Lives of the Saints

There is Something About Mary Series – Struggle With Being Holy?

Day Sixteen: Ponder, Pray, Reflect, Act

Ponder:  Our struggle for holiness, with all its stumbling and fumbling, is our lifelong way of the cross.

After the opening prayers of the rosary, we announce the first mystery and read the relevant Scripture passage slowly with attention, a lectino divina style of praying the scriptures.  Pause for a few moments of silence and then recite the indicated prayers (#5 below) while meditating on that mystery.  You may make a prayer request at the beginning of each decade or offer a Hail Mary for a specific person. 

Pray:  The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross.

Jesus Carries His Heavy Cross to Calvary.  The Fruit of the mystery: Patience

Pray:  Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.* Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!” They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.  So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. (Jn 19:12-17).

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, who embraced His Cross for us (who embraced the Cross because of my sins).  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Pray for us Mary, Mother of Sorrows, That we may practice patience with ourselves and others.  

Amen

Reflect:  Jesus carried his cross, it was a wonder how he was even still alive. He was beaten by the guards as he struggled to carry the cross. He collapsed three times, magnifying his pain. The guards knew he would not make it to Calvary, so they forced Simon of Cyrene to help Jesus so he would not die along the way.  Carrying the cross must become the very structure of the Christian life.  How should we take up our own cross? We do so by being willing to suffer as Jesus did.  We carry our cross-imitating Christ, loving what he loved, despising what he despised.  We must be willing to break open our heart for others and actively, proactively seek out ways to lighten other people’s loads.

Act:  Who can you show the face of Christ to today with kindness, patience, and love? Yourself?

Inspire with your life. Words convince the mind, but actions change the heart.

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