Friday, October 31, 2008

Freely given

The snow fell gently outside covering the countryside in a garment of white while the church lay silent, unaffected by the storm. Lori shivered and looked up at the crucifix behind the altar. She had always averted her glance from Christ’s mangled form, but now she gazed at it intensely, saw the cold metal spikes that had been hammered through His feet and wrists. Saw the blood dripping from the two-inch Jerusalem thorns that had been savagely driven into the crown of Christ’s head. Tears slid down her cheeks as she continued to study the crucified form, tracing His slumped body against the cross in death. The tears flowed copiously.

Lori had sat before the image most of her life, yet until this moment she had never really seen it for what it was. Not a depiction of the dead Christ, but a monument to God’s ultimate sacrifice of love. And for the first time she connected to that love, not as a catholic, or even as a christian, but as a mother who had just learned of the death of another’s child and how that child had been given freely in her stead.

Lori covered her face and wept loudly. How could anyone love another that much? She pondered.
And with that question came an epiphany as a recent gospel reading resounded in her mind: " He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

The fears that bound her soul began to unfetter as she reached to grab hold of this new revelation as another woman long ago had once reached toward the hem of His garment, knowing that the healing of her spirit could be found within it folds.

Extract from “A Miracle For St. Cecilia’s” by Katherine Valentine

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