Michael Dubruiel – Power of the Cross

PoC-1 Ash Wednesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-1 Ash Wednesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Ash Wednesday

ETERNAL LIFE OR DEATH?

Steps to Take as You Follow Christsf_deathdefeated_03

Ask—Am I living my life in fear of death or in anticipation of eternal life in Christ?

Seek— Try to focus on Christ as the motivation for all of your actions throughout the day. Be conscious of whom you are try- ing to please in all that you do.

Knock— Meditate on Genesis 3:19. How does Baptism wash away original sin? What is the purpose of recalling that without Christ we are all living to die? How does the cross of Christ defeat death?

Transform Your Life—Make the cross of Christ your banner of hope. See in the victory of Jesus’ cross a life-changing invitation to overcome all the evil forces that try to keep you from being

PoC-2 Thursday after Ash Wednesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-2 Thursday after Ash Wednesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

THE INVITATION OF JESUS

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Do I fear the cross of Christ or do I embrace it?

Seek—Place a crucifix in a prominent place in your home. Look upon this sign of our salvation upon rising and before you retire for the night, asking Christ to help you to “take up your cross” and follow him.

Knock—Meditate on Philippians 3:20,21

“But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

Do you believe in the power of Christ?

Transform Your Life— Believe in the gospel and experience the liberating effects of taking up your cross and following Jesus. Make your life one that will not be spent looking backward in regret for all the good that you did not do—focus on the good that you can do right now!

PoC-3 Friday after Ash Wednesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-3 Friday after Ash Wednesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Friday after Ash Wednesday

HOW MUCH WE NEED JESUS

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—How greatly do I feel the need for Christ in my life?

Seek—Place a crucifix in a prominent place in your home. Look upon this sign of our salvation upon rising and before you retire for the night, asking Christ to help you to “take up your cross” and follow him.

Knock—Meditate on Revelation 22:17, 20

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let him who hears say, “Come.”. . .He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Who are you waiting for?

Transform Your Life—Foster and keep before you the need that you have for Jesus. Make your constant prayer to Jesus one of entreating him to come, to be present, inviting him to be a part of your life.

PoC-4 Saturday after Ash Wednesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-4 Saturday after Ash Wednesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Saturday after Ash Wednesday

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—How does viewing Jesus as my savior from death help me to face head-on the deaths of loved ones and even my own death?

Seek—Fast from passing judgment on anyone today. Realize in this little dying to yourself you are opening yourself to see others as God sees them.

Knock—Meditate on Revelation 1:17-18

But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

Imagine Jesus touching you with his right hand and lifting you up from your death. What other areas of your life are dominated by death rather than the life of Christ?

Transform Your Life—Do not shy away from death. Pray for others, ask the saints to pray for you, seeing in them living examples of the promise of Christ to save us from death.

PoC-5 1st Sunday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-5 1st Sunday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Teaches Us. . . Our Mission

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—What temptations do I find it hardest to resist? How might this reveal God’s intended purpose for me?

Seek—Reject sin. Learn to see in your temptations a perversion of God’s plan for you. Try to discern what it is that God might be calling you to do by looking at the areas of your life where you are most tempted.

Knock—Meditate on Numbers 22:32-33
And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your ass these three times? Behold, I have come forth to withstand you, because your way is perverse before me; and the ass saw me, and turned aside before me these three times.”

How does Balaam’s donkey differ from the prophet with respect to discerning the path God wanted them to take? Are you more like the donkey or the prophet?

Transform Your Life—Sometimes we live as though God does not see us, yet we know that God is always present, whether or not we acknowledge him. Look over your life and try to see where God has revealed himself at various moments in your life. Then move confidently into the future, assured of God’s providential care for you.

PoC-6 1st Monday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-6 1st Monday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Teaches Us. . . to Live the Gospel

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Where have I encountered Christ “in the least of my brethren”?

Seek—Make an effort to see Christ in the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, or imprisoned. Try to reach out to those no one else notices.

Knock—Meditate on Romans 2:13

For it is not hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.

