Abide in me and I in you › Jn 15, 4.

This saying of Jesus is very popular, but what exactly does the word abide mean? Dictionaries offer us more than fifty different synonyms, from “not to leave” and “to stay” to “to rest“. However, in today’s Gospel, the word should have two meanings. The first is to continue to be in the state you are in right now. The second meaning is more dynamic: to decide at every moment not to leave but to stay. Abide in me. At baptism, we were already grafted onto the life of Jesus (see Rom 11:17), so it is enough if we remain in him. We should abide in his love because he has already placed us in it.

We all know how easy it is to forget this truth. And this is where the second meaning of the word stay comes into play. Because we tend to forget that we are connected with Jesus, we must make a new decision for this connection with him daily. Our life is also like a branch that needs the vine’s nourishment (Jn 15:4-5): in the grace of Jesus, we can find the strength required to stay with him. Thanks to Grace, we can trust him even amid trials and see the strength to fight temptation or ask him for guidance and help before making difficult decisions. Staying with Jesus like this may seem complicated, but he promised to help us. But as? As I abide in you.

We can abide in Jesus because he chose to abide in us. He is connected to us by love. He is connected to us even when we do not feel this connection. Whenever we stay close to him, he is ready to encourage us. Thanks to this constant mutual exchange of life and love, our heart finds peace and rest – Jesus remains in us, and we in him. We can experience it, for example, when it fills us with peace during prayer. Or when we decide to repent or make peace with someone we hurt. We also see it in love, which gives us the strength to serve others. That is the fruit of abiding in Jesus.

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Mary of Magdala.

<3 Maria Magdalena <3

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Mary of Magadala, apostle of apostles,

Like Mary Magdalene, we, too, can accept Jesus’ liberating action. We are to give not what we have but what we are. The image of Mary Magdalene, created based on legendary and apocryphal data, with which people still identify to a large extent today, differs in some elements from the image compiled from the reports of all four evangelists. We tried to supplement the facts that we do not know about Mary Magdala from reports about some women in the Gospels so that this abbreviation may have led to a distorted image of her character.

What the evangelists write?

The evangelists mention her fourteen times in their writings. Each describes Mary Magdalene, whose feast day we celebrate this month (July 22), with their sensibility. Lukáš brings her close to Jesus from the beginning of his public appearances; she accompanied him during his suffering and burial, and Jesus was the first to appear to her. Matthew mentions her among the women who watched Jesus’ suffering from afar and how she comes to the tomb with another Mary at the dawn of the first day. At the end of his Gospel, Mark states that Jesus appeared to her as the first and only woman. In the Gospel of John, she has a unique position: she stood by the cross of Jesus, came early in the morning to the tomb where Jesus appeared to her first, and brought Jesus’ disciples a precious testimony and Jesus’ message about their mission.

What the evangelists do not write?

The evangelists do not say that Mary of Magdala was a prostitute or a sinner. She cannot even be identified as the woman who washed and anointed Jesus’ feet because she is not named in the Gospels (cf. Lk 7, 37-40). Not even with the sinner in John’s Gospel who was about to be stoned. Lukáš states that seven evil spirits came out of her. Illness, either mental or physical, was also considered to be the influence of an evil spirit. Jesus healed her; it is unknown under what influence of an evil spirit, and she, aware of the gift she received from him, could return to the fullness of life and give herself in selfless service. Jesus’ healing touch freed the imprisoned powers of love in her, which could now express gratitude to their Liberator.

Freed for God’s ways.

Inner healing will be verified by life itself. Only a person who is internally healed, free, and united in his thinking, feeling, and action are capable of giving himself in selfless love. She can detach herself from her plans to fully open herself to God’s ways, like Mary of Magdala, who followed the Lord as a disciple, the first among other women. Love did not allow her to distance herself from the Lord even in the hour of his suffering on the cross. And she did not leave him even after death: she testifies that love is stronger than death. A woman who, like Jesus’ Mother Mary, pursued only one goal in life from the moment of her liberation, to be with Jesus and for him, did not change it even after Jesus’ death.

We find her at the grave, as she too is waging a battle with death, which at first she thinks she has won. She did not know that the match was unequal. And with her, we don’t remember when we often looked for the living among the dead, the fullness of life in fragments of fleeting earthly happiness, and the love we wanted to pay for as in a store. But we get the most beautiful facts in life for free—both love, the fullness of life, and true happiness. There is no way to subscribe. However, like Mary Magdalene, we can accept Jesus’ liberating action and not pay but donate. Not what we have, but what we are.

