Help Is Coming



But my torments are coming to an end. The Lord is giving me the promised help.   ~   Entry 140, Divine Mercy in My Soul, St. Faustina Kowalska.









Sacrifice of An Only Son


          About two months back, a niece of ours got married to someone outside our faith. While this wasn’t the first time for our family, it was the first time my husband and I became upset over something like this.

          But we were more upset with the way our niece seemed to be forsaking her faith. We had been praying for her for some years and on her wedding day, while we attended the service, we did so with grieving hearts. There was little respect for God. Almost none for family. It hurt us to see this.

          But a worse hurt was in store for us that day. By the priest who had guided this couple. The one who had presided over the service.

          My husband and I had never before attended a Mass or service said by this priest. The night before, after the church wedding  rehearsal, we heard the first rumblings. We were warned of some of his ways and for the first time in our lives, we wanted to keep our kids away from Mass. His Mass.

          But this being a family event, we were caught. And so we went. And witnessed a Mass I thought we’d never see, said by a priest we never wanted to ever meet again.

          We were filled with shame and torn up in anger that such a man had become a priest, soiled the priesthood. It was worse seeing just how many looked lightly upon this priest’s ‘quirks’, not seeing the danger clothed by a smile and cheery demeanour. We had, up to this point, been blessed by beautiful priests in the various parishes my husband and I had belonged to from the time we were children. Priests who themselves suffered in secret, yet joyfully carried their crosses that they might bring Jesus to us. They edified us. Saved our marriage and family life even. Those were the priests we had known. 

          But not this one that shamed the calling of his priesthood.

          In the weeks that followed the wedding, my husband struggled with anger against that priest. I went back to my prayer routine. When I prayed for priests, it was mainly for those we loved, those who had been placed in my care and for the Pope. While I did pray for young children and the vulnerable to be protected from that particular priest, something about that prayer couldn’t live. Even as I tried to pray with more earnestness for this priest, I just couldn’t put my whole heart into it. When the call for laypeople to suffer reparation for the terrible wrongs of priests became louder and some of my friends began to take up that call, I did too. I could sense no impediment. My offering was for all priests, for all manner of wrongs and failings, for all priestly sufferings too.

          Then, a little bell began to be tinkled. In the weave of days and life that followed, I began to hear the words,

The Only Son.

The Only Son.

The Only Son.

          I didn’t really understand what it meant now, what I was meant to do with it.

          One day, after a dear priest had come and spent time with us at home, I happened to be reading about this beloved priest’s story of his calling to the priesthood. It was a long read on our archdiocese website.

          When I had finished, about to turn off, I saw the name of that other priest who had upset us in June. I couldn’t care two figs about his life story. I didn’t want to know anything about his calling or whatever it was.

          Then, I changed my mind. If the website contained information that pointed to a reason why he did and does what he did and does, I wanted to know. So, I began to read on him.

          Later that night, I went out alone with my husband. And I began to tell him a story. About a couple who had not been able to have children. Then came the day of happy news of a baby finally conceived. The joyous mother, knowing it would be her only child, asked God for two things:

That she be given a son.

That he become a priest.

          And then, she forgot about her asking.

          Many decades later, her son had become a successful professional. She knew he would marry soon and both parents, very old now, hoped to see grandchildren before they returned to God. But it was not to be. Unbeknownst to the devout old couple, their only child had taken an unexpected turn in his life journey. Drawn to a Sacred Heart church on a dark, windswept night, this man came face-to-face with God.

          And to the call of the priesthood.

          It shook both the old people. It upset them. It frightened them because they depended on him financially. They depended on him in many, many ways.

          He was after all their only son.

          But the call to holy obedience resounded in their aged hearts too and both parents went before God to discern His Will. That was when the mother recalled the old prayer from decades earlier. She had asked for a priest. Then, she forgot. But God didn’t.

          Months later, they humbly gave up their only child.

          It suddenly became very clear to me how I was to pray for this priest. Mary’s sacrifice of Her only Son was echoed once more in this life of this priest through the  selflessness and courage of a father and mother to not deny God their only son.

