A Blessed Advent Season! I found this waiting for me in my email. Isn't that what we had been saying...
What does it look like to be an Advent people? The question for each one of us is this: What is God's will for me. What is my commitment to God and what does remaining faithful for me, today, at this moment, look like?
How many of us take the Mystery of the Incarnation for granted!
I love these thoughts from Bl. Guerric, for Advent... Bl. Guerric insists on the fact that the Incarnation is the supreme gift of God's infinite generosity. And therefore the Christmas mystery is one of the most beautiful and complete revelations of the whole mystery of God. The Lord of heaven had nothing to gain from the Incarnation, and yet He gave Himself entirely to us. What is this but a proof of His need to give Himself - a proof that God is Love...He is born in Bethlehem in order that He may be born in us...He is born Son of Man in order that we may be born sons of God... spontaneity and gladness of heart...are the sign of a true Christian spirit; a spirit of joy based on total and trusting acceptance of God's Will.
Our interior resentments, anxieties and temptations to discouragement are not merely subjective moods but incidents in a struggle between good and evil. This is the chief reason why we must resist our passions and not be dominated by them...true faith works through charity, and true charity liberates the inner sources of vital spiritual activity which are also the fountainhead of joy.
...If our eyes are fixed on Him, and if we constantly remember what the Incarnation means, what is given to us in Him, we can never be truly depressed or discouraged, except of course in a superficial and sensible way that does not enter into the depths of the will. We may feel sadness but we will never fully give in to it.
What Guerric is criticizing with vehemence and power is a certain spirit of pessimism and self-pity which sometimes creeps into pious people and infects their souls with resentment and gloom. It is the spirit which expresses itself in murmuring and complaints, a spirit that is dissatisfied with everything, both God and man. This spirit cannot find rest, and constantly seeks to satisfy its restlessness by lamenting and attacking the evil that it sees all around it. ...this is the spirit of ingratitude. Those who suffer by it, suffer through their own fault. (He is not advocating not to preform Spiritual Works of Mercy, Admonish the Sinner, Instruct the Ignorant,... when faced with combating evil you are confronting in your present moment, he is speaking of living a perpetual mode of restlessness, as you cannot find even peace in God).
The root of this sin is the implicit conviction that God has not been good to us that there is nothing to be grateful for that we have a right to be dejected. Sadness, fully consented to, is a denial of God's mercy it leads to infidelity and despair. The ungrateful man hardens his heart and refuses to see the goodness and mercy of God. He does not want to see them! Clearly then the cure for this sadness is for us to consider closely, with faith and love, the meaning of the Incarnation, in such a way as to be nourished interiorly by the true Bread of life which contains in itself all delights... If the gift of God is to be seen as it really is, we must realize that He has made salvation easy for us. But the sad ones, are always precisely complaining of the hardness of their lot, of the sufferings and crosses and labors which they have to undergo, as if God had not done everything to make life sweet and easy for them. They refuse to turn their eyes to the merciful love which lightens all our burdens. They refuse to realize that heaven can be purchased with a cup of cold water. How great is this fulness of time which Christ brought with Him from heaven! Precious and costly as it is, Christ set it at a very low price. In two minutes, whether with a cup of cold water or with the mere intention, one may buy the Kingdom of heaven. But now Christ can find few buyers among a whole multitude of rich people. And yet,... we draw back from this bargain, and lament and complain as if we were being cheated, as if the little that is asked of us were altogether too much. We refuse to look at the infinite worth of the treasure we are purchasing with a little labor on this earth and we cry out that out lot is insupportable.
I could not help but draw the comparison of the Request of Our Lady of America. What Our Holy Mother Mary is offering us in the United States:
She would be a safeguard for our Country,
Her picture or statue (of Our Lady of America) honored in all homes as safeguard for the family.
She also promised that the medal would be a safeguard against evil for those who wear it with great faith and devotion.
The United States of America would turn back toward morality.
Our Lady of America asks us, She requested that the U.S. return to purity and lead the world to peace. (That means we should be pure in our lives, go to Confession believe and live all the Holy Catholic Church teaches! We can't be cafeteria catholics picking and choosing what we want to believe, there is no such thing, you are either a Catholic or you are not!)
So much is to be acheived for us and Our Country by this little request, do we too think it is too much to be asked?!
The Blessed Virgin Mary wishes Her statue of Our Lady of America to be carried in Solemn procession and be honored in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at Washington D.C. and housed there permanently.. Our Lady says that if this is done, the United States of America would turn back toward morality and the shrine would become a place of "wonders."
How Bl. Guerric's words came back, Christ can find few buyers among a whole multitude of rich people. And yet,... we draw back from this bargain, and lament and complain as if we were being cheated, as if the little that is asked of us were altogether too much. We refuse to look at the infinite worth of the treasure we are purchasing with a little labor on this earth and we cry out that out lot is insupportable.
I would asked that we pray the Prayer to Our Lady of America found in the Prayer Forum under Prayer for Our Beloved Country for Her request to succeed as well as doing what is in our power to do to have her little request fulfilled!