Witness of the Resurrection.

Only love can fight death. The love of Jesus won this battle as the purest, most selfless love, which does not seek its own benefit but the highest good of the other. Only the one who loves us and gives everything for us can speak our name so that we recognize his love, himself. After his only address in front of the empty tomb, Mária knows that he is alive and near. He sent it to the apostles, to those who would also be sent to testify about the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection. And Mária expresses her entire experience in a few words: I saw the Lord. As Eve saw the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, Mary saw the fruit of the tree of life in the garden before the tomb: the living Lord.

Questions for reflection.

Do I recognize with gratitude what the Lord has already healed inside me? Are there still wounded places I should allow him to enter with my love? Do I perceive that the Lord knows my name and pronounces it with love, thanks to which I can recognize his call and my mission?

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The film “Calling” (2020) by director Paweł Woldan portrays Karol Wojtyła’s spiritual journey, later known as Pope John Paul II, during World War II. It highlights his formative years in Krakow, where he studied Polish philology at the Jagiellonian University. The close bond with his father, who instilled in him values and moral strength, became the cornerstone of his future spiritual life.

During the war, Karol meets Jan Tyranowski, who becomes his spiritual mentor and introduces him to the world of mysticism. This relationship helps him grow spiritually, and Karol eventually decides to leave the theater festival and enter the seminary, where he is later ordained as a priest by Cardinal Adam Sapieha.

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And the Pharisees went out and took counsel about him, how they might destroy him.

 Jesus knew this, so he left there. Many followed him, and he healed them all, only he threatened them not to betray him. So what the prophet Isaiah said came true: “… He will not grieve, he will not cry out, no one will hear his voice in the street. He will not break the bruised reed or quench the burning wick…” ” Mt 12:14-20.

If one cannot refute an inconvenient truth, he usually reaches for the truth by force, believing that if he destroys the bearer of the truth, he will destroy the truth itself! The Pharisees are advised on how to kill Jesus. Jesus responds to the conspiracy against his life by withdrawing until his hour comes and forbids the proclamation of his name and wonders. Putting yourself in danger is not the only way to stay faithful to the truth. It is advisable and necessary “when the hour comes.” The Lord also sometimes withdraws Himself, retires to another place, and forbids Himself to be spoken of. He refuses to advertise.

Please, Lord, teach me to discern what serves my salvation and vanity well. Teach me the art of true meekness and humility: to know how to find my proper place for the moment, to understand how to withdraw, to avoid until “your hour” comes, and to understand how to keep silent, lest I unwisely contribute to the destruction of the bearer of truth and in so doing contribute nothing to the truth. And yet to be ready to accept “your hour” and not abandon my place. “He shall not grin nor make a noise, neither shall any man hear his voice in the street…” Raising the voice is not to increase the effectiveness of the arguments or the testimony. Truth needs devotion, not intolerance.

Lord, how impatient, dissatisfied, and wicked we, your apostles, are! How prone we are to “grumble, to cry out.” It is not our love for your truth that grins and makes a cry, but our pride and impatience. We are always more afraid of our reputation than of your honor. Forgive us for what we have done to harm your truth. Meek and lowly in heart, you make our hearts after your own heart despite our opposition.

I keep the broken reed and the smoking wick before my eyes – like an object. How many are around us? And thou wilt not renounce them. I don’t want broken reeds and smoking wicks left behind me, for thou thyself hast admitted that in thy Church, besides the cedars of Lebanon, there are also brittle reeds. I know I cannot be a broken reed when I want to prop someone up. Nor a smoking wick when I want to shine a light on someone. But the strength of the branch is in the strength of the vine. I will not forsake thee; I will not depart from thee. I pray this day for all who are far from being broken and quenched. This is my intention for today. I trust that, leaning on you, I will help some reed, some wick.

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The human brain and rhytmus in the history of cultur.

Man’s mental life differs from the spontaneous life of animals mainly in that man is capable of free creation. Culture consists of the creative acts of genius in science, art, and religion. However, the sources of creativity are still a great mystery to psychologists and anthropologists.

The Romans already asked why outstanding personalities do not appear one by one and randomly scattered on the timeline, but in creative waves. Star personalities are made up of constellations. Let’s mention, for example, the constellation of great music composers around 1800, great astronomers around 1600, and painters around 1500.

Such tides of creativity return periodically and often occur simultaneously in several places on Earth. For example, the flourishing of medicine took place periodically and synchronously in both the West and the Far East (Fig. 1). Similarly, the flourishing of history (Fig. 2). Great doctors or historians created at the same time in distant civilizations, even if they did not know about each other and their works are original.

