All for the Heart
of Jesus through the Heart of Mary!
Christ has called you to Himself
Sr. Maria Jose Socias, SCTJM
For private use only -©
From the Gospel according to Luke Chapter
he said, "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So
the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the
younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant
country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that
country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to
one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but
nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my
father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I,
dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to
him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer
deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your
hired workers."' So he got up and went back to his father. While he was
still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled
with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son
said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no
longer deserve to be called your son.' But his father ordered his
servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring
on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and
slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of
mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been
found.' Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in
the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the
sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what
this might mean. The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and
your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back
safe and sound.' He became angry, and when he refused to enter the
house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father
in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey
your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my
friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with
prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.' He said to him,
'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.”
Most of us
relate with this parable of Jesus because at one point in our lives we were that
son who wanted to receive "the part" of our inheritance. We wanted to act
according to our own will, and we separated our lives from God. But then the
moment came when we said to ourselves: “‘How
many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am
I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
"Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be
called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.’”
That was a
moment of grace. God enlightened your hearts and minds to be able to recognize
your need to change. And after this
experience of "coming to our senses", and repentance, we found the love of Our
Father manifested in Christ Jesus our Lord:
got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his
father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son,
embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against
heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.' But his
father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and
slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was
dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found." (v20-24)
arms of our heavenly Father are always open to receive us back to Him.
Through your experience you know that God has forgiven you and has
delivered you from the bondage you had. You have started a
in Him, but the question that you may have in your hearts is: How am I going to persevere in His ways?
find the answer to this question in Scripture; the letters of St. Paul
are going to be our guides in this journey of discovering the ways in
which we persevere in the life of God.
we meditate on the words of St. Paul, there is something you need to have clear:
you have found the Lord, but this is not the end, this is just the beginning.
You have not reached the goal; you are
"running the race"
to be able to achieve it. You have started a journey in which you are going to
encounter many situations that will put your faith and strength to the test, but
if you are faithful, you will overcome them with the grace of God.
You have been freed from the bondage of addiction, to
alcohol or to drugs, and your hearts and your lives have been deeply
affected. You have to acknowledge that this is a reality and that, day
by day, the Lord is going to give you the grace to be stronger, but also
know that it is not easy because you have to
to yourself in order to become that
that God wants to make in you.
he said to all, ‘If
anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his
cross daily and follow me.’”
the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to lead a life worthy of
the vocation to which you were called.
all humility and gentleness and with patience
support each other in love. Take every care to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the
peace that binds you together”
(Eph 4:1-3). That is, a vocation to be a Christian, a disciple of
Christ. A vocation that is a great gift but also a great
responsibility because it calls us to "Imitate," "reproduce" the life of
Christ in us. St. Paul "urges us", that is, he "exhorts us" to live
according to this precious gift. And after urging us, he shows us how
to do it. He starts to instruct us on what we can call the "way of the
life of a follower of Christ": he gives us step by step instructions on
how to live our vocation. In doing so, we find the fulfillment of our
lives, we find the reason for which we were created: to Love our God
and our neighbor.
Renunciation to the Old Self
"So I say this to you
and attest to you in the Lord, do not go on living the empty-headed life
that the gentiles live....You were to put aside your old self, which
belongs to your old way of life and is corrupted by following illusory
desires. Your mind was to be renewed in spirit so that you could put on
the New Man that has been created on God's principles, in the
uprightness and holiness of the truth."
(Eph 4:17; 22-24).
"Put aside your old
refers to your old ways of behaving, of thinking, of relating, in other
words, everything that "you were", to become this "New Man" to whom God
has given the graces to become.
Renouncing our old ways is so difficult
and, yet, it is the only way in which God can accomplish His work in us.
It is through mortification and self denial that we achieve this. One
area that we have to mortify is our mind because, before we do anything,
we first "think about it." Our memories can bring back all those
situations in our past life that we had already renounced but if we do
not "uproot them" from our minds, they will make us live always as
slaves of our past and our relationship with the Lord and others will be
St. Paul, again, gives us the solution:
is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained
perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess
it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ (Jesus).
Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession.
Just one thing: forgetting but straining
forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the
prize of God's upward calling, in Christ Jesus”
We need to forget and not bring back. What is in the past stays there
and we cannot change it, but it is our present and our future ahead of
us that we have to work on. If we live ruled by the past we will never
become what God has in store for us.
So, the denial of our own selves is
crucial to be able to obtain the life of God in us. We do this by
practicing penance (fasting, doing works of mercy, not indulging our
It is in
this that we "train" ourselves in the spirit of denial and sacrifice
that are so necessary to grow in the life of holiness.
you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the
right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have
died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory. Put to death, then, the parts of you
that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that
is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming (upon the disobedient).
