DISCERNMENT

Lent 13 ~ Returning of Hopes

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          I read about the Holy Spirit Rosary on Susan Skinner’s blog, Veil of Veronica, and like her, I too was immediately drawn to it. The drawback was that it needed to be prayed as a group – to ensure we do not attribute to the Holy Spirit what is actually something out of our own heads. I didn’t have a group I could meet with to pray the Rosary together. Even with friends, no common time to come together as well.

          This afternoon, with the weather the way it was, sullen and sulking, I decided to go it alone. I prayed with all my heart that my mind, my will and my emotions be bound to the Hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. That nothing of me pierce through. It was incredibly difficult, to be honest. I viewed with suspicion everything that moved past the window of my consciousness. I felt as if I was all tightly bound up, stiff and rigid. Not the best way to pray, for sure, but there didn’t seem to be any other way.

          I decided to pray all 5 decades on the meditation of the Agony in Gethsemane. I imagined myself beside Jesus in the garden. Then, I wished I had done some research on this so as to better imagine the place. While I was dragging my scattered thoughts back to the garden, I somehow ended up in the desert with Jesus during His 40 days fast. I’m not sure how that happened. Nonetheless, somehow, that worked out a lot better than trying to imagine the Garden of Gethsemane.

          I believe I imagined Jesus sitting on a wide smooth slab of rock, facing straight ahead. And I settled myself beside Him. He didn’t seem to be aware of my presence. I likely imagined that too. I must have seen the time in the desert to be an intense time, of  deep, penetrating  silence. That would explain why I imagined or pictured Jesus in that still, unmoving, undistracted manner. I remember telling myself not to be a distraction to Him, not to squirm and wriggle trying to get comfortable on hard stone.

          Again, that was just probably my way of quelling my own distractedness.

          As I whispered my Hail Marys and tried to be as still and as unyielding towards travelling thoughts, I sank into a slight weary sadness. I saw hopes that were so long in coming true. I saw dreams that didn’t seem possible any more. Expectations being raised and then, dashed.

          As I struggled and struggled to meditate on His Agony all alone in Gethsemane/Desert, I felt a gentl-ing of my tightness. As I felt the ropes I had bound myself with earlier begin to loosen, I came face-to-face with an old shadow inside me:

The hopes within me were my own, not God’s.

          While He had given me signs and shown me glimpses into the future, I had taken them and embellished them with my own visons and expectations. I had sewed on my own buttons of desires, embroidering the garment with my ideas of how life should work out for me.

          And when what I had conjured in my head collided with God’s reality, hurt swelled  and soared like churning seas.

          Sitting by His side looking out at the expanse of sand and rock, I slowly returned to Him my tattered garments of hope, rent and stained by earthly wiles and wishes, by my own undoing of selfishness, pride and vanity. I gave back to Jesus,all the hope that was of me, born of my passions.

          He’d know what to do with it, I reasoned.

          I cannot be sure how I ended up here, at this point of returning. Was it the Holy Spirit Rosary? Was it just the way my thoughts were weaving through the haze of hours and events?

          I suspect it’s not me. Because despite the dulled spirit, when the Rosary ended, I rose and went to my chores with a lightness in my step.

          You don’t confront sadness and disappointment, and yet, leave in light – unless it was the Spirit’s doing.

 

 

 

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Lent 6 ~ Replace With Yours

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          Just before sunset Mass last week, God called me to console Him for victims of oppression as well as for oppressors. Then, He placed in my heart a light longing for a Blood of Christ prayer. Later that night, He showed me a specific oppressor to focus on, one of my bosses at work.

          The next morning, the yearning for a Blood of Christ prayer deepened and going in search of one, I was returned to an old blog post from 3 years back, Heeding the Confessor. I had forgotten all about it, so I was slightly surprised to see that the post was about that specific boss. Reading it, I recalled that the tug of spirit at that time, 3 years ago, was to pray the Blood of Christ upon that man.

          More chilling was the bible reference given to me about him. It was the parable of the Rich Fool.

Then the Lord Jesus spoke this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”   ~   Luke 12:16 – 21

          Every line that described the fool described my boss.

          At the time of the post, I had just been severely torn down by him. I was fighting anger. I didn’t want to pray for him. But St. Maximos Confessor had come and urgently told me I had to channel my anger into prayer for the man; I couldn’t allow my anger and hatred for him to steer me away from the prayer he needed so much.

