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ST. VINCENT DE PAUL Haggai, Chapter 2, verse 5 This is the commitment I made to you when you came out of Egypt. My spirit rem...

Friday, December 11, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Luke, Chapter 1, verse 30:
30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Mary had no fear of the world or man, yet, when the angel appeared she was immersed in holy fear.  Let us follow Mary’s example and bravely face the day saying YES to God.
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Listen to Mary’s words of encouragement as she appeared to Saint Juan Diego.

"Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."

One wonders if Mary thought of these same affirmations during the angel’s visit of God the Father.  Are you not happily within my fold!  Are you not under my protection!

Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego just 12 years after the defeat of the Aztec empire by Hernan Cortes.  Documents from that period indicate that the Aztec leadership was hatching a plot to reestablish themselves and renew the taking of human hearts as a sacrifice to their gods.  Our Lady stopped that with her appearance to Juan Diego.  In the space of 10 years after her appearance over 9 million Aztecs converted to the faith.[1]


Today would be a good day to go to confession.

AN EXCERPT FROM BEAUTIFUL MERCY

By Matt Fradd

Several years ago, as I stood in line for the sacrament of confession about to confess for the umpteenth time a sin I couldn’t seem to quit, I began to fear that God’s mercy was running out. I didn’t doubt that God would pardon a person who turned to him after a life of the most heinous sins imaginable. What I did doubt was that he would continue to forgive me. How many times have I said, “I will never do this again,” only to return to that sin like a dog to its vomit (see 2 Peter 2:22)?

At that moment, by God’s grace, no doubt, I was reminded of the incident in the Gospel of Matthew when Peter approached Our Lord with a question:
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22)

Now Jesus did not mean that Peter was to forgive his brother 490 times and then no more. No, rather, “seventy times seven” signified perfection and consistency. It then occurred to me, if God’s forgiveness is not like that—perfect and consistent—then Jesus was commanding Peter to act in a way that was contrary to the nature of God.
The truth is, God is infinite in all of his attributes. In fearing that God’s mercy was slowly evaporating, I was unintentionally making God in my image. If you have ever been tempted to doubt God’s mercy as I did, or if you’re tempted to do that now, please ingrain the following words from St. Claude de la Colombiere into your brain:

I glorify you in making known how good you are towards sinners, and that your mercy prevails over all malice, that nothing can destroy it, that no matter how many times or how shamefully we fall, or how criminally, a sinner need not be driven to despair of [God’s] pardon.  .  It is in vain that your enemy and mine sets traps for me every day. He will make me lose everything else before the hope that I have in your mercy.

Regardless of where you have been or what you have done, be at peace. The same God who forgave Moses the murderer, Rahab the prostitute, David the adulterer, and Peter the denier will forgive you. All you have to do is seek that forgiveness with a contrite heart. The only sin God won’t forgive is the one you will not ask forgiveness for.[2]

 





[1] Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the civilization of love.  Carl Anderson & Msgr. Eduardo Chavez.  http://www.secretsoftheimage.org/en/index.html

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