Let go of Ego

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Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:5-9

I want to relay to you all some revelations that have come upon me that started on my retreat and continued in the days to follow.  While I was on retreat we walked the Stations of the Cross.  I had been asked to read the Scripture that goes with each station.  When I got to the 12th Station of the Cross, I had an inexplicable moment.  I felt LOVE pour over me.  I felt the Lord ask me, “will you die for me like I died for you?” In that moment, completely overwhelmed by LOVE, I answered, “Yes, Lord, joyfully I will.”  I actually understood St. Perpetua and St. Felicity entering the arena singing in that moment.  I felt this is the only way I can see myself dying, is for HIM.  In the days that followed when I got home, I realized the gravity of what I agreed to.  But I also realized, every single day He has been asking me to die.  Asking me to die to self.  He has presented me with opportunity after opportunity to say Yes to him and no to my own will and my own wants and desires.

It has sometimes been humiliating.  But in my humiliation, I have clung closer and closer to Him.  Trust and abandonment to Him are becoming my reality.  One particular week I felt I had not been validated by people.  I had been kicked while I was down,  continually.  I was lamenting to the Lord about it.  The Lord actually told me that He placed those people around me for a reason, because they would help make me holy.  He actually told me to be grateful for this.  The only validation I need is from Him.  IT IS NOT ABOUT ME.  We are all so inherently selfish, and he has shown me this in myself.  Selfishness keeps us from living a full life as a Golden Soul of God. My Spiritual Director told me if it was about our feelings and about what we want, Mother Theresa would have quit after two months (I think she probably would have quit sooner than that).  It was her total reliance on God that enabled her perseverance in the face of hostility that she was facing.  TOTAL RELIANCE ON GOD.  NOT ON OUR OWN EGO.  That is the continual message I receive.

These times we live in are confusing.  Even within the church itself their is confusion.  The Lord tells me to keep my eyes on HIM because HE IS TRUTH.  He shows me Mary, and her example of total reliance.  As I was praying the other day for the church, the Pope, our Bishops, Priests, and Lay People, I was meditating on the Confusion, and I felt Our Lady show me a very clear picture (only part of which I will relay here as the rest I shared with my Spiritual Director).  He is a bit of what I was shown;

A Priest I recognized was on a hill.  I was actually floating in the air next to Mary as she showed me these things.  She was standing above the Priest on the hill.  She had a sword in her hand.  The sword was dripping with blood which I innately knew to be the blood of her Son. The sword was marked with the words, “Seven Dolors”.  She plunged the sword into the Priest’s chest, into his heart, and his heart opened and roses began flowing out.  She then went behind him and wrapped her mantle around him and placed her hands on his heart.  Then, as if she was in multiple places, she took me up to the sky over the earth.  I could still see her holding the Priest.  I had an eagle eye view of the world.  I could see many Priests and lay people where she was doing the same thing to them.  And roses were flowing out of their hearts and she had her mantle wrapped around all of them and her hands on their hearts.  Beautiful roses flowed everywhere.  Showed me many other things, but what was impressed upon me very much was that these roses would get rid of any confusion.  That people who have given their YES to God, like Mary did are going to help dispel the confusion with the grace that they are given by God.  They are people who seek to have their own ego stripped and seek to be filled with the Divine Will of God.

There are weapons to use in this battle to dispel confusion.  Obviously the Sacraments, especially Eucharist and Confession are powerful weapons.  But also, as I have said before, the Rosary — getting your community to pray the Rosary together.  There is a book called, “Champions of the Rosary” by Father Donald Calloway, that is well worth the read. We also have the powerful Divine Mercy chaplet, the Saint Michael prayer and the use of Sacramentals.  As we see all the turmoil in the world, ask God to strip you of your ego, to make your will one with His, and go out into your communities and pray.

Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,  praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47

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Little Girl Get Up

talitha-koum-cropped

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”  Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”  He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.  When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.  So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”  And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”  The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. [At that] they were utterly astounded.  He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.  Mark 5:35-43

If you’re like me you probably spent much of your life worrying about what people think of you, or various other anxieties that happen throughout the day.  I often feel like I spent a good majority of my adult life in a fog.  Chasing that next happiness, but once achieving it, like a ghost, the happiness disappeared.  I had an on again off again relationship with God, but I never quite grasped that the happiness I should be looking for was in seeking holiness.  That is, until Veronica was murdered.  I feel as though I lived in a fog, but once I sat contemplating death, my focus became much more clear on what was really important.  The anxiety subsided and stays that way when I seek communion with God.  It is as if he said to me, “Talitha Koum, little girl, get up and live.”

There is a joy in this.  Prior to this I was a rule follower (though I broke many but thought I was doing good by comparison to everyone else), but rules without love creates what I call joy sucking.  Jesus wants us to live in joy.   Living in joy means living in Trust of God.  Similarly, when I broke the rules, I often found myself in an abyss of shame.  The rules were created out of love.

While we were on retreat there was a group of young lady singers called His Own.  We were in the chapel in adoration and they sang, “Little Girl Get Up.”  Tears flowed down my face. How had I lived all those years in that fog?  Love finally found me, and I finally listened.  My shame was taken away, and with it anxiety subsides.  Though I have had some high anxiety times since then, every time I go deeper in prayer I feel the Lord calling me to a deeper and deeper trust.  With this trust comes humiliation.  Yes, humiliation.  It is a recognition of our own smallness.  A recognition that not everything is about me.  A recognition that the world needs love and I need to do my part to bring it.  And that requires self-sacrifice.  Self-sacrifice is hard, but because of the joy of living in trust and by His grace you can do it.

The Priest there had us do a meditation.  He asked us to put ourselves next to Mary after Jesus’ birth and to walk the life raising Jesus next to her.  Here is my meditation;

