Pray for Faith

At Prayer, Edwin Long

          A fellow blogger has been dreading the 11th of September. He’s not American but British and the 11th for him is when his partner and the mum of his only child, passed away. For some time now, through his posts, he has been sharing his apprehension of the approaching anniversary of loss, a day that straddles the ending of one season and the beginning of another. But I never guessed that it would be the 11th of September, a day of mourning that crosses American soil as many around the world break their hearts with America over the senseless loss of lives.

          When this poor man revealed the date of his mourning, a lump formed, and remains yet in my heart.

          Because I feel so helpless in the face of his anguish. Because I want to help but I don’t know how.

          Because his sorrow brings back memories of a time in the old of years.

          So, I whispered a prayer for him in my heart, Lord, be with him – because I know too well that no human effort will suffice as grief rages wild. And then, I went wearily to my day.

          Night has fallen here. Pain has not left my heart, the sultry night air in sullen repose, unwilling to render any comfort or hope. I ponder this pain for this man and his child, I wonder at this stubborn clutch of tears within me, unable to be shed. If I cry, would the pain go?

          Slowly, I sense a hand reach out to my spirit.

Pray for the gift of faith.

 

 

 

 

 

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Asking for a Miracle

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It may seem that by coming to Me, and by abiding in the light of My Eucharistic Face, you are doing nothing of any worth, but I tell you that this humble Adoration is the exercise of a great love, and that by means of this adoring love, My Heart is moved to act. Love is moved only by love, and Adoration is the expression of love by which My Heart is compelled to act in the souls and bodies of those whom you represent before Me.   ~  In Sinu Jesu II, When Heart Speaks to Heart

 

          Today, our priests here begin their annual retreat in the silence of the highlands. We had been asked for prayers and I was determined to fulfil in the way God wants. In my morning seeking, God seemed to point towards Adoration. I cannot get to a church now or any day before Friday for Adoration for our beloved priests as well as for the miracle I am praying for.

          To birth new leaders who love and fear the Lord.

          I cannot be in church now to offer my prayer of silence but my spirit can.

          With that, I ask my Angel to take my spirit and rest it before my Hidden Jesus in the Tabernacle of the highlands.

          May my far from perfect offering of love move Him to miracles.

 

 

 

Greet Mary

1861 Elin Kleopatra Danielson-Gambogi (Finnish painter, 1861-1919) (2)

… for nine days, she personally greeted Mary by saying a thousand Hail Marys a day in Her honour   ~  The Life of Faustina Kowalska, The Authorised Autobiography, Sr. Sophia Michaelenko, CMGT

          The usual Rosary of just 50 Hail Marys is the Alps for me. I can’t even manage the tiny anthill just outside our residential area, much less the Alps – in any form.

          And yet, this line in the autobiography of one my favourite saints, puts out its hand and pauses my gallop across the day.

She personally greeted Mary

a 1000 Hail Marys

9 days

          I just cannot do 1000. I don’t know how St. Faustina did it but I do know what I can do and what is beyond me and 1000 a day ticks the second box. As I was trying to settle on a manageable figure, it came to me to just ask God what He wanted of me.

          Greet Mary, was His simple answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret

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What happens in Adoration may be likened to what happens when someone receives a transfusion. It is as if God places a very tiny needle into the soul of the adorer, and by means of an attached tube, transfers His very life into the soul of the adorer. As in a hospital, the tube brings medicine and liquid and helps to heal whatever disease the person is suffering from. This is happening on the spiritual level, bringing spiritual healing. But it is not just the soul of the single adorer that is affected. Through the mystical communion of all believers, that transfiguring and healing divine energy is passed through the single adorer into the entire mystical body of the Church, purifying the Church.

When we go into Adoration, we are disposing ourselves to become nodes, conduits, for the purification of the entire Church, and through the Church, of the entire world.

So it is not a meaningless action, or even an action aimed at one’s own personal purification. It is the essential action to bring Christ’s eucharistic purification into the entire body of the Church, to do reparation for all sins and abuses, and to begin to heal them.   ~  Author of In Sinu Jesu

 

          A few days ago, on my leave, I sensed a faint burning on my right ear. From about 8 years ago, this fire on my ear has been a personal sign that God is holding my ear, firmly asking me to listen out for His voice.

          And so I tried to still myself, to empty myself until my Father bade me to come into His presence, all the while  wondering what God had to say to me.

