Mercy and Justice

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And they came to Beth-sa′ida. And some people brought to him a blind man, and begged him to touch him.  And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?”  And he looked up and said, “I see men; but they look like trees, walking.”  Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly.  And he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.” Mark 8:22-26 RSV

BY: ASHLEY BLACKBURN

I often read the daily readings and pray with them using lectio divina as I reflect on not only the larger theme of the readings, but also what God wants to teach me through them.  Often times, I read through them and then don’t really have anything that sticks out to me at first. So this is when I say a quick prayer and ask God to reveal to me what He wants me to hear from these readings.  After I do this… it is as if scripture opens up and a whole new world of wisdom and understanding begins to blossom in my mind and in my heart. The readings from Wednesday of this week (Feb 20, 2019) were one of those occasions.  At first, I felt nothing was sticking out to me, then I said my prayer and God revealed something to me that I thought was relevant to share to a wider audience.

The gospel was Mark 8:22-26.  In this passage, Jesus heals a blind man in two stages. We must realize that this blind man was living in complete darkness.  He could not see anything. How many of us are or were living in spiritual darkness at one point or another in our lives, I know that I was for a time.  The blind man is brought to Jesus, which means he was brought with the help of his friends or family. This is a reminder to us that those in our lives who are living in darkness, those who are NOT living with the light of Christ in their lives, can be brought to Jesus (spiritually) by you and me through prayer.  We can lift these souls up to heaven on their behalf and ask the Lord to bring them out of the darkness… to heal their blindness.

In the gospel story, the first stage of the man’s healing was when Jesus spits on his eyes and lays his hands upon him.  Then Jesus asks him if he can see anything. The blind man says “I see men; but they look like trees, walking”. This line here is where God stopped me in my reading of this passage. There was something very peculiar about what this man says.  He says he sees men, but they look like trees, and they are walking!? What in the world? Such a weird thing to say, but it was included in the bible, so we know that it is the inspired Word of God. After reflecting on this further, I realized that this was only the first stage of healing for the blind man and it only gave him a partial view. He said he could see man, he knew they were walking, but he said they looked like trees.  This is a distortion of what was really there. We must not discount the fact that the man was no longer in darkness. He could SEE. This in and of itself was a miracle. But what he was seeing was distorted.  

I began to reflect even more upon this reality… that there is something such as a partial healing.  And then God showed me when in my life I was partially healed. As I said previously, there was a time in my life when I was living in complete darkness.  I was not recognizing God’s presence in my life, thus I was not walking with him in the light. Then through the prayers of my parents and family, and through the mercy of God, I was lifted up out of my darkness and brought into the light.  But this was only a partial healing. For I too had a distorted view of reality. I was living in duplicity. Sure, I was reconciled back with God and I began walking with Him, but I was still not willing to surrender ALL of my old ways and habits to Him.  I held on to some things that I considered to be justifiable in my own relative view of what was right and what was wrong. I didn’t consider learning the truth of the Church or seeking full forgiveness where I was still living in sin, because I had convinced myself that these things were not all that bad. Afterall, God is merciful!  I could have stayed in this spiritual place, reconciled and believing in God, but continuing to walk in distortion, but God called me deeper.  Deeper into truth.

If we go back to the gospel reading we see that after the man explains to Jesus what he can see, which was a distorted view, Jesus laid his hands upon the man’s eyes a second time.  This time the man looked “intently” and he was “restored” and he “saw everything clearly”. The second stage of this man’s healing was not done until he surrendered his view to Jesus.  After the first time Jesus laid his hand on the man’s eyes, he could have told Jesus, “Yes I can SEE!” and walked away. This would have been a true statement. He could now see. But instead we see the man tell Jesus WHAT he saw.  He surrendered what he was now seeing to Jesus… He was open and honest with Jesus, allowing Him to determine what further healing was needed. Once the blind man tells Jesus what he saw, Jesus is then able to heal him of his distorted view. He is able to pull the veil back even further so that the blind man could see in full view the TRUE reality of what was around him.  

Our ultimate goal in seeking full union with God is to be able to see the world as God sees it, to think as God does, to act as God does.  If we look at the readings for today (Feb 21, 2019), Jesus rebukes Peter for thinking as human beings do and not as God does. And how does God see, and think and act? With MERCY and JUSTICE. All of us must get past our cloudy view of the world and the people in it. The way that we do this is by seeking FULL healing in our own lives first. This can only be done through a complete surrender of our view to Jesus.  We must speak honestly and openly with Jesus. Asking him to show us the fullness of the Truth, so that we may live it in our daily lives. If we hold anything back from God, then we will never be completely healed. We will remain in our sin, we will remain in our distorted view, where we will not be able to see clearly as God does.

