Category Archives: God

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: “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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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?

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?

Scriptural Authority of Mary, Mother of Jesus

When praying the Mysteries of Light (aka, Luminous Mysteries) last week on my Rosary walk, I had this “eureka” event where a truth suddenly became as a light in my mind.  I love it when these inspirations happen. It’s no wonder that it would happen while praying the Mysteries of Light!

Luminous-MysteriesThe Mysteries of Light include meditations on five historical and mysterious revelations found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  These are:

  1. Christ’s Baptism in the Jordan River;
  2. Christ’s self-manifestation at the wedding feast of Cana;
  3. Christ’s call to conversion via his proclamation of the kingdom of God;
  4. Christ’s Transfiguration; and
  5. Christ’s institution of the Eucharist as sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery.

Now, when I was praying, I realized a strong connection between the words of Mother Mary at the wedding feast of Cana (Mystery 2.) and the words of God the Father at the Transfiguration (Mystery 4.)  At the wedding feast of Cana, where Jesus performs the miracle of turning water into 180 gallons of good wine – at his Mother Mary’s prompting, Mary tells the wait staff, “Do whatever he tells you.”  [John 2:5]  She states this with an authority which is understated here, yet fully effective.

the-transfiguration-of-jesus

Transfiguration of Jesus Christ

Likewise, at the Transfiguration, an epiphany where the divinity of Jesus is made evident to the Apostles Peter, James and John, God the Father tells the apostles,  “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” [Matthew 17:5]  Of course, God the Father is gently speaking with authority here.

So, we see here a type of shared authority and will which Mother Mary has with God the Father in regard to their Son, Jesus Christ.  With authority and will, they both direct all to follow the commands and counsels of Jesus Christ.  Do you see?

Yet many, especially in Protestant Christian circles, and even believing in Sola Scriptura, tend to down play Mary’s role in the kingdom of God.  Some say that the Holy Spirit purposefully kept her quiet.  Okay.  But, God the Father does not speak much either.  Yet both command authority over our Lord, Jesus Christ, and both  – knowing who Christ is and the power and mission he has – knowledgeably direct our attention to Jesus Christ, and this is certainly scriptural.

It is no wonder that, in her great wisdom and understanding and in light of anti-Catholic resistance, that the Church also formally proclaimed the Queenship of Mary in the encyclical, Ad Caeli Reginam.  Even Sacred Scripture refers to Mother Mary as a queen:

A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. [Revelation, 12:1].

Coronation of Mary, Queen of Heaven

Mother Mary’s Coronation, Queen of Heaven

The Meek and Humble Can Do God’s Will

In my prayers at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this morning, I strained under my obvious weaknesses to ask the Lord to let me know His will that I might obey it.  I asked “What is your will” and I heard, “Nothing.”  I have heard this before, but this time, it bothered me.  I asked, “But Lord, how could it ever be possible that I could not do SOMETHING to obey and serve you for want of loving You?”  And then it dawned on me.

I – me – me alone – can do nothing to serve God’s will.  It is the very Life of Christ in me who makes it possible for us to do God’s will.  I thought back to the Lord saying,

Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.  Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. [Jn 6:53-56]

I can not even begin to live without Christ first living in me, much less abide in Him.  The definition of life, to live, is Christ in me.  To do His will, I must accept Him and abide in Him – in a way, see what He does and then do what I see Him doing.  I must become even as St. Paul became, writing to the Galatians:

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  [Gal 2:20]

And so God reorients me to what I have not been fully seeking and teaches me a lesson in humility, that to do the will of God, I must do it through and in and with the life of Christ who must live in me.  I must be intimately bound to Him and live because He lives in me.  For he says here, again:

I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. [Jn 15:15]

This is what came to me when I reached out to God and complained this morning that I did not know what His will was for me to do.  I was being like an ignorant (or lazy) child because we all have the wherewithal to learn and know His will and how to obtain the ability to live it more fully.  But, we often walk away from Him for a while, don’t we?

It gives me comfort knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ is a good man whose exemplified ambition was in loving and healing and guiding others, not in working and making lots of money and in creating luxurious conditions for Himself.  He taught us to seek after the more important things in life.  And He gives us this comforting exhortation and promise:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [Mt 11:29]

Who doesn’t want rest for their souls?  Who doesn’t like to be around someone who is meek and humble?  It is not too hard to become more like the Lord.  We can do it!

