Category Archives: Catholicism

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Our Sacrifice with Christ’s? What is It?

Love of the CrossWhat is your sacrifice, your oblation which is joined to that of Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?  Do you offer it?

I was inspired to consider this question.  I have been wandering whether I am getting through to the Lord at Mass.  Am I being heard?  What should I be offering?  What can I possibly offer here which is not already annihilated by Christ’s own inexhaustible Gift for the eternal salvation of our souls?

It came to me.

It’s not just our praise.  Men brown-nose their bosses with praise daily.  No, it is not simply praise since praise by itself is empty…empty of what it is the Lord is seeking.

What is the Lord our God seeking?  He is seeking…

FAITH. He wants us to walk in to Him truly believing in our hearts that He is real and really loves us.

HOPE. He wants us to walk in to Him truly hoping in our hearts that He has a plan for us, a plan so wonderful and fulfilling that we would nearly die of joy if we knew it in its fullness now.

LOVE.  He wants us to walk in to Him truly desiring to obey every one of His words, whether through Scripture or through Tradition, knowing that to obey Him is to do everything which is exactly right for each and every one of us.  You know, the true obedience of love takes faith and hope.

SURSUM CORDA…ET GRATES.  So, when we are at Mass, and you hear “Sursum corda!” or “Lift up your hearts!” then exclaim in your hearts, “I believe you!  I hope in your plan!  I desire to do whatever you say, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!  Speak to me!  Guide me!  Be with me!  Heal me! Refresh me in my suffering for you!  I am yours and You are Mine!  I am nothing without you. Thank you for what you are doing for me!”

Thanks be to GodThose who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me;
 to those who go the right way
I will show the salvation of God. [Psalm 50:23]

SMILE. Because we are so tempted and injured and so stressed by the world, this is our sacrifice, a sacrifice of the spirit which enjoys in us and brings our bodies along with it in a great big smile. 🙂

This is all summed up in St. Paul’s exhortation,

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:1-2]

And after our sacrifice to and with the Lord, in the Mass, a sacrifice of joy!

This day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. [Nehemiah 8:10]

I love You my Lord.  Why would I not? Thank You forever and ever. Amen.

 

 

You Are My Husband

This evening as I was working on my laptop, I caught myself drifting into a half-sleep very briefly and I heard a lady say to me, in a distinct and inaudible locution:

You are my husband.

My wife had not yet come home from work. But, this was a very comforting thing to hear. Why did I hear it?

The Lazy Servant Who Squandered Talent

Today, I’m writing about a personal situation which weighs heavily on me, because even when I pray to God in the Rosary, trying to think of Heavenly realities, He will not let me forget it.  He wants me to take action, after His own mind.

One of my parish priests has a problem with accepting responsibility for errors and mistakes which occur in the administration of the Sacraments and normal parish administration.  I have brought four serious concerns to his attention during as many years, and each time he has attempted to deflect responsibility for them, resorting to excuses in order to protect the unmanaged conditions surrounding the errors.  He has failed as a leader on all 4 occasions, being first and foremost concerned about avoiding any requirement to work in order to resolve real issues.  My conclusion?  He has just a little talent, he is selfish, and he is lazy.

His actions are directly reflected in this segment in the Good Lord’s “Parable of the Talents” where he teaches,

Using or Losing Talents

The talent shall be taken away from the lazy slave.

Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’  But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter?  Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.  So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.  For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.  As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ [Matthew 25:24-30]

So, I am taking the talents that the Good Lord gave me to give through him, and I will be giving them through other priests at another parish where the priests, regardless of their talents, are not lazy and are not selfish.  There will my and my wife’s spirituality blossom again in a pure Sanctuary where the servants are diligent and inspired, and in Christ

It’s God’s holy will that I do this, and it is my hope that the lazy slave, this priest, will reflect on what has happened and will seek self-improvement opportunities and will grow in grace and in good works so to avoid the sentence:

‘…As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ [Matthew 25:30]

A Waking Dream, a Grinning Muslim Girl, and the Attack on Saudi Arabia

Last Saturday, in a waking dream, I saw very clearly in my mind a little girl, never seen before, who was dressed in what looked like Muslim attire.  It looked like it was made of a very dark brown and black wool and covered her fully (I could only see her from the chest up) and the material was probably 1/2 inch thick.  She was sitting at a 2 O’clock angle from me and sort of grinning at me.    I didn’t know the attire until I described it to a nun friend of mine who immediately told me it appeared to be of the Muslim tradition.  I’m attaching a photo which she found and which closely resembles what I saw (except the girls face was a little darker, probably from the sun).

afghan-girl-jesus-loves

Girl wearing Muslim attire.

Coincidently, the morning I saw the vision of this little girl (age 8 or 9?) was the same morning that either Iran or Houthi rebels launched the attack on the Saudi Arabian oil refinery.  I didn’t know about that attack until the following Sunday.  I was concerned all week about what might happen, and I am very pleased that President Trump did not act rashly.