What are the secrets of your life that will be brought to judgment? How can you be more of a doer rather than just a listener of the Law of God?

Transform Your Life—Sometimes we live as though God does not see us, yet we know that God is always present, whether or not we acknowledge him. Look over your life and try to see where God has revealed himself at various moments in your life. Then move confidently into the future, assured of God’s providential care for you.

PoC-7 1st Tuesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-7 1st Tuesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Teaches Us. . . How to Pray

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—How can my prayer better reflect what is going on in my life at the present moment?

Seek—Try praying for an extended period of time in the orans position. Ask Our Lord to teach you this lesson from the cross, so that your prayer might always be heartfelt.

Knock—Meditate on Hebrews 5:7

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear.

How might your prayer become more like the prayer of Christ?

Transform Your Life—Foster a sense of God’s presence before you begin any prayer. Speak to God from your heart, then listen. God is the most important being with whom you will ever speak.

PoC-8 1st Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-8 1st Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Teaches Us. . . About Repentance

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Where do I need to repent most in my life?

Seek—Monitor your thoughts and hold them up against the standard of the gospel. Do your love and forgiveness have limi- tations or conditions? Ask the Lord to teach you true repentance of mind and heart.

Knock—Meditate on 1 Corinthians 1:22–24.

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

How might you experience the power and wisdom of God in the cross by embrac- ing the gospel more completely?

Transform Your Life—Make a daily examination of conscience, paying special attention to your attitudes throughout the day, and asking the Holy Spirit to make you more like Christ.

PoC-9 1st Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-9 1st Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Teaches Us. . .How to Trust and Give Thanks

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—What do I need from God to follow Jesus more closely?

Seek—As the day progresses, when you find yourself impatient, unloving, judgmental, lustful, or anything that strikes you as against the gospel of Jesus, ask God for the gift that will help you to be more like Christ.

Knock—Meditate on James 1:17.

Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Spend some time giving thanks to God for how he has led you, even “through the valley of the shadow of death” to this moment.

Transform Your Life—Try to make it a practice to “ask, seek, and knock” in your relationship with God. See that relationship as something that happens with every breath you take. Speak to God often!

PoC-10 1st Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-10 1st Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Teaches Us. . .Reconciliation

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Is there anyone I do not love? In what way can I allow the love of Christ to control me?

Seek—Allow the image of the cross of Christ, the price Jesus paid to redeem all creation, to dominate your thoughts when you find yourself growing angry at someone. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to be reconciled to those who have hurt you.

Knock—Meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:14–15.

For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Dwelling on Paul’s words, ask the Lord to fill you with his love so that it may be the controlling force in your life.

Transform Your Life—Jesus told his disciples to be reconciled before coming to the altar with their sacrifice. If we carry anger or sin we need to be reconciled to Christ before coming to receive him in the Eucharist. This may mean making contact with people whom we have hurt and asking their forgiveness. We should also go to confession regularly, so that Holy Communion is a true sign of communion with God and all his creatures.

PoC-11 1st Saturday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-11 1st Saturday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Teaches Us. . .How to Love

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask——Do I allow God to love through me?

Seek—Keep before you the image of Jesus forgiving those who nailed him on the cross and see everyone with whom you come into contact through Christ. Think about how Christ died for those people and how precious they are as children of God, the same God who loves you.

Knock—Meditate on 1 John 4:11–12.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

Ask Jesus to touch his wounds from his crucifixion to your own woundedness, that it may become a source of blessing.

Transform Your Life—Put God first in your life. Realize that you can love your spouse, your children, your friends, and your enemies only to the degree that you keep God first. We tend not to expect others to be perfect if we worship the only One who is perfect.

PoC-12 2nd Sunday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-12 2nd Sunday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Unites. . .the Temporal and Eternal Steps to Take as You Follow Christ Ask—How does the “light” of Christ shine into the darkness of my world? Seek— Realize that when we follow Jesus we see the cross in a new light; we see everything anew where once we could only curse … Read more

PoC-13 2nd Monday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-13 2nd Monday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Unites. . .Those Divided by Sin

The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Audio Mp3 Audio 3Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Whom do I treat as an outsider in God’s kingdom?

