Sacred Heart of Jesus Have mercy On Us

Sacred Heart of Jesus Have mercy On Us

Monday, November 26, 2007

When Someone Sends You A 'Sting.' Act In God And Don't Let The Venom Penetrate

Brothers and Sisters, I found this wonderful little but insightful article on

Check it out.

How many times in your life has someone stung you? How often have you felt a sting? Do you sting others?
Most importantly: when you're stung, what does it tell you?
All of us struggle in a world of such "bites." These days, it seems like many are on a mission to sting whomever they can! And there's never a good reason to do so. Correct, yes; even rebuke: in many cases, we're call to do that, especially with our children.
But that's not a "sting." A sting has a particular feel to it. There is venom in it. It is a negative comment (or action) without love. Instead, there is some kind of intensely negative emotion behind it -- even dislike, envy, or hatred. Who can stand before jealousy? Venom indicates darkness because it comes from within the spirit.
Ephesians calls them the "fiery darts" (of the enemy). Elsewhere in the Bible, we may see comparison to thorn bushes, or scorpions.
There is that sudden e-mail that sends you reeling -- tipped with poison. There is that phone call, stealth. There is a letter -- a "poison-pen" note -- or a remark to your face that digs quickly and sharply and sometimes in a lasting way into your spirit.
That tells us that we may have put ourselves in a spot that has made us vulnerable. Are there spots in your spirit that are not protected? Are we doing the same to others? Are there places where we need better armor?
They are good questions to ask the Holy Spirit.
Many are those who justify the negativity they lay on others by telling themselves that they are doing so to correct someone.
Forget it.
Venom does not correct. It infects. It poisons. In fact, in the old days, venom was a synonym for poison!
You know how it is: suddenly you hear from someone and it throws you for a loop. It immediately unsettles you. It may even ruin your day. There is a "buzz" of negative energy.
You certainly don't want to do that. What does it tell us about those who do such?
What animals deliver venom?
We think of fire ants. Anyone in the South knows how they feel! A little bite from a tiny creature causes a huge swelling. It burns like a coal from the netherworld. Then there are toads: some of these are poisonous, as are ocean creatures like the jellyfish, which come at us in a way that is nearly invisible, or sting rays that float just below our view.
There are venomous spiders, who catch us in their webs. There are the snakes that lie in wait.
Do we want to associate with any of those animals?
Yet when someone delivers words or actions that sting they are doing just that: imitating a serpent. There are ways of speaking and advising others without delivering venom, and there are also ways of preventing or lessening the bite when the sting is directed at us.
How do we do that?
We have spoken before about the fact that we should not "drink of the poison": The devil is constantly trying to send us venom. He tries to provoke us. He wants us to respond, and especially to respond in kind with our own venom. This is a trap and if we avoid it -- if we don't drink of the venom -- the "sting" loses its effect. It may burn for a while, it may itch in a way that is intense, there may be temporary swelling, but such will not last unless we respond to it, unless we let it engage us, unless we focus on it and let poison build within us.
Another way of saying it: don't breathe in evil. We breathe in evil when we respond in kind.
Doesn't it take inhaling to talk back to someone?
That inhalation is from the air, the atmosphere, of aridity (where scorpions live), of darkness.
Cast it out immediately. "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you," promises Luke 10:19.
"And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence," added Ezekiel (2:6).
Is there someone in your family who is constantly stinging you? Someone at work? At church?
Let it go. Forgive right away. These are the antidotes: Don't respond to it. Turn the other cheek.
For an arrow without cause is bent like a boomerang. Just duck and it will return to the sender.
When bit by a fire ant, one applies white vinegar, ammonia, and bleach in rapid succession. This can completely neutralize the bite.
But it must be done immediately.
And when we are stung, we must immediately forget about retaliation, immediately put the insult out of our thoughts, and send instead love and forgiveness, totally. Immediately. Do that and the venom won't spread through your body, through your thoughts, through your being.
There you have it: a recipe for never feeling the sting again.
[resources: The God of Miracles]
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Sunday, September 30, 2007

We forge ahead.

This darkness is different.
Your mind is not thoughtfully racing,
for the intellect prefers no particular nor habitual thought.
Nothing plagues the mind at all.
No dread.
No torment.
No repetitious wandering ever past torments.
Just stillness so to speak.
All one hears is quiet.
The absence of cohesive and directed thought altogether.

What happened to yesterday?
All of the cumulative years of pleasant memories and time's integral lessons
just vanish and disappear by the vehicle of an inaudible whisper.

One feels so bereft.
It is beyond the sensation of personal denial or deprivation.
It is an emptiness that does not despair.
It is a depression that is not sad nor gives up on the notion or virtue of hope.
It is a darkened emptiness one arises to in the renewal of once again another morning.
The dark void is aware of the passage of time and all of the substantially good occasions comprising the mandate of one's existence.
It becomes dust in the wind.
Blown away by the unexpected onset of dark emptiness.

No emotional pain exists in this void, for emotion is irrelevant and non existent.

Where did time go?
Where did the jubilation of life disappear to?
When did the vacancy of enlightenment become preferable, comfortable, and ultimately desirable?

Where is HE?
My beloved.
I go to mass because I long for Him.
But I do not find Him perceptibly and intimately.
I know He is there yet He hides from me.

I feel dullness.
Emptiness of what was once a conception of fulfillment and satiation.
Where is the joy?
It is only mysteriously cloaked in this dark nothingness,
the only vehicle that avails true but imperceptible peace.

I feel still.
No fear.
No anxiety.
No panic.
No trepidation.
No palpable pain of woundedness.
No desire for anything that most would embrace as good.

The culture has lost Him.
They have willfully rejected Him.
The majority embrace the lie.
That is how overshadowing and preeminent the deception is.
How sad that so many shall be lost.

What do we do?
Thank Him for His benevolence.
His mercy.
His justice.
His love.
His mother.
Our Mary.

We are nothing.
Miserable and impotent creatures.
We are a joke.
For we think ourselves to be wise in our own estimation.
And the devil laughs.
For pride blinds us severely.
We do not even know we are truly blind,
or that pride has us in darkness,
cut off from the light of Him.

Do you have a home?
Do you have gainful employment?
Do you have money in the bank?
Do you drive a car?
Do you have decent clothes to wear?
Do you have your health?
Do you have healthy children?

What is your loss?
A broken friendship?
A beloved spouse abandoned you?
A lonely night awaits you day after day?
You question the loyalty of your friends?
You suspect some hidden but valuable meaning is missing or escapes the grind of your life?

Your right.

Most will never know the true weight of the cross.

What happened to the days when the sky was always blue?
The curls of innocence and youth were always blond and tender with curl.
I remember the day you were born.
Fresh and new and smelling so pure.

You spit Gerber squash in my face.
You had 5 cute little stuffed kitties.
Clifford the big red dog was your favorite.
Chuckie Cheese was the boring but regular hangout.
I remember sweet little tears.
I remember the precious but delicate hugs.
I remember the innocent but golden prayers.

Time stands still but for a moment of painful and appreciative reflection.
I do not always pro actively reminisce over days of yesterday.
But I bear the scars.
The burden of a mother's love.
The only love that heals and gains freedom for the captive.
The original warrior who birthed Christ.
Remember Winnie the Pooh?
The pink fur coat?
The rocking horse?
The sweet lips that kiss and say I love you Mommy.
Mommy loves you.
For I have earned that honor.
For the Son of God gave it to me.

Evil can creep in.
Attempting to sever our eternal bond.
But it will not prevail.
Those who misuse their free will answer for it in the end.
Just as we do.
But He loves us.
And I love you.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Charlotte Catholics check this out!

Greetings friends! Every so often I discover an interesting article online and usually by accident. One of my greatest sources of grief concerning the current climate of the Roman Catholic Church is the presence of any practice that remotely resembles what I term New Age Garbage. New age spirituality and its respective practices is nothing but satanic trash that invites demons into the lives of willful and/or unsuspecting believers. Lack of spiritual discernment and awareness on the part of the clergy and the laity, in addition to a general deficiency in the area of authentic catechesis and adult education, seems to be responsible for the inadequate spiritual condition of the community at large. If we as members of a church community fail to frequent the sacraments and to pray, particularly in the form of Eucharistic adoration and the daily rosary, we make ourselves vulnerable and prey to the deception of the rank fodder constituting demonic spirituality under the guise of new age. Centering prayer? New age. Enneagram method? New age. Twelve step programs? Yes ,believe it or not, new age. Disagree with me all you want, but two pontifical councils in Rome devised a document clearly underscoring and clarifying the substance of new age methodology. Any individual can bury their head in the sand in the name of charismatic manifestation of the Holy Spirit but simultaneously be deceived by the fruits of demonic counterfeits. For example, have you ever met individuals who claim to possess the healing charism but seek certification in the satanic counterfeit of healing arts called reiki? Centering prayer has typically been aligned with contemplative prayer methods, as if the two practices are one and the same, but of course that is a lie and once again you see a demonic alternative paralleled with a Divine gift. No wonder so many persons in modern catholic culture are connoisseurs of prescription meds and modern mental health membership. You conjure up spirits or demons from Lucifer's kingdom via forbidden esoteric and occult practices whether by ignorance or deliberation, and you wonder why your become severely depressed or begin to hear voices. Exposure to the occult whether it be direct or indirect will inevitably lead to mental instability. Let us keep our Bride of Christ, Holy Mother Church, pure and spotless and keeps this counterfeit garbage out of our parishes. Let us band together and tell satan to go home, or go to hell, for that is where he truly belongs.

Check out these links.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Do we really love Him?

