will be with you always,” He says.  “Stay with me and abide in my love.” He speaks your name and tells you, “I will make you new.”

O my God, fill my soul with holy joy, courage, and strength to serve You.
Enkindle Your Love in me and then walk with me along the next stretch of road before me.
I do not see very far ahead, but when I have arrived where the horizon now closes down,
a new prospect will open before me, and I shall meet it with peace.

~St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

~Jackie S., St. Vincent de Paul Society, Dayton

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