Who Are You O Immaculate Conception

Tonights readings were interesting, yet I had to read them a few times to get to what St. Maximilian Kolbe was trying to teach us and to where the spirit was guiding me.  As we talked about in yesterday’s blog, this Saint accepted two crowns that was presented to him by Mary, A White (Purity) and A Red One (Martyr)   A few hours before his capture that would lead to the red crown, this Saint had a theological reflection that was an answer to the question, “Who are you O Immaculate Conception”.  I could go on and explain further the amazing teachings of St. Maximilian, yet I began to ask myself this very same question.   Who are you O Immaculate Conception?  With this question, it became clear to me that I don’t know Mary well, and I haven’t spent enough time getting to know the woman who carried Jesus within her own body and cared for him, as a great mother does.  The Virgin Mary, gave birth to Jesus, who is the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, Friend of Sinners, etc.    With that thought I was reminded me of so many great things.

God, sent His only son into this world dependent on Mary to stay alive, to nourish him, and to raise him up to be the King of the world.

I began to think of all the Kings of the world and how it was all about them and their power, yet Jesus (the king of kings) came as innocent baby.

I also pictured Jesus then washing the feet of Disciples, show the world that he did not come to be served but rather to serve the world.

I then here of the words of Jesus telling the women, “Weap not for me, but for yourselves and for your children”.

Jesus did not seek fame nor glory as King. He served those in which he came to save.  Absolutely Beautiful thought!  Yet, as I reflected and prayed to give everything to Mary;  Thoughts, Anger, Happiness, merits, challenges, family, etc- she directed me to Her son  and how he came to serve.  This tells me that with Her Yes to Jesus, Mary did not and still does not in Heave choose to steal the fame nor glory of Jesus , she was/is there to serve Him by bringing others to Him.  God chose a woman that detached herself from her will to serve others, and to give birth to the Man that came to serve those He came to save!  God’s Plan is absolutely amazing!!


St. Louis, St. Kolbe, and Immaculate Mary, Pray for us.

Day 8- Who are you St. Maximilian Kolbe

When I read the title, the first though I had was Father Kent O’Connor and a song he wrote and recorded on his Saints.  It tells the story of St. Maximilian Kolbe and so I will include a link for those who would like to this beautiful story and song.  Click to Listen:  Two Crowns by Father Kent O’Connor

Another thought I had as I read title, (Even though this is my second time, its been a while)  Why are going to learn about another Saint versus learning more about Mary and become closer to her.  But then I started to read and was reminded about this Great Saint!

St. Maximilian’s mother was very frustrated with him one day and she yelled at him in frustration “Raymond, what will become of you”.    This made me laugh for this tells me that Raymond was just your usual young boy driving his mother nuts.  I guess there’s hope for all of us :)      Well his mother words shook him up a bit and so he went to his church and asked the mother of God “what will become of me”?  Here’s what happened next and I believe these are his words.
“Then the Virgin Mary appeared to me holding her hands two crowns, one white and one red.  She looked at me with love and she asked if I would like to have them.  The white meant that I would remain pure and red that I would be a martyr.  I answer yes, I wanted them.  Then the Virgin looked at me tenderly and disappeared.”

Learning about the life of St. Maximilian and how he courageously chose both crowns, shows us the pure beauty of giving ourselves to Mary. It also shows that in giving ourselves to Christ through Mary, does not mean that it will be easy.  Yet, St. Maximilian did not care, he was entirely dedicated to Mary.   In fact, St Maximilian started the “Militia Immaculata” and its sole mission was to bring the whole world to Christ under the generalship of Mary Immaculate and to do so as quickly as possible.  As things became more dangerous in his country, many pleaded with him to hide. Yet, Instead of going into hiding St. Maximilian chose to continue his mission, which lead him to be put into a concentration camp by the Nazis.  This is where the Red Crown comes into to play and if you want to hear about it, just listen to the song for Father Kent tells it beautifully.

St. Maximilian is a great example of how being consecrated to Mary helps us detach ourselves from our will.  St. Maximilian new at an early age he would die a Martyr.  I read about these Saints and I am truly inspired by two thoughts.  1)  They are just normal people like you and me. We are all called to be Saints  2)  I am amazed by their ability to do the will of God, even when it means death.

St. Louis, St. Maximilian, and Mary Immaculate-Pray for us!

Day 7-A Quick, Easy, and Secure Way to Holiness

I read this title and will admit that I was skeptical about what I was going to read. The title made me think of these get rich schemes, that never pan out and sometimes are on the sketchy side when it comes to legality.  Yet, in the doubt, I did my best to Open my Heart to Mary hoping she would show unto me Her son Jesus.

Then right off the back words that began to challenge me. I love the definition of Holiness that was in the first paragraph of today’s readings. Holiness=Dying to Self!

