Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mary TV Daily Reflection 2/23/2016

(c)Mateo Ivankovic 2016

February 23, 2016
St. Polycarp
Dear Family of Mary!
"Dear children! You know that I desire to lead you on the way of holiness, but I do not want to compel you to be saints by force. I desire that each of you by your own little self-denials help yourself and me so I can lead you from day to day closer to holiness. Therefore, dear children, I do not desire to force you to observe the messages. But rather this long time that I am with you is a sign that I love you immeasurably and what I desire of each individual is to become holy. Thank you for having responded to my call."  October 9, 1986 
Our Lady made it very clear in this message that she does not come to command or force us to do anything.  She says, "I do not want to compel you to be saints by force."  She said in another message "God has given to all a freedom which I lovingly respect and humbly submit to." (November 25, 1987)  Our Lady understands freedom.  She experienced her own freedom when the Angel Gabriel announced God's plan for her life, and then waited for Mary to say "yes" or "no".  She knows how much God respects our freedom.  It is His gift to us and what makes us able to respond to His love with love!

The Catechism teaches us about our freedom this way:

1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.

1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, PART 3, SECTION 1, CHAPTER 1, ARTICLE 3, SUBSECTION 1)

Our choices, because we are fallen, can lead us away from God, if they are not oriented to the good.  We can fall.  But our choices can also win us merit, if we choose the good, and move toward God.  That is why Our Lady encourages us in this message to start making baby steps towards the good.  She advises us "I desire that each of you by your own little self-denials help yourself and me so I can lead you from day to day closer to holiness."  Little self-denials chosen freely can be stepping stones towards our true freedom in holiness.  In fact, little self-denials are like baby steps.  With each step we get stronger in choosing the good.  With each step we grow stronger. We could see our little self-denials as the way to we build up our freedom muscles!

During Lent, we are encouraged by Mother Church to make little acts of self-denial.  We give up our favorite food, or turn off the TV, or we take the bus to work instead of driving.  We offer these self-denials to the Lord as a form of worship and praise.  We let Him know that we do not take ourselves too seriously.  Our likes and dislikes are not all that important.  What is important is honoring and loving Him, our Savior and King. 
Imagine how excited the Father gets each time we choose to love Him through our self-denials!  This is how we can give Him our love, freely, in humility and devotion. He must jump for joy when we choose to put Him first!!

Our Lady does not want to force us, but she is cheering us on in our Lenten practices.  She knows how much we need to practice being second best to Jesus.  It is a practice of the truth!  For He is the best!!  He is our everything.  It is a relief to know that we don't need to be #1. 
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
© Mary TV 2016

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
Be connected!


No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments need to be approved before they are posted.