By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way. But now
you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language
out of your mouths. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old
self with its practices”
2. Seeking a life of
(practice of virtue)
that same chapter of his letter to the Colossians St. Paul teaches
us that once we have been emptied of our old self we do not stay
empty, but we are to be filled by the practice of virtue which is
the manifestation of the life of holiness.
"As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he
loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity
and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another;
forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another.
The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these
clothes, put on love, the perfect bond. And may the peace of Christ
reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called
together in one body. Always be thankful. Let the Word of Christ,
in all its richness, find a home within you. Teach each other, and
advise each other, in all wisdom."
very specific way he mentions the virtues that reign in the Heart of
Humility and gentleness:
from Me for I am gentle and humble of Heart"
(Math 11: 29). Humility is the virtue that helps us recognize who
we are, that is "creatures" and God is the "Creator." It helps us
recognize that we are sinners in need of conversion; we do not put
ourselves over others but, instead, we see ourselves as we truly
are: "the last ones."
to overcome all the obstacles. We have to be patient with ourselves
knowing that we are not perfect and that in our search for holiness
we will fall more than one time.
"May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in
you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe
it was you who sent me."
one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and we acquire it when we do
the will of God in our lives. It is the gift that Jesus gave his
disciples after the Resurrection:
"Jesus came among
them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you' and, after saying this,
he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled
with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, 'Peace be
(Jn 20: 19-20)
It is the attitude of a heart that sees the need of others and wants
to do something about it. Jesus felt compassion when he saw the
crowd of people:
as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity
(compassion) on them and healed their sick"
(Mt 14:14). We too need to be compassionate with all those who are
in need of God and go about "like sheeps without a Shepard."
compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge,
and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be
This is one of the most difficult things a person has to do. How
hard is it for us to forgive others but it is much more difficult to
forgive ourselves. Accepting God's forgiveness is the first step
towards a journey of forgiveness.
Peter went up to Him and said, 'Lord, how often must I forgive my
brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven?' Jesus answered, 'Not
seven, I tell you, but seventy seven times.'"(Mt
and you will be forgiven."
"Give, and there will be gifts for you; a full measure, pressed
down, shaken together, and overflowing, will be poured into your
lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you."
(Lk 6: 38) It is a candid estimation of other men's virtues and
good qualities. We give to others with freedom and love.
(1Jn4:8) and we are to love Him in return and love our neighbor as Jesus
told us to do.
"My dear friends love one another, since love is from God
and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever fails to
love does not know God, because God is love"
(1Jn 4:7-8) It is the greatest commandment and is the most difficult
thing to do, because love means sacrifice, it means suffering... Just as
Jesus loved us "to the extreme," in that same way, we are to learn to
all these clothes put on love, the perfect bond"
Love is the perfect bond that unites us
with God and with our brothers and sisters... When we read 1 Cor 13 we
understand what true love is....
3. Always Having a Spirit of Prayer
There is no way in which
we can grow in the spiritual life if we do not have time of prayer.
Prayer is the "life of the
through prayer that we come to know God, His will for us and we come
into communion with His Heart.
our perfect example of the need for prayer. Every time he could He would
go out and pray. The way He always knew the will of the Father was
disciples asked Him how to pray He taught them the Our Father...
He showed us that the
place to pray is within our own hearts:"But
when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to
your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father whom sees all
that is done in secret will reward you."
to recollect and be silent in order to "hear" God's voice.
to find and know His will:
we make any decision in our lives we have to pray, this is what Jesus
did before choosing those who were going to be His Apostles:
it happened in those days that He went onto the mountain to pray; and he
spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his
disciples and picked out twelve of them..."
to ask the Lord in all our decisions what is best for us and our
families; we have to let Him show us His will for our lives and the only
way to do so is through prayer.
prayer and Family prayer:
We need to have our
intimacy with the Lord. We need to be "with
so we can learn to know Him more and love Him more.
you love Him more if you do not know Him? And How can you know Him if
you do not spend time with Him?
the reading and meditation of Scripture we come to know his sentiments,
his desires, his ways and, with the help of His grace, we can then
it is also very important to pray as a family. If you are married
and have kids take time during the week or every day and pray with them,
especially the Rosary. "A family that prays together, stays together."
constantly asks us to pray and present to the Lord our needs and the
needs of others. When we pray for others we are "going out of our own
way," we are renouncing our selfishness. Intercede for others (the
Church, the Holy Father, your friends, etc....).
"Never worry about
anything; but tell God all your desires of every kind in prayer and
petition shot through with gratitude, and the peace of God which is
beyond our understanding will guard your hearts and your thoughts in
This page is the work of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and