Greetings in the Lord brothers and sisters! It is amazing to see the summer arrive at its consummation and I have yet to dip my foot into a chlorinated pool much less bathe in the salty warm waters of the Carolina coast. I am going almost two years strong without maintaining the youthful glow of basking in the summer sun, but I experimented with a fake tanning product available by Jergens and by golly it actually masquerades as the real thing sans the cancer potential. Ahhh, and most certainly most parents are ready for a breather as their progeny begin another school year. Keep in mind Christmas is lurking around the corner. Gulp, yes I said the C word. I began a new job at the beginning of summer and like anything else work can become all consuming as time slips by quickly ending another season of weather as a new experience in life begins. I am momentarily resuming a prior occupation, the lingerie business, as I await patiently the inception of a new career hiding for my arrival in an unknown future. I informed the Lord during our last private consultation that if I must do retail, it is mandatory that I only contend with pretty lingerie. I deal with female bodies all day long so it makes my burden bearable. It is simply refreshing to my by the book and controlling personality that during unexpected moments of grace, I can do something so mundane and meaningless such as taking the trash out to fulfill a responsibility while stealing a quiet minute, and BOOM there He is. I dispose of the refuse and perch on the dilapidated wooden bench, just to regroup, and the atmosphere becomes categorically transfigured and elevated. Just like that He arrives unexpectedly and the world as I know it melts away and true spiritual ecstasy ensues. Oh, how I love Him because our God is such a GOOD God. Jesus is simply the most exciting person I have ever known and He indeed makes all things new for His beloved children. The enthralling reality for me is the endless possibilities in the ordinary life when we attempt to live a christocentric existence. Yes folks I am indeed back in the bra and panty business and after it all began once again for me I found time to see Him in adoration. Truthfully all I could do was cry. Whiny me, oh Lord my life is so meaningless, is this what I was created for, women's underwear? Oh the drama of unchecked grief. Yet I had occasion to meet a woman who proclaimed working with foundations is important for after all women are the foundation of creation and thus the world. Her analogy intrigued me and since I have to earn a living anyway, I did appreciate her input for it revealed a Marian perspective. but I have a fabulous job and I structure with my personal input and efforts the foundational existence of humanity. How about that for a calling?
The business of daily life can be extremely distracting and a sufficient preoccupation dimming the light in our spiritual vision, but all the more reason why He is so awesome for His benevolent mindfulness of us never escapes the soul of one betrothed to the Bridegroom of Divinity. So once again the drudgery of ordinary, grinding existence when infused by the Divine Breathe of the Holy Spirit becomes a fascinating journey renewed with eternal possibilities, and only then does the real joy of human existence become compelling and life's simple but practical duties become privileged opportunities to grow in Grace and to serve Him unceasingly. Oh how I used to unknowingly mourn the days when I had the time and ability to attend daily Mass and to pray for hours, and to engage in a variety of seeming holy endeavors, and of course God would just sit back and giggle at my scrupulous but sincere attempts at seeking Him, spending time with Him, and doing for Him. And then the engine of the human psyche, the soul, our creatureliness runs out of gas and we just do not comprehend why the struggle ensues, the darkness envelops, and the proverbial rug of comfort gets violently yanked out from under our tentatively steady feet, and the existence of Job's testimony becomes our own personal hell.

The lesson is this. We serve God out of our comfort zone unknowingly because His zone of discipleship involves the Cross. Fulton Sheen defined a term called staurosphobia, or "fear of the Cross." Honestly I do not think too many of us Catholics fear the Cross, we conveniently want absolutely nothing to do with it whatsoever for it requires the crucible of the humiliation of human pride, particularly spiritual pride under the guise of orthodoxy and hiding one's self in innumerable but honorable spiritual activities, but in the end we truly only seek a Divine or catholic illusion of sanctity but we are absolutely not going to tread beyond that self-defined boundary of comfort. A rationalistic and scientific society requires a method, a guaranteed cause and effect equation that demands a cemented outcome of personal intent, ultimately blinded by the fuel of self-interest, and self concern is an empty resource that will utterly fail to take you the distance leading to God. For instance, have you ever witnessed the poker hand of prayer cards technique for acquiring Divine assistance. Sometimes the poker players linger after mass or set up game in the perpetual adoration chapel. The prayer card deck requisite for spiritual poker involves a minimum of 20 but can include in excess of 50 cards. Invoke your respective saint and just keep going through the hand, one after the other, and watch the methodology unfold as the intense desperation rises. It almost mirrors a gambling addiction. Oh Lord just one more card, just one more card please. Eucharistic Jesus just winks from His hiding place in the monstrance or tabernacle but waits patiently nonetheless. He whispers so quietly and imperceptibly at times one just misses the personal invitation to gaze upon and to elevate one's attention upon Divine substantial presence. It is not about the card game folks.

Consider the charismatic endeavor or attempt, for if you haven't witnessed such a demonstration and your wellspring of joy has run dry or is as arid as baked mud, the clucker venue will titillate you for a least one moment and promises at least one or two outbursts of unrestrained laughter. And what in heaven's name does the word charismatic actually mean to an inquiring or should I say unprepared and unsuspecting mind? In terms of sound definition according the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The Greek term charisma denotes any good gift that flows from God's benevolent love (charis) unto man; any Divine grace or favour, ranging from redemption and life eternal to comfort in communing with brethren in the Faith (Romans 5:15, 16; 6:23; 11:29). The term has, however, a narrower meaning: the spiritual graces and qualifications granted to every Christian to perform his task in the Church: "Every one hath his proper gift [charisma] from God; one after this manner, and another after that" (1 Corinthians 7:7 etc.). Lastly, in its narrowest sense, charisma is the theological term for denoting extraordinary graces given to individual Christians for the good of others. These, or most of these, are enumerated by St. Paul (1 Corinthians 12:4, 9, 28, 30, 31), and form the subject-matter of the present article. They are: "The word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, the grace of healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, the discerning of spirits, diverse kinds of tongues, interpretation of speeches" (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). To these are added the charismata of apostles, prophets, doctors, helps, governments (ibid., 28). "

The aforementioned description is a responsible explanation of what constitutes authentic charismata, however in terms of parish activity and practiced reality a completely different manifestation of commentary typically occurs. The human experience predictably brings God down to our finite scope of supposed spiritual but inherent psychological behavior, and we unwittingly but once again methodologically attempt to conjure up God's holy presence with a maraca. And you are probably wondering or at least curious about the clucker venue I mentioned. Clucker is my personal pet word for any sound or posturing that resembles a chicken. If you have ever visited a barnyard you are reasonably aware that chickens somewhat roam haphazardly, strutting sometimes spasmodically up and down, and squawk or bawk intermittently yet incessantly, and their personal dialogue possesses no cohesive rhyme or reason of understood communication. The charismatic display of what is legitimately coined glossolalia or speaking in tongues, for this is a genuine gift of the Holy Spirit, merely becomes reduced to the appearance of chicken clucking. God forbid I would have ever rolled off my chair of witnessing formulated prayer group experience and dropped my Bible on the tile floor, for only then would a true miracle suffice to stand me up and to deliver me from hidden, unexpressed hysteria. I tell people all the time if you need a good laugh go to church, for the unfolding of the insanity of all human drama marked as spiritual pursuit becomes apparent for all to see if you are just willing to show up and await the entertainment

In all seriousness I absolutely do not go to church to be amused for sanctification is Divine and serious matter, but the fringe benefit of seeking grace is the unanticipated but repeated inevitable exposure to the spiritual and psychological insanity plaguing the human race and the culture at large. Fulton Sheen once remarked, " to conclude that one mass is charismatic while another mass is not, is to say the soul is separate from the body." We human beings are so ridiculous at times in our methodology and attempts at genuine spiritual experience however we are also fortunate to have such an understanding and patient heavenly Father. Yes, I do believe He does indeed smile down upon us everyday at the mortal silliness of it all, and I am emphatically convinced Jesus maintains a profound sense of humor at times. The human being is the most fascinating creature I suppose that Our good Father ever created.
My question for you is this, and it will undoubtedly lead to our next discussion are you "your brother's keeper?" We live our lives thinking we are so darn Holy but are we really willing to step up to the plate? Are you truly willing to lay down your life for a brother or sister? Are you willing to bear the burden of sacrificial love and to give up your delusional version of self holiness but inherently selfish desire in exchange for that greater good, which ultimately benefits the good of your brother? I am ever so tired of putting others first and it has truly cost me everything in the temporal sense. Yet, God has informed me that if I am to be reserved, and set apart for something magnificent, I cannot afford to deny Him His Holy opinion, and thus Divine involvement in my personal agenda. No, we must not deny Him. The Sacred Image of Divine Mercy desires to permeate the human being and endeavor, and we must contend with those Holy Feet and Holy wounds, and He asks each and every one of us, am I enough for you? Do you trust Me? I do not claim to have it all reasoned and figured out, but yes Jesus, I feebly trust in you. The person of Divine Mercy, Jesus Christ, is the reason for our being and one could clearly weep every time when reflecting upon such holy notion, for the soles of those pierced feet speak to the broken soul, for they are the golden feet of intercession. Do you trust in Me? Yes, Lord I do because what choice do I have? I weep every time I look at those feet for they tread upon and serve as a perfect guide on the pathway of the Journey underscoring the grace He has availed those who seek Him, defined by His Cross. The suffering of the Most High God should never be in vain in our eyes.
We all have knowledge of God and can quote Holy Scripture like scientific geniuses, and we join the choir, attend mass, and hang out with all of the Holy correct persons and a engage in all the right activities in the eyes of the parish, but at the end of the day how much have we actually loved and cherished Him? How do we love Him? My consistent experience with Jesus is this, how can I love Him anymore? The ardor that this God avails us can pierce our heart and thus being, and consume the soul, and one literally loses the air of the breath of human inhalation. It does hit that strongly. He loves us that much, but the question is how much do you love HIM? Do not lip service Him and perform upon self-defined Christian, proselytizing platitudes, but just love Him. The nature of the Cross is to appreciate His sacrifice, and to ultimately self deny. Catholics are poor at this commitment to and endeavor of self-denial, because they want to live their lives as is, maintaining an ultimately selfish status quo, surviving by the avoidance of any resemblance of discomfort. Look at the examples of two modern day saints, Mother Angelica and Father John Corapi, and we will clearly see the significance of spiritual success. What is your choice for truth going to be today? Do the right thing and choose Him. Begin with turning off your television, aka the devil's mental rot box, and avoid the computer and cellular phone, and go to perpetual adoration. Do you eat food everyday? Do you spend a few hours gazing upon the television? Feed your soul and thus mind with some holy substance. No excuses suffice in the end for avoiding time with Eucharistic Jesus.
We adore you oh Christ and we praise you, for by Your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world. Peace out girls and boys for I will be back.
Love you-

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mother of God Pray for Us

Rosary—its power
Ben and his wife had the beautiful custom of praying the Rosary every night before retiring. Not long after she passed away, Ben stopped in to talk to his pastor about marrying again. The pastor suggested, “Aren’t you pretty old, Ben, to be thinking about marrying again?” To which Ben responded, “You are right father, but I need someone to answer the Rosary.” How devoted this couple must have been in their devotion to Mary. Today we celebrate Mother’s Day. May I wish all the mothers here, ‘A Very Happy Mother’s Day’. Also we celebrate today the 90th anniversary of Our Lady’s Apparition in Fatima. Mary was given to us from the cross as our Mother. Let us read John 19:26, 27. Also we find in the book of Isaiah that she has already been foretold. Let us take Is. 7:14.
Our Lady appeared in Fatima 6 times to three children: Jacinta and her two cousins Lucia and Francesco. She appeared beginning 13th May. But in August she appeared on the 19th since the communists put the children in jail. The final appearance was on October 13, which was a tremendous one. Seventy thousand people witnessed one of the greatest miracles of all time: the sun suddenly turned pale, emitted brilliant rays of multicolored light, spun three times on its axis and then, to the horror of the assembled multitude, “power-dived” dizzily towards earth. A terrified cry arose from the crowd as thousands fell to their knees thinking the end of the world was at hand.
You may recall the Apostolic Letter written by our late Holy Father John Paul, on the Rosary. He presents the Rosary, when prayed with meditation on its mysteries, as preparation for a more fruitful celebration and participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass. We have been saying the Rosary in our parish led by me before the Masses for many years. The Rosary prepares us for the celebration of the Holy Mass. It re-echoes the divine mysteries we celebrate at the Holy Mass. What we contemplate in the Mysteries of the Rosary is sacramentally present in the Divine Liturgy. Hence, there is power in praying the Rosary, and the Mysteries of Christ contemplated during the Rosary become ours. This is why the late Pope John Paul said repeatedly, “The Rosary is my favorite prayer.” The Sacrifice of the Mass is the favorite and most powerful prayer of the Parish Family. The Rosary should be the favorite prayer of our individual families—the domestic Church—the Church of the home.
Every time Our Blessed Mother appeared at Fatima she said, “Pray the Rosary.” We call her today on this 90th anniversary, “Our Lady of Fatima”, but that is not the name our Lady gave to herself. In fact, she said, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” The power of the Rosary is seen in Our Lady’s words at Fatima on May 13, 1917: “Say the Rosary every day in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.” All the apparitions took place on the 13th of every month, except in August when they took place on the 19th, since the children were caught and jailed by the communists.
On July 13, the three children proclaimed to the world, “Continue to say the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because only she can obtain it.” Today many Catholics are allergic to the Rosary. Evening time people are drawn to sports, entertainment, movies, gluttony and worldly pleasures and they have no time for the Rosary. This is why we are in big mess because the families today do not pray the Rosary daily. You may recall in the year 1917 World War I was raging. She also said war was a punishment for sins. She requested the children, “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners.” What is she actually saying? When we pray the Rosary and pray it properly we, as it were, empower Mary to have powerful intercession to her Son even unto ending a world war and bringing peace to the world.
The message of Fatima begins with the Holy Eucharist and ends with the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass brings us the Real Presence of the body, the blood, soul and the divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But the Mass is still more than that. This means that when we are at Mass, Jesus offers -- and He perpetuates here and now --the self-same Sacrifice of Himself, which He offered on Mt. Calvary on the first Good Friday. When we are at Mass, we are just as present at Jesus’ infinite act of Sacrifice of the Cross, as we would have been, had we stood with our Blessed Mother and St. John the Apostle at the foot of the Cross on Calvary.
The year before Our Blessed Mother appeared holding the Rosary, the Angel of the Holy Eucharist appeared: that was in1916. The Angel left the chalice and the Host suspended in mid-air and fell down in adoration of God in the Most Blessed Sacrament, with his head to the ground. The three children followed the Angel and did the same. And the Angel taught the three children a beautiful prayer: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I beg pardon of You, for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!” We too can recite this prayer whenever we pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament.
At first, the children saw the Angel holding in his hands a chalice surmounted by a Host, from which some drops of blood were falling into the chalice. What does that tell us? The precious Blood of Jesus is in the Host as well as in the Chalice, yes. Jesus is whole and entire, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under both consecrated forms, yes. But more! Jesus’ body is shedding His precious Blood in the same way as He did on Calvary. We are reminded at Fatima by the Host with its blood falling into the chalice that every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass perpetuates the Sacrifice of the Cross Jesus offered on Calvary. We could ask the question: from where did the Angel get the 3 Hosts? The answer is from the tabernacle of the parish church of St. Michael’s. The priest found three Hosts missing from the ciborium on the following day! Things were kept quite, because the communist government could jail the children. Perhaps most of us do not know that the three children of Fatima were given a vision of hell. And Our Blessed Mother taught them the following prayer which we say between each decade of the Rosary: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.”
This is a great prayer taught by her. After this the children were always found in the church praying and fasting for the conversion of sinners before the Blessed Sacrament. Maria Rosa, the mother of Lucia, went all over the streets and homes looking for the children. It never came into her mind to suspect they might be in the church. That is where she found them several times. I have visited Fatima three times and said Masses in the apparition site. Once I was literally lifted up while saying mass. Fatima was a tremendous experience for me that recharged the spiritual batteries. It has been a life -changing event for me.
There were three secrets given to the children. One was the fall of Russia, if only the people would pray the Rosary and offer for the conversion of Russia. That happened. The second one was about World War II, which would come upon the world if people did not repent and change their lives. The third one is about the Pope’s tragedy (shot down) and that his life would be spared and also about the fall of the many priests, Bishops, and the faithful, if they did not pray and be faithful to the Catholic Faith. All these have happened and the falling away is still happening. We only know half of the third secret. The other half is not yet revealed by the Pope. The bullet which almost killed Pope John Paul was brought by the Pope to Fatima and he put it on the crown of our Lady of Fatima in gratitude for saving his life from the shot fired at him. May our Lady of Fatima intercede for us and inspire us!

-Homily of Father Hermanigild Jayachandra

6th Sunday of Easter

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jezebel, the Marian Counterfeit.

Peace of the Lord be upon all brothers and sisters of Him. I am busy working and growing in Him which means blog time must be set aside. The lesson of balancing priorities and discipline can be tough at times and perhaps excruciatingly painful, but we must master our passionate disorders if we are ever to grow and to progress. Sometimes creating written communication can be like giving birth, exhausting and draining, and so we need moments to regroup and gain the stabilizing ground of His comfort. In moments of growth which indeed involves prayer, we are never really far from the cross, if we are genuinely seeking His will. I am currently creating some items concerning Marian intercession because it is good to focus on lighter moments of spiritual reality at times. Yet in my prayer time I will casually pick up a book, flipping through pages dog-eared years ago, and something captivates my attention. So I will not go too deep or intellectual for the moment but underscore certain basic insights provided by others over the years.

Consider this checklist: Red Flags
1) "I just want to be your friend." More than likely, people who say these things will have expectations that you will never be able to meet.

2) " I just want to help you get to where God has called you." In other words, "you cannot get to your destiny without me." Beware!

3) " There are no strings attached to my help. I just want to serve." However, you'll find lots of hidden strings.

4) "You can trust me. I will always support you." Such people will support you as long as you do what they say!

5) "You do not acknowledge my gifting." People like this are asking you for more authority in the church.

I am showing five points worth contemplating when faced with opposition or hardship as we tread down the narrow path, found in a very interesting book I acquired years ago, and this book is not for the fainthearted, arrogantly disbelieving, or self-deceived. If you frequent the confessional I suspect you will see an element of yourself at one time or another in your life, in this particular text. Gut level self-examination is rare and that is why so few ever go to confession because they have deluded themselves into believing a lie. The lie is we are not sinful and ,of course, not in need of reconciliation, yet we will hold our head's up high in the communion line and receive the Lord's body unworthily thinking we can fool Him and perhaps steal a little grace. The exact same posturing individuals will spread other's sins throughout church cliques and parishes. I will give this warning once, if an individual takes it upon himself to accuse a person of sin that is under the seal of confession, you are treading dangerous ground and you are operating in a spirit of Satan. No, you are not momentarily weak or gravely mistaken, temptingly cajoled by an isolated demon, you are in fact under the influence of a powerful, high ranking, but clearly fallen principality. This is a fact.
"Accusation's power is satanic. It sows fear in an individual's heart. It causes people to run. Satan is the accuser of the brethren(Revelation 12:10), as well as the father of lies. A spirit of accusation has no truthful rationale behind it. Therefore, it cannot be reasoned with. It can only be dealt with as the Holy Spirit enlightens those in leadership. As with Korah, there will always be something to camouflage the real issue, which is a spirit of lawlessness. Those who walk in an accusing spirit are actually agreeing with the doctrine of demons. Therefore, God will hold them accountable, no matter what situation they are trying to correct. This is why the apostle James says that wherever you find slander and accusation, there also exists every evil thing (James 3:16).
-Excerpted from the writings of John Paul Jackson

Accusation is closely interwoven with the grave sin of calumny. The lack of appropriate reverence and obedience to authority has manifested in this lawlessness in church communities. I gave up on most group activities years ago because they were dens of gossip and slander. It escalated to a point where I could not even sneak a quiet moment with the Lord during adoration without overhearing someone slandering the local priest. One daily mass frequenter whined in the sacristy for all to hear in passing, complaining that she was sick of hearing the Bishop talk about Mother Teresa all the time. To bemoan the example of a saint makes me wonder what daily mass avails such individuals.
I appreciate that we would all rather bang a tambourine and be entertained with the guise of charismatic praise at Mass. Personally, it is much easier to live in the delusion and listen to mariachi music or catholic rap, and deem it higher worship. I am waiting for the moment they start serving cocktails during sacred liturgy because people cannot seem to function without their flesh being entertained. We want to recreate 'Sister Act' grand standing, drawing attention to ourselves and away from the sacrifice of the Mass. Jesus doesn't need our applause for our feeble praise adds nothing to His glory, but He does desire our reverence, our obedience, and hitting the pavement on our knees in worship. And I believe obedience begins with the submission to authority. Pastoral authority, magisterial authority, doctrinal authority, and Papal authority. Embracing all elements of church teaching is fundamental to being a genuine Catholic and anything less is lack of true communion with Our church. To attack this authority is not to be under the direction of the Holy Spirit. So where is my chatter leading? I could give more examples but I have been around long enough, and seen enough over the years, to experience true exasperation at times but the bottom line is this ,Jezebel.
Her name is Jezebel and think of her as satan's girlfriend. Behind all lawlessness, accusation, calumny, gossip, slander, disobedience to and disrespect for all hierarchy of Church authority, and irreverence and the ultimate division it breeds, there she lurks. Her manifestation which is becoming so active and prevalent is a palpable smoke and bad stink lingering in our sacred places. This is why I revert to Mary, Blessed Mother, for I need her swift kick interceding for me in my journey.

"Individuals with a Jezebel spirit are skilled in getting their way. They may use strategies of flattery, persuasion, sexual seduction, slander, lying, accusation, intimidation, secrecy, persecution, framing another person for a wrong done, or generating emotional and/or spiritual dependency in someone... If a situation is not resolved to their satisfaction, Jezebel will malign, insinuate, badmouth, smear their target and plant libelous doubts in the minds of others. They will coyly violate disciplinary instructions, in an attempt to garner misguided sympathy and support. This tactic seems to satiate Jezebel's false sense of justice."
- Excerpted from the writings of John Paul Jackson
I think what fascinates me about the formation of creation by our Creator is the mere process and consequent offspring of the spoken word. God spoke and all that we see created including ourselves is the result of His Word. The same Word becomes incarnate and Jesus enters humanity. Words are mysteriously powerful for they create life and being. On the other hand, we can literally murder the human heart and contribute to the psychological and spiritual demise of others via the unrestrained utterances falling from a vapid tongue. Filthy and destroying words fall out of our mouths like drool at times, and it really only reveals in the end the disfigured and darkened condition of our soul. Words can kill. The same individuals who stake out holy houses and ingratiate themselves in every group imaginable, defiling one brother or sister after another, under the masquerade of Christian concern yet deeply intent on calumniating every and any unsuspecting victim, are much further away from Christ than the most violent drug addicts and prostitutes roaming the drudgery of the streets. The sad reality is all of the fallen away Catholics I have met over the years, denying themselves the grace of the sacraments, and it always is because some militant tongue spoke poison to them and the wounds were disastrous.
In the end we see the results of a deeply embedded spiritual wound misguiding and ultimately contaminating the healthy psychology of the human soul. These wounds become festering and open doors in our soul, affecting the human mind, and oftentimes avail the opportunity for deeply entrenched strongholds to manifest. And what is a mental stronghold? It is not a chemical reality or psychotic disturbance but a severe spiritual condition that can lead to our own demise and misfortune.
" A stronghold is an area of the mind where darkness reigns. It is a system of logic, rooted in a lie, that an individual has come to accept. This system of thought is formed behind and habitual response, addiction, fixation, compulsion, obsession, and/or inordinate fear. As such, a stronghold is any though pattern alien to the Word of God. it serves as a mental or emotional " command post " to which the enemy has access. This mental or emotional word or thought system is designed to create misinformation and thereby affect and individual's decision-making ability. Consequently, a stronghold keeps a person from embracing true Christ likeness."
-excerpted from the writings of John Paul Jackson
Read the old testament and learn the lessons of the spiritual castration of God's given and appointed authority, ministerial or spiritual or even prophetic, and look at the fate of one who is so arrogant to rise above it. We need prayer, penance, and sacrifice so desperately today. The challenge is to seek the avenues of prayer that avail us so much grace because without such we are impotent and crippled in the warfare raging in our world today. I am so sick and tired of dealing with this one for her infection plagues too many to number, and it is a deadly spiritual poison to be avoided. Commit yourself to avoid those occasions or persons completely who operate in the fallen realm. If you belong to a study or prayer group and more time is wasted gossiping or calumniating, rather than praising the Lord and edifying His brethren, that is the evidence of instruction to evacuate quickly. Disengage from the persons and situations that attack and undermine any structure or assignment of true Church authority. Always pray and intercede but do not fall into the deceptive temptation toward unwarranted mercy for those who proactively reject God's commands and engage in unchecked and continuous evil. Most importantly never trust any person walking in such a spiritual condition lest you be caught in the line of fire.
The book I reference is called 'Unmasking the Jezebel Spirit,' by John Paul Jackson. I learned about such malevolent activity primarily from contending with so many individuals under its influence, but I found direction through a holy lay woman and a wise priest far more learned that anyone I hope to meet again. Pray. Peace of Him.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Has Fiddler been on Your Roof?

Brothers and Sisters, I have excerpted the notion of 'Fiddler on the Roof' as I labeled it years ago in my journaling toward Him. My goal in my attempts at written communication is to connect with the suffering of the soul of the reader. Too many suffer in silence, in the isolation of experience, too often misunderstood by those who God ultimately ordained to have the resources of adequate and appropriate understanding and insight regarding such affliction, but the influences of the world impair and clog the sensitivities of the majority, and human nature becomes misguided. Remember there is always hope for the healing of the masses, prayerfully, and desolation recedes into the history of memory as consolation replaces the darkness with even greater intimacy with Our Lord. We must be steadfast and hold tightly to what we ultimately know to be true for He is always faithful.
10-March-2004 Thursday
Fiddler is on the roof, back on the roof again. I hear his footsteps more often than not at the end of the apartment by the loft, the highest point of the building. He prefers to posture himself at the highest pinnacle of any territory as if to exalt his stature which already has been ultimately defeated, permanently and forevermore.
I say 'Fiddler on the roof' because he is a musician on the move. He stomps loudly as he stalks and plays the dreary music of the dead. It is not the pleasant sound of harmony but the imperceptible blare of utter disharmonious mayhem. I only heard the macabre music upon one evening and I refer to it as music for I really do not know what else resembles the inaudible sound.
I ventured out into the kitchen to smoke a cigarette and the defiled euphony of the fallen one, travels across the narrow kitchen area, ushering in a dreadful intonation that manifests as tormenting noise of immaterial distraction to the soul. It evidences no acute and naturally perceptive sound but its haunting communication permeates the atmosphere. It possesses a hazy quality in terms of interior visual perception of soul sense experience impairing the lucidity of environment, yet this invisible construct of sound journeys as a smoky pilot conducting confusion and deception. So I left the room and headed toward my bedroom.
It was many successive nights of ongoing agony and mental torment. I finally asked God one evening about the footsteps of the one I deemed Fiddler. I inquired of Him as to whether or not something or someone was actually treading the rooftop spatially, or was the auditory faculty of my constitution being manipulated to impress upon my mind's reason of perception that someone was indeed walking? Evil spirits do not necessarily have to position themselves upon territory despite holding regional assignment, for they can assail and thus influence the receptivity and observation of ordinary human senses, creating an illusion of such commission readily in terms of preternatural depth perception. Rather than the event or manifestation of a deposit of malevolent entities throughout the recesses of the household in order to occasion various bizarre and aggravating phenomena, one fallen incorporeal being alone could conceivably enter or affix itself to the human organism, enabling it to harass its exterior perception creating not only an alteration of material reality, but the higher goal of such nefarious activity is to plague the human soul already weakened by deprivation of consolation with heightened suffering, meddling with the human interior faculties, which ultimately will boomerang or echo through, thus affect, exhibit, and emerge upon the natural five senses creating disturbance upon its intended sphere of influence. Either way the imagination is effected, emotion is affected creating lability with a final objective of flatness of despair, and the substance of the mind is ultimately tortured.
"It merely does not seek to terrify me, but to terrorize me. It has an agenda for my life, but so does He. The agenda of the Lord is what I must abandon myself to and as of right now, He is asking me gently to trust in Him alone."
One could potentially unravel daily in the dark yet drowning substance of immaterial reality but the Gentle Hand of the pruning Master provides the only pillow of calm from disturbance to rest the soul upon, and the intricate web of that which would seem only to ensnare is the temptation of sensory illusion, not hallucination of reality, but a deeper and grave illusion to the lie of mental rumination that God is not there, does not care, and has abandoned the soul. The mission of the adversary of salvation of God's chosen is to drive the person over the edge of indifference, and the exhausting process of critical harassment via ordinary means and natural circumstance, creates an inexhaustible but fierce perseverance of will, ordering desire, and elevating the soul toward Hope's unseen and unrealized promises of Eternity. The edge of reason propelling us toward Truth does not exist within the circumstance of experience alone, but within the orchestra of the realms of the preternatural, natural, and supranatural, but remains hidden within the natural parameters of the material existence of the life of the Divinely fashioned, mortal creature.
The enemy of God's beloved children exists as a pervasive spirit of eternal death for it breathes destruction in order to sustain itself and to foster and to further its hideous purpose. The more he exhales chaos the more he inhales strength. The more he exudes temptation, the more he imbibes the fortifying aroma ubiquitous to the decayed aftermath of mortal sin, inebriating himself with the fruit of his gluttonous malefaction.
"Jesus also calls the demon "murderer from the beginning", "father of lies". He is the sophisticated seducer of man's moral balance. He is the evil and cunning charmer who knows how to infiltrate everyone's individual psychology. He finds the open door and comes in: through our senses our imagination, and our concupiscence- what today we call fomite. Again, through utopian logic, disordered social contacts, bad friends, and bad worldly ideas, [ he slips ] into our actions and introduces deviations that are all the more deadly because they appear to conform to the physical or psychological and instinctive structure of our person: this is why temptation is so seductive. These structures run deep and influence our personality. He takes advantage of our own fabric, our make up, to enter our psychology subtly."
- Fr. Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist of Rome.
Death stalks humanity but Grace took up the Cross and therein lies the mystery of suffering.
The irony of human logic and quantifying reason is its limited capacity in terms of the notion that a sickened and depraved mind does not respond to reason. The sick mind does not respond to reason. So why do we psychoanalyze, guaranteeing paralysis by analysis sequentially and conclusively, and expect the sick mind to heal, stabilize, and prosper. We analyze but do not listen intently in cooperation with the Spirit of counsel, we persist in the pursuit of discovering yet hidden answers but are blind to the evidence that stares us directly in the eye because we lack the gift of discernment, and most importantly we converse, banter, and postulate but we refuse to pray and to hear the Voice of the One who holds all Wisdom in the infinite confines of mystery.
"So general has the denial of sin been, that it has not been theologians who have resurrected the idea, but psychiatrists. Karl Menninger, of the Menninger Psychiatric Institute of Kansas has published a book entitled Whatever Became of Sin. He shows the slow devolution of the concept of sin. According to him, the moralists stopped preaching about sin because everything was love; then the jurists picked the theme, and sin under the law became crime. Then the psychiatrists took it up from the legalists, and then sin became a symptom or a complex. Some rather tragic effects have resulted from this denial of sin. First of all, we have many complexes that are produced by sin, and we are blind to the true cause, which is guilt."
- The late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
It needs to be conjectured at least deeply considered that the proliferation of mental disturbance, particularly the epidemic of depression, is a formidable offspring of the denial of sin, whether it be our personal reactive and proactive sin, or the sins committed against us by others, but without confessional reconciliation and absolution, and a spirit disposed to forgive all offenses, where else will one find genuine hope for the cure. Human depression is real and its consequences lead many to death or engineer deadly acts unfortunately and sorrowfully, but a pill to alter the labor of unhappy mood is not the panacea fundamentally, but serves as a means to and end and a momentary alleviation of symptom but is clearly not a cure. The inherent and elementary metaphysical nature of human psychology stands as a frustration to the intellect's prideful and selfish desire to penetrate the substance of Divine and sovereign ownership of enigma. We are called to trust and to love without expectation of the full answer to human suffering. The church militant holds the key intermittently of temporal remedy in Her abidingness, gravitating towards the fulfilment of eternal cure but we fail to use it time and time again. Only sacrificial love and genuine Christ like compassion reveal prayer of intercession and the spiritual work of Divine Mercy.
The catholicon lies in the mystery of the Cross and may only be obtained for some when they finally step beyond the divide between God and mankind, and gain entrance into the beatific vision. In the mean time, for those souls suffering the mental fruits of obscure mystical affliction, the courage of Veronica, the veil of her soul impressed upon by Divine bloody countenance, symbolizes the gauze of grace which sustains us, emblazons us, swaddling us with the Heavenly mantle of the Mystical Rose, securing maternally our brokenness to the breast of her beloved Son. He who is the Heart of the Father. Praise be to Jesus Christ. Pray for the Shepherds of the flock of the brethren, that when God places a tormented soul before their pastoral obligation, that such priestly representatives would listen but not deny, embrace but not turn away, and pray but not put off. So many lives should be saved!

