And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Luke 1:28
Mary is in perfect relationship with the Holy Trinity. She wants to guide us there too.
Mary, who was conceived without sin, knew that she was a loved daughter of God the Father. She knew this because she prayed and had a relationship with Him as we see in her Magnificat. This knowledge and relationship combined with her Immaculate purity meant she was confident and trusting in God the Father. She was truly Full of Grace, just as Eve had once been in the garden. Eve, desiring to be like God, fell from grace by handing the domain of grace that God gave her to Satan, who turned God’s grace to death and destruction. She ate the fruit of self will by falling prey to temptation. Mary, in contrast, never desired to be like God. Instead she emptied herself. And despite the fact that Mary saw suffering and evil, Mary did not view the Lord as someone who would harm her. Mary ate the fruit of God’s will being fed only from the Tree of Life. Because of this disposition Mary could receive everything God wanted to give to her. Mary was an open vessel, unashamed before the Lord. In Mary’s case this meant she would personally carry the Word made flesh. Mary is the perfection of daughterhood.
Because Mary was an open vessel for the Lord this means that when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her she could give her full consent to being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Tradition teaches us that this relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit was spousal as she is often referred to as the spouse of the Holy Spirit. Saint Maximilian Kolbe takes this even further. He referred to Mary as the created Immaculate Conception and to the Holy Spirit as the uncreated Immaculate Conception. Thus when she tells Saint Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception”. This isn’t just spousal relationship, it is who she is. (Manteau-Bonamy, Immaculate Conception and the Holy Spirit). The depth of what this means is a mystery too large for our understanding. But it is through this teaching that we get a glimpse of God’s plan and how Mary, because of the salvific work of God before her conception and her yes to unity with the Holy Spirit, she becomes the mediatrix of all graces. This teaching lets us know that the person who embraces Mary is led by her to this unity with the Holy Spirit.
Mary because of her unity with the Holy Spirit conceives the Son, thus becoming the Mother of God and ushering in the Savior of mankind. This Motherhood of God is co-redemptrix in nature because it is through this Motherhood that God saves us by being born and dying on the Cross. She brings the birth of true love into the world. From the Incarnation to the Cross Mary made gift of herself to the Son, who in turn extends His loving gaze upon her. Her soul magnifies the Lord. Even in her sorrow, she gives to God what belongs to God. This is an unconditional love and is the culmination of union with the Trinity.
We see the action of co-redemptrix and mediatrix of graces at work when we take a look at the relationship she has with those around her who were closest to her. It is important to note that everything she merits is done through the salvific work of her Son whose grace was applied to her preveniently. Where Eve chose to fall from grace by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Mary gifted with grace eats from the Tree of Life. Those who surround her benefit from this grace which flows through her and they receive redemption from the Son. Saint Joseph, who originally wants to dismiss her quietly, changes his mind, no doubt through her prayer and of course a visit from the angel. From this angelic encounter we see Joseph abandon himself to the will of God. He takes Mary into home. This act of taking her into his home, is a restoration of full dominion God had planned for Adam in the Garden. But God gifts this to Joseph who by taking Mary into his home is able to adore the Christ child with loving gaze, thus magnifying the Lord himself. His decision to say yes and take Mary into his home unites Joseph to Mary and thus into the relationship Mary has with the Trinity. This is the restoration of the blessings of the Father onto the family.
Likewise, we see Saint John take Mary into his home at the foot of the Cross. When meditating more deeply on John’s presence at the foot of the cross, we can gain an understanding of how the ministerial priesthood is united to the family of believers. When Jesus turns to John and says, “Woman, behold your son, and to the disciple, Here is your mother,” (John 19:26) John takes Mary into his home. Having walked the Passion with the Immaculata and her Son, John has abandoned his will to God the Father and taken the Immaculate Conception into his home. From the very wounds of the Tree of Life, John becomes united to Mary, which is to say he is united to the Trinity through the Cross and the Immaculate Conception. Here too we see dominion restored. This is the model for the Priesthood.
And so to the Priest takes Mary into his home and takes up his cross becomes ever united with the Trinity and brings us the Eucharistic Lord to consume, uniting us with the lay faithful with the Tree of Life. To Jesus through Mary we enter into right relationship with the Most Holy Trinity.
For these turbulent times we live in, may we all take Mary into our home and receive the Eucharist with total abandonment to God’s will.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them. Romans 1:28-32
I have been watching all that is happening in our country with a sadness that I am sure that many of you feel. I am not here to comment on the details of what is happening. I wholeheartedly believe the only one who has all of the facts is God in Heaven. He sees what we do not. In my prayer he tells me we will all be humbled. I believe Him. I also have taken a look at what the Saints and faithful did in tumultuous times.
It was then that I came across Saint Genevieve that I thought we could all learn something. She lived in times of war, and after her death there was plague. I found the following two paragraphs from Catholic Online.
When Attila and his army of Huns came upon Paris, the Parisian Christians were prepared to run, but Genevieve spoke to them and convinced them to stay within their homes, fast and pray to the Lord. She assured them they would have the protection of Heaven. Her prediction came true as Attila suddenly changed his path and turned away from Paris.
After her death many miracles occured, the most famous occurrence was the miracle of Des Ardens, or the burning fever. In 1129, a violent fever swept through the city, and doctors couldn’t stop the people from dying. The shrine of Genevieve was carried in a procession to the cathedral, and during the ceremony, those who touched her shrine were healed by the power of the Lord. Throughout the whole town, no one else became sick, all the ill recovered and only three people died.
Here we have the Saints and faithful turning to the ways of God instead of the ways of men to help with all of the things that were happening.
It occurred to me that we should be doing those things; Praying and fasting and having processions. I know there have been some faithful Priests and leaders who have done these things, but we faithful can do this as well.
Our Padre Pio Nashville Group has decided to process with relics throughout our city and towns and neighborhoods, calling on the communion of Saints to protect us from COVID and violence. We must start turning to the ways of heaven. We must turn back to God. The Saints did not hide in their homes forever, they went out and changed things, even and especially when there was sickness. So on January 23 we will take many relics or many Saints and pray for protection and blessing. We realized after picking the day that this was the Feast of the Espousal of Joseph and Mary. May the Holy Family be with us.
