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March 05, 2009
Smile
By Rusty Montgomery *

By Rusty Montgomery *

Today Mary dwells in the joy and the glory of the Resurrection. The tears shed at the foot of the Cross have been transformed into a smile which nothing can wipe away, even as her maternal compassion towards us remains unchanged. The intervention of the Virgin Mary in offering herself throughout history testifies to this, and does not cease to call forth, in the people of God, an unshakable confidence in her... Mary loves each of her children, giving particular attention to those who, like her Son at the hour of his Passion, are prey to suffering; she loves them quite simply because they are her children, according to the will of Christ on the Cross.-Pope Benedict XVI

May the Lord give you His peace!

Lent is a time where we are reminded of the baggage we carry. Everybody has it right? It is a dark time, a time when things are more solemn, and when we all take a chance to look into our hearts and see what needs to be healed or transformed. All it takes is a look around to see the hurt and pain on the faces of those around us.

The funny thing about Lent is that most of us think that we are "Lenten people" and that life is suppose to be lived in the spirit of Lent. While there are certain things in Lent that are helpful for our growth and holiness, we are not Lenten people. The end or goal of the season is not the fasting or giving things up for sake of themselves. The end of this is season is Easter. Praise God for that!

Since we are in the midst of Lent, it is good to be reminded of that. Each day, we deny ourselves, strive to have deeper prayer and to give more of ourselves for the sake of rejoicing in a new relationship with Jesus at Easter. We do not do all these things to simply suffer and die with Christ, but to rejoice in the hope that comes when Christ gives us new life. This Lenten time then, is a chance for us to keep our eyes fixed on the cross of Christ and even more so, keep our hearts filled with great hope of the resurrection.

Who better can show us how to live out the Lenten season than Mary? Imagine the smile of Mary when our salvation was accomplished by Her Son dying on the cross. Let us be captivated by her smile! Let us find great comfort in her smile that reminds us what this season is all about and points us beyond our suffering and struggle to the Risen Lord. We live in a time of confusion, brokenness, and lies, and Mary stands at the foot of the cross as a sign of strength and hope. How we can look to her to be our refuge! She stands as a sign of truth, showing us how to live and how to be strong. Let her smile keep us going and let her peace reign as we continue to die to ourselves this Lent.

My friends, keep your eyes on the cross and on Mary who is smiling upon us as we long for the resurrection. Do not let your eyes be fixed on the things that hold us down. Let your sacrifice as we move forward this Lent spring you forward into the arms of Mary who stands at the cross leading the way to the resurrection.

Mary our Peace…

God Bless You,

Rusty

Rusty is a seminarian at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Nebraska and is the co-founder of Live Greater Ministries. The ministry's aim is to invite the youth of the Church into a dialogue about the present culture and how Jesus invites us to a relationship with him, finding true happiness and greater purpose.  More information can be found on their website at www.livegreater.net.
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