Lent Reflections day 22
Today’s chapter from Unseen Warfare is both wonderful and difficult to hear. To quote:
I have shown you above how from sensory things we can raise our mind to the contemplation of God. Now learn of another method of raising your mind from the sensory to the divine,—namely, through passing from the sensory to reflection on the incarnation of God the Word and on the holy mysteries of His life, passion and death. All the sensory objects of this world can serve as occasion for such reflection and contemplation, if, on looking at them, you traverse in your mind, as we described above, the thought that the Almighty God is the first cause of their existence and of everything in them—powers, perfections, functions, position among other creatures, and if you then think how great and measureless is the goodness of that same God when, being the sole cause of every created being, He desired to stoop to such humility and degradation as to become a man, to suffer and to die for men, allowing the very work of His own hands to rise in arms against Him and crucify Him…
When you see poor homes, or live in such, bring to your memory the cave and the manger in which your Lord was born as man. When you see the rain fall, remember the drops of blood and sweat which fell from the divine body of the most sweet Jesus, sprinkling the earth of the garden of Gethsemane. When you see the sea and boats upon it, remember how your God walked on the waters and, standing in a boat, taught the people. When you see rocks, let them remind you of the rocks which were rent asunder at the moment of your Lord’s death, and let the earth upon which you walk remind you of the earthquake, which followed upon Christ’s passion. The sun should bring to your mind the darkness which covered it then; water should remind you of the water, mixed with blood, which flowed from the divine side of the Lord, when the soldier pierced it after His death on the cross. When you drink wine or some other drink remind yourself of the vinegar and gall, which they gave to your Lord to drink on the cross.
When you dress, remember that the Immortal Word was clothed in human flesh, that you might be clothed in His Divinity. Seeing yourself clothed, think of Christ our Lord, Who let Himself be stripped, to be scourged and crucified for your sake. If a voice should seem to you sweet and attractive, transfer this feeling of fond attraction to your Savior, into Whose lips were poured all grace and sweetness, as is sung in the psalms: ‘ Grace is poured into thy lips” (Ps. xlv. 2); through the sweetness of His tongue, the people were ever following Him, reluctant to cease listening to Him, as St. Luke says: “All the people were very attentive to hear him” (Luke xix. 48). When you hear the murmur and shouts of a crowd, think of the lawless cry of the Jews: ‘Away with him, away with him, crucify him” (John xix. 15), which then assailed the ears of the Lord. When you see a beautiful face, remember that He, Who was ‘fairer than the children of man” (Pa. xlv. 2), our Lord Jesus Christ, was crucified out of love for you, ‘despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Is. liii. 3). Every time the clock strikes, let it bring to your mind the exceeding sorrow which filled the heart of our Lord Jesus, when in the garden of Gethsemane He was troubled at the approaching hour of His passion and death; or imagine that you hear the blows of hammers which resounded when our Lord was being nailed to the cross. In general, I would say that every time some sad occasion occurs in your life or another’s, bear in mind that every affliction, pain and sorrow of ours is nothing compared with the painful torment and wounds inflicted on the body and soul of our Lord during His passion suffered for our salvation.
On this twenty-second day of our Lenten journey, brothers and sisters, let us heed the advice of the great saints of the Church and use everything in our lives, even the bad things, as vehicles that bring our minds to God.