So, who is this girl, and why did I see her?  It was like she and I were sitting an arms length away, face to face.  Her expression was kind.  My initial insight was that it had something to do with the very near occasion of war with Iran, and that, perhaps, things were going to be okay since she was grinning.  My other insight, and this came to me during the week which followed, is that she was a little girl desiring to become Christian, and that I could be that bridge to evangelize the children where she is located.  My second insight is directly related to locutions I had years ago while at Holy Adoration before the Lord who said, “You will be my bridge…”

It is common for me to sometimes see people that I don’t know during waking dreams.   I have expressed this in other blog entries.  I thank God for these experiences; I love these children, too, whoever and wherever they might be.

 

Finding God in “The Young Eyes”

As I was on my usual walk today with my dog, I was praying with the Lord. I had thought to pray the Rosary, but I was enlightened by the pleasantness of His Holy Spirit. My prayer was to Him to know Him when He is near. Then He said,

Find Me in the young eyes.

What do you find in “the young eyes”? Here’s what I think: You find youth, life, wonder, receptivity, joy and innocence.

Interestingly, this brings urgency to the fight against abortion. We may even find God in the eyes of those en-wombed infants whose very existence reflects the youth, life, wonder, receptivity, joy and innocence of our merciful God Who is Love Itself.

But even more, it is “the young eyes” of the spirit, that spiritual lens through which babes observe and judge. “The young eyes”, having yet to be bent over and corrupted by “the world,” have a clear eye through which goodness is seen in its true glory and evilness is seen as clearly as a Just Judge can see it. But, it is through “the old eyes” that those, injured by “the world,” having angrily forfeited or refused recourse to God now see goodness as evilness and evilness as goodness. “The old eyes” have grown dim, scratched and useless, and “the body” follows suit. Do not seek to find God in “the old eyes.” For as the Lord did say,

…but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! [Matthew 6:23]

Make no mistake, even the elderly who lean on God in prayer and works can have “the young eyes.” For as the Lord did say,

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light...[Matthew 6:22]

As a babe can be “full of light,” so too can the elderly who are receptively filled with the Holy Spirit, walking in humble obedience and producing the fruits of the Spirit which are:

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. [Galatians 5:22-23a]

Seen yet another way, we may look for God in the eyes of the holy and virtuous nuns and brothers who are fruitful in all of their ways and who do not go after titles and power and money and other things which seem desirable to the worldly and which bring corruption to those who abuse them for self gain. For as the Lord did say,

But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full now,
    for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who are laughing now,
    for you will mourn and weep.

Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. [Luke 6:24-26]

Yes, look for God in “the young eyes.”

The Lord’s Goodness – Two Souls, One Heart

Today, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I was praying to express my faith in the Lord’s real Presence in the Eucharist there. I was met with the inaudible response, “Come. I give you peace and pardon” and I saw in my mind an image of Him standing like a giant, extending His hand to me, smiling.

Thereafter, before processing to receive Him in the Eucharist, I heard a call to divine marriage, something I do not understand well yet. I state “divine” because that is the only way it can be known – it must be clearly discerned from what we understand in human marriage. But, it was given to me to know that this marriage was so strong and intimate that it would be as if I had the Sacred Heart of Jesus as my very own heart – two souls, yet one heart, human and divine. I don’t understand this fully, but I believe that it is very good.

So, when we receive the Lord faithfully in the Eucharist, perhaps He is giving us His own heart and desiring that we accept it to replace our own injured, fallen stony hearts. This is part of our call to divine marriage, becoming one in Goodness. For as the divine intention is written:

A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. [Ezekiel 36:26-28]

Vision of A Lady Dressed for Matrimony and Understanding Metaphorical Marriage With God

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass yesterday morning, as the distribution of the Eucharist began during Holy Communion, I looked up, and in my mind’s eye, I saw the beautiful image of a lady dressed for her wedding. She was standing in the sanctuary to the right of the priest, our parochial vicar, who was facing the nave and distributing the Blessed Sacrament. She was also facing the people who went up to receive Jesus.

She was fully covered in a white matrimonial gown which appeared to be made of linen with pearls woven in (there were shiny glimmers here and there). There was no silk, no saffron veil, but all like a finely woven embroidery of linen covering her hair and face and draping over her gown. She was just standing there, her arms covered under her gown and veil.

This inspired in me the thought of a real Wedding Banquet, and the holiness of what we should be thinking when we approach the sanctuary during Holy Communion. The image was brief, but I saw her. Who was she? Was she a vision of Holy Mother Church?

