Focusing on Jesus Crucified

Sunset, Great Swamp National Refuge, New Vernon, NJ

I follow a blog by a young man who has been heroically living a chaste life for Christ while struggling with same-sex desires. In his latest post, he confessed to falling into sin and then he wrote of the deep remorse he was experiencing. It was a hard post to read and I am sure a lot harder to write. But while I read his post, one thing quickly came to mind – the Mercy of God and the image of Christ Crucified. This young man has been in my constant thoughts and prayers.

This morning I attended daily Mass and the Gospel was about Jesus calming the storm (Matt 8:23-27). And again I prayed for this young man. And I thought about how we (not just him but I) need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the One who died for our sins, the one who saves us when we are about to drown. He is the only thing that matters. It’s not about us and our problems, our sins. It’s about Him and His merciful love for us.
After Mass, I read the daily meditation from The Magnificat and today’s meditation brought me to tears. It was an excerpt taken from the letters of St. Padre Pio.

Whatever can I say in order to stop the multitude of your thoughts? Don’t try, excessively, to heal your heart as your efforts would only make it more infirm. Don’t make too great an effort to overcome your temptations, as this violence would only make them stronger. Despise them and don’t dwell on them too much.
Keep Jesus Crucified present in your imagination; in your arms and on your breast, and, kissing his side, say a thousand times: “This is my hope, the living source of my happiness; this is the heart of my soul; nothing will ever separate me from his love. I possess him and will not leave him, until he places me in a safe place.”
Often say to him: “What can I have on earth, or what can I expect in heaven, if not you, oh my Jesus? You are the God of my heart and the inheritance I desire for all eternity.”
Whom should we fear, therefore? Listen to our Lord who says to Abraham and to you also: “Do not fear, I am your protector.” Therefore, be steadfast in your resolutions. stay in the boat in which he has placed you, and let the storm come. Long live Jesus! You will not perish. May he sleep, but at the opportune time he will awaken to restore your calm.
St. Padre Pio

May I keep Jesus Crucified close to my heart.

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