Please join us Monday 05/10/21 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)
Meeting ID: 4537185699
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Leaving The Shallows For The Deep
As I sit at the deathbed of a dying brother and question the mystery of life that God gives to each of us, I cannot help but wonder how many of us never leave the shallows of our life to put out into the deep. Aspergers was not diagnosed in Bill’s day, but, because of it, he never knew some of the earthly joys most of us take for granted: marriage, children, enduring friendships. Yet, I think his life was far richer in significance than many of the lives we “normal” people choose to live.
Bill is one of the Anawim, the poor and lowly ones, possessing the innocence of the guileless and dear to God. He is one of the many who are hidden gifts among us because, in the economy of redemption, his suffering, empowered by Christ, acts as a lightning rod for the grace the rest of us so desperately need.
At the same time, suffering and death call all of us to confront the shortness of life and make a definitive decision about the destiny God has willed for us and the difference He wants us to make with our own lives. Death never leaves us indifferent. It demands a response. For many of the saints, the encounter with death compelled them to make heroic life choices which actually lifted them to the heights of sanctity. There are positive reasons many of them recommended we meditate on death and what awaits us, every day.
The choice to move out of the shallows of our lives and into the deep is no small thing. It is the difference between mediocrity and greatness as measured in the Lord. It demands courage and determination to persevere no matter what comes. Sr. Ann Shields says it powerfully: “I am finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, frivolous living, selfish giving, and dwarfed goals. I lean on Christ’s presence. I love with patience, live by prayer, and labor with the power of God’s grace. My face is set. My gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, and my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, let up, or slow up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and spoken up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus.”
When we look at the face of the suffering Christ in our loved ones, how can we respond in any other way if we too are disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Questions for silent reflection:
1. Where do you find yourself today? Playing around in the Shallows or moving out towards the Deep?
2. What fears hold you back from the deeper waters of God’s invitation, His love?
3. What price do you pay for not leaving the safety of the shallow waters in your relationship with God?
4. God wills to redeem every life, no matter how well used or how wasted. Nothing is ever lost to Him when we turn to Him. The Good Thief shows us that in no uncertain terms. Ask St. Joseph to help you live the kind of life that is pleasing to God and draws you into the depths of His great plan for the salvation of souls. Many souls are asked to offer their suffering in order to further the mystery of God’s plan. What do you do with your own suffering?
Prayer To St. Joseph
Guardian of virgins, and holy father Joseph, to whose faithful custody Christ Jesus, Innocence itself, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, were committed; I pray insistently and beseech you by these dear pledges, Jesus and Mary, that being preserved from all uncleanness, I may with spotless mind, pure heart, and chaste body, ever most chastely serve Jesus and Mary all the days of my life. Amen.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Pray for us!
Our next session will take place Monday June 14th from 6:30 to 8:00 MDT.