Hear how St. Isaiah the Prophet writes of God’s love for the Church as His bride:

For your Maker is your husband,
    the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
    the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
    like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off,
    says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
    I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
    says the Lord, your Redeemer.
[Isaiah 54:5-8]

Hear how St. John the Baptist speaks of the Lord as Bridegroom to His Church:

He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. [John 3:29]

Who is the bride here? We assume it is the Church after the imagery of Isaiah (and other prophets), and that the bride is not necessarily happy since it is only the friend of the bridegroom who is said to be happy. Hear also how St. Paul joins in to teach the reality:

For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. [Ephesians 5:29-32]

And with St. Paul, we see atheists Lord’s role as Bridegroom confirmed and understand more fully the Lord’s intentions to care for the Church as His Bride.

I think the image, then, was a reminder to us about the Lord’s intentions for the Faithful – that He give us a most Holy spouse in Himself, and that we be treated such that we may become healthy enough to respond to His call to be like a holy spouse in that divine metaphorical matrimony and marriage, the actual application and eternal living out of which remains veiled in mystical secrecy…and misunderstandings as a result.

Now, I think that many people, including devout religious, misunderstand this mystery of the metaphorical bridal imagery. I have misunderstood it, too. I’m sure that there are people who go after the religious, celibate life seeking something like a human marriage with the human person of Jesus Christ – an imagined, “perfect husband” who is found and intimately experienced in the heart and mind. However, those who follow this line of thought may easily be led into a fallacy, the fallacy of a real human marriage. This is not a human marriage – it cannot be; for how can a temporary institution be applied to an eternal state of being where that human institution, and elements of it, is no longer in effect? For as Jesus the Lord Himself revealed regarding the human institution,

…You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. [Matthew 22:29-30]

How do the angels of God live, and can their lives be spousal as we understand the word? We assume that we know about angels, but we do not know in fact since we are not angels and do not experience the life of angels. So, let us clearly state now that our relationship with God is metaphorically marital and monogamous, not really marital and monogamous in the sense of a real human marriage, and is somewhat like the little-understood lives and relationships of angels with God.

We can continue to build our understanding of metaphorical marriage with the Lord, and entrench our understanding of a requirement for metaphorical monogamy with God in the command which comes from God Himself,

you shall have no other gods before me. [Exodus 20:3]

Also, as the Lord commissioned Moses to teach to the Chosen People, Israel, a teaching which the Lord Jesus validated, we can understand a commanded metaphorical monogamy, not only between our current generation and the Lord, but also between our future generations and the Lord since we are to teach our children to also love God in a metaphorically monogamous way:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead,  and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. [Deuteronomy 6:4-9]

And, in summary, the vision of a lady dressed for Matrimony reminds us of the Lord’s faithful intentions for the Bride, the Church, in a metaphorical marriage with Him, and also the expectation that the Bride is or will become prepared to fulfill that honor, with a mind set for monogamy and, with that monogamy, the loving and dedicated care of the Lord.

Why Jesus Waited 30 Years to Start His Ministry

While I was praying the Joyful Mysteries of the the Rosary yesterday (17 April 2018), I began meditating on the divinity of God in such a humble, helpless, undeveloped form of a tiny infant in the arms of His barely 15-year old Mother Mary. Why does He come as an infant and then wait 30 years before starting His ministry?

It seemed that He, as a 12-year old boy was going to start His ministry when He was lost for 3 days and then showed up in the Temple – “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” [Luke 2:49]. But, no; that seemed to be a test for whether His parents could handle it. They were clearly not ready at that time, for “When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, ‘Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.'” [Luke 2:48].

So, why wait until age 30? Understanding and loving His Mother dearly, He was waiting for His Mama to be ready. She had to tell Him when to begin, and she did, at the Cana wedding:

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” [John 2:1-5]

Mother Mary was there, and it was then that she signaled her readiness for His ministry by almost literally directing Him to perform a miracle – immediately. Mother Mary did so boldly and without hesitation. She knew who He is, what He must do, and why He was waiting. And so, with her approval, He knew that the time had come.

My sweet, tender Mama is ready. Let the Redemption begin…

The Lord: “Me, Look to Me”

God the Father and Holy SpiritLast Sunday, during the Liturgy of the Eucharist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I was praying and had a dim vision of the Lord sitting in His Throne.  He looked tired and His attire was a red and bronze-gold colored robe of  thick, ornate fabric – kingly and manly.  Looking at me, He simply said (inaudibly),

“Me. Look to Me.”

I did not understand the vision at first – it was short and to the point.  Why did He say that to me?  What is the context?  But, as we drove out of the parish parking lot, I looked up at the license plate of the car in front of us and it stated,

“TRNTOHM”

I had NEVER seen that plate before in my life.  It took me a few seconds to get that “eureka!” effect – when I realized that the plate means “Turn To Him.”  When it came to me, I thought how strong a confirmation this is that He really is serious about getting this point across to me.

Lord: “Me. Look to Me.”

Lord’s Messenger: “Turn to Him.”

So, here’s what I think happened.  Earlier that morning, I was viewing the recent Medjugorje message, and I had decided that I should begin reading ALL of those messages and take them seriously, and follow them.  But, then I had this vision of the Lord directing me back to Him instead.  Okay.  I totally got it.

