We, as Christians, are called to be lights in the darkness.
Sometimes, it feels as though the darkness that is raging in our culture and in the world, is engulfing us. However, we must remember that through the power of the Holy Spirit, the light of Christ resides in our hearts and souls. That light calls out to be shared with those who are living in the darkness.
Listen to the voice of God that is stirring your heart.
There are people all around you that are suffering…all in different ways. See and hear the struggles and despair of those that are in need of compassion, love and mercy. Ask the Lord to direct you, so that you may know the needs of his children that he places on your path. It may be a family member, a friend, or someone that you come across in your day to day routine.
Listen to what souls are in need of. It may be that they just need a listening ear and heart. They may have a particular financial or material need that you can help with. They may be hungering for encouragement regarding their faith. They may be in dire need of hope.
You may be their lifeline to Jesus. Sometimes, a person needs to know that “somebody loves me” before they can accept that “God loves me.”
Let’s take the time to really see and hear those around us. Let’s love eachother and extend friendship and fellowship.
Let’s be that person who shares The Light of Christ.
As I make my way through Lent, my thoughts are drawn toward the light and mercy of Jesus. What is hindering my relationship with Him…what is holding me back?
Fear is always what holds me back…but what is it that I am afraid of?
Maybe it is the unconscious fear of what lies within me.
I have always been the kind of person who prefers “controlled” light. Curtains closed at the brightest times of the day, sheers that diffuse direct light, blinds raised and lowered to control exactly how much light enters the room. All of that, because I do not want to see all the imperfection that is revealed when the sun shines through the windows unbridled.
I would rather live in my “happy place” where my home is just so, and everything is clean and tidy.
The light reveals stains on the couch, dust, and sometimes even cobwebs. It reveals the truth of reality.
I don’t want to acknowledge those hidden things…and would rather go through my life without seeing those things that I consider to be unattractive or damaged. However, by always trying to camouflage what is truly there, so much effort goes into the battle of constantly covering up the imperfections, that the issues are never resolved.
The issues, stains, imperfections and damage are always there. Some that we are aware of, and some that we are not.
When we make the choice to pull open the blinds of our heart, and invite Jesus to illuminate us, the Light reveals all…sins of our past and present, many that have remained buried, things that we never even remembered until revealed. All of a sudden, we are made aware of how we have offended God in so many ways, and are reminded of the times we have hurt others or drew them into sin.
The Light reveals truths that are unbearable to face…we can no longer camouflage the dirtiness of our souls. This pure light forces us to face the truth of our unworthiness, and offers us a choice.
We can either acknowledge, confess and truly repent of our sins, which will free us to build a closer relationship with Christ in His mercy, or make the choice to continue living in darkness, which will keep us imprisoned.
I choose Christ. I choose mercy. And I choose the light of his love.
May God bless you during this Lenten Season. Choose wisely.
Praying at the Planned Parenthood abortion center during 40 Days for Life, has been heart wrenching, eye opening, and humbling. Although I am always very aware of the evil that is flippantly referred to as “abortion,” and offer prayers for the babies and all involved, spending time in front of the actual abortion mill has been enlightening for me. Especially during this Lenten time.
There is a mixture of people who offer themselves and commit to pray in front of the “clinics.” During the time that I have been there, most of the ones praying at the vigil are senior citizens, however, in general, there are all age groups. The atmosphere is prayerful toward the ones entering Planned Parenthood as clients, and also toward any staff members. Anytime a person passes by any of the ones holding vigil, they are met with either respectful silence, or with a smile or a quiet hello.
There are a few things that really made me stop to think.
I am aware that there are many reasons that women would choose to orchestrate the killing of the baby that has been conceived in their womb. Although I truly believe that most mothers are not fully aware that they are already mothers from the moment of conception …and they are participating in the destruction of their babies.
So, I guess I was expecting to see more sadness on the faces of the mothers that were being walked in to the Covid 19 station in the parking lot..their boyfriends or husbands, walking with them and handing them over to the clinic to put an end to the “problem” that they are dealing with.
