Lenten Reflections (1) – Trust in God’s Plan
From April 2 to 6, to commemorate Holy Week, I invite you to pause in your busy lives to reflect on the passion of Christ. I share with you a series of ceramic work that I created on the five sorrowful mysteries of the rosary. The images are accompanied by mini-meditations from Regnum Christi, an organization born in the heart of the Church, whose mission is to bring Christ’s redemptive message to every heart. You will also find inspirational quotes from Henri J. Nouwen, a Dutch priest, author, respected professor and beloved pastor who wrote over 40 books on the spiritual life.
The Agony in the Garden
Luke 22:42-44. Kneeling down, He began to pray, “Father if it be your will, take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done”… In His anguish he prayed even more intensely, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Christ’s “hour” had finally arrived. As the new Adam, Christ was reversing Adam’s first no to God, as well as the many great and little “no’s” we say to God with our personal sins. At the same time, he was also making an act of expiation for the nucleus of our every sin: our lack of trust in God’s goodness. Jesus’ act of self-surrender in the garden was a big “I trust” to the Father. It was an act of self-abandonment to God’s plan, no matter how ugly and foreboding that plan looked.
Sometimes in our lives too, we can be surprised by how our lives unfold. Children dream of a fairy-tale life where everything will unfold in a magical and beautiful way—or at least in a way that measures up to our basic recipe for happiness. When our life turns out to have its dark patches, the temptation can be to turn away from God, blaming him for the crosses we have to carry: sickness, financial difficulties, a strained relationship, failure at work or in school… Let us pray for strength to trust God under the weight of our cross.
Henri Nouwen on Trust in God
“To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God moulds us according to God’s love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.” -Henri Nouwen
* The Mysteries of the Rosary series was created at the Fire Escape in Calgary. Many thanks to Jacqui & JD Esler and Kellee for their wonderful technical support while I was working on the mysteries at the studio.