“Lent” is a Good Name for This Time of Year


We are told that the word “Lent” is from Anglo-Saxon roots and means Spring. However, in an ironic way, the word “Lent” is perfectly suited to what this period before Easter is all about.

In addition to the known meaning as the 40 days before Easter wherein we fast, pray, and give up pleasures in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice, the word “lent” happens to also be the transitive verb form of  the verb “lend” which is to give something with the understanding that it is to be returned at some future date, perhaps with interest. This second meaning is very ironic to me because, if we think about it, everything we are, have, and will ever be is lent to us by God with the understanding that we are to make some use of it during our lives to bring greater glory to Him.

Our earthly materialism is mere absurdity given the eternal reality that, not only is whatever we have here on earth very temporary and cannot be “taken with us” after we die but, also, even its temporary use here on earth has the very strict requirement, if it is to be properly used, of being used to serve and bring greater glory to the wonderful God Who gives us everything, and to Whom we owe everything in return.

Taken in this context, our lives, our possessions, our children, all of our blessings, our health, our money, and everything we have or are, for that matter, are temporarily handed to us as an experiment to see what we do with all of these blessings. Our first responsibility, or mission, if you will, is to discern and discover what each of these blessings are. Our second responsibility, it follows, is to maximize these blessings to the fullest in the  service of the greater glory of God Almighty. It is thus that our third responsibility, then, is realized, which is to give these blessings back to God with interest. What is that interest? Perhaps it is the added enhancement of having been used for God’s purpose beyond its mere existence.

Just as Ash Wednesday reminds us to repent, and that we will all eventually return to dust, so too the entire context of the word “Lent” should remind us that every hair on our head and every moment of our lives has been “lent” to us by God, with the clear understanding that we are to do something very unique with those blessings beyond the selfish use for self-comfort and benefit. This is why materialism and possessiveness are such absurd, foolish traits.  Everything we are and have belongs to God, and it is our responsibility to return as much of what we own and are to  God with some return on His investment, or else have to answer why we failed to uphold that responsibility as children of God.

Notice, as stated before, that “lent” is considered a transitive verb. Now,, the word “transitive” itself means being characterized by transition and having a direct object. Well, should  not this earth be nothing but a transition to us, a temporary holding post on our journey back home to Heaven?  Likewise, should the Word of God and the example of Christ be our direct objects, that which all we do aims to?

So, you see, the word “Lent” means more than a coming spring. For true Catholics and likewise fervent Christians, the word “lent” reminds us that we came to this earth naked and poor and we will leave it that way as well since, after all, wealth comes from people and circumstances of this earth, and has no special connection of influence with Heaven.

Ultimately, we each have a duty to bring others to Christ through example and word, which means that we are merely temporary stewards awaiting a rich reward in Heaven while adding interest, compounded spiritually, to everything we do, everyone we help, and everything we are, as long as God is involved.

Copyright, 2014  Gabriel Garnica,  All Rights Reserved.

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Bethlehem’s Lessons


Amid this selfie society so immersed in our preoccupation, nay, our obsession with our personal agendas, it might be refreshing to consider the lessons found in that Bethlehem so long ago.  To begin with, we should ask ourselves if ever look “up” toward Heaven with enough frequency to even catch a glimpse of the star which beckons us toward Christ.  Are we so transfixed in the secular, the mundane, the everyday, and the here and now that we lose sight of Christ’s signs in our lives, reaching out to invite us toward His infinite love, mercy, compassion, and tenderness?  I regret to bet that we have each, at one time or another, lost more opportunities to approach Christ than we have seized.  Forget about stopping to smell the roses. Try stopping to glimpse, to feel, to inhale, Christ’s Presence in our lives and His call to action.

