Thursday, June 13, 2013

“Do you want the Lord to give you many graces? Visit Him often. - Do you want Him to give you few graces? Visit Him rarely.”

“Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration with exposition needs a great push. People ask me: ‘What will convert America and save the world?’ My answer is prayer. What we need is for every parish to come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in holy hours of prayer.” - Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Scripture text: (2 COR 3:15—4:1, 3-6)
Brothers and sisters:
To this day, whenever Moses is read,
a veil lies over the hearts of the children of Israel,
but whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed.
Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom.
All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
as from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us,
we are not discouraged.
And even though our Gospel is veiled,
it is veiled for those who are perishing,
in whose case the god of this age
has blinded the minds of the unbelievers,
so that they may not see the light of the Gospel
of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord,
and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness,
has shone in our hearts to bring to light
the knowledge of the glory of God
on the face of Jesus Christ.

“Focus!” we may say to a child who is easily distracted from the task at hand. In a similar way, mothers find it easier to endure the pain of labor contractions when they fix their attention on a focal point at the other end of the room. And St. Paul urges us to gaze on the face of Jesus, especially when pain and confusion threaten to rob our trust in God.

We all experience confusion, that feeling we get when the truth seems veiled. We may be facing a choice between two attractive—or unattractive—alternatives. We may be burdened by grief or guilt that makes it hard for us to remember how much God loves us. We may see no way out of a difficult situation.

Whatever challenge we may be facing, we can still come before the Lord and focus on him. And when we do, “the veil is removed” (2 Corinthians 3:16). Things may not become crystal clear immediately, but as we keep our eyes fixed on Christ, we will gradually be changed. We will become more like him. We will understand better how to follow him. Gradually we will come to a place of peace where we can move ahead in trust.

But don’t wait for times of confusion to gaze on the face of the Lord! Make it a regular part of your prayer. Don’t go into a particular situation just seeking clarity. Simply settle your heart on Jesus and seek to know him more intimately. Then, you’ll find yourself more peaceful whenever times of confusion or difficulty arise.

Maybe you can set aside time every week to stop in a church and kneel before the Blessed Sacrament. Maybe a crucifix, an icon, or a picture of Jesus on your wall can become your focal point. Or maybe even a phrase from Scripture or a line from a hymn can help you find the Lord.

Find what works for you, and stick with it.

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