For me, I remained in this stage of being partially healed for many years.  Not until I began listening to God and OBEYING HIM instead of my own desires, was I able to get on the path of full healing.  Although I would not consider myself fully healed at this point, I do know that God is gently working with me, leading me step by step along this path.  I am not sure how long this journey will be for me, but I do know that my desires have changed and I now desire to do the Will of God in all things.

In the first reading from Wednesday’s daily readings, the promise that God made to Noah after the flood is that God will never curse the earth because of human beings again.  We may be tempted to sin and may give in and act on it in our lives, but God is always going to be standing there with his hand outstretched to us, offering us full healing for our lives.  He wants nothing more than to pull us up out of our confusion, out of our distorted view, and bring us into the fullness of the light of the Truth. We must only reach our hand out to His so that He can pull us up out of our state in life and into his Merciful Love.

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Your Prayer Matters

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“Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart. You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart. In fact on certain occasions you should only speak to Him with your heart.” – Saint Padre Pio

I had another dream on Wednesday night.  In the dream I was on my knees praying the Rosary.  Then God lifted the veil and he showed me what my prayer was doing.  I saw myself holding a sword, slaying demons.  Then I awoke remembering an old journal I had.  God wanted me to remember it.

This journal was one that I kept long before I started journaling letters to God.  It was simply a journal of my petitions for others.  The petitions in them were huge.  A sampling of some of the prayers;

For my friend who is infertile to have children.

For my relative who is infertile to have children.

For my relative who is an alcoholic to recover.

I could go on.  But you get the idea.  These were no small petitions.  And one by one I realized all had been answered.  My friend was able to conceive biological children.  My relative was able to adopt.  My other relative went in to rehab and has been a recovered alcoholic for years.  As I looked at each petition, there was only one that wasn’t answered the way I would have wanted.  That one, where I asked for healing for a friend, ended in earthly death.  But even with that, God whispered, “she is healed.”  

I realized how short sighted I am.  I had written them down, prayed them for awhile, and forgotten about them and moved on to the next thing that seemed an anxiety in my life or the life of others.  It wasn’t until later on my journey that gratitude became part of my prayer.  Gratitude even in suffering.  For the infertile couples who had to wait, the gratefulness for children is all the sweeter.  We in our impatience want what we want now, but God has a larger plan, that when we pray and trust it, brings us joy beyond measure.

There is something else I want to point out too.  I truly believe God does want to prosper us and not to harm us.  He is a good Father and we are sons and daughters of a King.  Prayer is how we come into union with Him.  In our weakness we pray simply not to suffer, but if our prayer becomes one of uniting our will to His will, life becomes more joyful and filled with gratitude.  We must pray with our hearts.  It slays demons.

I noticed people either do not believe in the demonic, or if they do they are terrified of it. I know for a fact we have an active entity seeking to destroy us.  I have witnessed it.  God is not the one who wills all the evil we see.  We must realize the devil is real, but in this realization we must not fear.  You often see depictions in movies of a person shaking while they hold a cross when confronted with a demon.  The demon throws the cross, because it is painful for the demon to touch, and he just wants it out of the way, and then the demon goes after the person who is afraid.  But I say NO to that.  We must get angry at the demons.  We must have a Holy Hatred.

We should be totally angry, and have active enmity at the devil that he came to steal, kill and destroy.  And we can claim our victory in Jesus Christ and tell that demon to go straight back to hell.  Demons of depression, fear, anxiety, rage, bitterness, they have no right inside your domain, your circle of authority.   But one thing to remember is the demons won’t leave unless you have forgiven.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

If we can forgive others all offenses the way Jesus forgave us, we can, in His Holy Name command demons to leave us alone.  When we pray and unite our will with God’s will, He gives us the grace to forgive and love like he does, to see people the way He does.  And this, this is what makes us WARRIORS.  We are the Church Militant and our mission, to love, to forgive, and to put the devil under our own feet in the name of Jesus.

The Rosary is particularly powerful in this regard if it is prayed from the heart because it shows us the uniting of Mary with her Son.  I came across this picture that depicts Mary in prayer;

Rosa Mystica

(Rosa Mistica by Francesco Laporta Valor –  1894 )

Take a look at that look on her face.  Her hands are folded in prayer, but that look is not one of passivity.  That is a look reserved for Satan, that says, “DON’T MESS WITH ME OR MY CHILDREN, I WILL CRUSH YOUR HEAD.”  

You see Mary, by uniting her will with God, KNOWS WHO THE ENEMY IS.  It isn’t other people, whom we must love, but it is Satan, the liar and the accuser.

