Be a living Sanctuary – A Pilgrims Story

Sun Dancing

Photo taken October 2, 2018 – Medjugorje – Feast of the Guardian Angels

“if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

I made my first pilgrimage ever.  I took a trip to Medjugorje, Bosnia – Herzegovina.   This is a place of alleged apparitions of Our Lady.   The Vatican has assigned a Papal Envoy with Archbishop Hoser as the head of the envoy, and with this Medjugorje is expanding.

I will stop here for a moment to give my thoughts on Medjugorje, as I know some find this to be a controversial place, this will be my only comment about it because in the end, if it is authentic, I have no need to defend it, God’s truth always wins.   And whatever that truth may be, as revealed through God’s church, I will accept it.

I have read both pros and cons about Medjugorje and conflicting reports about all that has gone on there.  Many others have already written about this.   The appointment of the Papal Envoy lends validity at the very least to the place as a shrine.

As for me, in my prayer, God tells me it is authentic.  He tells me though, because of us and our sinful ways, it comes with all the muck of our modern era attached to it.  By that I mean, whenever something great and Godly is happening, you can also count on people bringing their own mess to it.  And you can count on Satan to attack it.  There are several reasons I believe it is authentic. The first is because of the vocations to the Priesthood that I have personally seen come out of there.  The priests who found their calling from there are numerous, and most telling is their acceptance of authentic Catholic Truth.  Including the fact that they all say they would accept whatever the Vatican decides about the place.  If there is one thing I know, the devil does not want Priests.  The devil is not going to be sending Priests out in the world who preach authentic Catholic Truth.  On this alone, I can conclude something wonderful is happening there.   And the devil will fight very hard to bring those Priests down in a particularly harsh way, which is why we need to pray for them so much.  Second, the main message of Medjugorje (and from Our Lady) are these 5 things, called the 5 stones;

  1.  Prayer from the Heart.  There is nothing more important than prayer, which brings that personal encounter with God.  Praying the Rosary and MEANING IT and MEDITATING ON IT, and have MENTAL CONVERSATION WITH GOD, who is our creater, Our Good Good Father, and our Savior.
  2. Mass and reception of the Holy Eucharist.  (Adoration also).  This is emphasized so much!  Encounter God in the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist.
  3. Reading Scripture everyday and placing the Holy Bible in a prominent place in our homes.
  4. Fasting.  We in the west have forgotten how to do this.  We are comfortable, but Medjugorje reminds us of the importance of this.
  5. Monthly Confession.  If you do not take time to examine your own conscience and repent of your sins, you cannot make the world a better place.  Peace in the world begins in the Confessional.

So with all this in mind, I began my pilgrimage to Medjurgorje with an open heart and an open mind.  It was my first time ever on and International flight (unless my honeymoon to Mexico counted, back when you didn’t need a passport to travel to Mexico.)  I have to say, I used to suffer from great anxiety travelling.  You can read about my anxiety, here and here.  My anxiety about things would sometimes get to the point I cry and break down.  But in my journey with God, He has slowly and gently walked me to a place of freedom.  I had absolutely no anxiety at all about this trip.  And I am telling you, that is a miracle.

It took over 24 hours to get there and we arrived late in the evening, after having to spend much of the trip surrendering to God the travels delays.  We stayed at a lovely hotel that was owned by the family of a locutionist who have also a winery.  It was called the Cesaria Wine Hotel.

wine hotel

The first thing I noticed about the place is the hospitality and the slower pace of life.  Phones put away, and relationships nurtured.  A glass of wine, and a conversation.  We had about 28 people on our Pilgrimage including our Priest and tour Guide.

Pilgrimage Group

Most were from one parish in our Diocese, with a few others of us sprinkled in.  I really didn’t know the people well, but by the time I left, they were friends.

My first day there started with Mass.  English Mass at 10:00 a.m.  This is something that you just go to every morning.  It isn’t a question.  Mass is so packed that it overflows outside.  In the evening is International Mass and it is a sight to behold;

International Mass

The church of Saint James – Patron of Pilgrims built in 1968 – years prior to the 1981 apparition beginnings.  No one knew why they built such a large church for such a small town, or why they named it Saint James- no one but God.  

