Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Catholic Defender: Pure Self Donation

The greatest example of "Pure Self Donation" is Our Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life that we might have life eternal.

This was the purpose and goal of Jesus from the beginning, this is why He was sent. The Virgin Mary would have to be somewhere in the background as she gave 100% to God. Her yes was not just a simple momentary affirmation.

This yes would impact the rest of her life and shape the world forever. The connection between Jesus and Mary is very unique in how close their relationship is.

How much they depended on each other for their purpose in this life. Through this purpose, we are greatly impacted. This was God's will and we can choose to follow the Lord who laid the foundation for all mankind to be saved.

Jesus and Mary's total commitment to following God gives us the perfect example to follow in our own lives.

Every time I see a loving mother with her small children, I know that she does a lot of personal sacrifice for that child.

What a great example Our Blessed Mother gives to all Christian mothers. True love isn't only receiving the nice greetings, the compliments that people give when their families are out in public.

True love is shown through a daily commitment to serve each other, to be there when you are sick. To do the hard work that comes with raising Children.

True love can be seen when a Father leads his family by example, following the example of St. Joseph who took care of Jesus and Mary.

Through the example of the Saints, we see many examples of sacrificial love giving "Pure Self Donation".

Father Downey, in our "Chaplain's corner" today, he states, "A popular hymn within our Catholic tradition is 'Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God' and it is taken from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.

It states what Jesus is reiterating for us in today's Gospel, and the fruit that is borne from it. I think sometimes we forget that our truest identity as baptized people is that we are God's beloved sons and daughters and nothing can ever take this away.

As God's beloved, He only asks us to allow Him to love us where ever we are in life. Often times, we think we have to do all the work to curry God's favor, or we believe the lie that we don't deserve God's love, but the opposite is true: God only asks us to open our hearts and allow Him to love us.

In other words, to carry out Jesus' command to love the Lord our God, with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds, only requires of us to open our hearts and receive God's love.

Sounds easy right? Unfortunately, many of us are plagued with deep wounds to our spirit and psyche that can be obstacles to allowing God's love to flow in us.

Such obstacles impair our vision and distort the reality that we are God's beloved sons and daughters. The good news is that our God is the God of healing and he seeks to heal us and bring clarity to our truest identity.

The more His love flows into us, the more we authentically love ourselves and thus, love our neighbor". Father is making the clear point that in order to really imitate Jesus and Mary, we must first allow God's love to flow through us. God's love must resinate in all the things we do.

Many times in the New Testament, the Apostles encourage us to follow their example, to imitate their traditions giving us a foundation and a model to know what looks right as opposed to what looks wrong.

St. Paul writes, "With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones and also for me, that speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains, so that I may have the courage to speak as I must" (Ephesians 6:18-20).

Let the love of God deliver us from what ever chains are holding us back so that we might be fully restored with full vigor is serving the Lord and His holy Catholic Church.

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