Jesus Christ Meek and Humble

Virginal Love of God

On 2 December, as I prayed my Rosary while walking, I was enamored by the contemplation of Divine affections, a beautiful presence who whispered my prayers back to me as I prayed them, our lips touching and our breath exchanging, and holy, youthful smiles. I was blessed.

Statue of Hildegard of Bingen, Eibingen Abbey

Statue of St. Hildegard of Bingen Eibingen Abbey, Rudesheim, GE

Before I set out to walk and pray, I had listened for the first time to St. Hildegard of Bingen’s song, “O dulcissime amator” (O Lover Sweet) from her “Symphonia virginum” (Symphony of Virgins). St. Hildegard of Bingen lived in the 12th century and is a Doctor of the Church now. I invite you to read the words here: http://www.hildegard-society.org/2017/05/o-dulcissime-amator-symphonia-virginum.html or listen here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lkjODhUgrVs

I also contemplated the virginal love of God and how that might be. It is true that God, who is Love, desires to marry humanity. This is not just through the Incarnation; His desire is to indwell us with Holy Spirit, as we are all expected to be as building blocks of His Body, as holy temples suitable for His holy Presence. But what is the fruit of this glorified marriage, and how can this be?

Now, having gone back and found this draft, I am amazed to see that I have now visited the Shrine of St. Hildegard of Bingen without even remembering that I wrote this

Eibingen Abbey, Rudesheim, GE

Eibingen Abbey

inspiration, and without any real plan to visit her shrine.  I and my wife visited her sisters’ abbey (Eibingen Abbey) and also her relics in Rudesheim am Rhein, Germany on 23 December (just a few days ago).

 

It is wonderful to invite God to visit with you and then follow His inspirations and to take in the surprises which come with them.

 

Relics of St. Hildegard of Bingen

Relics of St. Hildegard of Bingen in her Shrine

 

Hurricane Nate: Psalm of Warning and Calling

This came to me early on the morning of 8 October 2017 when Hurricane Nate was making landfall on Biloxi, Mississippi in the vicinity of the gambling casinos there. Much harm of hurricanes (and other disasters) can be averted through the true loving prayer of God’s chosen ones: they have merit with God because they have chosen to respond to His graces and be obedient to His Word.

A psalm of warning and divine calling.

Looks like Hurricane Nate
has been a friend of most;
A reminder not to boast;
A gentle chastisement;
A worthy appeasement.

Give thanks to God
For those who prayed
Against his strong hand
which He did stay.

Another time will come
For those sins he did forebear,
To turn hearts of sinners
Back to God;
To give to God what is
His fair share.

God does listen
To those who remain close.
He hears your prayer
When obedience you chose.

But go on sinning
If you must.
Rely upon your own strength
When it is not God in whom you trust.

But beware that you are
Mere creature, mere dust.

The wind shall blow!
The waters shall rise!
Your fate will be sealed!
And then in whom will you trust?

You were not obedient.
You did not remain close.
You did not love God
Who you should love the most.

Despair overcomes you;
Hatred thickens.
You blame God for your own choices.
Your anger sickens.

But God will not be outdone
In his strong love for you.
He returns again and again
And he asks, “When you come to…

“When you come to your senses
I will be there.
I will hear your confession;
I will treat you with tender care.

You only need to choose right
To listen and obey Me.
For I will only what is good,
What is right, that you may see.

Come back to Me child
With all of your heart,
and I will bless you.
Never again shall we be apart.”

Amen.

Lord Jesus, En-Salt Me With Purity in the Eucharist 


Why does Jesus say, “You are the salt of the earth”?

He says that because it is in you, us to be good and to resist, prevent evil just like salt prevents infestation and decay.  We promote societal health through acts of virtue (charity). We become an agent of immortality.

“But if salt loses its taste…it is no longer good for anything.” [St. Matthew, 5:13-16]

If we don’t do good, we add to the problem that Jesus came to fight. We advance societal decay through acts of vice (viciousness). We become an agent of mortality.

This is precisely why we need Jesus in our souls, to keep us “salted” against evil, and “salty” like medicine for each other.   

This brings out the reality of the promise which Jesus made to us, and that many do not accept:

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” [St. John, 6:54]

For if we are really salted by our Savior, His own spiritual flesh, we can not die. We will live joyfully through Him, with Him, and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

En-salt me with purity, Lord Jesus, in the banquet of Your sacrificial Love, the Eucharist.  Thank you for Your Life which is our life, in and through Your Life.