          It was a sacrifice of pain, of tears and yet, of joy too. Although it frightened them immensely, this old man and woman lived their faith and chose God in that supreme decision. No matter what his bent was, no matter what he had done, God made it clear that night that I was to pray with the clear, pure compassion of a mother to this priest.

          Because God wants no other prayer, except that of a mother who understands the sacrifice of an only son.





Trust in Me

          I’ve been in some physical suffering since the night before, but nothing could leach away the beauty of the day. Discomfort had prevented me from watching the dawn pearl tangerine~pink roses from its eastern breast, and when I had awakened from disrupted sleep, the sun was beaming cheerily from cloud-misted blue skies.

          Despite what the night had been, I knew it was going to be a special day.

          And it was.

          All through the lifts and dips of the high-spirited winds of the happy day, I felt a peace that settles deep. Despite the roughness of the week that was, despite the turmoil that awaits my land in the weeks to come, this beautiful peace feels like the wordless murmur of saints and angels sitting by our hearts unseen, comforting us in our struggles.

          The Church … was at peace. She was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit she grew in numbers.   ~   Acts 9:31

          I think of the various pearls that met my heart in the past week.

The time of Mercy is meeting the time of Judgement

A shifting

Trust in Me.

          Even in all the turmoil and confusion buffeting the Church today and each day, is she – in secret – being broken down, stone by stone, and being rebuilt by a Power so pure, beautiful and encompassing? I think of the endless stream of accusations and missteps among church hierarchy, the Calvary of priests, the dying wick of faith in hearts, the emptying of many churches. Perhaps Jesus is once more asking in brokenness, Do you also want to leave?

          Instead I hear the words, unmistakably clear, with a strength beyond words.

Trust in Me.







          How long have I waited for October 13 of this year – 100 years after the Final Great Fatima Apparition, waited in hope of a sign that the God I knew was there was indeed there. Like every other broken being, I needed  a special assurance of God. For the now. For the weave of journeys that lie ahead.

          Here, rain wept into the earth from the eve, well into the deep hours of the 13th. It was like 1917 all over again and my hope deepened. I held on to this sign because inside me, I sensed a shifting, and it was going where I did not want it to go.

          As I waited for a sign or a miracle of some sort, my spirit was headed towards the unpleasantly familiar numbing deadness, which no sun nor rain could rouse.

          I didn’t want this numbed spirit. Not now more than ever. I wanted every bit of me to be fully alive to savour the mystical memory of October 13, 1917. I wanted to touch that day a hundred years ago with my spirit, and seal my brokenness to the hope and life that had flooded into the many souls there that great day, a hundred years before.

          All day long, I clawed the air trying to keep death away from my spirit.

          Sadly, so preoccupied was I trying to hold air in my hands, that I failed to keep watch over my living in the hours of the day. Keeping an eye on the grey~shrouded skies for a Fatima miracle, I let slip words and thoughts in caustic comments and snide jokes that should never find berth in any Christian soul.

          Hours later, orange breezes gently danced in to sweeten the somber winds of the aging day. And to illuminate for me the rutted track along which my day had fallen.

          It was then that my numbed and disappointed heart learned two sorrows.

          That the miracle I had primed my waiting for was not coming that day.

          And a worse one – that even had it come, I would have been found wanting, because I had sullied my garments by dipping into pools I had no business going by.

          How easy it was to be distracted, to lose sight of the goal – love of God, love of neighbour. How easy it was to scan the skies for light and yet not see God in my fellow men. How easy to slip and fall, a stray thought, a joke here, an observation there.

          When so many other humble souls had spent the day in Masses and Adoration and prayers to love as Mary had, in pursuing my wayward will, I had set up watch by the wrong harbor, waiting for a ship that was not meant to be.

          And worse, like the bridesmaids of old, who had been waiting for the Bridegroom but failed to keep watch over their conscience, I had soiled my waiting hours in reckless speech and empty mirth.