It is time to put on the Armor of God in the ways that we can.
I will leave you with what I wrote in my journal yesterday, January 8, 2020 during adoration. As you know, I write what pops in my head as if God were speaking to me. If the church says what I have written is wrong, then the church is correct and I am wrong.
Beloved Lily of the Father,
The earth is in shackles because of sin. I came to proclaim the Kingdom of God at hand.
Still you turn to the ways of men to handle your sin. Do you not see what I am calling you to?
You hold back from me and I cannot pour my glory.
There are so few that understand.
You think you “know” but your knowledge is but a grain of sand. I AM knowledge. I AM truth. My ways are higher.
Still you seek only knowledge instead of seeking ME.
No matter how much you think you know, you are not GOD, I AM.
You seek in the wrong places and it takes you deeper into the abyss.
You have no idea what I made the human body capable of for the soul living in the Divine Will. You try to manipulate the body instead of seeking my will.
Therefore I hand you over to your desires since you see fit not to acknowledge me.
Death technology begets death.Freedom is found IN ME.
My bride will be purified, no corruption.
You worship like a prophylactic keeping MY BODY from you like a disease. I have been contracepted in reception of the GIFT of me. You have not abandoned yourselves to me, rather you want to serve mammon. You cannot serve to Masters.
Satan is trying to stop the consecration, wanting to abort the sacrifice the way he convinced you to abort your children, the way he convinced Martin Luther to break the family line.
I tell you, the Gates of hell shall not prevail.
I will remain with the remnant when Rome falls. The remnant who see, who trust me.
The living will envy the dead. The remnant will suffer but their total abandonment to me will bring Resurrection. A bride washed anew ready for the Bridegroom that I AM. You will be able to move mountains.
Those who knew me but justified their sin and remained in the pride of it handed themselves to wicked deeds – death is what befalls them. Remain steadfast and keep my commandments.
Those who truly see are few, their suffering united with me saves many And I will pour grace over them through my Mother and protection through my earthly father.
Be wise like a serpent and peaceful like a dove. Do not be afraid but be confident. I want more for you then you want for yourself. You have no idea how GREAT I AM.
God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:20-23
I have spent time pondering what the Lord wants our world to look like. A world where His “will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is a world of union with the trinity, which, in turn, creates union with creation. Adam and Eve had this before they fell. Mary is the new Eve. Jesus the new Adam. What does this world look like? Scripture shows us;
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good newsof the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23
Of course Jesus, as the second person of the Blessed Trinity is God, so it is no surprise that he can heal and cure. But Jesus tells his disciples that they will do greater things than even he did, so this unity is something that God wants to bring back to all of us.
Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12
So what is wrong with the world today? Why don’t we see this unity which begets miracles? It is still because of corruption and sin. We look to other idols to cure us, when in reality all we are doing is managing our sin. And as humans, working in our own pride, we haven’t done a good job of managing it. Disease and sickness are in the world because of sin. The confessional is the place we purge of sin, yet we spend more time at the doctor than in the confessional.
Don’t get me wrong, we actually do need the doctor. Why? Because sin isn’t just something you do personally, others sin too, and when they sin it affects the entire body. Sometimes we are suffering the consequences of someone else’s sin, even from generations ago, and that is not something we can control, so we manage it. Corruption is so far and so deep, it would take an act of God to purge the world of it. God has allowed us ways to manage what is going on, but have we made this management our God? Are we even turning to God?
Jesus came to show us how to overcome sin and be purified. He took on all the sin. But there was a path to that. It was a path to the cross. Whenever Peter wanted to tell Jesus not to go to the cross, Jesus rebuked him.
From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Matthew 16:21-23
We as a people will be purified when we look like Christ. This is why the church herself must walk this Passion. In between where we are now and a world of true union with the Trinity is the Cross the church must take on.
Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. Catechism of the Catholic Church 675
We can do this individually, this purging, but it is something the Body of Christ is called to as a whole.
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready; to her it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. Revelation 19:6-8
When you think about this purification that will “shake the faith of many believers“, you can’t help but think of the faith of the Apostles being shaken when Jesus took on his Passion. Judas betrayed, Peter lied, Thomas doubted, most ran and hid. They wanted a different Messiah and trusted in their own expectations of what that was, and when it didn’t pan out, everything seemingly crumbled.
There was one Apostle whose faith wasn’t shaken, that was John. He rested in the bosom of Jesus. He stood at the foot of the Cross. He was the only one who wasn’t martyred. He seemed to have fully surrendered to the will of God before the crucifixion. In short, John expected nothing except what God wanted and it enabled him to surrender to the will of God without losing faith while everything was crumbling around him. We can ponder what happened at the foot of the Cross, and John’s example.
My friend Ashley spoke of John as being “grafted” into the Holy Family. Grafting is a technique that joins two trees or plants into one. This is done by creating a wound in the rootstock of one tree and the other is inserted into that wound so each tree’s tissues can grow together. Grafting is used to make a tree “grow true” and is meant to stay true to the line from which it came. When Jesus turns to John and says, “Woman, behold your son, and to the disciple, Here is your mother,” (John 19:26) John is incorporated into the Holy Family. John is the tender young tree that is grafted to the rootstock of Christ. He is implanted into the wounds, or Sacred Heart of Jesus, at the crucifixion. From the very wounds of the Tree of Life, John becomes kindred to Mary, and as such spends the rest of his life on earth as a member of the Holy Family.
St John’s union with the Holy Family brought a fourth heart into the Holy Family; the heart of the beloved. And perhaps this is why he appeared at Knock, Ireland with the Holy Family. Heaven was trying to tell us something. That the men who can say, “behold the Lamb of God” to us can form us into the family God intended for us.
The priest that embraces the cross instead of running from it, the priest that takes Mary fully as his Mother, this priest is kindred to the Holy Family. When he brings the Eucharist, the lamb, the crucified Christ, the Divine Child, to his flock he can help graft us into this family as well so we can all be beloved hearts. This is about the power of the Priesthood, the Holy Family, and the purification of our sin as the Body of Christ, the Bride.