It actually took my breath away to see this many people going to Mass, a daily Mass at that.  There were, Croations, Italians, Africans, Polish, Americans, Irish, British, Indian, Canadian, German, Chinese, I could go on… I mean it was breath taking.  All there to worship God in the Mass.  The homilies were all powerful and packed with truths that most American Priests don’t speak of (with the exception of a few I know.)

The lines for confession were long.  The Adoration Chapel was packed.  This is how we should all be living.  This is how the Mother of God calls us to deep contemplative prayer and worship of her Son.  Why in the world are the rest of us not living like this?  It was common place to see people walking and reciting the Rosary.  I could listen to the Croatian Rosary and respond in English.  It was a vision of the Mystical Body of Christ.

October 2 was the day of the apparition.  I will pause here for a moment to say this, Mary’s appearance in anyplace has always been a call towards her Son.  Though I of course wanted to be there for the apparition, it was the sight of the people praying in unison that captivated me the most.  At the precise time of the apparition, for me interiorly, God impressed upon my heart to pray for specific people and their mission.  We each have a purpose and mission in life, and when ordered towards God, we experience joy and a fire in our hearts.  He impressed upon me to pray for this for some very particular people, who I believe will help change the world for the better.

apparition

My view at apparition time

The biggest impression of all was made upon me by the faith of the people who lived there.  They are just one generation away from communism.  Their parish Priest was jailed and tortured.  The Franciscans were martyred nearby, each holding the Cross proclaiming their love for Christ as the communists murdered them one by one and threw their bodies into a cave and burned them.  The people woke to murdered Priests.  The pain was great, but the faith is authentic and unmistakable.

Francican Monastery

The Franciscan Monastery of Siroki Brijeg

Franciscan Martyrs

Franciscan Martyrs of Siroki Brijeg

Cave of Franciscan Martyrs

Cave where the bodies of the Franciscan Martyrs were burned by the communists

I think the thing that was impressed upon me so greatly after listening to these stories, is actually how sad I am to see similar things happening in America.  Communism is evil.  The level of vitriol being spewed out is reaching a high level.  We should all be actively praying for the conversion of  America and of the world.

As for my personal journey, this was a place of healing for me.  When I climbed apparition hill, though I didn’t let anyone know at the time, I cried.  I cried about my journey to cling to my faith and about how all of that was preparation for the times we are living in now in the church.  I know it is through forgiveness and the Sacramental Life that we are free.

At the top of Apparition Hill

I had two very profound moments I will speak of.  The first happened on October 2.  I have felt the Lord lately tell me to “pay attention to the Dogs.”  Yes, the dogs.  I know that is strange but it is what he said.  I went to confession and was finishing up my Penance when a dog walked past.  The Lord told me to follow him, so I did.  The dog took me to the middle of the field, where I saw the sun dance.  It had a large white host in the center of it.  And it danced a blazing pink, the color of joy.  I posted the photo at the top which doesn’t show what I saw, but does show an expanding sun.  This is known as the miracle of the sun, and many have experienced this in Medjugorje.  Later when I looked at the cross on top of the mountain, it was also pink.  I will only say this, it was joyful to be there because many things I have received in prayer seemed to come together in this place and start to make sense.

The second moment was in climbing Cross Mountain and doing the Way of the Cross.  I got to the sixth station, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus, and I recalled how my journey of faith really began with the murder of my friend Veronica.

I prayed for her and I wept, again, hiding it from everyone.  And I thanked God for the good He brought from such evil circumstances.

6th Station

Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

I laid the intentions everyone gave me at the Foot of the Cross.

foot of the cross

The Cross on Krizevac in Medjugorje, marked “33-1933.” Built in 1933, to honor the 1900th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus who died on the cross at age 33. It commemorates 1900 years. The cross was placed there long before apparitions and served as a beacon of hope during their oppression from communism.

