“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,…think about these things,” [Phil 4:8]
Each one of us has the wonderful potential to become bountiful, to grow in God’s goodness and in doing so, spread faith, hope, and love that can sustain our world in difficult times. However, how many of us truly allow God’s seeds—His heavenly graces—to take root in our souls and bear fruit in our lives? In other words, how many of us allow ourselves to be transformed by God’s grace?
To be bountiful in faith, hope, and love, we need to dwell in all that is good.“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,…think about these things,” said St. Paul to the Philippians [Phil 4:8]. Then let us draw strength from these thoughts just as a garden draws strength from the sun and the rain.
Unless we make a conscious effort to choose goodness and dwell in what is good, evil will flourish. God knows our internal struggle; that is why our heavenly Father wants to enlighten us through His Son and sustain us with His living waters so we can withstand any attacks on our resolve to grow in goodness. The choice is ours to make. If we choose to turn away from our Lord’s enlightenment, we remain in the darkness that sin creates. If we choose to live without His living waters, our souls become parched.
Warm the Earth of Our Souls
As a result, we miss out on the many graces God wants to bestow upon us. St. Pius of Pietrilcina once described God’s grace as warming the earth of our souls which allows us to grow in ways we cannot imagine. With God’s grace we can break through our self-enclosed shells and rise above ourselves to do good works despite our own sufferings, temptations, and pressures we may face.
Just as a tree is known by its fruit, we can make Christ known in our world by allowing ourselves to be transformed into His likeness. That effort requires us to recognize our short-comings and weaknesses, and to realize that we cannot grow in everlasting goodness without the grace of God. The stronger we are rooted in faith, hope, and love, the more we are able to withstand the temptations of sin and grow into what is good and pleasing to God.
Be Bountiful, Firmly Rooted in God’s Grace
Mary, our Blessed Mother, can help us because Mary indeed is the holiest human being ever to live on this earth, firmly rooted in God’s grace of faith, hope, and love. With that grace, blessed is the fruit of her womb—Jesus. Just as the Mother of God helped her Son to grow in the world, Mary can help us grow in holiness so that we can be fruitful in God’s eyes by being Christ-like in our daily living.
Therefore, we can either bend to what society wants or we can grow in holiness and be transformed by what God wills. With that transformation and grace from God, we can help feed the world that hungers for all that is good. Be bountiful!