The Madonna in Sorrow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gift: Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.
Reading: We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. We should not stay away from our assembly,* as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrew 10:24-25)
Observation: Last night, I had a meeting with our Catechists at Saint Alice Catholic Church. We discussed some Marian apparition information from Our Lady of Good Help, just outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin. We discussed how our Mother Mary‘s admonition to Sister Adele Brise is still so applicable to us today, over 150 years later and maybe I convinced them that this message wasn’t meant for the immediate spreading like wildfire, that we saw with the apparition in Lourdes, France around the same time. Her message to Bernadette was urgent about healing, not just physical but serious spiritual wounds that existed in the church back in the middle of the 19th century in France. However, the church in our country was flourishing under the protection of religious freedom that was afforded to us by the Constitution. Fast forward to today, our culture is being over-run by secular humanists that have designs on cutting God completely out of the public square. Our Mother Mary’s message of educating our children in the faith is so important now, before they get rocked to sleep by the onslaught of media that is literally at their fingertips. When I heard this reading at the all schools Mass at Marist High School this morning, the last part of the 25th verse was what caught my attention. So, when I went back to read it again, I caught the thing. Something one of our Catechist’s husbands said at our meeting last night shines a bright light on how we open ourselves up to changing our hearts and thereby being vessels that can bring that change to our children. He said, we should always remember to be charitable and show love to others. One more time, our Mother Mary said that it was good that Sister Adele had received Communion that morning, but there was still more work to do. We need to be honest about our own conversion, which will lead others to trust us when we tell them about Jesus, and recommend Confession to our brothers and sisters in Christ, after we seek it ourselves, and keep looking for new and different ways to teach the children about our faith in this wild world that we live in.
Personification: Generosity If I am not willing to give myself completely to this ministry and I am holding back anything, who am I saving it for? By the grace of God, I will breathe my last breath in this world knowing that I have given all that I could have to follow Jesus and tell others about him.
Prayer: Lord, as you allowed the flood waters to invade Lourdes in October of this past year in anticipation of the visit of the relics of Blessed Pope John Paul II, allow the flood of your mercy to flow through my heart to everyone that I meet to show them that your presence is in me and working through me to bring them closer to you. Come Lord Jesus. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen.