The Building of a Civilization of Love

The third area of commitment that comes with love is that of daily life with its multiple relationships. I am particularly referring to family, studies, work and free time. Dear young friends, cultivate your talents, not only to obtain a social position, but also to help others to “grow”. Develop your capacities, not only in order to become more “competitive” and “productive”, but to be “witnesses of charity”. In addition to your professional training, also make an effort to acquire religious knowledge that will help you to carry out your mission in a responsible way. In particular, I invite you to carefully study the social doctrine of the Church so that its principles may inspire and guide your action in the world. May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the “civilisation of love”. The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!

- Pope Benedict XVI, WYD 2007 MESSAGE, Growing in love each day

3:12. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
3:13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forth myself to those that are before,
3:14. I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.

-St. Paul to Philippians

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

What True Devotion Is

The following meditation is inspired by the document ' What True Devotion Is'.

There was a time when I used to fly in my dreams. Seriously :). I had just joined Schoenstatt, it was around 1999. I was on fire for Christ, our Blessed Mother, and our Church. I had read several schoenstatt books, I was praying the rosary very regularly, fasting every tuesday and friday. All that just by God's grace and thanksgiving. I was not praying for anything in particular. The Blessed Mother had captured me in her mantle and installed me from around 1997. At that time I was in Congo, former Zaire, and it was terrror every where. The rosary was my weopon. In the midst of all the troubles that followed, I was unconsciously working trought it with such a peace that when I look back I just can't believe my memory.

But when I got here in Canada. I continued my devotions for a while, until one day that I though that I was getting too used to doing things mechanically. So I thought I should do things 'because I love God'. I made a terrible decision of voluntarily breaking my regural habit of rosaries. I didn't completely stop. But I became less strict on my self. It felt terrible on my heart. I don't know what I was thinking. Frankly I could feel our Mother's desapointment. Unconsciously I thought I would 'study' God from outside and come back to him with increased love. Now, I realise how stupid the decision was.

I have seen people who look very devoted, but who aren't really as loving as they 'claim'. I was very afraid of being like one of them. So even though I could fell my heart breaking up, I could convince myself that I was doing the right thing. But it was terrible, never do it. Today, I realise that I could have continued with no interruption, but this time, start asking seriously about true devotion. I don't know how this thought didn't come to my mind. I wish it had come, and it was strong.

As I said, I didn't quit praying, but I became sporadic. And my good habits which had became so easy, I was taking effort to keep up. Recently, I realised that now I am almost only praying to ask for something. Or when, I am in contact with a strong event, like watching WYDs, Papal visits, some Church events, etc. I have lost my wonderful dream. I feel like it was a metre to remind me later that I had fallen some how.

Now, I am re-climbling the 'mountain' of faith. It takes effort, but it is always beautiful to see how Realiy is revealed more and more as I climb. I am rediscovering the rosary as a 'climbing' prayer. The differance with last time is that I was doing it unconsciously, now, it is consciously. Every 'Hail Mary' is like a step.

With the Rosary, our Mother really takes our hands and lift us up to great heights where we can see Reality with our own eyes. We don't believe things because we read or were told about them and can make sens of them, but because we can actually see them. It is amazing how after a certain amount of rosaries, we can see a particular fact of reality more fully. Of course Reality is Jesus himself, and Mary has the mission to give Him to us.

May be I had 'descended slowly' because I had lost touch with Schoenstatt. Ever since I have rediscovered it, I feel like I am re-installing my self in our Mother's arms. This time is a little difficult because I am not just doing it for thanksgiving (for saving/protecting me) as it was the case before. There is also many things to pray for. Getting used to saying the 'yes' until it become almost unconscious. It is at this point that we can say that we are in the 'garden of the Immaculate Heart of Mary' as Father Corapi would put it. At that point we can fly like the eagle around the surface of the Earth all day long without feeling tired. I want to have my dream back.

All my friends pray for me!

But, in fact, all true and living devotion presupposes the love of
God;--and indeed it is neither more nor less than a very real love of God,
though not always of the same kind; for that Love one while shining on the soul
we call grace, which makes us acceptable to His Divine Majesty;--when it
strengthens us to do well, it is called Charity;--but when it attains its
fullest perfection, in which it not only leads us to do well, but to act
carefully, diligently, and promptly, then it is called Devotion. The ostrich
never flies,--the hen rises with difficulty, and achieves but a brief and rare
flight, but the eagle, the dove, and the swallow, are continually on the wing,
and soar high;--even so sinners do not rise towards God, for all their movements
are earthly and earthbound. Well-meaning people, who have not as yet attained a
true devotion, attempt a manner of flight by means of their good actions, but
rarely, slowly and heavily; while really devout men rise up to God frequently,
and with a swift and soaring wing. - What True Devotion Is -
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