Thursday, November 13, 2014

So far, so good

"At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children...'" - Luke 10:21


I'm working my way through 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC (along with a group of other young adults) in order to renew my total consecration to Jesus through Mary.  Day 8 day began the readings on St. Maximilian Kolbe (probably my favorite guy Saint.)  So far, so good.

The first week was on the teachings of St. Louis de Montfort - good stuff.  If you've never read his "True Devotion to Mary" you owe it to yourself to read it because it is *the* classic on devotion to Mary.  His writings are the reason St. John Paul II chose "Totus Tuus" as his papal motto.  Reading "True Devotion to Mary" was (as JPII himself put it) a "turning point" in his life.  It could be for you, too.

St. Louis' thought on devotion to Mary could perhaps be summed up in simply living out the total consecration of ourselves through our baptism with the aid, intercession, and care of the Mother of God.  Because we want to be faithful to Christ whom we were baptized into we ought not refuse the aid of His and our Mother.  The one who is devoted to Our Lady is the one whom the Holy Spirit desires to fill the most because He recognizes the imprint which His spouse, Mary, has left on the devotee's soul.  When God becomes aware of the perfume of Mary in a soul He lavishes it with greater graces than otherwise because it is a sign to Him that this soul desires to love Christ above all else.  To go to Mary indicates the tremendous desire to reach Christ in the safest, surest, most perfect way possible.  The world can go to Jesus in the same way that Jesus came to the world - through Mary. 

So give all you have to Mary and, in exchange, she will give you all that she has.  That's a pretty good deal considering that she is the Queen of Heaven who is "full of grace."

All of this is based on the reality and teaching of her "spiritual motherhood" over us.  When she conceived Christ in the body she also conceived, in a mystical way, all of those who would be incorporated into His body.  To be in the body of Christ is, necessarily, to be born of Mary and the Holy Spirit because that is where Christ's body came from in the first place: Mary and the Holy Spirit.

To deny Mary her maternal rights would be a terrible loss for the Christian.  

God is our Father because we are in Christ.  Mary is our Mother because we are in Christ.  To be in Christ means to have the relationships His has, especially His Father and Mother, Mary.  Jesus emphasized this when He said at the Cross "Behold, your Mother"' and after the Resurrection when he said "I am ascending to My Father and your Father..."

True Devotion to Mary just means acknowledging and living out the truth about Mary  as our Mother.  If we knew how much she loved us then we wouldn't argue against devotion to Mary because it would make all the sense in the world.

"Honor your Father and Mother." 

"At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children...'" - Luke 10:21

If you want to know Mary as Mother then you have to become a little child.  In order to see the Kingdom (which belongs to children) and see its King and Queen then you have to have the heart of a child.  

"Wise" and "learned" grown ups don't need a Mother and a Father. But children do.

Accept who you are and then you will be able to accept who she is; your Mother

Saturday, November 8, 2014

You Promised!

We're very forgetful as human beings.  

We usually get into trouble as soon as we forget the important things: God, our true identity, that we will die and be judged, that the person in front of me is made in God's image and has incalculable dignity and should be unconditionally loved etc.

If we could only remember what God remembers then we'd probably be alright.

Have you ever asked God what your baptism was like for Him? Have you ever asked the Father to recount the story of that great day; the day He adopted you? What did God see when you were baptized? What did He experience? 

For one, God was tremendously joyful at your baptism.  Infinitely joyful.
For two, God no doubt experienced a profound affection for you as his son or daughter.

That was the day that you promised (or the promises were blessedly made on your behalf0 to be His forever.  You promised - vowed - to turn away from sin and always maintain eye contact with Him through Christ.  You promised never to doubt, never to look away, always to be faithful.

You promised.

Did you forget that you've already promised God everything?

Today that includes your intellect and all your beliefs - "God, change my mind in every area that is not in agreement with you.  If I believe anything that is untrue then please give me your light.  Help me be faithful to my promise."

It also encompasses your will - "Lord, I have over the years become very attached to so many idols; so many things that are not you.  I've grasped onto the fruit from the tree of good and evil and it's hard to loosen my grip.  Give me your strength that I might let go of each thing that doesn't lead me to You.  Help me be faithful to my promise."

At your baptism even your body (in addition to your soul with it's intellect and will) was promised to God because on that day - through faith and God's grace in baptism - you became a temple of the Holy Spirit. "Father, my body is the dwelling place of your Love; Your Spirit.  I often allow my senses to indulge in sin and I make my body a divided temple. May Jesus' zeal for Your house - which I am - consume me and burn away all that is not pleasing to you.  Make me more pure and a more worthy temple for you to rest in.  Help me be faithful to my promise."

