November 25, 2016 – “Dear children! Also today, I am calling you to return to prayer. In this time of grace, God has permitted me to lead you towards holiness and a simple life – that in little things you discover God the Creator; that you fall in love with Him; and that your life be a thanksgiving to the Most High for everything He is giving you. Little children, in love, may your life be a gift for others and God will bless you; but you, witness without interest – out of love for God. I am with you and intercede before my Son for all of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Such a lovely message, and a well needed reminder. There’s so much in our daily lives that keeps us busy, more so now with the Christmas preparations being done. With all the juggling of work, responsibilities, and the holidays we can find ourselves feeling pretty exhausted and stressed out. And when that happens we tend to overlook all the goodness God is giving us each day; goodness that exists all around us. When hearts get so set on desiring to take care, and judge every little thing, we could sometimes fall into some serious anxiety.
Fact: Anxiety, disorder and distress are not from God. When it happens, prayer and discernment is in order.
In her message, Our Lady desires for us to live a holy and simple life, that in the little things we discover God, love and thank Him for everything. She sees and understands how caught up we can get in our human worries and works, and that sometimes we can get carried away. A remedy for that is by, as she says, striving to live in simplicity and holiness.
How do we live holy lives?
Being holy is not about measuring our prayers and sacrifices. It’s not about bragging to everyone, “I fast every day and pray all day long. I am doing everything right!” Only God can judge that, we can’t. If we do, and worse boast about it, then we might end up acting like the Pharisees Jesus often argued with during His ministry. Real holiness is working towards living God’s will as best as we possibly can, all while humbly recognizing that we are totally dependent on Him.
What about simplicity?
Simplicity is so key here because it is the exact opposite of stress and anxiety. Simplicity is humility, modesty, being childlike; it is peace and order. And it is directly connected to striving for holiness. When looking for God we need not look further than our own backyard, for God is all around us.
We can discover Him when we wake in the morning. At the breakfast table when we give thanks for the food we have. In the birdsong, moonlight and sunshine. In the rain that helps crops grow. In the love we receive from our family and close friends, or in the kindness of strangers. In our good health and safety. In the birth of a newborn baby. In the shimmering starlight above, and the beauties of nature. In the simple knowledge in knowing that you are alive and created in His image.
Seriously, God’s goodness is literally everywhere! And it’s quite amazing how often we forget to notice it altogether. By taking notice of all that He gives us it can help us to get ourselves back on track so that we’re able to remember who we are, where we come from, and where we need to go. We remember that we have a Father Who loves us more than we can humanly imagine, and is providing for us in all our needs.
I think the best way to live a simple and holy life goes back to one thing I mentioned earlier, and that is to be childlike.
Just at this time, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it has pleased you to do…’ [Luke 10:21]
Children don’t really have a care in the world. They trust in their parents, depend on them, and love them. They are so content with the little things in life! How often do we as adults wish to go back to being children again? Looking at what we normally face on a daily basis and then looking at the innocence and joy of a small child, we all wish we can attain again that same outlook and nature. Why? Because childhood is simple and innocent. It is the very essence of the kind of life Jesus and Mary want for us even as adults.
We, too, can be childlike in spirit and heart. We just have to trust, love and depend on our Heavenly Father and Mother!
When we make ourselves small we then can more easily drink in the blessings of God, celebrate them, and enjoy everything He gives to us in our lives!
Let us in our prayers ask Jesus and Mary to help us become more childlike, to be simple and humble. And to be always His children and to trust more in His providence and care, so that we may discover and live true peace and joy!
— PS. Next Saturday I will post my reflection for Our Lady’s latest (12/2/16) message.