We are so far away from this unity that God had planned for us. Our leaders run from the cross and embrace idols choosing to follow secular forces instead of Divine ones. As a people we have fled from the confessional justifying our sin at every turn and judging others with no mercy. Just glance at social media and you see there is no mercy.
We have so many idols, so many attachments, so much corruption. We aren’t even aware of the level of corruption so there is no way we could save ourselves. We need a savior. We turn to science, counseling and various types of secular healing in our sin management instead of to God who could take away our sin. We call evil good and good we call evil. Science, counseling and other various things aren’t necessarily bad, but they’re not God.
We are at a precipice. It is one of choosing to surrender to the will of God – which means picking up our cross and following him. This will look different for each of us and hear me when I say – it is so important not to judge the decisions others make, for all of us are at different points on this journey. God works all things for the good of those who love him. Remember that Peter, Thomas, and the other Apostles, save for one, are also Saints, and that God filled them with His glory even though they didn’t fully surrender until after the crucifixion. God loved them as he loved John, they were all beloved. But if we want to be filled with the glory of God we have to have the humility to surrender our expectations and our sins. It is in humility that glory is found.
I ponder how far away I am from what God wants for me. I tell God I can see the world he wants and I see the cross in between where I am and where he wants me, and I ask Him to take away my fear of that part of the journey. I ask God at every Mass to fill me with Himself.
I also pray for Priests everyday. It is through them I have access to Christ, but also to the Holy Family. It is through them I have received Sacramental grace, sanctifying grace. Pray for your Priests to be grafted to the Holy Family so that you yourself can be as well.
This is a time of purification. Move forward in fortitude and trust. Ask Saint John and the Holy Family to help you persevere.
Today, in the joyful atmosphere of Christmas, the Church, reliving with fresh wonder the mystery of Emmanuel, God-with-us, leads us to contemplate the Holy Family of Nazareth. From contemplation of this admirable model, the Church draws the values to hold up to the women and men of all times and all cultures. – Saint John Paul the II – Angelus, December 27, 1998
Today would normally be the feast of Saint John the Evangelist, but because it falls on a Sunday during the Octave of Christmas, today we celebrate the Holy Family. I can’t help but think though, we are at a culmination point. Saint John the Evangelist was at the apparition in Knock, Ireland. It seems fitting that in this crazy year of 2020, his day would be shared with the Holy Family, as if heaven is trying to speak something to us, both about priests and families. I hope to write more on this in the coming weeks.
For now, you may be aware but I live in TN. Our city was bombed. Thankfully it does not look as if people were the target but I have been without cell phone access or internet since Christmas. I am only able to connect today because I am in another location that still has access. It is strange to be so isolated from the outside world. But I do believe the Lord has been preparing us for these times.
In that vain, it is important for us now more than ever to have our spiritual houses in order. I will leave you with the Consecration Prayer to the Holy Family, who will guide us through these times.
Consecration to the Most Holy Family
O Most Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, today our family has come together to unite our hearts with yours, Sacred, Immaculate, and Guardian, in order to consecrate ourselves as a family to your Most Holy Family. Our hearts are longing for your presence amongst us. Our hearts are longing for your peace within us. Our hearts are longing for your protection around us. We surrender our desires, our temptations, our troubles, our sorrows, our weaknesses, our blessings and our joys to you. We give you everything, our very lives, and place it all at the foot of the cross of the Divine Child, Jesus Christ, so that we may live only for Him, our King and our Savior. May each member of our family have a heart that is Beloved beating in unison with your 3 hearts.
O Most Holy Family, we praise and honor you as the archetype of the domestic church. May our family be a reflection of yours, as we practice virtue and deepen in faith, hope and charity. We have been placed together as a family to be a reflection of you, father, mother, sons and daughters. As we live together in our own domestic church, may our home be an extension of the Catholic Church, which is an extension of our eternal home in Heaven. May our life together be ever open to the movement of the Holy Spirit so that we may be full of your grace and peace.
Mary and Joseph, just as you lived your quiet life in Nazareth as parents of the Divine Child, who was the source of Love in your family, may we too keep Jesus as the center of our lives and the center of our family. Teach us to honor and adore Him, to turn to Him first and foremost in our need, and to be witnesses of His love and mercy. May we gaze upon His Holy Face and reach the heights of union that both of you did.
Divine Child Jesus, just as you were obedient to your mother and father on earth, may we as children of our own parents, always remember to honor them in good times and bad. May we learn the virtue of obedience from the family, which will lead us in our obedience to the Heavenly Father as we grow and mature in our faith.
O Most Holy Family, today we consecrate ourselves to you and seek your intercession so that from this day forward, our prayers, our thoughts, our words and our actions will be united to you, who were ever united to the Divine Will of the Triune God. In this we pray, all glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, Amen.
To be delivered from the slavery of these heresies, those whom the merciful love of my Son has destined for this restoration will need great will-power, perseverance, courage, and confidence in God. To try the faith and trust of these just ones, there will be times when all will seem lost and paralyzed. It will then be the happy beginning of the complete restoration… Our Lady of Good Success
I write in my journal as if God were speaking to me. If the church says what I have written is wrong, then the church is correct and I am wrong.
December 19, 2020
Beloved Lily of the Father,
Fear, Shame and confusion are Legion, demons unleashed upon the world because of the vastness of sin.
Do you not know by now that the anxiety you feel is a demon tempting you? They tempt you to despair, as if what is happening in the world cannot be overcome by me.
They tempt you to shame, as if the sins of the body cannot be forgiven by me; as if you were the one who could give and take life. I tell you, you do not have that power. I am the author of life.
There are no sins of the body that I cannot heal and make whole. There is no illness I cannot overcome.
You are made to feel shame incessantly as a relentless attack. This reaps confusion and paralysis – halting the work of the Kingdom.
