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The Luminous Mysteries

This is the fourth 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 Joyful, Sorrowful, and and Glorious  Mysteries.

Today I will cover the Luminous Mysteries, which are prayed on Thursday.

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 Luminous Mysteries. I will cover each one.

  1. The Baptism of Jesus  Matthew 3:13-17  (For the Desire to Live my Baptismal Promises)  Dear Lord, you did not need to be baptized…for you are God.  Thank you for submitting to your Father, and allowing John to baptize you.  How unworthy he must have felt.  However, you accepted his baptizing you, in total love and humility.  We hear our Father’s words, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  Help me Lord, to follow in your foot steps.  Even though I am unworthy due to my sin, help me to always look to you to help me to live my baptismal promises.  To live my faith each and every day.
  2. The Wedding at Cana  John 2:1-11  (For the Desire to do Whatever Jesus Says)  Lord, thank you for performing your  first public miracle at the wedding in Cana.  The first thing I think of, is that you and your Mother were celebrating a holy marriage!  Imagine the wonder and joy of having God Himself in attendance of their wedding feast! Help me to understand that it was your Mother that informed you that there was no wine.  She interceded for the need of the wedding hosts, and when you answered that your time had not come…she proceeded to tell the servants to “Do whatever he tells you.”  It is the same when I bring my needs, prayers, and sufferings to Mary.  She intercedes on my behalf to you…guiding me to “Do whatever he says.”
  3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God  Mark 1:14-15  Matthew 5:3-12 (For the Desire of God’s Forgiveness)  Dear Lord, help me to know that your kingdom is as close as my own heart.  Help me to open my heart to you, always desiring that you fill me with your love and mercy.  Help me to stay strong in this world that we are living in…allowing my eyes to be open to your truth and to be very aware of the existence of sin.  Please help me to seek your forgiveness and mercy for my own sins, and also that I may look at others who are living in darkness, with that same love and mercy.
  4. The Transfiguration  Matthew 17:1-8  (For the Desire to be a New Person in Christ)  Dear Lord, thank you for  revealing  your glory through your transfiguration…allowing us humans to experience the glory and radiance of your Godhead.  Help me to always look to you to transform me into a completely new person in you.  Thank you for infusing my heart with your love, and shining your love through me.
  5. The Institution of the Eucharist  Luke 22:7-20  John 6:50-53 (For the Desire for Active Participation at Mass)  Lord Jesus, we are so blessed in the privilege and honor of celebrating Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist…your body and blood. Please help me to always remember, that each and every Mass is a miracle, for you are truly there among us.  Help me to realize that it is your precious body and blood that I receive…making us one.  You are in me and I in you. We are joined together.  Thank you for inviting  me to your table,  The Lamb’s Supper.  

 

Pray the Rosary  A Saint Joseph Edition  A wonderful little Pamphlet

For information on how to pray the rosaryClick here

May your day be blessed in the love and light of Jesus, Our Lord. May your heart be touched through these Luminous Mysteries.

Remember, that these meditations come from my own heart.  When you pray the rosary, the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth of the mysteries directly to you.  Please feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts.


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The Glorious Mysteries

This is the third 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 Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries.

Today I will cover the Glorious Mysteries, which are prayed on Wednesday and Sunday.

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 Glorious Mysteries. I will cover each one.