When I was on my retreat a couple of weeks ago, I went on a walk in the woods.  I came across a statue of Mary standing on the serpent;

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I lifted my own foot and stepped on his head too.  For Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), yet we see the devils works everywhere.  But I say, in my life, I unite my will to Christ.  I step on your head, you filthy serpent, and allow Christ to lift me out of weakness into perfection, through prayer, sacraments, forgiveness and holy hatred of the one who came to destroy.  It is only in relying on my Savior that I can be lifted.  I cannot save myself.  Prayer unites me to Him who alone is good.  And this unites us with each other, who understand this, making the Communion of Saints truly a Mystical Body of Christ.

“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.” But when it says that everything has been subjected, it is clear that it excludes the one who subjected everything to him.When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will [also] be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 24-28

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The Helmet of Salvation

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Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17

 

When I was on retreat at Bethany House a week ago, we decided to do the Stations of the Cross, which are outdoors along a pathway through the woods.  I was assigned the task of carrying the crucifix.  Because of the placement of the stations I ended up holding the crucifix in front of me at about chest level.  I got a bird’s eye view of the top of Jesus’ head.  And I remembered reading an article about how the crown of thorns actually covered the whole of his head and wasn’t just a circular band around his head.  And God whispered, “the helmet of Salvation.”

A bit taken aback, I pondered what this meant.  And God said, “your minds are under assault by the enemy.  But I crush the serpent, I want you too as well.”  

I thought about all the false ideology that is shot at us like poison arrows.  Confusion about when life begins.  Confusion about marriage.  Confusion about gender.  Confusion about love.  Confusion about our own identity.  Confusion in the church.  He took it all on.  Each of those thorns in his scalp a representation of false ideology that he was overcoming.  He took it all on so we would know truth.  We must live in the spirit of truth.

The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for,“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16

Today, my heart felt heavy, as if the winds of the world are about to become fierce.  But even in the midst of this I felt consoled.  God tells me all is a movement towards His Divine Will.  He is urgent about aligning my own personal human will with his will.

 “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:21

The fighting, hatred, fear and detraction have become our way of living, and it is a false way of living.  And so He tells me “Be not afraid, put on the armor of God.”

I woke up in the night with a book on my heart.  The book is called Praying as a family.  All I know is God is urgent that we pray and pray together with others as well.

We need to ask for the intercession of Mary and Joseph to help us align our will to Christ’s as they did.  God is making everything transparent.  And on this the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes the Immaculate Conception will be our guide to the will of her Son whatever happens around us.

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Full of Grace

Joseph

 

“….having been associated, as Mother and Minister, with the King of martyrs in the ineffable work of human Redemption, she is always associated, with a practically measureless power, in the distribution of the graces that derive from the Redemption…. And her kingdom is as vast as that of her Son and God, since nothing is excluded from her dominion.” – Pius XII, Radiomessage to Fatima, Bendito seia, May 13, 1946

I went on a silent retreat this weekend at the beautiful Bethany House.  I had really needed it, to fill back up.  The bickering and the fighting in the world, it can get you down.  This was my trip to the mountain top to pray.  It was very healing.

I have to say though, this post is not one I wanted to write.  Whenever God shows me something, I always try to discern if it is just for me or if it is something I should share.  I would prefer many times not to share, and I had decided that what happened this weekend in my prayer was one of those times it was just for me.  But no sooner had I decided it, than God said, “SPEAK.”  This is actually the word I got for the year from Jennifer Fulwiler’s word of the year generator.   Lord Jesus, I feel like a lamenting Jeremiah.  But, alas I will listen.

The reason I am so reluctant to write this is because it is a private revelation to me in private prayer.  If the magisterium of the church came out tomorrow and stated what I have written is false, then the church would be correct, and I would be wrong and fooled.  So know that as you discern what I write.

To start, I have to back up to May of 2018, because it is actually a sequence of things I have been shown in prayer.  The only way I can describe what happens is like this;  I will close my eyes in prayer, and in my minds eye I feel as though I am transported to another time and another place, though I am not really.   Last May I had just written Saint Joseph terror of demons, a few weeks earlier, and I was at a Sunday morning Mass not really thinking about that.   I came back from communion and the children’s choir was singing Gentle Woman.  I had a direct line view of the statue of Saint Joseph.  I looked at him, knelt down and closed my eyes to pray.  I found myself in a place looking at a young man in maybe his 30’s, arms outstretched to the sky, surrounded in light.  He was sobbing and crying and giving his all to God.  He was totally surrendering.  It was so overwhelming to me I also started to cry.  It was actually breathtakingly beautiful.  Then Mary said to me, “that is Joseph.”  I really felt like I was witnessing the moment Joseph surrendered all he had to God.  I opened my eyes after what was probably only a minute but felt longer, and I was back at Mass ready for the closing prayer.

