Lent 2016


  1. Lent 1 ~ Humble, Holy Hidden 11 Feb 2016
  2. Lent 2 ~ Beware the Raven’s Light, 12 Feb 2016
  3. Lent 3 ~ Shadow in the Watchtower, 13 Feb 2016
  4. Lent 4 ~ Into His Hands, 14 Feb 2016
  5. Lent 5 ~ When Surrender is Faith, 15 Feb 2016
  6. Lent 6 ~ Tears of Lourdes, 16 Feb 2016
  7. Lent 7 ~ When No Mother Weeps, 17 Feb 2016
  8. Lent 8 ~ Repose In Me, 18 Feb 2016
  9. Lent 9 ~ He, 18 Feb 2016
  10. Lent 10 ~ Come Home, 20 Feb 2016
  11. Lent 11 ~ Befriending the Wolf, 21 Feb 2016
  12. Lent 12 ~ When Grace is Misted, 22 Feb 2016
  13. Lent 13 ~ Be Patient in Humiliations, 24 Feb 2016
  14. Lent 14 ~ Press of Water, 25 Feb 2016
  15. Lent 15 ~ Stay the Course, 26 Feb 2016
  16. Lent 16 ~ Manna for the Soul, 27 Feb 2016
  17. Lent 17 ~ Novena of the Holy Spirit, 29 Feb 2016
  18. Lent 18 ~ A Coming, 1 Mar 2016
  19. Lent 19 ~ When the Red Goes, 2 Mar 2016
  20. Lent 20 ~ A Goodbye and A Boat Row, 3 Mar 2016
  21. Lent 21 ~ Rest Awhile, 4 Mar 2016
  22. Lent 22 ~ Mercy in the Mind, 5 Mar 2016
  23. Lent 23 ~ Lasts, 7 Mar 2016
  24. Lent 24 ~ Breath in the Shadows, 8 Mar 2016
  25. Lent 25 ~ By Love, On Love, 09 Mar 2016
  26. Lent 26 ~ In The Shadow of the Prodigal, 10 Mar 2016
  27. Lent 27 ~ Our Hand in Heaven, 11 Mar 2016
  28. Lent 28 ~ Unfasten the Moorings, 15 Mar 2016
  29. Lent 29 ~ Touching Heaven, 16 Mar 2016
  30. Lent 30 ~ When Shadows Fall, 16 Mar 2016
  31. Lent 31 ~ The Final 10, 18 Mar 2016
  32. Lent 32 ~ Jesus, Save Babies, 18 Mar 2016
  33. Lent 33 ~ Sea of Mercy, 19 Mar 2016
  34. Lent 34 ~ Emptying to be Filled, 20 Mar 2016
  35. Lent 35 ~ Jesus Fought My Battle, 22 Mar 2016
  36. Lent 36 ~ Empty Your Cup, 22 Mar 2016
  37. Lent 37 ~ Forsaking the Vineyard for the Potter’s Field, 23 Mar 2016
  38. Lent 38 ~ Not My Sword to Wield, 24 Mar 2016
  39. Lent 39 ~ I Put Him There, 25 Mar 2016
  40. Lent 40 ~ Sound of a Goodbye, 26 Mar 2016

LENT 1 ~ Humble, Holy, Hidden


Whenever the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes gently asks remembrance, my thoughts always lead to the Lourdes seer, St Bernadette Soubirous, and the three little goldpearls which describe this saint and her life ~ Humble, Holy, Hidden. A life led only to seek God, taking nothing for herself – no accolade, no comfort, no elevation.

In my mind, I see my plans and ambitions, the career moves I pursue. The prayers prayed against the holy will of God. I recall my anger and disappointment at thwarted hopes. In my responses, in each of them, I had cast aside humility ~ the diamond of heaven, seeking instead the false gold of the world. It is a dangerous foolishness I have sought with vigour, but must now desist if I am to see heaven some day.

For St Bernadette, God was her only consolation through poverty, suffering, sorrow and humiliation because she allowed herself no other comfort. God was the only light she yielded to.

My God I love You, with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength.

Hers is a journey I am beginning only now. To make God my all, as Bernadette once did. But how hard it is, how deep the craggy rocks of obedience and holiness cut into my bare soles. The pain is felt ever so deeply because I do not love enough. Too much of me is still attached to this world and its sordid allures. Yet, although I have not completely surrendered to the will of my Lord, I can at least pray her prayer to pave the way. My God I love You, with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength. And even if my heart has not fully yielded, it will begin to.

