The Other Side of Resurrection

Resurrection

 

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.”  John 12:23-27

As we walk towards this Passion of the Church we must remember Resurrection is on the other side.  My friend Ashley Blackburn wrote this piece before the Scandal broke.  She wrote it as a reflection of her own life.  But I think her reflections are prophetic in that we know the Gates of Hell won’t prevail over the church, and it actually provides a road map of how to navigate this crisis.  Resurrection does await the church, because we the Body of Christ, can live and walk confidently in Christ’s Resurrection.

The Other side of Resurrection

BY: ASHLEY BLACKBURN

I have often meditated on the triumph of Jesus over sin and death in the resurrection.  Contemplating the actual event – the miracle – the power of God – the transformation – the saving graces which became available to all through this most monumental moment in history.  But how often do we think of what happened afterwards? What was life like for the Apostles on the other side of the resurrection? What is life like for us living on the other side of the resurrection?

Through Christ’s resurrection we have been saved. We have been given the gift of new life. To walk as sons and daughters of the loving Father. To live a life of freedom and hope.  Through Christ’s resurrection we are given sanctifying grace, which is offered to all, but only fully accepted and received by few. When we receive the graces of Christ’s resurrection we are freed from the lies of the Accuser and we are able to walk confidently alongside the risen Christ, our Savior and friend.  We are then better able to listen to Christ, to learn from Him, to bring all of our cares and concerns to Him, to lay our very lives at the foot of the cross so that we may be crucified with Him and thus also share in the newness of life with Him through the resurrection. Our share in the resurrection is experienced in and through us to our very core. Our souls are forever marked with the Precious Blood of Christ’s sacrifice and the Waters of mercy which burst forth from His pierced side.  We go forth unafraid. We are able to trust fully in the Father’s plan, His Divine Will, His Kingdom come, His Will be done, both in our own lives and in the world.

On the other side of the resurrection, we experience Divine Charity in which we have all been invited to share. We find this gift to be more precious than anything else and we sell all that we have to keep it – treasuring it in our hearts.  We move forward, strengthened and renewed, living a life of loving obedience to the Father’s Will. We find ourselves asking the Father what HE wishes for our lives and then we respectfully and lovingly follow The Way. Our obedience to the Father is not done out of terrifying fear or meaningless duty, but out of Divine love, in which we have been invited to share.  This obedience will become a threat to others for it will tend to point out their own disobedience. It will stir up contention and lead to various forms of persecution. But the abundant flowering of the fruits of our obedience lead us onward.

Just as the Apostles moved forth unafraid having experienced the resurrected Christ, having been filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit, we too must move forth in courage and fortitude.  On the other side of the resurrection there will no doubt be trials, there will be temptations, there will be persecutions and even martyrdoms. There will be people who try to chain us back up and throw us in prison.  There will be those who mock us and utter untrue words about our intentions and our heart. Jesus warns us that these persecutions may even come from some of our closest family members or friends. But amidst all of this Christ sent us His Spirit and the Spirit is our strength and our hope in the darkness.  For it is only through Christ living within us that we are able to overcome any obstacle. St. Paul tells us that “it is no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me”.

On the other side of the resurrection we live out of the abundance of Divine Charity that has been given to us through Christ. We love despite being attacked by our neighbor because we draw from the source of all love – God.  We hold close to the memory of our own experience of the resurrected Christ, our precious pearl. We march on, having been tried and tested, persecuted and insulted, hurt and belittled, and we “shake the dust from our feet”. We step out once again, clothed in Christ, with an army of Angels and Saints behind us, cheering us on and giving us the hope we need to live again!

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The Passion of the Church

Brooklyn_Museum_-_Jesus_Wept_(Jésus_pleura)_-_James_Tissot

Jesus Wept.  John 11:35

Jesus is still weeping.

For the wages of sin is death.  Roman’s 6:23

 How long until Jesus says to us, “Lazarus (which means, My God has Helped), COME OUT” John 11:43

Some of our own leaders are walking the church on her Passion.

On Saturday August 11, 2018, on the feast of my namesakes, Saint Susanna and Saint Clare, I went to Mass.  I had been saddened by the news of a Cardinal of the Church who was involved in the abuse of children, and who had not lived out his Priestly celibacy.  As Mass began, they turned on the lights in the church.  I noticed immediately a light flickering on and off.  It sat over top of the Second Station of the Cross.

The Second Station – Jesus Carries His Cross

Jesus Carries his cross

As I looked at the flickering light over the Second Station, God whispered to me “The Church’s Passion.  This is where you are.”

Just then I noticed another light flickering in the back.  I looked back, and there it was flickering over the Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  And God whispered, “she will guide the way, follow her example.”

I pondered what God told me, and I noticed that the lights stopped flickering at the consecration.  I don’t find that coincidental.

By the Feast of the Assumption, the news of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report had come out.    I felt sick.  As Facebook exploded with people asking why, and how anyone could possibly stay in this church, I wept.  We are crucifying him again, just as the leaders did back then.   It is a different sin, but sin none the less.  By the time I got to Mass that evening, my sadness had given way to anger, actually I will call it rage.  I was so enraged I thought perhaps I shouldn’t receive communion.  I felt sick.  I felt betrayed.  And then the cantor sang….

Gentle Woman

And instantly my rage disappeared.  And I knew, she is the example that will guide the way on this Passion of the Church.

By the next day my anger was back, and I had a meeting with our Deliverance Ministry Leader.  He always seems so peaceful.  I asked how, in the midst of all of this, how, how is he so peaceful?

He answered quite quickly and easily.  He said because this is ministry.  The church is sick, she has always dealt with the sick and been sick.  I knew from previous conversations with him that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil  (1 John 3:8), yet here we are and the devil is running rampant.  He runs rampant in government, in Hollywood, in our families, and even and especially in the Church.  He said if I don’t want to know the ick…I shouldn’t be in ministry.   He said the church is filled with ick.  Always has been. That’s why we’re here to help heal the sickness and Christ will come again when we all have the devil under our foot.

