“some souls, instead of abandoning themselves to God and cooperating with Him, hamper Him by their indiscreet activity or resistance” (St. John of the Cross).
Have you ever walked somewhere with a purpose and suddenly found yourself questioning why you began to walk in that direction? You know there was a reason but your suddenly clueless as to what it was. The initial temptation (specially in a crowd of people) is to just keep going as though you knew where you were headed because it beats embarrassing yourself by turning back or standing in place trying to figure it out. The root of this is good old pride. I know I have been guilty of this at least once.
Father Peter Ryan shared his insight into our life of discernment. He shared a refreshing reminder of our obedient dependence on Gods voice. He reminded us that there are specific desires God places in our heart, and that our surrendered response to his call is what springs us forward in holiness. But the most important thing he mentioned in all of this was our active engagement in the daily discernment of life, in the present moment. The daily yes we give to each moment lived, is a practice of our yes to God’s plan for our life. He gave the example of a cathedral being built. We do not see the cathedral during the process of construction, we only see the pile of stones that will eventually form the awe-inspiring structure. The stones represent our life as a work in progress. He recalled that in our limited humanity we only see the stones used by the builder but not their fulfillment. Our faithful trust in God’s work with our life is what makes way for the beauty of his house of worship. Our cooperation to his inspiration in our daily lives is what allows him to keep building. Our Yes to his daily invitations permits the stones in our life to become the cornerstones to our vocational state of life in the future. It begins now! Discernment requires: detachment, motivation, willingness to “try to respond even if we are not 100% sure it is the right direction. It requires an ongoing act of surrender. Even when we stand in the midst of our life journey wondering where we were headed, forgetting the destination and being unsure of what our next step should be; there is a hope that we find in the hands of Jesus who walks with us and if we only humble ourselves in these times of uncertainty he will take us by the hand and lead.
What if we were to willingly adapt ourselves to a task that placed us on the pure and reliable road that leads to union? A road that required us to walk not with our own eyes but with the eyes of God. A road that required the confident Yes that Jesus seeks of us. Would we be asking God to adapt to our plans in life or would we plead for him to set them for us.
Look Jesus in the eyes and tell him to change and adapt to you. You will see that you are no longer looking at God but at your own selfish reflection. A god you have created to fit your every desire, your every advance in the world, your every passion. Is this innovation or is it isolation?
What if everyday you were challenged with a request from God that required abandon, trust, and surrender? What if you knew of God’s goodness and his intention for your life, would it change your receptivity toward him? Would you question his motive, would you try to convince him of a faster, easier way to do it? The way to holiness is not founded on innovation, advances in the world, or upgrades. Jesus’ way never changes, it never conforms, it never advances for gain’s sake. He’s way is simply “old-fashioned goodness” and it does not wow the faithless, or impress the unbeliever but it does open new doors to a never-ending enterprise of Love.
Will you say Yes!
“¡Sí, oraré por ti!”
El poder de la intercesión. Un miembro de la familia pide nuestra oración y la damos. Un extraño suplica nuestra oración y lo prometemos. Sí, el acto mismo de recibir la intención se convierte en una oración en sí misma, es nuestro abrazo sincero a la otra persona que eleva su necesidad al Padre. Estas oraciones son escuchadas y son preciosas para el Corazón de Jesús y su Madre María. Todavía hay una oración que a veces permanece silenciosa en nuestros labios.
“Nunca podremos conocernos a nosotros mismos a menos que busquemos conocer a Dios” (Santa Teresa de Ávila)
¿Cuándo fue la ultima vez que rezamos por la gracia de conocer a Dios? ¿Cuándo le pedimos a Dios por última vez la gracia de ver como Él nos ve, de tener un corazón como el suyo? Cuanto más nos acercamos a Él, mayor es nuestra capacidad de aceptar todas las intenciones que se nos presenten, tanto de las almas del purgatorio como de la gente de la tierra, no solo las que se nos piden o las que podemos comprender, sino toda oración. Con todo corazon se pueden ofrecer sinceramente al Padre. Fuimos llamados a ser co-redentores con Cristo. Esto significa que compartimos su ofrenda y tenemos la capacidad de salvar almas con él. Podemos hacer esto conociéndolo y buscando conocer su voluntad. El mismo acto de vivir en conformidad con él permite que nuestra oración por los demás produzca mucho fruto. Conocer el verdadero Él + conocer el verdadero nosotros = conocer su voluntad. Esto cambia todo.