Why does creativity flourish at some time, in some place, in some creative field – and not elsewhere, at another time or in another direction? Cultural anthropology does not have a hypothesis that would systematically clarify this. Waves of creativity cannot be explained by heredity, because the human genome does not undergo substantial changes in a short time horizon. But they cannot be fully explained by any local social conditions that would favor the development of talents. Synchronous and periodic creativity must be conditioned by some global and long-lasting factor.

What nature could this factor be? Cultural epochs seem to arise from the emphasis of different mental faculties/traits in the collective consciousness. For example, the baroque emphasized perception; its imagery was reminiscent of a child’s psyche and had an approach to a hysterical structure. Absolutism sought certainty, stability and order; it resembled an old man’s psyche and an obsessive-compulsive type. Romances, which return regularly in history, reflect all the characteristics typical of puberty: from falling in love to resistance to authority.

What could be causing such a periodic re-configuration of the collective consciousness? Mathematical genius and self-taught Srinivasa Ramanujan surprised the scientific world at the beginning of the 20th century. He discovered a large number of highly original mathematical identities. When asked where he gets his discoveries from, he replied that the goddess Námagiri reveals them to him in a dream. Princeton psychologist Julian Jaynes believes that the human brain was wired differently in the days before Homer. And such revelatory experiences were part of ordinary consciousness. One part of the brain worked out a solution, an answer to a new situation – and in another part of the brain, a person realized it as a living hallucination, a vision or the voice of God.

The Middle Ages basically attributed all creative innovations to the inspiration of higher beings. The doctrine of angels primarily described seven classical deities or archangels who alternate cyclically as spirits of time. Each of them rules for a certain number of years and inspires its own type of sciences, arts and moral virtues. Michael, Archangel of the Sun inspires philosophers. Raphael, Archangel Mercury is the patron saint of doctors. Anael, the archangel of Venus, is the muse of poets and musical composers. Etc. Angelology can be understood as a pre-scientific personality typology. And demonology as a typology of personality disorders.

Although we stopped believing in seven heavenly intelligences. But we found out that the brain is built in a modular way and a person has multiple intelligences. According to Howard Gardner, there are seven or eight of them: 1. logical, mathematical (abstract) intelligence; 2. verbal (linguistic); 3. spatial (visual); 4. kinesthetic (body, movement); 5. interpersonal (social, emotional); 6. intrapersonal (introspective); 7. natural (perceptive, observational); 8. musical (musical). These intelligences work together but are relatively independent: they can individually break down or develop at different rates. Their content corresponds very well to the classical seven deities of antiquity.

Indeed, the curves of creativity in the history of culture match what the old doctrine of angels predicted. Here, for example, there is philosophical creativity in the history of the West – it correlates with the traditional periods of the archangel Michael (Fig. 3). It means that angelology was not just a speculative theory. She captured the empirical regularities of the transformations of the collective psyche. These were intersubjective experiences – people reported similar apparitions independently of each other in different places on Earth and in a regular rhythm.

What could harmonize the creative activity of minds around the world into one rhythm? It requires some kind of external synchronizer. Together with our distinguished chronobiologist, Professor Miroslav Mikulecký, we tried to find some periodic cosmophysical factor that could be responsible for this. We did not find it in the solar wind, geomagnetism fluctuations or climate cycles.

In some cases, however, we have determined in more detail the range of organs that participate in those rhythms. Periodic romances are a picture of the psyche, which is typical for an increased level of sex hormones. Sex hormones stop bone growth and would show in shorter height. Indeed, a German study of ten thousand skeletons from the past two thousand years confirmed that humans were at their smallest exactly when I predicted it, roughly every 500 years (Fig. 4).

Other rhythms could be associated with the alternating activity of the brain hemispheres. In an individual, the cerebral hemispheres are alternately active in a 90-minute cycle. Human culture as a whole goes through a similar cycle every 500 years. This is the history of mathematics (Fig. 5). A preference for geometry regularly alternated with a preference for arithmetic and algebra. Geometric, spatial tasks are solved in the right hemisphere of the brain. On the contrary, Broca’s speech center is located in the left hemisphere and near it the center that processes algebraic expressions.