“then comes the end,
when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death,
for “he subjected everything under his feet.”

1 Corinthians 15 – from the reading on the Feast of the Assumption

He then started asking me a series of questions about who I could hug.  When he got to “could you hug a pedophile?”  I said no.  He asked me if Jesus would hug a pedophile.  I said yes.  He told me to stop flopping like a fish out of water and get back in the water of God’s grace.

I started reflecting on how I can sit in the deliverance sessions and I can clearly see the demons speaking to the people.  And they can spew horrid sins and I don’t flinch because I can see what has happened to them.  Our sessions walk with them as they forgive others, forgive themselves, and they renounce the devil of their own free will.  There is no yelling or screaming.  Just a recognition of how the devil has lied to them, how they believe the lies, and how forgiveness brings the light of truth.  Forgiveness sets them free. You can actually see their countenance change.  And even though I hear horrid sins,  I have empathy and compassion.  And mercy.   This is because I can see what the devil has done, and it enables me to look at them through the eyes of God.   My holy hatred is aimed at the devil, and I see what God sees in them.

But this situation with the church and her shepherds, this seemed different.  Bigger.  Something I could not fathom, even though I feel like I saw it coming ages ago.  I just didn’t want it to be true.

So I had it out with God.  I told him, some of these people are so attacked by demons from the time they were born, they don’t stand a chance and they cannot even hear him.  How are they supposed to make it when they don’t stand a chance?  I also spewed at him about the pedophiles/ephebophiles too and lamented their victims.  How do we stop this Lord?

And then God spoke to me.  He told me that what I consider to be blessings and curses are not always what He considers blessings and curses because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  He talked to me about free will and how He would not take it away because He wants true love to be chosen.  And then he showed me something beautiful.  It was how He looks at each soul.  He knows exactly where they are and what they are culpable for.  He said he always gives them a chance.  Right up until the end.  He shows them their own soul at judgement.  Then He presents Himself to each soul with His arms outstretched and it is up to them.  They choose to reject or accept.  He exacts what they choose.  When they accept…what he showed me was himself covering them over, molding Himself to them, purgatory is this molding.  For some souls the molding is extremely painful because when perfection touches sin it is excruciating.  It’s as if he places one hand on His own heart, and one hand on the heart of the person who accepts His mercy.   And like a doctor removing septic infection from a patient, the process of perfection begins.  The worse the infection, the longer and harder the road to recovery.  But no matter how bad they were, they have the chance.  Many of them reject Him because they can’t stand the sight of their own soul.  These people are different than those who handed themselves over to Satan’s kingdom and have actively worked for Satan.  Those working for Satan know, and they willingly consent to the evil.  They have chosen hell purposefully.  But these other souls, they didn’t know and didn’t actively choose Satan’s Kingdom.  That’s why Jesus said “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”  It’s their total consent that is lacking because they had been conditioned from long ago to believe the lies. The way he showed me this molding, was a thing of beauty, placing his perfect body, his beautiful heart, over top of the ugliness and imperfection of people.  It transformed their ugliness into beauty and you could see Him in them.  You could see their hearts beating with His.  It was so overwhelming to me, of course you know, I cried.  Oceans of mercy.  I cannot fathom loving someone as much as He loves us.  So if a person was conditioned as a child, had ancestral demons, had demons attacking him all his life because of trauma, and was conditioned to believe lies and really didn’t fully know what he was consenting to, even he can receive the mercy of God.   Many of them go to hell though because when they see what they have done, and fully understand it, they reject the mercy because they believe they don’t deserve it.  The light shown on their darkness is too overwhelming for them.

When Christ is molded to us like this, it is an action of the Holy Spirit.  God showing us we are made in His image and likeness, and our acceptance of it.  That is why when we reject this mercy it is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  The unforgivable sin.

This is what Satan did.  He rejected mercy.  He didn’t want to extend it to us.  His existence was a mercy and he rejected the purpose God made him for.  Satan tries his utmost to get us to do this too, whispering all the way to our judgment in the hopes we reject mercy.  And it is why we pray for so much intercession at our death, because the communion of Saints together can drown out the voice of blasphemy.   God, because He is outside of time can apply these prayers, and this intercession to our judgement, and together we can overcome blasphemy.  This is why it is astronomically sad to have no one praying for you.  We were not meant to be alone.  Isolation begets blasphemy.

But this is also why death is a mercy for some.  The chastisement…it is actually a blessing.  They cannot fight or do not know how to fight the demons here on this earth and this actually gives them a chance.  Still souls pour into hell because they reject the mercy.

This type of forgiveness is hard.  It is also not to be confused with consequence.  I think this has been a failure of our leaders, not understanding that forgiveness does not entail no consequence.  For each sin, there is a consequence, both temporal and corporal.  We cannot allow people to harm children.  They must be stopped.  Prison is a consequence.  It is reparation for the crimes.  God will deal with the souls, and I imagine if they did turn towards Him, the lowest level of purgatory would be appropriate, though I am not God.

We have two choices when it comes to this.  We can choose to be perfected here or we can choose to wait until the afterlife where we know God always extends mercy.  On this earth suffering is painful, but not as painful as purgatory after death.  For the pain of being perfected there is awful, though it is our greatest mercy.  Purgatory is mercy.  That is why they are the church Suffering, and we are the Church Militant.  We must fight the demons here and ask God to walk us to union with Him.  The great Saints knew this.  This is also why we must pray for those in purgatory daily.

I say to the shepherds who have been involved with unchaste behavior, breaking your vow of celibacy (or any of your vows for that matter), and also to those with abusive behavior, or with covering up abuse, REPENT NOW.  The suffering you will endure in reparation on earth will be nothing compared to being shown the state of your soul before God, and even if you choose to accept His mercy, the pain of perfection in the afterlife is harder than here.

If you do not repent, you are walking the whole church on her Passion.  You are inviting the world to persecute us.  And it is a consequence that would be deserved.  If you think you are in control and can cover things up, God will soon show you who is in charge.  He does this to all of us.

For the rest of us on this walk of Passion in the Church, welcome the transparency shedding light on the darkness.  A friend of mine used to say, “these things must come.”  They surely must if we want Resurrection.

“For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.  Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” Luke 8:17-18

Remember, don’t leave Jesus because of Judas.  You can walk the Passion like Mary and John.  You may even hide a little bit like Peter and the rest of the Apostles, as I imagine this was a time of healing for them.  But never stop praying.  Pray for the good shepherds who will be persecuted, and for those who need to repent.  Never leave the Eucharistic Lord.  God can heal these wounds and bring us to Resurrection.  Mary didn’t stand at the foot of the Cross with a baseball bat swinging at people.  She stood trusting the Lord, and forgiving those who hid.  She, in her perfection, even forgave the leaders who crucified Him, because that’s what her Son did on the cross.

When Christ comes again, it will be when we all have had triumph over the devil, and the earth will be under Christ’s feet because it will be under all of ours.  This will create a new heaven and a new earth, the old passing away, and the restoration of how things were supposed to be in the beginning.  All things moving to restoration and union with God’s will. This crisis is God purifying all of us.   LORD HAVE MERCY ON US AND ON THE WHOLE WORLD.

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Our Lady Healer of Families – Part II

Our_Lady_of_Sorrows2

Trust in the Lord in the greatest moments of darkness like Mary did.   She said yes to a pregnancy that would have the world wanting to stone her and later standing at the foot of the cross watching love die, her obedience advocated for Resurrection.   Beacon of Hope interceed for us.

I am sickened at the vile reports of Priests and Bishops who abused and covered up the abuse of children.  I say expose the light on the evil that has been done. Let a light be shown on the evil in the church and let it be eradicated.

Today is the feast of the Assumption, one pure soul who was lifted to heaven Body and Soul.  But all I can think of is Our Lady of Sorrows and how much the church, and the world need healing.

I was waiting to print these prayers because I was waiting for an imprimatur from a Bishop.  I have sent the prayers to multiple Bishops, some over a year ago, and I have yet to hear back.  Some of you may remember my original post about this.

I am printing them today for two reasons, one, if there is a Bishop out there who can read it and tell me if these prayers are without error, that is something I am looking for.  Even in the midst of this crisis, I recognize the authority of the church, and I recognize that Satan wants to bring choas to the authority of the church, hence the reason he attacked Bishops and Priests so hard.  I know there are some good Bishops out there still, and if you are out there and you read this, can you let me know if it is without error?

Second, Our Lady gave me this title in prayer, “Our Lady healer of Families”.  It is so apparent now, that not only are our own domestic families hurting and dying, but so too is the church family.  The church needs to root out evil and heal.  She wants to intercede for us, and heal our church family.   She is the road map to Trust in the Lord.

The Litany was re-written to flow better than what was written before.  We have also added a novena.  I will post both prayers here now.  Our Lady Healer of Families, please heal our Church family.

Litany to Our Lady Healer of Families

Hail full of grace, Daughter of St. Anne & St. Joachim

Pray for us

Hail full of grace, Daughter of Yahweh, the Great I AM

Pray for us

Hail full of grace, Daughter of Abba, the Heavenly Father

Pray for us

Hail full of grace, Daughter of the Creator of Heaven and Earth

Pray for us

Hail full of grace, Daughter of the Alpha and Omega

Pray for us

Most devoted daughter

Pray for us

Most peaceful daughter

Pray for us

Most obedient daughter

Pray for us

Most modest daughter

Pray for us

Most pure daughter

Pray for us

Most joyful daughter

Pray for us

Most favored daughter

Pray for us

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you

Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus

Mary, Daughter of God the Father

Pray for us

Blessed are you, Spouse of St. Joseph

Pray for us

Blessed are you, Spouse of the Paraclete

Pray for us

Blessed are you, Spouse of the Consuming Fire

Pray for us

Blessed are you, Spouse of the Peaceful Dove

Pray for us

Blessed are you, Spouse of the Seal of Anointing

Pray for us

Most affectionate spouse

Pray for us

Most humble spouse

Pray for us

Most loyal spouse

Pray for us

Most hopeful spouse

Pray for us

Most unified spouse

Pray for us

Most selfless spouse

Pray for us

Most merciful spouse

Pray for us

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you

Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus

Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit

Pray for us

Holy Mary, Mother of Jesus

Pray for us

Holy Mary, Mother of the Light of the World

Pray for us

Holy Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace

Pray for us

Holy Mary, Mother of the Lamb of God

Pray for us

Holy Mary, Mother of the Eucharist

Pray for us

Most prayerful mother

Pray for us

Most gentle mother

Pray for us

Most patient mother

Pray for us

Most gracious mother

Pray for us

Most encouraging mother

Pray for us

Most compassionate mother

Pray for us

Most accepting mother

Pray for us

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you

Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ

Pray for us

Our Lady Healer of Families, Daughter of God the Father, bring an end to all heresies

Our Lady Healer of Families, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, restore unity among all of humanity

Our Lady Healer of Families, Mother of Jesus Christ, crush the head of Satan and lead all souls back to your Son.

O Most Holy Trinity,

In our efforts to sow peace amongst the unrest

Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to offer forgiveness to those who offend

Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to sacrifice for one another

Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to love beyond measure

Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to offer up our suffering as prayer

Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to proclaim the Truth in word and deed

Unite us and heal us

In our efforts to surrender our will to Yours

Unite us and heal us

O Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will.  Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love.  In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity.  We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Novena to Our Lady Healer of Families

Day 1 – Our Lady Healer of Families – Daughter of Purity

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,” (Luke 1:46-47)

Mary, you are the glowing light of purity and a model of virtue for the world. During your life on earth, you emptied out all of your self in order to become a most holy dwelling place for the Lord.  Although you were predestined by the Father to be free from the stain of original sin, you freely chose to live a life of purity. Thus through your constant devotion to the Father, your heart remained pure in receiving the Holy Spirit in every moment.  

