When Kevin and I lived in Rancho Santa Margarita, we were introduced to the "Little Books" series of seasonal reflections from the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan.We had a visiting 'snowbird' priest, Fr. Jim, who persuaded the Pastor to give the booklets out to all parishioners during Lent.
When we lived in Klamath Falls, a generous parishioner donated the booklets for parishioners in both Advent and Lent...and I really grew to like them very much.
The Pastor at our current parish, Fr. Jim, handed out the Little Blue Book as we exited from the Church on the first Sunday of Advent. I've been praying with the selection for each day since Sunday.
The booklet has a quote from the Gospel reading of the day, a story, and a reflection on that reading for each day of Advent.
Today's Scripture is Luke:10-21-24. "No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him." The reflection was about balancing our relationship with Jesus between intimacy and reverence. I thought about my relationship with Jesus a lot this morning.
It occurred to me that when I am praying, I usually turn to the Father in prayer. My thanks and gratitude, my petitions, my praise, worship and contrition are usually directed to God the Father. I think that my relationship with God the Father is reverent. He's not my buddy or my friend, He is the Lord God Almighty!
I usually turn to Jesus by name either at the end of a prayer, "in Jesus's name I pray" or in panic mode, "Help us, Jesus!!". I always add the Fatima prayer at the end of each decade of the Rosary, "Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy." But- I don't feel as if I have the intimate relationship with Jesus that I should.
The one I turn to most often in prayer, though, is the Blessed Mother, Mary, the Mother of God. I ask for her intercession frequently. I pray the Rosary to fall asleep at night when my mind won't stop. I pray the Rosary on the treadmill, or on a walk, or while driving. I pray the Rosary when the plane is taking off, or when it's bumpy in the air. I pray the Rosary when I am afraid, or worried, or sad. I feel as if I have a more intimate relationship with Mary. She was a daughter, mother, wife and cousin and understands my little fears and worries for my children and family. Scripture tells us that she faced moments of great joy, but also of great suffering and sorrow. I know that if anyone in Heaven can intercede with the Father and the Son for help, She is the one to do it! And so, I readily ask for her help to ask God the Father and Jesus the Son to hear my prayers and petitions.
Mary is my connection to the intimate relationship with both God the Father, and Jesus. Everything she does points to Jesus. Even her feast days this month- The Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12- point to Jesus, and through Jesus, to the Father.
Although I am always working on my spiritual life, I guess I do have both an intimate and reverent relationship with God the Father and Jesus. Thanks, Mary. It just took a little reflection to see that you point the way to the Father and the Son in my own life, in both and intimate and reverent way.
See you tomorrow! Amen.