Surrender

Detachment and Trust – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Detachment and Trust – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

It is only as we cling to these promises, and more importantly to the one in whom they find their “yes”, our Lord Jesus Christ, that we are able, in faith, to let go of the things of this world—whether it is material possessions, personal justice, or our idea of how our lives should end up, not because they don’t matter but because we trust that God is good and faithful, and because he is just.. Discipleship and obedience, particularly when it comes to teachings as challenging as these, are not ultimately about getting things right; they are about surrendering “to the Love that makes man fully alive” (Robert Barron).

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Bearing Christ – Gospel in Preparation for the Fourth Sunday in Advent

Bearing Christ – Gospel in Preparation for the Fourth Sunday in Advent

This is the type of surrender to which we are all called, one in which we don’t measure out our faith or faithfulness by the quantity (or quality!) of specific deeds themselves, but by the depth of our own “Yes” to God and all the challenges, discomforts and hardships this may entail. As Fred has captured beautifully in the first two posts of this week, it may take us to places we never imagined we’d go and put us in situations we would be otherwise prone to avoid (namely, the cross!), but the value and power of that obedience to bring God’s healing and redemption to not only our own lives but also those in the world around us inestimable.

For it is the means by which we, like Our Lady, bear Christ in and for the world around us.

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Called to Surrender – Gospel in Preparation for the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Called to Surrender – Gospel in Preparation for the Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Whatever area it is, and regardless of how many areas there are, the call to surrender all is not a call to give these things up because they don’t matter. To the contrary, the fact that they do matter is precisely the point. That is why the rich man walks away, and why I, for one, so often fail in this area….The call to surrender is a call to entrust, to remember that He who has called us to take up our cross and follow him has also said that He came that we might have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10). It is a call, in the words of Bishop Robert Barron, to surrender ourselves “to the Love that makes man fully alive.”

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The Holiest Family – Gospel Reading in Preparation for the Feast of the Holy Family

The Holiest Family – Gospel Reading in Preparation for the Feast of the Holy Family

The holiest family, the family that is our exemplar, was a poor family and made its home among the poor. What must have been the richest family in love, warmth, self-giving, devotion and joy, had very little of this world’s possessions. In looking to them we are challenged to ask ourselves, whether are rich or poor, have we in our day sought our family’s happiness and well-being in the wrong place? It is not that prosperity is bad; but only holiness, only complete devotion to God and His will, can lead us to the fullness of life for which we were made and enable us to love each other in the fullness of love, which flows from the God who is Love.

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A Life of Sacrifice – Second Reading of the Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Life of Sacrifice – Second Reading of the Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Thus, to become a living sacrifice through the offering of our own bodies is now the fullest sense of devotion because it does not involve giving merely a material object, but rather our entire selves–not in our physical death but in our life, a life fully lived, paradoxically, through death to self, to our self-centered desires and ambitions. To be a living sacrifice is to imbue every thought and deed with the spirit of selfless love and worship. This is why alms-giving is such a central tenant to the Christian life. The grace that is exchanged through our giving to others is an outpouring of the same grace that was conveyed when Christ took up the Cross.

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The Source of All Things – Second Reading of the Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Source of All Things – Second Reading of the Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are told that if we seek our own well-being and order or lives to suit our own bald ambitions, we will find life to the fullest, but in fact the contrary is true. Not only do we have no right to jealously guard our possessions against the wellbeing of others or the glory of God (for we are but stewards), but experience shows that those who do so end up living a diminished, fear-filled existence. They are the Gollums of the world. Life itself can only be found to the fullest when it is surrendered in trust to the God from whom it comes, for He is the Lord of Life. The same Lord who came that we might have life and have it in abundance also said that those who love their life will lose it and called each of His followers to take up their cross and follow Him.

Indeed, it is only through the cross that we have the hope of sharing in His divine life.

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All of Us Solomons – First Reading of the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

All of Us Solomons – First Reading of the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

At the end of the day we are all Solomon’s: stewards of an immense responsibility, the purpose and value of which is far greater than our selves and that has deep meaning and purpose within the entire Kingdom of God. We cannot excel at our vocations without the grace of the Lord as well as our own deep recognition that we have done nothing to inherently merit the vocation we have been given, much less the talents and opportunities by which that vocation is made possible. Everything is grace, as St. Therese says.

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A Beauty that Prevails – Gospel Reading for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Beauty that Prevails – Gospel Reading for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

To make a more practical analogy, if you have a coworker that breaths fire—they are abrasive, impatient or overbearing—the right response is not to replicate that behavior, but balance it with kindness, love, and patience… this kind of active resistance, even in the form of our deference, is the means by which we resist the threat of the weeds, so that the goodness in ourselves and in our neighbors is able to grow. This patience, this perceived non-action, is often the holiest action we can take. It is the outward expression of our belief in God’s infinite goodness and justice, that even as darkness thickens and contracts upon us, there is an enduring light manifest in the grace of God and our faith that “though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.”

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At a Loss for Words – Second Reading of the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

At a Loss for Words – Second Reading of the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

At other times, however, my silence has been more an inner recognition of my inability to even give true voice to the depth and breadth of all that I am feeling—both for myself and for others—as well as a profound sense that somehow, in some way He already knows. By this I don’t mean that I don’t need to share with him what is on my heart and mind…It is the silence of vulnerability, the sense of my need to just be with God in a way I cannot be anywhere else and open myself up to Him, trusting that not only does He know all that is in my heart, but that He is always, without fail, working all things for my good, for all of our good (Romans 8:28).

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Understanding Peace – Second Reading of Trinity Sunday

Understanding Peace – Second Reading of Trinity Sunday

To “live in peace”, that “the God of love and peace will be with you”, however, is to have faith that when you give up a part of your self, a part of what makes you feel powerful, autonomous, you receive in exchange something much greater. The love of Christ is freely given, but only truly received with true patience and determination. Thus, be free, not that you feel empowered to do whatever, whenever, but let peace and love free you from “every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God”.

To live in the peace of Christ is to align ourselves with Him, to free ourselves from the world and its carnal habits and nature. It is to say no to the inclinations of our pride and the desires of our bodies, knowing that in Him alone is fullness of life (Jn 10:10)

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