Category Archives: Joy

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.

Mother Mary Smiling in Me

 

“My dear Son, i adore you”

Yesterday, I took another Rosary walk, and I was praying the Joyful Mysteries.  For the second time in a month, when I meditated on the Presentation, I saw Mother Mary holding her infant son, Jesus.  

The first time, she was in a heavenly place, all white with a translucent, opaque, frameless sort of window behind her and standing on a multi-stepped white platform and dressed in a flowing, floor-length white gown with a light blue mantel draped over her head and flowing downward (similar to the statue in my own parish, but much more elegant and realistic).  She looked at me, and she offered the infant Jesus to me to hold in my arms.  She was trusting me with her baby Jesus.  I took Him and cuddled Him in my arms and then gave Him back to her.  This was a precious experience, not only because He is Precious, but because I have no children of my own.  Most often, when I contemplate God, especially in the Holy Spirit, I know His Preciousness…so very, very precious and sweet to my soul.  This sentiment has been foreign to me all of my life until these most recent years.

 

“You make me so very happy”

 The second time, yesterday, I saw Mother Mary, wearing a royal blue mantel this time, standing and holding the infant Jesus in her arms.  But, this time, she was standing next to St. Joseph I presume, and they were waiting outside the Temple in the bright sunlight.  Mother Mary was cradling and swinging Jesus back and forth in her arms while looking down at Him.  She was very happy, and the day was very bright.  And then she looked directly at me, from about 30 feet away, and she smiled at me.  It was a huge smile, and I felt this smile in my heart, and it was like a welling up of joy.  And she did it again, and I could not help but also smile and laugh in joy with her.  

If anyone saw me at that time, they would have no idea why I was laughing!  I can imagine that they would think that I might have a mental health issue; I even considered that myself – “Here I am laughing out loud spontaneously, but just walking along by myself with my dog.  I must look crazy!”

 I needed this.  How merciful and delightful this vision was for me.  May you also receive them, and more.

Son from the Sun

To grant credibility to my earlier dream of about 5 days ago, God granted this sign yesterday.

  

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.”

Jesus Laughing in Me

 

American Bald Eagle in flight.

Yesterday, as I took my long Rosary-walk with my pet hound dog (7.5 miles), I was praying the Joyful Mysteries.  I was thinking about how and when to change my career orientation to be more Theology and service – focused.  I saw an eagle flying above after I had the thought of the choice that I would PREFER to make, but which would be difficult – which seems unlikely for me.  What does the eagle mean?  Anything?  Or am I placing a meaning upon it?

But here is the really good part.  Upon praying the mystery of the birth of the infant Jesus, I imagined the little infant in Mother Mary’s arms.  I saw his little feet and knelt and kissed His toes, and His feet recoiled, and He smiled and laughed in joy.  And then, my heart swelled, and I felt joy and also laughed in joy!

Joyful Infant Jesus

Now, it is not natural for me to think of something and then have intense feelings like this.  It was as if Jesus was there, in me, laughing and feeling joyful in me such that I could know His joy.  What a blessing it was.

In the Eucharist, Jesus said, “Know Me”

  As I was kneeling this morning before the Altar and Tabernacle of the Lord, before Holy Mass started, I was considering all of my sinfulness and giving thanks to the One God Who is in the Persons of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  and also to Mother Mary, for everything They have done for me, for us, in spite of our consistent failures daily.  

I considered just how unworthy we are to be in His Presence, yet He comes to us, and calls us to Himself and gives Himself to us so that we might also have His Life, be healed, and live with Him forever.  

I prayed, “Make me obedient.  If only I could see what the Father is doing so that I might imitate Him constantly.  Let me stand by His side that I might just do as He does, and nothing more and nothing less, and please Him as He deserves.”

And then I remembered that Jesus said, 

Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also.  For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed.” [john 5:19-20, NAB]

The Holy Spirit must have been helping me to pray this way since my prayer reflected what Jesus teaches.  This comforted me.

And, walking up to receive the Lord in the Eucharist, when I was within one person of receiving and before I bowed, I heard Him say, 

Know Me

This was an inaudible, calm speaking.  This made me very happy and I think I almost hit the priest moving forward to receive The Lord.  I know I could not hold back my smile.  It must have appeared awkward.  But this is what happened.

