Monday, July 26, 2010

"Why Mary?"

"Many people put the Mother of Jesus down as often as they can, thinking that by degrading her they are somehow building up Jesus. They say things like "Mary is dead and can't help you", "Mary was just an incubator for Jesus", "Jesus put his mother down by calling her "Woman, and "If Mary had refused Gabriel, then God would have just picked someone else". All of that kind of talk is crazy, but they do it because they think that Catholics worship Mary as a goddess, and by putting her down, they are showing Catholics that Jesus is #1. How many people would like it if you said - "I love you, but I really can't stand your mother". And how many people regularly put down their own mother to reinforce the fact that their Dad is #1? No one. Jesus called her "Woman" all of the time to let us all know that she is the new Eve (Adam named his mate "Woman") who's yes to Gabriel overcame Eve's yes to Lucifer. "-Catholic Bible 101

So, why Mary?

"And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with sun, and the
moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And being
with child . . . she brought forth a male child, who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to his throne. . . . And the dragon was angered at the woman, and went away to wage war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God, and hold fast the testimony of
Jesus."--Revelations 12:1-2,5,17

In this scripture verse, it speaks of a woman (Mary) that is clothed with sun, and the moon under her feet. I use this scripture verse, because it is Mary's role to reflect the light of her SON. Just as a moon would reflect the light of the sun. The dragon is Satan. You see, Satan loves power, and He can't stand Mary because she's a woman that plans on defeating him.
A simple, humble, "weak" woman is going to defeat him. Of course, she's not going to do it alone. We are her "offspring" her "children", and she wants us to help her defeat Satan through true devotion and prayer. Of course, Satan is after us as well. Obviously, he has succeeded with some. We live in a battle between good and evil. Evil must be put to an end, and the only way it can end, is if we take our part in this battle by choosing good VS evil. We must choose to be dead to sin, because Satan is NOT our leader. He is our ENEMY. If we anchor our ship between two pillars (Jesus and Mary) then we can definitely help Mary crush the head of Satan.

Why do we need to pray to Mary, though? What's the purpose, when we can just go straight to Jesus Himself?
Let me ask you this. Have you ever gotten to a destination, without there being a way to get there? The answer is "no", right? You've either driven, had someone drive you, took a bus, a train, a plane, skated, walked, maybe even rode a bicycle. These forms of transportation takes us to our destination. In a way, Mary is like our form of transportation to Jesus.
I remember going on a retreat, and visiting some Dominican Sisters. I believe one of their mottos were : "To Jesus, through Mary". Through meditating on the Rosary, which she gave to us, she can drive us through the life of Jesus. She can show us how much she suffered, as well as her Son. She was the first disciple of Jesus. She can guide us to Jesus, by being the best example there is.

Pope Paul VI wrote succinctly:

“Mary is held up as an example to the faithful for the way in which in her own
particular life she fully and responsibly accepted the word of God and did
it....She is worthy of imitation because she was the first and most perfect of
Christ’s disciples.”

Mary was the perfect disciple, because she stood by Jesus from life until his death. Her level of humility and pure acceptance, is an example to us all.
Also, if Jesus was so close to His mother, why shouldn't we be? Should we only love our Father, and not our Mother? Of course not. To honor thy father & thy mother, involves loving them both. All the great Saints in Heaven had a devotion to Mary.

For just a simple, humble, woman...Mary is powerful! Many favors, blessings, gifts, and graces, many alleged healings and miracles have been reported, and documented. All of these things have to do with Mary. Mary gives us a vast outpourings of all of God's graces, and protection against every type of evil. It's important to ASK for these graces, too! This is why she's important. This is why we need her, in this world filled with evil. We NEED our Mother's protection.

Mama Mary, make our hearts like unto thine.

I've decided to close with a prayer..

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it
known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought
thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto
thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Do you see the sin in this world?

Yes, I'm a tad late, but I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th weekend. Here in Ohio, they set fireworks off early.

So, I saw fireworks on the 2nd. I don't have a problem with that, seeing as I went to the "Red, White, and boom"--supposedly the biggest firework show in the country. The fireworks made it worth going to. Above is a picture of the actual show. I had a problem with the entire atmosphere, though. I don't think I've ever seen so much sin in one place. Well, maybe I have, but for some reason it all really stuck out. It made my soul ache. I felt sorrow for the lost souls that were wandering all around me. By all means, I am not saying that I am better than them. I am a sinner too, but by the grace of God, I know better. I still have the choice to choose wrong, and unfortunately I do make mistakes.

You're probably wondering exactly what kind of atmosphere was I surrounded by. Well, it was like walking into hell. How does a guy stay pure when girls wear "dresses" that obviously need leggings/pants?! Upper thigh length doesn't cut it, honey. I hate all the swearing, stealing, random make-out sessions, smoking (this includes cigarette packs stuffed in bras), and disgusting music. You would think that they would at least play better music, seeing as it IS a family event and little kids are around. I guess not. Everyone is so desensitized. Swearing? No big deal, everyone does it. Immodest dressing? Who cares! It's my body, and if I feel comfortable with my body..why not?! This is the society that we live in.

I went church for 5+ minutes before leaving, and let me just tell you...I enjoyed it so much.
It was like walking from hell into Heaven. Also, another side note--I've gone to the March For Life for the past 4 years, and I've never had a problem with crowds there. Why? Because I know I'm there for a good cause. Anywhere else, and I feel like I'm being suffocated.

Do you see the sin in this world? What do you do about it? Do you simply walk past whomever is sinning? Do you quietly pray for that person? Do you confront this person face to face?

I think most of the time, it's easy for us to just walk past people.
I don't know about you, but I've always been a people watcher. People fascinate me.
I often wonder what kind of day they had, how they are feeling, what's going through their head, and even what state their soul is in. Sometimes I pick up vibes from people that tell me to pray for them. But, if we simply walk past people that are doing wrong, like it's no big deal, then WE are desensitized to the evil that surrounds us. This means that something is seriously wrong.

"If I had to advise parents, I should tell them to take great care about the
people with whom their children associate . . . Much harm may result from bad
company, and we are inclined by nature to follow what is worse than what is
better."-St Elizabeth Ann Seton

Take it from someone that knows... she could not be anymore right.

Ever heard either of these sayings?

"You are, who you hang out with"? or
"Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are"?

It's true. We"are inclined by nature to follow what is worse than what is better."

We have to pray for sinners everywhere. I advise everyone to offer up suffering for sinners everywhere through prayer. It is when we pray for others, we learn to pray for ourselves.

Even if it's someone that we don't like. We must understand that love is not a feeling, but a choice. And this choice we *must* make is not always a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Sometimes, it will cost us. Sometimes, we have to suffer. Look at Jesus, Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, and many Saints. We need to look to our brothers and sisters in Heaven as an example.
Is is by suffering, we receive many graces though, if we respond with love.

I have a challenge for everyone.
If you are passing someone that appears to be sinning, simply say this in your heart:

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."
May we cling to the Cross, so that we grow in love and holiness. May we become more like Christ each and every moment. With each breath we take, may we say "I love You, Jesus".
And may our eyes be fixated upon the Kingdom of Heaven, not the kingdom of Satan.

O Lord, make our hearts like unto thine. Pure. Grant us the graces to live the Mass, to serve others, and to love with an undivided heart. May we grow in holiness, that in holiness, we may learn right from wrong. May we speak with the fire of the Holy Spirit within us, and nothing that will offend Your Holy name. May we cling to the Cross, and die to the sin of the world.
May we be a reflection of Your Holy light, that we may set the world ablaze to prepare the world for the second coming.