Christ suffers perpetually in the Paschal Sacrifice. How much He loves us! How much He does for us! “Father Forgive us, for we know not what we do…”
Yesterday, I finished praying the Divine Mercy Novena, which concludes on the First Sunday after Easter. This Novena was revealed by Christ to the Mystic Saint Maria Faustyna Kowalska during her visions of Christ in the early 20th century. Each day, the prayers in the novena are offered for mercy for a particular group of souls, as directed by Christ, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed for those souls.
I have found this a very challenging novena to pray for many human reasons. The technology has been troublesome because the app that I usually use for this prayer has malfunctioned of late and I have not been able to install a functioning app for some time. The prayers themselves, though very short, drain me very much, much more than they should considering the brevity of my efforts and the abundance of Mercy that I am promised in exchange.
The other day, while I was praying this novena with my parents for Mercy for all the souls who have left the Church or who refuse to recognise and acknowledge God, it occurred to me that this lethargy – this reluctance to pray – is surely a temptation.
For what could be more valuable than the Divine Mercy of God? Wouldn’t I give ANYTHING to achieve it? So, how is a nine minute prayer causing me such consternation?
Wonderful revelations have occurred for me through the action of the Holy Spirit as a result of this prayer. While praying this novena, I have reflected often on this message of God’s mercy and have realised such wonders!
God is outside of Time and Space. What this means is that God experiences the Past, the Present and the Future SIMULTANEOUSLY and all at once. He sees what was, what is and what will be in an instant and always. That is why God calls Himself “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus, 3:14), because God always was, always is and always will be. He is “I AM”.
Now, you may ask the obvious question… How does the UNCHANGEABILITY and the PERMANENCE of GOD relate to His Divine Mercy?
I have been reflecting on this for some time now, and suddenly, in a blinding flash – that I can only attribute to the inspiration of the Beautiful Holy Spirit – everything became so clear to me that it seemed the world stood still…
When Christ was crucified, He absorbed all the sin of the world – past, present and future – into His DIVINE and PERFECT Body.
“He pulled all your sin, all my sin – all that awful stuff – into His pure body, and when His body was destroyed on the cross, our sin was destroyed too.” (Vinny Flynn, 7 Secrets of Confession).
THAT… was the suffering and the sacrifice on the Cross.
Christ took ALL SIN into HIMSELF and DIED. His body – which contained ALL SIN – died so that He could destroy sin, which died with His Blessed Body.
Thus, it was through the Resurrection of Christ, the RISING of His BODY that revealed God’s TRIUMPH over EVIL and SIN, because though He suffered for Sin, it did not destroy Him!
So, in that moment, two thousand years ago, when Christ cried out seven times from the Cross, it meant something!
First, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
I read this phrase again today, and my heart almost missed a beat. My Beloved was speaking about me, and I did not even know it. How could I not have understood what He meant? In almost 40 years of living my faith, how did I miss this? How could I?
I did not know – not until this moment, writing this reflection right in this moment – that God took on all SIN into HIMSELF so that it would die with His Sacred Body. How did I never understand this before? How did I not realise it? And now… Now that I have realised the marvellous miraculous immensity of what it is Christ is doing on that Cross, I am confounded!
How is the world continuing to turn as though nothing has changed at all? How is the air still moving into my lungs and my body continuing to metabolise and function? Because, through this action of Christ in mercifully absorbing all sin into His Sacred Person, He proved His second words… “You will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). Only through the destruction of sin are we able to be with Him!
Christ so loved us that He gave us His own perfect mother to protect us… “Woman, behold your son!” (John 19:26-27) and consumed by the sin within His Blessed Body, He cried out… “‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ (Matthew 27:46). Because He “thirst” for sinners when he said, “I thirst!” (John 19:28). For He thirst for more suffering to save us. He asked for EVERY sin so that we would be saved from them ALL…
For it was through the absorption of all sin that He was able to say… “It is finished!” (John 19:30). And when He finished it, He cried out a final time… “‘Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit’” (Luke 23:46).
And so, Christ – as God the Son – placed Himself into Time and Space to assume our sin and then left Time and Space through the Resurrection to perpetually continue in the Paschal Mystery until the end of the world.
Now, for us, when we receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation we do NOT BEG forgiveness for our sins – because forgiveness was granted to us two thousand years ago on that Cross – we RECEIVE the forgiveness and healing that Christ already earned through His Perpetual Sacrifice.
This is why saints like Saint Jacinta and Saint Francesco of Fatima are so wonderful. They knew that Christ continually suffers the weight of sins on the Cross, and they continually offered sacrifices, penance and mortification, not to beg forgiveness, but to alleviate His suffering, by assuming some crumb of it onto themselves.
If only I could worthily imitate the example of such children.
For surely, if we each of us collected a few small crumbs, Christ’s suffering would be a few crumbs less?
And what I would not give to help my Poor Suffering Beloved!
“Father Forgive us, for we know not what we do…”
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.