Hearts in Unison

the-three-sacred-hearts
This divine heart is an abyss filled with all blessings, and into the poor should submerge all their needs. It is an abyss of joy in which all of us can immerse our sorrows. It is an abyss of lowliness to counteract our foolishness, an abyss of mercy for the wretched, an abyss of love to meet our every need. – Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
By: Ashley Blackburn
The relationship between the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a physical bond and a spiritual bond.  Mary’s actual heart gave life to Jesus’ actual heart while in her womb.  The two became one.  Her spiritual heart loved her Son Jesus and in that Mary was loving God.  While Jesus’ spiritual heart loved Mary, God was loving Mary. This spiritual love going back and forth between Mary and Jesus is what we are to mirror in our own spiritual relationship with Jesus.  The physical relationship with Jesus that we are all offered is in the Eucharist.  We consume the body and blood of Jesus and we and he become one in that union… physically.

So Mary and Jesus model for us the perfect union of the Christian and the Savior.  We who are in union with Jesus through love (by both loving Jesus through our prayer and knowing Him in the Word AND by receiving the love that Jesus gives back to us through Grace) and who are receiving Jesus physically in the Eucharist are mirroring the union of Mary and Jesus, Christian and Savior.  When this happens our heart and the heart of God are united both physically and spiritually, just as the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus are united both physically and spiritually.

The Body of Christ collectively always mirrors what the individual unions of Christian and Savior have adopted.  But our society has shifted its focus away from being in full union, both physically through the Eucharist and spiritually through prayer and relationship, toward a union focused solely on one another.  Just as a physical body cannot live without the heart, the Body of Christ cannot operate without the heart of Jesus being at the center.  All other parts of the body are given life through the pumping of blood through the heart and back out to the body.  For instance, the hand and foot cannot focus on their union with one another without the heart because it is the heart that connects them and keeps them in union with one another, as well as with the larger body.

When we see the focus of this spiritual and physical union with the heart of Jesus being shifted elsewhere we will see the effects of it in our society, it causes breakdown.  When the hand and the foot begin to try to remain in union with body but shift their focus to one another, they leave out the heart, which is their source of life they will quickly die from lack of blood flow.  The hand and the foot cannot survive together without the heart and the blood which it pumps to and from their parts.  Only with the recognition that the heart is their source of life and that their communion with the heart if vital to their life can the hand and foot not only survive and remain a part of the body, but it can also allow them to work together to do great things.  Otherwise their efforts are dead because it does not come from the source of life which is the heart, which is Jesus.

Anything that shifts the focus away from Jesus as the central point and toward the community first, whether it be Liturgy or acts of service, is actually cutting off it’s own lifeblood.   And though many would consider it “good”, it will eventually sour because God alone is the source of all goodness.  It is here where we see that what society says is good is actually evil and what is actually good is called evil by society.  This is because the heart is missing.  We see this so clearly in the world today.  It has become more about the union between each of us as parts of the body, which is important, but it is not the first union that we should be engaged in, and our understanding of things is flawed and will only mimic what the Creator does.  But we are not to despair.  God works all things for the good of those who love Him.  Whatever Liturgy we attend, or whatever acts of service we do, if we all have our own personal union with Jesus through prayer and the sacramental life, He reveals truth and we become conduits of change.  If we take focus off of Jesus though, even if we think we work for the good of the world we are in grave danger of vanity and pride.  We become self focused instead of other focused.  We become accusers and blamers instead of pouring life into others.  We become body parts ripped apart in a bloody battle instead of being a Mystical Body fed by the heart of Jesus.  Engagement with one another is a fruit of charity, it is not something to be forced or controlled on our own, but to allow to flow from our relationship (spiritual and physical) with Jesus (the heart).

The first and most important union is our heart being in union with Jesus’ heart (physically and spiritually) because this is the source of life.  The secondary union is our union with the body, which is only able to survive and thrive through our union with the heart.

The breakdown of this order is evident in the number of divorces, broken families, etc that we are seeing.  When we rely solely on our relationships between other men and women (even if it is our spouse), Satan can enter into that bond and eventually break it.  Just as the hand will die if it is cut off from the heart due to its constant focus on the foot as its source of life.  But Satan CANNOT enter into the bond of a person who is united with Jesus both spiritually and physically, just as Mary was.  This is a bond cannot be broken because it is properly ordered and freely given and received.

When things become disordered, when we focus on the work to be done instead of God, or we focus on another person before we focus on God, the devil can gain a foothold in our lives and in our homes and we will be blindsided, not seeing what has happened because we thought we were doing good.  This is why we must always maintain our focus on God.  God alone is good. This is why it is critically important to maintain a prayer life, even when we don’t feel like it. Maintaining our relationship with God should always be primary. This is where our authority comes from, and this is how we spread love both in our work and in our homes.  Prayer should be a central part of our daily lives. And it is why we should pray without ceasing, it keeps us focused on God alone, and all else stays in order.  This act of uniting ourselves in prayer, and receiving the Eucharistic Lord physically, this is where the power to change the world comes from. Our own heart, when united with Christ’s heart, like Mary did, will make us living sanctuaries bringing light in a world of darkness.

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That They May Be One

Aunt Agnes

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. John 17:21

The verse above is the universally known verse of Christian unity.  It has been the call to the ecumenical movement and to uniting denominations.

But as I sit here typing at 3:30 a.m. because the Lord awakened me, I know there is another meaning behind this verse, it isn’t just about Christian unity.

It is about YOU.  PERSONALLY.  Jesus says, “just as you and I are one – as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.”

Jesus Christ wants me, Susan, and each of YOU individually, to be one with the Father through Jesus as an action of the Holy Spirit.  This is what it means to be a living sanctuary.  This, and only this, is what will lead to a true Christian unity and peace in the world. And this, this way of living begins in prayer, not in works.  And through prayer we unite to God by receiving the Sacraments.  These two things bring true unity.  Your unity with God.  No amount of ecumenical gathering will achieve the kind of unity and peace that God seeks for us until each one of us personally becomes one with the Father through Jesus Christ, resting in the Father’s bosom, resting in His love.  The result of this kind of unity, the union of an individual with the will of God, is works, works born of love and not of some false facade of what we limited human beings think of as peace.

You see Jesus didn’t speak one word about humankind. A true believer didn’t come from giant speeches, for many heard Him speak, but didn’t stay transformed.  What we see over and over again in the Gospels is that he had a one on one personal encounter with individuals who became transformed.  He KNEW them, and they KNEW HIM.  They probably felt, for the first time ever that they personally were loved unconditionally.  This is why they changed and left their life of sin behind.  It wasn’t because of a giant speech and platitudes about world peace.  It was because of an encounter.  And encounter with LOVE HIMSELF.  One, who through Him, showed us a Good Father. And it is why it was better if Judas had never been born, because he was given the encounter and he betrayed and in his betrayal he rejected the encounter.  He didn’t rest in God’s love for Him.  That’s the difference between Peter and Judas.  Peter, even in his denial, he knew God’s love for him.  It’s why he could repent.  Judas blasphemed by rejecting the mercy of God.

Jesus was each persons best friend.  The one who in return really “got this” was John.

The Gospel tells us of Jesus, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” (John 1:18)  And later, at the Last Supper, the Gospel tells us, “There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23)

This is why John could stand at the foot of the cross.  When Jesus gave us his Mother (John 19:26-27), he also was showing us how to be sons and daughters through the example of John.

Have you had this encounter?  It’s all throughout the Gospels.  The Samaritan women at the well, Zaccheaus, the adulterous woman, each of the Apostles, Martha, Lazarus and Mary.  The list goes on.   We the Mystical Body of Christ, as individual members can bring this encounter to others, with Jesus acting through us, one to one.  This is how to make disciples of all nations, one on one encounter.  Bring Christ to the people.

This is why when Christ comes to you in an encounter it is so important to be OBEDIENT.  This obedience brings the oneness with the Father that was broken by the disobedience of Adam and Eve.  Being obedient is hard, it makes you different from others who may persecute you for it.  But it is in this obedience that grace abounds.  This obedience will help spread the Gospel and achieve true Christian unity.  A person who lives here can love like God does.  God loves unconditionally.  When you rest here you are able to fight the devil by hating him, but not a person.  It enables forgiveness.  You can see the world through spiritual eyes.

When I was in Medjugorje I encountered the 73 year old patriarch of the family that owned our hotel.  He had lived through communism and the war between Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia.  You would think war would have made him bitter, but this man was different.  He had something I hadn’t seen much of before.  He had true peace, true love, and true freedom.  He relayed to us a story about the parish Priest, Father Jozo Zovko, who was imprisoned by the communists for speaking against the state.  This man had witnessed and been part of the trial, which was a farce.  He said he told what was true, but the communists had a predetermined outcome because of their ideology.  Then he said something I will never forget.  He said, “they can put you in prison, but you can still be free.”  This man KNEW GOD.  Because freedom is interior, and it comes when you rest in the bosom of the Father.

Don’t fall for false unity that comes at the expense of Truth.  Be obedient and remember unity starts with your union to the will of the Father.  Rest in the Divine Will.  Peace will be the result, even if there’s a storm around you.

 

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The Center of the World – The Mass

cross mountain 2

“Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power” for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created.” Rev 4:11

Before I post everything I want to say here, I want to clarify a few things.  I was born post Vatican II.  I do not know what it was like back then so everything I am about to state is filtered from a perspective of not having lived through what others have lived through.  Second, my purpose in posting this is NOT to judge people, either those in authority, or the rest of us, God explicitly tells me not to judge because that is for Him to do.  The purpose of this post is also not to degenerate into “Liturgy Wars.”  There are good and holy things happening at Mass, whether it’s a Novus Ordo or the Extraordinary Form.  We are meant to be united, not divided, judging what we do as “better” is like the Gospel from Sunday, Lording ourselves over another.  Jesus specifically asks us not to do this.  Conversion is in the heart and is an act of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit can, and WILL act anywhere.  I also have agonized about whether to print this or not.  I sometimes tend to be impulsive and in hindsight regret my swift action.  I know I will be held to account for every word I speak, so I have learned to be much more careful with what I say and do.  If my interpretation of what God is telling me is wrong, I apologize to God and to all of you.  But in reading today’s Gospel I felt I was called to print this.  In my limited understanding I can only write what I feel God tell me and relay it as best as possible.  This post is meant as a call to prayer, not as a call to shoot poison arrows at one another.  I will not comment on Vatican II, the implementation or the documents, I am not knowledgeable enough.   I also understand that I am out on a limb here so if I get told to take this down I will.  Any comments that shoot poison arrows or claim that “my way is better” I will delete.  With all of this said, I want to relay what happened to me on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at my first High Latin Mass in 26 years.

I went to my first Latin Mass since 1992 on Saturday, October 13, 2018.  I remembered the Latin Mass being beautiful, but this experience was very surreal.  In 1992 the Basilica in DC had permission to do them in their Crypt church, but I was too young and dumb to spiritually grasp what was going on.  I was ignorant back then, and even today, of the history surrounding the Mass changes and the fight of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.  For me, we just have different forms of Liturgy that have all been deemed acceptable by the church.  I still feel this way, but I have a new perspective.

Anyway, now we have Latin Mass in my Diocese and in a twist of what I would classify as a fluke, but God probably would not, I found myself at one on that Saturday.  The Mass was a High Latin Mass and was probably the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life, seriously.  Which then made me mad because none of us in the pews knew what we were doing and I was angry at the church authority for ever having taken this form away in the first place, so I mentioned that to God.

I observed a couple of things at the Mass.  Every movement that the Priest made, every movement of his BODY was a movement toward God (not toward the people).   You could clearly see that the Priest was the Guardian, and the Keeper of the Kingdom of Heaven.  It was happening there on the altar.  His mind, his body and his soul, aligned with God’s will as he gestured what was actually something that was handed to Adam in the Garden.  He had Dominion to bring Heaven to us.  Bring Divinity to us.

For me it was like witnessing the Theological Virtues in Action.  Faith, Hope and Charity in alignment with the will of God, those virtues a grace gifted by God.  Everything a movement towards those virtues.  I actually found it to be quite charismatic, though it is probably opposite of what most others think of as charismatic.

So in my anger about the loss of this form of Mass for so long, I said a prayer to God about it.  This Mass had several things our Mass now doesn’t, including the bodily movement of the Priest, the Latin which is a unifying language and the devil hates unity.  By going to the colloquial language we separated people.  We constantly have separate Masses for separate languages.  That’s why the devil hates Latin so much.  It unifies the whole church.  It also had all movement directed towards heaven, instead of towards the people.  The choir was in the back so you couldn’t see them, but only hear their voices which were projected towards the altar.  The Procession was silent, which was very awe inspiring, you could see the reverence.  There were just so many things.   In my spiritual progression I could just see things in a way I had never seen them prior.  God was at the center of this.

After communion I came back and was praying, and I got VERY OVERCOME AND OVERHWELMED.  I felt as though God showed me the timeline of Salvation History, which has happened to me before.  And that when the catechism speaks of the Passion of the Church (CCC 675, 677), that this Passion of the church actually began right after Christ’s Resurrection.  The walk of the timeline of the history of the church is the walk of Christ’s Life, Death and Resurrection.  The Mystical Body will do the same as Christ.  For example, I was shown the early church persecutions and death were parallel to the slaughter of the innocents.  Pentecost was the Nativity.  The Ascension was the Annunciation.  The public ministry of Christ parallel to Constantine legalizing Christianity.  There was so much I was shown, I cannot remember it all.   The rise of Christendom is like when Jesus was out healing publicly and people were in love with him.  We have entered the time period of the corruption of the leadership, in much the same way as the Pharisees were corrupt.  And we have Judases inside the church who are shiny and smiley and “tolerant” on the outside but empty and devoid on the inside. Jesus has become about being nice.  All the while, demons have trained us how to think. Watching all of this was like a movie playing in my head.  And time, it is just different for God, so different than what we know.

Then God turned me towards His mother.  Just as Mary appeared sporadically throughout the Gospels, so too she appears to the Mystical Body throughout the timeline of history.  At his Passion, she was there the whole time, just like she is continually appearing at Medjugorje right now.  I understand that Medjugorje is not an approved apparition and I have spoken about that and about how I will accept whatever the church rules.  I am just speaking about what I feel I was shown, that she is here now, as she was back then.  Her purpose to show us what faith looks like when faith seems impossible.  Hope in the hopeless.  Love for the unlovable.  A human with no divinity doing God’s will.

The stripping down of the Mass, the disunification, this is part of the scourging.  I believe we will enter a time period where the Mass won’t be recognizable and perhaps the Eucharist is gone, in the name of ecumenism.…. We should be ecumenical but not at the expense of truth. I feel like what I was shown was that the church will take on all the worlds sins inside of her.  The way Christ took on our sins inside of Him on the Cross.  It looks like being forsaken.  Almost every Catholic will walk away from the faith.

On Sunday, the day after attending Latin Mass, I went to my regular Novus Ordo Mass.  I felt sad.  We, have humanized the Liturgy so much it becomes about us and how we feel, instead of about the Divine.  Not that it isn’t valid, or even beautiful, God impressed upon me that it is valid and said, “these are my broken people, pray for them”.  What I see is all of us so broken and wounded and hungry that the Mass is about that and about validation of that that it seems like we are not resting in the love of God and being secure in it.  People don’t really believe they’re loved and forgiven, so they’re looking to feel better.

I think the best way to explain it is, the Mass we have now seems to be about emotion and feeling.  The Latin Mass went much deeper and was actually about the Spiritual World being brought to the human world and us receiving it, instead of the reverse.  The key for each of us, no matter the Mass we attend, is to interiorly know who it is we are receiving, and as an act of our will, to ask for union with the will of our Creator.  I am not judging the souls of the people at a Novus Ordo, just making an observation.  I know these souls and they are beautiful, and God loves them and the effort to bring glory to Him.  And we are all following the path the authority set out for us.

And God basically said, this is just the path you’re on and I am walking with you to Calvary.  The last stop— Physical pain.  Just like anything that starts in the spiritual world and takes root in our emotions it moves to our physical body. And that old Mass which aligned all 3, spiritual, emotional and physical with God…this new one doesn’t, though for an individual it can since it’s an interior disposition too.  I will pause here and say too, that even a Protestant can have the interior disposition, but it is much much harder without the physical Eucharist, but because Protestants have relationship with Christ, they can actually be sanctuaries of God (Luke 9:50).  We are all supposed to be living sanctuaries.  What I felt is that God, not people, is supposed to be the center of everything.  If we put God at the center, we actually treat people better, we love like God does because He is the source. But God also told me he has this, and it is part of His plan.  What I felt God showed me, just left me with a feeling of resignation to His plan, knowing it is better for us, but seeing that it will be extremely painful.  He kept telling me to watch for the removal of the Eucharist.

I am not a Liturgist so speaking about this makes me feel ignorant.  I also am not a sedevacantist, the Pope is our authority, needs our prayer, and none of us can know his interior.    What I see is all part of God’s much larger plan to actually have us embrace what Jesus came to teach us… so we can, like Him and through Him put the devil under our feet.  He is the means to that end.  He wants us to have our dominion back, but he is allowing our total breakdown in order to do it because it will be the way we completely surrender.

This is not for me an Old Rite vs. New One.  For me, it just is.  I am told not to judge the souls of the people on this path.  But to pray for them.

When I had this experience it was also clear about obedience to authority. This is something I struggled with.  It’s like Marcel Lefebvre (who I really know very little about, but am trying to relay what God showed me) was correct about not changing the Liturgy, but totally wrong to disobey.  I have a hard time grasping that.  That for something so HUGE, I would have felt the need to fight like he did, but it seems to me God was letting me know he was wrong to do so.  He kept showing me Padre Pio as the example and saying Marcel Lefebvre was right and wrong all at the same time.  It’s about waiting for God, which most of us don’t do.  We take it into our own hands and we try to manipulate God when God has a larger plan at play.

It’s easy to obey a good and holy leader, but when the leader is in open rebellion against God (at least from your perspective)… it’s just very hard to comprehend.  This is not a judgment on Vatican II, again, I cannot know the interior disposition or what was going on at the time.  It’s also why I believe Gods view of blessings and curses are very different from our own.  This is something reading the book of Job taught me.

So to be clear, this is not a condemnation of the current Mass.  God gave the church the authority.  What it binds on earth is bound in heaven.  The question becomes, what are we binding? And for me, this just is the path… the same walk Christ made… and our prayer and sacrifice unite us ever closer to Christ.

It was here when he was talking to me I kept seeing a Fulton Sheen quote, “who is going to save our Church?  Not our Bishops, not our Priests and religious.  It is up to you the people.  You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church.  Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your Bishops act like Bishops, and your religious act like religious.” So there is something the laity is supposed to be doing, as God wills it,  which includes ardently praying, but I couldn’t quite grasp what else.  Our role is different on this walk than that of the clergy.  I am not clear yet on exactly our role besides praying, but there is another role.

With each stripping down of the Mass we have scourged the Mystical Body.  Doctrine will be nailed to the Cross…

You see, God Himself DOES NOT ACTUALLY NEED THE LITURGY.  HE IS PERFECT.  We need the Liturgy to unite us to Divinity.  His humanity and divinity brought to us.  When we stripped the Divinity out of the Mass by “making it easier for us” we humanized everything so much (except at the consecration which brings us both the full humanity and full divinity of God) and became more and more distant from the Creator.  We take on the sins of the world, and eventually we will breathe our last, looking totally dead.  Only a few remaining standing at the foot of the cross.

It was interesting to note that as I was experiencing this, I also learned that April 3, 2019 is 50 years since the institution of the new Mass.  April 3, 33 AD is the date given in the documentary, Star of Bethlehem, as the day of the Cross, the first Good Friday.

God told me that if we really want to know the “signs of the times”, we needn’t look any further than the Mass.  The church is the center of the world.  The way she goes is then echoed out to the world.  Look for changes to the Mass and Scripture if you want to know what happens next.  Scripture is already being changed.   Just after I had this experience I read that China removed all bibles for sale because they are writing one that will conform with the state.

The one thing I feel about Mary, is that back then she stood with her son and will now be standing with us, the Mystical Body to grace us with those theological virtues, which are a gift of grace.   That is why she is the key.  This is the triumph of her Immaculate Heart, she stands with us to see us through to Resurrection.  I have ideas of what this could look like, but I am usually wrong when I try to interpret things on my own.

Know too I feel dumb saying all of this because I am not do not possess the knowledge of history or of liturgy in these areas.  This is all just what I feel I have been told. And I try to interpret as best as I can.

And it’s very overwhelming to look at from my small perspective.

About a week later after writing all of this down about the Latin Mass, I was walking and God kept repeating, “whose sins you forgive are forgiven them.” and “what you bind on earth is bound in heaven.”

Let me see if I can explain how that was shown to me.

Some of the things people are doing are objectively mortal sin.

BUT because demons have trained people how to think, many do not know it.  And the church has not taught it for the better part of 50 years.

So when a person is “welcomed” into the church, sitting in that sin, and the authority does nothing to correct it, and tells them they’re forgiven without need of change, they actually are granted the mercy of purgatory based on the authority the church has and their lack of knowledge and understanding.

But there are those in authority do know better (though I suspect there are some who are poorly formed who for one reason or another may not know better).  What they “bind on earth, is bound in heaven.”  They are actually binding curses on the church itself because they’re violating covenant with God.  Which is why we are on a Passion walk.  Many faithful who know and recognize truth will break away from the authority as the church continues on a trajectory against Doctrine and against Christ.  But this isn’t right either.  Christ allowed the authority to take him all the way to death.  And we are supposed to be like Christ.  In the current world scenario this is what I see, I believe the “Herod and Pilate” who are the secular leaders who crucified Christ, is China.  The Judases are the ones who are betraying Christ from the inside by denying His teachings.  But there will be many who will break away from the walk to Calvary in an effort to save themselves, but not others.  Christ wants us all in this together.  The people of God are a communion.

At the core of the church the Holy Spirit is the head, so even if the authority is blind and deaf the ship will be directed the way the Spirit wants and we need to remain on the ship even when we can’t see through the storm.  She will get safely anchored, after this giant storm, between the two pillars of Mary and the Eucharist.

Pray without ceasing for the unity of the church.  Not a false unity, but for unity in TRUTH.

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Be a living Sanctuary – A Pilgrims Story

Sun Dancing

Photo taken October 2, 2018 – Medjugorje – Feast of the Guardian Angels

“if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

I made my first pilgrimage ever.  I took a trip to Medjugorje, Bosnia – Herzegovina.   This is a place of alleged apparitions of Our Lady.   The Vatican has assigned a Papal Envoy with Archbishop Hoser as the head of the envoy, and with this Medjugorje is expanding.

I will stop here for a moment to give my thoughts on Medjugorje, as I know some find this to be a controversial place, this will be my only comment about it because in the end, if it is authentic, I have no need to defend it, God’s truth always wins.   And whatever that truth may be, as revealed through God’s church, I will accept it.

I have read both pros and cons about Medjugorje and conflicting reports about all that has gone on there.  Many others have already written about this.   The appointment of the Papal Envoy lends validity at the very least to the place as a shrine.

As for me, in my prayer, God tells me it is authentic.  He tells me though, because of us and our sinful ways, it comes with all the muck of our modern era attached to it.  By that I mean, whenever something great and Godly is happening, you can also count on people bringing their own mess to it.  And you can count on Satan to attack it.  There are several reasons I believe it is authentic. The first is because of the vocations to the Priesthood that I have personally seen come out of there.  The priests who found their calling from there are numerous, and most telling is their acceptance of authentic Catholic Truth.  Including the fact that they all say they would accept whatever the Vatican decides about the place.  If there is one thing I know, the devil does not want Priests.  The devil is not going to be sending Priests out in the world who preach authentic Catholic Truth.  On this alone, I can conclude something wonderful is happening there.   And the devil will fight very hard to bring those Priests down in a particularly harsh way, which is why we need to pray for them so much.  Second, the main message of Medjugorje (and from Our Lady) are these 5 things, called the 5 stones;

  1.  Prayer from the Heart.  There is nothing more important than prayer, which brings that personal encounter with God.  Praying the Rosary and MEANING IT and MEDITATING ON IT, and have MENTAL CONVERSATION WITH GOD, who is our creater, Our Good Good Father, and our Savior.
  2. Mass and reception of the Holy Eucharist.  (Adoration also).  This is emphasized so much!  Encounter God in the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist.
  3. Reading Scripture everyday and placing the Holy Bible in a prominent place in our homes.
  4. Fasting.  We in the west have forgotten how to do this.  We are comfortable, but Medjugorje reminds us of the importance of this.
  5. Monthly Confession.  If you do not take time to examine your own conscience and repent of your sins, you cannot make the world a better place.  Peace in the world begins in the Confessional.

So with all this in mind, I began my pilgrimage to Medjurgorje with an open heart and an open mind.  It was my first time ever on and International flight (unless my honeymoon to Mexico counted, back when you didn’t need a passport to travel to Mexico.)  I have to say, I used to suffer from great anxiety travelling.  You can read about my anxiety, here and here.  My anxiety about things would sometimes get to the point I cry and break down.  But in my journey with God, He has slowly and gently walked me to a place of freedom.  I had absolutely no anxiety at all about this trip.  And I am telling you, that is a miracle.

It took over 24 hours to get there and we arrived late in the evening, after having to spend much of the trip surrendering to God the travels delays.  We stayed at a lovely hotel that was owned by the family of a locutionist who have also a winery.  It was called the Cesaria Wine Hotel.

wine hotel

The first thing I noticed about the place is the hospitality and the slower pace of life.  Phones put away, and relationships nurtured.  A glass of wine, and a conversation.  We had about 28 people on our Pilgrimage including our Priest and tour Guide.

Pilgrimage Group

Most were from one parish in our Diocese, with a few others of us sprinkled in.  I really didn’t know the people well, but by the time I left, they were friends.

My first day there started with Mass.  English Mass at 10:00 a.m.  This is something that you just go to every morning.  It isn’t a question.  Mass is so packed that it overflows outside.  In the evening is International Mass and it is a sight to behold;

International Mass

The church of Saint James – Patron of Pilgrims built in 1968 – years prior to the 1981 apparition beginnings.  No one knew why they built such a large church for such a small town, or why they named it Saint James- no one but God.  

It actually took my breath away to see this many people going to Mass, a daily Mass at that.  There were, Croations, Italians, Africans, Polish, Americans, Irish, British, Indian, Canadian, German, Chinese, I could go on… I mean it was breath taking.  All there to worship God in the Mass.  The homilies were all powerful and packed with truths that most American Priests don’t speak of (with the exception of a few I know.)

The lines for confession were long.  The Adoration Chapel was packed.  This is how we should all be living.  This is how the Mother of God calls us to deep contemplative prayer and worship of her Son.  Why in the world are the rest of us not living like this?  It was common place to see people walking and reciting the Rosary.  I could listen to the Croatian Rosary and respond in English.  It was a vision of the Mystical Body of Christ.

October 2 was the day of the apparition.  I will pause here for a moment to say this, Mary’s appearance in anyplace has always been a call towards her Son.  Though I of course wanted to be there for the apparition, it was the sight of the people praying in unison that captivated me the most.  At the precise time of the apparition, for me interiorly, God impressed upon my heart to pray for specific people and their mission.  We each have a purpose and mission in life, and when ordered towards God, we experience joy and a fire in our hearts.  He impressed upon me to pray for this for some very particular people, who I believe will help change the world for the better.

apparition

My view at apparition time

The biggest impression of all was made upon me by the faith of the people who lived there.  They are just one generation away from communism.  Their parish Priest was jailed and tortured.  The Franciscans were martyred nearby, each holding the Cross proclaiming their love for Christ as the communists murdered them one by one and threw their bodies into a cave and burned them.  The people woke to murdered Priests.  The pain was great, but the faith is authentic and unmistakable.

Francican Monastery

The Franciscan Monastery of Siroki Brijeg

Franciscan Martyrs

Franciscan Martyrs of Siroki Brijeg

Cave of Franciscan Martyrs

Cave where the bodies of the Franciscan Martyrs were burned by the communists

I think the thing that was impressed upon me so greatly after listening to these stories, is actually how sad I am to see similar things happening in America.  Communism is evil.  The level of vitriol being spewed out is reaching a high level.  We should all be actively praying for the conversion of  America and of the world.

As for my personal journey, this was a place of healing for me.  When I climbed apparition hill, though I didn’t let anyone know at the time, I cried.  I cried about my journey to cling to my faith and about how all of that was preparation for the times we are living in now in the church.  I know it is through forgiveness and the Sacramental Life that we are free.

At the top of Apparition Hill

I had two very profound moments I will speak of.  The first happened on October 2.  I have felt the Lord lately tell me to “pay attention to the Dogs.”  Yes, the dogs.  I know that is strange but it is what he said.  I went to confession and was finishing up my Penance when a dog walked past.  The Lord told me to follow him, so I did.  The dog took me to the middle of the field, where I saw the sun dance.  It had a large white host in the center of it.  And it danced a blazing pink, the color of joy.  I posted the photo at the top which doesn’t show what I saw, but does show an expanding sun.  This is known as the miracle of the sun, and many have experienced this in Medjugorje.  Later when I looked at the cross on top of the mountain, it was also pink.  I will only say this, it was joyful to be there because many things I have received in prayer seemed to come together in this place and start to make sense.

The second moment was in climbing Cross Mountain and doing the Way of the Cross.  I got to the sixth station, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus, and I recalled how my journey of faith really began with the murder of my friend Veronica.

I prayed for her and I wept, again, hiding it from everyone.  And I thanked God for the good He brought from such evil circumstances.

6th Station

Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

I laid the intentions everyone gave me at the Foot of the Cross.

foot of the cross

The Cross on Krizevac in Medjugorje, marked “33-1933.” Built in 1933, to honor the 1900th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus who died on the cross at age 33. It commemorates 1900 years. The cross was placed there long before apparitions and served as a beacon of hope during their oppression from communism.

And I prayed very specifically for someone the whole way and after that I saw this on the way down even though it was a sunny day;

rainbow cross mountain

In the end, the message I have felt the Lord tell me over and over has been reinforced.  While Rome burns, Medjugorje’s message is clear. It is the age old message of the church. Do God’s will.  Live the Sacramental Life. Be a living sanctuary.  Live in the Peace that surpasses all understanding.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

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A Bizzare Dream

Famous-Dolphin-Mosaic-300x225

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.  Acts 3:19

Before I begin, I want to say Happy Feast of the Archangels.  The angels surround us and are ready for battle.

I had a seriously bizarre dream last night.  I was in a car driving to Saint Louis with a friend whose son is in seminary.  I was asking her if she was nervous that he was in the seminary at this point in time with all the stuff going on in the church and with seminarians being abused.  She said no she wasn’t, especially since they have installed “the hotline.”  I didn’t know what she was talking about, except to say that it was a direct line to someone.  All of the sudden it isn’t her next to me anymore, it is now my sister and the road disappears and we’re about to hit a huge mountain embankment, but somehow we manage to not get hurt even though we did hit the embankment and we manage to land the car flatly and all be okay, not without screaming though.

We exit the vehicle and appear to be in what I would describe as a Kingdom in England.  There is a tavern and we can hear people inside.  We go in the Tavern and the owner, who appears to be Irish, is yelling at his staff not to card people, he doesn’t care if they are underage and drinking alcohol (which I believe in reality they don’t have a drinking age like Americans do).We turn to look at what appears to be a play that is going on in the center of this very large tavern.  There are kids I would describe as young teens who are hanging on what looks like a clothing rack filled with clothes, but they are dressed in costume and they are singing.  But then the king who I couldn’t see, but could hear, says something, and the clothing rack, it’s almost catapulted over with the kids on it and it tumbles and they’re being slammed around, and hitting their heads and I am terrified of what the injuries will be.  It was a violent slamming and tumbling.  When it’s done, it appears that the kids are very injured, but instead of bleeding and broken arms, it’s like they have slightly morphed into monsters…Looking like the hunchback of Notre Dame, or like they have mumps all over them.  The kids all start talking, and it’s like they have seen others go through this before and they know what will happen.  They start saying, “we have to figure out how to totally transform, or else he will annihilate us.”  Some of them are so scared.  But others are like, “we can do this, we can transform.”  Then floodwaters came in, and at this point I am just an observer watching, but the things are not happening to me.  It is clear some of them are too afraid to transform, fear paralyzes them.  But there is one girl I see and she says she knows she can, she is not afraid.  As the waters start pouring in she actually is able to transform into a dolphin and swim, changing back when she gets to land.  It’s like she is given these unbelievable powers.  And she can become a dolphin anytime she needs to navigate the floodwaters.  She is free, while others get trapped and perish.  And then I woke up.

I did look up what a dolphin meant in Christian symbolism when I woke up.  I was astonished to see this;

The dolphin is most often as a symbol of the Christian himself rather than Christ, though the dolphin was also used as a representation of Christ — most often in combination with the anchor symbol (“Christ on the Cross”).

I don’t know exactly what to make of the dream.  It was so vivid.  You know those dreams you can always recall and remember… all I can think is God wants us to totally transform.

I am leaving on Pilgrimage tomorrow.  I will pray for all of you.

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Hope – Flame of Love

Tabernacle Monstrance Sanctuary Lamp

 

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

 

Ya’ll, my friend had an amazing miracle happen to her during her religious education class on Wednesday, September 19, 2018.

My friend teaches 5th grade religious education.  She always begins her class with a procession into the classroom with a bible, crucifix and a lit candle.

She and kids placed the items on the table in the classroom and prayed together.  Then they sat down and she began teaching them about prayer.

A little while into the class a boy noticed that the candle on the table had gone out.

My friend went and grabbed it and said, “yes it has.”  She took the opportunity to talk about the Sanctuary Candle that is lit next to the tabernacle in our churches.

She held up the burnt out candle but explained that when you see a lit sanctuary candle it means Jesus is present in the tabernacle and you should always be reverent and not nonchalant or ignore Jesus.

She said you should imagine that Jesus is standing there and that we should acknowledge him with a genuflection, sign of the cross, and prayer.

And you guys…. when she said this…. THE CANDLE RE-LIT INTO A BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT, larger than it had been originally!

The co-teacher and children exclaimed that they had just witnessed a miracle.  7 kids and two adults all saw the candle re-light!  I kid you not!

GOD IS SO GOOD.

I share this with you so that you can all know that in these dark times… THE FLAME OF LOVE IS WITH US.

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Nothing Can Penetrate God’s Grip

 

Jesus Loves the Little ChildrenBrothers and sisters:
It is widely reported that there is immorality among you,
and immorality of a kind not found even among pagans–
a man living with his father’s wife.
And you are inflated with pride.
Should you not rather have been sorrowful?
The one who did this deed should be expelled from your midst.
I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit,
have already, as if present,
pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed,
in the name of our Lord Jesus:
when you have gathered together and I am with you in spirit
with the power of the Lord Jesus,
you are to deliver this man to Satan
for the destruction of his flesh,
so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not appropriate.
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our Paschal Lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  – 1 Corinthians 5:1-8

 

*** This journal entry was written after meditation on the first reading and on the joyful mysteries of the Rosary September 10, 2018.  More than anything God tells me;

  1. Be Not Afraid
  2. Pray without ceasing
  3. Trust God with your entire being
  4. Consecrate yourself to Mary

September 10, 2018

Beloved,

My Apostles, my Priests they are set apart with Authority.  What they bind on earth is bound in heaven.  Saint Paul pronounced judgement on immorality because he was given the Authority to do this.  This was actually a blessing on this man because his spirit was saved for my judgement.  My Shepherds are meant to walk in union with me, they are a conduit to the Divine.  They are meant to have right judgement.  But instead many have become immoral.  An immorality found not even among the pagans and they are inflated with pride.  Because they have violated covenant and abused MY AUTHORITY, I will hand them over myself to the torturers.  Their facade will fall like dominoes.  It feels like my wrath.  It is MY LOVE.  DESTROYING THAT WHICH KEEPS YOU FROM ME.  The church is the center of the world.  I hand her to the pagans and all will fall from there.  The corrupted institution and then the world.  You will be totally blind.  In order not to perish from fright you must totally trust me absolutely.  I AM creating a new heaven and a new earth.  The gates of hell shall not prevail.  This isn’t the end, it is the beginning.  All things moving to union with my will.  There will be 3 days of darkness.  You will search for me with great anxiety.  But you will find me in the temple.  YOU WILL BE THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD.  The sanctuary is those who trust totally.  Like the sorrow of Mary’s heart the searching will be hard, but the fruit of this means is the end goal of JOY.  

I AM breaking the stronghold of sexual deviancy that the father of lies has perpetrated.  It has permeated all areas and when the children are corrupted the HEAVENS CRY OUT, NO MORE!  The Kingdom of God belongs to the little ones, the least of these.  

Fear not.  You will be TOTALLY BLIND.  Totally uncomfortable.  Totally dependent on me.  It is I who hold you in the palm of my hand.  NOTHING CAN PENETRATE MY GRIP.

Pray for the church.

Pray for Nashville.

Pray for Panama.

Pray for the Pope, he has much to suffer.

Pray for the conversion of sinners.

Remember the Youth.  PAY ATTENTION TO THE YOUTH.  

Don’t lose the children.

Everyone is blinded, open your eyes to the children.

– Abba

 

*** I write in my journal as if God is speaking to me, what I believe the Lord is saying to me.  My spiritual director said I can do this as long as it doesn’t stray from Scripture or the Magisterium.  It is obviously filtered through my human intellect.  I cannot know the mind of God, but I do know He is calling us to total and complete trust.

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