When it comes to explaining the Blessed Virgin Mary, having a lot of love is more important than having a lot of answers. When we come up lacking, she'll make greater goods out of our deficiencies, as only a mother can do. Whenever we're humiliated and shown our weakness, we should get ready for something better than we could ever plan and prepare to accomplish. Evangelize with joy, then, and with confidence. Know from the start that you don't have all the answers-but your Savior does, and He loves His mother. He will give you everything you need, even if sometimes you need to fail.
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What's wrong with the world? It's easy to probe the ills of the nation, the Church, and the planet and come up with a grave diagnosis... But it takes all the strength we can muster to stand at Mass and honestly say, 'I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do... " Sin is not out there; it's deep inside you and me... What's wrong with the world? I am, because I sin, and my sins well up from the darkness in my own heart.
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Marriage and family life give us constant opportunities to deny ourselves for the sake of others. And yet self-denial is not a mask for self-contempt, but the necessary means for achieving self-mastery; for self-mastery makes possible our self-giving and self-fulfillment. Sin is not wanting too much, but settling for too little. It's settling for self-gratification rather than self-fulfillment.
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Judgment, then, is not an impersonal, legalistic process. It is a matter of love, and it is something we choose for ourselves. Nor is punishment a vindictive act. God's "curses" are not expressions of hatred, but of fatherly love and discipline. Like medicinal ointment, they hurt in order to heal. They impose suffering that is remedial, restorative, and redemptive. God's wrath is an expression of His love for His wayward children.
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Mary is God's masterpiece. Have you ever walked into a museum where an artist was displaying his work? Can you imagine him being offended if you were viewing what he considered to be his masterpiece? Would he resent your looking at that instead of at him? 'Hey, you should be looking at me!' Rather, the artist would receive honor because of the attention you were giving his work. And Mary is God's work, from beginning to end.
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