Friday, February 12, 2010
The value of repeating-- in order to develop a habit or become good at something it must be repeated. This is a good reminder as we come to the end of our novena. Because although this has been a nice period of reflection, prayer is not meant to end. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. This means in whatever we do or say we are to consider our faith first. This is not always easy to do. I fail often. As I was dealing with a caller at work today and becoming impatient, after I hung up what occurred to me is that it is easy to be pleasant to those who are pleasant to us, but the true test of our faith, compassion and understanding is how we react when we are treated unkindly.
We must repeat especially often during the upcoming desert season of Lent, that Jesus and Mary expect the best for us and will help us along the way if we trust them. Even in the desert, how can we not trust the One who gave everything He had because of love, including His very life so that we all might live together as saints and brothers and sisters.
Prayer: Dear Jesus and Mary: Please help us as we prepare to begin our Lenten journey, in letting go of things that keep us from you and holding fast to those things that draw us to you. You are ever trust worthy, ever holy, and composed of nothing but love. Give us the strength to follow your example and trust that we will reach our goal.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Listening to Mary's voice telling us to trust. In my daily life, I know that if there is something I am uncertain about in something as simple as a recipe I am cooking or as complex as a hard decision I need to make or a relationship I am struggling with, the first person I think of to ask for help is my mom. She always listens well and gives wise advice. If I trust her this much, being human as she is, how much more should I listen to Mary, who has all the resources of heaven and earth at her disposal! I have to admit listening for me is much harder than talking is. I know one of my worst faults is to jump in and interrupt before the other person is finished speaking.
Prayer: Mary, teach us to listen to you, knowing that you will always show the way and point us to your Son.
As I was thinking and praying through this sentence tonight, the word that caught my attention was ascent. In the beginning of my thought process I was thinking about climbing and reaching higher to God through extraordinary effort. The Holy Spirit, however had other plans which he showed me through a particulary sacrificial act of my loving husband. My wonderful husband showed me tonight as he often does from his servant's heart, through an action he took in service of me, that reaching to God is not achieved by striving to be great but rather the opposite, serving others in the humblest way possible without seeking an ounce of glory or credit. Thank you Holy Spirit and my dear beloved for your continuous acts of service. In focusing on the humility of Mary in accepting God's plan and the humility of God himself to be born in a stable and hang on a cross, surely this will lessen our own weariness and cheer us on toward holiness.
Prayer: Dear Jesus and Mary thank you for your own humility and the example of those around us. Help us to press on even in our weariness, knowing that you will not ask of us something you will not help us achieve.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The central word of this particular thought is mediocrity. It gives me pause because I realize when I am completely honest with myself how often I slip into it and think it to be just fine. Only a casual review of our Founder's writings makes it very clear how much he detested it. In his mind, anything less than the very best we could possibly do, the maximum, was completely unacceptable I challenge myself and all of us to strive for excellence in what we do, at home, at school, at work, in our relationships. Let us give everything in our power, just as Jesus did.
Prayer: Dear Mary, help me be more aware of the times when mediocrity has become the norm so that I can ask for your help to overcome it.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I don't know of any mother who would not stay with her child if that child were sick or in need or in pain. Sin is a sickness and a painful reality that we must face. Mary is a source of incredible strength for us. I can't imagine the strength it took for her to stand by the cross and watch as her son was dying and in so much pain. When we feel overwhelmed by sin and weakness and tiredness we can come to her and trust in her motherly care to help us
Prayer: Dear Mary thank you for your strength. Help me to know that strength is there when I need it and I can call on your strength for myself and for others in need
Sunday, February 7, 2010
What a lesson for me is the longing evidenced in this passage. Because although I know I have a relationship with God and Jesus and Mary, the times when I long for it are entirely too few. Easier for my heart to contemplate are the longings I have to be with those closest to me here on earth, my husband, my mother and dear friends who have passed away. Perhaps the most valuable lesson, then, is to consider God the Father, Mary and Jesus just as real to us (or maybe even more real since they are divine and truly know everything about us and love us infinitely) as those people who are dearest to us.
Prayer: Dear God and Jesus and Mary, help me to know just how real you are and how infinitely strong your desire is to help me know the will of God and follow it
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Yet another chorus of disheartening phrases in today's passage, torment, faintness, sadness, distrust. These are often a part of our daily lives-- it only takes a moment of viewing television news or a newspaper to see it all around us. Yet I think we would be surprised if we could see it from God's perspective, just how thin the vail between heaven and earth is. We do not have a heavenly father who is surprised by human nature or in Jesus a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses or in Mary a mother who is unaware of every cry of each of her children. We need to be aware now more than ever how near those on the other side are to us to help us along the way, and as we continue on with the prayer it does get more hopeful I promise :) (read ahead if you don't believe me). We will continue on in hope.
Reflection: Dear Father, Jesus, and Mary, help us hear your voice and be aware of how near you are to us even when the way is difficult, knowing that nothing can touch us without passing through your hands first
This is a difficult passage-- rightly so as it is a passage about the difficulties presented to us in everyday life. They can weigh us down so much we are tempted to give up. We get tired, physically and emotionally, but even in this difficulty we are encouraged to be one of the "few travelers" who strive to do what is right-- we do this with the help of the Trinity and also Mary, and good and holy friends who encourage us and hold us accountable, who want what is best for us even more than we want it for ourselves.
Reflection: Dear Jesus and Mary, I know you faced difficulties on earth but you never lost heart. Help me to never tire of starting over and to seek your help to overcome what keeps me from you.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
What this portion of the prayer speaks to me is that the first step in any meaningful relationship is to draw near. Let us draw near to Mary our Mother, not thinking of it is as an overly mystical spiritual exercise but rather the most natural thing in the world, a child drawing near to his/her mother for help and comfort.
Reflection: Mary, my Mother, help me to draw near to you and seek your face, knowing that through you I will be closer to your Son. Help me to know I can really talk to you and you will listen and understand
The year seems already to be going by so quickly. The Christmas season has just ended and now the Lenten season is not far away. In preparation for Lent, Pro Sanctity invites us to reflect on our Patroness, Our Lady of Trust. We will be using as a basis for the novena Bishop Giaquinta's beautiful prayer to Our Lady of Trust
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF TRUST
Drawn by the need of your help in the many trials that engulf us in this life, we come to your feet, O Virgin of Trust, to pour out to the heart of a mother our wishes and failings.
Although it is our duty to strive for perfection, it is also true that our mortal body makes the path difficult, and the enemies of our soul cease not from their attacks, while everywhere we are enticed to leave the difficult and straight way known by only a few travelers.
And all the while, our suffering along the way, our own interior weakness and temptations press heavily to torment us and produce in our souls a feeling of faintness and sadness, which means only one thing: distrust, in ourselves, in our ideal, in the means to attain it.
But your motherly look which follows us, and your Immaculate Heart, which your Son points out to us, open our souls to a new feeling – the assurance of your help. And we want it, O Mary. We ask it of you, we beg for it, O loving Mother.
When sin entices us, stay with us and be our strength. When mediocrity absorbs us, do not leave us. When the ascent to the perfection of the Father leaves us weary, whisper a word of help, O Mary – trust!
If we will listen to this word of yours, the way will be easier, the goal closer, and our confidence more certain that we shall reach sanctity.
So repeat this word often – trust. Repeat it to us and to everybody, O Mary, because all people must become saints. Amen.
Bishop Guglielmo Giaquinta
Let us pray that as we reflect more deeply on this beautiful prayer that our relationships with God the Father, Mary our Mother, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit will grow deeper and our confidence will reach new heights as we enter the Lenten season