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Ten Commandments for the Scrupulous

A newly befriended acquaintance sent me this interesting yet thought provoking link. It helps to have such insights and guidelines at times when we are examining our own consciences. Remember brothers and sisters we should regularly and often search the recesses of our beings for evidence of an exasperating fallen nature that necessitates frequent use of the sacrament of penance. The Holy Spirit will gently but revealingly guide us delicately but specifically in our own personal examination of self. Keep in mind that only the accuser of the brethren, satan, accuses persons whether it be directly upon the imaginations, and he does this violently at times, or via other persons who act as agents of the adversary and take it upon themselves to accuse others of sin. The effects of unchecked and unconfessed pride obsess and preoccupy our minds, focusing primarily on the sins of others even out of a self-serving, feigned concern that is merely the illusion of charity but false no less. Humility dictates that our personal sin alone is tantamount enough, a major dunghill of disfigurement that needs deconstruction and severe eradication, and therefore we do not have the time to look at others sins but only our own, with any degree of prolonged examination.
Actions speak so loudly that the amplification of such drowns out even the verbosity of inspired and holy yet merely human conversation. Lead by example. If you want to help another human being afflicted by or enslaved in their sin, pray with out ceasing and seek God's ocean of Divine Mercy. Peace out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Cyclothymic tension between Heaven and Hell

Brothers and sisters, I had no real interest in commenting on the recent school shootings at Virginia Tech because in certain respects culture has anesthetized my senses to the legitimate horror of the situation. I clearly remember the Columbine killings years ago so the latest massacre seems a revisitation of the same similar condition reflecting the 'culture of death' on the American home front. The slaughter of innocents will never represent sanity to a morally concerned culture but it seems to be almost politically correct in contemporary times to take a stance of horror and shock when a meaningless tragedy such as the one transpired at Virginia Tech occurs, yet friends I fail to understand why we suffer grief and sadness and bemoan how sad we are over the loss. Truthfully, I am fully prepared for the grand announcement to be broadcast via all media around the nation that the poor, mentally disturbed perpetrator was depressed, bipolar, or schizophrenic. Hmmmmm, how convenient. I can envision the psychological profilers attempting once again to navigate the feeble faculties of human reason employing a finite intellect, utilizing quantifying measures of cause and effect, to form an expository conclusion as to why this individual is merely a murderer.
The killer Cho Seung -Hui unfortunately made a fatal decision and misused his God given free will to put a bloody end to the lives of his innocent victims, and typically the culture at large will have no alleviation to their personal experience with grief over the national tragedy until the 'experts' speak as to his state of mind. Once we are delivered the typical explanation and thus excuse, and my wager is on a bipolar diagnosis, we can all resume our busy but self-serving lives and call it a day and go to the shopping mall to engage in an unhealthy dose of American consumerism, for our flagrant materialism serves our country's citizens readily for then we could put these local happenings out of our minds until the next disaster of human sacrifice surfaces, for it will continue to trend because we simply do not learn.
Remember Andrea Yates? A woman afflicted with some variable schizo-affective disorder, suffering elements of post-partum blues, elects to willfully and deliberately yet methodically drown all five of her young children all in the name of mental illness. I remember watching Andrea in televised proceedings and interviews and she remarked that Satan told her to kill her children in order to save them from hell. Hello! Satan told her to kill her children! Now that is truly the only explanation that suffices to makes sense to an inquiring mind for he was a murderer from the beginning, however modern psychiatric medicine has banished the existential reality of demonic influence from the considerations of most and unfortunately to our own spiritual detriment, many members of the church community follow the trend of the experts in denying the existence of the devil time and time again.
For all of you Charlotte Catholics and denizens let us examine the issue on a local, more personal level. Remember David Crespi from St. Matthew Catholic Church? If you have forgotten already or were never informed, last year he stabbed his five year old twins Samantha and Tessara, and of course he was mentally ill at the time of their murder. David Crespi was a financially prosperous individual with a high powered, lucrative corporate job at Wachovia Bank.
Apparently he had been suffering depression for years but on that fatal day, costing his daughters their lives, his mental state got the best of him and he surrendered to the temptation to kill. Even recently he wrote an article to a columnist at the Charlotte Observer and the discerning intellect would be able to detect the tone of anger in his written words, but the gist of what he had to communicate was basically that all levels of society needed to 'get their heads out of the sand of denial regarding mental illness.' Excuse me?
The world is not fashioned and exists not to serve our self-interest or demands for we were created to serve the world as exemplified in the life of Christ and underscored in the simple prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, so I am not interested in what he insists upon to justify killing his twins. Oh poor David he was depressed and logically in the aftermath of the killings he is now conveniently diagnosed as bipolar. I am empathetic for the suffering of his lovely and faithful wife and the surviving family members, but he had a choice that day and unfortunately he made the wrong decision. FYI David, many individuals are mentally afflicted and tormented, even severely depressed, but they do not massacre their children in a bloodbath of misused free will. Interestingly enough in David Crespi's own words, he made a similar reference mirroring Andrea Yates insight about taking the lives of some of his family in order for them to merit Heaven and avoid hell, and I cannot help but once again consider what was influencing this man's mind at the time because the chemical snafu excuse is getting increasingly threadbare and worn. Furthermore, no guarantee exists that any combination of therapeutic medicine and respective treatment would have in fact prevented these deadly events.
The bottom line is we want a reasonable explanation for the agent of human evil directing the actions of those individuals who commit such horrific acts by their own God given two hands, and we only seek those answers which readily appeal to our fallen nature of sin and assuage our psychological and natural understanding because the spiritual evidence and consequent solution is foreign and unpalatable to most. We want to indulge licentiously and continuously in sin but we do not want to contend with the ramifications of the misuse of free will. The excuses proliferate in the aftermath of random but regular acts of human violence, whether it be the lack of medication fueled the fury or the side effects of the medication impelled the rage, either way the mystery of evil and sin litter the landscape of humanity but we dare not look because than we are forced to look at ourselves.
Interestingly in light of the 911 debacle and the ongoing warfare with the Islamic groups, they offer no excuse of psychiatric illness as an explanation for their incessant militant actions. Certain Muslims are very outspoken about the imperative to engage in holy war all in the name of serving Allah. Ironically it appears to be more honorable of an explanation because at least it is honest despite being gravely wrong. I am convinced that psychiatric illness has and continues to replace the genuine culpability of sins. Symptomatically mental disturbances do indeed exist and diagnoses are formed based upon behavioral and temperamental manifestations solely, but in terms of scientific accuracy and conclusivity there in fact is no known cause or clear origin as to why these conditions exist. Read the disclaimers on psychotropic drug prescriptions, for example, we don't know what in fact cause depression but we think it may be the result of a chemical imbalance. Even the medical profession is not convinced nor claiming such themselves and continues its research and practices based upon theory alone, so then why are we always deferring to science to explain away sinful acts and malevolent behavior?
Furthermore, we must consider and evaluate the fact that the psychotropic drug industry, and I say industry because it is a profitable and increasingly viable economical pursuit, acts as a corporate machine generating billions of dollars annually to the benefit of pharmaceutical companies but ultimately at the expense and ongoing necessity of human suffering. Doctors need patients and drug companies need doctors, so without a continuous influx of the lowest common denominator, the suffering patient, no profits will be obtained. Corporate prosperity in this particular industry is vitally dependent upon the variable of people being ill, remaining ill and on an ongoing basis. The victims of true mental affliction exist as the innocent commodity.
I remember years ago when I was enrolled in religious studies at UNC Charlotte, an obvious secular institute, in one of my classroom experiences the discussion travelled and examined the cultural historicity of Jesus. During one class the professor, and without mentioning his name for this academician is a genius, a nationally known author, and the current department head, he made a remark about historians currently researching the psychology of Jesus. My interest piqued and I was dumbfounded in responding, "really?" He mentioned that the floating and speculative theory being entertained was that Jesus was bipolar. Yes my friends that is where the current trends and pursuits of the greatest scholarly minds in the United States are leaning toward, the bipolarity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Dismiss it as irrelevant to your personal beliefs and as silly nonsense characterized by the secular psychological and social scientists, but unfortunately this maligned method of thinking and proposal of truth is what has infected our intellects and continues to metastasize in the consciences of mainstream American society, including the Christian community.
Furthermore, one of the leading experts on the bipolar disorder in the U. S. is Kaye Redfield Jamison who has authored many books on this mysterious 'illness' and is even conditioned with it herself. More recently Dr. Jamison has co-authored a massive text accompanied by Frederick K. Goodwin, M.D. coined Manic-Depressive illness, and although I cannot at this time cite the exact page number, a statement is made in reference to the greatest Roman Catholic Saints in the history of the Church. To paraphrase the book's reference, "St. John of the Cross, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Therese of Lisieux were all merely undiagnosed bipolars who probably hallucinated their religious and mystical experiences." Human thinking has been deeply entrenched with and thus misguided by the idol of psychiatric science and erected it as a false God upon the altar of Divine Truth. Consider what I am speaking of in all seriousness, St. Therese of Lisieux, favorite canonized Saint of Holy Mother Church, one of the only three female doctors of the church alongside St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Sienna, hallucinated her holiness, imagined the sanctity Our dear Lord endowed her with, deluded by hysterical graces she penned 'The Story of A Soul'? You have got to be kidding me!
In one of Father John Corapi's teachings and I do believe it is the lesson on humility, he indicates that we can only straddle and sit on the fence for so long, and that one day God will come along and shake that fence and we will fall one way or the other, but where do we ultimately want to land. Do we want to be in the enemy's camp and on the side of the lie, for our adversary is the Father of lies and was a liar from the beginning according to Our Lord, or do we want to be on the side of the Truth as defined by Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and Magisterial Authority, enfolded within the immaculate garment of Holy Mother Church? We must be yanked by the neck out of hiding our weak minds in the proverbial sand of insane thinking and theories that blanket our world today. Furthermore, look at the fruit of all of the highly degreed scientific genius and its substance of hypotheses on the human condition. It is slowly but severely stripping the collective conscience of mankind of the culpability and reality of sin.
Abort the infant, contracept versus concept and bar the inception of life at its earliest moment, euthanize the elderly and mentally indigent, choose the right to die via physician-assisted suicide, destroy viable embryos all in the name of stem cell research, clone human cells with animals, all of the aforementioned engineered and accomplished my medical doctors in the name of science. A doctor is requisite in order to impale and thus collapse the brain of an infant in utero, before a diabolical vacuum sucks the remnants of humanity from the mother's womb. A doctor was present and requisite to yank the feeding tube from the life of Terry Schiavo. Even taking many of the psychiatric drugs require the concurrent use of birth control because the drugs are harmful to an unborn child. Wake up America and look at what the medical community has to offer us so much of the time?
From the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church:
"407 The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man's situation and activity in the world. By our first parents' sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails "captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil".298 Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action299 and morals."
If you do not yet know who is behind this smoking inferno of what is known as the culture of death than I pray for you before it is to late to figure it out. Abortion, contraception, fornication and adultery, divorce, homosexuality, bestiality, child prostitution and trafficking, pornography, satanism, occultism, new age divination, materialism and consumerism, corporate greed, drunkenness, drug use, prescription pill addiction, murder, and a global pride of arrogance that says I get to decide who is God. I get to decide what is right and wrong. What I believe and consequently how I act is for me to decide. Me, myself , and I. Memory escapes me a the moment, but who was it that said he would exalt his throne above that of the Most High?

