Monday, May 31, 2010

A beautiful secret in the Hand of God

We all have hidden interior lives and my belief is:
Each and every one of us is a beautiful secret in the Hand of God. No one is excluded, for God created man in his own image. If we could see this in one another we would have the greatest respect for all human beings no matter how great or small. Everyone matters. We live in a society where people have become disposable and many are thought to be a burden. God does not see anyone this way. We are all loved and every single one of us was created for a specific purpose.

Over 2,000 years ago a young Jewish woman, a nobody in the eyes of the world, gave her "yes" to God ...and changed the course of history forever. She was a beautiful secret in the Hand of God.  And so are we - in each his own way.  May God whisper this truth in every ear.

Everyone matters.

The fires in Canada

The fires in Canada must be really bad. All I can smell here in New Hampshire when I walk outside is smoke. When I went outside this morning I was shocked to realize that I could even SEE the smoke. I heard on the news that people can smell the fires as far down as Rhode Island. If it's that bad here it must be terrible in Canada so please pray for our friends up there that the fires may be brought under control.

Friday, May 28, 2010

"Lean not on your own understanding"

The Lord planted these words in my heart the other week, "Lean not on your own understanding". Of course since I often DO lean on my own understanding I immediately Googled these words because they sounded like Scripture to me. They come from the book of Proverbs and I thought the passage was beautiful and expresses how God wants us to totally trust Him and He will take care of everything:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, and he will make your paths straight."                                               Proverbs 3:5-6

I think these words are especially helpful during these times. We live in an era during which the world has turned away from the Lord and the Lord is calling his people back to him. He is calling us nonstop at this point. We cannot "fix" the world but if we totally depend on the Lord he will make straight our paths despite what is going on around us. I truly believe that if we place all our trust in him nothing will stop us from reaching our destination. God will remove all the obstacles from our path. Miraculously, if that's what it takes.

And it just might take that.

Dear Heavenly Father,
We are all totally dependent on your goodness and mercy. Remove all fear from the hearts of your children and share with us your wisdom and understanding. Make straight our paths and help us to realize that trust is what you are asking of us during these dark times when sin has blinded humanity. Help us to abandon ourselves to your Divine Will. I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A book - another healing

I was dumbfounded by a recent healing. It happened after I read Colleen Spiro's book The Third Floor Window.  Colleen is an incest survivor and a great advocate for children who have been abused. This is a book that everyone should read. We are the voice for those who cannot use their own yet. Here are some of my thoughts on this issue:

Children are a gift of love from God and should be treasured by their parents. Abusing a child breaks the sacred bond that God put between the child and the parent. A child's view of God is often formed by the way a parent treats the child.  Parents are called to be a reflection of God's love. To not only not recieve this nurturing but to have this sacred bond abused grieves God. Incest grieves the heart of God. It causes harm to the child that only God can repair. To abuse a child in this way can cause a deep existential shame...a shame for even existing. It steals the joy of living from them. In Colleen's book you can see the hand of God reaching down to his child and healing this wound caused by another's grave sin.

 Here is an excerpt from the e-mail I sent Colleen:

Colleen,
I thought your book was really powerful. I figured I would get upset reading it but I was surprised at the depths of my response. First it made me really angry, then sad at the horror you went through. Then I cried for every child who is mistreated because this really upsets the Lord. It harms the souls of children so much when a parent abuses them. Colleen, I was furious at your father. How dare he do this?! It is a terrible evil and I pray he realizes this. I think what bothered me a lot was his lack of repentance (making excuses isn't repentance). It sickened me. That you forgave him shows the beauty of the person you are.

Sometimes when I am overwhelmed the speaking in tongues pours out. I'm thinking the Holy Spirit had the words that I did not. The Lord started bringing up stuff from my own childhood and I got angry at my own parents. I brought the anger before Jesus, forgave my parents (I wasn't even aware that I still held anger but God showed me that this was so. I knew that if Colleen could forgive what her father did I could certainly forgive lesser things even if they were very painful), and  then  I said "Lord, aim me right at you!"

I had no idea that the Lord would take this literally. You see, I was born with my feet turned sideways. You can't even call it duck-like because one leg and foot were completely sideways and the other was pretty bad. Nowadays, they would probably operate (I'm guessing) but back then our family doctor made my father nail two hard shoes straight on a wooden board and I had to sleep in them with my feet tied in. She said that a babies bones are pretty soft and this might correct it somewhat. It did help and I learned to walk but my mom said I would scream and cry at night and they gave up on the board and shoes so one foot was corrected pretty well but the other was not. Within hours of reading your book and asking the Lord to "aim me straight at Him" I noticed my knees, hips, and ankles kept snap, crackle, and popping :) It was weird! My right foot (the bad one) and my leg straightened up over the next day or so and I can walk quite straight now. My husband noticed right away...I was even sitting different. (It had never occurred to me to ask for a healing of my feet. I was always this way and just sort of accepted it.) Randy took me out this weekend to get new sneakers :)

Weird, huh? I can cross my knees over with ease now, too - this was difficult before! God's hand was all over your book, I could see this as soon as I opened it.

                                                                Mary

I was struck by Colleen's words that Jesus wept with her.
 Colleen, I just wanted you to know ...I wept, too.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Firm purpose of amendment

One of the struggles I have is that I commit the same sins over and over. I noticed that everytime I go to confession I confess the same sins. I think I must be lacking a firm purpose of amendment. I'm embarrassed to pray the Act of Contrition! It says "I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen." In my case it should read "Oh, please God! Please God! Deliver me from evil. I am sickened by my obstinacy. I am so glad you are merciful because I am completely dependent on this mercy." Or maybe "I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to try to sin as little as possible and avoid the near occasion of sin."  Couldn't they have worded the Act of Contrition a bit more gently? Obviously, God's grace is never lacking. Therefore, I must not be fully responding to His grace or I wouldn't have to confess the same sins over and over. I have a bit of a problem with the "avoiding the near occasion of sin", too. What am I supposed to do? Dump my family?

Do I detect a note of scrupulosity here? :)

Dear Heavenly Father,
Please grant me and my brothers and sisters in this world a firm purpose of amendment without becoming overly scrupulous. Help us to respond in a greater way to the tremendous graces that you are pouring upon us. Forgive me for the times I have failed you. Lift me up daily, for my frail human nature is totally dependent on your strength. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Just had to share this!

My older sister just returned to the Catholic Church. She went to confession and has been attending Mass twice a week. It's been thirty years since she made her last confession.  Heaven must have rejoiced! Truth drew her back to church. My sister can't abide lies. She has a very practical nature like St. Teresa of Avila. She looked around the world and was horrified by the dishonesty in it. My sister likes to get things done and nothing will stop her once she makes a decision :)

Watch out world!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sabbath Moments - Come Holy Spirit

 Sabbath Moments is a weekly meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. These are moments when we let go and let God - finding grace in the present moment. They can be planned or may come upon us by surprise. I've been very surprised this week by the depth of the Holy Spirit's work in me. There's a lot of spiritual healing going on in my life and I'm trying to be open to God's work. I've often read that when someone receives a physical healing it's usually because a spiritual healing has taken place also. From my experience of the past few weeks I'm inclined to believe that this is true. Part of it may be because of the Life in the Spirit Seminar I've been attending. I went many years ago but I am getting far more out of it this time around. The testimonies have been incredible. I am touched by the faith of the people there. They are powerfully gifted in the Spirit. I started going because I wanted to learn more about the Holy Spirit and I have to say that this is happening, that's for sure. Before the seminar last night there was a Mass and the priest said something that struck my heart. A rock glorifies God because it is a rock, a tree because it is a tree, a human glorifies God because he is a human. We do not glorify God by trying to be something we are not; we glorify God by being 100% human. I immediately thought of Mother Mary and realized that this is true. After the Mass prayer teams were set up and these teams prayed for the release of the Holy Spirit within us. This really works! No wonder Jesus said "Where 2 or more are gathered..."

Thank you, Jesus, for faith-filled Christians!




Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hockey pucks for dessert

So much for my homemaking skills. I decided to surprise Michaela with some chocolate chip cookies after school for a change. All went well until I put them in the oven and promptly forgot about them. A burning odor reached me while I was on the computer and ... see ya later, cookies! Of course I pretended that I never made cookies but instead made hockey pucks to bring to the park with us - but this didn't fly. She walked in the house and held her nose, "Phew, it stinks in here! Did one survive at least?"

Perhaps the Boston Bruins would hire me. My puck making skills have no equal.

The upward rule

Everything points upward. Toward God. I call this the upward rule. God made this rule so people could find Him easily - that no matter where they looked His children would see signs of a love that pervades the entire universe. We see this throughout nature and all living things. God teaches us through these holy pointers if we allow Him to. They are ladders, stepping stones to Him. As long as we keep in mind that these are stepping stones and not the ultimate destination things go well.

Sin points upward by it's very lack of God. Often people turn away from sin because they begin to realize that they cannot find what they really desire by misusing the world. They develop a repulsion for what they are doing and God uses this chink in their armor to draw them back to him. To be honest, this is the route I took and God brought me back to Him through sheer digust. I cried out to Him, an honest cry, and He turned me to face Him. Before that, I was definitely facing away from Him. Not only facing away but hiding to the best of my ability. I know how ridiculous that is now but at the time I was blinded by my own sinfulness and didn't have the right perspective on life. God seems to have to use this reverse-grace method a lot in our days. It makes me want to shout "Please! Turn to Him now! You'll save yourself so much grief and pain and you'll save others from this grief, too!" When we are not in a state of grace it seems like everything is against us. The truth is that this is caused by our own hard hearts. God is not against us. We are against Him.

