Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Without Me You Can Do Nothing
"Without me you can do nothing."(Jn15:1-8) Often these words are ignored by the faithful. We have the I can do it mentality even in our spiritual lives. This is why we are often preoccupied not only with our successes but also with our failings. We believe that we should be able to succeed simply by willing it. We believe that we should succeed because after all we know better. We believe that we should be able to overcome our past or our present struggles. We believe that in doing so we can then we can present ourselves to God and be pleasing to Him. These are all lies, and a perversion of our faith as Catholics. "Without me you can do nothing." Jesus tells us today that we are to remain in Him. IN HIM! Thus we will be able to ask the Father anything and the Father will be glorified in pouring out His Mercy and Love upon us. It is not about our succeeding in making ourselves pleasing to God. It is about the Father's Love that makes us pleasing to Him. It is about our identity as sons and daughters. Only by remaining in the Son, through whom we have been adopted, can we live according to our Father's plan and thus give Him glory. And what is the Father's plan? That we know Him and His Love for us; that we love Him as He first Loved us; that we freely serve Him as His beloved children, bearing fruit and drawing others to the Truth of His Love. Thus we remain in the Son as He teaches us the way to the Father. Thus we open our Hearts to the Holy Spirit to be reminded of our identity and the truth of our life. This is the very foundation of all that we do. It is the foundation of our lives. It is the cause of our joy even in the midst of hardship and pain. As Catholics this is the witness we give to the World. We are called to bring Hope to a world darkened by sin and fear. We do so in Christ that we may bear much fruit. Not the fruit we long to produce but the fruit that the Father produces in us when we turn to Him and pray that His Will be done. It is easy to take the self help approach to spirituality but it is a false path that leads to emptiness and pain. It is a lonely path where we never feel good enough. Jesus never tells us we are good enough, He only tells us we are good. How then can we be sure that we are on the right path? Living a Sacramental Life is the first and most important criteria. It is expressly in the Sacraments that we remain in Jesus. Going to Mass as often as possible and never missing on Sunday except for serious illness or advanced age, as well as frequent Confession are a good first step in order to remain in Jesus. Praying the Angelus in the morning and at midday and in the evening to remind us of who we are is also a powerful way to begin on the path. If during midday or evening you make an examination of conscience so much the better. Pray your Rosary. Blessed Mother will guide you if you place all your trust in her. Also in praying the Rosary Mary will teach you how the Mysteries of her Son's Life, Death, and Resurrection apply to you and in fact were done for you specifically. Finally before you can even begin, pray to the Holy Spirit. Invite the Lover of your soul to draw you lovingly to Christ, and give you the strength to remain in Him. This in essence is an imitation of our Blessed Mother who was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and was united to Jesus as His Mother according to the Will of the Father. We can imitate our Mother and the Holy Spirit will overshadow us as well. In His love we will be united to Jesus as brothers and sisters according to the Will of God the Father. Then He will do great things in us, we will bear much fruit and the Father will be Glorified. Leave your self help spirituality behind trust in the Lord for He has spoken: "Without me you can do nothing."