God’s Justice

“Write: before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice…” Diary of Saint Faustina, 1146 

I have been asked to speak on the Eucharist for our Padre Pio Nashville prayer group. Speaking on a topic like this is often hard because it is so overwhelming and immense, and let’s face it, there are theologians who are way better speakers than I am on this topic. I went to adoration to talk to God about what I should say that hasn’t already been said better by someone else.

It was in adoration that I felt the tug to speak about Justice. Justice is the virtue where you give God His due. You give to God what belongs to God. Religion is a sub-virtue of Justice. The fact that we owe God everything, that means everything belongs to God, and should come out in our worship.

Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, to make atonement for our sin. He could have done this by just becoming incarnate. But he didn’t. Instead, God came in the form of the Son, to offer Himself back for our sin, to pay the debt. But He didn’t just do it for us to be spectators. He was trying to show us how to do “what is right and just.” For you see, when our first parents fell and ushered sin into the world, death was what was just. Jesus Christ came so we would have life and life abundantly, yet here were are some 2000 years later and our world is more messy than ever.

And it got me to thinking, everything in the economy of Salvation is about bringing back unity. The unity that Adam and Eve had in the garden before the fall. Jesus even prayed for this;

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. John 17:20-24

This kind of unity isn’t some sort of worldly “let’s all get along and agree to disagree” kind of unity, this kind of unity is not of this world. It is the kind of unity that brings harmony with creation because it is a complete recognition of what is due to God. It is complete humble adoration of God, purified of sin. It is the kind of unity that Saints achieve.

The Eucharist is meant to bring this kind of unity. This kind of unity does not know the knowledge of evil, but of good, childlike in reception and filled with Thanksgiving. It looks upon each man and woman without envy and malice and wants only for their good. How many of us can say that we truly want this for others?

In my mental prayer the other day I saw a Priest make the offering. The Priest was ad orientum. The crucified Christ came into that tiny little host. Jesus the Son, offering Himself to the Father. When the Priest turned to the congregation to say “behold the Lamb of God” in my prayer that tiny host turned into the Divine Child.

I have stated before that we can treat the Eucharist as we treated Christ on the Cross, abusively, or we can treat the Eucharist as Mary and Joseph treated the Divine Child. Both Mary and Joseph were pure and received willingly all that God had to offer them. Their yes made them co-redeemers for with their yes the redeemer entered the world. Their suffering was united to His.

When we receive unworthily, we treat Christ like they did on the Cross. We have a choice in this life. We can receive in a state of grace and be more and more conformed to Christ, accepting our suffering with Thanksgiving and love and mercy, or we can receive in a state of sin, which drinks judgement on ourselves.

For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 1 Corinthians 11:29

This judgement can actually purify us if we eventually recognize it and repent, but it is a much harder path to heaven and is likely to make you end up in purgatory or hell. Hell would be your rejection of God’s mercy because you chose to sit in the pride of your sin. Purgatory, though a great mercy itself, is not a fun place to be, separated from that total love of God. All of the Saints who were offered a choice to suffer here or in purgatory chose to suffer here, so great is the pain of separation in purgatory.

Either way God will be just. He will give you what you asked for. But the soul that asks to be conformed to His will, that offers up their suffering, and lives a life in thanksgiving, that soul brings unity. Unity to their own interior, and unity that can spread outward towards others and into creation.

Have you ever wondered why Saints could perform miracles? They had purged of sin and let go of idols, so much so that they were given full domain. Full domain is what God gave us, and it makes you harmonious with creation. You cannot earn this, it is a free gift, but our sin does block this gift because every time we sin we give that domain to Satan, and you can see what he is doing with it by a cursory glance at the headlines.

We as a society are so steeped in sin we don’t understand this. We are blind to the way to heal our world. It starts with the healing of our souls. Admitting in full transparency all of our sin and idols and handing them, in suffering, to Christ on the Cross, so that when we receive, we receive the Divine Child as Mary and Joseph did with trust and love. We should not want to receive our own sin and keep it on our souls. Jesus came to take away our sin, so we must give it to Him in order to be purified and saved.

The Eucharist is the way to this purification. Eucharist doesn’t just mean thanksgiving, it makes our hearts thankful. It teaches us to love others like God does. It makes us give God His due, so that we in turn can truly have God in us. We should all want God’s justice because justice restores love.

My talk for Padre Pio Nashville Prayer Group can be found here.

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Consecration to the Holy Family

Holy Family by
Juan Simón Gutiérrez

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11

My friend Ashley Blackburn and I have written a 25 day Consecration to the Holy Family. If you are interested in doing this Consecration starting December 1, 2020 and ending on Christmas, please email me at susancgskinner@gmail.com. You will receive an email each day of the Consecration. Below we explain why and how we are doing it. Again please email me if you are interested in receiving a daily email for 25 days of the Consecration at susancgskinner@gmail.com.

Consecration to the Holy Family


Holiness of the Family

There is no perfect family, with the exception of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Even so, God calls every family to live in holy union with one another, so that the family may be held up in grace and become a beacon of light in the darkness. The family is made to be a reflection of the Holy Trinity. As we examine all that God hopes for in and through the family, we will begin to know more about the nature of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While our own family will ultimately fall short of this perfect holiness to some degree, it is always good and necessary to know what God desires for the family, so that we will have something to strive for, something to lead us ever forward in our journey to holiness.

The uniqueness of each family resides in their own set of persons and circumstances. The persons themselves comprise a harmonious community that is able to reflect God’s goodness in a very specific way. Every family’s journey is different and so the means by which they learn and live the virtues is how they are able to make progress. While some virtues will be better lived out by one family, another family will better live out a completely different virtue. Although the family should strive to live by all the virtues, specific ones may be at the heart of the family and thus become a witness to the world. It is important to never compare side by side our own family to our neighbor’s family. Each family is unique in God’s eyes. The goal for the family should be to be who they were created to be and to be that well. The family should be ever-striving to align their will with the Will of God and to allow the Holy Spirit to lead them in their particular path to holiness.

