Posts tagged ‘quotes’

October 17, 2011

stop planning, stop wishing…

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.

But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied,
Fulfilled and content with being loved by me alone,
With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me.
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone.

Discovering that only in me is your satisfaction to be found,
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship,
That I have planned for you.
You will never be united to another
Until you are united with me.
Exclusive of anyone or anything else.
Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow me to give you
The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you.

You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.
Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you.
Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry
Don’t look around at things others have gotten
Or that I have given them
Don’t look around at the things you think you want,
Just keep looking off and away up to me,
Or you’ll miss what I want to show you.
And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love
Far more wonderful than you could dream of.

You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready,
I am working even at this moment
To have both of you ready at the same time.
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with me.

—St. Anthony of Padua

September 17, 2011

A Taxing Mission

Ask yourselves, young people, about the love of Christ. Acknowledge His voice resounding in the temple of your heart. Return His bright and penetrating glance which opens the paths of your life to the horizons of the Church’s mission. It is a taxing mission, today more than ever, to teach men the truth about themselves, about their end, their destiny, and to show faithful souls the unspeakable riches of the love of Christ. Do not be afraid of the radicalness of His demands, because Jesus, who loved us first, is prepared to give Himself to you, as well as asking of you. If He asks much of you, it is because He knows you can give much.

— Pope John Paul II, The Meaning of Vocation

May 23, 2011

Homeschoolin’ Mama

I have been recently thrilled and excited and all sorts of joyful about the creation of Bright Maidens, where Julie, Elizabeth, and Trista have made it their goal to represent all that is legit, holy, and beautiful about being a young Catholic woman! They say: “We three are from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. We’re here to dispel the myths and misconceptions- please join us for the discussion!” Psh. Say no more. I feel like they’re sisters already!

This post’s topic: “Mary, Our Guide”

It’s no secret that I love kids. I think they are hilarious, I think they are adorable, I think they are obvious signs of God’s simple and powerful love… and I can’t get enough of them! During the past 11 years of my life, I have been a nursery aide, church childcare volunteer, babysitter, nanny, camp counselor, and youth minister. I used to think it was just something I liked to do, but I’m starting to see it more as a calling every day. (Blessing!) Every time I’m taking care of kids, I am amazed to step into the perspective of a parent. I understand the Father’s love more clearly, and I understand mercy and compassion more readily. Most of all, I see the responsibility of motherhood (and parenthood in general) as such a beautiful and scary gift.

There’s a myriad of fun things to do with kids, but my favorite part is teaching. In youth ministry and substitute teaching, I’ve had those opportunities to share knowledge because it was clearly expected. But the best teaching moments are life moments: when you’re covered in dirt and grass, showing a three-year-old how to put his arms over his head so he can roll down a hill. Or when you’re in the middle of drawing with a five-year-old and she needs to know how to draw a letter so she can spell your name. It’s those little moments, when you’re chauffeuring someone around town and a quiet little voice asks you to clarify a very concerning question about something completely random. Or a heated skirmish that lets you explain a bigger concept on kid terms, like what’s “fair” and “unfair,” what it means to be patient, or how to share.

I learn, by being the teacher, what it means to be the student. I learn what it means to be a child — to need guidance, and to value the growth that comes from constantly trying to learn.

And, as a student and a child, I look to Our Mother.

[Jesus] did not will to come into the world at the age of a perfect man, independent of others, but like a poor and little babe, dependent on the cares and nourishment of this holy Mother. He found no more perfect means, no shorter way to [glorify God and save men], than to submit Himself in all things to the Blessed Virgin, not only during the first eight, ten, or fifteen years of His life, like other children, but for thirty years!  (True Devotion, St. Louis de Montfort)

I often find myself meditating on what Mary’s life would have been like. I see the mundane and not-so-exciting pieces of my life and wonder how that really fits into the glory and majesty of creation, existence, and purpose. Mama always brings my thoughts back to her and the life that she led. It baffles me to think that God humbled Himself to be confined by our physicality. It boggles my mind even more to think that He endured the boundaries of time and nature to become the man that would conquer time and nature.

He chose thirty years of growing, learning, and becoming — all under the watchful eyes of Mary and Joseph. I can imagine that Mary delighted in all the same teaching moments that I love: pointing out birds in the sky to Jesus, telling him how the trees grow, teaching him to draw letters and speak words, showing him how to cook, and watching him learn carpentry and masonry from his dad. Every lesson reflected God’s glory and the true beauty of His law and love. Mary taught him to know God as He is. She was so full of grace that her guidance was divinely inspired, and Jesus came to know his world, his religion, and God through and by his mother.