A Hard Lesson in a Nightmare, and then a Locution

Last night, before I went to sleep, I considered whether some sins were, in fact, sins.  I asked this question in my prayers to God.  Of course, these were temptations, but I needed to ask the Lord Who knows everything.  I fell asleep without incident or response.

In my sleep, I had a terrible dream.  I was rebelliously barricaded in a place, and the officials  were coming to remove me from there.  I don’t know what the place was, but I do know that it was a place of rebellion.  One official was an elderly police officer dressed in European garb from the 1800’s, and there were several others.  There was another with me in this place also; I don’t know who – my guardian angel I think – an innocent person.  At some point, I decided to defend myself with a weapon, and I shot the elderly police officer in the chest.  The bullet seemed to flatten on the outside of his garment, but the indication was that I had killed him.

Not long after that, I realized what I had done, and I was ashamed and afraid.  The authorities came again, but this time without offensive fervor, but in peace, and I told them that I was guilty, then the authority smiled and said he would have to take me in, and I turned and he handcuffed me.  

In my mind, I worried about what they would do to me and how I would defend myself.  I realized that, at the time of the shooting, I was insane – I had lost all sense of reasoning.  I drew some comfort from this truth.  But I also realized that I had thrown my entire life away in one moment of stupidity – my WHOLE life.  This was a great burden on my soul to know this, and I became very sad; but, the justice of turning myself in, of realizing my fault and submitting to justice was a balm on my soul.

As the authority was driving me through the country to jail, I saw other horrors along the way, and a world which had become a victim of its own rebellion.  The destructive “machines” which man had created to destroy what had been built, like huge black mechanical crabs and scorpions, began to turn on their creators.  The result seemed merciless, and I was afraid.

When I woke up, I realized why I had the dream, and I prayed and told the Lord that I was sorry for questioning the reality of sin, which offends Him.

Shortly after that, I heard His voice in a way which I had never heard it before.  Some people hear the Lord speak as in a locution – inaudibly.  But this time, I heard His voice in my mind, audibly, and it was a softly-rumbling (like thunder) man’s voice, and He said, “I’m sorry.”  These words were intimate and comforting to hear.  

I can now say with complete confidence that when God’s voice was heard as a rumbling thunder in Sacred Scripture, it is absolutely true in the way it was described.  Have no doubt.

At Mass: The Gaze of the Father Through Jesus – A Promise of Care

During the Vigil of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass yesterday, we were praying the Our Father, and as I looked up at the large Crucifix hanging above the altar, I began to see Jesus Christ in my mind’s eye.  He was standing before me – there was no beard, no long hair.  His clothing was more Byzantine looking, with copper and gold and purple colors.

As I looked at Him, I began to remember what Jesus told Philip, who urgently wanted to see the Father:

“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” [John, 14:9, NAB Holy Bible]

And I believed that I was seeing the Father as I prayed.  At that moment, Jesus cocked his head to His right, and smiled at me, more so with His eyes, and through His eyes, this divine gaze, I knew the great Love that He has for me.  This knowing was immediate, and it penetrated me such that it affected my emotions – I felt joy at that moment and wanted to laugh, knowing His loving intentions.  (Of course, I was not going to belt out a laugh during Mass, but you get what I mean.). For He Is Love – that is His constant nature – to be Love, an outpouring of all that is necessary and good for us. He then also moved his arms and crossed them over His chest in a symbolic gesture of love.  I dare say that this was an eros love, a love which is passionate and urgent and direct.

Before Mass started, I offered up my Mass intentions for my wife who is having some preliminary signs of what I hope is not cancer.  I have also placed all of my trust in the Lord, that in His loving care, nothing will happen to her that will not be best for her.  And I believe this.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I trust in You and I desire to love and appreciate You even more.

Infant Jesus: “…in the womb, I knew you…”

At today’s Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Gospel reading was on the Wedding at Cana.  The pastor really “hit home” when he mentioned that, at the prompting of Mother Mary, the good Lord Jesus miraculously made somewhere between 150 and 180 gallons of really, really high-quality wine for the wedding party.  This showed the Lord’s generosity – he did not just respond to Mother Mary’s prompting; He was zealous, providing an overabundance of the best wine!  St. John goes on to demonstrate Jesus’s divine generosity throughout the Gospel.

