United States Conference of Secular institutes

2018 Summer Mountaineer

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Secular Institutes

Dear Friends,
As I write my column for this summer edition of the Mountaineer,
we recently celebrated the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and
the Immaculate Heart of Mary. How much Jesus loves each of us
individually, not just as part of the “everybody” that he “has” to
love, but very personally. You were chosen by the Father not only
to be born, but to be his, and to belong to him in a very special
way. His love for you is unique, unrepeatable and forever. What a
meditation we could have on that!
Sadly, I believe many people today do not believe that they are
totally accepted by Our Lord just as they are. In some ways Jesus
has a bad memory, thank goodness. He forgets our sins and failings
as soon as they are forgiven, and sees in us who we can be if we let
ourselves be transformed by his love.
His mother is the great model for us in this regard. As we look at
her Immaculate Heart we get a glimpse of our Lord‟s great plans
for human beings. Of course, we will never reach her level of love
and holiness, but she wants to take our hand and become our
partner in the journey on that road of sanctity.
The theme for our National Meeting in September reflects these
ideas. “The Courage to Accept Acceptance – Being in the
Moment!” Yes, we need courage to accept God‟s love right today,
to accept the fact that he embraces us just as we are. Too many of
us are victims of the heresy that we have to be good in order to win
God‟s love. Nope. Uhuh. Not ever. His love comes first and then his
goodness flows into our hearts so that we become better in him.
He is the one who is good; we just reflect his goodness.
May the Holy Spirit fill your hearts and souls with the experience of
just how much you are loved by your Father in heaven, today, as
you are, where you are.
Wishing you a relaxing and refreshing summer,
Marcia Vinje


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