This journey of mine, into the heart of God, must be hidden, for the most part. Hidden to not incur unnecessary derision and hurt. Hidden to protect me from pride. Hidden to keep my seeking pure, unsullied by blighted sight and impure motives. This hiddenness costs me, though. It brings with it loneliness and aloneness. The steeper the climb gets, the fewer the companions, lesser the comfort of pilgrim empathy and understanding.

This journey of the soul, from earth to heaven, should never be like an interrupted train journey, undertaking and disembarking on a whim although it pauses at many stations, weakening at the behest of capricious winds. It is one that calls for resoluteness and stoicism, though many its tumbles and falls. Humble, holy, hidden is an arduous, yet joyful journey, leading to an embrace of life that will see heaven some day and bring souls the peace yearned for – that which surpasses understanding.


LENT 2 ~ Beware the Ravens’ Light


I have known fear in a way I never want to again. It made me bow in homage at godless altars. It kept me in a cage, strung on a leash, forcefully led on journeys to where there was a light that shone on everyone but never illumined the soul.

I feared to offend. I feared to express myself. I feared to beat my own path of search. But my soul chafed at this imprisonment, and longed to be free. So, on my own strength and wisdom, I sought my freedom from this cage. I told God I wanted to be free, but I didn’t let Him too near, because I feared His Will. I didn’t analyse my fear of the Holy Will. I didn’t want to. I thought I would be exchanging one captor for another.

So, I struggled on my own to make my escape. But years of allowing others a power over me had taken its toll. I couldn’t tell light from dark. Avoiding God, I sought counsel in the dungeons. Foolishly, I spoke of my longing to be free to those who should not have been told.

And so they came, these ravens, to secure my cage by opening my eyes to their light.


Deceptive light. Darkness masquerading as light. Light that paints the fantasy of freedom when you are still imprisoned. That is the only light the ravens know.

Like I once was, there are too many of such captives – those who live in this deceptive light, lulled into the lie that they are free. The light by which the ravens see is one that tells us to choose self over love.

That light shines strongly when we advocate for and make life choices that maim and decimate natural life – because it suits us to. Because it fits the path we have chosen for ourselves.

That life feeds on the death that comes when we seek to bend God to our will through the silencing of our conscience to justify aberrance, accept sin paraded as truth, as a right.

It gleefully and shamelessly shines us to the pool of self-gratification. But after the initial euphoria of living life on our terms, comes a gaping emptiness when the lustre of rebellion against God has worn off, and we find ourselves increasingly pursued by a wrenching desperation to fill the ever-widening abyss within us.

Beware the light the ravens know. Know it by its deadly mark: it brings eternal death to every aspect of life it touches. We cannot live in two worlds – ours and God’s. There cannot be two wills – ours and The Divine. Every minute inch of life we give to the dark will ultimately be poisoned. We cannot hope to stay pristine and pure even by the edge of muck.

Flee the ravens and their light of subterfuge, for there is no life, no hope, to be found there. With humility, seek instead the grace of heavenly courage and wisdom, to find the light that leads to everlasting life.



LENT 3 ~ Shadow in the Watchtower


Today, someone made me relive an old sorrow, wanting to know of every valley and crevasse traversed, moving from dark to light. There was a strange uneasiness in me over the request. The asking seemed innocent enough, but I sensed a shadow attach itself to it.

I shook it off, and with will, returned my gaze to the need at hand.

With reluctance, I undertook the journey to where an old grief rests, not relishing the dusting off of mists that separate me from the sadness. When the sojourn into the resting place of memories finally ended, I took my leave, uncomfortably aware of my spirit drooping under a heaviness not familiar to me.

What dark mist is this that has immersed itself so deep within me, I wondered. It did not come from the reacquainting with pain, of that I was sure. Something else. Something foreign. Something that did not have a right to mark my spirit with its presence.

It didn’t just sink its claws into me; I soon saw that it had clenched too the seeker of my counsel – the intensity of seeking had waned; something else  had caught her attention. Enticed, she ran to it.

I turned to my guardian, St Joseph. Help me, I entreated, discern this. Why has it come? What do I do?