Likewise, have we so filled our lives with stuff, with useless entertainment, amusement, and other superficial trash that we truly have no room at the inn of our soul for both Our Lord and the example of His Holy Family shivering in the cold?  Do we even bother to hear the knock on our door, much less open that door, when Christ beckons us amid a world increasingly cold to His message.  Are we so determined to warm ourselves and our toys in the glow of this world’s measures that we leave Our Lord out in the cold and darkness, away from our sight, external and internal?  It is time to reach for and open that door, and make that room, for those Holy Visitors who bring the real light, the real warmth to our cozy, flimsy, and earthly abodes.

Have we considered the silent holiness of humility?  Are we more prone to boast, to affirm our unique greatness, to flash our possessions and accomplishments, than shift the focus to others? Consider that the Savior of The World chose to be born in cold poverty amid barn animals, to be rejected even before He was born, to be subjected to every humiliation as quickly as possible into His earthly mission. Now consider how much we dread even the most marginal slight, the most minimal misstep toward our person.  Do we value ourselves so highly above others that, faced with the mistreatment we must all face at one time or another, we cry bloody murder and demand exacting compensation and justice?  How can we, defective creatures that we are, demand such payment when the most innocent and perfect King neither demanded it nor received it?  Clearly, it is time for us to get a Bethlehem reality check.

Consider that the angels announced Our Lord’s birth, not to royalty, wealth, or prestige but, quite the contrary, to poor peasants of little earthly importance, where such an announcement would most likely find welcoming ears and hearts.  Do we relish associating with power, prestige, and money above surrounding ourselves with the powerless, voiceless, marginalized, and poor?  Do we reach out to those who cannot pay us back in any way, or do we help seeking later interest?  Perhaps the fastest path to Heaven may be found precisely in the directions, and people, which this earth most ignores, most  mocks, most ridicules as a waste of time.

Speaking of payback, are we all about gifts to us, or do we consider the gifts  God has given us as the best kind of re-gifting possible.  Perhaps we have a duty to identify our gifts and use them to help others, to bring them closer to God by bringing God closer to them.  Consider that we may be more judged and how well and how much we re-gifted our gifts to others seeking to serve the greater glory of God.  The Magi brought their gifts to Our Lord; are we all about doing the same or, on the contrary, are we all about bringing our gifts to ourselves?

Consider the jealousy of Herod in seeking to destroy the Holy Child, all in the name of earthly power.  Are we so consumed with grasping the dirt of this earth that we become mired in the mud of its very temporary nature?  Who would lose their eternity to earn a moment of pleasure in this world?  Perhaps we should consider that anything gained without Christ is a waste of time.  Perhaps we will someday realize that earthly power, prestige, and gain are merely chains  holding us from rising to our true eternal potential.  Money is not a bad thing, as long as we keep it in perspective.  The only noble value of power is to use that power to change lives for the better, not serve our personal purposes.  Consider the murder of the innocents brought about by earthly convenience. Are we not living in a world where this evil is hailed as law and as a noble human right?

Consider that the Holy Family fled for safety because they were open, and obedient, to God’s guidance. Trust in His Will, and contentment with that Will, are critical ingredients if we are to find holiness and salvation in this present world.  The sooner we realize that we must be passengers in God’s bus, and never drivers, the better off we will be.

Lastly, it will be to our best interest to realize that we are no farther from that Bethlehem of so long ago than we were a thousand years ago. In fact, the more we consider ourselves so far advanced, so much more civilized and modernized, from that town so distant in time and space from our tech world, the closer we are to that very village we consider so far below our standards.  We are truly a high-tech Bethlehem, so preoccupied with self, with amusement, with personal agendas, that we consider Christ something between an interesting ornament and an annoying woodpecker reminding us that our thrones and obsessions are mere dust in the eternal perspective.  Like that Bethlehem of long ago, we spend one third of our time ignoring Christ,  another third pushing Him conveniently out of the way to some corner, and a final third of the time trying, directly or indirectly, to stamp Him out of our lives lest He bring discomfort to our desperate comfort.

