Christmas and the Passion of Christ

Today, Christmas falls on a Friday. When I realized that my family would be praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary today, I felt hesitant. Couldn’t we pray the joyful instead? Why should we meditate on Christ’s Passion and death on His Birthday?

Yet, suffering and Christmas go hand in hand. Recall the hymn, “What Child is This” has a line which says:

“Nails, spears shall pierce him through, the cross he bore for me, for you.”

Likewise, the Filipino word for Christmas is “Pasko,” is literally translated as “Paschal.” The Pascal mystery is the Passion , death and ressurection of Jesus Christ.

Christmas is intrinsically linked to His Paschal mystery because this what He came for. This is why He left the glory of heaven, becoming a baby in a manger on a cold December Eve. He came to save us from our sins. And He saved us through His suffering, death and ressurection.

Through the Sacraments we now participate in Christ’s Divine life. Hence, the Paschal mystery is also lived out in our own lives.

As we prayed the rosary, I felt a sense of peace, even joy! Joy in the midst of suffering? Christ came that we might have His joy and our joy may be complete. All true joy can only come at the price of great suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater our capacity for true joy. The wider and emptier the cup, the more it can be filled.

As the Christmas season continues, let us strive to carry our crosses and empty our cups, so that Christ’s Divine life may truly be born and grow in us!

Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday Lord Jesus! 😀

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Nestled in Your Sacred Heart

In the farthest corner of the chapel, as the lambs graze below, I sit there nestled in Your Sacred Heart. As I contemplate my dwelling place, this truly is Your Sacred Heart. The tabernacle lamp burns with the fiery love You long to pour out on miserable human souls. The altar of Your sacrifice is the crown of thorns, the suffering You willingly bore for us. On the crucifix and in the Eucharist are the same image and presence of Your great humility and life-giving sacrifice.

Sacred Heart

How can it be that You would love us so? How can it be that You would let this poor, weak sinner rest in the depths of Your Heart? But You do! You bid me enter, “Come to Me all You who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.”

With my head on a cushion above the windowsill, I am warmed and consoled as Your embers melt the cold, stone walls I built over my broken heart. Looking at the crucifix, I see that Your Heart is broken too. I do not bear this grief alone for You bore it before me and continue to bear it with me. “Make my heart like unto Thine,” I see that my heart must be broken if it is to resemble Your own. To be transformed by You and love like You, I must suffer with You.

Good Shepherd's Embrace

Yet, You are a God of mercy and compassion. There is no bitterness, no darkness that comes without Your love. Broken, my heart is open to the torrent of blood and water that flowed from Your pierced side. It inebriates me, filling me joy and peace I could never imagine possible in the midst of such agony. The warmth of Your embrace envelops me, like the blanket a Father gently draws over his sleeping child. You hold me close, as I rest there, nestled in Your Sacred Heart.

2014: The Divine Paradox of God’s Love

This past year has been the most difficult in my life. After losing my brother to depression last April, sometimes I can barely even believe that I am living through all this. I still struggle with the grief, trauma and bouts of depression. There were days when I was tempted to doubt God, even leave Him. It was then that He held me close tighter than ever. As an online friend once said,”He doesn’t want to lose you.” God’s grace has always been there, protecting, guiding and strengthening me. I have also experienced God’s love, mercy and compassion more intimately, deeply and tenderly than ever before!

Jesus and me

The break from law school has given me the chance to discern my vocation. I met religious sisters, consecrated virgins, volunteered to proof-read for St Pauls, volunteered at the Good Shepherd Sisters baby orphanage. I also took a few online classes on Spiritual Theology. I love my classes! Even more than law school? (Yikes!) More and more I do feel that God is calling me to a religious vocation of some sort. I am not yet sure what.

I do not know what the next year will bring. But after what I lived through in 2014, I know that God will always be there for me. Thank you to everyone old friends and new, in person and online, who have been there for me this past 2014! Thank you for manifesting God’s great love through you. May God Bless you and shower you with His love and mercy always! I leave you with this quote and and a beautiful song by Corrinne May.

The Cross by St Francis de Sales

The everlasting God has

in His wisdom foreseen

from eternity the cross

that He now presents to you

as a gift from His inmost heart.

This cross He now sends you

He has considered with His all-knowing eyes,

understood with His divine mind,

tested with His wise justice,

warmed with loving arms

and weighed with His own hands

to see that it be not one inch too large

and not one ounce too heavy for you.

He has blessed it with His holy Name,

anointed it with His consolation,

taken one last glance at you

and your courage,

and then sent it to you from heaven,

a special greeting from God to you,

an alms of the all-merciful love of God

The Answer by Corrinne May