When St. John of the Cross was a six year old and out playing with his friends, he fell into a mud puddle and nearly drowned. During this time a beautiful lady appeared immaculately clean to help him out of his predicament. This appearance at such a young age of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a precursor of how she would be involved in his life. She reached out her hands in a loving manner to help St. John up and he reached for her but with drew his dirty hands.
If we continue to follow his life two things must be noted. First we can see that St. John spent a lifetime cleaning and keeping his hands (and heart) clean so he could reach out his hands toward God. Secondly events in his life showed that he developed a reliance on Mary. St. John of the Cross lived many crosses in his life and he endured with the help Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We see drawings of Father John with the cross, he lived at the foot of the cross and in so doing was standing besides our Blessed Mother.
If we can turn our lives around this Lent and in effect CLEAN OUR HANDS as it were, then we can ascend the mountain towards union with God. Our sacrifices and crosses are easier to bear knowing Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is with us and they are well worth the effort to have the joy of the Resurrected Christ in our hearts.
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false,
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD,
and vindication from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Ps 24:3-6