Monday, January 12, 2015

Mary TV Daily Reflection 1/12/2015

 (c)Mary TV 2014 

January 12, 2014
First Week of Ordinary Time

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! Also today, in my arms I am carrying my Son Jesus to you and I am asking from Him peace for you and peace among you. Pray to and adore my Son for His peace and joy to enter into your hearts. I am praying for you to be all the more open to prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call." (December 25, 2014)

Our Lady called us to adore her Son, to put Him in the first place in our hearts, so that we can receive His peace and joy. Fr. Maximilian gave a beautiful homily on January 10, 2015 for English Mass which I have transcribed. I think it will help us to actually respond to this Christmas message from Our Lady.

Fr. Maximilian's homily, January 10, 2015, English Mass in Medjugorje:

"He must increase, I must decrease." This simple short sentence contains all the dynamics of the spiritual journey. It's not very complicated, the spiritual journey, but it is very tough, because to decrease is not easy. It is very difficult, the most difficult thing in life. And the most wonderful!!!

First of all it says there is a dynamic. The spiritual life is life, it's a journey, and it is never possible to reach an equilibrium, which is standing still in an equilibrium in which I don't want to make a step forward or backward. In my spiritual journey I always much walk, because to not move forward means to go backward. There is no such thing as standing still. It is a journey of emptying of self and letting Christ grow in us.

Each day Jesus has another adventure for me. This is because each day He who is the master, the teacher, the one who desires much more our growth, even than we ourselves. He will give us opportunities throughout the day if we just have eyes to see.

St. John of the Cross says there are three principle enemies in our lives. One is the "world" - as St. John says here in the first reading, "The world which is under the dominion of the evil one..." so we could say "the spirit of the world" or "the vanity of the world", because the world in itself is good. The next is the devil himself. But the third one is the most difficult one to beat, it is not the world or the devil but is our worldly self, the flesh, the old man, the old self. That is the most difficult to beat. Sometimes we focus on the world or on the devil and we forget our self, which is our worst enemy.

To make a picture, it seems like we are like bubbles of air in the water. They rise. The just go up. That is what happens to bubbles of air. And there is a whole social behavior about this. There are social functions in which we give glory and honor to one another. It comes as idolatry, not idolatry of things but of self. For some it is the body. But it is not less trivial to exalt my culture, my knowledge, my titles, yes of all these things. Idolatry, idolatry.

And so we help one another to exalt one another, and Jesus says very clearly in St. John, "How can you believe, you who accept the worship, the exaltation, the honor and glory of one another, and you don't give glory to the One True God?" So you see this self-exaltation makes us incapable of believe. How can you believe? Faith cannot take its root, the tree of life which is Christ in us, cannot take its roots in us if the basis of our spiritual life is not humility, if in our hearts there is not soft earth but a rock. How can the roots of faith enter? It is impossible for the tree of life to stand. The first wind will come and it will fall down.  

So it is difficult. How can this air bubble go down instead of up? It is against nature, our wounded nature. Our wounded nature expresses itself in self-love, by putting ourselves in the center. And this has seven expressions, the seven capital vices, pride (haughtiness), etc. Pride can be good, there is a good pride, but we will speak later about that, the difference. But this is haughtiness, where I put myself first, before God. Like Adam and Eve, they wanted to be God without God. God wants us to become divinized, become like God, but in Him, not in opposition to Him.

So how can this air bubble go down in our deep water, in our deep knowledge of self, true self which is Christ in us? The emptiness of the air has to be filled with an anointing (with oil). A true anointing, with an anointing of the Holy Spirit. St. Francis de Sales, speaking of humility, tells us, "If we want to know if an anointing (like the oil myrrh) is true, precious, real, let some drops fall in the water. If the drop of oil reaches the surface and spreads out on the surface it is a sign this is not a true anointing. It is not the real, true mineral but is cheap oil. But if it drops on the water and then goes down remaining that little ball of oil, going down, down, down, then this is a precious anointing (oil)." This is the Holy Spirit in us.

How can we achieve it? First of all, St. John says, "Whatever we ask of Him in faith according to His will, He will grant us." Now we must ask the Holy Spirit for the grace of a true anointing, as Mary says here in Medjugorje, "Do not forget to pray to the Holy Spirit, for when you have the Holy Spirit you have everything." Truly, we have to ask ourselves how much do we invoke the Holy Spirit throughout our day.

Well this transformation (of our air bubble into oil) is the result of a great love. The Holy Spirit is the love of God. It is that love that we see today in St. John, who says that this is the love of the Bride and the Bridegroom. Christ is the Bridegroom. St. John has this love in him, and he has the Holy Spirit in him. He was sanctified in his mother's womb.  

We see that St. John's disciples, they are jealous because they say that this Jesus has baptized more people than we (the disciples of John). All the people are going to Him. Jealousy is one of the capital vices. And if it enters into Church it does huge damage. It is the result of this disordered self-love. Pride, in the end, even for the man in church who says I don't want to decrease, I want to be exalted. That's our big human mistake and misery.

So let us ask the Holy Spirit to give us true love for God, to ask for it in and out of season, as Mary says: "Pray for the Love of God in and out of season because only this can make all things new." We by ourselves remain only air bubbles which go up and care only for ourselves. But if we get the anointing we can go deep into Christ, and Christ can grow in us and He can increase and we will be happy to decrease.

Now I would also like to say something about good pride and bad pride. Maybe in Christianity, we have understood for a long time in the wrong way, humility. Humility is truth, it is not to go into depression. Depression is just the other side of the coin of our outside exaltation. They are just two sides of the same coin. We should just throw this coin away, because they are both wrong. Exaltation or depression, they are both wrong. We should not give ourselves into the hands of Caesar, but give ourselves into the hands of Mary and give to God what is His. Look more to Him and forget ourselves. Worship Him, look to Him. In the spiritual journey, the word "You", "You Jesus," "You Lord," are more important than "I". The whole life is there.

Let us ask Mary this grace, she who was so humble and simple, that she can also guide us in holy simplicity into the deep spiritual journey to Christ. Amen.

"He must increase, I must decrease." This is the whole spiritual journey!! And it will bring us such great joy!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
(c)Mary TV 2015

PS.  We have changed our schedule of programming a little big.  Silent Prayer will now be streamed at 3:00 pm Medjugorje time (9:00 am EST) and will be 1/2 hour.  We will stream from different locations in Medjugorje!!  Then at 5:00 pm Medjugorje time we will stream the Parish Rosary during the Evening Program, in the church!  This will be a full hour of prayer with the parish!!   

Silent Prayer:  3:00 to 3:30 pm Medjugorje Time (9:00 to 9:30 am EST)
Parish Rosary: 5:00 to 6:00 pm Medjugorje Time (11:00 am to 12:00 pm EST

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
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