Parece que cuanto más conocemos a Dios, más nos conocemos a nosotros mismos y esta puede ser la razón por la que muchos optan por no entrar en el misterio del Padre. Es un viaje espantoso cuando las capas de nuestro ser son eliminadas y lo que queda se expone. Comenzamos a ver cada uno de nuestros pecados, nuestro alejamiento de gracia y nuestra falta de virtud. Duele. Vemos cuánto más podríamos haberlo amado a él y a todos los demás a quienes pretendemos “amar”. Este momento de oración se vuelve egoísta, con buen sentido. Nuestra atención, aunque solo sea por un momento en el tiempo, se vuelve completamente envuelta en una autodeclaración revelada de misericordia. No estamos elevando las intenciones del mundo, estamos inclinados con los brazos extendidos, elevando nuestro corazón al cielo. La humildad y el acto meritorio trae una proclamación de nuestra dependencia de la Gracia. Sí, somos intercesores pero sin una relación con Aquel que recibe nuestras peticiones, ¿cómo podemos aprender a amarnos tal como somos, y cómo podemos sinceramente acercar a otros a Dios?
Al darnos cuenta de nuestra necesidad de un cambio sagrado, llega el comienzo de la poda de la vida que nos prepara para convertirnos en un vaso de oración. Un solo recipiente en las manos de Dios puede traer salvación a cientos de almas. Una ofrenda de nuestra vida se convierte en un levantamiento simultáneo del alma de otra persona. Nos salvamos al salvar a otros.
Sí, el solo acto de querer conocer a Dios se convierte en una oración en sí misma, la elevación de nuestro corazón a Dios también se convierte en elevación y salvación del alma de otra persona.
“Yes, ill pray for you!”
The power of intercession. A family member asks for our prayer and we give it. A stranger pleads our prayer and we promise it. Yes, the very act of receiving the intention becomes a prayer in itself, it is our sincere embrace of the other person that elevates the need to the Father. These prayers are heard and are precious to the Heart of Jesus and his Mother Mary. There is still one prayer that at times remains silent on our lips.
“We shall never succeed in knowing ourselves unless we seek to know God” (St. Teresa of Avila)
When did we last pray for the grace of knowing God. When did we last ask God for the grace to see as He sees us, to have a heart like His. The closer we come in contact with Him, the greater our capacity to embrace every intention that comes our way, both from the souls in purgatory and people here on earth, not just the ones asked of us or the ones we can fathom but every prayer of the heart can be sincerely offered to the Father. We were called to be co-redeemers with Christ. This means we share in his offering and we have the capacity of saving souls with him. We can do this by knowing him and seeking to know his will. The very act of living in conformity with him allows our prayer for others to bear much fruit. Knowing the Real Him + knowing the real us = knowing His will. This changes everything.
Seems the more we know God the more we come to know ourselves and this might be the reason many choose not to enter into the mystery of the Father. It is a frightful journey when the layers of our very being are stripped away and all that remains becomes exposed. We begin to see our every sin, our turning away from grace, and our lack of virtue. It hurts. We see how much more we could have loved him and everyone else we claim to “love”. This moment in prayer rightfully becomes self-seeking, self-centered. Our attention, if only for a moment in time, becomes wholly engulfed in an unveiled self plea for mercy. We are not elevating the intentions of the world, we are bowed with outstretched arms, lifting our heart to heaven. The humility and meritorious act brings a proclamation of our ultimate dependence on Grace. Yes, we are intercessors but without a relationship with the One who receives our petitions how can we learn to love ourselves as we are, and how can we sincerely bring others closer to God?
With a realization of our need for holy change, comes the beginning of life’s pruning which prepares us to become a vessel of prayer. A single vessel in the hands of God can aid the salvation of hundreds of souls. An offering of our life becomes a simultaneous lifting of another’s soul. We save ourselves by saving others.
Yes, the very act of wanting to know God becomes a prayer in itself, the elevation of our very heart to God becomes an elevation and salvation of someone else’s soul too.