Seek—As you go about your daily activities, think about how often you see someone else as “one of them” rather than “one of us.” Of course, people are all unique and different. However, the gospel calls us to break down artificial barriers that prevent us from expressing the unity God desires.

Knock—Meditate on 1 Peter 2:21–24.

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

How might you concretely imitate and model your life on Jesus?

Transform Your Life—Make discernment rather than judgment the goal of your life’s decisions. Ask yourself, “What does God want me to do at this moment?” and, “What is God trying to teach me through this?” Strive to be open to his guiding presence. Learn from all whom you meet this day and every day.

PoC-14 2nd Tuesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-14 2nd Tuesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Unites. . .In Humility

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask——In what areas of my life do I have the most trouble with pride?

Seek—Pray the Litany of Humility. What parts of the litany do you find it most difficult to say? Take concrete steps to defer to others throughout the day, to die to yourself in little things.

Knock—Meditate on Philippians 2:5–9.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

Are you more like Christ, or our first parents, seeking to “be like God”?

Transform Your Life—Jesus tells his disciples that those who humble themselves will be exalted! Humility is the surest path to real success in the kingdom of God. Pray for humility throughout every day.

PoC-15 2nd Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-15 2nd Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Unites. . .In Liberty

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—What continues to enslave me?

Seek—Ask God to point out areas of slavery that still exist in your life. As you go through your day, catch yourself not being true to who you really are, and ask yourself: Who are you serving now?

Knock—Meditate on Romans 7:22–25.

For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me a captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Ask Christ to save you.

Transform Your Life—Thomas Merton wrote about what he called a person’s True Self. Prayer, Merton argued, helps us to discover our True Self: the person God created us to be, totally free from the expectations and demands of others. By contrast, the False Self is enslaved; he cannot be himself, but only what he thinks others want him to be. Starting today, ask God to redeem you from the slavery of the False Self.

PoC-16 2nd Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-16 2nd Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Unites. . .Those Who Suffer for Justice

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—What does God ask me to do for those who suffer?

Seek—Look for opportunities to help someone who needs it (and who cannot help you back). Stand up for someone who is being brought low.

Knock—Meditate on Romans 8:18.

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

How can you make that suffering redemptive?

Transform Your Life——Read the accounts of the martyrs, those who gave the supreme witness to the gospel with their lives. Many monastic communities read about the lives of the martyrs every day, to inspire those seeking to grow in the Christian life.

PoC-17 2nd Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-17 2nd Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Unites. . .Us in the Work We Have to Do

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—How can dying to myself help me to know God’s purpose?

Seek—Ask others to describe what your gifts are, and where they see you as being most authentic in your life.

Knock—Meditate on Revelation 22:1–2.

Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

When you receive the Eucharist, imagine that Christ is grafting you to himself, so that his life, his healing, his strength flow through you.

Transform Your Life—Ask Our Lord to reveal to you any areas of your life where you might be serving false gods. Ask him to help you to abandon yourself to God’s will in your life in the same way that he did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Believe in God’s providential care for you, no matter what has happened in your life in the past or present.

PoC-18 2nd Saturday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-18 2nd Saturday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Unites. . .God’s Mercy and Love

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—When have I judged someone wrongly?

Seek—Do you need to be reconciled to someone in your life? It might be someone in your family, a former friend, an enemy, or even God. Go to confession; through the grace of absolution, seek to trust in God more and more.

Knock—Meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:16–18.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself. . .

How do you view others?

Transform Your Life—See the temptation to judge others or even yourself as a personal invitation to take up your cross and to trust in Christ, the friend of sinners. Pray that God will bless both you and those you might judge. Be quick to show the mercy that God shows to you to others.

PoC-19 3rd Sunday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-19 3rd Sunday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Transforms. . .How We Worship

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—What do I do with God’s spirit?

Seek—From a prayer posture, concentrate on your breathing. As you inhale, ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit. As you exhale, breathe the name from the core of your being: Jesus.

