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Say Yes to Holiness Newsletter #20

To assist you in your growth towards holiness…

Say Yes to Holiness Newsletter #20

Greetings, my Fellow Pilgrims on the Way!

Food for the Head

“Let the Word of God come; let it enter the church; let it become a consuming fire, that it may burn the hay and stubble, and consume whatever is worldly; there is heavy lead of iniquity in many; let it be molten by divine fire; let the gold and silver vessels be made better, in order that understanding and speech, refined by the heat of suffering, may begin to be more precious.” — St. Ambrose

How well do you allow the Word of God to enter into your heart and mind and let it become a consuming fire that consumes whatever is worldly? Have you spent time in true conversation with Jesus during which you speak of what worldly thing in your life needs to be set aside? This week, make a commitment to have at least one 20 minute conversation with Jesus in which you discuss with Him what things may need to be “set aside” so that He can continue to make us better. 

Food for the Heart

“Know, dearest daughter, how, by humble, continual, and faithful prayer, the soul acquires, with time and perseverance, every virtue. Wherefore should she persevere and never abandon prayer… The soul should advance by degrees, and I know well that, just as the soul is at first imperfect and afterwards perfect, so also is it with her prayer. She should nevertheless continue in vocal prayer, while she is yet imperfect, so as not to fall into idleness. But she should not say her vocal prayers without joining them to mental prayer, that is to say, that while she is reciting, she should endeavor to elevate her mind in My love, with the consideration of her own defects and of the Blood of My only-begotten Son, wherein she finds the breadth of My charity and the remission of her sins.”
— St. Catherine Of Siena, p. 92, Dialogues of Saint Catherine
When you pray, are you tempted to just “say your prayers” and fail to join those efforts to mental prayer? Or are you becoming discouraged in your prayer because you cannot see how your soul is acquiring every virtue? This week, make a resolution to ask God to help you “elevate your mind in His love” during prayer so you may see more clearly how our Lord is helping your soul grow in every virtue. 
Food for the Hands
“Announcing the Gospel is the first and greatest act of charity.” — St. Arnold Janssen
This week, be intentional about performing a work of charity by seeking an opportunity to announce the Gospel either through your words or your actions.
Food for the Feet
“Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be, and becoming that person.” — St. Therese of Lisieux

This week, make a resolution to learn more about the person Jesus wants you to be, and take an action that simplifies your life so you can better become that person. 

Did You Know? 
“I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him. In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls. They were praying fervently, but without effect for themselves; only we can come to their aid. The flames which were burning them do not touch me at all. My Guardian Angel did not leave me for an instant. I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was. They answered me in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God . . . [I heard an interior voice] which said, My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it.
— St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, p. 35, Hungry Souls
Exhortation

Many times people will ask me “Why the urgency?” in the midst of my ministry as well as other activities that I am involved.

This question usually comes in light of my pushing (again) for change–either in awareness, approach or methodology–to something that is happening around me. It could be me asking a simple question like “Why are you doing something that way?” or “Have you considered trying to do this instead?” to an exhortation to completely reorient one’s thoughts, words and actions to a higher purpose (like my Say Yes Manifesto).

All of us are yearning for greatness, but we often are not willing to do what is necessary to cultivate that greatness in our lives. And when you take that a step farther and look at what is the ONE THING that TRULY matters in our lives–our relationship with our Heavenly Father and preparing to spend all eternity with Him–we tend towards a “I’ll get around to that” or a “God is merciful” and so give ourselves a “get out of jail free card” for not doing what we know we should be doing in our lives, but we are too busy, distracted, or if we are honest, too lazy, to make a change–even small ones. 

And there ARE consequences to our saying no. The story shared by St Faustina is not the only one that tells us that our God is loving, but He is also just. And that fact is not supposed to terrify us (although it does for me sometimes when I look back at my life and all the absolutely horrid things I have done!), but rather is a reminder to set aside MY stuff and set God’s stuff ahead of my own, to put first things first and make room for Him in all things, and to do just a little bit each day that helps me grow closer to God and become more my true self. 

The reality is that EVERYTHING matters and can make a difference. Habits, contrary to popular belief, are built not on goals and willpower, but on our making small changes to our environment that will gradually result in our successfully cultivating the habits we need to become a different person in ANY area of our lives. But to do that, we need to cultivate an attitude of openness to the reality that change is necessary in order to grow, and that it is only by growing that we can become who God created us to be. 

So do whatever it takes, and tell the Master of Death, NOT TODAY.

God bless each one of you, and I look forward to seeing you on the Way soon! 

All the best,

Christina

www.sayyestoholiness.com

@SayYestoHoliness

PS–Again, THANK YOU for your continued prayers for my mom”s recovery. I just returned from the Voice and Vision National Summit on Ministry for Youth and Young Adults held at Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH (more on that coming in my blog posts), and all was well during my time away, so grateful for your prayers of intercession for her and the family.

And if you are finding this newsletter to be of help to you, PLEASE share it with a friend! (Nothing better than helping a friend make a small change to help them grow in holiness!), and if this has been shared with you and you want to sign up to receive it directly to your own inbox, just go to the www.sayyestoholiness.comwebsite, or click on the Newsletter signup link here