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I have had the great fortune to spend this week at the Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas attending the Catholic Spiritual Mentorship Program as an alumni staff member.  As always, it has been an absolutely awesome week!  I received a text this evening from my spiritual director back home in Ohio asking me how my week is going and that he is praying for me.  I responded that, once again, it has been an amazing experience in an amazing place with amazing people and I still have three days left!  I added my thoughts about why it is that way, “It’s 100 people all seeking the same thing – holiness and the desire to help other men and women to do the same.  It’s the spiritual friendship that is developed from that common desire. It’s communion with God and with each other!  I wish you could be here, too.”

His response:  “Amen!  The Lord’s prerogative!  His words at the Last Supper:  ‘I pray for them, that they may be one…me in them, I in You, and You in Me, that we may all be one!’”  

Did I tell you I love my spiritual director?

I wish each and every one of you could be here!  We receive so many graces and feel the presence of Christ in so many ways, especially through our interaction with the students and staff.

Yesterday I posted Recognizing Miracles:  How You Can Resurrect the Dead in which I suggested that the dead or lukewarm spiritual lives of people we know can be resurrected by our witness to the presence of God in our lives.  I want to practice what I preach by passing on to you a special moment from yesterday.

Wednesday was the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, a feast that was first celebrated in Rome before the end of the 7th century.  It commemorates the recovery of that portion of the Holy Cross which was preserved at Jerusalem, and which had fallen into the hands of the Persians.  It was recovered and brought back to Jerusalem in the year 629.

At mass yesterday morning in the chapel we sang the hymn Lift High the Cross.  The song’s refrain goes:

“Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim

’Til all the world adore his sacred name.”

The cross, that instrument of death which the Romans utilized to put fear in anyone who might think to counter their authority.  The cross, upon which Jesus died for our sins so that we might have eternal life.  The cross that, because of His resurrection, became a symbol of victory to all believers and, ironically, was used by Christians to thumb their noses at Roman persecution.

As I sang those words I thought how it explained our mission perfectly, to proclaim the love of Christ so that the world will adore Him.

Later in the day we were gathered in the chapel for Adoration and Reconciliation.  At the end of the Holy Hour I lingered for a few minutes as the others processed out.  When I bowed to take my leave, I looked up at the crucifix behind the altar and froze in wonder.  I took this photo so that I could share it with you.  

The shadow behind Jesus on the cross, which isn’t visible most of the day, struck me as an image of God lifting the cross high as if to say, “Here is my only Son Who gave His life for you!  Adore Him and proclaim His sacred name!”  Can you see it?

This is how God works in your life when you are open to receiving His love and reassurance that He is with you at all times!  You see and feel His presence in so many and unexpected ways.  

Ask our Lord to open your heart so that you may readily feel His presence, too.

I would love to hear of how you’ve seen or felt God working in your life lately.  Please feel free to share by adding a comment.  Thank you and God bless!

“Thank you, Jesus, for allowing me to feel Your presence in my life.  ‘I adore You, O Christ, and I bless You, for by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world’.  Amen.”

(Lift High the Cross was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)

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