I close my eyes.  I can hear Joseph.  He says we have to leave.  He has been warned in a dream that we have to leave.  I have great anxiety and fear.  I don’t know how we will survive.  Mary grabs my hand and says, “trust.”  For a fleeting moment I feel safe.  We gather what little we have and we go.  The journey is long and hard, but many miracles take place to help our safe passage.  Mary was right.
We are in Egypt, I follow Mary’s lead.  Most days are ordinary taking care of this child, who is extraordinary.  Mary does the days work.  I work along side of her.
There is nothing special in what we do but it is special the way she does it.
She is gentle and humble, never bitter, even when the work is hard.  She does ordinary things with great love.
We receive word that Herod is dead and we can return home. We pack up like we did before and we make the long journey.  The child, now a boy, grabs his Mother’s hand.  He tells her not to let go.  She looks at him, then she looks at me and says, “trust.”
There was a time when we lost him.  She genuinely seemed worried.  When we found him he told her, “didn’t you know I would be in my Father’s house?”  She looked at me and said, “trust.”
Our lives were ordinary.  We prayed, we worked, we loved.  She taught me to be thankful.  Thankful for the work.  Thankful for the ordinary.  But it was clear the boy was extraordinary.  He emanated love.  He honored her and his father.  Being in the house with them, it was peace.  When Joseph passed, I was fearful an sad.  She looked at me and said, “trust.”
Our lives were ordinary, until they weren’t anymore.
The boy was now a man, and he made his ministry public.  There was nothing ordinary about it.  He was a miracle worker.  He was the one.  The one we were waiting for.
 I saw it at the wedding.  They were out of wine.  Mary told the servants, “do whatever he tells you.”  She looked at me and said, “trust.”  He changed the water into wine.
Our lives got turned upside down.  She was always praying.  Watching him from afar.  I was amazed.   He was a wonder worker.  Healing people, raising the dead!  People kept coming to us about him.  They all wanted a piece of him.  Still she remained at peace.  Kind, gentle, and humble.  She remained grateful.
But he was starting to make people mad.  He threatened their power.  They wanted to run him out of town.  They wanted to kill him.  She looked at me and said, “trust.
They either loved him or hated him.  But those who hated him had the most power.  When he came to Jerusalem he was praised, “Hosanna to the son of David,” they said.  I knew he was our King.  But then things quickly went bad.
They arrested him.  The sorrow in Mary’s heart, I could feel it.  I grabbed her hand to console her.  How could they do this to this innocent man?  As tears welled in her eyes, she looked at me and said, “trust.”
I didn’t understand how she could say that.  They yelled, “crucify him” and released a criminal.  I screamed for them to let him go.  My sweet Jesus.  We sobbed as they scourged him.  They put a crown of thorns on his head.  Mary’s sorrow was palpable.  In between her sobs she whispered, “trust.”
They gave him a cross.  He was so bloodied and beaten. He was weak.  He fell.
I could not bear it.  I had been holding Mary’s hand, but I let go to cover my eyes.  I got separated from her because of the crowd.  I looked for her.  Suddenly I saw her.  She was standing with him.  Their gazes pierced one another.  You could see their love and their sorrow.  The bond of the two unshakable.  The soldiers shoved him onward.  I cried out, “my God, somebody help him.”
As if God heard my meager plea, the soldiers grabbed a man from Cyrene to help him carry the cross.  I was grateful.  What a thing to be grateful for.
As he came down the road I found myself face to face with him.  How can I stop his suffering? I pulled off my veil and wiped the blood and sweat off of my Sweet Jesus’ face.  It was the only thing I knew to do.  The only reprieve I could give.  I felt so small and unable to help.  But I looked at him after wiping his face.  His eyes pierced my soul and I could see how much he loved me, and I hoped he knew how much I loved him.  The soldiers shoved him on.
Mary caught up with me.  When we got to the place of the Skull they began nailing him to the cross.  I froze at the agony of it.  Mary and John went close and stood beneath the cross.  I just sobbed.  When it was done, they pierced his side.  Blood and water poured out from his lifeless body onto Mary.  Through her tears she looked back at me and whispered, “trust.”
I was at a loss.  How could she say this?  My Jesus, her Son was dead.  Our king was dead.  At that moment I looked down and realized I was holding my veil in my hands.  I opened it.  And there was his image.  His holy face on my veil.  And I instantly knew she was right.  The story wasn’t over and I had faith.  I had trust that God had something better in store than I could imagine.  And I decided to trust, like Mary does.
So my message today to everyone out there.  Trust like Mary.  Live with Joy.  Little Girl, or little boy, child of God, “get up and live.”  If we live in trust then no matter how small or how gigantically large the storm gets we can help our fellow man.
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The Still small voice – A call to Prayer

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At the mountain of God, Horeb, Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter.
Then the LORD said to him,“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.  
1 Kings 19:11-13

More than anything these past few weeks, I have felt the Lord call me to deeper and deeper prayer.  In fact, I believe He is calling all of us to deeper prayer with him.  Prayer brings communion and he wants communion with us.  Because I have felt this call, I signed up for a Silent Retreat this past weekend.  I cannot tell you enough to go be in the silence with him for at least 15 minutes a day.  This is how you hear God’s voice.  And when you hear his voice, you are strengthened in Him and you are able to go out into the world to make it a better place.

This retreat was very fruitful for me.  I told God, “I don’t want to show up here with any agenda but yours.”   The only agenda I feel I did go in with was one where I would pray for others.  God has asked me to get outside myself, so I didn’t think He would mind if I brought other people’s prayer requests to him.  I put out a message to friends that if they had any prayer requests, I would present them to the Lord.  People messaged me giving me prayer requests.  After reading through all of them, I could see the pain and suffering of God’s children.  I wrote them down and put them in my journal.