When we return to a state of grace God starts restoring us. Sometimes it feels like having a painful operation but grace sees us through. During our purification we begin to see a bigger picture forming. As the soul is cleaned up more and more grace comes through. Eventually the grace POURS through because nothing is holding it back. The dam has been removed and there are no more obstacles. We begin to see that everything is a divine pointer that points upward. People, creation, things...it all points to God. God restores us and we live on love. We begin to see His Hand everywhere and we wonder "How could I have failed to notice this. Everyone and everything is encompassed by God's love."

Father, I am awed by your love and kindness. Thank you. Have mercy on those in mortal sin. Their suffering is so great and they don't understand why. In your goodness reveal yourself to them, that they might be healed of every wound. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen

Monday, May 17, 2010

Grace presses onward

The Holy Spirit never stops working. Day after day, night after night, grace presses onward. Bringing everything into the light of God. The more people hide the more grace is poured out by God. God is love.
Love uproots hidden things. Not to harm but to heal. The Mystical Body of Christ is wounded and the Holy Spirit is surfacing these wounds so that our eyes open up, we turn to God, and He heals us. If we let Him.We have free will and He respects that but He has sounded the alarm worldwide. This is our wake up call. We look around the earth and see these wounds festering everywhere. In the eyes of our teenagers crying out for love and purpose, in our elderly who are made to feel useless and unwanted in our society when they should be cherished, in our overflowing prisons. The more we run from God the more obvious this woundedness is becoming. Will we completely destroy the earth and ourselves before we wake up and realize the answer is staring us right in the face? All creation is crying out. No one can blame God for what we ourselves have wrought. He is simply allowing us bigger and bigger glimpses of the damage we have done through our hardness of heart.

The truth is...people were made for love. God would loves us back to wholeness if we allow Him to. Jesus took upon Himself our sins and by "His stripes we were healed". Can we look Jesus in the eye and say that this wasn't enough? He poured Himself out for us.

 "It is finished."            John 19:30

Yes, Lord, it is enough.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My treat!

Sometimes the Lord blinds me spiritually (actually... quite often not just sometimes). I have noticed that I become practically deaf, blind and mute when He is doing something that He doesn't want me to be aware of. I am aware of Him but clueless as to what He is doing at the time. It's kind of like being lost in the woods and only one or two pebbles are placed in front of you  to follow at a time. You go in this direction not knowing the immediate destination but trusting the guide. We know by faith that the final destination is heaven. I call it holy waiting. The problem is - there's nothing holy about it from my end. Since God knows all truth I may as well be honest...I find it quite annoying.

Yep, annoying, because it's like dragging your kid to a boring clothing store instead of a toy store. As practical as clothing may be the kid wants the fun stuff. "Oh no! Not here again (whine). We were just here last week! Are we done yet? This is boring with a capital B, Daddy."  The Father then replies, "Sweetheart!Your clothes are in rags! No daughter of mine will walk around without a nice coat of virtues! Please be patient. If you are really good maybe I'll take you out for a nice big slice of humble pie later."

Just what I always wanted.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

GOLDEN DROPS - The wisdom of Father Ignatius


Victor S E Moubarak at Time for Reflections has written a new e- book called GOLDEN DROPS - The Wisdom of Father Ignatius. This book is available at no cost to all those who wish to read it. It is a compilation of Father Ignatius stories (my favorite fictional priest) and is a treasury of wisdom and knowledge. I read the entire book in one sitting and every single story touched my heart. Victor is also the author of the book Visions which you can purchase here. I highly recommend both! Click on the links to find out more!

