Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Long Road Ahead


Well, it's been a while since I last updated, but as I am in doubt that this a widely read blog, I believe that this is a fact that affects few other than myself. Still, every now and again, I really feel motivated to post my thoughts to someone. Anyone who cares to hear, within reason. I wonder what it is about me that causes me to turn to an anonymous blog to express my struggles instead of turning to those who I know and interact with. Whatever the reasons for this tendency to hide behind anonymity, here I am again typing out me thoughts.

Sometimes vulnerability comes at me like a slap in the face. I feel secure and safe, then suddenly it's all gone and I just feel alone and unwanted. Usually this isn't because anyone has done anything unkind to indicate that I am no longer welcome, rather (I believe) that it is more closely related to no one doing anything to let me know that I am, in fact, wanted. Of course I'm not trying to say that everyone else was the source of my insecurities. In fact, if that were the case, then I would be insecure much more often. Still, people need to know that they are loved. Just because you love someone dearly, doesn't mean that they know it. You need to constantly remind them in everything you do.

People need to know the good that they bring to others lives. At least, that statement goes for most of the people I've met. Encouragement, kind acts, and nurturing attitudes are crucial to many people's self concept. Feedback from others certainly plays a big part in my self perception. There is much to be said for the lost art of writing notes or letters of encouragement to loved ones. Or even for just surprising someone every now and again by reminding them that you think them something special.

Family and friends are only with you for a relatively short time. Life is fleeting. Now is your chance to make a difference in someone's life. Now is the time to let someone know that you care. Don't hesitate or the moment will pass you by. Don't be afraid, or at least, don't let that fear rule you. Reach out to someone that you love. They are worth it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lay Down Your Sweet and Weary Head

I am quite tired today. The last few weeks I have not been a good steward of my time and have ended up with insufficient hours to get much needed rest. The longer I go without good sleep, the less energy I have and the more likely I seem to be to get sick. So this is a public service announcement:

MAKE SURE YOU PUT ASIDE TIME FOR RESTING! ^_^


Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Pearl of Great Price

Most things in life are not so fantastic that you would give everything up to keep them present to you. One could hardly say that they treasure everything that greatly. Every now and then, however, you come across some things that are.

In the Bible, Jesus uses the parable of "The Pearl of Great Price" to illustrate the awesomeness of the kingdom of Heaven. We are told that it is like a pearl that is so beautiful and perfect that the merchant will sell all that he has to acquire that pearl. There ought never to be a goal ranked more important than achieving that blessed "pearl". Yet God does not stop there. In addition to having died and risen for our salvation and eternal joy, He also gives us multiple lesser pearls to console us along our own personal Calvary.

Family is one such pearl to me. The value that my family has to me is beyond measure in many ways. I love them more than myself and they love me. I am ever grateful for them. They have taught me so much and I continue to learn from them daily.

Another such pearl is my friends. They have put up with more than most friendships ever get deep enough to handle. They are like a second family to me and certainly have been spiritual guides at many points in my life. They draw me out of myself and unknowingly make me face some of the most difficult truths about myself.

There are more blessing than I can count in my life, and I am so glad that they are here!

Friday, September 5, 2008

In the Stillness

There are some dreams that are very special. Some things are so dear that it is quite hard to wait for them. My heart is full of hopes and wishes for my future. I find the uncertainty of when or if these dreams will come true difficult to bear.

I know that God loves me and will ultimately only do what will lead to my happiness, but in the mean time I am learning that I am not a very patient person. I suppose it would be safe to say that I am a bit afraid. I am afraid to lose loved ones, afraid to be left alone, afraid to be weak, and afraid to fall short.

The dreams that I long for may be far away, but I believe that they are worth the wait. So, I will wait. I will wait for the dreams to become realities in the stillness of God's quiet light. I may ache sometimes, but I will get through. I ask once again for prayers.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Frightened Child

When I can't see the road ahead, I become very uneasy. The less I can see, the less sure I am of myself. I become very vulnerable and fragile over silly things. The source of my weakness is, of course, my insistence on depending upon my own strength. I'm afraid to lean on other people because I fear being a nuisance, being considered absurd, or just be brushed aside. It is easier to keep quiet about my troubles, or at least to downplay them.

I don't lean on God because I am too prideful. Oh that I had the humility to trust Him completely! Still I keep Him at arms length until I am most vulnerable and sometimes even then I am trying to carry myself. I am too stubborn. I don't like to admit when I get hurt and I don't like change.

I try very hard to deal with the things life throws at me as they come, but it just isn't my forte. What it comes down to is that I do need support from others, especially God. At these times that I feel so vulnerable, even though I know that I'm being ridiculous, I just need to know that things are going to be ok and that I'm still loved.

Just as one comforts a frightened child, I believe that we need to comfort each other. In that moment, when I child is scared because he or she believes that there are monsters under the bed, it doesn't matter whether or not the fear is rational or well-founded. The only thing that matters is that the child is scared. I'll try to remember that when others are scared or anxious about small troubles.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to really let go completely of my pride and my fear during this life. In the mean time, though, I'll just keep working at being more up front with people about my worries, without downplaying them, and letting others help me through my rough times. I'll also be working on being more aware of when others might need me to be more sensitive to what troubles they're experiencing. Then I'll try to find my way back to the "garden" and maybe bring some of my loved ones along with me. =)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Come to the Garden

Gardens are so wonderful. Flowers are one of my favorite things. One day I'm going to have a wonderful flower/herb garden all of my own. There is just something so special about them. They're like an outdoor shrine to the greatness of our Creator. Such exquisite beauty in each plant and each are so unique.



St. Therese of Lisieux based a bit of her theology off of the lessons to be learned from a garden. As a summary of her life says, "She loved flowers and saw herself as the "little flower of Jesus," who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God's garden." We are all in God's garden and we are called live out our role as the specific "flower" we are.







