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Salt. Light. Hope.

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Last time, we discussed Our Lady's complete yes to God, which makes her our mother and our model in the Christian spiritual path. This time, we'll talk about the reason for the spirituality of the Immaculate Heart series at this time in the Thirteenth of the Month Club newsletter.

Michael O'Brien is a Canadian Catholic artist and author. Among his writings is the "Children of the Last Days" series of novels. In the book Eclipse of the Sun, he describes a bishop seeking guidance from God in the midst of many difficulties and snares. God's answer, in part, is this: "Teach My children to seek Me in the innermost tabernacle of their souls. The only indestructible refuge is in the heart, where I dwell. There they will find Me."

In a darkening world, a world of violence and persecution, a world of darkness and light, of sinners and saints, we cannot assume we will always have access to the Sacraments or to a priest. We cannot assume that the Lord in the Eucharist will always be safe in the tabernacles.

No — the only safe place for the Lord is in the hearts of the converted, in the indwelling of the Trinity in the hearts of those who love God, keep His commandments, and allow themselves to be transformed by His grace.

When we accept God's grace, when we are baptized, confirmed, receive the Eucharist, go to Confession, and walk the Christian spiritual path faithfully, then we become light to the nations, salt of the earth, a city set on a hill. We become temples of the Holy Spirit, founts of living water, and the living members of the Body of Christ, powerful with the very life and love of God.

When we've become holy, then God dwells within us, with us, now and forever — and nothing can take Him away, "not nobody, not no how!" When we're faithful children of Mary and God the Father, living as members of the Son with the life of the Holy Spirit, then we have enmity with the devil and the power to defeat him.

We are called, as Christians, not merely to be "good people," but to be saints. Remember: God alone is good (see Mk 10:18; Lk 18:19), and righteousness means repenting when we sin, rather than expecting that we shall never sin (see Prov 24:16). Otherwise the Sacrament of Confession would have little purpose! We are called to be holy, children of Mary, sacramentalized and evangelized Catholics, missionary disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, bringing that light to the nations, not hiding it under a bushel basket.

We must become so transparent to God that His light shines through us — that's what a halo is, after all! We must become so full of God that He overflows into our daily lives, into the lives of people around us, into the very objects we touch — that's why the Church keeps the relics of saints! We must become holy as God is holy, perfect as God is perfect — that is, we must love as He loves and trust in His mercy. When we are perfect in love and trust, then we are perfect as the Persons of the Blessed Trinity are perfect, for the very life of the Trinity is absolute, self-giving love.

This concludes our series on the spirituality of the Immaculate Heart. Pray for me, that I may someday soon live up to what I have written. Pray for each other, that we all may become holy in imitation of Our Lady and her Son. And pray for the world drowning in darkness, that they may see a great light.

Spirituality of the Immaculate Heart
Mary Pondered in Her Heart
The Heart of The Matter
Temples of the Holy Spirit
Sanctifying Grace
From Sons to Slaves
Baptism Saves You
Confession Resurrects You
Eucharist Nourishes You
Confirmation Ignites You
Through Darkness Into Light
Mary, Mother of Christians
Salt. Light. Hope.

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