Whatever it is that bothers you,
leave it at the foot of the Cross.
Day 9: 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 [in] You.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
We often sound like Esther, strong and brave, when we cry out to God in need. But do we live like Esther? Do we not only say the right words but really mean them, even when things aren’t gong well? Without even realizing it, most of us turn ourselves (or the ‘things’ in our lives) into mini-gods of sorts. We like to have 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 can keep everything on course through our own determination. Bending other people and events to our will. Yes, we even try to bend God to our will, thinking we know what is best. Unfortunately, it is usually only when we hit rock-bottom in whatever part of our life is out of control that we finally put ourselves before the Lord in true Esther fashion. We finally acknowledge once more: “You, Lord, alone are God.”
Acknowledging that we ultimately have no power to control our lives is not part of the modern-day playbook for success. We are told rather that if we work harder, buy a better planner, eat a cleaner diet, etc. that we will finally get our lives together. Those things may be helpful, but they are only surface cleaning. The only way to get that true and lasting deep peace, that “deep cleanse”, is through total surrender. To “let go and let God” — trusting that everything will fall into perfect place just as He wills it.
Day 9 Lenten Meditation
What thing in your life today has you feeling anxious or teetering out of control? Is it a problem at work? A broken relationship? An addiction that keeps getting the better of you? Or maybe the constant crush of daily “must do’s” has you treading water. What would happen if you stopped trying so hard to master whatever that is and you laid it at the foot of the Cross instead? If you are not used to doing that, it may seem scary at first. Feeling risky or even somewhat reckless. But millions of people throughout human history have realized that the only way to freedom, peace, joy and ultimate victory is just that — to surrender to the higher power, our Lord. Can you admit today that God alone is God and that you are powerless on your own? The truth of the matter is, the Lord is the only One who knows the beginning, the end, and everything in between of your story. Try surrendering your will for His will today. Lay everything at the foot of the Cross and trust Him. In so doing, it may just all come together as you had always hoped.
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 hand guiding all things, even when they don’t go according to our own plans. Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
*Pray with special insistence for the most pressing petitions in your life today
“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.