20th Sunday Ordinary Time

20th Sunday Ordinary Time

Vol. 5  No. 49

Spiritual Gift of the Week

We pray for the grace of peace. We pray for peace in our lives and for peace in our world.
Mary, you allowed the Spirit of peace to lead and guide your life, pray for us

Spiritual Instruction of the Week
“But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)

Dear Beautiful Daughters of Mary,
Our spiritual instruction was beautifully presented by Ingrid Franklin. Her words were both powerful and gentle and they will be meaningful for us as we reflect on perseverance in prayer. Let us remember: “….he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22) Let us pray…

While praying, contemplating and asking the Holy Spirit for guidance on my Spiritual Instruction, I began to have a St. Paul like vision of a gorgeous runner in flight. The runner was sprinting towards the Olympic finish line trying to be first to receive the gold. His efforts seemed flawless, controlled and powerful with majestic form and potency. I was wondering how he made it to the finish line so rapidly ahead of the others. Why this one out of a dozen of Olympic Champions, and at that moment my heart skipped a beat and the word perseverance was placed on my mind. That’s when I knew the Holy Spirit wanted me to choose the Spiritual Instruction on the “Virtue of Perseverance”.
Webster defines Perseverance as the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult, the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failures or opposition. The runner in my vision disciplined his body and trained his mind to persevere in competition for the Gold medal. I am sure he faced all kinds of obstacles, temptations and trials while training and conditioning himself day after day until his hour had come. Then I asked myself why, and for what reason would one put himself through such complicated and rigid conditioning? The answer is simply to win! To receive honor, fame, fortune and admiration from Country, community and the World! That’s the reward from persevering in that arena.
So what is the “reward” for those of us who seek the virtue of Spiritual Perseverance? It is simply Salvation. Perseverance, endurance and steadfastness are required for salvation. We must spiritually train our souls through these virtues and take a stand here in this race called life in order to withstand daily trials and tribulations. So when the day comes that we are at the finish line we too can be awarded the crown of salvation.
In the Second letter of St. Paul to Timothy 4:7 Paul states “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the lord, the righteous judge will award me on that day, and not only me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” Daughters of Mary that includes us! We are all who have loved Christ’s appearing. He is waiting for us at the finish line and like Paul we are to fight the good fight because while we are seeking and practicing perseverance we will encounter many, many road blocks such as daily distractions, fear, anxieties and illness.
But as an athlete trains his body so to must we train our souls to endure whatever roadblocks and obstacles that will come to try to block us from crossing that glorious finish line. Such obstacles come in the form of being distracted from Christ by our daily challenges. Challenges such as technology, cell phones, face book, FOX, CNN, family duties, work and so on. When this happens please remember John 14:6 where Jesus says “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me. When faced with fear its effects on us deplete our energy so that we may want to give up on ourselves or on our prayer life or commitments to our Mercy Projects. We need to become fearless spiritual warriors through repetitions of constantly praying 1 John 4:4 – “Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Then when anxiety comes to weaken our mind and take our focus off the finish line shout loudly Philippians 4:6-8 “Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the Peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus. Then Daughters of Mary if illness strikes at your door have the faith of the centurion in Matthew 8 and ask Jesus to only say the word so that you may be healed.
This is the way we must train for the race! Persevere, endure and be steadfast so that when you cross the finish line the crown of salvation is yours for eternity!

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