On Friday night I went to the chapel and read each intention to the Lord, laying everyone’s concerns at His feet and asking him to hear their prayers. I went to bed and was awakened in the night feeling the Lord tell me, “Tell them all Jeremiah 29:11”.  For those of you who are not familiar with this verse, it says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Then on Saturday, I repeated my prayers with all of the intentions, this time in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. That night the Lord told me to tell everyone, “Daniel 10:12.”  In this passage an Angel has appeared to Daniel and this is what the Angel says, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”  I know God is good all the time, and he hears our prayers. If you pray in the quiet you can hear Him too.

The Priest at the retreat told a story which touched me greatly, and he was speaking in regards to prayer.  He told the story of a women who back in the days when train stations had phone booths and a call cost a dime, this women, who was poor, would go looking in each of the booths to see if she could find a dime to make a call.   As he and friends watched her, they noticed in one of the booths she found a penny, not enough to make a call with.  She threw the penny away.  The next day they decided to do a little experiment. Being a young boy at the time and not yet a Priest,  he and his friends put a penny in the row of ten phone booths, so there were 10 pennies.  The woman came along and found the first penny and threw it away.  She found the second penny and threw it away, and so on and so forth, until all 10 pennies had been thrown out. The boys approached the lady.  They told her they knew she was looking for a dime.  She said she hadn’t found one.  They told her that actually she did, but it was in the form of ten pennies.  Enough to make a call.  She realized the mistake she made throwing the pennies away.  The Priest went on to tell us that we are often like this in prayer.  We are expecting God to do things for us and we are so busy looking for dimes, that we totally miss it when he is leaving us pennies.  Be open to the Holy Spirit.  He may be leaving you pennies all day long – that when put together – are way bigger than the dime you were wishing for.

I felt like I heard God louder than I have ever heard Him before.  Perhaps it was just the silence, or the holy place, or even wearing my veil, (I will say that ever since I have put that veil on I now, just this short while later, I LOVE IT) or all of those things, but there was peace and there was communion with God.

I was able to write a prayer that I felt like we need for our times.  It was a prayer asking for Mary’s intercession.  She is the Queen of Peace, and our world is lacking peace, so here is what I wrote;

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, daughter of the Almighty Father, conceived without sin, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the uncreated and created Immaculate Conceptions, Mother of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, guide us to union with the Trinity to whom you are united.  Because of your Fiat, you are the shining example of relationship with the Divine Will.  In these times of darkness and tribulation Most Holy Mother, intercede for us and illuminate our path, in order that we may see the Triumph of your Immaculate Heart, whose purpose is to draw us to rest in the Sacred Heart with our Triune God Most High.  

Amen.

Many other things happened as well, but I will just share with you one more.  They had us take a long look at our repetitive sins.  They said there is usually a deadly sin that could be attached to it (not that the repetitive sin is deadly, but the root of it could be a deadly sin).  They said there would be a virtue to counteract that sin.  They said to focus on one at a time and look for the virtue to counter it.  After reviewing my faults and many sins, I knew the virtue I need to work on most right now is Temperance.  (As an intense personality, I can be “all in” on things whether good or bad).  All day long on Saturday, God said Temperance to me.  When we were getting ready to leave on Sunday they were passing out Saint cards for us to take home and there would be a virtue for us to practice attached. I looked at the woman next to me (because we could talk at this point) and I said, “whelp, I am going to get Temperance.”  Sure enough, the Priest brings a stack of cards to me face down.  I pull one out, and of course, it is Temperance.  And the Saint is Thomas Aquinas – whose feast day was Saturday when I heard God speak Temperance to me all day.  I will be asking for his intercession to help me with that virtue.  God really does know what we need even when we don’t.

I tell you these things in order to let you know that prayer is fruitful.  Not always immediately, it takes time.  For me, this has been a 7 year journey of prayer.  I think though, in the past, I may have been throwing pennies away looking for dimes.  There is so much hate in the world right now, I feel compelled to prayer because prayer connects you to God.  God IS LOVE.  Love counteracts hate.  If we are to be Golden Souls, we must be praying and praying deeply, asking God HIS agenda, not our own.

bethany-house-retreat

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Fighting to Live / an update on Eva

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Eva and I celebrating our birthdays.  She made it to 49.  She didn’t think she would.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5

I haven’t updated you on Eva in awhile.  Truth be told, since my parents moved here and need my help, I haven’t been able to see her as much.  Sweet friend that she is, she never complained and told me to take care of my folks.