Child, do you not know that what I created is good? A repentant heart is lifted up in sanctifying grace through the sacrament of confession. Forgive others, but do not forget to forgive yourself as I have forgiven you. Judgment is not yours to pass on the soul, not even your own.
Remain steadfast. Accept my mercies daily. Be confident in ME, this will dispel the confusion.
Hear me now! There is nothing that is happening that I cannot heal. My promises are true.
Do not be afraid or give into despair. Instead persevere in prayer and unite your suffering to the cross.
I AM funneling grace under the mantle of my Mother. Be confident in me and trust.
“Write: before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice…” Diary of Saint Faustina, 1146
I have been asked to speak on the Eucharist for our Padre Pio Nashville prayer group. Speaking on a topic like this is often hard because it is so overwhelming and immense, and let’s face it, there are theologians who are way better speakers than I am on this topic. I went to adoration to talk to God about what I should say that hasn’t already been said better by someone else.
It was in adoration that I felt the tug to speak about Justice. Justice is the virtue where you give God His due. You give to God what belongs to God. Religion is a sub-virtue of Justice. The fact that we owe God everything, that means everything belongs to God, and should come out in our worship.
Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, to make atonement for our sin. He could have done this by just becoming incarnate. But he didn’t. Instead, God came in the form of the Son, to offer Himself back for our sin, to pay the debt. But He didn’t just do it for us to be spectators. He was trying to show us how to do “what is right and just.” For you see, when our first parents fell and ushered sin into the world, death was what was just. Jesus Christ came so we would have life and life abundantly, yet here were are some 2000 years later and our world is more messy than ever.
And it got me to thinking, everything in the economy of Salvation is about bringing back unity. The unity that Adam and Eve had in the garden before the fall. Jesus even prayed for this;
“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. John 17:20-24
This kind of unity isn’t some sort of worldly “let’s all get along and agree to disagree” kind of unity, this kind of unity is not of this world. It is the kind of unity that brings harmony with creation because it is a complete recognition of what is due to God. It is complete humble adoration of God, purified of sin. It is the kind of unity that Saints achieve.
The Eucharist is meant to bring this kind of unity. This kind of unity does not know the knowledge of evil, but of good, childlike in reception and filled with Thanksgiving. It looks upon each man and woman without envy and malice and wants only for their good. How many of us can say that we truly want this for others?
In my mental prayer the other day I saw a Priest make the offering. The Priest was ad orientum. The crucified Christ came into that tiny little host. Jesus the Son, offering Himself to the Father. When the Priest turned to the congregation to say “behold the Lamb of God” in my prayer that tiny host turned into the Divine Child.
I have stated before that we can treat the Eucharist as we treated Christ on the Cross, abusively, or we can treat the Eucharist as Mary and Joseph treated the Divine Child. Both Mary and Joseph were pure and received willingly all that God had to offer them. Their yes made them co-redeemers for with their yes the redeemer entered the world. Their suffering was united to His.
When we receive unworthily, we treat Christ like they did on the Cross. We have a choice in this life. We can receive in a state of grace and be more and more conformed to Christ, accepting our suffering with Thanksgiving and love and mercy, or we can receive in a state of sin, which drinks judgement on ourselves.
For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 1 Corinthians 11:29
This judgement can actually purify us if we eventually recognize it and repent, but it is a much harder path to heaven and is likely to make you end up in purgatory or hell. Hell would be your rejection of God’s mercy because you chose to sit in the pride of your sin. Purgatory, though a great mercy itself, is not a fun place to be, separated from that total love of God. All of the Saints who were offered a choice to suffer here or in purgatory chose to suffer here, so great is the pain of separation in purgatory.
Either way God will be just. He will give you what you asked for. But the soul that asks to be conformed to His will, that offers up their suffering, and lives a life in thanksgiving, that soul brings unity. Unity to their own interior, and unity that can spread outward towards others and into creation.
Have you ever wondered why Saints could perform miracles? They had purged of sin and let go of idols, so much so that they were given full domain. Full domain is what God gave us, and it makes you harmonious with creation. You cannot earn this, it is a free gift, but our sin does block this gift because every time we sin we give that domain to Satan, and you can see what he is doing with it by a cursory glance at the headlines.
We as a society are so steeped in sin we don’t understand this. We are blind to the way to heal our world. It starts with the healing of our souls. Admitting in full transparency all of our sin and idols and handing them, in suffering, to Christ on the Cross, so that when we receive, we receive the Divine Child as Mary and Joseph did with trust and love. We should not want to receive our own sin and keep it on our souls. Jesus came to take away our sin, so we must give it to Him in order to be purified and saved.
The Eucharist is the way to this purification. Eucharist doesn’t just mean thanksgiving, it makes our hearts thankful. It teaches us to love others like God does. It makes us give God His due, so that we in turn can truly have God in us. We should all want God’s justice because justice restores love.
My talk for Padre Pio Nashville Prayer Group can be found here.
My friend Ashley Blackburn and I have written a 25 day Consecration to the Holy Family. If you are interested in doing this Consecration starting December 1, 2020 and ending on Christmas, please email me at email@example.com. You will receive an email each day of the Consecration. Below we explain why and how we are doing it. Again please email me if you are interested in receiving a daily email for 25 days of the Consecration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consecration to the Holy Family
Holiness of the Family
There is no perfect family, with the exception of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Even so, God calls every family to live in holy union with one another, so that the family may be held up in grace and become a beacon of light in the darkness. The family is made to be a reflection of the Holy Trinity. As we examine all that God hopes for in and through the family, we will begin to know more about the nature of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While our own family will ultimately fall short of this perfect holiness to some degree, it is always good and necessary to know what God desires for the family, so that we will have something to strive for, something to lead us ever forward in our journey to holiness.
The uniqueness of each family resides in their own set of persons and circumstances. The persons themselves comprise a harmonious community that is able to reflect God’s goodness in a very specific way. Every family’s journey is different and so the means by which they learn and live the virtues is how they are able to make progress. While some virtues will be better lived out by one family, another family will better live out a completely different virtue. Although the family should strive to live by all the virtues, specific ones may be at the heart of the family and thus become a witness to the world. It is important to never compare side by side our own family to our neighbor’s family. Each family is unique in God’s eyes. The goal for the family should be to be who they were created to be and to be that well. The family should be ever-striving to align their will with the Will of God and to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them in their particular path to holiness.