Merriam-Webster's online dictionary:
1: having or marked by two mutually repellent forces or diametrically opposed natures or views.

In the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians:
"For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers in this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens."
-Ephesians 6:12

I would say that is it reasonable and safe to assume that God and Satan possess 'diametrically opposed natures or views.' The dynamics of the supernatural warfare that wages unceasingly over the battle of souls, created by and so deeply loved by God but clearly detested and hated by Satan, by its activity alone is inherently bipolar. Batteries are bipolar, plus and minus. Light switches are bipolar, on and off. The pinnacles of the opposite hemispheres of the earth are bipolar, north and south. Mysticism is notoriously and characteristically bipolar, high and low, ecstatic highs and dark night of the soul lows. Weather is bipolar, warm days of sunshine and stillness of atmosphere, and cold nights of treacherous, howling winds and torrential rains. Considering all of these elements of creation one could conclude that God' nature is terribly bipolar. Jesus' paradoxical use of parable is inherently bipolar.
Eve made a bipolar choice in the garden of Eden when she ate of the forbidden fruit, from the tree of bipolar Knowledge of Good and Evil, and so the fall of man from his prior innocence and intimate walk with God in paradise came to be.

"I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring
and hers;
He will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel."

-Genesis 3:15

A simplified but accurate definition of enmity is positive hatred. Positive hatred is a bipolar term, for positive implies something uplifting and good whereas hatred indicates something negative and bad. In summary, I guess bipolarity established itself in the garden and at the end of times, Our Blessed Mother will commit the finishing bipolar act of crushing the damned serpent's proud head once and for all, the wicked contamination of humanity authoring death, will be defeated by the unadulterated purity of the one who was immaculately conceived. Hail Mary full of Grace.
Please pray for all of the souls of the families I have discussed in this article, for God has mercy on the souls of those who do commit grave acts of mortal sin which includes ourselves at times. Saint Faustina was given the revelation of Divine Mercy by Jesus Christ to prepare the world for His second coming, and the hour of mercy is truly at hand and upon us now. Seek the available graces and never tire of petitioning Him, Our Blessed Mother, and the angels and saints in Heaven. The Adorable Face of our Risen Lord shines down on us with a heart brimming over with mercy, but when He does return it will only be as the just Judge, so make the most of the moment and continue to grow in Him by answering the universal call to holiness. Make the cyclothymic choice today.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Imago Dei

Years ago I was napping one lazy afternoon and arose from my slumber in a state of exquisite peace, and only one word echoed in my mind, and that term is imago. Imago. Imago. Imago, over and over again nagged my thought life and resounded in my mind for I did not know what the word meant. So I researched the word imago in the dictionary.

Webster's definition:


1) An insect in the adult stage.

Then I researched the Internet, and it comes from the Latin for 'image.' I further found reference to metamorphosis which means transformation, and in terms of earthly creatures, imago is the final stage of metamorphosis before a winged creature breaks free of its cocoon of prior incubation and thus take flight.

I thought to myself oh Lord, am I finally free to leave the cocoon of the crucible for now, and to take flight as a result of a season of spiritual preparation and maturation?

"They that hope in the LORD

will renew their strength,

they will soar as with eagle's wings."

-Isaiah 40:31

Upon further research, I found the term Imago Dei , image of God, and reflected upon the idea of the purpose of spiritual metamorphosis to ultimately refine one by the Holy fire into the image and likeness of a living God? As we were fashioned with purity in our mother's womb we inherited the effects of original sin, and the purity of innocence becomes disfigured through sin, and only He can restore us to a new creation in Christ Jesus.

The second definition of imago in the dictionary is:

2) An idealized concept of a parent, formed in childhood and retained within the adult conscious mind(psyche hence soul.)

If the mind is a faculty of the human soul, and therefore a limb or extension of a substantially spiritual entity, then such a seed planted at the moment of human conception, specifically when God breathes his divine breathe of life into a mere mortal, must possess the idea and desire for Abba Father. Is the Father not truly the only genuine concept of an ideal parent, alongside the holiness of our Blessed Mother?

Logically such a concept would indelibly linger in the adult mind, though the conscience may be darkened by sin and thus improperly ordered, such a concept perseveres to resound the insatiable desire to seek out our Heavenly Father. He stamps us with His Divine paternal image, branding our consciences forever, and until we draw our last expiring breath we will never cease seeking the Adoring Face of our royal inheritance and our eternal parentage.

Contemplating and considering this deep yet mysterious notion of truth, all I could do was weep because something so deep penetrated my interior, and the absolute awareness of the deep paternal love the Father has for His little children, a covenant purchased by Christ's blood, the Divine substance of consummate suffering, that is the only stain of love bold enough to write our names in Heaven.

" See upon the palms of my hands

I have written your name;

your walls are ever before me."

-Isaiah 49:16

The bloody palm bearing the mark of our name reached out from the cross of the dying Christ, and at the moment He grieved, "Father, why have you forsaken me?," in the emptiness of expiration and bankruptcy of the sense of the Father's presence, Heaven opened up and the Father's Hand grabbed the bloody palm of the Son, and our names were Divinely transmitted during that eternal moment of Perfect Sacrifice, and written by the Blood of Jesus sealing our adoption through his redemption. " It is finished!"

We adore you oh Christ, and we bless You, for by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

The razor's edge leads toward Heaven

" As far as I know, God is beautiful, is beauty itself. Beauty in being. Being that is beauty. And God's will is in full possession of that beauty, that being.
In human love, woman loving is that being's echo; and man desiring is that will's parallel. In their love, will is locked with being."
- Excerpted from the writings of the late Malachi Martin

In reference to the above, femininity corresponds with God's being and masculinity corresponds to God's will. It speaks of the true nature and supernatural effect of conjugal love within the holy confines of the sacrament of marriage. Sexuality is not defined or segmented by gender. Gender can and does reveal God's being and will, but God is without gender assignment altogether. In the mystery of human love between a man and a woman gender maintains perfect purpose and this reveals itself in the act of conjugal love sexually experienced, and the Divine act penetrates the intimate walls of the soul marked by many different rooms designed to receive grace but more importantly designed to reveal God, whether via His ecstatic effect soulfully or His procreative plan reproductively.
I refer to heightened ecstatic experience separate of conjugal union but prayerfully manifested as walking the razor's edge, and such a delicate rim is painfully sharp to tread upon for it draws blood as one journeys, but it divides sanity from insanity, life from death, and darkness from light, and true love from lovelessness. Notice how I do not oppose love with hate? Hate is a passion that requires as much effort and interest as love, so it is not opposite of love so much as it is the corruption and contamination of love. The razor's painful edge divides between love and lovelessness, because you either have love or you do not, and if you must ponder or wonder if you even possess love than you certainly do not, and so I wonder why people settle for mere lovelessness in the name of love, calling it love, but it is not love.
The razor's edge as you continue to tread the delicate divide of love and lovelessness, is the most painful path toward Truth, I believe Christ deemed it Calvary, via dolorosa, and most people will not endure the longevity of the journey and fall into the pit of temptation of lovelessness. However, for those who tarry along, persisting in the journey for God indeed guides their footsteps and lights the unstable, unknown pathway, if such individuals face their worst fears and walk through the dark valley of the razor's bloody edge for it bears the crimson stain of sainthood, eventually such souls will come out of the valley of death and enter into the warmth of the sunlight.
Delightful sunshine of the Father's love grazes the cheek of the wounded soldier and you can smell this Heavenly sunshine, welcome it, and embrace it. I remember when all my sunny days were colored black and sunlight was simply to painful and agonizing to endure. The skies of my mind were darkened by a pain that did not cease, yet I kept the pain of the sunlight eclipsed by a torrent of tears, and such tears would not abate, not cease, and would not dissolve the pain, for walking the razor's edge is painful.
So many tremendous, significant, yet humanly traumatic events occured in my spiritual life during my journey along the razor's edge of Truth, it knocked me off of my feet because I could not endure so I felt, but instead of falling into the demonic pit of lovelessness, I fell the other direction and drowned in a sea of love, but I did not know it for one cannot see anything in the mystical cloud of unknowing. A tiny seed germinates in darkness, buried in the grave of the earth, but grows into towering majesty over hidden time.
The true self become buried, worldly human identity annihilated, for we can no longer remain as we were prior to grace, for the innocence of that indentity and person will disappear, and the intellect will at times fail to discern what is real and what is not real, and the human mind will questions itself incessantly, but we do find the reality and the freedom from the fear and pain of it all but only in Christ.
The dark valley of the razor's edge is frightening and involves degradation, humiliation, violation, persecution, and many unspoken threats of harm and abandonment, and even your will no longer seems free and is encroached upon by an exacting, nefarious agent, and in this pitch black nothingness we must make a choice. The decision we face is do we live or do we die. Do we choose Him? Death is a tempting escape from the agony of the crucible but the human will's capacity and design to survive and conquer defeat, and to ultimately rise up and to walk is our most noble and extraordinary quality.
All events and circumstances aside and all pain included, do we choose life or do we choose death. If we choose life and endure the malaise of survival, to ultimately live in pursuit of the Highest and only good which is God, assured we will emphatically and continuously suffer for that choice. It is the sacrifice of Higher election. At that critical moment of decision we will never remotely anticipate just how much we may indeed have to suffer.
The silver lining in this particular lesson teaches pain is the only element of our lives and in the innermost recesses of our beings that we truly possess as an offering to God at times, yet it merits the highest degree of intimacy within the confines of the mysterious sting of love, which mandates a sacrificial nature in order to be genuine.