           When it dawned on me just where I had allowed myself to go, I didn’t try to evade the bite of remorse that cut deep. While the incense of Fatima must have risen hidden in a great many spirits all over the world, I sang the dirge of lament for the stain I had allowed on my soul. Will I ever, ever learn to choose silence and restraint over unnecessary chatter and empty laughter? Will I ever resolutely seek the inner cloister over social circles that have never known or will ever care to know Christ?

          Will I ever learn that to see God, I must love my brethren as Christ did?

          Over and over, hidden from earthly eyes, I tossed and turned over my sin.      

          Yet, this time, despair was not my lot. I was determined to admit my wrong at the only Knee that welcomed saint and sinner. Because I knew that only there would I find Pure love and Supreme forgiveness. Over and over, I went before the Seat of Mercy. I allowed nothing to distract me from this secret pilgrimage. As hour latticed into hour, every time the angels placed the memory of my transgression before me, my spirit knelt before the Miraculous Image.

Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me.

          Suddenly, my spirit straightened to attention. 

          The thorn of remorse had been silently plucked from my spirit. Noiselessly, no stirring of the air did I sense.

          It was gone. In a breath of a moment, I had been forgiven.





Be Ever My Friend



For the victims of the Manchester bombing and their families, May 22 2017;

for victims of terrorism everywhere, the world over.


Swift through the world

You went a-flying,

Dearest Jacinta,

In deepest suffering

Jesus loving.

Forget not my plea

And prayer to you:

Be ever my friend

Before the throne

Of the Virgin Mary,

Lily of candour,

Shining pearl,

Up there in heaven

You live in glory,

Seraphim of love,

With your little brother

At the Master’s feet

Pray for me.            ~ The late Sr. Lucia Dos Santos, Fatima Seer.



Lent 14 ~ Sigh of the Prisoner


Let the prisoners’ sighing come before You,

with Your great power free those doomed to death. ~ Psalm 79:11

          Last year, I wrote of one of my superiors at work who has the unfortunate disposition of crushing hearts and spirits. He doesn’t do it unknowingly; he does it with cruel and calculated intent.

          I’ve been his target for the past 12 years. One day last year, he broke me finally.

          Deeply hurt, I turned to God.

          And the God I turned to turned me decidedly towards praying in mercy for this man. No retribution plea He allowed. No arm about me, no flooding of heavenly comfort into my heart either.

          The balm for my pain lay in the mercy prayer for this man’s soul.

          And so, I prayed. Of course, it didn’t come easy. Revenge can be as strong a manacle of my heart as it is for this man who hurt me. The only difference is I seldom act on it. But revenge maintained a malevolent vigil even as I forced myself to pray that this man be saved.

          I was taken through several prayers as I went from one level of healing to the next. When I first began, it was a simple yet powerful, Blood of Christ on him, Blood of Christ on me. The angels tinkled the prayer chimes every time I saw him at work. Every time he entered my thoughts. I said the prayer when my heart softened from time to time. I said it when my heart hardened in anger every time bitter memories won out.

          And after a time, I was led to the Divine Mercy Chaplet for him. By this time, there was no more inner struggle to pray for him. I didn’t have to be dragged to the prayer. I said it with some dedication too.

          And whenever I slipped in my routine, God sent me dreams of the man and his power to hurt, He allowed little nips at work too – to take me scurrying back to the Cradle of Grace, seeking life for the man.

          I have read to some extent of the immense power of prayer. It can work in ways we least expect.

          Great imagination that I have, it failed me with regards to this man. Despite all my reading and experiences on the miracles prayers can obtain, I couldn’t fathom how my puny prayers this time were going to save his soul – because he barely changed. I finally reached the point where I stopped caring about where my prayers for this man were headed, and how they were going to be answered. I was called to say them, and I did.

          I placed whatever disappointment I had in the lack of signs of conversion, in Mother Mary’s heart. And while I continued to pray for him, in this way, I moved on too.

          Then, one day at Mass, through one of the readings, I heard a voice tell me that this man could not change because the dark pride in him went back a long way; his bloodlines had been contaminated from a long time before.

          I was stupefied. What did it mean? After all my effort, this??!! God let me puzzle over this for many long weeks.