As the family begins to strive for holiness, it all starts right where they are, in the midst of their circumstances, with the very people that God has placed in their lives, in the present moment. Often we think it best to wait for situations to resolve or timing to be better before we can turn our lives around or before we can start to make changes to our family life. The Lord desires us to “Be not afraid” and to start where we are, in the midst of whatever our family looks like now. We can all begin with changing one habit or starting one new devotion and build from there. Like Peter taking that first step out on the water, we must take that first step in faith and then try our best to keep our eyes on Jesus, knowing that we can always reach out to Jesus if we start to fall or begin sinking in the water. Jesus will always save us, so we need not fear. St John Paul II is a champion of marriage and family life. He believed in the holiness that all families are called to and their role in the new evangelization. JPII wrote numerous times about the family during his time as pope. He bravely and boldly proclaimed the truth of the Christian marriage and it’s extension through the family. He was persistent in presenting the inherently positive effects of Christian families, both on the individual members of the family, as well as on their community, their nation and the world.
While the family is no doubt under attack in our world today, the Catholic Church is there to redirect our gaze to the full potential of the family and the graces that flow from a family life centered on Christ. There is no time better than now to begin building a Christian society from the ground up. From your family and mine, may we begin to foster the dignity of every human being in our children and our children’s children. May we strengthen our family through the handing on of our faith by way of liturgy, catechesis, prayer, living the sacramental life, and bringing the life of the Church into our homes as we take seriously the role of being the Domestic Church. In the family, we create an authentic community of persons where we can learn who we are, what gifts God has given us, and how we are called to use our gifts for the building up of the Kingdom of God. Love is what lives in the family through the power of the Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit is invited into the family, the love of God dwells. By focusing on the building up of our own families, our view shifts away from the chaos of the world, onto doing our part to establish a civilization of love and unity, with a firm foundation of virtue, through the transformation of our own lives lived only for Christ. When the world looks at our family, they should be led to desire a deeper understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ. They should see peace, love, mercy, sacrifice, faith, hope, and truth being lived out on a daily basis. Created in God’s own image, when we are confronted with such witness to the Christian life, the human heart will be convicted by the Holy Spirit. Through the Christian witness of our family, the Holy Spirit is able to transform the world one heart at a time.
This Holy Family Consecration was created as a way for families to come together, to learn about the virtues lived out in the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It is a commitment to building up and strengthening your family in faith and holiness. Through the roles of fatherhood, motherhood and childhood, each person of the family is called to live Love from right where they are and to become the Light of Christ in the world. Through meditating on the cardinal and theological virtues in light of each of these roles in the family, the goal is to help each person to see how these virtues can be lived out by them personally. All virtue starts where we are and grows in its refinement with the help of the Holy Spirit. The family can pray daily to the Holy Spirit to increase these virtues in them. As the family grows and matures in virtue, they should be led to a deepening of prayer; both personal prayer and family prayer. In turn, the family will also grow in faith, so that they can be sent out to evangelize both in word and deed. The family is designed to be a witness to the world of the joy of Christ, may we all step into our role of being Christ’s light in the world of darkness.
The Call of the Christian Family
St John Paul II wrote so well about how the family, by its very makeup, is in communion with the Blessed Trinity. In this way the family is able to see within itself what God has for humanity and what the family is called to do for the world through grace. Marriage and the family are a channel of God’s Grace with the potential to draw the entire culture into the rediscovery of our relationship to God through Christ. The graces that flow through the family have the potential to change the culture from the ground up.
But this model of the family requires our participation. It requires the parents to embrace the truth of who they are in Christ. It requires them to realize their covenant through the daily living out of their marriage vows. It requires sacrifice to be lived out and held up as the center point from which the graces of the cross flow. It requires obedience to the Will of God for themselves, as well as in the formation of their children. It requires the recognition and living out of the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. It requires the increase in the gifts of faith, hope and charity through their openness to the power of the Holy Spirit. Husband and wife are called to lead their family first through their own example, but then further through the outpouring of charity toward all of humanity.
The Catholic Church provides the family the framework from which to live as a domestic church. Through the daily living out of the sacramental life, the family draws from the Church the sanctifying grace of the Sacraments, so that they can build themselves up in faith, hope and charity, in order to witness to the world the Light of Christ that dwells within them. As the family is built up in holiness, it does so not to set itself up on a pedestal, but in order to transmit this saving power of God through the family out upon the world. As one family is strengthened, they become a beacon of hope and inspiration for others because the Light of Christ cannot be contained, but will go out and spread the Good News in both word and deed.
Format of the Consecration
1. This is a 25 day consecration to end on the 25th of any month you choose. The 25th day reminds us of both the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) and the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ (December 25). Also, the number 25 signifies grace upon grace.
2. Each day you will pray a rosary with your family, read aloud the daily reflection that will be emailed and recite the Prayer to the Holy Family together.
3. The consecration starts off with 7 days that are devoted to St. Joseph, praying for the father of the family, followed by 7 days devoted to Mary, praying for the mother of the family. Throughout each of these seven days, the reflections will highlight one of either the 4 cardinal virtues (prudence, fortitude, justice, and temperance) or the 3 theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity). Then there are 7 days devoted to the Divine Child Jesus, praying for the children of the family. Since Jesus was virtue itself, fully Divine, and the perfection of virtue lived out, the focus of these 7 days will be on the virtues preached by Jesus through the parables.
4. The first Wednesday of the month is traditionally dedicated to Saint Joseph. On this day you will pray especially for the father of your family, whether present or not. If this is you or if you are single, you may pray for yourself. The First Wednesday Devotion consists of praying a rosary meditating on the Joyful Mysteries remembering Saint Joseph’s love, life, role and sufferings, along with receiving Holy Communion in union with the love Saint Joseph had for Jesus the first time and each time he held him, his son, his God and Savior, in his arms.
5. The first Friday of the month is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For the purpose of this consecration you will pray especially for the children of your family, whether present or not. Again, if this is you or if you are single or have no children, you may pray for yourself. On this day you will pray a rosary and meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries remembering Jesus’ love, life, role and sacrifice made for us on the Cross at Calvary, along with making an Eucharistic Holy Hour in Adoration and offering each member of the family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in prayer.
6. The first Saturday of the month is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For the purposes of this consecration you will pray especially for the mother of your family, whether present or not. If this is you or if you are single, you may pray for yourself. The First Saturday Devotion consists of going to confession (within 8 days), receiving Holy Communion, praying a rosary meditating on the Joyful Mysteries remembering Mary’s love, life, role and sufferings, along with spending 15 minutes with Our Lady meditating upon all 15 mysteries of the rosary.
7. In the final 3 days (days 22, 23, & 24) leading up to the Consecration Day (day 25), you will either abstain or fast as a family. Ideally this will be done from sun up until sun down, but at a minimum the family should commit to at least an hour on each of these days.
8. On the 22nd day of the month you will abstain from things you watch or see that are distractions from God. If this is not possible you can set aside a minimum of one hour without TV, phone, social media, etc. Consider filling this time with the reading of Sacred Scripture or watching a movie about a Saint, or getting out in nature and enjoying God’s creation together as a family.
9. On the 23rd of the month you will abstain from noise and spend most of the day in silence as best you can. If this is not possible you can set aside an hour of silence on this day. Consider filling this time of silence by meditating upon the early years of the Holy Family, their time together in Nazareth. What was Mary like as a mother? What was Saint Joseph like as a father? What was Jesus like as a child?
10. On the 24th of the month you will fast from foo (if you’re doing this in December, yes that is Christmas Eve until sundown, in preparation for our King.). This fast can be on bread and water or the Lenten fast of one regular meal and two smaller meals that do not add up to a full meal. Consider this day meditating on our spiritual hunger and thirst for the Lord. Or maybe you could clean out your pantry and donate food to the nearest food pantry or even volunteer at your local soup kitchen as a family.
11. On the 25th of the month, Consecration Day, you will come together as a family to recite the Consecration prayer and celebrate! Consider planning something really big this day. Make it special. Have all your favorite foods. Truly feast together as a family!
Things to remember
This is not about making your family perfect or trying to fix another person.
This is about transforming your own heart and uniting it to the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It is within your own heart that God begins healing the family. When you begin to see others through the eyes of Christ, relationships are transformed and families are made whole. Whole and healed families build whole and healed communities and the light of Christ spreads outward from there. It begins with you. Be open to your own heart changing.
This Consecration format is meant to help guide you. The days of fasting and abstinence and praying the full Rosary are part of the consecration, however, please do not quit if you feel overwhelmed. Do what you can do as a family and do it from your heart. You may have a day where only a decade is prayed. You may find fasting hard if you have never done it before. It is important to remember that prayer from the heart to the best of your ability is meaningful and God walks with you from where you are to the place where He wants you to be as long as you stay on the path with Him and don’t give up.
If you are interested in participating with your family please email me at the address listed above.
no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 54:17
I write this post to help people discern the interior battle that is going on inside of our minds. It is not a post about science, or to be used as an excuse to not be prudent, this is solely for the purpose of helping people recognize who is speaking into your life when you are faced with difficult decisions and paralyzing fear.
I was talking to my friend last night. She was sobbing. She hasn’t seen her elderly Mother since January. She is facing the conundrum I myself have been put in. Her mother is elderly and may not be long for this world and because her mother is elderly she is in the high risk category to die from COVID. Though my friend has zero symptoms of being sick, she stated she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she gave her mom COVID and her mom died. She didn’t want to be a murderer.
In her love for her own mother, she stands accused if she seeks relationship with her. This my friends, is diabolical. My friend, whether or not at some future time she maybe could unintentionally pass COVID on, is not a murderer. How do I know this? Because we know who the true murderer actually is.
.….He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
The devil is accusing us left and right so that no matter what we do, we cannot win. You stand accused. This is totally diabolical.
If we were to apply the logic of this train of thought to everything, you would never be able to move. You could decide that you could never drive because you might get in an accident and kill someone. You could decide to never grill steak because you might kill someone with heart disease. This fear and panic is not of God.
I myself was placed in this situation. A few months back I was exposed to someone who had COVID. At the time the tests were taking 7 days to come back. My mom had a stroke, and no assistance except me. She had a medication that if she didn’t take it she would die. I called everyone I knew for assistance. The liability was too high I was told. So because of our litigious society I had no help.
I sat on my front porch and cried my eyes out. I felt like my two choices were death and death. Go help mom, give her COVID – death. Don’t help mom, no medication- death. I knew this was all from the pit of hell. So I cried out to God.
He answered me. He said, “Susan, who is the author of all life?” I said “you are, Lord.”
Then he said to me, what do I bring? I answered, “life and life abundantly.” He went further and said to me, “because I am the giver and taker of life, trust that I will only take your mom when it is her time to go. You dwell in the house of the Lord. You abide in me. Trust me.” I made the decision with confidence to go help my mom and get her the medication she needed. I knew for certain she would die without it. The COVID was a future anxiety. I asked God to be present in the NOW.
God is a God of possibilities, but not a God of anxiety. In the one scenario we see of what could possibly be, God sees 1000 other possibilites. He sees all that is. I truly believe he picks the path that will draw you closer and purify you, and if it is sickness that does this, then sickness is worked for the good because drawing closer to God is what we all need. I also believe God wants us trusting in the present moment. God whispers, “I AM” and invites you into His now. Satan screams “what if” and takes you to a future place that doesn’t even and may not ever exist.
Imagine if Mary and Joseph had been paralyzed in fear when the angel told Joseph to flee. What if they had thought about all the dangers of the desert crossing to Egypt, the desert itself and how to eat, the bandits that could be there. It could have kept them from protecting the Christ child. A “what if” that speaks nothing but fear is exactly what God tells us not to do.
