“From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things. From Mary we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary we learn to love Christ her son and the Son of God.” St. John Paul II
We could easily simply dwell on what we do not have and what we lack. We can easily submit to anger, hatred, and despair. That is the easy way. The more difficult challenge, the Catholic way, is one of hope, light and peace. I recall once with friends when we all were talking, and I complained the whole time. One great friend piped up and said to me tersely, Daniel, you govern your life by hate and not by love. I stop short in my words and realized, yes that was true. I do not think I have changed so much over the years, but I am more aware to stop myself when I complain. We are all asked be saints. It would never be easy.
“Ask Jesus to make you a saint. After all, only He can do that.” St. Dominic Salvio
We are the Lord’s friends. He loves us. Yes, that is often difficult to wrap our heads around. Yet, Mary’s yes should be our yes. However, we think that saying yes to the Lord would be a free ticket to a charmed life. That is clearly not the case. Mary said yes but she had a difficult life. Challenge after challenge stood in front of her yet she stood firm in her faith. A sword pierced her heart as was prophesied yet she remained faithful. Mary was at the foot of the Cross suffering with our Lord. What she must have suffered! What an example for us to this day.
“Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends.” St. Alphonsus Ligouri
I knew someone years ago who suffered a horrific injury. This person is not alive now. I remember this person for being a strong Catholic and the family was shocked that there was so much suffering. The comment was clear, ‘How could God allow this to happen to someone who was faithful?’ Fulton Sheen said, “Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.”
My friends in the Carmel remind me often that if we could ever comprehend God’s love for us, it would be too much. I think often of Psalm 8. Paraphrasing, the psalmist asks who are we that God keeps us in mind? It is a great question. But we only need to follow the example of Mary, of the Apostles and of the saints. We say yes! And allow the Lord to act.
“God does not ask of us the perfection of tomorrow, nor even of tonight, but only the present moment.” St. Madeleine Sophie Barat