"An ounce of crosses is worth more than a thousand pounds of prayer, a day of crucifixion is more valuable than one hundred years of all other holy exercises. It is of more value to stay one moment on the cross than to enjoy all the delights of paradise."
—Venerable Sr. M. Victoria Angelini
MERRY CHRISTMAS MERRY CHRISTMAS MERRY CHRISTMAS
THE GREATEST GIFT
By Helder R. Faria
As God forged a cosmos of stars and planets
So we fashioned a tree of lights and spheres
Where we once placed earthly treasures
We now lay down Our Saviour
The greatest gift of all, we now adore
Copyright © Helder R. Faria
Photo from Pexels.
Photo from Pexels.
Yesterday I returned from my annual Roman Catholic retreat and, WOW, did I ever learn something shocking. I must admit, though, that I should have known this revelation long ago; was I ever BLIND!
What I learned was from a meditation written by Father Joseph Langford, MC, co-founder of Mother Teresa’s priests’ community. It is excerpted from his book, Secret Fire: The Encounter That Changed Her Life and How It Can Transform Your Own (© 2008, Published by Our Sunday Visitor). In the meditation, we are invited “to picture Jesus right next to [us], saying [these] words directly to [us]:”
“…I come with My mercy, with My desire to forgive and heal you, and with a love for you beyond your comprehension, a love every bit as great as the love I have received from the Father…”
WOW, is this ever mind-boggling!!! Jesus loves you and me as much as our Heavenly Father loves Him, His only begotten Son, our Lord.
A Son who, in lovingly obeying His Heavenly Father’s will, became the Saviour of mankind. A Son and Lord who saved us from the snares of the devil, by willingly accepting His suffering and agony during His Passion. By being crucified and dying on the cross — by His Holy sacrifice — he redeemed mankind from sin and restored order to our fallen, disordered human nature.
Do you doubt His love for you is that MASSIVE? If so, read Jesus’ very words from the Holy Bible:
“As much as the Father has loved me, I have loved you…” (John 15:10)
I read this passage before, however I didn’t read it slowly and I didn’t meditate upon it — I didn’t ask myself what Jesus’ words fully and truly meant. And so, I completely missed the profound meaning and extreme importance of His message.
This is a reminder to me that if I want to grow spiritually and build a close and strong relationship with God, I must ALWAYS read His Word, the Holy Bible, SLOWLY followed by ALWAYS meditating upon it.
The second best way of getting to know God and His ways, is perhaps by reading and studying the lives of the great Saints of the Church.
Their lifetime of experience in their route toward holiness and purity — in their journey toward God — can guide us more easily during our own passage. Such great knowledge, insight, wisdom and foundation — if learned and applied to our daily lives — will help us make right, wise and Godly decisions. It will help us avoid the snares of the devil and our disordered society.
There are a plethora of great Saints to assist us. Who are these Holy people of God? Who are these Saints? They are ordinary people who didn’t give up and ended up accomplishing so much. Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta) — whom we all know — is one such example.
Let us all invite the Saints to be our MENTORS throughout our journey.
"Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you,
and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice."
--Isaiah 41:10 (The Holy Bible)
Photo from Pexels.
…a wise and wonderful reflection and meditation on CHRISTMAS and Jesus Christ:
Image from Society of the Little Flower.
Artwork by Helder R. Faria.
The greatest gift ever given is the gift of the Child Jesus our Heavenly Father has given to mankind. In turn, Jesus Christ gave us another gift, the gift of forgiveness from sin, salvation, and eternal life. He accomplished this through His love for mankind; by sacrificing Himself on the cross; by suffering and dying for the atonement of our sins.
In addition to being mankind's Saviour, we can now communicate with His Father, our Heavenly Father, through Christ.
Christmas is about this greatest gift, not about the craziness and frenzy of shopping. Let us focus, then, on the true gift and true source of light, life, and salvation — Let us adore the Child Jesus, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Image from www.archtoronto.org
Three days ago, October 2nd, was the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels. I know it's too late to celebrate it now, but I think it should be posted because of it's importance — because we should always thank God and our Guardian Angels for their protection. And we should also, on a regular basis, ask these angels for their intercession.
This Feast and Guardian Angels mean so much to me — to say the least — for my birthday also falls on October 2nd. What a blessing indeed!
Photo from dowym.com
For frequently asked questions about St. Therese of Lisieux, please click here.
"We all long for heaven where God is, but we have it in our power to be in heaven with Him right now—to be happy with Him at this very moment. Being happy with Him now means loving like He loves, helping like He helps, giving as He gives, serving as He serves, rescuing as He rescues, being with Him twenty-four hours a day—touching Him in His distressing disguise."
—Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta), Total Surrender
Photo from Pexels.