He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for hiskingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:22-31
In my situation mom had an immediate need. COVID was a possibility, a fear, a worry. I handed that worry to God and I helped my mom. I followed all the prudent protocols and guidelines. Those weeks I spent caring for my mom were one of my greatest sufferings but also my greatest gifts. I was able to care for her in her old age, leaving her life to God and when he decides to take her but enjoying the relationship I had with her in the midst of the suffering of it. I wouldn’t change them one bit. I was truly present with her and it was a total gift to care for her. I was able to ask God to unite all of that suffering to his cross. I should state that after all was said and done my COVID test finally came back negative and I never got sick. My original worry was all for naught.
I tell this story because I think we are all finding ourselves in this place of unknowing and trying to discern and trying to make decisions. We wonder whose kingdom is speaking to us. When God speaks he breathes life. God can and does convict us of our sin. It is a gentle voice of love that sparks change and conversion. Satan condemns, lies, and accuses. His voice causes paralysis. We need to know the difference. It is sin we need to purge and accusation we need to recognize as an attack on our very being.
Yesterday during the consecration at Mass the Lord started to speak to me about fear. He simply said, “the only fear you should have is Fear of the Lord, which is a gift of the Spirit.” We are so afraid of sickness and judgement that we have forgotten who is in charge and who we should be worried about offending. We abuse the Eucharist and each other then we wonder why our world is so out of control.
This does not mean I don’t think COVID is real. I know it is. It also does not mean I would be reckless. It does however mean that I should not walk in fear of the virus. If I get it God can use it to purify me. I don’t need to find someone to blame. If I passed it on to someone else, it would be unintentional – and remember God is all about your intentions, it is Satan who doesn’t care about them. He just wants to accuse, lie, steal, kill and destroy; destroy you with guilt over something you cannot fully control. And he wants you to accuse your own neighbors, sow control and hatred, and be blind to what’s really going on. Satan is about control and making you think you have some, when in reality that’s a facade.
I told my friend last night that I had no judgement towards her and what she decided. There are many factors to consider when making a decision like that. But I did assure her that she is not a murderer and that God is in charge. He is the author of life and I trust he will take my parents and hers when it is their time to go. I know my own life is in HIS hands. May He purify my heart and work all things for my good.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.” Revelation 13:14
Now Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took his censer, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered unholy fire before the Lord, such as he had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Leviticus 10:1
The U.S. Election is now over as we await recounts and state certifications and it is very apparent that there are two different visions for the country. Many people I know are lamenting and in despair while others I know are ecstatic. The range of emotions is all over the place.
While I myself am not despairing, I am sorrowful, but remain at peace. I have peace because Jesus is King. I am sorrowful because abortion is the preeminent issue and the blood of the innocent cries out from the ground. I have actually seen Catholic friends say that overturning Roe v Wade without structures in place to help the women (which there already are) would be dangerous. As if the murder 2362 babies a day isn’t the most dangerous thing I have heard of. I can’t think of anything that kills more people worldwide than abortion, in fact it kills more than all other causes of death combined. I wonder if they would say the same about slavery? That it would have been dangerous to abolish it without structures in place to help the people of the South. When you dehumanize one group of people because of the troubles of another, and you use the law to do so, you reap evil. The justification of evil makes me angry and sorrowful. But I am not in despair. Because Jesus Christ is King and I realized long ago that politics is not what my faith is in.
Throughout all of this people have sent me prophecy after prophecy because of everything we see unfolding in the world. This coming November 18 is the 100 year anniversary of Russia legalizing abortion. I do read prophecy. I do not despise it as scripture tells us. But as I observe things unfold in the world and remain watchful, something gnaws at me about our search for what is going to happen and how it will happen. And God speaks to me too about the things to come and asking me to trust totally in the midst of unknowing.
These grave immoral things we see happening like abortion and the redefinition of marriage are indeed signs of the times and they are abject intrinsic evil. They attack marriage and the family and it was Christ himself who defined marriage. But these are not the worst evils. God makes it clear to that the worst evil is breaking the first commandment. In fact, the first 3 commandments all have to do with our relationship with God and they are listed first because when your relationship with God isn’t right, all those other commandments that follow the first 3 will be broken as well, because without right relationship with God you will never have right relationship with one another. We see this in our society and it is why those first three and breaking them is so gravely evil.
This is about worship.
If you want to know how the world is doing you need look no further than the Mass. The Mass is where heaven and earth collide, so it is here we will get the sense of prophecy unfolding.
Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earthwill unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. CCC 675
Before I continue I want to recall the story of Nadab and Abihu from the book of Leviticus. These were Aaron’s sons. They were Priests. Scripture tells us that they offered unholy fire before the Lord. Some translations call it strange fire. This strange fire would have been something that didn’t belong, something unconsecrated. Something that God did not command them to offer. And it killed them. They were consumed by this unholy fire. Later in the chapter we see God speak to Aaron;
You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean; and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them through Moses. Leviticus 10:10-11
The Priests are to know the difference between what is holy and what is not, and they are to teach the people. Unholy offering brings death. Do we not see all around us people being consumed by unholy fire? And what of the Mass itself?
Within 5 months of Pachamama being brought to the Vatican gardens and to ceremonies inside the church we were shut down world wide. Strange Fire. Now we find ourselves at Masses with hand sanitizer on the altar. Strange Fire. We were dispensed from the 3rd commandment by the authority of the church. Strange fire to dispense of a command in totality. Instead of repenting we went the way of the world.
None of these incidences rise to the level of what Nadab and Abihu did. But they paved a pathway. And I don’t see the closing of the churches in March as the removal of the Eucharist, though I suppose you could look at it that way. But what I look for is if we were to see an abomination on the altar at Saint John Lateran or Saint Peter’s, the church will seem crucified. I don’t foresee that God would allow a Pope to make an offering like this from the main altar. The reason (and of course I don’t know the mind of God) but the reason I think this is because the Papacy itself, as the chair of Peter, regardless of who sits in it, has a measure of protection from heaven – because Christ is actually the head and the gates of hell shall not prevail. But these are the kinds of signs I look for, the decimation of the Mass. It becomes a place where a lot of Catholics would walk away because the Kingdom will look lost, much the way the disciples ran away from the Passion. But it will never be lost. God made us a promise. His bride will rise purified.