Our Lady Healer of Families, we turn to you today to seek guidance. We ask your intercession for all of those who are struggling with purity.  Safeguard them from impurities of mind, body and spirit and protect them from all degradation, corruption and concupiscence. May their hearts be opened to receive the love of the Father so that He may enrich their love of charity, chastity and right belief.  Daughter of mercy, it is always your desire to loosen the chains of sin in this world in order to bring all souls into closer union with the Father. Encourage us now, through the grace of the Father, to always yearn for purity, in our own lives, as well in the lives of those we lift up to you in prayer. May we remain ever in this grace so that we may turn to prayer in our weakness, avoid occasions of impurity, be encouraged in our practice of modesty, and keep a constant vigilance over ourselves.  

Our Lady Healer of Families Prayer

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray a decade of the Rosary

Our Father…

10 x Hail Mary…

Glory Be…
Fatima Prayer…

Memorare

Remember O Most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.   Inspired with this confidence I fly unto you, O Virgins of Virgins, my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Day 2 – Our Lady Healer of Families –  Daughter of Holy Obedience

“For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.” (Luke 1:48a)

Mary, from the moment of your immaculate conception, you emulated holy obedience to the Father.  Each and every day, you obediently emptied yourself, becoming poor in spirit, in order to receive the gifts freely given to you by the Father.  You did not reject any request of the Father, but instead faithfully obeyed and sacrificed your own plans and desires in order to allow the Father’s will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven”. You lived in true freedom because of your complete surrender to God, in this you were given the most precious gift of the Divine through the incarnation. As His faithful servant, the Father entrusted His very being to your care.

Our Lady Healer of Families, today we seek your intercession for all those with hardened hearts, those whose pride or whose shame does not allow them to obey the will of the Father.  Lead them into closer union with the Father by gently breaking down their barriers, softening their hearts, and allowing them to taste the goodness of the Lord. Holy obedience is choosing to empty yourself and allow yourself to decrease, in order that God may increase; it means becoming of low estate out of reverence and love of the Lord. Mary, in our efforts to lead others to Jesus, let your example of tenderness be our guide so that we are able to lovingly accept His most perfect will for ourselves, as well as for those in which we lift up to you in prayer.

Our Lady Healer of Families Prayer

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray a decade of the Rosary

Our Father…

10 x Hail Mary…

Glory Be…
Fatima Prayer…

Memorare

Remember O Most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.   Inspired with this confidence I fly unto you, O Virgins of Virgins, my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Day 3 – Our Lady Healer of Families – Daughter of Charity

“For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name:” (Luke 1:49)

Mary, within the humility of your heart lay the fertile ground in which the virtue of charity flourished.  Your love of the Father was deeply rooted in the living memory of His faithfulness to His chosen people.  You trusted Him in all things, even when the fullness of His plan was not revealed to you. You kept your eyes fixed on the Father, thus your heart was perpetually full of the love of God, which poured out of you unto others in the form of charity.  This free and perfect sharing of God’s love, brought about harmony and unity in all of your relationships. Mary, you were so infused with the grace of the virtue of charity that everything you did was an act of love for God.  Every choice you made, every action you accomplished in your life both big and small, every thought and act of your will was done with great joy for love of God.  You stand as a perfect witness of the inherent goodness and joy that comes from being deeply rooted in charity.

Our Lady Healer of Families, today we seek your intercession for those who are creating division, especially those holding on to feelings of anger and unforgiveness.  As the world glorifies the preoccupation with self, we ask that you give us an abundance of compassion so that we may reach out to others who are in need of your loving support.  May we always find solitude with the Father who alone opens hearts and fills them with the gifts of the Spirit. For when the gifts of the Spirit are fully received, they are able to then be shared with one another through the virtue of charity; uniting each other in the perfect love of the Father.

Our Lady Healer of Families Prayer

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray a decade of the Rosary

Our Father…

10 x Hail Mary…

Glory Be…
Fatima Prayer…

Memorare

Remember O Most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.   Inspired with this confidence I fly unto you, O Virgins of Virgins, my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Day 4- Our Lady Healer of Families – Spouse of Hope

“For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;” (Luke 1:48b)

Mary, you willingly became the spouse of the Holy Spirit, which was necessary for the salvation of the world.  Filled with the grace of God, you remained hopeful despite the many struggles you endured as a result of your intimate relationship with the Trinity.  It was your virtuous confidence in the God that allowed you to patiently wait for the promise, in joyful hope, demonstrating your unending trust in the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.  We too are called to this same fidelity to the Holy Spirit through our union with the Divine Will. When we cling to the hope of the resurrection, despite the challenges that may ensue, the Holy Spirit is able to find a dwelling place in our hearts in which to live and move and breathe life.  It is this hope that keeps us on the straight and narrow path, for it enriches our hearts and leads us into closer union with the Father.

Our Lady Healer of Families, today we seek your intercession for all who are struggling with despair and how to remain hopeful. We pray that they receive the grace to turn their hearts to the Lord, and wait in faithful hope of His promise; the promise of true and lasting peace, love and joy.  Our human nature desires immediate gratification, especially in times of struggle. We pray that our hearts, and the hearts of those in which we lift up to you in prayer, will be strengthened through heavenly hope, and as a result will receive the gift of patience. Mary, we also seek your intercession for all the restless souls who look to the world to give them peace.  Gently reveal the light of hope to all the world.

Our Lady Healer of Families Prayer

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray a decade of the Rosary

Our Father…

10 x Hail Mary…

Glory Be…
Fatima Prayer…

Memorare

Remember O Most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.   Inspired with this confidence I fly unto you, O Virgins of Virgins, my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Day 5 – Our Lady Healer of Families –  Spouse of Faithfulness

“And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:50)

Mary, your Fiat of Faith when the angel Gabriel revealed God’s plan to you enabled you to espouse the Holy Spirit.  This meant you chose devotion to Him even when the road ahead was not clear.  Fidelity to the Holy Spirit does not come easy; it is nevertheless filled with the same love and heartache, joy and despair, pleasure and pain of all relationships. Mary, you graciously held onto the unrest that faith requires, without trying to control or fix it, confidently trusting, and thus it led you into a deeper union with the mystery of God.

Our Lady Healer of Families, we ask that you intercede for us today on behalf of those who are struggling to remain faithful. As the world looks inward to self gratification as a means to lasting happiness, the virtue of faithfulness is becoming scarce in the human heart.  Mary, fill our hearts with compassion and give us the grace to focus our attention away from ourselves in order to remain faithful to the needs and desires of the other. In our relationships, help us to respect and honor the union of persons that Christ has brought together, whether it be through marriage, extended family, friendship, or community.  May we draw strength and fortitude from the Holy Spirit through our faithfulness to this union and may we always seek healing in each of our relationships, restoring unity in all of humanity.

Our Lady Healer of Families Prayer

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray a decade of the Rosary

Our Father…

10 x Hail Mary…

Glory Be…
Fatima Prayer…

Memorare

Remember O Most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.   Inspired with this confidence I fly unto you, O Virgins of Virgins, my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Day 6 – Our Lady Healer of Families –  Spouse of Wisdom

“He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,” (Luke 1:51)

Mary, the Father saw in you a most humble heart, thus you were gifted with the Wisdom of God.  This gift was not given in order for you to become of high esteem, raising you up to be like God, but instead it was given to you so that you may live in the fullness of the Divine Will.  As the bridge between Heaven and Earth, you brought to the world the Truth that is Jesus. This Truth is freely given to all of humanity and was revealed once and for all through Jesus, your son.  As Queen of Heaven, you now protect that Truth, stomping out heresies, crushing the head of Satan and pouring out the merciful love of your Son upon all of humanity. The Father has entrusted in you, the Church here on earth.  We pray that you will protect its members and lead all souls back to the fullness of the Truth.

Our Lady Healer of Families, we beseech you today, to intercede on behalf of those who have fallen away from the Church, as well as those who have been led astray through false instruction.  We ask that you touch the lives of all your children, either through your heavenly intercession, or through the words and deeds of those who speak and live the Truth. May the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit penetrate their hearts, leaving a lasting thirst for the fount of living water.  Give us and those in which we lift up to you in prayer, the courage to be led by their thirst for the Truth. May they allow themselves to take the straight path through the council of the Holy Spirit.

Our Lady Healer of Families Prayer

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray a decade of the Rosary

Our Father…

10 x Hail Mary…

Glory Be…
Fatima Prayer…

Memorare

Remember O Most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.   Inspired with this confidence I fly unto you, O Virgins of Virgins, my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Day 7 – Our Lady Healer of Families – Mother of Humility

“He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree;” (Luke 1:52)

O Most humble of hearts, Mary, our everlasting virgin and mother. Through your profound humility, God looked upon you with favor.  You offered your body at the Incarnation to be the Mother of the Son. The Father benefits nothing from the the most gracious acts of this world, but exalts only those deeds humbly done in union with the Divine Will.  Mary, you allowed yourself to remain in a state of humility through your perpetual emptying of yourself. In union with the Divine WIll, you realized that God was working through you in a very powerful way and all of your deeds were done through the glory of His name.  It was through your very lowliness, that you were exalted.

Our Lady Healer of Families, we seek your intercession for all those who struggle remaining humble. You have gifted these souls with the fire of your passion, but we ask today that they not run away from humility, but instead embrace it and allow it to lead them into closer union with the Lord.  For when we attempt to exalt ourselves, we will be humbled, but when we humble ourselves, we will be exalted. Mary, pray for us and for those in which we lift up to you in prayer today, in your tenderness, teach them your ways. May they receive sufficient graces in order to be able to accept humility when it is being asked of them and embrace it as a means of closer union with the Father.

Our Lady Healer of Families Prayer

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray a decade of the Rosary

Our Father…

10 x Hail Mary…

Glory Be…
Fatima Prayer…

Memorare

Remember O Most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.   Inspired with this confidence I fly unto you, O Virgins of Virgins, my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Day 8 – Our Lady Healer of Families – Mother of Compassion

“He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.” (Luke 1:53)

Mary, you readily received the gift of compassion from the Father, for you proclaimed His goodness that was given to you in your hunger and thirst for Him.  It is only through what we have allowed ourselves to receive from the Father that we are able to give as a gift back to one another. Jesus received from you, throughout His passion, holy consolation from your most compassionate heart.  The gift of compassion that you received from the Father, had reached its fullness and was poured out of you upon the Son. Mary, as the Mother of Humanity, you freely offer the same consolation that you gave to Jesus, to all of humanity. For from the abundance of compassion in which you have received from the Father, all of humanity is able to come to you in their struggles.

Our Lady Healer of Families, today we seek your intercession for all of those who have not opened their hearts in order to receive, as Jesus did, from the Father.  Penetrate their hearts and minds with the grace of compassion so that they may be a source of consolation for the world. Mary, many of your children are broken, they are tired, and they have wandered far away from your Son.  They are desperately yearning for compassion, in which they are not open to receiving from the Father. Pour out heavenly graces upon them, that they may turn back to the Father and be led to the consoling heart of Jesus.

Our Lady Healer of Families Prayer

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray a decade of the Rosary

Our Father…

10 x Hail Mary…

Glory Be…
Fatima Prayer…

Memorare

Remember O Most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.   Inspired with this confidence I fly unto you, O Virgins of Virgins, my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Day 9 – Our Lady Healer of Families – Mother of Mercy

“He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.” (Luke 1:54-55)

Mary, mother of Jesus, you have been named Queen of Mercy, that you might save, by your protection, the greatest and most abandoned sinners who have recourse to you.  The salvation of these souls will be your crown in Heaven. For it is by your resounding “yes” to God that you were flooded with His mercy, ushering in the Holy Spirit in order to conceive the body of the Redeemer in your most treasured womb. By Jewish law, your unexplained pregnancy would not have afforded you to be shown mercy, but through the grace of God, mercy was given.  Thus you forever have a merciful gaze upon all of humanity. As Queen of Mercy, you desire to save souls, leading them back to your Son, which allows you to see them through the eyes of mercy, to see them as God does, as created in His image and likeness.

