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05.04.2022 10:08:34 1209x read.
INSPIRATION
ON OUR WAY TO HOLINESS THROUGH MARY’S VIRTUES (Bro. Moses Mgunda)

ON OUR WAY TO HOLINESS THROUGH MARY’S VIRTUES

Bro. Moses Mgunda

We all have in a way, shape or form, some interests, desires or goals we set to accomplish in our lifetime. In the process of living our lives - whether it be helping others or doing something for oneself or others - we need to ask ourselves: where and how does the Lord fit into our schedules? Is there room for God to interrupt and rearrange our plans? How would we respond if God suddenly chose us for a special assignment? To reflect on these questions, Mary the mother of Jesus and our mother sets a good example. She is a true reflection of the famous saying “God does not ask about our ability or inability, but our availability”.

Reflecting on Mary’s life, I am sure she had her own plans, desires and goals to pursue.  The appearance of angel Gabriel to Mary, telling her to nurture the son of God was disturbing news. It meant that Mary should abandon her own plans and desires and follow God’s Holy will. At the same time Mary was wondering about the possibility of carrying the son of God in her womb since she did not know a man. The interesting thing is that, God’s messenger Gabriel is not interested in whether Mary is capable of doing this or not. For with God what matters is our willingness to do what He commands us and where there is will there is always a way. This is why Moses’ excuse about his incapability of freeing the Israelites from slavery in Egypt did not matter to God. Mary’s response invites and reminds the world, the Church and we brothers FIC, who strive every day to experience and follow her footsteps and have personal touch with our mother, to the same response “I am the Lord’s servant, may everything you have said about me come true. (Luke 1:38)

 

This is one of the greatest virtues of Mary, her availability to do God’s will. She mortified herself and her own will by putting God’s first and seeking to unite hers with His. We also ought to make sacrifices and offer them up for the greater good of someone else. Accept the small irritations, humiliations and inconveniences of daily life as quietly as possible. We cannot do this alone but by investing our lives in prayer. Mary’s entire life was one of prayer, in which she constantly placed herself in the presence of the Lord at every moment of her life. Mary perfectly conformed herself to God’s will. She saw herself as God saw her, nothing more and nothing less. Mary’s virtues are so many, and some of them are her profound humility, her lively faith, continual prayer, Divine purity, heroic patience, Divine wisdom, universal mortification and her obedience. Mary agreed to be the mother of Jesus and in her perfect obedience her soul magnified the Lord. On the cross, Jesus gave His mother to John the apostle to care for. In doing so not only did Jesus give His great love for His mother but gave her to all of us. Therefore we honour Mary in a way that no other human is honoured. We pray for her intercessions and motherly care over us, as well as honour our commitment to God. Mary was the first disciple of Jesus and is our model of discipleship on our way to holiness. Her humble obedience to God is the example of what it means to follow Him. Following the steps of Mary should not be only a routine thing. There are many ways we honour Mary, from celebrating important moments of her life on Marian feast days throughout the liturgical year, to using sacramentals such as rosary and scapulars, to praying prayers such as the Hail Mary and Hail Holy Queen. All these should help to prepare our souls to receive the grace of God, whom Mary, in all she does, unceasingly magnifies.

These virtues may seem overwhelming at first but there are simple ways to practice them in everyday life with the help of God’s grace. A good idea is to pick one of Mary’s virtues each week, month, or year and to practice it in everyday situations, for the key to lasting growth is to start in a small way. Remember, the Blessed mother is right there with us every step of the way. Let us not hesitate to ask for her guidance and assistance. 

Finally as individual persons and in our gatherings let us not be afraid to grow in love for our Lady. As St. Maximillian Kolbe said “Never be afraid of loving the blessed virgin too much, for you can never love her more than Jesus did” 

 








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