Rays of Merciful Love Summer 2022

5 14510011 The 10 evangelical virtues of Our Lady When the Archangel Gabriel told Zechariah that his wife, Elizabeth, would bear him a son, he doubted and asked for proof: “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years” (Lk 1:18). Yet, since he was a learned and devout priest serving in the temple, he knew this was not impossible, since God had blessed the Patriarch Abraham and his wife with a child in their old age. But he lacked faith. At this critical time in his life, he doubted and questioned God. How many times have I fallen into the same pattern and shown a lack of faith! Sometimes I feel like my faith and trust in God are like a small plant just out of the ground. It is fine as long as there is water and sunlight, but it sways in a light breeze and breaks in even the slightest storm of life. When Gabriel visited Mary, her response was different. When the archangel told her that she was to bear the Son of God and name Him Jesus, she only asked for clarification, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” (Lk 1:34). What was asked of Mary was the conception of a child without a human husband. How could that be? Once Gabriel helped her understand that the conception will be accomplished by the “power of the Most High,” Mary surrendered herself completely to God’s will: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). Faith means a belief in God and complete trust in Him. But faith, as in Mary’s case, often requires a willingness to accept the unexpected detours along the winding road of life that God has planned for us. Mary, a lowly and humble handmaiden, could never have dreamed of God’s plans for her. Yet she surrendered in faith to God’s will. Was such acceptance of God’s will easy? Of course not! But Mary surrendered to God without knowing all the details or having her future events explained to her. For Mary, faith became a distinguishing part of her life, as it should also for ours. Let us pray for a stronger faith and the grace to be open to God’s will, and let us make Jesus the focus of our lives. By Dr. Bryan Thatcher Faith, as in Mary’s case, often requires a willingness to accept the unexpected detours along the winding road of life that God has planned for us. Mary, a lowly and humble handmaiden, could never have dreamed of God’s plans for her. Yet she surrendered in faith to God’s will. © 2022 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. Most Sorrowful Most Merciful Most Patient Most Poor Most Pure Most Obedient Most Devout Most Humble Most Prudent Most Faithful Listen to the weekly Divine Mercy podcast “Pearls of Divine Mercy” is a new podcast of vignettes. You can listen to it at TheDivineMercy.org/podcasts. Each podcast is a three- to five-minute teaching on a variety of spiritual topics that will help you better understand various facets of Divine Mercy and how to better live the message of mercy. The topics include: the Image, the Chaplet, the Feast, the Eucharist, Reconciliation, forgiveness, trust, suffering, humility, the tongue, and more. The talks are designed to give you a taste of the sweetness of the Divine Mercy message. Check the website for a short lesson each week. I hope you enjoy them! Part 4

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