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
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.
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 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.
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
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. Psalm 23:4
I know I haven’t written in a bit but I will be writing soon. My household is undergoing some changes and once I get a routine down I will get back to writing. For now, I don’t usually post things like this – but felt compelled today. As far as I can tell it was written by Ray James. It is exactly what I think we need to hear right now, so I am posting what he wrote;
I would have pulled Joseph out. Out of that pit. Out of that prison. Out of that pain. And I would have cheated nations out of the one God would use to deliver them from famine.
I would have pulled David out. Out of Saul’s spear-throwing presence. Out of the caves he hid away in. Out of the pain of rejection. And I would have cheated Israel out of a God-hearted king.
I would have pulled Esther out. Out of being snatched from her only family. Out of being placed in a position she never asked for. Out of the path of a vicious, power-hungry foe. And I would have cheated a people out of the woman God would use to save their very lives.
And I would have pulled Jesus off. Off of the cross. Off of the road that led to suffering and pain. Off of the path that would mean nakedness and beatings, nails and thorns. And I would have cheated the entire world out of a Savior. Out of salvation. Out of an eternity filled with no more suffering and no more pain.
And oh friend. I want to pull you out. I want to change your path. I want to stop your pain. But right now I know I would be wrong. I would be out of line. I would be cheating you and cheating the world out of so much good. Because God knows. He knows the good this pain will produce. He knows the beauty this hard will grow. He’s watching over you and keeping you even in the midst of this. And He’s promising you that you can trust Him. Even when it all feels like more than you can bear.
So instead of trying to pull you out, I’m lifting you up. I’m kneeling before the Father and I’m asking Him to give you strength. To give you hope. I’m asking Him to protect you and to move you when the time is right. I’m asking Him to help you stay prayerful and discerning. I’m asking Him how I can best love you and be a help to you. And I’m believing He’s going to use your life in powerful and beautiful ways. Ways that will leave your heart grateful and humbly thankful for this road you’ve been on.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
I went to the chapel the other day to pray as I was struggling with many things and many people. I was thinking about how Satan has stolen so much from us, about how he has trained us how to think. And the Lord simply said to me;
“My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts, but you should pray for them to be.”
So I started praying for the thoughts of the Father to be my thoughts. For the word of the Son to be my way, and the actions of the Holy Spirit to proceed from me in deed.
The thoughts, words and actions of the Trinity don’t have to be hidden from us. They need to live in us. It’s why Saint Paul says to be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Though in our limited understanding we may not comprehend God, we can ask for our will to be one with His will. Our thoughts, words and actions to be His.
The Blessed Mother understood this fully. Immersed in daily prayer and total relationship with the Trinity, she was trained to think, speak and act by the Will of God. She housed the Will of God in her womb. She birthed the will of God for the world. As a daughter of the Father, Spouse of the Spirit and Mother of the Son, the Trinity dwelt inside of her. As the Mother of God, holding the Creator in her womb, all of creation was held there to.
This is what God wants for us.
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:4
Our God given domain is all of creation, and it is held inside of us when we align ourselves to the Will of God.
It isn’t something we earn. It is something we surrender to.
Most of the Apostles didn’t fully surrender until after Christ died on the Cross. Up until that point they still had their own thoughts, ideas, words and actions.
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?” John 18:10-11
By the time Jesus ascends, all they are clinging to is love of Him. They hide and pray. They surrender. Jesus has been glorified, He wants to glorify them;
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 18:10-11
He tells them they will do greater things than He does, and they do.
Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles. They were all together in Solomon’s portico. None of the others dared to join them, but the people esteemed them. Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord, great numbers of men and women, were added to them. Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them. A large number of people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered, bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits, and they were all cured. Acts 5:12-16
This is what He wants for us. Walking in our domain by surrendering to the Will of God, he gives us creation.
Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Mark 11:23
When we receive the grace God wants to give us through full surrender we can say to a tree, “bear fruit” and it will. We have so many idols and so much fear though we don’t even know how to fully surrender. We will be humbled in this regard.
