Daily Reflections
by Cathy

God is our loving Father !

       (c)Mateo Ivankovic 2016

August 10, 2016
St. Lawrence
Dear Family of Mary!
July 25, 2016
“Dear children! I am looking at you and I see you lost; and you do not have prayer or joy in your heart. Return to prayer, little children, and put God in the first place and not man. Do not lose the hope which I am carrying to you. May this time, little children, every day, be a greater seeking of God in the silence of your heart; and pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes joy for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
I want to share the Homily from English Mass for Tuesday, August 9. It is given by a young Irish priest, who had a beautiful, gentle voice, and who spoke in such a winning way about God the Father and Jesus!! I just felt his words were important to remember. So here they are! You can hear him in the English Mass Homily archive on our website, 8/9/2016!
English Mass in Medjugorje – Homily of August 9, 2016:
There is God’s power and there is worldly power, and the two of them are very, very different. God’s power is not the power of the world. God’s power expresses itself in love, in service, in humility. The fruit of this type of power leads to joy, leads to happiness, and it leads to love. Worldly power, the opposite, seeks to dominate, to control, to take possession, to put yourself first. This doesn’t lead to joy, it leads to selfishness, unhappiness, and a lack of peace.
We see the disciples kind of veering towards this worldly power, wanting to bring this worldly power into God’s Kingdom. And Jesus stops them in their tracks. Jesus says to them that the greatest in God’s kingdom is a little child. Now a little child is a perfect person for an example of God’s power. A perfect person, because a little child has a heart that is pure, a heart that is loving. A heart that believes. If you tell a child something with sincerity, that child will believe and not question. The child is the perfect example of who is the greatest in God’s Kingdom.
And the greatest attribute of the child is trust. Trust is so important. A child knows it can’t do things for itself. The child needs its parent to look after it, to care for it. The child of God needs its Father. It needs God, its Father. And Jesus is the perfect example of both the child of God and the loving Father who is God. Jesus shows to us the loving face of God.

In Jesus, His personality, the way He is, His character, His love, His generosity, all of that says to us: this is your Father. This is who your Father is. Your Father, in Jesus, says to us, reveals that He loves us perfectly, as you are now. And we see this most perfectly in the Cross. That God would go that far to show that He loves you perfectly as you are now.

All of this says to us that this love for us children, this love is worthy of trust. Again Jesus also shows us that he is the perfect example of a Son. He is the perfect example of a loving son, a trusting son of the Father. Jesus, most beautifully, when He says, “Father” …the translation we have when He says Father, is “Abba”. Jesus was saying “Abba” …Daddy, Dada. That is what he was saying. The most intimate, loving term for His Father. This is how we, as sons and daughters, communicate with our dad! Because that is what He wants. This loving communication. And we see an example of what Jesus is, in His trust. No matter where He was He trusted His Dad.
But look, even with his perfect example that we have, there is a part of us which is broken, the part of us that has the tendency to sin. And because of this part of us that has a tendency to sin we can believe, we can actually believe that, no, I won’t trust God. I’ll trust in me. I’ll take control of myself. And it is a message we hear in the media and in our world – Trust yourself, put yourself first.
Yesterday I was out in back of church; I was sitting on the bench. And I saw this little boy, about 5 years old. And you know the way, when you are small, that you run away from your parents, and you think you are great because you are getting away from them. Well I could see this smile…he thought he was the best thing ever because he was getting away, running away, and his saw him and found him. But if we take that further, if a child does go further and further away, and if the parent didn’t notice…very shortly the smile that says “oh this is great!” would turn to fear. It would turn to being afraid, it would turn to unhappiness.
And that is the same for us with God. When we follow our own path, very often we are told that this is going to be great. But it leads to unhappiness. It leads to misery.
I suppose my own story…when I was growing up, I believed this message that if I took control of my own life (in my teenage years) that I would be happy. Everything that the world promises I followed. I was miserable. I was a very sad teenager. And by the grace of God, I ended up coming out here in 2005. And it took a couple of days to get into it because I hadn’t a clue about anything faith wise, you know.
So I remember it was on about the third night, I was at a prayer meeting. And I just felt this powerful motherly love. It was so powerful. And I knew it was the Blessed Mother. And I knew that in spite of my sinfulness and how far I was from God, that she loved me perfectly as her child. And she saw me as her child, in spite of my weaknesses and in spite of my sinfulness. And you know, I had a great experience here. And it changed my life.
And really that is the thing, because we can think of our past, because of the stuff that we have done, and all that. And we hear in the Gospel that we are called children. But there is a little voice that says, you are not worthy to be called God’s child.” And that is the biggest lie ever!! Because no matter what state we are in, Our Lady says to us, “My dear children!” My dear children! You are her dear child! You are the Father’s dear child and He loves you perfectly.

And the happiness of life is to grow in this love! To grow in this child-like-ness. A great saint for this is St. Therese. St. Therese was all about being like a little child. And she suffered an awful lot with scrupulosity. Scrupulosity is a terrible, terrible thing. It is when every little thing, every small thing feels like a sin. And she had no peace over it. But the more she came to know the loving heart of God, the more she came to know her Father, her Dad, her Abba, the more she was able to get rid of it.
She actually said that if I committed every sin in the entire world, if I committed every possible sin, I know that like a little child I can throw myself into my Father’s arms, and He will love me, embrace me, forgive me. And a beautiful thing that she says as well…she struggled with the spiritual live. She saw all these great saints like St. Theresa of Avila and St. John and the Cross, doing these great penances and working their way to God. And she said that I can’t do that, I can’t work my way to God. I am a little child. But I know what I can do. Have you ever seen a little child, and their hands go up! She says that I put my hands up to my Father, to my Dad, and of course, because He loves me, of course, He is going to want to pick me up and embrace me.
And that is the love of God. It is not in our trying, but in our weakness as little children, small children, our Dad takes pity on us, picks us up, and holds us close to Him. That little child yesterday, he didn’t get very far. He was picked up by his dad, embraced by his dad, and I would say he was very happy. And that is the thing. That really is the thing, to not try to grasp at God and not try to run away from Him, but just rest with Him. Rest in the arms of your loving Dad.
May this time, little children, every day, be a greater seeking of God in the silence of your heart; and pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes joy for you!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
(c)Mary TV 2016

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