Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

My good friend Karen reads this blog and will send me an email when something moves her. Today she sent me a beautiful note regarding yesterdays post. And she ended with this:

Now if we can each become 'the Biggest Loser' during Lent.
 --Lose selfishness; Lose impatience; Lose criticism;
    Lose judging others; lose, lose, lose,
 then we would all 'gain' our Jesus :-)

I LOVED this analogy to a show that inspires discipline and hope. We must have discipline in viewing others with love and not anger or judgement. We must have hope in Our Lord to open our eyes to His Will, not ours. Might seem like something too difficult to achieve. But we have the next 40 days to slow down and incorporate into our being the messages given us in the Gospels and through this mission. Focus on this moment. Not something that may or may not happen in a few hours. For when we worry or have expectations, we aren't focused on God's Will. When we anticipate, we are not trusting Him to do what is best for us, no matter the outcome. Take this Lenten season to understand God sees all our efforts to give alms, pray, and fast . . . and He is the only one we should be impressing. 

In todays Gospel (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18), Jesus makes sure His disciples understand humility:

Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

In Volume One, our Blessed Mother has this motherly advice:

"Like any habit, little children, trust will come easily after only a short time of practicing. I will help you. Take my hand and let me lead you. I do not want worldly fear to keep my children from reaching their rightful places in heaven. The world makes you think you have much to lose by holiness. You must scoff at this notion, children, because you have much to gain. It is the world that forces you to sacrifice much. Nothing is gained through worldliness except heartache, loneliness, and coldness toward each other. So many suffer today because the hearts of those close to them are cold. You are placed with your family members to love them and help them in their journey to Christ. Do not turn your back on those you are destined to love. If you turn to Jesus, He will place such love in your heart that it will spill over onto all you meet. There will never be a shortage of love in you and loving will become a joy, not a burden or chore. As you hear my words, child, do you not feel love in your heart? That is only the smallest example of what Jesus and I will do for you if you continue to walk our way. Truly, the world will change through your love. Be at peace. You are loved and protected. Your mother will help you, my little children, and we will practice trusting Jesus."

Lay apostles, we are so blessed to be a part of this mission, with the Words of Jesus right at our fingertips. Ash Wednesday is a new beginning . . . a time to truly change our hearts. Begin today by opening up a Volume and read one passage from it every day. If you don't have a physical copy of the Volumes, click on the links to the right. The are available for free as a .pdf document you can download. Or, order a set of Volumes (click on the word Volumes) to bring with you wherever your journey leads. 

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to improve myself, especially during Lent. Help me to stay focused on You, eliminating any outside distractions.

God bless,


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