What I saw was mostly very young girls/women walking over to get checked in, with some turning around to point and laugh at those of us that were praying. I saw the boys/men “doing their supportive duty” by walking them to the place where babies’ lives are taken from them. After the women are dropped off, the male companions walk around scrolling on their cellphones, wait in their cars, or briskly walk away.
My thoughts and prayers went out to the babies…that maybe some would be saved by last minute decisions, and also praying for their souls. I prayed that the Blessed Mother and Jesus would encircle those mothers, babies and fathers (or anyone that brought them to the abortion clinic) with love and the light of conversion. That they would realize that they need to seek forgiveness, not only for the abortion, but in many cases, also the lifestyle that lead to the pregnancy in the first place.
Many mothers that abort their babies, suffer through years of despair and guilt before facing the horror of what they have done, making the decision to ask God for forgiveness, and repent of their sin. The repentance includes a change in lifestyle and beliefs, and will affect all aspects of their lives, just as with any other mortal, grievous sin. My prayer for these mothers, and all involved, is that their conversion comes quickly, so they can feel the true peace of Jesus’ Love in their hearts.
I thought about the hypocrisy and idiocy of the “Covid 19 Station” that was positioned in the parking lot before the entrance into the facility. Let’s make sure the clients and staff are well protected with masks, thermometers, and lots of sanitizing gel…as they are led in to kill their babies. Do they even think these thoughts? How have we, as a society, come to this point?
Right before my time to leave, a man rode past the vigil on his bicycle. He was screaming, “perverts, perverts, perverts” at the little group of praying senior citizens. I don’t think that I have ever seen Satan that obvious…you see, Satan always twists and reverses good and evil.
So, as I prayed, all these thoughts were flicking on and off in my mind. My focus was on my prayers, however, when I looked up, I couldn’t stop thoughts from forming by what my eyes were processing…however, I continued praying for all involved. I will also pray for the people who actually live in the house directly next to the abortion mill, for I can not imagine living next door to that evil. Hopefully, someone in that house prays for those babies and their mothers.
It is so sad and heartwrenching to watch these mothers walk into the clinic, and not be able to talk to them, comfort them, let them know they can choose life…there is much support available to them…that women are stronger than they know, capable of more than they realize, and deeply loved by the True God that created them.
We must, as a world, as a nation, as a community, as families, as Christians, continue to pray for Jesus to have mercy on us and to heal us. We are all accountable in some way…we are all sinners.
May we humble ourselves and beg God to forgive us, heal our land, heal our Church, and heal our hearts. May we open our hearts to ways that we can be of service to those in crisis, to offer love to those that we meet everyday, and look for ways to share love and support.
And may we share the Good News with all who are suffering…that there is nothing that can keep them away from the love and mercy of God except themselves. All it takes is a decision to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and then learn the Faith and live it.
May we all hunger to walk in the Light of Jesus, and ask his Blessed Mother and our Guardian Angels to guard us and lead us to Him.
While I was praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, my mind was overtaken with some of my past sins. The kind that fill me with shame…the ones that linger in my mind every once in a while.
After a moment or two of feeling that guilt and shame, a vision that I had a few months ago (while saying the rosary) filled my being.
In this vision, I was the guilty one, and just about to be punished for my sins. I deserved it, for my sins were many. Jesus was bent over me, with his eyes firmly and lovingly set on mine. The whip started flying…I could hear the sound of the cords cutting through the air and feel them ripping into Jesus’ body. I could feel his spirit, smell his scent in the moist air and feel his body wince with every connection of that whip against his flesh. I felt tremendous fear, however, Jesus never broke His loving and merciful gaze that pierced straight into my soul. He lovingly protected me from each and every blow, and my body was never touched.
He covers us in His love, mercy, and in His blood.
We must always remember, that when Jesus was beaten, blasphemed, mocked and crucified, these atrocities were not forced upon Him. He offered Himself for us. His life was not taken from Him…He offered His Body as atonement for our sins. His life was given.
