I sat in church this past week to be alone with Jesus. Our church has a large, beautiful, life-like crucifix in the sanctuary. To me, it is one of the most beautiful crucifixes in this area. I often find myself sitting in front of it to re-center myself. I also wanted to see if I was ready to place my card in the urn! For those of you who do not belong to Our Lady of Good Counsel, the card we received a few weeks ago at Mass says this:
“I, ____________, a repentant sinner, decide today, __________, to surrender the ownership of my life to the good Father. I renew the vows of my baptism to renounce Satan and to follow Jesus Christ more deliberately than I ever have before. Jesus, I give You my heart that You may forever set it on fire for love of You and for others. Keep my heart pure with Your perfect love so that I may entrust myself totally to You. Jesus, please use me that I might bring “one more” to You.”
I held my card for a while and I felt like I heard Jesus say, “There is no fear in trust.” How true is that? How can I have true intimacy with Jesus if I lack trust in Him? We could say the same thing about our relationships with each other. I started thinking about this: “what is the worst thing that could happen to me if I surrender completely to Jesus, if I completely trust in Him?” There is no one that loves me like this and so I could not think of anything. And, I immediately got up and put my card in the urn.
I also have realized something. In my post last week, I said I had a fear of failure. Surrendering to me means not only putting my life in Jesus’ hands, it also means (wrongly) that, all of a sudden, I need to become perfect. But, as the card says, Jesus wants the repentant sinner. Jesus knows who we are, and yet, He still wants a relationship with us. He wants to share His mercy with us and in return, He wants us to reject sin because He loves us. He wants us to be happy and to keep our life rightly ordered—however we need to do that. Do you ever look at a little child and watch them laugh and giggle? How can they do this so freely? I think it is because their hearts are pure. God delights in this kind of happiness. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). What the world thinks matters not. Our only job is to give glory to the Lord in all that we do—in our work and in our play.
As God would have it that day, I ended up reading this: “Just as we should not make good resolutions without counting on God’s help to keep them, by the same token we should not view our failures without considering God’s mercy at the same time, for as God is the only One who can help us persevere in good, so He alone can raise us up from Evil” (Divine Intimacy, p. 310).
This is good news! And, the Saints knew this, not because they were holier than any of us but because they were exactly like us and CHOSE to stay close to God in all things—even in sin, failures and temptations. The decision. Our decision. We have to eventually make one. Either we are with Him or we are without Him.
You have shown me so much this week. You send lifeboats when we think we are sinking, but sometimes we don’t recognize the gift of the rescue. You are an amazing God who loves to shower His children with blessings. Protect my mind from the lies of the devil that I am not lovable, that You don’t want me. Help me to laugh like a child, to love like a child and serve you and others like a mature disciple. Let my work be my work and my play be my play and let them both give honor to You. Help me to always hear your voice. As we get closer to Holy Week, my heart feels heavy for all the You have endured for me, yet, I have hope in the Resurrection! Thank you for giving me life! Thank you for my children. Thank you for opening doors. Amen.