I just returned from assessing my garden. Over the years I have had an abundance of fruit from my trees. At various times of the year, it has come in handy to place in my children’s lunches and when money had been very tight for eating wonderful snacks through a week of not spending a dime because, I had not one to spend. We were comforted by God with the fruit that was so needed through harsh times. All provided by, grown by and nurtured by, our Lord.
This season, it’s very different. My fig tree is bursting with figs. More this year then any other. Right now they are ripe for picking. But my orange tree that is usually bending over, bending branches full of oranges, has only one this year. Not one tangerine. Not one pomegranate. Not one single lime and after five years, not a single bunch of grapes on the vine. It is a very harsh year for fruit in my garden.
With that being said, our Lord truly provides and I thank Him not only for this harsh year, but for all of them. They are a blessing used to pull us closer to Him and to make us aware that He provides for all our needs. In more ways than we can ever imagine.
What is very different this year, for the first time in over eight years, I was offered a job, and have decided to take it. It will end my active duty within the Legion of Mary but being that it is only a part-time job, I can continue to attend Holy Mass daily, drop my children off at school and still be able to pick them up when they get out. Still allowing me to be a full-time practicing Catholic. The pay offered, was much higher than I had expected and the company itself, is for a very well-known Church Supply company. Only our Lord can arrange this life He has given to me in such a wonderful way. In all this company supply’s, I can see daily, and still be around the very beauty of the faith. I look at the supply’s of this company as the “seeds” needed to be planted in order that the harvest of souls can be fed in a way that gives glory to our Lord. Much of my life has been spent in disbelief, in one way or another. Be it my own idea of who God is, or in the twisted way of thinking I had not been good enough to please Him, to live the faith, or to trust in Him. Our Lord has proved me wrong time and time again, manifesting Himself so greatly in my life over the past fifteen years, leavening no room for doubt, He truly loves me and His mercy endures forever. I have sought Him in all and have found Him in all.
I start this new job on September third, the feast day of St. Gregory the Great.
“Dearly beloved, what do you see in these events? Do you really believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed? It was not by chance but in God’s providence. In a marvelous way God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief. The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened. So the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ’s wounds, becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection.” (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)
I have spent many years away from “home”, working for others, in love, through love and charity. There is no doubt our Lord is telling me it is time to work for those closest to me. The closer you become to Christ, the more painful it becomes. All the doors He held open for you, need closing, so only one remains. That door leads to the Chamber of our Lord. I submit to His will.
May the Legion of Mary, Mystical Rose be more prosperous, with my departure. Mama Mary has shown me so much and taught me what sacrifice is, mercy is, and patience. Not only teaching me what they truly were, but how to put them into use. My departure is only physical. My heart and soul will continue to carry the Legion and her message, in all that I encounter and apply it all again, in love.
If any one of you should be asked if he loved God, he would answer with entire confidence and complete conviction, ‘I do.’ But you heard at the beginning of the reading what Truth said: ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word.’ The proof of love is its manifestation in deeds (1 Jn 4:16). This is why John says in his Letter: ‘He who says, ‘I love God,’ and does not observe his commandments is a liar’ (1 Jn 2:4). Our love is true if we keep our self-will in check according to his commandments. One who is still wandering here and there through his unlawful desires does not really love God, because he is opposing him in his self-will.
‘And my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’ Consider, dearly beloved, how great this solemnity is that commemorates the coming of God as a guest in our hearts. If some rich and powerful friend were to enter your home, you would quickly clean the entire house for fear something there might offend your friend’s eyes when he entered. Let any one then who is preparing his inner house for God cleanse away the dirt of his evil deeds.
You see what Truth tells us: ‘We will come and make our home with him.’ He does indeed enter the hearts of some but does not make his home there, because through repentance they acquire respect for God, but during a time of temptation they forget that they have repented and so return to committing sins as if they had never wept over them at all. The Lord comes into the heart and makes his home in one who truly loves God and observes his commandments, since the love of his divine nature so penetrates him that he does not turn away from it during times of temptation. That person loves truly whose heart does not consent to be overcome by wicked pleasures. The more pleasure a person finds in lower things the greater is his separation from heavenly love.
‘One who does not love me does not keep my words.’ Dearly beloved, enter into yourselves and inquire if you truly love God. But let not one believe the answer his heart gives in his own case apart from the testimony of his works. Let him examine his words, his thoughts and his life concerning the love of his Creator. God’s love is never idle. Where it exists, it does great things; if it refuses to work, it is not love. – an excerpt from the book Gregory the Great: Forty Gospel Homilies
Money in my life has always been a distraction away from all that God has provided for us. I have never had an attachment to it, but rather see it for what it is. Knowing this more deeply now before taking on my new job, truly is a blessing in more ways then I could ever imagine. God provides for all our needs. Including filling us with understanding on how to use money and how not to let it use us.
Thank you Lord for all you have done to me, in me, for us and all who love you.