Thursday, April 10, 2014

Like a Mighty Champion

By Melanie Rigney

I hear the whisperings of many: “Terror on every side! Denounce! Let us denounce him!” All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. “Perhaps he can be tricked; then we will prevail, and take our revenge on him.” But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not prevail. In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion. (Jeremiah 20:10-11)

In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice. (Psalm 18:7)
“If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10:37-38)

Lord, You matter above all else. Help me to remember that, and to be indifferent to the opinions of those here on earth as long as I am doing Your will.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis announced the canonization of three new saints, including Marie of the Incarnation, born Marie Guyart on October 28, 1599, in France. She died on April 30, 1672, in Canada.

Marie’s story is a difficult one to understand. A relatively wealthy widow with a son, she chose to become an Ursuline nun when she was thirty. She left her son, who was about ten, in the care of her sister and brother-in-law. Ten years later, she felt called to serve in Canada, then known as New France. She was the first woman religious to come to the region.

Marie’s decisions caused some hard feelings within her family, including a story her son and some classmates attempted to gain entrance to her monastery in France. The son, Claude, later became a priest and while the two carried on an active correspondence, but it does not appear they ever saw each other again after she left France.

It’s hard to imagine the Lord calling a mother away from a young child, isn’t it? Fortunately, He doesn’t ask many of us for that sort of sacrifice. But Marie faced the challenge with courage. Among the remarks for which she is remembered is this one: “O my great God, you can do all things and I can do nothing! If you wish to help me, I am ready. I promise to obey you!”

As we head into the holiest time of the year, give some thought to what God is asking of you… and how you can answer the call, as difficult as it seems.

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