Contracepting Christ

 

Ghentaltar piece

Ghent Altar Piece – the wedding feast of the Lamb

The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. John 3:29

As we get ready to reopen Masses I have been reading about how different places are doing everything.  As I stated in my last post, the tension is palpable.

As I have also stated before, the science is not my purview, nor is it up to me to judge the intentions of all the people involved, that is for God to do.  I can only say that from my perspective all involved actually have good intentions.  But as we know, the demonic doesn’t care about your intention, he looks for the open door to come in and destroy.  I have always tried to write from a perspective of a Spiritual worldview; seeing what is unseen.

Because of the tension and poison arrows I see being flung around, I will not link to any of the stories of which I am about to tell you.  This is to prevent the worldly temptation of trying to control another or tell another person how right you are.  The virtue we all need right now is the virtue of humility.  Humility breeds true love.  Mary is the example.  If someone makes you angry because of these things, get on your knees and pray.  Pray for the conversion of the world.

With that all said I will tell you what I have been seeing and what I have been “seeing.”

In an effort to protect us, based on science, a lot of protocols are being put into place.  One of the arguments is that communion should not be received on the tongue and great lengths are being taken to make sure no one is touched, even if receiving in the hand. One thing I saw said that Jesus would be “gently dropped” in your hand, in order to protect. I have heard it said by leadership that how the Eucharist is given is at the discretion of the Bishop or Priest and the laity have no right to demand how to receive.  While I myself would never “demand” anything, I would ask not to be “lorded over.”

Tend the flock of God in your midst, [overseeing] not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.  Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock.   And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 1 Peter 5:2-4

If we look at this on it’s face, we can see those in leadership are sincerely trying to protect us and themselves.  But from a spiritual perspective and understanding what the Mass is, this should make us weep.  If the Mass is the wedding feast of the Lamb, a free and total giving of the Bridegroom to the Bride, it seems this wordly “protection” is bringing contraception into the the marital union; The representation of the Bridegroom levying a stipulation on the free giving of Christ’s love.  The person in a state of grace, as a purified bride who is invited to the union, is being told by the bridegroom that prophylactic is needed.  And Jesus weeps.

Christ manifests the love with which he has loved her [the Church] by giving himself for her. That love is an image and above all a model of the love which the husband should show to his wife in marriage, when the two are subject to each other ‘out of reverence for Christ.  Saint John Paul the Great, August 25, 1982

I have also seen it said that masks must be worn by everyone, including small children and infants, and that anyone without a mask will be turned away.  People with small children are being told to keep the children home.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

It seems the pandemic has made us totally ignore the Gospel.  We have been excused from worshipping God.  I don’t know about you, but a scripture verse comes to mind for me.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

I listened to this homily the other day and it most succinctly explains how I have felt, especially the last few minutes when the Priest reads a letter from a layman to his Bishop.

At this point in time I don’t know what the answer is.  I am not meant to because I am not the Savior.  It appears to me that only an Act of God directly can lift us out of this mess we are in.  I can only say do not fear and do not despair.  Hold on to the Hands of Mary and Joseph and keep your eyes on Jesus.  The one thing I know for sure is the gates of hell shall not prevail.

Jesus I trust in you.

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Purification of the Bride, Holiness and Sacramentals

Saint Joseph oil

Oil of Saint Joseph

A son honors his father, and a servant fears his master; If, then, I am a father, where is the honor due to me? And if I am a master, where is the fear due to me? So says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who disdain my name. But you ask, “How have we disdained your name?” By offering defiled food on my altar! You ask, “How have we defiled it?”By saying that the table of the LORD may be disdained!  Malachi 1:6-7

I have been sitting back watching the tension rise over reopening Mass.  As I stated before, there is a push to stop communion on the tongue.  It has been banned in some Dioceses.  Masks are being prescribed as mandatory, diagrams of where to stand and safety goggles for Priests are just a few of the things I have seen.  I am not hear to comment on the science for this is not my purview.  I am not here to condemn the decisions of the leaders and in fact would ask we don’t do this as the world has enough condemnation.  God has given them the authority.  If we got on our knees to pray for our leaders half as much as we got on social media to condemn them I actually think the world would be very different.

I comment only as an observer of the Spiritual implications of all of this.  If we’re focusing on how not to touch one another, are we focusing at all on who it is we are receiving?  Are we looking at the storm of sickness and missing the God who can make us walk on water?  I find it such a stark contrast to watch what is happening in our churches while at the same time reading Acts of the Apostles.  What a difference between the two.

The masks too, they cover the place we have relationship, the place we engage in relationship with another person.  And beyond masks and canceling mass, we decided that even confirmation, touching the head with holy chrism oil wasn’t safe either.  Holy water has been removed from our fonts.

They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Revelation 22:4

I have to be honest I felt in despair and overwhelmed seeing all of this.  So I did what I do.  I went first to confession, which I have done a lot because it is the only place I am receiving the grace of Sacrament, and I went to adoration and cried.  I told God what I was feeling and how the Mass seemed to be becoming a show of how we men can become our own Savior.  I told Him I didn’t even want to go to Mass.  Yes, I said that.   He already knew I felt it, there was no sense in hiding.   I told Him that it seemed to be a display of man made saving our physical bodies and that I didn’t feel free to just love Him so that my soul may be saved.

And then he showed me His Passion.  He showed me Himself getting struck in the head and spit at in his mouth.

And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. Matthew 15:19

And he just said to me, “now it’s your turn.  Be like me so the bride can be purified.”  

He was silent and submitted and he let them defile what was holy.

And I actually got up and left adoration and I walked to the grotto of Mary and I asked her, “how did you watch? I now fully understand why the Apostles ran away, their fear, and their anguish. How did you watch?”  And I sobbed.  And she just said one word, “trust.”