To the extent that you pray with all your soul for the person who slanders you, God will make the truth known to those who have been scandalized by the slander.   ~   St. Maximos Confessor

          And so, I fought myself and prayed for him with the simple Blood of Christ prayer Jesus had slipped into my heart.

Blood of Christ upon me, Blood of Christ upon him.

          That was 3 years ago. Now, yet again, this man was brought before my eyes so firmly that I knew God was not about to tolerate any excuses from me not to pray for him. So, once more, I tried to pray that same prayer, Blood of Christ upon me, Blood of Christ upon him.

          I didn’t feel a hand stop that prayer. Neither was it lifted away from me. Yet, it felt different this time. It didn’t quite… fit. I spent the rest of that day and today gently seeking the prayer for this man and every superior that he represented. Nothing came. Instead, today was tough. The sullen weather. Work that progressed slowly. A technical breakdown. Long, long work hours. Signs of a bad flu attack. Left without a prayer yet knowing I had to pray, I offered up this arid, angry day and all its knots and gnarls for the conversion of this man.

          I finally drove home tiredly, nothing much left in me. I put my heart out once more, wanly searching for the prayer.

          A small hand pushed a memory across my heart. A memory of the post that was written just before Heeding the Confessor.

          It was Replace my blood with Yours – ‘Yours’ as in the Precious Blood of my Christ. The second my heart  uttered the line, I knew I had found the prayer of conversion for my superior.

Replace his blood with Yours

 

 

 

Month of Little Things

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          February. My month of little things. Something – every other day. Seemingly insignificant. Insufficient. I am tempted to dismiss them, to turn away and seek sustenance elsewhere.

          And yet, in a strange way, these little things follow me. In their own tongues, twittering secrets I cannot yet understand, their presence speaks a message to endure in hope.

          Because they have not been randomly scattered into the days and weeks.  These littles have been woven into the tapestry of February for a reason.

 

 

 

Discover St. Paul

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          In early February, I came across a Word for the Year as well as a Saint generator. I did use the Saint generator a couple of years before and it gave me St. John Cantius, a saint I had never heard of. I wasn’t much impressed, to be honest. I mean I was expecting one of the greats – St. Padre Pio, maybe. Or St. Faustina. St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, that ilk.

          Anyway, St. John Cantius wasn’t interested in being a great in my eyes. He had business with me and he set about it briskly. He spoke to me about my tendency to anger. It was a firm rap on my knuckles and I sat up all the straighter for it. I gained an important lesson in anger management as well as a timely humbling to never roll my eyes at another saint.

          This year, right from the gentle opening of New Year buds, seeking the Word for the Year has been crossing the eyes of my heart rather often. I put it down to a trend and refused to succumb to it. Nevertheless, a silent singer continued to hum its ditty with  the budding and folding of every week. Yesterday, a week into February, on a lazy night, with none of the spiritual tugs that confirm an urge, I thought I’d try it, no harm done.

My word was, Discover

My saint was St. Paul the Apostle

          Sheesh, I thought. St. Paul, a no nonsense saint. Not a saint that endeared to me – an inveterate, incorrigible tumble-r-off faith wagons. And ‘discover’? I was looking for a quiet month, not another round of climbing and hauling myself up rocks.

          I decided to back out the door stealthily. I went to bed.

          Awakening to a golden, merry day with silver~bell bird hymns woven through dappled hollows, carried along by jolly green breezes, I saw that 2 steps had become one.

Discover St. Paul

          A good night’s sleep, a still, quiet house and the greensilver song of breezes muted out every objection. With it came a memory, of a time more than a year ago, when I was down and bruised. St. Paul had come to me then, a Paul so different to what I had known him to be. A gentle, fatherly St. Paul. He had come to where I was lying weary on the ground, clucking in concern like a brown red hen. He had bent down and gently lifted me to my feet. He dusted my clothes, wiped away my tears.

          And then, opened my ears a while to the words of a heavenly assembly.

          That day, for the 2nd time in a long while, I heard what those on the other side of life thought of me. The kindness and charity of those secret thoughts contrasted negatively with my own self-evaluation as well as that of the people around me; the sliver of heavenly conversation that St. Paul allowed to fall upon my ears gave me the strength to return to my journey. Even after that, I continued to make missteps, I continued to fall. But like a light from behind, the words of heaven’s assembly of saints buoyed me on.