And I prayed very specifically for someone the whole way and after that I saw this on the way down even though it was a sunny day;

rainbow cross mountain

In the end, the message I have felt the Lord tell me over and over has been reinforced.  While Rome burns, Medjugorje’s message is clear. It is the age old message of the church. Do God’s will.  Live the Sacramental Life. Be a living sanctuary.  Live in the Peace that surpasses all understanding.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Posted in Catholic | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

A Bizzare Dream

Famous-Dolphin-Mosaic-300x225

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.  Acts 3:19

Before I begin, I want to say Happy Feast of the Archangels.  The angels surround us and are ready for battle.

I had a seriously bizarre dream last night.  I was in a car driving to Saint Louis with a friend whose son is in seminary.  I was asking her if she was nervous that he was in the seminary at this point in time with all the stuff going on in the church and with seminarians being abused.  She said no she wasn’t, especially since they have installed “the hotline.”  I didn’t know what she was talking about, except to say that it was a direct line to someone.  All of the sudden it isn’t her next to me anymore, it is now my sister and the road disappears and we’re about to hit a huge mountain embankment, but somehow we manage to not get hurt even though we did hit the embankment and we manage to land the car flatly and all be okay, not without screaming though.

We exit the vehicle and appear to be in what I would describe as a Kingdom in England.  There is a tavern and we can hear people inside.  We go in the Tavern and the owner, who appears to be Irish, is yelling at his staff not to card people, he doesn’t care if they are underage and drinking alcohol (which I believe in reality they don’t have a drinking age like Americans do).We turn to look at what appears to be a play that is going on in the center of this very large tavern.  There are kids I would describe as young teens who are hanging on what looks like a clothing rack filled with clothes, but they are dressed in costume and they are singing.  But then the king who I couldn’t see, but could hear, says something, and the clothing rack, it’s almost catapulted over with the kids on it and it tumbles and they’re being slammed around, and hitting their heads and I am terrified of what the injuries will be.  It was a violent slamming and tumbling.  When it’s done, it appears that the kids are very injured, but instead of bleeding and broken arms, it’s like they have slightly morphed into monsters…Looking like the hunchback of Notre Dame, or like they have mumps all over them.  The kids all start talking, and it’s like they have seen others go through this before and they know what will happen.  They start saying, “we have to figure out how to totally transform, or else he will annihilate us.”  Some of them are so scared.  But others are like, “we can do this, we can transform.”  Then floodwaters came in, and at this point I am just an observer watching, but the things are not happening to me.  It is clear some of them are too afraid to transform, fear paralyzes them.  But there is one girl I see and she says she knows she can, she is not afraid.  As the waters start pouring in she actually is able to transform into a dolphin and swim, changing back when she gets to land.  It’s like she is given these unbelievable powers.  And she can become a dolphin anytime she needs to navigate the floodwaters.  She is free, while others get trapped and perish.  And then I woke up.

I did look up what a dolphin meant in Christian symbolism when I woke up.  I was astonished to see this;

The dolphin is most often as a symbol of the Christian himself rather than Christ, though the dolphin was also used as a representation of Christ — most often in combination with the anchor symbol (“Christ on the Cross”).

I don’t know exactly what to make of the dream.  It was so vivid.  You know those dreams you can always recall and remember… all I can think is God wants us to totally transform.

I am leaving on Pilgrimage tomorrow.  I will pray for all of you.

Posted in Catholic | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Hope – Flame of Love

Tabernacle Monstrance Sanctuary Lamp

 

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

 

Ya’ll, my friend had an amazing miracle happen to her during her religious education class on Wednesday, September 19, 2018.

My friend teaches 5th grade religious education.  She always begins her class with a procession into the classroom with a bible, crucifix and a lit candle.

She and kids placed the items on the table in the classroom and prayed together.  Then they sat down and she began teaching them about prayer.

A little while into the class a boy noticed that the candle on the table had gone out.

My friend went and grabbed it and said, “yes it has.”  She took the opportunity to talk about the Sanctuary Candle that is lit next to the tabernacle in our churches.

