Monday 2nd Week of Lent.
Pray before the crucifix for someone you find it difficult to forgive.
St. Padre Pio would spend hours gazing at a crucifix.
He contemplated so much the wounds of Jesus
that he received those wounds in his own body.
When we look at a crucifix for any length of time
we see someone who shows us no judgment, only mercy.
I can close my eyes and hear Jesus saying to me,
”Rick, be merciful to those who have hurt you,
as I am merciful to you.”
It matters not how much time has passed
or if it just happened today,
Jesus knows how hurtful it is for us
to carry the wound of bitterness in our hearts.
In the Holy Mass, we are very truly present at Calvary
as much his Mother Mary and St. John
were, standing under the cross.
And the sacred mysteries will continue
to be celebrated until his mercy reigns in the world.
The more difficult it is to show another mercy,
the more time I need to spend staring at the crucifix.
Jesus tells us not to judge and we won’t be judged.
The only person who is really being judged
when I don’t forgive is myself.
We carry the scars of our judgments
in our thoughts, in our imaginations
and where it hurts the most, in our hearts.
A good place to start experiencing
the joy of mercy is with people we meet every day.
St. Teresa of Calcutta has told us it’s easy
to love people far away, but not so easy
for people who are close to us.
Let’s start with someone we eat with
or work with every day.
Let’s hold onto that crucifix
and ask Jesus to help us
enter into their pain and suffering.
We will find that if we take a little time
to get to know them, we might be surprised
how much we do like them.
Knowing someone comes before loving them
and showing them mercy.