As one of my protestant friends always reminds me, we are all damned in our sins. If not for the grace of God, we still would be. God steps into our lives, infuses us with grace, we turn to Him and look. And what do we see? What is that image that is the center of salvation?
Christ is up there. On the cross. Bearing OUR sins. He’s not suffering cause he sinned. He’s suffering because WE sinned.
As a mother, we want to save our children from suffering. Imagine for one moment how the Blessed Mother must have felt watching her son up there. Imagine your child in pain. Multiply that by all the millions of sins and punishment in hell that Christ was taking care of up there. His suffering was immense.
When we turn away from our sin, we are looking to the cross. When we own up to our sins, we are willing to suffer and die and go to hell over them because we realize how severe even the littlest sin is. But we don’t have to do that. That’s why he did it for us. So we don’t have to.
That doesn’t mean we get out of suffering. No, Christ did tell us to pick up our crosses and follow him. We don’t get a free pass on suffering. But the load is far, far lighter than it should be.
We must embrace suffering with joy.
Because after the suffering and the death, comes the resurrection and the life.
What are your sufferings? They are nothing compared to what he suffered. And they are nothing compared to the joy we are now able to receive.
Praise God my friends! Lent is a time to reflect on our sufferings, to embrace them and carry our crosses with joy because in a few short weeks, we celebrate the greatest joy of all! Easter!