Anthem of La Salette

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          About two weeks ago, an old bell began to chime. It was the bell of La Salette. It chimed so often that I went back to the 1846 apparitions. I read the messages of a weeping Our Lady to the little shepherds. I read of the later controversies too.

          But for some reason, Her messages did not sink into my heart as deeply as I expected them too. I was looking for a sign, maybe a prayer direction through them, but the bloom seemed to close up on itself.

          Yet, La Salette was a constant in my mind. I finally felt that what was standing out more for me was the date of the feast – 19th of September.

          And I was right.

          The 19th brought some news for my country.

          This same day I think a whisper was also laid on my heart regarding someone else in my working life – of a possible coming development. It is also a test if I will merely sit back and wait for it happen. Or will I pray in charity for that soul in order to be freed myself.

          The chord that links all is – Freedom. Because that is the significance of La Salette to me. Our Lady of La Salette first came to me in 2013. She brought the key to my jail and She released me to a life I had never before known.

          Seven years later, the 19th hears the anthem of freedom once more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Divine Impressions

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I do not tell you to pray in my way, but in that of God. Leave your soul at liberty to receive the divine impressions according to God’s pleasure. We should pray according to the dictates of the Holy Spirit.   ~   St. Paul of the Cross

 

          A grey veil has settled over the shy sun, promising rain for the later hours. Above me, the windchimes sullenly stir in the elfin breezes. Close by, too close, someone is mowing his lawn with a very noisy machine, shattering the morning peace into a hundred pieces.

         This is not a day when my heart can see a prayer.

          St. Paul of the Cross must have known, which is why he came early to tell me,

Leave your soul at liberty to receive the divine impressions according to God’s pleasure. We should pray according to the dictates of the Holy Spirit.

          I am not happy with his words, but there’s nothing to be done. I am not the author of this day. And so I trundle off to my usual grottos.

          It is at the Daily Readings that with a start I realise it’s the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Reading the Stabat Mater Dolorosa, my mind pauses at,

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

          My heart is shaking its head vigorously. I don’t wish to be pierced today. I don’t feel like it. Today, I am immature and selfish. I am petulant, wanting the day to be more giving. But there’s an uncertain irritability to today. A weather that cannot decide if it wants to rain or be humid. The jarring of life roughly parts the air. It seems as if today everyone around is banging metal of some kind. Even the birds call out to one another in a rudeness that vexes the morn.

          It is not a day when prayer slips into your heart, not a day when prayers can be felt and lived. It is a day when I too want to take a pot and bang it around in solidarity with the nettled symphony that seems to be the hymn of the day.

         Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

          Something not mine suddenly takes over my heart, and silkenly thrusts it into the prayer,

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

          That very second, the sun pierces the clouds, the breezes cool and lift their song. The human ruckus around me dies, even my feathered friends gentle their calls.  Peace silvers into the bends and hollows of the waiting earth.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

          And then I understand. The Divine has impressed upon my heart.

 

 

 

 

 

Song of the Lark

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May you see God’s light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.

 

          The road is dark indeed, and getting darker for many. We have days of joy-filled moments embroidered into them. Hours laced with funnies and laughter where the sun spills its warm blessings upon the dimpled land and the green~gold breezes tug leaves  and boughs into a timeless dance.

          Yet, paradoxically, I sense the light outside going out. One by one, lights which line the streets of life and living, the lights we have come to depend on, are dying. I’m only getting by because of a strange, invisible light from within. A light fed by family, thanksgiving and prayer, knit together by obedience – the oil that will feed the light.

          Some days, the walk comes easy. Some days, obedience is hard to find. But I must trudge on. If obedience dies, so will the light – for me.

          And for others too.

          For tonight, another’s sorrow weighs heavily on my heart. A young man I know has fought many battles to live to love his God. Gentle soul, he burdens none with his bitter load. But the Cross bites deep now, deeper than before. Like it is with many the world over, I sense his lights too are dying out, one by one.

          My heart aches for him, this son of Ireland. He is tiring, it comes strong this still night, where the wee leaves lie unstirred in the dead of winds.  I’ve been there before, that same shore where hopes go to die.

          Only love pulled me back, away to the secret nooks where hope sings and lives.

          Now, this love must be returned for this young soul, as once was done for me. In every way the Spirit moves me to, in an obedience that doesn’t always come easy, I press this son loved by a Mother, into the Divine Heart, praying,

May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Heartbeat Prayer

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Heartbeat Reparation Prayer

Eternal Father, I desire to rest in Your heart this night.
I make the intention of offering You every beat of my heart, joining to them as many acts of love and desire.
I pray that even while I’m asleep, I will bring back to You souls that offend You.
I ask forgiveness for the whole world,
especially for those who know You and yet sin.
I offer to You my every breath and heartbeat,
as a prayer of reparation.

