SOME comment in the media on Pope Benedict’s acceptance of the second miracle required for the canonisation of Mary MacKillop claims or implies that Mary MacKillop’s attainment of friendship with God was due to her own efforts.
It also presents the attainment of friendship with God as something difficult to achieve.
These views are hard to reconcile with Jesus Christ’s own statements on the matter, with which Mary MacKillop’s own views were in accord. Jesus said, for example: “Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
And he also said: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30) It is the pursuit of sin that is difficult and painful.
In speaking about those who had accepted his invitation to follow him, Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age – houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions – and in the age to come eternal life …” (Mark 10:29-30)
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