Then a couple of weeks ago, probably in December, my friend Ashley and I decided to stay after daily Mass and pray a Rosary.  Ashley’s baby is about 5 months old, and in order to give her a break I told her I would hold him while we said the Rosary.  I stood up with him, and I did the mom sway back and forth, as I held him close to my chest.  At a certain point during the Rosary he tucked his head in between my cheek and my neck, and dozed off to sleep.  His fuzzy soft head nestled snugly.  At the time, I was staring at another statue of Saint Joseph, holding the baby Jesus.  I closed my eyes while praying.  I again felt transported.  This time I could see Mary holding the baby Jesus in her arms.  His head tucked on her neck the same way my friend’s baby was on mine.  It was hot.  She had sweat on her brow.  There was a dirt floor.  But she was singing a lullaby to him.  And it was so beautiful and so overwhelming because you could palpably feel the love.  Again I teared up.  I felt like I was being shown an intimate moment.  I opened my eyes and continued the Rosary, thanking God for showing me the beauty.

So fast forward to this weekend.  It was Friday night, the Vigil of the Presentation.  We had a Priest give us a talk and some scripture to meditate on.  But he also told us he wanted us to meditate on the word Intimate.  He said God wanted to be intimate with us.  We began prayer with this as our task.  Before I closed my eyes I looked at the picture of Saint Joseph in front of me (pictured above). I closed my eyes, praying to the Lord asking him about intimacy with me.  But that wasn’t what he showed me.  And again, for the third time I felt transported.  This time I was in the same home, with the same dirt floor.  Mary was holding Jesus in her arms.  But Joseph was there.  He kissed Mary on the forehead, and held her and Jesus in his arms.  He looked at them with such intense love it again made me cry.  God was showing me an intimate moment between them.   Now before anyone goes off the rails, I want to be clear;  This was NOT SEXUAL.  NOT AT ALL.  She is Ever-Virgin.  What transpired next is what I felt God tell me during this time;

Joseph is very aware of his role as Guardian and Protector of Mary and Jesus.  He kissed her with affection and total knowledge of her grace, which was extended to him by God when Joseph said yes to God’s plan and listened to the angel.  From the moment the angel addressed Mary as Full of Grace, she became the Mediatrix of Grace.  She prayed for Joseph during the time that he wanted to divorce her.  Mary desired for his perfection.  Joseph was already a righteous man, built from his habits and his love for God.  After his dream, he totally consented to the plan of God and he was full of grace from that moment forward.  Restored to union; to Jesus through Mary Mediatrix of all Grace.  We know from tradition that John the Baptist was cleansed from original sin when he leapt in Elizabeth’s womb.  It is why scripture tells us, no one born of woman is greater than John.  Her first acts as Mediatrix of all Grace were to extend grace to her earthly spouse and to a child in the womb.  Her role, to bring all to union with her Son, starting with a child and a spouse.  A spouse to whose authority she submitted.  Joseph does not want her body, he knows the sanctity of her and it’s as if glancing at her with the child Jesus takes him into the whirlwind like Job.  He cannot even speak of the immensity of it.  So, in the quiet of his heart, he adores his foster Son.  He loves his Mother, truly.  It’s an intimacy most do not understand because most can’t get past the physical.

I pressed God further about this.  I said, “Joseph became full of grace?” Jesus answered me and said, “do you not think my home, where I would be raised, would not be surrounded in pure virtue? All good comes from God alone, all grace from God flows through my mother.  The Almighty calls you to participate in your divinization.  My mother is the greatest example of this.”

I asked further about Joseph, and the fact that who I saw was young, not the old man often depicted.  And this is what I wrote from that conversation.   Joseph was young.  It was not sexual because once one has tasted the immensity of union with God, everything else pales in comparison.  It’s like when Aquinas called his work “straw”, all else falls away in nothingness and is not needed.  Men, in their limitations, constructed Joseph to be old, not because he was, but because they could not comprehend, nor did they KNOW the magnanimity of God, of union with God.  It is a mystery that can make an intellectual giant like Aquinas stop writing because of the nothingness of his writing in comparison.  Not many achieve this gaze of love, so we can only relate through our limited physical desires and we denigrate the holy ones who overcame them by the grace of God, placing on them limitations that God Himself has removed.  Once you’re infused with the gaze of love the desire becomes God alone and all pure virtue flows through you.  Joseph attained this because of her openness and his habitual virtue.  The original Hebrew word for woman could be translated as “to be open”.   We know too that the Hebrew word for womb came to be known as mercy.  Mary was open, open to mercy Himself.  Mary was open to receiving God, and as such is a Mediatrix of Grace and the conduit for her earthly spouse to attain that unity with God her son.  Joseph adored at the tabernacle that held the King.  They are the model of the Domestic Church and it is in the Domestic Church, when it is properly ordered that true love resides, and faith hope and charity should be lived.  The sacramental life starts in your homes.

