In the School of the Cross

The season of Lent is a time of purification and an immense gift the Lord gives us to improve and prepare ourselves for Easter. It is a time in which He gives us special graces to help us overcome our weaknesses, which during the rest of the year impede us from drawing near to the Mystery of the Redemption.

I think it’s beautiful that the Lord, in His mercy, gives us these 40 special days. The question that arises is the following: what do I have to do? What should my prayer be like to make the most of this Lenten season and so live Easter well?

I don’t know if it will help you, but I suggest that you consider Lent as a time to learn from Jesus. It’s amazing how much we can learn from the cross and from contemplating Jesus nailed to the cross.

When we meditate on the Passion, we often ask the Lord to help us die on the cross with Him, to nail our pride there instead. Undoubtedly, that is a beautiful prayer. However, it may help you to simply place yourself at the foot of the cross next to Mary and fix your gaze on your God, dead for you, pouring out each drop of Blood for you. The Pope invited the youth to do this in his Exhortation Christus Vivit, as well as in his Lenten message: “Keep your eyes fixed on the outstretched arms of Christ crucified, let yourself be saved over and over again.”

Do you want to learn how to love? Do you want to grow in justice? Do you want Our Lord to grant you faithfulness and perseverance? Do you want to conquer your fear of suffering? Do you desire to learn to do the Father’s will meekly? Look at the cross. Jesus explained everything to us there and showed us how to imitate Him. In the Cross we find the answer to how we should live our life in a sincere search for holiness. St. Teresa of Avila said: “Within the cross is life and consolation. It alone is the road leading to heaven.”

The measure of the perseverance, love, justice, faithfulness, docile surrender, and all the virtues you are called to live is found in Jesus nailed to the cross. The cross is the greatest school for a Christian. Christ Crucified teaches us and makes it possible for us to live our lives fully by imitating how He lived.

Let the Teacher guide you, follow the example of the One who said, “Learn from Me, for I am meek and humble in heart.” Contemplate Jesus, who gave Himself up for you to the very end. Contemplate His pierced Heart, and let his Blood purify and transform you.

Ask the Virgin Mary to keep you by her side and to teach you to consider the cross not simply as an instrument of torture or place of death. Ask her to show you how, through the cross, you can learn to love like Jesus did. He did not just preach theories; He put into practice and fulfilled everything the Father asked Him to the very end, radically, to the point of pouring out every single drop of His blood. He did all this out of love for each and every one of us. What better example do we need?

Christ fulfilled all things on the cross. On the cross, Christ left us the most evident, faithful and total proof of His love.

Look at the cross, draw near to it and contemplate Jesus on it. Let Him love and purify you. Persevere, and what the Book of Sirach says will be fulfilled: “Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be hasty in time of calamity. Cleave to him and do not depart, that you may be honored at the end of your life” (Sirach 2:2-3).

It would be good to do this through concrete actions. I encourage you to ask the Lord to show you what you can do to grow closer to Him this Lent and discern it with your spiritual guide. It could be a good opportunity to increase your prayer time, or, if possible, to set aside time to pray in front of a cross or a Tabernacle. Another simple practice that will surely please the Lord a lot is doing an act of love each time you walk by a cross: kissing it devotedly, reciting a short prayer, or doing any other simple act full of love.

Learn from the Teacher this Lent, and at Easter let His Resurrection pierce your heart and make you a new creature.

Beatriz Fra

My name is Beatriz, I study nursing and I belong to the Home of the Mother Youth. A few years ago I took part in a mission trip to Ecuador where I realized the importance of Christ's real presence in my life. I had always been Catholic, but I was more centered on myself than on God. I realized that a life that doesn't give of itself starts to rot, and that living for myself alone, superficially, I was losing what God had given me until then. Seeing that the Lord had always been with me, that He loved me and suffered because of my lack of fidelity changed my life radically. It pushed me to want to go to Heaven by leaving my superficiality, struggling every day to be holy and to bring to others the great treasure I found. That is why I try to share the joy of the Faith with everyone, especially with young people, and one way of doing this is through this blog. Pray for me!