Sacred Heart of Jesus Have mercy On Us

Sacred Heart of Jesus Have mercy On Us

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jesus is the Father's Heart

Hold my hand Blessed Mother, for I need your gentle grip to balance my unsteady footsteps, my countenance ever warmed, reassured by your steadfast gaze. Whisper those incessant prayers of motherly ardor, seeped in the Heavenly fragrance of Eternity, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
Carry your exhausted child Heavenly Father, a child who has many limitations that are without the firmament of strength possessed by the Author of souls. My small stature requires many footsteps to travel a slight distance, but one tread on Your part travels beyond time and into eternity.
Refresh me for a moment in the recesses of Eternity made to kiss me and console me if only for a fleeting moment. Carry me Paternal One for I am so weary, battle scarred, and laying in the wilderness of frightened helplessness as an abandoned child.
Tell me that this blood that sears through my veins, and drives me to love you like a fool is the fuel that seeks Eternity. My heart would seem to suffer less if only to be lanced by the denial of reality of such pain, but when my heart could not go on or cease to continue to beat so it would seem, it is gripped by something so deep within, and this fierce grip sustains the very beat of my human heart, though there is release of this nakedness of pain that takes my breath away and deadens my senses, for it sings of gentle praise and hidden gratitude for the One who suffered such torment and intimately knows our bleeding brokenness.
My mortal heart should explode from the containment of my chest because the Hand of Love grips it and will not give up on my soul. Such a hold of suffering strength only witnesses and testifies to the freedom of grief, maintaining the staccato lullaby of the Father’s Heartbeat. Heavenly Father as I lay my dazed head upon your chest of Truth I unleash my weary anguish, for I have grown ever so fatigued, yet as You boldly carry me I am comforted only by Your Paternal Heartbeat which is the only familial Love I know. You Begot Him knowing one day we would recognize You in Him, and Him in You. Jesus is the Sacred Heart of the Father’s Love and this is why He could show us the hidden path testifying of Your Way, for He is the Way. Jesus is the Heart of the Father, and all either one could exist to be is the substance of Pure Love.
Chase me light of my eyes. Pursue me love of my soul. Study the pain on my frail countenance and trace with Your delicate, gentle finger what you alone fashioned. For the stroke of your hand prunes, clarifying the image of love you formed. Let the wind of Your Spirit blow away the invaders to such privacy of Love. Let your gentle whisper blow back the veil of my hair, covering the pain my eyes dare not hide in your Presence. In the presence of others I wish to look away because only upon You can I gaze continuously without being ashamed to be seen by You in return. For Your Divine Gaze comforts, yet it never ceases to Love.
I want to love like You, Inferno of Generous Fire but I fail. I want to captivate souls only to draw them to the Father’s love, like You, but the enemy assails me night and day, and pummels my courage and chips away at the resolve of my will, and I get wounded Jesus. And I don't want to vacillate in this battle another day.

We adore you oh Christ,
And we praise you,
For by your Holy Cross,
You have redeemed the world.
Hail Mary full of Grace.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Dance of the Yellow Butterfly