As the family begins to strive for holiness, it all starts right where they are, in the midst of their circumstances, with the very people that God has placed in their lives, in the present moment. Often we think it best to wait for situations to resolve or timing to be better before we can turn our lives around or before we can start to make changes to our family life. The Lord desires us to “Be not afraid” and to start where we are, in the midst of whatever our family looks like now. We can all begin with changing one habit or starting one new devotion and build from there. Like Peter taking that first step out on the water, we must take that first step in faith and then try our best to keep our eyes on Jesus, knowing that we can always reach out to Jesus if we start to fall or begin sinking in the water. Jesus will always save us, so we need not fear.
St John Paul II is a champion of marriage and family life. He believed in the holiness that all families are called to and their role in the new evangelization. JPII wrote numerous times about the family during his time as pope. He bravely and boldly proclaimed the truth of the Christian marriage and it’s extension through the family. He was persistent in presenting the inherently positive effects of Christian families, both on the individual members of the family, as well as on their community, their nation and the world.

While the family is no doubt under attack in our world today, the Catholic Church is there to redirect our gaze to the full potential of the family and the graces that flow from a family life centered on Christ. There is no time better than now to begin building a Christian society from the ground up. From your family and mine, may we begin to foster the dignity of every human being in our children and our children’s children. May we strengthen our family through the handing on of our faith by way of liturgy, catechesis, prayer, living the sacramental life, and bringing the life of the Church into our homes as we take seriously the role of being the Domestic Church. In the family, we create an authentic community of persons where we can learn who we are, what gifts God has given us, and how we are called to use our gifts for the building up of the Kingdom of God. Love is what lives in the family through the power of the Holy Spirit. Where the Holy Spirit is invited into the family, the love of God dwells.
By focusing on the building up of our own families, our view shifts away from the chaos of the world, onto doing our part to establish a civilization of love and unity, with a firm foundation of virtue, through the transformation of our own lives lived only for Christ. When the world looks at our family, they should be led to desire a deeper understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ. They should see peace, love, mercy, sacrifice, faith, hope, and truth being lived out on a daily basis. Created in God’s own image, when we are confronted with such witness to the Christian life, the human heart will be convicted by the Holy Spirit. Through the Christian witness of our family, the Holy Spirit is able to transform the world one heart at a time.

This Holy Family Consecration was created as a way for families to come together, to learn about the virtues lived out in the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It is a commitment to building up and strengthening your family in faith and holiness. Through the roles of fatherhood, motherhood and childhood, each person of the family is called to live Love from right where they are and to become the Light of Christ in the world. Through meditating on the cardinal and theological virtues in light of each of these roles in the family, the goal is to help each person to see how these virtues can be lived out by them personally. All virtue starts where we are and grows in its refinement with the help of the Holy Spirit. The family can pray daily to the Holy Spirit to increase these virtues in them. As the family grows and matures in virtue, they should be led to a deepening of prayer; both personal prayer and family prayer. In turn, the family will also grow in faith, so that they can be sent out to evangelize both in word and deed. The family is designed to be a witness to the world of the joy of Christ, may we all step into our role of being Christ’s light in the world of darkness.

The Call of the Christian Family

St John Paul II wrote so well about how the family, by its very makeup, is in communion with the Blessed Trinity. In this way the family is able to see within itself what God has for humanity and what the family is called to do for the world through grace. Marriage and the family are a channel of God’s Grace with the potential to draw the entire culture into the rediscovery of our relationship to God through Christ. The graces that flow through the family have the potential to change the culture from the ground up.

But this model of the family requires our participation. It requires the parents to embrace the truth of who they are in Christ. It requires them to realize their covenant through the daily living out of their marriage vows. It requires sacrifice to be lived out and held up as the center point from which the graces of the cross flow. It requires obedience to the Will of God for themselves, as well as in the formation of their children. It requires the recognition and living out of the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. It requires the increase in the gifts of faith, hope and charity through their openness to the power of the Holy Spirit. Husband and wife are called to lead their family first through their own example, but then further through the outpouring of charity toward all of humanity.

The Catholic Church provides the family the framework from which to live as a domestic church. Through the daily living out of the sacramental life, the family draws from the Church the sanctifying grace of the Sacraments, so that they can build themselves up in faith, hope and charity, in order to witness to the world the Light of Christ that dwells within them. As the family is built up in holiness, it does so not to set itself up on a pedestal, but in order to transmit this saving power of God through the family out upon the world. As one family is strengthened, they become a beacon of hope and inspiration for others because the Light of Christ cannot be contained, but will go out and spread the Good News in both word and deed.

Format of the Consecration

1. This is a 25 day consecration to end on the 25th of any month you choose. The 25th day reminds us of both the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) and the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ (December 25). Also, the number 25 signifies grace upon grace.

2. Each day you will pray a rosary with your family, read aloud the daily reflection that will be emailed and recite the Prayer to the Holy Family together.

3. The consecration starts off with 7 days that are devoted to St. Joseph, praying for the father of the family, followed by 7 days devoted to Mary, praying for the mother of the family. Throughout each of these seven days, the reflections will highlight one of either the 4 cardinal virtues (prudence, fortitude, justice, and temperance) or the 3 theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity). Then there are 7 days devoted to the Divine Child Jesus, praying for the children of the family. Since Jesus was virtue itself, fully Divine, and the perfection of virtue lived out, the focus of these 7 days will be on the virtues preached by Jesus through the parables.

4. The first Wednesday of the month is traditionally dedicated to Saint Joseph. On this day you will pray especially for the father of your family, whether present or not. If this is you or if you are single, you may pray for yourself. The First Wednesday Devotion consists of praying a rosary meditating on the Joyful Mysteries remembering Saint Joseph’s love, life, role and sufferings, along with receiving Holy Communion in union with the love Saint Joseph had for Jesus the first time and each time he held him, his son, his God and Savior, in his arms.

5. The first Friday of the month is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For the purpose of this consecration you will pray especially for the children of your family, whether present or not. Again, if this is you or if you are single or have no children, you may pray for yourself. On this day you will pray a rosary and meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries remembering Jesus’ love, life, role and sacrifice made for us on the Cross at Calvary, along with making an Eucharistic Holy Hour in Adoration and offering each member of the family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in prayer.

6. The first Saturday of the month is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For the purposes of this consecration you will pray especially for the mother of your family, whether present or not. If this is you or if you are single, you may pray for yourself. The First Saturday Devotion consists of going to confession (within 8 days), receiving Holy Communion, praying a rosary meditating on the Joyful Mysteries remembering Mary’s love, life, role and sufferings, along with spending 15 minutes with Our Lady meditating upon all 15 mysteries of the rosary.

7. In the final 3 days (days 22, 23, & 24) leading up to the Consecration Day (day 25), you will either abstain or fast as a family. Ideally this will be done from sun up until sun down, but at a minimum the family should commit to at least an hour on each of these days.

8. On the 22nd day of the month you will abstain from things you watch or see that are distractions from God. If this is not possible you can set aside a minimum of one hour without TV, phone, social media, etc. Consider filling this time with the reading of Sacred Scripture or watching a movie about a Saint, or getting out in nature and enjoying God’s creation together as a family.

9. On the 23rd of the month you will abstain from noise and spend most of the day in silence as best you can. If this is not possible you can set aside an hour of silence on this day. Consider filling this time of silence by meditating upon the early years of the Holy Family, their time together in Nazareth. What was Mary like as a mother? What was Saint Joseph like as a father? What was Jesus like as a child?

10. On the 24th of the month you will fast from foo (if you’re doing this in December, yes that is Christmas Eve until sundown, in preparation for our King.). This fast can be on bread and water or the Lenten fast of one regular meal and two smaller meals that do not add up to a full meal. Consider this day meditating on our spiritual hunger and thirst for the Lord. Or maybe you could clean out your pantry and donate food to the nearest food pantry or even volunteer at your local soup kitchen as a family.

11. On the 25th of the month, Consecration Day, you will come together as a family to recite the Consecration prayer and celebrate! Consider planning something really big this day. Make it special. Have all your favorite foods. Truly feast together as a family!

Things to remember

  1. This is not about making your family perfect or trying to fix another person.
  2. This is about transforming your own heart and uniting it to the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It is within your own heart that God begins healing the family. When you begin to see others through the eyes of Christ, relationships are transformed and families are made whole. Whole and healed families build whole and healed communities and the light of Christ spreads outward from there. It begins with you. Be open to your own heart changing.
  3. This Consecration format is meant to help guide you. The days of fasting and abstinence and praying the full Rosary are part of the consecration, however, please do not quit if you feel overwhelmed. Do what you can do as a family and do it from your heart. You may have a day where only a decade is prayed. You may find fasting hard if you have never done it before. It is important to remember that prayer from the heart to the best of your ability is meaningful and God walks with you from where you are to the place where He wants you to be as long as you stay on the path with Him and don’t give up.

If you are interested in participating with your family please email me at the address listed above.

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Diabolical Disorientation

no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 54:17

I write this post to help people discern the interior battle that is going on inside of our minds. It is not a post about science, or to be used as an excuse to not be prudent, this is solely for the purpose of helping people recognize who is speaking into your life when you are faced with difficult decisions and paralyzing fear.

I was talking to my friend last night. She was sobbing. She hasn’t seen her elderly Mother since January. She is facing the conundrum I myself have been put in. Her mother is elderly and may not be long for this world and because her mother is elderly she is in the high risk category to die from COVID. Though my friend has zero symptoms of being sick, she stated she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she gave her mom COVID and her mom died. She didn’t want to be a murderer.

In her love for her own mother, she stands accused if she seeks relationship with her. This my friends, is diabolical. My friend, whether or not at some future time she maybe could unintentionally pass COVID on, is not a murderer. How do I know this? Because we know who the true murderer actually is.

.….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

The devil is accusing us left and right so that no matter what we do, we cannot win. You stand accused. This is totally diabolical.

If we were to apply the logic of this train of thought to everything, you would never be able to move. You could decide that you could never drive because you might get in an accident and kill someone. You could decide to never grill steak because you might kill someone with heart disease. This fear and panic is not of God.

I myself was placed in this situation. A few months back I was exposed to someone who had COVID. At the time the tests were taking 7 days to come back. My mom had a stroke, and no assistance except me. She had a medication that if she didn’t take it she would die. I called everyone I knew for assistance. The liability was too high I was told. So because of our litigious society I had no help.

I sat on my front porch and cried my eyes out. I felt like my two choices were death and death. Go help mom, give her COVID – death. Don’t help mom, no medication- death. I knew this was all from the pit of hell. So I cried out to God.

He answered me. He said, “Susan, who is the author of all life?” I said “you are, Lord.”

Then he said to me, what do I bring? I answered, “life and life abundantly.” He went further and said to me, “because I am the giver and taker of life, trust that I will only take your mom when it is her time to go. You dwell in the house of the Lord. You abide in me. Trust me.” I made the decision with confidence to go help my mom and get her the medication she needed. I knew for certain she would die without it. The COVID was a future anxiety. I asked God to be present in the NOW.

God is a God of possibilities, but not a God of anxiety. In the one scenario we see of what could possibly be, God sees 1000 other possibilites. He sees all that is. I truly believe he picks the path that will draw you closer and purify you, and if it is sickness that does this, then sickness is worked for the good because drawing closer to God is what we all need. I also believe God wants us trusting in the present moment. God whispers, “I AM” and invites you into His now. Satan screams “what if” and takes you to a future place that doesn’t even and may not ever exist.

Imagine if Mary and Joseph had been paralyzed in fear when the angel told Joseph to flee. What if they had thought about all the dangers of the desert crossing to Egypt, the desert itself and how to eat, the bandits that could be there. It could have kept them from protecting the Christ child. A “what if” that speaks nothing but fear is exactly what God tells us not to do.

He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!  And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!  And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying.  For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:22-31

In my situation mom had an immediate need. COVID was a possibility, a fear, a worry. I handed that worry to God and I helped my mom. I followed all the prudent protocols and guidelines. Those weeks I spent caring for my mom were one of my greatest sufferings but also my greatest gifts. I was able to care for her in her old age, leaving her life to God and when he decides to take her but enjoying the relationship I had with her in the midst of the suffering of it. I wouldn’t change them one bit. I was truly present with her and it was a total gift to care for her. I was able to ask God to unite all of that suffering to his cross. I should state that after all was said and done my COVID test finally came back negative and I never got sick. My original worry was all for naught.

I tell this story because I think we are all finding ourselves in this place of unknowing and trying to discern and trying to make decisions. We wonder whose kingdom is speaking to us. When God speaks he breathes life. God can and does convict us of our sin. It is a gentle voice of love that sparks change and conversion. Satan condemns, lies, and accuses. His voice causes paralysis. We need to know the difference. It is sin we need to purge and accusation we need to recognize as an attack on our very being.

Painting by Richard L George

Yesterday during the consecration at Mass the Lord started to speak to me about fear. He simply said, “the only fear you should have is Fear of the Lord, which is a gift of the Spirit.” We are so afraid of sickness and judgement that we have forgotten who is in charge and who we should be worried about offending. We abuse the Eucharist and each other then we wonder why our world is so out of control.

This does not mean I don’t think COVID is real. I know it is. It also does not mean I would be reckless. It does however mean that I should not walk in fear of the virus. If I get it God can use it to purify me. I don’t need to find someone to blame. If I passed it on to someone else, it would be unintentional – and remember God is all about your intentions, it is Satan who doesn’t care about them. He just wants to accuse, lie, steal, kill and destroy; destroy you with guilt over something you cannot fully control. And he wants you to accuse your own neighbors, sow control and hatred, and be blind to what’s really going on. Satan is about control and making you think you have some, when in reality that’s a facade.

I told my friend last night that I had no judgement towards her and what she decided. There are many factors to consider when making a decision like that. But I did assure her that she is not a murderer and that God is in charge. He is the author of life and I trust he will take my parents and hers when it is their time to go. I know my own life is in HIS hands. May He purify my heart and work all things for my good.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.” Revelation 13:14

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Strange Fire

Photo By Bridget Touhey

Now Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took his censer, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered unholy fire before the Lord, such as he had not commanded them.  And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Leviticus 10:1

The U.S. Election is now over as we await recounts and state certifications and it is very apparent that there are two different visions for the country. Many people I know are lamenting and in despair while others I know are ecstatic. The range of emotions is all over the place.

While I myself am not despairing, I am sorrowful, but remain at peace. I have peace because Jesus is King. I am sorrowful because abortion is the preeminent issue and the blood of the innocent cries out from the ground. I have actually seen Catholic friends say that overturning Roe v Wade without structures in place to help the women (which there already are) would be dangerous. As if the murder 2362 babies a day isn’t the most dangerous thing I have heard of. I can’t think of anything that kills more people worldwide than abortion, in fact it kills more than all other causes of death combined. I wonder if they would say the same about slavery? That it would have been dangerous to abolish it without structures in place to help the people of the South. When you dehumanize one group of people because of the troubles of another, and you use the law to do so, you reap evil. The justification of evil makes me angry and sorrowful. But I am not in despair. Because Jesus Christ is King and I realized long ago that politics is not what my faith is in.

Throughout all of this people have sent me prophecy after prophecy because of everything we see unfolding in the world. This coming November 18 is the 100 year anniversary of Russia legalizing abortion. I do read prophecy. I do not despise it as scripture tells us. But as I observe things unfold in the world and remain watchful, something gnaws at me about our search for what is going to happen and how it will happen. And God speaks to me too about the things to come and asking me to trust totally in the midst of unknowing.

These grave immoral things we see happening like abortion and the redefinition of marriage are indeed signs of the times and they are abject intrinsic evil. They attack marriage and the family and it was Christ himself who defined marriage. But these are not the worst evils. God makes it clear to that the worst evil is breaking the first commandment. In fact, the first 3 commandments all have to do with our relationship with God and they are listed first because when your relationship with God isn’t right, all those other commandments that follow the first 3 will be broken as well, because without right relationship with God you will never have right relationship with one another. We see this in our society and it is why those first three and breaking them is so gravely evil.

This is about worship.

If you want to know how the world is doing you need look no further than the Mass. The Mass is where heaven and earth collide, so it is here we will get the sense of prophecy unfolding.

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. CCC 675

Before I continue I want to recall the story of Nadab and Abihu from the book of Leviticus. These were Aaron’s sons. They were Priests. Scripture tells us that they offered unholy fire before the Lord. Some translations call it strange fire. This strange fire would have been something that didn’t belong, something unconsecrated. Something that God did not command them to offer. And it killed them. They were consumed by this unholy fire. Later in the chapter we see God speak to Aaron;

You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean; and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them through Moses. Leviticus 10:10-11

The Priests are to know the difference between what is holy and what is not, and they are to teach the people. Unholy offering brings death. Do we not see all around us people being consumed by unholy fire? And what of the Mass itself?

I have written before about how the Mass is the center of the world and how I thought perhaps the Eucharist would be removed. It is here that I sense we see prophecy unfold.

Within 5 months of Pachamama being brought to the Vatican gardens and to ceremonies inside the church we were shut down world wide. Strange Fire. Now we find ourselves at Masses with hand sanitizer on the altar. Strange Fire. We were dispensed from the 3rd commandment by the authority of the church. Strange fire to dispense of a command in totality. Instead of repenting we went the way of the world.

None of these incidences rise to the level of what Nadab and Abihu did. But they paved a pathway. And I don’t see the closing of the churches in March as the removal of the Eucharist, though I suppose you could look at it that way. But what I look for is if we were to see an abomination on the altar at Saint John Lateran or Saint Peter’s, the church will seem crucified. I don’t foresee that God would allow a Pope to make an offering like this from the main altar. The reason (and of course I don’t know the mind of God) but the reason I think this is because the Papacy itself, as the chair of Peter, regardless of who sits in it, has a measure of protection from heaven – because Christ is actually the head and the gates of hell shall not prevail. But these are the kinds of signs I look for, the decimation of the Mass. It becomes a place where a lot of Catholics would walk away because the Kingdom will look lost, much the way the disciples ran away from the Passion. But it will never be lost. God made us a promise. His bride will rise purified.

For us personally and the little control we have, it does also boil down to worship. Knowing who it is you are receiving and receiving Him with awe and wonder and reverence in your body and in your heart – this is where we should be focused. This is our purification. When we worship with all our heart, mind and soul, our eyes are open to the truth and to the signs of the times and our will is in union with the will of God. If you are unable to get to Mass your life can become an act of true worship. Living in virtue and praising God. You do what you can do and ask God, who is your Savior, to lift up the rest.

People may wonder, well why would God be so cruel as to get mad at our worship? This kind of mindset forgets who God is. God is LOVE.

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

So when you worship at the altar of something other than true love, it is you who worships death. You have chosen something else over love. You choose something created over the Creator. You choose fear over the Creator. The laws are to tame our desires and passions – so as to align them with the will of God. It’s about growing in virtue. Do we even remember what the virtues are? All of this, everything we are going through is about our own purification, about bringing us to true love. About bringing us in alignment with the Divine Will. Where there is no corruption, no twisting, no tainting, no skewing, no ideology other than the pure love of God.

We are being called to a deeper purification. This isn’t about condemnation. This is about purification which does not judge the interior of others, but where we ardently pray for them; one where we seek the salvation of our own souls and the souls of others. The anger I see, even from people who know truth, that can eat you alive. Pray instead with your sorrowful Mother.

I didn’t write this post to leave anyone disheartened but instead to refocus us. Let the emotion of the election go and give it to God. Of course keep praying, but give to God what belongs to God, which is all authority and right worship. Focus on your own interior, growing in virtue and loving the person right in front of you. Get to know the doctrines of your faith if you don’t know them already. Go to Mass if you can and be as reverent as you can possibly be recognizing that every single particle of the Eucharist is Christ Himself and should not be abused. Read Scripture. Pray the Rosary. Live in the Peace of God knowing He has a plan. Shalom.

My daughter, each virtue is a heaven that the soul acquires. Therefore, as many virtues as she acquires, so many heavens does she keep forming, and these heavens defeat all human inclinations, destroy that which is earthly, and make the soul wander through the purest auras, through the holiest delights, through the celestial fragrances of the highest good, anticipating for her part of the eternal joys. Jesus to Servant of God Louisa Piccarreta Volume 9 Book of Heaven

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The Swirling Confusion

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:8-18

Are you struggling out there? Finding it hard to even make decisions? If so, you are not alone. Navigating this pandemic, this pontificate, this election, it’s like being sucked into a swirling Vortex and it’s hard to see when gale force winds blow in our faces, winds that probably will pick up speed in the near future, what are we to do?

When it comes to deciphering what’s going on we can look deep into our interior. While there are many emotions within us, usually we can boil most all of it down to two things; Fear or Love. When we are making a decision we need to ask ourselves is it fear or is it love that motivates us? We must ask ourselves what love looks like.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I don’t know about you but I have seen a lot of impatience, unkindness, envy, anger, lack of trust and unforgiveness out there, and even within my own heart.

I want to tell you a story of what happened to me a few weeks ago. I was getting ready for my RCIA class. On this particular night I was the catechist, which isn’t always the case, but on this night I was the main teacher. I got a call a half hour before class that my mom had fallen and hit her head.

In the past I would have stressed out about the class, but in 2020 with all that is happening I let go of it and just placed a last minute cancellation out to the class members. The Lord is teaching me to let go of control when I have none. Any vestige of control I may think I have is surely being stripped away.

I set out to the hospital, not knowing if I would be allowed in. My mom, who has dementia, and who I have been unable to visit (which is a whole other blog post) was sent alone to the hospital. I arrived at the hospital, masked, and temperature checked by the nurse at the door. I went into the ER and asked to see my mom. I was told I was not allowed in to see her.

I will pause here and state that in the past I would have yelled at the ER attendant. I would have made a big stink and railed at the injustice of it all. I am a fighting kind of woman, that’s who I am, but the Lord whispered in my ear, “mercy” and I knew he was talking about having mercy on the worker. The policy wasn’t her doing, and who knows what she had been through that day. We have all been affected by COVID in ways we couldn’t have imagined one year ago. I just looked at her and a tear rolled down my face. She then asked me for my phone number and said she would talk to the Doctor.

I went outside and sobbed. I then looked up and saw the most breathtaking sunset I have seen in a long time and through my tears I said, “God, you are so good.” I just wanted to acknowledge the goodness of God in that moment of suffering. Because even though I was suffering, I could, in that sunset, see that He is good. It was a spiritual moment, seeing that sunset. I then began to pray the Rosary and during the second decade, the ER attendant called and the Doctor had agreed to let me in. And the Lord said, “be still, I will fight for you.” And I realized that by taking the path of mercy, instead of rage at the injustice of it, He had indeed fought for me. I visited with my mom for 3 hours in the ER. She ended up being fine. She was lucid, and we laughed and we cried and we loved. And I came home grateful.

For each one of us decisions can look different, but love breathes life, love builds relationship, love walks in mercy. Fear leads to despair.

As we sit in this storm, remember who is the keeper of the storm and keep your eyes on Him; on Love.

Painting by Akiane Kramarik

We have, in our world, lost sight of love. There is a Spirit of Rebellion and an ungodly self-reliance. I know I found myself often trying to save myself instead of letting God save me. In that one instance with my mom, I could see how the love of God can move things that seem unmovable.

Still these spirits weigh heavy, these spirits of rebellion and ungodly self-reliance. We can bind those spirits off of us. Bind the spirits of control off of ourselves. Control is a form of witchcraft, and we have seen that come out this past election cycle. We have the authority over ourselves to tell them to leave, but better yet Priests out there can bind them off their flock in their parishes, and Exorcists off of their Diocese; bind these things that blind us to love and move us to work in fear.

Rely on God. Trust in him with all your might. It is His grace you are standing in.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5

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Chaplet for Priests in Purgatory

From the beginning, the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. CCC 1032

A reader, Larry, was gracious enough to send me a chaplet for Priests in Purgatory after he read my post about it. It is too good not to share, especially since all souls day is coming up, though July is often noted as the month for Priests in Purgatory. Still, I feel compelled to print this now.

This prayer can be prayed with a specific type of Rosary made for the chaplet. I have adapted it, so you can pray it even if you do not have the Rosary.

CHAPLET FOR PRIESTS IN PURGATORY – Devotion of the 33 offerings of the Blood of Jesus

Oh, God, come to save me.

Lord come quickly to my aid.

Glory Be to the Father…..

Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of the faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in our struggle, so that we may be saved on the day of final judgment.

Pray THE CREED (holding Rosary Crucifix)

4 times pray – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, pray for the souls of priests and religious brothers and sisters.

11 times pray – Eternal Father, we offer you the most Precious Blood of Jesus, for the souls of priests who in purgatory suffer the most and are the most abandoned.

4 times pray – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, pray for the souls of priests and religious brothers and sisters.

11 times pray – Eternal Father, we offer you the most Precious Blood of Jesus, for the souls of priests who in purgatory suffer the most and are the most abandoned.

4 times pray – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, pray for the souls of priests and religious brothers and sisters.

11 times pray – Eternal Father, we offer you the most Precious Blood of Jesus, for the souls of priests who in purgatory suffer the most and are the most abandoned.

Final Prayers

I. Oh Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal Priest, who during Your earthly life generously cared for every poor person who was afflicted and abandoned, I beg You, look with favor on the souls of priests in purgatory who suffer most atrociously and who are abandoned and forgotten by everyone. Look at how these Holy Souls, tormented by the voracity of the flames and with an agonizing voice plead for pity and help.

II. Oh most merciful heart of Jesus, who in the Garden of Olives, in the midst of bitter solitude, victim of most cruel spiritual torments and bloody agony, begged: “Father, if it is possible take this chalice away from Me! Yet let not Mine, but Your will be done.” By this, Your submission and painful passion and agony, I beg you to have pity on the Holy Souls for whom I am praying to You and to relieve their suffering and to console them in the midst of their abandonment, as Your Celestial Father consoled you by sending you an angel. Amen.

III. Our Lady of Suffrage, Mother of Mercy, we favorably invoke you for our own sake and for the sake of the souls in purgatory. I would like to escape from that tremendous prison, by living a just life, avoiding sin, and doing everything with the fervor of a holy soul. But what can I do, without the help of heaven?

Dear Mother, cast your glance upon me and obtain for the grace that the last day of my mortal life may be the first day that I will begin to enjoy the glories of heaven. Hope and Mother of the afflicted, run to the aid of those in purgatory. Be merciful towards my relatives, my friends, my benefactors, the souls who love Jesus and who love you and toward the abandoned souls.

Oh Mary, by the Cross on which Jesus died, by the Most Precious Blood with which he redeemed us, by the chalice which every day is offered up to the Eternal Father during the Mass, obtain grace and liberation for all of the souls in purgatory. Listen to the sighs of your daughters in purgatory and opening the doors of this painful prison, let them all ascend into Heaven with you today. Amen. 3 Hail Mary’s – Our Lady of Suffrage, pray for us and the souls in purgatory. Eternal Rest grant unto them, oh Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. Amen.

By means of this pious practice, apart from bringing immediate relief to priests who are suffering in purgatory singular graces may be obtained for those who pray it, and marvelous conversions may come about among sinners. More lukewarm Christians may begin to live the faith with new fervor. Priests may become zealous apostles, physical illness has often been healed, and suffering lightened by means of this joyous resignation to the Divine Will and lastly, the soul will begin to desire a superior form of perfection all within a very short time.

A holy soul said the following: “You the living can do everything for us, and we can do everything for you. It is an exchange of prayers.”

If you would like to receive a chaplet Rosary for free (any donation for postage would help), Please write;

Chaplet For Priests
44 Howard Brook Drive
Rochester, NH 03867

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Naked, Unashamed, Illuminated

The Great Illumination of Conscience and Our Disordered Desires

The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 3:25

I was pondering our disordered desires the other day. How pornography has pervaded our society and sexual sin is everywhere.

I remembered being taught that John Paul the II in his homilies on the Theology of the Body said that there is no part of the body that isn’t worth kissing. This is a true statement of beauty, but in our pornographic society, oh how we twist it.

I was talking to God about it, and he just said, “Judas betrayed with a kiss.” And I wept.

And the Lord went further and said to me, “Eve consumed herself. I want you to consume me. Adam consumed Eve. I want you to consume me. I AM the tree of Life.

When they fell from free will’s choice the concupiscence disordered our desires so we seek to consume the wrong thing. I prayed for the Lord to heal us from our disordered desires.

He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.” Genesis 3:10

I was left wondering, if Adam and Eve had just confessed instead of hiding and pointing fingers, what would have happened?

Today I went on a retreat and the Priest had us pondering Jesus’ baptism, and sent us off in silence. The following is what I heard the Lord speak to me about in my silent time. I know many people have different views on the Illumination of Conscience. I don’t know the correct answer. I know the Lord speaks to me about it though. If the church came out and said what I have written is wrong, then the church is correct and I am wrong. Know that as you discern what I write.

In pondering the baptism of Jesus, we know that he didn’t need baptism. He sanctified the waters for us. But I closed my eyes to try to picture what his baptism would look like. And in my prayer I saw Jesus naked and unashamed. I thought of how people might look at that and be ashamed themselves, or perhaps have a disordered thought. But for Jesus, he was naked and unashamed, nothing to hide from the Father, it was beautiful, and the heavens opened up;

And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son,* with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17

Purity and Innocence with nothing to hide from the Father, cleansed the waters for our baptism to do the same for us.

But the Lord took me further and showed me the Cross. There on the cross was Jesus, naked. He was pure and innocent, hiding nothing from the Father, bearing all of our sins. Taking our shame, but not ashamed Himself, not hiding.

For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Luke 8:17

God makes all things transparent. Our sin laid bare on the cross. We try to hide, but there is no hiding. The cross is an Illumination of what we have done and it is why when we experience the great illumination of conscience we will see a Cross in the sky;

…All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be a great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth lights which will light the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day. Diary of Saint Faustina 83

It is fitting that from these wounds, the only man made thing in heaven, that the light of illumination would pour over us. For it is only in illuminating what has been hiding that the God of the universe can heal us. We need to see what we have done so we can accept His mercy.

He wants to redeem not only our souls, but our bodies, our sexuality, all of our being. Our sins have been hidden in the recesses of our hearts with disordered desire and it has reaped destruction upon our souls, our emotions and our bodies.

He can make all things new. A movement back to His Will. He can present His bride, the church, as a pure and holy virgin before the Father. Body and Soul redeemed.

For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:2

Early Byzantine Image of Christ’s Baptism
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As we head towards the Election

For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

I think we all know the state of the world and the knocking of communism at our door. The stench of the curse of abortion leaves the blood of the innocent crying out from the ground. No country can survive that continually kills her children. I, like many of you, have been praying for our nation, praying for our world. Some days seem hopeless; the church, save for a few courageous voices, seems derelict in her duty to condemn what once her voice loudly condemned.

This week the Lord continuously spoke to me saying;

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Matthew 11:28-30

I was always struck by how closely the poem on the Statue of Liberty reminded me of these verse’s from Matthew;

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

But this week when the Lord spoke the verses from Matthew to me it took on a different meaning for me. It was one of reparation.

It struck me that this invitation of the Lord to come to Him didn’t involve him removing our burden or removing our yoke. It involved him lightening them. As if to say, “when you suffer with me, nothing is impossible.” The suffering doesn’t leave, but it can be lessened.

And then I felt called to meditate on His passion. It was like a fire that was lit inside me. And to further the fire, imagine my surprise, when I found the Gospel for election day had the first verse from Matthew as the Gospel Acclamation. Come to me….

I knew what I had to do. Meditate on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in these days leading up to the election.

I picked up the 24 hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Luisa Piccarreta the Little Daughter of the Divine Will. I hadn’t looked at it since Lent. I was again surprised when I began reading a few of the diary verses that she wrote at the beginning of the booklet I have. This booklet was given to me years ago and is weathered and worn. I have read it before, but today, her messages jumped off of the page at me. I will highlight a few. I will bold what stood out to me.

September 6, 1913 Volume 11 – The Hours of the Passion are the very prayers of Jesus.

I was thinking about the Hours of the Passion, which have now been written, and how they are without any indulgence. So, those who do them gain nothing, while there are many prayers enriched with many indulgences. While I was thinking of this, my always lovable Jesus, all kindness, told me: “My daughter, through the prayers with indulgences one gains something, but the Hours of my Passion, which are my very prayers, my reparations, and all love, have come out of the very depth of my Heart. Have you perhaps forgotten how many times I have united Myself with you to do them together, and I have changed chastisements into graces over the whole earth? So, my satisfaction is such and so great, that instead of indulgence, I give the soul a handful of love, which contains incalculable prices of infinite value. And besides, when things are done out of pure love, my love finds its outpouring, and it is not insignificant that the creature gives relief and outpouring to the love of the Creator.”

November 6, 1914 Volume 11

As I continued the usual Hours of the Passion, my lovable Jesus told me: “My daughter, the world is in continuous act of renewing my Passion; and since my immensity envelopes everything, inside and outside the creatures, from their contact I am forced to receive nails, thorns, scourges, scorns, spit and all the rest which I suffered in the Passion – and still more. Now, at the contact with souls who do these Hours of my Passion I feel the nails being removed, the thorns shattered, the wounds soothed, the spit taken away. I feel I am repaid in good for the evil that others do to Me, and in feeling that their contact does no harm to Me, but good, I lean more and more on them.” …

February 2, 1917 Volume 11 – The world unbalanced

As I was in my usual state, I found myself outside myself, and I found my always lovable Jesus, all dripping with blood, with a horrible crown of thorns, looking at me with difficulty through the thorns. He told me: “My daughter, the world has become unbalanced because it has lost the thought of my Passion. In darkness it has not found the light of my Passion which would illuminate it; and as it would make known to it my love and how much souls cost Me, it might turn to loving the One who has truly loved it; and in the light of my Passion guiding it, would put on its guard against all dangers. In weakness, it has not found the strength of my Passion which would sustain it. In impatience, it has not found the mirror of my patience which would infuse it with calm and resignation; and in the face of my patience, feeling ashamed, it would make it its duty to dominate itself. In pains it has not found the comfort of the pains of a God which, sustaining its pains, would infuse in it love of suffering. In sin, it has not found my sanctity which, placing itself in front of it, would infuse in it hate of sin. Ah! man has made an abuse of everything, because in everything he has moved away from the One who could help him. This is why the world has lost balance. It behaved like a child who no longer wanted to recognize his mother; or like a disciple who, denying his master, no longer wanted to listen to his teachings or learn his lessons. What will happen to this child and to this disciple? They will be the sorrow of themselves, and the terror and sorrow of society. Such has man become – terror and sorrow; but a sorrow without pity. Ah! man is getting worse and worse, I cry over him with tears of blood!”

October 21, 1921 Volume 13

I was thinking about the Passion of my sweet Jesus, and upon coming, He told me: “My daughter, every time the soul thinks about my Passion, remembers what I suffered, or compassionates Me, she renews the application of my pains within herself. My blood rises to inundate her, and my wounds place her on the path to heal her if she is wounded, to embellish her if she is healthy – and all my merits enrich her. The traffic she produces is amazing – it is as if she placed everything I did and suffered on a counter, earning twice as much. In fact, everything I did and suffered is in continuous act of giving itself to man, just as the sun is in the continuous act of giving light and heat to the earth. My work is not subject to exhaustion; if the soul just wants it so, and as many times as she wants it, she receives the fruit of my Life. So, if she remembers my Passion twenty, a hundred, a thousand times, so many more times will she enjoy its effects. But how few are those who make a treasure of it! With all the good of my Passion, one can see souls who are weak, blind, deaf, mute, crippled – living cadavers, such as to be disgusting. This because my Passion put into oblivion.

My pains, my wounds, my Blood are strength which removes weaknesses, light which gives sight to the blind, tongue which loosens tongues and opens the hearing, way which straightens the cripples, life which raises cadavers…. All the remedies needed for the whole of humanity are in my Life and Passion. But the creature despises the medicine and does not care about remedies; and so one can see, in spite of all my Redemption, the state of man perishing, as though affected by an incurable consumption. But that which grieves Me the most is to see religious people who tire themselves out in order to acquire doctrines, speculations, stories – but about my Passion, nothing. So many times my Passion is banished from churches, from the mouths of priests; therefore, their speech is without light, and the peoples remain more starved than before.”….

I could go on and cite more, but you get the picture of the power of meditating on the Passion. It will transform your soul personally. If we do it together as a nation, meditate on the Passion, it could transform the Nation.

So this is what I will be doing, meditating on the Passion. I hope you will join me. The link below is one I found online, the beginning is different than the one I have, but it has all of the Hours of the Passion in it.

The 24 Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Luisa Piccarreta, Little Daughter of the Divine Will.

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Steadfast Heart of God

Photo by Bridget Touhey

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion” says my soul “therefore I will hope in him.”
– Lamentations 3:22-24

I am very blessed to have a solid group of friends who I pray with and work with. As you all know from previous guest posts on my blog, Ashley Blackburn is one such friend. Ashley has the gift of wisdom, and of writing. She has decided to write her own blog called, the Steadfast Heart of God. I hope you will give it a read. I know there will be some true pearls of Wisdom and fruit of God within it. Here is her first post.

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Dreams of Purgatory

Chapel of Purgatory

All who die in God’s grace, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven (ccc -1030).

I feel compelled today to tell you of a dream I had a few years back. The reason I feel compelled to tell it is because first, it was so clear to me that purgatory is a real process of purification and second, because the dream was about a Priest and I feel we are at a crossroads. Priests and lay people alike need to decide whose kingdom they are serving.

Of late we have seen many Priests who will not preach the full truth and some who defy it, and some who even defile it.

Priests, in particular, have a greater responsibility to preach the truth because they are “in persona Christi.” When a Priest is scared to do what he is called to do, when he defies what he is called to do, or when he defiles it, he puts not just his own salvation in jeopardy, but the salvation of his flock whom he is leading. Priests must take their duty to the Gospel seriously.

I believe God has compelled me to pray so much for Priests because their responsibility is so great. I tell this story as a motivation for us to keep praying for our Priests, and to help them be strong in the faith.

I once knew a Priest who did not preach truth. He flat out told me to have my tubes tied and stop having children. At the time he said it, I didn’t even blink (save for the voices of my mom and dad in the back of my head which I had buried down), as I was immersed in the world myself. It wasn’t until after Veronica’s murder that God revealed to me how true the church teachings are and how twisted my thinking had been – and that Priests had been as well.

When the Priest passed away, at the exact moment of his death a parishioner was at his bedside praying a chaplet of mercy for him. Praise be to God.

“It pleases me to grant everything souls ask of me by saying the chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one. Write this for the benefit of distressed souls; when a soul sees and realizes the gravity of its sins, when the whole abyss of the misery into which it immersed itself is displayed before its eyes, let it not despair, but with trust, let it throw itself into the arms of My mercy, as a child into the arms of its beloved mother. Tell them no soul that has called upon My mercy has been disappointed or brought to shame. I delight particularly in a soul that has placed its trust in My goodness. Write that when they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My father and the dying person, not as the Just Judge but as the Merciful Saviour.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1541)

Shortly after this Priest died I began having dreams about him. They were so vivid.

In the first dream he came hobbling into the church office and fell to the floor. He barely made it in the door from the outside. I was looking at him on the floor asking him if he was okay. He said no. He said, “please help me, you are the only one who can help me, I cannot make it into the church.”

I said, “I cannot be the only one to help you, you are too heavy.” He responded, “no, it has to be you, no one else will help me.”

At that moment a line of Priests came through the office door. Each Priest looked down at him and stepped over him. I started yelling at the Priests, “aren’t you going to help him?” They all just ignored me like I was crazy and continued to step over him. I realized his own brother Priests were doing nothing to help him.

I looked down upon this Priest. He cried for my help, pleading with me. I told him even if I was the only one, I would help him get into church. My heart ached for how much he was suffering and how many ignored him. Then I woke up.

I began to pray for the soul of this Priest that day. I had several more dreams about him. They were always along the same lines, but not as desperate as the first. At some point I had earned a plenary indulgence and I asked the Lord to give it to him. I did not know at the time about Gregorian Masses. If I had, I would have gotten him some.

The dreams stopped after I offered the Lord the plenary indulgence. I don’t tell you that to be like – “oh look at me I did a great thing.” I tell you so you won’t forget the souls in purgatory. I tell you so you won’t forget to pray for the deceased and to pray for our Priests everyday. I tell you because in my prayer the Lord told me to tell you.

I cannot describe the immensity of the suffering this Priest was in. I would never want to see anyone suffer like that. At the same time, knowing he was in purgatory, what a mercy. His purification means he can make it to heaven and I believe he did.

As we approach all souls day in November, let us not forget the holy souls. And for us, let us remember make our yes be yes and our no be no. Remember always whose kingdom you want to serve.

Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19-20

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