This analogy is a great comfort to me when I am confronted with my own smallness and weakness. For my strengths are a gift from God and my weakness is irrelevant when I do my best to live for him. Indeed, I am reminded by St. Therese that God has a special place in his heart for His weak and fallen children. What a joy to be counted amongst those for whom there is great rejoicing in Heaven when they return to the fold! When I keep this in mind, there is no longer any fear that I will not be good, eloquent, holy, brave, smart, clever, or patient enough, because I know that God will make up for all that I lack.


These past few days have been ones of anxiety for me. I guess I just lost focus of Him. Life gets crazy very fast, sometimes. It's easy to get caught up in all of the small troubles and different obligations. This world is an ideal one to catch people up into its hustle and bustle, especially if one isn't guarded against it. I find that it is becoming increasingly important for me to find a quiet place to reflect, refocus, and recharge. This spiritual garden is, in my opinion, essential to most people, especially me. Quiet moments can truly be such a blessing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dance in the Rain



I love rainy days! They're so fun and make me feel like dancing all over the world. It's lucky for me, that we're supposed to get a lot of rain this week. Sometimes, my life is like a rainy day. I expect gloom, shadows, darkness, and overwhelming floods. In spite of the strong indications that things will get rough, God surprises me by creating a opportunity for joy and laughter.


How blessed I am! My life is definitely a work in progress, but throughout my life, whenever things seemed to be going wrong, God turns things around and transforms everything. He has blessed me in so many ways. I know that He is guiding and protecting me. Every longing of my heart has been answered in Him. I know that He is watching all of my loved ones too. He cares for them and has brought them into my life. Each friend and family member has been such a treasure. I have learned so much from them and I hope to continue learning from them.


Over the years I have slowly learned a bit more about humility, about self confidence, loving myself the way God made me, increasing my prayer life, taking people where they're at, enduring through harsh times, performing acts of mortification, and allowing myself to just enjoy life, while staying focused on Christ. Have I mastered these things? Not even close, but through the example of my family and friends I have an idea of where to start. It is such a gift to know so many wise and holy people in my life. Good people are certainly cause for joy and there are, without a doubt good people in this world. Praise God for the good people and allow them to lead you to Him. Good people are not put in your life by accident.



Life is beautiful and friends are the music to dance with when it rains. They lift me up to Christ and fill my life with joy. To any of my loved ones who read my blog, thanks for being such a gift. ^_^

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weep No More, Sad Fountains...

Some days are just overwhelming. Life seems to come at you from every angle, determined to break you down. Little troubles can sometimes chip away at your confidence like sand does to the great pyramids. How quickly little troubles can seem large, even without you being aware of it.

For me, today was such a day. All in all, not a bad day, but certainly a rough one. I had high points that were really lovely, but overall I was left with a feeling of weariness. How silly it is that I let such small things trouble my soul and yet I do. Still, I am hopeful.

Tomorrow is a new day and one full of promise. I will be able to receive Jesus in my soul through Holy Communion and with God's grace I will be able to face my little crosses with joy and humility. As always, I ask for prayers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whirlwind


Life can be so overwhelming sometimes. It literally seems to be tossing me back and forth between appointments. How quickly I become busy. Suddenly, I am too busy to schedule a phone call with a dear friend, who is heading off to college, I am too busy to go to sleep before midnight, too tired to wake up early or focus through the day, and so emotional that people begin to worry. What a mess!

It's times like these when I know that I need to slow down and refocus, but I'm not exactly sure how. When is the time that it is ok for me to say "no" to all of the wonderful and pressing engagements? I want to run to a safe place, a safe person, and hide from all of the chaos. I can't seem to balance everything. I'm juggling too many balls and I'm bound to drop them all soon. How many people feel brushed aside? I feel as if I let them all down. No matter what I do, I can't make them all happy. How do I chose? What would Christ do? How am I to know? I am not a wise person and sadly not a very good listener. Sometimes I am almost sure that Christ is plainly telling me the answer, but I am too out of focus to listen.

I need to slow down. I need to stop. I need to rest. I need to pray. I cannot survive in this whirlwind, it is too much for me to handle. Life is too beautiful, too precious to waste. One step at a time is all that I can do. One step at a time is enough.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lift Your Eyes to Heaven

Morning glories are such lovely flowers. They rise eagerly in the early morning and open themselves to receive the light. This is my favorite flower. Morning glories seem to reflect how we ought to be as humans. They rest when they ought to rest, and they rise cheerfully in the early morning to greet the sun. I wish that my life might be like a morning glory, simple, beautiful, and all for God's glory. It is my hope that I might spend each day with my face joyfully turned toward the Son while I offer all of my being for His will. Then I will be all the more beautiful, but my beauty will not be my own, but merely a reflection of His light on my lowly face. By His grace I will succeed along with all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who also yearn to see His face.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Confusion

Some days, I really doubt myself. I can't see what is ahead and I become suddenly very afraid that I am doing something, or many things, wrong. What if I cannot get it right? What if I get hurt? What if I am annoying everyone? What if people are getting sick of me being so emotional and vulnerable all of the time? What if I can never change that? I have fought long and hard against these doubts and thrown myself at the foot of the cross for protection from them, but some days my resistance is just too low. What then should I do? I know that this will soon pass and I will go on with my life as normal, but right now there is a nagging thought that I am just not good enough. For tonight, I feel very alone, even though I know that feelings really aren't that important. I ask that anyone who reads this blog would please say a quick prayer for me tonight. Thanks. (BTW, I am completely serious in saying that I really am one hundred percent fine. I'm just a bit down this evening and when you mix that with my flair for drama, the result is this startling blog entry)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Roses

Some moments in our lives are so sweet and so wonderful that they are like roses from Heaven. Learning new things about people who are dear to us is one such rose. Some people in our lives are wonderfully special. They teach us more about life and about ourselves. Those people fill our lives with light and laughter.