Knock—Meditate on Galatians 6:7–9.

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in welldoing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.

Ask God for patience that you might endure in all things by sowing to the spirit.

Transform Your Life—Make it a habit to pray the prayer of Jesus from the cross whenever you find yourself tempted to do something that you know is not of God: “Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit.” This prayer that Jesus has given us is the key to moving from sowing in the flesh to sowing to the spirit.

PoC-20 3rd Monday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-20 3rd Monday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Transforms. . .How We See Jesus

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Am I overly familiar with Christ?

Seek—Read the Gospels every day. Encounter Christ as he is presented and try to imagine him in the world today, doing the same acts, confronting unbelief in the modern world.

Knock—Meditate on 1 Peter 2:4–5.

Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Think also about the life of St. Peter; what about his experience of Christ might have led him to come up with this image?

Transform Your Life—There is nothing that exists that can transform our lives more than a relationship with Jesus Christ as he really is—give your life to Christ. Believe, placing all of your trust in his powerful being, and embrace his power in your weakness.

PoC-21 3rd Tuesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-21 3rd Tuesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Transforms. . .How We Forgive

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Do I still harbor past sins for which I have not accepted God’s forgiveness?

Seek—Go to confession regularly. As part of your examination of conscience, review how you have accepted God’s forgiveness for past sins in your life, and review how well you have forgiven others in God’s name.

Knock—Meditate on Ephesians 4:32–5:2.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

How does it affect the way you treat others, who are also God’s children?

Transform Your Life—Let your life be marked by being a forgiver. Realize that when you hold on to something you are making a “god” of it, which closes God out of that part of your life.

PoC-22 3rd Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-22 3rd Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Transforms. . .Law and Love

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—How much do I love God?

Seek—God’s love for us and his plans for us are greater than our minds can conceive. Starting today, acknowledge these realities by undertaking acts of trust in God throughout the day. Ask God to fill you with his love. Share God’s love with everyone.

Knock—Meditate on Romans 13:8–10.

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in one sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Are you giving of yourself in a way that builds up the kingdom of God?

Transform Your Life—Imitate Christ or one of your favorite saints as you go about your daily activities. Plead with God to enable you to show charity to all you meet. Listen intently to those who speak to you, asking yourself what God might be saying to you through them. Give everyone, including yourself and God, the benefit of the doubt.

PoC-23 3rd Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-23 3rd Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Transforms. . .Our Lives

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Do I trust in God?

Seek—Frequently call upon the Lord for his help throughout the day. Life was not intended to be a solitary venture; recognize that God is always present, and is there for us when we call upon him.

Knock—Meditate on 10:11–13.

The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

What strikes you in the passage? Dwell on that part and let it enrich your faith in Jesus Christ.

Transform Your Life—Pay attention to the way you think and act throughout the day. What do your actions and thoughts say about what you really trust in? When given choices between what you know God wants for you and what others are asking of you, who wins out? Radically commit to trusting in God and watch your life be transformed in ways that you can’t even imagine at this moment.

PoC-24 3rd Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-24 3rd Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Transforms. . .Our Priorities

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—How does the cross fit into my stance toward God?

Seek—Acknowledge God’s priority in your life, over your heart (all of your emotions), over your understanding (all of your thoughts), and over all of your strength (all of your actions).

Knock—Meditate on 1 John 4:10–12.

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

How does John define “love”? What does the death of Jesus on the cross teach us about God’s love? How do we find God’s love in all the human suffer- ing that we witness? How can we concretely love one another?

Transform Your Life—Will yourself to love God and everyone else with whom you come into contact today and every day. Think about what it means to truly love other people. Seek to be a sacrificial lover first when it comes to the way you love other people and God.

PoC-25 3rd Saturday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-25 3rd Saturday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Transforms. . .How We See Ourselves

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—From what do I need Jesus to save me?

Seek—God’s forgiveness for your sins. Ask God to transform you into the image of his Son, so that you may be an instrument of God’s grace to others.

Knock—Meditate on 1 Corinthians 6:9–11.

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Is there a particular sin that you struggle with in the list? How is your life different in Christ?

