Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24
This is the audio and transcript of a talk I gave at the Carmel Center in Liberty, TN on 5/6/23. Much of this is personal testimony from the past year.
The Crushing: Living Mary’s Fiat
By: Susan Skinner
Hello and thank you all for inviting me to speak on our Blessed Mother. The topic on which I will speak will be Living Mary’s Fiat, but I would be remiss to speak about how to do this without first speaking about true devotion to the Blessed Mother.
One of the many fallouts of the Protestant Reformation besides the obvious divisions among Christians, was the loss of true devotion to Mary and the understanding about why it is necessary. Indeed, even Martin Luther himself stated; “the veneration of Mary is inscribed in the very depths of the human heart.” (Sermon, September 1, 1522).
The misunderstanding of the role of Mary in Salvation History by the modern world leads to a degradation of the very church herself, because Mary is the archetype of the church. She is what God had in mind when He created Adam and Eve. Pure communion. Mary is not just redeemed by Christ, she is restored to Eden as it were. Her body a temple, her soul a house of prayer. Her womb, the place where heaven and earth collide. She exemplifies, and is singular, in her relationship with the Trinity. Mary is total trust in the goodness of God. She is the Immaculate Conception.
Jesus Christ came to rectify us to His Father, to make atonement for the fall; a sin against the infinitely good God. Jesus undid the sin of infinity as only God could do. He did it by preventing Mary from sin and housing his own being within her, taking on this limited human body and nature with a human will, being born, dying and rising, all with her there. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, in order to save us, entered the waters of the fruitful womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary to become incarnate. This is not something to dismiss or scoff at. To share in the repaired relationship with the Father we must also share in the relationship with Mary. For Jesus is the Son of the Father and the Son of Mary. All of his human DNA belongs to her, think about that the next time you receive communion. There is nothing that will bring more profound union with the Father than following Jesus’ example. He came to us through her, we go to Him through her. He left her to us as our Mother at the cross.
Many people hold back from true devotion to Mary for fear that she will take something away from her Son, Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is because in our disordered and perverted society we don’t really understand the true meaning of communion. We think if one person is praised another is detracted from. But that isn’t how God thinks. Isaiah 55 tells us God’s thoughts and ways aren’t our thoughts and ways and that his thoughts and ways are higher than ours. For God is not a detractor. If he highlights the importance of a person it is because it brings Him, who is love, more glory. She is the fullness of God’s love because the Trinity dwells within her. Mary takes nothing from her Son. She only adds to His glory. For if one is rightly ordered we know that honoring Mary does not detract from Jesus. In fact, it shows us how big God is and how much he loved us, that he chose her to help Him repair. It sets the example for all of us of how to do the will of God and lets us know the promise of God’s love for all of mankind. Saint Louis de Monfort said of devotion to Mary, “it is only in order to more perfectly establish devotion to Jesus Christ and to offer a secure means of coming to Him. This devotion is necessary for us to perfectly reach Jesus Christ, to love him with tenderness and to serve him with fidelity.”
Did you hear that? Devotion to Mary is necessary for perfection. If you wish to be perfect as the heavenly father is perfect, you should make Mary your Mother. If you speak with a Protestant and even some Catholics you will see that they are usually more willing to study Ruth or Judith than to study Mary, the Mother of God. We see Mary often degraded by society not understanding that degrading her is actually a degradation of our own nature that God made good. She is the perfected human person. This is the path we should all be on but instead we put limits on God the Father as if he were like men, broken and weak unable to fill us with Himself. If this is your disposition you can only conclude that we cannot be elevated, we are stuck in our sin, just a pile of dung that cannot be transformed. But Scripture tells us we can be transformed. Mary is God’s promise who lights the way. This is why she is the archetype of the church. Though we will never be without sin the way Mary is, God does promise restoration. Acts 3:21 states; “Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” We aren’t just saved, but God wants us restored. He wants the church to become the bride perfected from Revelation 21. The dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary body and soul let’s us know before our own restoration at the end of time that God’s promises are true. We should not put limits on God. Mary did not put limits on God, and so she could give her unreserved fiat and be the handmaid of the Lord.
