I am with you always

To Jesus through Mary! Good morning and thanks for joining us for another edition of The Cause of Our Joy! We’re going to come right out of the gates with a question. It’s a question that we have been asking ourselves a lot lately. Maybe you have a good answer to the question or maybe the question itself doesn’t apply to you, but we’re going to ask it anyway: 

Why, when we have been blessed with so much and have access to so many good Catholic resources, do we still struggle to grow in the spiritual life? Why is lukewarmness such an easy pit to fall into when we have everything we need to love God zealously? 

This question has been vexing us lately. Maybe it has been on your mind too? We know the life of Christ. We know His love for us. We know what’s at stake. So, why is it so hard? Why does it feel like pulling teeth to put God first? 

That’s what we’re up to today: tackling this bear of a topic. So, without further ado, let’s get into this! 

Recognizing the Problem
In our estimation, the root of the problem lies in lukewarmness – a sort of sloth in the spiritual life that makes us somewhat comfortable with mediocrity. While it is true that Jesus has already done the work of saving us, it’s up to us to respond to that incredible grace and live a life wildly in love with The Beloved. Trouble is, Jesus is familiar to us. He’s the kind, merciful Savior who waits with arms wide open (and this is true!) but we forget His words about the way to perdition being wide and many finding it and the road to life being narrow and there are few who take it. So, we must launch an attack on lukewarmness! We found Those Catholic Men had some good thoughts on the topic and we think you’ll appreciate it too! 

A Holy Life is a Simple Life
“…you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful.” Have you ever been convicted by these words of Jesus to Martha? Speaking from a mother’s perspective, we feel like we spend our entire day in “Martha Mode.” Excuses like, “I’m too busy to read scripture,” or “I’ll pray when things settle down a bit,” pepper our spiritual life, and it’s no good. Boldly put, there is nothing more important in our day than growing in the knowledge and love for Jesus. It’s that simple. And, as this article from Catholic Exchange points out, it’s where our strength comes from. There is nothing better we can do for our souls and our family than to put Jesus first! 

What Do I Need To Do?
So, we’ve recognized the problem is lukewarmness. We’ve recognized that Jesus calls us to simply love Him first and most and best (to the benefit of our souls and our family’s spiritual health). So, what do I *actually* do? How can we wage war on lukewarmness and put Jesus firmly in first place? Well, the internet is brimming with suggestions for answering that question, and most of the articles we read were good. However, we found this piece from The Simple Catholic to be the best short and essential list for kicking lukewarmness in the behind. 

Book Recommendation
Maybe you read the last link and thought to yourself, “I already do those things and I still feel lukewarm!” Then we have a suggestion for you! We just finished Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer by Fr. Thomas Dubay and it was just what we needed to jolt us out of our complacency! If you are looking for a systematic approach to growing in holiness (any type-A personalities out there??) this book is for you! Of course, the Marian Center bookstore would love to help get this book into your hands, but if your parish has a FORMED subscription, it’s available on there for free! 

Rogation Days
The Catholic Church has consecrated each day with prayers in the morning and evening. But the Church used to also recognize the seasons with special days of fasting and feasts. We found some long lost Catholic culture recently and we wanted to share it with you. (If you already knew about this, then it wasn’t so lost after all!) Basically, Rogation Days are days of prayer (and even fasting) seeking God’s mercy for our sins, asking protection from calamities, and imploring Him for a bountiful harvest. This coming Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are minor Rogation Days. We found this article from The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter to be succinct and helpful.

Nifty News
This coming Monday marks the 100th birthday of one of the most beloved pontiffs in history. Pope St. John Paul II was born in Wadowice, Poland on May 18, 1920. To commemorate the day, Pope Francis will be offering Mass at the tomb of JP II in St. Peter’s Basilica. Check out the National Catholic Register for the full story! 

You may not be familiar with the pop culture blockbuster hit Pitch Perfect (or maybe you are) or the “cup song” from that film, but you don’t need to have seen the flick to appreciate what these nuns have done with the concept. Check out the Prayer of St. Francis with cups – it will put a smile on your face! 

Marian Minute
The month of May is dedicated to Our Lady but what does one do to honor her besides praying the rosary more? If you’re looking for some ideas to increase your devotion to The Blessed Mother, check out this list of 10 things to bring Mary’s love into your life

Liturgical Living
This week we found some resources for celebrating the 100th birthday of Pope Saint John Paul II.

Marian Center Update
The Marian Center is happy to open our doors for anyone to visit. We simply ask for you to give us a call ahead of time. Customers must maintain a safe distance of 6-feet away from each other and wear a mask. We also hope to start our exhibit on Marian Apparitions on June 1 — but without any pilgrim buses. 

You may have received our update in the mail about the Marian Apparitions Exhibit. We’ve updated the list of Apparition Panels, with the names of those sponsoring the panels. 

You can see which panels are still available to sponsor online here: https://mariancenter.org/sponsors

We continue to have your family in our prayers. Stay safe!
To Christ Through Mary, 

Katie Moe and Lori Mercer

P.S. Please forward this email to friends and encourage them to sign up for our email newsletter.  

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