For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
I don’t know about you all, but of late it seems to me we are being hammered on all sides with judgement and fear. And in the midst of all of this, I see a large beast, it is the beast of false expectations. Let me see if I can explain what I mean by telling you the story of the storm I am in personally. I will not go into great detail, not because I have anything to hide, but more out of respect for my family.
Obviously for all of us COVID has been something that has really thrown us for a loop. In a society that would normally welcome a warm hug and a friendly smile, now we cower from one another like lepers in a crowded town. Ring your bell to let them know you are coming and watch community run away. We really aren’t all that different from the biblical days. We think we are advanced in science and we forget who is Lord over all of it, including science. Jesus wasn’t afraid of the leper, He was God and He healed them. We need Jesus so desperately right now, but we turn everywhere but towards him; judging our fellow man along the way. He can heal this.
During this time period my extended family lost a family member to COVID-19. We lost a family member to suicide, of which I am sure COVID-19 isolation and economic hardship was a part. I am also in charge of caring for my elderly parents whose health complications are completely overwhelming. I feel as though I can actually understand every side of every issue.
On a daily basis I felt as if the choices I have had to make are choices between two dire circumstances. Do I help mom and dad? If I don’t they could die. If I do, do I risk exposing them to a virus where they could die? I often found myself in a place of non-decision. Paralyzed by the possibilities. I had to come up with a way to make a decision. And I knew my decisions must be brought to God first.
I decided to start with what my desire was. So for example, I desire to see my parents. I ask myself if my desire aligns with God’s will. How can I know God’s will? I ask Him and I find answers in Scripture. He desires that we have life and have it abundantly. From there I made my decision and asked him to bless it. I trusted that He would.
But there was another issue plaguing me too. It was the idea in my head of what a “good daughter” would be. When my parents health issues became so overwhelming that I couldn’t keep up, I had to ask for help. This made me feel guilt and shame. And dealing with all of it through pandemic and protests and division and rioting a looting, the weight of the world suddenly seemed back on my shoulders. All the while I would turn to Catholic sites or forums for reprieve only to see bickering and fighting over mask wearing and protests with judgment and accusation flying everywhere. The devil is having a field day. Each side wanting to be “right” at all costs. When I commented to stop judging one another I had someone lie to me about their situation just to prove their side. This only served to remind me that no matter what side you fall on in your discernments, it is SIN that needs to be purged. If your ideology causes you to lie to be right then there is a major problem going on. But we all already know that because we can see the fruits.
Yesterday I turned everything off and went and sat on my porch as storm clouds rolled in. As before the Lord asked me to pay attention. Yesterday’s storm was weird, it would pour buckets and lightening and then it would stop, only to start back again a few minutes later. Brief reprieves happening. Kind of like life right now.
I prayed a Rosary and a Chaplet of Mercy, and from the bottom of my heart and soul I just said, I consecrate myself to the Trinity and the Holy Family and I surrender. At that moment a force came upon me and through me that I cannot explain. All I can say is that I knew all would be well. God’s peace surrounded me and he began to speak to me about False Expectations. This is something Jansen has talked to me about before and I have written about before, but the understanding of how far and how deep false expectations are became very apparent to me.
The Lord began to show me my own false expectation of what a “perfect daughter” should be. And how when a false bar is set the only place to go from there is into anxiety and despair. The false bar is flung at us by Satan. He takes what you know to be good and twists it to make you try to achieve the impossible, and when you fail it sets you up for a downward spiral. Satan’s bar is ugly. God’s bar is beautiful, confident and full of life.
The Lord began then to show me how each of the Apostles had false expectations. They all had an idea in their head of how things would play out, and when it didn’t go their way, they fell apart. From betrayal, to denial, to cutting of ears, to running away, to suicide. Many recovered from their false expectation of God through repentance and they were healed. We have to always hope in God’s mercy.
But there was one Apostle who didn’t fall prey to this false expectation, John, the beloved. And I asked the Lord what was the difference? Before I go into what the Lord spoke to me I feel I must state that it is important to understand, God did not love John more than he loved the others. He loved them all. John’s response to God’s love was just different. But we must never fall into the trap of comparison or beating ourselves up or not forgiving ourselves if we make mistakes, if we sin. If we go to confession the Lord forgives us, who are we to not forgive ourselves too? God loves you exactly where you are right now and there is nothing you can do to make Him stop loving you.
