March 22, 2012

Hiding in the Wounds of Christ

To hide in the wounds of Christ and to draw strength from his passion, this is what the mystery of the Mass opens to, and this is especially true for those who suffer.   The prayer Christ offered the night before He died is the source and summit of all prayer, even the feeble prayers of those who feel unable to pray at all.  This is why Christian prayer has a sacrificial character.  Since the Last Supper, all genuine prayer flows from and leads to the Cross, and it is the august mystery of Christ crucified into whose arms we are meant to be raised when we raise our hearts at Mass.

Devotion is not always something we feel or stir up, and when we are enduring hardship, often the greatest act of devotion is that we have made ourselves present, that we have made the effort to ponder when attending to anything at all seems all but impossible.  Attentive devotion at the Sacrificial Banquet does not exhaust the work of prayer -- the effort to pray before the liturgy and after the liturgy fans the flames of love that should burn during the liturgy, even when we cannot feel them.   When we consider the great price by which we have been redeemed, we know we must, no matter the burden we carry, constantly make the effort to meditate on the Word of God if we are to recognize Him in the Breaking of the Bread.  Yet it is during the liturgy as at no other moment that Christ gives himself to his Bride, the Church.  And we, his Mystical Body, are washed by the water that flowed from the side of Christ and here we are also inebriated with his Blood which has been poured out for us on the Cross.

In this mystery of Christian prayer, if only for a moment and if only imperfectly, we share in his suffering, a divine suffering which transforms human misery, including our own personal misery, into something beautiful for God.  Torrents of tender mercy are unleashed onto world when we pray with loved filled thanksgiving for so great a gift.  This is to hide in his wounds.  Hidden in his wounds, nothing - no power on the earth below or in the heavens above - can ever separate us from his inexhaustible love.  Filled with his love, those hiding in his wounds draw strength from his passion and become a source of invincible hope for the world.