Requiescat in pace Eva Vaughan

Eva Vaughan passed away at 8:15 pm on Monday, March 13, 2017, Tennessee, USA.

Eternal Rest grant unto her O Lord.

And may Perpetual light shine upon her.

And may the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God Rest In Peace. Amen.

The last thing we said to each other was, “until I see you again.”

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Our Lady Healer of Families (part 1)


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Over the past year or so people have come to me over and over again asking me to pray for their families.  Parents estranged from children.  Children angry with parents.  Spouses at war.  Siblings who don’t speak.  Family members chained by addictions of all kinds.   Family members who are sick and caregivers who are exhausted.  I feel like I am seeing the front lines of the attack on and suffering of the Family.

In my prayer I have felt our Lady tell me over and over again that she is in union with the Divine will.  She is all things relationship with the Trinity.  Daughter of the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of the Son.  She knows union with God and we can, by following her example, have loving relationships with one another.

This week in my prayers I very clearly heard her tell me that she wants to heal Families.  That she is Our Lady Healer of Families and she wants a devotion under this title.  She asked me to have an Icon painted and a Litany written.  But she didn’t want me to write it.  She identified to me who she wanted to do these two things.  My cousin, Kathleen Carr, to paint the Icon, and a friend of mine to write the Litany.  She called them both, “My daughters, my friends.”  I called both my cousin and my friend.  My cousin informed me she had prayed only the night before about what to paint next — and then I called her in the morning.  She was amazed and quickly said she would do it so I gave her the parameters I saw in my prayer.  Her Icon will be part two of this post.  Please keep her in prayer as she paints.

My friend also agreed to write the Litany but has asked that her name be withheld and that you focus solely on the prayer.  I decided to post the prayer even though the Painting isn’t ready because in the past two days I have had multiple people come to me asking for prayers for their families.  I was told in prayer to promulgate this Litany and so I am posting it now.  We will also be rolling out a full Novena with the painting.  The Novena will be prayed for 9 days and then saying a Rosary.  So without further ado here is the Litany;

Litany to Our Lady Healer of Families

Hail full of grace,

Daughter of the Heavenly Father

Pray for us

Hail full of grace,

Daughter of the Alpha and Omega

Pray for us

Hail full of grace,

Daughter of the Creator of Heaven and Earth

Pray for us

Hail full of grace,

Daughter of Yahweh, the great I AM

Pray for us

Hail full of grace,

Daughter of St. Anne & St. Joachim

Pray for us

Most favored daughter

Pray for us

Most devoted daughter

Pray for us

Most obedient daughter

Pray for us

Most peaceful daughter

Pray for us

Most pure daughter

Pray for us

Most joyful daughter

Pray for us

Most modest daughter

Pray for us

Our Lady Healer of Families, the Lord is with you

Mary, Daughter of God the Father

Pray for us

 

Blessed are you,

Spouse of the Holy Spirit

Pray for us

Blessed are you,

Spouse of the Paraclete

Pray for us

Blessed are you,

Spouse of the Consuming Fire

Pray for us

Blessed are you,

Spouse of the Peaceful Dove

Pray for us

Blessed are you,

Spouse of St. Joseph

Pray for us

Most merciful spouse

Pray for us

Most humble spouse

Pray for us

Most selfless spouse

Pray for us

Most hopeful spouse

Pray for us

Most loyal spouse

Pray for us

Most unified spouse

Pray for us

Most affectionate spouse

Pray for us

Our Lady Healer of Families, the Lord is with you

Mary, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit

Pray for us

 

Holy Mary,

Mother of Jesus Christ

Pray for us

Holy Mary,

Mother of the Prince of Peace

Pray for us

Holy Mary,

Mother of The Word

Pray for us

Holy Mary,

Mother of The Way

Pray for us

Holy Mary,

Mother of the Eucharist

Pray for us

Most patient mother

Pray for us

Most gentle mother

Pray for us

Most encouraging mother

Pray for us

Most accepting mother

Pray for us

Most gracious mother

Pray for us

Most consoling mother

Pray for us

Most prayerful mother

Pray for us

Our Lady Healer of Families, the Lord is with you,

Mary, Mother of God the Eternal Son

Pray for us

 

Mary, Daughter of the One True God

Put an end to all heresies

Mary, Spouse of the Divine Spirit

Restore unity among all of humanity

Mary, Mother of the Divine Son

Crush the head of Satan and lead all souls back to Jesus

 

O Most Holy Trinity,

In our efforts to love one another more perfectly

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to sow peace in our relationships

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to offer forgiveness to those who have hurt us

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to care for the needs of others

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to offer up our sufferings for the salvation of souls

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to speak Your truth in word and deed

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to surrender our will to Yours

Unite us and bring healing

 

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Beauty in the midst of hardship

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St. Louis Basilica, St. Louis, MO

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

This past week I had to drive with my parents to St. Louis so my father could have an operation to alleviate some of his excruciating back pain.  This required that I leave my husband and kids and travel 5 hours to stay for a week so my dad could have testing done before his surgery. We left on Monday.   His surgery was scheduled for Friday.