          And then, a tiny bud began to bloom. An Unseen Heart gently drew me to the Prayer of the Holy Wounds. For a reason I have no explanation for, two weeks ago, I began to determinedly place this man in Jesus’ Holy Wounds. I put him and four others in Christ’s sacred Wounds, I imagined them there, deep within, and prayed for the Blood of Christ to flood them all, cleansing every bloodline, helping each one to love God more than themselves.

          Every day, I offered that same Prayer of the Holy Wounds at the start of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Each time I prayed it, the prayer became a little less about me, and more about saving him.

          Then, at the beginning of the new week, these lines of the Responsorial Psalm caught my heart ~

Let the prisoners’ sighing come before You;
with Your great power free those doomed to death.

          At any other time, reading those words would have made me immediately see myself as that Prisoner, because I have too much of mercy for myself.

          But this time, this time was different.

          The moment I saw the words, I saw my superior’s face.

          I knew then that while I only saw him as a sneak and a bully and all things negative and unpleasant before this, in God’s compassionate gaze, this man was a prisoner.

          And by extension of that, if I held on to my negative perception of my superior – however justified it was, but without the compassion of mercy and forgiveness, – then, I was being his jailer.

          Slowly, ever so slowly, the flower of comprehension began to bloom more petals. The Prayer of the Holy Wounds was as much for me as it was for that unfortunate man.  Christ’s Sacred Wounds had freed me from being the jailer of this soul. 

          And I now know with a deep certainty that my Jesus’ Wounds will now free this man’s soul.

          As often, as deeply  and as selflessly as I continue to place this man into the Holy Wounds, this prisoner will be freed to begin to seek the only God there is.

          And the conversion will begin.

Cross the Jordan


          Years ago, plumbing the depths of desolation, I heard these words in an insistent whisper,

Cross the Jordan

And you will find rest.

          I almost wept in frustration. I couldn’t even put one foot in front of me in hope, what more swim across a biblical river.

          But unseen souls wouldn’t give up on me. On and on, over and over, through weeps and struggles, stumbles and falls, the holy wraiths urged me  forwards,

Cross the Jordan and you will find rest,

Cross the Jordan and you will find rest,

Cross the Jordan and you will find rest.

          Grave after grave, farewell after farewell, one loss after another. And I’d struggle to my feet for the sake of my husband and children, for the sake of those at work who depended upon me. I walked blind, unable to sense or feel anything but the tearing sorrow of dashed hopes and dreams.

          I fell more than walked.

          I knocked at doors as I stumbled, begging mercy, respite from the wrench of pain. Many doors closed. Many never even opened. Get over it, move on, they said from their seats of comfort and triumph behind the lock. But some doors were thrown open. The most wounded of all reached out to me, fed me, nourished me and with love, set me on my way, for the journey could not end then. And long after I had crested the hill, they remained in watch at their doors, willing me on, despite their own bleeding.

          Great has been the distance covered since I began this weave through the most bitter of valleys. Yet, not one step could I have managed without the love of other wounded hearts that chose not to hide in hollows of pity. What I was fed with, they gave from their pain, they gave despite their bleeding, many wounds unhealed. They didn’t wait to reach their rest to put out their hand to me. My angel~saviours, both of this world and the next, seen and unseen, known and stranger alike, never once left my side, never ceased their whisper, willing me the life-giving hope I didn’t have.

Cross the Jordan and you will find rest.

          With that chorus in my ears, I have made it this far. At the end of this week, a Light awaits in the dark. Waiting to touch  and bathe me in welcome. But I do not want to fall into Messiah Luminescence by myself. I want this welcome to bathe one and all, every seeking soul.

          And so, to every pilgrim soul lost in the grey and in the dark, I shine you this light that was lit for me from the love of countless others,

Cross the Jordan and you will find rest.

          Do not stop now, do not give up. Do not let bitterness win. Hard as it is, the road we stumble along is not as lonely and as empty as it seems. Many hearts travel the same routes unseen, brokenness a common coat shared in the freeze of loss. Even when all hope is gone, even when all has been taken away, especially when there is absolutely nothing left in our jar of oil, Jesus fills it with His own grace.