In gentle immediacy, the light of response, borne on a lily-breath flooded my soul:

Write about it.

And with it, a serenity tendrilled and settled within me.

I do not have all the answers, but for now, it does not matter. All I sense is that a sinister spirit invaded as someone sought my help to understand trials. It came to smear my efforts with a darkened slant. To blot out the grace of mercy by replacing it with a distraction.

And in a way only heaven sees, the antidote to this sullen malice is to bring it to brethren eyes. Perhaps to awaken pilgrim spirits to a cognizance of a shadow in the watchtower where mercy is most needed.

The Battering of Britain 70mph winds and driving rain lash the country as April storms out  5[1]

LENT 4 ~ Into His Hands


Struggling with my will these past days, having to tamp it down every few minutes or so. The very moment I surrender, I take it right back. Never before than in these days have I been so aware of my willfulness, and of my struggle to surrender my all to God without telling Him how to do His job. And there I was, short days before, blithely advising others to release, to let go, to trust the Lord – serenely unaware of the depth of my own weakness!!

Once heaven gave me the sight to see, I knew I needed grace to win this one. I knew enough to know that I couldn’t go very far on my own imperfect strength and wisdom. Besides, I was here on earth to do His will, and not to bend Him to my will.

But I needed help to stop doing just that!

And it came, through the gentlest of hands, The Cloistered Heart.

In Nancy Shuman’s inspired post, My Offering, I first heard that my Lord loved me, and would do anything to save me.

          I have waited, waited for the Lord, and He stooped toward me and heard my cry. He drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp; He set my feet upon a crag; He made firm my steps, and He put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe, and trust in the Lord ~ (Psalm 40:2-4)

I didn’t know that I needed to hear I was loved; I was too busy trying to be brave and strong and tough for others. Seeing the words, I felt the tension ease, and I leaned heavily in relief against my Saviour, and in a breath, bequeathed Him my willfulness:

Jesus, I give You my whole heart and my whole will.  They once rebelled against You, but now I dedicate them completely to you…Receive me, and make me faithful until death ~ (St. Alphonsus Liguori) 

I felt the struggle leave me.


LENT 5 ~ When Surrender Is Faith


When you’ve been hurt by those who give up when the terrain gets rough,  then, there’s a great chance you’d try to bend the other way in your subsequent journeys so the pain you faced is relegated to history where it cannot knife others. You don’t see the sense in making others face what you had to, because you intimately know the pain of being left to struggle and make sense of life alone.

When the lash of pain has torn you more often than you can count or even remember, you might go forth into life with a grim determination to make it all about sunshine, breezes and blossoms for others – because you think that’s why you had to go through hurt in the first place: to suffer so others don’t have to.

But as we heave and push to keep pain at bay, sometimes, we glance up from the struggle, and we’re seared to realize we are the only ones in the tangle; it’s just us in the fight to give life and love, but this life and love matters little to the ones we’re trying to save. It hurts to see that the ones we sought to protect from pain aren’t quite as committed to undo the knots in their own gnarled lives.

When we are left with the hollow feeling that we have been fooled into caring, a bitter caution slithers into our hearts, dimming charity in us and casting suspicion on every need which requires the antidote of merciful love. Jaundiced, we are unable to minister where mercy is most needed.

As my little sting sank deep, I was faced with a choice. To withdraw into a corner and wither my love as a self-preservation. Or to bury the hurt deep in Jesus’ Holy Wounds, and surrender to His Will.

The former tugged stronger, and for a couple of days, I stewed in a pot of my own stirring.

Then, I saw the words,

I have waited, waited for the Lord, and He stooped toward me and heard my cry. He drew me out of the pit of destruction, out of the mud of the swamp; He set my feet upon a crag; He made firm my steps, and He put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God. Many shall look on in awe, and trust in the Lord ~ (Psalm 40:2-4)

I leaned on the words to learn anew:   He took me from pain. Not just anyone but my Lord did. And He placed me on solid ground, held me till I got back my confidence. He wiped my tears, gave me hope that pain is passing, and tenderly taught me that sorrow precedes joy.

It was then that my gaze came to rest on the final verse:

Many shall look on in awe, and trust in the Lord.

          Many will trust in the Lord.

In the gentlest of breezes, the Spirit silvered in my soul a truth my frustration had mottled over ~ that no pain for God is ever wasted; no effort comes to naught in the vineyard of the Lord.