Roger Sperry received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the functional lateralization of the cerebral hemispheres. But already two thousand years before him, priests and sages described the function of both hemispheres and their rhythmic alternation, only expressing it in figurative language: they spoke of deities and heavenly fluids, of the Sun and the Moon, of mental gold and silver. They also predicted the most important conclusion of Sperry’s research: that the most successful people are those who can connect and balance both hemispheres. Historical research has led us from another side to the same knowledge: that creativity culminates in the transition from one type of culture to another, when opposing mental principles are valued as equal and balance each other. One-sidedly marked epochs tend towards stagnation.

An important stimulus for pedagogy follows from this: The key to creativity is versatility. Harmonious development of all abilities nurtures a free personality with independent judgment. Our children will be more human if they do not specialize prematurely.

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If you’re being holy too.

Precision is often considered a royal privilege, while selflessness is associated with holiness. Many boys dream of becoming knights, not just to rescue princesses from dragons or villains, but also to engage in chivalrous combat and experience the thrill of battle.

During a playful knightly duel with my neighbor in my grandparents’ garden, we were using trees as our opponents. When my grandfather appeared, I eagerly requested a real sword to cut down the entire tree. He gently took my wooden sword, explaining that true knights protect rather than destroy. As he walked away with my toy weapon, my brief knightly aspirations came to an abrupt and inglorious end.

Jesus’ instruction to his disciples in today’s Gospel, sending them out in pairs with minimal possessions, can be interpreted as a caution against materialism. By forbidding bread, bags, money, and extra clothing, Jesus seemingly warns against accumulating worldly goods.

Jesus’ disciples are called to embrace asceticism, modesty, and a life of extreme simplicity. This concept of spiritual austerity continues to influence both the clergy and laity in modern Christian society.

Authentic disciples of Jesus need not live in poverty. They can carry possessions and even travel with luggage. Even those dressed in finery, like royalty, can be genuine messengers of faith. Beauty, success, and wealth are not barriers to spiritual authenticity or discipleship.

St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians outlines the sole prerequisite: “to be holy and blameless before him in love.” Pope Francis elaborated on the practical implications of this statement in one of his addresses.

Holiness stems from God’s infinite goodness and our communion with Him. It involves nurturing the divine gift of selflessness within us. Those who receive holiness as a gift of grace naturally express it through their daily actions and interactions with others. Essentially, holiness is the manifestation of God’s grace in our everyday lives.

God’s love, reflected in our mercy towards others, purifies our hearts and enables forgiveness. This daily process renders us ‘unblemished,’ not by removing stains, but by allowing God’s selfless gift to enter and grow within us, which we then cultivate and share with others.

The crux of the matter lies not in possessions but in attitude. God’s generosity, exemplified by the gift of His Son and the Eucharist, serves as a model for our lives. We are called to emulate this selflessness in our hearts, speech, and interactions with the world around us.

Paradoxically, a Tesla driver may more genuinely embody religious virtues than a public transport user. Similarly, those wearing designer clothing or residing in Monaco might better exemplify spiritual values than someone in dated attire or living in Rio’s largest slum. This counterintuitive notion stems from the concept of selfless devotion.

Success calls for humility, and power demands justice. Everyone has blessings and the potential for holiness. If you feel fortunate, seek purity of heart. Blessed professors should strive to be holy teachers, inspiring students with the beauty of their subject and helping them attain wisdom.

Those with vast estates can demonstrate holiness by sharing meals with the less fortunate. Those in positions of power can show compassion by considering the needs of the poor and vulnerable. Those blessed with extraordinary beauty can exhibit grace by humbly serving others, even in challenging or unpleasant circumstances.

Sanctify your talents by avoiding contempt and dishonesty in speech. Let success breed humility, and power fosters justice. We all possess blessings; let us use them to cultivate holiness.

They say precision is the privilege of kings. In that case, holiness is the privilege of selfless people. That is, those who are grateful and have hearts unblemished by pride, greed, glory, self-centeredness, self-importance, and mammon.

This week, I was profoundly moved by Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas’s statement. As the Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine, his office is situated near the children’s hospital recently bombed by Russian forces. The Archbishop remarked:

Faced with the suffering of the most vulnerable, we question how anyone can rationalize or justify war. It’s incomprehensible that some can maintain a clear conscience while continuing to defend such actions.

Speak with integrity; let your words reflect holiness.

