Welcome the awkward moments, the disapproving stares, the under the breath judgements and tongue clicks in humble silence for both our sweet Lord Jesus and our sweet Mother Mary. They endured these and much more throughout their lives. We have only read some of the persecutions of our Lord, Jesus, and the others I don’t think we can even imagine them, they were so terrible. We have read even less about what Mary endured, but imagine for a moment what Mary humbly endured at the discovery of her pregnancy out of wedlock. We know how gently St. Joseph dealt with the news and we know of his change of heart after being visited by an angel of the Lord in his dream, but we don’t often think of how her neighbors treated her in this situation, but we can image because we see this situation often in our world today.
Welcome them, these difficult moments in life, and run to Mary, clinging to her leg, hiding in her skirt, kneeling at her feet and welcoming her loving comfort and encouragement and remember that Mary raised Jesus, comforting, guiding and encouraging Him in these moments and she will do the same for us.
Pray in these moments as Our Lady of Fatima recommends when you make a sacrifice or humbly and silently accept a persecution:
O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests on you.
Yesterday while I was shopping, I noticed that the price of the lunchmeat I buy had changed again. It has bounced around quite a bit over the last few months. Last year I could purchase a package for $2.50 and then a few months ago the price jumped up to $3.20 and since then I have watched as the price has slowly come back down. Today it was priced at $2.89. I was pretty happy when I first saw the new and lower price, but as I continued shopping and pushing my overflowing cart past other carts that had 2, 5 or maybe 10 items I started thinking a little more about the drop in the price of the lunchmeat.
I started wondering about my fellow shoppers who have had to pass up the purchase of this lunchmeat for the last few months because of the high price. These are the people who have had to go without in order to bring back the lower price. I am sure that they go without more than just lunchmeat, and their sacrifices make my comforts affordable.
Their sacrifices make my comforts affordable.
- Are these comforts really affordable when they are gained through the sacrifice of others?
- Is our daily surplus even ours when it is gained through the sacrifice of others?
This is the supply and demand economics of the world economy that we have built and yesterday in the grocery as I watched an empty cart go by it felt backwards, if felt upside down, it felt turned around and it felt wrong.
Lord please help me remember the backs of others that I am standing on the next time I go to the grocery and come out with a little extra in my pocket. Please inspire Your generosity within my heart, help me to give with Your open hands and help me to remember that no comfort is truly affordable when it is gained through the sacrifice of another.
Some believe that Jesus told Judas Iscariot to betray him.
In the Gospel of Judas, Jesus said, “But you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.”
If this is the case, then Judas acted out of obedience and faith in Jesus and he was given the strength to follow through with Jesus’ request. Imagine for a moment being Judas once things had been set in motion and he was outside the loving gaze and light of Jesus. Imagine the torture and suffering he put himself through questioning his actions, wondering if he had acted within the will of God or made a mistake. Imagine the tortured thoughts he experienced as he second guessed his actions under the criticism and hatred of those who had once called him brother, his fellow disciples.
It is so hard to keep our hearts and our heads clear and open to God’s message, and then once we are bogged down with fear of a mistake or acting selfishly rather than within His will, we pull yet further away from Him and our faith is so quickly drained from us.
I think it is in these moments of fear that we have to breath deep, and know our faith is being tested. The moment our faith begins draining from us, is moment that we must hold tight to it and thank God for our current suffering, questioning and lack of confidence in our actions or words. We must continue to reflect even more on His perfect plan and remember that sometimes acting within His will might not be comfortable. If we have stepped off the path, there is a lesson within each step and we must remember that He loves us so much that He will not let us stray far before He begins nudging us back on track.
I said something a few days ago that I so deeply regret, that I can now actually appreciate why some people take a vow of silence. I am not sure if I was on track or off track with what I said, but even through my regret I am trying very hard to be thankful for experiencing these feelings of regret, for the increase in my desire to be pleasing to God (through silence if necessary) and for yet another opportunity to empathize with Judas.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for everything.
When I originally started this blog, I did not understand very much. I still don’t understand a lot, but I think I am learning more about myself.
At the beginning there were times when I confused “comfortable life” with “best life”. As I have continued on my journey this mistake is now so painfully clear that I am actually quite embarrassed to be typing this even though I wish instead of embarrassment I felt thankful for finally realizing this and humbled as I see how blessed I have been to be surrounded by so many comforts.
At the beginning of my search I kept asking questions about my cousin’s premature death…
- Why didn’t she get to graduate from college?
- Why didn’t she have a chance to fall in love?
- Why were we at her funeral instead of her wedding?
- Why did she miss out on the joy of motherhood?
- How could this have been her best life or part of our best life?
Then a few months ago I pondered the question of whether my cousin’s death was a gift of grace in disguise for our grandfather?
Maybe her life was a gift for our grandfather to finally find what he had been searching for his whole life? Maybe her life was a gift for me to finally have my eyes opened, if even just a little, to see my own greed and selfishness?
I don’t know the answer to this, but if her death was our gift, then maybe she did live Our Best Life… His will!
What better life could one live than to follow so closely in the footsteps of our sweet Jesus, Who was sacrificed for all of us?