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I have the great pleasure and honor to post a reflection from a dear friend, Marian Rose Varisco, from Bryan, Texas.  Marian Rose and I have become close friends over the last six years in our association with the Catholic Spiritual Mentorship Program.  Marian Rose’s reflection exemplifies her deep interior life based on meditative prayer, listening to the Word of God in Scripture, and resolving daily to grow in virtue.  She offers this very personal reflection in hopes that it may help other souls desire and seek interior freedom.  If it appeals to you, I know she would appreciate hearing from you in a comment.  Thank you and God bless!

We Have Entered Into Passion-tide, by Marian Rose Varisco

In yesterday’s Gospel, John 11:1-45,  Jesus said to roll away the stone from Lazarus’ tomb.  In today’s Gospel, John 8:1-11, we see the embarrassed Pharisees backing down from casting the stones they intended to use to kill the adulterous woman.  What is Jesus trying to tell me through these stones?

I believe He desires to show me areas of my heart which are broken and wounded.  I believe the stones represent areas where I am lacking in self-knowledge, areas which only the Holy Spirit can reveal to me.

Am I willing to sit, like the adulterous woman, in the dirt with Jesus, in my brokenness and hear Him say to me, “Go and sin no more”?  Where am I casting stones, like the Pharisees, in my thoughts, words and actions?  Am I willing to drop the “stones” I can so easily cast?  Jesus is inviting the adulterous woman, the Pharisees, and each one of us, to accept His invitation for real conversion!

Where am I acting out of my wounds, becoming tied hand and foot like Lazarus, placing a stone over my heart, and living in a tomb?  Am I willing to allow myself to hear Jesus weeping at the truth that parts of my heart are behind a stone?  Do I hear Jesus say to me, “Come out!”, knowing His desire is for me to have a life of interior freedom, not a life where I am bound in burial clothes?

These last two weeks of Lent are an opportunity to prepare our hearts more fully to be in His Presence.  Today I read in Finding Christ in the World, an Ignatius Retreat, that when Jesus entered into the Father’s Presence He had a sinless self-concentration.  The sentence concluded with the words, “…and you do not”.  Those words really pierced!

“Jesus, I ask you to stir Your Holy Spirit within me so that I may easily drop my stones and allow You to roll away any stone covering my heart.  Freed from these stones, through the Grace received in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, may I be truly present to Your Presence with a sinless self-concentration.  Amen.”

(We Have Entered Into Passion-tide was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)

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