Discovering the Ten Evangelical Virtues of Mary

10 evangelica virtues of mary

According to Pope Benedict XVI, with God’s help, the evangelical virtues forge character. What are the evangelical virtues?

I first discovered the them when reading about one  of my favorite saints, Teresa of Avila. I googled the term “evangelical virtues,” and there was very little information out there. However, in a transcript on Vatican Radio,  Pope Benedict XVI mentions Teresa’s intense program of the contemplative life...which at its heart were the evangelical virtues and prayer.”

In this year of faith, efforts to increase in these virtues is a worthy exercise. We are called to evangelize in a variety of vocations, as a mother, a daughter, a sister, an employee, a wife. Modeling our behavior on the Blessed Virgin is an excellent way to bring others to Christ.  Who more than Mary has brought more of us to her son?  How does Mary evangelize?

 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…1Peter 3:15

These ten evangelical virtues are derived from a combination of the human, moral, cardinal and theological virtues, described to us in the Catechism. They are actually qualities of Mary, the Mother of God who by her example is the epitome of evangelization.

The Ten Evangelical Virtues of Mary is a wonderful synopsis of Mary’s character:

1. Chastity (Mt 1:18, 20, 23; Lk 1:24,34)
2. Prudence  (Lk 2:19; 51)
3. Humility (Lk 1 :48)
4. Faith ( Lk 1:45; Jn 2:5)
5. Devotion  (Lk 1:46-47; Acts 1:14)
6. Obedience (Lk 1:38; 2:21-22; 27)
7. Poverty (Lk 2:7)
8. Patience  (Jn 19:25)
9. Mercy (Lk 1:39, 56)
10. Sorrow (Lk 2:35)

We notice in this list, there is no mention of being obnoxious when we evangelize others.  Quite the contrary, evangelical Catholics are to remain humble, be patient, prudent. Evangelizing to others is as simple as happily proclaiming our love and support for the Faith and the church. This is sometimes tough for cradle Catholics who grew up thinking “evangelism” was a sales tactic, associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Fundamentalist Christians.

The Catechism tells us, “A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do good. It allows us not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of ourselves.”

As Catholic mothers, we’re called to instill these virtues first in our children.  We don’t keep our love of the Faith to ourselves. We bring it into everyday activities.  We direct our focus into our own homes, become evangelizers in the midst of our work, the laundry, the dishes, diaper changes, the cooking, carpool, the cleaning and paying bills, our marriage. By pro-actively instilling these virtues in ourselves and in our children, we develop the character of Mary, rather than the character of the world—isn’t that our objective?

“It is far from easy to sum up in a few words Saint Teresa’s profound and articulate spirituality. In the first place St Teresa proposes the evangelical virtues as the basis of all Christian and human life.” Pope Benedict XVI

On the ceiling of the 18th century Marian Church of Gozlin, Poland, there is a ten-pointed star symbolizing Mary’s evangelical virtues dear to the Marians. Mary’s virtues are like the rays of a star enlightening our path and inspiring our behavior.

One way to integrate these virtues into your life is by praying the Chaplet to the Ten Evangelical Virtues of Mary.  Let’s get started.

7 Quick Takes: My 7 Favorite Saints

7quicktakesHere we go again with our 7 Quick Takes Friday hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary. We reciprocate links to her blog and then post 7 “quick-takes” on our blogs.

These are my 7 most favorite saints–who are yours?  

Saint Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine of Siena

#1 Catherine of Siena, Feast Day April 29
St Catherine of Siena was born at Siena on March 25, 1347 and died at Rome on April 29, 1380.; She was the youngest but one of a very large family. The works of St. Catherine of Siena rank among the classics of the Italian language, written in the beautiful Tuscan vernacular of the fourteenth century. She was a writer, writing over 400 letters to advocate for the Church—She was involved in politics insomuch as she wrote strongly worded letters to those in charge of the secular and the Church of the time.