At the moment of cognizance at the level of the interior, for one cannot even comprehend what is communicated to the soul at such a moment of deep understanding, yet the darkened gates of the mind are opened and something so Divine floods the senses and takes hold of one's being, and His presence just inundates the room. Time no longer exists for that moment and it is as if a seed of unknowing planted a time ago, explodes exponentially into frustration, and it about takes one's breath away. So the soul begins to weep, and weeps, and simply cannot contain the Presence flooding one's being for such a paused moment.
And to sit still, reposed in a chair as one experiences in the mind all of the torture and grace battling for many years past, and all becomes tranquil. God's love just drowns the being and one does not want to escape a minute of it, and even if one attempted to do so, one would not be able to, for one is utterly immobilized in the sheer, unexpected gift of such a moment. The shower of His Presence smashes the chains of the mind; the poor, tormented, and exhausted mind in bondage to such gripping lies, and light enters in and overcomes such darkness. During such a moment one simply knows more of why that which has transpired for a prior period, why such arduous suffering and insanity has happened, and what one ultimately knows at such a moment can never be put into words, but the Presence of Love is enough to dissolve the entire being.
To stare straight out the window, weeping in the spiritual sea of Love, and the eyes are captured by the fluttering dance of a single, yellow butterfly, and this only magnifies the torrent of tears the soul releases. The little, yellow butterflies have a way of dancing into the scenarios of the greatest periods of trial and testing, and it takes one back to the beginning of it all, to where grace perceptibly and profoundly enters into and becomes active in the dormancy of a soul.
The single, yellow butterfly continues to disappear and reappear, and it mirrors the delight of the heart, for the dance of the yellow butterfly reflects the delicate pattern of the Master's hands as He ever so gently strums the heartstrings of the soul, and it is a unified melody that the soul and God express without words as music of the heart, without even the slightest sound but the sweetest harmony of Love that transcends the natural and rings forth the chimes of Heaven.
One longs to ride on the tender wings of the yellow butterfly and to soar above it all, propelled by the powerful yet gentle flow of the wind's breath, the life giving breath of the God who spoke and breathed souls into being, and poured forth His Spirit into their mortal but Divinely fashioned beings.
Oh how the soul yearns with such thirst for His moments of invitation, entering into the secure and consoling warmth of the enveloping garment of the Divine Shepherd; and such moments arrive at a place and time of least expectation, yet such a pause in mortality imbues a subtle hint of the aroma of Eternity, the scent of the Father, and it always arrives just on time during an unrecognized period of much needed spiritual refreshment.
One could literally float out of the room saturated by such a deep repose when attempting to leave such a quiet place, because all one can sense is Him, and such Peace, the soul is unable to carry or to retain, for such secures the soul within the infinite receptacle of His Eternal Love. His sorrowful love brimming with Heavenly yet the most bittersweet passion of the pure agony of consummate Truth, which authors all pure love for He is Love.
Where does the road we travel lead to? The path we journey conquers an unsteady terrain, yet at times we may tread it barefoot and unprotected. The climb toward heaven hidden in the intricacies of mortal existence is not steady, straight, much less clearly illuminated or defined; and our gait tires for lack of foreseen direction. The road we travel possesses few signposts so it would seem, but occasionally the delight of the wandering butterfly captures the distant and clouded gaze of the human soul. We may desire to leave the miserable pathway to peace once and for all, as if our suffering would instantly cease or abate, and hide behind the aimless wanderings of the little yellow butterfly.
The yellow butterfly delights in her unknown journey, and she is tickled merely to be dancing in flight. The tender creature of gold flutters, hinting of God's merciful luminosity, strums the hidden heartstrings of the powerful wind, the hidden yet efficacious impetus putting her to flight. The yellow butterfly fascinates because she soars effortlessly, as if without any weighted burden of being, and merely soars through the endless freedom of the skies with the transparency of mystical radiance, and she delicately endeavors oblivious to need for fierce direction, yet she soars evermore delighted due to a seeming nothingness of purpose other than to dance, to perform impromptu for the concerned, gentle eyes of Heaven.
Oh sweet precious butterfly of delicate gold, one should be so fascinated by your tender wings alone, paper thin, finely woven with the majesty of gossamer silk, and stroking the whispers of the clouds. The oscillation of the butterfly's tender wings reminds one of the cascading tears of Christ on the Cross, imperceptible perhaps invisible to the naked eye but powerful enough to elevate one to the heights and completion of the beatific vision.
The dance of the little yellow butterfly is the ultimate calling of a soul to God.
We adore you,
oh Christ,
and we praise You,
for by Your Holy Cross,
you have redeemed the world.
Pax Christi.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Diamond of the Interior Castle of a Human Soul are a Girl's Best Friend

A precious soul sent me the above photograph with the respective quote underneath, and it would seem such a statement conveys a rather provocative yet profound message. The provocation arises from the highly recognizable image of a cultural icon, a unique beauty, an infamous woman who died an even more notorious death. The profundity evolves from the simplicity of paradoxical words that resemble gospel flavor and content, assertions revealed by One even more alluring in His historical popularity and controversial notoriety Most of the orthodox crew would be shocked perhaps scandalized at an attempt to parallel the words of a siren with the words of Our Master Jesus. Yet a siren makes a loud sound, whether it be literally or allegorically, but its goal is to get our attention particularly when danger impends. To be separated from God for eternity would constitute a glaring peril. As long as the message screams loud and clear, is the substance of the messenger even relevant? Fierce courage needs to replace cowardice and boldness of Spirit must precipitate prayer of intercession, for than the cries of God's children penetrate the heavens and His miraculous work begins to be revealed. Quit whining about the sins and evils of the world and do something about it! Peace