Sabbath Moments - Mother most beautiful


Sabbath Moments is a weekly meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. These are moments when we "let go and let God" and live in the present moment. They are the "special moments" when we are touched by God's grace in a way that stays with us. I enjoyed many of these moments this week, God delights in revealing Himself to us whether in prayer, through others or through nature. This week I have seen His hand in each of these areas.
My daughter has been giving me flowers every day - she can find every wildflower under the sun .Occasionally she'll pinch one of the landscaped flowers, too :)  These flowers remind me of how precious she is to me ... God planted this Little Rose right in the heart of my home. My heart has flowered since she was born, too. As difficult as it can be at times to be a mother the joy of having her in my life never leaves. It doesn't mean I don't get frustrated or angry at times but even then I am grateful that God sent her to me.
Speaking of roses, I love Mother Mary. She is a model for all women and I have learned a lot from her. She is the greatest saint of all times. Bar none. We are temples of the Holy Spirit and Mary's soul was His delight. God didn't just randomly pick a woman to bear His Son. No way. The Old Testament has many references to Mary. She was the chosen vehicle to bear the Savior of the world. God prepared her perfectly...she lived in His Will and never stepped out of it. We, too, are called to this state of abandonment to Divine Providence. Through Mary's intercession great graces are poured upon us. Every word that Jesus spoke from the cross has a spiritual significance so deep and great that it is beyond our understanding. It echoes into eternity because Jesus was the "Eternal Word" made flesh. "I thirst" was not merely a cry for a physical thirst to be quenched - it was a deep thirst for souls. It was also our own thirst for God that He took upon Himself.  " Behold thy mother" are words that hold that this deep spiritual significance also. If He was merely giving her over into John's care there would be no need for Him to say first, "Woman, behold thy son"... if you say one - the other is a given. Both Mary and John were under the cross. This would be a waste of breath and Jesus didn't have much breath to waste. He was being crucified and every breath was agonizing; there were no useless words upon this cross. He was making a point in speaking both sentences. It is crystal clear to me that He was giving her to each and every one of us. Why? Because Jesus' death and resurrection encompassed all humanity not just John. Sometimes I cannot quite understand how people can thump the Bible and say, "I go by these words alone"...and then not go by them. I have had this said to me so many times that I have lost count. I used to argue over it. Now, I usually just ask the Holy Spirit to send His wisdom and light upon the person. Some people are simply afraid to honor Mary because they mistakenly fear that they are taking something away from God. This shouldn't be a worry. God the Father bestowed on Mary the greatest honor of all - The Holy Spirit came upon her and she gave birth to the Son of God. One of God's commandments is "Honor thy mother and father" and we can be sure that God didn't break His own commandments :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Total Abandonment. You're kidding, right?

I knew it! No half- measures. God won't be satisfied with anything less than total abandonment to His Divine Will. Anything less leaves us incomplete and He wants us whole. Wholly His, that is. His idea of wholeness differs from mine, unfortunately ;) He wants a holiness that I cannot even comprehend yet. Jesus is stalking me like a panther...I kid you not. And it's scaring the daylights out of me. I'm being totally honest here. I'm pinning fear and anger to the cross left and right as He works through muck from my childhood. I got used to living in a certain way back then and He doesn't like it! Says it's not me... just a foolish picture I carry of myself that has no place in truth. A caricature. I always knew my protective devices would come back and bite me in the rump. I've been through this so many times that you would think I could just submit myself gracefully at this point. But noooo... I run almost every time. A good word of advice - don't ever think He's finished with you because He's not. I learned this after our first few go-rounds.

God's quicker than me though. Much quicker. He succeeds in hedging me in every time and there's no way out except - through Him. This has become my only egress. Sometimes it makes me laugh...there's no way you can outwit God. Doesn't stop me from trying though. I'll run in circles until I'm tuckered out, then I'll have a massive tantrum (makes me feel better though it probably doesn't do much for God). At this point I'm so exhausted I give up...and He heals me of whatever I've been running from. Does this sound familiar? Maybe to the hard-headed ones like me ?

No wonder He is called "The Hound of Heaven".

"Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
      Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
     Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might'st seek it in my arms
    All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
   Rise, clasp My hand, and come!"

Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched carressingly?
  "Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
    I am He whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me."
              
                                 Francis Thompson

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Please read this link!

I am putting up a link to Jennifer's post at My Chocolate Heart. Please take a few moments to read her post and please pray that God brings healing and an end to abortion in our country. May all our voices unite in defense of the tiniest of all God's children.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Frozen fruit is good but...

Sigh.I have nothing against frozen fruit as long as it's from the freezer. I have a problem when I go into the refrigerator section and my fresh fruit (and everything else) is frozen. Iced blueberries, strawberries, ice milk. The gadget queen is always on the move. Anything that can be turned in our house has been turned, everything that can be pressed has been pressed...including me. I have a very curious child. A couple years ago she stuffed so many CDs into our compact disc player that we had to pry it open with a screwdriver. She did this in my car, too. Once, she placed a little plastic doll on top of the lightbulb in her bedroom lamp. I smelled a burning odor. When I checked her bedroom the doll's underpants had already burned off. Another time she took a pan and put a plastic lid in it and stuck it in the oven. When I preheated the oven for our supper that night....EWWW! The whole place stunk! The plus side of all this is that at least she doesn't blame the dog anymore.

Once you tell her not to do certain things anymore she stops. The problem is....she comes up with ideas that never occur to me. Electronics have a short shelf-life here. She's smart though, "I'm more important than STUFF anyways, Mommy....right?"