Today, I had the great joy of spending most of my day in the company of such a person. I am reminded of how much God has blessed my life. I feel honored, joyful, and prayerfully thankful to be so blessed. God has given me so much and continues to give me so much. I hardly know what to do with so much joy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Farewell Childhood

Lately, something has changed within my heart. I feel as if another chapter in my life has ended. The last remnants of my childhood are quickly fading. It is a strange feeling, like looking at photograph of your younger self and not recognizing the image before you. It is something akin to visiting a familiar and beloved place, while knowing that you can never return. Each memory, each wound, each gift, each dream, and each place hold something special for me. Similar to looking through a forgotten scrapbook, the experience fills me with nostalgia. Yet, the feeling of nostalgia is countered by a strong sense that the time has come to move on.

It is time for me to put behind my childish selfishness, silliness, pride, laziness, and fear. I understand that this will take a great deal of time, but I know that I can do it. I cannot explain why, but last night I had the feeling that something inside of me had changed forever. In the end, I know that I must learn to be more quiet, less strong willed, more patient, less open about my opinions, especially over trivial matters, more loving, less easily provoked to anger, and more responsible. I must learn not to let my emotions control my decisions and I must learn to use my time wisely and much less selfishly. I hope and pray that I will go through a great transformation. I do not mean to become less myself, but a better version of myself. I seek to be more of a lady and a better soldier for Christ.

This change will, of course, be difficult and slow and I find myself to be overwhelmed by the task. In spite of this, I feel strangely excited, as if I am about to embark on a strange adventure and that it is led by Someone who will not let any harm come to me. Indeed, Christ gently lifts my fears from my shoulders and encourages me to move onward toward something beautiful. There is work that needs doing and He has called me to some of it. Whether I have assistance and support from my loved ones or not, I must trust that He will make things right. Otherwise all that I believe in and stand for would be a lie, making my very existence meaningless. The time has come to take the next step. Another door has closed and there can be no going back. Now, the only way is forward.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Whispers

Each day that passes, I learn something new. I learn from the people around me. I learn about patience, love, courage, wisdom, kindness, perseverance, strength, laughter, endurance, faith, and holiness. With each lesson that I learn I feel something tugging gently on my heart. It whispers to me promises of a secret waiting for me in the future.

I try to peer through the curtain that veils my future, but it is too thick. Still, I cannot wait to know what is hidden. It brings to mind 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 "Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready." That is how the Lord addresses me when I seek to know what the future holds. Yet, I cannot help but ask.

There is so much that I want to know. What is love? How is it recognized? How can I best serve God? What can I do to learn how to use my faults and my gifts to draw others nearer to Christ? Where will I be in ten years? In four years? In three? Will I have a career? Will I be married? Will I have children? Will I be alive? Will I have all of my senses? Will all of my family be alive? Will I have the same friends?

I have much to look forward to and so many questions. Some days I become so caught up in the whirl of life that when I finally get a moment to be calm and quiet I don't know what to do with myself. My mind quickly becomes filled. Sometimes, I slip away into a quiet world, away from all the noise and chaos. Still, my heart is so full. There are so many things that I hope and long for. It's so difficult to be patient, especially when my heart keeps pulling me toward some strange new future.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wildflowers

I love wildflowers. They are simple, unassuming decorations in our vast world. Nearly everywhere on land, wildflowers can be found adding fragrance and color to the scene. Seeing these little blossoms almost always brings a smile to my face. Wildflowers remind me of God's great love for us, because it seems to me that He has made them so beautiful just for me. Indeed, it is something akin to receiving a bouquet from Him.


There are many other things that happen in my day that seem to me like a sort of bouquet of wildflowers. For example, when a friend reminds me that he are glad to have me in his life, or when I find a penny on the ground. When I get a good grade on a test or I just barely scrape by with the score that I need, I feel quite blessed. I know that my Jesus is looking out for me and it makes me very happy. I know that He doesn't give me the gifts because I've earned them, but only because He loves me.


This year I have felt especially aware of Christ's love for me. The more I understand about His love, the more I am overcome by a desire to know and love Him more. My heart yearns to love Him better and I rejoice that He can be so gloriously made present, even in my smallness. I am quite an ordinary person, in fact, I can often be annoying and very prideful. Thankfully, Christ does not judge me merely by my own merit. He is so merciful!



I look at my life and cannot find words to express how touched I am by the many blessings spread across it. God's touch is clearly visible in my life. Any good that is seen in me by others is all from Him. As my vices begin to fade, that too is a gift from Him. How can I not rejoice in this great love? I am completely overwhelmed when I contemplate the greatness of His love. No thought, no emotion, no words, no sense, no melody, no painting, nothing is big enough to be a true representation of God's unfathomable love for us. Praise God!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thunder

Liturgical abuses make me angry. It makes no sense for them to exist because those who are allowing them have nothing to gain from them. They are leaders in their Church community who are entrusted with upholding the liturgy and leading the faithful closer to Christ. To abuse that position in no way glorifies them, by worldly or spiritual standards.

As if this isn't enough, we the faithful do nothing to change it. We complain, we argue, we grieve, but we don't do anything! How long can we stand watch without taking action?

What are we doing? Why aren't we fighting?

Our savior, Jesus Christ, died for us, He sits in the tabernacles throughout the world, alone, for us. He waits for us. Why do we allow this to continue. The more that these abuses continue, the worse I feel about myself. How can I go to Him each day at Mass and receive Him in Holy Communion, but still do nothing to end the abuses against Him.

