It’s been a while since I’ve posted though I’ve considered doing so during the last few weeks. I did write a reflection “Entering More Deeply the Cross”—which has been on my heart for some weeks and I may still post it. Then today, as I prayed in week three of my preparation for consecration to Our Blessed Mother, I was touched again by Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Most of us know that she struggled with a deep night of the soul for many years. On Day 15 of 33 DAYS TO MORNING GLORY by Michael Gaitley, I read—and here I include the entire passage:
“After a conversation with a holy priest, she realized that her painful longing was actually a share in the thirst of Jesus: “For the first time in this 11 years — I have come to love the darkness. — For I believe now that it is a part, a very, very small part of Jesus’ darkness and pain on earth.” Teresa’s experience of darkness and painful longing continued to the end of her life. She found the strength to persevere because, as her spiritual director put it, she realized that the darkness was actually a “mysterious link” that united her to the Heart of Jesus.
What about us? Do we yet realize the mysterious link between the darkness we sometimes experience in our own lives and that of the Lord’s suffering? Let us ponder Mother Teresa’s words on suffering that come from her own experience and so, like her, become better lovers of the Heart of Jesus:
“Suffering has to come because if you look at the cross, he has got his head bending down — he wants to kiss you — and he has both hands open wide — he wants to embrace you. He has his heart opened wide to receive you. Then when you feel miserable inside, look at the cross and you will know what is happening. Suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, feelings of loneliness, are nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign that you have come so close that he can kiss you. Do you understand, brothers, sisters, or whoever you may be? Suffering, pain, humiliation — this is the kiss of Jesus. At times you come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you. I once told this to a lady who was suffering very much. She answered, “Tell Jesus not to kiss me — to stop kissing me.” That suffering has to come that came in the life of Our Lady, that came in the life of Jesus — it has to come in our life also. Only never put on a long face. Suffering is a gift from God. It is between you and Jesus alone inside.” [http://www.thedivinemercy.org/news/DAY-15-Lover-of-the-Heart-of-Jesus-6509] [See also Post: “The Loneliness of Love” – https://soulfoodministries.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/the-loneliness-of-love/].
For many years I have loved this passage from the Canticle of Canticle, “Kiss me with the kisses of Your mouth” [Canticle 1:2]. The kiss is the icon of intimacy. Yahweh espouses Israel because God thirsts for intimacy with us, even as we long for Him, even in our darkness of loneliness. If we long for Him, He first longed for us. And intimacy with the God-Man means “Entering more deeply the Cross”—The Cross is the bridal chamber where union takes place in the intimacy of suffering.
It is the very woundedness of our hearts that provides the chalice for the personal mystical Mass which we celebrate daily: “See in this deep hole in your psyche, this piercing of your heart, the perfect chalice, a cup to receive the tears and blood of your crucified Lord, the flood of Divine Mercy that has nowhere else to go unless a wounded heart is there to receive it. “ [https://soulfoodministries.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/transform-me-into-your-living-chalice/]
I have also been reflecting on “The Cross and the Mystic Mass of the Bride”—the same vein of thought. https://soulfoodministries.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/the-cross-the-mystic-mass-of-the-bride/
Also, the reflection on Archbishop Martinez: “To Be Jesus Crucified”— https://soulfoodministries.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/to-be-jesus-crucified-part-1/
All of these threads are related in profound ways and throw light on one another.
Another related passage which came to my attention this week was this request from Mary through Medjugorje: “My children, I was a chalice of the God-man; I was God’s instrument. That is why I am calling you, my apostles, to be a chalice of the true and pure love of my Son. I am calling you to be an instrument through which all those who have not come to know the love of God – who have never loved – may comprehend, accept and be saved.”
Sr. Emmanuel Maillard explains: There is no Mass without a chalice….The chalice becomes the receptacle of the Blood of Jesus which will be offered to the Father. A chalice is therefore a sacred vessel that is strictly reserved for the celebration of the Mass, and it is sacred…” [https://sremmanuel.org/newsletter/november-2016-report/]
It is the chalice of our hearts, deeply wounded, filled with loneliness, suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, which we lift in union with the Blood of Jesus in one sacrifice to the Father—this is the mystic Mass of the bride which we celebrate daily: When we have touched the very pit of the wound in our heart, we touch the pain. It is through our pain that we share and become one with the pain and suffering of Christ. Live your woundedness, live your pain again in the pierced Heart of Christ the Victim. See on the altar that chalice, your martyred heart, pierced like His, pierced with His, and offered to the Father for the Church, for the salvation of souls. Find here the central joy of your life.” [https://soulfoodministries.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/transform-me-into-your-living-chalice/]
In our darkness of soul we receive the kiss of Jesus who endured the greatest darkness and loneliness of all. This is what it means to “Enter more deeply the Cross”—it is to enter the Bridal Chamber, to receive the Kisses of His mouth, to be a living chalice filled and overflowing with Redemptive love which overflows on “all those who have not come to know the love of God – who have never loved – [that they] may comprehend, accept and be saved.”