“Such a soul has been stripped of her old self and has been clothed in a new self, in Christ gentle Jesus.  Then, she is open to receive and hold that grace by which she experiences God in this life.” Saint Catherine of Siena

Saint Mary Magdalene

Saint Mary Magdalene

#2 Saint Mary Magdalene, Feast Day July 22
St Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of the contemplative life, converts, glove makers, hairstylists, penitent sinners, people ridiculed for their piety, perfumeries and perfumers, pharmacists, and women.  She was, according to Luke 8:2 healed of seven demons by Jesus. She was also among the women who accompanied and supported Jesus and the twelve apostles and was present at the Crucifixion and burial (Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40, John 19:25). From the sixth century until 1969, she has been portrayed as a prostitute; but nowhere in the New Testament is she described in any but the most positive terms. Her reputation as a prostitute originated from a misstatement in a sixth-century sermon by Pope Gregory the Great. In 1969 ,Paul VI rejected this label by separating Luke’s sinful woman, Mary of Bethany from Mary Magdalene.

According to Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9, Jesus cleansed her of “seven demons”. Some contemporary scholars contend this concept means healing from illness.

The Easter Egg tradition concerning Mary Magdalene says that, following the death and resurrection of Jesus, she used her position to gain an invitation to a banquet given by the Roman Emperor Tiberius. When she met him, she held a plain egg in her hand and exclaimed, “Christ is risen!” The Emperor laughed, and said that Christ rising from the dead was as likely as the egg in her hand turning red while she held it. Before he finished speaking, the egg in her hand turned a bright red, and she continued proclaiming the Gospel to the entire imperial house.

#3 Saint Philip Neri, Feast Day May 26
This is one of my newly discovered favorites!  I want to write a book about him!  St Philip Neri is a wonderful saint who showed the humorous side of holiness. I  always LOL reading about this saint. Born in 1515 in Florence, he showed the impulsiveness and spontaneity of his character from the time he was a boy.  Ordained in 1551. he loved to hear confessions. Young men especially found in him the wisdom and direction they needed to grow spiritually. But Philip began to realize that these young men needed something more than absolution; they needed guidance during their daily lives.

Saint Philip Neri

Saint Philip Neri

Philip understood that it wasn’t enough to tell young people not to do something — you had to give them something to do in its place. Philip was known to be spontaneous and unpredictable, charming and humorous.

He seemed to sense the different ways to bring people to God. Humility was the most important virtue he tried to teach others and to learn himself. Some of his lessons in humility seem cruel, but they were tinged with humor like practical jokes and were related with gratitude by the people they helped. His lessons always seem to be tailored directly to what the person needed.

The greater his reputation for holiness the sillier he wanted to seem. When some people came from Poland to see the great saint, they found him listening to another priest read to him from joke books.

We often worry more about what others think that about what God thinks. Our fear of people laughing us often stops us from trying new things or serving God. Prayer through Saint Philip Neri,:

We take ourselves far too seriously most of the time. St Philip Neri please help us to add humor to our perspective — remembering always that humor is a gift from God. Amen

Saint Bernadette--I love this picture. She's so beautiful.

Saint Bernadette–I love this picture. She’s so beautiful.

#4 Saint Bernadette, Feast Day April 16
On December 8 1933, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Pius XI declared Bernadette Soubirous a saint. The choice on this date to canonise Bernadette was not coincidental since this feast represents the name that Our Lady gave herself at Lourdes when she said: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”; Our Lady appeared to Bernadette 18 times at the grotto and gave her a number of messages. She told her that she wished people to come there in procession and to do penance both for themselves and for others. She did not become a saint because she saw Our Lady and talked with her. Bernadette became a saint through her willing acceptance of sickness and suffering.

St Bernadette is th patron Saint of Children of Alcoholics. Her father had alcoholic tendencies of which she and her mother suffered much from the effects of his drinking.

Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila

#5 Saint Teresa of Avila, Feast Day October 15th
In 1970 Pope Paul VI declared St Teresa of Avila a Doctor of the Church. During his general audience held  in 2001 in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Benedict spoke admiringly of her. The Holy Father said, “Teresa of Avila had no academic education, however she always gave great weight to the teaching of theologians, men of letters and spiritual masters. St. Teresa’s most famous mystical work is the ‘Interior Castle’, in which she codifies the possible development of Christian life towards perfection.”

Referring then to the spirituality of Teresa, the Holy Father made particular mention of her interest in “the evangelical virtues as the foundation of all Christian and human life”. He also noted how she laid great emphasis on “profound harmony with the great biblical figures” and on “listening to the Word of God. Pope Benedicts also said she always highlighted the importance of prayer when he said, “She teaches readers of her works to pray, and she herself prays with them.” He said, “St. Teresa’s love for the Church was unconditional.”  So is mine J.