How can I be so apathetic when He has done so much for me?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Daydreams


Do we ever get to old to dream? Some days, I find myself wishing I were far away, in some strange place where anything could happen. Throughout my life I have encountered places where I felt as if anything was possible. Some places hold a sort of magic that allow me to forget the real world and drift innocently into a world where childhood dreams return to linger. All of the cares of the world fade away and like a silly little girl, I take hold of daydreams and let them lead me into the world of impossible. Perhaps this is a clear sign that I've read to many fairy tales, but I don't really care. There is a part of me that loves to wander down strange paths in a dark woods. The call of adventure and wonder sings to my heart and I gladly follow.




I enter and entirely different realm than that of reason. In this "land" I can be anything and do anything. There are no limits in this strange place. I can travel anywhere, see anyone, be anyone, and say anything. Secrets don't exist, nor does worry. All the fears and cares of this world melt away and I can have the answers which so often allude me. In this world I can follow any road without hesitation, because if it doesn't lead where I intend, I can easily abandon that road for another. All of the movie and book clich├ęs can exist without being absurd. Life is much more simple. The answers are always clear and complications handle themselves.

In this place I can always just be me, because no one misunderstands. Every now and then, it is fun to wander back and visit the dreams of my childhood, but they do not keep my interest as long as they used to because they create in my heart a longing for things to happen. The dreams of my childhood cause the dreams of adulthood to awaken, which is not bad, but certainly makes it more difficult for me to be patient.




Once upon a time, I longed for castles in the sky with faeries, great adventures, a prince, and a happily ever after. It was a time when the good guys would always win and the bad guys learned their lesson. I couldn't err because I always knew what I was supposed to do. I would imagine falling in love, which was easy because their was no concern over the future. After all, it was only make believe and I could always return to my simple childhood under the protection of my loving parents.


Now those dreams have, for the most part, faded and new dreams take there place. These new dreams are much more simple and not nearly as dramatic. They are much more practical, but that makes them more difficult to do without. Thankfully, I can leave them in the care of Christ. Dreams of love and a home are in His hands, as is my heart. For a long time I worried about whom to entrust my heart to, but one day I finally washed my hands of the whole business and decided that if anyone wanted my heart, he would have to work it out with Christ on how to win it. Christ has my heart, my dreams, and hopes for the future.

As for the rest, I'll just keep dreaming, waiting, working, and praying.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Change

Life is rushing about me, so quickly. Sometimes, I just can't keep up. I get so easily confused by the events rushing around me. Like the tumultuous waterfall, change stirs up many feelings in my heart. Things which I thought were certain later do not seem to be. Unexpected revelations about myself are ever rising.

I have so much to learn. Often, the result is, for me, confusion. Where do I go from here? My mind races with thoughts on how to respond and how to react. Time alone will tell what the future holds for me. In the mean time, I have no choice but to try and keep up with all that takes place around me.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Light

Sometimes, I find myself in a spot like that of Job. I trust God, I love Him, and I do my best to live out His will, but for some reason, everything seems to be going wrong anyway. In such times, I become easily discouraged and wonder why such things could be happening. How does this fit into God's plan?

When I am so certain of a plan of action and it fails, I question myself as to what I should do next. It is so discouraging to put forth a great deal of effort to achieve a goal and then fail. My pride is shattered, for I know that most will not see my effort, but only the results. I know that many will question whether I really put forth as much effort as I claim to. More than that, though, I become discouraged with my own incapability to accomplish things.

How could so much work come to naught? Am I not capable, as I should be, to do such a small thing? Overwhelmed and embarrassed by my own incompetence I fear being a source of shame to my family. How can I face them and tell them that I have failed? But when I face those who love me, they do not see it as a failure at all, but a first try. "Try again. It will be alright" they insist.

Oh, but do they not see how much energy the first attempt took? Do they not see how weary I am growing? How can this fit into God's plan? I have to motivation left to try again. Others may not see, but I put forth almost all that I had to make the first effort. I have nothing left to give. Tired and broken, I turn to the Lord and cry out for help.

Then I am reminded of God's loving care. I know that He will not abandon me. Whatever the reason for my trials, I know that He is in control. I have done my best, all else is up to Him. It is in His hands. If He does not bring my labors to fruit, then it simply means that my plan is not His plan. The rest does not matter. I have done my best and He knows. He knows my heart and He knows my wishes. I reconcile myself to His plan by reminding myself that His is the plan that will lead to my greatest happiness. I find all the ways that I might be able to grow from this disappointment and try to implement them.

He is my rock, my sword, and my shield. He is my hope. Apart from Him, I am nothing. He has allowed my to be His beloved daughter, washed clean in His most Sacred Blood, in spite of all my weaknesses. I desire to ever be united to Him. If all else fades away, but I still have Him, then I am happy. As long as I allow Him to help me and guide me, He will not fail to bring about what is best for my happiness. I may not always understand, but that is alright because I'm not the one who needs to. While I trust Him, all will be alright in the end.

So, I take all of my fears and lay them at His feet. I bring my fears of failure, of rejection, or pain, of disappointment, of being an embarrassment to others, of not quite making it, of not being strong enough, and of not getting my way and I surrender them to Him. As I continuously renew this act of surrendering, my anxieties are mine not longer. I have new hope and joy in Him. I wonder at myself for having ever doubted and I laugh at myself because I know that I am likely to doubt again.

But He is ever forgiving and patient. No matter how many times I fail to trust Him, He is always waiting, with open arms, for me. He cares not whether I fall a hundred times or a hundred thousand times, as long as I return to Him, He will welcome me. He does not let my weakness weigh against me for He tempers justice with mercy.