Yes, sweetheart, you are.

Sleeping Giant

All week the words "a sleeping giant is awakening in America's breast" have been ringing through me. From past experience I know the word won't let me go until I print it or speak it . Perhaps a lot of prayer, praise and heartfelt conversion will lull this "giant" back to sleep. We are rocking the world too violently with our sins and the earth is "weeping" it's grief.  It will continue to "weep" until we turn with all our hearts toward the Author of Life. Peace will not be ours if we do not listen to what the Lord is trying to tell us. Mark my words, peace comes from God alone. Those who believe that they can find peace anywhere else are deceived.

"O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth,
roll in the ashes.
Mourn as for an only child
with bitter wailing,
For sudden upon us comes the destroyer."    Jer. 6:26

This is from Jeremiah, chapter 6, The Enemy at the Gates. If only this were true and the enemy was still at the gate. The truth is - he is within the gates and has been for a while. You can see signs of him everywhere.  We should not fear though:
"The Lion of Judah has roared and the dragon's time is short."

Praise to the King of Kings!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Michaela's Mom

My husband wrote me a beautiful Mother's Day poem that I'd like to share. I cried when he spoke about the child we lost and smiled at the gift of Michaela that we received not long after. I can see the Holy Spirit's light in this poem:

For my beautiful wife on this Mother's Day
May the Lord bless and keep you each morning I pray

God if it be your will for us to have a little one
We will understand if it be a daughter or son

One came about and we know this is true
But we soon found out...that one was for You

Our hearts were troubled and had no idea why
You took our first babe with you into the sky

Not so long after, our minds still in a whirl
You told my lovely wife of a perfect little girl

You even planted the name in Mary's head
Michaela Rose Nicewarner you flawlessly said

Then it came to pass and she did give birth
A sweet baby girl - more than words are worth

I praise you and thank you for my perfect family
Now we know this is how you wanted it to be

O how I love the woman you placed at my side
You told me she is the best one for me to confide

And so it is finished and our lives are complete
Michaela's mom and my wife, she can never be beat!


Spirit inspired! I read the love in every line! After the loss of our first child God gave me a word that Michaela would be born. He even named her. Praise be to God forever!

 Happy Mother's Day to all!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Divine coincidences

The more I get to know God over the years the less I believe in coincidence. The longer you walk with Him the stranger things get. Perhaps some things are coincidental but many things are not - they get too bizzarre and happen too often to be seen this way. I always called them God-grins because I am very fond of God's sense of humor, but from reading other blogs I often see the term God-incidences used. I am seeing God's hand at work constantly of late. I know many theologians or scientists would laugh at this but (luckily) since I'm just a plain old Jesus freak this gives me great freedom in my posting. I can post to my heart's content about miracles, God-grins, and the strong guiding hand of my Father in heaven. I read a lot of blogs and am seeing how often these God-incidences show up in the lives of others, too. Sometimes I'm  a bit embarrassed to leave comments on the stricter, by the book (though I don't know which book, it's not in my Bible or Catechism) blogs because I look like an idiot :) The blessing here is that...at least I'm God's idiot. Yes, I've been slammed a few times but I still stick to my guns on the God-incidence issue because they happen too often. I might as well admit how far this idiocy goes so everyone can be sure where I stand:

Yes, I think there are various apparitions occurring throughout the earth. I don't just believe it - I'm sure of it:)
Yes, I think miracles occur more often than we think :)
Yes, I think a lot of coincidences are the Hand of God :)
Yes, I can actually feel God's love :)
Truthfully, if I must be honest I can feel God's love for others. I'm tired of pretending otherwise. I think I'll let the theologians fight with the scientists and just be who God made me to be. Do I believe all the apparitions are true? No. I'll give an example of a God-grin though:

The week before my healing I had 4 dreams. In the first dream I was running (I never ran, it hurt), in the second dream I was riding a bike, in the third dream I was slain in the Spirit, and in the fourth dream Jesus grasped me by the hands, pulled me up and embraced me. The healing service was the following day. All I had to do was get in my brother's car. He just "happened" to have taken that day off from the music ministry at church before he even knew about the service. He felt "led" to go and felt "led" to ask me to go. A month before the service I had gotten a book about Father DiOrio at a used bookstore. When I opened the book at home a prayer cloth blessed by him fell out and I started carrying it around with me. Theresa, who went with us was certain that I was going to be healed (she also has a healing gift and many others). When I walked into the chapel I was surrounded by peace. You all know the rest. I was healed of a rare disease that even the priest hadn't ever heard of. Everyone knows of my devotion to the Divine Mercy, St. Faustina, and that I was in the presence of Jesus' Divine Mercy many years ago.God woke me up for years at 3:33 to pray the chaplet. I call myself Mary333 because of this and page 333 of St. Faustina's Diary. The name of Father DiOrio's Apostolate?
The Apostolate of Divine Mercy and Healing. I think this qualifies as a God-incidence, don't you? Even my URL is from St. Faustina's Diary. And last night "coincidentally" there was a lady who works for Father DiOrio's ministry at the Life in the Spirit Seminar that I recently started attending who heard about my healing and gave me her e-mail so she could send me info on who I should send my testimony to.

