Your Creation Loves You

by Ali Hoffman

North Texas Catholic

4/30/2019

A parishioner places his hand on a crucifix as he kneels for the Veneration of the Cross during a Good Friday service at Sacred Heart Parish in Muenster April 19, 2019. (NTC/Ben Torres)

On Good Friday this year, the church was completely packed, and I somehow found myself sitting in the very front of the pews. I’m one of those Catholics that has “my row” that I tend to sit in every single week, so to change that up with a new perspective was a little different for me.

I was able to witness up close and personal the different ceremonies that happen within the context of Good Friday service. One of the most poignant moments for me was when everyone was coming up to venerate the cross. Everyone was invited to come up, one by one, and show some gesture of adoration to the cross. A lot of people knelt for a moment or touched the cross in some loving way. Most people kissed the cross as a sign of gratitude for what the cross represents to us Christians, for what Christ did for us.

I must believe that since God made us body and soul, it was His design to have tangible things for us to use all our senses in worship of Him. Think about the seven sacraments and the tangible realities of finite things ushering in infinite graces.

Sitting in the front row, I was able to see and witness everyone’s different ways of adoring our Lord, Jesus, on the cross. Young and old, male and female, people from all different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds were sharing in this beautiful observance of venerating the cross. The thought that kept coming to my mind was, “Lord, Your creation loves you.” So often, we see or hear about abuses against God, but in this moment, this church of people was actively walking with and consoling Jesus in His darkest hour.

As a people, we have the opportunity to console Jesus in His suffering; to be by His side quietly whispering, “It’s okay. I’m here and I love you.” With all the blasphemies and hate toward God in the world today, make it a point to remind Jesus how much you love Him; that even if all the world turns from Him, there will still be one voice that sings His praise, one heart that beats for Him, and one soul that looks to Him in love and adoration.

Father Michael Gaitley in his book, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, breaks open this concept in a do-it-yourself retreat while praying with the book. Fr. Gaitley writes about how simple it is to truly love Jesus and be with Him in the hardest moments of His life. He goes through a meditation of visualizing Jesus on the cross, surrounded by people yelling at Him, cursing Him, hating Him. You’re at the base of the hill and see this happening. The meditation continues with Mary, the mother of Jesus, taking you up the hill amidst all the chaos and being so close to Jesus that you’re able to whisper your love, your thanksgiving, and adoration to Christ crucified. He looks at you and says that this is all worth it because not only do you accept His suffering, but you so deeply appreciate it.

Friends, you have the opportunity to show your love to Jesus in small ways and in big ways. What a wonderful gift you’re able to give to Jesus, to show Him that His creation (us) really does love Him.

On Good Friday this year, the church was completely packed, and I somehow found myself sitting in the very front of the pews. I’m one of those Catholics that has “my row” that I tend to sit in every single week, so to change that up with a new perspective was a little different for me.

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