We know in the Gospel accounts that John too ran away, but he didn’t run and hide, Mystics have told us he ran to get Mary. John totally embraced Jesus’ Mother, in whom he saw the perfection of God in a mere human being. John had no other expectation of God, except to love like Jesus and Mary. That’s why he could stand at the cross. He had let go of what he expected God to do and just trusted. We would all to well to embrace Mary our Mother and consecrate ourselves to her if we haven’t already. Those who survive this storm will be Marian, without her you will be led astray.
Right now we live in a world where we are expecting so many things of others and of God. We are not trusting God and we are trying to control other people, which makes us hateful instead of loving. We judge them and we expect things to change without ever expecting we need to purge our own self of sin.
How do you treat other people both online and in person who have a different view from you? It doesn’t mean acceptance of evil, but we are making judgements on the interior of another as evil even when we can’t possibly know their interior. Someone told me it wasn’t Christian to not wear a mask and non mask wearers want to kill people. REALLY? Do you really believe that? Someone else told me people who wear masks want to destroy freedom. REALLY? Do you really believe that? Is it possible you could be right in your assumption? Yes, it is, but how do you really know? And how are you treating people based on your assumption? Did the woman caught in adultery commit sin? Yes. Did Jesus throw a stone at her? No. But He did tell her to go and sin no more – and here again we see the key to everything. It’s about purifying yourself of sin. It is a false expectation to think that the world will get better if you don’t do this.
Will you love the person in the mask? Will you love the person not in the mask? The choice is up to you.
Jesus didn’t force people to do things. He always let people chose of their own free will. It isn’t love if you don’t choose it. The devil wants to back you into a corner where you are trapped. God wants to set you free.
One last thing I wanted to speak about in regards to this has to do with prophecy. We all can see the prophecies of the last century and from church history playing out in real time. It is fine to read a listen to prophecy and to be a watchman and pay attention. But do not fall into the trap of thinking that you know what is going to happen or how it is going to happen. This would be the quintessential false expectation. We are not gnostics. We do not have secret knowledge. We do not know God’s ways. If you think you know, you will be shown how much you don’t know. Humility is a greatly needed virtue. What we do have in the Catholic Church is truth and the path to union with the will of God. Follow that and all will be well.
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing all the Lord puts on your heart. May you also be refreshed and supported in this special time of taking care of your parents. I, too, had that opportunity and I am forever grateful to God for the many lessons and blessings that came with that time that also could be difficult. Also, you are giving example to your children of the dignity of human life and the fulfillment of the commandment to honor your parents. Thank you for your witness and sharing your storm. I think we’ve all been on the stormy sea and sometimes forget that Jesus is in the boat with us. Let us pray that He not say to us, “Oh ye of little faith.” God bless you in your ministry to all of us!
Thank you and God Bless you.
It has been a long time since I commented here. I pretty much dropped ALL Commenting, starting back in February, other Than the Catholic Bible Talk blog. Why? In part for what you said:
“All the while I would turn to Catholic sites or forums for reprieve only to see bickering and fighting over mask wearing and protests with judgment and accusation flying everywhere. The devil is having a field day. Each side wanting to be “right” at all costs. When I commented to stop judging one another I had someone lie to me about their situation just to prove their side. This only served to remind me that no matter what side you fall on in your discernments, it is SIN that needs to be purged. If your ideology causes you to lie to be right then there is a major problem going on.”
Fighting, biting and tearing, and ripping at each other. Snide comments. The inability to admit that we are wrong. That is hellish.
The second one reason you have stated but not articulated clearly:
“Someone told me it wasn’t Christian to not wear a mask and non mask wearers want to kill people. REALLY? Do you really believe that? Someone else told me people who wear masks want to destroy freedom. REALLY?”
Here we have unjust judging, assuming facts not in evidence, and speaking about matters one is not competent to do so. How many people on Catholic blogs have provided anecdotal information about the Corona Virus who have no medical background or training. When did they all become experts?
The third reason:
“It is fine to read a listen to prophecy and to be a watchman and pay attention. But do not fall into the trap of thinking that you know what is going to happen or how it is going to happen.”
The Father spoke to me and told me to trust in him, prudentially prepare, and not follow those who think they what will happen. Especially when those who think they know what will happen talk about things they do not have competence in.
Nor, (fourth reason) do I think a grassroots political movement will solve the problem(s). Where I am, it is too late for that. But, too often, we Christians have suborned our Christian virtues and principles to secular political goals and what did that get us? A 5-4 abortion decision yesterday. Prayer and rosary crusades are what is needed and Father Heilman’s Roman Catholic Man blog is the best for that.
