Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year, But a Familiar Path

Selections of texts on the Gospels
by Benedict XVI (WordAmongUs)
On this first day of the year 2014, I have been doing some spiritual reading about the the Mother of God from a book of homilies by a beautiful and holy witness to the Gospel. We have forgotten about him, and I am not proposing any nostalgia, much less hinting that I prefer him to his successor (who also leads us to very good pastures).

Let us not think we can find our security in life by pretending to be insider-journalists or wise critics. Let us instead be led by the Spirit, and transformed in our minds. Let us listen with hearts that hunger and thirst for the truth of life; let us look with eyes that seek the face of God. Let us listen, and when we speak let our words be the pleas of our hunger and our seeking.

God gives us shepherds to lead us, to guide our hearts so that God can shape them from within (mysteriously) by his grace, so that he can give them the seal of a love that we cannot imagine. We will never learn about our real selves except by following the God who made us, the God who is Love and who gives himself away in love by becoming a child, born of a woman.

Things are not so much different from one year ago. There is still the New Evangelization, and it still means first of all that I myself must hear the call to be converted, to change, to be conformed to the will of God. And doing God's will is not slavery, because God is Love, and because his will for me is the mysterious truth of who I am. It is the way that I am called to be in his image and likeness, to be a gift of love.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us. Pray that we will say "yes" to God's love, so that the beauty of Jesus might shine brightly in the world.

Here are some words I read today:

"God's will is not a burden;
God's will gives us wings to fly high,
and thus we to can dare,
with Mary,
to open the door of our lives to God,
the doors of this world,
by saying 'yes' to his will,
aware that this will is the true good
and leads us to true happiness.
Let us pray to Mary,
Comfort of the Afflicted,
our Mother,
the Mother of the Church,
to give us the courage to say this 'yes'
and also to give us this joy
of being with God
and to lead us to his Son,
to true life."

~ Benedict XVI