Transform Your Life—Make a good examination of conscience and plan to go to confession on a regular occasion, perhaps once a month. Try to make your confession sincere, letting go of your attempts to control your own life, and a real surrender to the grace of Jesus Christ. Vow to Christ to trust in his mercy to truly transform your life.

PoC-26 4th Sunday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-26 4th Sunday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Illumines. . .Blindness

The-CrossSteps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—What would it be like to see everything in God’s light?

Seek—Observe the world, expecting to see God at work in it. Put skepticism aside and ask God to enlighten your vision!

Knock—Meditate on John 9:39–41.

Jesus said, “For Judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.”

Has your belief in God been tainted by your nationality, your politics, your upbringing? What blinders might God remove from you to help you to see more clearly his will for you?

blinders might God remove from you to help you to see more clearly his will for you?

Transform Your Life—Be open to the healing of Christ. Never presume that what Jesus has to offer is only for someone else. Allow the cross of Christ to enlighten the path you walk daily, transforming all of your experiences in God’s light.

PoC-27 4th Monday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-27 4th Monday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Illumines. . .Lag Time

The-CrossSteps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Do I trust that God answers all prayer?

Seek—Believe in God even when all appearances suggest that God is not listening to you. Think of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection on the third day.

Knock—Meditate on Hebrews 11:1.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Are there prayers that you stop praying because it seems that God is not answering them?

Transform Your Life——Live your life in the assurance of God’s love, believing strongly that God desires your salvation. See with eyes of faith all that happens to you in any given day. Learn what it means when the Scriptures proclaim, “Believe and be saved!”

PoC-28 4th Tuesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-28 4th Tuesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Illumines. . .Weakness

The-CrossSteps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Do I embrace my weakness?

Seek—God’s help in carrying your weakness daily. Offer up that weakness in the same way that the Lord offered up his suffering on the cross for the salvation of the world.

Knock—Meditate on 2 Corinthians 12:8–10.

Three times, I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

No one is sure what this “thorn” was, though there is speculation that it was an eye problem or even might have been the stigmata (the wounds of Jesus marked on his flesh). Whatever it was, it made Paul uncomfortable, but he realized that in this weakness the power of God was made manifest.

Transform Your Life—Look for ways to embrace the Lord present in the weakness of the world: in the hungry, thirsty, sick, lonely, naked, and imprisoned. Experience the power of God made manifest in what the world considers weak.

PoC-29 4th Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-29 4th Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Illumines. . .Death

The-CrossSteps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Who can save me from death?

Seek—Pray for the dead, especially those you have known in life—family, friends, co-workers, and benefactors. When you are at Mass, call to mind those who have died when the priest mentions them in the Eucharistic Prayer.

Knock—Meditate on 1 Thessalonians 4:13–14.

But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

If people who have died come to mind when you read over this passage, pray for them.

Transform Your Life—An ancient Christian practice is to remember death. This is not a morbid fascination with the inevitable but a clarifying experience, reminding us that our final end need not be death but life with God, and that the shortness of our earthly existence should be focused on doing whatever will build up God’s kingdom.

PoC-30 4th Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-30 4th Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Illumines. . .Our Choices

The-CrossSteps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Whom am I trying to please with the actions of my life?

Seek—The glory of God in all things, in all of your actions, in all of your interactions with others.

Knock—Meditate on 2 Corinthians 4:3–4.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God

Does the gospel seem like “good news” to you?

Transform Your Life—Foster a sense of pilgrimage as the model of your life. See yourself as someone walking in the footsteps of Christ. At all times seek to serve God first and to do his will in your life.

PoC-31 4th Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-31 4th Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Illumines. . .The Truth

The-CrossSteps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—From whom did I learn what I know about Jesus now?

Seek—Read the Gospels daily to come to a deeper understanding of Jesus. Always begin your reading with a prayer asking God to enlighten you in your endeavor.

Knock—Meditate on Acts 16:30–31.

“Men, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

The jailor experiences the power of God’s protection over the apostles and wishes to be saved. They tell him what is necessary is to believe. What does it mean to believe? How is belief different than knowledge?

