"I love you, my beloved Jesus; I love you more than myself, I repent with my whole heart of having offended you. Never permit me to separate myself from You again. Grant that I may love You always, and then do with me what You will."
This is our parish's shared prayer at each station in our mini Via Dolorosa pilgrimage. Every year, the last line grips my heart. It is as if Christ is reaching out of the tabernacle, wrapping his arm around my should, and giving me a solid squeeze. The kind of squeeze that says "I just want you to know I am here." The kind of squeeze that says "Remember how you promised this last year, too. Do not feel guilty about how many times you failed to make good on the promise. You have got all this next year to get it right."
His presence is never derisive or chastizing. It is loving and uplifting. It makes me rededicate myself to surrendering my will to His. It makes me long for whatever plans he has for me. It makes me feel as if I might actually keep the promise this year.