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hidden in the Garden

Gazing into the garden. Glimpsing into surreality of a suffering that very few remotely identify with, much less surrender to the burden of, yet we maintain a supernatural inheritance that rivets the random gaze of a soul. A soul predestined by higher election finds itself preoccupied with a fate that no wise or learned person would ever dare to take on much less have the courage to endeavor. It results simply from a fateful choice, a willingness to embrace the full implication of resignation to the effects of water baptism. A ceremony seeming to be of rite and circumstance alone becomes the gateway from eternal death to eternal life. Confirmation merely seals the deal of what was indelibly etched into the bosom of a lanced Christ expiated and expired on the cross. The markings upon the heart of Christ reveal alone the love of God for man, the mortal soul, wonderfully and fearfully made and fashioned in His image and likeness. No more and no less but a pure immolation of love on the part of He who defines and exists as the true substance of Love.
Look to his Holy countenance as he stares heavenward in the garden of his true agony, and one cannot tell whether His gaze is so firmly fixed upon Him who loves His Son, or perhaps the light is the eye of the Father merely connecting with and adoring His one and only begotten. This homeostatic fixation of adoring love is only overshadowed or obscured by a hidden trust in the midst of unjust and unadulterated suffering, and suffering contracted by God’s precious blood for man’s eternal salvation. To gaze into the garden is to peruse an inexplicable mystery fashioned by Graces’ timeless nature, but only invites more agony into the soul of the human person brave enough to peruse grace hidden by the graphic violent nature we know as sin. Sin is indeed graphic and violent, and should never be underestimated in its eternal damnation that leads many to the pit of nothingness, a vacuum of loveless ness that never ceases in its torment.
To gaze into the garden from the perspective of a creature is poor in contrast to the essence of redemption Himself, revealed weakened, broken, devastated by a bloody deluge, that only He could create.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I am desperate for You
Oh Most Holy One.
I am desperate for You, Most Adorable Face
of gentleness and compassion.
I am so hungry for You,
for my soul is famished from despair
and it only fires and aggrandizes my appetite
for Heavenly nourishment.
I thirst for You,
for my soul is parched,
dried up in this worldly battlefield
and desert of nothingness.
My spirit is infected throughout
with many abscessed slivers
of sin and suffering impaled within.
And the soul is besides itself,
and no intellectual thought,
mental consolation,
nor emotional delight
serve any affect or purpose of alleviation,
for the spirit collapses under the burden it carries,
and the heaviness within imposes upon the body and the will
seemingly from without.
And what is truly mine Oh Lord?
Am I truly so pathetic, weak willed, and utterly dejected?
Is this the summation and conclusion of my utter corruption?
And what is of the world, which I am to wear as a loose garment,
but attires me with the restraint of a straight jacket.
And the smell of sin's decay and evil's predominance,
in the world I linger in, suffocates my senses to no end
and literally takes the breathe away from the heartbeat of my soul.
I need your Mighty Wind of Spirit to resuscitate my being,
for I feel I could not survive another day.
Whisper into my ear,
Spirit's breathe, and remove my deafness to hope.
Place the butterfly kiss of the Divine Wind's flutter
upon the tear stained cheek of my countenance,
and restore the Heavenly glow that emanates Eternal Witness.
By the Finger of God
remove the scales from my eyes, discolored and cemented shut
by the recognition of a darkened reality,
too painful to observe another moment.
Restore the Heavenly Light of the body
to reveal itself through the lamp of my eye.
Finger of God heal my sight and raise it up
to the Vision of You Alone, to see only with the vision of Faith.
Oh Baptism of Fire,
Baptism of Blood,
eternal life giving flow of Goodness,
stir the rivers within as to flow from the Heartbeat of Jesus,
and with a single moment of God's Breath,
blow the stagnation into a torrential heat as to heal my entire being
by the Power of Your Touch.
Hand of Jesus be forever upon me.
And touch my tongue,
with the power to taste Divine Presence,
through Eucharistic Feast, and
enable me to savor the Heavenly Delights,
sometimes to bitter to ingest but delicate Honeycomb
to the appetite of the soul.
And through this Eucharistic reception,
restore my voice,
giving me a courageous voice,
to proclaim even if without words the gentle communication,
infused by Divine dialogue of faintest whisper,
the truth of Love.
For such Divine Language whispers deep within,
palpitates the heart to no end,
and all one is left to contemplate
is such Heavenly communications,
elevating the depravity within,
carrying our brokenness to the heights
of the Most High,
where only Love can linger
and nothing can trespass.

