Lent is the special time that draws us towards the heart of our Christian faith, the moment of our salvation: the Easter Triduum of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection. Lent is also the act of immersing ourselves in the universal suffering that Jesus suffered, in the pain that He embraced as He loved. In this way, has become the instrument of salvation for all of humanity. It is as if the suffering that you experienced, your sadness, your anguish… all became accumulated and taken on by Jesus. He wanted to absorb all of our sufferings precisely because He wanted to give them meaning and strength, and that suffering was transformed into love. One of His friends betrayed Him, sold Him. The others escaped and abandoned Him. He was persecuted from the very first day He was born and He always, even during His public life, experienced persecution. He had to escape because they wanted to stone Him…He had to “swallow”, remain silent, suffer. Jesus took on all of the suffering of humanity on earth, suffering that is still to come and that will be experienced on this earth. We must be able to respond to this love.
True love is born out of suffering. I am sure that each one of us has prayed more, searched more for love and for life when we were full of problems, sad, when we were suffering. Each time we suffer in a true way, we learn how to love. But there is one condition, however: that we do not immediately find a “trash can” where we can get rid of our suffering. In other words, when we are suffering something inside of us for whatever reason, be it a correction, a humiliation, a reprimand that we received…we must not go to “take it out” on someone else.
When is it that we learn to love? When we are capable of suffering like Jesus. Pain, suffering, moments of darkness happen to everyone, but we must remember that when we overcome these trials, we become freer, stronger, and above all, better people. True love is not about everybody loving us, it’s about our choosing to love. When we complain it is as if we were to dirty our conscience and moreover, we grow weaker, we begin “to crash”. When someone comes to you to complain about something, you ought to have the courage to tell him, “Go and tell it to Jesus. I cannot do anything about it. I can only make you weaker!” It is because often times we tell ourselves that we are suffering for this reason…for that reason…and it’s not true! We suffer because we have dispersed negativity because we were not capable of dealing with a situation or capable of accepting a negative observation. In our home in Community, as you all know, we learn to speak to one another looking at each other in the eyes. However, first, we must pray for that brother or sister for three days, then you can go to speak with him/her, this time with another spirit, with another peace, with the awareness that I am just as poor and full of defects just like the other! Praying for the brother or sister we allow God to be God and to take care of the situation. If God speaks to the heart of our brother, then he will learn much more than if we ourselves were to explain the same things. When we pray and we suffer, a miracle occurs because there is the passage from your heart to Jesus’ and from Jesus’ heart to that of your brother’s.
Let’s live this Lenten season well and as a precious time of prayer. Let’s learn to speak to Jesus in prayer, without fear, even in suffering and in the truth, because only in this way our freedom is opened and becomes an infinite space. If we do not pray, there is an emptiness and then in that sad and dark hole, we fall in. Instead, prayer is peace, it is nourishment, it is fullness and it makes us live in the light. It has us widen our horizons, it allows us to encounter that Crucified and Risen Christ that our heart waits for and searches for in all the joys of life.
A Blessed Lent to all of you!
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