Friday, July 31, 2015
I've heard it said that Mary is like the moon in relation to Jesus, the sun. Just as we can see the moon because the light of the sun reflects off of it's surface, Mary reflects the light of Jesus. I love that analogy, and it applies to each of us as well. Mary was full of grace, but she was still one of God's creatures, just like us. That means that we, too, can reflect the love of Jesus to everyone we meet.
So, how to we up the wattage?
Spend time talking to God...
To activate that shine, you first have to speak with God. If you're just starting out, you can use the words of prayers already written. Even better, God has given us words we can use to express every emotion in the Psalms. Don't just read them. Pray them.
If we wanted to learn the accumulated wisdom of our grandmother, we wouldn't go to her house, sit down, and proceed to talk the entire time, never letting granny get a word in edgewise. We would eagerly anticipate what she had to tell us, knowing that life will be fuller and richer if we heed her advice. If we want to hear what God is saying, we need to keep our mouths shut.
...so that God has a chance to tell us what He wants.
When we are worried or there is an outcome that we are focused on achieving, we can certainly tell God about it. But if we sit back and wait for an answer to what we think is the problem, we may dismiss or ignore what God wants for us. Mother Mary tells us repeatedly in her apparitions that God answers ALL prayers. That should give us great joy.
What if you told God that you were worried about your son, who has separated himself from God. In our limited minds, we expect the answer will be a sudden stirring of that son's heart and instant conversion. But what if God's response is to tell you repeatedly to volunteer for the soup kitchen?
You might get annoyed. You might push it aside, because what has a soup kitchen to do with your problem with your son?
But what if you went to the soup kitchen. You eventually make friends with a young God-loving female volunteer. One day, your son picks you up from your volunteer work. They meet. They start dating, and slowly he sees how God is an important factor in the beauty of this person he now loves. He starts attending Mass or services with her and finally develops his own relationship with God.
See how God answered your prayer? Just not the way you expected.
(And remember, He will never impose Himself on the person you are praying for. They have free will, too. So, He may issue an invitation to your son, but your son can reject Him.)
Spend Time in His Presence...
Moses got that light from being face-to-face with God. We can sit in the chapel, mere feet away from God, in Adoration. The Eucharist does not have to be exposed in order to adore. The physical presence of Jesus is in the tabernacle.
...and see the changes in our lives.
If you develop a relationship with God through reading His Word and regular prayer, you will change. Once you've given God permission to act, you won't be able to stop the flow of love that will permeate your life. He won't promise you riches or prestige. Those are things of the world. But, He will fill you will peace and love, and you will learn to recognize His presence during every moment of your day. And what could be better than walking with God?