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Each of us has already met a person who was unsympathetic to him because he behaved condescendingly. We are more acutely aware of this, especially today when money is attributed with unlimited power, and we see how many people can bend their spines and bow down to the rich, not so much to them as to their money. No one likes a proud person. Therefore, through today’s Gospel, Jesus gives us instructions on how to act to please people, but especially God. He clearly says: For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Perhaps his fellow diners were surprised why he did not praise the proud and arrogant. But Jesus knew why he was doing it because he was reaching for the root of pride, which is the devil. He was the devil who refused to serve because of his pride, which is why he was cast into hell. It was the devil who led the first people to sin through pride, and they wanted to be like God, thereby resisting his love. It is the devil who leads us to avarice, fornication, intemperance, envy, anger, laziness… We can boldly say that the cause of every sin is pride.

Pride takes many forms. One of them is false godliness. How is that possible, you ask? How can pride hide behind godliness? Someone will say to himself: I am chosen by God, and the rest of you are not even worthy of me establishing contact with you. How do we characterize this manifestation? It is pride, and it has its roots in Evil! And it is even worse if a group of people arises that claims God’s election, literally creates a sect, and asserts that their path to holiness is the most correct and best. But let’s not forget that anyone who thinks they are something more than others is already on the wrong path. Therefore, Jesus advises us to protect ourselves from superiority over others and from thinking that only through us does the Holy Spirit work.

However,in life, we ​​often encounter another kind of pride hidden behind career and money. Such people think that everything can be bought and that they can buy heaven after all with mammon. However, it is a big mistake! How far are they from fundamental values ​​and certainties? Christ told the rich young man that a camel would sooner go through the eye of a needle than a rich man would enter the kingdom of heaven. The danger of pride was beautifully described by our ancestors, who said: Pride breathes hell! Pride precedes a fall! And because pride pierces the conscience of many, this word has become very unpopular nowadays. It is replaced by other concepts, such as dignity, self-confidence, and pride, and is even approved as the behavior style of people of higher social status. But despite these cover names, pride remains one of the cardinal sins. Pride consists in overestimating one’s person and underestimating others. Such division creates a barrier between people and is a source of mistrust, insincerity, and often even anger and hatred.

Pride is fundamentally opposed to love, the fulfillment of the law. A proud person cannot truly love, as they are unable to lose their ‘I’ in service to others. They cannot appreciate the values ​​and spiritual beauty of their brothers, nor can they find the path to kindness and mercy. Most importantly, the proud cannot find their way to God. This spiritual loss is the most serious consequence of pride, underscoring the need for humility and the rejection of pride.

We suffer from this disease in different shades. But God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. Are we so rich that we can afford to despise God’s gifts? Are we so wise that we can not listen to God’s word? Will our pride allow us to ask God to save us? We lose a lot through pride; we gain a lot through love and humility. If we think about this divine arithmetic, we will celebrate and realize the love that cleanses us from pride, drives us to meet our neighbors, and forces us to serve and not seek our satisfaction. A love that is kind, patient, and does not envy, a love that does not vainly shut down or puff up.

The young priest carefully prepared for each sermon. Even though he knew it by heart, he also took it to the pulpit in written form. He believed that the listeners liked his homilies. He was also confirmed in this by a lady who came after every mass to ask for a paper with a sermon. One Sunday, when he thought he had given perhaps his best sermon, the woman came again for the paper. He did not delay, and as he handed her the paper, somewhat out of vanity and perhaps also out of desire for praise, he asked what she would say about her. The woman looked at the paper and said: As always! This paper fits the bottom of my parrot cage perfectly. Those who want to be happy will take Jesus’ words to heart and protect themselves from pride, even if it is difficult! But let’s try to live so that others like us for our modesty and friendliness.

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Today we will reflect together on this special title of Our Lady. I will not  deal with the history of the Carmelite Order, which is very interesting, but I want to reflect on Our Lady of Carmel. Carmel is a mountain that rises above the Mediterranean Sea and reaches a height of about 550 metres. It runs out into the sea through its foothills. In the imagination of the ancients, the sea symbolised evil. And it is precisely because of its projections into the sea that Carmel becomes a symbol of spiritual warfare.

On this mountain the zeal of the prophet Elijah was already manifested, who, in a time of general religious lukewarmness and apostasy from the true God, remained faithful and re-established and restored the true reverence for God. In this sense, this mountain is also a symbol of the Virgin Mary, of whom the Church Fathers say that she never knowingly or unknowingly had contact with an evil spirit and was full of the Holy Spirit. Because of the foreseen merits of her son, she was preserved from original sin and remained unbroken in her battle with evil, Immaculate.

