Conversion – Protestant Pastor to Catholic – Jansen Bagwell

 

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Glorious Saint Paul, most zealous apostle, martyr for the love of Christ, give us a deep faith, a steadfast hope, a burning love for our Lord, so that we can proclaim with you, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
Help us to become apostles, serving the Church with a pure heart, witnesses to her truth and beauty amidst the darkness of our days. With you we praise God our Father: “To him be the glory, in the Church and in Christ, now and forever.”Amen.

This is the story of my friend Jansen Bagwell’s conversion from Protestant Pastor to Catholic.  Jansen has taught me so much.  It is a powerful story, I hope you will take the time to listen.  You can click on the link here.

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What is reality? – a dream

double decker pool 1

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains. John 9:41

I had another of those surreal dreams on Saturday night.  One where it I remember it vividly.

I was vacationing with my family and we had been invited to this house of this very wealthy and powerful family (who it was I couldn’t tell you), the city seemed Vegas like, but the house seemed Old and Victorian.   Old world and old money hidden away in a new and shiny city.

There were children everywhere, but they were unsupervised.  All of the adults were off working.  And I noticed a 6 year old child still in diapers, who may have been disabled, but not enough to still be in diapers.  I was trying to care for her but I couldn’t find any diapers or anything to help her with and she was dirty and soiled.  At some point she ran off.

There were secret passages all over this house, and secret meetings.  And the children knew how to navigate through the house without being caught by the rich people in their secret meetings.

There was this double decker pool outside, and we decided to go swimming.  My son fell from the top deck to the lower one, and I remember thinking I shouldn’t worry because he will be fine, and I looked down and he was just swimming in the pool below, though that pool seemed bottomless, I knew it wasn’t.  But I felt inside not to worry about him, that I have to let him be without me navigating things and he will be okay.  My other kids and husband were all next to me.

Suddenly a rainbow appeared in the sky, but it wasn’t a real rainbow.  It was humming, and the colors were more dull than the colors of a real rainbow, so it appeared with like a pinkish/reddish hue throughout.  I was trying to take a picture of it, but it was like I was blocked from doing so.  Then suddenly a movie overtook the sky, and it was like we were watching real stuff go on around us but in the sky, and in the movie the man was surfing on what he called a vaping cloud.  But the weird thing was the movie surrounded us, so that you couldn’t distinguish reality… earth from sky.  It was dizzying.  And I had to close my eyes to know what was actually real.  And I was telling my family to close their eyes.  And I knew I had to walk blind in order to know what was real.  Then I woke up.

As I pondered this upon waking, I realized it actually didn’t seem far from reality.  The digital world has sucked us in and the constant barrage of media, much of which is propaganda, is thrown at us incessantly.  So much so that it is hard to know what is really true.  I am sometimes astonished at “news” stories and how seriously flawed they are.  So clearly pushing a story line that isn’t reality.  The children are largely being raised by this digital world as most of them have a device in their hands.  It is hard to know Truth.  That is, it is hard if you don’t know Jesus.  I close my eyes and I pray, and truth becomes clear.  And like the dull rainbow, the devil mimics beauty, but it’s beauty is somehow off and your interior knows because you see with the eyes of faith.

The reading at Mass on Sunday was from Year A because we were celebrating the scrutinies.  Jesus heals the man blind from birth.  I thought about how spiritually blind we all are.  In my dream I had to close my eyes to see.  I had to close my eyes to hear God speak, walking blind and trusting God in what is ahead.  We do not know what the future holds, but when we see spiritually, we trust that God will guide us.  We must be steeped in prayer and the Sacraments during these times so God’s truth can prevail in our hearts.

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Prayer to Saint Joseph Protector of Families

Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph and the Christ Child – Nicholas Enriquez (1704-c1790)

  “God Has willed that we should have nothing which would not pass through the hands of Mary.” (Hom. III in vig. nativit., n. 10, PL 183, 100) – Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

More and more, Our Immaculate Mother points out her earthly spouse to me.  Saint Joseph is a clear example of manhood.  He is a mighty intercessor of protection for these perilous times we live in, so I wrote this prayer to call on his protection.

