When it looks like defeat for Our Lord, who is hanging on the Cross, in fact this is the victory. Because the Cross represents the supreme expression of divine mercy and love. The mystery of the Last Supper will be unveiled at the Cross because there we will see the Fourth Cup.
Month: April 2019
One of my favorite parts of Holy Thursday is the extended period of adoration after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the altar of repose. That time is the commemoration of Jesus’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane where the Apostles join Him and He asks Peter, James and John to stay awake with Him one hour.
In contemporary society, most people have no awareness that the offering of sacrifice to God is a central act of the virtue of religion and thus a good and morally obligatory thing. Even Catholics who attend Mass are generally unaware that they are participating in an infinite offering to God or that that is the principal reason why there is a Sunday Mass obligation. The more society becomes secularized, the more the notion of sacrifice and its obligation becomes foreign and difficult to grasp. Clearly there is a great need for catechesis about the meaning, glory, and obligation of offering sacrifice to God.
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Francis de Sales helps us identify exactly how temptations to particular sins work and how to successfully resist them. He identifies three steps in the process of temptation. First, sin is proposed to the soul. Then, we are either pleased or displeased by the proposal. Finally, we consent to or reject the temptation to sin.
Even though it may not be accompanied by the same visible signs as the first Pentecost and the first Confirmations, since Confirmation is our own personal Pentecost it effects a dramatic transformation of our lives. It does this by completing the grace of our Baptism, raising us to spiritual maturity, empowering us with mature spiritual responsibility, and imprinting a new sacramental character on our souls.