This first Sunday in Lent, let us continue our meditations with the Popes. During this time of confusion, crisis - where temptations grow stronger and stronger to schism and heresy - let us remain serene and with the Church, our Mother. Let us remain at Her bedside, during Her suffering at the hands of evil, incompetent, foolish, and weak, cowardly men.
Let us never, ever forget, nor be tempted towards thinking that Christ is not in charge of His Church, that He is allowing this purification to happen. The question is: when it is over, will we still be at the side of our Mother, the Church? Remain fast in your Faith, dear friends, do not allow Satan to sift you because of scandals, sin, outrages in the Church.
Pope Benedict XVI, in his 2007 Lenten Message wrote:
Dear brothers and sisters, let us look at Christ pierced on the Cross! He is the unsurpassing revelation of God's love, a love in which eros and agape, far from being opposed, enlighten each other. On the Cross, it is God himself who begs the love of his creature: He is thirsty for the love of every one of us.
The Apostle Thomas recognized Jesus as "Lord and God" when he put his hand into the wound of his side. Not surprisingly, many of the saints found in the Heart of Jesus the deepest expression of this mystery of love. One could rightly say that the revelation of God's eros toward man is, in reality, the supreme expression of his agape. In all truth, only the love that unites the free gift of oneself with the impassioned desire for reciprocity instils a joy which eases the heaviest of burdens.
Jesus said: "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself" (Jn 12: 32). The response the Lord ardently desires of us is above all that we welcome his love and allow ourselves to be drawn to him.
Accepting his love, however, is not enough. We need to respond to such love and devote ourselves to communicating it to others. Christ "draws me to himself" in order to unite himself to me, so that I learn to love the brothers with his own love.