Now, the pastor used this homily as an occasion to speak about abortion, especially since the National March for Life will be happening next Friday on the 43d anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Infant Jesus

Infant Jesus: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

During his homily, he quoted Jeremiah 1:5:

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.

But, as the priest was saying this, I saw, in my mind, the Infant Jesus standing before me with arm and hand raised, and He was saying the same words.

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.

The picture to the left does not do it justice.  The Infant Jesus was even younger and He had his right arm up and his hand and finger extended upward – as if He were blessing me.

Now, it is the finger of God which wrote the Ten Commandments onto the two tablets which Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai.  As such, we are reminded that what the Infant Jesus says is God’s Word – His Truth, and it is to be believed as written.  All human life is known and precious to Him, even before they are born.

Let there be no misunderstanding about the reality of the human personage and sacred dignity of all unborn human beings, and let those who have aborted their children or who helped others to do so seek the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary,  repent, seek full rest and mercy and healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, join in the overabundance and generosity of the Lord’s Wedding Feast, and then witness to others about the Truth.

Healing Epiphany: Light From Light

Good morning cornfield South Dakota

Bright, sun-lit road in the corn field.

I had a dream this morning that I was riding a bicycle along a level road with sun-lit cornfields on my left and my right.  The sun was shining brightly in the clouds directly ahead of me.

 

And then, from the sun came light which began to form the shape of a brilliant, Light-Man in the clouds to the right of the sun and standing on the horizon, and that Light-Man was brighter than the sun itself.

In my heart, I knew that this was God.  Like the light which comes from the sun, so the Son is begotten of the Father, Light from Light, True God from True God, consubstantial with the Father – being of the same one substance with the Father, Who is all Merciful and Loving.  This was Jesus who affirmed:

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” [John 8:12, NAB Holy Bible]

My heart began to swell with hope, and I began to feel giddy, praying to God with sentiments of love and desire.  I said, “Take me!  Take me now!”  for I had been feeling tired and ready for a life of peace and happiness with God, if that be His Will for me.

Sun Man in the Clouds

Surging, Healing Light of God

And then, knowing my weary condition, I asked Him to heal me, and at that moment, the Light-Man, like Christ Himself, surged in brightness before my face, engulfing me in His Light, and I felt His Power piercing deep into my soul, and my head was jolted as if something came out of me, and I began to feel joy, real Joy!

 

I have been in a very good mood this morning – filled with hope.  I told my wife about this, and she stated, choking back a sob, that she has no intentions of me going anywhere anytime soon!

But, this must be sort of what Saints Peter, John and James experienced at the Transfiguration.  St. Peter was obviously giddy, wanting Jesus, Moses and Elijah to stay – He didn’t want to leave either!   Here is the account from St. Peter’s account of the Gospel (as penned by St. Mark):

The Transfiguration of Jesus [Mark 9:2-8, NAB Holy Bible]
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.  And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”

Divine Lesson in Humility?

As I walk and pray in silence, it is not unusual for me (or others who pray) to hear inaudible words (like a locution), presumably from God.  I believe that it is God Who speaks to me, and to all.  Many do not care to listen for God, or are not able due to spiritual incapacities.  I admit that, due to preoccupations, I do not “hear” God as much or as often as I would like.  I have simply been distracted.  I would like to get much closer again.

Though, recently, I have had time to meditate and pray more.  I have been working to improve my soul and have been reaching out to God to know Him in my heart even more.

This morning, I sensed His Presence in me and I heard “Choose.”  For lack of a prepared response, I hastily prayed, “I choose You as my King and Master, my Lord and Savior.”  And then I looked up in the sky and saw three very large vultures circling over my head about 50 feet up.

Vultures Flying OverheadI thought, “I’m a dead man walking.”  Then, I thought of this verse immediately:

“Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. ” [Matthew 24:28, NAB Holy Bible]

And then I thought to myself, “How proud I am that I should think that I can choose God.  In fact, it is He who has the power to choose me.” Where is my humility before God?  I must have a high opinion of myself.

I continued to walk, and I prayed to God for humility like that of Jesus Christ, that I might emulate Him totally in my life.  I did not pray this without fear.  I mean, to emulate Jesus Christ is a very tall order, and it can (and will?) come with great hardship!   Of course, I would rather be able to be most humble without hardship.  But who am I to know how best to grow in humility?