She held up the burnt out candle but explained that when you see a lit sanctuary candle it means Jesus is present in the tabernacle and you should always be reverent and not nonchalant or ignore Jesus.

She said you should imagine that Jesus is standing there and that we should acknowledge him with a genuflection, sign of the cross, and prayer.

And you guys…. when she said this…. THE CANDLE RE-LIT INTO A BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT, larger than it had been originally!

The co-teacher and children exclaimed that they had just witnessed a miracle.  7 kids and two adults all saw the candle re-light!  I kid you not!

GOD IS SO GOOD.

I share this with you so that you can all know that in these dark times… THE FLAME OF LOVE IS WITH US.

Posted in Catholic | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Nothing Can Penetrate God’s Grip

 

Jesus Loves the Little ChildrenBrothers and sisters:
It is widely reported that there is immorality among you,
and immorality of a kind not found even among pagans–
a man living with his father’s wife.
And you are inflated with pride.
Should you not rather have been sorrowful?
The one who did this deed should be expelled from your midst.
I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit,
have already, as if present,
pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed,
in the name of our Lord Jesus:
when you have gathered together and I am with you in spirit
with the power of the Lord Jesus,
you are to deliver this man to Satan
for the destruction of his flesh,
so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not appropriate.
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our Paschal Lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  – 1 Corinthians 5:1-8

 

*** This journal entry was written after meditation on the first reading and on the joyful mysteries of the Rosary September 10, 2018.  More than anything God tells me;

  1. Be Not Afraid
  2. Pray without ceasing
  3. Trust God with your entire being
  4. Consecrate yourself to Mary

September 10, 2018

Beloved,

My Apostles, my Priests they are set apart with Authority.  What they bind on earth is bound in heaven.  Saint Paul pronounced judgement on immorality because he was given the Authority to do this.  This was actually a blessing on this man because his spirit was saved for my judgement.  My Shepherds are meant to walk in union with me, they are a conduit to the Divine.  They are meant to have right judgement.  But instead many have become immoral.  An immorality found not even among the pagans and they are inflated with pride.  Because they have violated covenant and abused MY AUTHORITY, I will hand them over myself to the torturers.  Their facade will fall like dominoes.  It feels like my wrath.  It is MY LOVE.  DESTROYING THAT WHICH KEEPS YOU FROM ME.  The church is the center of the world.  I hand her to the pagans and all will fall from there.  The corrupted institution and then the world.  You will be totally blind.  In order not to perish from fright you must totally trust me absolutely.  I AM creating a new heaven and a new earth.  The gates of hell shall not prevail.  This isn’t the end, it is the beginning.  All things moving to union with my will.  There will be 3 days of darkness.  You will search for me with great anxiety.  But you will find me in the temple.  YOU WILL BE THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD.  The sanctuary is those who trust totally.  Like the sorrow of Mary’s heart the searching will be hard, but the fruit of this means is the end goal of JOY.  

I AM breaking the stronghold of sexual deviancy that the father of lies has perpetrated.  It has permeated all areas and when the children are corrupted the HEAVENS CRY OUT, NO MORE!  The Kingdom of God belongs to the little ones, the least of these.  

Fear not.  You will be TOTALLY BLIND.  Totally uncomfortable.  Totally dependent on me.  It is I who hold you in the palm of my hand.  NOTHING CAN PENETRATE MY GRIP.

Pray for the church.

Pray for Nashville.

Pray for Panama.

Pray for the Pope, he has much to suffer.

Pray for the conversion of sinners.

Remember the Youth.  PAY ATTENTION TO THE YOUTH.  

Don’t lose the children.

Everyone is blinded, open your eyes to the children.

– Abba

 

*** I write in my journal as if God is speaking to me, what I believe the Lord is saying to me.  My spiritual director said I can do this as long as it doesn’t stray from Scripture or the Magisterium.  It is obviously filtered through my human intellect.  I cannot know the mind of God, but I do know He is calling us to total and complete trust.