Yet, it is a grace not always felt. It is a hope not always sensed. It is a light not always seen.

          But it is a life~grace born of the most bitter of Crosses. It is a grace born of One who chose to Love despite the dark, One who chose life through death so that He may pour His grace into all of us, wounded seekers of life eternal. Our Messiah’s grace poured into us at our most empty, stands at ready to light the strength we need to not stop now, to not give up, but to cross the roughest Jordans of our life, to reach the rest Jesus has ready for us.

          Come now, beloved brethren, Christmas is almost here.

Don’t stop now,

Don’t give up.

Cross the Jordan and you will find rest.


To those who bound my wounds and fed me,

Always, always in my heart,

Sue Shanahan,

Carlos Caso-Rosendi,

Susan Skinner,

Nancy Shuman,

Veronica Jarski,

God’s Child

Merry Christmas

Water for the Shells


          It is time for angels.

          Yesterday, I began to do what a nun at church told me after Mass two weeks ago: When you pray for someone, send them angels, she said. I am not accustomed to praying this way although I know many do so. But I thought it was time I signed up too. I’m in another emptying inside. No matter how deep I dig into my inner wells, there’s very little water to be found. Yet, I can feel that I am being fed. Nourished. Strengthened. Guided.

          I am not wilting from the inner drought.

          So, there is water nearby.

          A mysterious flow of dew I cannot lay claim to in any way because I can sense that its source has no roots in my efforts – not in my sacrifices, not in my prayers, not in the ruts and tangles navigated so far.

          What water is this?

         In my mind, I turn over what little I know of water. This year, I discovered two founts of this Water. The Tears of the Holy Mother. Water from the Heart of Jesus. Two founts, yet one and the same. I have yet to fully comprehend their import, but I have already tasted their power for others I have immersed in them. During Lent this year, I felt the call to immerse lost and dying souls in the Springs of Lourdes. When I pondered the source of the miracle springs, a sign was given and I was made to understand that the Lourdes Water was the Tears of the Holy Mother.

          Then, came the learning of the piercing of the Crucified Jesus. An act of cruel, earthly mercy that gushed forth a New, unblemished mercy~water, blessed in the Blood of sacred Sacrifice.

          And in recent days, a hand took mine and led me to the apparitions of Banneaux, and to the words, Plunge your hands into the water. This spring is reserved for me. I am the Virgin of the Poor.

          And now, although a mere puddle wets the floor of my spirit shell, everything I do is being wet by a hidden stream.

          How else can I explain the lightness of step and the skip of joy in my heart when I cannot feel the beauty of the world around me? When rainstorms, sunsets and sunrises in all their natural glory~beauty fall upon my deadened senses and fail to wake them, yet I am happy and focused? Where are the words for when my prayer efforts are facing its newest and strangest struggle yet – every single prayer I start evaporates at the very first words – but I am at peace within?

          I have never before been empty inside yet walking on light. Every previous emptiness or emptying has torn me up, frightened me, driven me to a madness of desperation.

          But not this time.

          There is a drought within, but no wilting. When my eyes trace the efforts of the week, I see them glisten with a dew.


          There is Water somewhere. Someone is watering my spirit. And I wish this for others as well. To share this Water of Life. There are droughts in places when the wells have run dry. There are places where the well-springs of the soul have been tainted and poisoned, and multitudes drink from them. And there are other inner wells, far from empty, but which need to be filled in order to spill into seeking souls.

          This Water is much needed. So, I send out what has been given to me. I pray this Water into other lives. I pray what scraps of prayer I can, and I ask the angels to fill the waiting shells.

The Tears of the Mother.

The Spring of Banneaux.

Water from the Heart of Jesus.




Tumbling Rosebuds


          It’s one of those days here, when the sun hides like a sulking child behind clouds so low, the sky has all but disappeared. I’ve never liked such days, when the sun, and even the winds seem to scowl, dripping its discontent into my heart. It’s a day when I cannot feel the prayers I say. Every word out of me seems empty, withered and forced. I struggle to concentrate to mean the words.