  1.  The Resurrection  Mt 28:1-7  (For the desire of a Strong Faith)  Dear Lord, through your glorious triumph over death, help me to constantly desire a stronger faith.  Too many times I focus on the darkness and evil in this world, thus allowing myself to be entangled and attached to it.  Help me to focus on the beauty of your love, and your triumph over death, allowing me the opportunity  to bask in the truth of your saving grace.  You are my savior.  Help me to overcome fear and find solace in you, through you, and with you.
  2. The Ascension   Luke 24:50-53  Acts 1:10-11  Mk 16:19-20  (For the desire of the Virtue of Hope)  Lord Jesus, thank you for allowing your disciples to witness your glorious ascension into heaven… taking your  place at the right hand of God.  Through the eyes of faith, allow me to fully hope and trust that you are preparing a place for me, so that I can be with you forever.
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit   John 14:26  Acts 1:5-8  Acts 2:1-6 Acts 2:38-41  (For the desire of Zeal for the Glory of God)  Dear Lord, so many times I try to find happiness through the ways of the world, and through my own limited perceptions.  Please help me to realize that my real, true happiness can only come from you… for your love, power, and glory are endless.  Fill me with a strong desire for you, that my life and the desires of my heart may glorify you.  Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit…and help me to stay open to only you; that my heart be filled with your loving and merciful presence.
  4. The Assumption of Mary  Rev 12:1  Judith 15:9-10  The Assumption  (For the Desire of Grace for a Holy Death) Dear Jesus, thank you for the gift of your Blessed Mother. Through Mary, help me to be drawn closer to you, because her heart is forever joined with yours.  Through her humility, great love, gentleness, and sinless example to me, help me to trust in your grace for a holy life and a holy death.
  5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary   Luke 1:46-49    Coronation of Mary  (For the desire for a Greater Love for the Blessed Virgin Mary)   Dear Lord, thank you for bringing me closer to your Blessed Mother…my mother.  Since I have been powerfully drawn to her through the Rosary, my faith and my life have been completely transformed.  She loves me, and loves all of us, with the intense love of a mother for her children.  And her love is one with yours…so I am being drawn closer and closer to you. Thank you. 

Pray the Rosary  A Saint Joseph Edition  A wonderful Little Pamphlet

For information on how to pray the rosaryclick here.

 

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


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Do it Yourself?

Oh, the things my thirteen month old grandson, Brayden, teaches me!

Brayden’s Sunglasses

While spending time with him the other day, Brayden fumbled through a pocket in his diaper bag, and excitedly pulled out his cute little sunglasses.  He seems to be intrigued by glasses…always reaching out to touch and pull off mine.  After a moment or two of inspecting the glasses, and then trying to open them, he looked over at me, and handed them over.

At that moment, he knew  that I would be able to help him.

Brayden sat there smiling, so I put the sunglasses on him, and he sat there for about two seconds before pulling them off and looking them over.  Then he proceeded to attempt putting them on.  No matter what he did, those glasses were not going on correctly.  They were either on his head, hanging from an ear, or around his neck.  He kept shaking his head “no” when I put my hand out to help/guide him, and literally pushed my hand away.

Evidently, Brayden’s desire to “do it himself” closed his mind to the guidance that he needed.  He lost his faith in me, and after a few minutes of trying every wrong way to put the glasses on, he threw them down, and went on to the next adventure.

That really got me thinking.

How many times do we do that very same thing?  When there is something that we desire, or need, we know that God can help us.  We pray earnestly, and then hand it over to our Father.

We expect an answer.  We expect our answer.

When our prayers aren’t answered as quickly as we would like, we start to look for ways to make it happen ourselves.  When things still aren’t going our way, we come up with countless more attempts.

As all this is occurring, the Lord is speaking to us in many subtle, and sometimes, not so subtle, ways.  He is answering our prayers in ways we don’t allow ourselves to see.  Sometimes, He may be guiding us to something even better than we prayed for.

We push His hand away.

You see, so many times, our desire to “do it ourselves” is so strong, that we close our minds and hearts to the direction and guidance that is right there in front of our faces.   Sometimes, all we need to do, is take a step back, and ask the Holy Spirit to fill us up and lead us.

Then we need to listen to the Voice that is longing to speak to us, and is waiting, in love, for us to hear.  Really hear.   Our God, our Creator, the God of the Universe, has a Divine Purpose for all of us.  Each one of us has been placed here, at this particular time, for a particular reason.

Our Lord God knows that reason, and is leading us on a path that will reveal our purpose to us at the proper and perfect time.

In the meantime, when it seems as though our prayers aren’t being answered as quickly as we would like, we must remember that when Our Lord has a unique purpose for us…He will lead us to it.  It is up to us how long it takes for our prayers to be answered and to arrive to our destination.  How long will we keep trying to “do it ourselves?”

Don’t be like Brayden throwing down the sunglasses and moving on to his next adventure because he couldn’t figure things out on his own.

Allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in you, and have total faith that God will direct you, bless you, and bring the desires of your heart to a fruition that you can’t even fathom.

 

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.  Psalm 37:3-5

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. 

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.  Proverbs 3:5-7


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Yes, Jesus loves you. Do you love Him?

Lately I have been really noticing a pattern among many Christians who remain in darkness.

The darkness may lie in depression, family or relationship issues, finances, addictions, and/or emotional, spiritual, mental or physical ailments.