We know that Mary was saved from original sin because the passion, death and resurrection were applied to her outside of time. Her state was total purity and communion with God. Blessed Duns Scotus made us to know that God is so big He can operate outside of time, and He did so for the Blessed Mother. Her Immaculate Conception is a feat of an infinitely good God. He preserved her and made her a tabernacle to house the Second person of the Blessed Trinity. Through her, the savior of us all was born.
I want to take a moment here to reflect on all I have just stated because it is a lot to unpack. Our Lord is so good that He stepped down into our mess and became incarnate. The Blessed Mother, who, full of grace, is the perfection of humanity, in her Fiat, said yes not only to God, but to the mission of stepping down into our mess with him. She stepped into the mission of intercession for reparation. Mary placed her soul in the hands of the Father and believed that He was big enough to come into the mess and heal us. She knew God sent the savior she had personally been praying for. And God sent Him to her. Though she knew evil around her, she had to believe that God was bigger than the evil. Though her life would have been threatened, she had to trust that God could overcome all of that.
As Mary journeyed with Jesus and Joseph, they were surrounded in the mess of humanity. They faced it with love and trust in the Father. Let’s just look at a few examples.
Mary’s yes to God made her pregnant when she had “not known man”. She did not know how Joseph would handle the news. Him being righteous, he was to divorce her quietly which would have perhaps preserved her from being stoned. What a messy situation for both of them. But Mary trusts instead of reacting, and God speaks to Joseph. Perhaps she felt the human emotion of fear, for emotions are not sinful, but in her purity and her understanding of the greatness of God, she was not swallowed by fear because she believed God was big enough to handle it.
Then their government calls a census and she has to travel late in pregnancy. There is no place for them to stay. What a mess. Mary isn’t seen cowering in the corner or yelling at Joseph for not planning better. She faces the mess and gives birth in a cave with a manger, to the acclaim of the singing hosts of heaven. Mary knows God is bigger than an animal laden birth place.
When she and Joseph present Jesus to Simeon in the temple, Mary is told that a sword will pierce her heart. Mary knows she will encounter suffering, for she already has. She is not looking for God to fix the suffering. She is looking for God to heal His people and she is willing to take the road wherever it will lead in order to help us all get there. Mary believed God could do this and she was willing to walk into the unknown believing God was bigger than we can imagine.
At the wedding at Cana, we see her ask Jesus for help when her friends ran out of wine. She stepped into their mess and she believes God’s glory can be shown. His response appears to be a rebuke as he states, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” But here we can see in this interaction, Jesus’ response seems to be more of an invitation. Jesus’ seems to be asking her, “are you ready to really really jump into their mess? Going public will change everything.” For Jesus was looking for Mary’s steadfast cooperation with His mission. She is an essential part because her cooperation brings communion between heaven and earth. At each point she is asked, she says yes. Her answer to this question, “do whatever he tells you.” She has not waivered.
And, of course, we know who stood at the cross with Jesus. Mary was there. I believe too it is significant that one Apostle was there, because I believe John ran away originally, but that he ran away to get Mary. And here again we see her intercession, this time for the Apostolic line of the Priesthood. John was able to stand with her and they both stared at our sin on the Cross as the church was being birthed from His side.
Louisa Picarretta wrote in the 17th hour of the Passion that all of heaven, including Mary, and all of hell, were shouting crucify Him. While hell thought they defeated God, Mary knew that His taking on of our sin, would open heaven for us, so she wanted what the Father wanted. His death. It is in His death that resurrection can take place. He conquered death, which was the consequence of the wages of sin. Just as Jesus, the divine person gave all for us, so too did Mary, the human person, enter into our mess to give her Son for us as a sorrowful Mother. She emptied herself out cooperating in our redemption. Mary didn’t try to fix the situation, she, like Jesus, let the Father decide what needed to be done in order that we might be healed. Fixes are usually short term and try to alleviate suffering. Healing is long term and it alleviates sin. Healing often and usually involves suffering.