Freely, and without reserve.
What are we willing to offer Him of ourselves?
That is something that we must all think about on this precious Friday, and on every day that we are blessed with.
What are we willing to offer Him?
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:19-20
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
While the New Year is waiting to be discovered in a few days, my mind is being drawn to the unfolding of this past year and all the years preceding it.
How many times do we ask ourselves where God is in our lives, and what difference can we possibly make in the lives of those around us or in the world?
Looking at things day to day, it is difficult to see where Divine Intervention may be at work…much as it is difficult to see the subtle physical changes in the ones we see every day. From one day to the next, we do not really see faces and bodies change. It is in the looking back that we can see the change from one year to the next.
Sometimes, it is only in the looking back that opens our eyes to where the Lord has worked in our lives. In ways that seemed to be insignificant at the time…the Lord worked through our faith steps and our choices, to create something of great value and beauty. A beauty that He already knew was there…and was weaving a masterpiece, behind the scenes, to reveal that loveliness to us.
We live our lives day to day, making the small and huge decisions that are set in front of us. Those choices create realities in our lives…positive and negative.
However, even the decisions we’ve made that weren’t the best, could be used by God for good. For He is always seeking ways to draw us to Himself. Our sins and bad choices, could be a vessel of good, when we repent and ask the Lord to work through us to touch others in His Love.
I have been thinking a lot about some decisions that I have made throughout the years…and how God worked His love and mercy through them. Sometimes, in ways that I could never even fathom.
How could I have known:
That my mother’s decision to make a call to an old friend regarding a job for my seventeen year old self, and my decision to apply for that position, would lead me to meeting my future husband, and two of my best friends. Being that the job was in a restaurant, and I was a waitress, there were many things I learned…such as responsibility, humility, and the faint beginnings of “people skills.”
That my decision to date a boy, (my future husband,) versus a boyfriend that I had held onto in my heart for a few years, would lead me to an amazingly wonderful man, and to the loving marriage that we are now blessed with. That one decision, led to our two sons, their wives, and now…grandchildren. There were twists and turns, however, God was always there, working our daily choices into something beautiful.
That the decision to attend a “Christ Renews His Parish” renewal weekend at our Church, would open my heart to the Love of Jesus, and place me on the path to a real relationship with Him. The Lord used my tiny step in faith on that weekend, to change me from believing there is a God (in my head) to knowing there is a God. (in my heart) A HUGE difference in my life. An even bigger difference once Joe (my husband) made his own decision to attend the men’s weekend!
That the decision to join a Multi Level Marketing Company, would open me up to great personal growth. Slowly, but surely, I learned to truly listen to the needs of those around me, and learned that integrity and authenticity were crucial in Christian life. I also was guided into public speaking…one of my hugest fears. There were times where I spoke to an audience of over a thousand people. And I enjoyed it, because I was sharing about something I believed in, and sharing my heart. Looking back now, I see how the Lord used that business to teach me the foundation of getting to know my true self.
That the decision to bring my mother to live with us after my dad passed away, would lead me to knowing love in a way I never could have planned on my own. That the daily ups and downs, and also the little tidbits that I would learn about my mother, would lead me to know her in a way that I never did while growing up. And then to be the one that God chose to care for her during her end of life. The perfect love that permeated the room around my mom during her last days with us on this earth, has never left me. It was tangible…I could literally feel the presence of The Holy Spirit, and also knew that she was experiencing heaven before she passed away.
That the decision to considerably downsize our belongings, and move across the country to CA near our son and daughter in law, would lead us to the incredible experience and privilege of being a part of their lives…a part of our grandson’s life. And now, our younger son and his wife are expecting our first granddaughter, and we are much closer than we were to their home in Denver, where hopefully we will be a part of her life as well. That move also brought us to new friends, and new ways to serve God by being His vessel.
