Accept the Gift
Total consecration is a “give and take”… receiving Our Lady, but also offering ourselves to Our Lady. After we recognize Mary’s role in our redemption, and our own need to be redeemed, we more easily accept her as the gift given from the Cross. Also, before we can offer ourselves, we must accept the gift. At the heart of the matter is our call and (hopefully) desire to be a saint.
We want to reach as many souls as possible with the love of God; this requires being in a state of grace. Also, we ourselves want to die in a state of grace so that we are welcomed in heaven. Is this easy? Does it happen overnight? No. We must put forth the effort and strive to be in that state of grace, that is to be holy, a greater and greater saint. The only power that can compel our broken humanity to its supernatural fulfillment is love. We must love God above all things. We strive because we love; fear will only get us so far. St. Paul explains our efforts when he likens our journey to holiness, union with the Divine, as a race and shadow boxing.
Mary also had this mission, though she was holy from her conception – holier than any mere mortal of anytime. Her mission, the mission of Christ, continues today. She is clearly sanctified, but she continues to help those still running the race on earth, for our salvation and the glory of God. There is a catch, however. We must accept her help. We must accept her as gift, and we can do so with pure gratitude and enthusiasm, because her mission is one with Christ’s.
As we accept Mary, we naturally move toward offering, both because sanctification demands self-renunciation and because we desire to bring others to Jesus. Note that St. Maximilian points out that we do not need to go looking for opportunities because every day is full of such… from the time we get out of bed if we do all things for the love of Jesus.
Mary is the perfect model of a follower of Christ, who never sinned, and did all things out of love for God and neighbor. We don’t want to try to imitate her on our own but accept her into our lives to help us love Jesus as much as possible. She will transform our actions. Perhaps we feel unworthy, or too sinful. Fear not! We are all unworthy, but no sin is greater than the mercy of God. Again, accept Mary, the Mother of Mercy, into our lives and ask her to open us to the unfathomable mercy of God. She bears Christ within us, bears the fruit of God’s mercy in our lives, and helps us to trust in that mercy as she did.
Jesus says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” This may seem to contradict what we have said up until now. Notice, he does not say, “You don’t have a burden.” It is still there, the cross still needs to be carried, but it is easy because he is carrying it with us and makes it possible for us to carry it. It is easy because we love. As we accept Christ and his cross, let us accept Mary. She will walk with us as she walked with Christ 2000 years ago.
The more we accept Mary’s help, love, and command (Do whatever he tells you!), our hearts will be more perfectly conformed to the heart of God, and we will thus be able to answer the universal call to holiness.
What's it got
to do with
Are you more motivated by fear or love? Ask Our Lady to inflame your heart with the love of God.
What are some ways to accept Our Lord's mission as your own?
Have you accepted Mary into your life? If yes, how has this helped you on your path to holiness? If not, what is the obstacle?
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