          It turned out to be about the secret of Eucharistic Adoration.

          Although a few years ago, I began to feel a strange pull towards being alone in a silent church, living so far away from one made it impossible. Almost in a kind of agony from living within endless chaos and empty, debilitating noise, I yearned for the silence of an empty church. For a while, that yearning was appeased through webcams in certain churches which allowed me to enter in spirit for daily Adoration.

          Then, this year, unexpectedly, my schedule required me to travel every Friday to the city where our parish is located. In nothing short of a miracle, I found myself with about an hour of Friday afternoons in church for Adoration.

          When you’ve been forced to live in the desert of pandemonium and unnecessary ruckus for so long and when you come upon an oasis of silence, you do everything you can to make full use of the gift that is given. And so it was with me. Often, I went to my Friday Adoration armed with prayers and meditations and of course, petitions. I was happiest when my Holy Hour was filled to the teeth. My way of saying thanks to the Lord was by bringing basketfuls of offerings.

          Although I’ve been led many, many times to spiritual emptying in order to be filled, it never occurred to me that even in Adoration, my Lord would prefer the humility of an emptied heart – to be filled with Him, to be used by Him.

          Today, after the 9 day novena of offering everything for God, 2 years after my Lenten journey with In Sinu Jesu, Jesus tells me the secret of humble Adoration: the unfurling of the Mercy of the Eucharist.

The infusing of the Spirit of Jesus into our souls

The transfusion of that purifying and healing Power,

through us,

to every member of the Body of Christ

          As this revelation pierced me, golden and orange, the evening sun suddenly swelled through the heart of a tree.

 

 

 

 

9th of 9

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          This beautiful break draws to a close. Even at so late the evening hour, tiny night breaths bear the lonesome call of the last water birds. Gazing at the gate I must soon open to return to the world tomorrow, my heart constricts. This has truly been a beautiful 9 days. Even the day I slipped and returned to anger brought me to a new day lovelier than the day before. It’s as if God would not allow anything to tarnish the pearl of His gift to us.

          Still, the 9 was not a break from this world. God did not shield us from pain and stings on this break, He did not take us to a world away from this world. Instead, each day that we lived cuddled in our joy in the evergreen valleys of home and hearth, we also stood within the circle of pain of others. Granted, despite our best intentions, we did not always live our hours in perfect charity and obedience. But like seasoned sailors we rode each crest and billow, our eyes in constant seeking of the Master’s Light. If we fell, we got up and sought our post again.

          Although I tried to live this break for God entirely, no effort of mine could have scripted even a single minute of these 9 days. The gentle flow of hour into hour, from the rose of each sunrise to the sultry, triumphant bloom of sunset, sang of the grace of God Who loves and gives beyond compare.

          It was truly, truly Grace that wrote the story of each day.

 

 

 

 

         

 

The Hour of Smallness

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Evening Prayer to God

O eternal God and Ruler of all creation, You have allowed me to reach this hour. Forgive the sins I have committed this day by word, deed or thought. Purify me, O Lord, from every spiritual and physical stain. Grant that I may rise from this sleep to glorify You by my deeds throughout my entire lifetime, and that I be victorious over every spiritual and physical enemy. Deliver me, O Lord, from all vain thoughts and from evil desires, for Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.   ~   Saint Macarius

 

          Today, from the birdsong morning hours, I vowed to give glory to my God.

          I did all I could to stay close to my Lord’s heart.

          Hurrying from one appointment to the next, we squeezed in a quick stop at church in the city and I was delighted that we managed it. I seal my heart in Thy Tabernacle, I prayed and then got up to leave. Despite our busyness, I remembered to weave prayer buds into the hours, praying the Divine Mercy chaplet for the troubles in our land. Later in the day, returning home in the wan sunset blessed by rain dimples, a huge rainbow journeyed  alongside us, and I gave God glory for the reminder of His promise to me that help is coming.

          Today was one of those rare days when I had been busy yet immersed in prayer. I was quietly pleased I had lived the hours the way I did.

          Everyone was tired and I was eager to get dinner going for an early night in.

          But in a sudden moment, I let a dart of anger lead the way. Despite the prayer~laced hours before, in that split second of the present moment when the path forked, I chose to be Lot’s wife, I chose to return to the old me. I seemed to have stayed so close to Jesus today, yet something in my day nefariously assured that I had a right to indulge this old sin – the price of which is the company of sadness and regret even in the quiet midnight hours. Although dinner was good and laughs aplenty, that one moment sits by still my window of consciousness.