Transform Your Life—Jesus often tells his disciples to watch, to be vigilant. Seek the Lord at all times, in all places. Invite him to be a part of every area of your life. Hold nothing back.

PoC-32 4th Saturday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-32 4th Saturday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Illumines. . .The Way to True Unity

The-CrossSteps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Am I focused on unity or division within the body of Christ?

Seek—Give thanks to God ahead of time in your prayers. Think of how Jesus instituted the Eucharist (i.e., “thanksgiving”) on the night before he died. When you are at Mass, consciously give thanks to God through Jesus for all that God has done and will do in your life.

Knock—Meditate on Ephesians 5:1–2.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God

How can we imitate God as beloved children? Are there people that we are still divided from? Pray for unity among nations and people of various faiths, and that they may come to know the Savior of mankind, Jesus.

Transform Your Life—Be a thankful person even in the midst of situations where there doesn’t seem to be much to be thankful for—think about Solanus Casey and how even though he was thought of as someone who had little to offer in his community, because of his faith, through God he became one of the most revered members of the house. Trust God at all times.

PoC-33 5th Sunday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-33 5th Sunday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Restores. . .Life

The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Audio Mp3 Audio 3Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—What still binds me?

Seek—See the restorative power of the cross to see all things made new by the death of Jesus—spend some time allowing your past failings, relationships, and the deaths of loved ones to come forward, and present them to the Lord.

Knock—Meditate on Acts 9:40–41.

But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive.

The early Church continued the ministry of Jesus, as does the Church today. In the raising of Tabitha, we see Peter doing what Jesus did. How much do we act on our faith in Christ when we encounter the results of sin in our lives?

Transform Your Life—Remember life; too often we live in the past. Live for the present moment in Christ.

PoC-34 5th Monday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-34 5th Monday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Restores. . .Forgiveness

The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila – Audio Mp3 Audio 3Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Do I believe in the power of Jesus to forgive?

Seek—Acknowledge your sinfulness before God. Make a daily examination of conscience. In whom are you placing your trust, in Jesus or yourself? Frequently ask God to help you to sin no more.

Knock—Meditate on Philippians 3:8–11.

Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

What does Paul mean when he speaks of his faith in Christ? Why would he count everything else as a loss and garbage? How can one become more like Christ in his death?

Transform Your Life—See yourself as no different than the greatest sinner or greatest saint. Potentially, you could be one or the other; the outcome depends more upon the one in whom you place your trust than any personal merit of your own.

PoC-35 5th Tuesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-35 5th Tuesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Restores. . .The Image of God

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—What can make me more like Christ in his humility?

Seek—Ask God to reveal to you his purpose for your life. When you do not feel accepted by others, look to the rejection that Jesus endured on the cross and unite your suffering to his.

Knock—Meditate on Numbers 21:8–9.

And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

Imagine the people being bitten by serpents, then being healed by staring at the ser- pent on the pole (which is still the symbol for the medical pro- fession). What do you think healed the people?

Transform Your Life—Learn the acceptance of God. Confess your sins and anything that you think makes you unacceptable to God. Learn to love your physical imperfections and to help others accept theirs and yours.

PoC-36 5th Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-36 5th Wednesday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Restores. . .Our Freedom

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Are there areas of my life where I am still enslaved?

Seek—Persevere in the teaching of Jesus. Experience the joy of the small victories when standing your ground against the enemy, especially when he seeks to seduce you back into the slavery of sin.

Knock—Meditate on Romans 6:22–23.

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What does it mean to be a slave of God? Are you a free person? If not, what still enslaves you? If so, from what has God freed you?

Transform Your Life—St. Ignatius of Loyola taught that we should make use of created things inasmuch as they aid us in praising, reverencing, and serving God, for that is the purpose of our existence. Spend your life seeing all of creation in these terms, remaining in the teaching of Jesus, and witness how your life is totally transformed.

PoC-37 5th Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-37 5th Thursday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Restores. . .Obedience

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Am I obedient to the commands of Jesus?

