Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lenten Wisdom

"Diving head first into lent... here we go. clearing my mind and inspecting the good that has been done for those around me. The good accomplished with these hands. It is His will that has moved these hands. We all see people complaining "Where is God? Where is God?" in situations of suffering. I don't mean to sound harsh but Be Christ Yourself! (in the most non heretical way of course) If you can't find love, if you can't find peace, if you can't find help where you are, then neither can anyone else there! Who will step up and show love to another? give a sense of peace to another? Jesus will, but His hands and feet have already been pierced, given, and taken to heaven. He waits for someone who will offer themselves, their body, as a new temple in which he may dwell and continue His mission of Love. This lent is for clearing out and preparing a new temple for Christ. In this way then, this temple must be sacrificed as Christ himself was sacrificed. We cower not, we wince not, we hesitate not, and with great trust we dive into the suffering, strive for extra suffering, survive for the sake of suffering, and with ugly crosses carried with love, we suffer as a fulfillment of the words "I Love You Jesus." For Love is an Action, and wasn't a word... until the Word became flesh..and dwelt among us..So now do I dwell among the world just the same. This lent, the temple will be further swept of self to further contain Him and further let Christ be the comfort, the hope, the peace, the happiness, and the love to the world that He is through these hands.... I Inspect the good that has been done around me for others and I praise God, holding up my hands. For it is He who made these hands and this temple, oh the greatest gift I've been given, and it is He who will receive them back. He may love His world through me with my full consent, so that "Where is God?" need not be asked any longer."- Renee Shumay 

Beautiful, inspirational, wise words from someone very dear to me, meant for all of us as we approach the season of penance, self-reflection and examination of conscience. Jesus Christ our Lord has made it very clear in The Gospel according to Saint John chapter fifteen that we are His own branches to the world, His emissaries, flowers of His grace being pruned by the Father through suffering and dying for the world, and yet in that death, abounding in the fruit of the eternal weight of glory that is everlasting life. At the Cross and the burial of Christ, He may be likened to a Seed, containing within Himself Infinite Grace, Infinite Life, Infinite Glory, the Strength of His Church that she has been sustained by for two millennia now; all contained in one as dead, True Life in death. Christ the Seed of the Vine was barren and dead and rough to all appearances, and was buried in the Earth.

On the third day the Seed of the Vine sprouted forth to unfathomable glory, and from the splendor of the Resurrection, His Church grew forth as a Vine in Him; being fed by the Holy Eucharist, and watered by the Holy Spirit. As living Shoots we still shoot forth from this eternal Vine, Bone of His Bone, Flesh of His Flesh, Blood of His Blood, sharing His Divine Spirit. Still we bear about the dying of the Lord Jesus in our mortal bodies, that the Life of Jesus might be manifest as our fruit, and the weight of eternal glory in Christ may be ours through the crown of thorns and the nails. This Lent, remember that you are that tiny shoot, at the top of a two-thousand year old vine, sprouted from the Resurrection. You are reaching for the sun, the Father, and the only way to be fruitful and reach your purpose in the glory of the eternal Father, is to stay connected to your roots, the crucified Seed and its Glorious Resurrection. Accept the mortification that comes as a matter of course from being a living and organic member of this Vine, and in humbling yourself under the might hand of the Father, He will exalt you in His only-begotten Son in due time, by the vivifying, dynamic power of His Spirit. This is your inheritance. This is your mission. This is your destiny. You are the Body of Christ.

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