“I was deeply afflicted on receiving your letter; and God gave me the grace not to wait even a second to place all the bitterness of this outrage at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.” (Letter to Bishop C.A. de Richery of Fréjus, 26 January 1828, EO XIII, n 163)
I quite unashamedly borrow this from Frank Santucci’s blog from a few days ago. It was following an incident that left me hurting and angry. A broken relationship with another where the hurt manifested itself in anger and I felt the urge to retaliate. Perhaps later in the day I would be able to pray for this person, or maybe tomorrow (or next week or whenever). After having read this sentence a few times I thought about how I might pray for that person. I didn’t like the feelings that I experienced so was I asking God to make them go away? Was I really praying for myself – that I wouldn’t hurt, or that they wouldn’t hurt me, praying that God would make it better? My ‘praying for them’ no longer seemed to ‘cut it’.
I need to lay this person at the foot of the Cross – but not to then just walk away. I will need to stay there – not wash my hands of them, but stay there with them, perhaps lift them up to Jesus. It seems to demand a conscious act. For some reason the story of the good Samaritan comes to mind. For it was not enough to just pick up the man from the road and rinse his wounds. That love and care must extend to carrying him and ensuring for his care.
Only then will I find solace and healing. It must be intentional and actual. This is a deeper, fuller and more honest way of loving. I want to say ‘damn’ to it but to do so would be to close off my own heart and so must ask God for the courage and strength to do even this.