As I now do, I began the trip with my prayer of Bless it Lord, or Block it Lord.  There is a certain amount of anxiety my parents have too, so I shared with them my prayer.  I know God blessed it.

We made it to St. Louis uneventfully, and one of the first things I always do when I get to a new town is look for the Catholic church nearby.  I found one within a mile and a half.  I have been told you can find a Catholic Church almost everywhere in St. Louis.  The one that I found was called St. Richard.  My mom was thrilled with this because Richard was her father’s name and she had never heard of a St. Richard church.

I drove by myself to St. Richard so I could go pray while mom and dad stayed back at the hotel room.  I was praying for Our Lady’s help, with all the things going on in life.  I arrived at St. Richards and was disappointed to find the doors locked.  But a man was coming out of the rectory next door so I stopped and asked if I could go in and pray.  He informed me that I could and he let me in the church.  He told me they had to start locking the doors because the church down the road, St. Monica, had been burned in an arson fire just after Christmas.  I felt sad that these are the times we live in.

He let me in the church and I began to pray a Rosary for my dad’s surgery and many other things.  I looked for Mary, and found her to the left of the altar.  It was our Lady of Perpetual Help, and I knew everything would be okay since I had been asking for her help. I felt Our Lady pour love over me and speak to me.

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Our Lady of Perpetual Help Icon at St. Richards Church

Later in the week I took my mom and Dad back to St. Richard.   The kind Pastor of the Church gave my dad Anointing of the Sick.  Mom and Dad prayed before the Image of Divine Mercy.

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Mom and Dad praying before Dad’s surgery

Then on Thursday the day before the surgery, we got a call from the Doctor’s office saying the surgery had to be postponed due to an emergency the Doctor was called to.  They would not be able to do surgery until Monday, another 3 days away.  My parents were so disappointed.  In addition, my husband called to tell me my daughter had the flu.

I went in my hotel room and cried, and prayed.  I felt out of control.  I wasn’t sure what to do.  I felt the Lord tell me as he often does, “trust me.”  He imparted upon me that He was in control and to abandon myself to Him.  I came out of the room and told my parents there was a reason for the delay and we must trust.  I called my husband and told him to take care of my baby girl and I called my boss to let her know I would not be at work for another few days.  Thankfully all parties were supportive.

It didn’t take long for God to show me just why he is in control and I am not.  I decided on Friday to take my parents to St. Louis Basilica.  On the way there we received a phone call from my cousin and my Aunt.  It turns out they were in St. Louis for a cancer treatment for my Aunt, and we would get to see each other.  Something that given my parents ages and conditions would not normally be a possibility.  I thanked God for the Blessing and apologized for always questioning him.

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Dad and I in front of St. Louis Basilica

We arrived at the Basilica. My dad has pain when standing or walking too much so I brought the wheelchiar.  This made us enter through the handicap access door, and when I opened the door this is what I saw;

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Our Lady of Perpetual Help in St. Louis Basilica

She was still helping me.  I almost cried.  God was teaching me to see beauty even in difficult circumstances.  And I must say, St Louis Basilica was stunning and beautiful, but the most beautiful thing that happened was being able to see my Aunt and cousin for the first time in a long long time.  Seeing them was beauty in the midst of the hardship of waiting.

On Saturday we went to St. Monica church.  They are still not in their main church because of smoke damage from the fire.  We had Mass in a classroom.  Saturday was the Feast of the Transfiguration.  During the homily the Priest talked about how the actual Church of the Transfiguration in Mount Tabor was also desecrated last October shortly before their own St. Monica church was desecrated too.  He said they can take everything from us, but we will still continue on because we have Christ.  It was beauty, in the midst of the hardship of persecution.   After Mass that Priest also gave my dad Anointing of the Sick.  (I told dad he was being a Sacrament hog.  Lol.) I knew dad had enough grace that he would be fine.

Monday came, dad’s surgery went great and I brought him and mom home for his recovery. Even in small suffering, even in hardship, there is beauty, we just have to open our eyes to it.  Finding beauty in the suffering of this life helps us to know and seek the perfection of the next life.  That one is the one that really matters.

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Prayer for healing in families

 

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When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”  Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. John 19:26-27

Just a quick note this evening.  Lately a lot of people have been coming to me with trouble in their families.  I wrote this prayer today for healing in families.  We can find help from Our Lady.  Here is my prayer;

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, daughter of God the Father, spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of familial relationship with the Divine Will.  Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families.   Help us to love our parents, our children, our spouses, siblings and our extended families, the way that Christ loves us with self sacrificing love.  In particular help to heal my relationship with (state intentions here).  Intercede in our relationships so that God may break the chains of division and we can rest with the Most Holy Trinity as you do.  We ask this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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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

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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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