Friday, February 22, 2013

The Face of God


This Lent I have decided to meditate on the face of Our Lord.  As I have witnessed the profound changes that have taken place on Fulton's face, and placed myself at the foot of Our Lord's Cross, it seems as though this devotion is very fitting for me this year.  Soon after the accident happened, I came across the following prayer, penned by St Therese of Liseaux.  It struck such a deep chord within my heart, I had decided to pray this prayer on the evenings when I needed to focus on the larger picture of God's holy will instead of the heartbreaking changes taking place on my child's face.

With each passing day, Fulton's scars are thickening and becoming more distorted and I no longer can recall what he used to look like. Even with the help of photographs, I cannot see any similarities beyond perhaps the structure of his nose. In some ways I still grieve the loss of that sweet face, the squinty eyes and beaming smile, but I have already moved on and have come to love the new peaks and valleys and contours of his face as if they had always been there, and see God's great designs as He transforms my son.  I cherish this little face and kiss it daily, loving not only my son, but the God who gave him to me and the One Who chose this path to Calvary for us.  And as I ponder the faces of Fulton and Our Lord in agony yet so loved, I pray the Little Flower's prayer:


"O Jesus, Who in Thy cruel Passion didst become the "Reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows," I worship Thy Divine Face. Once it shone with the beauty and sweetness of the Divinity: now for my sake it is become as the face of a leper. Yet in that disfigured Countenance I recognize Thy infinite Love, and I am consumed with the desire of loving Thee and of making Thee loved by all mankind. The tears that streamed in such abundance from Thy Eyes are to me as precious pearls which I delight to gather, that with their infinite worth I may ransom the souls of poor sinners.

 O Jesus, Whose Face is the sole beauty that ravishes my heart, I may not behold here upon earth the sweetness of Thy Glance, nor feel the ineffable tenderness of Thy Kiss. I bow to Thy Will - but I pray Thee to imprint in me Thy Divine Likeness, and I implore Thee so to inflame me with Thy Love, that it may quickly consume me and I may soon reach the Vision of Thy glorious Face in Heaven. Amen."

Indeed I am not saying my son's face is worthy of worship or veneration of any sort, but there are elements within this prayer that, by changing a few words here and there, certainly speak to the agony I am going through as I watch the changes taking place on his sweet face, and correlating it with the actions of a loving God.  "For in Fulton's disfigured countenance I recognize Thy infinite Love, and I am consumed with the desire of loving Thee and of making Thee loved by all mankind." 

I know this special Lenten journey has just begun for me, this passion of sorts.  And while the details of this journey are shrouded from my eyes -  the insights, the pain and the graces that are in store for me - I know beyond all certainty how it ends:  A merciful Resurrected Lord, a new beginning, a purer soul, and deep gratitude for all My Lord and My God has blessed me with!

It is my Lenten mission to make the love known to anyone who will hear me, to show to them how God's love and mercy are shown most purely through suffering. What a beautiful Lent it will be!

1 comment:

  1. How I can relate to losing your child's face as you once knew as my own son lost his face to surgery and had a dramatic change. We have been praying for you and your son every evening. Please know how much of an inspiration you are, thank you for sharing your story so others can see how to accept suffering, you are an apostle! We will continue to pray!