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Lent 2017 Devotional—March 22

Lent 2017 Devotional—March 22

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God”…Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:35, 38

Perhaps there are times when you feel like Mary must have felt when God interrupted her life. She had her plans for the way her life was supposed to be. There were plans for a wedding, marrying Joseph, having children, a white picket fence, and living happily ever after. But then it happened! God had plans of His own, bigger plans, miraculous plans, mysterious, wondrous, and yes, frightening plans. Implausibly, a teenage virgin girl will carry within her the God whom heaven cannot contain. But all generations call Mary “blessed” for praying to God, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.

Most of us have struggled with saying, “Yes!” to the Great Interrupter when His plans for us don’t agree with ours. God’s interruptions might come as a two o’clock in the morning phone call; a doctor’s frightening prognosis; life alone without the one most dear to us. It’s so difficult to be like Mary and pray: “Here I am, your servant.”

When the plans of the Grand Interrupter crash headlong into mine, I am helped by the wisdom of Jean Pierre de Caussaude. His letters of spiritual counsel have been passed down to us in two powerful volumes, The Sacrament of the Present Moment, and, Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence. These two books contain wisdom about how this moment of your life, even the interruptions, come to you as a holy sacrament from God. You can “abandon” yourself to God in this moment. You can receive from God what comes to you moment by moment, the only moment in your control.

You may not always know God’s will for you in the bigger picture, but you can never doubt His will for you in this moment. Imagine what you would give for a clear, definite leading in God’s will for you! Here it is in this moment! Stay close to God as this moment passes into the next and the next…

PRAYER RETREAT

  • Take a few moments to reflect on Caussade’s counsel:

    God speaks to every individual through what happens to them moment by moment…. The events of each moment are stamped with the will of God… we find all that is necessary in the present moment. If we have abandoned ourselves to God, there is only one rule for us: the duty of the present moment. (The Sacrament of the Present Moment)

    The present moment is from God and self-abandonment to it is the path to holiness. We need to train ourselves to approach each present task or suffering as a sacrament in the same loving concentration with which we receive the blessed sacrament. (The Sacrament of the Present Moment)

    The present moment is like an ambassador announcing the policy of God, and the heart declares “‘Thy will be done.’… Oh God, you have allowed this to be… I make you a sacrifice of this difficulty and all its consequences.” (Self-Abandonment to Divine Providence)

  • Where do you sense that you want to “abandon” yourself to God in this present moment?
  • Pray now like Mary: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word. Let it be with me according to your word.

“As a fact we are always in touch with God; every thing that happens is His arrangement, His Providence, and a means of grace, a push on to Heaven.”
Abbot Chapman, Spiritual Letters

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