In Memory of Me
Stop. Close your eyes. Breathe. Listen. Silence and Solitude. I haven’t experienced this kind of prayer in weeks. The business of life has consumed me, and the lack of this kind of prayer has fueled the anxiety and restlessness that I feel riddled with. Today is the day. I’m going to Stop. Close my eyes. Breathe. Listen. I pray with the Suscipe, Hail Marys, Gospel reflections, music and coloring. I spend a good hour in prayer, but this still isn’t enough. My soul hungers for more. I feel this burning in my heart to contemplate with the crucifix, so I climb on to the edge of the bed frame (don’t try this at home kids). I take my favorite crucifix off of my bedroom wall. I lay a blanket on the floor, and I bowed before the crucifix. Up, close, and personal, there was Christ magnified in his pain, agony, and loving glory. The realistic pull in his muscles and ligaments as his arms are pried. Fastened by the sharp iron rods that pin him to the tree, he is forced open. The feet that carried him to speak, to teach, to work miracles, and to pray now carried him to the cross. The relief of their labor is now shocked with the fire of metal pounding through the flesh and bones. I touch the crown of thorns stabbing his scalp. The blood encrusted curls that cascade over his reopened wounds and bruises cover the scar on his shoulders that is caused by the weight of the world’s sins. His mouth left agape, gasping for air and the will to go on. I gaze into his eyes and all I can see is helplessness. Yet he gazes back into mine knowing that he agonizes for me. Humanity’s faces flash before his eyes and he offers all of this up to his Father for you and for me.
Taking a step back from the minute details, I see Christ stretched, trapped, bleeding, and anguishing.
I did this to him.
He began his human life in the wood of the manger and he completes his human mission on the wood of the cross. This particular crucifix that I am tightly grasping is a deep mahogany with a gold dusting of paint on Christ and his halo. My heart flutters in noticing that his halo is the size of and compares to only that of a host. His body is encased in brilliant gold as he pours out his blood for us. Right here, right now, is the Eucharist. He suffered once in this crucifixion scene that I hold in my hand. He suffers time and time again at every Mass in the Eucharist, which we can take by the hand and consume for salvation, for life in the Resurrection. Thanksgiving. How often do I take this for granted? My heart ends the prayer in thanksgiving. Amen.
Now go, and do this in memory of me.