Fellow brothers and sister in Christ my poor mind is worn out and I am seriously sleep deprived thanks to my dear and beloved friend Maria who started this blog. Thank God for noon Mass! I want to introduce a nugget of what I intend to further share on a future posting. I call it E=mc2(squared).

"I want to know God's thoughts, the rest are mere details."
-Albert Einstein

Energy= matter multiplied by the speed of light squared

When matter moves at light speed squared, the matter transforms into pure energy creating atomic fusion. Clearly one could take this mere physical law and parallel and/or contrast it with supernatural laws or dynamics. And if the frame of reference is spiritual one can then begin to study and research human experience within this frame of reference but on a more personal, localized, and familiar level.
If matter can become pure energy with an atomic volatility, a human soul subject to the Spirit of God, in union with Him, perhaps can become a vessel of life giving Love with magnanimous and equal atomic volatility, but with purpose, intent, and a goal that edifies and does not reap unchecked and mass destruction, but ponders the unlimits of the Infinite, more importantly enters into the unlimits experientially via prayer of the Infinite One, the Divine One, the Eternal One, the I AM WHO AM.
And if mere human beings became willing to probe or explore this seeming esoteric and palpably imperceptible mystery, and further became willing to enter into this affectionate mystery which consummates the fullness of Truth, for Truth authored such fullness Himself, and He lacks nothing for He is everything.
What happens if we invite this same Truth, this Perfect Love into our ordinary existence, into our imperfect lives? If the energy is love as God prefigured it and ordained it and we invite this profound but Perfect spiritual essence into the fabric of the matter of our lives, one could speculate that transformation potentially can and will take place. Rather than the fusion that splits an atom wreaking mass annihilation upon humanity and leads to death, the supernatural fusion rather than divide and conquer leads to transformation of all ordinary, natural circumstances but such fusion creates order, love, serves purposes of nobility, and prepares the way for the Eternal. It actually leads to edification and quality of life, but more significantly it harmonizes souls and leads to more perfect unions and purified intimacies in all relationships. be continued.

The prelude of the humming of quiet to sacrificial love

The humming of quiet. The reverberating melody of the Presence of His Peace that fan the fires of the soul, and the effects of this imperceptible song without words, or are they unspoken words carrying an inaudible interpretation. The movement of the hum and the consequent flame it stirs depends upon the degree of yieldings in one's disposition. What I mean is that the Breathe of Life, the blowing of the Spirit is always the same or constant, but the receptacle of our soul is positioned differently from time to time, or perhaps it is like a sponge dependent upon its state of saturation, the size of the porous surface, and the condition of the pores themselves, and what it already retains or is capable of absorbing at any given moment.
Think of a hummingbird as its wings flutter rapidly, so quickly is the oscillation that one cannot visibly see each wing's individual stroke of the air, nor can we see how many strokes occur per minute, but the swiftness of the hummingbird's flutter is indeed in motion. Such motion enables it to remain airborne in addition to propelling its journey through the emptiness of the sky. So similar is the infusion of stillness that hums the human soul and such action of the Spirit possesses motion, but the movement is undetectable to the senses yet the senses perceive the effects of such Divine fluttering of the wings of God's dispersion of Breathe.
The breathe of life is indeed life giving and despite the quiet immobility of the soul housed within the human body, such a Divine Whisper puts the soul into an interior motion that seems to travel no distance in terms of spatial endeavor, yet the soul does soar and rise up spiritually into a greater fullness of Him, so it accomplishes much unknown to itself as its progress harmonizes with the impetus of the wind of the Spirit.
It reminds me of the sensation of slow burning or simmering, but at times without the quality of heat. A cauterizing smolder that at first captures the wounds of the heart and takes full possession of the injuries, so they are incapable of experiencing the sensation of pain for that moment, yet something so much deeper and completely unknown to the natural man and his method of logic, reason, and deduction of cause and effect, all of this becomes apparent for the material or finite ability such exists as, and the activity of the slow burn of the Spirit penetrates what the mind cannot comprehend or even perceive much less what is housed within the human heart.
This mystical burn attempts to lay bare the wounds of the soul, perhaps disfigured by sin alone, and at any given moment either the Spirit wants to remove and heal such thorns of suffering or perhaps He permeates the natural senses of the soul to redirect or to utilize such suffering, not by conduit of the soul's own pious desires, but under the direction of the Divine One not merely for His purposes, but such suffering enters into the consummation and substance of Divine Endeavor Himself.
Our suffering will ebb and flow within the tide of life giving motion of the sea of Triune Love, the Trinity Himself, perhaps within the spiritual wave of love of the third person who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and all three are of this substance of Pure Love. Yet the tidal flow of the Holy Spirit reflects the character of the breathe of life of the Father as He whispers, and the suffering of the Son that leads to the bloody flow of sacrificial love, this Divine blood issuing forth from the Heart of Jesus, exposes through material substance emanating from His perfect wounds that a mere human eye can see, but the material of His blood disguises a higher nature of His substance that the human eye cannot see, and this I suppose could be referred to as the life giving, eternal flow of Pure Love of the Spirit, evidenced by or perhaps to reveal a mote of the Divine Being, and I say a mote or a speck because the human intellect will never comprehend the Trinity.
The sheer suffering of sacrificial Love cannot remain encapsulated within the interior of any man, but especially of the God Man, because such agony that ultimately authors life, particularly a share in Divine life, must be procreatively expressed, yet its hidden expression appears as pure, inexplicable agony to the mortal understanding because Divine Life and Divine Love evolve out of a sacrificial mystery, a seeming permanent and final loss that acquires the completion of Love, exists as the fullness of Love, is Consummate Love Himself, and such human expiration and expiation which surrenders and consequently loses it all, in effect is the singular vehicle for gaining the eternal All, for all of mankind.
The pure, bittersweet love contained within the Sacred Heart of Jesus, lingering as sorrow unto death, such a torrent of Divine Love could not be dammed up within His soul but had a vital demand for expression, so inevitably He sweated blood in the Garden only as a foreshadow to a beginning, for He yielded to the scourging and the crucifixion to permit the human agent of unchecked hate, propelled by the malevolence of the devil, to pierce the exterior only to reveal the interior.
Jesus' body and its own efforts at human perspiration of the Divine blood of Love was insufficient to lance all that was to be exhausted and released upon the cross. Only the piercing of the five primary and Holy wounds of His innocent flesh could ultimately provide the exterior conduits for the deeper interior expression of sacrifice, and the five Divine wounds resurrected would intimate or whisper of the five elements of spiritual armor that the children of His bloody bequest would one day bear as armor through baptism in Him. Just as the stomata of a plant respires the life of a mere plant, the stigmata of Christ perspires the essence of the eternal life of God.
Oh how grateful I am that He breathed His last so we could one day breathe our first!

Have you been baptized with the mystical fire?

Have you been baptized with the mystical fire?
Mary untie our knots.

