Run the race of your salvation
The better the preparation the better
the results! This principle can be
applied in almost any activity or enterprise.
Sports, academics, business, and even more important the spiritual
life—the more time, energy and effort we expend, the better the results!
Olympic athletes start their
preparation three to four years before the actual games; serious students burn
the night oil to the point of exhaustion to pass tests so as to enter into Law
School, Medical School or an Ivy League College, and millionaires are not born
like leaves hanging from pear trees, but they work hard to rake in their
SPIRITUAL ATHLETES. Our time, energy, initiative and courage
should far supersede those who are interested in natural enterprises that
culminate in fame, money and power but with dust is blown away by the wind!
Why? For the simple reason that we should love God with our whole heart, mind,
soul and strength and love what God loves—the salvation of immortal souls! Indeed Jesus shed His Precious Blood on the
cross on Calvary to save immortal souls from eternal perdition!
Therefore, let us make a concerted
effort of mind, heart, body and will to live out these holy days of Holy Week
that culminates in the victory of Easter and the deluge of grace available for
us on Mercy Sunday!
Let us prepare! Following are ten
short practical suggestions to make this preparation culminate in a deluge of
graces for those who have magnanimity—generosity of heart, mind and soul!
Elijah's mystical experience on the mountain
SILENCE! God did not speak to the prophet Elijah in
the earthquake, thunder or lightning, but rather in the gentle breeze. Unless
we cultivate interior recollection through silence, it will be literally
impossible to hear the voice of God in the inner recesses of our soul! Then we can say with the young Samuel in the
temple: “Speak O Lord for your servant listens!”
WORD OF GOD. The Word of God is a lamp for our steps and
light for all of our paths. Suggested Biblical readings: Mt. 26-28; Mk. 14-16;
Lk. 22-24; Jn. 18-21. These passages
contain the very heart of the Bible, the very core and center and heart of the
Gospels—the Paschal Mystery. That is to say that in these twelve chapters we
encounter the Passion, suffering, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the
“Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful.” Take these words of
your merciful Savior to heart! Rewind
the film of your life! Is there any
person that you have not fully forgiven? Is there coldness and callousness in
your heart? Are you clinging on to any resentments in your heart against any
person in the world? Now is the time to come to terms with this and forgive. If
you forgive then you are setting the captives free. That captive is you! Bitterness, resentment, and lack of
forgiveness enslave us interiorly, produce sadness and depression of heart and paralyze
spiritual growth! Shakespeare put it concisely: “To err is human, to forgive is
LOVE AFFAIR! Fall in love with Jesus
again, but in a deeper and more profound way.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen expresses the primary reason for the failure
and fall of Judas Iscariot. A
superficial perusing of the Gospel concludes with GREED! Why?
The Evangelist John highlights Judas stealing from the purse. Albeit the veracity of this assertion, Sheen
plumbs the depths of the problem! Sheen
asserts that the fundamental reason for the debacle of Judas was that he FELL
OUT OF LOVE with Jesus! He lost his fervor; the passion of Christ was
extinguished; fiery love was transformed into smoldering embers and eventually
cold ashes! Maybe our love has grown cold?
The Book of Apocalypse utters the stern reproach: “You have lost your
first love….” Why not beg the Holy Spirit,
the fire of Divine love, to ignite in your hearts a fiery passion for Jesus and
all that refers to His honor and glory and right now!
Money can buy you pleasure, but not true joy
NO TO MATERIALISM AND
CONSUMERISM! A constant temptation
that knocks frequently at the door of our hearts is the desire to have, buy and
possess to the point that our possessions end up by possessing us! Ponder the poignant words of the modern psychologist
and writer Erich Fromm: “If you are what you have and lose what you have, then
who are you?” Pope John Paul II and the
Dogmatic Constitution Gaudiem Spes remind us:
“Being is more important than having and that doing flows from
being.” Profound insights!
GIVE UNTIL IT HURTS! This is an immortal saying of Blessed Mother
Teresa of Calcutta. Why not live this to the max? Give generously of your time, talents, and
treasures. Why not give Mary your heart and she will give your heart to
Jesus? We become our true self not so
much by receiving things and gifts from others, but by becoming ourselves a
living gift to others! St. Paul encourages us with these words: “There is more
joy in giving than in receiving.”
Baptism calls us to be saints!
RENEW YOUR BAPTISMAL VOWS AND COMMITMENT! We
who were baptized as infants did not explicitly take on these vows and
commitments but they were made for us by our parents and godparents. In the
Easter Vigil Mass, the Baptismal ceremony is one of the highlights of this
splendid and sublime Mass in which we celebrate Jesus’ glorious resurrection
from the dead! Why not renew our own commitment to renounce sin, selfishness,
the devil’s pomps and lies and at the same time make a firm decision to strive
to become a saint. Jesus commands
it: “Be holy as your heavenly Father is
HOLY COMMUNION. All the most extraordinary graces and
blessings are contained in the MOST HOLY EUCHARIST! Jesus complained to Saint
Faustina saying that many people treat Him in the Eucharist as if He were a
mere object! How horrendous the sad reality that Jesus is treated as a mere
object! One Holy Communion is worth more than the whole created universe. Why?
For the simple reason that Holy Communion is truly and substantially God
Himself, Jesus Himself in His BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, AND DIVINITY. Every time you
approach to receive Holy Communion, “The Bread of the angels” receive it as if
it were your first, last and only Holy Communion! If done you will make huge
strides on the highway to holiness!
He died for love of you and me!
JESUS CRUCIFIED! Spend some time in
silent contemplation before Jesus hanging on the cross. Meditate upon this
profound truth of faith. Jesus died for the sins of all of humanity. Jesus died
for my sins. Of even greater importance,
Jesus died of love for all of humanity.
Jesus suffered on the cross pouring forth all the drops of His Precious
Blood for you and for me. He would have suffered and died on the cross for you
if you were the only person in the created universe! How precious you are in the eyes of God!
Turn to Mary!
10. MARY, MOTHER OF MERCY
OUR LIFE , SWEETNESS AND OUR HOPE! At all times the Blessed Virgin Mary should
be dear to us and close to our heart. Especially so should this be the case in
Holy Week, and Easter. Nobody ever suffered more than the Blessed Mother on
earth, with the exception of Jesus Himself. However, nobody experienced such
overflowing joy as did the Blessed Virgin Mary upon experiencing Jesus rise
from the tomb and triumph over sin, evil, hell, the devil and all death! Why
not in these holy days of Holy Week, the Easter Triduum, and Easter itself beg
for the grace to contemplate Jesus through the eyes and heart of Mary. She will
lead us into the very Sacred Heart of the crucified and Risen Lord!