Monica’s Praise Report 1/25/23

Post Date: January 25, 2023
Author: Monica Hebert

We are in that time between the manger and the cross. Our challenge is to live them both. Not just those of us in the midst of suffering, but all of us. The Church Militant is called to be Christ-like no matter our role- in His suffering and in His joy and peace and hope.
We may have spent our Advent teaching our children how to comfort the newborn Babe, explaining and demonstrating how our sacrifices are like placing straw in the manger. We likely do this or something similar every year. This Advent, I was able to reflect on the wood of manger and the wood of the cross. I was even able to LIVE the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth in a very real way.

A friend of mine sent me a reflection as I shared my suffering with her:

“Can you just imagine the Lord picking the wood? Choosing the perfect pieces with just the perfect marks in it, then, the nails that would hold it all together. It must have broken His heart to know the load we would be carrying, know that He could not carry it ALL for us, that it takes our joining Him in this journey, accepting all He has for us and JOYFULLY saying yes to the path before us. First, He chose you; then, He skillfully and lovingly prepared your cross. He prepared it, so you CAN carry it and you WOULD ask Him to journey with you!”

I have to be honest and let you know I did NOT like reading it. My first reaction was to think, “He said at His Assumption, He was going to prepare a place for us. Did that include our cross?” I had to chew on this for several days. God is so good in that He is gentle, so so gentle. He gives me the time I need to react and digest new information and circumstances and loves me through it all. After some time, I was able to reply to my friend and let her know what God had revealed to me about the reflection she sent. He reminded me of the manger and how we attempt to comfort Him in it, and I was able to send my friend my takeaway on the reflection:

“The reflection you sent – I keep thinking about the Way of the Cross. I do not think He necessarily chose our cross or could not carry it ALL. He allowed it, and He mourned knowing what free will and living in a fallen world would bring us- to carry the cross. I believe He knew since before our birth which ones we would carry. I believe He asked the Father, “if it be Your will, let this cup pass, but Your will be done.” I believe He asked if He could pick out the smoothest wood, the skinniest and sharpest nails. I believe He chose the women of Jerusalem, who would cry with us, and the Simons of Cyrene, who would lighten our burden. I believe he softened the ground where we would fall – the many times we would fall. I believe He gave us His Mother to accompany us just as she did for Him. I believe He wept and still weeps for us and with us. I believe He knew and knows the blows, the humiliations, the rejections, the comments that would pierce our hearts- inflicting wounds that would require forgiveness of and from us. I do not know why— it is not my place to understand. He knows I will feel abandoned and alone at times. He knows I will cry out, “ABBA ABBA why have you abandoned me!!??” He knows because He was there and is here.

Lord Jesus, save us! Forgive us! Grant us grace to do Your will alone!”

Oh, how blessed our family has been by those with whom we have shared our suffering ! He has sent the women of Jerusalem, who weep with me and have provided our family with so much that we are unable to accomplish right now. I am more than overwhelmed at the blessings -material and spiritual.

He has made real the Visitation too! Upon sharing what we are experiencing with certain family members and friends – they came in haste to visit – the way Mary visited her cousin. Mary knew Elizabeth would need help accomplishing daily tasks, and she knew they would both need some emotional support to process the extraordinary circumstances of their lives. I am sure they laughed together, cried together, tried to understand all that had and was about to unfold in their lives.

I have been having so much difficulty praising Him and thanking Him through it all, but see how merciful He is to allow the communion of Saints, the Body of Christ, to be so real when we need it the most.

I will challenge everyone who reads this – please please please, share in some way, how God has worked or is working in your life. There are those of us who NEED to hear about your cross and how God has been working through it. We NEED to hear how He has sent the women of Jerusalem and the Simons of Cyrene into your life and circumstances. We NEED to hear how you managed to prepare the manger and how He has prepared the cross.

Author: Monica Hebert

Photo by Steve Hruza on Unsplash

Recent Posts

Divine Mercy Sunday 2024

Divine Mercy Sunday 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for the Second Sunday of Easter, April 7, 2024 (Divine Mercy Sunday) Reading 1: Acts 4:32-35 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24 Reading 2: 1 Jn 5:1-6 Gospel:  Jn 20:19-31 The first thing we should notice about our readings for...

Palm Sunday 2024

Palm Sunday 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/032424.cfm Palm Sunday celebration begins with a processional gospel proclamation of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem from the Gospel of Mark, with an optional proclamation...

Monica’s Praise Report 3/22/24

Monica’s Praise Report 3/22/24

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever! Praise be His Holy and Venerable Name!  Praise Him, who was, is, and is to come.  Praise Him in the morning; praise Him in the noontime.  Praise Him when the sun goes down! Thank You, Lord, for all thy benefits.  Thank You for...

Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 10, 2024

Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 10, 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 10, 2024 Reading 1: 2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6 Reading 2: Eph 2:4-10 Gospel: Jn 3:14-21 We don’t often have Sunday readings from the Books of Chronicles because...

Repent and Believe

Repent and Believe

A Reflection on the Readings for the First Sunday of Lent, February 18, 2024 Reading 1: Gn 9:8-15 Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 Reading 2: 1 Pt 3:18-22 If you read the introduction to the Book of Genesis in the New American Bible, you will see that the...

Reflection – February 4, 2024

Reflection – February 4, 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 4, 2024 READING: 1 JB 7:1-4, 6-7 RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PS 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6 READING 2: 1 COR 9:16-19, 22-23 GOSPEL: MK 1:29-39 The introduction to the Book of Job in the New American Bible...

Monica’s Praise Report 1/23/24

Monica’s Praise Report 1/23/24

Has God ever used your annoying dog to teach you about your guardian angel?  He did that for me recently, and I can’t wait to share it. Every week, the same yard man in the same truck using the same equipment comes. Every week, it is the same, yet my genius dog after...

God’s Calling

God’s Calling

A Reflection on the Readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 21, 2024 Reading 1: Jon 3:1-5, 10 Reading 11: 1 Cor 7:29-31 Alleluia: Mk 1:15 Gospel: Mk 1:14-20 The Book of Jonah was written tongue-in-cheek as the author intended there to be some humor in...

Here I Am Lord

Here I Am Lord

A Reflection on the Readings for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Reading 1: 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10 Reading II: 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20 Alleluia: Jn 1:41, 17b Gospel: Jn 1:35-42 We are, again, in Ordinary Time, and this week, we...

Monica’s Praise Report 12/27/23

Monica’s Praise Report 12/27/23

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Praise be His holy name.  All Glory Be to He who was, is, and is to come.  Glory and Honor to the most high God. Thank You, Lord, for all thy benefits.  Thank You for the Sacraments, and for the treasury of Grace from which...

Local Angels

(Our Sponsors)

For more information on how to showcase your business and sponsor this site, please send us an email.