Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Gospel Thoughts Today: All Saints Day

Today is a day we honor all saints, known and unknown, asking for their prayers and intercession. There are two saints in particular I cherish . . . St. Faustina and St. Therese the Little Flower. St. Faustina taught me what true humility looks like.  St. Therese, well, she played a different role. After my divorce in 2010, people came into my life who were not interested in furthering the Kingdom of God as I wanted to. I found myself making excuses for them in my head, starting to think, again, I could change them with my love of Christ alone. I knew better. I was slipping back into old patterns, accepting behavior I was familiar with.  One particular night, on the phone tolerating some bad behavior and convincing myself it would get better, St. Therese's face stared at me from my nightstand. I was reading her autobiography Story of a Soul.  It was as if she was warning me.  As if she was telling me to stop and reassess my life.  After several passes by the book with her beautiful face almost pleading with me, I placed another book on top of it. I tried to fight it.  But she won.  She is a strong intercessor and when she means business, she means business. It didn't take long for me to get back on track and refocus my energy in the right direction . . . a direction which led me back to climbing the mountain of holiness. Living a good life with God in the center, by far, trumps any earthly needs/wants which can leave you empty and jaded.

Today's Gospel (Matthew 5:1-12a) shows Jesus teaching his disciples the way to conduct themselves in order to get to heaven:

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven."

In the June 2006 Monthly Message, Jesus gives us reason to get back on track:

"You will exult in each act of service and each act of self-denial because you will see the act attached to all of the graces obtained from it. At that time you will marvel at My generosity. You will also thank Me for obscuring this from you during your time of service because it is through this trust that you gain both merits for your eternity and conversion graces for souls. How many sinners are pulled back into My Sacred Heart through your smallest act of trust and love in the face of scorn and mockery? Dear apostles, you must consider whether or not you yourself were called back to Me through the selfless action of another. It is in this way that we are a family. Each apostle is indebted to others for their progress up the mountain of holiness because the service of each supports and sustains others. How blessed is the plan of God. My gratitude to you will endure forever."

And from Anne a lay apostle's book Climbing the Mountain, the following quote is perfect for All Saints Day:

"The lay apostle must believe that his daily service is fueling the renewal. The lay apostle must believe this because it is true. Do not be one who reflects constantly on the dreadful state of the world. It cannot be all that bad as Jesus is here and angels and saints surround us. Earth is an extension of heaven, dear apostles. I know with certainty that Jesus is within me. And I am here, on earth. And earth is God’s creation. So it is wrong to proceed with a long face. There are souls to be loved and services to be performed. Do not reflect constantly on the dreadful state of the world because by doing so one spreads the fruits of darkness, fear and despair. Be one who reflects constantly on the joyful state of heaven."

Lay apostles, we have so many advocates in our beloved saints.  They are ready and willing to intercede for us.  Learn about them and how they lived their lives. The surprise is each one walked this earth as we do.  They just chose to focus on Christ, no matter the cost.

Thank you, Lord, for all our beautiful saints who have gone before us and those in the making. Help me to continue to learn about their lives, knowing they are ready to assist on a moments notice. Please remind me to call on them more often!

God bless,

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