After the resurrection we see an interaction between Jesus and Simon Peter. Simon Peter has gone back to fishing and John recognizes Jesus on the shore and tells Peter. Peter dives in and goes to the Lord. This exchange is the undoing of Peter’s denial, but the English translation doesn’t capture all of what was happening here. Jesus asks Peter 3 times if he loves him, but the first two times he uses the Greek word agape. Agape is a Divine Love and Jesus is asking Peter do you have Divine Love for me? Peter is hurt by this. He answers back twice that he Phileo loves Jesus, Phileo being a brotherly love. Peter is not understanding something that Mary did understand. Peter knows Jesus is Lord, he knows Jesus gave him mercy, but he doesn’t yet know that Jesus is big enough to elevate Peter to Divine Love. The third time Jesus asks, he steps into Peter’s mess and simply asks him if he Phileo loves him. Peter responds that he does. Jesus sees where Peter is. It isn’t until Pentecost, where scripture tells us n Acts 1, “All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.” It isn’t insignificant that scripture mentions the Mother of Jesus by name as being in the upper room. Mary must have known the disciples well, including Peter, and all he had done. Yet she enters into his mess praying, interceding, and it is here we see, the immensity of God that Mary knows, come down upon Peter and the disciples as well elevating them to glory from out of their mess. For Divine love is a gift poured out for those willing to take the journey. And we see a different Peter, unafraid, baptizing 3000.
This way of life, this Divine Love poured out wasn’t just for the Apostles long ago. The love between Mary and Jesus is a pathway for us all. When I look at what took place, I grow in awe of what God did for us. He entered the earth as a baby, much the way we begin our spiritual life. Mary stared at her baby, the way a new Christian stares at creation as if seeing it for the first time. If you’re baptized as a baby the growth physically and spiritual growth should take place along side one another. But the difference between new Christians and Mary is we get side tracked from the journey through temptation and concupiscence. Concupiscence, a consequence of the fall, is our strong desire to commit sin. Mary remained steadfast on the journey with Christ, never taking her gaze off of Him, because in knowing Him she knew the Father. She took the entire journey from cradle to grave with Him and it brought redemption to mankind. We tend to fall away when things get hard.
But it isn’t the whole story, because again, restoration is the goal. There is hope for us. Our Creed speaks about this hope when we say we wait for Resurrection of the Body. For Mary, it’s why her Body was already assumed because she is God’s complete Queen of creation.
To be fair, she had no concupiscence or sin, so she wasn’t drawn to do the wrong things. But that should not stop us from entering this journey that is meant for us. We have a God who came among us and a Mother who intercedes for us on this journey. We are on a spiritual journey from wounds to healing. Baptism gets rid of our original sin, and the rest of the journey is a struggle against concupiscence, sin and temptation. I am so thankful, we were left a way. We must gaze at the infant and watch him grow in our hearts enough to take up our crosses and follow him. This is where living Mary’s fiat comes into play for us. Like her we too can say yes to the will of God. It is harder for us, we need God’s grace which we are not full of like Mary, thankfully Our Mother Mary is the mediatrix of all graces and we receive sanctifying grace from Our Mother the Church. Each time we go to Confession we come out after absolution in a state of grace. When we walk out of the confessional, we are more like Mary. Both Mary and the church invite us to receive these graces. All are invited, few respond to the call, so few are chosen. Don’t be too prideful to take your sin to confession.
We need to recognize that we are broken, we need healing and we need help. We need to embrace our Baptism calling to mind that we are a child of God. We need to recognize the sins we have committed and confess them. And we need the Eucharist to purify us.
Going back to the prevenient saving of Mary, by applying the Passion, death and resurrection to her before her conception, we can glean from this that the Triduum holds within it all of time. This means for us, within these three days is a way to make progress towards healing. Our story is encapsulated in the Triduum if we are willing to go the distance. This immensity of God makes Calvary present for us at each Mass. We step into eternity, into God’s true presence, able to walk as Mary walked with the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist within us. Confession is an essential part of this journey. Admitting when we sin and asking for mercy.
Once we recognize that we actually need healing, grace has penetrated and we can make our way on this journey with Christ and his Mother at our side.
For me, as I am sure for many of you, the journey has been long. I spent the first 30 years of my life in stagnation, comfortable being a grocery store Catholic. I pretended to be good enough for God to love me and I had one foot firmly planted in the things of the world. I hid the bad I had done from the Lord and I even, in pride, refused to believe some of what I had done was wrong. It left me in a pit of depression and anxiety. At one point in my life, I even wanted to kill myself. And it was a moment from Mary and turning to the Rosary that began my ascent out of the pit. She brought some actual grace to me in the moment I needed it most. My sister was also praying for me at the time, so never ever think that our prayers don’t matter. When we commune with the Lord in prayer our intercession reaches way further than we can possibly imagine.
