DISCERNMENT

When The Light Falls

          2048x1365-3058756-astrology_astronomy_atmosphere_blue_conifers_constellation_dark_dusk_evening_evening-sky_exploration_forest_galaxy_landscape_lights_long-exposure_mood_moo.jpg

          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.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Winter

pexels-photo-833013

          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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

145

sunrise-dawn-wallpaper-landscape-free-hd-wallpapers.jpg

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

pexels-photo-464369

          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.

 

 

 

 

An Early Quiet

zion-love-national-cool-images-rocks-park-nature-rivermobile-stream-768x397.jpg

          Early yesterday morn, before the long trek to Sunday Mass, I wrote to a friend that I would be praying for November direction at Mass that day. November is traditionally the Catholic month for the Holy Souls and there are prayers and novenas towards that intention. But as the Fatima Rosary month of October for me turned out to be about Angels, I thought I’d just ask God to point me in the direction He has willed.

          Of course, being who I am, the minute I arrived at church, I promptly forgot about that intention. I was so focused on some friends who had asked for prayers and on taking the Holy Souls along for Mass, that November Direction never crossed my mind.

          Until about midway through Father’s sermon. I’ve one or two struggles with my parish priest, one great one being his sermons. Father’s the reflective sort but much like a bunny in bursts of hurry. He scurries everywhere in his sermon and I mean everywhere. You’d get mentally breathless trying to keep up. Since I have  the unfortunate  penchant of dreaming off, I’m always playing catch up and almost always, the minute I reach one point he is at, before I can even unpack it, Father would have hopped off in a totally different direction.

          At one point, trying to quell the rising tide of irritation and trying to be more charitable towards Father, Someone took my eyes and turned me towards the right side of the altar. It is the practice in my church where the various residential area groups named after saints take turns to animate the Mass. The animating group for the week will have a banner of its patron saint up to the right of the altar.

          And that day, it was St. Francis of Assisi. My saint of the Blue King call. The very one whose presence for me means, Quieten Down, Listen Up.

          He had come near that recent visit to our families’ resting place. And here he was again before me, right in the middle of Father’s sermon.

          I wondered if it meant St. Francis was asking me to quit wriggling and to pay attention to my priest. Chastened, I quickly ran back to Father’s sermon and tacked myself there till the end of it, from time to time, casting wary glances at St. Francis ‘in the corner’. But by the end of it, I wasn’t any clearer on what it was that I needed to hear.

          Undeterred, I remained on full alert now. I wondered if St. Francis wanted me to read something and meditate on it for November. That appealed to me and by the end of Mass, I was certain there was something for me. I thought I’d ask Fr. He was sure to have a book on St. Francis.

          We went to Fr as a family as Fr stood at the church doors after Mass, chatting with parishioners and I asked Fr if he had any books on St. Francis.

          And right in front of the kids whose ears were all pricked up, Fr replied that he was searching for the book on St. Francis’ love affair with St. Clare.

          I wanted to stuff wool into my kids’ ears and hustle them out of the church. I don’t sugarcoat the church to the kids. But after a morning sermon that included ‘sex’, ‘sexuality’, ‘hiding sexuality behind doors’ and ‘let kids eat what they want’  but leaving all those ends hanging, not tying them up, I wasn’t in the mood to clean up after Fr.

          We hurriedly moved on before Fr revealed any more interesting nuggets. Obviously, no matter what I felt or how strongly, I admitted to myself that Fr wasn’t likely to be part of November Direction.

          My husband and I had planned to get a head start on Christmas shopping as we did last year so that it didn’t interfere with the quietening Advent calls us to. But my husband squeezed in an unscheduled errand. As a result, we were late getting to the mall and plans didn’t work out. If we lived within minutes of any mall, it wouldn’t have been frustrating. But our home was a good two hours from the city through pretty treacherous stretches of roads. Any shopping, anything to be done in the city had to be planned carefully and of course, timing was imperative. Any delay and we’d be stuck in town till very late and then having to make the return journey along badly lit roads. So, I was deeply annoyed with my husband. When I get that way, I have to let the molten lava out or it’ll explode at some point during the week.

          But this time, searching for the inner plug to release my anger, I couldn’t find it.

          Instead, within me, I sensed a firm, unyielding quietness. As if someone was already there in charge and anger had no place on his watch.

          After a few more pokes that yielded nothing, I decided to focus on my family instead. So, we went to a less crowded mall. In a pleasant turn of events, we got good stuff there at good prices. It took hours to get things for everyone and my feet and back were killing me but they were hours of giggles and laughter and patience.

          That was a little miracle. Having kids with very firm ideas on what they want and don’t want, we’re always short of patience on shopping trips. But that wasn’t the case this time.

          The quiet within didn’t allow any of us to venture into steaming geysers.

          Awakening today to a rain-soaked morning of shy sunlight peeking through the dew~blessed greens, some part of my spirit must have asked God about November.