          This morning, a day baptized by happy sunshine and mirthful baby breezes, I remembered once more the Paul who had come to me and helped me up. Then, I remembered too his first words to me 12 years ago,

I am returning him to you

          Word Generator or a Saint Generator, when the time is right, becomes a heavenly chest, to be opened by our Guardian Angel, releasing to us the lights we need, Word or Saint, for the times we are in.

          And so it is for me. My Angel has sealed my heart once more to St. Paul’s, to allow the Word of the Hebrews to light my way ahead.

 

 

 

Go Home To Your Family

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Jesus and His disciples came to the other side of the sea,
to the territory of the Gerasenes.
When He got out of the boat,
at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met Him.
The man had been dwelling among the tombs,
and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.
In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains,
but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed,
and no one was strong enough to subdue him.
Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides
he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.
Catching sight of Jesus from a distance,
he ran up and prostrated himself before Him,
crying out in a loud voice,
“What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
I adjure You by God, do not torment me!”
(He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”)
He asked him, “What is your name?”

He replied, “Legion is my name.  There are many of us.”
And he pleaded earnestly with Him
not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.
And they pleaded with Him,
“Send us into the swine.  Let us enter them.”
And He let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine.
The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea,
where they were drowned.
The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town
and throughout the countryside.
And people came out to see what had happened.
As they approached Jesus,
they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion,
sitting there clothed and in his right mind.
And they were seized with fear.
Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened
to the possessed man and to the swine.
Then they began to beg Him to leave their district.
As He was getting into the boat,
the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with Him.
But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,
“Go home to your family and announce to them
all that the Lord in His pity has done for you.”
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis
what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.   ~   Mark 5: 1 – 20

 

          The Parable of the Pigs as I call it is an enigma to me. No matter how many interpretations and explanations I read on it, the initial intellectual satisfaction is always temporary. After a time, I always get the sense that the real meaning of the parable for me  – eludes me. It’s akin to travelling on a road and coming to an inn by the wayside. Once inside the inn, with the nourishment of food and drink inside me, I assume that my journey has come to an end and that I should just stay the night or return to where I came from; that there is nothing more to journey on for any more.

          But soon, I realise this inn is not the last stop for me; its nourishment not as filling and as lasting as I first presumed.

          The road stretches on further.

          Today, seeing the parable again, it suddenly came to me that the Parable of the Pigs is meant to be a journey, different parts meaning different things as I journey though life, and meanings constantly evolving. In an odd way, this comforted me considerably, it made sense why my heart cannot seem to settle for any discernment.

          And so I returned to the parable, but this time, with different eyes.

          Always confounded by why the demons had to be sent into the poor pigs, resulting in them rushing down the cliffs into the water and drowning, why Jesus allowed this mass death of animals to occur, this time, notwithstanding the same questions, my heart was steered towards something else.

          For the first time, I didn’t see the pigs. I saw the possessed man.

          I saw his sorrowful home, his life of horrifying, endless grief among the rocks and tombs, confined to dying but never death itself, by the hold Legion had upon him. Often, he was driven to mad despair, dashing himself with stones, his self-harm a plea for real death, that the torments end.

          For the first time, in that poor man, I saw myself, from childhood till marriage and even after the joy of children, banging my head against walls, hitting myself with my bare fists, with books, pulling violently at my own hair, slapping myself, screaming and screaming for release from the madness and cruelty of an entity whose name was not known to me back then.

the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine.
The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea,
where they were drowned…
And people came out to see what had happened…
…they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion,
sitting there clothed and in his right mind.

clothed and in his right mind

          Tiny pearls began to line up. The dream 11 years ago. My husband and I are dressed in our wedding finery, entering the church through the left side, with our children as ring bearers and flower girl. Entering church to be married once more, it seemed. Followed by deep joy in bathing one of my children, the seemingly mundane tasks of family life. Then, a sudden swerve. I am alone, in our present parish, dressed in a dark, dull red blouse. In the empty church, taking up an offering of preserved flowers. Alone. Empty church. Dried flowers. And the dream ends there.

          Dried flowers, red blouse. For some reason, immediately and long years after, those two details stay with me like a burr. Why dried flowers? Why red? I have probed a thousand times.

          Then, one night, on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, less than a year after the dream, sorrow biting deep, yet happy that I could care for my family, my in-laws. Awakening in the dark dawn, seeing the shadows of tree branches dance against the walls, the play of tiny lights. Deep serenity.

          Suddenly, a flash and a return to memory of the 2 dreams – the Second Wedding and the Offertory.