So, how do I look to the Lord?  How do I turn to Him?  I have begun to pray more directly to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  I have also started praying seven Our Fathers / Hail Mary’s / Glory Be’s, but with more of my heart, meditating intently on what I am saying, and then stopping when I get an inspiration and then expressing praise or thanksgiving or remorse for sins and asking for His grace that I might be made holy and merciful as He is holy and merciful.  I am trying to draw closer to Him as my real father-father, and love Him as my super-superior father-father, especially since my Dad went to Him in September.  I am trying.  May He help me achieve His intentions for me.

And, now, I feel motivated to open up my heart and soul to greater faith in His total presence and love, not only for me, but for you.  I want to believe more deeply and talk to the Father and totally depend upon Him, in honor of His great love and total fidelity.  For as His Son, our Lord Jesus said:

“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish?  Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” [Luke 11:9-13]

I want to be a good and holy child.  Maybe, all that I need to do is ask Him for the help of His Holy Spirit?

Thank You, Father.  I love you and am very, very grateful.  I feel you in my heart now. Thank You.  I love You, Abba.

 

 

 

 

Lenten Appeals – Is Jesus Embarrassed?

Today, during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, our pastor reminded us about the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal, an annual exercise where pastors are required to direct their parishioners, while sitting in the pews, to actually fill out annual financial pledges for the Diocese.  He briefly reminded us about the pledge cards (from last Sunday) before he began the homily this morning.  I really appreciated the brevity, as it is our desire at that time to learn a lesson of God, not to be lectured on the needs of our very, very wealthy Diocesan church.

Resurrection and WoundsInterestingly, during he Liturgy of the Eucharist, with my eyes closed, I saw in my mind our resurrected Jesus Christ dressed in a common, dirty and dingy one-piece ankle-length tunic, as if atoning, standing behind the priest and deacon at the altar, inaudibly exhorting,

Come, all you who are thirsty and hungry! Come, take, eat, drink for free!  I give it freely! 

The Lord our God exhorts us that He does not charge us for His love.  He does not require from us a tithe to Him for what He offers.  It is offered freely, out of true love.  And, He gives us a symbol of personal atonement and embarrassment, on our behalf.

I sensed His embarrassment about the calls for funds, calls which seem to constantly emanate from the ambo in the sanctuaries of our parish chapels during these times.  The message is, “If you pay us, we will serve you and ourselves, too.”  This is not the Lord’s message, though, and He wants to make that clear.  For-pay permanent deacons, heed this warning.

I sensed His atonement for the sins of the Church Hierarchy.  The Lord is embarrassed at the many scandals which have been revealed – scandals at the hands of cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, religious, teachers and parents – and instead of the Hierarchy contritely atoning for sins, it continues – administering daily routines – focusing on the money that can be gathered in from the hands of the Faithful during this season of alms-giving, fasting and prayer.  But, who is atoning besides Jesus?  That is, who is making amends, in their hearts, for the wrongs that have been perpetrating on the Church by its own Hierarchy?

Perhaps, during Lent, the Church Hierarchy should be atoning with Jesus Christ and alms-giving, not project-promoting and wealth-begging.  Certainly, projects are necessary, but, perhaps, now during Lent is a very good time for atoning.  For as it is written and as it was read at the Ash Wednesday Liturgy of the Word,

Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?'” [Joel 2:17]

The Lord Jesus makes Himself present and known, “I Am here!  Know Me. I Am not leaving you.”  But, the Church Hierarchy sometimes makes Him seem less present, less real, more like Money, less like Love, less like He Who Atones and Redeems.  If priests participate in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, then priests should be moved, internally, to offer more outward signs of atonement for the sins of the Hierarchy.

At the end of the Mass for the final blessing, our Lord Jesus stood behind the altar, in front of His Tabernacle, and, with eyes closed,  I only saw His blessing.

 

Prayer of Intimacy With the Lord

Lord, yes, I want to love You as you desire me to love You. Prepare my heart for You. I trust You. I do will it. Make me Holy for You. For, You desire that I be holy as You are holy. Make me Holy for You. I do will it. And then love me, that I may overflow with an abundance of true love for You. Feed me with Your Essence in the Eucharist that I may be sustained in loving You and my neighbors, but You most of all, that I may love You chastely as You deserve. Come in to my soul and give Me Your Life, that we may be one together, that every breath I take is fed by the Breath of Your Spirit, that every beat of my heart beats with Your Divine Heart, that I may bear the Fruit of our chaste Union. Amen.

Cleansed by Spirit and Fire – Make Me Holy, Lord!

