When the season of Lent comes, it brings with it Calvary.
No matter how immersed in day-to-day living we may be, it is hard to escape a sort of inner realization that there is something different about these weeks…. Yet Lent, in a strange way, is a joyous season. For it is the completion of Christ's birth in his crib, that led slowly to the cross and brought us salvation and the Mass and sacraments. If only we turn to the cross, our lives will be renewed, as will our spiritual youth, and we will enter Easter with great joy. We will know that all things henceforth can be borne by each of us, if we live from Mass to Mass, preferably in twenty-four hour stretches!
For the Mass is the very breath of our spiritual life. There we are face to face with the Lord of Hosts. There we become one with him. Then, refreshed and strengthened beyond our understanding, we once more can face whatever the day may bring. In the Mass we find Bread and Wine for the soul. We find Love bending down to us, Love lifting us, ever higher, to himself, until all things are right and well with us. For we have our being in him already on this earth. The Mass is the sum total of all our prayer life….
All things come together in the Mass, for humanity comes together with God, and in God all things have their being. The Mass is a mighty bridge which brings the entire Church — those living on earth now and those gone on to eternal life — together in an unbreakable unity. In doing so, it brings us peace, strength, and joy. For in the Mass we realize as through a glass darkly, that there is no loss of our Beloved, that we are not alone, that we walk in a goodly company of saints and martyrs. Life changes utterly and begins to make true sense to us when we participate in Mass daily. Our horizons become wider than all the universe, for they span time and eternity. Love grows within our soul until finally its eyes see Christ in all. Slowly, but oh, how surely, our whole person turns to God! Then the spirit of the evangelical counsels — of poverty, chastity, and obedience — of the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments, becomes simple and clear. We become free. How free cannot be told; it has to be experienced.
Servant of God Catherine Doherty, CM. "In the Presence of the Bridegroom." excerpt from Nazareth Family Spirituality: Celebrating Your Faith at Home with Catherine Doherty (Madonna House Publications, 2013).
Reprinted with permission of Madonna House Publications.
Catherine Doherty (1896-1985) used her heritage as a Russian Christian as a matrix for responding to the needs of Christian life and work in the modern world. Her own personal pilgrimage led her to be "poor with the poor Christ" in the slums of Toronto and in Harlem; and later to the establishing of the world-wide Madonna House Apostolate. Among her books are: Grace in Every Season, Soul of My Soul Coming to the Heart of Prayer, Dear Father, Living The Gospel Without Compromise, An Experience of God Identification with Christ — a Road to the Mystical Life, and Catherine de Hueck Doherty: Essential Writing.Copyright © 2013 Madonna House Publications
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