Monday of Holy Week
The battle of Jerusalem just began; if we interpret the battle of Jerusalem from the lenses Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical letter Spe Salvi, this is a battle to recover the lost paradise. The recovery of what man had lost through the expulsion from Paradise was expected from faith in Jesus Christ: herein redemption. Nevertheless, a group of people believe that the restoration of the lost paradise is no longer expected from faith, but rather from the link between science and praxis. The new correlation between science and praxis would mean that the dominion over creation – given to man by God in the Garden of Eden – would be re-established. At the same time, the recovery of lost paradise is primarily associated with the dominion of reason, which will lead us to perfect freedom. Perfect freedom is seen purely as the new paradise, in which man can becomes more fully himself and attained total freedom to do whatever he wishes. Through the interplay of science, praxis, reason and freedom, a totally new world will emerge, the kingdom of man.
Mary takes side to be with Jesus; she does not make any reasonable calculation about the cost of the perfume oil. For her the most important thing is the union with Christ Jesus. She let go her freedom by being a humble servant who anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair. Perhaps it will be too scary for you to imagine that you have to join Jesus in his final battle; in that case you can imagine yourself choosing the side of Christ by anointing His feet and dried them with your hair like Mary.
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.