Early this morning, I was contemplating the chaste holiness of God.  It was a delightful experience – similar to what it might be like swimming in crystal clear springs of Total Goodness and Truth.  But, then my thoughts began to corrupt the experience, and it left me.  I was made acutely aware of my state of being compared to the most holy God.  I was acutely aware of the Lord’s expectation, and my and your duty:

I-am-the-Lord-your-God-I

My prayer from this morning was this:

Lord, cleanse my heart with the breath of Your Spirit and with Your Thoughts, that I may become one with You, purified through You, in You and with You. Without You, I am broken and coarse. But, You can make me whole and refined if You will it. This is what I desire, because I love You. Amen

Then, today, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the readings and homily were exactly in line with my early morning contemplations.  This is what happens when the Spirit is moving us.  We are being prepared even before we see and hear; we may even think about what the Pope will speak about even before he speaks at an audience, for example.

At Mass, we were at the point where the Priest begins the Eucharistic Prayer, and I began to imagine the Lord working in me.  The Eucharistic Prayer begins like this:

Priest: “Lift up your hearts.”

People: “We lift them up to the Lord.”

Priest: “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.”

People: “It is right and just.”

I prayerfully lifted up my heart, my very soul, in sorrow for my past errors and present unholiness and brokenness compared to God.  For He commanded this to be said to the congregation of the people Israel,

“You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” [Leviticus 19:2]

The holiness of the Lord is so great, that is, He is so chaste and true and unerring in thought that even the Seraphs, hiding their faces, exclaim:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts…”! [Isaiah 6:3a]

He is not one degree of holiness, but He is root of holiness.  We are called to be holy as He is holy, but the gap between our meager attempts at holiness and His actual holiness is huge.  We cannot scale the gap without His divine help, and we must certainly try.

But then I saw in my mind,

Jesus breathing His Spirit on my heart, and sparks flying from it like impurities being burned in a fire.  

After receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, I heard,

You have received mercy today.

As our homilist suggested today, it was like being baptized again, for as the words of John the Baptist are written about the Lord in Sacred Scripture,

“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” [Luke 3:16b]

I felt the Lord was helping me today – saying that He can, does and will help me, but He is the one who must do it in me.  And, I must protect what He gives me.

One of the things I struggle with, today, is defining my life of service.  I am married, and I do serve my wife as best I can, and improving on that as I go, there is a fuller service to which God calls me.  I hear,

Serve!

Serve God, but where and when and how?  And I hear at times of true prayer,

Marry me.

Marry God, but where and when and how?  I understand, but not fully since this marriage must be supernatural and in the spiritual realm.  There is a future meaning to it now: only a betrothal – a request.  I want to doubt it because my understanding is human, but then I believe it because I know that I do not understand the divine; how can I understand by myself?

But, this marriage cannot happen if I am not holy as the Lord my God is holy.  I invite Him to make me holy.

I adjure you, Lord. 

Make me holy.  

Make me holy.  

Make me holy.  

I desire this.

Have mercy; make me holy! 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

When Right is Called “Extreme”

Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan opposing N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo

To the Governors who spurn human life,
Who woo their constituents with license;
Who elevate the feeling of emotion
above the wisdom of faith and reason;
Who coin their adversaries as “extreme”
And remain belligerent to their counsel;
Both in and out of season:

Anyone alive is extreme
-to anyone who is dead.

Anyone filled with light is extreme
-to anyone who is filled with darkness.

Anyone filled with love is extreme
-to anyone who is filled filled with hate.

Anyone filled with faith is extreme
-to anyone who is filled with doubt.

Anyone filled with courage is extreme
-to anyone who is filled with fear.

Anyone filled with hope is extreme
-to anyone who is filled with despair.

If you are filled with good things,
then you are not extreme to God.

God fills His chosen with grace,
And His chosen lift up the weak.

Christ’s and our Mother Mary attests to this.
For as it is written:

God has filled the hungry with good things,
and has sent the rich away empty.

Who are “the rich”?

They have amassed material goods;
They seek comfort in passing things.
They have discarded spiritual goods;
In them, God’s wisdom is unseen.

But, in the end, they will see.
God will shed His Light.

The “rich” will see and know
That there is no “extreme”
In the Light.

Judgment comes; perhaps a reprieve.
A choice is made; it cannot deceive:

“I knew I was wrong; I was weak!”
The climb through Purgatory will be steep.

or

“I laughed all along! Get away from me.”
The fall into Hell – painful, swift and deep.

To the Governors who spurn human life, please:
Open your ears to hear.
Open your eyes to see.
Open your minds to think.
Open your souls to be filled
With “good things” from God.

God’s Smile is Holy Spirit

I noticed the love of God in my heart today.  Have you ever noticed Him?  It is like a smile unfolding in the soul.

An End-times Dream, and St. Padre Pio’s Message

This morning, in a waking dream, my brother handed me a written note from St. Padre Pio.

The hand-written message was on a crumpled fragment of paper, and on it was inscribed:

Blessed are you who are alive. The time has come.

Now, my brother is not Catholic, but I did give him a blessed Miraculous Medal, the one which I set at my Dad’s bedside when he was dying, a process during which beloved relatives were sent from Heavenly domains to comfort and take him, a medal which brother accepted for safekeeping after Dad died. My brother has a truly religious heart, and I think he is even closer to God than I am.

