January 2, 2017 – “…My Son was the source of love and light when he spoke on earth to the people of all peoples. My apostles, follow His light. This is not easy. You must be little. You must make yourselves smaller than others; with the help of faith to be filled with His love…”
I realize that Our Lady’s recent message has a lot of great gems to meditate on, and it’d be difficult to digest it all if I simply jam-packed everything all in one post. So, instead I’ve decided to break the message up into multiple reflections. I figured it’d be easier for both you, the reader, and myself so that we can both allow the Mother’s words to really speak in our hearts. So, let’s get started!
When I initially read this first part of Our Lady’s message, my jaw actually dropped a little. No lie. Not in an earth-shattering kind of way. But more of just genuine surprise. And the reason for that was because the night before I opened to this Scripture passage:
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, asking, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” So Jesus called a child, had him stand in front of them, and said, “I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child. And whoever welcomes in my name one such child as this, welcomes me.” [Matthew 18:1-5]
Coincidence? More like God-incidence.
Once again, Our Lady is reminding us to be little. I’ve talked about littleness, and being childlike previously. But it bears reminding because being little is more important than we think. In fact, I myself need reminding of it, too.
As human-beings, we’re always at odds with our egos, which constantly work to make us believe we are so much superior than others. And for certain individuals out in the world, even convincing them they are superior to God.
Yeah, that kind of ego. The Cruella de Vils, Lex Luthors, and President Snows of the world who go out of their way to essentially run everything and everyone’s life simply because they’re rich, well-connected, and have a bad attitude. In government, in Hollywood, in business, in medicine and science… these characters do exist.
Pride is the root of all sins. When we start believing we know best, and take on an entitlement-complex, things get out of control. We lose our connection with God, and love of others is replaced with love of self.
Our Lady tells us to follow the light of her Son; He is the source of love and light. If we follow our own ego, and ultimately remove God, we’re nothing more than empty shells. We miss out on the true light and love we need so dearly in such a dark and turbulent world. And without that light guiding our footsteps, how are we to see the pitfalls and traps that lie ahead? Without Christ we’d surely fall into every one of them, and freeing ourselves from such snares will be even harder.
Following Jesus’ light isn’t easy. Blessed Mother makes certain to tell us such; she doesn’t want us to get any illusions or ideas that everything’s going to be smooth sailing from there. After all, nothing worthwhile is ever easy. To be an apostle of Jesus we must pick up our crosses—whatever they may be—and become very humble, and small. And this takes us back to what Jesus said in the Gosepl above.
The greatest is the one who is the least; the little, the humble, the simple and childlike. The one who surrenders everything and is dependent on the Lord will be the one to gain everything.
The greatest in the Kingdom is not the scholars who attended the Ivy Leagues, not the celebrities and their vast luxuries and giant bank accounts; it’s not the physically strongest, or the one who’s won the most Super Bowls. The one who surrenders his faith in the Lord and is dependent on the world will be the one to lose everything.
As Fulton Sheen once called it, this is another example of the Divine Sense of Humor. (I’ll post that talk of his up one of these days. It’s great!) If we want to be witnesses to the greatness, and goodnes of God Almighty, we have to be small first. We have to be like little children. When I think of littleness St. Therese of Lisieux always comes to mind. She often spoke on the importance of being little and dependent on God, and how we should go about the little way.
Here’s what she said about being little before God:
“It is needful to remain little before God and to remain little is to recognize one’s nothingness, expect all things from the good God just as a little child expects all things from its father; it is not to be troubled by anything, not to try to make a fortune. Even among poor people, a child is given all it needs, as long as it is very little, but as soon as it has grown up, the father does not want to support it any longer and says: “Work, now you are able to take care of yourself”. Because I never want to hear these words I do not want to grow up, feeling that I can never earn my living, that is, eternal life in heaven. So I have stayed little, and have no other occupation than of gathering flowers of love and sacrifice and of offering them to the good God to please Him.
To be little also means not to attribute to one’s self the virtues that one practices, believing that one can do something, but to acknowledge that the good God has placed these treasures in the hands of His little child so that the child can make use of them as needed, but always as the treasures of the good God.
Finally, it means not be to discouraged by one’s faults because children often fall but they are too little to hurt themselves badly.”
This is beautiful, and so key for us who desire to follow Jesus’ light!
The world will convince us that being childlike is silly and ignorant; that innocence and simplicity is boring, unattractive, and dogmatic.
Seriously, what the heck does the world know about anything? It still can’t figure out when a baby is really a baby, and believe wholesome, loving, patriotic, God-fearing families are archaic bigots.
On earth we live and grow up to be adults, but that doesn’t mean we need to live by the world’s standards of adulthood. I’m talking about the X-rated version that’s constantly pushed in the media; debauchery, recklessness, selfishness, greed, obessions, violence, rebellion, and lust. You get my point, right?
Even as adults we are called to be childlike, to be little, in spirit and heart. The words of Christ, Our Lady, and St. Therese should aid us in our efforts in doing so. With the help of faith and love, let us live as children of God, and not children of the world. As His little children, the Father will provide for all our needs!
Finally, another important part of Scripture I’m reminded of when reading this first part of Our Lady’s message, and reflecting on what it means to be childlike, is the Beatitudes. Striving for littleness and living as children of God can also be found in this our Blessed Lord taught us:
How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance.
Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.
Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognized as children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. [Matthew 5:1-10]
We are children of the light, not of the dark. Let us follow the light of Jesus with our Heavenly Mother leading us by the hand!