Praise you Jesus for Thy Infinite Mercy!

Sabbath Moments - Jesus' eyes


Sabbath Moments are those times when we "let go and let God" and live in the present moment. Perhaps that is why it is called "the present", it is God's gift to us. None of us really know if we will have tomorrow, only God knows this. But we do have "now". I guess this is why I like the Sabbath Moments Meme so much...it reminds me to appreciate the gift of today. Some day we will live in heaven, "the eternal NOW", where there is no time. Colleen at Thoughts on Grace hosts this weekly meme.

I had plenty of Sabbath Moments this week - my healing being one of them. What struck me most about being healed was not so much the absence of pain but the powerful  presence of the Holy Spirit during this process. Like fire whizzing through your body at an accelerated rate. The Holy Spirit is always with us and I feel His Presence but this was different. Kind of like when the Holy Spirit gives me a "word". The "heat" was strong. I could feel it as He worked on different areas of my body, even the palms of my hands were hot. My brother noticed this at the healing service and mentioned it.

Another moment that struck me was when Father DiOrio caught my gaze. Persona Christi to the max! I could SEE Jesus in his eyes. Love poured out! It was like Jesus was coming at me. No wonder I couldn't tear my eyes away. Who could?

God is good.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Geared for battle - pt. 2

God has quite the sense of humor. The longer I live, the more true I find this to be. To take our frail human nature and armor us up for battle makes me want to giggle. Yep! It sends me into peals of laughter. I see this divine sense of humor everywhere and obviously He shared this with us, too. Have you ever seen a baboon's rump?!! It has a target on it! There's a type of mole that makes meatballs for it's dinner. I won't say what they are made of...I'll let you guess. My daughter has a book called, "Gross Out! Amazing facts about animals!"  This is where I heard about the mole. And owls that barf.

Years ago the Lord gave me this word from Holy Scripture,"My strength is made perfect in weakness."    This was a word that I really liked! Every time I felt weak interiorly or exteriorly this word would come back to me. It consoled me so much because I knew how frail my human nature was. I got a good laugh the other day when I read what "Myasthenia Gravis" meant. It's Latin and Greek in origin and translates into "grave muscle weakness". Maybe I am the only one that sees the humor in this but I think the Lord does, too :) In some people the disease only affects the face. In others it affects the entire body. This was me. My entire body was weak. I had trouble swallowing and even breathing sometimes. Right before I got healed I was having tremendous trouble controlling my face muscles. My eyelid would have tics that lasted all day. I had double vision often and pounding headaches. Working became almost impossible. Where's the humor in this you may ask? It sounds horrendous. What makes me laugh is that:
The whole time that I suffered from this disease God was strengthening my spiritual muscles! I am totally serious. Under the cover of our aches and pains God is doing marvelous work if we trust Him. Even our faults and failures are worked into His plans. He gears us up for battle. Gives our frail human nature His own strength...cloaks us with His Own Spirit. I knew this was going on. Not so much at the beginning but much more as time was going on.
 Illness is humbling, too. My bladder was so weak that I had to pee in a bucket sometimes because my husband was hogging the bathroom. He reads in there :) Just don't tell him I told you this. Sometimes I would be speaking to people and my eyelids would wack out. Nobody ever said anything, though. One of my sisters is a nurse and told me (after I got healed) that she saw this, so I'm assuming others noticed, also. I learned something about humility through all this. Believing you are too weak for God to use is NOT humility. It is pride. Humility is believing that God's power can work through a ROCK if this is His inclination. And if this rock is ME - thanking Him for it. Humility isn't pretending that you don't have any gifts, it's accepting the gifts and thanking the GIVER. It is acknowledging His work in each and every one of us and knowing it's from Him.
The more we get to know Our Lord the more we realize how little we actually know. God gives us many weapons because He wants us in heaven with Him. Our frailty, once we see it and acknowledge that we need the Lord, becomes a well that God can fill with His own strength and power. Next week I hope to write about the actual armor that God puts on us - through both Scripture and Sacred Tradition we have absolute assurance that He does this.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell in me.    Cor. 12:9
"...for when I am weak, then I am strong."     Cor. 12:10

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Geared for battle - pt. 1

The Lord gave me a word this morning that I'd like to share:
"No weapon fashioned against you shall prevail."  