None of these decisions and their consequences along the way were easy, and the changes orchestrated by God sometimes took longer than I would have planned for myself. However, the Lord is weaving a masterpiece that includes much more than me. We are all connected, as the Body of Christ, and there are consequences to our actions that affect others, in a direction that we are unable to see.
I have learned to trust in the Lord with all of my heart, instead of just focusing on myself. Because…And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
All things work together, for those that love Him…even when we sin and our choices are not the best. That is when He is working the closest in our lives.
May the Lord open your eyes to the ways he has worked in your life through the choices you have made, and may He carry you in His love, wisdom, peace and mercy throughout the New Year!
Today, as I was sitting waiting for Mass to start, I was looking at my fellow parishioners, and asked the Lord to help me find the best in people.
As soon as I asked the question, I heard the words, “See ME.” Wow, the Lord actually told me to see him in each and every person that I come across.
Immediately, the commercial that is selling a prescription drug for a skin condition jumped into my thoughts. The tagline is “see ME”… instead of “see my skin issue.”
Aren’t we all internally desiring for our loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and co-workers to see who we REALLY are inside? Don’t we wish for them to overlook our imperfections, sins, issues, or flaws, and see what lies deep in our hearts? Sometimes, we don’t even know who we truly are, and can not comprehend the goodness or beauty that lies within us.
Actually, that goodness that resides in our hearts (sometimes hidden to us and others) is not us at all…it is the Holy Spirit. It is Jesus that pulsates in our hearts, filling us with his presence, mercy, and love… whether or not we actually feel it ourselves.
Today, I was reminded again, to see Jesus in each person that I meet in my day. To look past the “warts”…the flaws… and to focus on the Jesus that resides inside that person. To look into each pair of eyes lovingly, with the intention of drawing out the goodness. Not to focus and judge surface appearance or behavior, but to attempt to learn their story and what needs they may have, offering support and validation.
When we can learn to do that, we will be true vessels for the Lord to work through. Touching those in need (and we ALL are in need) with the love, mercy, and forgiveness of Jesus.
As each heart is opened to the Truth of who lives inside, one by one…heart by heart…the world will be illuminated and changed.
Sometimes, a person needs to know that “somebody loves me” before accepting that “Jesus loves Me.” Let’s be “that somebody” that allows the love of Jesus to flow through us.
Dear Jesus, I ask that you fill my heart with your presence and love, and help me to look past all that is clouded by the darkness of sin, and focus on the Truth. That only You are the way, the truth and the life, and that you can be found in every human being. Please open our hearts and minds to the knowledge that all we need to do is accept and believe in your saving love and grace!
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.John 14:6
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.1 Peter 4:8
But as it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
This bible verse has been one of my favorites for many years. The mere thought that as humans, our senses can not even fathom the wonders that await us…prepared by God who loves us and desires to draw us to Him!
Imagine the most magnificent sights you have ever enjoyed. They are countless, however, a few stand out for me. The faces and smiles of my husband, sons, grandson, family, and friends. Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Never ending stars twinkling in a black sky. A rainbow. Niagara Falls. The beauty of one rose, or the splendor of a field of wildflowers.
Imagine the most beautiful sounds you have ever heard. For me, that would include the consoling and refreshing sound of the waves breaking on the shore, the musical notes and harmonies of birds singing in the morning, and the pure delight of hearing babies’ giggles and the sweet voices of my loved ones.
Now, without reservation, imagine what would be the “perfect heaven” for you.Our imaginations can run wild with this one…all of the things that we feel would make us perfectly happy. What are those things for you?
Anything that our eyes, ears, and mind can reveal to us, will never even come close to what God has already prepared for us. His love, mercy, and vision for our lives and our future with him are out of our realm of understanding or discovery. Wow…we are so loved by God, that he has made preparations for us so wondrous, that we can not grasp the full beauty of it!
Now read the verse again…“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”
“For those who love him” jumped out at me a few days ago while reading this verse. I had never thought about that aspect of this verse before.
