Friday, March 21, 2008

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

For me, today is the day that changed my life. As a Catholic, I share with all Christians the belief that today is the day that God showed us just how much He loves us. Today's the day that He let His Son die.

Each year, as a parent, this day means more and more. As a mom, I have learned more about selfless love from my two daughters than I ever thought I could. And yes, even more than going to Mass, or in prayer, or even receiving Eucharist. I believe that God made me a mother because He KNEW that. I needed not just to KNOW about my faith, but to live it. Would I lay down my life for my girls? In a heartbeat, if I had to. My love for them is far stronger than anything else here on earth, and it's because of my faith.

But that's where the true wonder comes in for me. God uses my vocation of motherhood to show me what selfless love is, but then He calls me deeper into my faith to get a glimpse of His true awesomeness. Yes, Jesus loved us enough to die for us.....but God loved us enough to let His SON die for us. That's so monumentally different. Would I sacrifice my girls for someone else? No way. Especially when I believe that God's act of love wasn't just for me, or my family, or all Christians on Earth, but for every soul He's created. THat means the Ted Bundys, the Osama bin Ladens, and the Boston Stranglers of the world. That means the drug dealers, the pimps, the child molesters, and the serial killers.

He loves them, too. And He died for them, too. And HE CALLS US TO LOVE THEM AS WELL. That's the hard part of Easter for me. The realization that He sent His Son to allow me the joy of eternity with Him someday is already an amazing, life-changing event, but then the idea that we are called to love all those others AS HE LOVED US is beyond my comprehension. I am a weak, selfish, human being. I have a hard time LIKING certain people, never mind loving them. I know certain people who have had the heartbreak of having their children choose the wrong paths in life, and all they can do is love them and pray for them from afar. I suppose that's how God feels every day when He looks down on this world.

And so today, when I bend down to kiss that Cross on which He hung, I am overcome with awe and real trembling; His love is beyond my understanding. And while I am certainly not a horrible person, I know that my sins -- the little, pithy sins that I just keep repeating over and over again -- are just as much a part of why that Cross is there. And so today, I share a few words to a song I wrote years ago, following my conversion to Christianity:

Long ago, at Calvary, they took my Lord to die.
There on a wooden cross, they bound his hands and feet,
and left Him there alone to die -- He died for you and me.

"Father, forgive them", was all He had to say.

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