March 30, 2010 § Leave a comment
I usually don’t write overtly religious posts because, frankly, I’m not perfect. Goodness knows, I’m far from it. And sometimes, I fear that really religious posts can come across “holier-than-thou” and I don’t want to give that impression. I’ll be the first one to admit my faults, sins, and failings; and, trust me, there are plenty. But, I do feel like my faith shapes everything I do. If I weren’t a faithful person, I probably wouldn’t acknowledge those downfalls as sins. I feel like the more something means to you, the harder it is to talk about. Think about a person in love; all they want to do is talk about the person their in love with. Well, consider me in love with Christ, because sometimes I find it hard not to talk about Him. I feel like my faith is a little different these days, and I can’t really explain why. Mostly, I feel like Jesus is my friend, my partner through life, the one who never turns His back, but I definitely feel like we went through a little rough patch. I was, and often still am, understandably angry with him. I think its the first time I’ve ever really experienced being angry with him, and something about sharing this emotion with God, but still needing him, makes him more, for lack of a better word, relatable (I’ll be thinking of a better word for it, but you get my point). Its undeniable that He is the reason that I’ve made it through the past few months, or most of my life for that matter. In fact, I give him all the credit for any of my success in law school thus far. I pray a novena (a set of prayers I prayed for nine consecutive days) before finals, and other than that, I really don’t think I do anything different than any other law student. But knowing that I have someone on my side helps. When I get nervous, sad, anxious, or any other simply uncontrollable wave of emotion, I repeat “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you” and pray a Hail Mary until I begin to calm down. It never takes long. So, while I can’t tell you that I pray constantly, that I have this deeply intimate, personal relationship with Christ that so many people seem to claim, I can tell you that I work at it, that I know He is there, He hears me, and He has never abandoned me, even when I forget to talk to him, don’t pay as much attention to him as I should, or fail him.
As Holy Week is upon us, I’m particularly reminded of a little moment of clarity I got while on an ACTS retreat. I was just sitting alone thinking, and I began thinking that it is impossible for a human to choke themselves to death (I read it somewhere..don’t ask. I wish I could remember everything like I could remember random, pointless, information). Basically, we can’t force our own hands to remain on our necks when we’re about to die. Our survival instincts take over, and we remove our hands. Jesus’ fully human nature and instincts wanted to save him from the cross. He asked his Father to take this cup from him. He had the ability to take himself off the cross. But, he had to actually WILL himself to remain on the cross and die. He didn’t kill himself, don’t misunderstand me, but, he had to try to let himself suffer and die, completely overcoming his human instincts, so that his full humanity could be acheived through his death. In that sense, his death is even a miracle. Until that point, I’d always looked at the Resurrection as the main focus of the miracle, overlooking an important miracle, that necessarily, had to proceed the Resurrection.
I’ve decided to really comtemplate this over the course of Holy Week. It was his love for each one of us that kept him on the cross. We’re taught the he died as though he was dying for each of us individually. In essence, even if he could have only saved one of us, he would have done it anyway. So, I hope this just gives you a little something extra to think about. I’m sure some of you have thought about this before, but its on my mind, so I thought I’d share. Happy Easter!
“For I shall see you again and your hearts will be full of Joy. And that Joy, no one shall take from you.” John 16:22