I felt as though the Pharisees had made Sabbath worship into a dinner party.  Perhaps we have made worship into a country club.  I think He is purifying us and our worship because worship was never for Him, He is perfect and doesn’t need anything, it was always for us to know Him, to know true love, so He could bring heaven to us.  But we have made it about us and our idols and not about Him and His love.  He wants me to be like Him.   So I will go to Mass.  I will watch and observe and participate reverently.   I will pray without ceasing.  And I will seek holiness asking the Holy Family to guide me.  I pray for perseverence.

In all of this anguish about our churches, I started thinking about holiness in our homes.  I read an article about things we can do at home to worship and I started also thinking too about Sacramentals.  I wanted to end this post with something brighter so you can bring holiness into your home.

Because I work in deliverance ministry, I use Sacramentals all the time.  By all the time, I mean daily sometimes several times a day depending on the day’s activities.  I bless everything that comes into my home.  I mean everything; including food and medication.  I can do physical things to clean my home but I can also do spiritual things to clean my home and protect my home and the people in it from harm.

I do not think regular use of Sacramentals should be only for a person who works in deliverance ministry.  They should be for all of us, all the time.  I was so super grateful when one of the Priests in our Diocese offered Saint Joseph Oil to protect and bless us in our homes during this pandemic.    We blessed my family and all of the entrances to our home.  The prayer was to keep pandemic away.

If you don’t have any Sacramentals you should contact a good and holy Priest to try to get some.  One thing I do want to mention though is that when it comes to Sacramentals is that the belief of the Priest matters, as does your belief.

When it comes to blessing  Sacramentals, the term is Ex opere operantis, or “from the work of the doer.” This refers to the ministers (or recipients) moral condition in causing or receiving Sacramental Grace. The Sacramental Rite itself (when the blessing is performed) is ex opere opera-to, which refers to the grace conferring power of the Rite itself.  What this means is the Rite itself has grace, but the application of that grace actually depends on the moral character of the minister performing the Rite, and also of the person receiving the use of the Sacramental.  If the minister is morally corrupt, his performance of the Rite does not confer the grace that it would if he is not morally corrupt.  If the minister is very holy, but the person receiving the Sacramental is not, here to, grace is hindered, even though the item itself has the intercession of the church.

I thought I would mention this just so you are aware that it matters where a Sacramental comes from, and so does your belief in it’s efficacy.   Get your Sacramentals from a Holy Priest and use Sacramentals with confidence.  Use them now.  The protection they offer is great.  We need them for these times.

God Bless and Keep you all.

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Who is your Lord?

Saint Joseph Rainbow

Rainbow of Light appears over the Statue of Saint Joseph just before the procession on his Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker.

He has a name written on his cloak and on his thigh, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Revelation 19:16

I have been blessed these past few weeks to still have the opportunity to go to adoration and confession and even was able to go to a Procession for the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker.  A Consecration was made not only to Mary Mother of the Church, but to the whole Holy Family.

During this time period I have also gone to confession frequently not out of scrupulosity but because I no longer have daily Mass where my venial sins are forgiven at the beginning and I receive the grace of the Eucharist, so instead I receive the grace from the Sacrament of Confession.  Reconciling myself to God and the church, allowing God to lift me out of sin, even small ones.

I want to share a couple of things today.  The first is about a miracle I experienced.  Now normally I may not share something like this for various reasons, but because these are extraordinary times we are living in I believe we need to hear about miracles.

Our Padre Pio Nashville Prayer Group has had to meet online, just like most of you all out there during this virus.  We always meet on the First Saturday of the month.  This Saturday I went to adoration and prayed with all my heart.  The Lord spoke to me a lot mostly about the Eucharist.  I will also share about that.  When I came home I got a really bad headache.  I have never been one who has been prone to migraines, but I have had a couple in my life, and I would call this a migraine.  It was the kind that makes you feel sick.  I decided to lay down.

As I laid down I offered my headache to the Lord for three things.   The first was for a Priest I know, the second for the conversion of someone, and finally for the Spiritual Children of Padre Pio in my prayer group because I would be missing the online meeting.  I soon fell asleep.  I was awakened by the singing of Ave Maria.  At first I thought someone must have turned on the radio, but as I looked around, there was no device playing music.  And this was the most beautiful singing, like nothing I had ever heard before.  I realized it was inside my head – not in the way you may recall a song – but real live music.  And the only word I can use to describe it is heavenly.  I didn’t want it to stop.  It played for maybe 60 seconds and when it did stop I was sad, I didn’t want to let it go.  My headache was gone without a trace.  I cannot really explain it.  I found out later that the Padre Pio prayer group was singing Ave Maria online with one another.  The only thing I can think is that the angels were singing with them.  I have no other explanation except to say that God is good.

This experience got me too thinking about reparation.  In deliverance ministry we often ask the question, “who is your Lord?” We ask this to teach people whose kingdom they are serving.  Jansen has likened it to a landlord.  If Jesus is your Lord then he owns your building.  If something breaks, we can call the building owner to come repair it.  But when we are steeped in sin we have handed ownership to Satan.  Satan doesn’t want to repair, he wants to destroy, so our building crumbles.

When we continually sin with no effort to stop, no effort to examine, we have picked a different lord than the one who came to save us.  If you proclaim Jesus is Lord, your actions should reflect that.

In today’s reading about the Good Shepherd we hear about how the Shepherd enters through the gate, but the thief climbs over elsewhere and doesn’t enter through the gate.  The gates of our hearts are respected, and Jesus our Lord is a gentleman.  He  would never force Himself onto our hearts.  If we know the Shepherd’s voice, which is done through prayer, we willingly let Him in.  We willingly make Him our Lord.  The thief attacks and forces his way in.  He comes only to steal our hearts, kill our spirit and destroy our lives by taking ownership of what is was given to us as a gift by our true Lord.

Prayer is how we know the Shepherd and his voice.  The Sacraments are how the Good Shepherd feeds us and nourishes us through grace.  Sacred Scripture is how He protects us and leads us to pasture.

Jesus came to pay our debt because our land was stolen, our dominion was stolen.  We can partake in helping to pay through reparation.  Jesus is always calling us to cooperate with him in love.  Calling us to lift out of sin and help others do the same.

During our Saint Joseph Procession, an act of reparation was made using the prayer of Pius XI from May 8, 1928  in the encyclical called Miserentissimus Redemptor.

 

We would all do well to be making reparation, especially now, during this pandemic,  because here’s the thing, many many of us have been receiving the Eucharist unworthily without even thinking about it.  But Saint Paul warns us of this.  It amazes me that this passage was removed from the lectionary cycle.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.  That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying.  1 Corinthians 11:26-30

I wonder what Mass will look like when we go back?  Will we be striving to purge sin, to make reparation?  to be reverent?  or will it look like something we don’t recognize?

It has always been about making us pure, by recognizing the Good Shepherd, who we can cooperate with His Love to repair the damage that has been done.  We have a God that became vulnerable and placed Himself in our control through both the incarnation and by allowing Himself to be crucified on a Cross. So when it comes to the Eucharist we can treat Him as we would an infant, the Divine Child – and thus become like little children ourselves – pure, or we can treat Him like they did Christ on the Cross. The first is the Image and Likeness of God, the second the abomination of sin. In both cases He is loving us but how we respond to His love teaches us who we are and how we love. Reverence for the Eucharist is all about true love.  And because the Good Shepherd is my Lord, I want to proclaim it to the world with reverence and awe.

Peace be with you all.  Stay safe out there.

Prayer of Reparation

O sweetest Jesus, whose overflowing charity towards men is most ungratefully repaid by such great forgetfulness, neglect and contempt, see, prostrate before Thy altars, we strive by special honor to make amends for the wicked coldness of men and the contumely with which Thy most loving Heart is everywhere treated.
At the same time, mindful of the fact that we too have sometimes not been free from unworthiness, and moved therefore with most vehement sorrow, in the first place we implore Thy mercy on us, being prepared by voluntary expiation to make amends for the sins we have ourselves committed, and also for the sins of those who wander far from the way of salvation, whether because, being obstinate in their unbelief, they refuse to follow Thee as their shepherd and leader, or because, spurning the promises of their Baptism, they have cast off the most sweet yoke of Thy law. We now endeavor to expiate all these lamentable crimes together, and it is also our purpose to make amends for each one of them severally: for the want of modesty in life and dress, for impurities, for so many snares set for the minds of the innocent, for the violation of feast days, for the horrid blasphemies against Thee and Thy saints, for the insults offered to Thy Vicar and to the priestly order, for the neglect of the Sacrament of Divine love or its profanation by horrible sacrileges, and lastly for the public sins of nations which resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast instituted. Would that we could wash away these crimes with our own blood! And now, to make amends for the outrage offered to the Divine honor, we offer to Thee the same satisfaction which Thou didst once offer to Thy Father on the Cross and which Thou dost continually renew on our altars, we offer this conjoined with the expiations of the Virgin Mother and of all the Saints, and of all pious Christians, promising from our heart that so far as in us lies, with the help of Thy grace, we will make amends for our own past sins, and for the sins of others, and for the neglect of Thy boundless love, by firm faith, by a pure way of life, and by a perfect observance of the Gospel law, especially that of charity; we will also strive with all our strength to prevent injuries being offered to Thee, and gather as many as we can to become Thy followers. Receive, we beseech Thee, O most benign Jesus, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Reparatress, the voluntary homage of this expiation, and vouchsafe, by that great gift of final perseverance, to keep us most faithful until death in our duty and in Thy service, so that at length we may all come to that fatherland, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen.

PIUS XI

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The 5 Abodes of Saint John the Evangelist

Valentin_de_boulogne,_John_and_Jesus

I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth.  John 17: 14-17

When I was in Medjugorje I went to a presentation by Fr Leon Pereira who spoke about not only his personal experiences and conversion, but also the 5 stones of Medjugorje.  I have spoken on Medjugorje before about how I realize it isn’t an approved apparition and I would accept whatever the church states about it.  I am bringing it up now though because of the 5 stones and a conversation I had with God about it in prayer.

The 5 stones are; 1. Prayer from the Heart 2. Mass (Eucharist) 3. Reading Scripture 4. Fasting 5. Monthly Confession.

Now you all will realize I question God a lot and sometimes I am a little slow to understand, but I seriously remember thinking back then that the Eucharist should be first in that list and questioning God as to why it wasn’t.  He never answered me back then and I had forgotten about it until the other day when he answered me very clearly.

He said, “you asked me why prayer from the heart was first in the list, and I tell you it is because the Mass IS PRAYER from the heart.  The consecration IS PRAYER from the heart.  Or it least it should be, and I weep over my Priests who do not believe and just say words without prayer from the heart.  I can honor words, but their hearts are cold.”  

I was stunned at how dumb I had been.  I talk about prayer all the time.  I know how important it is.  Everything begins and ends with prayer from the heart.  We get ourselves in trouble when it doesn’t.

Then the Lord turned me to Saint John.  The Beloved.  You will remember the Lord had said that Saint John represented the restoration of the Priesthood.  And so I know it is for the Priests to pray the Mass from the heart, with awe and reverence to whom they are praying.

But this is also for us.  We should rest in Jesus just as John did at the last supper.  And all of this got me to thinking of something my friend Lucy Patier wrote.  It was about the 5 abodes of Saint John, and I could see how needed this is right now at this moment in time.  So I want to outline here the 5 abodes for you that she wrote about in brief, with some commentary of my own to help us in these times.

They 5 ABODES of Saint John the Evangelist about God are;

  1. His Face
  2. His Name
  3. His Word
  4. His Light
  5. His Truth

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1.First, His HOLY FACE.  We must remain in the presence of His Holy Face.  There is an entire theology of the Face of God in Scripture.  (Isaiah, Psalms, Moses in the Tent) and the Lord has allowed icons of His Face, including the one this blog is named after.

You all know I had written about this virus stealing breath and how that is tied to desecration.  But the virus is doing something else.  It is making us hide our faces.  The face is how we have real relationship and recognize one another.  And in the Eucharist, we the Mystical Body, are also present, militant, suffering and triumphant, but our sin, our desecration can distort the face, it looks like Christ on calvary.  A disjointed body, a bloodied and beaten face.  The church herself looking like Christ on the Cross.

The Lord wishes for us to ardently gaze upon His Holy Face.  If we can still do that in adoration we should.  If not, we should have an icon or painting in our home of His Holy Face to pray in front of.  His Face promotes unity.  It is the Face Angels look upon perpetually.  It is the Face that Saint John knew and it made him Beloved.

 

holy name

2. His HOLY NAME.  There is an entire theology of the Name in Scripture.  Jesus repeats in John 17 that His name means, God Saves.  The Name is His mission.  The name expresses His essence.  The earliest Holy Monks learned the Jesus prayer in order to make perpetual interior activity because they understood the mind is the battleground and the power of the Name.  Demons bow before this name.

And yet, here we are in our society and how many times do we use this name breaking the second commandment.  We watch movies and listen to songs that hurl this name as a curse.  We don’t take care as to what gets put in our mind.  We must confess if we use this name in vain.

And when the devil comes prowling, attacking your mind, rebuke him in the Holy Name of Jesus.  You have the authority.  A name is also relational.  It is Satan who wants us numbered with the mark of the beast.  Remember in scripture every time there was an act of census, or numbering the people, it was a sign of punishment in the Covenant.  How many of us have sat around with fear and anxiety growing counting the number of Corona virus cases and deaths when instead we should be invoking the Holy Name of Jesus who can crush this virus.

Bible

3. His WORD.  Remain in His WORD.  God’s Word is alive.  God’s Word does what it says.  Thoughts are made flesh, incarnate, by using words.  Hebrews Chapter 4 tells us of the awesome power of God’s Word.  His word is in Scripture, but it also resides in us, and is sent out to souls everywhere.  God’s creative power is unleashed by His Word.  Logos.  These Words of God come to each and every living soul as Words of Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding.  They are gifts the Holy Spirit puts into action when our hearts are open.  His Word can exorcise demons, and it is the Gospel of John speaking about the Word that is read in the exorcism Rite.

And yet we get careless with our words.  We invoke curses on our fellow man without even knowing what we’re doing, but the devil loves this.  As I peruse the dialogue about Corona virus the judgment, the hatred, the idolatry, I see it everywhere.  The Gospel of Matthew tells us we will be taken to account for every careless word that comes out of our mouths.  So we would all do well to pause before we speak.  I know I want blessing and not curse to be what leaves my lips.  His Word brings great grace.  Steep yourself in it.

4. His LIGHT.  Remain in His Light.  Saint John tells us so much about the relationship between light and fellowship.  The greek term is Koinonia.  Both in John’s Gospel and his First Epistle we can read about remaining in the Light of God and when we are in communion with one another, it produces Light.  When we are in communion with God we are standing in His glory which is absolute radiant light.  Jesus is the Light of the World.  Jesus tells us in John’s Gospel why some people cannot stand being in the Light and it is because their actions are not Godly and are rooted in darkness.  The word for Glory in Hebrew is the same as “weight,” meaning something so dense it becomes heavy.  Glory is therefore a condensed and compact gathering of Light that is unfathomably intense because it is so perfectly united.  That is where the Blessed Trinity abides.  And when we stand in light we are standing before the Throne of God.  This Light has a binding double effect; it is what makes us Children of God and what makes us attached to him (FILIA).

But in our society today I would venture to say we can all feel a weight, a heaviness of sin, the darkness which weighs us down when exposed to the Light.  You can feel it.  And it is here Our Lady steps in on our behalf, with rays of light extended from her hands waiting to pour over us in the darkness.  Consecration to Our Lady and her Most Chaste Spouse, Saint Joseph, who reside in the Light, will help us remain in the Light.  The woman clothed in the Sun wants to bring us all there to her Son the source of Light.

 

5. His TRUTH.  Remain in His Truth.  To remain in Truth is to witness (testify) by our being and our actions.  We stand in truth of who we are and how we live.  In Chapter 3 of Saint John’s Gospel we are told we witness to the Truth through Righteous Acts.  We are Just, like Saint Joseph.  We do the right thing and take the right step in action.  We use the right words.  The righteous are not afraid because they stand in Truth with childlike confidence that they are doing the Father’s Will and putting it into action.  Thoughts made incarnate by words, words made incarnate by actions.  The flow of Righteousness for those living in union with the will of God.  They are standing in Truth.  The “fruit” is freedom, peace, joy, and yes unity.

Evil works seek to remain hidden in darkness, a place of shame.  Jesus summarizes the whole relationship of doing the works of the Father by saying all witness and all glory comes from the Father in Heaven who sent Him.  He tells Pilate He came to Witness to the Truth.  True Glory comes from God alone.  There is a truth of who you are in Christ, are you a witness to who you are?  Or are you trying to live “your truth” which is different from God’s Truth.  When we seek a truth apart from the one who is true, we only serve the kingdom of Satan.

These five things will help navigate this storm we are all in.  You will note, that these can be practiced independent of the Sacraments because in God’s merciful providence, He knew when we would not have access to them.  He knew there may be a time when they  were removed or even hidden away.  How many times in our past did our ancestors have to hide and learn how to remain in Him even in the absence of the Sacraments.  The book of Daniel and Revelation speak of this.  But our good and merciful God has given us means to stay with Him in the absence of Sacrament.  Stay safe and be blessed.

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On returning to Mass

Saint John Vianney death

John Vianney on his death bed

(May we all die in a state of grace)

“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:28

It is already being proposed that when we go back to Mass we should wear a mask and only receive communion in the hands.

Aside from the practicality of wearing a mask and receiving communion in the hand (I am thinking how exactly does that work? At some point the mask must come off, which makes them totally ineffective), the larger issue at play here is the spiritual blindness to the battle we are actually in.

While I have no doubt that the intentions of this are good and that the goal is to protect people, it begs the question, what are we protecting?  If we protect our physical bodies and we lose our souls, then we have objectively failed in the mission Christ came for.

To be certain, it isn’t the fault of one specific Bishop, or even of our current Bishops as a whole.  This is an issue that began generations before ours.

The Mass is the Center of the World because it is where heaven is brought to earth and the Kingdom of God is at hand.  The real true presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity, coming down to us on the altar.  Placing Himself, once again, among us.

And the question has always been, how will we treat Him?  When the Thrice Holy God comes in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, how will we treat Him?

And the answer, in my observation, is, not very well.  In fact, we have been crucifying him.  We don’t even recognize him in the sanctuary as we chatter away and walk past the tabernacle and the God who resides there.

I have been at a very large church in the United States where Our Eucharistic Lord was left in the pews.

My husband and I have both witnessed people walking away with Christ in their hands and no attempt by the Eucharistic Minister to stop them, one of them even putting Jesus in his pocket.

I have witnessed the Eucharistic Chalice spilled on a woman’s blouse and on the floor.

Do we wash Jesus out with Tide?

I myself have been guilty of irreverence.  All the years I received paying no attention what so ever to the particles that fell around me.  Our Lord Himself had to show me what I had done.  And I wept.  And I went to Confession because I am guilty of scourging Him.

How many times did we go up and receive with mortal sin on our soul, with no thought of confession, not thinking twice about the fact that we are violating covenant with God and inviting in the demonic?

When a society loses reverence and awe for the Lord, society itself plummets into chaos, and into paganism.  We may think we have moved beyond spirituality into the rational, but we just make a god and an idol of other things.

We have lost our sense of Fear of the Lord, a gift of the Holy Spirit.  And it is this loss that brought about the other evils we see today.  These things are intimately tied together.  When we became irreverent to the Eucharistic Lord, evils like abortion and gender identity become the result.  When Catholic Governor’s usher in infanticide, you can bet irreverence for the Eucharistic Lord were a common occurrence.

It was only recently that I realized that reception of communion in the hand was at one time considered an abuse.  To be clear, I am not condemning receiving in the hand, for the authority of the church says that we may.  But why did they say it?

They said it because the laity were already doing it, and so an indult was issued, and the bar was lowered instead of raised.  When we lower the bar we cease to reach for the heights of holiness.  We cease striving to be Saints.

The indult is to sanction something outside of church law, with the blessing of authority.  So is it sinful to receive in the hand, no.  But is it reverent?

I suppose it could be if one took care to make sure particles of the Lord are not falling to the ground to be trampled upon.  But why in the world would we even take that chance?

Why would we even allow for the possibility that Jesus can be left in a pew or in a pocket?

We are meant to be guardians of the Sacred.  Have we done our jobs in protecting?

Or did we stand by as the apple was bitten and then join in biting the apple ourselves?

Those whom Satan couldn’t get to defy Doctrine he instead uses the Beast of Fear to devour.

We should protect the Eucharist just as Joseph protected the Divine Child for we ourselves are held inside that Body of Christ, militant, suffering and triumphant.

So while we can be prudent when it comes to illness or any of the things that plague us, and I believe we can find safe ways to be at Mass, we would do well to remember, our ability to save ourselves has never proven to be very effective.  But there is one who can save us, and he places Himself in our midst, trying to teach us how to love.

When I think of going to Mass in a mask and trying to receive in the hands, I can only picture more abuse not less.  A mask like a clown in a show ready to get ahold of and trample Our Blessed Lord.  And I hang my head in sorrow that we head in the opposite direction of the one who can truly save us, if only we would have faith and recognize who He truly is.  He is the Lord our God and we should have no other gods besides him.

I have missed Him so much the only way I can imagine to receive Him is on my knees and on my tongue.  May we not be deprived of giving God due reverence when we return.  And may we continue to pray for all Bishops and Priests who have to make these decisions. May Saint Joseph protector of the Universal Church intercede for them.

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Deliverance Prayer in Time of Quarantine

Ángel_de_la_Guarda

You are my shelter; you guard me from distress; with joyful shouts of deliverance you surround me. Psalm 32:7

BY: SHAWN SULAK

Lord Jesus,
We thank you, and praise you for the gift of your word, through the
scriptures, the gifts of grace, faith, and truth. We honor this time that
you have deliberately set aside for each one of us.  Unite our prayer with other believers so that even if we are apart our prayers are united together and your presence is in our midst as if two or more were gathered in your name. Please bless us.
Lord Jesus, we call upon Angels and ask that you send them to us to
do battle on our behalf, fighting off and away the enemy, and all the
evil spirits who wish to keep us apart from you. Please commission
your Holy Angels to fight these entities off and away from us, our
homes, our families, our health, our finances, and our relationships.
Lord Jesus, we know according to your word, that we were not given
a spirit of fear, or timidity by God, but a Supernatural strength through
the power of Holy Spirit, as well as a spirit of Love and self-control.
So Lord Jesus, we invoke the Holy Spirit in your name, to fill us today,
and manifest your presence in us, so we can experience that
supernatural healing that is promised by God the Father, through the
forgiveness of sins in YOUR name. We know that we are created in
your image, made good and blessed, but due to the snares of the evil
one, we continue to fall into sin, and get separated from you. Help us
to see how much you love us. Send the gifts of the Holy Spirit to us,
to help us experience that supernatural love of the Holy Trinity. We
desire to feel awe, wonder, and the power of your glory in our hearts.
Help us to experience that today, by increasing our faith and grace so
we can put the spirits of fear, timidity, rejection, and abandonment
UNDER OUR FEET, where they belong. Clothe us in the robe of
salvation, and show us how to live our lives according to YOUR will,
and NOT through the deception and lies of the enemy.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for hearing our prayers, sending protection to
us, and for blessing us. We desire to be in union with you always as we pray, Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, they Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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The path of the Warrior

 

Saint George and the dragon

Saint George slays the Dragon

Hurry and come, all you neighboring peoples, assemble there! Bring down, LORD, your warriors! Joel 4:11

I want to begin this post with a confession.  This isn’t something I am proud of, but I feel it is a story I must tell because of the clarity of mission it gave to me.

Like all of you out there I have had many struggles in the past few weeks.  For me, the struggles are not about the virus, though I believe in prudence when it comes to dealing with that.  Satan is always looking for the weak spot in your defenses, so if you have no anxiety about a virus, he looks for another opening.  Satan is relentless in trying to convince a person of all their failures.  I was being attacked relentlessly with the thought that I had not done enough to prepare my family for the times we are in.  I kept questioning whether my children and even my spouse, had souls prepared for this time, perhaps expecting a level of spiritual maturity that took me a lifetime to achieve and that I myself am still working on.

I have been blessed to have many of the churches in my area open for prayer, some of them doing daily adoration and confession while still following all of the safety parameters laid out by the state.  I went to adoration and noticed the church had a new Monstrance and the top of the Monstrance has a crown, a Royal Crown, fit for a King.

Monstrance with crown

I began my prayer, like I sometimes do, questioning God.  I was asking him about my family and their preparedness, and this is where I did something I am not proud of.  I told God that I should have spent all my time in prayer for my family and not been praying so much for Priests.  (I was having a weak moment y’all).

I can only describe what happened next as a gift of the Holy Spirit.  It’s the one we never really talk about.  Fear of the Lord.  All I can say is that as I looked at that Monstrance, the interior image in my head was of the Lord sitting in His throne, with all of His glory, His regal head adorned with a glorious crown, and when I said that, He stood up out of His throne and towered over me.  Fear overcame me.  I could feel His wrath at my statement.  I felt about an inch tall.   He called me Susanna, which felt like when a parent uses your two names and you know you’re in trouble, only it wasn’t my two names, it was the Latin version of my name.  The words that came out of His mouth were, “How dare you.” He went on to explain to me that when the God of the Universe asks you to do something, in this case, pray for Priests, and you do it in obedience, that how dare I think He wouldn’t take care of my family.   He explained that prayers for Priests are so essential to the domestic church that I cannot possibly understand the enormity of their efficacy.   I apologized to God and he forgave me.  And it gave me clarity of mission.  We must pray for our Priests like we never have before.

In the days that followed the Lord kept speaking to me about the abuse in the Liturgy, but also about angels.  These angels are here to help us do the will of God, and to protect us, and to give glory to God.  I kept getting an image in my head of Seraphim surrounding Priests at the altar with a wall of fire.  This wall of fire keeps the demonic away from trying to attack the the Priests who bring us the sacrifice.  But when abuse in the Liturgy takes place, the defenses are weakened.  It became apparent to me how we need to pray for our Priests in order that their hearts, and ours, have reverence and awe for the Lord and what is taking place on the altar.  I wrote a prayer as a result.

Prayer of Protection of the Mass and Priests

O Lord Jesus in this time of tribulation send Seraphim to surround the Priests at the altar with the Fire of God’s love which no demon can penetrate.

Protect and guard our Priests who bring us this sacrifice.  Let no abuse enter the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

Send legions of angels to help each Priest to do your will.

Ignite their hearts with the flame of love through the faith of the believers they serve, each part of the Mystical Body in union with the will of the Father.

Lift doubt from their hearts and pour the gift of faith over them dispelling unbelief.

Place a fortress around all Priests protecting them from death, pestilence, plague, persecution, ridicule, calumny and false accusation.

Make transparent all sin so that it may be purified and only perfect love remains.  

Save us Lord, your church.

Purify us Lord, your bride.

Raise up leaders who walk in your authority.

Cleanse us Lord. 

We ask for your mercy.

We trust in you.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

This is how we walk the path of the Spiritual Warrior.  Though I was ashamed at my questioning of God, I am not upset that I was rebuked by Him.  It was a mercy and a needed discipline.  It refocused me on how to fight the demonic intelligently.  My false expectations and worldly way of thinking pointed out by the Almighty Himself.  When we are obedient to His will and what He asks us to do, blessings pour out exponentially.  I will never question him about praying for Priests again.

There is one other thing I want to address in this post; and that is spiritual jealousy.   Of late, with talk of perhaps having small Masses with 5 people or less.  I have seen many people lamenting and complaining about who will get to receive Our Lord.  Of course, all of us miss Him, and I as much as anyone else want desperately to receive Him.  But in these conversations I have seen poison arrows flung at those who have been able to receive at times, and tons of worry about favoritism.  I have heard some say they would abstain from receiving in solidarity with others who cannot.  Let me tell you something, worrying about favoritism is a worldly worry and taps into Pride.  God wants our union with Him and the Eucharist is the place where grace comes for exactly that.  If ONE faithful person is able to receive in reverence and in a state of grace it pours extensive grace over the rest of us.  If that one person receives and offers it for all of us who cannot that is way more powerful than abstaining and praying for us because Christ’s full presence is in that act.  Envy is an insidious sin.  I will rejoice over anyone is allowed to receive and strengthen the rest of us.  Please do not fall prey to spiritual envy.

Be blessed.  Stay Safe.

I hope you had a beautiful Divine Mercy Sunday.  If you feel inclined, here is my talk from last year on Divine Mercy.

 

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The Breath of God And The Desecration of God

incense below monstrance

The incense stays in a line below the Monstrance not raising up during Adoration

April 6, 2020

 

For the worship of idols not to be named is the beginning and cause and end of every evil. – Wisdom of Solomon 14:27

 

I hope everyone had a Happy and Holy Easter.  This quarantine has been interesting for me.  I have no anxiety at all currently, which a few years back would have seemed impossible.  I thank God, my deliverer.  I think the one emotion that wells up inside the most is a deep deep sorrow.  I miss Jesus in the Eucharist.  So much so that I had a day where the Lord showed me how I had treated Him in the distant past, years ago, before I truly knew Him, and I wept with sorrow.  He showed me the lack of reverence, the talking in the sanctuary in His most Holy Presence, the nonchalant attitude in receiving Him, the particles of Him that dropped on the ground to be trampled.  I was horrified.  Thankfully I was able to get to confession.  I needed the grace of the Sacrament of Confession to lay that sorrow at the feet of Christ and step out of my shame.  And God began to speak to me about the First Commandment and how we as a church and Christian society had forgotten it.

My friend Ashley sent me this quote a few days ago from Scott Hahn which came from a podcast, the paranthesis are to give his previous context;  “When you take something Holy and Sacred and you reduce it to the good or great (temporal good or great) that’s the meaning of the term desecration.  It’s how we profane the gift of covenant.  It’s how we spurn the mercy of God.  But God loves us too much to leave us there.  So he stoops down to where we are and attempts to lift us up to make us more like him (divinization). ” It captures everything I was shown and the sorrow I felt.  The Eucharist has become a temporal good.  The Mass reduced to a community good.  The sacred worship of our Holy God and Father has been desecrated.  We have profaned the gift of covenant.

And I looked at the current situation we are in.  God is stooping down.  This is a discipline for our own good.  The Mass has been removed so that He can reorient us back to true worship and renew the covenant between God and us through the Eucharist.

Many may find my words stark and harsh and hurtful.  I can only tell you what I have felt God speaking to me, you have to discern if it rings true.  There’s plenty of blame to go around.  It’s the Priests fault, it’s the Bishops fault, it’s the Pope’s fault, certainly it’s not my fault.  Remember, you get judged for your sin, not the Priests or Bishops.  And in trying to levy blame we miss seeing the one whose fault it truly is, Satan.  He was a liar and a thief from the beginning.  He has relentlessly attacked the one thing that brings heaven to earth, the Priesthood, which brings us the Eucharist.  I want to share with you something I wrote in my journal, with some parts redacted.  As always when I write in my journal I write as if God is speaking to me.  If Holy Mother Church were to come out and say what I have written is wrong, then the church is correct and I am wrong.  I really didn’t want to post this, but I felt compelled.

April 14, 2020

Beloved Lily of the Father,

(Redacted)

A persecution is coming.  The release of a bioweapon is meant for one purpose, the destruction of souls by destroying the Priesthood.  The evil one does not want my presence at Mass.  For those he could not turn against doctrine the assault takes place through fear.  Fear of physical well being rather than fear for your soul.

The evil one was already successful in corrupting the Rite of Baptism.  Do you not know that the breath of My Priests is my breath?  That the salt is the wisdom that gives a relish for the sweetness of my Divinity?  Teaching the Gospel, preserving the soul from the corruption of sin?  That the Priest can exorcise unclean spirits?

The effort successful to remove the physical breath of God from the initiation into my Kingdom paved the way for the assault on the Eucharist – on my Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity brought to earth through the hands of the Priest.

In the name of love and safety you will be told no Consecration, no physical breath of God, the Priest cannot breath on the host.  

All is about breath.

Breathing the very breath of God into the host, into the people.  Satan steals your breath, kills your communities, and destroys your faith.  Science becomes your God.

Satan will not stop because he wants the Eucharist gone from the table.

I AM amazed at the lack of faith of my Shepherds which has permeated the liaty.  Only a remnant few truly believe.

(Redacted)

Pray for your Bishop and his strength and for the strength of all Bishops.

(Redacted)

Whether the Mass gets totally decimated will be up to the Bishops.   

This purification will be short.  My will is to bring you to union with Me.  I don’t need the Mass because I AM perfect, but you need the Mass because it unites you to me.  

Brave Bishops keep the remnant fed.  To whom much is given much is required.

Mass will be hidden.  You are hidden in Me.

Do not be afraid.  I made you for these times.  I called you by name.  Do not embrace false security.  My house was built on the cornerstone of Me, the foundation of the Apostles and prophets.  

You are secure in me.   You are surrounded by a legion of angels.  I AM the God of TRUE LOVE, THERE WILL BE NO OTHER GODS BESIDES ME.  I love you.  You are mine.

Psalm 19

Your Divine Spouse

I want to be clear that after writing this I can say I know our Sacraments are valid, but what has happened is that where the Priest used to align his bodily actions with the words to show the greatness of our God, somewhere along the way some of this stopped.  I am ignorant as to how and why all of this happened and I actually don’t even like writing about it.  And as for me, all I can say is that when Mass is allowed again I will drop to my knees to receive Him.  I hope and pray I will be allowed to receive on the tongue in the most reverent way possible with no chance of particles hitting the floor.  I hope and pray that my interior disposition never ever turns Jesus into a temporal good.  I cannot control what will happen, I surrender that to God.  I can control my actions, may they always be aligned with the will of God.

Many may read this and this I am some sort of anti-Vatican II person.  I am not.  There was nothing that was written there that I am aware of that should be interpreted in a way to desecrate the Lord.  All interpretation should be for the Glory of the Most Holy.  Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty.

After all of this happened to me this week, the Lord began to speak to me about the Priests and their protection.  I will be writing about that in an upcoming post.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Gary Ast, my cousin’s husband.  He leaves behind his wife and 9 children and 7 grandchildren.  Please pray for them as well.  He passed away from COVID19 on April 8.  Praise be to God that he received Anointing and an Apostolic pardon.  My cousin Father Joel, a Father of Mercy, gave a homily in which he included the story of Gary’s passing and the account of the heroic Priest at his side.

And if you haven’t already, it is worth watching Dan and Stephanie Burke tell their story of recovery from COVID19.  Dan runs the Avila Institute and he has an underlying lung disease so his recovery truly is miraculous.

Stay safe and praise God in all things.

 

 

 

 

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Jesus Waited

A rainbow appears over the Monstrance on Palm Sunday 4/5/20 at Saint Philip Catholic Church in Franklin, TN invoking the awe, wonder and reverence of the Eucharistic Lord.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. John 11:5-6

 

During the 5th week of Lent we heard the story of the raising of Lazarus.  It’s an odd story because we see that Jesus was sent word that Lazarus was ill, and the Gospel tells us, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus,” but instead of going to them he waited two more days.  Why, if Jesus loved them, would he wait two more days before going?  The scripture tells us in the previous line, that it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of Man may be glorified.

We can all perhaps think to ourselves, well Jesus is going to raise him from the dead, so that is how the Son of Man will be glorified.  And that is true.  But it isn’t the full story.  I pressed God on this in my prayer, “Why did Jesus wait?”  My friend Ashley had told me part of the reason, and that is, it was more important to Jesus to do the will of the Father, than it was to go be with his friends.  Jesus was always obedient to the will of the Father first and foremost above all else.  So in obedience He waited.

But God,” I said, “why did the Father want him to wait? Why did the Father want Martha and Mary to suffer Lazarus death?”  And then it hit me.  There was something that was holding Martha and Mary back from total abandonment to God.  There was something that Martha and Mary were attached to that God wanted to purify them of and it was only through experiencing the death of their brother that they would be purified.  I don’t know what their attachment was, it could have been Lazarus himself, but whatever it was, the death of Lazarus made them totally surrender to God.  And so, it was because Jesus loved them that he waited.  And Jesus wept because this suffering was the only way they would totally trust God alone and have no other idols.  And the Son of Man could be glorified, in them.  We later see Mary’s total abandonment when she anoints the feet of Jesus with costly perfume and dries them with her hair, much to the dismay of Judas who is steeped in sin.  Mary has given Jesus everything.

The other day I had a conversation about the Stations of the Cross.  My friend wanted to know about the 15th Station – the Resurrection.  Being the lover of tradition that I am, I gave her a lesson on how there are only 14 Stations of the Cross as set by Pope Clement XII in 1730 to commemorate the Passion and Death and that the Resurrection was not part of the Stations.  I told her it wasn’t really until the last 50 years or so that we saw this 15th Station pop up because some people wanted to end the Station of the Cross on a happy note.  And we continued our conversation about this and why the original stations would not have included the Resurrection.  Jesus himself waited.  He waited 3 days before the Resurrection.  He didn’t skip past the suffering.  He let them sit in it.  It was God’s will for them.  Why?

We are meant to sit in it.  We are meant to pause.  The Saints and holy people tell us one of the greatest tragedies is that people do not meditate on or ponder the Passion.  They skip straight to the Resurrection in an effort to be comfortable with the story and then miss the depth of what He did.  And we miss the deepest wounds inside of us being healed.  It’s in the depth of those wounds, the ones that often keep us from God alone, the depths of our sin, the depths of our unforgiveness, the depths of our idolatry, that God wants to go to to heal us.  It is in the Passion and death, and in pondering that, that we see the lengths that God goes to in order to heal us and set us free.  When we skip straight to the Resurrection we aren’t abandoning ourselves and our crosses to God.  We need him to wait because it’s good for us.

When I ponder the Passion, I weep at the suffering, and I want to repent of my sin.  I want to hand over every idol I have to God.  I want to repair the damage I have done.  Without the Passion, I don’t know if I would, in fact I know I wouldn’t.  When I look at the Passion and I see the love Jesus has for me, I weep in sorrow, I repent, I make reparation, and I invite Christ in me.  I become a conduit of His love, so that the Son of Man can be glorified.  The suffering is the only way I would see it because I have been blinded by the world.  The suffering wakes me up and unveils the depths of God’s love for me.

And so here we are in the middle of a pandemic.  And I find myself thinking this pandemic will lift when we fall prostrate before the Lord and change the way we live.  When we begin to reverence sincerely with the awe and wonder the Eucharist that has been taken from us; when we stop murdering our unborn children; when our leaders become transparent about the sexual abuse and the unchaste lives often promoted in our seminaries; when they stop covering up and stop caring more about the world than they do our souls; when we stop the damage to the family unit; when we love our fellow man like Christ does; when we bow down in humility at the God who loves us and wants to prosper us, that’s when this will end.  When we realize all the goodness of God alone and stop putting everything else before him.  He is the Lord our God, who is LOVE, and we shall have no other Gods besides Him.  When we have other Gods besides Him, we suffer but in the suffering we often realize all the gifts He has given us and we get to choose, will we turn back and TRUST, or will we walk the path to destruction.  The choice is ours to make.  If we turn back, his mercy is ours, he gives it freely.  Until we repent of these things, he waits; waits for us to trust Him.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, I trust in you.

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Meditation on the Holy Face


Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

Gazing Upon The Holy Face

BY: ASHLEY BLACKBURN

Look upon the Holy Face of Jesus

O how he loves you

How he has been waiting for you

He sees you

He sees your loved ones, those you are most worried about, those you lift up in prayer to him

He sees your station in life

He sees your situation, all you have been through, and all you are going through right now

He sees you in your entirety

He sees all that you are, all that you’ve done, and all that he hopes for you to do

His eyes are the eyes of gentleness,

of kindness,

of forgiveness,

of perfect charity

Behind his gaze is Our Heavenly Father who is all powerful, all knowing and all loving

Coming from his Most Holy Face is the Holy Breath of Christ

The same breath that he shared with you upon your creation

The same breath he shared with you at your Baptism

The same breath he strengthened you with at your Confirmation

This Holy Breath of Christ is what sustains you now and always

Allow him to breathe upon you now

Close your eyes and breathe in the Holy Breath of Christ

Invite the Holy Spirit in

This Spirit that lives and moves between you and Jesus

Take a deep breath in

Allow it to completely fill your lungs

And then imagine the breath of Christ flowing throughout your entire body

healing your wounds

restoring your hope

Now talk to Jesus from this place

He already knows your heart’s deepest longings, for he placed those longings into your heart

Speak to him as your best friend

Be honest with him in this moment

Then reverence the silence as you wait for his response

=== Silence ===

Your faith is a gift from God

In exchange for trust in him, He gives you the gift of faith

Trust even in the darkness

Even in the uncertainties

Even in the pain

Speak these words now: “Jesus I trust in you”

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