          And in a silvery breath, a soft, clear, feminine voice saying to me,

The dreams will be reversed in reality.

Sorrow before joy.

          Taking the Offertory. Dull red blouse. From last year, starting from the anniversary of our marriage registration, inexplicably, each and every time I wore red, my husband and I have been asked to carry the Bread and Wine during the Offertory at Mass. In a church of more than 1 000 parishioners, red is common enough and I have nothing to me to make me stand out for any reason.

          And yet, each time without fail, since our last marriage anniversary, every time I was in red, the usher would quietly come to our pew with the request.

          Solitary offertory in an empty church. I’ve always wondered if it was God’s reminder to me offer up my efforts, at home and at work. To make it my firstfruit offering each and every time.

          Today, Someone gently settles understanding on my heart:

Offertory in an empty church

Console Me

          Suddenly I see what I’ve never seen before – last year, as never before in our lives, each time we were in the city, no matter how rushed we were, I’d try to take the family with me into the empty church, to spend some quiet time with Jesus, trying to heed little St. Francisco Marto’s call to Console Jesus. It never seemed like much. Not with a ticking clock, restless children, miles upon miles to travel before we got home. I recalled too the recent night awakenings, and the immediate turn of mind and heart, to console Jesus.

          Now I understand that, that was the Offertory God had asked of us.

the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,
“Go home to your family and announce to them
all that the Lord in His pity has done for you.”

          Go home to your family. With the deepening strife at work, each time I cried and begged to be released from my work chains, God took more and more out of me, more and more away from me. And over and over, I heard the same,

Go home to your family

          To my children’s needs. To my husband’s sufferings and struggles. To my in-laws’ tribulations with marriage, ill health, old age and increasing distance from the faith. Every time something or someone at work hurt me, the Angel led me to bury my wounds in caring for family – the Heart of Jesus.

          Go home to your family. I saw the child of my dream, the one I had been bathing, soap suds all over. I heard the tinkle of joyful laughter, baby mirth so, so deeply treasured. The voice I’d give anything to hear once more. I can no longer bathe this child. That time has long passed, never to be mine. But Love Unseen has led me to care for my family and even for those not family but who live in my heart, in ways I could never have imagined during the long years of my parents’ NPD torment.

The dreams will be reversed in reality. Sorrow before joy.

          Go home to your family is the bridge that links the Sorrow of the Offertory to the Joy of the Second Wedding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

When The Light Falls

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          On Christmas Day, I was reminded of a dream in October, of losing a member of my extended family. Awakening from that dream, deeply distressed, I pleaded with God for this person’s life. In exchange, I told God I would not ask to be released from my workplace Cross. I wasn’t the greatest when it came to carrying my Crosses. No matter how many lessons of the Cross I learned, I never seemed to remember them long enough.

          But for the sake of this precious life, loved so much by his family, for the sake of his elderly mother who cannot be asked to bury her son, I decided I’d grit my teeth and carry my Cross as best as I could.

          Towards the end of November, as Advent busyness began to wrap its festive ribbons around us, I clean forgot about that dream – until the Angel nudged it back on Christmas Day. On Christmas Day, I had prayed for this relative and his family to be with us during our family gathering. He had informed us earlier that work commitments were keeping him from coming; but I was praying for a miracle that he’d be able to make it here at the last minute.

          However, when the Angel reminded me of the dream where this person had died, I was shocked into remembering. Then, I flailed, trying to take back my prayer. No gathering, however important, equaled in value to a person’s life. Under stress, possibly exhausted, I didn’t want him to drive all the way here. I began to instead pray that his work smoothens out and that he accomplishes all that he needs to. Then, once more, I asked forgiveness for my earlier prayer and prayed for his life to be spared.

           Just as I was praying, the warm aurelian rays of the setting evening sun shone into the living room. They shone through the trees and fell upon portions of the wall just above our front door.

          On that wall, hung a picture of Jesus and Mary, the Heart of God and the Immaculate Heart, superimposed upon one another. Two Hearts beating through each other, beating as One.

          And the sun’s last rays caught that picture. But not the whole of it.

          Just the hearts.

          In the painting, the dull red Heart itself was bordered by a light yellow area, indicating the kingly power of the Heart of God. The rays of the sun fell on the Heart. But the Heart did not take on the expected sheen of gold.

          Instead, the Heart now glowed bright red, while the yellow periphery glowed pure, sharp white. The rays fell on the wall on either side of the picture. It fell on the Heart. But on the picture, it appeared to come from behind the Heart, shining through the Heart.

