Sign Up to Receive Lenten Reflections by clicking HERE.
Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
As we slowly move to the mid-point along the Lenten journey, I would like to share some reflections and application of the 10 Commandments on our walk. Much of what I will share comes from Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. a Benedictine Nun who lives and serves in my hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. She uniquely captures the spirit of the Ten Commandments or as she calls them the “Laws of the Heart.” When we learned the 10 Commandments, we learned that the first three dealt with our relationship with God and the other seven covered our relationship with one another. Most of the Scriptural language and intention coming from the 10 Commandments at first seems very simple and clear in the do’s and don’ts. As we read further into Sacred Scripture we begin to understand and grasp what each of God’s commands means. We come to know them as the heart of the Mosaic Covenant between God and the people of Israel.
The First Commandment says, “I, the Lord, am your God, you shall not have other gods besides me.” – Exodus 20:3, Sister Chittister invites to understand and apply this commandment as the “Law of Reflection.” In our Lenten practices to pray, fast and offer alms our reflection can focus on the times we have entertained many lesser idols which lay waste to our lives and relationships whether it is done in the pursuit of numbing drives for wealth, power, prestige, an emulation of certain people, ideologies or drug enhanced states to name but a few. This commandment is about calling us back to remember what is truly important in life. It is about offering us a freedom from the delusion that things, certain people, positions, and even types of relationships can trap and ensnare us. The Commandment of Reflection, reminds us that we have opportunities to learn more about God and God’s vision of us. This commandment is about taking the time to dismantle the illusions, and to examine what we have placed before God, but it also gives us hope to touch the love of God that surrounds us and lead us home to God and to know ourselves more deeply. Next week I will share with you some reflections on the Second and Third Commandments as part of our relationship and Lenten walk with the Lord.
Previously recorded Masses can be found HERE.
The final paragraph of this Sunday’s Gospel reading is very revealing: Jesus did not “trust” himself to the converts whose faith in him was based on the signs and wonders that he had done. The reason: He did not want anyone to testify (i.e., spread the faith) about the limitations of human nature.
Faith based on signs and wonders is human nature: It’s easier to put faith in what we can humanly see, touch, and hear than to believe in a God who is invisible and who usually sounds very silent. There is nothing supernatural about this kind of faith, but God is very supernatural.
What happens to our faith when we pray and pray and pray for God’s intervention and there are no signs indicating that we’ll get what we want? Our reaction to unanswered prayers is an indicator of how natural or supernatural our spiritual life really is.
Jesus knew that his physical presence was the greatest sign of all, but it would soon be taken away. Don’t we sometimes wish that Jesus would appear in front of us and make himself audible to our human ears? We think it would make our faith stronger.
Typically, we base our faith on many signs: prayers being answered, love being evidenced, peace and happiness filling our hearts, etc. But what happens to our faith when we enter the dark night of trials and difficulties? Do we continue to trust God when we can no longer see or feel signs that he cares?
The kind of faith we need when faith matters most comes from a relationship of trust. Real trust. We choose to trust God for who he really is and how much he really cares, rather than on what the evidence seems to say.
To succeed in this, we need supernatural faith. When we’re united to the divinity of Christ, we join ourselves to his faith. We then trust him so much that we don’t need signs.
Remember this the next time you receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Not only are you consuming his body, you are also uniting yourself to his divinity. And he is uniting himself to you! If you truly believe this, of course there will be miracles, but that is not the greatest gift that he’s sharing with you.
What he wants to give you most of all is HIS ALL.
“We used to live in a basement, unhealthy, without the right conditions, we were suffering, mostly for our child.”
This Lent, we offer to you the 2021 Lenten Video Series created by the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal. Day 16: Relationship with Him.
Personal belongings of Mother Elizabeth Seton heads for national shrine
"The Pope Video" series continues! Watch the latest 2-minute installment: Sacrament of Reconciliation.
This Lent, we offer to you the 2021 Lenten Video Series created by the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal. Day 15: Prayer Partner.
Fr. Robert Maloney, CM, writes: “…I encourage you in Lent to allow the Spirit to lead you into the desert, as Jesus did, that the Spirit might empower you for a renewed mission.” Read more in […]
Encountering Christ in the Poor
St. Vincent teaches us to see Christ in the poor and suffering, so much so that the poor become our Lords and Masters and we their servants. Read more →
Congregation of the Mission
The Eastern Province is a province of Congregation of the Mission, often known as Vincentian Fathers and Brothers or Lazarists … Read more →
“Always, the hand of God is outstretched for those who wish to clasp it.” – St. Vincent de Paul – Lord, what would I ever do without your support? Take my hand and lead me because so often I don’t know where to go or what to do.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church
812 Duke Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
Monday through Friday
8:30 AM – 2:30 PM