"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.
Monday, April 12, 2010
"To suffer and be despised." - St. John of the Cross
"We can only acquire a 'scientia crucis' if we have the grace to taste and relish the Cross through and through." - St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
When I was little, family and school mates often mocked me for my devotions, attending daily Mass and staying after school to pray my rosary. I can't remember ever being angry or fighting anyone because of it. When one of the parish priests told me I was using religion as an escape - I wasn't big into sports as a kid - I didn't know how to respond. He also told this to my dad, and so many times I had to "sneak away" to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady. Once or twice a friend of my brother, who happened to be an altar boy, would see me in church "after hours" and tell my brother - together they would make fun of me. Another friend of my brother's who intended to enter seminary, once told me I could never be a priest because I was too pious. I never got mad or tried to defend myself - I just felt a deep sense of sorrow and sadness, which I offered up.
I only relate all of this to explain how I feel about the attacks upon the Holy Father and the Church - especially by those who profess to be Catholic. Surprisingly, I'm not angry about it. I feel no need to lash out or attack the "enemy". Instead I feel the most peculiar sorrow - much like I felt as a little kid - although it seems more intense than that. It is more akin to pain, and then sorrow and sadness, which I offer up.
I consider it a special grace from the Divine Mercy.
Novena prayer for the Pope.
Photo credit: Zimbio