Saint Therese of Lisieux

Saint Therese of Lisieux

 #6 Saint Therese de Lisieux, Feast Day October 1
Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France. Precocious and sensitive, Therese needed much attention. She had a spirit that wanted everything. The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, “Story of a Soul”. She described her life as a “little way of spiritual childhood.” She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God’s love. “What matters in life,” she wrote, “is not great deeds, but great love. Therese’s spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

Pope Benedict XVI has recently urged everyone to rediscover St. Therese and her autobiography “Story of a Soul”. In his weekly general audience on April 6, 2011, the Pope dedicated his catechesis to St. Therese of Lisieux, and speaks of her autobiography as “a wonderful authentic treasure” and invited everyone to read it. For more on his thoughts about St. Therese visit this article at Catholic News Agency.

“Life is passing, Eternity draws nigh: soon shall we live the very life of God. After having drunk deep at the fount of bitterness, our thirst will be quenched at the very source of all sweetness.” Saint Therese of Lisieux

Mom and Dad on their Wedding Day, May 26, 1956 (feast day of St Philip Neri :) )

Mom and Dad on their Wedding Day, May 26, 1956 (feast day of St Philip Neri 🙂 )

My Mom, Feast Day April 24 (her birthday)
I know. I know.  My Mom has not yet been canonized by the Catholic Church, yet, but one day she will be. Having grown up in Brooklyn, one of five children, she attended Fontbonnne Hall Academy and St Johns University before my father swept her off to Oklahoma. Mother of 11 children, wife to Bill for 57 years and counting…this woman is a role model for all women living today.  In her life, she’s gracefully lived as a working mother, stay-at-home mother, a mother of young children, a mother of grown children, and a mother like saint Monica praying for her children who have strayed. Daily Mass-goer. A loving grandmother. A caretaker to her spouse as he ages.  A prayer for many, many people who have  no idea she is praying for them.  Never–and I am serious—have I heard her complain, unless of course you count, “Hurry or you’re going to miss the light!” a complaint.  This is another book I shall write one day.  I love you, Mom!

That’s it!

Who are you 7 favorite saints?

Happy National Children of Alcoholics Week -Feb 10-16, 2013

coaweekposterthumb_largeI’ve learned it’s important to share my story. Our stories have the potential to heal us and help others. For someone like me, sharing pieces of my story has always been and still is a slow process.

It’s somewhat less horrifying for me to talk about my history with alcoholism in meetings, in sharing with my family and with very close friends. One day I’ll hopefully be able to share details more easily because I wholeheartedly believe sharing our stories is the best way to help the ones still out there struggling. I’d like to do my little part to chip away at the stigma and shame associated with alcoholism, so more of us would seek help sooner.

I hold the most shame in admitting that I was an active alcoholic mother on and off for almost three years.  I’m no longer that person.  But still, to admit that I ever was is very difficult for me.

chick and eggWhen there is a drinking problem in the family, all family members are affected; and in my opinion especially the children.

About 11 million children in America grow up with at least one alcoholic parent or family member. 25% of children in the United States are exposed to alcoholism or drug addiction in the family. This means that in our parishes, our neighborhoods or among our children’s friends, one in four might be hiding their embarrassment, confusion, hurt or shame about what’s going on at home.

The National Association of Children of Alcoholics has designated this week, February 10-16, 2013 as the 30th Annual “Children of Alcoholics Week.”  This week is dedicated to bringing awareness to the needs of these children. NACOA advocates for all children and families affected by alcoholism and other drug dependencies. They are a source of information and support for children experiencing difficulty with an alcoholic or drug addicted parent.

What can we do to honor the children of active alcoholics in our parishes, schools and communities this week-and every week? Reach out to a child you know who has been touched by addiction—let them know they’re not alone and that it’s not their fault.

Nick News, in connection with Children of Alcoholics (COA) Week 2013 will re-air Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics at 7:oopm on Friday night, Feb. 15th. The program chronicles the different experiences actual children of alcoholics have when their parents drink and the different ways some have found to get through it. To view this program ahead of time, click here for the 20 minute video.

Pray for the alcoholic and their family.  An excellent prayer resource is offered free of charge from the National Catholic Council on Alcoholism entitled, “Prayers for Addicted Persons.”  Email them for a complimentary copy of the prayer booklet.

