How Can This Be?

St Therese

St. Therese de Liseux, by Michael D. O’Brien; saint of the "Little Way"

 

PERHAPS you have been following these writings for some time. You have heard Our Lady’s call "to the Bastion " where she is preparing each of us for our mission in these times. You too sense that great changes are coming to the world. You have been awakened, and feel an interior preparation taking place. But you may look in the mirror and say, "What have I to offer? I am not a gifted speaker or theologian… I have so little to give." Or as Mary responded when the angel Gabriel said that she would be the instrument to bring the long awaiting Messiah into the world, "How can this be…?"

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The Secret Joy


Martyrdom of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Artist Unknown

 

JESUS reveals the reason for telling His disciples of coming tribulations:

The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered… I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. (John 16:33)

However, one might legitimately ask, “How is knowing that a persecution may be coming supposed to bring me peace?” And Jesus answers:

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

I have updated this writing which was first published June 25th, 2007.

 

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The Desert of Temptation


 

 

I KNOW many of you—according to your letters—are going through tremendous battles right now. This seems consistent with just about anyone I know who is striving for holiness. I think it is a good sign, a sign of the times… the dragon, thrashing his tail at the Woman-Church as the final confrontation enters its most pivotal moments. Although this was written for Lent, the meditation below is likely as pertinent now as it was then… if not more. 

First published February 11th, 2008:

 

I want to share with you a portion of a letter I just received:

I’ve been feeling destroyed over recent weaknesses…  Things have been going great and I was excited with joy in my heart for Lent. And then as soon as Lent began, I felt unworthy and undeserving to be in any relationship with Christ. I fell into sin and then self-hatred set in. I was feeling that I might as well do nothing for Lent because I am a hypocrite. I drove up our driveway and was feeling this emptiness… 

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Resist

 

First published August 11th, 2007.

 

AS you try to respond to Jesus’ call to follow him in these chaotic times, to renounce your earthly attachments, to voluntarily dispossess yourself of unneeded things and material pursuits, to resist the temptations which are boldly advertised everywhere, expect to enter into a fierce battle. But do not let this discourage you!

 

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How Long?

 

FROM a letter I recently received:

I have read your writings for 2 years and feel they are so on track. My wife receives locutions and so much of what she writes down is parallel to yours.

But I have to share with you that both my wife and I have been so disheartened over the past several months. We feel as if we are losing the battle and the war. Look around and see all of the evil. It is as if Satan is winning in all areas. We feel so ineffective and so full of despair. We feel like giving up, at a time when the Lord and Blessed Mother need us and our prayers the most!! We feel like we are becoming "a deserter", as it said in one of your writings. I have fasted every week for almost 9 years, but in the past 3 months I have only been able to do it twice.

You speak of hope and the victory that is coming in the battle Mark. Do you have any words of encouragement ? How long are we going to have to endure and suffer in this world we live in ? 

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More On Prayer

 

THE body constantly needs a source of energy, even for simple tasks such as breathing. So, too, the soul has essential needs. Thus, Jesus commanded us:

Pray always. (Luke 18:1)

The spirit needs the constant life of God, much the way grapes need to hang on the vine, not just once a day or on Sunday mornings for an hour. The grapes should be on the vine “without ceasing” in order to ripen to maturity.

 

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On Prayer



AS
the body needs food for energy, so too does the soul need spiritual food to climb the Mountain of Faith. Food is as important to the body as is breath. But what about the soul?

 

SPIRITUAL FOOD

From the Catechism:

Prayer is the life of the new heart. —CCC, n.2697

If prayer is the life of the new heart, then the death of the new heart is no prayer—just as lack of food starves the body. This explains why so many of us Catholics are not ascending the Mountain, not growing in holiness and virtue. We come to Mass every Sunday, drop two bucks in the basket, and forget about God the rest of the week. The soul, lacking spiritual nourishment, begins to die.

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The Mountain of Faith

 

 

 

PERHAPS you are overwhelmed by the plethora of spiritual paths you’ve heard and read about. Is growing in holiness really that complicated?

Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matt18:3)

If Jesus commands us to be like children, then the path to Heaven must be reachable by a child.  It must be attainable in the simplest of ways.

It is.

Jesus said that we are to abide in Him as a branch abides on the vine, for without Him, we can do nothing. How does the branch abide on the vine?

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Send Me Daughters

 

PERHAPS it’s because she’s about the same height. Maybe it’s because her order is seeking the helpless. Whatever it is, when I met Mother Paul Marie, she reminded me of Mother Teresa. Indeed, her territory is the "new streets of Calcutta."

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