How appropriate then, the analogy of the shepherd and the sheep becomes. As long as we let Him lead us, like sheep blindly following their beloved shepherd, no harm will come to us. It is when we stray that we encounter dangers, but all we need do is cry out to Him and He will rush to our defense. If He allows us to experience hardships, it is with good reason. He is our Good Shepherd. He is our caring Father. Let there be no doubt that, in Him, we are safe. Let us follow the Light and take comfort in Him.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friendship

If friends are like flowers that decorate our lives, then we should always remember how delicate people are. For just as a beautiful flower may grow strong when it is watered and cared for, it may also be, quite easily, crushed. In each person their is created a desire to love and be loved. How beautiful this thought is!

Sadly, many do not let this love shine through. They bury it deeply and turn it inward so that they can only think of themselves. It is true that there are many such people in this world, but they are often reached by others who are willing to love selflessly.

Selfless self-sacrificing love is without a doubt the most beautiful thing, to me. It always bears in mind the dignity and beauty of the other person. It does not simply focus on the exterior beauty, but on the beauty of the soul. In such love, their is no fear, only trust. There is a feeling of safety and of overwhelming joy. Such love seeks the greatest good for the loved one and will settle for nothing less. When such love is discovered, it unites those who experience it closer and closer with Christ.

For love, when it is pure and true, always leads to God. After all, God is love. In love, injuries are forgiven and forgotten. Each person who carries this love desires to become the best person possible. Nothing is too great for the good of a loved one.

Reflecting on these thoughts of how love ought to be, I am inspired to become a better person. I yearn to become like the woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31. She is good and holy woman who is a credit to her household. May I rely completely on God so as to grow into a more perfect me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy Novena( http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm )

Jesus further asked that this Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena of Chaplets to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. Say one chaplet each day following the novena intention. In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:

"On each day of the novena you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls. By this novena I will grant every possible grace to souls." (Diary 1209, 796)

On Divine Mercy Sunday, go to Mass, and receive Communion. Also go to confession during the Novena or during the following week. If you do all these things you will receive a plenary indulgence: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07783a.htm (i.e. full remission of sins and time spent in purgatory for those sins)

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First Day
"Today bring to Me All Mankind, especially all sinners and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins, but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.

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Second Day
"Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service, that they may perform worthy works of mercy, and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard - upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation, and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

--

Third Day
"Today bring to Me All Devout and Faithful Souls and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness."

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in the great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your Merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.

--

Fourth Day
"Today bring to Me Those Who Do Not Believe In God and Those Who Do Not Yet Know Me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."

Most Compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

--

Fifth Day
"Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your Own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.

--

Sixth Day
"Today bring to Me The Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace I favor humble souls with My confidence."

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy, and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls and upon little children, who are enfolded in the abode of the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight you take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

--

Seventh Day
"Today bring to Me The Souls Who Especially Venerate and Glorify My Mercy and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death."

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your Mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident in Your Mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.

--

Eighth Day
"Today bring to Me The Souls Who Are Detained in Purgatory and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only know the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your most merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded, manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

--

Ninth Day
"Today bring to Me The Souls Who Have Become Lukewarm and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy."

Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who, like
corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love; and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen

-----

God bless you all!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Via Dolorosa

The dogwood, is a simple white flower that bears a cross shape and the four wounds of Christ. At the center of this flower is a "crown of thorns". The white represents the purity of the lamb of God.

As the legend goes, Jesus' cross was made from dogwood, but the Lord promised that no dogwood would ever be used for such a things ever again. Since then, according to the legend, the dogwood does not grow to be very large and the branches stay thin and winding. The flowers take their shape to ever remind us of the great sacrifice of love that Jesus Christ made for us.

God became man that He might live among us and share our sufferings. He was so good and humble that He allowed Himself to be put to death in the most humiliating manner of that time. Crucifixion was the death for criminals.

God is the author of love. He created each of us. As the late great Pope John Paul II said in his Theology of the Body, man was created by Love for love. We are told in the Gospel according to St. John, the apostle, that "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (Jn 15:13) How is it that we are so blessed?

We are so unworthy. We are so broken, yet this does not matter. He has already paid the price for us and constantly offers to us forgiveness and love. We are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb of God. It was for us that He bore the pain, the humiliation, and the heartbreak.


How beautiful and wonderful it is that we are loved by God! My heart rejoices to have such love bestowed upon me even as it grieves to see my precious Lord so tortured. My heart is overwhelmed by the tender love of God. He is so close to me always. Knowing that it is not at all by my own merit, but by His grace, I cannot express my deep gratitude and love.

It is for you and I that He bore these sufferings. How great His love is! Let us never forget Him in any moment of our lives.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Drop in the Ocean

What next? The vast world stretches out before me and I am filled with awe. What a wondrous place God has created for us! Yet, it is merely a drop in the ocean compared to what is to come. There is so much to look forward to. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us of the great things to come.

"1045 For man, this consummation will be the final realization of the unity of the human race, which God willed from creation and of which the pilgrim Church has been "in the nature of sacrament."636 Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed, "the holy city" of God, "the Bride, the wife of the Lamb."637 She will not be wounded any longer by sin, stains, self-love, that destroy or wound the earthly community.638 The beatific vision, in which God opens himself in an inexhaustible way to the elect, will be the ever-flowing well-spring of happiness, peace, and mutual communion."

"
1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory "the beatific vision":

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God's friends.604"
We are given so many graces and opportunities to make this perfect happiness even more attainable and yet, so often, we ignore them. Over and over again we reason that we are doing "enough" or that we mustn't do anything that might be considered extreme. Society chides us for yearning to be holy and tells us that it is not realistic. But the Church makes it clear that we are all called to holiness.