We arranged for our children to meet with their counselor at school and an amazing private counselor in Crabapple, Georgia.  We wanted our school-aged boys to know they didn’t have to keep “my secret.” I told them they are welcome to talk about their feelings with any of their friends or whomever they wanted to. I especially wanted them to know that I wouldn’t ever be mad at them for talking about my drinking problem.

Both professional counselors talked with our children about the 7 Cs:

You didn’t Cause it
You can’t Cure it
You can’t Control it
but
You can
Take better Care of yourself by
Communicating your feelings
Making healthy Choices
Celebrating yourself

A wonderful patron saint for children of alcoholics is Saint Bernadette.   Bernadette is one of the children who witnessed the apparitions at Lourdes. During most of Bernadette’s childhood her father was an odd job man, picking up a day’s work as opportunity offered, and, from time to time, escaping from his problems and responsibilities by turning to the delusive comfort of alcohol. His wife and children, naturally, were the chief sufferers from his ineffectualness. Her feast day is April 16th (which also happens to be Pope Benedict XVI’s birthday :0 )bernadette

Ash Wednesday in Good Cheer, To Go

I found this quote from Saint Philip Neri on my blog from last February:

Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits.St. Philip Neri

AshWednesdayIt reminds me it is important I remain cheerful when I give something up, when I sacrifice something I like in order to have a closer relationship with God. Today, with my (frown) back pain it is tough to remain cheerful. I am not a very cheerful person when I’m in physical pain. I’m not awful–I’m just useless.

I couldn’t go to Mass for ashes because of the pain. My Mom said someone could bring me ashes like they do when they bring holy communion to the sick.

My sweet ten year old was happy to do this for me. Their school Mass was at 8:30 this morning. He tried. But our parish priest said it’s not allowed. (frown). So, I ended up rubbing foreheads with my children to get some of their ashes onto me.

Check this out! Ashes To Go in Saint Louis–here is an article about how for the seventh year in a row in St Louis several priests offer ashes to parishoners in traffic. I love this! Not sure if it’s a Catholic practice, though?  It might be an Episcopal thing. Anybody know?

I remember that I am dust, and to dust I shall return.

Heading out now to host the first Calix Atlanta meeting. I’ll bring a few of these Sacred Heart Badges with me to hand out to anybody that would like one.

Calix Atlanta

sacred-heart-of-jesus-badge-tnThis excerpt was taken from Barefoot World’s History of AA.  

Sister Ignatia increasingly began to believe that alcoholics should not be sneaked into the hospital but brought through the front door just like other sick people.

This belief led to the first medical admission in 1935. Soon, she provided a ward for men to sober up and St. Thomas Hospital became the first religious institution to recognize the rights of alcoholics to receive hospital treatment. Today, many of AA’s practices — including the use of tokens to mark milestones in sobriety — find their origins with Sister Ignatia.

Sister lgnatia was the first person to use medallions in Alcoholics Anonymous. She gave the drunks who were leaving St. Thomas after a five day dry out a Sacred Heart Medallion and instructed them that the acceptance of the medallion signified a commitment to God, to A.A. and to recovery and…

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In Recovery and Finding My Own Calcutta

mother-teresaI love this. Came across it this morning on Love Being Catholic’s Facebook page and had to share:

Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. … You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone.” – Blessed Mother Teresa

Dear God, show me where you want me.  Show me my own Calcutta so I can better to Your will where You want me.  Love, Number 9

Living Sober with A Cloud of Witnesses

cloud of witnesses

Cloud of Witnesses

The Mass readings today are simply wonderful. All of them.  I was going to LD (Lectio Divina) on just one of them but after going through them I wanted to meditate on them all!

First Reading: Hebrews 12:1-4 (partial)

Brothers and sisters: Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith…

We truly are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses–the angels and saints (and all the faithful departed–especially my relatives who have passed) are with me, as if they are sitting right here at my kitchen table.  The funny thing is if they were sitting here at my table, I’d probably be less inclined to listen to them. I’d be busy like Martha tidying up, stressing about the fact I haven’t showered yet.

