Station to station

I put my hooded sweatshirt on to walk the Stations of the Cross Sunday morning between exercises. As I passed the metal trellis at the start of the path, I pulled the hood over my head in a silly effort to imagine myself a monastic contemplating the “Two Standards” as I walked. Actually my ears were just cold. Cocoa had decided to join me at the start. She would walk ahead and patiently wait for me to catch up, turning as if to be sure I was ok. A few times she’d stalk and then playfully pounce in the tall grasses at creatures real or imagined. It was comical to watch this larger dog that appeared so dark and foreboding in the dark during our first encounter bound into the air like a playful deer. Twice I paused to wait for her to rejoin me on the path. Halfway through I pulled down my hood as the morning sun and uneven, hilly path warmed me. Twice I would drop to my knees and beg Christ to remove from me any love I have for riches, honor or pride. I asked him to nail them to His cross and replace them in me with poverty, contempt and humility. Each time Cocoa would sit and patiently wait for me to finish. We finished our walk together and right away my humility prayer was granted in an unexpected way. Feeling pretty smug and special because this dog had stayed with me the entire time, I wasn’t really surprised when at the end of the path Cocoa spotted another pilgrim walking the Stations and bounded off to catch up, leaving me alone once more.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
When the heart is pure, then the intellect, like a clear glass, can be completely penetrated by the light of the Holy Spirit. – Divine Intimacy, #312


Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). Having the “mind of Christ,” which means loving and willing in unison with the divine Heart, sharing its immense love for God and souls, is the secret of every apostolate. – Divine Intimacy, #320


Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
In order to receive the actions of the gift of wisdom – the most sublime of all the gifts – we should gently prepare our heart for the plenitude of love, and at the same time apply ourselves to the acquiring of a profound humility, because as Jesus has said: “Thou hast hid these things from the wise and the prudent, and has revealed them to little ones.” (Matthew 11:25) – Divine Intimacy, #313


Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Taste and see that the Lord is sweet.” It is not by chance that it is first said taste, and then see, for by the gift of wisdom we know God by the experience of the heart which “tastes” the object loved. – Divine Intimacy, #313


Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
“And those alone acquire the wisdom of God who are like ignorant children, and, laying aside their knowledge, walk in His service with love.” – St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mt. Carmel


Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
“My desire is to see You; what I desire is great, but it is You who tell me to wish for it. Help me to purify my heart, because what I desire to see is pure but my means of seeing it, impure. Come to me, O God, and purify me by your grace; purify my heart with Your aid and strength. If I receive You into my heart during this present life, after my death You will admit me into Your presence.” – St. Augustine


Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
The interior life is a secret hearth where a soul in contact with God is inflamed with His love, and precisely because it is inflamed and forged by love, it becomes a docile instrument which God can use to diffuse love into the hearts of others. Therefore it is very important to recall frequently this great principle: the interior life is the soul of the apostolate. – Divine Intimacy, #321


Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
There is no substitute for prayer, because prayer draws grace directly from its source, God. Our activity, our words and works can prepare the ground for grace, but if we do not pray, it will not come down to refresh souls. – Divine Intimacy, #325


“O Lord, grant that I may believe with my heart, profess with my mouth, and put into practice Your words, that others, seeing my good works, will glorify You, our Father who art in heaven, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Origen) – Divine Intimacy, #327


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