For you who doubt, have faith. For, as it is written of the end times,

I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    your old men shall dream dreams,
    and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves,
    in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

–Book of the Prophet Joel, 2:28

And, again, St. Peter confirmed the prophecy when he spoke of Joel’s prophecy:

In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
    and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
        and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
    and signs on the earth below,
        blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
        before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

–Book of the Acts of the Apostles, 2:17-21

St. Padre Pio

Queenly Intervention

This morning, in a waking dream, I was being taunted. But then, immediately, I found myself at court in front of our Lady. She was sitting in state with her crown, surrounded by her attendants. The taunting stopped and did not reoccur after that.

Making All Things New

New Earth and SkyAt the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this morning,  I drifted away, thinking of the new Earth that God would bring about at the end of time.  It must have been a prayer or, maybe, the readings which set me adrift, or maybe the Spirit.  I’m not sure.

I thought of our current Earth and the things in it which seem fallen – like stinging insects, venomous snakes, poisonous plants and trees, viruses and plagues.

The Son of God, when He comes, will take all of those fallen creatures away.  Christ will fill all things with Himself, and all will be at peace, and happy in Him.

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” [Revelation 21:5]

I have known this peace that all will have – no worries, no unfilled needs, but only fullness of Life – contentment in Him.Jesus on the Cloud

Amen. Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus!

 

 

 

Waking Dream: Peaceful Smiling Lady, “Haleigha”

This morning, in a waking dream, I was blessed by the gaze of a grandmotherly face, peacefully smiling at me. She was older, her hair gray and teased up some. Her smile was pleasant, one of love and caring. Her person was translucent and the light in the space around her was like the morning twilight, as if she was sitting on a chair beside me and gazing, as if I was a toddler sleeping. It was another place, not the one I was in presently.

Dreams like these, though very short in duration, are a real blessing for my soul. I do not know why I see faces, persons like these. But, it has been happening in recent history, perhaps related to my time of being received into the Church almost a decade and a half ago.

Who is she? Will I see her again? Where was she? How did I see her?

As I write this, I paused for breakfast with my wife. As I began to pray before breakfast this morning, I began to understand in my mind, “Like hallelujah…Haleigha.” It took me a while of waffling between words to conclude on Haleigha because it is like seeing an image through water – not immediately clear. Isn’t that interesting?

Who is Haleigha?

Divine Life from Bread of Life

Jesus said, “Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.” [John 6:57]

What is your purpose on Earth? Why is there life here, but not elsewhere? From where does life, your life, the life of a blade of grass or of a corn stalk come? Why do we eat of life that we may live on Earth? And when we die, because we only ate life which came from Earth, shall we also return to the Earth to be re-formed into a blade of grass or a stalk of corn?

Catholics believe, no, that we shall not return to the Earth, but that because we eat of the eternal Divine Life, He Who Is our Bread of Life, that we shall live eternally with God.

Bread and Wine, Jesus Hands

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.” [John 6:48-50]

When My Dad Died in September

Of course, no one knows that the reason I did not blog in September or in October was because my Dad got sick and died in September.  My brother and I were with him: his body would not respond to treatment, and he slowly slipped away peacefully, without any struggle, according to God’s will.  But, God was with us.

During my time with him, I had placed a Miraculous Medal on his bedside table to help him in the case he was going to go on a spiritual journey to God – and to keep him safe.  He was still an intermittent Episcopalian, and I had no idea about the state of his soul.  I figured that it would be an aid, in some way, a draw of divine favor from God if he needed it.  Interestingly, I found it about a month earlier laying on the ground.  I had no idea what to do with it.  I kept it in my pocket looking for an opportunity to give it to someone in need.  And this is where the need was fulfilled.

MIRACULOUS-MEDAL

Front and back of the Miraculous Medal; the back shows the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary

Two days before he died (it was the anniversary of his own Dad’s death), in the morning, we saw great signs which gave us hope that he would heal and come back.  Treatments were working, he felt better, he ate some, he walked around, and he had lucid conversations with us.  He looked deep into my eyes twice and told me how much he loved me – the sincerity was firm – he was filled with Love.  It was a true blessing which we will always cherish.

But, on the evening of that day, he began to see the spirits of beloved relatives at the foot of his bed – those who had loved him and had since passed away – a few aunts and a first cousin.  He told me when he was seeing them, and I asked him how that made him feel.  He said, “Comforting.  It gives me comfort, son, a lot of comfort.”  A few hours before that, he had expressed an ambiguous feeling of fear – “I’m afraid!” – as if, perhaps, his soul had felt a certain slipping and uneasiness. I reassured him of my presence, and then came heavenly help which made all of the difference.  Oh, what a blessing for him, and for us, that God was with us and sent him comforters to ease his anxiety.

Dad was a truly good man, and I love him very much.  He was caring and merciful, and as Jesus promised, Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy [Matt 5:7].

