Sure seems like I am doing an awful lot of complaining as I journal my journey. I don’t mean to do that, but I think it is important to document the guts before the glory. If God wills it to be so. (See. I am trying.)
Today is Friday! My rest day! And if there is one thing I love in this world is resting. I am really good at it too. I bet that if they had a marathon on resting, I would win the whole thing.
In my visit to the Blessed Sacrament today I went into the darkened, still church to the back wall and the Stations of the Cross. I love praying the Way of the Cross. I can honestly say that in no other form of prayer do I feel the pleasure of God more than walking along and meditating on His Passion. I just know that I am pleasing Him.
I always seem to get some new insight into His experiences, and my lessons from them. And today was no exception. As I was looking at the clay sculptures depicting each station, I was thinking that I would include this in my journaling for this compilation, and the words came to me, “I am walking through a landmine. At each step I am walking through this great, awful landmine.”
Everywhere I turn, there is a trap set to catch me. Upon true self-examination I can easily say that my biggest flaw is pride. Dammitable pride. The wheels in my cranium turn constantly and I think at each insight or action that might have some merit- how it might favorably reflect on me. This writing, running THE Boston Marathon- are both huge opportunities to catch me in self-love. Pride.
I stand alone before a station and mentally ring my hands as there is nowhere to turn to escape the onslaught of these ever-present thoughts of my own brilliance and “holy gifts”. What do I do? Do I run away from it all? Escape from these near occasions of sin?!
I see myself in this deep pit, with these dark and thick vines wrapping around me, constantly trying to pull me down. I try to cut free from them but just as I sever one, another comes to twine around me, always tightening, always tugging me down.
I need a place of safety, I think, to flee from all these easy opportunities for prideful thoughts. But where would I go that would be “safe”? If God was waiting for me to be ready He would have to wait until I was dead. News flash: I am a sinner. A big one. In fact, everyone is. If God was going to wait for us to be in some kind of state of perfection before He would use us for His own means, then He would never get anything done! It is as simple as that. He has got to make the best of what He has to work with; He is quite skilled at this actually.
Then I came to the sixth station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus. The words always seem to come to me as I approach this stop: she looked neither to the left nor to the right. Veronica (unlike Simon of Cyrene in the station before) did not care how she appeared to others. She did not focus on any of the ramifications of her actions, or how great she was going to look to others in the history books. She saw only His face. It moved her beyond herself into action, to adore His holy face.
I have this thing that I do sometimes when I pray the stations. I try and say them during the hour of mercy (3:00, when Jesus died on the cross) and I kind of combine the prayers of Divine Mercy with the stations. Sorta kill two birds with one stone. I’m a multi-tasker!
My mind was about the worries of the constant landmines I so easily hurl myself into and how I could ever escape- how could I be like Veronica? Truly. To completely and successfully put myself aside and see only Jesus. Then I prayed the Divine Mercy prayer that I set for this station:
Eternal Father, I offer you
The Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Your dearly beloved Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in atonement for our sins
and those of the whole world.
And a rush of wonder and happiness filled me. The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity is the Blessed Sacrament. He is the only answer to all my worries and doubts. Another news flash: I am always going to be a sinner. It’s my inherited human condition. But that is okay!! I don’t have to worry because all I have to do is fly (through the Immaculate Heart of Mary) to my Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Each time I feel that all I can do is wring my hands at the state of my circumstance, at every moment when I am suffocating in that deep, dark pit of my human condition, I need only focus my gaze on Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I can’t cut the vines. I am too weak. Only He can fix everything. The only thing that I have working for me is trying to make that trip every day to visit Him. One half hour. Kneeling. Resting. Asking. Begging. Sitting. Loving. Trusting.
One thing is for sure and for certain. If given the opportunity, I will screw everything up. Ha! But all I need to keep doing is making my daily visits to Jesus. He is all that matters.
Oh Mary, my dear mother! Wrap me in the mantle of your grace. Pick me up and carry your weak child to your Son today! Do not leave me orphan. Take me to your Son, for if left to myself I shall surely fall into the pit.