Today is my brother Joe's birthday and his wife, Sue's birthday two days from now! Please say a Hail Mary for them and their family. Thank you all so much!! I write this article for them, their family and all of us --that we may treasure the one gift worth seeking ---- Jesus!
We are only a couple days passed the visit of the Magi to the Holy Family. This article is about the response of Mary upon receiving these gifts. The actions of poverty and humility of Our Lady are examples that we can all learn from.
At the end of each chapter in the book “City of God”, Our Lady gives instructions to Mother Mary Agreda. She mentions that She has the grace to understand what a low value the Most High esteems earthly blessings and riches. Therefore, in Her holy liberty of spirit, She felt herself troubled and inconvenienced by the possession of the treasures that the Three Kings offered to Her most Holy Son. She asked St. Joseph to dispose of them and He divided them among the Temple and the poor. She warns us weak creatures that the goods of the earth, material possessions or goods of honor bring covetousness, ambition and vain ostentation. She says that nothing can be trusted to infected human nature; for it always seeks after more than it possesses, it never says enough, and the more it receives – the greater thirst it has for even more. (City of God, The Incarnation, p. 494)
She tells Mother Mary Agreda (and us) that it is to the intimate and frequent prayers with the Lord by unceasing love, praise and reverence, that She wishes us to attend to most of all. She says that without great care in this regard, the inferior parts will inevitably weigh down the soul, derange and upset it, divert and cast it down, causing it to lose the vision of the highest Good. (Wis. 9, 15) If we do not engage in loving prayer with the Lord, the deceits of the enemy will take hold and the soul will lose sight of God. On this account, the enemy makes great efforts to draw our attention toward himself, knowing that the punishment of listening to him will be the concealment of the object of its love from the soul. (Cant. 5, 6) As soon as the soul carelessly ignores the beauty of the Lord, it enters upon the byways of neglect and is deprived of the divine sweetness (Cant. 1, 7) When afterwards the soul, having with sorrow experienced the evils of such inadvertence, wishes to return to seek Him, it does not always find or recover Him (Cant. 3, 1, 2) As the demon, who deceived it, then presents other delights so vile and unlike those to which the soul has been accustomed interiorly, new cause of sadness, disturbance, dejection, lukewarmness and dissatisfaction arises and its whole interior is filled with dangerous confusion.
She instructs us that we must not be negligent or tardy in believing the favors of the Lord. That we must be prudent in our sincerity and constant in keeping up the fire of the sanctuary of our soul. (Lev 6, 12) without ever losing sight for a moment of that same Object, which Mary always attended to with all the powers of Her soul and all Her faculties. She knows that this is a tall order for our weak fragile souls – to live in imitation of Her, but we are to strive for this perfection and always keep the presence of God before our minds and hearts. If the Almighty calls and invites all men to the highest perfection by following Him, consider what we are obliged to do, since we have been drawn toward the Most High by such a generous and powerful influence of His right hand. (Matt. 11, 28; Cant. 1, 3)
May we keep these words of instruction always in our hearts and prize only Jesus because He is the only thing that matters and we will leave this world and all of its possessions behind. Let us seek Jesus with determined determination as St. Teresa of Jesus tells us and know that with God all things are possible.
Mary, Mother of God --- pray for all of us!!
God bless Joe and his family today and always!!
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Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!