A LENTEN LETTER TO JESUS
My Dear Jesus, this is the third week of Lent. The cares of the world, along with my weak nature, have caused the flames of love for You, that burned so brightly at the beginning of Lent, to grow dim. Therefore, I want to take this time with You to re-kindle the embers of my filial love for You.
As I recall to my mind the resolutions and desires that I laid out before You just three weeks ago, I see clearly that all is not lost! I thank You for the abundant graces You have poured out upon me. I thank You particularly for the times You gave me the grace to respond to Your call and to the movement of the Holy Spirit within me. I thank You for the ‘wonderful’ Mission You provided in our parish for our spiritual growth. My Jesus, one thing in particular has remained alive in my soul from that Mission. That is the Love Our Heavenly Father has for each of us. Oh, I always knew (in my mind) that God loves me, but the way this reality was presented to us has been life-changing for me. I now have an image of God, Our Almighty Father, with His arms around me individually and around the whole world collectively. In the past, I often felt some preachers, in an effort to emphasize that God is a God of Love, lost sight of His other qualities, like justice; which they seemed to deem incompatible with love. However, in my understanding, love requires justice; justice leads to sorrow; sorrow leads to mercy; mercy leads to forgiveness; and forgiveness leads us back to love.
The more I think about the Love the Father has for us, His children and the reciprocal love we, His children, owe Him, I can not help thinking about the human love a bride has for her bridegroom and vise versa. Both bride and bridegroom desire nothing else so much as to please the one they love. The thought of betraying the other is incomprehensible. The little human failings are quickly forgiven – if even noticed. If this is so between mere humans, how much more perfect should it be between the creature and The Creator? How deep should we love Our Father who sacrificed His own dear Son in order to save us from Eternal Damnation (even though damnation is what we justly deserve)? What tremendous gratitude should fill our hearts!
When I think of Our Heavenly Father in this way I can literally feel His embrace, and I want only to love Him perfectly and to never again offend Him. Oh My Jesus, thank You for showing us the Father’s Love for when we see You, we have also seen the Father.
On E.W.T.N. today, Bishop Timothy Dolan offered us the following ‘Seven Ways to Grow in Love with Jesus’:
1) Spend time with Him. (Pray)
2) Eat with Him. (Reverently receive Our Lord in the Eucharist)
3) Meet with His Family. (Devotion to Mother Mary and the Saints)
4) Learn to say “I’m Sorry.” (Frequent Confession)
5) Get rid of whatever you know hurts Him. (Firm Purpose of Amendment)
6) Cultivate our Shared Interests.
(Care about what He cares about, the poor, the forgotten, the suffering, and the sick.)
7) Desire to share His life and His future.
(Sharing His life means, grace; sharing His future means, Eternal Life)
Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in me the fire of Your Love.
My Triune God, I love You; help me to love You more and more!
Thank You for the gift of Love.