Thursday, August 27, 2015

Catholic Teen. Will Travel.

Catholic Teen. Will Travel.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Leaving on a Jet Plane? Where would you go? And why?

Leaving on a Jet Plane? Where would you go? And why?
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Dandelions and Death Camps

Dandelions and Death Camps
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Dandelions and Death Camps

Dandelions and Death Camps
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Saturday, August 22, 2015

When A Saint Talks To You

When A Saint Talks To You
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Friday, August 21, 2015

Pierogi Is Better in Poland

Pierogi Is Better in Poland
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Do You have Petitions for the Christopher West CorProject Pilgrimage to Poland?

Do You have Petitions for the Christopher West CorProject Pilgrimage to Poland?
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Three ways God defines marriage.

Three ways God defines marriage.
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Sunday, August 2, 2015

What a ten-year-old could teach the President about ethics.

What a ten-year-old could teach the President about ethics.
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Friday, July 31, 2015

Planned Parenthood, I can’t stop thinking about what I’ve seen and heard.

Planned Parenthood, I can’t stop thinking about what I’ve seen and heard.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Five Reasons to Homeschool in High School

Five Reasons to Homeschool in High School
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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Johnson & Johnson’s link to PP: Tell Me It Ain’t So

Johnson & Johnson’s link to PP: Tell Me It Ain’t So
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What Does God Want From Me? In Lieu of the Audible Voice.

What Does God Want From Me? In Lieu of the Audible Voice.
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Friday, July 17, 2015

The Nexus of Jewish, Evangelical, and Catholic–a lesson before my pilgrimage to Poland.

The Nexus of Jewish, Evangelical, and Catholic–a lesson before my pilgrimage to Poland.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

All the writers in Buffalo had a few drinks. And worlds collide.

All the writers in Buffalo had a few drinks. And worlds collide.
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Monday, June 15, 2015

Want a GREAT reason to hit the treadmill? Join 500 people on a virtual walk with Mary

Want a GREAT reason to hit the treadmill? Join 500 people on a virtual walk with Mary
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Friday, June 12, 2015

When the BFF has a great idea

When the BFF has a great idea
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When the Family Vacation Is A Bust

When the Family Vacation Is A Bust
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Sunday, May 31, 2015

On Elizabeth’s Doorstep: The Holy Trinity showed up

On Elizabeth’s Doorstep: The Holy Trinity showed up
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Lent & the Crown of Thorns


 
Terry was sitting beside her husband at the outdoor Mass we attended on the Mount of Beatitudes. She leaned into Chris’ side and felt the joy of praying the Mass with him, the enormity of hearing the words of the divine liturgy on this mountain where Jesus Christ proclaimed the Sermon on the Mount. Then, Terry suddenly reached up and swiped at the back of her neck as though she had been stung.

It was no bee.

When I looked behind her, I had to smile. The branch she had just swept away was from the Zizyphus Spina Christi plant, a tree believed to have been used to make the Crown of Thorns that was placed on Our Lord’s Sacred Head before the crucifixion.

The significance of that moment on the Mount of Beatitudes and the grace of being pricked by the thorns of that plant in the middle of Mass still resonate with me. Yes, it was a grace … is a grace to share in His Passion, just as it is a grace to share in His Resurrection and triumph over death and sorrow and little pricks of pain from countless things that trouble us. A little thorn on an obscure branch on a hill where the gospel was proclaimed and is still proclaimed today.

The thorns were not big, like those we imagine or see in Hollywood depictions of that day. They were little. So sharp. Like needles, but so small that one has to look closely to see them. The first time I visited the Holy Land and walked along that Mount of Beatitudes, I paused to snap a little branch from one tree as we descended the mountain and approached the Sea of Galilee below.

The thorns pierced me three times, drawing blood. It was painful, but I had to laugh at the irony of it. Such a little thing, this thorn.

Such little things to cause such pain. And there was a little joy in knowing I was sharing in a very small way in the pain my Lord had experienced. I treasured that little thorn. It is now between the pages of my Bible – resting in the crevice of a page that tells about the Passion and a crown of many thorns.

As we approach Lent, I am thinking again about the Mount of Beatitudes and the Zizyphus Spina Christi plant.

I am thinking about our thorns, the countless sufferings we embrace and consider a share in His great suffering.

I think of Our Lord, who walked down that same mountain, passed thorny plants such as these, and yet had His eyes on the path that led all the way to the Cross of Mount Calvary.

Oh, my Jesus. Let me take up your suffering and wear it with you.

Let me see each prick as a grace.

And let me say what you said.

Thy will. Only Thy will.

 

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