Over and over, in their suffering, I hear them profess how much Jesus loves them.   And then I see the same people  post on their social media sites, that they love Jesus, and trust Him to heal them and answer their prayers. Years go by, and they remain in their same anguish.

When I see and hear the pain they are experiencing, my heart aches for them, and I pray for total healing in their lives.

The troubling pattern is this…many of these same people do not understand that believing that Jesus loves them is only the start.

Even Satan and his demons know that Jesus is God.

Relationship with Jesus is the open, acceptance of His gift of salvation to all of us.

The gift sits there, unopened, until we make the free choice to accept it, and open it. Once opened, do we choose to just let it sit there, or do we interact with Jesus in thanksgiving?

In other words, do we choose to have a relationship with Jesus, or do we just lean on the knowledge that Jesus loves us no matter what?

In a loving, happy relationship, do we just sit back and bask in the love offered to us, selfishly saying “he/she will always love me no matter what I do?”

Do we intentionally dishonor our loved one, by publicly announcing honor and support for another…that is in total opposition or disrespect to our beloved?

Or do we interact with that love…making sure to spend time with our loved one, forsaking others due to our commitment, sacrificing our wants and needs in order to please our loved one, making changes in our behaviors that may hurt our relationship. Thinking of “we” instead of “me.”

Do we do these things in a loving human relationship, however, not so much when it concerns our relationship with Christ?

As Christians, each day brings us opportunities to align ourselves more closely with Jesus.   Many things we are doing that keep us at arm’s length from His total love and mercy. For some reason, we hold back, and look to the world for the answers. We keep looking toward other sources for our happiness, love and “warm fuzzies”.

This is a grave mistake that keeps us from full relationship with Jesus. “Warm fuzzies” do not offer us love, mercy and salvation.

First, let me make perfectly clear, I know that I personally struggle or have struggled with many of these, or other, things. These observations are meant to shine a light on possible ways that we are damaging our relationship with Jesus, thus remaining in “the muck and darkness” year after year.

Little or big doors that we crack open that allow Satan or his demons to enter into our souls, and lives.

Many times we even forget these doors were once opened, or we are unaware at all. I can tell you, that Satan has not forgotten. He uses any point of entry that he can find…he uses our weaknesses, our curiosity, our pride, and our ignorance to infiltrate our lives and souls.

 

Some of the dangerous things I am noticing that are being shared on social media, by Christians, that jump out at me:

Interaction with or sharing of horoscope info

Belief or interest in mediums

Posting memes and/or belief in New Age philosophies

Dabbling in “cute” witchcraft or spells

Claiming to be a Christian, while promoting other World Religions. I am not talking about being tolerant of other religions, which we are called to do. I am talking about treating all religions as though they are one of many truths. In fact, in many cases, sharing quotes from secular sources, and other religions with more ardor than Christianity. As though it is almost an embarrassment to proclaim Christian values, customs, beliefs, and truths.

Worshiping “Mother Earth” instead of The Creator

Taking part and promoting entertainment…movies, books, magazine, games…that are in opposition to God

Spewing hatred, as in labeling and name-calling, toward specific people that we disagree with, instead of simply professing our stand, and praying for and with them.

Professing love for God with words only…and not by showing day to day loving actions and change in our lives

Any of these things, or something I haven’t mentioned, could be part of the darkness you are living in. Confession, and repentance in any area that is in opposition to Our Lord, will allow the light of the Holy Spirit to heal you, inside and out. This total healing may happen in an instant, or may happen gradually, as you grow in faith.  The key is to invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate you and fill your soul with His Holy Presence…and then place your trust in God.

Sometimes, the Lord will allow certain things to remain in your life to help you on your journey to Him, or for His glory. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will live with a deep joy that will help you through any struggle in this life, and you will learn to look to Him in confidence and trust.

Remember, Jesus will always love you! Are you showing your love for Jesus?

 

19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,[a] drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19-21

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
 John 14:6

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.  Romans 1:25

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Be What God Created You to Be

After all the rain and gloomy weather we have been experiencing in Northern VA, we are blessed today with a glorious, sunny, warm day!  I took full advantage of it, and just returned from my lunchtime walk.

God always finds a special way to communicate with me, and today was no exception. As I walked, I looked over to the quasi-pond (drainage ditch/reservoir filled with rain overflow) in the front of our building.  My eyes first took in the sight of muddy, dirty water.  Then I noticed the paper cups, garbage and pieces of wood and cardboard floating by.  All I could think of was “yucky, dirty mess.”

