Whatever it is that bothers you,
leave it at the foot of the Cross.
Day Eight of Lent: Thursday of the First Week of Lent – Esther 14 (C:14b)
God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are You. Help me, who am alone and have no help but You -Esther 12:15-16.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
It is easy to sound like Esther when we cry out to God in need, strong and brave. But do we live like Esther in other areas of our lives? Do we not only say the right words but really mean them even when things aren’t going as planned? Without even realizing it, most of us turn ourselves or the things in our lives into miniature gods. We like to have full control over what is going on in our day-to-day existence and so we hold fast to the reins of control. We convince ourselves that we will keep everything on course through our own determination and willpower. If we must, we will even bend other people and events to assist our will. Yes, we even try to bend God to our will, thinking somehow that we know what is best – both now and in the future. Unfortunately, it is usually only when we hit rock-bottom in whatever part of our life that is out of control that we finally put ourselves before the Lord in true Esther fashion.
Acknowledging that we are fallen, have sinned, and ultimately have no power to control our lives is not part of the modern-day playbook for success. Rather, if we listen to contemporary “motivational speeches,” we are told that if we work hard enough, accumulate enough “stuff,” we will finally be happy, have our lives in order, and be in control. Or so we thought. Sure, hard work certainly helps but it is only surface cleaning. The only way to a “deep cleanse” or true and lasting peace of mind is through total surrender to the will of God. We must completely “let go and let God” trusting Him for everything and just as He wills it.
Day 8 Lenten Meditation
What in your life today has you feeling anxious? Take a moment to really think about that. What area in your life has you feeling out of control? Now ask yourself what would happen if you stopped trying so hard to control that situation and instead laid it at the foot of the Cross? If you are not used to doing this, it may seem a bit scary at first. But throughout history, man has always eventually realized that the only way to total and true freedom, peace and joy is to fully surrender to the Lord. We are absolutely powerless on our own, but with Him we can do all things through Christ who strengthens, equips and leads us. He is after all the only One who knows the beginning to the end of your story. So as you move through this Lenten season, ask God to help you surrender your will for His. Every morning and every evening lay all your worries at the foot of the Cross and trust Him with it. When we act in faith, God promises to make all crooked things straight; to lead us down the path of righteousness that will ultimately lead to the Promised Land.
Almighty Father, You are mighty and merciful, patient and loving. You are all things, the only One who can give us the wholeness we seek. Give us the wisdom to remember that when life feels out of control, You are always in control. Thank You, Lord, for Your kind and loving hand in our lives. We humbly ask of You to give us the wisdom in recognizing Your divine way guiding all things even when they don’t go according to our own plans. It is in Your good and holy Name we pay, Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
In humility and reverence, pray fervently and with special insistence for the most pressing private intentions in your life today. When you are done, offer up your suffering for someone you know in need.
“He who knows how to forgive prepares for himself many graces from God. As often as I look upon the Cross, so often will I forgive with all my heart” –Sister Faustina.