Many of you know that it wasn’t until after the murder of my friend Veronica that I really began to speak to the Lord about all my mess. And God stepped in my mess and changed everything. It was as if a blind fold was taken off of my eyes and the love of God was revealed more fully to me, no longer an intellectual acknowledgement, it was a movement in my heart. I was all in. I knew God was beyond what any medical doctor could ever do for me and I knew confession healed me more than any of the counseling sessions I had gone to (which were good, by the way).
I began to pray very differently. I stopped telling God what I wanted and started asking what He wanted. Sometimes what He wants is difficult but I knew my way of doing things didn’t work. I did it my way, as the song says, and my way left me with panic attacks. Now I also knew enough to know that Jesus did not come to eliminate suffering. He entered into it, so did his mother. And in doing so we had heaven opened up to us so we can experience a love like we have never experienced before.
Besides Confession I began to hunger for the Eucharist. I wanted to consume God. We live in a world that consumes everything except God. We consume so much media that we have been trained to think by it, not by God. And trust me, demons use media. We must be careful how we use technology. I just knew I wanted to consume God alone. I knew that in doing so I can become a better woman than I was before.
Still following the Lord is hard. In the early days of my Spiritual journey I argued with God a lot. As time has progressed, I argue less. Hopefully one day I will be as immediate with my yes as Mary.
I asked her to be with me on this journey. I consecrated myself to her. In the early years, when an infant in my spiritual life, I was more wounded so for my consecration I did the 33 days to Morning Glory by Father Michael Gaitley. In later years after some maturity in the spiritual life, I did total consecration to Jesus through Mary by Saint Louis de Monfort. I make the distinction because I sometimes think people who are very wounded are not ready to yet face some things that need to be faced. Healing is a slow progression not an instantaneous fix. Wounded people feel not worthy, St Louis makes it known you are not worthy. You have to be healed enough to understand the spiritual life and not be offended by that. You have to have forgiven yourself to take on the harder mortifications of our faith. The goal, to be so secure in God’s love for you that you make willing sacrifice and are not wounded by things that are true. That’s most of our journey here on earth, learning to not be offend by truth. The only thing that should offend us is sin. Not people, but sin. If we equate people with the sin they offend with we tend to dehumanize and judge.
When dealing with our own children we need to realize where they are too. I sometimes think we expect an understanding from them that it took us a life time journey to understand, speaking too much often pushes them away. Listening, relating, praying ardently, can do more for a child than any of our pontificating and lecturing about the things we have learned.
At 51 years old, I know I am not the same person with the same understanding that I was at 14. I should not expect my child to understand all that I understand now.
In recent years my husband and I took on the beautiful cross of caring for my aging parents. Dad passed on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in 2021. We still have mom, who cannot walk, and who has dementia. It is a daily struggle. I can’t even describe this cross. I find that only those who have been through it know the grief of these difficult years. It is beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time.
Scripture tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”
But I won’t lie, I will say this cross has sometimes left me feeling tested beyond my strength. My cousin and I laugh that last year was the Eyore year…. I have called it, “the crushing”.
Recognizing that Mary is the best human person example of how to live the Divine love Jesus calls us to, I prayed a prayer last year on February 21, 2022. I wanted to be more like Mary. I wanted to live Mary’s fiat, but I knew that there was something I had besides sin that Mary didn’t. I had concupiscence. That morning at Mass I prayed as hard as I have ever prayed. I pondered Mary’s purity and I asked God to crush my concupiscence and yes I used the word crush. I asked God to make my desires His desires. I asked God to infuse me with His Divine Will the way Mary was infused with the Divine Will. As I closed my eyes I pictured many images in my head. But the one image in my head that gave me much hope was beautiful Mary, she wore a navy blue velvet mantle with a red silk underlay, her eyes were piercing and she was looking straight at me. She cupped her hands around her mouth and whispered, “Let it be done.” Waves of blue light came out of her. I then saw an image of a wine rack with cob webs on it, the cobwebs were blown away and I heard “new wine” in my prayer. The whole experience left me in tears sobbing after Mass. I had no idea what was in store for me then.
