Yet these are strange times, when rather than trusting in the Almighty, we trust in technology and when we do that, we're prey for satan. We talk about how far weíve come in this modern age of high technology where computers are the norm and weíre lost without it. We forget that weíre really lost, not by getting trapped in a maze of search engines, but rather by getting trapped into thinking we are superior to all generations. Truth be told, we are inferior to those of earlier times who did not have the trappings that trap us today. Oh sure, Almighty God could easily have gifted Adam and Eve with a lap-top so when satan slithered into their lives they could have more easily recognized the lethal virus for what it truly was and prevent a fatal crash. But alas, they didnít and the rest, as they say, is history.
What about the patriarch Abraham? Do you think he needed a computer to know the intricacies of Godís Will? No, for his faith was fearless and his obedience even stronger. For this loyalty God made a promise to Abraham as recorded in Genesis 22:17: "I will indeed bless you, and will surely multiply your descendants as the stars of the Heavens, as the sands on the seashore. Your descendants shall possess the gates of their enemies. In your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed Me." What a promise the Lord made to His obedient servant and look how the people after Abraham, the Father of organized religion, if you will, responded to the Messiahís gift: sin of every kind, mass defections from the path God laid out for salvation. So, as all biblical scholars know, He meted out His Justice with the Egyptian captivity. But His Mercy won out and He freed His people through His servant Moses who did all he was asked to do and still doubted when he struck the rock twice instead of once. For that simple venial act of disobedience, he was banished from seeing the promised land. Be careful when clicking that mouse twice! If we think Moses punishment was severe, click to present time when millions of His children, including countless Catholics, feast on disobedience to Godís laws! Do we think God hasnít noticed? Recall the times of Sodom and Gomorrah and how the Almighty responded! Hasnít the Blessed Virgin Mary told countless visionaries and messengers that our times are worse than that era in Scripture when everything was turned into a pillar of salt?!?
From the earliest times of Genesis to our present day and age God has a special "home page" for each one of us and all we need to do is follow the instructions. Theyíre very simple: Prayer, Penance, Fasting, Faith, Reconciliation and Conversion of Heart. If we are obedient to Godís Will we will not "taste death" but have life everlasting. That was what motivated Abraham and that should be what motivates us. Maybe itís a good thing Moses didnít have a lap-top when he descended Mount Sion. It was bad enough smashing the tablets, could you imagine the mess with countless computer bits littering the base of the mount? Maybe itís a good thing Abraham and Moses didnít have these modern conveniences such as e-mail capabilities. After all they probably would have never accomplished their tasks with all the interruptions and "hate" mail!!! Can you imagine the home pages for the golden idols? In closing we thought we might add a bit of levity submitted by one of our readers that pinpoints Godís benevolence and how the Old Testament and New Testament blend into significance in our modern times and the pertinence of the Sacrificial Lamb in the Holy Eucharist. We all know the story of Abraham and his son Isaac but do we know why Isaac was 12 years old when God called Abraham to sacrifice his son? Because had he been a teenager it wouldnít have been a sacrifice!
On the same notebook, someone asked why Abraham decided to upgrade his PC with Windows 98 and Isaac was dumbfounded. He questioned his father, "Dad, your old PC doesnít have enough memory." To which Abraham reminded him, "My Son, God will provide the RAM." Are our God-given "PCís" equipped for all He wants to provide us? Or are our memories lacking faith so that we cannot upgrade our souls with the necessary megs of grace to truly accept the vital RAM needed to be on-line with the Lamb of God? Only by frequent and worthy reception of the Lamb, present in the bread and wine confected into the Body and Blood of Jesus, Soul and Divinity, during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - the same sacrifice God outlined to Abraham, completed with His Own Son on Calvary, and recreated daily in Catholic churches throughout the world - can we truly compute the significance of God's Infinite Divine Mercy! He has provided us enough memory in the hard drive of our soul and, as Abraham reminded his son Isaac, we can thank God everyday for providing the RAM to help us run true to Him!
What is CONSECRATION and why does Our Blessed Mother treasure the act of consecrating ourselves to her? First of all, Webster's New World Dictionary defines consecration as the act of setting something aside as holy and for sacred and serious use. This general definition bears out the various kinds of consecration. Of course, the holiest of all is that which takes place at every Mass when the priest prays the words: TAKE AND EAT... Thereby ordinary bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Our Savior and Lord, Jesus. There is then, as well, the special consecration of priests and religious men and women who of their own free will set themselves aside to work and pray all of their lives for the work of their own sanctification and that of others. But Our Lady is asking the laity to consecrate themselves, too. And perhaps no one has better assisted people to an understanding of the importance of consecrating themselves to Our Lady and assisting them with a FORM of doing so than St. Louis Marie de Monfort.
St. Louis not only advocated strongly that everyone should consecrate themselves to Our Lady, but he taught earnestly that this consecration should not be taken lightly and that people should make a serious preparation for it. Although a preparation for a consecration can vary according to a person's needs and circumstances, St. Louis recommended a preparation that consisted of 12 days in which a person endeavors to rid himself/herself of the spirit of the world as opposed to the Spirit of Our Lord. This preparation is followed by 3 weeks of prayer and meditation in which a person strives to acquire a better knowledge of self (1st week),... of Our Lady (2nd week),... and of Jesus (3rd week). This preparation takes 33 days.
The Monfort Fathers have assembled in one booklet the various prayers to aid people in the total consecration. This booklet is entitled PREPARATION FOR TOTAL CONSECRATION ACCORDING TO SAINT LOUIS MARIE de MONFORT. Local Catholic bookstores should have it and if not, I encourage you to contact me. This booklet even has a chart of suggested schedules for consecration to help make it easier to keep track of the preparation days. The remaining suggested beginning dates for the rest of this year are: April 28th...(ending May 31st); July 13th...(ending August 15th); and Nov. 5th...(ending December 8th).
Why does Our Lady treasure the act of consecrating ourselves to her? First of all, the act of consecration according to its very definition, means that a person wants to be set aside for God and His service. The implication is that a person wants to be saved, wants to be pleasing to God, wants to do God's Will. What good mother doesn't want her child to be good? What good mother doesn't want to help her child to be good and do good? Our Blessed Mother, the perfect Mother, the Mother of God...our Mother, does not and cannot refuse a child who says in effect..."Mother, I want to be set aside for God and I want to do His Will?"
Consecrating ourselves to Our Lady is the fastest way to place ourselves under the shelter of Our Lady's Mantle. We know from Scripture that Our dear Blessed Lady will crush the head of satan. (Can't come too soon for me! I'm getting very tired of the evil work he is clearly sowing in our world today.) The evil one cannot harm Our Lady in any way...cannot come close to her. The safest haven for us is under her Mantle. Those who ARE under her Mantle...in other words, those who have consecrated themselves to her are "safe"... are "set aside" for God.
In case, you dear reader, have not as yet consecrated yourself to Our Lady, or would like to make a TOTAL consecration, I truly encourage you to do so....SOON. Time is not to be wasted. God love you and bless you!