***

O Most Holy Saint Joseph, by your yes to the plan of God, you were united to Jesus through Mary, Mediatrix of all Graces.  You were called by God our heavenly Father, through the Holy Spirit, to marriage with the ever-virgin Mary Immaculate and to the earthly fatherhood of Christ the Son.  We ask O Saint Joseph, terror of demons, and Patron of the Universal Church, that you intercede on our behalf and extend your protection to our own domestic families.  Dispel all fear and confusion.  Guard us from the evil one, just as you guarded and protected the Most Holy Family.  In particular we ask for protection from (state intention here).  Help us to be open to grace so we will be ever united to the Most Holy Trinity as you are.  Guardian Heart, pray for us.  We ask this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

*** I am submitting this prayer to see if it is theologically correct and will make changes if need be, as I submit to what the church rules on such matters.

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Spirit Led Rosary

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In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  Romans 8:26-27

A few months back a friend of mine came to visit and she spoke to us about a Holy Spirit Led Rosary.  After listening, I knew this was something I wanted to partake in so I put the word out to see if anyone was interested.  We had ten women say yes.  This weekend six of us were able to meet (4 were on vacation), and together we prayed.  It was very beautiful.  I wanted to share with you all the fruit of what happened with it for me.  But before I do that, I thought I would outline for you how to pray a Spirit led Rosary from the instructions given to me by my friend.

Spirit led Rosary is one prayed with a group where we record what the Holy Spirit tells us in between decades.  The Holy Spirit May speak through scripture, a word, an image, or phrase.  Sometimes you may not get anything.  The idea is to pray together and at the end compare notes, and collectively see where the Holy Spirit leads the group.  Our particular group prayed with the intention of making our Diocese our parishes and ministry endeavors beacons of hope.
Here are the things you need in order to do this;
1. A Bible
2. A Notebook
3. Holy Water
4. It is recommended that women wear a veil.
5. Discern who should lead the Rosary.
6. This Rosary will be prayed at a slower pace than a normal Rosary.
7. You open with Veni Sancte Spiritus or another Holy Spirit prayer.
8. You also pray prayers of protection against false gifts and any evil.
9. You ask for the intercession of Mary and the Angels.
10. You call on the Holy Spirit in between each decade.
This is the format you should follow.  Opening with prayers of protection and the Veni Sancte Spiritus and going from there.  Prayers of protection are definitely needed because the evil one will try to attack, perhaps by convincing one member of the group that they aren’t good enough to be there, or by sending false messages.  The sacramentals are wonderful gifts to have for this purpose also.  We prayed Come Holy Spirit in between each of the decades, which were prayed at a slower pace and we recorded what was told to us in our journals.  At the end we shared with one another what the Lord told us and we began to see some themes running through our prayer.  The consecration to the Blessed Mother, or the importance of Mary in your prayer life was one.  Praying for Priests and Bishops was another.  Having Hope and staying rooted in the Sacraments.  Praying for a Pentecost for the faithful (illumination of Conscience).  And Keeping our eyes on Christ.  This was the fruit of the first Spirit led Rosary.
I wanted to share with you some of what I wrote during this.  As you already know I record what pops in my head as letters to me from God.  I will state again, if anything I have written the church ends up saying is wrong, then the church is right and I am wrong.
We had chosen to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries yesterday because we are in the Lenten Season.  It was the second Sorrowful Mystery and the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery that weighed upon me the most.  I will share the excerpts from my journal;
2nd Sorrowful Mystery

Beloved,

Look at my hand chained to the stone pillar.  I put my hands there voluntarily.  I held that rock pillar in the palms of my hands as the world unleashed the fury upon me.  Even those who were my own, unleashing the fury of hatred upon me as I held that rock.  So too the world and those within the church whom the enemy has poisoned unleash their fury on the rock of my church.  DO NOT DESPAIR.  Know who it is who holds the rock.  I AM and I never let go and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.  You were made for these times.  Pray for your Bishop (named him).

Abba

It was here that I found great comfort from the Lord.  That amidst all these storms He is holding the church in His hands.

We continued to pray.  When we got to the fourth Sorrowful Mystery, I saw in my head Simon of Cyrene and Jesus looking intensely at one another.  Suddenly, Jesus turned into a Priest I knew.  And I became Simon.  And the Priest turned into another Priest I knew.  Faces of the Priests I knew carrying a heavy cross.  I just started basically sobbing, though I tried to hold it in.  (I think the other ladies must have wondered what was up with me.)  The Lord impressed upon me how much His Priests are actually carrying His cross, especially the good and Holy ones.  But His greatest sadness was for those who actually are rejecting His mercy, the ones who lack belief.  He asked me to be Simon, he asks us to be Simon.  That when the cross goes from one set of shoulders to two, the burden becomes lighter.  What if we all carry it?  What if we actually operate together?  Here is what I recorded;

Beloved,

Throughout my walk on the Passion mercy was extended to me in small ways by those who took part in the Passion walk.  They partook in your redemption making reparation for the sins of the world.  Veronica who wiped my face, the women who cried for me… My Mother.  Then Simon helped me to carry the Cross.  He became a conduit of MY MERCY to the whole world.  Today I ask you to BE SIMON for MY PRIESTS.  They are under attack.  Some of them reject MY MERCY and my offer of holiness.  It is for these I ask that you pray the most and to carry the cross in prayer.  Pray and sacrifice for all of your Priests.  Refrain from criticizing them.

Abba

I want to be clear here too.  He did not say, “refrain from correcting them if they are in error.”  He said “refrain from criticizing them.”  There is a difference.  And He showed me just how efficacious prayer for them is.

I cannot tell you the weight of what I felt on the Priests.  I was a mess inside and tried to keep my tears from becoming loud sobs.  Jesus’ heart is heavy for them.  He is calling us, the Mystical Body, to help lighten their load.

It is my hope that we all pray from our hearts and listen to the Holy Spirit because during these confusing times the Holy Spirit brings us the clarity we need to see the next step on the path ahead.

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How to Truly Love Mean People

Last Judgement Hellmouth

Hellmouth by Giacomo Rossignolo

 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28

We know that we are in a battle with powers and principalities, but what we struggle with the most is how to battle them.  We fight people instead of demons and this is where we lose the battles.  When you are in covenant with God, by virtue of your baptism, you hand your enemies to God.  This means let God deal with the people.  We battle demons.  It requires putting on Spiritual Eyes.  It requires knowing whose voice and Kingdom you are listening to, and being able to recognize this with others.

How do you do this when toxic people seem to surround us?  How do you do this when your parent, your spouse, your child, who aren’t even your enemies, fling yet another poison arrow at you and offend your heart?  Let alone dealing with those who just are outright mean…  We know we do this through forgiveness.  By forgiving completely.  But it seems impossible when they fling poison again and again.  We respond by fighting back at them and the devil laughs as he watches us destroy our relationships with one another.  We must also understand that forgiveness does not mean people should not have consequences for their actions.

First and foremost, you must KNOW in your heart that you are loved totally and completely by God.  When you rest securely in God’s love you can walk with confidence not in self hatred or despair.  When you know God loves you, which He totally and completely does, it becomes easier to forgive because you know the poison arrows flung at you by others are not true.  You must discern what is a poison arrow of accusation, and what is actually true and where you may need to repent.  When you walk in God’s love, it is harder to be offended.  You recognize when someone corrects you and it is true and you don’t get offended, and you recognize when someone is just down right mean and you need to forgive.  The purpose of what I am about to describe is for those times when someone is just plain mean.

When someone is lobbing accusations at you that are not true, picture in your minds eye that there is a demon wrapping themselves around that person and squeezing them.  They cannot get free because they are trapped in wounds of un-forgiveness themselves.  As they hurl insults at you, just picture the demon squeezing them so hard it’s like an injection of poison instead of air that they breathe, so when they speak the only thing that can come back out is poison and it comes out at you.

You have two choices when this happens.  You can let the poison enter you and fling it back out at them in defense of yourself which actually invites demons to attack you OR you can fight spiritually.  You recognize what they’re saying isn’t true and that it says more about them and who they are listening to than it says about you.  It is in these moments that you can turn this into prayer for them.  Prayer that they be freed from the demon that is wrapped around them.  When we do this we start, by the power of prayer, to loosen the grip the demon has on them.  When we ask for the intercession of the angels and saints, they come to our aid loosening the grip and fighting the demon who has them in bondage.  The Angels and Saints are in a state of grace so they have more power than any demon because that grace was gifted to them by God.  It is how the Mystical Body of Christ should be operating, all of us working together to loosen and free people from the grip of the demonic.  The more you pray and speak love out of your mouth, the more you are a conduit to change in others.

If we can look at people this way, we would stop flinging poison back at people and we would be praying a lot more.   And we would see a drastic change in the world.  When we see the world this way we are hating intelligently.  We are hating the demon wrapped around them instead of them.  We recognize the demonic as our enemy and realize the person is not our enemy.  We actively fight the demon who is trying to crush them.  We are willing the good of the other and the salvation of the other, working with the Mystical Body to bring about a pouring of grace upon another person.  Christ could see all of this, and it is why He went to the cross to overcome it and teach us how to overcome it through Him.  This is why all things should begin in prayer.  Call upon the Saints and Angels to intercede for people who harm you.  In time the Angels and Saints who battle with us will have these people resting in their arms instead of being devoured by hell.

Jesus in Gethsamane

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The Offering

pieta

THIRTEENTH STATION
Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given to his Mother

Over the past few years whenever we come upon the season of Lent I always try to ask the Lord and what exactly is it that HE wants me to do for Lent.  This is because a couple of years back there was a time I was doing so many devotions I was overwhelmed and exhausted.  One day just before Lent a few years ago, when I was angsting over what else I should be doing, I was sitting in the chapel and suddenly the Lord told me to “stop it.”  I was shocked.  “Lord, you want me to STOP my devotions?”  He replied, “you’re trying to earn my love but you already have it.  You never lost it.  Listen to me and I will guide your Lent.” I cried in thanksgiving, realizing once again that I was trying to save myself instead of letting Him be my Savior.

This began another turning point in my prayer.  You see, I love Him so much I wanted to make all of these sacrifices,  but I was doing it of my own accord, without consulting Him.  That Lent became very fruitful for me because most of what I ended up doing (besides the Rosary which I commit to daily) was just sitting in the chapel talking to him.  I let him guide my prayer.  On certain days he would lead me to a particular devotion or scripture passage for that day, and other days we just sat;  And He wrapped His arms around me.  It was here in these intimate moments with my divine spouse that I felt the most revelation pour over me.  I have noticed that many of us, myself included, who know the truths of the church and are actually trying to follow them, sometimes we do things out of fear instead of out of love and this fear brings about a spirit of control.  This spirit will exhaust you and wear you out.  Consult the Lord in all you do because this brings peace, not exhaustion.  It also brings joy even and especially in the midst of the storm surrounding the church.  The institutional church seems to be spiraling out of control with scandals and infighting, and yet, in the midst of it, I have never felt closer to God.  This is because of surrender.  I cannot control the scandals, nor punish for them, and so I just have to let go, pray, and trust.  Jesus I trust in you.  I feel 100% certain that God is a way better savior than me (lol).   I will not lose my faith because of the scandal of men.  I believe the Lord when He says;

Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,”says the Lord.  Romans 12:19

This passage goes on to say;

Rather, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good. Romans 12:20-21

So who am I that I should doubt the Lord?  I will continue to treat people with love (hopefully).

So here we are today, and I still just before starting Lent ask the Lord what He wants me to do.  This Lent He wanted me to focus on the sorrows of His Mother, which I have spoken about before along with meditation on His Holy Face.  The sorrows of His Mother who walked the path to Calvary with Him, this is a powerful devotion.

I have a peaceful place in my home where I go to pray:

Peaceful place

I kneel in front of His Holy Face and I pray the Chaplet of Sorrows.  Y’all can see the box of tissue on the floor, something I have needed quite a bit lately.   This prayer has become immensely intense for me.  I sometimes, in between each chaplet, cry and lament my sorrow to Christ and His Mother for the sins of the world.  And Mary showed me something yesterday.  She showed me herself standing at the foot of the Cross with John and the women.  She showed me herself holding the Body of her Dead Son.  She was saying a prayer.  I recognized the prayer.  “Eternal Father, I offer you the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of my dearly beloved Son, in atonement for their sins, and those of the whole world.”   It was the prayer of mercy that Saint Faustina gave to us.  It was as if she showed me she was the first to pray it, though she without sin, prayed it for us.  She was making an offering of Him for us.  In her humanity, in her pain, she still knew God’s plan was greater and she was offering for us because she was resting in the will of the Father.  She shows us how.  She made the offering for those who were immediately surrounding her, and for all of us.   And Jesus, had given her to John just before He passed.  A Priest at her side while Jesus made the perfect sacrifice, and she too offered Him for us.  The way the church offers Him to us through the Priest at Mass.  And it made me realize the church herself, because she is guided by the Holy Spirit, is resting in the will of the Father and the sins of men shall not prevail against her.  And I wept.

Mary, our Mother, not only said yes to birthing Him, she said yes to giving Him back to the Father so we could be saved by Him.  And I thought about the Mass and how I should want to offer all I have on the altar as well and how the church brings this opportunity to us.    To give back to God what was His to begin with because by doing this it will help me love others the way that He does; the way that His Mother does.  Myself, my spouse, my children, my home, my work, my finances, my fertility, they all belong to Him.  None of it is mine.  I should be making this offering on the altar too, placing all of that there, for His plan for all of it is greater than any plan of mine.  Every single suffering and gift I have had, if I lay it on the altar and offer like Mary did, her son can bring resurrection to my life.   I intellectually know this, but here with this devotion my heart was infused with this knowledge.

All of these devotions we have, they are connected to one another.  The Chaplet of Sorrows connected me to Divine Mercy.  The Sacred Heart, it is Divine Mercy.  The Immaculate Heart brings us Divine Mercy.  This is all linked to the Eucharistic Sacrifice.  This Mercy wants to bring us everlasting life so give all of yourself at Mass, and no matter which devotion you do this Lent, make sure you let Him lead it because He will bring you Mercy, which brings you God’s peace.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

 

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When Jesus Comes Again

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“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

So these are the posts I very much dislike.  God seems to be speaking to me about His second coming.  I know very little about eschatology and the second coming.  I post this because I felt God compel me to speak about it.  Every time I pick up a book to read about these things, I just cannot seem to get through it.  Like God is telling me, STOP.  JUST LISTEN.  So I stop, and I just listen.  If the church came out tomorrow and said all I have written is wrong, I would agree, and take down my writing.  I write what pops into my head in prayer as a letter from God.  I will share with you what He spoke to me today.  What I can most glean from what He says to me is that we are not in the end times.  We have work to do, for our own souls and for future generations.  Too many things haven’t happened for it to be the end times.  I will relay what he spoke to me;

Beloved,

I have told you when I will return.  I came to destroy the works of the devil.  I will hand over the kingdom to my Father when the works of the devil are destroyed.  Every sovereignty and authority under my foot.  That happens when the foot of each human being created in my image and likeness steps on the head of the serpent and domain is restored to where the Father had given it.  Restoration to the Divine Will.  Your Divinization.  A new heaven and a new earth.  The 7th covenant.  Resting in ME.  Resting in MY WILL.  All things a movement towards this, creating the 8th day.  Resurrection of the Body, world without end.  A new beginning.  When this is accomplished it is because I have reached the 4 corners of the earth.  The tribulation you are in is part of the plan, but not the end.  Keep watch.  
There are some among you who will betray.  There are some who will deny.  There are many who will run away.  But behold, I make all things new and work all things for the good OF THOSE WHO LOVE ME.  Many will weep bitterly.
Look upon my HOLY FACE and KNOW what TRUE LOVE IS.  
SHALOM I say to you.
Peace that surpasses understanding. 
Pay attention to the skies.
Pay attention to the maps.
Locations where I have placed my people. 
I have BREATHED UPON YOU, and my spirit rests upon you.  
The ARK carries you.
She is MY MOTHER.
Cling to her the way a babe clings to his mother in the dark of night.
Remember, DO NOT BE AFRAID.
I have chosen you for these times. 
I love you and you are mine.
Pray for perseverance.
Pray for Nashville.
Pray for your Bishop.
Pray for your Priest (a specific one)
 – Your Divine Spouse
There are a few things I want to say about what I have written here.  The first is that we know there were 6 covenants in the bible.  The first was Adam and Eve and the covenant was marriage, Noah was the family, Abraham was the tribe, Moses was the nation, David was the Kingdom, and Jesus’ was for the world.  But we also know 6 is an incomplete number.  The number of completion is 7.  On the 7th day He rested.  We should rest, in the bosom of the Lord.  Everything is a movement back to the Divine Will.  It is a story of Love that God has written.  It is an infusion of Heaven and earth, the way it was before the fall.  We are not there yet.  In fact, we are quite far from there.  Only God knows when we will be there.  But the journey for us is to do the work in front of us, being obedient to God.
I had a moment today.  It was a memory of Eva before she passed away.  She had told me back then she died on the table, she felt the other side.  She said it’s all about forgiveness.  I wept in the hallway at work today at the recollection of this memory.  This is the focus of what we do in deliverance ministry.  We teach people to truly forgive.   It really is all about forgiveness.  Christ will come again when we put our foot on the devil’s head, all of us.  And we do that through Baptism into His Kingdom, living the Sacramental Life, but most of all by forgiving others like Christ did.  This kind of forgiveness is really a Divine Infusion of Grace.  This kind of love, this kind of charity is a gift that we cannot gain on our own.  It is only through God.  It is why I pray for the illumination of conscience.  I pray for this, because this is where we will all see mercy; How we need it, and how we should give it.  Christ is making great Saints.  Saints for a time to dispel the confusion.
This Lent I will focus on the Holy Face of Jesus and ask for the Divine Grace to always forgive as he forgives.
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