I cried at how little I had understood spousal love.  At how much I have tried to control my husband.  And how much of my femininity I had lost in trying to control things instead of letting God do what God does.  In that time between the angel appearing to Mary and the angel appearing to Joseph, we do not see Mary yelling at Joseph trying to convince him of it.  She wasn’t lamenting that she is super holy and he just isn’t as spiritually far a long as she is.  What we see is Mary accepting God’s plan, and trusting it.  And in doing this, Mary let God be God, and she became a conduit of Joseph’s sanctification.

I have spoken to you before about the man hating spirit, but there is also a woman hating spirit.   This woman hating spirit was born of abuse of women over centuries I believe.  But in it’s seeming effort to elevate women, it actually denigrates them by denying all that is feminine.  Children and the womb are looked at with disdain.  Authority gets stolen.  I realized that for far too long I had bought into what the culture has become and I did not breathe life into myself and all that I am created to be as the daughter of a King.  I try to control too much.  It is precisely when we try to control someone that the fighting begins.  It is like running into battle alone, when God says, “be still, I will fight for you.”  If we breathe love and life into another person, and PRAY for them and wait, God will do the work.  Sometimes he does it on them, and sometimes it’s you that needs it.  This is why we need to totally surrender.

God longs for us to have the communion that Mary, Joseph and Jesus did.  It extends to the communion of Saints.  It looks like a Mystical Body that is glorious and healthy.  I knew in an instant that my mission on this earth is to pour love into my spouse.  And also to pray more ardently for our Priests, who bring us the Eucharist.  This is the fruit of my prayer with Mary.  To love others more, to pray for them more, so that her Son can bring more people to Salvation.  This year I drew Saint Faustina as my Saint for the year, with the intention of growing in deeper union with God.  I think Faustina has been speaking with Mary,  the Saint of mercy and the Mother of Mercy, both drawing me to closer union with my Lord and Savior.  Praise be to God.

 

 

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The Man-Hating Spirit

man and woman

 

that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 2 Corinthians 2:11

 

The man-hating spirit is everywhere now (so is the woman hating, but that’s for another article).  It’s a palpable, tangible presence.  I know because it has attacked me before.  And when it does, bitterness and resentment seep into everything.  But I have become aware that it is an actual entity that is attacking.  When you know this, you can change.

If you look around you can see this man hating spirit in society.  Men and women who God created complimentary to work together, are tearing each other apart.  This post is focusing on the women’s role in tearing down men.

Many years back I remember living in this place.  I remember working, doing laundry, doing dishes, and having babies sitting on my hip, and I remember being angry.   The physicality of it is exhausting.  I directed that rage at the men around me, especially my husband.  To me it was “their fault“.  I was bitter and resentful and I was probably a pain to be around.  This was before my friend Veronica was murdered.  This was before I had the deep realization of God.  But even back then, God was chasing me.

One day I remember sitting at my sink, a toddler at my feet, and dirt on the floor.  I was looking at the dishes and I was MAD.  I looked up outside my kitchen window, trash left by the kids in the backyard, I sighed and looked up at the sun.  And a voice in my head clearly said to me, “what are you so mad about?”  I answered, “look at all this mess, no one helps me!”  The voice said, “if you didn’t have that mess you wouldn’t have people who loved you living here.”  I honestly felt like I got slapped in the face.  I sat there stunned.  I started to cry.  My priorities were all screwed up.  I had let the perfection of the world, which is about appearance and material things, seep into my brain; And I had forgotten about the perfection of God, the virtues my parents had taught me about.

From that day forward I made a concerted effort to be kind to my husband when he came home from work.  It was amazing how my kindness made him want to come home from work.  Breathing life into someone, it changes them, and it changes you.  It wasn’t perfect virtue, and still isn’t, but it was a movement towards God, and wanting the best for my husband, wanting for his salvation, and not just mine.

As I have travelled this journey and grown closer to God, I feel like He has revealed how disordered things are in our society.  I do believe God gave men authority, as head of the household, but men have used authority (at the devil’s prodding) to “Lord it over” women.  Women have gotten angry and have rebelled (at the devil’s prodding).  And now here we sit in a society filled with hatred of men.