"2013 "All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity."65 All are called to holiness: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."66

In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that . . . doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.67"

"2014 Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called "mystical" because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments - "the holy mysteries" - and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all."

"2015 The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle.68 Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes:

He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows.69"
"2813 In the waters of Baptism, we have been "washed . . . sanctified . . . justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."79 Our Father calls us to holiness in the whole of our life, and since "he is the source of [our] life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and . . .sanctification,"80 both his glory and our life depend on the hallowing of his name in us and by us. Such is the urgency of our first petition.

By whom is God hallowed, since he is the one who hallows? But since he said, "You shall be holy to me; for I the LORD am holy," we seek and ask that we who were sanctified in Baptism may persevere in what we have begun to be. And we ask this daily, for we need sanctification daily, so that we who fail daily may cleanse away our sins by being sanctified continually. . . . We pray that this sanctification may remain in us."
How then, can we so often limit ourselves to mediocrity? How can we justify the minimal amount of time spent in prayer? How can we justify the waste and the laziness? How can we justify the apathy? There is nothing in this world that makes it more worthwhile than the life promised to those who love the Lord and strive ever to do His will. "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36)

This lesson has been appearing repeatedly in my life, especially during the last seven months. There is so much to learn. There is so much to do. The very thought of this fills my heart with indescribable joy. I yearn to follow in the footsteps of the great saints of the Church. My heart aches to burn with the love that St. Therese (the Little Flower), St. Francis Xavier, Blessed Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Faustina, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Isaac Jogues, St. Jean Vianney, and St. Joan of Arc have shown and continue to show to God and the world. If God wills it, then it shall be done. So, I dare to come before Him and ask for this great grace.

"Da mihi animas!" - St. Francis Xavier

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Let's Dance

Life can be so confusing. Sometimes it leaves me feeling quite dizzy. At the same time, each new experience, even the scary or hard ones, is so beautiful. I feel as if I've learned so much so quickly between August and now. Things change so quickly.

At first, I was so overwhelmed by the change. I felt as if everything was spinning out of control and it took all I had to keep some semblance of balance. I worried and fretted over so many things, large and small. It always amazes me how easily I put some very small problems of mine on the same level and the much larger ones.

Still, I'm beginning to learn. I'm coming to see that I have never been alone in this confusing dance. Christ is and has always been gently leading me along. The only time the dance gets awkward is when I try to lead or when I try to guess where He will lead me next. But if I surrender completely to Him and follow where He takes me, then the dance is a peaceful, joyful, and exciting thing.

I imagine that if my life truly were a dance, then I could safely say that I step on Jesus' toes quite often. That doesn't really matter, though. He is the best dance partner and just smiles lovingly at me as I apologize for my carelessness. His love is proved daily by His gentle way of taking my faults and slowly melting them away.

He is such an excellent choreographer in this dance of life. He always knows how to bring out the best in His dancers. He knows just where the next twirls and leaps ought to be. However, He doesn't stop there. In addition to putting the twirls and leaps in all the right places, He also helps me to do them a thousand times better then I ever could on my own. When I do try to dance alone, He stands nearby, patiently waiting for me to come to His open arms and dance with Him again.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Holiness


I am blessed to have one of the holiest priests I have ever encountered as the pastor of my church parish. He is extremely wise and humble. He has done so much to keep our parish united to the rest of the Roman Catholic Church and he has been such a gift in my life. In many ways he has been like a grandfather to me as my own grandfathers passed away when I was very young. Recently, I went to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation from my pastor, he told me something that really hit home. He said, "Holiness is not the ability to be perfect, but the humble surrendering of our imperfections to God."

I often forget that it's okay for me to be imperfect. I become so concerned with what I ought to be doing that I over think things and the result is some rather intense anxiety. Concerned thoughts plague my mind. "What should I say?" "How should I explain this?" "What if this ruins everything?" "What if I lose this person's friendship?" "What if I'm too dumb to figure out what God is telling me?" "What if they can't forgive/love me?" "What if they don't listen?" "What if I scare them away?" "What if I become too annoying?"

Sadly, I think that many of these fears will be a cross for me to carry, on and off, throughout life. Still, I find that little by little, I am learning not to focus so much on myself and to trust in God. He made me the way I am on purpose and for a purposes. I may not know what it is, but there is a reason for my existence. Jesus died for me. He doesn't care who I am, what I've done, or what I'll do in the future. No matter what, He will always love me. With that knowledge, I have the courage to keep going on.

I know that I don't have all the answers. In fact, I'm appalled at how little I know and can do. I'm just beginning to learn. But I've come to learn that that is okay too. I don't have to have all the answers because He does. There are many people that I love and I wish that I could forever avoid mistakes that may cause them to suffer, but that isn't really possible for anyone.

So, I've decided, once again, to just surrender those worries to Christ. They are His now and I know that He will take care of me. I'll just keep doing my best and leave the rest up to Him.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Beauty

There is a certain sense of awe when one encounters something beautiful. It touches the soul. As each day passes, I begin to see, more and more, that there is so much beauty in this world. There are beautiful songs, beautiful colors, beautiful plants, beautiful animals, beautiful crafts, and beautiful people. For a long time, I didn't really know what it meant when people said, "All people are beautiful." Often, in my mind, I would respond, "Then why is it that we encounter people who certainly are not beautiful?"

Beauty is such a tricky subject. Everyone defines it differently and most want to possess it. In today's world, beauty is certainly something to be desired. Boys want to marry beautiful girls. Girls want to be as beautiful as movie stars. Movie stars waste their fortunes on attempts to get and keep the most beautiful look. The desire for beauty permeates our culture.

But I am coming to learn that there are so many beautiful people in this world. There is beauty in a quiet sacrifice, an unguarded smile, a forgiving word, or an act of love. There is beauty all around us, in every person. If only people knew how special and unique they are.

