little flowers of faith: daisies
Le blog de la Bergerie
Un blog catholique et bilingue, franco-américain, sur la foi, la religion, le monde et la culture, avec des articles, des prières, des recettes de cuisine et des photos de nature.
A Catholic French-American worldview based on faith, reason and gratitude, with articles, comments and prayers, cooking recipes and nature pictures.
little flowers of faith: daisies
                       


  On options and freedom and faith...


We have so many options, us, members of the Body of Christ, to be his hands and his feet, to be his voice to all the ones we meet…

One of the most amazing part of faith is that it brings freedom to our lives in so many new ways, it is quite a paradox to experience this reality and it is usually completely unknown outside of the believers' circles. But with faith comes freedom, with freedom comes the possibility to choose the good, the just and the beautiful, the freedom to choose life, to choose holiness. We get choices and options - and hope and trust - because we are all made in His image and because each one of us is unique, isn't this mind boggling enough? Then just add to this mix the reason why: it is because we are loved...
The life of a believer is a daily expression of this freedom, adapted to our positions in life, our GPS location, our age and our own faith journey, our family context and heritage, our work and play … Faith is both the journey and the goal. We are walking ahead and we are not walking blindly, we have the light of the Beatitudes, the Great Commission, the Gospels, the Pauline Letters, we are inspired by our Lord commandment to Love God and love each other…. We are encouraged and motivated by the saints, the spiritual leaders and the doctors of the Church who have deepened these commandments again and again with their own experiences and witnessing. Because we are weak, because of our human nature, we fail and we fall down. But there is this constant invitation to get up and readjust ourselves and our lives and aim high again. What a blessing it is to be Catholic, to belong to a religion with such clear directions, where the teachings and dogmas are public and accessible to all, especially in today's connected world. And to think that this offer is "open to all", that this offer is constant, that every day is a new beginning…
The invitation has been clearly outlined, in great details, for what it implies for each one of us, from traditional Scriptures to classics such as the "Imitation of Christ" or the Summa Theologiae, to today's Pope Francis tweets, the information and the invitation is out there and it is mainly a question of opening up our ears and our hearts. It is exactly one of the work of the Holy Spirit to "reveal to us the realities of the faith"! Yes, the options available to us on how best to follow Christ and be a Christian are innumerable because they exist for each one of us to live it out, supported by the communion of saints, embraced by the mercy of the Son, formed by the revealing counsels of the Holy Spirit and ignited by the wondrous and the astonishing grace of God…

The Marian option: Recently, I was very pleased to hear about "The Marian Option". Dr. Carrie Gress provides a thoroughly researched bird s eye view of the significant cultural and military events mediated through Mary on behalf of her spiritual children. From miraculous victories to the soaring heights of culture, you have never seen Mary like this before. Beyond the battlefield, The Marian Option also highlights the link between Marian devotion and high culture, showing how creativity and the arts painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and literature all flourish when devotion to her is strong.This enthralling chronicle of Mary s intercession makes clear that Christ s mother is indeed the most powerful woman in the world. Not only is she keenly interested in assisting Christians, she has the ability to do so, even in the face of the gravest odds. We just have to ask. From Amazon.com, read more here Another article expended on this: "Why the Marian Option is not optional": Part history book, part theological reflection and part apologetic defense of Marian doctrines, The Marian Option presents a fast-paced, hope-filled plea for the faithful to understand and utilize the powerful weapon Mary's intercession. The section entitled "Mary's Geopolitical Influence" is particularly enlightening, wherein Gress offers new insights on Mary's apparitions at Guadalupe, Lourdes and Fatima and sheds light on her influence in pushing back forces hostile to Christianity, including paganism, Islamic militarism, and Communism… From Aleteia.org, read more here
The Saint Francis of Sales option: Five lessons from Francis of Sales: for instance, do not run away from where you are, holiness is your calling wherever you are "Bloom where you are planted". The author says that "It's a fair bet that Francis de Sales would not have been a fan of flame wars on the internet, or politicians and talk show hosts who verbally burn their opponents at the stake. When he was asked why he never succumbed to anger, his reply was consistent and swift: "Would you wish for me to lose in fifteen minutes, what I have spent my whole life trying to control?" See more here
The Little Flower option: "Do everything with great love" such as the laundry (done by hand in those days, imaging washing sheets in cold water and trying to squeeze that water out of them afterwards), the daily cleaning and cooking, the singing in choir, the coughing of mucus and blood etc… The smallest and most mundane task can be done for the love of Jesus and the love of the Church. Therese started on this path praying for a fervent atheist murderer before he was executed. She lived it every day of her short life, she wrote about it, and in her last months, lying on the bed in the convent infirmary, dying of tuberculosis at 25 years old, she kept offering all her suffering to God. Her small diary turned out to be such a source of inspiration and encouragement for all, as she had said she would "spend her time in heaven sending a shower of rose petals on earth".
The Monica's option: Pour rivers of tears begging Heaven for the conversion of your intellectual (and mildly arrogant) son (actually, there is a name for this outpouring of tears, it's called the "gift of tears"). See your son convert (and become a Bishop and a Doctor of the Church), so will your own pagan (and mildly male chauvinistic) husband and for that matter the whole household too…
The French option: when all seems lost, when the culture wars seems to have defeated the faith and the church in a variety of evident ways, then God will rise a new wave of faithful and orthodox authors, saints, leaders, prayer groups or social justice workers… Read more here
The Abba Joseph option: A monk went to see Abba Joseph and said: "Abba, I practice the rule (of St Benedict), I do a little fasting, I spend time in prayer and meditation and, as much as possible, I keep my thoughts clean. What else should I do?" The old man stood up, stretched out his hands toward heaven and his fingers became like ten torches. And he said: "If you wish, you can become all flame".
The Carmelites of Compiegne option: climb the scaffold of la guillotine singing to God and offer your life for the end of the blood bath of the Revolution (which stopped within 2 weeks)...
The Opus Dei option: "God is not removing you from your environment. He is not taking you away from the world, or from your condition in life, or from your noble human ambitions, or from your professional work ... But he wants you to be a saint - right there!" (Saint Josemaría)
“St Augustine might have had doubts about the Benedict Option"..by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith, posted Thursday, 4 May 2017
"Flight from the world is not a Catholic thing, simply because we believe that the world is a good place, created by God, and that human reason is intrinsically valuable. Indeed love of Creation and trust in human reason both help us on our way to salvation in Christ.... " Read it all here on the Catholic Herald site: here
The writing in the snow option: Trust me, sometime the simplest statement can become a powerful witnessing moment, especially if it is the most you can do at that particular moment and if you are in an isolated place! But God's grace will heal any exhaustion and sooth every loneliness.




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