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Mary Eclipsing the Eclipse

Thank you dear Mother for taking me to where you wanted me on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. You always let me know where you want me with you on each of your feast days. This time, on April 8, 2024, it would be St. Patrick’s Basilica. What I learned only a week before is that a total solar eclipse would be happening the same day. That’s no coincidence. Comets, binary stars, galaxies, black holes and quasars. God created it all, beautifully made to display his infinite power. Within such majesty, He loves to play for us so we can gaze with constant childlike awe. It’s a never-ending abyss of intense grandeur. Carl Sagan said, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” This time, close to home, He wanted His mother to eclipse the eclipse on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The anniversary of your hearing Gabriel tell you, a virgin, that you would conceive by the Holy Spirit’s power, God’s Son, our Saviour Jesus, made a solar eclipse seem insignificant by compariso

St Gregory of Nyssa

The power of God is capable of finding hope where hope no longer exists, and a way where the way is impossible.

2 Cor 4: 16-18

Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

Take Up Your Cross Daily

Crucifixion quote photo

Jesus spoke often about his approaching suffering, death and resurrection. In Luke's Gospel, he says to the disciples,

"The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised."

He then told them, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9: 22-23)

Taking up our cross daily is the way we follow Jesus. The way of the cross is the way of our Lord and so it's our way with him just as it was for the apostles. Each of us has a unique cross, unique suffering we carry through this valley of tears. If we keep our hearts fixed on Jesus then we can live as St. Teresa of Avila said, "All the way to heaven is heaven because Jesus said, "I am the way."

St. Pope John Paul II, in his homily at Lourdes for the Feb 11, 1979 feast, described the cross and suffering related to our Lord's call, "Come and Follow me":

"Christ himself had many times said: "Come and follow me" (cf Mt 8:22; 19:21; Mk 2:14; Lk 18:22; Jn 21: 22). These words do not have the power to cure, they do not liberate from suffering. But they have a transforming power…

Christ who says to suffering man "Come and follow me", is the same Christ who suffers: the Christ of Gethsemane, the scourged Christ, Christ crowned with thorns, Christ on the way of the cross, Christ on the cross... It is the same Christ who drained the cup of human suffering "which the Father gave him" (cf. Jn 18:11). The same Christ, who assumed all the ills of the earthly human condition except sin, in order to draw from them salvific good: the good of redemption, the good of purification and reconciliation with God, the good of grace. 

If he says to each of you, dear Brothers and Sisters: "Come and follow me", he invites you and calls you to take part in the same transformation, in the same transmutation of the evil of suffering into salvific good: that of the redemption, of grace, purification, and conversion... for oneself and for others."

Just for this reason, St Paul, who so passionately wished to imitate Christ, says in another place: "In my flesh, I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions" (Col 1:24). Each of you can make these words the essence of your own life and vocation.

I wish you this transformation, which is "an interior miracle" even greater than the miracle of healing; this transformation, which corresponds to the normal way of God's economy of salvation as Jesus Christ presented it to us. I wish you this grace and I implore it on each of you, dear Brothers and Sisters.

ACTS 4:11-12

"This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among human beings by which we must be saved."