I think especially about Saint Teresa the Little Flower today because I need to remember the direction God is pointing me (with Calix and with bringing the Substance Abuse Ministry to Atlanta) is so much bigger than little me.  I’m just a little worker bee doing what God puts in front of me. If I start to plan and determine how and if it will all turn out, then I will mess it all up.  I am little.  And so God will reveal to me only what I need to do today.  That’s pretty much all I can handle.

Dear God, let me rid myself of every burden that clings to me…  every burden–all of my worries about paying bills, getting health insurance, no one showing up for my first Calix meeting tonight, my son who is sick with the flu, my aching back.  In this passage I am asking God to “let me” rid myself of these burdens that cling to me.  Not necessarily the burdens themselves will be gone, but they won’t “cling” to me anymore.  I ask God to let me not be as attached to them as I am.

And Dear God, let me rid myself of every sin that clings to me… every sin, every bad habit and vice–particularly my alcoholic thinking and my laziness. Thank you for another day of sobriety yesterday. And please “let me” have sobriety today.

One day at a time, thank you very much!

Help me persevere in my obligations and responsibilities today but keep my eyes fixed on You.  Allow me to leave the results to You.  If nobody shows up at the Calix meeting, that is okay.  There’s always next month.  And I’ll advertise better next time.

So many great words: burden, persevere, cloud of witnesses, clinging sins, the perfecter of faith

I’ll write and meditate about the Gospel reading (especially Talitha Koum! and the woman who touched him in the crowd!) later, if I get all of my obligations and responsibilities completed first.

 

Intimacy Between Mother and Son

Jesus at Wedding of CanaLast Sunday’s Gospel reading is one of my all-time favorites.  So many good things in it–and there was wine!

Jesus performs his very first public miracle.  How cool is that?

And his mother Mary is involved. She instructs them to, “Do whatever he tells you.” Simple advice for all of us!

But mostly in this Gospel I especially love the interaction between Jesus and his mom–having two sons of my own, I imagine the underlying messages in Jesus and Mary’s exchange.

Woman, how does your concern affect me?”

This makes me laugh. I LOVE THIS.

“Woman.”  Many writers have made note that at first glance this sounds a little disrespectful.  But not willing to concede that Jesus was ever disrespectful to his mom, thankfully, more context is given which shows how the norms of the culture and language of Jesus’ day makes this address make sense.

To me, a mother of two sons ages 10 and almost 13, I don’t see disrespect at all—and I’m not an ancient culture or language scholar. I see humor, intimacy, a little sarcasm and a knowing smile behind Jesus’ chosen words to his mother in Cana.

Humor?  Sarcasm?  Where do I get that?

So, for example, my boys joke around with me all the time as a sign of affection.  I think they get this from their father.  When a boy teases a girl, it’s his way of showing her he likes her.  It starts way back in grade school.

The other day I mentioned to Ben, “Ben, we really need to rake the yard or the grass isn’t going to grow this spring.”

Ben answered, “Yeah, Mom, we really do. (pointing) The rake is right over there.”

Of course, he grins when he says this and we both know my little phlegmatic-sanguine child will comply with my request.  But he’s got to mess with me a little bit first.

Little boys—including Jesus—-love their mamas.

Jesus also uses, “Woman,” to address Mary Magdalene in John 20:15, saying, “Woman, why are you weeping?”  He knows why she’s weeping — she came to the tomb and his body was gone.  Next thing Jesus says in John 20:16 is “Mary!  Like, “Hello?  It’s me.  I’m here. It’s okay.”

Last Sunday’s Gospel John 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from — although the servers who had drawn the water knew —, the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.

Matt Talbot and the 12 Steps

Matt Talbot did not have the recovery option of Alcoholics Anonymous, which would not be developed for another half-century. However, former Vice-Postulator of the Cause for Canonization of Matt Talbot, Fr. Morgan Costello, has noted in his publication,“Matt Talbot: Hope for Addicts” (1987; 2001), that elements of A.A.’s twelve-steps can be identified in Matt’s alcoholism recovery.  In his Winter, 2012, quarterly newsletter, The Twelve-Step Review, Fr. Emmerich Vogt, O.P. discusses the value of belonging to an anonymous fellowship today, not only for the addict but also for spouses, parents, children, or friends of addicts. His article, “Do I Need a 12 Step Group?” is helpful for those skeptical about 12 Step Programs.