I’m not an expert on Christology. But to deny that Mary taught and led Jesus to know God would be to deny his humanity. To think that he ever challenged or had a less-than-ideal understanding of it all would deny his divinity. In the end, we must realize that our Savior was a baby, toddler, child, adolescent, teenager, and young adult. And through every phase, his parents brought him up. “The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” (Luke 2:40) By the time he was twelve, he was already amazing his parents — probably similarly to how we surprise and shock our parents and teachers when we understand and put into action what we were taught. I can only imagine how Mary’s heart must have lept for joy every time she saw her son growing into the man she knew he would become!

Who pointed out the shepherds to Jesus, and taught him how the sheep were gathered and guarded? Who taught him how the farmers planted and reaped, or how a vineyard was harvested? They were neither shepherds nor farmers. Who explained Scripture and taught verses to be committed to memory? Her love of God became a love of His law. Who gave an example of compassion that said no one should condemn another? Whose heart swelled when others were in need? Who showed true humility to her community, her husband, and God? Whose work ethic spoke of responsibility and gave glory to God?

His mother was all of those. She was the voice, the teacher, the guide that brought Jesus to know His Father. She was His mother… and she is ours.

The Incomprehensible has allowed Himself to be comprehended and perfectly contained by little Mary, without losing anything of His immensity. So also is it by the little Mary that we must let ourselves be held and guided perfectly without any reserve. (True Devotion, St. Louis de Montfort)

How could we ever deny or resist her invitation? Her love is so true and so deep, and she constantly gathers us to herself. When we are hers, she gives us to Christ.

In the times when I have put myself at her feet and allowed myself to be hers, I grew more than I ever thought possible. I wish we could all see the depth of her love for us, and be so enamored by her love that we seek her guidance always! She brought Jesus to know the world, and she will bring the world to know Jesus.


Prayer of Consecration to Mary

by Blessed Pope John Paul II

Immaculate Conception, Mary my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind.
Love through my heart.
Give me your dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead, and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten, and expand my thoughts and behavior.
Possess my soul.
Take over my entire personality and life.
Replace it with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving.
Pray in and through me.
Let me live in you, and keep me in this union always.
Amen.

May 9, 2011

Quotable: Ignatius

“Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.”

— St. Ignatius of Loyola

February 17, 2011

Rediscovering Catholicism

I just finished reading Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. I’m not writing a book review. I love reading, but that’s totally not my thing… so I won’t even try. What I WILL do is comment on some of the awesome things I picked up the first time through! I didn’t know you could get a free copy here, but I’m glad that if you can’t afford to purchase a copy, you can still get your hands on it.

This book is full of questions and challenges for WHY we aren’t the people we ought to be. Of course, that’s a question we’re always trying to answer. But especially as the Catholic Church, where is our vigor? Our zeal? Our passion? It’s something that I have been struggling with for almost 9 months now.

Sometimes, I felt like Matthew Kelly was taking thoughts right out of my head… as if we had just spoken and he had recorded what I said on paper. Sometimes, his perspective is something I wasn’t seeing.

“Holiness brings us to life… it elevates our emotions. Holiness doesn’t stifle us, it sets us free. Holiness is to allow each moment to be all it can be.”

“The surest signs of holiness are an insatiable desire to improve oneself and an unquenchable concern for unholy people.”

“There is nothing more attractive than holiness.”

Wow. Maybe that’s old news for you, but in my journey… coming from the the community where I grew up and the Church as she interacted with me up until last summer, this is big news. I have said it a billion times since moving back home: I don’t feel like anyone ever called me to holiness here. No one called me to be the “best version of myself,” as Kelly puts it. No one made it so simple!!

“If you went into an ice cream store and there was no ice cream, you’d say, “There’s a problem!” If you went into a chocolate store and there was no chocolate, you’d say, “There’s a problem!” The mission of the Church is to share the Gospel, and to teach, challenge, and encourage people to become more like Jesus Christ. So how is it that we can belong to a local church community that goes on year after year with almost no outreach to the unchurched in the area, and with very few people really becoming more Christ-like (i.e. working to be holy!), and yet think there is no problem?! Let me tell you, if this describes your church community, “There’s a problem!!”

I suppose what it really comes down to is whether or not we sincerely believe that knowing and following Christ is the best way to live. I suspect that, on some level, most Catholics don’t. Because if we did, we would most likely be more excited to share it.

What an achievable, easy thing to do. It’s not new age. It’s not complicated. It is exactly what the mission has been from the beginning. Be holy, as Christ was holy! Then WHY is it so difficult? Why have our communities forgotten to keep working towards holiness?

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