and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”
If you pray the rosary regularly, then you have had your share of reflecting and meditating on the Glorious Mystery “The Ascension.” It has always been one of those mysteries that doesn’t stir me too much – I often wonder why it is considered “Glorious” as it seems to be when Christ left us.
Today, however, I had a new awareness: the realization of just how important “faith” must be in my life. It is so critical, that Jesus ascended into Heaven and did leave us behind – He left us so that we could only believe in and through FAITH. If faith wasn’t required for the journey, then He’d be here where we could see Him – and I’m not talking about in the form of the Holy Eucharist! So, if faith is as critical as I believe, then I have to truly spend time working on my faith-life. It is not something to take for granted. Of course, that is what the Church in her wisdom understands, and why we have the current Year of Faith.
A priest recently shared in a conference that too often people view the foundation of their faith like the foundation of a house. You build the foundation, then you leave it alone. You seldom think about the foundation of your house. Years can go by, and it doesn’t even cross your mind that it is supporting the house – unless something drastic happens, life a crack in the foundation, or a sink hole below it. This priest said that in the spiritual life, the foundation of faith is not something we can ignore and leave unattended for years. He said it is the basis for everything we do in the spiritual life and we have to always go back to it – day in and day out. It has to be the basis for every activity we endeavor.
Over the last three years, I had some cracks in my “foundation.” I started deceiving  myself in the spiritual life and was beginning to allow excuses for not meditating, not going to regular confession, and not attending daily Mass. I was allowing the worldly routines to influence me. However, when I began to notice this situation, WE (Blessed Mother and I) went back to the foundation of my faith. Together, She gave me the light to see something deeper – She helped me to see that when I was doing those spiritual practices, I was doing them because of grace! That’s right – it wasn’t that I had found the secrets to holiness…oh no! It was that Blessed Mother had obtained for me the graces to hunger for God. I, in response to those beautiful graces, got full…of my pride! I took credit for the grace. I no longer saw faith as the gift it is, but saw it as mine, so I stopped asking for it.
In retrospect, the best thing that could have happened to me was this crumbling of my pride of accomplishment. It makes me now repeat often “Mary, I need you MORE!” “Mary, hunger in me and with me for prayer time…for confession…for Holy Eucharist!” Now, when WE do go to confession or Holy Mass, I can be amazed by that grace! My daily experience becomes full of awe with what Mary and I accomplish. On my own I do not choose to live by faith…but with Mary…WE do! Praise be to Our Lord, Jesus Christ!
 “Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. The ‘spiritual battle’ of the Christian’s new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer. (2612, 409, 2015)” CCC 2725