So When I read Holiness is Dying to self,  I pictured the Angel Gabriel coming to Mary and Her response, Let it be done according to thy will.  In her response, throughout Her life, and now in Heaven, Mary, who is Full of Grace, is demonstrating and showing to all of Her Children what it means to be Holy.

Then later in the reading, a quote from St Louis shed some light-

“As there are secrets of nature by which natural operations are performed more easily, in a short time, and at little cost, so also there are secrets in the order of grace by which supernatural operations, such as ridding ourselves of self, filling ourselves with God and becoming perfect, are performed more easily”

My Personal thought on St. Louis’s words above, yet I not sure if all of this is correct, but I read St. Louis’s words as Mary has shown us the way to Jesus and is still bringing souls to Him today.  Giving all our works, deeds, and merits to Mary, opens us up to be more receptive of Jesus, for she is there guiding us to the words, “Let It be done according to thy will”  Therefore making the path to Holiness easier.

St. Louis and Mary most Holy, teach us to live the words, “Let It be done according to thy will”.

Day 5-33 Days to Morning Glory- Should we really give everything to Mary, part 1

Today’s reading was very clear that giving Mary everything, good works, internal goods, and spiritual goods, ensures that our prayers will be used in the best possible way.  I like this thought!

As I told, in the past I questioned the teachings of Mary and many other items about my Faith, and I think that it is Spiritually Healthy, no matter what your denomination is, to question and challenge things that you don’t understand, yet it needs to be done with an open Heart.   When I was younger, I would question why I have to go to church, why do I need to confession, and why do I even need Mary I will pray to Jesus.  Yet the only reason I was questioning these items was because I didn’t want to do them, I didn’t want to put any effort into my spiritual life for whether I like or not, Life was about me and I only made time for God when I needed something.  Does this sound familiar?   So while questioning, I would find answers that fit my agenda.  I had no intention of letting God guide me, for maybe I was scared, maybe I was too attached to earthly things, and/or maybe I was too busy .  Yes, I prayed, Yes, I read spiritual, yes I was a good person in others eyes,  yes I loved my family and worked for them, but I was lacking and STILL NEED TO WORK ON what St. Louis describes as detaching ourselves from our own will, and attaching to Gods will.
Where I started to change my ways on this concept, was when I taught at Onaga.  I would spend many lunch periods and dead time after school, at the local Catholic Church praying the Rosary in front of Jesus in the Eucharist.  I had a profound experience one day in the Church, which I will describe at a later time,  but I believe that it was then I started to understand the true power of giving our prayers to Mary and asking Her to intercede for us to bring us the Graces and Peace of Her son Jesus.   Although I have read this book before, today’s reading has made even more relevant and shown a beauty I hadn’t seen with offering ourselves to Mary.   Although I am constantly asking God for His will to be done, My prayers can sometimes get selfish.  I need this Lord, Can you help ME with this.  As I read this today, I now see that when I give my prayers and give my works to Mary that my prayers can be in a sense cleansed of those selfish intentions.   St. Louis is not saying we should’t pray for things in our lives, or pray for people that are close to us, He is saying due to ” Mary’s most intimate communion with her Divine son Jesus, Mary can take the grace of our prayers and offer it to others that most need them”.

Those of you reading this, I am not trying to convince you of anything, but if you are questioning things about your Faith, no matter your denomination, or questioning things in your life, I challenge myself and you to try to detach ourselves of any of your desires, wants, and needs that may impede us from doing God’s will, and ask Mary for help, for Her communion with Jesus has and continues to change the world!

I am a sinner, I make mistakes, I get lazy in my prayer life, I let pride get in the way at times, and I sometimes get caught of in earthly desires (Money) , but as we go about this Retreat may I (we) continue to work towards the man that is bigger than any of my (our) mistakes, and Whose Love is never ending!

St. Louis and Mary Most Holy, Pray for us!

Day 4-St Louis De Montfort’s Consecration-Giving ourselves to Mother of God

Even though I was baptized and raised in the Catholic church, I will admit, years ago I was skeptical about this thought of giving ourselves to Mary.  Shoot, I was skeptical about going to church.  My thought on Mary was why not just go to Jesus?  Yet as I studied the concept of Jesus being our example and how we are called to imitate Jesus, I began to think about Jesus’s love for Mary, their relationship with one another, and how we are called to love as Christ loved.    I began to see how this relationship with Mary, only brings me closer to her Son.  St. Louis teachings call us to give everything about ourselves to  Mary, just as Christ gave himself to Mary at the moment of Incarnation.    So with that said I pray Mary Mother of Jesus, guide us on this spiritual journey and show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb.  God Bless!

33 Days to Morning Glory Day 3 St. Louis De Montforth’s Consecration

To start off this blog, I simple want to throw out the question,

Do we make an effort to Reject Satan in our daily lives?