          I’m tempted to cope with the dry rustling within by breaking from prayer, when I remember the Los Lobos’ song, How Far Is Heaven?, gifted to me by a commenter close to my heart. Thinking of the lyrics, I fleetingly sense spirits I cannot see, in pain, and asking for comfort.

          In a pearl drop moment, I decide to leave the day to work out its mood for I have work to do. I bring forth a soft, old rose I love but keep hidden within me, and hold it before God. I shakily thank Him for the rose and its wounding thorns. I don’t know why I do this, just that the time for it has come.

          Then, I ask my God what He wills of me.

          In a silver whisper comes Heaven’s answer, r5  Tumble rosebuds.

          And so I begin. Through the dry weave of daily mundanes. Not an offering of an entire Rose~wreath, but tumbling a rosebud of a Hail Mary, into every tear the angels bring.


An Un-vesting


          Early this week, my superiors informed us that we would all be subjected to a new performance evaluation. ‘Good’ and ‘Excellent’ work performance had been redefined to suit the times. Basically, those who trumpeted their efforts the loudest, regardless of what those efforts were, stood to gain everything. Those who worked quietly and in obscurity would have their efforts remain unrecognized and unrewarded – unless they converted to the times, and burnished everything in the fool’s gold of egoism and vanity.

          What you actually did no longer mattered. How you elevated and promoted yourself was to be the new compliance test.

          Stunned, I saw almost everything crumble before me. Like everyone else, I wanted my work to be appreciated. I wanted it to be recognized for the good it truly brought. But I shrank away from the turgidity of the platform upon which I was called to promote my work. I could not understand why the sacredness of sincere toil needed to be dolled up to be admissible for scrutiny. I could not understand why the fruits had to be sacrificed so garishness of the self might shine.

          I had a basket of simple wildflowers no one wanted. They were not fit for adornment for the times we were in.

          Everything dear and sacred to me, every struggle faced alone, one by one, peeled off and cast aside contemptuously by a world beholden to the luridness of the times. Day after sad day, one petal after another, plucked and left to flutter to the ground, deemed not worthy to be lifted by the breeze of authority.

          It was in the bitter hours of those thorn-wreathed days that I felt this word written on my heart ~ un-vesting. Over and over, I felt it pressed gently upon my spirit. Like someone unseen was willing me to see the negation of my work through the lens of heaven. To suffer it without the stain of mutiny to render it a worthy offering ~ atonement for sins – mine and others.

          Despite the gentle entreating that I open the eyes of my spirit, I kept turning away. Too much of me was bound too tightly to my work efforts. A rejection of it was a rejection of me. To cast it aside was to toss me aside too. And I took it none too meekly. Storm after storm beat a hymn of keening within me, lamenting all that I was now to lose for choosing to stand with my Lord.

          On the dawn of the 13th, on the 99th anniversary of the first Fatima apparition of the 13th of May 1917, I wearily prayed the Act of Consecration of the family to Our Lady of Fatima. I surrendered each one to my Mother. At the end of it, I remained at the shores of the prayer for a while. Then, I wearily reached deep into me and untied the moorings that had hitherto bound work efforts -my simple wildflowers – to my heart. I placed the tiny blooms of all I have done, each one, into my Mother’s hands, and stepped back into the busyness of the day, emptied but sad.

          Within an hour, a vine of tiny miracles began to unfold through my work day. I laughed with a giddy abandon and tickled dour others to mirth as well. I found myself tending to my duties with a skip and lilt of spirit lost to me in the days past.

          Surprised at the sudden change, I put my joy to the test: I recalled my losses.

          The joy remained, anchored in the serenity of a spirit freed from burdens by an un-vesting willed by Heaven. I still saw my losses. I know what has been done to me and others is wrong. But the sting was gone.

          The un-vesting called me to meekness this week, and late though I was to answer that call, the flood of joy I experienced was His Mercy~gift to me on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.

          To tell me my wildflowers, rejected by the world of the times, had its place in heaven.