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Saturday, first week of Lent

March 3, 2012

Blessed Ember Saturday!
…and St. Katherine Drexel’s Day!

You can find her story here.

Turn our hearts to You, eternal Father,
and grant that, seeking always the one thing necessary
and carrying out the works of charity,
we may be dedicated to Your worship.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
(Opening Prayer from Mass)

Deuteronomy 26:16-19 (you have chosen God and He has chosen you, for holiness)
Psalm 119:1-8 “Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord”
+Matthew 5:43-48 (love your enemies as God loves His)

Our Father has big dreams for us!

He will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory
above all other nations He has made,
and you will be a people sacred to the Lord, your God, as He promised
Deuteronomy 26:19

Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect
-Matthew 5:48

God wants us to be amazing.
He wants people to be able to look at us and say,
Wow! I wish I could be like that.
In a word, He wants us to be saints
every one of us!

For this is the will of God for you:
your sanctification
-I Thessalonians 4:3

God planted the seeds of sainthood in you.
He wants to see them grow.

The catch is, like any father’s dreams for his children,
our participation is essential to their fulfillment.

No one becomes a great lawyer, doctor, athlete
without a lot of discipline, practise and good old hard work.
Nor does anyone become great by settling for “what everybody else does”.

God’s commandments and all the experiences He allows to come into our lives,
the good and the bad,
are tailor-made for our training in greatness–
for our study, practise and good old hard work
needed to fulfill His lofty dreams for us.

That’s why He’s so insistent on our observance of His commands
and our perseverance through trials.
We won’t become great by luxuriating on “easy street.”

Or as St. Thomas More was fond of telling his wife and children:

We may not look at our pleasures to go to Heaven in featherbeds

God’s set the bar high.

love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you…
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
-Matthew 5:44, 46-47

Our Father expects more of us…
He expects us to grow up to be like Him!

There is no greater destiny than that.

And if your inadequacies or mediocrity make you doubt God’s ability to make you great,
just read the lives of the saints…especially St. Joseph of Cupertino,
St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. Benedict Joseph Labré,
St. Margaret of Cortona & St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
Note how they started.
If He can make saints out of them, He can make a saint out of you!

Do you really believe that God’s given you what it takes to become a saint?
How would your life be different if you caught God’s vision to make you great?
How would you approach trials?
What can you do to keep your eyes on God’s glorious dreams for you?

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