Many times, those that consider themselves “saved” will nonchalantly answer “Jesus loves me just as I am, no matter what I do” when confronted with the truth regarding sin in their life. Essentially, we tend to make excuses for our behavior, believing that Jesus will love us know matter what our actions or thoughts are. And he will.
However, this verse does not say “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those that he loves.” It specifically states…for those who love him.
Think about that…in what ways do you love Jesus? In what ways do you attempt to grow closer to him? What are the ways that you show him you care for him and want him in your heart…in your life?
In a true loving relationship, the focus is not on “me.” The focus is, “what can I do to please my loved one?” What changes in my life would bring joy and happiness to the one I love? How do I make a conscious effort to love God?
Dear Lord, please fill me with your Holy Spirit. Open my eyes, ears and mind to the ways I can show my love for you. Engulf me in your mercy and love, and allow me to open my heart as a vessel for your love to flow through to all who live in darkness. Teach me to love you.
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4
But as it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Today, as the 2017 March for Life is in progress, as it has been since the first march in 1974, I come to you humbled and contrite.
You see, since the so called women’s march that occurred last Saturday, I have been trying to stand for life in the wrong way. I have allowed the anger and hopelessness to overtake me, allowing it to permeate into my own heart. I actually could FEEL the presence of Satan…darkness, anger, cynicism, hopelessness, sadness, pride, hate, and confusion.
I made two grave mistakes. The first is that I did not pray ernestly for the Lord to work through me and to cover me with His armor. And the second mistake was allowing myself to get into a conversation…an argument…with the devil online.
With the Lord’s help and protection, I will not make those mistakes again.
How do I know that my standing in support of the voiceless unborn is the right choice, and that it is from God? How do I know that a baby growing in her mother’s womb, that should be the safest place in the world, should always be given the right to life…to be born? How do I know that the mother, that chooses to kill her unborn baby, will suffer from emptiness and darkness for her whole life, until she allows her broken or stone hard heart to be opened to God’s love, mercy and forgiveness?
How do I know these things?
The evidence is in the women themselves.
The evidence is in the mockery of feminism, that was shown in its full light at the so called women’s march last weekend. It was in the disgustingly vile signs, costumes and spewed hatred coming from the mouths of these women. It was the ignorance and confusion of those women professing to be more than their sexuality…and then wearing vagina costumes framing their faces. It was seen in the rabid joy of women (and also seen on children and some men ) “celebrating” their cause by crocheting and wearing “pussy hats” in solidarity. It was seen and heard in vile speeches given by celebrities, who portray themselves in disgustingly perverted ways on screen or through their music, screaming hate filled messages.
Is that what womanhood and feminism means to you???
Or could it be that true feminism is rooted in a quiet love and respect for God, family, country, and the empowering knowledge that our bodies were created with the ability to conceive, carry, and give birth to the greatest gift that God can give us…the gift of life. The gift of being a vessel of His love…and saying yes, as Our Blessed Mother, Mary, did, to His will for us. For in bringing another baby into this world, we are expanding Our Lord’s Kingdom. It is so much more than us…it is greater than we can ever fathom.
The march last weekend, and the many reasons mothers seek out and kill their babies while growing in the womb, are rooted in confusion, fear, hatred, sadness, selfishness, isolation, pride, arrogance, and despair. This was easily seen and heard while viewing the march, and listening to the protesters and speakers. The body language and the eyes to their souls sadly spoke volumes to me.
The March for Life that is occurring right now, features speakers and protesters that are rooted in love, mercy, humbleness, inner joy, faith, hope, selflessness, and the desire to reach out, with their hearts, hands and resources…to be of support to hurting women, through the whole process of pregnancy and beyond. To be there for them in friendship and love, helping to ensure that they, and their babies, have the support, love and necessities for as long as they need it.
Which woman are you? What is the root of your beliefs?
Much to think about…
I ask God for forgiveness for allowing Satan to enter my heart through this past week. I ask that He forgive me for not seeing past the actions and the vulgar, hateful words spewed…for not looking for Him in their hearts and souls. For not seeing the hurt and pain that reside deep within them.