My brother, a nondenominational Christian, asked me what should be done with the Miraculous Medal.  I told him to keep it, for it had been in the presence of the holy event of Dad’s passing away to God.  Brother kept it.

Requiescat in pace, Dad. 🙂

 

 

Gayla, My Child

This morning, I dreamed that my wife and I were driving somewhere together, and then in a cradle between us appeared a beautiful, fair-complected, fiery red-headed baby girl wearing a white dress. She could not have been more than 1 year of age. She was smiling and endearing to me, wonderful to behold.

I told my wife, “I don’t remember that we have a baby girl.” But, at that moment, I had memory of having a baby girl, named Gayla. I then held and carefully hugged Gayla, happy child, for she was soft and delicate in every way. And, I was happy.

According to my brief research, Gayla may be a derivative of the Hebrew name “Avichayil” (Abigail) which means “exalted father” or “father of exaltation.”

I am blessed to have had this dream, and to have seen and held this child. To me, it was indeed a “gala,” a festive event.

For those wondering: no, we have had no children of which we are aware, except for the child we miscarried, who my wife named Maddie. She says she has seen Maddie in dreams and in prayer, characterizing her like a little, strong and courageous St. Joan of Arc doing battle against demons alongside St. Michael the Archangel. Isn’t that interesting?

May God be praised. Amen.

Gayla is far more beautiful than this dear child. Can you imagine that?

“Heaven is Here”

Today, during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I distinctly heard during my personal, mental prayer while the liturgy was unfolding, that “Heaven is here.”  I could also sense others, in my mind’s eye, who were there praying and adoring, but not physically there – that is, there only as spiritually sensed.

Pope FrancisI thank God, and whoever He sends – perhaps my guardian angel – for revelations like these which remind me of the reality which is there and here, even though veiled.

One day, many shall be transformed and awake anew in that state of heavenly reality which will show us that we are not in a “place” as much as we are in a “state of being.”

For, as St. Paul and St. John promised:

Listen, I will tell you a mystery!  We will not all die, but we will all be changed…[1Cor15:51]

and

Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.  [1 John 3:2]

Jesus and Jacob’s Joseph – Similarities?

Several weeks ago, while I was on yet another Rosary walk and praying the Joyful Mysteries, I had an inspiration.  This occurred as I was getting ready to meditate on the 5th mystery (Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple).  I’m finally writing it now because when I get an inspiration, I must write it.

In my mind I was prompted to think, “What happened to Jesus?  Why was he lost and his parents had no idea where he was?”

Here is St. Luke’s account of what happened:

188012-mary-and-joseph-find-jesus-learning_smWhen the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. [Luke 2:43-47 NRSVCE]

The Navarre Commentaries on the subject states that when the Jews would travel to and from the Temple for the Feast of Passover, the men and women of Nazareth would travel in two different groups and the children were allowed to travel in either group.  So, it is likely that there was a miscommunication between Mary and Joseph on whether Jesus would travel with her or with him.

The inspiration was that Jesus, because he was such a good and virtuous child and because the “legend” was likely known, or at least rumored, that he was born the “king of the Jews” and “Son of God, was not well-liked by his cousins who were jealous, and that one of Jesus’s cousins deceived Mary and Joseph into thinking that Jesus would go with him, instead of Mary or Joseph, on the trip back to Nazareth – either with the men or the women, but then deceived Jesus into thinking that Mary or Joseph wanted him to wait at the Temple for them to pick him up.  After neither of them came, he stayed at the Temple, where he was found 3 days later by his astonished parents.    [Now, what made this so believable was the memory of Jacob’s son Joseph, whose story is told in Genesis 37 – 47, whose 11 brothers tried to kill him because he was so good and favored.  But I will take that up later.]

This theory becomes evident here:

When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.”  He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”  But they did not understand what he said to them. [Luke 2:48-50 NRSVCE]

His parents had no idea that he would be at the Temple, and Jesus thought that they knew he would be at the Temple because of his cousin’s mischievous lie.

On the way home, Jesus said nothing about the cousin’s mischief.  Jesus decided, in virtue, to keep the matter between him and his cousin, to see if Jesus could impress upon him why what his cousin did to him was wrong.  Jesus showed him what he had done – what might have happened and what would still happen similar to the story of Joseph son of Israel [Genesis 37-47].  Then Jesus, in his great love and mercy, forgave his cousin who was sorry.

Now, not stated in Sacred Scripture is the realization that this event was a symbol for what would happen in the future – that Jesus would be deceived by one, be killed, but then be resurrected a true King and Savior in 3 days.