This passage is from Isaiah 54 and a powerful truth it is. For those who love God no weapon can destroy them. "This is the lot of the servants of the Lord, their vindication from me, says the Lord." Satan has no power over those who love the Lord. An example of this is suffering. Satan would use the suffering that he brought into the world against us. For a soul in a state of grace, the very weapon that Satan tries to use to destroy us is turned back on him and becomes a weapon for his defeat. Jesus sanctified suffering during his passion. If there was one thing that all humanity had in common it was this: because of our fallen nature we all were sinners and suffered. Pain was universal and no one was excluded from it. But Satan in his pride failed to see the humiliating nature of his own defeat.
The same creatures (us) that he so looked down upon and despised would become powerful weapons through the victory of Jesus Christ....the triumph of the Cross. To the degree of our abandonment to God we become mighty weapons in the hands of the great I Am. Who says God can't aim straight with crooked arrows?! He certainly can! We are all crooked arrows to some degree but God makes all things possible. Jesus himself came to show us the way. One of the conditions of discipleship is this, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." (Mt. 16:24) Our crosses are comprised of our daily duties and whatever God sends our way even if it's an illness or a disease. Wielded in Christ our cross becomes a powerful weapon against Satan's attacks and even helps our brothers and sisters in the Lord. 
You may be wondering why I am posting this so soon after being healed from a serious disease and I'll try to explain.
Hidden beneath the Myasthenia Gravis was a great gift. What Satan mocked as a curse became a sword of light in the hand of the Lord. Just as the world looked upon the suffering of Jesus "He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, One of those from whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem", like this, those who suffer a lot are often looked down upon. The world cannot understand the mystery of the cross and the mystery of suffering. We will probably not understand it's full significance and power until we meet the Lord. My illness brought me closer to God than anything else in my life. Many years ago, after the Lord brought me before His Mercy, I was determined to accept whatever the Lord sent my way. The Lord stoked up such a fierce fire in my heart that nothing, absolutely nothing, could put it out. Yes, I suffered imperfectly but I united every single minute of it with his sufferings and was blessed greatly through this. Beyond measure. To this day I am stunned at the graces the Lord poured upon me once I stopped fighting His Will and immersed myself in it instead. Miracles, graces, love, mercy, gifts upon gifts flowed down upon me. The Lord gave me many hints of what was going on beneath the surface and I will speak about this in a later post.

Right now I am praising the Lord for my healing because...this too is His Will. Whatever the Lord sends....

Praise be to God, forever and ever!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wow! I feel good!

What a weird adjustment. My body is still getting used to feeling normal. I keep reaching over to rub my arm, shoulder or foot only to realize that I don't need to bother...there's no pain there :) For years I would automatically massage aching muscles on a daily basis. I keep catching myself doing it and laughing when there is no pain in the area. I'll have to find new things to do with my hands I guess. I caught myself twiddling my thumbs at church today. Usually one hand is busy massaging the other one during Mass :) I don't think my hands know what to do with themselves. It feels weird leaving them still.

Now I know why Jesus  told people to give the little girl something to eat after He healed her. Being healed makes a person starving. Seriously. I don't know why this would be but I've been hungrier the past two days than I can ever remember being. Healing must burn a lot of calories.

Hot fudge sundae, here I come!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Divine Physician - Jesus heals!

As many of you may know I have suffered from an undiagnosed illness since childhood. No doctor that I ever went to could say with certainty what was wrong with me. Over the years the muscle pain and weakness increased until it affected every muscle in my body from head to toe, including the eye muscles, throat muscles (difficulty swallowing) and chest muscles which caused breathing difficulties. Even as an infant I had difficulty breathing and was tested for Cystic Fibrosis which came out negative. Yesterday, I not only found out about my illness but was healed during a healing service.

Those who live in the Northeast have probably heard of Father Ralph DiOrio, the priest with the great gift of healing. God has used Father DiOrio to heal thousands.... and I am now one of them. Yesterday I attended a Mass and healing service in Sturbridge, Massachusetts where Father DiOrio often practices his ministry.  About 150 - 200 people attended the service and I sat in the back of the church with my brother and a friend. Father DiOrio prepares for the healing services the night before and God gives him "words of knowledge" about the illnesses and diseases which will be cured the next day. During prayer Father received a word that Jesus was going to cure someone with a rare disease called Myasthenia Gravis which Father had never heard of before. Trusting  the Lord, he looked up this mysterious disease to find out more about it.
Myasthenia Gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that affects the muscles in the body, it also affects the thymus gland. A person could have a relatively mild case that only affects the face or a more severe one that affects the entire body including deep internal muscles. Because there were two unusual diseases that the Lord mentioned to Him Father DiOrio brought the words before the Blessed Sacrament. He also fasted before the service. The Lord assured him that the names of the two diseases were correct and
Father had no doubts.