Have you been baptized with the mystical fire?

Have you been baptized with the mystical fire?
Mary untie our knots.

Jesus I Trust In You

Jesus I Trust In You

Suffering and the Cross part 1

Suffering & Cross What can we learn from suffering? Sometimes we get stuck asking the question “Why do we suffer?” instead of asking “What can we learn through suffering?” When we ask this question, we realize that God allows the things he hates (e.g., sin and suffering) so that the things he loves (e.g., virtues, compassion, love, and new life) may grow. Sometimes suffering is necessary to achieve some good. In the Gospel of John (16:21), Jesus speaks of the suffering of a woman in labor. Although her pain is great, her joy is complete with the birth of her child. Sometimes when we are in the midst of suffering, it is difficult to see the good that can come out of it. However, whether it is the birth of a child or the development of a virtue, good often does follow from suffering. Suffering helps bring us closer to others. Through our own sufferings and heartaches, we come to understand the pain of others. Just as Jesus shared in our sufferings, we too are called to share in the sufferings of others. Suffering helps us to be better Christians and more Christ-like. In many respects, suffering is a gift, as it can teach us to be better Christians by teaching us about patience, humility, and compassion. Think about Job in the Old Testament. Job was a wealthy and revered man who was blessed with good health and a large family. And, in the eyes of the Lord, Job was good and righteous. However, Satan stripped Job of his earthly possessions, his family, and his health. Although Job endured great suffering, he remained steadfast in his faith in God. Moreover, his great suffering helped to purify and strengthen his love for God. Recall too the lives of the saints and martyrs. In Philippians 1:12-13, we read that St. Paul was not concerned with his own suffering; rather, he was pleased that his “imprisonment in Christ’s cause worked out to the furtherance of the gospel.” Likewise, St. Stephen and thousands of other martyrs not only grew closer to God in their suffering, but they chose a life (and death) of great suffering for their love of Christ. In their suffering, they remembered the Lord’s promise that “Blest are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:10-12). And, most importantly, recall the passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As St. Francis de Sales reminds us, “Look intently and frequently on Christ Jesus, crucified, naked, blasphemed, slandered, forsaken and overwhelmed by every kind of weariness, sorrow and labor. Remember that your sufferings are not comparable to his in quality and quantity, and that you can never suffer for his sake anything equal to what he has suffered FOR YOU.” How amazing is God’s love for us! Our powerful, all good, and everlasting Lord – the Creator of the entire world – humbled Himself to take on the form of a man, and not just any man, but a slave. And, He obediently accepted death – death on a cross – because of His infinite love for us (Philippians 2:7-8). Suffering reminds us to look ahead to our eternal life with God. Sometimes, suffering forces us to take a time-out from this life. When we suffer, we are forced to ask the hard questions in life. We are forced to examine the meaning of life, and the meaning of death. And, we are forced to consider that this world makes no sense at all unless there exists some greater plan for us. Through it all, suffering inspires us to look ahead to the possibilities of eternal life – a life of truth, beauty, justice, and love – with God. The Lord reminds us to “Have no fear of the sufferings to come . . . remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10).Through our own sufferings, then, we are called to remember the sufferings of other Christians and of Christ Himself. Through our sufferings, we are called to be faithful to God, and to turn to Him for comfort. And, we are reminded that true peace and happiness can NEVER be found in this world; rather, as Christians, we must set our sights on the next world – and our eternal life with God. How are we to endure suffering? In modern society, we