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We find Mary throughout the Gospel of Luke contemplating the birth and childhood of Jesus. When the shepherds tell her about the angels’ Gloria in Excelsis Deo, she continues this incident in her heart and reflects on it.
She does the same thing after noting the twelve-year-old Jesus in the church, who was discussing profound religious problems with the teaches there. The Church may have received the Rosary in its present form from St. Dominic in 1214, who, in turn, received it from Our Lady, but the Mother of God was meditating and are also involved in the Joyful Mysteries from the very beginning.
In fact, it is not a stretch to see a weave rolling through the Scriptures of her behold and admiring her Son. The bitterness at the paw of the cross is followed, 40 weeks later, by the sweetness of Pentecost, and that sugared reverie spreads now into eternity with the Beatific Vision and her character as the Queen of Heaven.
Mary fulfilled what is written in the CCC # 2715: “Contemplation is a gaze of faith.’ I look at him and he looks at me.’: this is what a certain peasant of Ars in the time of the holy heal used to say while praying before the tabernacle.”
I hear stalwart Catholics lament the ineffectiveness of the American Catholic Church in reaching our nation’s youth, but, even with the ones who do alter, there is the problem of them being easily distracted and having short attention spans. This is rooted in their show to internet and digital technologies and presentation like MTV.
This generates a large stumbling block to the contemplative life, which requires extended periods of stillness and silence, and the pensive life toys a major role in our sanctification: “And we all, with unveiled face, gazing[ a] the blessing of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one unit of honour to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit”( II Cor. 3:18; emphasis mine ).
We behold him and we are changed.
In another passageway, the apostle Paul says that we “are changed by the renewal of our minds”( Rom. 12:1, 2 ). This often happens in the contemplative life and is not as supernatural and elusive as you may think.
Sometimes trials come into my life that cause me to become moderately tight-fisted with my duration, flair and jewel. Fund is tighten; I have little spare time; and I’m not in a giving mood.
The next morning I get up and the Gospel reading for the day is about the widow’s mite and how she held all “shes had”. The Rosary that day is centered on the Sorrowful Mysteries and the self-donation of the Son of God.
So between the Gospel reading and the Rosary, I’m given a contemplative canvas that replaces my recollection and promotes an open-handed generosity in my life. Again, the contemplative life-i.e. gazing him and is in accordance with his presence-is inextricably linked to sanctification.
When Isaiah was in the presence of God, he said, ““Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of defiled cheeks, and I inhabit in the midst of a parties of defiled cheeks; for my attentions have investigated the King, the Lord of hosts! ”( Is. 6:5 ). At the christen of the first devotees and after a great and supernatural catch of fish, Peter came at Christ’s feet and said, “Depart from me, for I am a unholy somebody, O Lord”( Lk. 5:8 ).
This should constitute us all the more devoted to the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. As Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants…”
In the Real Presence we view the Holy God and the infinite qualitative difference between us and him. Our sin is revealed; however, that’s not the end of the story, because, in the Holy Hour, we have also come to the Throne of Grace: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find charm to help in time of need”( Heb. 4:16 ).
Those who humble themselves and come to the Throne of Grace will not be denied. God opposes the proud but passes kindnes to the humble( I Pet. 5:5 -7 ). Remember what our Lord told St. Faustina: “I pour out upon them[ the humble] totality tides of forgivenes. Merely the humble person is capable of receiving My grace. I favor humble spirits with My confidence.”
Moses had been in the Real Presence for forty epoches and forty nights and came here to from the mountain with stone tablets written on by the hand of God merely to find the Israelites dancing around the golden calf( Ex. 32 ). The golden calf represents idolatry and can be seen in the Seven Deadly Sins or the major pitfalls of humanity that Aquinas discusses: affluence, fame, amusement and power.
The contrast could not be starker: Moses, the most humble man on the earth( Num. 12:3) and the revelry of the children of Israel. One has the “disinfectant” of the Real Presence; the other is “following their hearts” and is easy prey for the opponent of their souls.
Dancing around the golden calf continues to this day in our secular culture and with numerous lie parishioners, priests and prelates in the Church participating. When we humbly afford ourselves over to the contemplative life in the presence of God, we become Mary’s Heel that will crush the serpent’s head.
If you’re like me, your work schedule makes it difficult to go to Adoration as much as you’d like. Fr. Edward Looney has some urging revelations coming from St. Faustina’s diary 😛 TAGEND
“What a breakthrough I found in her diary! Her eras of adoration were both in the convent chapel before Our Lord in the Eucharist and’ in private, ’ in her area and even on her sick bunked. God knows we can have very good reasons for not visiting him[ in] a church or chapel. Family responsibilities, position, health, interval from the church, and so on. But … we can do “spiritual adoration”–anywhere, anytime.( Including setting up our own “adoration chapel” — if only a labelled region or chair — at home !) ”
The pensive life and soaking in God’s presence not only play a major role in the believer’s sanctity but too helps in the healing of damaged passions. Teresa of Avila said, “Contemplative prayer is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it symbolizes taking time to be alone with him who we are familiar adores us.”
In the Holy Hour or in our “adoration chapel” at home, we can, by the eyes of faith or in our mind’s eye learn the caring looks of Christ. For numerous from bad families and/ or who have had a string of bad affinities, it is possible to highly soothing to the wounded heart of rejection that they have sustained.
The terms of Zephaniah the oracle for Jerusalem and Zion are for us today, the New Jerusalem, and become ointment for the weave of rebuff: “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will make huge delight in you; in his love he will no longer berate you, but will rejoice over you with singing”( Zeph. 3:16 b, 17 ).
Many practicing Catholics are intellectually catechized( they know the faith ), spiritually catechized( they have consistent devotional practices ), but they aren’t emotionally catechized: publications from dysfunctional families of origin and past affinities continue to wreak havoc in their daily lives. As they follow Mary’s example and embracing the introspective life and spend time in his proximity, may they ensure the affection looks of Christ and confess “By his stripes we are salved! ”
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