Seek—To be open to God. Receive the Eucharist and ask God to enrich you with his Body and Blood, enabling you to be an obedient son or daughter, abiding in Christ.

Knock—Meditate on 1 John 2:3–6.

And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He who says, “I know him,” but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

How well do we know him? How much of our disobedience is due to our own ignorance of Christ? Are we disobedient children because we do not really believe that the Father loves us, and wants what is best for us?

Transform Your Life—Accept the transfusion of life that is the Eucharist, an exchange of our sin-tainted, mortal flesh for the immortality of the God-Man. Live the Eucharist realizing that Christ remains in you. When you are tempted, call upon the presence of Christ to empower you to be obedient.

PoC-38 5th Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-38 5th Friday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Restores. . .The Dignity of Work

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Am I doing what God wants me to do?

Seek—To pray, to put God first in all things, in every aspect of your life. Ask God to bless your home and your work, making all that you do fruitful.

Knock—Meditate on Genesis 2:2–3.

And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done. (. . . )So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.

How do you rest from your work? How do you sanctify the Sabbath in your life? Do you trust enough in God’s providence to take a day off? Spend some time reflecting on Jesus’ Sabbath rest on Holy Saturday and what it could mean for you.

Transform Your Life—Allow the cross of Christ to restore the dignity of your work. This may not involve leaving behind your job, even if you took that job for the wrong reasons. God can transform anything into good. So what matters is what your motivation is in your work: are you building up the kingdom of God or are you trying to build your own kingdom?

PoC-39 5th Saturday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-39 5th Saturday of Lent: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

The Cross of Christ Restores. . .Justice

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Do I see myself as a child of God?

Seek——Focus on the crucified Christ as you meet him throughout the day. Stand up for your brother or sister, always appealing to the brother or sister who might seek to harm him or her.

Knock—Meditate on Micah 2:12–13.

I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob, I will gather the remnant of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men. He who opens the breach will go up before them; they will break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king will pass on before them, the LORD at their head.

Micah prophesies that the Lord will lead his sheep out of their captivity. In the violent journey of Christ out of the walled city of Jerusalem, we see a lit- eral fulfillment of this prophecy. Are you one of the followers of Jesus on his way of the cross?

Transform Your Life—Realize that you are a child of God, reborn in Baptism when you shared in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Live out your Baptism, dying to yourself whenever you find yourself tempted to be a child of something other than the one true God.

PoC-40 Palm Sunday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-40 Palm Sunday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Taking Up Our Cross. . .In Abandonment

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Do I believe in God’s providential care?

Seek—Cry out to God to save you. Realize what it means to say that God is your Savior. Frequently call to mind all that you need to be saved from and have recourse to God who alone can save you.

Knock—Meditate on Romans 13:12–14.

Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Reflect on how putting on armor of light and bringing all of your cares before God will change the way you see them.

Transform Your Life—Believe and trust in Jesus at all times. Do not allow the enemy to have a foothold into your life. Make “Hosanna, save us, Lord” the prayer that is constantly on your lips.

PoC-41 Holy Monday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-41 Holy Monday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Taking Up Our Cross. . .In Reverence

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Do I reverence God?

Seek—Find a way to adore God today, be it in the Eucharist or in the secrecy of your room, or anywhere. When you see the shape of the cross, say the prayer that St. Francis instructed his brothers and sisters to say, “We adore you Christ and we praise you present here and in all the Churches throughout the world, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”

Knock—Meditate on Hebrews 12:28–29.

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

What does it mean to offer acceptable worship to God? How is the kingdom we are offered by Christ unshakeable?

Transform Your Life—Make your life one of reverence toward God at all times. Let your focus be on remaining in God’s presence, rather than judging and criticizing those around you.

PoC-42 Holy Tuesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-42 Holy Tuesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Taking Up Our Cross. . .To Follow the Lord

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—How often do I trust my own instincts, and how often do I entrust myself to Jesus?

Seek—Try to live each day with a resignation to God’s will, accepting each moment with the expectation that God might be breaking through to you.

