May 11, 2013
Welcome to Colleen’s Saturday meme. How about joining us at Thoughts on Grace?
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and although my Mom has passed away, I remember her at Mass and arrange for her name to be included at the altar of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter’s seminary in Denton, Nebraska every year on this day. We can never pray enough for the faithful departed, and if they have been completely purified and are now in heaven, our intention will be applied by God to another soul. This is one of the beauties of belonging to the communion of saints. Everybody remembers everyone else until we are all gathered at the throne of God on the last day. Sabbath Moments, all. Meanwhile…
More planting and weeding
Here on earth I’ve been working with my homeschooling students getting more planting completed and weeding the beds. It’s a great trade – teaching for yard help – and my strength is slowly returning.
Roger and I planted two wiegela bushes with variegated leaves and beautiful pink flowers. They will be low maintenance, will attract hummingbirds, and stand up well to hot sun. These bushes bloom profusely in spring, intermittently in summer, and, if the weather conditions are right, they bloom again in the fall. Fortunately, they also won’t get bigger than about 3’x3′ so no trimming will be necessary. Just perfect for a couple of old folk who like seeing a lovely garden but can’t do as much work as we’d like.
Having a beautiful garden reminds us continually of God. We may be living in an evil world, but beauty, including the beauty of nature, is a window on the divine. It takes much effort to make something beautiful out of the ordinary, but in a way that is what God does with each of us when we cooperate with His grace. The transformation from a weedy, bland hillside as we have done, into a spot of color, shape, and texture, is analogous to God’s work in our souls. It takes time, but it is worth it to see the result. Every year the beauty increases as the plants mature and every year, our inner beauty should increase as well.
The growth of charity in Mary
We can’t let May pass by without a few reflections on the Blessed Mother. In meditation #180 of Divine Intimacy Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene says:
Theology teaches that the increase of grace and charity in us is the result of meritorious works, that is, good works performed under the influence of charity. When one does good works “with his whole heart,” the merit acquired – always an increase of grace and of charity – is immediately given to him, and as a result, his spiritual life immediately grows in intensity.
With this doctrine in mind, we can readily see at that rate the capital of charity and grace which God had placed in Mary’s soul at the very first moment of her existence must have developed. When we think, as St. John of the Cross points out, that Mary’s soul was never moved, and therefore never retarded, by any attachment to creatures, and that consequently, she never had any secondary motives, or any pettiness caused by selfishness, but always acted under the impulse of the Holy Spirit, we must conclude that she was ever growing in grace, and that charity in her became a veritable abyss.…
May Mary’s shining example encourage us to apply ourselves with all our heart to God’s service, so that we, too, may grow rapidly in charity.
One of the great benefits of self-discipline and reaching out to others in charity as Mary did is not only that our egos seem to matter so much less to us, but that we are more and more able to see others as God sees them. When we see others as God sees them, we must then love them as He loves them. Thus charity begets more charity.
We can apply that to events as well. Our ability to challenge evil and discern right from wrong becomes sharper, as does our patience in suffering when we see with God’s eyes. We develop the blessed habit of walking in the footsteps of Jesus with Mary on one side and St. Joseph on the other, our guardian angel close by ready to prompt us toward more and more good. It makes life in this vale of tears more bearable and the moments of joy all that much sweeter.
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R. Now and forever!
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