Of course, like every good Mother Mary will teach us more and more how to please our Father that we might be holy as He is holy.  Our Lady was always faithful to her promises - she will help us if we ask her to. We need to pray often to be generous with God and we ought to be grateful for all He has done for us.  Let us remember our baptism as God saw it.  Don't forget...

You promised.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Why Mary?

Maybe a better question would be, "Why not Mary?"

Catholics are sometimes criticized for going to Mary in their efforts to grow closer to Christ or in seeking answer to their prayers.  "Why not go right to Jesus? Is He not infinitely more merciful and powerful than Mary?"

The answer is "Yes." But the question is the wrong question.  Again, a better question is "Does Jesus want me to go directly to Him exclusively? What is the plan of His infinite mercy and power?"  On the Cross, where Jesus' infinite mercy and power are on display for the whole world to see, He gives His mother to the "beloved disciple" (that's you!) precisely because of that mercy and power.  In the beloved disciple He entrusts every disciple (indeed, every person) to Mary, "Woman, behold your son" and to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." (John 19:25-27) As she was Mother to Him so she would be Mother to all - especially those who follow Him.  Only infinite mercy and power could do such a thing.  As she nourished, protected, and raised Jesus so Mary is to do the same for us.  Here is the "New Eve" the new "Mother of All the Living."

Jesus delights when we approach Him hand-in-hand with Our Lady.  This was His idea and desire.  He loves so much when fellow believers on earth intercede with Jesus for other believers.  How much more must He delight when we seek Mary's intercession with her Son; she who is "full of grace"? It's never an "either/or" choice between Jesus or Mary.  Rather, it is a "both/and" reality where we acknowledge that Jesus, the New Adam, wants His spiritual children to approach Him with their Mother, the New Eve.  

It is what Jesus desires.  He is our advocate with the Father and she, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is our advocate with Jesus.  In this way Mary is very much like the Church itself who brings souls to Christ and mediates so many graces to mankind from the Lord.  

Even if we ignore Mary she is still there as our Mother.  Mothers, even if ignored, are still our mothers. She's faithful in her vocation even if we don't understand her vocation.

But it's time to know your Mother better.  It's time to, "Behold your Mother."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Final Confrontation

I just saw this trailer and I don't know anything else about the Holy League but I know one thing...

They're right.

Today, to be a follower of Christ, you either choose to be all in the fight or you end up slowing everyone else down.  "Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters" said Jesus in Matthew 12:30.  Any time you don't do God's Will in gathering the children of God into His harvest then you are wasting your own time and everyone else's time.  You either decide that you truly want to be a Saint - and follow through with the demands of the Gospel - or you end up pursuing anything else except what will actually matter in eternity: having done God's Will on earth.

Time is running out.

"His mercy may be infinite but His patience is not." - My mom (wisdom is wisdom no matter who the messanger is.)

This is the time for Mercy - but that door will eventually close.


Or hardened indifference will decide for you.

Lukewarm souls don't end well.

"So because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I will spit you out of my mouth." - Revelation 3:16

Pray for a renewed heart and a total change in perspective.  Give God permission to get your attention in whatever way He has to.

He's been trying up to now in every conceivable way to get our attention..

What will work for you?

Only you can decide.  

But you must decide.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Food of the Saints

A meditation inspired by the hymn "Godhead here in Hiding (Adoro Te Devote) on this feast of All Saints.

The Eucharist was what kept the Saints going. I think if it weren't for the Bread of Life then life would have been intolerable suffering for them. Every Holy Communion was an oasis which both satisfied and still more increased their thirst for the God they loved. Love is what took them in the end - regardless of the circumstances of how they died physically. Their physical death was a tremendous blessing which rent the vale of reality and freed their souls to the now open treausure which all their life long they held in hope. When Love called them home they were able to make a total "yes" because they had made so many other "yes's" before in every sacrifice, in every act of love, and especially at each Holy Communion. Their God gave them all of Himself and they said "Amen, I give you all of myself, too." The Food of the Saints - the Bread of Life - vivified, inspired, consoled, fascinated, sustained, and fed the hearts of those men and women who recognized (unlike so many of us) the tremendous hunger inside of them. The Saints knew they had an infinite emptiness without God. They knew their hunger which is why they continually allowed themselves to be fed by Him. The consolation of His Word "This is My Body" was completed by the gift of the Word made flesh in the Bread from Heaven; the Eucharist. "Take this, all of you, and eat of it for this is My body which will be given up for you."


"For me?" 

... Do you believe that? Does that amaze you?  

As Pope St. John Paul II begged us let us rekindle in ourselves the gift of Eucharistic amazement. Let us realize Who it is that gives Himself to us, Who stays with us, Who never leaves us, and Who feeds us because He loves us.


1. Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

2. Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.

3. On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

4. I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

5. O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.

6. Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what thy bosom ran---
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.

7. Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with thy glory's sight.