After reflecting on how God wants to give us his graces as he gave them to Mary, Pope Francis warned that we do need to be careful, and not “continually postpone a serious evaluation of one’s own life, taking advantage of the Lord’s patience.”
“He is patient. He waits for us, He is always ready to give us grace,” the pope affirmed before praying the midday Angelus on the day the Church celebrates that Mary was conceived in her mother’s womb without the stain of Original Sin, and was preserved from sin for the whole of her life.
The pope continued: “We may be able to deceive people, but not God; He knows our hearts better than we ourselves do.”
The present moment
So, the Holy Father urged, “Let us take advantage of the present moment! This, yes, is the Christian sense of seizing the day. … to seize today, to say ‘no’ to evil and ‘yes’ to God, to open oneself to His grace, to once and for all stop thinking of ourselves, dragging ourselves into hypocrisy and to face our own reality as we are – this is who we are – to recognize that we have not loved God and neighbor as we should have.
If you are a procrastinator, here is a prayer to the Holy Spirit (but pray it now!)
“And to confess it, this is the beginning of a journey of conversion, asking God’s pardon first of all in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and then to repair the harm done to others. But always open to grace: the Lord knocks on our door, He knocks on our heart to enter into friendship with us, in communion, to give us salvation.
“And this, for us, is the path for becoming ‘holy and immaculate.’ The uncontaminated beauty of our Mother is incomparable, but at the same time it attracts us. Let us entrust ourselves to her and say ‘no’ to sin and ‘yes’ to Grace once and for all.”
This Lebanese shrine to Mary is where she waited for Jesus on his visit to Tyre and Sidon