An Open Invitation by bro.Mark

The Lenten Season is an open invitation by God to grow closer to the Sacred Heart of Christ Jesus. As Jesus was thrust into the desert for 40 days and forty nights, God calls you and I to enter into the desert of our heart, seeking emptiness, allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell within us and guide us, and to learn how to place others first. The word sin has really gotten a bum wrap here in America. The word Sin in the original Greek means, “to miss the mark” I picture a bow and arrow with the target a couple hundred feet away. The aim is to shoot our arrow to hit the bullseye. The target we strive to focus on in the spiritual life is our love relationship with God. God seeks only relationship. The Father as His children, Christ Jesus as our brother, and to be the spouse of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we “miss the mark” when we stray from this relationship, settling for a more tangible limited love instead. The foundation to all our longing within our heart and soul is based in love. Unfortunately, at times this love is more limited and transient. I invite you this Lenten Season to examine your heart and see what it might be that keeps you from “hitting the mark” and cultivating your love relationship with God. The Lenten Season is a season to explore and restore. Allow this time to embrace you. It is a special time to listen for that “still small voice” the prophet Elias sought out in the desert of silence. Put aside the many distractions that keep you from hitting the mark, the Sacred Heart of Christ. It sounds impossible, but with Gods grace all things are possible. And as St. Padre Pío use to say, “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry”, God’s door is always open. Have a very blessed Lent. If you are in need of intercessory prayer please email the Hermits of the Holy Cross with your intentions. We are here for you and we love you. Our email address can be found on our website.

Peace and Goodness,

Your brother in Christ Jesus,

Mark

Suffering as Prayer

One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to God, and many a time he is praying much more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer.
-St. Teresa of Avila

For people like us who live with physical and health challenges, saying prayers using the Church’s indulgenced Sacramentals – like the Rosary Beads – or The Psalter, isn’t always something we can do.  It may be a day of excessive pain or a night that passed without sleep that prevents it, however much we desired to.  And so, instead or in addition to these more formal methods of Prayer, we offer our very sufferings themselves to God as Prayer.  Apparently, this was a Practice known to be acceptable in the Church even back in St. Teresa’s time, as the Quote above shows.  But, just what is it that makes our suffering something that can help anyone?

Well, I can’t speak to that as a Theologian might, but in my opinion and from what I have observed, every Conscious Act offered to God for the sake of another’s well-being sends out a vibration of Love into the universe that carries with it an energy of pure spirit  Pure Spirit not because of our own purity, but because we have offered it to God, who then shows “acceptance”, if you will, by uniting that small offering of ours to His own Holy Spirit, purifying it of all that is less-than and unworthy of His own perfection.  If we make these offerings faithfully, daily, or even several times in the same day, how much Love would our Lord shower down upon us all?! 

Now I DID say, “every Conscious Act”. So what is a Conscious Act, then?  A Conscious Act is one done with Intention and Attention.  So many of our daily actions are done by habit or conditioning.  To make a truly Conscious Act, I try to focus however much of my attention my pain allows upon Jesus, knowing that all my desires are known to Him.  And then I will that this humble desire may be of use to relieve the sufferings of others, according to God’s Will, believing in Faith that such IS also God’s Will. Lastly, I let go and Trust in God to supply all the rest, so that this simple act may be brought to fruition in Him.