The relationship of man and woman was meant to be complimentary.  Man as the head of the household, and the woman helping him, because when she does, it helps her, and it puts 10,000 demons to flight.  When a couple comes together, the power of God is seen.  I was talking to my friend Ashley the other day.  We spoke about how many women struggle with husbands who aren’t as faithful to God as they are, or problems even bigger than that.  Ashley always tries to look at things from the perspective of the Blessed Mother.  Here is what she said;

Where men are unable to hear and operate in their authority, the spirit descends upon the women and the women must then pray for the men.  Mary received the spirit at the Annunciation.  Then she prayed for Joseph.  Joseph then began listening and had the dream from the angel, to take Mary as his wife and the other dream to flee to Egypt.  He was acting upon the authority that was given him from God—-to lead Mary and Jesus.  Then once Joseph dies, Mary must take back that authority of the family and finish raising her Son.  At the Wedding at Cana we see her giving the authority to her Son.  She then was under Jesus’ authority after that.  Then at the foot of the cross she was given to John.  So John was to lead Mary for the rest of her earthly life.  It is a beautiful flow of the spirit of authority from one person to the next in the story of Jesus.  So too with us.  Where the man lacks authority, the woman will receive the spirit and lead.  But we must do what Mary did and pray for the man.  When we pray, their hearts can become open for them to listen to God’s messages and lead… taking back that God-given authority with women being vessels of it until they are ready.  We see with this that the darkness will not overcome the light of the human race.

We have had years of women who have suffered at the hands of men.  This post is not meant to belittle their pain.  This is actually about healing.  Instead of trying to dominate over men we should be praying ardently for them.  God’s authority can be given as He sees fit.  He gave it first to Adam, who was to be the keeper and protector.  When they fell in the garden, he blamed her, she blamed the serpent, and death entered the world.  Stop blaming.  Start praying.  Prayer begets unity, the unity we are all seeking.  And let us also remember mercy.  Mercy is the key to permanence in relationship.  God extends us His mercy, we must do the same.

Did you ever wonder why the Angel appeared to Joseph?  I mean, if God did not intend him to have any authority in the matter, why bother?  But God knew Mary needed Joseph.  And Mary knew she did too.  That’s why when he takes them to flee to Egypt she doesn’t object.  She doesn’t say, NO I won’t listen to you.  She listens and respects his authority.  And Jesus, he was under Joseph’s authority too.  They worked together in harmony.  That’s why they are the hearts in unison.

Today we are in an intense battle.  The man-hating spirit is actually in the atmosphere.  You can feel it when you walk into places.  But just because you feel it, doesn’t mean you should embrace it.  Our spirit is deeper than our feelings.  Hand those to God, and pray for better men.  When a man feels supported and loved, he can actually do what he is supposed to do, and we women will receive what we have been longing for from our men.

One more thing, when a woman dishonors her husband, in front of children, this does astronomical damage to the children. Half of who they are comes from him.  If you want to breed self-hatred in your children, this is how you do it.  Love is sometimes difficult.  Some would say it’s impossible, but that’s why God is asking for us to rely on Him, because nothing is impossible with God.

 

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The Great Deception

amédée_varint_-_christ_marchant_sur_la_mer

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

After I wrote my last post on the antichrist, I prayed my prayers and told the Lord that I was okay if he never spoke to me about that ever again.  Because I am not a theologian, and don’t have the intellectual capacity that these top theologians do, contemplating things of that nature sometimes make me feel like my head is going to explode from the vastness of it all.  I don’t know or truly understand eschatology and I often wonder why the Lord speaks to me about these things at all.  Not to mention, the devil doesn’t like it when you warn people to stay out of his grip.

I went to bed after having said the prayer ready for a restful nights sleep, but it was not to be.  I was startled awake by a sensation pouring over my body, and a weight pressed so strongly into my soul, it physically pressed me into my bed.  And the Lord spoke a word to me.  “MERCY.”

I reacted, yes Lord, I know.  Mercy, we have to have mercy.  He persisted.  “MERCY.”  And I knew in that moment the gravity of the Lord’s words to me, and how important this message is.  Saint Faustina’s Divine Mercy image came into my soul and I knew I must speak.

I pondered all the happening in the world, across social media, inside the church.  And I noticed something, something I have talked about before.  I reflected on all the infighting about all kinds of things, some things that matter, and some that definitely don’t.  And I wondered why we spend so much time fighting about the things that don’t matter.  I wondered too, why we take things into our own hands before asking God what He actually wants, when it comes to the things that do matter.  If we don’t invite God into the things that matter, we can be led down a very dark path.

You see, we spend so much time focused on things that are actually insignificant in the big scheme of things and so little time actually doing what God tells us, even in the big things.  We want to be right above all else.  Our own way is best.  I noticed how people, especially on social media, cannot take correction even when it is warranted.  The ad hominem attacks are plentiful, and even if correction may not be warranted, the worst of the other person is always assumed.  Calumny, detraction, and presumption are flying all over the place.  And I thought to myself, therein lies the great deception.  We don’t know who our enemy is.  We have turned on each other, when we have a common enemy that we should be putting our enmity on.  Satan laughs as this deception enables him to steal, kill and destroy.