When I looked closer, I saw a turtle sitting on top of the floating piece of wood. Since I rarely see turtles in my day to day life, that sight made me smile.  The next thing that my eyes were directed to was a few ducks serenely swimming, oblivious to the dirt and garbage scattered around them.  Then a movement in the tall grass caught my attention, and there was a regal heron, standing proudly, partially hidden from view.  Who would have thought I would see such beauty on my walk through a parking lot, in a filthy little pond?

So, of course, this scenario got me thinking.

Those beautiful creations of God, were smack dab in the middle of ugliness. However, they were not screaming in defiance, or questioning why God allowed them to be there.  What they were doing, was simply “being what God created them to be.”  They were swimming in the water, looking for and receiving the food that God provided for them, basking in the sunshine, and feeling His breeze gently cooling their bodies.  Instead of fighting and questioning every aspect of their life, they accepted the reality of their surroundings, and continued to be the beings that God created them to be.  They radiated their individual beauty, from the midst of their unclean environment.

We, as Christians, are in the midst of some serious unclean circumstances. There is much garbage floating in our world, and the dirtiness and muckiness of evil and perversity, surrounds us at every turn.  Although we are quite aware that we are also sinful in nature, we confess our sins and ask God for His forgiveness.  We are called to find refuge and live a pure life in Him.

At times the evil of this world is overwhelming and we forget that we are in His care. We forget that Our Lord’s peace is not given to us as the world gives…and no matter how hard we scream and shout, and attempt to fight the evil around us through our human ways, some evil will always remain until Jesus’ second coming.

The key is knowing who we are. Who we belong to.  When our hearts, souls and beings are safe in the love of Jesus, we are free to be ourselves in this unclean, evil world.  We are free to live the Divine Purpose our God created uniquely for each one of us.  We are free to simply just be…to thank God every day for the blessings He gifts us with, and to be happy and peaceful in our innermost being.  When we invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts to fill us with His love and light, our natural God-given beauty will shine brightly as a beacon to others…our hearts that are one with Jesus will shine and illuminate the world around us, exposing the evil for what it is.  And drawing in those who are living in darkness, and searching for the one true light.

Don’t be afraid to be the light in the darkness. Don’t be afraid to be the beauty among confusion, ugliness and despair. Find your true identity in the love and mercy of Jesus, and feel the freedom of simply “being what God created you to be.” 

 

 


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Searching for Miracles

Hello World!

Hello World!

Many people are on a never ending quest for miracles… looking for evidence that the Lord is working in their lives.  They wonder why God is not revealing himself to them, or to the world in general.

I see things much differently.  Our Lord communicates and speaks to us constantly.  He reveals himself to us in many different ways, and if we invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts, and ask that he open our eyes and ears to him, we will discover the never ending  miracles and blessings of each new day.  The miracles are always there, we just need to expect and be open to them!

This is a little miracle that God blessed me with today.  If I didn’t keep a journal, I would have missed it.  The knowledge that the Lord is ever so close, and sometimes chooses to reveal himself through unexplainable events in my life, just overwhelms me!

So, here is what happened:

My husband and I have been re-watching the old series “Lost.”  Although I know it is not biblically correct, there are many interesting characters, and the story line is filled with symbolism and spirituality.  This series is making me think even more than usual about how our lives all interconnect, and how the Lord is always working all things toward good.  While I was thinking yesterday, I remembered a dream I had in the past about my son and his wife. My curiosity about the dream led me to pick up my journal to investigate.  I randomly opened the notebook to the correct page.

The entry was written on February 4, 2015, and I described the dream I had the night before.  The dream was kind of silly…my son and his wife were telling me excitedly that they were being sent baby powder every day for the rest of their life.  At the time, I remember knowing in my heart that the dream meant a baby would be coming soon!

I had the dream on February 3rd, exactly one year from the date little Brayden was born into our world!  Wow!

This is just a little reminder from God that he is with us always, and there is always more going on in our “unseen” than we are aware of.  The dream was a gift to me, and I would have missed the significance if I did not write it down, along with the date.

Dear Lord, help us to open our eyes of faith, so that we can see, hear, and feel your presence in our lives.  Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that your love touches all the hearts that we encounter in our daily lives.  Help us to always believe, even when we don’t see, hear, or feel you in our lives…for you are always with us.