Within 74 days, I injured my back so badly lifting my mother that I couldn’t walk right. It seems my disks were crushed and torn. Not exactly what I had in mind when I prayed to be crushed. God’s ways are definitely not our ways. The doctor wouldn’t give me narcotic pain medication because he didn’t want me to get addicted. I slept on the floor and cried incessantly. I remember grabbing the picture I have of the Face of Jesus in the Shroud of Turin and just staring at it begging God for mercy. I began to ask friends to give me someone to pray for so I could try to not focus on my physical pain. I was trying to get outside of my misery by thinking of others as my faith has taught me. But it was hard and I complained a lot.
In addition, some things came to light in my family that I won’t share here because they’re not my story to tell, but I will just say there was an emotional heartache that I have never ever felt before. Crushed is again the word that comes to mind. I actually wondered if I could still love in a situation where I didn’t know how to love or even where to begin to know what to do. I ended up getting Covid again and because of my worn down state and stress it was difficult to recover. And my sweet little dog Rosie died from an unexpected illness. Because of all these circumstances both physical and emotional I had to give up a lot of what I had been “doing.” I didn’t know that crushing my concupiscence would be so incredibly humbling. I was left in a state of just accepting what was, desiring to do the will of God, though at times I was confused about what that was. The Ministry work I loved was pulled back to the minimum, almost to a halt. My days became like a hamster on a wheel, stuck at home, waiting to heal. I felt abandoned by God and I clung to what I knew to be true instead of the feelings I was having. I melted down many times and thank God I have good friends and family to put me back on the Way. I clung to a lot of the sweet memories I had with God because I no longer felt His presence. I felt forsaken. During this time there was an onslaught of thoughts coming at me, like hell itself was screaming at me. The voices screamed, “you’re a bad mother, you’re a bad daughter, you’re a bad wife, you’re a bad ministry worker. A bad cousin, a bad friend. God doesn’t love you. You should just give all this up.”
I knew those thoughts were lies. I knew this because of the journey I had taken already. I remembered all the goodness of God. In times like these I think I know why scripture calls us back to remembering. All I knew to do was to keep turning back to His Holy Face – for scripture promised he would not test me beyond my strength. I asked Him not to turn His Face from me.
I started to realize that even in all the spiritual things I was “doing” I had a lot of pride. Nothing strips you of pride and control like a health crisis or family crisis. I went through the Litany of Humility and realized I was living much of it. And somewhere later in the recovery a still small voice whispered to me, “can you still love even though you are wounded? Can you look past your wounds and love?” I looked at Christ on the Cross. And I had a realization that He was letting me share in His Passion. My crushing should really be called “the compassion” for that means to suffer with. I was suffering with Christ. My human will, out of necessity, was being nailed to a cross. The question remained, did I believe He could fill me with His love? Or would I like Peter believe He isn’t big enough to work in me.
Yes, Lord, I believe, I love you. Fill me with Divine Love. Do it on your own timeline, not mine.
I told the Lord I did desire to be like Him. I told Him that I am weak and I fail and I get frustrated and that I knew I had to rely on Him to be able to love like Him. It took me awhile, but eventually I began to thank God for the ordeal. I also recognized that this was necessary on my Spiritual Path. It was necessary to draw me closer to Him, to share in His suffering, to repair for what we have done. It is necessary to suffer for concupiscence to be crushed and to be shown how to fully surrender. This crushing is meant to make you emerge on the other side with a bold confidence in God, and with no false expectation of how and when he will do things. It is meant to give an understanding of loving God alone in a world that does not know divine love. I know He loves me wholly, I don’t have to do anything to earn it. My physical health, emotions, and inability to do anything, cannot stop God from loving me, even if the devil tries to convince me otherwise. My identity as God’s isn’t conditioned on the things I can do. He was taking me deeper into healing from my own ego than I ever imagined I could go. True healing let’s go of one’s own ego so you can be filled with Divine love. Mary had no ego. She wasn’t looking for glory for herself, but God glorified her more than any other human person. When we surrender to the Divine Will we can have full expectation that God will restore dominion that the devil stole. In John Chapter 14 Jesus promises the Apostles that they will do greater things than even Him. This is because God’s full power and glory descend upon those living the Divine Will. Pentecost displayed this. I personally still have such a way to go, but I have learned more to rely on the Lord to fill me and not myself and to accept the things that are sent my way. The Lord can and will save and restore me in heaven and he will do it for you as well – as long as we stay on the path returning always to mercy and doing our best to surrender all to Him. His mother lights the way.