Jesus I Trust In You

Jesus I Trust In You

Suffering and the Cross part 1

Suffering & Cross What can we learn from suffering? Sometimes we get stuck asking the question “Why do we suffer?” instead of asking “What can we learn through suffering?” When we ask this question, we realize that God allows the things he hates (e.g., sin and suffering) so that the things he loves (e.g., virtues, compassion, love, and new life) may grow. Sometimes suffering is necessary to achieve some good. In the Gospel of John (16:21), Jesus speaks of the suffering of a woman in labor. Although her pain is great, her joy is complete with the birth of her child. Sometimes when we are in the midst of suffering, it is difficult to see the good that can come out of it. However, whether it is the birth of a child or the development of a virtue, good often does follow from suffering. Suffering helps bring us closer to others. Through our own sufferings and heartaches, we come to understand the pain of others. Just as Jesus shared in our sufferings, we too are called to share in the sufferings of others. Suffering helps us to be better Christians and more Christ-like. In many respects, suffering is a gift, as it can teach us to be better Christians by teaching us about patience, humility, and compassion. Think about Job in the Old Testament. Job was a wealthy and revered man who was blessed with good health and a large family. And, in the eyes of the Lord, Job was good and righteous. However, Satan stripped Job of his earthly possessions, his family, and his health. Although Job endured great suffering, he remained steadfast in his faith in God. Moreover, his great suffering helped to purify and strengthen his love for God. Recall too the lives of the saints and martyrs. In Philippians 1:12-13, we read that St. Paul was not concerned with his own suffering; rather, he was pleased that his “imprisonment in Christ’s cause worked out to the furtherance of the gospel.” Likewise, St. Stephen and thousands of other martyrs not only grew closer to God in their suffering, but they chose a life (and death) of great suffering for their love of Christ. In their suffering, they remembered the Lord’s promise that “Blest are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:10-12). And, most importantly, recall the passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ. As St. Francis de Sales reminds us, “Look intently and frequently on Christ Jesus, crucified, naked, blasphemed, slandered, forsaken and overwhelmed by every kind of weariness, sorrow and labor. Remember that your sufferings are not comparable to his in quality and quantity, and that you can never suffer for his sake anything equal to what he has suffered FOR YOU.” How amazing is God’s love for us! Our powerful, all good, and everlasting Lord – the Creator of the entire world – humbled Himself to take on the form of a man, and not just any man, but a slave. And, He obediently accepted death – death on a cross – because of His infinite love for us (Philippians 2:7-8). Suffering reminds us to look ahead to our eternal life with God. Sometimes, suffering forces us to take a time-out from this life. When we suffer, we are forced to ask the hard questions in life. We are forced to examine the meaning of life, and the meaning of death. And, we are forced to consider that this world makes no sense at all unless there exists some greater plan for us. Through it all, suffering inspires us to look ahead to the possibilities of eternal life – a life of truth, beauty, justice, and love – with God. The Lord reminds us to “Have no fear of the sufferings to come . . . remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10).Through our own sufferings, then, we are called to remember the sufferings of other Christians and of Christ Himself. Through our sufferings, we are called to be faithful to God, and to turn to Him for comfort. And, we are reminded that true peace and happiness can NEVER be found in this world; rather, as Christians, we must set our sights on the next world – and our eternal life with God. How are we to endure suffering? In modern society, we are taught that happiness is the ultimate goal. And, moreover, happiness is equated with immediate gratification, pleasures of the body and the palate, and possession of the “conveniences” created by modern technology. In this conception of happiness, suffering doesn’t seem to have a place. Yet, as Christians, we know that we are called to a life of holiness, and that the path to holiness often involves suffering. We believe that Christ saved us by His suffering, and that “we must work out our salvation in the same manner, through suffering and afflictions, enduring the injuries, denials and discomforts we meet with all possible meekness” (St. Francis de Sales). For Christians, then, suffering does have its place. If we are to be holy, we must endure our trials in accord with God’s will. When an evil happens to us, we must do all we can to remedy the situation. If we are at fault, we must humbly admit our transgression. And, if the evil is caused by another, we must bless that person and “never repay injury with injury” (Rom. 12:14, 17). We must be patient in our suffering – we must not complain or seek pity from others. We must consider the suffering of other Christians before us – and of Christ Himself. We must offer up our suffering to Christ. We must remember that our time on this earth is short and our trials shall quickly pass. Above all, we must pray. The great mystic Thomas à Kempis said that we should always let Christ’s promises strengthen and console us. Receiving Him will be a reward beyond all measure. Thomas à Kempis “speaks” for Christ as follows: “You will not labor here for long, nor will you always be burdened with sorrows. . . . The hour will come when blood, sweat and tears will be no more. All that passes away with time is of little importance, and it passes away quickly. Whatever you do, do it well . . . bear adversity with courage. Eternal life is worth all these battles – and more ... Oh, if only you could see the everlasting crowns of the saints in heaven and how much glory they now enjoy – those same saints who, when they were alive, were held in utter contempt by the world and were thought unworthy of even drawing breath . . . Are not all painful labors to be endured for eternal life. It is no small thing to lose or gain the kingdom of God! So, lift your face to heaven. Look at me and all my saints with me, they who in this world have had great contention. They are now joyful, they are now consoled, they are now safe, they are now at rest, and they will forever remain with me in my Father’s kingdom.” What is meant by redemptive suffering? Pope John Paul II wrote: “In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his sufferings, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ” (Salvifici Doloris). St. Paul likewise realized that his sufferings had redemptive power: “I find joy in the sufferings I endure for you. In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Body, the Church” (Colo. 1:24). Some people are concerned that St. Paul’s words imply that Christ’s passion was insufficient for our redemption. Before Christ died, He cried out, “It is finished,” meaning that He had accomplished our redemption. But, as Pope Pius XII said in his encyclical on the Mystical Body (Mystici Corporis Christi): “In carrying out the work of redemption Christ wishes to be helped by the members of His Body. This is not because He is indigent or weak, but rather because He so willed it for the greater glory of His spotless Spouse (Church). Dying on the Cross, He left to the Church the immense treasury of the Redemption. Towards this she (the Church) contributed nothing. But when those graces come to be distributed, not only does He share this task of sanctification with His Church, but he wants it, in a way, to be due to her action. What a deep mystery . . . that the salvation of many depends on the prayers and voluntary penances which the members of the Mystical Body offer for that intention, and on the assistance of pastors of souls and of the faithful…” Jesus wants to honor us, the members of His Mystical body by participating in His redemptive mission (Colo.1:24). Compiled by Fr. Herman (Feb. 11’07--the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes).

Suffering and The Cross part 2

Suffering & The Cross The Shrine at Lourdes was chosen last year for the World Day of Prayer, because it was the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In fact, it was on Dec. 8, 1854, that Blessed Pius IX, affirmed that “the most Blessed Virgin Mary was, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from every stain of original sin.” At Lourdes, Mary, speaking in the local dialect, said: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” With these words, did not the Virgin perhaps wish to express the bond which joins together health and life? Just as death entered the world through original sin, so through the merits of Jesus Christ, God preserved Mary from every stain of sin, and salvation and life came to us (Rom. 5:12-21). The original plan of God for creation was thereby restored in Christ. The great work of Redemption, accomplished through the precious blood of Christ, began with the Immaculate Conception of Mary. In Jesus, every person is called to the fullness of holiness (Col. 1:28). Just as Jesus is the source of life which overcomes death, Mary is the solicitous mother who comes to the assistance of her children, obtaining for them health of body and soul. This is the message that the Shrine of Lourdes constantly presents to devotees and pilgrims. This is also the meaning of the physical and spiritual healings that take place in the grotto of Massabielle. From the day of her apparition to St. Bernadette Soubirous, Mary’s prayers “cured” pain and sickness, restoring health of body to so many of her children. However, her intercession achieved even more surprising miracles in the souls of believers, opening their hearts to re-encounter her Son Jesus, the true response to the most profound aspirations of the human heart. The Holy Spirit, whose power overshadowed her at the moment of the Incarnation, transforms the souls of countless sick people who turn to Him. Even when they do not obtain health in body, they can always receive something even more important—conversion of heart, the source of peace and of interior joy. This gift transforms their existence and makes them apostles of the cross of Christ, vessels of hope even when confronted with the most difficult trials. Suffering is part of the human condition, and man has to learn to accept and overcome it. But how can we do that, if not through the cross of Christ? In the death and resurrection of the Redeemer, human suffering finds its most profound meaning and its salvific value. The entire weight of the tribulations and sufferings of the human race is condensed in the mystery of a God who, assuming our human nature, denied Himself even to the point of making Himself “sin on our behalf” (2 Cor. 5:21). On Golgotha, He was weighed down with the sins of every human creature and, in the solitude of abandonment, cried out to the Father: “Why have you abandoned me?” (Mt. 27:46). From the paradox of the Cross flows the response to our most unsettling questions. Christ suffers for us. He takes upon Himself the suffering of all and redeems it. Christ suffers with us, giving us the possibility of sharing with Him our own sufferings. United to the sufferings of Christ, human suffering becomes a means of salvation. That is why the believer can say with St. Paul: “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the Church” (Col. 1:24). Sorrow, accepted with faith, becomes the door for entering into the mystery of the redeeming suffering of the Lord. This is a suffering which does not take away peace and happiness, because it is illuminated by the splendor of the Resurrection. At the foot of the Cross, Mary suffers in silence, participating in a very special way in the sufferings of her Son. She became the mother of all people, ready to intercede so that every one can obtain salvation. It is not difficult to understand this singular participation of Our Lady in the salvific role of Christ. The miracle of the Immaculate Conception reminds believers of a fundamental truth. It is only possible to attain salvation by participating with docility in the plan of the Father, who willed to redeem the world through the death and the resurrection of His only-begotten Son. He wanted to show how He loves us. He wanted to show the horribleness of sin and the displeasure we earn by our disobedience to His commandments. He wanted us to know the costliness of attaining heaven. He also wanted to tell us how sin is infectious, like a ripple in a lake. With Baptism, the believer is inserted into this salvific plan and is freed from original sin. Sickness and death, although they continue to be present in our earthly existence, nonetheless lose their negative meaning. In the light of faith, the death of the body, conquered by the death of Christ (Rom. 6:4), becomes the obligatory passage to the fullness of immortal life. I recall what Mother Teresa said when she visited our seminary in Madras in the year 1963: “You are to become apostles of joy, to console the Sacred Heart of Jesus through joy. You have heavy crosses waiting for you in your future ministry. Remember the passion of Christ ends always in the joy of Resurrection; so when you feel in your own heart the suffering of Christ, remember the Resurrection has to come, the joy of Easter has to dawn. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Risen Christ.” I know this has been repeatedly told to her sisters. God is love, and we are truly called to become instruments of His love on earth, not to become apostles of compromise of God’s teachings for the sake of peace. We do a disservice to our fellow man if we do not point out their error and ignorance. We are called to lift the veil of untruth and error and show the beauty of God and His plan for human beings. At Christmas in the Eastern Church, there is a practice of embroidering the swaddling clothes with the Sign of the Cross. Also, the figure of the Divine Infant is presented with arms extended, as he would be on the Cross. We have the same kind of baby Jesus in our parish. In those symbolic ways is presented the unity of the mystery of redemption, joy, and sorrow. From the wood of the crib to the wood of the cross, the mystery is one. The poverty, the abandonment, the rejection which Jesus suffered on the Cross, He already experienced at His coming. We need to understand that life should be the same. Just as beneath the Cross there was the comfort of loving hearts, so at Bethlehem He was greeted with the joyful welcome of pure hearts and the song of the angels. When we celebrate His coming every year with special solemnity, we greet Him with the age-old song, “Venite adoremus”, “Come let us adore Him.” Beneath the Cross, our prayer of worship is the same: ‘We adore thee, O Christ, and praise thee.’ In our lives, punctuated by the interplay of Bethlehem joy and Calvary sorrow; we are certain that the same love that made Him come and made Him die for us, is always beside us. This is the mystery of the Cross. Pray to Our Blessed Mother of Perpetual Help that she may help every Christian witness to the fact that the only authentic response to sorrow, suffering, and death is Christ, our Lord, who died and rose for us. Compiled by Fr. Herman April 11, 2004