She has been listed as terminal.  She does chemo to prolong her life.  She talks about staying alive for her husband Andrew, and her son Michael.  She really does amaze me.  Her will to live, to endure tremendous suffering, all because of her immense love for her family.  She keeps as active as she can.  (And sometimes puts me to shame, and I am not sick.) Tonight she was doing homework with her son, just like any of us would do.  Ordinary motherhood, with the elephant of sickness in the room.

Here is the thing about Eva,  she has endured more than any person I personally know. And yet, when I go over to her house, she has a smile on her face.  She asks me about my folks and how they are doing.  She gives me birthday gifts.  She is suffering more than anyone I know, and yet she asks about me.  She listens to me.  She sometimes takes my breath away.

She is not perfect.  At times, she is brutally honest.  I have seen her bile bag, helped her empty it.    I have heard her speak about being humiliated because she pooped her pants. Humiliation.  Christ on the cross.  That is what I see.  I suppose it is hard to watch.  Her husband posted this the other day,  “I don’t think there’s anything worse than watching your loved one howling in pain through the night, despite heavy medication. On top of that, she apologizes for keeping me awake.”   But what I see is beauty.  I see the rawness of the human condition.  I see that no matter how much we think we have control, we really don’t have much.  I see a wife her loves her husband and son so much she keeps going.  I see a husband who loves his wife so much he can’t barely stand to watch her suffer.  I see true love.  It’s a self sacrificing love.  It’s what this world needs.

God tells me to run toward the suffering.  I have told him I will.  But I look at Eva, and I see her love, and I feel so small.  What she faces, and the attitude she faces it with, it’s amazing.  Truly it is.  She needs a miracle so please keep praying.  Our God is a God of hope and though many run from suffering, or give up, Eva has taught me perseverance, and she’s done it because of love.

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Prophecy and the Overwhelming

 

 

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Matryoshka triple bubble in space

Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,  like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.  It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.  You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.  Luke 12:35-40

 

In the days leading up to the U.S. Election, while many people were speculating or panicking about all kinds of things, I feel like I was out in left field.  Other than scanning the headlines here and there, I spent much of the time in prayer, trying not to pay attention to all of the vitriol, though I did wonder about the future.  I said a novena to the Holy Spirit, and I visited Adoration as often as I was able, and just generally spoke to God.

Many people already know I have experienced the charism of prophecy.  I think that each one of us has a charism, a gift, or perhaps many gifts that the Holy Spirit imparts on us. Being that we, as a people of God, are called to the priesthood of the people and to be prophets, many of us at one time or another may also have experienced the charism of prophecy.

Let me preface my story with this; the message I get most of all from God is one of DO NOT BE AFRAID, and DO NOT WORRY.  God is in all things and everything is connected.  God works all things for the good of those who love him.  The main message of a Prophet and what should be the message of all Christians is – Do God’s will, not your own.  Step on the path of righteousness.  Be a light in the world of darkness.  Insert love where there is none.

So, with that said, during this time of prayer, I wanted to share with you a few things I felt the Lord share with me.  In the past I have really felt an experience of God, and I would even go as far as to say that there was a period of time I lived that experience, better than I had ever before, or even since then.  And this time in prayer, I experienced him again.  And the only word I can use to describe it is OVERWHELMING.  And when I come back to “reality” after prayer like this, I can feel kind of sad.  I feel sad because I see how much he loves us, and how much we doubt that here on earth.

