Kneeling at the foot of the statue of The Pieta in church yesterday morning, having made my confession, I discerned a moment of grace. Ordinarily I fail so often to see God working in my own life, though of course, I know He is. When i was not so ‘out of sorts’ with God, I recall having many grace filled moments that were so apparant to me that I suppose i became rather complacent about them. When i stopped noticing these ‘grace filled moments’ the lull of indifference ensnared me and i suppose i convinced myself that they were something to do with my conversion…my newbie status as a Catholic…..that now i wasn’t wet with the baptismal water, i had settled into a somewhat predictable, machine like practice of the faith and that was the way it was for most people, probably.
Rather unexpectedly, Mary got my attention yesterday.
After lighting my candles and placing them by the statue ot The Pieta I knelt to pray my Sacramental Penance.
For a long while I gazed at the statue as i prayed.
I didn’t see the statue move, and i didn’t hear any words spoken aloud….but in a moment of grace, in my mind, i saw Mother turn to me, with eyes and voice unaccusing, but yet filled with sorrow…”What have you done?” she seemed to say to me…..”Look…look….what your sins have done?”.
In my ‘minds eye’ I could see that Mother loved me, that she was not reproaching me, she only asked me to join the dots….to ‘connect’ my sins with Our Lord’s wounds…to understand that it was my sin that pierced His flesh. Did Mother also not seem to say, as do all mothers, to arguing/fighting siblings ‘What is this that you have you done to your brother?’
Well just what had I done to my Brother?
I was particularly drawn to look upon the injury of Our Lord’s pierced side…the wound touched by St. Thomas himself, one of many wounds that my sin (our sin) inflicted on the Lord. As i gazed at the wound I thought of how we Catholics could perhaps have become almost desensitised to some extent, by the many images of Our Lord, bloodied and wounded.
And i wondered that we might perhaps give too much emphasis to His wounds if we consider them only as we consider our own physical injuries….. because the wounds, the true wounds…. that were an agony to our dear suffering Lord…. were the many blows He suffered by my rejection of Him (and yours), by my thirst for fleshly pleasures, by my ignoring Him.
I looked at Mary and she continued gazing down at her Son, His lifeless body cradled in her arms…and she seemed to ask me to look again at her Son….and to consider this….that He is more than Saviour, more than Redeemer, more than Counsellor, more than King, more than Prince of Peace…more than Shepherd…more than Master….because more than anything, Jesus is my Friend (and yours).
Perhaps when i am next tempted to commit a sinful act or thought, i would do better to imagine myself once more at the foot of the Cross where Mother knelt cradling the lifeless body of her only Son….and finding myself there I should ask myself,
“What have I done?”
I pray that in recognising the suffering my dear Friend endured for my sake, that I shall feel such sorrow for my sins past, that there are fewer at present time and still far less, in the future.