Mother Theresa’s Meditation: “I Thirst”

My Mom gave me this. It’s a meditation Mother Theresa wrote as if Jesus was speaking directly to her.  I am putting it here on my blog because I love it and will refer back to it often.  I wanted to share this with others who might like it as much as I do.  I love prayers and meditations that are written as if Jesus is talking directly to me.  That’s how my favorite My Daily Bread book is written.  So is the Cloud of the Unknowing, which I love.  Also, the Imitation of Christ.  LOVE.

***

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” (Rev 3:20)

mother teresaIt is true. I stand at the door of your heart, day and night. Even when you are not listening, even when you doubt it could be Me, I am there. I await even the smallest sign of your response, even the least whispered invitation that will allow Me to enter.

And I want you to know that whenever you invite Me, I do come always, without fail. Silent and unseen I come, but with infinite power and love, and bringing the many gifts of My Spirit. I come with My mercy, with My desire to forgive and heal you, and with a love for you beyond your comprehension–a love every bit as great as the love I have received from the Father (“As much as the Father has loved Me, I have loved you…” John 15:10).

I come-longing to console you and give you strength, to left you up and bind all your wounds. I bring you My light, to dispel your darkness and all your doubts. I come with My power, that I might carry you and all your burdens; with My grace, to touch your heart and transform your life; and My peace I give to still your soul.

I know you through and through. I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to Me. I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you==even in your wanderings. I know every one of your problems. I know your needs and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you–not for what you have or haven’t done–I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity My Father gave you by creating you in His own image.

It is a dignity you have often forgotten, a beauty you have tarnished by sin. But I love you as you are, and I have shed My blood to win you back. If you only ask Me with faith, My grace will touch all that needs changing in your life, and I will give you the strength to free yourself from sin and its destructive power.

I know what is in your heart–I know your loneliness and all your hurts–the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations, I carried it all before you. And I carried it all for you, so you might share My strength and victory. I know especially your need for love–how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished.

But how often have you thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside with passing pleasures – with even greater emptiness of sin.

Do you thirst for love?  “Come to Me all you who thirst…” (John 7:37). I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished?  I cherish you more than you can imagine — to the point of dying on a cross for you.

I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you–that is how precious you are to Me. Come to Me and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds.

I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials.  You must never doubt My mercy, My acceptance of you, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live my life in you.

If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all.  For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you.  Open to Me.  Come to Me.  Thirst for Me.  Give Me your life–and I will prove to you how important you are to My heart.

Don’t you realize that My Father already has a perfect plan to transform your life, beginning from this moment?  Trust in Me.  Ask Me every day to enter and take charge of your life, and I will.  I promise you before My father in heaven that I will work miracles in your life. Why would I do this?  Because I thirst for you.  All I ask of you is that you entrust yourself to Me completely.  I will do all the rest.

Even now I behold the place My Father has prepared for you in My Kingdom. Remember that you are a pilgrim in the life, on a journey home. Sin can never satisfy you, or bring the peace you seek. All that you have sought outside of Me has only left you more empty, so do not cling to the things of this life.

Above all, do not run from Me when you fall.  come to Me wihtout delay.  When you give Me your sins, you give Me the joy of being your Savior. There is nothing I cannot forgive and heal; so come now, and unburden your soul.

No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget Me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in the life; there is on thing that I want you to always remember, one thing that will never change.

I thirst for you–just as you are.

You don’t need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your belief in My love that will change you.  You forget Me and yet I am seeking you every moment of the day–standing at the door of your heart and knocking.

Do you find this hard to believe?  Then look at the cross, look at My Heart that was pierced for you.

Have you not understood My Cross?  Then listen again to the words I spoke there–for they tell you clearly why I endured all of this for you:

“I thirst…” (John 19:28)

Yes, I thirst for you–as the rest of the psalm I was praying says of Me: “I looked for love, and I found none…” (Psalm 69:20). All your life I have been looking for your love–I have never stopped seeking to love you and be loved by you. You have tried many other things in your search for happiness; why not try opening your heart to Me, right now, more than you ever have before.

Whenever you do open the door of your heart, whenever you come close enough, you will hear Me say to you again and again, not in mere human words but in spirit, “No matter what you have done, I love you for your own sake. Come to Me with your misery and your sins, with your troubles and needs and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock.

Open to Me, for I thirst for you.”

Blessed Mother Teresa