Consider the lessons of Bethlehem.  Perhaps we will realize that, try as we might to deny it, we are all citizens of our own Bethlehem on steroids.  Given that realization, we might ask ourselves if we will be shivering in the Holy Warmth of Our Savior’s Divine Innocence or basking in the empty warmth of our divine comforts.

Copyright, 2013  Gabriel Garnica   All rights reserved.

 

True Faith and Trust in God Means That The ? Key in Your Life Keyboard Will Gather Dust


Under normal circumstances, question marks are an accepted part of life, describing situations which may be both positive and negative.  None of us know all the answers, and it is precisely when we do not know an answer that we have questions.  Asking questions because one is interested and proactively pursuing issues discovered through diligent investigation is a fantastic sign of preparation.  Interviewers may be more impressed by an interviewee’s questions than by his or her answers if those questions demonstrate insight and diligent preparation.  People who ask constructive and insightful questions demonstrate that they care, and that they are proactive.  The right question never asked is often a bigger mistake than the wrong answer given.

On the other hand, foolish questions regarding issues which should have been known only demonstrate laziness and a lack of preparation.  Most of us would be displeased if a cab driver taking us into an unknown city’s downtown area started asking us how to get to our hotel!  Asking questions in a job interview which the job seeker should have known going in can easily be the kiss of death.

If questions are a part of life, and if they are at the very heart of what it means to be an imperfect human being on this earth and with respect to others along our life journey, they take a very different role with respect to our relationship with God.

Our relationship with God should not have any ?  signs;  it should be based on profound trust, faith, obedience, and dedication.  While it is true that the various saints and mystics who interacted with Christ may have sometimes asked Him questions, the fact remains that the vast majority of us mere mortals have not had the opportunity to converse and interact with Christ directly, where such questions could arise.

Instead of asking God to give us something, we should tell Him how much we love Him, how much and why we want something, and then leave things in His Hands to decide in whatever way or form His Divine Providence and Will should prefer.  Instead of asking God why something has happened to us, we should tell Him how much we love and trust Him to take us in the path most beneficial to our souls and our salvation.  When we ask, we either doubt, protest, or request, which are all about us.  Doubts demonstrate a lack of faith and trust in God’s Divine Will and Providence.  Protests demonstrate a foolish insolence and defiance against that Will and Providence.  Requests, while not wrong in an of themselves, often take on a consumerist tone, sliding into demands and selfish expectations, especially when the requests involve our needs, wants, and interests.

While none of us is perfect, and we all slip into the ? mode in our relationship with God from time to time, we should strive to reduce if not completely eliminate the ? factor in our relationship with God over our lifetimes.  We must constantly control and dispel doubt in God’s Will and Plan since that is one of the devil’s greatest delights.  We must never protest God’s plan for us, because to do so demonstrates a total lack of obedience, humility, and selfless abandonment to serving God.  Notice how the Virgin Mary asked the angel Gabriel questions to clarify, to better understand, not to doubt, protest, or ask for anything for Herself.  Her profound humility and  obedience should inspire us.  Finally, we should not so much ask God for things as place them on the table for God’s consideration, obediently and faithfully withdrawing that request when circumstances demonstrate a contrary disposition by God.  Akin to this is accepting our losses and suffering as favors from God to fortify us against the threats of this world.

Rather than spewing  ?????? at God, you should spray His Divine Throne with as many !!!!!!!!!!!  as possible, praising His great love, mercy, and justice with unwavering dedication, trust, faith, and courage.

Copyright, 2013  Gabriel Garnica    All Rights Reserved.

Abandonment To The Divine Will: The Ultimate Prayer


                                

We have been told that prayer is one of the most intimate ways to talk to God, and that there are many different categories of prayer, such as prayer of praise, of thanks, and of supplication. Certainly these forms of prayer are beautiful and worthy but, if one reads the works of  such saints as St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori and St. Gertrude, one realizes that, ultimately, these prayer forms emanate from the same source, which is God’s Divine Will.  Whether we realize this truth or not depends on our detachment from our own will, from the selfish superficiality of this world, and from our own latent arrogance.