are taught that happiness is the ultimate goal. And, moreover, happiness is equated with immediate gratification, pleasures of the body and the palate, and possession of the “conveniences” created by modern technology. In this conception of happiness, suffering doesn’t seem to have a place. Yet, as Christians, we know that we are called to a life of holiness, and that the path to holiness often involves suffering. We believe that Christ saved us by His suffering, and that “we must work out our salvation in the same manner, through suffering and afflictions, enduring the injuries, denials and discomforts we meet with all possible meekness” (St. Francis de Sales). For Christians, then, suffering does have its place. If we are to be holy, we must endure our trials in accord with God’s will. When an evil happens to us, we must do all we can to remedy the situation. If we are at fault, we must humbly admit our transgression. And, if the evil is caused by another, we must bless that person and “never repay injury with injury” (Rom. 12:14, 17). We must be patient in our suffering – we must not complain or seek pity from others. We must consider the suffering of other Christians before us – and of Christ Himself. We must offer up our suffering to Christ. We must remember that our time on this earth is short and our trials shall quickly pass. Above all, we must pray. The great mystic Thomas à Kempis said that we should always let Christ’s promises strengthen and console us. Receiving Him will be a reward beyond all measure. Thomas à Kempis “speaks” for Christ as follows: “You will not labor here for long, nor will you always be burdened with sorrows. . . . The hour will come when blood, sweat and tears will be no more. All that passes away with time is of little importance, and it passes away quickly. Whatever you do, do it well . . . bear adversity with courage. Eternal life is worth all these battles – and more ... Oh, if only you could see the everlasting crowns of the saints in heaven and how much glory they now enjoy – those same saints who, when they were alive, were held in utter contempt by the world and were thought unworthy of even drawing breath . . . Are not all painful labors to be endured for eternal life. It is no small thing to lose or gain the kingdom of God! So, lift your face to heaven. Look at me and all my saints with me, they who in this world have had great contention. They are now joyful, they are now consoled, they are now safe, they are now at rest, and they will forever remain with me in my Father’s kingdom.” What is meant by redemptive suffering? Pope John Paul II wrote: “In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his sufferings, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ” (Salvifici Doloris). St. Paul likewise realized that his sufferings had redemptive power: “I find joy in the sufferings I endure for you. In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Body, the Church” (Colo. 1:24). Some people are concerned that St. Paul’s words imply that Christ’s passion was insufficient for our redemption. Before Christ died, He cried out, “It is finished,” meaning that He had accomplished our redemption. But, as Pope Pius XII said in his encyclical on the Mystical Body (Mystici Corporis Christi): “In carrying out the work of redemption Christ wishes to be helped by the members of His Body. This is not because He is indigent or weak, but rather because He so willed it for the greater glory of His spotless Spouse (Church). Dying on the Cross, He left to the Church the immense treasury of the Redemption. Towards this she (the Church) contributed nothing. But when those graces come to be distributed, not only does He share this task of sanctification with His Church, but he wants it, in a way, to be due to her action. What a deep mystery . . . that the salvation of many depends on the prayers and voluntary penances which the members of the Mystical Body offer for that intention, and on the assistance of pastors of souls and of the faithful…” Jesus wants to honor us, the members of His Mystical body by participating in His redemptive mission (Colo.1:24). Compiled by Fr. Herman (Feb. 11’07--the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes).

