Praise

Who do we think of as our model in the faith? OK, here is a most acceptable answer – Mary. Mary does not say many words in the Scriptures so the words she does say are important. Some of her first words are “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word.” (LK 1:38) Then, the bulk of her words found in the Bible are that of PRAISE. Just read Luke 1:46-55. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. Holy is His name…His mercy is from age to age…He has lifted up the lowly.”

I want to make the connection of PRAISE and the attitude of Mary. Her attitude is that she will let God use and form her according to His will. It is about the awesome mystery of God loving and saving her and all His children. The result is a heart full of PRAISE. Most of Mary’s words are PRAISE. Her obedience to the Word of God leads her to PRAISE. Obedience always leads to PRAISE.

Let’s pay attention. If we want to know how much God is a part of our lives we can check our own personal PRAISE barometer. How much is PRAISE a part of our daily life? If God’s word is being accomplished in us we cannot help to be constantly full of PRAISE. Why? Because we simply can’t contain the love of God. As we obey God our hearts will well up with PRAISE. If we’ve really got the love of God forming what we think, say and do, we will want to shout about it from the housetops. Like Mary, the greatest and most natural response to God loving and saving us is that of PRAISE.

I just have a few suggestions to make our PRAISE barometer rise. First, obey God’s Word. Secondly, go to the sacrament of reconciliation. Sin chokes God’s Word and, consequently, PRAISE out of our lives. Let His love and mercy take away our anger and hatred through the sacrament of reconciliation. Thirdly, a lot of times we simply just don’t take the time to reflect and become aware of how awesome God is in our lives. So, as a family let us take at least one prayer time a week together simply allowing the various members to say what they are thankful for. Do this with friends or coworkers. Watch the miracles happen! Watch how loving God can become for us in the midst of all the curses and negativity that this world can send our way. As Christians, you and I are called to be a PEOPLE OF PRAISE.

God is just too good not to PRAISE. Truly, it is impossible not to praise Him as He pours out His love in our hearts!

You are loved!

+Fr. John

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