We worry about all kinds of things about ourselves.  We worry about when things will happen, how they will happen, and what will my place be in all of this.  Will I be safe?  What’s going to happen to me?  We overlook our fellow man, and listen to the poison arrows of suggestion that are lobbed at us.  And as we do this, Jesus passes by.  Waiting for us to recognize Him.  Waiting for the invitation.  Waiting for us to walk on water.  But we sink.  We still all think like Peter did as we await our worldly reward.  The deception is that which takes our eyes off of LOVE.  Distraction is everywhere.  Mercy is scarcely found in us, even though MERCY is the conduit to love.

I see it everywhere, and I mean it as no condemnation of anyone, but if you put anything, and I mean ANYTHING, above God Alone who is good (Mark 10:18) and who is love, then you are subject to this deception.  This is the place where the door is open to the devil and he can come in to twist your perception.  If you put your intellect above love, your credentials above love, your need for validation above love, your need for healing above love, prophecy above love, you are letting love pass you by.  You get stuck in your worldly focus of being smart, being wounded, being in pain, or your want for security or power in the future, above the two greatest commandments, love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  Don’t get me wrong, God wants to meet us and fill us in all those places, but in proper order.  If we put Him first, all the rest aligns with His Will which wants to prosper us and not to harm us.

If you are unable to be corrected, it’s time to do an examen.  Correction is sometimes warranted, especially from authority.  The devil hates authority and does everything he can to undermine it.  He is rebellion.  It is why he hates obedience so much.  And our individualistic society doesn’t understand it.

We should be operating as One Body in Christ.  Looking at people with the eyes of love does not presume the worst about them.  We should want for their salvation, not demise.  We should extend mercy towards our fellow man at all times.  We should not seek power.  Love lives in humility.  Mercy lives on the cross.

Peter denied Jesus 3 times because Peter thought like the world does and thought he had to save Himself.  When he finally realized he already had a Savior, who looked different than what he expected he wept bitterly but turned toward Him.  Jesus gave Peter the chance to undo his denials when he asked him about love at the charcoal fire;

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 

Jesus is asking Peter to feed His lambs.  Peter, and all of us who live our mission as priest, prophet and king, must feed them the WAY.  The way is the way of love. It does not lead the lambs to the slaughter or destruction of the devil.  Love is the first and foremost virtue, and it is the theological virtue that lasts through all eternity.

He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

Jesus tells Peter to tend his sheep.  Tend to them with TRUTH.  True love is not devoid of truth.  Love comes first because without love, truth can become a weapon, which the devil will then use to destroy.  But without truth, we do not have true love, which the devil also uses for destruction.  The two things CANNOT be separated.  Truth endures time because Truth is a person.

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep.

Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep.  Feed his sheep the LIFE.  The love and truth in God permeate your soul, frees you from sin, allows you to accept and to extend mercy, and this is THE LIFE.  Freedom is not what the world says it is.  Freedom, bathed in love, and grounded in truth, gives us a life of peace and joy free from the chains and sin of the world.

Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” John 21:15-18

This last part, being led where you do not want to go, it is a handing over of your human will into the Will of the Divine.  Earthly life becomes of no consequence, and heaven becomes our reward.

Put God first.  Ask the angels to protect you, and ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind, so that God alone becomes your priority, and deception is unmasked.

 

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The Antichrist

saint anthony the great

Saint Anthony the Great – attacked by demons

 

Jesus went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them.
As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post.
Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed Jesus.
While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples,
“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus heard this and said to them,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Mark 2:13-17

 

I feel like God has been speaking to me about the rise of an antichrist.  And I feel obligated to warn.  I am not here to tell you who it is because I don’t know.  I am here to tell you to recognize the signs.

He pointed out that there are actually anti-Christ’s everywhere, people who accept ideology that is un-Godly.  Think those who promote abortion and unethical things in the medical world.

But there will be one, one who will embody this more than others.  Saint Thomas Aquinas put it this way;

“As in Christ dwells the fullness of the Godhead so in Antichrist the fullness of all wickedness. Not indeed in the sense that his humanity is to be assumed by the devil into unity of person…but that the devil by suggestion infuses his wickedness more copiously into him than into all others. In this way all the wicked that have gone before are signs of Antichrist.”

Have you ever wondered that perhaps the antichrist would be conservative or traditional?

I think this idea would shock most as I regularly see people call those who embrace leftist anti-God ideology the antichrist… and of course to a degree this is correct.  But… those who accept the anti-God ideology have already been won over by Satan.   So how does Satan win over all of us?  By rising in the form of a ruler who implements the rules that we are all longing for.