Knock—Meditate on 1 Peter 5:6–9.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.

Think about the experiences of Peter in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles and the words that he writes here. What lesson do they convey? How might the devil be seeking to devour you in your attempts to follow Christ?

Transform Your Life—Make an amendment to live humbly. Cast all of your hopes and anxieties on the Lord. Realize that following Jesus means living a life of trust not in your way but in God’s way, the way of the cross.

PoC-43 Holy Wednesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-43 Holy Wednesday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Taking Up Our Cross. . .Be Prepared

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—How well do I prepare for the Eucharist I receive at Mass?

Seek——Try to participate fully in the Eucharist each time you are present; if possible, attend daily. Be mindful of what you do at Mass, what you hear and how you respond. Learn more about the Mass.

Knock—Meditate on 1 Corinthians 11:27–30.

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

What does St. Paul mean when he says that those who do not discern bring judgment upon themselves? What can you do to examine yourself before participating in Mass to avoid doing it absent-mindedly?

Transform Your Life——Know what you celebrate when you are at Mass; mean what you do with every gesture and prayer, and especially when you receive Holy Communion.

PoC-44 Holy Thursday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-44 Holy Thursday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Taking Up Our Cross. . .In Imitation of Christ

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Am I willing to do small things for Christ?

Seek—Volunteer to do a task that no one wants to do, a menial or unpleasant one, all the while uniting yourself with the Passion and death of Jesus.

Knock—Meditate on Philippians 2:5–8.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

Paul says that we should have the mind of Christ, and Jesus told Peter that he was think- ing like men and not God. How is having the mind of Christ dif- ferent than the thoughts that we are apt to naturally have about life issues? Do your thoughts clash with the gospel message? Are you trying to be like the god you imagine, or the God Jesus revealed by his cross?

Transform Your Life——Seek to follow the example of Christ in all that you do. Be solicitous for the care of others. Learn the truth that in dying to self you are born into eternal life.

PoC-45 Good Friday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-45 Good Friday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Taking Up Our Cross. . .To Stay with Jesus

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Do I feel “lucky” to carry the cross that God has given me?

Seek—Keep the cross of Christ before you at all times. Let it be a reminder of Christ’s forgiveness for you when you feel sorrowful for your sins. Let it be a sign of God’s love for others when you are tempted to judge. Let it be a light that you can share with those whose lives you touch.

Knock—Meditate on 1 Corinthians 12:26–27.

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Do you think of yourself as a part of Christ’s body? What changes are necessary for you to make in order to act as a member of the body of Christ rather than as an individual follower of Jesus?

Transform Your Life—Realize the difference that embracing the cross of Christ makes in your life. Learn to see the world in a new way and to see what Jesus meant when he said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5).

PoC-46 Holy Saturday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

PoC-46 Holy Saturday: The Power of the Cross Lenten Meditation

Taking Up Our Cross. . .Be Not Afraid

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—Is life a series of “gifts” from God or tragedies?

Seek—Encounter the empty tombs of life with the expectation that they are signs of the Risen Christ.

Knock—Meditate on 1 John 4:18–19.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because he first loved us.

How do you view the events of your life, as God punishing you or as God showering you with gifts? Is your image of what God is like from the way Jesus reveals God to us or from some other source?

Transform Your Life—Accept the cross whenever it presents itself to you in daily life. Do not flee from it. Do not shrink from it, but embrace it in the name of Jesus. Learn from it, be enlightened by it, find in it the key to living a fruitful life. Think of this every time that you sign yourself with the cross.

Michael Dubruiel received a Master’s Degrees in Christian Spirituality and Theology. He worked as a teacher at every level of Catholic Education, in pastoral ministry and served as an Acquisitions Editor for Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Company. He  appeared frequently on Catholic radio programs throughout the country and spoke at the national conferences of the NCEA, NCEE and the Catholic Writers Conference.

61189_profile_pic1-213x300Michael died unexpectedly on February 3, 2009. May he rest in peace.

 

 

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

2 thoughts on “Michael Dubruiel – Power of the Cross

Leave a Comment