My priest spoke to me yesterday to prepare for open persecution and shutting of churches.
Well, Charlie Johns pointed out two things – we are the new “counter-culture” and we need to prepare for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart. In all his columns of the past five months, this is the gist of everything he wrote and what we should keep in mind.
The Father asked me to send you and Jansen the information on Maria Valtorta. Without a secretary, i forgot. But, typing this I remembered. You can down load the books for free and virus free from: www.http://dmnx.eu/ So, now I have it on my kindle. It is very comforting and encouraging. Definitely in line with St. Bridget of Sweden and Venerable Mary of Agreda. I cannot say enough about it. However, you are to give it to Jansen. It will be a great blessing for him and his wife.
Thank you James. We needed to put on sack cloth and ashes and lay in front of the Blessed Sacrament a long time ago. I am convinced 24 hour adoration would help us now more than ever.
I agree, for there is the Lord who loves us. Somedays, the best I can do is say “I love you Father. I love you Jesus. I love you Holy Spirit. I love you Mary. I love you guardian angel. I am sorry Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit.”
As St. Maria Magdalene D’pazzi noted, “LOVE is not loved!”
Agree!!! A priest friend asked for multiple groups to begin praying in adoration to come against this evil. He has opened a private chapel for us to do so.
I have to tell you your blog of Golden Globes was prophetic. For this is what I see happening with the spread of various prayer groups. Last summer I had a vision of standing in a void with golden lights around me and Jesus in front of me. He was pouring out oil on the earth. He told me to look down and I saw red glows around the earth and understood them to be spiritual battles for souls. When I looked back up the golden lights were gone but people around me were scurrying in battle. I sensed God the Father saying, “I want my kids back.” About two weeks ago I read your blog on Golden globes and I finally understood what the golden lights were around me. And then I get a text message late at night asking me to begin to lead a prayer group to intercede. Several people I know around the USA and Canada are being called to do the same thing.
Wonderful- just one thing- Golden souls – not Golden globes 😂. But yes, just wonderful.
Thanks to a very good friend who just sent me this and knows that I’m really struggling with my faith currently and have been for many years, thank you so very much for this timely message today it has right now been what I need to read at this very moment. May God truly bless you.
God Bless you as well.
Thank you for this post. I too struggle as a grandmother, do I help my children by watching my grandchildren, and in doing so put my husband, who has emphysema at risk? I’m supposed to help the poorest of the poor, starting in our own families, I struggle each day wondering if I’ve made the right choice and keep asking Our Mother to guide me, along with asking for the Holy Spirits guidance and my guardian angel
Place your trust in God that whatever He sends your way is for your sanctification.
Hello, another wonderful post. God put it on my heart recently that I am going to be seeing Him in a new way (in far left people,) and that he expects me to love them..…not to be in one camp or the other but to go the narrow way.
I always think about how Maximillian Kolbe actively opposed the Nazi ideology with his newspaper, but he would interact with and speak to individual Nazi soldiers. He knew the encounter one on one in love can change hearts while at the same time opposing the ideology of evil. He loved the individuals he came across. It’s the path of a Saint.
Also, “it isn’t love if you don’t choose it!’. What a simple but powerful statement that hit me over the head. I keep waiting for God to give me a surge of supernatural grace to love someone. But I realize now that I just have to step out and do it.
Also ‘when we control people instead of trusting God we become more hateful’ is so true in marriages and can creep in so subtly.
Thanks for this. Our family is struggling with brain cancer, which my sweet brother-in-law suffers. My sister is at her breaking point, as the only caregiver, while working full time. They have a fully handicapped daughter also, and another daughter who has bipolar disease. We prayed so hard for them these last two years, yet the demon continues to strike. I finally used your prayer to the Holy Trinity and Holy Family, and felt a sense of calm.
I look forward to your postings, so now I receive them in my inbox!
You are a blessing to me!
I will pray for your sister and her husband. These are extremely trying times. May God Bless you all abundantly.
God does have a knack for saying specific things that are only truly understandable with 20 – 20 hindsight! But as these things play out and hindsight provides the complete vision of what God intended, remember he is in control.
Mercy is love applied to suffering, what God is doing is actively participating in his divine will to lead as many of his sheep as possible to his pasture all while respecting our free will. “Jesus I Trust in You” are the operative words for this time.