          How could I have let this happen? What I wouldn’t give to take it back.

          Then comes this sunset prayer, tiptoeing to my mourning,

Forgive the sins I have committed this day by word, deed or thought. Purify me, O Lord, from every spiritual and physical stain.

          I whisper its lines to my heart, feeling no comfort, no hope, wondering if I’ll ever leave this gnarled of old behind, these sudden bursts of anger. Suddenly, I’m made aware of my smallness, my inadequacy, and only now do I see that nothing of this day was through my power. Not the prayers, not the plans.

It was all by the grace of the Most High.

          There’s nothing I can do for now but place the hurt I’ve caused an innocent heart, and my own sorrow and regret, into my Saviour’s Heart, and whisper my plea,

Grant that I may rise from this sleep to glorify You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange and Gold

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          Night Rosary. A final offering of my day, everything for God, even the imperfect. Especially the imperfect. Save my country, Angel Gabriel. Closing my eyes.

          Then, the colour of gold. Such a colour of gold my eyes have never seen. Rich orange~gold. Pulsing with life. Beautiful. Utterly beautiful.

The Angel and His Mother

… a princess arrayed in Ophir’s gold   ~   Psalm 45:10

Twin rainbows up North

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

 

 

 

The Cock is About to Crow

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          Rising early yesterday to travel to the city, heaven touched my eyes briefly.

Pray to St. Gabriel

          There are 3 of them on my heart, so with no further instructions forthcoming, I prayed to all 3 saints. And then, the mists rose, and my heart could discern no more.

          The day went well but as the night veils uncurled, the winds began to lift the sands. The twilight hours were soon filled with piercings over the state of our nation. A missing child found dead. Bumbling police. A leader bent on destroying the nation. Elected representatives with their moral compasses askew. 

          A succession of crises, one worse than the other.

          We gathered as a family and talked about the issues that had come up, at the heart of each was the right to life. We were emotional, we were charged up. Still, we reminded  one another to fight the fight each is called to. And then we prayed.

          Though tired from travelling, my sleep at night was not as restful as hoped for. Awakening in the middle of the night, I pressed the air for hope.

          No new hope did the night yield me. All the problems of our troubled land strained towards me. So, I gathered what I had and reached for the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

          When I awakened later, soft sunrise, like old gold, greeted me in the new hours of the day. The winds, infinitely gentle, tread softly as they descended among trees silent and firm in their wisdom. A new gentleness had settled upon our land, like a soft blanket placed upon our sore hearts by a loving Mother.

          As I tiptoed among the lightening hours, my heart rejoiced quietly at this change, even as I pondered and wondered. Something… something

As if night has passed.

          Then, Gabriel laid out for me this prayer by St. Ambrose, one I’ve never before seen.

MAKER of all, eternal King,

who day and night about does bring:

who weary mortals to relieve,

does in their times the seasons give.

 Now the shrill cock proclaims the day,

and calls the sun’s awakening ray,

the wandering pilgrim’ guiding light,

that marks the watches night by night.

Roused at the note, the morning star

heaven’s dusky veil uplifts afar:

night’s vagrant bands no longer roam,

but from their dark ways hie them home.

 The encouraged sailor’s fears are o’er,

the foaming billows rage no more:

Lo! e’en the very Church’s Rock

melts at the crowing of the cock.

 O let us then like men arise;

the cock rebukes our slumbering eyes,

bestirs who still in sleep would lie,

and shames who would their Lord deny.

New hope his clarion note awakes,

sickness the feeble frame forsakes,

the robber sheathes his lawless sword,

faith to fallen is restored.

 

          My breath caught at the words,

Now the shrill cock proclaims the day

The encouraged sailor’s fears are o’er

New hope his clarion note awakes

          Memory returned me to the words of God 4 months before, God will help it at the break of dawn.   ~   Psalm 46: 6.

          The seas are in a fury now, tempest after tempest roiling the waters. We row on, fighting ourselves, fighting for others, fighting the ever towering waves. It seems as if the night of oppression refuses to die, that dawn will not come soon enough.

          But the angel descends  today to sound the call of new hope.

Now the shrill cock proclaims the day

The encouraged sailor’s fears are o’er.

          Beloved Gabriel come to rise our spirits,

Dawn is about to break.