Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Mary TV Daily Reflection 1/1/2013

The nativity     

I desire to receive each of you into my heart  

and to give a gift of your lives to my Son  



January 1, 2013

Feast of the Mother of God!


Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children, give the gift of your life to me and completely surrender to me so that I may help you to comprehend my motherly love and the love of my Son for you. My children, I love you immeasurably and today, in a special way, on the day of the birth of my Son, I desire to receive each of you into my heart and to give a gift of your lives to my Son. My children, Jesus loves you and gives you the grace to live in His mercy, but sin has overtaken many of your hearts and you live in darkness. Therefore, my children, do not wait, say `no' to sin and surrender your hearts to my Son, because only in this way will you be able to live God's mercy and, with Jesus in your hearts, set out on the way of salvation."(Message through Jakov Colo on December 25, 2012)


This beautiful message given through Jakov on Christmas Day, is the perfect message for us at the beginning of the New Year. Why? Because it is all about abandoning ourselves completely to God, through Our Lady. This is the incredible secret of St. Louis de Montfort. This is the childlike way of St. Therese of Lisieux. This is the joyful way of St. Maximilion Kolbe. Total trust, total giving over of our lives to Jesus, through Mary.


My friend, Susan, left a message on my answering machine yesterday, asking me to talk about abandonment of our lives to God. She thought it would help us enter the New Year! I agree. But I would like to quote someone who understands it much better than me, Caryll Houselander. Her words clear up a lot of confusion about abandonment to God:


It is of absolute necessity for our peace that we surrender ourselves wholly to God. Most people want to do this, but they do not because they are afraid. [Boy, is she right about that!]


If, in their rasher moments of fervor, they have made heroic self-offerings, they go about their business afterwards distinctly uneasy, fearful that some catastrophe will overtake them in order to detach them from the earthly affections which they suppose to be hindering their perfection.


If, to seek reassurance, they turn to those saints who are said to have sanctified themselves through leading "ordinary" lives, they are even more perturbed by the extraordinary way in which they did so.


To give one example, the very thought of the hourly, even momentary, little sacrifices made by St. Theresa of Lisieux opens up a terrifying prospect, all the more so because such lives are secret and without even the encouragement of friends. To think of oneself going on and on, denying self, giving up all the tidbits, refusing oneself the relief of a little complaining or a little flattery, spending one's life in small coin down to the last penny: this is beyond the power of human nature --- or at least of our human nature.


Both these anxieties can be put to rest by a little thought about God's approach to us, His way with human beings.


It is not a way of detachment but of attachment; not a way of indifference but of love. He approaches not by catastrophes, but by gentleness; not demanding our surrender but winning it, if we put no obstacle, almost before we realize who it is that sues for our love.


An obstacle would be a refusal of any love, a shutting of the door on those who want to come into our life. To put no obstacle is to have the door always open to everyone who has any need of us.


"Behold!" our Lord says, "I stand at the door and knock."(Rev. 3:20) An obstacle to surrendering to Him would simply be not to open the door. If we opened it and saw who it is that knocks, we should not find it a difficult or a frightening thing to give Him what He asks of us.


The Old Testament, which many imagine to be the revelation of a terrifying God, is full of the gentleness of His approach. He comes as a "still, small voice", He covers His face lest it should wither away the light of a man's eyes by its majesty. He is compared to the coming of morning light and to rain falling upon the thirsty earth: "We shall know and we shall follow on, that we may know the Lord. His going forth is prepared as the morning light, and He will come to us as the early and the latter rain to the earth. (1 Kings 19:12)


Sometimes, indeed very often, His approach to us coincides with a catastrophe and is in the midst of it, and for that reason is hardly noticed. We are too intent on the din of the disaster to hear the "still, small voice," or we drown it with noisy tears. Disasters are not God's will; they are the result of sin and opposed to God's will; but in His mercy He does allow the suffering resulting from them, although never the sin that caused them, to be caught up into His love and do good. Thus Christ's first coming on earth was in the midst of the disaster of the world's suffering caused by sin, and it was precisely to take hold of this suffering and transform it by love that He came.


How small and gentle His coming was! He came as an infant. The night in which He came was noisy and crowded; it is unlikely that, in the traffic of the travelers to Bethlehem, the tiny wail of the newly born could be heard.


God approaches gently, often secretly, always in love, never through violence and fear. He comes to us, as He Himself has told us, in those who we know in our own lives. Very often we do not recognize Him. He comes in many people we do not like, in all who need what we can give, in all who have something to give us, and for our great comfort. He comes in those we love, in our fathers and mothers, our brothers and sisters, our friends and our children. Because this is so, we must not be content ever to love with only natural love. We must also love everyone with a supernatural, sacramental love. We must love Christ in them with Christ's love in us. It would be well if those seeking perfection ceased trying so painstakingly to learn how not to love and learned instead how to love well. (Caryll Houselander. "The Way of the Infant Jesus." Sophia Institute Press. 1995. P. 53-56)


As we enter 2013, let's let Caryll's words help us to look for the Infant Jesus, entering our lives so gently and sweetly, to capture our hearts, to command our love, to attach us to Himself. This is abandonment to Him. We don't lose anything, we receive everything. We receive our God, who attaches Himself to us as we attach ourselves to Him. It is a bond of love that develops as we choose Him at each moment. It is a love that will fill us to the full. This is surrender. It is surrender to love. And the key to that love, is recognizing our God, our Lord Jesus, as he waits for us in each person in our life. He exists in each person, waiting for our love, waiting to love us! This is abandonment to Jesus. This is surrender to Mary. It is the surrender to love!


Happy, blessed, joyful, glorious, and fruitful New Year to each of you!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!  

Cathy Nolan

©Mary TV 2013