034: How the Cross Actually Saves You (and how it doesn’t)

My God, my God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

catholic_FINAL_150Perhaps the most dramatic and gut-wrenching moment of the crucifixion is Christ’s cry of dereliction: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

But many people have no idea what it actually means.

Like so many other converts to Catholicism, I was raised with a misunderstanding of how the Cross of Christ actually saves me. Believe it or not, over the years I’ve heard some homilies at Mass make the same mistake. (Not in my home parish…just in case my parish priest is reading this:)

But it’s important. Because if you get the Cross wrong, you get everything wrong.80px-Miguel_Angel_Crucifixion_La_Redonda_Logrono_Spain

In this special Triduum/Easter episode of The Art of Catholic, I’ll briefly discuss:

  • What Jesus actually did on the Cross: both the correct and incorrect views
  • How the way we’re saved dramatically impacts our view of salvation and thus how we live
  • How to understand the apparent abandonment of the Son by the Father as he hung on the Cross
  • Why the Cross should fill us with confidence

This episode will help you dive more deeply into the mystery and tragic beauty of what is happened on Golgotha. (And as a huge bonus, I’m opening the show with a clip from the great Truth & Life Audio Bible.)

God bless and have a blessed Triduum and Easter!

Matthew

P.S. Don’t forget to grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life Cover Image8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! It’s an easy step-by-step guide to help you rocket to God!

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Did You Have A “Rash Wednesday”?

“I’m giving up all tv, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter…Super CatholicNothing edible will enter my body for forty days. And I’m going to read all 150 Psalms daily while wearing a hair shirt that would bring Bigfoot to tears.”

Sound familiar? We’re all big talkers at the beginning of Lent, aren’t we? We’re going to get really holy, get really in touch with our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross. We’re strong enough! Who needs food! (It’s a scientific fact that most rash Lenten resolutions are made on a full stomach.)

So how’s it going? Uh-huh…thought so.

If you’ve struggled to keep up with your lenten resolutions just take a deep breath and relax. It’s hard to sacrifice. It’s meant to be hard. And for those of us who bit off more than we could chew, it can be discouraging because we weren’t able to perfectly keep our promises. We failed!

But let’s keep a couple things in mind.

First of all, be realistic. If you’re trying to do too much, take a step back and get real. I’m not trying to get anyone off the hook, because the whole point is to be sacrificial and it’s never easy. But at the same time, it would do us good to recall the famous line from Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry character in Magnum Force: “Man’s got to know his limitations…”

Second, the Lord is merciful. He’s not mad at you for failing. He might be chuckling at your inability to put down the Oreo and walk away, but he’s not mad. He’s the most merciful person in the world!

Remember, Lenten sacrifice isn’t for him. It’s for us. It’s meant to help us take our eyes off of this world and focus on the next. It’s meant to help us love Christ more, not get down on ourselves.

So if you’ve fallen a few times already, stand up and brush the Little Debbie crumbs off your pants. Then pick up your Lenten cross and start again…but maybe with one made from a little lighter wood.

God bless!

Matt