You see Mary has the title Our Lady of Humility, she didn’t need breaking down like I did – and I still do. But the goal in the spiritual life is to put Satan under our feet. Romans 16:20 tells us that the God of peace wants Satan under your feet. And I discovered it isn’t all that I was doing that will get me there. It’s actually a complete emptying of all we hold onto that keeps us from God alone.
I began to see how in my relationships with others my view of them was often distorted. I wanted to “fix” them instead of letting God heal them. Often times when we go into fix mode we also go into judgment mode, judging a person in a way we have no right. I also feel less afraid to admonish a sinner because sin is not who a person is. If someone can’t distinguish themselves from their sin there becomes a huge identity crisis. We must help people know who they truly are. Today’s society is reeling from lack of identity in God. Mary knew exactly who she was and that made her a conduit of the Grace of God.
Another thing that happened is I often used to get scared of what my children could be doing instead of praying that He could change them the way He changed me, no doubt through the prayer of Our Lady and all those who prayed for me over the years. My life is a mess and He entered into it and so did His mother. Why would I think he wouldn’t do the same for my children. Do not walk in fear about your children. He loves them more than you do. He wants to turn me and you and anyone who is willing, into perfect love. To make us perfect as the heavenly father is perfect, and we in the world have really very little idea of what that kind of perfection looks like. We also cannot attain it ourselves by doing. Yes, we must guide them and act when He asks us, and we must follow the teachings of the church and try in earnest to steer them and ourselves away from sin, but we also sometimes need to be still and let Him fight for us. His power can be made perfect in our weakness when we surrender it to him.
There are so many things the Blessed Virgin Mary teaches us through her humble obedience, every day to the will of God. You see, the biggest thing I learn daily from Mary is that God is way way bigger than we know. We tend to put limits on what He can and cannot do. Have we learned nothing from the God who brought fire down on the mountain for Elijah? Or parted the red sea for Moses? Have we learned nothing from His conquering of death? We must learn to look up and think big.
Now, I try, when I face situations daily, to ask, how can I do your will? How can I best love in this situation Lord? I often find myself repeating simply, “Jesus and Mary, I love you, save souls.” And then I wait for him to act.
I would love to say to you that I rejoice in my suffering all the time, as Saint Paul stated for himself, but I am not there yet. What I do know is that true joy is real, and the place of rejoicing in suffering is a Divine Grace poured out by God. We by our simple nature cannot be joyful in suffering, for suffering in and of itself is an evil. But loving through suffering does actually bring joy and true charity, the charity of God. We must also know that God’s grace doesn’t come down to remove the suffering, that is a false Gospel. But I do believe that God’s grace is big enough and powerful enough to give us strength in suffering like He promised. It is the fortitude of love. Love allows that our greatest desire is not to end our suffering, but for God’s Kingdom to reign. A life in the Divine Will. One day, in heaven and at the end of time there will be no more tears or suffering, that is the Hope of God’s Kingdom and it is a promise.
It is imperative in these times that we live in that we do not put God in our box of how things can get done. Just look at all God did for Mary and how she cooperated with Him every day of her life. Have faith, it can move mountains. The great I AM wants us to have true joy, in the middle of this mess we are in. Live Mary’s fiat by saying yes each day and loving in each situation as best as you can. Don’t expect worldly political and economic systems to solve the heart crisis we are having as a society. Pray and intercede for others, even and especially if it is hard. God will heal in His time, trust in that. He wills that all men be saved. Yes, many turn away, but God’s will is bigger than any other, so pray for lost souls, receive the sacraments to purify you with an open heart, ask for mercy, love as best as you can, and most of all trust.
If you haven’t consecrated yourself to Mary, please do so. She will bring you closer to Him.
