“What are these wounds in the midst of Thy hands?”

“With these I was wounded in the house of them that loved Me.”

Thus reads the Lesson for the Votive Mass of Our Lord’s Passion, traditionally heard on feria Fridays. It is also a good way to start Lent, helping to remind us of all those times we have wounded our Lord, even though we profess to love him. The prophet is referencing Israel, but you may as well insert yourself there.

God had already picked out your cross for you before the beginning of time. Before He created the universe, He knew exactly your trajectory, your choices, your needs. Taking up your cross isn’t the end, it’s only the beginning, but it is a glorious beginning on the road to victory, a victory which has already been won for us if we only choose wisely. The very fact that you were born into the world at this particular point in linear time is a gift, and a real chance to be a saint… a great saint. Such requires action, not lamentation. It’s time to man up. Everything happening in your life right now is permitted so that you might be more open to receive divine grace, and wield it for good.

Suffering is a tool. Temptation is a tool. Lent is a tool. Do not waste these things; use them as weapons to draw yourself closer to God.

Blessed Lent, everyone.

2 thoughts on ““What are these wounds in the midst of Thy hands?””

  1. This passage from Sacred Scripture reminded me of the ending to good short story:
    “Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, “Who hath dared to wound thee?” For on the palms of the child’s hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.“Who hath dared to wound thee?” cried the Giant; “tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him.”“Nay!” answered the child; “but these are the wounds of Love.”“Who art thou?” said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child. And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, “You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.” – The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde, May 1888

  2. One lenten day of recollection in a Byzantine church, the priest had a large wood cross in the center aisle, and we each had to go up and pound a big nail into the cross. Was powerful and moving. +++

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