To Jesus through Mary! Good morning, friends and thank you for joining us again. We enjoy meeting in this “electronic way” because we love having this weekly contact with you. With many of us not traveling as much and being more cautious when we do, it’s nice to have this easy connection with you. Of course, we’d love to see you at the Center, but this is good too!
Lately we’ve been thinking about how different God’s ways are from our ways. Thinking about how He takes unlikely characters and makes them His apostles. Thinking about how He can take a bad situation and bring so much good out of it. And thinking about how weakness, in the world’s eyes, can be heartrendingly beautiful when looked at through the eyes of Faith.
Most of you don’t know this, but Katie’s husband lost his little sister, Nancy, about a month ago. Nancy’s life and legacy to those who knew her is one that exemplified simplicity. She was handicapped from birth and needed intense care, but what she gave to this world far outpaced what she required. Her childlike “littleness” was one of the very things that made her so precious. Her need was an invitation to generosity, and her lack of worldly attainment was an invitation to consider eternity. Her sweet dependence on those around showed God’s strength.
And isn’t that how God works? “God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27) So very often He works in the contradictions of life! And yet, when we stop and think about it: the beauty of the hidden humble life of a handicapped girl, His power being made perfect in our weakness; God, born as a poor baby in a manger—these things resound with Truth!
In today’s The Cause of Our Joy we are pondering the unexpected, the contradictions, the head-scratchers. So, without further ado, let’s get into this! So, without further ado, let’s get into this!
Happier With Less
The world will tell you that contentment is found in acquisition. You’re told that attaining wealth, power, ultimate beauty, the perfect relationship, or some other goal will give you the peace you are seeking. But as St. Augustine points out, “Our hearts are made for you, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you.” The peace that Jesus offers, that we so desperately long for, is found in letting go. Relinquishing the world’s idea of success and happiness is the first step to real happiness. We wrote Happier With Less as we were processing our own struggle for peace and as a way to refocus our attention on the things that really matter.
This coming Wednesday, we celebrate the feast of an unexpected saint. St. Mary Magdalene did not start out on the path to holiness. It was only after a profound and life-changing experience with Jesus that her life took the turn that would lead to her sanctification. In a way, we are all Mary Magdalenes in need of conversion. May her story inspire us and may her intercession on our behalf bring us closer to Jesus! St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us!
God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways
When illness, pain, or suffering become one of the crosses that we are asked to bear, it’s common and understandable to ask the Lord for a different cross. Those who have had a difficult diagnosis or who have dealt with chronic pain know that it is not always easy to embrace their suffering. At these moments, when our Faith is tested, it might help us to remember that there is great power in our weakness and vulnerability. While God’s ways are not our ways, He never leaves our side and always brings good from suffering. If you need a little shot in the arm in this area, check out this article from Catholic Culture.
Children of Fatima
As we continue to ponder how God uses the unlikely, let’s turn our attention to how God sometimes involves children in His mission of building His Kingdom. At Fatima, three children received visits from the Blessed Mother and were given three secrets. Though young, these kids were God’s chosen messengers. We recently found an article that really related what the children were told and what they saw to the times we are living in now. We highly recommend reading The Fatima Secret No One Talks About. Praise God for revealing to little ones the very things we all so desperately need!
“For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved…” These words from the first reading this Sunday speak to the unexpectedness of God’s might. In Matthew’s Gospel we hear about how small things like mustard seeds and yeast, when cultivated properly, can yield something much much larger than themselves. Great things come in unexpected small packages sometimes! Check out this reflection from Catholic Exchange to really dig deep!
We are big fans of St. Maximilian Kolbe. His work, love, and motivation to bring Our Lady to the whole world inspire us and help refine our own desires for this same thing. We like to keep up with what the Militia of the Immaculata (Kolbe’s missionary group) is doing because their work is so good. They are about to release a film about Kolbe and the Militia Immaculata and we think the trailer looks awesome!
To celebrate the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene with your family, head over to Catholic Icing for some great ideas. Here’s a link to a cute kids’ video you can watch also.
Marian Center Update
The exhibit on Marian Apparitions is open to the public! We are open for our full schedule from Tuesday-Saturday, 10 to 4. Hope to see you soon!
To Christ Through Mary,
Katie Moe and Lori Mercer
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