And lastly, be not afraid, let the God of the universe be the one in control of your life. I know the news is scary and we shouldn’t be ostrich’s with our head stuck in the ground, we should be aware of all that is happening. Scripture tells us to stay awake and to be wise like the serpent but peaceful like the dove. But we shouldn’t take on a spirit of anxiety. The devil feeds on fear. The key to that again is knowing that God is in charge so keep your eyes on Him and not the storm that is raging around us. Mary’s eyes were always on the face of the Savior from cradle to grave and after. Our Lady Queen of Peace, pray for us! Our Lady of Victory, pray for us! Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us! Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.
So much wisdom in this and pondering for me to do in my heart. Thank you for sharing your journey thus far and the tremendous insights in it.
My “suffering” has been more of heartbreak as I share His heartaches. My dad died (beautifully, peacefully with all his kids and wife around him) in December 2019. I was truly at peace with his death. Then a week after he died, my dear mother-in-law died from a massive stroke. There was no peace in her death. No unity of family members. Such sorrow and division. And then the Church was shut down. My already broken heart retreated. The craziness of the pandemic and the fear it propagated sent me into a darkness. Only St. Mother Teresa and her words of constancy with prayer through her darkness sustained me. I felt nothing, but prayed anyway, clinging, like you did, to my memories of His faithfulness. I finally made my way back to a daily Mass, sitting in a corner with no mask, trying to rid myself of the fear within the Church. In a dream He gave me the words of a song, “I surrender” then during a morning Mass, He gave me the rest of it. It became my “litany” and daily prayer. I still have a long way to go as well, but I know He’s with me. And my dear, dear Mother as well.
God bless you!
Excellent words Susan. You have found the truth, especially about our Mother Mary.
I am reading: The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, by Luisa Piccarreta.
It gives Mary’s words for each one of the days of May. I have already read the massive
tome, “The Book of Heaven”, that includes all 36 volumes of Luisa’s diary, 1789 pages, it took me almost a year. If you get a chance, I recommend both of them. (Both on Amazon). You are 51, I’m 83, and we both still have a lot to learn from our Lord and
our Mother. I am an Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Shepherds of Christ
Ministry. This is a lay Catholic spiritual organization founded by Fr. Edward J. Carter
a Theology professor and Rita Ring, a mystic, wife, mother, and ex math professor, both at Xavier University, in Cincinnati, OH. Jesus told Father Carter to found this
ministry in 1994 to pray for the priests, the Church and the world, by forming prayer
chapters of lay people. I had one for 12 years before Covid ended it. As an apostle of
the group you must say the Shepherds of Christ prayers daily, Mass and communion
daily and most important….one hour or adoration after Mass, before the tabernacle,
I have to admit, doing this for 20 years has changed my life for the better, by allowing
me to Trust In Jesus. As a side note, before I run out of space, Jesus has been on the
internet since 1998 at http://www.sofc.org through Rita Ring. I’ll sign off with the SOFC
saying, “I give my heart to Jesus and Mary with you in love”.
Thank you Ed. What a beautiful Apostolate. God Bless you and keep you safe!
Thank you! Your testimony rings true and confirms what I also have been learning and experiencing! Happy Mother’s Day to you and Our Lady!
Happy Mother’s Day!
Susan, before the clock strikes 12 midnight here in San Diego, CA I want to wish you a heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day. What a gift and grace for us all to share the same Spiritual Mother. How blessed WE are although she is called Blessed Mother. Like small children we should, daily, place our hands in Hers and let Her lead us to Her Son. There is no sorrow, nor pain, nor loss, nor abandonedment that we suffer that She hasn’t already suffered herself. My own mother – who was especially devoted to the Blessed Mother – after her son/my brother David died at age 12 (on my 13th birthday) with poignant resignation declared that the Blessed Mother knew how she felt as She too had lost Her Son. It was her consulation. I am now 66 years old and my dear mother died 15 years ago but I still recall how safe I felt when I walked, as a young child, with my hand securely in hers. It’s a child’s instinct to know that his or her mother will not lead him or her astray. May we all have a pure child’s trust in our Blessed Mother Who is not only the Mother of the Redeemer but the Mother of the redeemed as well.