 

 

 

 

Decide

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          So often, what besmirches life is worthless yearning. It comes in and takes over our hours in God’s vineyards. What should be shunned and abandoned is allowed to cross the border between death and life. As each new day pearls with the awakening sun, we vacillate between the world and God. Our march towards life stalls because we fasten our hope to barren fig trees that will never yield life.

          Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.   ~  Ernest Hemingway

          When God shot that arrow into my heart, it signaled the time to make a decision –  to choose between traps that precipitate death and faith which births life. 

          He wanted me to stop and decide which way to fly from this point on.

          About a week ago, I began to sense the word, Word, light up. It was some time before it occurred to me that the Voice I sought, silent for so long, was going to be heard through the daily Readings.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.   ~   James 1:27

And He said,
“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. ~ Luke 4:24

Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:14

Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in His holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.   ~   Psalm 24: 3 – 4

And finally,

It does not concern me in the least
that I be judged by you or any human tribunal;
I do not even pass judgment on myself;
I am not conscious of anything against me,
but I do not thereby stand acquitted;
the one who judges me is the Lord.   ~   1 Corinthians 4: 3 – 4

         God is calling me to escape from the fetters of wanting to be valued and appreciated at work, for the eyes of my superiors and colleagues will always be strained towards what lies beyond their field. Their esteem wasted not on the labourers of the slums of the voiceless and defenseless, they will value only what (and who) does not trouble their conscience. By allowing myself to hope for their respect, I place value on the fool’s gold that they prize, gold that has blinded and deafened them.

          I abase the spirit He has put into me. 

          Instead, God wants me to seal my heart to the poor He has brought into my life. And to work for the poor, free from the fear of the judgement of fools. Because there is only one sun that points the way forward: it is the judgement of God.

          Ten years ago today, on the feast of Her Nativity, Mother Mary told me, Sorrow before Joy. Will I tarry in the mould of the world’s foolishness? Or will I turn towards the rose of the rising sun?

          It is now time to decide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into the Heart

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          Three days of sweetness beckon.

          It has been a very hard week. But I tried to heed heaven’s call to fight back – by going deeper into family. By working harder for them. By listening to them. Playing with them.

          Laughing with them.

          Every day, life at my workplace has been like a hard, unyielding rock. Wednesday took more out of me than I had to give. But each day, I came home determined to anchor my heart to my husband and children. Because the word I received before the waters began to churn was to

Go Indoors

          And indoors meant into the heart of the family.

          In the battle against all that is wrong today, the heart of the family is what sharpens our sword. It is what locks our gates and secures our life.

          Because the heart of the family is where God is.

 

 

 

Once More

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Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters,
as is fitting, because your faith flourishes ever more,
and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater.
Accordingly, we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God
regarding your endurance and faith in all your persecutions
and the afflictions you endure.

This is evidence of the just judgment of God,
so that you may be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God
for which you are suffering.

We always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith,
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.   ~  2 Thessalonians 1: 1-5, 11-12

          From Friday of the old week, knowing that I have to return to work today, I have been dreading the passing hours that flit by my train of life, taking me closer and closer to the bitter Cross. For ten days, the angel fed me manna from heaven, nourishing me, strengthening me for the long walk ahead. For ten days, I listened daily to the birds knit their melodies through the mourns of the wild, grey winds and the white~gold lances of merry sunshine. Keeping the pale rosebuds company as they shyly parted their pink lips to the waiting breezes, I spun my sonnets of praise and thanksgiving for every gift, great and little, from God Almighty.

          For ten beautiful days.

          But as the spectre of the working week loomed before me, I faltered. Many a time, in the deeps of thanks~living, I caught myself fearfully scanning the horizon for the dark cloud that was nearing. So great was my reluctance and sadness to be returning to the demons’ roost.

          Exactly two years ago, 2 Thessalonians 1 came to comfort me at a time when I wasn’t sure if I was on the right path, or even if I was walking my chosen path correctly. It came to me at a time when I felt I was falling more often than I was making progress. And that day when I read it, for the first time I felt as if the saints had written to me. It was deeply uplifting to actually learn that I was doing alright, that heaven was pleased with my efforts – even if I was in doubt. And this joy gave me strength for the many times ahead when sadness and difficulty bit hard into my days.

          Today, in the still, purple hours of dawn, seeking my Lord’s hand to stave off fear, the old flower bloomed once more. As the Blue King  raised his call with the silver~pink mists, I once again read 2 Thessalonians 1.

          But this time, the dawn fell on different words.

We always pray for you   ~   2 Thes. 1: 11

          The words from thousands of years ago cross the abysses of time and doubt. With a single touch, they part the briar of fear that encircles my heart. 

We always pray for you.

          Love of saints. Old yet faithful, they come to bid me remember, once more, that I am not alone.