Our Lady Healer of Families, today we seek your intercession for all the souls who turn away from the mercy of God, as well as those who believe themselves to be not worthy of His mercy.  Mary, guide these souls who measure their dignity by the standards of the world. Help them to realize their inherent dignity, which comes from knowing that their worth can be seen in the eyes of God, their creator and their Savior.  Mary, as our Heavenly Mother, we beseech you to pray for us and those in which we lift up to you in prayer today, that we will always be open to receive the mercy of the Father.

Our Lady Healer of Families Prayer

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Pray a decade of the Rosary

Our Father…

10 x Hail Mary…

Glory Be…
Fatima Prayer…

Memorare

Remember O Most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.   Inspired with this confidence I fly unto you, O Virgins of Virgins, my Mother, to you do I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

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The Accuser, The Advocate, The Just Judge and Mercy

Munkacsy_-_Christ_in_front_of_Pilate

My daughter, speak to priests about this inconceivable mercy of Mine. The flames of mercy are burning Me — clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don’t want to believe in My goodness. 

Diary of Saint Faustina 177

 

I had a new catechist in my RCIA class tonight.  He went through RCIA a couple of years ago and he has kept on attending.  He is a lawyer by trade.  And he has a love for God in his heart.  He offered to help this year and the Holy Spirit told me it was time for him to speak.  The class he would be teaching was actually on the Holy Spirit.  Because that’s how God works.  We were completing a series of classes on the Trinity beginning with God the Father, then God the Son, and finally God the Holy Spirit.

The class was like a usual class.  He pointed out what Scripture and tradition have said and we had discussion in the class.  He was doing a fine job.  But I don’t think I was prepared for his story at the end of class.  It had us all listening intently.

He said in his life when it comes to the fuzziness or mystery of God, he tries to grasp at something tangible in life that he can relate it to.   He wanted to tell us his depiction of the Trinity.  Because he is a lawyer he said he came across many prostitutes and runaways in court.  He said they were not bad people, but just people who had gotten themselves into a bad situation.  He said this had him ponder God as Trinity, and how can God be both Justice and Mercy at the same time.  Then he told his analogy.

He said to picture that you are in a court room in Sinagpore, where caning is a regular punishment for crime.  He said to picture yourself there, as the defendant.   And you actually are guilty, you know you are because you did commit the crime.  Picture yourself in the center of the courtroom crying the ugly cry, the guilty cry.  Across from you is the Prosecutor.  This he said is The Accuser.  The Accuser tells you that you are no good.  You are guilty.  You can never be loved.

On one side of you is your Advocate.  The Advocate whispers in a still small voice in your ear that you are loved.  Remember the Holy Spirit is your Advocate.  Jesus stands on the other side of you, they cry with you.  The Father also cries.  He is the just judge but he cries for you.

You confess.  You are guilty.  You are sorry.  The judge, in order to be just, has to exact the punishment.  In the case of sin, handing you over to the accuser, to be caned.  Justice demands it.  But Mercy steps in.  Jesus covers over your body as the caning begins.  You don’t feel the caning because mercy has stepped in.  Thus God is both Justice and Mercy.  The punishment still exacted, but on the Son, and not you.   Justice and Mercy both at the same time.  The Just judge loves you so much that He sent His only Son to receive the Justice meant for you, and mercy pours over you, the contrite and humbled sinner.

Imagine if you will, that you reject God.  You decide you don’t need an Advocate, you don’t need mercy.  You feel justified in your sin.  You will defend yourself and your rightness.  You stand alone in the Pride of your sin justifying what you have done.  This time the Advocate, the Just Judge, and Mercy wait for your invitation.  They call out to you but you say no, I can do this on my own.  The Just judge will still exact the punishment because you are still guilty.  But this time, because you have rejected mercy of your own free will, you have no one to cover you when the caning begins.  You have left mercy out of your life and you have handed yourself over to the Accuser.  The Just Judge only doing exactly what you asked.

That my friends is what happens when we don’t examine our conscience and turn to God in all humility and ask for Him to help us.  God wants to pour oceans of mercy upon us, we just have to say yes to it.  Admit our failings, and mercy will save us.  This is why we pray, Lord have mercy.

 

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The Tragedy of Scandal

jesus-prayer-09

“The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.”
St. John Chrysostom attributed

 

I just wanted to say a few words about the breaking scandals in the church.  From the one with Cardinal McCarrick, to the Pennsylvania situation, all I can say is my heart is broken, though I am not surprised.

“Scandal” comes from the Greek word skandalon.  It’s essence is that it is a trap.  Something that causes you to fall down while trying to walk with Jesus.  This is why what church authority has done is SUCH A SCANDAL.  It has caused the flock to fall because it has caused the flock members to leave the church.  It has caused the flock and society to question even good and holy Priests who had nothing to do with abuse.  It is a tragedy.

When I think about it words like “horrified” come to my mind.  An anger rages inside of me.  How can we remain faithful when those whose care we are entrusted to abuse us?  The answer of course lies in Christ Jesus.  He is who we keep our eyes on.

The other day while at work I had a stunning moment with the Lord.  I can only describe it as feeling like I was taken to the Garden of Gethsemane to the precise point where Christ fell on his face and stated;  “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39).   The feeling I was given was that Christ was not imploring the Father to stop His physical pain, but to stop seeing OUR SIN.   Like the moment Christ was shown by the Father that our Shepherds would abuse children and adults, and all of the worlds other sins, THAT WAS TOO MUCH.  Specifically sexually abusive Priests and Bishops were shown to me as ripping people’s souls out.  What I felt I was shown was that it was seeing all of this that prompted him to speak.  That is the cup he wanted to pass.  And he would endure the physical pain to give us victory over these sins.  But here we are 2000 years later in a deep abyss clinging to sin and not having victory over the devil.  Some Church authorities have handed themselves to the devil, and the “smoke of Satan” has entered the church. The sorrow I felt in this moment with the Lord was so immense and intense I broke down crying.  I couldn’t contain the sorrow.  What have we done?  We continue to scourge, spit in His face, and crucify our Lord Jesus Christ.  He has not abandoned us.  Sinful men have abandoned Him.  And just as Christ died for the man who was nailing him to the cross, Christ too died for those abusers.  Let us pray with all of our might that they repent and return to the Gospel.  Let us also pray for complete and total healing of all those abused who have borne the brunt of this tragedy.