          At that moment, I recalled the Christmas message I had texted to family members earlier. I normally give a lot of thought to that message. And I write from the heart. But this Christmas, something was off. My head was not where it should have been. I was slightly unwell, tired, sluggish. Hence, I rushed off the first thing that came to my mind.

May the Light fall into your heart.

          Fall into your heart. Sheesh, I thought. But I sent it out anyway.

          Now, hours later, looking at what the sun was doing to the Heart of Jesus in the picture, I wondered if that message had been me at all.

          Then, another thought came quietly to me.

          Jesus is showing me the Illumination of Conscience.

 

 

 

 

 

Winter

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          The dark grey rain~morning of today began curiously enough for me. Today is Friday, yesterday was Thursday – the day we recite the Luminous Mysteries in the Rosary. And yesterday, while reciting the Rosary, I had allowed my mind to wander a little at the beginning. The gate of daydreaming that I cracked open so slightly quickly swung open wide. Soon, I tread two worlds: reciting the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, while at the same time, imagining house redecorating ideas.

          I winced a bit at the end and tried to rein in my far wandering thoughts but the damage had been done: house redecorating trumped Luminous Mysteries meditation.

          Turning in for the night, I told myself I had to recite the Rosary again – properly this time. What I had done was just too much. I didn’t want other doors to open as a result of it.

          But sleep claimed me swiftly and the next thing I knew, the last day of November was slowly lifting its grey lids, rising from old slumber.

          Undeterred, with a dawn rain softly falling through the sleep-sweetened night air, I lay on my pillow and said my Luminous Mysteries again, this time, turning each Mystery over in my mind as I threaded roses through them.

          The First Luminous Mystery – Christ’s Baptism at the River Jordan. I thought of water. Water had come up quite a bit for me in recent days. There was the much welcomed November rain. There had been chatter among friends about the using of the sacramental of holy water. November also brought back memories of a December 27th dream from last year where I was shown a bedroom in my home, filled with clear water, right up to the ceiling – water that filled, yet did no damage; water which then knocked me over as it overflowed out through open windows, into a lush, green garden where my mother-in-law was enjoying the plants with my husband, deep peace filling her slight form.

          And then I saw the words,

Momentarily overwhelmed.

I later shared about the Water Dream with my Godmother. That water in the dream signifies grace, she told me immediately. If so, it meant that I would be knocked over by grace. Certainly not the way I viewed ‘grace’. Over the months that followed, through each cycle of hurt and pain followed by strength and wisdom, my education on grace deepened, specifically – hidden grace. Disguised grace.

          The Second Luminous Mystery The Wedding Feast at Cana. I imagined the scene in my head. The embarrassment and consternation of the couple’s parents upon discovering that the wine had run out. The frantic scurrying around. The furtive whispers. I imagined Mother Mary lifting her gaze to the unfolding scene, her alertness. She must have heard the whispers, maybe even the sneers of a few as the news slowly made its rounds. She listened and determined. Then, she went to Jesus and told Him. I watched His ensuing obedience to the call of God through His Mother.

          Do whatever He tells you, says the Mother. Obedience again. Water to wine.

          The Third Luminous Mystery – The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. The old St. Jude dream of 2016 – the huge snow-white map in the blue sky. Then the little green church, my birth family safe inside. I was moving away when I heard and felt the exhortation,

Pray for others.

Pray for others. Proclaim the Kingdom of God.

          The Fourth Luminous Mystery – The Transfiguration. The snow white clothes. The thinning of the veil. Moses and Elias. The dead are alive again. A glimpse of what was to come. A glimpse of that glory, shown early to give strength and put hope firmly in place – because the blinding, searing despair that was to come soon would make anyone forget the glory that awaited shattered hearts.

          The Fifth Luminous Mystery – The Institution of the Holy Eucharist. Bread and Wine. Wine from water. Bread from the dough of sacrifice and the yeast of obedience.

          And then I felt the door shut. I could no longer press forward.

          I felt like I was now standing before that closed door, my hand on it, uncertain about what to do next. Uncertain but not troubled. A quiet curled within me.

          An old memory came unbidden. Of another Rosary recited some years ago. Deep in its meditation, not distracted, a still voice quietly slipped through,

The Luminous Mysteries is the Illumination of Conscience.

For years since I heard that voice I’ve puzzled over the message. How is the Luminous Mysteries the Illumination of Conscience? I wonder each time I recall the words.