Following God on this rocky path, we don’t understand and may well not even see, until we have arrived where he is leading us is the trust asked of us. When we arrive, we will view the journey with our razor sharp 20 – 20 hindsight and know that we were never as lost as we thought, and even when the shepherd walked ahead of us and we lost sight of him, he was always there for and with us. Be at peace all, and know even when we seem to loose sight of him, he NEVER looses sight of us. God is in control and he is the merciful faithful Shepherd, he knows his sheep.
Thank you for this. I keep praying with the word “surrender” to Jesus. It’s very “foggy” out there. The only thing we can do is love. Division is a work of the enemy. Excellent drawing! Wow!!
Thanks Meg. God Bless you.
Padre Ruotolo Dolindo, a contemporary of Padre Pío, wrote the “Surrender Novena”. Lately it has been the only prayer that stills my heart after the 6 pm news. It’s been around for years but I just discovered it, just in the nick of time!
I love that Novena.
Speaking from experience, taking care of the sick and elderly is about the closest you will come to literally serving and loving Christ on this earth. Had I not read Mother Theresa’s books years ago, I would not have been able to do it! It is very difficult, sacrificial and rewarding spiritually and emotionally for all involved. In some of my darkest moments, I would give anything to go back and take care of my dad again. He was a tough nut to crack, and there were days I wanted to dump him on the side of the road, but what fruit came from that time! He ended up having a very beautiful, holy death on his way to the casino. As events would turn out that day, I brought him the Eucharist, prayed the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet with him and my sisters, and off he went. That was a Friday afternoon, he died on Sunday after they had brought Communion to my sisters. He wasn’t able to receive because his jaw had clenched during his stroke. If ever given the choice, take care of the sick, infirm, elderly…Jesus is in them and as in my dad’s case..heavily disguised😊
Today is actually his birthday. Love him and miss so much, that unique presence of Christ.
That’s beautiful. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord.
Your son’s picture (it is pretty good, but scary as things go) reminds me of what you have talked about here and in other columns, on the malevolent Spirit of Anger sweeping over our Country. Good ole Michael Brown has an article on anger in Spirit Daily today. I realize that malevolent spirit is affecting me, too. Could you, out of your charity, say a prayer for me that I have a good confession Sunday? In return, i will prayer for your intentions, those of your husband and children, as well as everyone who comments here. Thank you!
Absolutely I will. And next time hopefully I can describe a guardian angel to my son 😉
Susan, thank you so much for this post. I am always blessed by your words and this time was no different. I especially resonated with the description of the false bar that is set for us by Satan. I can’t believe I hadn’t realized that before, and I’ve fallen for that trap so many times. Thank you for sharing!
And I am so sorry for the loved ones you lost to Covid and suicide. My heart breaks for your family.
Thank you and God Bless you.
I am a 67 year old female disabled by pain from spinal arthritis. I have offered the pain to God to use with His cross and the Divine Will for souls. I am asking for your prayers to God, to help me stay in the Divine Will always. You see, I am not a brave victim soul. This “living sacrifice” keeps crawling off the altar. Each day is difficult, and like the person in the parable of the ten talents, I am convinced that I have fallen on just my one penny, as I wait for my master’s return.
Fear that I can’t handle a single thing more than “today’s troubles” has made me cower, fear that I will fail the test of service, eats at me. My soul is a warrior soul, but “old brother ass” just lays on the couch. The battle between the two, my soul and body – well it is just as violent and disturbing as is the violence on the streets. Your article named my own struggles. Thank you. I have followed your blog for years. Very helpful. God bless you (and all whom you love) for your faithfulness to our Abba. And thanks again.
Thank you. I will pray for you. God Bless you and keep you safe.
Your brutal honesty is refreshing and welcome. The fact that you’re aware of the raging spiritual battle within you and your desire to bring glory to God through it is beautiful, I think. The devil and his minions work diligently to overwhelm us with guilt and oppression so that we’ll just give up and yes, crawl away in our self loathing and doubt. It’s especially effective if we are alone with our thoughts alot. Keep up the good fight. You’re stronger than you’ve been made to believe. Stick with St. Paul’s counsel, when I am made weak, HE is strong through me. God Bless you, and strengthen you in Truth.
Beautifully expressed… Thank you for preaching HIS gospel… Too many are preaching their own. The Joy of The Lord IS our strength… LORD, fill us with Your Joy, fir we all need to be strong.
Peace and Blessings of Jesus to all ❤