For all of us, all I can say is, Keep your eyes on HIM.  Do not be fooled, this is the Passion of the Church.  And just like Jesus exposed the leaders of His time, He is exposing those of our time too.  Justice will be HIS.  We must remember though, don’t leave Jesus because of Judas.  The church with all her flaws contains the bread of everlasting life.  The Eucharist.  It is said that Judas stopped believing when Jesus gave the bread of life discourse.  It is precisely in the Eucharistic Lord that we will find the gates of hell shall not prevail.

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Marriage and the Water Mill

Water Mill

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  So [also] husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

 

As I was walking this morning and praying, talking to God, as I often do, an image kept popping into my mind.  It was the image of a Water Mill.  As you all know a a water mill uses hydropower.  It uses a water wheel to drive a mechanical process to produce the energy which can create milling, rolling or hammering.   This process enables the water mill to produce material goods like flour, lumber, paper, textiles, etc.  In other words, a water mill can service a great number of people with things they need to live.

In the bible we often hear of living water.  So the mill totally made sense to me as something God would show me.  When he pours living water on us, we are the wheel and we accept and receive it, the wheel produces energy, beautiful energy that services a great many people.  So the living water received in us can make us a light in a dark world.  Conversely, if we fight the living water poured over us, it is like something clogs the wheel.  When we try to do things of our own accord without God the wheel can actually become overwhelmed and feel crushed under the weight of the water.  God can be trying to pour into us, but we are blocking it and it feels like a fight instead of a free flow of beauty.  But God was telling me more than that.

He was talking to me about marriage.  The same analogy is true of marriage.  If I, as a wife, pour life, pour living water, into my husband it can make his wheel churn with great energy.  Conversely if he does the same for me, together we can be fierce in our service of each other, our children, and others.  This is because we accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we work together instead of against each other.  My husband is a detail man.  I am a big picture woman, when we pour into each other we accomplish a lot.  When we don’t well….let’s just say things don’t go well.

If I as a wife constantly clog my husbands wheel with criticism or resentment and bitterness, his wheel gets stuck, and the water overwhelms.  This is not what God intended.  In our society we see so much pitting of men against women, and so little cooperation.

I posted the verse above because everyone always thinks it’s controversial.  Telling a wife to be subordinate or submit to her husband.  And throughout history we have seen men abuse women and women bear the brunt of this abuse and trauma.  So much so that the bitterness and resentment has bubbled up and we see a man-hating spirit in women today.  Men have been whispered too as well, there’s a woman-hating spirit that spawned the abuse of women.   That man-hating spirit is whispering lies to women, and the woman hating spirit whispers lies to men because the devil wants nothing more than to break down the family.

But if you read that verse, I mean really read it, it is actually a thing of beauty.  Saint Paul is saying to be subordinate to one another, that means work together.  But he does go on to say that wives should be subordinate to their husbands.  Other translations use the word submit.  So I asked myself, what am I subordinate to?  What is he asking me to submit to by saying submit to my husband?  And the answer lies in what follows.  The husband is to be like Christ.  To love his wife like Christ loves the church.  How did Christ love the church?  He died for her.  Yes, Amen, I will submit to that.  I will be under that mission.  My husband is to love me like this;

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 

My husbands love should sanctify me, help me get to heaven where I am holy and without blemish.  This command was given to the man. Yes! Please!  Absolutely I will be subordinate to that.  And the best way for my husband to be able to do this for me is for me to pour living water into his wheel.  And I can’t pour into him if I am bitter and resentful.  Being a light in the darkness actually starts in our own hearts, spreads to our own family, then to community, then to the nation.  Do you see why the Domestic Church is so important?  If I accept my husbands attention to detail as part of who he is, and help him flourish it, combine that with his pouring into me, accepting that I am a big picture person the way God made me, our wheels can turn with living water together instead of against one another and we become a powerhouse, that lights our own home, and extends to our community.  This is why it is so important for each of us to work on our own interior and examine our own conscience.  We cannot force others to change, but we can let God change us.  We can forgive all debts, especially those committed by our spouse.  This is why the Domestic Church contains Divine Mercy.   Because it is most especially in our marriages that forgiveness is needed.  Forgiveness is the key to permanence.

We must recognize the demons from our past, and from our spouses past that whisper lies to us and don’t allow us to truly live in the light of Christ.  When we believe the lies of the devil we are only able to partially give of ourselves and it isn’t fully what Christ intended.  We become limited by the demons and are unable to receive the gifts God wants to give.  But by forgiving we shut the door on the demons and break down the walls between us and our spouse, and this then extends to others as well.   When people see the light in you, eventually, in God’s time, others will want what you are giving and receiving.  And the world changes one heart at a time.

Lord Jesus, grant that I and my spouse may have a true and understanding love for each other. Grant that we may both be filled with faith and trust. Give us the grace to live with each other in peace and harmony. May we always bear with one another’s weaknesses and grow from each other’s strengths. Help us to forgive one another’s failings and grant us patience, kindness, cheerfulness and the spirit of placing the well-being of one another ahead of self. 

May the love that brought us together grow and mature with each passing year. Bring us both ever closer to You through our love for each other. Let our love grow to perfection. Amen.