Right now, I am visiting my sister. She and her friends have been working so hard to make time for me in their busy schedules. These beautiful women of God have opened their home and offered their time to me, in spite of being very busy. They have demonstrated by their selfless actions what true beauty is.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

An Excerpt from the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

" On a certain occasion, the Lord said to me, I am more deeply wounded by the small imperfections of chosen souls than by the sins of those living in the world. It made me very sad that chosen souls make Jesus suffer, and Jesus told me, These little imperfections are not all. I will reveal to you a secret of My Heart: what I suffer from chosen souls. Ingratitude in return for so many graces is My Heart's constant food, on the part of [such] a chosen soul. Their love is lukewarm, and My Heart cannot bear it; these souls force Me to reject them. Others distrust My goodness and have no desire to experience that sweet intimacy in their own hearts, but go in search of Me, off in the distance, and do not find Me. This distrust of My goodness hurts Me very much. If My death has not convinced you of My love, what will? Often a soul wounds Me mortally, and then no one can comfort Me. They use My graces to offend Me. There are souls who despise My graces as well as all the proofs of My love. They do not wish to hear My call, but proceed into the abyss of hell. The loss of these souls plunges Me into deadly sorrow. God though I am, I cannot help such a soul because it scorns Me; having a free will, it can spurn Me or love Me. You, who are the dispenser of My mercy, tell all the world about My goodness, and thus you will comfort My Heart." - Diary, 580

The Comfort of Angels

Through all my trials, great and small, my Guardian Angel stands at my side and helps me along. I may feel lost, hurt, confused, frustrated, overwhelmed, and even angry, but my Angel gently points me away from myself and towards my Lord. Although I often do not heed my angel's voice, I am not abandoned for my stubbornness. On the contrary, when I err, my Angel is always there to comfort me in my pain.


My heart is so full of late. Everything seems to happen so quickly. In a matter of moments everything changes. All it takes are a few words from another to change my reality. "Your uncle is in a comma." "You think you know everything." "You just made my day." A few simple words are all that is necessary. The change is done. The course is altered.

I sometimes wonder if it would be better to not feel anything at all, but then I would lose many things. I would lose the simple joys. I would lose the capacity to love others so much so easily. I would lose the ability to easily empathize. It is true that it takes almost nothing to hurt me, but it takes very little for me to light up with joy as well. I would not trade that.

What then is the solution? How do I console my so easily wounded heart? There is no need. Without fail, my Angel brings me to the heart of my Lord that I may rest there in peace. As I rest in my Lord's arms, He sweetly shows me my errors and gives me new strength to return to my daily trials. Then, when I return, my Angel stays by me to remind me of what my Lord has told me. I am never abandoned and so I carry on, with hope and love in my dramatic little heart.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Quiet Place

A gentle breeze blows across a shady garden. The sweet scent of flowers floods the senses. As my heart turns to prayer I find myself in such a place with Christ and there is peace. In this quiet place, I am safe from all the cares and anxieties of the world.

To find this quiet place, I journal, spend time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, sing, take walks, join with friends in prayer, and spend time with those who are dear to me. Words are often not even necessary. Many times, it is enough to simply soak in the experience. In these moments, there is calm.

True, it is naught but a foreshadowing of what is to come, but it is still so comforting. This quiet place is a gentle consoling to my soul in times of distress, like the gentle soft glow of candlelight. It is soothing like the sound of waves crashing against the shore off somewhere in the distance. As is the sweet melody of violins, so is this peace. Yet, it is so much more. The troubles are not forgotten, or left behind. Rather, they are bound back and not permitted to break through the peace. God is near. Safety, beauty, joy, and love reign.

This quiet place is one in which to think. It is a place to sort out troubles. Counsel is given and received. God graces humble hearts with His wisdom. Perspective is broadened. Truth is discovered. Longing for the future is quieted. Yearning for change is calmed. There is growth.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Prayer, Love, and Music

In these past few days, I have come to understand a bit more what it means to love the Lord. There is an overwhelming peace, because I know that He is with me. I know that He is omnipotent and all loving, so there is no fear in His mighty presence. There is, however, an extraordinary sense of awe and wonder. How can this be, that the wonderful, magnificent, beautiful, and perfect Creator of the Universe would deign to bestow His favor on me, a mere creation? Compared to Him, I am so insignificant and yet, He lifts me from my humanness and holds me close to His heart.

His presence floods my senses like incense and sweet music. I cannot even begin to fathom His infinite nature. He is so far above me. My souls is overflowing with joy each time He reveals a new parts of His glorious self to me. It exceeds my mind's capacity to understand how such a great being can even exist. Never ending? All powerful? All loving? What do these things truly mean?

A I grow in His love, I learn a little bit more about Him. I am fortunate, too, that I learn in such tiny increments, because any larger and my being could not contain such joy. He lovingly meets me where I'm at and draws me gently toward Himself. I am unbelievably honored. How blessed I am! What are the sorrows of the world in the face of such joys?

It is not as if my sorrows vanish, for they are still present, but He shows me how to let them go and I slowly understand. Little by little, my mind takes hold of the concept of joyful suffering. For the Holy Trinity wishes to share in my sorrows as well as my joys. Through the mystery of the Incarnation, Christ has shared in all our sufferings and understands our temptations. "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." [Hebrews 4:15]

Therefore, I approach Him, in all my human imperfection, with confidence in His loving mercy and I long for the day when my soul may be united with Him in Heaven. My soul yearns to grow ever closer to our precious Lord. How could it not? The sweet music of His love is ever calling me to His side. With His grace, I will answer, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." [Hebrews 10:5]

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Perfect Fit


God's timing is so perfect. This is something that I've always known but have rediscovered in a whole new way. Everything that happens in my life are like pieces of a puzzle at fit together perfectly to produce moments extraordinary blessings.

