Monthly Archives: August 2014
At what point during a good football or basketball game is every viewer inseparable from the TV? When do the runners in a race push the hardest to get to the finish line first?
At the end.
Some men and women strive to live lives of faith only to fall into despair at the end… and other have lived lives of great sin and then, right at the end, run to the Lord. (Repentant thief crucified with Jesus much?)
St. Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 9 that we “run so as to win” and that he himself would “drive [his] body and train it, that lest after having preached to others, [he himself] would be disqualified.”
So, obviously, the end of our life is a big deal. It can, literally, make or break eternity. While it is of great importance to live a holy and pleasing life, our sweet mother Mary knows that right there at the end – the vital moment – is when the Devil jumps in to try one last time to snatch a soul out of heaven. That is why in each and every “Hail Mary” we offer to our mother, we beg for her prayers in those last minutes of our earthly lives. We all know that someday we will breathe our last, our soul will continue on without the body, and our mother will be there to take us by the hand and lead us into the arms of her Son.
The Devil is afraid of Mother Mary because she loves the Lord so much, because she is so humble, and because her prayers steal so many souls out of the very jaws of Hell.
Remember this plea you make each time you hail your mother, and be confidant that she will answer it with such abundant prayer, love, and all of her mother’s heart.
Mater Dei, ora pro nobis!!!
“Bloom where you’re planted” is a piece of advice I follow fairly well. I’m pretty good at being content, peaceful, and reasonably happy with where I am in life – at least when I take a step back and look at the big picture. I realized the other day though that I need work in the daily application department.
I was on my way home from daily Mass and ran into a wretched patch of traffic along a road that is usually very clear. The street was backed up nearly a mile, and as I hit the brakes and came to a stop, the mental grumbling began. I tried to see around the car ahead of me to find out WHY the road had spontaneously become a parking lot, but no reason could be seen. I leaned back into my seat and let out a very long sigh… I was in for a delay, and overly-punctual me was not happy.
As I sat stewing in my mental grump, I looked around in an effort to find something for my brain to chew on while I waited, and noticed the median to my left was covered with wild flowers. I started examining an especially curious-looking bloom. Shortly, I noticed the car ahead of me had moved up. Disappointed I couldn’t remain to admire the pretty little flower, I moved up. Once stopped again, I noticed another flower, slightly different than the first, but just as pretty. No sooner had I settled in to enjoy its beauty, the traffic started up again, and I was obliged to proceed out of sight. This scenario repeated itself a few times, and before I knew it, I was at the intersection to turn off of this mightily congested road.
As I drove the rest of the way home, I thought about the life lesson that had just played out before my eyes. Every second I was focused on getting to the next thing as fast as possible, the more antsy and ill-tempered I became. When I took my focus off the waiting and enjoyed the beauty right before me, not only was my heart much more peaceful, but the wait itself became negligible.
As I wait for the Lord to bring to me the next phase of life, I beg Him for the grace to find and enjoy the sweet little wild flowers He has placed along my path.