Many are afraid of what is to come. But God says, “do not be afraid.” God’s wrath is directed at Satan. He will hand the things of Satan over to destruction. We should want this, because when this happens the Glory He will pour out will be beyond what we can imagine.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
We spend so much time trying to change and control the things out there in the exterior of our lives. Jesus’s walk with the Apostles was spent trying to show them how to change the things within themselves. He was teaching abandonment to love. Self-Sacrificing Love has full domain over creation because God dwells there.
It is a Eucharistic Love. A Love of Thanksgiving.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.” Isaiah 55:12-13
Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil. Let Him do this inside of you because He is the Way, and it is more than you can ever imagine for yourself. You will be amazed.
From the office of readings September 11, 2020
And so the bridegroom is one with the Father and one with the bride. Whatever he found in his bride alien to her own nature he took from her and nailed to his cross when he bore her sins and destroyed them on the tree. He received from her and clothed himself in what was hers by nature and gave her what belonged to him as God. He destroyed what was diabolical, took to himself what was human, and conferred on her what was divine.
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her Luke 10:42
I have written before about the fact that the present situation we find ourselves in as a society has to do with the fact that we have broken the first commandment. It’s about worship.
As if the Lord wants to hammer the point home to me, I have had experiences in both worship and in prayer of late. The Lord talks to me a lot about the wedding feast of the Lamb. And it seems I am being taken in a more traditional direction.
Before everyone gets upset about this or comments I want to say a few things which I have probably said before, but it is worth reiterating. I am not against Vatican II. I am also not a scholar on it. There are some things from that council that I believe were necessary, not the least of which is being able to bury our loved ones who committed suicide with a church burial. This is personal for me. I am grateful for that change.
Most of the documents I have read are beautiful to me and I don’t think say anything that cannot be read through the lens of upholding tradition. And I am not here to say that the Extraordinary Form of Mass will save us. God will save us.
I also don’t want anyone to get the impression that I am flinging poison arrows at specific people or the way things are done. I am grateful for the path I have been taken on, all of it. I don’t think 10 years ago I would have viewed things through the same lens I view them now. God accompanied me to where I am. And one thing he speaks to me about a lot is not judging other people or their interior.
With all of that said, I want to share a moment of prayer I had the other day.
On Tuesday of this week we had a tornado warning where I live and work. I was at work at the time and the sky turned ominously dark and our phones began alerting us to the danger.
I went to the chapel. If a tornado was going to plow through our church, like it did at Church of the Assumption, I wanted to be where I could get to the Eucharistic Lord. As I sat in the chapel praying, I began to feel the Lord speak to me about, of all things, architecture.
Before I explain what He said, I should preface it with what I had previously been told by Priests about the architecture in the churches (for the most part) where I live. Most of the churches where I live have some combination of the tabernacle off to the right, the ambo to the left, the altar in the middle – though some even have this moved slightly to the right also. Many churches had no actual crucifix, at least for a time, but of late they have been brought back.
The Priests back then would explain to me the layout, and it was always something like this;
“The tabernacle to the right – which houses the Eucharist. The ambo and lectionary highlight to the left. Showing the equal value of the word and the Eucharist. Both the word (Scripture) and the Eucharist of equal importance.”
I accepted that explanation as logical and didn’t think too much about it, though innately, I always thought the tabernacle in the center was prettier, and I always had a desire to just shove it over to the center. But I never could explain why.
So as I was praying during the tornado warning looking at the tabernacle off to the right, the Lord simply said to me, “I AM the WORD.”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shine in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:1-5
And then it was as if the Lord explained to me about marriage – and God’s creative power – and the Mass.
The Priest is front and center during the consecration – but he should be facing God (East) away from the people because His offering is towards the Creator who wants the Priest participating in His creative power. The Priest is speaking the WORD – during the Consecration – partaking in God’s creative power to bring the sacrifice. The Word becomes flesh – and it dwells among us. It is the offering of us all as one Mystical Body with the Priest acting as the head of the Body.
The Tabernacle should be front and center as well – veiled because it is a marital act of covenant. When the Word becomes flesh the Priest has a key to the tabernacle to house the Word/Eucharist. Peter also has the keys to house the Word/Eucharist within the church itself. Thus impregnating the tabernacle/church. The Word and the Eucharist one in the same union – never meant to be separated – housed in the tabernacle like a living sanctuary. Mankind restored to partaking in the creative power of God – the way it was meant to be in the garden before the serpent separated. The church too a tabernacle.