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Divorce, Abortion, Divine Mercy and the Womb

baby in womb

“The mystery of God’s maternal love is expressed with particular power in the Hebrew word, rahamim.  Etymologically, this word means “womb” but was later used to mean divine compassion for man, God’s mercy.” – Jesus of Nazareth: Part I Pope Benedict XVI

As I sat with my pregnant friend Ashley who is nearing her due date for her baby son, I pondered the baby in utero.  Remembering my own pregnancies, listening to the heartbeat of my children on the sonogram, in which I could also sometimes hear my own heartbeat.  It occurred to me that when the baby’s heart first starts beating, the heart rate is similar to that of the mother. And Jesus showed me my heart beating in unison with his.

Then another image came to me.  The baby in the womb is immersed in blood and water provided by the mother’s body.  And I remembered the words of Pope Benedict above, and how the word womb came to be known as God’s mercy.

The family, the domestic church, is all about God’s Divine mercy.  When a baby enters the world, covered in the blood and water of his mother, and created with the DNA of both his mother and father, he enters with God’s intention of sending him into the loving arms of that mother and father.  A communion that started at conception and was meant to continue all the days of our lives. But Satan brought death and disorder to this union.

Eve was formed from the side of Adam, so from the beginning woman was formed from man.  She was created with the cooperation of Adam and God and given as a gift, body and soul. As with any gift from God, when recognized fully as such, one is moved by immense gratitude, which draws love for the giver.  God the Father, out of love for Adam, gives the gift of Eve. This gift is created out of charity and is the fruit of that love. It is through Adam’s recognition of the gift that he is able to express his love and gratitude to God.

Then God gave the man and woman a role to play in His creative work by giving them the gift of creating new life, from which only God had done on his own previously. This gift is an intimate cooperation with God… man, woman, and God are all needed to create and breathe new life into a child.  This gift was recognized by Adam and Eve and allowed them to express their love and gratitude to God. Thus with each creative and unitive act, man, woman and God are all present.

But listening to the lies of Satan we have distorted, and destroyed what God gave as beautiful.  It started when the gift of this intimate union between man, woman and God ceased to be recognized as gift from the divine giver.  It started at the fall, when they blamed each other.  In our modern culture the sexual revolution coerced men and women to ungratefully take God’s gift and claim it as their own “right”.  Without recognition of the gift or the divine giver, men and women were then unable to express their love to God through this gift. They were unable to be grateful to the giver for this divine union that He has not only given them, but through which he promised to be present within.  

Among other things, this led to the destruction of marriages and the social acceptance of divorce.  Even Moses had laws of divorce, yet look how much more we as a culture have embraced divorce. We have also embraced premarital sex, so a woman may be left alone, not in communion with a spouse when a new life is created within her womb. God does not cease being the giver of new life. He does not cease being fully present in the intimate union between man and woman. No matter if we recognize the gift as such or not, God is the Divine giver.  And His gift is twofold by allowing man and woman a participation in His creative and unitive work, and also through the creation of new life, the new body in the mother’s womb. This is why Christ said; 

He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss [her]?” He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.”        Matthew 19:4-9

The fruit of divorce and pre-marital sex, where a woman is left alone creates a situation where everyone is fending for themselves and not looking out for the other.  It is disunity not unity.  It culminates when a women then, in turn can say today, “this is my body”. But the baby’s body is not her own, for it is distinct and separate from the woman’s body. At the moment of conception the new life begins to grow and develop of its own accord. At first this new life is completely reliant on the mother’s body in order to survive, but over the course of time it develops its own functionality. Then at the time of birth the new life is strong enough to completely separate itself and survive on its own. This reminds me of the parable of the growing seed.

He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.-Mark 4:26-29

Much like the farmer in this parable who scatters seed upon the earth, when man participates with God and woman in the intimate sexual act, the seed he scatters on fertile ground will yield new life. Jesus further explains through this parable that this seed then sprouts and grows on its own, without the farmer having to do anything.  The farmer does not know how the seed grows, but it almost mysteriously does. The gift from God to Adam and Eve was for man and woman to be involved in the intimate and unitive act of God’s work of creating new life. Once this new life is created it becomes its own entity that mysteriously sprouts and grows on its own accord.

Today we hear the argument that the child in the mother’s womb IS the mother’s body. She has the “right” to do what she wishes with her body.  But the new life within the mother’s womb, although required her participation to create, at the moment of conception ceases to be her own possession, but instead becomes its own entity, sprouting and growing on its own. With this, we must recognize that not only are our bodies a gift from God, but so too the baby in the mother’s womb is also a gift from God.  The question then becomes do we recognize this gift? Only when we do are will able to then express our love and gratitude to the divine giver. Without the recognition by man and woman of this gift, the mercy of God continues to be rejected.

God sent his only Son in humility taking on the body we were given.  God in the womb of a human being, the Blessed Mother Mary. Jesus, Divine Mercy Himself, was a fetus that was at the mercy of his Mother, his foster father Joseph, and his society.  A mother, not yet married, trusting the Angel Gabriel. A foster-father, who had mercy on his betrothed and listened to the will of God. A society that would have killed her and her baby if the two of them had not cooperated with God and with each other.  And so Divine Mercy was born.

And he proclaimed, “this is my body given up for you,” showing us how to restore communion.  And from that Divine Mercy, blood and water poured out from his side on the cross, and just as Eve had been created from the side of Adam, the church was created from the side of God on the Cross.  The church, the bride of Christ, and the Mystical Body, brought forth to restore communion. Restore communion with God and with one another. Leaving us His very DNA in the Mass, so we can run into the loving arms of the Father.   He came to show us how to sacrifice for one another and have communion again.  This is why we must defend life. If we cannot recognize life and children as a gift and instead look at them as property rights and commodities, our society will continue to deteriorate because we are not grateful for the gift.  Ungratefulness wreaks destruction.  It rejects Divine Mercy.  Pray for marriage and families.  Pray for the unborn.  This post is not meant as a judgment on those who have committed these sins, but rather a call to turn back to your loving Creator and be grateful.  Remember, no matter your past, He can make all things new.  That’s Divine Mercy.

 

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