Continuing with the six-week Lenten reflection series based on the book, Seven Words of Jesus and Mary, by Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen at Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, here are the quotes and questions that John and I asked yesterday from Chapter 4 – The Fourth Word: Confidence in Victory. This chapter focuses on Mary’s Magnificat and Jesus’ – “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? (Mk. 15:34), which originally comes from Psalm 22:1 (21 in the Septuagint), the great Todah (Thanksgiving) Psalm.
1. “All trusting implies something you cannot see. If you could see, there would be no occasion for trust. When you say you trust a man only insofar as you can see him, you do not trust him at all. Now to trust God means to hold fast to the truth that his purposes are good and holy, not because you see them, but in spite of appearances to the contrary.”
2. “Rather approach him in full confidence and even with the boldness of a loving child who has a right to ask a Father for favors.”
3. “The man without faith was generally surprised at the dark turn of events with two world wars in twenty-one years, the resurgence of barbarism and the abandonment of moral principles. But the man with faith in God was not so surprised. The sun came out just as he had expected; chaos was in the cards though they had not yet been dealt, for he knew that ‘unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it’ (Ps 126:1).”
4. “Evil will never be able to be stronger than on that particular day, for the worst thing that evil can do is not to ruin cities and to wage wars…against the good and the living. The worst thing that evil can do is to kill God..”
5. “Though he may not grant all your wants, be sure that, in a certain sense, there is no unanswered prayer…Do not forget either that there are not two kinds of prayers to prayer, but three: One is ‘Yes.’ Another is ‘No.’ The third is ‘Wait.”
1. With all the evil and sin in the world, how does a Christian remain steadfast in knowing that in the end the final victory belongs to Christ and those who follow his teachings?
2. What would the Jews standing around the cross have thought when they heard Christ cry out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
3. In Heaven, Christ still bears the wounds of his Crucifixion. Explain the significance of this teaching.