(Note: The Spanish translation will appear on Monday. La traducción de este blog aparecerá este Lunes Santo en la sección de “pages” o páginas con el título de “Células estaminales embriónicas”)
I would like to mention a few fruits that have become evident in this my Lent of 2009, and as I kept working hard at mixing prayer with full acceptance of my crosses. But before I do that, let me give you some news about the latest scientific developments regarding embryonic stem cell research and that I bumped into by the grace of God, just 4 days ago. The topic of using these cells from embryos, babies at its earlier state of development, is DEAD… However, the media is not reporting any of it… and the measure of lifting all that our previous U.S. President had put in place to avoid the use of many of these lines of frozen embryos, which happened this past March 9th through the new administration, is also obsolete…!!!
I have placed what I just learned from a very reputable doctor well known in the U.S., in a separate page on the right side of this blog, titled, “Embryonic stem cells”. I do it this way for any of you to get to it in an easier manner, and to spare some of my friends who read this blog and whom I already contacted with this info via E-mail. It is a miracle that I suspect may have to be through the intercession of a man, Servant of God JP II, who suffered from Parkinson’s, because in just one year (2008) they advanced on how to cure Parkinson’s that could have instead taken 10 years to do so… and this cure will be plausible in at most 9 years from now… Praise God! But the other big point and most dear to our Servant of God, would be to spare the lives of these embryos… and not to make them in the Petri dish to be used as spare parts… And this report came precisely via a very famous program seen in many parts of the world on March 31, 2009… almost on the anniversary of his death! Wow!
FRUITS of this Lent from mixing prayer and embracing my crosses as best as I could during these special 40 days of 2009:
1. I am finding out that every time that I am concerned about some item, whether seen in TV or at Church, something that needs fixing, I switch immediately to pray for mercy for the person (s) who is(are) involved. Before, I would stay pondering in the scandal I had just received. Now, without much thinking, I am reminded that my reason to be present to this event is to pray for the people in it…
2. I am finding that I am loving people who offend me with their sins like I never did before. In fact, this love shows as that of a mom for her children, as merciful love… I do not work at it. It is just grace given to me… I have also arrived to the complete surety that all prayer done for others must come from a loving heart, and if one does not love the person we are praying for, we must ask for this grace, and we get the answer quite soon. It is happening to me often…
3. I noticed that in the XVI C., the Lord sent us two prophets to put together for us exactly this sandwich of prayer and the cross fully embraced, in order to grow in the spiritual life as never before. Two giants and now Doctors of the Church were born in Spain almost at the same time: St. Teresa of Avila who suffered immensely while fighting to renew her Carmelite Order, and writing for us the stages of union with God through PRAYER. And St. John of the Cross, who explained the cross as no one before him… His cross was huge as well, suffering persecution and being incarcerated by his own. And he grew in intimacy with God via the cross… It is interesting that he wrote most of his acclaimed book while in jail…
4. So, now I am quite comfortably at saying that prayer with love and embracing of our crosses as the sacrifice for others, is the fastest way to convert the entire world… Nothing different of what Jesus did for us and that we are about to refocus in this coming Holy Week. So, embracing our crosses is one of the keys (besides loving the ones we pray for). But as with asking for love for others, we have to ask for the grace to embrace our crosses…
The miracle has been that by God’s grace, just one week ago, I ended up with a notebook I started in the 90’s and which I found in one of the boxes in this garage, precisely focused on asking God for the grace to embrace our crosses. I will share these prayers with you, which I composed based on the writings of St. Louis Marie de Montfort, who promulgated the need to become “Friends of the Cross.” If you feel called to it, pray them and sit to see the results… on how you can evangelize many united to prayer… and as you get transfigured yourself. I suspect that all of this done in those years, a prayer that as I always tell my Lord, will be present to Him even if I do not repeat it, but that the fact that I wrote it and signed it… means it is present always in front of His Throne of Mercy, this brought with prayer, the salvation of my spouse in such a miraculous way at the time of his death. He went from non believing and actually being offended by the things of God, into acceptance of his death with joy, very little pain from his advanced cancer, and reverting to be a Catholic as if nothing had happened… So, becoming a “friend of the Cross” is spiritual money… Here is the prayer:
1. Father, take away my fear to take up the cross that leads to Your Kingdom!
2. Make me understand that in the cross of every day, there is:
1) Salvation. 2) Eternal life. 3) Protection. 4) Heavenly sweetness. 5) Strength of mind. 6) Spiritual joy. 7) Supreme virtue of faith, hope and love. 8 ) Perfect holiness. 9) Heaven on earth. 10) The source to enkindle the fire of divine love in our heart by detaching from creatures. 11) The abundant source of every delight and consolation; it brings joy, peace and grace to our souls. 12) It is conduit for the salvation of my neighbor.
3. Dad, make me believe and understand the paradox of the Cross! àThat to die in and with Him, in order to live with Him, to join Him in Glory, I must join Him in suffering, through daily dying to myself.