For, instead of judging them, I should have been praying for love, mercy and joy to enter their hearts and lives.
Always knowing that I am too weak to always extend love and mercy on my own. It is only when I am protected by the Armor of God…and willing to be His vessel… that HIS love may shine from my heart.
Being that it’s a gorgeous sunny day today…in the eighties, I decided to take a walk during my lunch hour.
As I stepped outside and breathed in that amazingly warm and comforting air, I asked God to speak to me. You see, usually I pray (talk!) the whole time I am walking, so I asked the Lord to do the talking today.
And I was listening for His voice.
For a few moments I was hearing the common drone of cars humming down the main road, and those sounds gave way to the gentle whirring of the breeze around me. All of a sudden, there was the sound of a bird squawking. The sound was getting nearer and nearer to me, and I looked down. The bird was running in circles right in front of me and making all sorts of crazy sounds. Then I saw it. Her baby was off to the left of me, running toward the grass. I realized that the mommy bird was protecting her baby!
Seeing the natural instinct of a mother protecting her little one really warmed my heart. I thanked God for showing me such beauty, turned the corner and stepped up to the sidewalk. Then I saw something I wish I hadn’t. I saw two little furry baby birds, all soft and downy, lying dead on the ground. I asked the Lord why He allowed me to see that? Why did I need to see those sweet little birds that looked as though they just died? And why did they have to die in the first place?
I saw the words…Jesus is Alive! And I understood that because of Jesus, death holds no power over us. In Christ Jesus, we are saved. He is waiting for us to invite Him into our hearts and our lives, and accept the precious gifts He offers us. Love, mercy, and salvation. These are not merely words to bring us comfort. Jesus is truly alive…He is right here with us now!
Lord, there are so many times I don’t understand your ways. I don’t understand why some people suffer more than others, why some seem to attract the good things of the world, while others struggle just to survive. Help me to understand that you are present in all of our lives, and in all circumstances. Help me to trust that your grace is sufficient in all things, and that suffering, even death itself, can bring us closer to you.All we need to do is open our hearts to you, and ask that you fill us with your saving holy presence.
As I sit here looking out the window, I am watching some awesome clouds moving across the most beautiful blue sky. There are some basic puffy clouds seen on most normal days, and there are huge ominous dark clouds moving in. As I watch the view changing by the minute, it caused me to think of how our minutes, days, weeks, months and years are constantly moving and passing by. Our lives are constantly changing.
How are we using that time? How many good works and acts of faith are we putting off until the “perfect” time? How many lives are left in desolation, how many hearts are empty because of our selfishness, laziness or pride?
I propose that you take a few minutes to sit back, breathe in the Love of God, and think about some of those things that you harbor in your heart. Things you would like to do for someone or maybe something you need to say. Those things that pop up in your head every now and again, reminding you that the Lord is calling you through a gentle whisper or a powerful wind. Those thoughts that are sparked in your mind and heart that you are trying to ignore or are putting off until……
The time is now.
What are you holding back? Make the decision to do one thing today that you have been thinking about. One thing that will start a chain reaction of sharing the love of Jesus.
What will be that one extra act of love you will do today?
Maybe forgive that one person who is tearing you up inside and holding your spirit bound? Or ask forgiveness from someone you have hurt?
Listen patiently and lovingly to someone who needs a caring ear and heart?
Send a letter of gratitude to someone in your life that had a positive impact on you?
Or to simply send a note or card to let someone know they are loved?
Offer to help in some way…babysitting, providing a meal, visiting an elderly person in need of some socialization, volunteering?
Provide cash, food, necessities to someone that you know is in need? Maybe anonymously?
Smile at a perfect stranger or someone who is having a bad day and is not being very friendly?
Offer to take someone to Church with you?
Share the Good News of Jesus’ saving love and mercy with someone in darkness?
Today is the day. The Time is Now.
How will you honor the Lord with your time today?
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.