          In answer, my memory was gently turned to the note I sent my friend early yesterday. We had been talking about prayers we were now being called to. He was saying the Novena of Surrender. I told him I didn’t feel called to it. My spirit wasn’t done yet with Pull It Out By The Roots.

          And then I wrote that what I did sense was a quietening. A quiet that was slowly silvering into the folds and creases of my heart in busy November. 

          A quiet coming early this year. For some reason.

 

 

 

Follow Me

MalibuMilkyWay_Fusco_1080.jpg

          Thunder rumbles from the grey breast of a huge, roll cloud lying low in the darkening west. The day is almost at its end. With the promise of heavy rain due soon, it is a fitting close to the week, for I so love rain and a wee storm on a Friday.

          More so when it marks the closing of the 40.

Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake and a jug of water. After he ate and drank, he lay down again, but the angel of the LORD came back a second time, touched him, and ordered,
“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”
He got up, ate, and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.   1 Kings 19: 4 – 8

          It has been 40 days since it came strong that this too must be my journey, 40 days and 40 nights to the mountain of God, accompanied by St. Padre Pio, my spiritual father, and St. Michael the Archangel. If I’ve discerned the 40 correctly, then, today, I should be at the mountain. 

          At the foothills? The peak? Somewhere in between?

          I don’t know.

          Or still a long way off? I wouldn’t discount that, I’ve been wrong about a lot of things a lot of times.

          But it has been a huge journey, at least to me, marked by the ridges and canyons of struggles, old and new.

          And yet, I say this too – as much as I’ve felt the waves hit and pound at me, I’ve also felt the gentle embrace of warm sea~swirls, lovingly assuring me that I was not alone. The 40 has passed quickly, smoothly, and with a strange decidedness. As if Someone was ahead of me, turning the pages, knowing when to turn them. In many of my previous bouts of struggle, there’s always been confusion. Doing and undoing, back and forth. But not this time. No matter how deep the frustration or anger on the journey this time, it was always clear to my heart, if not to my mind, what I needed to do to put one foot forward and to move on to the next point. And for all the knots of struggles and difficulties, the peace has been undeniable. Every day, worn out and frustrated from work issues, even angry with God on some days, I’ve come home to my husband and children, and somehow, found  renewed strength and will to care for them. Not every day was great. But it all worked out each day, no matter how hard the gone hours had been.

          And I know that I had nothing to do with it.

          My prayers and whatever obedience I could squeeze out of my willfulness, took me some distance, but the serenity I experienced despite the hurts, the bursts of life, courage and exuberance to work and work and work – none of it was mine.

          It came from somewhere else. A power from a Love and a Wisdom so deep and firm, that no human can ever lay claim to.

          A power that guided me to the seas of deeper freedom.

          Where do I go from here? I had wondered aloud to beautiful soul who had journeyed the 40 with me.

          That very night, someone passed by my window of waiting. He stepped quietly, his movements quick, economical. He left me a little package and swiftly took leave. He didn’t wait for me to recognize him.

          He was St. John of the Cross, Father of the Carmelites, to whom five years ago, Our Lady of La Salette had passed the mantle of responsibility to lead me to the Light of freedom, away from the shadows of a narcissist’s abuse. I learned of his enduring love for me, as he stayed by my ear for weeks and weeks, untiringly calling out, Seek counsel, Seek counsel, Seek counsel.

          When I finally bent my ear to him, he led me to a priest – incidentally, one promised to the Carmelites. And my children were saved. My marriage was saved. 

          My very life was saved. St. John had snatched me away from the jaws of death and lifelong sorrow and anguish.

          He has returned now, on this final day of the 40, in his customary quietness, to invite me to follow him for the 9 remaining days of September. When I first read his note, even more so when I looked at the contents of the package he had left at the doorstep of discernment, I wasn’t sure. The Novena to St. John of the Cross is a hard novena to pray from the heart, for it will take me into the deepest silence of amare nesciri – to love to be unknown. To eschew all and everything for the Heart of God.

          But St. John didn’t tug me to him as he did before. He didn’t linger to hear my answer.

          He didn’t have to, I guess. He knew what it would be. 

 

 

 

 

 

Divine Impressions

trees-snow-landscapes-winter-nature-image-hd-wallpaper-1920x1080.jpg

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Decide

83720-___sunset-sunrise-vane-and-weather-hd.jpg

          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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sword In My Hands

maxresdefault.jpg

          When the journey of 40 became clear to me, I sensed I would be accompanied by two great saints, St. Pio and St. Michael. St. Pio for direction and St. Michael for protection. Sensing St. Michael’s presence, it told me that there would be forces very much against the 40. And that troubled me for courage is not an arrow in my quiver.

          I was right. If from the 1st of August, the skies of my professional life darkened suddenly without warning, the 16th marked a severe deepening of pain and humiliation. I broke down at work and struggled to contain my sorrow. The strength of what I was facing stunned and shook my husband too. He was working outstation and I knew it upset him that he couldn’t be with me when I needed him. Although I sought God at every step, I trembled in fear. Anger I could understand. Hurt too. But my experience of fear was the first signal that all was not what it seemed.

