Yesterday at Mass as I was looking at all of the covered statues in my parish and Fr. W was preaching, I was reminded of something I always forget, especially at this time of the year. I forget how incredible and amazing it is that Jesus died on the Cross for me. Not just for the whole world, but that He did it for me. I know that seems like a silly thing to forget - I know He died on the Cross. I don't forget about the Crucifixion. I forget that He loved me so individually and singularly that He died on the Cross for me.
I forget how amazing that is especially when life is kind of awful at times. Maybe not awful, but just hard.
Lately life has been a little hard. I thought something great was going to happen and then it was nothing - and not just nothing, but almost my biggest fear. Instead of the happily ever after, I got the "oh, well, I guess this is it, then." And moving right along to pick up my guard where I dropped it a few months ago. This all happened right before my birthday last weekend too. I always make a bigger deal out of getting a year old than it needs to be. Last year I literally set all of my expectations of what 30 would be like on fire. I had a little burning ceremony outside on my covered porch in the rain with a friend over some prayer. It was very, I don't know - seemingly weird to some people when I told them about it. But I had this idea of what my life was going to be like when I turned 30 and it looked nothing like it, and to be honest, I was disappointed. I felt a little like I had failed. And that everyone else has seen that I had failed as well. That I should be this or that or whatever. And at that moment I was still at my old job at the parish, no idea that I would even apply for a new job, let alone be offered a completely different job and accept it just 10 days later. My how life has changed in the last 365 days. 365 days ago I was a day away from my first interview with OSV - today I was given a new title.
But as I was sitting at Mass yesterday contemplating this, Fr. W was preaching about how the human heart can rationalize anything. Murder - he was a terrible person who was doing bad things in the world. Adultery - he doesn't love her anymore, he loves me. Laziness - I deserve this break on Sunday morning because I've worked all week. Co-Habitation - we love each other and will probably get married some day and apartments are just so expensive. Gossip - I'm just relaying information, I'm not destroying someone's reputation. And so on and so on. Most of us don't sin because we want to do the wrong thing - we do what we've decided is the right thing and the best thing for us right now. We can rationalize anything.
We can forget all of the good as we bring to light all of the bad. We rationalize away that Jesus died on the Cross for me. He did this for me, for you. For each of us, singularly and individually. It's easy to make it something of the past, but it's not. It's something of our every day.
The covered statues, paintings, and crosses at Church these last two weeks of Lent are supposed to remind us of that. He is going to die on the Cross for me, for you. Remember that, live like it's the most important thing - because it is. This is the thing to remember when life is hard. When he says "so, you still wanna be friends." When your friend doesn't hang out with you as much as before because life gets in the way. When everyone around you seems to be getting recognized for the work you're doing. When your family members are infirmed.
The point is not to diminish these hardships, it's to put them into perspective and bring them to him on the Cross. Especially during these last few weeks of Lent. Especially during this Holiest of Weeks. I need to remember to not forget what He's done for me. How much He loves me, this 31 year old single girl who wants more for her life. He just wants me, all of me, all of the time. No rationalizing, no minimizing, no forgetting.