Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Annunciation

The solemnity of the Annunciation is today. Here is a reflection from Divine Intimacy by Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, OCD:
The Angel's explanation does not prevent future events and circumstances from remaining hidden and obscure to Mary. She finds herself face to face with a mystery, a mystery which she knows intuitively to be rich in suffering; for she has learned from the Sacred Scriptures that the Redeemer will be a man of sorrows, sacrificed for the salvation of mankind. Therefore, the ineffable joy of the divine maternity is presented to her wrapped in a mystery of sorrow: to be willing to be the Mother of the Son of God means consenting to be the Mother of one condemned to death. Yet Mary accepts everything in her fiat: in the joy as well as in the sorrow of the mystery, she has but one simple answer: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Surrender

From the writings of Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970) on how to change worry into prayer:
Jesus speaks to our souls: “Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying? Leave the care of your affairs to me and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.

"Surrendering to me does not mean to fret, to be upset or to lose hope, nor does it mean offering to me a worried prayer asking me to follow you and change your worry into prayer. Surrender means to placidly close the eyes of the soul, to turn away from thoughts of tribulation and to put yourself in my care, so that only I act, saying: ‘You take care of it.' It is against this surrender, deeply against it, to worry, to be nervous and to desire to think about the consequences of anything.

"It is like the confusion that children feel when they ask their mother to see to their needs, and then they try to take care of those needs for themselves, so that their childlike efforts get in their mother’s way.

"Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away on the flowing current of my grace; close your eyes and do not think of the present, turning your thoughts away from the future just as you would from temptation. Repose in me, believing in my goodness, and I promise you by my love that, if you say, ‘You take care of it.’ I will take care of it all, I will console you, liberate you and guide you." (Read more.)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I Love Lent

Lent is one of the best seasons of the year for me. I never look forward to it the way I do to Christmas, but once Lent is underway, it is a happy and peaceful time. Facing reality can be both healing and satisfying. Lent is a public acknowledgment that life is a valley of tears, the world is a dangerous place, and we are all going to die. It is like one big AA meeting where, instead of admitting to alcoholism, everyone confesses to being a sinner, a dysfunctional being who has made a mess of his life and the lives of others. But Lent is here; recovery has begun. It is time to clean up the spilled milk, pick up the pieces, and start all over again. Lent is the hour of truth; staring the truth in the face can be disarming but it can also produce the peace and joy that only penitence in Christ can bring.

Monday, March 3, 2014

On Penances for Lent

It is important to go to Confession during Lent, too.
The best penance of all, I was once told, is to accept without complaining the mortifications, trials, and vicissitudes of daily life. The penances which God Himself sends us are the ones best designed to benefit our souls. I remember in the past being upset that my health or my schedule did not permit me to do all the penances I wanted to do for Lent. I failed to see that the penances had already been provided. I do not mean to imply that it is not of value to make other sacrifices for Lent. I think when people are young (and even when they are old) giving up dessert or alcohol, etc. help to discipline the soul and the body. For me, the challenges are mostly interior. We should always try to give up bad habits, negative thought patterns, and activities that are becoming addictive. It is good to examine oneself for inordinate attachments that are taking over the thought patterns, especially those of anger, lust, or resentment. It is always valuable to try to make extra prayers or sacrifices, as the duties of our state in life permit, for special intentions and the needs of the world.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Pray for Ukraine!

From Abbey-Roads:
Russia may act in a surprise way, when you least expect it… [God's] justice will begin in Venezuela.The Bridge to Heaven: Interviews with Maria Esperanza of Betania
I've not been a follower of the Servant of God, Maria Esperanza, but the recent developments in the Ukraine and Crimea seem to be cause for concern.  Venezuela is having its problems as well.  Hence her prophecy comes to mind as I watch the news and read about the latest developments in Russia. 
More on Maria Esperanza, HERE.

Here is an article about Our Lady and Ukraine.

More on Putin and Ukraine, HERE and HERE.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Church is a Hospital

Often, being a Catholic means leaving your comfort zone in order to be healed. First, you must acknowledge your wounds. It can be very inconvenient at times. It is not a "feel good" religion although there are moments of peace and joy. But it is worth it in the end. From Aleteia:
The reason is that it’s not that kind of inn. It’s a place where the weary can rest, for sure, but it’s a place for the afflicted. It answers our deepest needs, not our momentary whims.  That is the role of the Church in the world, and the role of each member of the Church. We must care for the afflicted, those in deep need of body and soul. And so very often we may chafe when our true needs are addressed. It always hurts when the wound is touched, even when it is for healing.

On Thursday, the Holy See issued a press release about its participation in the world Expo in Milan in 2015. The theme of the Expo is Feeding the Planet - Energy for Life. The theme of the Holy See’s pavilion will be Not by Bread Alone. While the Expo’s website speaks about Italy’s fame for food and “living well,” the Church reminds us that we are not in fact living well. Creature comforts alone cannot remedy the ills of fallen creatures.

The Good Samaritan did not bring the unfortunate man a Happy Meal and an iTunes gift card. There are so many who need the bodily basics: clean water, shelter, sufficient food. And there are many more who need the spiritual essentials: truth from sound teaching, counsel, comfort, prayer. (Read more.)
Related Posts with Thumbnails