February 2004   laying our troubles before the Lord...

Today's Way of the Cross


    Some years ago, when I was involved in giving directed retreats, there was an exercise I used to give to the retreatants.   When it came to the point in the retreat of meditating on the Passion, I asked the retreatant to make the traditional Stations of the Cross, an exercise the retreatant usually welcomed.


     When the person on retreat came to share this experience, I was always struck by the fact that what the retreatant described as the chief suffering of Jesus was actually a description of the retreatant's own suffering.


     Although, at first sight, it may seem to be self-centered, Lent is probably a good time to get in touch with our own unarticulated suffering, and to place it before the Heart of God each morning. When Easter comes, we may come to realize that something within us has changed.


     I have also found that many times people are attracted to, and become involved in, a home spun type of ministry with others, who have similar sufferings.   Thus, there is the going out from self toward others.


     Most of us are in agreement that Lent is a good time to get in touch with our own Center, and to make concrete decisions.   In all ways, God wants our happiness and not our anguish, except maybe to give it away.   Relief from our own struggles, then, can make us different people.   Almost always, this change affects other people around us for the good.   Then, too, laying our troubles before the Lord must also be something that soothes the Heart of God.   We're in it together.

Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D.

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