When the tabernacle is unlocked and the Word – the Eucharistic Lord is distributed – we become the tabernacles of life. That should bring the light into the darkness of the world.
Separating the Word (as just the bible which does contain the Word but is not the full essence of the Word) from the Eucharistic Lord as if they were two separate things to highlight them as “equally important” actually bore fruit that made neither seem important. It is like separating the marital act from it’s pro-creative power on purpose – like a contraception. Thus rendering impotent the full meaning of what God wants to do within us and thwarting the union and life giving power he desires for us.
This experience coupled with my experience of rest in the Latin Mass, made me think of the story of Martha and Mary.
Mary is worshiping at the feet of Jesus. Martha is busy preparing a meal. Martha is mad Mary isn’t helping, but Jesus reprimands her and tells her Mary has chosen the good part.
Did you every wonder what would have happened if Martha sat at his feet too? Martha probably thought that the meal would have been horrible. That she was needed to be busy and work to have this meal with our Lord. But I think Jesus would have provided an even better meal, after all He was known to provide miraculous food. What if Martha too had just rested, and let Jesus save her?
And I believe this to be about worship. What if we just rest in Worship and receive Him in reverence and awe? What if we don’t try to save ourselves and we let the creator save us?
Don’t mistake what I am saying to be about not working for the Kingdom. We should all be working and cooperating for the Kingdom. I am simply talking about in worship specifically, what if we just rest and receive? Perhaps our brokeness would be healed.
I know forever I was a very broken daughter. It wasn’t until I handed it all to God and let Him come in fully, that I became a confident daughter. I feel like I have been walked into the deep, to greater reverence in worship, out of the depths of love for my soul that the Father has for me.
I am also grateful for Him walking me there. This means that – I am grateful for all of the Masses I have attended. I am grateful for the path along the way because again – 10 years ago – none of this would have made sense to me.
God truly works all things for the good of those who love him.
In the times we are living in now, the Lord needs us to rest in Him and trust Him fully and completely. And we, as one of my friends always says, just need to take the next right step, when he calls us to action. We will be walking blind, so it’s one step at a time, resting in God when we need to, and working when he calls us to.
Sometimes we even need to be still because God will fight for us. We are not in control, so let the one who is in control fight for our purification.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Ephesians 5:1-20
I gave a talk at a Retreat for the Goretti House today on Daughterhood. It was the Feast of the Passion of John the Baptist and 10 years since Veronica’s murder. It was an outdoor venue so hopefully you can hear okay. You can listen to the talk here;
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom* all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear. Matthew 13:41-43
BY: ASHLEY BLACKBURN
In Sacred Scripture we hear often about weeds. Jesus uses this analogy to teach us about God’s Kingdom because we can see reflected and experience God’s Kingdom in the created world around us. All is made by God, the Creator of the universe, and thus is a reflection of His Divine Image. So what is it about weeds that is such a good tool to teach us about His Kingdom?
There is a pattern and rules that govern the life and death of weeds on this earth; thus they react in the same way to the same triggers because God created weeds in a particular way and they do not have a choice to do anything other than what they were created to do. Weeds often sprout up really quickly, almost as if out of nowhere. They catch us off guard and for gardens that are not actively working to prevent and get rid of weeds, the weeds will quickly take over and swallow up the plants.
This being said, weeds also have shallow roots at first. If the soil is loosened up and not hardened, the weed is very easy to pull and uproot if noticed early on. Conversely, if the soil is hardened and dry, the weed will break off, leaving the root stuck in the ground. When this happens the weed will sprout up again since the root was not removed.
Here we see that hard soil, unwatered & untilled, will make it difficult to remove the root of the weed. Without removing the root, we know that the weed will simply grow back. Even though the roots of weeds can go unseen underground for some time, when they break forth from the ground we then notice the weed that was there the whole time. Conversely, if the soil is well taken care of, if it is watered just right, if it is tilled over, the weed will be easily uprooted and thrown out.
These truths about weeds are also true of sin. This is why Jesus used the analogy of weeds to teach the people about sin and His Kingdom. By looking at the truth of sin that is also reflected elsewhere in God’s creation, we can view it from a detached perspective. When it becomes personal to our own sin, we oftentimes can reject the truth in order to try to preserve ourselves from judgement.
In relating sin to weeds, Jesus helps us to notice the similar pattern and rules that govern the weed, which in turn also rule and govern sin in His Kingdom. Sin can sprout up really quickly and it seems as if it comes out of nowhere. But in reality the root of that sin has been dwelling underground for quite some time. It has begun sprouting beneath the surface, within our hearts, lying wait until the time of its first breaking forth from the ground. The root of sin underground are the fiery suggestions, the bitterness and anger, the temptations that nag us, the hidden resentment and all other evil thoughts we may have. These roots of sin are dormant in our hearts until we act upon them.
Due to our concupiscence, our human nature will find it very hard to keep these roots from sprouting up in sinful behaviors. This is why it will never work to simply try to suppress all of our sinful roots because the only way to true healing is to uproot the sin altogether. The weed will always sprout back up until the root is removed.
The Sacrament of Confession can be a very useful tool in breaking off the weed and even uprooting it if the soil of our hearts is good and loose, or open to God. A hardened heart, much like hardened soil, will grasp tightly to the sin. So much so that it will be very hard to remove the root sin from it’s grasp. By going to Confession, we are forgiven for our sin, for the action we took based upon the root of that sin, but the root sin may still lie within our hearts when we leave the confessional. Each and every Confession does in fact break the weed off, it forgives the sin and we start clean again. But the root sin can remain lying dormant in our hearts until we act upon it again, much like the root of a weed lies underground until the weed sprouts forth from the ground once again.
This can really get us down on ourselves, to continue to go back to Confession time and time again for the exact same sins, especially if we are going to the same priest for Confession on a regular basis. But what happens in regular Confession is that through our going back again and again to confess the same sin, the soil of our hearts is being tilled and watered. The grace of God is nurturing and nourishing the soil of our hardened hearts, the part that has such a strong grasp on that particular root sin, so that eventually the sin can be uprooted and removed forever. With each Sacramental grace conferred upon us we are forgiven and the weed is broken off. But what also happens is the soil is tilled a little more, loosening the grasp on the root, so that our heart will be softened and ready for the sin to be completely uprooted.
The other option for uprooting a weed amidst the hardened soil is to dig it up with a shovel, to which the entire patch of ground around it is also removed. The grasp of the soil surrounding the root also goes with the root, leaving a gaping hole in the ground. In these instances, we typically have face to face with the truth of our mortality in one way or another. This could be from a critical diagnosis, a sudden or chronic illness, tragedy, a near death experience, or another such event that uproots our entire lives and the root of our sin along with it. These situations, although painful and sometimes traumatic, do in fact remove the root, albeit in a more painful way, and it leaves a gaping hole in our hearts. This hole, can be filled back with sin and destruction or it can be filled with the healing power of the Holy Spirit, which can mean life changing effects on our life.
In all circumstances, whether sin is uprooted over time or in one fell swoop, once a weed is removed, the hole that remains in our heart must be filled. When we are seeking the Lord, he will in fact fill it with His Spirit, who alone has the only healing salve to renew and mend our wounds. Oftentimes we try to do this step first. We pray and ask for healing, even though we are not willing or able to uproot the sin that is causing the wound. Without first asking the Holy Spirit to convict us and reveal to us what root sin needs to be removed from our hearts, we will continue to remain bound by sin. Where sin remains rooted in our hearts, we will be bound to it, until it is uprooted. The root of sin will always stand in the way of our healing, almost as a mask over our wound. Not until we remove the mask, remove the root, will we be able to truly heal.
So how do we uproot sin? It is only when we humble ourselves before the Lord in prayer, opening our hearts before Him as we stand vulnerable before Him, will we be able to identify the root sin. Then and only then, will we be able to work toward uprooting it. Regular Confession and a good examination of conscience are the tools the Church gives us to work on uprooting the sin that has a hold of our hearts. Deliverance Ministry or Spiritual Direction are other options that can bring a tremendous amount of healing. Working with a spiritual guide one on one to unpack your story and help you move forward in faith is what discipleship is all about.
But most important all of us must be grounded in prayer. We must allow ourselves to be personally discipled by Jesus. He is our true King and will lead us to freedom and fullness of life. Our wounds, that sin has filled in and is covering up, are keeping us from true freedom if we don’t let God heal the soil of our hearts. Through prayer we will cultivate the soil of our hearts, creating good fertile ground for the Spirit to bear good fruit, while always keeping watch over our tendency to sin and the roots that may lie deep within so that we may uproot them before they break ground.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
I told you all in my last post that I would expound on what happened on my drive home from the funeral I went to. I will be posting the journal entry I wrote as a result of that trip, but before I do I wanted to add a few things that happened since I have been back home.
First, like many of you my husband and I have started some home projects. When you are stuck at home you start to see where things need to be changed. We had dropped our oldest son off at college, a joy and a sorrow for me, and our youngest daughter, who is a tween mentioned she is wanting to not be in bunk beds anymore. My husband and I set out to disassemble the beds and get her a new one.
As we were taking the beds down, part of the frame of the bed slammed on my left ring finger; right on my wedding band. My finger began to swell and I immediately removed my wedding band so as not to have to get it cut off from swelling. Though the pain was great, my heart hurt more removing my wedding band which I never take off (except when I was pregnant because of swelling then to.) I iced my finger and I am waiting for the swelling to go down so I can put my wedding ring back on.
I went to a low Latin Mass today instead of the regular Novus Ordo I usually attend. I figure what a better day to go than on the feast of Our Lady of Knock. I was excited. It is only my 4th Latin Mass ever. I wasn’t expecting what happened to me. I don’t know why I wasn’t. You all know how I feel about the Latin Mass and I see the Mystical Body in the Liturgy.
To be clear, I do not think the Latin Mass would solve all of the church problems, but there is definitely something about this Liturgy that transcends. I sobbed my way through. For the first time in a while I felt totally spiritually protected in worship. I felt like I was in the womb of the church surrounded in mercy. Though I still don’t know the Mass, I did not have to lead, I did not have to save myself. Christ was clearly the head saving me. I felt totally surrendered and in that felt freedom, which was a respite from the oppression of the world.
As I looked down at my swollen, wedding bandless, finger, I felt as though I myself was a representation of the church – the Body – and swollen with Pride and Idolatry, I was not prepared for the wedding that was meant for my salvation.
Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”Matthew 22:8-14
The world has gotten into the church instead of the church changing the world. We really don’t look very different from everyone else. This time period is a time period where we all must focus in prayer on our own purification so we are prepared for the banquet. Confession, humility and prayer are so key.
I will leave you with what I recorded in my journal after my ride home and these experiences. As always, if the church came out and said what I have written in wrong, then the church is correct and I am wrong.
Beloved Lily of the Father,
Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.
Everything, all of Creation, is in and through me. I AM.
My mother held all of creation in her womb as she held me in her womb.
She is Theotokos.
The Glory of God’s creation is meant to be housed in you. It is meant to be housed in the church.
The church holds all of creation in its authority because the church holds ME the Eucharistic Christ.
The way the church goes is the way creation will go.
When the church worships my Glory, the church and creation are glorified.
When the church worships idols and brings scandal and sin, she walks the path to crucifixion.
Creation, like my Body on the cross, grows ugly and dark. 3 Days of darkness.
The air turns to poison like sulfer.
But the Mother of God is the Mother of the Church.
In her Immaculate Conception, her ever-Virgin purity, her Divine motherhood, and her Assumption she becomes the Ark through which the faithful are guided Eucharistically, because I will it.Mediatrix of Grace.Sharing in redemption.
I will send an Armada of Angels, equipped like warships to guide the barque back to where it belongs, between the pillars of my Sacred Eucharistic Heart and her Immaculate heart.
Endure and persevere in suffering with a trusting and grateful heart.
The breath of God will feed the air you breathe surrounded by a refuge of angels.
Take part in this cross and God’s glory will shine in a way the earth has not seen since before the fall.
Be grateful, even in the sorrow.
The contrite and pure heart is the key to the Kingdom.
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His mercy endures forever.