Suffering and The Cross part 2

Suffering & The Cross The Shrine at Lourdes was chosen last year for the World Day of Prayer, because it was the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In fact, it was on Dec. 8, 1854, that Blessed Pius IX, affirmed that “the most Blessed Virgin Mary was, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from every stain of original sin.” At Lourdes, Mary, speaking in the local dialect, said: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” With these words, did not the Virgin perhaps wish to express the bond which joins together health and life? Just as death entered the world through original sin, so through the merits of Jesus Christ, God preserved Mary from every stain of sin, and salvation and life came to us (Rom. 5:12-21). The original plan of God for creation was thereby restored in Christ. The great work of Redemption, accomplished through the precious blood of Christ, began with the Immaculate Conception of Mary. In Jesus, every person is called to the fullness of holiness (Col. 1:28). Just as Jesus is the source of life which overcomes death, Mary is the solicitous mother who comes to the assistance of her children, obtaining for them health of body and soul. This is the message that the Shrine of Lourdes constantly presents to devotees and pilgrims. This is also the meaning of the physical and spiritual healings that take place in the grotto of Massabielle. From the day of her apparition to St. Bernadette Soubirous, Mary’s prayers “cured” pain and sickness, restoring health of body to so many of her children. However, her intercession achieved even more surprising miracles in the souls of believers, opening their hearts to re-encounter her Son Jesus, the true response to the most profound aspirations of the human heart. The Holy Spirit, whose power overshadowed her at the moment of the Incarnation, transforms the souls of countless sick people who turn to Him. Even when they do not obtain health in body, they can always receive something even more important—conversion of heart, the source of peace and of interior joy. This gift transforms their existence and makes them apostles of the cross of Christ, vessels of hope even when confronted with the most difficult trials. Suffering is part of the human condition, and man has to learn to accept and overcome it. But how can we do that, if not through the cross of Christ? In the death and resurrection of the Redeemer, human suffering finds its most profound meaning and its salvific value. The entire weight of the tribulations and sufferings of the human race is condensed in the mystery of a God who, assuming our human nature, denied Himself even to the point of making Himself “sin on our behalf” (2 Cor. 5:21). On Golgotha, He was weighed down with the sins of every human creature and, in the solitude of abandonment, cried out to the Father: “Why have you abandoned me?” (Mt. 27:46). From the paradox of the Cross flows the response to our most unsettling questions. Christ suffers for us. He takes upon Himself the suffering of all and redeems it. Christ suffers with us, giving us the possibility of sharing with Him our own sufferings. United to the sufferings of Christ, human suffering becomes a means of salvation. That is why the believer can say with St. Paul: “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the Church” (Col. 1:24). Sorrow, accepted with faith, becomes the door for entering into the mystery of the redeeming suffering of the Lord. This is a suffering which does not take away peace and happiness, because it is illuminated by the splendor of the Resurrection. At the foot of the Cross, Mary suffers in silence, participating in a very special way in the sufferings of her Son. She became the mother of all people, ready to intercede so that every one can obtain salvation. It is not difficult to understand this singular participation of Our Lady in the salvific role of Christ. The miracle of the Immaculate Conception reminds believers of a fundamental truth. It is only possible to attain salvation by participating with docility in the plan of the Father, who willed to redeem the world through the death and the resurrection of His only-begotten Son. He wanted to show how He loves us. He wanted to show the horribleness of sin and the displeasure we earn by our disobedience to His commandments. He wanted us to know the costliness of attaining heaven. He also wanted to tell us how sin is infectious, like a ripple in a lake. With Baptism, the believer is inserted into this salvific plan and is freed from original sin. Sickness and death, although they continue to be present in our earthly existence, nonetheless lose their negative meaning. In the light of faith, the death of the body, conquered by the death of Christ (Rom. 6:4), becomes the obligatory passage to the fullness of immortal life. I recall what Mother Teresa said when she visited our seminary in Madras in the year 1963: “You are to become apostles of joy, to console the Sacred Heart of Jesus through joy. You have heavy crosses waiting for you in your future ministry. Remember the passion of Christ ends always in the joy of Resurrection; so when you feel in your own heart the suffering of Christ, remember the Resurrection has to come, the joy of Easter has to dawn. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Risen Christ.” I know this has been repeatedly told to her sisters. God is love, and we are truly called to become instruments of His love on earth, not to become apostles of compromise of God’s teachings for the sake of peace. We do a disservice to our fellow man if we do not point out their error and ignorance. We are called to lift the veil of untruth and error and show the beauty of God and His plan for human beings. At Christmas in the Eastern Church, there is a practice of embroidering the swaddling clothes with the Sign of the Cross. Also, the figure of the Divine Infant is presented with arms extended, as he would be on the Cross. We have the same kind of baby Jesus in our parish. In those symbolic ways is presented the unity of the mystery of redemption, joy, and sorrow. From the wood of the crib to the wood of the cross, the mystery is one. The poverty, the abandonment, the rejection which Jesus suffered on the Cross, He already experienced at His coming. We need to understand that life should be the same. Just as beneath the Cross there was the comfort of loving hearts, so at Bethlehem He was greeted with the joyful welcome of pure hearts and the song of the angels. When we celebrate His coming every year with special solemnity, we greet Him with the age-old song, “Venite adoremus”, “Come let us adore Him.” Beneath the Cross, our prayer of worship is the same: ‘We adore thee, O Christ, and praise thee.’ In our lives, punctuated by the interplay of Bethlehem joy and Calvary sorrow; we are certain that the same love that made Him come and made Him die for us, is always beside us. This is the mystery of the Cross. Pray to Our Blessed Mother of Perpetual Help that she may help every Christian witness to the fact that the only authentic response to sorrow, suffering, and death is Christ, our Lord, who died and rose for us. Compiled by Fr. Herman April 11, 2004