When it comes to those things we hold most dear, emotions run deep and alliances are solid. Loyalty is sacred and crossing a line is deemed treasonous.
In this, the month devoted to the Seven Sorrows of Mary, it seemed fitting to examine the sorrows inherent in motherhood. Let’s begin with a quote by Saint Pope John XXIII in his Journal of a Soul. It is a little long, but hang on – I think you’ll find his message to be profound: During this retreat, the Lord has been pleased to show me yet again all the importance for me, and for the success of my priestly ministry, of the spirit of sacrifice, which I desire shall from now on evermore inspire my conduct ‘as a servant…
There is no love without sacrifice. And in a political system, sacrifice without love becomes a distorted perversion of the sacred, used by the few to control the many.
Clearly those who knew Chiara witnessed something very special. People are starving to experience the joy of Christ. Imagine what the world would be like if all Christians were brimming with it.
Have you given anything up this Lent? It seems everywhere I turn this year, I have found recommendations about “doing” things for Lent. I’ve seen flyers taped to church doors, I’ve received videos from Catholic apostolates, and I’ve heard discussions via Catholic radio. They don’t suggest that we not attempt a physical discipline; but while they encourage us to engage in spiritual reading, help the poor, perform the corporal and spiritual works for mercy or spend more time in prayer, they say virtually nothing about restraining our appetites in any way. This “do something positive” trend seems to have increased in recent years….
There is a great need for sacrifice in our world. Rather than look to God merely for His glory, we must seek Him in His suffering and degradation.