“BEGIN AGAIN FROM SCRATCH.” (–says Pope Francis!)
Lord, make me whole…
that I may become the best version of myself that You will for me.
[Now that’s a good resolution—good for body, mind, and soul!]
So as we resolve to reform… and begin again—whether now (at time of this posting) in the very first month of New Year.. or on any given day, and everyday, on… let us look to true words of inspiration from homily of Fr. Wade Menezes [via EWTN 1/5/2015] on the feast of St. John Neumann (the first male canonized American saint), on this day after “Epiphany Sunday”… that we may be encouraged to take courage and go forward!
But, first, from today’s Good News [Mt 4: 12-17, 23-25]:
Jesus began with saying:
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. “
Yet we should never be afraid to come before our Lord, as Fr. Wade so eloquently spoke of… in quoting:
“Because of the overflowing abundance of His love, Christ, the Son of God, chose to pass through the state of utter helplessness of a tiny child, the only state in which someone is totally given over into the hands of another. That is how our God first appeared, and He wants to be contemplated and adored in this state not only by the lowly but also by the great. He accepted the adoration of both shepherds and wise men, and He even led them by a star into His presence, He this little baby without grandeur or majesty.” –Sister Magdeleine of Jesus… For who can be afraid of a baby?!
Prayer of Repentance:
“My Lord, Jesus, behold me defiled by sin. Again I have stained the holy garment of grace in my soul that your blood has cleansed so often. O, Father of mercy, hear my prayer. Give me a true spirit of penance that through the humble supplication of a contrite heart I may again receive pardon. Since my last confession I have fallen more frequently than usual. My Jesus, I have gone back. But do not forsake me… Behold me, prostrate before you, O my God. My sinfulness weighs me down…
“O my soul, crushed by the load of sin, take courage; your Redeemer will console you in your desolation…
“O holy Mother of God, my guardian angel, my holy patrons, intercede for me with my judge and obtain for me the pardon of my sins. O Jesus, grant me a true spirit of penance. My Jesus, have mercy on me.” –Saint John Neumann!
Let us be not afraid, then; and take these consoling words of Pope Francis to heart as well:
“…God is He who comes to save us and who seeks to help, especially those who are fearful of heart.
His coming among us strengthens us, makes us steadfast, gives us courage, makes the desert and the steppe rejoice and blossom; that is, when our lives becomes arid.
And when do our lives become arid? When they lack the water of God’s Word and his Spirit of love.
However great our limitations and dismay, we are not allowed to be sluggish and vacillating when faced with difficulty and our own weakness.
On the contrary, we are invited to strengthen the weak hands, to make firm the feeble knees, to be strong and to fear not, because our God always shows us the greatness of his mercy.
He gives us the strength to go forward. He is always with us in order to help us to go forward. He is a God who loves us so very much, He loves us and that is why He is with us, to help us, to strengthen us, help us go forward. Courage!
Always forward! Thanks to his help, we can always begin again. How? Begin again from scratch.
Someone might say to me: “No, Father, I did so many reprehensible things … I am a great sinner…. I cannot begin from scratch!”.
You are wrong! You can begin from scratch! Why?
Because He is waiting for you, He is close to you, He loves you, He is merciful, He forgives you,
He gives you the strength to begin again from scratch! Everybody!
And so we are able to open our eyes again…”
–Pope Francis 12/15/2013 [Angelus address]
…the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death, light has dawned…!
“Lord, teach me how to live.” –Saint John Neumann
Therefore, let us hold fast to words of such encouragement… words of: Fr. Wade Menezes, Sister Magdeleine of Jesus, Saint John Neumann, Pope Francis, and of Jesus Christ, Himself!
…that we may approach our approachable God—and be not afraid…
as we resolve to reform. Forward!
God desires you to be the best version of yourself that He wills for you.” –Fr. Wade Menezes (1/5/2015).
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January 7, 2015 ADDENDUM to above post: I thought the following new list of 6 Points would be useful also, as we set our NEW Goals for going forward! New, from today’s EWTN Daily Mass homily, Fr. Wade’s 6 General Principles [with emphasis on “general”] for discerning if God may be talking to you:
2015–The Way to Nourish for Life!