And then, shortly after my prayers for humility, I heard geese, and then looked up, and there was a flock of geese coming directly toward me and then over me.  They were very loud, too.

canada geese in flight

A flock of Canada geese in formation

That made me feel better, that God had heard my prayer and accepted my request for more humility, like that of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

The goose, as a symbol, means providence  and vigilance.  Providence means “divine guidance and care” and vigilance means “the quality or state of carefully noticing problems or signs of danger.”

So, I think that is affirmation of my recognition of my bumbling into pride and God’s immediate help in exposing where I need improvement.

But why did I hear “Choose.”?

 

 

To Learn Humility = To Change Perspectives

Learn of me. I am meek and humble of heart.

Learn of me. I am meek and humble of heart.

It is sometimes easy for me to lose composure when I allow pride to govern my reactions.  For example, there are times when I present something that I believe is valuable and represents my personal contribution, and therefore, self-worth, but the one receiving it disrespects it, and I get angry and want to come back with an arrogant response.

This has happened to me on a few occasions recently where I work.  By the Grace of God, I believe that my responses have been somewhat muted and controlled, not meting out all that my emotions demand.  I am grateful to God for this.

Interestingly, Grace also allows me to see beyond my pride, and to grasp the idea that I really can do better with what I presented…as if, after the fact, if I choose to moderate my emotions and listen, I am allowed to see as if the dark pride-encrusted lens through which I had been looking had suddenly been wiped clean.

I was praying about pride and humility this morning, and what causes my pride:

Pride is allowed to rule my actions when i measure my self-worth by my own, worldly standard.  “What I have presented is very good because I am smart, and I like it.”

In contrast…

Humility is allowed to rule our actions when we measure our self-worth by God’s holy Providence and Standard.  “I believe that I am here and have a job by the Grace of God.  What I have presented is good only if it satisfies God’s purpose for my being here.  If it does not, He will let me know through the one receiving it, and I will comply.”

So if my boss does not like something, my response should be one of humble happiness in having the opportunity to make it even better.

I desire to be a most humble servant for God, for the benefit of others with whom I come in contact.  I pray that the Lord God will help me.  So be it.  Amen.

image

Six (6) Moral Imperatives for Humanity

  When praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one can find six moral imperatives for humanity.  Inasmuch as these mysteries reflect upon the entrance of God into Humanity, these mysteries can also reflect the entrance of Morality into humanity.  

1. The Annunciation / Human Dignity:  All human life must be treated with the dignity commenserate with its potential capacity for charity, creation and innovation.

2. The Visitation / Human Freedom:  All human life must be permitted the freedom to pursue peace and prosperity.

3. The Nativity / Human Fullness:  All human life must be permitted to achieve fullness of natural life, become who it is meant to be, from natural conception to natural death.  

4. The Presentation / Human Fruitfulness:  All human life must be permitted to present itself for service to humanity, to be fruitful in service to each other.

5. The Finding / Human Truthfulness:  All human life must strive to be truthful in all its works.

6. Hail, Holy Queen / Human Compliance:  All humanity must comply with the aforementioned moral imperatives by obedience to that authority appointed for the good of humanity.

  

God’s Tenderness During Holy Mass

  
At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today, I was preoccupied with my past sins and the weakness that I show seemingly often in my daily life, often listening to sin as if it is not such a bad thing. 

But there were consoling words today.

I heard, “Marry me” twice, the first time during the Confiteor and the next time during the Sanctus.  This calling is reminiscent of God’s calling to all of the People of God to come to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb and be joined in unity with Him.  The Prophet Jeremiah gave us God’s own imagery for how He wants us to relate to Him:

31″Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” [Book of the Prophet, Jeremiah, 31:31-34, RSVCE, Holy Bible]

And here, St John reveals that the spouse of the Lamb is the Church of the Faithful:

6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.

7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and his Bride has made herself ready;

8 it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” [Book of Revelation, 19:6-9, RSVCE Holy Bible]

I saw in my mind an image of the hand of another man, not physically present, clad in priestly attire, holding his hand out over the Chalice before the words of Consecration as if a saint had come down from heaven bringing with him the power of the Holy Spirit.

  
I heard, “Totus tuus” twice during the Agnus Dei as I imagined our Savior as a meek lamb.  “Totus tuus” was made popular by Polish Pope Saint John Paul II, and it means, “Totally yours.”  