What a wonderful gift, to know the Lord because He desires it in His love for us.

Childhood Awaits Us in Heaven

Children ad the Feet of Mother Mary

Children at the Feet of Mother Mary

A Trance about Heaven

In the Fall of 2008, I had a trance while sitting at table before the Crucifix in my dining room where I found myself in another place in Springtime playing joyfully with many other children, all of us around the age of 11 or 12.  I was holding hands with a girl who had blue eyes and red hair who was pulling me toward the other children, and my heart and theirs were full of ecstatic joy, a joy which was without blemish or worry, one which was based on complete faith.  We were all smiling and laughing ecstatically  – so very happy – it did not matter why – we just were.

Happy, happy, happy!

Happy, happy, happy!

I think this was Heaven, because it was a feeling which does not seem possible here, except for slight glimpses during early childhood perhaps.  But, it was of God because the Source of this joy was infinite and we felt it to its fullest potential, such that there was no worry or concern, but only love truly in our hearts for each other, such that we desired nothing more, because nothing more could possibly be greater than what we have.

And our Mother Mary is there, and I have imagined her in my prayers before as a loving Mother watching over us, her children, as we play games at her feet, and she smiles and laughs with us, encouraging us with her Motherly kindness.  How can this not be Heaven?

Desire To be Born of Mary

Jesus, born of the sinless flesh of Mary

Jesus, born of the sinless flesh of Mary

On 24 May 2009, I prayed that I might be born again, physically, through our Blessed Mother and be her child completely with a body from her body, free of original sin and stain of personal sin.  In this way, I would be like unto Jesus – compatible with Him in truth and pleasing to the Father and lovingly attached to my Mother as her child, and humble and faithful and charitable and pure.  [Not that I wanted equality with Jesus – no, but that I would be a true child free of sin and all that displeases the Lord our God, and follow my new Parents unreservedly and with complete trust.]

Sacred Scripture shows how the Lord favors little children.  Here are several verses which came to mind:

“Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'” [Matthew, 19:13-14, RSVCE Holy Bible]

“‘Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter into it.’  And he took them [little children] in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.” [Mark 10:13-16, RSVCE Holy Bible]

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’  And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'” [Matthew, 18:1-4, RSVCE Holy Bible]

“‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.'” [Matthew 18:5-6, RSVCE Holy Bible]

Sacred Scripture also shows how the Lord invites us to be members of his family:

“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'” [John 3:5, RSVCE Holy Bible]

“When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’  Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’  And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.  [John 19:26-27, RSVCE Holy Bible]

“But he said to them, ‘My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it.'” [Luke 8:21 with ref. to Psalm 87:5-7,  RSVCE Holy Bible]

“Jesus said to her [Mary Magdalene], ‘Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” [John 20:17, RSVCE Holy Bible]

Learn from the Flowers of God

Sister Tracey_FSP_Flower of God_2Mar2014 (2)

Sister Tracey, Flower of God, Daughters of St. Paul, March 2, 2014.

Jesus said, “Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.  They do not work or spin.  But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.  If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink? ‘or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek.  Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” [Gospel of Matthew, 6:28-33, NAB].

st_therese_of_lisieux

The Little Flower, St. Therese Liseux

Hear what the “Little Flower” had to say and compare:

“Yes, when a soul has allowed herself to be captivated by the inebriating fragrance of Thy perfumes, she could not run alone, all the souls whom she loves are drawn after her; this is a natural consequence of her attractions towards Thee.”

Flower of God, "crazy" for Jesus.  St. Tracey will be face-paining on March 4th, 2014 in Metairie, LA.  Please go and make a donation.

Flower of God, “crazy” for Jesus. Sister Tracey will be face-painting on March 4th, 2014 in Metairie, LA. Please go and make a donation for the missions.

“My only desire now is to love Jesus even to folly.”

“You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love at which we do them.”

“For me to love you, Jesus, as you love me, I would have to borrow your own love and then only would I be at rest.”

~ St. Therese Liseux, the Little Flower

 

And now for a delightful view of the flowers of Jesus the King.  Enjoy

Beauty of Spiritual Motherhood

Sr Tracey 12 Jan 14

Sister Tracey of the Daughters of St. Paul.

The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.