          I wondered it again this morning as I lay in bed, What is the connection?

          But this time, in the quiet of the dark, shuttered by the silver curtain of falling rain, an unseen hand lined up the pearls before me:

Luminous. Illumination. Light.

It was so obvious and yet it hadn’t occurred to me before today. I pushed the closed door again to see if it would yield to my searching, but it didn’t. So I arose and went to my day.

          Someone had reminded me yesterday that it was time to begin the St. Andrew novena ~

St. Andrew Christmas Novena
(from 30th November up to and including Christmas Eve)

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.​

          I felt a movement in my spirit at the words piercing cold. We have no winter of biting cold and snow here so it wasn’t familiarity that tugged at me. But beyond that, as I didn’t feel the novena call out to me in a special way, I returned the prayer to its place.

          Throughout the course of the day, I went on several other little journeys. By the end of the day, a single word stood out in the crowd of thousands. A new one I’ve never before encountered spiritually:

Winter

          Piercing cold. Suddenly my old dream of the white map the blue sky crystallized before me. White map. Why was it white? I’ve asked and wondered so many, many times since I saw it on St. Jude’s Feast day two years ago. Today, after the Luminous Mysteries, it comes,

Some kind of snow

I was shown three places consecutively in that White Map dream: Africa, Europe, Asia. White Africa. White Europe. White Asia. Why white? Why three? I had asked heaven so many times.

Then, soon after the Feast of St. Jude this year, for the briefest moment, a sliver of light shone through the clouds.

Africa. Europe. Asia.

2016. 2017. 2018.

Shock had pierced me then. In every discussion with close friends, every time the veil thinned a little, this had never come up.

And now, shock swarmed through me again. White covered nations.

A Coming Winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When, over a long period of time, a soul has received much light and many inspirations, and when the confessors have confirmed the source of these inspirations and set the soul at peace; if its love is great, Jesus now makes it known that it is time to put into action what it has received.

The soul recognizes that God is counting on it, and this knowledge fortifies it.

It knows that to be faithful it will often have to face various difficulties, but it trusts in God and, thanks to this trust, it reaches that point to which God is calling it. Difficulties do not terrify it; they are its daily bread, as it were. They do not frighten or terrify the soul, just as a warrior who is constantly in battle is not terrified by the roar of the cannon.

Far from being frightened, it listens to determine from which side the enemy is launching his attack, in order to defeat him. It does nothing blindly, but examines and ponders everything deeply and, not counting on itself, it prays fervently and asks advice of other warriors who are experienced and wise. When the soul acts in this way, it nearly always wins.

There are attacks when a soul has no time to think or seek advice; then it must enter into a life-or-death struggle. Sometimes it is good to flee for cover in the wound of the Heart of Jesus, without answering a single word. By this very act the enemy is already defeated.

In time of peace, as well, the soul continues making efforts, just as in time of battle. It must exercise itself, and do so with energy; otherwise it has no chance of attaining victory.

I regard the time of peace as a time of preparation for victory.

The soul must be ever watchful; watchfulness and again, watchfulness. The soul that reflects receives much light.  ~   St. Faustina Kowalska, Diary – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Entry 145

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seek the Healer

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          Somewhere last week, after the spiritual leveling and emptying, a new urge took tiny root within me.

To seek Jesus for Himself

Not merely for what He could give me. But to seek Him as a friend and to be a consoler-friend to Him as well.

          I felt I needed to go beyond the habit of merely asking Him for everything under the red sun. That asking is not wrong, I know. In fact, not to go to Jesus is the most wrong thing I could ever do. Some folks say, Don’t trouble God.

          But I say, Trouble God all you want. The minute we stop, we are in trouble.

          This new development in me now, however, was to not just see Jesus as Jesus The Doer and The Giver. But to see Him as my beloved friend and to be that same friend to Him. Seek the Healer, not just the healing, as Susan Skinner writes, and she’s right. In a cherished and treasured relationship, the being there for the other, the quiet listening, the length and depths we go to, to comfort and love, the sacrifices we offer unstintingly – all take precedence over petitioning for help. It’s not that we shy away from asking for help; we just don’t limit the relationship to entreating all the time.

          And now, after a lifetime of going to Jesus just to seek succour, a single tiny bell is beginning to stir in the stillness left behind, its silver tinkles softly calling me to follow this new light.

          Seek the Healer, says my Angel.

          And then I suddenly understand. It is when we seek the Healer that we find the King.