The Ultimate Motive and Aim of Praise

If we think about it, the ultimate motive and aim of praise is to acknowledge God Almighty’s sovereignty, and to honor that absolute place in creation and in our lives.  Given this truth, then what better way to so acknowledge and so honor that reality than by willingly and even happily submitting our lives, our future, our fate to the very Master we proclaim as our only King?  Hence, we can go on and on praising God, but it is only by placing our lives and our fate before Him as an offering of all we have, are, and will be that we put our actions of praise where our words of praise end.

The Ultimate Motive and Aim of Gratitude

If the higher order ultimately falls to the nature of abandonment, then one would surely expect that a lesser order would follow suit.  An honest, reasonable, and realistic observer would surely conclude that prayers of praise are of a higher order than prayers of gratitude since praise directs itself solely at honoring while gratitude concerns itself with acknowledging a blessing conferred.  In other words, one can and should praise God independent of any need one may have because He is most worthy of such praise.  Prayers of gratitude, by definition, most often come in response to some blessing or favor received or acknowledged and therefore by their very essence are of a lesser order since they  have a scent of self-focus. I am grateful because I acknowledge or perceive having received some answer to my request or need. In contrast, I can and should praise God regardless of whether I have or have not received any favor or need.  Simply put, it is one thing to give thanks to God for doing us some perceived favor, but it is quite another thing, quite a higher thing, to give thanks to God for creating us so as to have the opportunity to serve and please  Him in all we do!

The Ultimate Motive and Aim of Supplication

If one concludes that prayers of praise and gratitude submit to the supremacy of abandonment to the Divine Will then, without much difficulty, it would seem reasonable to conclude that  prayers of supplication, which by their very nature are grounded in self, in need, and even in want, and are thus of the lowest gradient, would likewise submit, and they easily do.  The true servant of God, one would believe, would prefer to push aside his or her own wants, wishes, and even needs to more effectively serve God and, one would assume, would prefer to sacrifice wants and self and be nearer to God than to obtain those wants and serve that self while moving farther from The Almighty.  In fact, if one believes that God is all good and all just then one must logically conclude that anything He wants for and of us, and anything he brings upon us, is ultimately for our good, whether we realize it or not.  It is precisely this last point which brings us to realize the relationship between Divine Abandonment and the sources of true holiness.

Divine Abandonment and Holiness

One need only look at the example of Christ, The Blessed Mother, and the scores of saints to see the elements of holiness. Obedience, trust, faith, humility, service, and love are a good starting point for that holiness, and Divine Abandonment stands as a clear source and symptom of those virtues. This is not  to say that the saints were immune to frustrations and doubts in their pursuit of holiness. Rather, one concludes that the saints’ ability to ultimately prevail in their quest for holiness was the ultimate and prevailing desire to not only “serve the greater glory of God” as St. Ignatius said but, rather, to serve “the greater pleasure of God”, in the words of St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori. This motivation naturally leads the soul to obey God’s Will, with the foremost example being Our Lord in the Garden and Our Lady at The Annunciation. In order to so fully believe, one must believe and trust even when understanding is not necessarily complete, as was likely the case with Our Blessed Mother’s fiat. The latter example, of course, is often cited as a demonstration, not only of Our Lady’s obedience but, just as well, of her profound humility even in the acceptance of such a transcendent and singular honor of being selected to be the Mother of God.