Posted in Catholic | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Betrayal, Deception and the Love of a Mother

Mary Queen

“But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.  And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” John 6:64-66

It is said that Judas stopped believing in Jesus during the Bread of Life discourse.  A lot of disciples stopped believing then.  It is interesting to note that it is John 6:66 that states “as a result many of his disciples returned to their former way of living.”  It is this betrayal and rejection of Christ, that is later marked with those same numbers in the Book of Revelation, written by the same author, as the mark of the Beast.  What is interesting to note is that the chapter and verse numbers weren’t added to the bible until the 16th century.  As if God knew what would mark us with the Beast, the betrayal and rejection of the Eucharistic Lord.

And so here were are over two millennia later and betrayal has entered into the church through the sins of our leaders and Shepherds.  I have to ask, did they ever believe in the Eucharistic Lord?  How could they possibly have believed and done what they did?  It is betraying Jesus with their fake kiss as they led souls on the path to destruction.  Marked by the Beast.

“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure.” John 10:10

Note that the worst thing that can happen is not stealing and killing.  The worst thing is destruction.  The devil set his sights on the Priesthood long ago.  He set out to destroy it.  He started with one of the twelve.  He continues today.  The destruction of the Priesthood means that we cannot receive the Eucharistic Lord.  The Bread of Life.  The devil wants nothing more than for you to walk away.   The mark of the beast.

But like Peter, I say, “Lord, to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68.  I cannot leave Him.

But I find myself in this place of mistrust.  Knowing the betrayal.  And I didn’t know what to do.  I feel it will only get worse as more Dioceses get investigated, and we will experience sting after sting of betrayal.  Knowing there are good Priests, but not knowing who to trust.  Accusations will fly, are they true?  Have we been deceived?  How will we know what to do?

It was here that the Lord spoke to me.  BE NOT AFRAID. 

Jesus is who we are called to be like.  Jesus was willing, in order to do the will of the Father, to be betrayed.  Betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, left by all but one.  Judas’ betrayal didn’t just affect Jesus.  It affected all of them and everything they believed.  They were scared and shaken to the core.  All they had hoped and worked for in their minds was destroyed.  And they all chose a path.  Only one Apostle stood trusting the plan of God.  We have the same choice.

Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written:‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed’. Matthew 26:31

We have to ask ourselves, will we be the one, to stand at the foot of the cross?

Christ looked Judas straight in the eye.  He knew he would be betrayed. Yet still walked the Passion when He could have stopped it.  Christ wore that betrayal on the cross as a cloak of forgiveness, thereby extending mercy to all of us.   His forgiveness brings the Kingdom of God.   This path, though horrible and scandalous, brought Resurrection.  Can we walk this Passion and stand with John?

John was not alone.  Mary was with Him.  And he took her into his home.  Resurrection came, even for those who hid.  And she was with them when the Spirit descended.  She is our Mother.  We must look to her and place ourselves under her protection.  It is for this reason, for this time specifically, that our great Saints had forged Marian devotion.  From Saint Louis de Montfort, to Saint Maximilian Kolbe, to Saint John Paul the Great, they knew who would help us stand at the Passion of the Church.  It is why Consecration to Jesus through Mary was given to us.

Last night, my daughter was extremely ill.  She was vomiting and the works.  Everywhere.  I was up all night.  I noticed when she was sick, she cried out for me.  I could not stop her throwing up, but I held her hair back, and hugged her small body.  I noticed she couldn’t sleep unless my arms were around her.  I, as the mother, just had to watch whatever virus had poisoned her system come out.  I couldn’t stop it, but I could stand with her, love her, and somehow, just by my presence, I gave respite to her so she could sleep.  The love of a mother can get you through the darkest of times.  If you haven’t already, consecrate yourself to Mary.  She will be our guide in the days ahead.  She will teach you to forgive like her Son did when you are betrayed.  She will also point out to you who the Good Shepherds are.  Trust that if you can’t trust anything else, trust that.

God must have something different pictured for our church than what we are doing right now.  And one thing I know about God, His dreams for us are bigger than our own.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Amen.

Posted in Catholic | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

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!

Posted in Catholic | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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.

Posted in Catholic | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments