somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


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The Sorrowful Mysteries

This is the second in the series of  “How Praying the Rosary Changed my Life.”  Please click here for the background of how I was led to The Rosary, and also to learn about The Rosary and The Joyful Mysteries.

Today I will cover the Sorrowful Mysteries, which are prayed on Tuesday and Friday.

My prayer is that The Holy Spirit will open your heart to these great mysteries, and fill you with the love, joy, and peace of Our Lord, Jesus.

There are five meditations associated with the Sorrowful Mysteries. I will cover each one.

  1. Agony in the Garden   Mark 14:32-46  Luke 22:41-44  (For true repentance of my sins)   Dear Lord, how can I even begin to understand the agony that you endured, as you prayed to your Father in the garden?  You knew exactly what was going to happen to you…that you were offering yourself as a perfect sacrifice in atonement for the sins that I have committed, am committing, and will commit in the future.  You took my place.  You also knew that you would be betrayed by some of those who were closest to you, and knew  you would be hated, spat upon, tortured, blasphemed, humiliated, and ultimately crucified by those who did not understand The Truth.  I am so much like your disciples, who could not even stay awake for one hour to keep watch.  Judas betrayed you with a kiss.  How many times do I declare my love for you, and then close my heart to your love, and to your presence in my life?  How many times do I “fall asleep” when there is work to be done and people to love?  How many times do I betray you by allowing my weakness and selfishness to come between us?  Help me to understand that even you prayed that your Father would take the cup away…and the angels actually came to strengthen you in your suffering.  Help me to remember that you are always with me…I am never alone.  Help me to always come to you in prayer, with praise, thanksgiving and petitions, and always  submitting myself to the Father’s will…not my own.
  2. Scourging at the Pillar   Mark 15:1-15  (For a Spirit of Mortification)  Lord, help me to face the hardships and suffering in my life as you did.  You accepted your scourging with love and humility.  You did not even utter one harsh word toward your tormenters.  Please help me to understand and always remember…You suffered in my place, Lord. Thank you for the perfect love that you offered me through your sacrifice, and the love that you are still offering to me now. Help me to find you through the difficulties, pain and suffering that I experience day to day.  Help me to accept them with joy…knowing that through the suffering I am closer to you.
  3. Crowning With Thorns  Mark 15:16-19  (For Moral Courage)   Lord it wasn’t enough that you were scourged; you were also mocked and blasphemed.  Through it all, love and humility radiated from you.  Help me to always be ready to stand for what is right in God’s eyes. When I am mocked or persecuted because of my love of you, I ask that you shower me with your mercy and grace so I can respond with love and humility.
  4. Carrying of the Cross  Mt 27:31-32  (For the Virtue of Patience)  Lord, the first thing that pops into my heard after reading this verse…is that Simon was forced to carry the cross.  Am I so different from him?  When I am sent crosses to bear, I am always looking for ways to alleviate my struggle, pain, and difficulty.  It seems that I am sometimes forced to carry my crosses…and in the process I become closer to you, and my cross becomes a blessing.  Help me to not only carry my own burdens willingly and lovingly, but also open my eyes to ways I can carry some of the burdens of those around me…lightening the pain and suffering of others so it is bearable for them.  Help me to be a blessing to all those in need, that you place on my path.
  5. The Crucifixion  Luke 23:34  Luke 23:45-46  (For the Grace of Final Perseverance)  My dear Lord, You suffered and died in my place.  Thank you for the love and mercy that stream from you.  Thank you for loving me.  When I am hurt or when evil surrounds me, help me to always ask God to forgive them, for they know not what they do.  And please fill me with your grace, that I may say, in total faith, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

May your day be blessed in the love and light of Jesus, Our Lord. May your heart be touched through these Sorrowful Mysteries.
Please feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts.

Pray the Rosary A Saint Joseph Edition  A wonderful little pamphlet.

 


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Not Against Flesh and Blood

 

Recently, my heart and mind have been reminded of the truth that we all face each day.  Many of us refuse to see or acknowledge this truth, some of us are ignorant or apathetic to this truth, and some have made the decision to be seduced and to intermingle and accept the darkness that accompanies this truth.

My eyes have been opened to the truth of the unseen in our midst.  Among the unseen is the demonic realm and evil.  If you are not aware that it exists, and are not protected by the saving grace of Jesus, you are leaving many open windows for satan and his evil demons to enter your soul.

For you that do not accept that this realm exists, and maybe are even chuckling to yourself as you read this,  I pray that you take a few moments right now to pray for the Holy Spirit to shine a light on any darkness in your own heart, and that the scales are removed from your eyes.

When you don’t know your enemy, you will be deceived and wounded.  When you don’t understand that  we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places…you will not have the tools necessary to understand and see what is at work in your friends, family, yourself, and the world in general.

It is so obvious to me now.  The Lord is teaching me, and working through me on many levels, as he is with all of you who are sincerely seeking him and loving him through obedience.  Although we all still stumble and fall through sin, we rely on Jesus to help us get back up on our feet, loving us and forgiving us as we ask and accept his forgiveness.  As we align ourselves with him and walk in his ways, we are more and more filled with truth, and we begin to see people, and the world, with a clarity that we did not possess before.

When I see the intense struggles and suffering of so many around me, I am acutely aware that the majority of them, Christians included, are clueless about the real reasons for their misery.  They blame the misery, suffering, and hopelessness on people or circumstances of this world.  They don’t understand and have not truly proclaimed victory through Jesus Christ!  He is the way, the truth and the life.  He is our hope…he is waiting for us to trust in him, and give him all of our sufferings, doubts and pain.  He suffered for us, he already paid the price for our sins. He is the one who we can truly give our lives to and trust his perfect love for us.  He is our protection against the evil spirits around us and is our saving grace.

For those of you who proclaim the name of Jesus, and proclaim your Christianity, I have a few things to ask that you ponder.  And remember, I live in the same world that you do…and are tempted in most of the same ways you are.  Maybe you will be disturbed and defensive by some of what I ask you…however, if something stirs anger or an uncomfortable nudge in your soul, it may be something to pray about, and ask  that the Holy Spirit will reveal any dark areas in your life and heal you from the inside out.

What do you willingly  allow into your heart, and the hearts of your loved ones on a daily basis?   How does your life glorify Jesus?

What movies or TV shows are you watching?  Are you watching intense violence and gore, stories about promiscuity/sexual sin that include nudity?  Are you watching shows that glorify a “new” kind of family…a family that stands for many things against that of a true godly family?  Do you find yourself laughing it off as “just a movie”, or making excuses, that God doesn’t care about a movie or show you are watching?  Are you one of the Christians who supported, watched and enjoy entertainment such as “Fifty Shades of Grey?”

Are you supportive of a woman’s “right to choose?”  Do you really believe that The Holy Spirit is responsible for mutilating and killing babies in the womb, and filling the soul of the mother and all those that are assisting in this horror with darkness and pain?  What spirit do you believe is filling and numbing minds to this evil that is occurring as commonplace in our world?

What music are you listening to?  Do you really believe that the music you fill your whole being with, is leading you closer to Jesus (love) or is glorifying your Father in Heaven?

Have you read any books lately that bring you closer to Jesus and help you on your walk with him?  Are you reading about your faith, and everything that your faith or denomination stand for?  Are you reading The Word of God…the Bible?  Or are you reading something else entirely…

Do you dabble with evil…the occult, astrology, mediums, the paranormal, transcendental meditation?

Do you find your joy in overindulging yourself with food, alcohol, drugs or sex?

Are you living in sexual sin…married or unmarried?  Do you allow pornography in front of your eyes?

Are you constantly comparing your life to others?  Why can’t you have more material things, more beauty, more success…never understanding that God has blessed you uniquely, according to his purpose in your life?

Do you allow the evil in the world to take away your joy?  Are you  allowing it to penetrate your heart with hate, fear or apathy?

Do you forgive those who have hurt you deeply, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual?

Are you discerning of the ones you associate with?  Do you look for the fruits of the spirit in their life?  Not just personality, but true integrity of heart?

Do you believe that your purpose on earth is to just “be happy?”  Is your personal happiness the focal point of your day to day life?

Do you engage with those living in darkness by sharing the light of Christ or by encouraging or condoning their confusion and error due to “political correctness?”

Are you trapped in pride, arrogance or bitterness?

 

Many things to think about in our day to day decisions.  Which decisions bring us closer to Jesus, which ones glorify our Father?  Which ones open windows to satan and his evil demons, allowing them to slowly fill our hearts with darkness and despair?  Satan is THE DECEIVER and will twist truth to confuse us…if we don’t know and accept this  truth we will not be able to discern spirits and will not know how to arm ourselves against such evil.

Jesus is love.  Jesus dispels darkness, for he is The Light.    Jesus heals.   Jesus is victorious.  Jesus is our power.   Through Him we are saved.  Through His Word we are protected.

I pray that  the Holy Spirit opens your heart and fills you with His peace, love, and joy.  I pray that you are filled with a new understanding of the depth that you are loved by Jesus, and that you are made aware of  the importance of staying close to Him that loves you, carrying your daily cross in union with Him.  I also pray that your heart and soul be protected against the evil one, and that you hide yourself in the love of your Lord.

 

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.  Ephesians 6:11-20

 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 14:6

 

 13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.  2 Corinthians 11:13-15

 

 

 

 

 


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The Blessings of Barrenness

 

This is the time of year that I used to dread.  Most of the Christmas decorations have disappeared from our neighborhood’s homes, the warmth of holiday music has dissipated, the air is bitter cold, and the trees are dark and seemingly devoid of life.

My husband and I commute to work together, and lately I have been struck with beauty that I haven’t noticed before.  One thought has been swirling in my mind for a few days now.

There is great beauty to be found in barrenness.

This thought strikes me as my eyes take in the awesomeness of those trees that in the past I would describe as cold, dead and dull.  What I see now is entirely different and enlightening.

As we drive home after work, the winter sunsets are almost overwhelmingly gorgeous.  Last night there were deep shades of indigo, violet, magenta, pink and blue.  The colors were layered beautifully, and could be viewed through the intricate patterns of lace and latticework formed by the branches of those “dead” trees.

All it took for me to notice and see the beauty of barrenness was to look past it, and focus on the beauty through it.

Our lives are like that.  We tend to focus on what is lacking, and sometimes just can’t understand why a loving God would allow certain things to happen in the world.  We look at our own lives, our sufferings and weaknesses, and we feel barren and sometimes even abandoned.

We are called in faith to look through the barrenness and focus on the perfect beauty and love of God.

He is the beauty that calls, amazes, humbles, and overwhelms us with love.  He is The One that works all things toward good for those who love Him.

Do you love Him that loves you?  Are you willing to look through your weaknesses, persecutions, and sufferings and focus your trust and whole being on the saving love and grace of Jesus?  Will you open your heart to His Divine Mercy?

Only then will your eyes be opened to the intricate beauty of barrenness… for only Our Lord knows the full design of the tapestry that is being masterfully created through what we view as unacceptable.

 

Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:8-10

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28


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One More Day

You are reading this, so I know that God has blessed you with another day. No matter what your circumstance, you have been given the opportunity to:

Have one more day to grow in faith and get to know Jesus in a more intimate way than you knew Him yesterday;

Breathe in the essence of God, allowing His Holy Spirit to envelop your whole being;

Give thanks for the air that you breathe, the feelings that you feel, your senses which allow you to interact with God and the people in your life;

Break free from hanging on to the bitterness and pain that is holding you in bondage…FORGIVEboth yourself and others;

Pray for all the people that the Lord places on your heart, especially including those that make you feel uncomfortable, or those that have hurt you or are living in darkness;

Share Jesus continuously by showing love to those around you…pray for the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and heart, and you will be guided to the people and the ways you can share His Saving Love and Grace with them;

Enjoy and thank God for the goodness and wonder of the blessings in your life…stop and take time to remember and acknowledge as many as you can. Create a never ending mental list of gratitude;

Offer your daily crosses to the Lord – the boredom and struggles of daily life, your pain, frustration, and sufferings…unite them with the suffering of Jesus in atonement for your sins and the whole world.

Enjoy and savor One More Day…for you are One More Day closer to a wondrous and unfathomable eternal life with Your Father.


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Looking Outside of Ourselves

Recently, I was reading a convert’s testimony, and one of her thoughts flew out at me.

The idea is, that being human, we tend to compare ourselves and our lives to those that have more than us.  This tendency, coupled with the intense marketing of Hollywood and our culture, many times leads us to covet what we don’t have.  It’s such an “exciting” world out there, and we are missing out!  We start to focus and want (the catch phrase for this desire is “dream”) all the things that we feel we are missing out on.  Material possessions, status, beauty, glamor, lifestyle, education level, etc., start to dominate our thoughts.  We may even begin to wonder why God hasn’t blessed us with these things.  Why would He provide certain things for  others, and not for us?

When we allow our thoughts and heart to dwell on what we don’t have, we are stuck in the “me” position.  As much as we don’t want to face the truth, that is a very selfish place to be.

Instead of looking at all that WE don’t have, the better focus would be to open our eyes to the people around us that have much less than we do.  Not to feel “better” about ourselves in comparison, but to learn to be content and grateful for the gifts God has blessed us with, and look for ways to help our brothers and sisters.

In essence, we need to change our focus from looking toward ourselves, to looking outside of ourselves and seeing a world in need.

Lord, thank you for all the grace and blessings you have bestowed on me through your loving Spirit.

I ask that you open my eyes to the ways I can share your love and the blessings in my life, with all those who are in need.

Please enlighten me to become more aware of those who are hurting and lonely, and open my heart so I know how to be of help to them.

Reveal to me those who are hungry in order that I can share with them…not only food, but also love and friendship.

Open my heart and  fill it with compassion, for those who are traveling a dark path without You.  Help me to be there in love for them, instead of judging them.

Help me to always be grateful for the mercy  you have bestowed on me, and empower me to always search for a way to love those you place in my life each day. 

For it is through that love, that they will see your face when they look at me.

The Happy Prince   This is a beautiful story of selfless giving.  It has been my favorite since I was a child.  There are parts I literally can’t read out loud because they touch my heart so deeply.  Enjoy.


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Letting Go

It is a beautiful fall day – a little crisp with the sun shining brightly.  My favorite kind of day.  Except that it is rather windy, and you can ask my husband…I do not like wind at all.

I am sitting at my desk at work, looking at the little tree that is right outside the window.  It is my little piece of heaven at work…I love trees and I have the privilege of being able to view them during the day.  So happy I am not stuck in a “cubicle” situation.  It would be extremely difficult for me to be imprisoned in an office all day with no windows!

My little tree is currently covered with gorgeous hues of yellow, gold, and burnt orange. As the wind blows, the leaves shimmer and dance in the breeze, trying so hard to hold on to their branches.  Of course, in time, the leaves will finally submit to the power of the wind, and they will eventually drop to the ground.  As we know, the tree will appear dreary and dead all through the winter, and then burst forth with new life in the spring!

Watching those leaves hanging on for dear life, reminds me of myself.  Most of the time when I go on my daily lunchtime walks, it looks like a completely still day. No wind.  It never fails, once I start walking and praying, the wind picks up and blasts me.  It almost makes me laugh out loud, because in my soul, I know it is God speaking to me.  He is trying to get my attention, to let me know that I should stop trying to hide from the winds of change and growth.  Just like the leaves, I am trying to hang on to what I know, and trying to keep things at an even keel.

I need to stop hiding from Him.

What I am learning is that I need to just let go…and let the wind carry me…stop fighting it.  Stop fighting what God has planned for my life.  I need to submit to the Lord and just let go….why is that so difficult?

Lord, thank you for blessing me in so many ways!  You are the source of all that is good, and you are my comfort through the pain and heartaches of this world.

Please send your Holy Spirit to open my soul to your will, and fill me with the grace to let go of my fears and submit my life and my will to You. 

Help me to let go of all that is holding me captive. 

For I have faith, that just like the leaves letting go and falling to the ground are an indication of the beauty  to come in the spring…so is your loving plan for my life. 

The beauty comes in letting go.