Following Mary ALWAYS leads to happiness. Why? She leads us to Christ. Where is Christ? Look to the Cross.
The craving after happiness is one of the strongest instincts of human nature. All men long to possess her, they pursue after her, and in hope of attaining her, they run wherever they think she is to be found. Some imagine that happiness consists in gratifying their every sense. Some imagine that happiness is in wealth and money. They toil day and night sacrificing health and comfort – even their souls for a few acres of land or a few bags of gold. Others give themselves up to gambling, addictions and carnal gratifications. How many people sigh for the frivolous joys of earth and pursue them eagerly as if in them alone true happiness was to be found. How vain is all their labors!
Satan, who tempted Eve in Paradise to eat the forbidden fruit, now makes use of the same deceptions to tempt her descendants in the world. He puts before them the good things of this life – riches, honors, pleasures, surrounded by a fictitious glamour; he represents them under so seductive an aspect that thousands are captivated by it and they find themselves pursuing these false and fleeting phantoms of earth. Like Eve, they soon experience affliction, remorse and even death. They meet with disappointment, sorrow and pain.
God has made us for no other end but to know Him, love Him and to serve Him so as to be happy with Him in Heaven. However attractive creatures may be, we are not made for them but for God. Like Mary, the most perfect creature of God, our hearts are created for God and in Him alone can it find peace and happiness. The famous quote of St. Augustine should always be before us. He tasted the allurements the world could offer and finally realized, “Thou hast created us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart has no rest until it rests in Thee.” Mary always had this truth before Her eyes: God alone is able to satisfy the human heart.
It is only in this truth that we will see happiness and long for it. May we run to Our Blessed Mother in all temptations and seek graces to turn our eyes away from these things of this earth that can only enslave our hearts.
One of the great differences between Mary and the world is this- (and this is one of the secrets kept from us by Satan): Mary stood at the foot of the cross and the world runs from it. We are told in Scripture that we must take up our cross and follow Him. What is this cross and if it is painful, is it not the opposite of happiness? Could it be turning down a fleeting pleasure of going to a ball game in order to visit a sick relative and help him prepare for death? Could it be sacrificing a career so that homeschooling a large family for the Kingdom of Heaven could be achieved? Could it be giving up a vacation home so that my son can go to seminary and be a priest for the Church? Could it be being charitable to someone who has just ruined a good name? Could it be praying for your enemy? Could it be holding your tongue in argument even if you are right? Does not all of this bring pain and suffering? God’s ways are not our ways. The cross brings love and with love brings true happiness. Do we embrace our cross? Do we sacrifice our precious time to offer prayers of reparation for the sins which abound around us? Do we go to visit our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and beg Him for the graces we need and in the world – or do we spend our time on frivolous activities which will not last for all eternity? Do we invest in our eternity or in fleeting moments? We are called to love God above all things in order to sacrifice these fleeting moments ---- FOR WHAT? FOR ETERNITY! What is Eternity – Do we think about it in comparison to this life! A close friend of mine has just died. He was obstinate in agreeing that this life was meant to love God alone. He spent his life for himself. He abandoned his children and those who reached out to him. He chose to live life for himself. Where is he now? He lived to 91 years of age. God gave him many years to wake up and see that this life is meant to be lived in imitation of Jesus – SACRIFICED FOR OTHERS. Anyone who gives to others knows that it is in giving that we receive. One must reach out and taste this to know. Heaven can be found on earth but it is on the cross. God’s ways are not ours!
Let us ask Our Blessed Mother to show us Her Heart which beats only for God and is always at the foot of the cross. Let us ask Her to give us the love for God which He expects from all of His children. Let us ask Her to teach us to seek happiness in God alone and to understand that God cannot be separated from His cross – the love found in the cross is the happiness which lasts for all eternity. Let us ask Her to teach us that it is in giving of ourselves to God and neighbor that we will truly receive the happiness that we so desperately seek. May our Blessed Mother help us to look forward to Heaven with happiness in our hearts!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!