The Lenten season is upon us, and as usual we will want to prepare our hearts for this blessed time. How do we do this?
Mother Basilea Schlink writes in the introduction of her book, Behold His Love, “. . . Nothing can bring us closer to Jesus than meditating upon His passion… Countless people, who have suddenly seen what Jesus endured for their sake, have broken down in tears of repentance and adoration of the Lamb of God. This mighty power lies hidden in the suffering of Jesus. But that is not all. Those who come to true repentance long to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Their ardent love for Him compels them to do so… Full of gratitude, they are therefore sensitive to His call, “Come, take up your cross and follow Me”. So it was long ago, and still is today, for Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Still He goes from land to land, revealing Himself in His suffering, seeking to draw our hearts to Him, so that we can see Him today being tried, scourged, crowned with thorns and carrying the cross. But this is not all. When Jesus reveals Himself to us in His suffering, He is seeking disciples, just as He did long ago. Now that He, the Head, is in heaven, He longs for the members of His Body to represent Him on earth. This means that they must follow His way of the cross. His followers will also say, “Yes Father”, when they are tempted. They will silently endure reproaches and accusations. They will willingly accept being scorned and despised. They will humbly bear the burden of a cross…
The world needs signposts. It does not want merely to hear sermons. Indeed many people have heard too many sermons. The world needs something that can be seen. It needs to see people who live like Jesus, the Lamb, who are triumphant in suffering. It needs to see people who humbly bear their crosses yet show love and mercy towards those responsible for their suffering. It needs to see people who endure every burden but still continue to trust in Jesus’ victory—for their own lives as well as for others…
This book is addressed to those who would like to meditate prayerfully on Jesus’ passion, so that repentance might continually be awakened in them. Then love and gratitude to Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, will lead them more and more into the way of the cross and into unity of love with those who love Him.
My Lord Jesus,
I implore You, let me not be a Christian in name only nor a mere spectator of Your passion, but rather Your cross-bearer, following in Your footsteps. As a true member of Your Body, let my life reflect Your image.
I place myself in Your hands so that You can imprint upon me the traits of the Lamb. Help me to endure willingly all that people do to me. May I remain silent when I am unjustly accused. Teach me to bless those who curse me and those who hate and persecute me. I will humble myself beneath scorn and disgrace and patiently bear every cross that comes to me. I know they come from Your hands. People are just Your instruments.
I thank You that I can rely on the words of Scripture and need no longer live for myself alone, but may let Christ live in me. You are the Lamb of God, who endured all things in love. Come into my heart anew as I meditate upon Your passion, and imprint in me Your humility and love. As I use these meditations, help me to thank You for the suffering that You endured because of my sin. Help me to show You my love and gratitude, not merely in words, but also in deeds. Amen
A Song by Mother Basilea, taken from “O None Can Be Loved Like Jesus”
Jesus is love everlasting;
He came to us below,
That God to all His children,
His wondrous love might show.
Love that’s eternal is waiting
and pleads with every heart:
“O, won’t you hear and answer?
‘Tis pain to dwell apart.”