In my head, God showed me a depiction of heaven, hell, and purgatory.  It was as if he was showing me heaven is a STATE OF BEING.  A state of being in perfection, and that perfection is LOVE.  There is nothing like it.  He showed me this state of being in a visual form and the picture above is the best depiction I could find of what I saw.  It appeared to me as a ball of light.  The center of this ball of light is the height of heaven, where there are no more tears, there is no sin, there is nothing but love and perfection.  God is CONSTANTLY calling us to this state.  It is what makes our souls golden.  The Saints are there.  Mary is there.  It feels like nothing we have ever felt before.

On the edges of the light, in the rays of the ball of light at different levels were other souls, they were being purified.  The rays were burning imperfection away from them.  They could see the center of the light, but couldn’t quite get there.  These are the souls we are called to pray for.  They have died with some attachment to earthly things, and they will be perfected before reaching that state of total LOVE.  They are suffering because they can see the center, but aren’t there yet.  Finally, there were the souls that were in the blackness.  The void.  There was no love.  A rejection and an absence of God.  It was the loneliest place I have ever felt.  It was a state of desolation.

There was something else he showed me, and it was very reminiscent of the writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe.  It was the shining example of Mary.  He told me she was the daughter of God the Father, conceived without sin.  She is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.  As Maximilian said it, the Holy Spirit is the uncreated Immaculate Conception, and she is the created Immaculate Conception.  She is the Mother of Jesus Christ, the son.  She is in union with the Trinity.  She is a daughter, spouse and mother.  She is the epitome of relationship with God. The reason why we honor her is because she lived, “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  God wants this unity for all of us with him.  He wants us to be in communion with His Divine Will.  It is for this reason,  I believe Mary is the Mediatrix of all Graces.  As Maximilian stated, we can never love Mary more than God did.  We should definitely be asking her to be Our Mother and guide us in the example she gave.

So with all that said, the message I have for you today is, abandon yourself to God’s will.  You cannot control what is going on in the world today, but you can shine the light of God into the world, and stop hatred from coming from yourself with your own actions.  You don’t need a prophet to tell you what is going to happen in the future, you need to walk by faith.  Do not put your trust in human beings, but in God.  He really does love you more than you can imagine.  And not to be cliche’, but live each day as if it could be your last, following God and walking the narrow path.  Live with him in the present moment trying your best to do God’s will on earth as it is in heaven because you never know when the bridegroom will come to bring you home.

I will leave you with this song, that in an earthly way, captured the essence of what I felt.

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Joyfully, Immediately and Fully

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Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:6-7

In my past post I spoke of how my Spiritual Director told me that the Saints in heaven, when God asks them to do something, they do it joyfully, immediately, and fully.  I told all of you that I looked at my past and I saw how when God asked me to do something I did it with complaint, put it off, and half way.  I told you I was going to reform myself.  I am here to tell you I am a giant failure.

Within a week of writing that post I was in adoration.  I was praying for a friend. Sometimes when I pray in adoration, if I am alone, I will lay prostrate in front of our Lord in the Monstrance .  As I lay prostrate on the floor in front of the Monstrance, I could see my hair fall all around me.  I very clearly heard the Lord say, how long have I been asking you to cover that up in deference to me?  I told him, probably 4 years.  He then asked me to make the sacrifice and to show the beauty of a woman in a world that so distorts what womanhood is.

I have read all the reasons why women veil.  I have come across article after article.  I have always had great respect for it.  But it wasn’t for me.  I go to a church that has a beautiful Novus Ordo Mass.  In a large congregation of 2200 families, most of the women do not veil, maybe I will see one at a weekend Mass.  Because I work in the RCIA ministry, I have always justified that I need to look “normal” for those who are not used to Catholic traditions.  And plus, I really like my hair.

So here was God asking me, just after I proclaimed I would be immediate, joyful, and full, to cover my head in Mass.  It is a sacrifice for Him and for others is what he told me.  So what do I do, I tell the Lord, why yes, I will do it.  And then I leave adoration and immediately begin bargaining with him.  Does it have to be THIS weekend Lord?  How about a cute hat Lord?

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What I wore to Christmas Mass. My husband told me I looked Russian.

