march, 2019

sat30maralldayalldayDaily Lenten Reflection March 30(All Day: saturday) Event Type :Liturgical Calendar

Event Time

All Day (Saturday)

Event Details

Meditations for Lent

By: Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
Courtesy of Sophia Institute Press

Week 3: Saturday

Through Christ Our Lord

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). Whoever would pray ought to take to heart these words: “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Nothing. Nothing at all. We pray, we beg, because we have nothing and consequently can do nothing, or, to say it all in a single word, because we are nothing. So we must pray, knowing that we are heard only in the name of Jesus, but also that in his name we can obtain all.

Here are two truths about prayer. The first is that we are not heard for ourselves, but in the name of Jesus Christ. The second is that we neither can nor ought to pray by our own spirit, but by the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Not only should we pray in the way that Jesus taught us and by asking only for what he wants us to ask, but even more should we recognize that it is he himself who forms our prayer in us by his Spirit. Without him we cannot pray at all, as St. Paul explained: “The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26).

Even as we keep before us this first truth — “apart from me you can do nothing” — we should also attend to this other one: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). I can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ, and I can do everything with Jesus Christ and in his name. This is why we always hear the prayers of the Church conclude with these words that are as humble as they are consoling: “through Christ our Lord.” Confessing our powerlessness, these words humble us; revealing the source of our strength, they console. They are the necessary conclusion even when we pray for the intercession of our Lady and the saints, who have no merit, no dignity, no glory except through Jesus Christ and his name.

We must take care lest we imagine that it suffices merely to repeat the words “through Christ our Lord.” We must say them from the depths of our hearts, by remaining in Christ and by Christ’s remaining in us. That is to say, by attaching ourselves to him with our whole hearts, with a lively and firm faith, and by his remaining in us by his word being impressed in our heart, and by his Spirit impelling and animating our prayer. For he does not dwell in us without acting, as St. Paul said: “He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you” (2 Cor. 13:3).

This, then, is how we truly pray in the name of Christ: when we remain in him and he in us, allowing ourselves to be led to him, to be silent, to listen to what he says in us, so that we may practice truly and intimately what he says: “If you remain in me, and my word” — not only the word spoken externally, but the one that I hear in the depths of my heart — “remains in you.” Then we will obtain what we desire.

Now, this word that is to remain in us should chiefly be the word of the Cross, which is the one that this discourse has in view. For Jesus was going to the Cross, and leading his disciples there with him, as what follows in the Gospel reveals. We must understand that to remain in Christ is to remain in the word of his Cross, and for the word of his Cross to remain in us, and that to pray in the name of Jesus Christ is to make supplication through his blood and his sufferings, by loving them and taking part in them.