The Imitation of Mary, by Abbe Alexander de Rouville. No sooner had the incomparable Imitation of Christ appeared than the faithful began to spontaneously wish for an imitation of Our Lady, and finally, in 1768, a monk pulled together a little powerhouse of meditation on the different mysteries and circumstances of her life, from the Immaculate Conception to her Assumption into Heaven! Click here



What worries you? Are you concerned about money? Are you in the dumps about the future? Are you dragged down by personal issues?

As times get "tough," there is a dark mood out there. Maybe it's simple interactions with people: folks are sniping at one another. There is sourness as falsity passes away.

When things go "bad," it is often God's correction. Nothing negative in that. The challenge is fear. It's also anger. Many are angry. The landscape shifts around them. As it does, we must ask: Are we willing to downsize? Do we not see the benefit in a humbler, more meditative life? Can we not learn to be less dependent on the world (and more on His Providence)?

As for how others treat us: here we get into the gift of transcendence.

When someone snips or snipes or otherwise bothers you, or when things look bad, when change comes in a way you don't want, what God wants you to do is what His Son did: rise above it.

Pray your way above the reality that we call earth. Pray yourself above emotionality. Pray your way above an instinctual response. Pray your way above the circumstance that irritates you and look down on it!

To resurrect is to leave things behind. It's to rise above the dynamics of this world and unite with Jesus, Who will provide everything you need.

Be a rock. Let the rough water go around you. Don't be wood, which can float downstream. Certainly, we don't want to be cardboard (which the "water" goes right through), nor metal that can rust.

St. Peter was a "rock." He transcended persecution. He rose above all hurt. In the early Church, those caught up with His Spirit rose above the most hideous of tortures. It makes what we are now facing look like kid's play.

Are we facing a recession? We're facing a regression. Do the economist know what is occurring? They do not. Does government? It is wrapped in itself. Only God knows, and He will raise you above it (as well as provide).

Unite with Him. Keep Him in every thought. Do everything for Jesus. The answer is there.

Even in everyday life: when someone is rude or insulting or hurtful (these emotions are bound to increase), rise above them. Transcend in prayer. Let them not attach to old wounds. Do you realize how many things sting you because they're touching a weak point -- touching a nerve that's still exposed?

Throughout life, we incur wounds as a result of broken relationships, harsh words, unfair conduct, deception, rejection, loss, and sin. There are wounds, and new problems can reopen them.

It's why we are strongly recommending a new book, Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing, by Father Dwight Longenecker of South Carolina (in a parish that made news recently). We'll be talking more about his book soon, but suffice it here to say that it offers powerful meditations and prayers -- through the Rosary -- that heal those inner wounds.

"The love and power of Christ healed people, and Jesus wants to heal us today," writes Father Longenecker. "His love can penetrate our lives and touch the wounds in our lives that are in areas so deep we don't even know about them. Do you remember the woman who crept up in the crowd to touch the hem of Jesus' cloak? She was forgiven and healed of a deep inner illness (see Matthew 9:20-22)."

Before He heals, however, we have to release wrong memories. We have to give up the wrong past. We must detach from what weighs us down. What are wrong memories? They are pockets of unforgiveness. There is humiliation, because we are not humble. They are areas where we are still replaying past harms. Or, they are memories of past sin -- memories that still titillate us.

When we have a confessed a sin but still enjoy the memory of it, we're attached to it, and here is bondage to the earth. Cleanse your spirit of lurid past behavior. Ask the Lord to cleanse even past such thoughts. The purity of love is the air under your wings.

The same is true when we are caught in an aggravation. The more we think about something wrong that was done to us, and especially the more we talk about it, the more irritated we are and the longer it holds us down; the longer it lasts. We potentiate it (which means we give it power).

Break free! In prayer, with the Rosary, during Communion, with Confession, you can do it. Even in hard times, there should be no reduction in joy. To purify is to draw closer to God.

When we are attached to Him (through constant prayer), when we truly let our spirits move beyond emotions, when we "step outside" of ourselves (in humility, with unconditional caring), we transcend to levels of which we have not even dreamed and see that "dark" times are just clouds we pass through.

[resources: Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing]

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