Book of Love – Faith of the Heart – Internal Flame – Mary Glory and Grace
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast, Repost from August 2013
Book of Love – Some of you may know the popular song from a few years back; however I do not refer to the song, but to the Gospel of John. When people ask me how they start to read the Bible, I generally suggest the Gospel of John. It is a perfect love story – the book of love. It will make you hunger for more and is a great starting and ending place. Jesus reveals himself to us and we certainly give thanks for the gift of Jesus in our work and life. Even when we feel alone, we know He is there. Jesus gave Himself to us on the cross. God loves us so much He gave His son even to those who do not deserve, He is always there, sometimes hidden because of grief and frustration. Help those you serve find Him in their devastation and you will feel the love John talks about Jesus and you know how close he was to Jesus. He begins with, “The Word became flesh,” in John, chapter 1 and in John 19:30 he tells us about Jesus’ love for us with,”It is finished.” John closes his witness of life with Jesus, John 21:25 “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen!”
Faith of the Heart – As Vincentians and Catholics we try to better ourselves by our actions and love for others and serving Christ in all we encounter. We read from Lumen Gentium Paragraph 14: “The members of the people of God are called to share all goods in common, and of each of the Churches the words of the Apostle hold good: “According to the gift that each has received, administer it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” The bonds which bind people to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a “bodily” manner and not “in his heart.” We do this work in our love of God and our love for those we serve and serve with. We try to serve and be Christ to others.
Internal Flame – We all have this flame inside of us. The Holy Spirit lives in the temple which is our body. The flame glows lighting the world with love. Oh that we could set the world on fire with our flame. Because of this in Saint John Vianney’s words, “We either belong wholly to the world or wholly to God.” It is your choice. The wise choice is God. When you love God it is all. “You only love God as much as the person you love the least.” (Dorothy Day). Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil – it has no point. Go light your world and brighten your internal flame.
Mary Glory and Grace – In 1 Corinthians 15:20 Paul speaks of Christ’s resurrection as the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Since Mary is closely associated with all the mysteries of Jesus’ life, it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit has led the Church to believe in Mary’s share in His glorification. So close was she to Jesus on earth, she must be with Him body and soul in heaven. In the light of the Assumption of Mary, it is easy to pray her Magnificat (Luke1:46–55) with new meaning. In her glory she proclaims the greatness of the Lord and finds joy in God her savior. God has done marvels to her and she leads others to recognize God’s holiness
“In the bodily and spiritual glory which she possesses in heaven, the Mother of Jesus continues in this present world as the image and first flowering of the Church as she is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise, Mary shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come (cf. 2 Peter 3:10), as a sign of certain hope and comfort for the pilgrim people of God” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 68).
I always loved that Mary’s Feast day was one day before my birthday. I love to pray the Rosary and fall asleep doing so and wake up to finish. It has been great comfort.