Devotion to God
He who desires anything but God deceives himself, and he who loves anything but God errs miserably. – St. Phillip Neri
Sharing a few thoughts & feelings of today…
This past week began observation of Lent. I am taking the time to observe, and read, and think about Jesus’ gift in a way that differs from ever before in my life. This has been my experience for many months now, beginning and becoming more so since about a year ago when I began to “see” truths I didn’t fully grasp before. Prayer is what brought this understanding. But in this season of Lent, a time to which we devote its observance in various ways, I am so aware of the change within myself of more spiritual understanding and insight. My desire is to live it at all times, and thereby share what is significant for my life through the love I can give others.
During Mass, I find myself yet fragile (sensitive and tender in spirit, contemplative), in awe, and grateful for its beauty and joy. It affects me deeply.
A newfound feeling of awareness and tranquility remains with me and is enhanced in personal devotion of morning prayer. I particularly have discovered meditation upon the Mysteries has brought a peaceful understanding never before experienced. It has directed my attention to qualities I seek to improve, enhance and develop within myself, making me more aware when I err, and more consciously aware to maintain certain qualities of spirit (manifested in my personality and ways I treat others). I say this as objectively as I can be, that my faith has made me far more conscious of each moment and how I am being in that moment. This is something I’ve always sought to do, but am more effective now.
Mary remains a focal point of my understanding and devotion. She is the perfect example of living one’s life for God, and is always there for me comforting and guiding me as I seek to grow. She is very important to my faith, bringing me here and strengthening me.
Courage, strength, and perseverance in service to what is good, to what is loving – all traits I have valued highly for years and sought to develop in myself and which I most appreciate when I see in others – are developed through devotion to God. And therein, true happiness.
A few quotes I believe convey Truth and which I wish to particularly share with you today:
God does not love our imperfections and venial sins, but He much loves us in spite of them. We must draw from them submission, humility, and distrust of ourselves, but never have distrust of the love of God for us. Well now, that is enough; live joyous! — St. Frances de Sales
Consider God’s generosity towards you rather than your own unworthiness in His sight, and live in His strength, rather than in the thoughts of your own weakness.
— St. Vincent de Paul
Don’t give in to discouragement. If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own powers. Never bother about people’s opinions. Be obedient to truth. For with humble obedience, you will never be disturbed.— Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
And lastly, I wish to share a Biblical scripture of this the first Sunday of Lent, a scripture which is both a prayer of humility, praise, and a reminder of His mercy and guidance:
Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
-Psalms 25: 4 – 9 (KJV)
A note to those who are not believers:
If you do not pray any longer, if you are uncertain whether God will hear or perhaps you have no belief in God, if afraid, discouraged, or disheartened, I recommend that you simply begin to communicate as to God – even if you are uncertain – as then I believe you may find yourself not only heard but communicated with by God. Simply have the humility to seek. Resistance only comes from your pride. Relinquish pride, and pray. Regardless of the reasons which brought you to this point in life, just seek and I believe you will find.
For me, everything miraculously and wondrously changed upon such a prayer to Mary, Mother of Jesus, and mother to us all. Ever since, for a year now, there is a peace and joy far beyond my understanding (as the Bible says), as I have an experience of communion with God as never before in my life. The first intercessory prayer I made to Mary, was one of seeking to know, one asking to be led, help to learn, and as I was aware immediately of Mary, and of God’s presence, it became a prayer of contrition. She opened me to God’s grace, as I asked for her intercession on my behalf, to pray for me and with me to God, and guidance back to Christ, all of which I received.