If Divine Abandonment illustrates the sort of obedience, trust, faith, and humility which are the seeds of holiness, and likewise typifies a total acquiescence to God’s Will symptomatic of a profound focus in the supernatural over the earthly, one might rightly ask what such abandonment has to do with the kind of  service and love of others which is the balance of this basic menu for holiness. Simply put, Divine Abandonment to God’s Will is total consecration to serve The Almighty out of a deep love for the Creator, and the soul that truly serves and loves God cannot do so without an eager desire to likewise serve and love others as Christ has instructed us to do. In other words, when we place ourselves entirely in God’s Hands, when we willingly and even gladly accept His Will by totally abandoning ourselves to that Will, we mirror and practice likewise placing ourselves in the service of others out of love for others, remembering that, in the words of Mother Teresa, ” Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”   If, at first, that relentless service borne of relentless love is a hardship, then that sacrifice will be that much more valuable. However, let us not be surprised that, with practice and persistence, we may come to see, once again in the words of Mother Teresa, that “the miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it.”  The irony, then, is that total abandonment to the Divine Will of God is both a symptom and a source of the kind of holiness which results in making lost souls feel less abandoned.

Divine Abandonment and Divine Mercy

The ABC of Divine Mercy which Our Lord presented to St. Faustina is yet another illustration of Divine Abandonment. We are told to Ask  for God’s mercy,  Be merciful to others as He is merciful to us, and Trust in God’s mercy.  Despite being sinners, we will indeed approach Our Lord in search of mercy to the extent that we desire so strongly to be closer to Him that we will literally throw ourselves before His Divine Mercy, in total abandonment to His plans for us. Likewise, as noted above, we serve and love God by serving and loving others, which includes being merciful to others as well. Finally, as also discussed earlier, Divine Abandonment is founded in total trust of God, which obviously includes complete faith in His Divine Mercy.

Divine Abandonment as Resignation Perfected

There is talk in the literature on the Divine Will of “perfect resignation”.  It is my belief that when resignation is perfected, it transforms into Divine Abandonment, for the term resignation itself implies a willing, but reluctant, obedience and, thus, by this imperfection of reluctance, cannot be truly perfect. Our Lord spoke of willing but reluctant obedience being superior to disobedience, but one would hardly measure perfection in any endeavor by comparing that one supposes to be perfect with precisely that which is the very epitome of imperfection.  Rather, most naturally, perfection is rightly measured as superior to that which is already a step above imperfection. Thus, while the son who reluctantly obeys his parents is closer to God’s Will than the son who disobeys, ignores, or even mocks his parents, the son who gladly and eagerly seeks opportunities to obey and serve his parents is truly practicing what Our Lord preaches.

In view of the above, let us not look upon Divine Abandonment to God’s Will as simply a more perfect form of resignation to His Will. Rather, let us look at this Abandonment as far beyond such resignation, where serving and obeying that Will becomes a joyful opportunity to grow closer to The Almighty, and where union with God’s Will becomes the purest and clearest evidence of a perfect love of God.

The Wisdom of Divine Abandonment

If Divine Abandonment approximates a perfect love God, then it stands to reason that restless resentment of our fate, fortune, and turns in our life journey stands as the very antithesis of that perfect love. In fact, such resentment and its predilection toward sin may well be borne from its focus on self as the supposedly all-knowing judge, jury, and measure of what is best in our lives. The soul in restless resentment of God’s Will is in open revolt against His sovereignty, His Wisdom, His Justice and, ultimately, His Goodness. Such a soul is not unlike the passenger lecturing the driver on the best path to take, the hungry patron preaching to the cook on how to prepare the meal, or the patient demanding the right to dictate to the doctor on the best treatment to apply or the best medicine to prescribe.

We propose and pretend that we know what is best for our souls, for our future, and for our destiny but, handicapped by our humanity and our imperfections, our telescope makes us no better a judge of the path before us than a blind guide would be.  In fact, blinded by our arrogance and pride, we are often in more danger of stumbling than that very blind guide, who would at least recognize and accept his limitations and thus be cautious of error. At the end of the day, and at the end of our lives for that matter, we are better off putting all in God’s Hands and thus relieving ourselves of the pathetic practice of stressing over business we do not begin to fully appreciate. God helps those who help themselves, but those who are wise enough to leave things in God’s Hands when the situation dictates that approach are precisely the ones that God helps the most.