Grace and beauty are related, and that is why Mary is beautiful, and that beauty we call holiness. In Latin we pray: “tota pulchra” – all beautiful. Because Mary is pardoned, she is also graceful, and that by the grace of virtues. Mary is beautiful and graceful because she has the fullness of God’s favor and God’s election. This grace, related to Mary’s holiness, has one characteristic that elevates her above the grace of all other people. The Latin Church expresses it by the title “Immaculata” (Immaculate), and the Orthodox Church by the title “Panhagia” (Whole Holy). Rather, we express the negative element of Mary’s holiness – that is, the absence of all sin, including original sin.

The Orthodox Church, by its title  to the Virgin Mary, expresses  that Mary possesses all the virtues and  beauty that emanate from them. The Fathers of the Eastern tradition glorify the Mother of God as untouched by any stain of sin, as modeled by the Holy Spirit and created as a new creature. By God’s grace, Mary remained untouched by any personal sin throughout her life. The very name Carmel means in translation – fertile field, fruitful garden, God’s garden. Our Lady is indeed the fertile field and garden of God, whose fruit is Jesus Himself, the incarnate Word of God. Her alone   brought such  perfect fruit of life and  the world.

The hill in most religions represents the place where earth joins heaven. Many nations have had their sacred mountains. The hills are a symbol of God’s power and permanence. All of this is encapsulated in the character of the Virgin Mary. Her love is a love that is faithful and constant, a motherly love that loves not because of what we will one day be and what we will achieve, but because of what we are, because we are her children. Mary is not an animal mother who gives birth only in a natural way. She is the Virgin and Mother. Virgin because she is radically consecrated to God and his service.

She becomes a mother by doing the will of the Heavenly Father. “For everyone who does the will of my Father who is in heaven is my brother, sister and mother,” says Jesus. With this statement, He reveals the essence of the Divine Motherhood, which we are all to carry out by obedience to the Word of God. Carmel is also the place of God’s epiphany – God’s revelation. Mary, too, is the place of God’s epiphany, for in her the invisible Word became visible flesh. God took on our human nature in order to make Himself comprehensible and close to us.

Mary represents the true, unadulterated Israel. She is the one who wrestles with evil and wins. The mystery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel returns us once again to the foundation of that promise made to Adam and Eve, and later to Abraham and his offspring, of which she is the culmination. It is almost a rule that every Jew who finds his way to Christ will sooner or later also find his way to this blessed daughter of Zion. Our Lady still prays for the children of Abraham – and these are both Jews and Arabs – but she also prays for all the children of great-grandmother Eve. She is the Mother of us all, for through her we receive the New Life. Let us learn from her who is the fruitful garden of God, the beautiful garden of God.

She is the original paradise of God to which the serpent never had access, she is a truly blessed woman who, with her Carmelite title, also teaches us that we can only reach God at the cost of struggle and sacrifice. Just as every climb up a mountain involves some effort, so the journey to God costs sacrifice. Our time is losing its sense of sacrifice, and that is why we are so weak in the struggle against evil. We do not want to suffer for God, we are afraid of every pain and discomfort, and that is why we do not know how to be inwardly free like Our Lady. Let us ask Our Lady of Carmel today for the Spirit of zeal in God’s service. May we also be consumed with zeal for the house of God.

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I am unworthy.

He who loves father, mother, son, daughter more than me is not worthy of me » Mt 10, 37.

And who can love God more than his wife or child? After all, God doesn’t smile, he doesn’t caress, he doesn’t give emotion, he doesn’t sleep How can you love God when he is sexless and unattractive? Has God left man on earth a love confusing with passion and moods and calls for a love that no one has experienced? And will he say that we are not worthy of him if I don’t love him more? So I can say it straight: I am unworthy. We are unworthy in the brush, but not everyone can admit it. But without this truth about unworthiness, without this confession, I will never experience what John writes about, just so we don’t fear: love is from God (1 Jn 4, 7). Not of man. Love is from God. Mostly, or rarely, we are not faced with such a choice: daughter or God. Heaven does not threaten me with a raised index finger and does not shout at me: do not dare to love your daughter more than me! Everyday life does not offer us situations in which we would have to deny our child to prove to God that he is more critical. On the contrary, it allows us to love our child, our man, precisely because we love God.

Even they are sometimes unbearable, ungrateful, messy, and vindictive – daughters, sons, wives, or husbands – and that’s when my love for God is proven by forgiveness, reconciliation, patience, renunciation, or humiliation. He who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me (Mt 10:37). So, we understand that the child must not become my idol and an obstacle on the way to God. On the contrary, God wants to teach me to love that child even when he doesn’t deserve it with the love that comes from God.

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