 


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What Love Really Looks Like

Lately the words “What Love Really Looks Like” have been going through my head.  Probably because of our recent visit to Central California to enjoy some time with our son and daughter in law, and to meet our first grandchild, Brayden.  Watching their family bond together, and all that goes into the care of an infant, etched into my heart the reminder that love does not usually look like the love that is marketed to all of us on a daily basis.

Yes, there are times of carefree romantic bliss, and those moments of angelic babies surrounded by an aura of sweet white light.  Like the moments  that are portrayed by Hallmark and on social media.  Do we even remember anymore that most of the photos we see now are the result of careful staging, that depict perfectly put together couples, adorable babies, and trendy families?  Whatever happened to the uncomfortable, and many times unflattering pictures of old?  The ones that truly show life as it is…spontaneous and messy.  I must admit, I am the first one to delete “bad” pics of myself or anyone else that I feel would not be flattering.  Why do we desire to show the happy “perfection,” and not the struggle?

Sometimes, in trying to make our world “look good” to ourselves or others, we kind of forget what love really looks like. 

As we get closer to Jesus, we realize that through the suffering and struggle of our daily crosses, when we open ourselves up to His love and healing mercy, we begin to experience His Divine Love.

What does love really look like?

There is beauty in love that is revealed through joy, happiness, and contentment.  We all have known moments of great love and happiness…when we are so filled with love that we feel our hearts will just burst.

However, there is a deeper love…a greater joy that unites us with Jesus.  That unfathomable joy is shown in ways we don’t expect. Some of those moments don’t “feel” like love when they are happening.  The love is shown when we experience those moments, and allow the Holy Spirit to work through them, and work through us.

What does love really look like?  It looks like…

Hearing your newborn scream incessantly no matter how you try to soothe him; living on a few hours of sleep, and feeling overwhelmed. Changing dirty diapers that look like an explosion took place…how could all of that even come out of that tiny baby?  Then your baby focuses and gazes straight into your eyes, and smiles with his whole face.  Your heart instantly melts.

Doing what needs done as a couple to run your household and raise your children.  Getting up everyday to go to work, when you’d rather stay home or do something much more interesting.  Or maybe you are the one who is staying home to raise your children and manage your home…and the day to day “drudgery” sometimes feels as though you can’t do it one more day.  Then, through the little things of daily life, through a smile, a hug or a special moment, you are once again reminded of the big “why” and your spirit is renewed.

The misunderstandings, arguments, and pain that happen in your marriage.  The times when you bite your tongue when your spouse says something that hurts you to the core.  Or the times you are the one who lashes out with angry, biting words.  Then, through a miracle, the both of you once again work through the issues and difficulties, and become even closer through the struggle together.

Being the caregiver for someone in your life.  The daily care, responsibility, and the pain of watching the one you love suffer, and then pass away.  The grief.  And then the joy of knowing he/she is with you forever, and no longer are you separated  by sin, but united in love.

The pain of a mother, hearing that her daughter was killed while on a date with a boyfriend, who was driving drunk.  That mother’s grief and pain in losing her daughter was overwhelming.  However, the love of Jesus allowed her to stand up in the courtroom to speak up for the young man that was responsible for her daughter’s death.  She was able to hug and love him, through the fullness of the Holy Spirit working in her heart.

The look of anguish between a husband and wife, as one of them confesses to infidelity, and the forgiveness that is offered from the heart to the offender.  The grief, the pain, and the days, months and sometimes years of suffering together to restore the marital trust.  And then the joy of discovering that the journey of healing miraculously built a truly happy, whole marriage relationship that is their greatest gift in life.

A well known country singer, who was diagnosed with cancer, and knew that her days on earth were coming to an end.  She allowed her final loving days with her family to be shared with the world, in order to share her faith and love of God with those that may have needed to see through her eyes of faith.  Beautiful.

What does love really look like?

It looks like Our Savior, sacrificing Himself to suffer and take on full  punishment for our sins.  It looks like a man, bloodied, scourged, tortured, mocked, hanging on a cross, and uttering the words “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” and then dying for us.

Then there was Easter Sunday!  Triumph over death!  Alleluia!

Thank you, Jesus, for showing us what love really looks like.  I ask that you work through me, allowing your love to reach those in need of your mercy.