Our priest today was a visiting priest from Poland.  I have a feeling that the doors of Heaven were wide open and Pope Saint John Paul II was there serving this priest and bringing God’s consolation to us.

    
  

Pentecost:  God Reveals His Divine Language

 

Pentecost. God opens their souls and reveals the Divine Language which unites all souls in God.

 When praying the rosary the other day, meditating on the third Glorious Mystery, I had this insight about how it could be that the people gathered all of the sudden could understand each other in their own languages.  Here is what happened – the scene – during Pentecost:

And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.  Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? [Acts 2:4-8, NAB Holy Bible]

What just happened?  God was in their minds, enabling all of them to communicate via a universal language, deep in their minds, and only God knows how.  God is the Technician here.  AND, this is proof that there IS and will BE a universal language in Heaven and by it, we will all know each other’s thoughts as we will to communicate. 

But, why was this necessary at Pentecost, and why was this ability to understand the universal language underneath human languages so temporary?  And what were all of the people gathered there saying to each other and why?  These are mysteries.

When We Die, the Spiritual Life Takes Over

 

As if gazing through a mirror: St. Paul the Apostle

 
 I was trying yesterday to express my experience in Mass when I was praying the Angelus at noon, but my experience with Mother Mary led me in another direction.  What I remember now, the insight which came to me all of a sudden – yet simpler than I will express here – is the message that I needed to relay:  

 When we die, it is as if we fall asleep and then awaken to a new reality – the reality of our everlasting spiritual life which subsists and is hidden within our mortal life.  In our mortal lives, we “see” spiritual things as if looking at objects in a hazy mirror – indirectly, unclear and subject to interruption – just beyond our grasp.  But after we have fallen asleep, we shall awaken to a bright and refreshing change of venue where all things will be clearly manifested as they really are.

As St. Paul instructs:

At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. [1st Cor, 13:12, NAB Holy Bible]

So, let us trust in God and His Plan.  

Blessed is the Fruit of Your Womb, Jesus.

When praying the Rosary the other day, I was searching for Jesus in my heart in order to confirm my faith.  I began to consider His Presence at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the privilege we have to approach Him in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.  And then I prayed, “Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus,” and it occurred to me, in that instant, the Gift of Himself in the Blessed Sacrament is the gift of a meek, humble, ever-new, ever-living God Who is the well-spring of all life and of all that will ever live.  

He is our Life, and in the Blessed Sacrament, we receive that Life which He has offered, and then we give back that Life in that sacrifice with our own lives since it is His sacrificial Life which we now have in our beings, and His Life urges us on to love Him and others.  We are strengthened in order to give what we have been given, and to live that living which is ever-new and ever-lasting, and when beyond time, ever-happy in the joy of God’s immediate Presence.

Mother Mary’s Thoughts And Presence During the Pentecost

Mary and Apostles as the Holy Spirit descends in tongues of fire

Our Blessed Mother Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and became Theotokos, the Mother of God.  When, after the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,  Mary was there with the Apostles.  

What might she have been thinking?  She must have been 48 years old at the time, when most women are approaching or are already in menopause.  I can imagine…I did imagine when praying the Glorious Mysteries…her excitement at the thought that upon the overshadowing again of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, that she might conceive once again for God.  Remember the words of Sarah, wife of Abraham after hearing of her future motherhood:

“And she laughed secretly saying: ‘After I am grown old, and my lord is an old man, shall I give myself to pleasure?'”  [Genesis 18:12, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

In contrast, what was Mother Mary thinking?  Perhaps she thought as she did upon visiting Spirit-filled Elizabeth:

“And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”  [Gospel of Luke, 1:47, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

Mother Mary is one with the Holy Spirit

 As the spouse of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost must have been a wonderful event for Mother Mary, an event which, perhaps, sealed her future as the spiritual mother of all of God’s children.  Afterall, she did become the future mother of 3,000 on the first day alone.

“They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about 3,000 souls.”  [Acts of the Apostles, 2:41, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

As it was at Pentecost, is how it is today at each celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: at Baptism to give birth to us, at Confirmation to fortify us, and at Eucharist to nurture us for eternal Life.  She is there with the Holy Spirit.  How is this possible?  How can this be?  This is a mystery, but we know that…

“…Mary said: ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord'” [Gospel of Luke, 1:46, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

Indeed, Mother Mary is one with the Lord, Who is the source of all life.  She and the Holy Spirit are the perfect union, for she magnifies the Lord as co-Source of our new Life in Christ.  This is not a priestly function; it is above the priestly function.  She is co-Advocate and co-Redeemer.  She magnifies our Savior.