4. Make me understand the wisdom of bearing the cross: that if I bear my cross willingly, it will carry me and lead me to my desire goal, where suffering will end.
5. Make me believe and remember that if I fling aside one cross, I will certainly find another and, perhaps a heavier one!
6. Lord, show me Your Truth: that the more I get weakened by affliction, the more my spirit is strengthened by inner grace, by divine comfort, and that eventually, I will receive the great reward of embracing warmly those things from which I naturally recoil, and that being comforted by trials and afflictions, there will be a point where I will not want to be without the crosses themselves.
7. Dad, my nature is not to bear the cross, to love the cross, to discipline myself, to avoid seeking praise, to suffer insults willingly, to think humbly of myself, to appear humble to others, to endure adversity and loss, and not to seek prosperity as my first goal. Make me understand, then, that by not avoiding my crosses, by enduring them patiently, by drinking lovingly of Your chalice of the bitter cup, my nature will change, and suffering will become a great consolation instead; and that by enduring pain and sorrow to please You, and my beloved Jesus, I will experience paradise on earth. Show me how You have enclosed in the cross such an abundance of grace, life and happiness, that only those who enjoy its special favors know about them. (From God Alone, Chapter 22)
8. Father, teach me that one must be humble, little, self disciplined, spiritual and despised by the world, in order to learn the mystery of the Cross! “Father”, said Your son, “I thank You for having hidden these things from the wise and prudent of the world, and revealed them to the little ones.” And I ask You therefore, to always remind me that I must be a little one to have the revelation of Your mysteries, most especially the mystery of the Cross!
9. Remind me always that however excellent is the gift of faith by which I please You my God, and draw near to You and overcome my enemies, the Cross is even a greatest gift.
10. Remind me Father, that I am a living temple of Your Holy Spirit, and like a living stone, I am destined to be set by You out of love, into a building of the heavenly Jerusalem. And so, I must expect to be shaped, cut and chiseled under the hammer of the Cross; that I must respect the chisel that is carving me and the hand that is shaping me into that building.
11. My Lord, my Lord, as I resolve to become a saint, I thank You for I having found the pearl of great prize, a treasure, my cross, fashioned by Your own hands with great exactness: its length, breadth, thickness and depth, according to the prescriptions of the Cross of Calvary that You carved for Your Son Jesus.
The thickness of my cross if made up of:
1) Loss of possession: jobs, money, professional success according to the world standards.
5) Spiritual trials
The length of my cross consists of:
1) Slander, persecutions
2) Suffering the temptation of fleeing the cross, as the twelve did.
3) Desolation because of it.
The breadth of my cross is made up of:
Harsh and bitter circumstances brought about by family, relatives, friends, servants and enemies.
The depth of my cross is made up of:
1) Hidden trials like negative memories that lie buried in my mind
2) Inability to find comfort in other people, spiritual partners who would like to run the race towards You with me, accepting to discuss my crosses, and holding my hands; however, when the going gets bitter and over powering for me, they fail me with their presence and love.
12. Therefore, my Father, thank you for the exactness of my cross: its size is perfect as You are perfect; this gift is your Love, as You are love Yourself.
13. And Father, my last request: give me the grace to boast about my cross, my rather little cross compared with other’s. I willingly accept it and willingly choose to embrace it, not drag it…
14. I love You my God, Three in One; grace me with the power and the wisdom and love to dedicate my body, mind and spirit to the exclusive embrace of all my crosses with joy, with a “yes” larger than my own cross, and a “yes” that will resound in heaven as a love song to You. But I need perfect strength from You to attend to this work.
15. As I write this prayer, I see Mr. William Jefferson Clinton become President Clinton. He calls for renewal, responsibility, union and sacrifice. But I call for Your passion, Your passion to love me through Your Son’s Passion, and this will control little by little my transfiguration into whom You predestined me to be for all eternity, even before I was knitted in my mother Sarah’s womb.
Dad, when tears fall down my face because of my cross hurts too much and I am unable to embrace it tightly, do not worry about me. I understand the road. I want to climb the stairs of Your freedom. Just hold me tight, very tight, as You have been doing for so many years before when I have walked over turbulent waters. It is that tightness of Presence and Love which holds me the best, and make me feel the safest. Do not forget to hold me tight, Daddy, very tight. And please remind me often that every time I tend to flee the cross, I am like St. Peter to whom Jesus said, “Get away from Me, Satan.”Remind me that in these instances, I am seeing my life with my human eyes, and not through God’s eyes.
My beloved Jesus, love me with Your Presence, with Your eyes of compassion and mercy; with the patience and the intimacy of the lover as You have shown me.
Holy Spirit of my Father and of My beloved Jesus, take over my all: my true and false self and my body. May You and my spirit be one in wisdom, love, compassion, mercy, understanding and knowledge for everybody in this world.
I want, Holy Spirit, to become a friend of the Cross, and as a friend, I want to grow in this relationship and intimacy; for it is the Cross, the royal path to You, which will finally subdue my false self and its idols, which are dust, the cloud between You and me. I love you Holy Trinity. I love You. Amen.