Conclusion

We have all prayed, often fervently, for things we want.  Hopefully, we have likewise prayed thanking God for what we receive.   Better still, we should often pray praising and honoring God.  If we truly want to take our prayer, our lives, and our relationship with God to another level, however, our prayer should express an offering, a sacrifice of our lives, of what we are and hope to be, all in the service of God’s Will.  If this offering is at first a reluctant resignation to that Will, we must strive to eventually and ultimately transform that offering into a perfect, Divine Abandonment to The Almighty’s Will.  That Abandonment is divine, not in the sense that we are pretending to be God but, rather, in that it stems from a desire to serve God.  If we truly want to follow Our Lord and emulate Our Lady as best we can, we must abandon ourselves to God’s Holy Will as They did.

Copyright 2012     Gabriel Garnica

The Visitation as a Double Cry Against Abortion


The visitation of Our Blessed Mother to Her cousin Elizabeth is recounted in Luke 1:39-57 and stands as a powerful, double cry against abortion.  Proponents of this heinous and barbaric act pretend that the unborn child is anything but human, but the humanity of a fetus is front and center in this beautiful narrative.  First, we are told that the child within Elizabeth, St. John the Baptist, lept in joy upon feeling the presence of His Divine Savior who, according to many scholars, may have been conceived 10 days before. Likewise, Elizabeth refers to that child within Mary’s womb as “my Lord”, thereby indicating that, despite the fact that this unborn Child had just been conceived, said Child was already our Lord.

So, in effect, we have two unborn children being represented as human. One, our Savior, was already being referred to as “Lord”, and the other, John the Baptist, was reacting to the Presence of his Lord and Savior.

Anyone who has ever seen a sonagram knows that a fetus is human. Those whose agenda lies in defending the vile act of abortion go on and on about how the fetus is not human, but accompany these claims with every effort to hide evidence which indicates just the opposite. 

Abortion is genocide.  It is a holocaust against innocent life.   Abortion is infanticide.   It is arrogant  greed and hypocrisy using distortion and lies to manipulate fear and confusion at the expense of innocent blood.  Many may argue the relative ranking of evil but, from my perspective, one’s defense, rationalization, support, or even condoning of abortion is a litmus test for qualification to argue against any other evil.  Can one seriously, for example, listen to an abortionist argue that it is a sin to lie?

The Visitation, then, stands as a simple, beautiful, moving, and subtle yet clear reminder that a fetus is every bit a child of God who deserves to live as much as any of us do.  It is the height of arrogance and hypocrisy to ask or demand any right or privilege while denying this most innocent life the right to live simply because one is  somehow inconvenienced in some way by its birth. The blood of these innocents is on the hands of those who perform this vile procedure as well as any of dismiss innocent life as some disposable commodity!

Copyright, 2011 Gabriel Garnica

Mary, The Undoer of Knots


Our Lady has many titles and has been depicted by artists over the centuries in many ways to convey those titles. One such unique image is in The Church of Mary The Door to Heaven in Brazil. There one will find a unique copy of an original painting venerated in Perlack, Germany since 1700. Created by an unknown artist and inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus in which he surmised that “the knot created by Eve’s disobedience had been undone by Mary’s obedience,” this work gives us a simple yet powerful spin on how we think about Our Blessed Mother. The painting depicts Mary untangling the knots on a ribbon.

In the painting itself ~ we see the Archangel Gabriel, to the right, bringing our ‘knots’ to Her, as She easily undoes the complications in our lives ~ our pain, our sorrows, our needs and our desperate cries for help ~ and as She undoes these ‘knots’, She hands the ribbon of our lives to the Archangel Raphael, who sends these simplified matters back to us here on Earth ~ free of any problems which we find impossible to handle, and cures for illnesses, help in financial trouble, rancor against our fellow man, anything else we require to persevere in Faith on this road to Heaven.

