It seems fitting that I ‘resurface’ on this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and the New Evangelization.  Another strong connection is that I was ordained a bishop on the feast day of Saint Juan Diego, December 9, 2009.  She is Patroness to the New Evangelization not only because Mary appeared to this simple convert to the faith, but because Mary is the greatest witness of all time to her Son.  Let us together seek her powerful intercession today for the strengthening of the faith in the Americas, beginning with the renewal of faith in each person’s heart.

I wish to share with this readership that the main reason for my silence in the past month has been a need for greater silence in my own life.  The LORD in his goodness has been leading me to deeper waters, for greater clarity for the ministry that lies ahead. 

As I was reflecting this morning, I realized that this journey began with the inauguration of the Year of Faith.  Perhaps that is the first lesson for all of us.  If we are to be capable of joyfully and credibly presenting the faith to others, we must first be purified and renewed in our own relationship with Christ.  Without any detail, I will share a few of the basic fruits of my recent journey of faith.

Spiritual Direction 101:  The sole desire of the human heart is for God.  This is our foundation; what and who we are created for.  We have a great capacity for wanting and desiring many things other than God.  These desires and wants are distracting, and even potentially lethal to our eternal life, and certainly to our present ability to live with any sense of contentment.  God led me to take an honest inventory of my desires.  Perhaps he is leading you to do the same.  He also showed me how these desires placed above the sole desire for Him are the cause of pain in my life, not His lack of love.

Greater love.  God is asking for greater love from me.  Is He asking for greater love from you?  The Incarnation reveals the self-giving (loving) nature of God.  The entire life, death and resurrection of Christ demonstrates God’s desire to give himself to us in love.  Christ also reveals that self-gift (love) is the ultimate vocation of the human person.  God is asking that everything I do be done with love, down to the smallest act, thought, word.  Greater love.

On this Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary continues to teach us the basic principles of life in communion with God, which is a life of discipleship of Christ.  Mary’s complete trust was in God.  Mary had no other desire than for God and the fulfillment of his will.  Mary’s heart and soul was wide open to God, and thus she was able to find her joy in God her savior.  Her life was a proclamation of the greatness of God. 

May we find our joy in God our savior!  May our lives be a proclamation of the greatness of God!

Mary, Queen of Peace, Pray for us!