Usually, I have no clue until I look back and see how each thing pointed me in the right direction. In some instances I can remember being so frustrated that a person did or said something and then when something didn't go my way. Little did I know the great good that God would bring from those times.

I am so thankful for the many blessings in my life. I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God. He has given me so much and all in His perfect time. It's a good thing that I realized this because I was just getting ready to ask God to hurry things up for me. There are certain dreams and hopes which sometimes catch me at wishing they were realities now. But, with God's grace, patience will prevail. I'll hold His hand and let Him lead me along the path of life.

And now, here's a funny video about God's timing. ^_^

http://youtube.com/watch?v=c8KHhdw3JUg

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gethsemane

"There, as He sweat Blood, His greatest suffering - as He confided to St. Margaret Mary - was the ingratitude of men, especially their ingratitude toward the Sacrament of His love.
"He saw in advance the long days, the long nights when He would be alone, forgotten, in thousands of tabernacles in solitary churches, the thousands of indifferent people who would pass each day before the churches without even thinking for an instant that He is there, those who would enter the churches to admire the windows, the architecture, yet not make even a little genuflection before the tabernacle. He saw the multitude of the baptized, whom He was to make His adopted children in His Blood, who would neglect even Sunday Mass, who would fail to receive Easter Communion. After delivering Himself up in the Host, as He did, what does He ask of us? An hour a week, on Sunday; one Communion each year. Could He have required less? He gives without counting the cost, asking a tiny return, and He is refused.
"He saw in advance the sacrilegious Communions, the hatred with which He was to be pursued, especially in the Eucharist, by the impious members of diabolical sects. He saw all that in advance. He foresaw everything in Gethsemane, and He accepted it all, that He might descend into a single soul who loves Him. 'For you alone I would have instituted the Sacrament of my love.'" - 'I Believe in Love' by Father Jean C. J. d'Elbee

All for love.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Treasures

Being at school and, to some extent, separated from many of the people and things dear to me, I have come to realize just how blessed I am. I have a loving and wonderful family. I have many patient, kind, and honest friends. I am blessed with a place to live, a good church parish, and an education. There are so many blessings and gifts in this world. Of all the blessings I have received, the greatest and most precious to me is Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. How truly fortunate I am!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Time

No matter how organized we are and no matter how well we prioritize, it still seems that there is never enough time. My break from school is almost over and there is still so much to be done. Today I have to buy school supplies, pack, have lunch with my grandmother, spend time with my family - something I've neglected to do - and get ready for the wedding that I'll be in tomorrow.

My sister and I are spending the night at the bride's house tonight and we won't arrive home tomorrow until four or five, at least. When we get home much of my family will not be there because they have a pro-life function to attend at our church. At that point I'll probably finish up my packing. I'll go to an early Mass on Sunday and head back to college.

I have so many mixed feeling about returning to school. I feel as if my break flew past me without giving me time to react. My family was very busy for much of my time at home and we were entertaining many guests. During my break, I was also working for a week. Overall, I just feel like I'm racing against time.

With each year, it seems that time passes more quickly. These last few years of my life are almost like one single year in my mind. Things that happened two years ago feel only a month old to me. Conversely, many things that happened this past fall appear quite distant.

Time is such a confusing thing, always too fast and yet so slow. The future dangles before my eyes as if it will never come. The past and present slip through my fingers like grains of sand. In one sense I long for the future and whatever it may hold, but in another sense I wish that time would stop and I could just dwell in this moment. Hopefully, as time passes, I will master the way of enjoying each moment while it lasts and welcoming each new one when it comes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wonder

Today I slept in 'till ten, again. I was sad for that because it always makes me feel as if I've wasted half of my day. However, I was able to attend a midday Mass at the Abbey, which is near my house.

As I was in Mass, I was reflecting on the words of Dr. Scott Hahn on the Mass, the book of Revelation, and the sense of awe and wonder that he felt when he realized the connection between the two. I know that I should feel the same awe and wonder, but most of the time, I don't.

All my life I've been familiar with the scriptures and the liturgy and I fear that I have come to take them for granted. I know that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist and yet, some days I can look upon Him with so little interest that I am sure my coldness hurts Him.

Ever since I was a young child, I have always felt inspired and challenged by the lives of the saints. After reading them, I would come away with strong resolutions to be kinder, more patient, more humble, more disciplined, and more prayerful. Needless to say, in my humanness, it was much of a crash and burn attempt each time.

Thankfully, I did manage to take away some valuable information. Most importantly, I have become more and more aware of my own ignorance. It is often daunting and quite humbling and yet there is a peace there. I know that I don't have to have all the answers and that in His time, God will open my heart so that I too may know that sense of wonder in His magnificent presence.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Beginning

There is so much to say and no easy way to begin. For me, beginnings are always the hardest, in every sense. I struggle with beginning friendships, stories, papers, books, prayers, tasks, school, and so much more. Still, it is more than merely procrastination, although I'm sure procrastination plays a part. The cause of my trouble with beginnings has been fear, laziness, a desire to prevent the end from coming, or just a plain lack of knowledge on how to begin.

With beginnings comes another struggle for me; change. It has always been an adversary to me and seems to come at the least convenient time. When I wish things to change, they move at a sluggish pace, lasting years on some occasions, but when I wish things to linger, they disappear in a matter of days. Perhaps it is the same with everyone. I do not know.

I have decided, though, that I will try to learn humble acceptance of the things that I cannot change. I hope to grow and improve a great deal between now and the summer months. I ask for prayers that I may be successful and not get in my own way.

And so, I begin...