I was seated at the end of a pew and as Father walked in He gave my hand a little squeeze. He said Mass and talked a bit about the healings that were going to occur that day including the two that He had never heard of. When He mentioned Myasthenia Gravis the fire of the Holy Spirit rushed through my body - but I still didn't really understand what it was. Father tried to explain that it was a neuromuscular disease that can also affect the eyesight and cause headaches and pain in the body. He walked around the room sprinkling everyone with Holy Water. When he came to our pew, he sprinkled us and touched my right shoulder. The pain left this shoulder. When Father heals Christ takes over his body completely. Jesus is the Divine Physician, Father is the vehicle through whom this healing gift is expressed. During the last part of the service He walked around the Church calling certain people out into the aisle that he then annointed with Holy Oil. As He came toward the back of the church he looked me right in the eye and called me into the aisle. It was like looking into the eyes of Jesus. My vision doubled (a common symptom of Myasthena Gravis) and my head hurt as well as other body parts. He reached me and annointed my head with oil and DOWN I WENT. Slain in the Holy Spirit! When I got up I knew I was healed! The Holy Spirit started working and freeing my body from pain. As the Holy Spirit touched different areas of my body I would feel heat. This went on for the rest of the day, throughout the night, and even continues now as I write this post.

My brother and Theresa witnessed my healing and we were all dying to know more about Myasthena Gravis (well, especially yours truly :) ). My car was at my parents house and we went in and had my dad look it up. The symptoms read like the story of my life. You all can probably imagine my joy and excitement! The doctors may not have known what was wrong with me, I may not have known...but Jesus did and freed my body from this disease. Praise the holy name of Jesus!

Here is a site which gives some information on Myasthena Gravis :http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/myasthenia_gravis/detail_myasthenia_gravis.htm
It makes me wonder how many others unknowingly suffer from this disease.

Jesus, I thank you and praise you for the healing you have brought to me. I place all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are in pain in your beloved hands. May you reach out and heal them both spiritually and physically. I love you and praise you dearest Jesus - for by your stripes we were healed. Amen

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Book giveaway

Colleen at Thoughts on Grace is giving away 2 copies of her book Third Floor Window to raise awareness of sexual and child abuse prevention. In this book Colleen shares her story as an incest survivor and the healing that God has brought into her life. You can find out more details at Colleen's site. Check out her blog while you are there, Colleen is full of love for God. May God bless you for your courage in speaking out for all the little ones who have no voice yet, Colleen.

In plain sight - pt 2

I'd like to go back to the analogy of a child covering it's head with a blanket again and the Father gently lifting the blanket a little bit at a time so that the child can see the light. While the child is fully covered by the blanket (darkness) he is unaware that his loving Father has placed a pile of gifts at the child's side. Just as people hold baby showers for expectant mothers it pleases the Father to bestow gifts on his children. The child cannot see the gifts yet, but they are there awaiting him. As the Father lifts the blanket and light comes in the child notices some of these gifts and curiosity draws him to open them. At first his attention may be drawn to the wrapping and the boxes the presents are placed in and the child may play with these for a while. Eventually however, he becomes curious to see what's in the boxes. He opens the gifts- which then begin to transform him. These gifts are the virtues and the Father begins to clothe his child in them. He glances up with delight at his Father and is drawn by the love in his eyes. The child begins to realize that he can trust this great Father and his attention is drawn more and more to Him.

God delights in his children and no child of His enters this world empty-handed. The gifts of the Spirit are awaiting each and every one of us... for the Giver is Love. The gifts don't end with the virtues. The Father's gifts are many and continue to rain down upon us but the greatest gift of all is the gift of God Himself.

Blessed be God forever!

Sabbath Moments - A Royal Luncheon

Colleen at Thoughts on Grace hosts a weekly meme called Sabbath Moments. These are moments when we let go, let God and live in the present moment. Today the weather was beautiful. Warm and breezy! Funny...considering it was only 43 degrees the other day. That's New England weather for you! I took Michaela on a mother-daughter lunch today and after that we went to the park. There's nothing better than spending quality time with your kid. We were princesses today instead of fairies (she's reading a new book series). I was Princess Roxanne, she was Princess Demetra and we rode in a car made of diamonds on the way to our royal luncheon at Friendly's. After our adventure we returned to the royal palace for some quiet time. A simple but precious day!

Kids are funny. God builds the knowledge that they are special right into them. No wonder they always want to play games where they are royalty or superheroes :)