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As Christians, we are under attack by the evil one. By fervent efforts to please Christ in our every thought, word and action, we can make a 'garment' for ourselves, by the grace of Christ, as if building a castle wall that keeps out Satan who prowls around, trying to persuade people to sin.
Just as it is impossible for any of us, by our own power, to leap over a far-off planet, so it is impossible for us, by our own efforts, to achieve union with God. We need His grace, simply to be able to want to approach! Then further graces, in order to respond to His loving invitation. But with His help, we can pray, learn to live in charity, and become holy.
Within the soul, as if in a bright interior chamber where the contemplative meets Christ in prayer, it's as if there is a secret chamber into which Christ can draw that person, to bring her to meet the Holy Spirit and the Father too, and to share Christ's secrets, about the life of God and the life of grace. Only those people who have sincerely tried to live in charity, humility and purity can enjoy such intimacy with God.
Each of us needs to remember that we shall one day die. Shall we go to the grave in the love of God, confident that He will rescue us, and bring us up to Heaven, or shall we die when we have, at some stage of life earlier, cut ourselves off from Him? By our decisions and our behaviour today, each of us is making our way towards Heaven or towards Hell.
If we love Christ and trust in Him, we can hurl ourselves - by His grace - into His loving heart, in prayer, as if into an Abyss of light, in total surrender but real unknowing, and real acceptance of Christ's plans for us, whatever these might be. He is utterly trustworthy, even if He leads us along unexpected paths.
It is no small matter, to feel ourselves dragged down by an evil force. When we are doing good work for Christ and the Church, whether it is quiet or public, the evil one tries to drag us down, to tempt us to despondency or despair, to wreck our plans, to deceive us in prayer, and to draw us away from our Saviour. We need to be fervent in fighting all dispiriting thoughts and temptations, and must rely on the grace of Christ, in prayer.
If we want to be saved, we must abandon our sins, like good people of past ages. Wise people follow the teaching of the Church. It is Christ Who wants us to believe what she tells us about faith and morals. There are people who call themselves 'practicing Catholics', however, whose ways of life include acts regarded with horror, for centuries: unchastity, contraceptive us, divorce with attempted re-marriage, and a failure to hand on the Faith to their families. Everyone needs the Divine grace given through prayer and the Sacraments, to be able to put the Catholic Faith into practice.
It is as if they are choosing to dive into darkness, whenever Catholics decide to ignore the teaching of the Church and follow a way of life always regarded by Christians with horror - involving unchastity, contraceptive use, divorce and attempted re-marriage, combined with a failure to hand on the Faith in its entirety to the children they do have. To ignore the Church's teaching is to ignore Christ, Who guides her by His Spirit - although Christ sees that some people are not entirely blameworthy, perhaps because of fear or ignorance.
Famous people need to act with special prudence and caution. One of the spiritual dangers that many people encounter is the danger of being swept through much of earthly life on a river of fame. Pop stars, royalty, comedians, politicians, influential lives, and sports stars and others, will risk the loss of grace, and even eternal life, if they forget the purpose of life, which is union with God, in His service, and not self-worship.
Since God the Father's plan was that Christ came to us through Mary, bringing His saving graces, He is always the Father's gift - and always through Mary. The gift is never taken back. Hence her title of 'Co-Redemptrix'; though Christ is the only Saviour, who died on the Cross for our sins.
Christ was introduced to the world, even as a child, because He is King: the Divine child Who would sacrifice His life for sinners, and then conquer sin and death by rising from the grave. The Early Church spent many years preaching about Him, and defining His two natures, and His Mission. Only much later were definitions made about His mother's Immaculate Conception, and her Assumption. Yet the time is ripe for confirmation, in a formal declaration, of two other titles: Co-Redemptrix, and Mediatrix of all Graces.
The Blessed Virgin sacrificed her life, to give the world its Saviour. The Church has issued formal declarations in modern times of what she has long believed about Our Blessed Lady: about her purity (The Immaculate Conception) and her triumph (Her Assumption, body and soul, into Heaven); yet Christ wants to see honour paid to her courage and love, through a formal definition of her titles, proclaiming her, 'Co-Redemptrix', and, 'Mediatrix of all Graces'.
The Lord wants to see His Mother honoured by a formal declaration that she does indeed merit the two titles long-applied to her: 'Co-Redemptrix', and, 'Mediatrix of all Graces'. Only Christ, our Divine Saviour, merited our Salvation by His Passion and Death; but His Immaculate Mother willingly united her sufferings and prayers to His, as she stood beneath the Cross, hence, 'Co-Redemptrix', as she prayed for sinners; and since Christ came to us through her, so He still comes to us, spiritually, through her, hence the second title.
Mary was chosen by God for a special role; and God the Father never changes His mind or revokes His choice. Just as He chose to bring Jesus to us, through the sinless Virgin Mary, so He still wishes to help us, through her. Indeed, He pours out through her, upon us, the graces that her son Jesus Christ won for us by His death on the Cross, as she stood beneath it, uniting her sufferings with His.
Our Lady is deeply involved in our spiritual and earthly lives. The Immaculate Virgin Mary sacrificed her life, to bring Christ into the world. She was the means or portal by which Jesus came to us; so, today, spiritually, He comes to us through Mary, with all the graces we need for salvation. This is why we call her, 'Mediatrix of all Graces', as well as giving her the title of 'Co-Redemptrix' for her sufferings beneath the Cross of her Son.
Some people seem content to live in spiritual darkness. It is important to persevere with our prayers of intercession, even for someone who seems to be preoccupied and unresponsive. The grace of God can penetrate hearts and minds without someone feeling anything, though it is when that person begins to reflect on his life and activities that he sees more clearly, and begins to see the need for change, and repentance.
Until we are safely in Heaven, by God's grace and mercy, we must remain vigilant. Our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a hungry lion, seeking someone to devour, which means, he wants to draw us into Hell. We must pray and strive to avoid all evil, and to do only good, in union with Christ.
Christ cannot fail to shower graces upon all who are struggling to follow in His footsteps, up the Holy Mountain, to Heaven. That is what all who go on pilgrimage are certainly doing, as they serve one another and honour God, in union with Christ, helped by the prayers of Christ's holy Mother, and with the sick and disabled lovingly cared for on the journey.
By our penances, and our loving hearts, we can do much good. Christ sees that there are people in desperate need of help. Trapped in mortal sin, as if being swept away in a fast-flowing river, they are helpless to help themselves. We can offer up our sufferings in union with Christ, to bring down grace upon sinners, and the hope of eternal life.
Christ wants us all to follow His Way to Heaven, in chastity. There are young people everywhere who deserve to hear the truth about life: that they were created by the one only God, Who loves each of them deeply, and wants to make them happy and holy. They will not become happy through drunkenness and sexual licence, but through hearing the truth, repenting, and becoming selfless and holy, by the grace of Christ.
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