A Conversation in Purgatory

Souls receiving relief in Purgatory.

Souls receiving relief in Purgatory.

The Lord, Jesus Christ stated in Matthew 12:32:

And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.

The above words leave open the possibility that sins are forgiven, not only in this world, but also in the world to come.  St. Gregory the Great [ b. 540 AD, d. 604 AD] comments as follows: “In this sentence it is given to understand that many sins can be remitted in this world, but also many in the world to come” [Dial. IV 39][cf,  Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma].  There are other Scriptural proofs for Purgatory, but I will not cover them here.

So, let us imagine a conversation in Purgatory, between one sinner who sinned against the other sinner, a state of existence where those with sin on their souls go to be purified.  Just what might be part of this process?

Wounder:  Now that I am so much nearer to God, I see and understand what I have done to you, and to others.  I am very sorry that I hurt you.  Can you ever forgive me?

Wounded:  May I show you my wounds?  Do you realize what I did to others because you first wounded me?  Look.  Look!  LOOK!!!

Observer:  he shows the wounds which are deep in his soul…a wound first inflicted by the other but which festered and went deeper as the wounded, in turn, repeated the sin on others without seeking healing through repentance, confession, and the balm of forgiveness.

Wounder:  Oh!  I see!  Oh my!  I am terribly sorry.  What can I do?  Will you please forgive me?  Even I am wounded by my own guilt which is ever more intense because I now see myself in the Light of God’s truth, holiness and utter purity.  Though my sin was only venial [not mortal, not breaking one of the 10 Commandments outright with intent], it is wholly incompatible with God in whose Light, we see our own standard for perfect holiness.  I am not fit to enter now.  I need your forgiveness…your love.  Help me!  I am so very sorry!  PLEASE forgive me.  Please!  I am so unfit for what I have done.  How can I ever pay you back for what I have done?!

Wounded:  I believe you, that you have repented and need my forgiveness.  In God’s Light, He gives me the ability to see the truth of your words.  You are really sorry.  I do forgive you.

Observer:  Immediately, upon receiving true forgiveness for his venial sin, the Wounder visibly showed signs of relief and healing.  His soul became brighter as God found more space to fill him with Love, and the Wounder found the strength to smile.  He could see the Light of God in the distance even better now but the brightness did not hurt his eyes so much now.  He became giddy and his anxiety began to lift.  He wanted nothing more now than to help the Wounded to heal, for the Wounded had also sinned against others…

Wounder:  Thank you!  I love you so much!  What can I do to help you to heal?

Wounded:  even now I am healing because the moment I forgave you, I felt lighter and stronger and my wounds began to close and feel better.  I immediately felt a desire to go to those that I hurt and to apologize for the harm I had done to them.  Can you help me to find them and receive their forgiveness?

Wounder:  Oh, yes!  I will.  I will help you bear the burden since, I, too am culpable for the sin which you committed because I first sinned against you.  We will find all of the wounded together, and after we have done justice, we shall finally see God and love Him and thank Him for His great Mercy and total forgiveness of us.  We are so very loved…so very loved.

Wounded:  There are 10 such souls from whom I must receive forgiveness: 5 are here with us in Purgatory, 4 are still living their lives on earth, and the other, poor soul, is…where is he?  I am having a hard time remembering him?  Wait a minute, I think there were only 9.  Why did I think there were 10?

Observer:  Now, rapidly becoming unbeknownst to both the Wounder and the Wounded, there was a 10th person, but that person refused the Mercy and help of the Holy Spirit, and totally rejecting God upon the final call, chose Hell.  Upon his entry into the state of Hell, all memory began to cease of the 10th person, except for this final link…which, having been acknowledged in true contrition,  had already begun to dissipate rapidly.  You see, when souls choose Hell by rejecting God, they reject the Creator of Justice and the gift of Justice itself.  Therefore all memory of sins  against these who consign themselves to Hell…that memory dissipates since it is no longer required for the sake of Justice.

Wounder:  No, I think there are only 9 now.  Let us run quickly to the 5 here with us and seek their forgiveness!  And, let us ask permission to do good works for those who are still alive on earth.

Wounded:  Yes!  Let us go now.  God is waiting to help us!