MARY, OUR MOTHER

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mary TV Daily Reflection 10/23/2013


humble prayer
(c)Mary TV 2013

J.M.J.
October 23, 2013
St. John of Capistrano

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. May your relationship with prayer be a daily one. Prayer works miracles in you and through you, therefore, little children, may prayer be a joy for you. Then your relationship with life will be deeper and more open and you will comprehend that life is a gift for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call." September 25th, 2013

In two days we will receive another message from Our Lady of Medjugorje. It is time to review the message given last month for us. What a beautiful message it is! Our Lady tells us that when our relationship with prayer is a daily one, we will find that our relationship with life will be "deeper and more open". Truly we will understand that our lives are gifts.

It's time to listen to Fr. Jacques Philippe again! Here is an excerpt from his book, "Time for God". His words are very helpful for those of us struggling with daily prayer:

6. Humility and poverty of heart.

Recall St. Teresa of Avila's words, "The whole edifice of prayer is founded upon humility." Scripture says that "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (1 Pet. 5:5).

Humility, then, is one of the basic attitudes of the heart without which perseverance in mental prayer is impossible.

Humility lies in peaceful acceptance of one's own radical poverty, which leads people to place all their trust in God. Humble people, for whom God is everything, are happy to accept the fact that they are nothing. They don't carry on about their wretchedness: they consider it a stroke of luck, since it gives God the chance to show how merciful he is.

Without humility we cannot persevere in mental prayer. In fact, doing mental prayer necessarily means experiencing our poverty, being stripped of everything, feeling naked. In other kinds of prayer and spiritual activities there is always something to support us: a certain knowledge of how to do these things correctly, the sense of doing something useful, and so on. Even in community prayer, we can rely on the others. But in solitude and silence before God, we find ourselves unsupported, alone with the reality of our self and our poverty. Of course, it is very difficult for us to accept the fact that we are so poor; that is why people naturally tend to avoid silence. And in mental prayer the experience of poverty can't be avoided. True, we may often experience the sweetness and tenderness of God; but just as often we shall find our own wretchedness: our inability to pray, our distractions, the wounds of our memory and imagination, the recollection of our faults and failures, worries for the future, etc. This is why people have no difficulty discovering a thousand excuses for avoiding that state of inaction before God, that lays bare their radical nothingness; ultimately, they refuse to be poor and weak.

Yet it is precisely that trusting, joyful acceptance of weakness that is the source of all spiritual riches: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Mt 5:3).

Humble people persevere in the life of prayer without presumption and without relying on themselves. They don't consider anything as their due, don't consider themselves able to do anything by their own strength, aren't surprised to find that they have difficulties, weaknesses, and constant falls, but put up with all these peacefully, without making much of them, because they place all their hope in God and are certain that they will obtain from God's mercy all that they are powerless to do or merit for themselves.

Humble people are never discouraged because they trust not in themselves but in God. Ultimately, that is what really matters. "It is discouragement that causes souls to be lost," says Father Libermann. True humility and trust always go hand in hand.

For example, we must never let ourselves become discouraged over our lukewarmness or the realization of how little we love God. Beginners in the spiritual life, on reading the lives of saints or their writing, may sometimes feel downhearted in the face of the burning expressions of love for God they find there, so far beyond anything they themselves feel. They tell themselves they will never attain these heights. This is a very common temptation. Let us persevere in good will and trust: God himself will give us the love with which we can love him. Strong, burning love for God does not come naturally. It is infused in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who will be given to us if we ask for him with persistence of the widow in the Gospel. It is not always those who feel the most fervent at the start who go furthest in the spiritual life - far from it, in fact!
(Fr. Jacques Philippe. "Time for God." Scepter Publishers. p. 20-23)

Through prayer we actually are given a new relationship with ourselves! We begin to understand ourselves for what we really are, poor and totally dependent upon God. And this relationship with ourselves will be the basis of a life of complete joy and miraculous grace! Prayer works miracles. It works the miracle of remaking us into saints who are totally in love with God!

Thank you, dear Mother, for coming to lead us into prayer!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2013

PS. Fr. Jacques Philippe's books are available at   
www.scepterpublishers.org 







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