Its a question, when answered honestly,  that may lead some of us into areas of our life that are uncomfortable, and embarrassing. As I said in previous blog, in the past I have detached myself from things that I was embarrassed about, yet it took a lot of work, prayer, help from the Saints, and belief that the Love of Jesus Christ is bigger than any of my sins.    Yet, even as I type, I can think of areas where I need to reject Satan.

Mary, Arch of the Covenant, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven you have already helped me say No to Satan, God has put enmity between You and Satan, I pray that you intercede and help all of us reject Satan and his evil way. Show unto us Jesus!

Marian Retreat Day 2 Doing the Lord’s work, It doesn’t always turn out as planned

The title of the blog is a line that stuck with me today as I asked for guidance from the Holy Spirit.  The example that was given in the book of how things don’t always turn out as planned;  St. Louis inspired hundreds of peasants, to spend 15 months to build an amazing monument to the Passion of Christ, only to have his enemies convince the government to destroy it the day before it was going to be dedicated to the Bishop.  15 Months work destroyed in a day and what’s amazing about this story was St. Louis’s response which was: “We had hoped to build a Calvary here.  Let us build it in our hearts.  Blessed be God.”

So the questions that I had go through my mind as I read today’s chapter are:

1)  Am I attached to the things of this World, or attached to God’s Plan?
2) Have I worked hard for something in the name Lord, only to have that something be destroyed or something bad happen?

The first question is very humbling.  Although I have rid myself of many worldly desires such as Pornography (An evil destroying many young men and women today), and The Love of sports to a point where I had to watch every KSU or KC sporting event yet didn’t have time for church on Sunday or prayer or Bible Reading,  I still find that I am way to attached to worldly desires and things such as money, food :), phone, ext.

The second question, really brings back memories such as Lexi and Leslie, and losing our tails in cattle.  With each event, it required detachment from the world, replaced with an attachment to the Lords plans. Although each event was negative, I could list many more positives that came from each of those situations.

As I type and think about where the Holy Spirit is guiding me, it seems that not only did St. Louis’s devotion and true love for Mary, bring Him closer to Christ, it also led Him to be more detached from the things of the World, and focused on God’s Plan for him.  I can hear Mary saying,  “I serve the Lord,” “May it happen to me just as you said it would.” Luke 1:38

St. Louis and Mary Mother of God, Pray for us!

33 Days to Morning Glory (Marian Retreat) Day 1

Some within our family and myself have decided to blog about a do-it-yourself-retreat that we are starting today.  It was suggested to do the blog here on the website and after thinking about it I thought it was a great idea.  This will allow those who are familiar with Mary and the retreat to join in the conversation if they so choose, and it will also allow those who would like to learn more about why us Catholics ask our Holy Mother and all the Saints, to pray for us sinners on earth.  We are here to imitate Jesus and to become closer to Him, we asking for the help and for the prayers of His mother.

Day 1!  The Passionate Saint of Brittany.

Prayer- Come, Holy Spirit living in Mary…Help me to meet this retreat with generosity and zeal.

Sometimes Faith is a “Shot in the Dark”

I can’t believe its been almost 3 years since I was traveling with my Dad and my brother Ross out to Fort Wayne Indiana to meet with David Smith to record Shot In the Dark, which was one of the first 2 that I recorded on the Shot In The Dark album.    I really enjoy the visual pictures that this song puts forth as I listen to it.  Now its not part of my early morning tractor play list, but after I ran across it again tonight, I think I going to have to add it.
The song reminded me that sometimes we just don’t have the answers, and that’s ok.  I remember during a tough time in my past, I was searching for just a glimmer of light, and wondering what the Lord wants of me.  In fact I remember asking him many times, “Lord please just tell me what to do”.  Yes I still have questions of the Lord today, yet I am not so eager for the answers, for I know in time His Will will be done.  Still today, I sometimes have no clue what I am praying for and even how to pray for a situation.  Its like trying to hit your mark with a sling shot, in a dark room where you can’t see your target.  I love that visual for it helps me understand the Faith that Jesus has given us!

This songs brings up a few questions that I want to throw out to myself and all those who take time to read these blogs.

  1.  In these times of uncertainty, times we are full of more questions than answers, are we willing to throw out prayers not knowing where they may Hit, and are we willing to allow God to guide us down His path even though we don’t have a clue where it leads?  Are we telling God what we want of Him, or are we asking God what He wants of us?
  2. When the Giants  (Fear, Failure, Past decisions, Addictions, rejections, earthly pleasures,etc) calls out our names, telling us we can’t, telling us we are not good enough. Do we listen to the Giant laugh at us and mock us, or do we grab the sling shot and the stone, and fight them in the name of our God and believe throughout every ounce of our soul that all we need is a Savior, all we need is Jesus.

I just thought these were some questions that really made me think and thought I would share.  Although, I try my best to listen for His voice and allow Him to guide me to His Will, my love for Him is not perfect, but His love for me is Perfect, Amazing, and Never Ending.  Just ask a few of those fans who watched me coach baseball this year :)

God Bless!

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