Observers have opined that the ribbon represents our lives and the knots represent the difficulties, sinful inclinations, addictions, interpersonal issues, and general struggles of our lives. Clearly, the painting tells us that Mary can come to our aid in these struggles and circumstances if we seek her help. What can seem like unsolvable to us is simple handiwork to The Mother of God, a loving Mother helping her children as loving mothers everywhere are supposed to do every day. If we ask Her to help us in humility, trust, and faith as our mediator and have that same attitude toward asking God Almighty as well, we may be sure that She will help us untangle, in some way, the struggles of our lives.

The devotion to Mary, Undoer of Knots, really goes back for centuries,  but there is a novena to this devotion proclaiming Our Lady’s virtues and Her enormous intercession with Her Divine Son. This Novena, available here: http://www.MaryUndoerOfKnots.com , is said to be unfailing and great in graces bestowed upon anyone who runs to Our Lady for Her assistance.

If Mary is our Great Undoer of Knots, then the devil is he who creates those knots. Either through our own weak humanity or his indirect or direct influence, the evil one relishes in binding us and enslaving us to sin, despair, surrender, frustration, and every other evil and harmful disposition that draws us away from God Almighty and toward perdition. Recall that we have been given the great image of Mary stepping on that evil entangler, coiled and knotted in his own defeat rather than around our souls.

It is no mere coincidence that these knots sound the same as the “nots” proclaimed by our present society, which tells us “not” to believe in God, “not” to follow so-called outdated codes of conduct, and every other “not” in answer to the idea of surrendering oneself to the Will of an all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful God. Each of those “nots” is in itself a further “knot” binding us to sin and away from God.

Ever since the time of St. Dominic we have had the tool to undo the knots of the world, the flesh and the devil. That tool is Mary’s holy Rosary. This beaded bouquet is the fail-safe method to unravel the devil’s agenda. It is the bridge to Heaven through Mary the Gate of Heaven or, as She is called in Brazil at the church bearing her title where the beautiful painting resides: Mary Door of Heaven. The Rosary is the knotless direct line to Heaven, faster than DSL, fiber optics, broadband or any other frequency; instant communication with no static, no “can you hear me now” for God hears everything and everyone. It is His Blessed Mother who prioritizes needs, untying encumbrances that would prevent us from striving for holiness and being someday at her side in the presence of the Beatific Vision.

The present state of the Church, of religion in general, and of morality and traditional values, is by no mere coincidence in a present state of  “nots” twisted as knots preventing us from seeing God alone as the true Purpose and Goal of our lives. It is ironic that present society views religion, morality, and tradition as a sea of “nots” preventing us from the freedom of doing as we wish yet, in truth, it is this very society which strangles us from placing God above all else, as alone what should matter in our lives.  This society preaches simplicity masking sin yet delivers complication masking perdition. May Our Lord help us to simplify our lives by seeing only Him as our ultimate destiny.

Copyright  2011  Gabriel Garnica

The Magnificat….Mary’s Lesson


Many have heard of Mary‘s beautiful canticle of praise and thanksgiving, but few realize that it is the longest set of words spoken by a woman in the New Testament, and that it is also Our Blessed Mother’s response to a future New World Order that is now sweeping across our world.

“My soul doth magnify the Lord, 
and my spirit hath rejoiced
in God my saviour”

    From Her opening words, Our Blessed Mother reminds us that true worship should be a very personal and profound thing, which implies not only outward praise and prayer, but also internal commitment, respect, and joy. God should be the center and purpose of our actions, of our thoughts, and of our lives. We must be as lamps which joyfully hold the brilliant spark of truth in our Faith and which burn brightly against the winds of a world, which grows, ever colder and darker.

The New Order dislikes the intimate, one-on-one worship and praise, which Mary is talking about. It prefers a more publicly oriented, crowd-pleasing, hold hands and feel good religion. God Almighty magnifies our actions into results, which transcend those simple actions, and those actions themselves magnify the touch of God in the lives we touch while serving God and each other. When one thinks of magnification, a magnifying glass comes to mind. What does a magnifying glass do? It focuses and therefore increases the intensity of light to accomplish things not possible without such focus and magnification. Likewise, the mutual magnification between God Almighty and our actions, service, charity, and words in His Name focus and increase the intensity and therefore the power of what we can accomplish as a result as well.