As I stated early, if it can happen to Joseph, son of Jacob (Israel), then it could happen to Jesus for many of the same reasons, too.  For, as it is written of Jacob’s Joseph:

Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream that I dreamed. There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words…So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. [Genesis 37:5-8, 11]

Further, his brothers tried to kill Joseph and mislead his parents, too:

joseph-in-pitSo Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits…[Genesis 37:17-20 NRSVCE]

Then they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. They had the long robe with sleeves[c] taken to their father, and they said, “This we have found; see now whether it is your son’s robe or not.” He recognized it, and said, “It is my son’s robe! A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” Then Jacob tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days. [Genesis 37:31-34 NRSVCE]

Joseph then is sold into slavery, rises to power as governor over the lands of Egypt, and is discovered there years later by his brothers who had tried to kill him.  Joseph, knowing who they are, does this:

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. [Genesis 45: 1-5, NRSVCE]

Joseph, realizing what God had done to and for him and why, accepted God’s will and forgave his brothers.  Jesus, knowing his Father’s will and plan, also forgave his cousin for his mischief.

The story of Jacob’s Joseph made it clear to me what had happened to Jesus, how and why he had been lost for 3 days.  He was not well-liked as a child – he had the heavy burden of being not only virtuous and favored in every way, but having already the title of “king of the Jews” and “Son of God” as a child.  This was a hard burden on him – waiting until his mother, Mary was prompted to set in motion his mission and ministry at the Wedding at Cana, “Do whatever he tells you.”

 

Darla Jones and St. Peter

In two separate waking dreams yesterday, i saw two people.

The first was a lady resting prostrate in a hospital bed. I was sitting down and gazing at her over the rails of the hospital bed from about 5 feet away. She was black complected, had a pleasant face, and she was probably in her early to mid- 40’s. She looked like she was sleeping, and she was covered in a blanket with her face and arms exposed in a bed with metal rails – definitely a small, curtained hospital room. I asked myself, “Who is she? Why am I seeing her now?” It came to me that I should pray for her, and I did. Her name seemed to be Darla Jones. Maybe she has no family or friends. Maybe she does not have faith. Maybe people need to search out lonely people such as these to help and comfort. That’s all know.

Later, I had another waking dream. This one startled me because it was more forceful than the previous one. I found myself standing within 6 feet of another man, gazing face to face with someone I can only conclude is like a very young St. Peter dressed in modest liturgical attire. His eyes were large and dark blue, his face fair complected, and his hair and beard were of a very tightly curled golden hair. He was wearing what looked to be a white linen robe with a decorative mantel resting on his shoulders and covering his chest. He was just gazing at me with a pleasant face. He was standing in a room which was ornate, marbled walls and an opening which seemed to lead outdoors to a garden. There were no words. I asked, “Who are you?” I heard, “Jehovah,” but the person did not say this, and that could not have been God the Father. But it can be that God indwells the Holy Apostles in Heaven and that it was His will for me to see this person who I think to be St. Peter because of how closely he looked to the photo here except that his beard and hair were not puffed out, but well ordered and uniform..

Evidence of the Church’s Ultimate Trial

St. Paul teaches about the Church’s ultimate trial before the Second Coming in his 2nd Letter to the Thessalonians, Chapter 2. St. Paul writes:

1 As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? 6 And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness [iniquity] is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, 10 and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, 12 so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches further:

675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

EVIDENCE OF DELUSION – SUMORRUM PONTIFICUM, RESIGNATION OF ITS AUTHOR

We see that occurring under the moto proprio, Summorum Pontificum (SP), and the groups of people who, blind already to Jesus in the Eucharist within the God-willed Novus Ordo Mass, seek out the fashions of the Extraordinary Form in order to be nurtured by the form and culture, not by Jesus Christ. It’s very revealing. SP was meant to be a solution for SSPX and their adherents- a cause of unity. However, it is precisely a cause of disunity (and a tax on limited priestly resources) and a complete reversal of the will of God expressed through Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Concilium. Pope Benedict XVI was deluded in this action. He has since been resigned, in good health, by God.

As has been expressed before in another forum, the action called by the moto proprio, SP, if enacted during the time of King Solomon and his successors, would have been like telling the People to vacate the Temple (a unifying structure which drew Jews and Gentiles alike) and move God’s throne back to the primitive Tabernacle of canvas and tent poles with only the twelve tribes on its periphery.

But here’s the catch – the great delusion: God is still in the Temple (His missioned Church according to His wishes as outlined in Vatican II Ecumenical Council), and those who refused to believe in and be satisfied by His Real Presence there, above all else, are now in the old Tabernacle (the Church He set out to reform) in direct violation of God’s wishes as expressed under Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Concilium, worshipping form and scenery and fashion and self-aggrandizing music, but not God; turning inward to the old ways but not blooming outward in a way appealing to the lost sheep and God’s appointed mission.

For, if they believed in God and listened to and adhered to His call to unity and to evangelize the world and make conditions for bringing all back into the Church, they would not have left the Temple in search of “not-God.” If they heard His voice and followed it, they would have embraced Vatican II enthusiastically and with the knowledge that by obeying God’s will, we are loving God as best we can.

When Jesus comes to judge, who will he condemn? Those who have faith and a spirit of obedience or those who have doubt and a spirit of disobedience?