No one else is wearing a veil Lord, I will look like a weirdo.  People will think I am trying to be holy, when I feel completely not worthy Lord.  You just want me to look like a holy roller.  The thing is, I never looked at people who wore veils that way, so why was I thinking it for myself?  In fact I admired people who wore veils.  Here I was complaining, putting things off, and doing things halfway.  I recognized immediately what I was doing.  I got so mad at myself.  

I think God was also hitting me in an attachment, an attachment to vanity.  Stop taking selfies of yourself in a hat Susan and order a veil, he said to me.  My husband asked me how many hats I was going to buy when the fourth one showed up at the house.  I had ordered a veil, but it was going to take about 5 weeks to get here, and the veil at the bookstore, well I bought it and didn’t wear it.  But when my ordered veil finally arrived, I thought,  I cannot fight God any longer.  So yes, you will see me in my veil, not feeling holy, but unworthy, but in everything deferring to my Lord.

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My friend Allison told me with a blog named Veil of Veronica, how could I possibly think I wouldn’t end up in a veil.  So with that, I won’t make you indulge my selfies after this.  God tells me to stop focusing on myself, and focus on others.  I’m trying Lord.  I really am trying.

But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved.  For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil.  1:Corinthians 11: 5-6

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The Golden Souls

golden-souls

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.  The statutes of the LORD are true, all of them just;  More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold, Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.  By them your servant is warned; obeying them brings much reward. Psalm 19:10-12

Lately I have been getting a repeating vision in my head.  It is of a map.  Sometimes it is of the United States.  Sometimes it is of the world.  The map is covered with people.  The people on the map are mostly gray.  Some are really light gray.  Some are medium gray.  Some of dark gray.   Some people are actually black.  A far view of the map makes most of the map look gray.   God is impressing upon me that I am seeing the color of people’s souls.  However, interspersed throughout the gray are people who are golden.

These shining golden souls are interspersed throughout the map.  There are not as many of them as the gray souls, but each area has some golden souls.  Some areas more than others.  These are the people who are walking in the light of Christ.  They are actively seeking Sainthood and their souls have been illuminated with the love of God that they have accepted and said yes to.  They have been placed where they are, in God’s providence, so that the dark gray or black souls don’t spread the blackness, but for them to spread the light of Christ.  God wants each of us to choose to be a golden soul and to choose to spread his light, so the map becomes lit up as bright as the morning sun.

It is often difficult for these souls though.  They feel isolated and alone.  They feel others don’t understand them.  They yearn for community.

Throughout my prayer life I have heard God tell me I will lose my comforts.  I always interpreted that to mean material comforts (and that could well be true also, as he also tells me everything is connected.) But more than anything, after my ordeal, the comfort I felt I lost was the comfort of the community I knew.  The comfort of feeling like I belong.  The comfort of feeling I am wanted.  God told me, I am wanted.  I do belong.  I am loved.  It is from Him alone I should seek this comfort.  Be in the world, but not of it.

So, with this knowledge in mind, I looked to our Saints.  I looked for the other examples.  And there shone the Golden Soul of Mother Teresa. She was a victim soul.  She felt abandoned by God himself, but in reality,  he was letting her feel what the souls she served felt.   She did not let this feeling turn her soul gray.  She went outside of comfort, both emotionally, and materially, and shone the light of Christ anyway.  Her soul was golden, even in the midst of her own agony.  And we must always remember the greatest example of the Golden Soul, our mother, the Immaculata.

This is what we are all called to do.  We are all called to shine the golden light of Christ to others.  We are called to look beyond ourselves and go where our humanity doesn’t usually want to.  We can build community by introducing people to Love Himself.

With that in mind, my Spiritual Director told me he believes that the world needs an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  So beginning today we are saying a Novena to the Holy Spirit.  Please join us over the next 9 days in this Novena.  Our prayer will be that the Holy Spirit working in the world, and also through us, will turn that mostly gray map Golden, and the light of Christ will shine beyond measure.

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