~ 1 Samuel 2:5, RSV Holy Bible

Growing up, I found that my Godmother had such a powerful effect on me.  She, a woman of faith, smiled at me and she listened to me, and that was the love that I needed.  She was a good Godmother.

Likewise, religious sisters like Sister Tracey and Sister Julia of the Daughters of St. Paul offer such wonderful kindness and care, loving and serving as the Lord loves and serves.  Who would not want such a Godmother?

The little baby succumbs to Sister Julia's tender care.

The little baby succumbs to Sister Julia’s tender care.

Soothe the Wounds of Christ

See these wounds?  They come from your sin.  Choose to soothe and heal them by your virtue.   Apply holy ointment and caresses by your love.

See these wounds? They come from your sin. Choose to soothe and heal them by your virtue. Apply holy ointment and caresses by your love.

Christ was resurrected with His Wounds.  Do you understand why?  As long as there is sin in the world, Christ is still wounded by our sins because we are incorporated into His Body, the Body of Christ.  He accepts this joyfully for your sake, but we are hurting Him in our sins, are we not?

Realize that even in the Lord’s masterful joy of taking on your wounds in order to keep your soul alive, He is in pain for you.  He bleeds.  His Sacred Heart bleeds most especially for your mortal sins – your sins of impurity and hatred.  Realize that you are also wounded by your own sins, but you do not see your wounds; you do not see them in Christ’s Body either.  But they are there – festering because you don’t know what you do.

His Precious Blood brings healing, but that is because there is first a wounding and a wounding and a wounding.  “My Heart bleeds for you because I love you.”

At times the pain is too much to bear; it overflows into us.  Do you understand?  Meditate on what St. Paul meant in this statement in his Letter to the Colossians 1:24, which he wrote from his imprisonment:

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body…”

Help Jesus the Christ to heal His Wounds.  At least be reconciled in the Sacrament of Penance.  Love returned to the Body heals His Wounds and yours.  Receive also Precious Body and Blood of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and allow God’s Love through you to be converted into works whereby God’s Love is transmitted to the rest of the Body of Christ like a Divine Medicine for healing.

Be a tender, loving healer to your Lord and His Body.  Do not inflict wounds; choose to soothe and dress His Wounds instead.  He will bless you as He and the rest of the Body are comforted when you do so.

Loving Bond: A Vine of Roses

Sweet blossoming of our Blessed Mother Mary

Sweet blossoming of our Blessed Mother Mary

As I walked and meditated on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary yesterday, my heart was grateful for the wonderful gifts which God has given to me, especially in the gift of our Blessed Mother Mary.

I envisioned giving her a bouquet of roses in gratitude. She smiled joyfully. When I gave her the bouquet, the roses became like a Vine and wrapped around her hands and mine, and around our wrists.

I was embarrassed because this was too much for me. I had no choice but to stand there and gaze into Mother Mary’s eyes and be loved in her gaze; the Vine of Roses, Jesus our Lord bound us together.

Catholic Nuns: Bearing Fruit That Will Last – Joy!

Sister Tracy, Daughter of St. Paul, 13 April 2013.  She went out weeping; she came back with shouts of joy, bringing her fruit with her. [cf, Psalm 126:6]

Sister Tracey, Daughter of St. Paul, 13 April 2013. She went out weeping; she came back with shouts of joy, bringing her fruit with her. [cf, Psalm 126:6]
What a lovely smile. 🙂

This is a tribute to my wonderful Catholic Christian religious Sisters in the world who give their entire life to Christ and who “bear fruit that will last.”  Shout out to Sister Tracy and the Daughters of St. Paul!

Jesus Christ said:  “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.   This I command you, to love one another.”  [Gospel of John, 15:16-17, RSV Holy Bible]

The following is from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah chapter 54, RSV Holy Bible:

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;  break forth into singing and cry aloud,  you who have not been in travail!

For the children of the desolate one will be more  than the children of her that is married, says the LORD.

Enlarge the place of your tent,  and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;  hold not back, lengthen your cords  and strengthen your stakes.

For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,  and your descendants will possess the nations  and will people the desolate cities.

“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;  be not confounded, for you will not be put to shame;  for you will forget the shame of your youth,  and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

For your Maker is your husband,  the LORD of hosts is his name;  and 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 a wife of youth when she is cast off,  says your God.

For a brief moment I forsook 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.”