Our Faith is rich with such magnifying traditions, doctrines, and liturgy! The New Order, on the other hand, seeks to diffuse, to disperse, and to spread out our focus to reach “everyone”. Christ is not focused in The Blessed Sacrament as The Real Presence according to The New Order. He is “everywhere” and in “everyone” therefore our focus and intensity is lost. Instead of focusing us on our true target, as a magnifying glass does, the New Order seeks to disperse and spread our focus so thin that we will lose our target and accomplish nothing of any value as a result.

“Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid;
for, behold, henceforth all generations
shall call me blessed; because He
Who is mighty has done great
Things for me, and holy is
His name”

    Here Mary speaks of humility, gratefulness, and thankfulness, which are key aspects of true Catholic faith, doctrine, tradition, and liturgy. God Almighty’s blessings are so constant and bountiful that our gratefulness and thankfulness can never end and yet will never match God’s generous love and mercy for us. In that vein, we must always honor and respect God Almighty through His Word, His Name, and His relevance in our lives.

The New Order has no clue what humility, gratefulness, thankfulness, or submissiveness to the power and majesty of God means. Its message is one of arrogance, selfishness, assertiveness, and self-glorification. It delights in twisting the notion of God into any shape, which fits its motives and agenda. Certainly the respect for God and Christ decreases as the influence of The New Order increases. This is seen in liturgical and practice changes resulting from New Order philosophies.

And His mercy is from 
generation to generation
to them that fear Him.

    God Almighty’s favor and mercy are ageless, and are not tied down to any of our earthly notions of merit, logic, or quantity, for if they were, we would be doomed! On the contrary, God’s standards and justice are beyond our reasoning and understanding. The more we respect, obey, and fear the wrath of God, the more likely we will benefit from the Almighty’s favor and mercy. The New Order delights in placing standards and limits on everything. It is enamored with precision, calculation, standardization, and justification on earthly terms. It cares little for agelessness but rather sees that characteristic as a handicap in an age ever-looking forward blind of the past.

The New Order certainly does not fear or respect God as it should. One need only look at the abominations and blasphemies, which the New Order allows and encourages to see that this Order has lost its fear and respect for The Creator of The Universe.

He hath showed might in His arm;
He hath scattered the proud in the conceit
of their heart. He hath put down the mighty
from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He hath sent empty away.

    Mary reminds us that God’s priorities differ from ours, and that He tends to magnify the results of humble expectations and diminish the results of arrogant, selfish expectations. Our true Catholic Faith is rich with calls for a humble sacrifice and approach to God. It has no place for selfishness or self-glorification. Once again our tradition and Faith is rich with examples of God’s generous blessing of the lowly and humble over the proud, selfish and arrogant. The New Order thrives on pride, selfishness and arrogance in its disrespect for tradition and the past. Like the Pharisees it is full of self-righteous, pompous purveyors of false teachings and abominations.

He hath received Israel, His servant, 
being mindful of His mercy;
as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham
and to his seed forever.

    Mary respected, knew, and practiced tradition. She trusted in God’s Word and in those who came before Her and who were chosen by God to lead His people in the true practice of their faith. The New Order detests tradition, everywhere seeks to overturn it, ignores or ridicules the Fathers of The Faith and trusts only in its own agenda.

Conclusion

Our Blessed Mother’s Magnificat is more than a beautiful song of praise and thanks uttered by The Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven. It is Her answer, and should be ours, to a New World Order either secular or ecclesial which stands for everything the Magnificat is not about. Its beautiful yet simple words and phrases sing a song, which has never been, and will never be, in the jukebox of The New Order. The more we allow that Order to infect our Faith, the less we will connect with the truths found in the Magnificat, which single-handedly illustrates why Mary and The New Order do not, and cannot, mix.

Copyright 2011  Gabriel Garnica