We find Mary throughout the Gospel of Luke contemplating the birth and childhood of Jesus. When the shepherds “re told” about the angels’ Gloria in Excelsis Deo, she stops this incident in her heart and studies on it.
She does the same thing after find the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple, who was discussing profound religious questions with the educators there. The Church may have received the Rosary in its present form from St. Dominic in 1214, who, in turn, received it from Our Lady, but the Mother of God was meditating and are also involved in the Joyful Mysteries from the very beginning.
In fact, “its not” a stretch to see a weave ranging through the Scriptures of her behold and adoring her Son. The bitterness at the foot of the cross is followed, 40 weeks later, by the sweetness of Pentecost, and that sweet contemplation extends now into eternity with the Beatific Vision and her persona as the Queen of Heaven.
Mary fulfilled what is written in the CCC # 2715: “Contemplation is a gaze of sect.’ I look at him and he looks at me.’: this is what a certain peasant of Ars in the time of the holy dry used to say while praying before the tabernacle.”
I hear stalwart Catholics lament the ineffectiveness of the American Catholic Church in reaching our nation’s youth, but, even with the ones who do convert, there is the problem of them being readily confused and having short attention spans. This is rooted in their exposure to internet and digital technologies and recreation like MTV.
This originates a large stumbling block to the pensive life, which requires extended periods of stillness and silence, and the contemplative life frolics an important role in our sanctification: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding[ a] the honour of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one measure of splendor to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit”( II Cor. 3:18; emphasis mine ).
We behold him and we are changed.
In another passing, the apostle Paul says that we “are transformed by the renewal of our minds”( Rom. 12:1, 2 ). This often happens in the introspective life and is not as supernatural and elusive as you may think.
Sometimes trials come into my life that cause me to become quite tight-fisted with my day, aptitude and fortune. Fund is close-fisted; I have little spare time; and I’m not in a hand mood.
The next morning I get up and the Gospel reading for the day is about the widow’s mite and how she imparted all “shes had”. The Rosary that day is centered on the Sorrowful Mysteries and the self-donation of the Son of God.
So between the Gospel reading and the Rosary, I’m given a contemplative canvas that rekindles my judgment and promotes an open-handed generosity in “peoples lives”. Again, the introspective life-i.e. seeing him and being in his presence-is inextricably linked to sanctification.
When Isaiah was in the presence of God, he said, ““Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of defiled lips, and I dwell in the midst of a parties of unclean cheeks; for my gazes have ascertained the King, the Lord of legions! ”( Is. 6:5 ). At the holler of the first devotees and after a great and superhuman catch of fish, Peter came at Christ’s feet and said, “Depart from me, for I am a unholy somebody, O Lord”( Lk. 5:8 ).
This should stir us all the more devoted to the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. As Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants…”
In the Real Presence we visualize the Holy God and the infinite qualitative difference between us and him. Our sin is revealed; however, that’s not the end of the story, because, in the Holy Hour, we have also come to the Throne of Grace: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of mercy, that we may receive mercy and find charm to help in time of need”( Heb. 4:16 ).
Those who humble themselves and come to the Throne of Grace will not be denied. God opposes the proud but demonstrates forgivenes to the humble( I Pet. 5:5 -7 ). Remember what our Lord told St. Faustina: “I pour out upon them[ the humble] entirety tides of prayer. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace. I favor humble someones with My confidence.”
Moses had been in the Real Presence for 40 days and forty nights and came down from the mountain with stone tablets written on by the hand of God exclusively to find the Israelites dancing around the golden calf( Ex. 32 ). The golden calf represents idolatry and can be seen in the Seven Deadly Sins or the major dangers of humanity that Aquinas discusses: abundance, fame, pleasure and power.
The contrast could not be starker: Moses, the most humble man on the earth( Num. 12:3) and the revelry of the children of Israel. One has the “disinfectant” of the Real Presence; the other is “following their hearts” and is easy prey for the adversary of their souls.
Dancing around the golden calf continues to this day in our secular culture and with countless set parishioners, pastors and prelates in the Church participating. When we meekly hand ourselves over to the contemplative life in the presence of God, we become Mary’s Heel that will crush the serpent’s head.
If you’re like me, your work schedule makes it difficult to go to Adoration as much as you’d like. Fr. Edward Looney has some helping revelations coming from St. Faustina’s diary 😛 TAGEND
“What a detection I found in her diary! Her periods of admiration were both in the convent chapel before Our Lord in the Eucharist and’ in private, ’ in her room and even on her sick bed. God knows we can have very good reasons for not visiting him[ in] a church or chapel. Family responsibilities, profession, state, length from the church, and so on. But … we can do “spiritual adoration”–anywhere, anytime.( Including setting up our own “adoration chapel” — if merely a specified angle or chair — at home !) ”
The contemplative life and soaking in God’s presence not only play a major role in the believer’s sanctity but likewise helps in the healing of damaged feelings. Teresa of Avila said, “Contemplative prayer is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it necessitates taking time to be alone with him who we are familiar desires us.”
In the Holy Hour or in our “adoration chapel” at home, we are able to, by the eyes of sect or in our mind’s eye hear the beloved sees of Christ. For many from bad categories and/ or who have had a string of bad liaisons, this can terribly mending to the wounded force of rejection that the government has sustained.
The messages of Zephaniah the prophet for Jerusalem and Zion are for us today, the New Jerusalem, and become cream for the wind of accept: “Do not panic, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer censure you, but will rejoice over you with singing”( Zeph. 3:16 b, 17 ).
Many practicing Catholics are intellectually catechized( they know the faith ), spiritually catechized( they have consistent devotional rehearsals ), but they aren’t emotionally catechized: concerns from dysfunctional families of origin and past rapports continue to wreak havoc in their daily lives. As they follow Mary’s example and adopt the contemplative life and spend time in his vicinity, may they visualize the cordial gazes of Christ and confess “By his stripes we are mended! ”
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