October 22, 2010 Dear Family of Mary!"Dear children, I am beside you because I desire to help you to overcome trials, which this time of purification puts before you." (September 2, 2010) We have definitely been going through a time of purification lately. I have noticed it in my life in a special way. A certain part of my life has gone through a drastic change and I have had to submit to the process with no control over it. The test for me has been to be silent and trust in the Lord without control. It has been very good for me. But hard!! (Please don't worry, it is nothing big!) We have also had a living parable of what a time of purification might look like in the mining disaster in Chile. Those brave men were subjected to a very difficult trial, so far under the ground, with so little hope of rescue. For 17 days they had only their faith to rely on. And for the next 53 days they existed on faith in the Lord and in the rescue team on the top. We can only imagine what this trial forged in their hearts. It is a comfort that Our Lady does not side step trials. She admits to us that God allows trials. We all know that times of trial come our way, and that they also end. It is really good to be honest about trials. They happen! But the hard part is what to do with them as they are happening! Well, I believe that Our Lady shows us the way. She says to us, "I am beside you because I desire to help you to overcome trials." That is huge! She is right beside us, present to us, ready and willing to help us. We are not alone with our trials. That is good news. And she has good advice for us as well. Long ago she told the villagers of Medjugorje: "Dear children! Thank you for dedicating all your hard work to God even now when he is testing you through the grapes you are picking. Be assured, dear children, that he tests you because he loves you. Always offer up all your burdens to God and do not be anxious. Thank you for having responded to my call." (October 11, 1984) We may not be struggling to bring in the grapes and for sure we are not 2000 feet underground, but we each have something difficult to deal with. It may be family relationships, financial problems, job troubles, health problems, spiritual warfare, temptations, need for inner healing, etc. But our trials are not outside of God's vision. He knows about them, and He allows them, out of love. Those trials are His way of making us stronger, more beautiful, wiser and more holy. Our Lady assures us of this, and tells us, "Always offer up all your burdens to God and do not be anxious." We may not be able to escape our trials, but we can offer them up to the Lord in trust that He will come to our aid. And we can rest in the assurance of God's love for us, and resist anxiety. Anxiety makes every trail much worse. Anxiety comes from the devil to torture us. Knowing that we have a good God should help us to resist anxiety and choose peace. I am going to try to follow Our Lady's advice today. When my difficulty looms up before me, I am going to remember that Our Lady is beside me and then offer it to God as a sacrifice, and resist anxiety. Who knows what good could come from it all! In Jesus and Mary!
Cathy NolanPS. My good friend Roy responded to my reflection for October 21, with a quick clarification about Jesus, God and Man! I want to share it because as always, he is so helpful. "Hi Cathy! Just a quick note on a theological point. In your phrase, "Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is at the heart of it all. It is here that we encounter Jesus in His divine and human person, waiting for us in silence." It is correct to say His divine and human nature. But divine and human person can be misleading (which was not your intent). The Council of Ephesus was held specifically to define the truth that there is only one person in Jesus, a divine Person, and hence Mary is the Mother of God (and not, as Nestorius said, the Mother of Jesus the human person on the assumption that there are two persons, divine and human, in Him)." Thanks, Roy!