Rainbow of Light appears over the Statue of Saint Joseph just before the procession on his Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker.
He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Revelation 19:16
I have been blessed these past few weeks to still have the opportunity to go to adoration and confession and even was able to go to a Procession for the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. A Consecration was made not only to Mary Mother of the Church, but to the whole Holy Family.
During this time period I have also gone to confession frequently not out of scrupulosity but because I no longer have daily Mass where my venial sins are forgiven at the beginning and I receive the grace of the Eucharist, so instead I receive the grace from the Sacrament of Confession. Reconciling myself to God and the church, allowing God to lift me out of sin, even small ones.
I want to share a couple of things today. The first is about a miracle I experienced. Now normally I may not share something like this for various reasons, but because these are extraordinary times we are living in I believe we need to hear about miracles.
Our Padre Pio Nashville Prayer Group has had to meet online, just like most of you all out there during this virus. We always meet on the First Saturday of the month. This Saturday I went to adoration and prayed with all my heart. The Lord spoke to me a lot mostly about the Eucharist. I will also share about that. When I came home I got a really bad headache. I have never been one who has been prone to migraines, but I have had a couple in my life, and I would call this a migraine. It was the kind that makes you feel sick. I decided to lay down.
As I laid down I offered my headache to the Lord for three things. The first was for a Priest I know, the second for the conversion of someone, and finally for the Spiritual Children of Padre Pio in my prayer group because I would be missing the online meeting. I soon fell asleep. I was awakened by the singing of Ave Maria. At first I thought someone must have turned on the radio, but as I looked around, there was no device playing music. And this was the most beautiful singing, like nothing I had ever heard before. I realized it was inside my head – not in the way you may recall a song – but real live music. And the only word I can use to describe it is heavenly. I didn’t want it to stop. It played for maybe 60 seconds and when it did stop I was sad, I didn’t want to let it go. My headache was gone without a trace. I cannot really explain it. I found out later that the Padre Pio prayer group was singing Ave Maria online with one another. The only thing I can think is that the angels were singing with them. I have no other explanation except to say that God is good.
This experience got me too thinking about reparation. In deliverance ministry we often ask the question, “who is your Lord?” We ask this to teach people whose kingdom they are serving. Jansen has likened it to a landlord. If Jesus is your Lord then he owns your building. If something breaks, we can call the building owner to come repair it. But when we are steeped in sin we have handed ownership to Satan. Satan doesn’t want to repair, he wants to destroy, so our building crumbles.
When we continually sin with no effort to stop, no effort to examine, we have picked a different lord than the one who came to save us. If you proclaim Jesus is Lord, your actions should reflect that.
In today’s reading about the Good Shepherd we hear about how the Shepherd enters through the gate, but the thief climbs over elsewhere and doesn’t enter through the gate. The gates of our hearts are respected, and Jesus our Lord is a gentleman. He would never force Himself onto our hearts. If we know the Shepherd’s voice, which is done through prayer, we willingly let Him in. We willingly make Him our Lord. The thief attacks and forces his way in. He comes only to steal our hearts, kill our spirit and destroy our lives by taking ownership of what is was given to us as a gift by our true Lord.
Prayer is how we know the Shepherd and his voice. The Sacraments are how the Good Shepherd feeds us and nourishes us through grace. Sacred Scripture is how He protects us and leads us to pasture.
Jesus came to pay our debt because our land was stolen, our dominion was stolen. We can partake in helping to pay through reparation. Jesus is always calling us to cooperate with him in love. Calling us to lift out of sin and help others do the same.
During our Saint Joseph Procession, an act of reparation was made using the prayer of Pius XI from May 8, 1928 in the encyclical called Miserentissimus Redemptor.
We would all do well to be making reparation, especially now, during this pandemic, because here’s the thing, many many of us have been receiving the Eucharist unworthily without even thinking about it. But Saint Paul warns us of this. It amazes me that this passage was removed from the lectionary cycle.
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. 1 Corinthians 11:26-30
I wonder what Mass will look like when we go back? Will we be striving to purge sin, to make reparation? to be reverent? or will it look like something we don’t recognize?
It has always been about making us pure, by recognizing the Good Shepherd, who we can cooperate with His Love to repair the damage that has been done. We have a God that became vulnerable and placed Himself in our control through both the incarnation and by allowing Himself to be crucified on a Cross. So when it comes to the Eucharist we can treat Him as we would an infant, the Divine Child – and thus become like little children ourselves – pure, or we can treat Him like they did Christ on the Cross. The first is the Image and Likeness of God, the second the abomination of sin. In both cases He is loving us but how we respond to His love teaches us who we are and how we love. Reverence for the Eucharist is all about true love. And because the Good Shepherd is my Lord, I want to proclaim it to the world with reverence and awe.
Peace be with you all. Stay safe out there.
Prayer of Reparation
O sweetest Jesus, whose overflowing charity towards men is most ungratefully repaid by such great forgetfulness, neglect and contempt, see, prostrate before Thy altars, we strive by special honor to make amends for the wicked coldness of men and the contumely with which Thy most loving Heart is everywhere treated.
At the same time, mindful of the fact that we too have sometimes not been free from unworthiness, and moved therefore with most vehement sorrow, in the first place we implore Thy mercy on us, being prepared by voluntary expiation to make amends for the sins we have ourselves committed, and also for the sins of those who wander far from the way of salvation, whether because, being obstinate in their unbelief, they refuse to follow Thee as their shepherd and leader, or because, spurning the promises of their Baptism, they have cast off the most sweet yoke of Thy law. We now endeavor to expiate all these lamentable crimes together, and it is also our purpose to make amends for each one of them severally: for the want of modesty in life and dress, for impurities, for so many snares set for the minds of the innocent, for the violation of feast days, for the horrid blasphemies against Thee and Thy saints, for the insults offered to Thy Vicar and to the priestly order, for the neglect of the Sacrament of Divine love or its profanation by horrible sacrileges, and lastly for the public sins of nations which resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast instituted. Would that we could wash away these crimes with our own blood! And now, to make amends for the outrage offered to the Divine honor, we offer to Thee the same satisfaction which Thou didst once offer to Thy Father on the Cross and which Thou dost continually renew on our altars, we offer this conjoined with the expiations of the Virgin Mother and of all the Saints, and of all pious Christians, promising from our heart that so far as in us lies, with the help of Thy grace, we will make amends for our own past sins, and for the sins of others, and for the neglect of Thy boundless love, by firm faith, by a pure way of life, and by a perfect observance of the Gospel law, especially that of charity; we will also strive with all our strength to prevent injuries being offered to Thee, and gather as many as we can to become Thy followers. Receive, we beseech Thee, O most benign Jesus, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Reparatress, the voluntary homage of this expiation, and vouchsafe, by that great gift of final perseverance, to keep us most faithful until death in our duty and in Thy service, so that at length we may all come to that fatherland, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen.