Walking The Way with Jesus
Dear Catholic Illini Alumni, family, and friends,
I pray that this newsletter provides the consolation and inspiration you need as you begin your Lenten journey.
It's common to feel the temptation to merely endure Lent, or to embrace it only half-heartedly. Inevitably, a couple weeks into our Lenten devotions, we find ourselves slipping, falling, and failing. But in these moments it is helpful to remember the Way of the Cross.
Part of our Chapel’s recent renovation was the incorporation of images that recall our original Stations of the Cross which now hang in the Peoria Cathedral. These vivid images effortlessly draw the pilgrim into the joys and sorrows which Jesus was experiencing and continues to experience in his Mystical Body.
On The Way, Jesus falls three times under the weight of his cross, yet he encounters instruments of mercy FOUR times: His Mother, Simon, Veronica, the Women of Jerusalem. Further, there to receive him at the end of his pilgrimage is the Beloved Disciple, Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea. Amidst the heavy darkness, there is always a ray of light.
Whenever I encounter alumni I am encountering rays of light. Through your notes, visits, and donations, you and your families remind me that the seeds we sow on campus bear fruit for years to come, even when we aren’t always able to witness it in the present moment.
As we begin together “this campaign of Christian service,” remember that Jesus wasn't passive during the Way of the Cross; he actively confronted the powers of darkness. Similarly, he's not a passive spectator in our lives; he actively works within us to bring about our complete liberation. As was the case with Jesus, the enemy will always try to discourage us. But also as with Jesus, God sends rays of light to fill us with hope and endurance.
Hopefully, the images and stories shared in this newsletter will serve as some of these rays of light for you today.
Together with Jesus, let us take up our cross. Together with Jesus, let us be the light others so desperately need.