So as in all things I took this to meditation, and Christ always points me to His passion as the way to truth.  I meditated on His Passion and God pointed out a few things to me.

The antichrist will be inside the Church (and I most likely I think the Catholic Church, but not necessarily because Protestants are part of Church, I will explain further).  Those who condemned Jesus were His own.

The antichrist will feed on the fact that anti-God leftists have shoved sin in our faces and people will be so fed up they will praise the person who implements the rules.

In Jesus’ time, there were many different factions of Jews, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Zealots, Essenes etc. Caiphas was actually a Sadducee, this was the group that didn’t believe in Resurrection, and ultimately the one who condemns him along with the Pharisees.  Today we have all these factions of Christianity.

I was taking a class this week and the professor said to the class that he considers himself a traditionalist, but that he disagrees with some of the traditionalists because some of them have said to him that having a Personal Relationship with Christ is a Protestant idea and heresy.  I WAS ASTONISHED AT THIS.  Every Saint speaks of this personal relationship, so how could anyone possibly think this?  Then it dawned on me, these people are Sadducees and Pharisees both. Some probably don’t really believe in Resurrection because if they did, personal relationship would not be so foreign to them and others just believe they can save themselves.  The Sadducees rejected belief in angels so there will be no protection because it won’t be called upon.  And the Sadducees enjoyed a better relationship with Roman leaders, making me think too that whoever this person is will have a role to play in world leadership and the politics of it.

And the betrayal of Jesus’ was a blaspheming of the Holy Spirit.  A rejection of mercy.  So too in this time, will the Antichrist reject mercy.  And people will be glad to accept it because they will have had so much leftist Godless ideology shoved in their faces they will be looking for a worldly way out, the same way both Judas and Peter did.  People sick of persecution turn to worldly ways and the Antichrist becomes the enactor of what they think God’s justice is, while those who weep bitterly in humility will be saved.

Those who are true Christians actually think sin is wrong and try not to sin, but will still eat with tax collectors and sinners, they will be condemned.

It is the path of Christ.

Leftists and sinners who refuse to repent implode on themselves.  But even in this, God’s mercy is far reaching because he will know those who “knew not what they did.”

Sadducees and Pharisees don’t think they need a Savior, even though they have been taught – they will surely see God’s true justice…

Ultimately the antichrist does these things, though we may not know it at first;

  1. “Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist”(1John 2:22).

A person who does not believe in personal relationship is actually denying him.

 

  1. Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one doomed to perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple of God, claiming that he is a god…But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord [Jesus] will kill with the breath of his mouth and render powerless by the manifestation of his coming, the one whose coming springs from the power of Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie, and in every wicked deceit for those who are perishing because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved. Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12

 

We know apostasy comes FIRST – That is already here.

Then comes the lawless one – but he is a liar – and we will believe the lie because we actually aren’t grounded in the truth of mercy saving, we will be looking for worldly justice.

 

  1. So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. … For false messiahs and false prophets will appear… Matthew 24:15-27

 

It will be a false messiah – and people will believe because it won’t be so obvious to them that it is false and we will end up fleeing.  It’s worth reading all of Matthew 24.

 

  1. And Saint John Damascene said this; “During the first part of his reign — of his tyranny rather — he plays more the part of sanctity; but when he gains complete control, he persecutes the Church of God and reveals all his wickedness. ‘And he shall come in signs and lying wonders’ — sham ones and not real — and he shall seduce those whose intention rests on a rotten and unstable foundation and make them abandon the living God, ‘in as much as to scandalize (if possible) even the elect…’”

We will be fooled by the supposed sanctity that seems true to the faith.

It is here that our Protestant brothers and sisters can help us.  Their focus on the personal relationship is actually something every single saint talks about.

I think there is a lot of fear in Catholics about the Protestants. We should never ever make decisions out of fear.  We can feel fear, but hand it to God, and walk in his confidence.  Fear is a beast that will eat you alive.  We are told so much that the Catholics have the fullness of the truth, which IS TRUE, but if the devil uses it to convince us that they are our enemy, then it becomes part of our own demise. Personal relationship through prayer is wholly important in our salvation. The Protestants who are listening to God and being obedient in all things will be led to the Catholic Church by the Holy Spirit – through their prayer. All roads lead to the Catholic Church for all Christians.  We don’t just need to disciple those who accept sin, but also those who live only by justice and cannot accept mercy. This is why Divine Mercy and Saint Faustina are so paramount.  This is the middle way.  It is imperative in these times to call on Saint Michael and his legions to protect our minds from the deceit of the evil one.

 

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