Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 28 - Celebrate a Fast!

Things change for a season in the Abbey as the nuns wait for Easter Sunday morning to arrive. The menu changes and foods are removed, even where the choices were sparse before. The colors change, and bright altar clothes are replaced with somber purples. The cloistered monastic is reminded day in and day out that a great price was about to be paid in the weeks leading up to the Lord’s death, and they celebrate with more contemplation than ever.

Let us consider what it would be to turn our thoughts daily to the love of God in the sacrifice of His Son. The God Whose Angel stayed the hand of Abraham, would not fail to see His Son’s atoning death through to the end. Oh, how thanksgiving begins to permeate the very stones of the cloister! For me, for us, for all, Jesus is about to lay down His precious life! My sins will be removed, propitiated, my guilt will be taken away!

For many nuns, there is no ownership within the monastery. They say, “our cell,” “our book,” “our veil and mantle,” but for one item . . . “my sins.” What would it be like to own NOTHING but one’s sins, and then to have them taken to the cross of our shame, but not by us? Jesus! Jesus! He was pierced for our iniquity and crushed for our transgressions. He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows! The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

Let us now make Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 a part of our “Lectio Divina.” Let us contemplate and pray over the Gospel passages that concern Jesus’ final days, His death and resurrection. Let us remember that it was for the joy set before Him that He endured the cross . . . our cross . . . and despised its shame. Let us celebrate a fast of gratitude and draw near, here in Cor Unum, the monastery of the heart.

"Jesus Went Up to Jerusalem"
Abbatial Photo

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