BEING VULNERABLE IS COURAGEOUS

 

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In humanity we love, but that doesn’t ensure us that the very people we love will love us back. Many people suffer in sorrow obsessed with love not reciprocated. We all have been there at one time in our lives, and we all know how painful it can be. Now think of God and how He loves us as though we were the only ones and waits in anticipation for us to respond, our response is governed by our free will. How often have we turned away from God because we sit in shame or guilt from our sins? Or we are too preoccupied with the blessings that He has given us to be thankful to Him? Or we are consumed with our daily struggles and grief and blame Him for them and at times even angry at Him for them? And still none of these reasons prevents God from loving us any less, His love for us is beyond our comprehension.There is not a single thing that you can do that would prevent God from loving you. NOTHING. Advent is the season that should give us a pause in our lives to dwell on this truth. Consider this, His plan to bring us a Savior to open the gates of heaven so we can be with Him for eternity was hinged on the faith and response of one woman; Mary.

The Annunciation in my opinion was a vulnerable action of courage on God’s part. I know most of us associate vulnerability with weakness, but that is a misconception I hope I can change.

Dr. Brene` Brown says, “the word I use to describe people who can live from a place of vulnerability is wholehearted, courage, and strength.” Being wholehearted is a practice-one that we can choose to cultivate through empathy, gratitude, and awareness of our vulnerability armor.

It is hard to fathom a God that can make Himself vulnerable, but that is when we look at vulnerability as a weakness instead of a strength. God made Himself courageously vulnerable when He gave us the gift of free will?

Mary was born without the original sin of Adam and Eve something we do not share with her, but she was completely human. She like us has the gift of free will and could have said NO to God. How many of us have said no to God at different times in our lives? Thankfully, Mary courageously said, “YES.” By doing so, she opened herself to receive the gift of God’s life breathed into her by the messenger Gabriel.

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Mary said yes, knowing it would place her in a vulnerable position. It would put her life in jeopardy from those wanting to stone her to death for thinking she broke Judaic law having sexual relations with someone other than her betrothed. Her “yes” most likely destroyed her family’s reputation in the community as well as her own, casting shame upon them. Her “yes” forced Joseph’s status as an upright citizen and loyal worker in the community to be one of ridicule and mockery losing financial stability. Let’s face it her “yes” brought with it hardships, danger, and forced her loved ones to be outcasts on the margins in an impoverished society. It takes a lot of strength to be able to say yes when everything reasonable is telling you to say no, except love. Amy Grant gives us a window into Mary’s yes in her song Breath of Heaven.

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

God gives us a similar invitation as Mary to say “yes” to birthing “Christ” and His love into the world. He does this when He invites us to consider “yes” to the priesthood, religious, or lay vocation. To help the needy, weak, and the vulnerable in our communities, families, and throughout the world. We as baptized Christians are co-responsible for the life of the Church. I know it is hard to understand that we are co-responsible with the clergy and religious, but we are. In addition to single or married lay vocation, there are also, vocations available to us such as lay orders like the Secular Franciscans, Carmelites, Dominicans, etc., called to be a visible sign in the Church.I invite you to research and discern if you have one. I have provided info at the end of this blog.

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I look forward to Advent as an opportunity to cleanse myself and renew my faith in love. To acknowledge God’s love for me and to , my heart to receive more of it so that I can spill that love on those I encounter. As we tell children that they better be good for goodness sake for Santa to visit them and give them gifts. We Christians should also be good for goodness sake for the baby Jesus to give us the gift of Himself dwelling in our prepared hearts.  I invite you this first week of Advent to meditate on the Annunciation of Mary and ask yourself how soft is your heart to nestle the baby Jesus? And can your love for Him last beyond the Christmas season?

Becoming a lay Franciscan

Carmelite Third Order

Dominican Lay Order

 

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  1. Dawn,
    I read your blog and have one question? This sentence “Mary was born without the original sin of Adam and Eve something we do not share with her, but she was completely human.” I don’t see biblical scriptures to back that statement. I know that the scriptures says in Luke 1:28 “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” But in the Old Testament there were many people that were highly favored by God and had his favor on them, King David, Samuel from birth, Elijah, Ezekiel and the list goes on. Mary had to be like us and come into this world in the same manner as all of us. If she did not then the plan of redemption could not be legitimate plan. From the first Adams sin, sin was passed on to the whole human race no exceptions. That’s the whole purpose in Jesus coming to do away with the first Adams sin and make us righteous through His sacrifice. Mary was submitted to God, which was made clear by her response to the Angle. But she was born with the original sin of Adam and Eve. God does things legal and right, and the legal and right way would be that Jesus would come through a imperfect vessel like Mary and like everyone else before her and still defeat the Devil! That is something to shout about!!!

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    • Hi, Ricardo, Thank you so much for your question. Catholic Doctrine teaches us that Mary was conceived without original sin and explains why. The doctrine can explain it better than I and can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p122a3p2.htm Here is a little snippet, but you can read more on your own The Immaculate Conception

      490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace”.133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

      491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

      The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135
      492 The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.137

      493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

      “Let it be done to me according to your word. . .”

      494 At the announcement that she would give birth to “the Son of the Most High” without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that “with God nothing will be impossible”: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.”139 Thus, giving her consent to God’s word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God’s grace:140

      As St. Irenaeus says, “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”141 Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert. . .: “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith.”142 Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary “the Mother of the living” and frequently claim: “Death through Eve, life through Mary.”143
      Mary’s divine motherhood

      Happy Advent, Dawn

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  2. Beautifully written 💜 Thank you Dawn

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  3. Your intuition is terrific and in tune with the Spirit! Thank you for this. Beautiful piece and perfect timing for me xoxo Karyn

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