"We can only learn to know ourselves and do what we can -- namely, surrender our will and fulfill God's will in us." --St. Teresa of AvilaI have a few quiet moments and am thinking about how fast the rest of the year will go by...and, I want to bring a grateful heart to each day, not worrying if I "get everything done". I am a "worry wart," as they used to call my grandpa (my dad's dad). It is important for me to stop and see the big picture, to stop and adore our Eucharistic Lord, even when I am not directly in front of the Blessed Sacrament. He, the Prince of Peace is, so very mysteriously, living inside of me and, as a beautiful song goes, "He is the air I breathe..."
We are all called to be living tabernacles. I love this thought and know that the Incarnation made this all possible. No wonder so many love Christmas. The miracle of Christmas is the gift of Mother Church. Christ came as a baby and would become even smaller in the Sacred Host (think of that!). As a convert, I am still learning and renewing, via His sacramental graces, my knowledge of the truths of the Faith. We know that Purgatory is the "Church Suffering" and that we, pilgrims on earth, are the "Church Militant" and that all persons are created to journey in faith, hope and love to our ultimate destiny of utter refuge, known to Catholics as the "Church Triumphant."
Heaven is the goal. It is the place to which we run. I was talking to some of the members of my Regnum Christ small prayer group (know as our "Encounters with Christ")about the idea that Heaven will be, for me, a place not of rest, as we tend to think of it. As a disabled person, I like to think of Heaven as a place where we are always free to move, free to act with verve and full-blown energy to love perfectly all the time. Come to think of it, that would be eternal rest because we would "rest" in the peace of a fully certain conscience, meaning that our hearts would be utterly pure. We would be unencumbered by our mental, emotional and physical disabilities. Living fully in the embrace of the Blessed Mother gazing in complete communion with the Blessed Trinity, we would be one act of pure love all of the time -- Heaven!!!
I know it is not a sin to be tired, but, as I am so tired so much of the time, I am blessed, if you will, to think, from time to time, of all the good works that I could initiate, if I were to have more energy. Alas, nothing is wasted! What I mean by that is that we can pray with all of our might for souls. We can offer everything up to Him who is Love. And, we must do what we can when we can to inspire and encourage ourselves and others.
We can offer each and every aspect of our daily lives for the salvation of souls, beginning first with our own. A related item I have been pondering is the fact that we must work and pray very hard not to be contemptuous of our own failings or those of others. Our Lord warns us of the only "unforgivable sin" being (all) that which opposes the Holy Spirit (do not quench the Spirit!). God never fails to forgive. We condemn ourselves. We know this. When we make our morning offering and ask for the special intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we must do so humbly and in full recognition of our potential for contempt, of ourselves and of others.
I just looked up contempt and you may be given a bit of a jolt --it is from the Latin contemnere, meaning to despise. Wow! Contempt is "an attitude to something (or someone, I add) which one despises as worthless, insignificant or vile; total disregard." (Webster's)
I believe this is key to understanding the internal persecutions of Mother Church. When any human person is deemed worthless (which can happen internally or externally, or both), then the demons leap in to the situation. When an idea that is good, truthful and beautiful is distorted, then the same occurs. The godly practices of celibacy for the Kingdom, worship of the Blessed Sacrament, family prayer, parish renewal, true friendship, authentic love, filial obedience to Mother Church -- there are so many more -- when these are held in contempt, watch out!
But first, return every hour of every day to the Lord with your whole heart. Ask our Lady to be your mother, to guide you, pray with you and for you. Ask for prayers from the holy souls and pray for them (then you will have "friends in high places," as I tell the kids). Here is a good link on Purgatory.
The one, sure prophetic word of God is to love. Spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament will increase your capacity to love, of this I am sure for I have experienced it in my own life. I know it to be true both from doctrine and from experience. Both are good and sound. Only magisterial doctrine is constant, but it must be experienced to be transmitted, so that we may evangelize the world.
Is it possible that the teaching can be more sound, more constant, than the teacher? I am speaking of apostles, not our Lord Himself, of course. He mysteriously acts through clay pots. I have more cracks than most! I do know that true and real devotion to our Blessed Mother includes an ardent desire to free the holy souls from Purgatory.
Holy Souls in Purgatory, pray for us! I pray that the holy souls know that we care, that they do have us to pray for them and that they will help us love ourselves as children of the Most High God the Father and that they will help us love others as our Savior has loved us! Amen
St. Teresa of Avila (my Confirmation saint), pray for all inhabitants of this good earth!