For us personally and the little control we have, it does also boil down to worship. Knowing who it is you are receiving and receiving Him with awe and wonder and reverence in your body and in your heart – this is where we should be focused. This is our purification. When we worship with all our heart, mind and soul, our eyes are open to the truth and to the signs of the times and our will is in union with the will of God. If you are unable to get to Mass your life can become an act of true worship. Living in virtue and praising God. You do what you can do and ask God, who is your Savior, to lift up the rest.
People may wonder, well why would God be so cruel as to get mad at our worship? This kind of mindset forgets who God is. God is LOVE.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
So when you worship at the altar of something other than true love, it is you who worships death. You have chosen something else over love. You choose something created over the Creator. You choose fear over the Creator. The laws are to tame our desires and passions – so as to align them with the will of God. It’s about growing in virtue. Do we even remember what the virtues are? All of this, everything we are going through is about our own purification, about bringing us to true love. About bringing us in alignment with the Divine Will. Where there is no corruption, no twisting, no tainting, no skewing, no ideology other than the pure love of God.
We are being called to a deeper purification. This isn’t about condemnation. This is about purification which does not judge the interior of others, but where we ardently pray for them; one where we seek the salvation of our own souls and the souls of others. The anger I see, even from people who know truth, that can eat you alive. Pray instead with your sorrowful Mother.
I didn’t write this post to leave anyone disheartened but instead to refocus us. Let the emotion of the election go and give it to God. Of course keep praying, but give to God what belongs to God, which is all authority and right worship. Focus on your own interior, growing in virtue and loving the person right in front of you. Get to know the doctrines of your faith if you don’t know them already. Go to Mass if you can and be as reverent as you can possibly be recognizing that every single particle of the Eucharist is Christ Himself and should not be abused. Read Scripture. Pray the Rosary. Live in the Peace of God knowing He has a plan. Shalom.
My daughter, each virtue is a heaven that the soul acquires. Therefore, as many virtues as she acquires, so many heavens does she keep forming, and these heavens defeat all human inclinations, destroy that which is earthly, and make the soul wander through the purest auras, through the holiest delights, through the celestial fragrances of the highest good, anticipating for her part of the eternal joys. Jesus to Servant of God Louisa Piccarreta Volume 9 Book of Heaven
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:8-18
Are you struggling out there? Finding it hard to even make decisions? If so, you are not alone. Navigating this pandemic, this pontificate, this election, it’s like being sucked into a swirling Vortex and it’s hard to see when gale force winds blow in our faces, winds that probably will pick up speed in the near future, what are we to do?
When it comes to deciphering what’s going on we can look deep into our interior. While there are many emotions within us, usually we can boil most all of it down to two things; Fear or Love. When we are making a decision we need to ask ourselves is it fear or is it love that motivates us? We must ask ourselves what love looks like.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I don’t know about you but I have seen a lot of impatience, unkindness, envy, anger, lack of trust and unforgiveness out there, and even within my own heart.
I want to tell you a story of what happened to me a few weeks ago. I was getting ready for my RCIA class. On this particular night I was the catechist, which isn’t always the case, but on this night I was the main teacher. I got a call a half hour before class that my mom had fallen and hit her head.
In the past I would have stressed out about the class, but in 2020 with all that is happening I let go of it and just placed a last minute cancellation out to the class members. The Lord is teaching me to let go of control when I have none. Any vestige of control I may think I have is surely being stripped away.
I set out to the hospital, not knowing if I would be allowed in. My mom, who has dementia, and who I have been unable to visit (which is a whole other blog post) was sent alone to the hospital. I arrived at the hospital, masked, and temperature checked by the nurse at the door. I went into the ER and asked to see my mom. I was told I was not allowed in to see her.
I will pause here and state that in the past I would have yelled at the ER attendant. I would have made a big stink and railed at the injustice of it all. I am a fighting kind of woman, that’s who I am, but the Lord whispered in my ear, “mercy” and I knew he was talking about having mercy on the worker. The policy wasn’t her doing, and who knows what she had been through that day. We have all been affected by COVID in ways we couldn’t have imagined one year ago. I just looked at her and a tear rolled down my face. She then asked me for my phone number and said she would talk to the Doctor.
I went outside and sobbed. I then looked up and saw the most breathtaking sunset I have seen in a long time and through my tears I said, “God, you are so good.” I just wanted to acknowledge the goodness of God in that moment of suffering. Because even though I was suffering, I could, in that sunset, see that He is good. It was a spiritual moment, seeing that sunset. I then began to pray the Rosary and during the second decade, the ER attendant called and the Doctor had agreed to let me in. And the Lord said, “be still, I will fight for you.” And I realized that by taking the path of mercy, instead of rage at the injustice of it, He had indeed fought for me. I visited with my mom for 3 hours in the ER. She ended up being fine. She was lucid, and we laughed and we cried and we loved. And I came home grateful.
For each one of us decisions can look different, but love breathes life, love builds relationship, love walks in mercy. Fear leads to despair.
As we sit in this storm, remember who is the keeper of the storm and keep your eyes on Him; on Love.
We have, in our world, lost sight of love. There is a Spirit of Rebellion and an ungodly self-reliance. I know I found myself often trying to save myself instead of letting God save me. In that one instance with my mom, I could see how the love of God can move things that seem unmovable.
Still these spirits weigh heavy, these spirits of rebellion and ungodly self-reliance. We can bind those spirits off of us. Bind the spirits of control off of ourselves. Control is a form of witchcraft, and we have seen that come out this past election cycle. We have the authority over ourselves to tell them to leave, but better yet Priests out there can bind them off their flock in their parishes, and Exorcists off of their Diocese; bind these things that blind us to love and move us to work in fear.
Rely on God. Trust in him with all your might. It is His grace you are standing in.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but wealso boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5