There was something new about the situation I was facing.

          That night of the 16th, no hope left in my abilities, yet clinging to God, St. Michael came before me. I came across the St. Michael’s Lent Novena. A 40-day journey. I hesitated, not sure if I was called to it. Something tugged my eyes to the prayers. The Opening prayers. The Closing prayers. The prayers for each day of the week for 40 days.

          It was a novena journey of humility, faith in God and of battle against evil. It contained the very prayers I needed for the times I was facing.

          I was still afraid. I was still very sad. But I no longer felt defenseless. It felt like a sword had been put into my hands.

959868_saint-michael-wallpaper.jpg

ST. MICHAEL’S LENT NOVENA

Prayers to be said every day:

V.     Our help is in the name of the Lord.

R.     Who made heaven and earth.

Most gracious Virgin Mary, You who would crush the head of the serpent, protect us from the vengeance of the evil one. We offer our prayers, supplications, sufferings and good works to You so that You may purify them, sanctify them and present them to Your Son as a perfect offering.

May this offering be given so that the demons that influence or seek to influence do not know the source of their expulsion and blindness.

Blind them so that they know not our good works.

Blind them so that they know not on whom to take vengeance.

Blind them so that they may receive the just sentence for their works.

Cover us with the Precious Blood of Your Son so that we may enjoy the protection which flows from His Passion and Death.

 We ask this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him we humbly pray; O Prince of the Heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

 

Beloved Guardian Angel,

Bless, Guide and Protect us all. Amen.

Our Father.

Hail Mary.

Glory Be.

 

Conclusion for Every Day

August Queen of the Heavens, heavenly Sovereign of the Angels, You who from the beginning have received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech You to send Your holy legions, so that under Your command and through Your power, they may pursue the demons and combat them everywhere, suppress their boldness, and drive them back into the abyss. O good and tender Mother, You will always be our love and hope! O Divine Mother, send Your Holy Angels to defend us and to drive far away from us the cruel enemy. Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us, guard us. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us.

Virgin Most Powerful, pray for us.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

All You Holy Angels, pray for us.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

On Sundays:

O Glorious Queen of Heaven and Earth, Virgin Most Powerful, You who have the power to crush the head of the ancient serpent with Your heel, come and exercise this power flowing from the grace of thine Immaculate Conception. Shield us under the mantle of Your purity and love, draw us into the sweet abode of Your heart and annihilate and render impotent the forces bent on destroying us. Come Most Sovereign Mistress of the Holy Angels and Mistress of the Most Holy Rosary, You who from the very beginning have received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan. Send forth Your holy legions, we humbly beseech You, that under Your command and by Your power they may pursue the evil spirits, counter them on every side, resist their bold attacks and drive them far from us, harming no one on the way, binding them to the foot of the Cross to be judged and sentenced by Jesus Christ Your Son and to be disposed of by Him as He wills.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, come to our aid in this grave battle against the forces of darkness, repel the attacks of the devil for us, and those for whom the priests pray, from the strongholds of the enemy.

St. Michael, summon the entire heavenly court to engage their forces in this fierce battle against the powers of hell. Come O Prince of Heaven with Your mighty sword and thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits. O Guardian Angels, guide and protect us. Amen.

 

On Mondays:

In Your name, Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that You cover us, our families, and all of our possessions with Your love and Your Most Precious Blood and surround us with Your Heavenly Angels, Saints and the mantle of Our Blessed Mother. Amen.

 

On Tuesdays:

Lord Jesus Christ, we beg You for the grace to remain guarded beneath the protective mantle of Mary, surrounded by the holy briar from which was taken the Holy Crown of Thorns, and saturated with Your Precious Blood in the power of the Holy Spirit, with our Guardian Angels, for the greater glory of the Father. Amen.

 

On Wednesdays:

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and God, we ask You to render all spirits impotent, paralyzed and ineffective in attempting to take revenge against us, our families, friends, communities, those who pray for us and their family members, or anyone associated with us and for whom the priests pray. We ask You to bind all evil spirits, all powers in the air, the water, the ground, the fire, underground, or wherever they exercise their powers, any satanic forces in nature and any and all emissaries of the satanic headquarters. We ask You to bind by Your Precious Blood all of the attributes, aspects and characteristics, interactions, communications and deceitful games of the evil spirits. We ask You to break any and all bonds, ties and attachments in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

On Thursdays:

My Lord, You who all powerful, You are God, You are our Father. We beg You through the intercession and help of the Archangels St. Michael, St. Raphael, and St. Gabriel for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All Saints of Heaven, come to our aid.

From anxiety, sadness and obsessions – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From hatred, fornication, and envy – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From every thought of suicide and abortion – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From every form of sinful sexuality – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult – We implore You, deliver us, O Lord.

You who said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” Grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every demonic influence and enjoy Your peace always. In the Name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

On Fridays:

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

 

On Saturdays:

O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Your holy Name and humbly beseech Your clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin, our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, You will help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.