          Many will trust in the Lord. Everything will be made perfect in His time and in His way. All I needed to do was to lean completely against my Saviour, surrender as an act of faith, and move on to the next pasture of need.







A gentle press on my soul on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Light and undemanding. So, I read on St Bernadette to commemorate the feast.

When the hours had grown old, I left the feast day, and moved on to other things.

But something lingered, holding on to my spirit.

Searching, trying to discern, I sensed it was connected to the Lourdes water, specifically. Sensing a call, I turned it over in my mind, and waited for more illumination.

Then, today, it came, on a breath of blue.

          Immerse souls, dying and lost, in the healing waters of Lourdes.

I was ready to obey. As we recited the family Rosary, I felt another interior tug. Why the Water of Lourdes? Understandably for its miraculous healing powers, but there was a sense of something more. I went over what I knew of the apparition, and the beginnings of the stream that St Bernadette had dug. I pictured her there, on all fours, parting the earth, oblivious to the mocking of the gathered crowd.

          What was the source of the water? I asked as I prayed on.

Then, for no reason, not besieged by any emotion or storm of heart, my eyes filled with sudden tears. What is the water of Lourdes that it has this power to heal?

And then I knew.

Tears of the Mother.

          Immerse souls, dying and lost, in the tears of the Mother.

LENT 7 ~ When No Mother Weeps


Last night, I shared about my prayer call – to immerse lost and dying souls in the Tears of the Mother – with my husband. He listened in stillness and quiet.

Then, he mused aloud: Who are the dying and lost souls?

I was a wee bit puzzled. It wasn’t a new turn of phrase or idea. It wasn’t like he didn’t know. It had been something we had talked about many times. I asked him to clarify, but again, looking intently at me, he repeated,

          Who are the dying and lost souls?

Puzzlement deepening, I trotted out a ready explanation.

Once more he pushed, Who are the dying and lost souls you are being asked to pray for?

Then it struck me. My husband wasn’t asking to know. Someone was prompting through him.

Two buds quietly burst open in my mind:

The lost and the dying.

Tears of the Mother.

An unseen Hand gently knit the two buds together ~ I was being asked to pray specifically for the lost and dying souls who have mothers who are oblivious or indifferent to their children’s downward spiritual spiral. Those who have mothers, but who are yet, motherless.

My Lent call was to immerse the lost and the dying souls for whom no mother weeps, into the Tears of the Heavenly Mother, for therein lies a hidden power beyond imagination.

LENT 8 ~ Repose In Me


“12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”  (Jeremiah 29: 12 – 14)



Day 1

Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying? Leave the care of your affairs to Me and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to Me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 2

Surrender to Me does not mean to fret, to be upset, or to lose hope, nor does it mean offering to Me a worried prayer asking Me to follow you and change your worry into prayer. It is against this surrender, deeply against it, to worry, to be nervous and to desire to think about the consequences of anything. It is like the confusion that children feel when they ask their mother to see to their needs, and then try to take care of those needs for themselves so that their childlike efforts get in their mother’s way. Surrender means to placidly close the eyes of the soul, to turn away from thoughts of tribulation and to put yourself in My care, so that only I act, saying “You take care of it”.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 3

How many things I do when the soul, in so much spiritual and material need, turns to me, looks at Me and says to Me; “You take care of it”, then closes its eyes and rests. In pain you pray for Me to act, but that I act in the way you want. You do not turn to Me, instead, you want Me to adapt your ideas. You are not sick people who ask the doctor to cure you, but rather sick people who tell the doctor how to.

So do not act this way, but pray as I taught you in the our Father:

“Hallowed be thy Name”, that is, be glorified in My need. “Thy kingdom come”, that is, let all that is in us and in the world be in accord with your kingdom. “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”, that is, in our need, decide as you see fit for our temporal and eternal life. If you say to Me truly: “Thy will be done”, which is the same as saying: “You take care of it”, I will intervene with all My omnipotence, and I will resolve the most difficult situations.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 4

You see evil growing instead of weakening? Do not worry. Close your eyes and say to Me with faith: “Thy will be done, You take care of it”. I say to you that I will take care of it, and that I will intervene as does a doctor and I will accomplish miracles when they are needed. Do you see that the sick person is getting worse? Do not be upset, but close your eyes and say “You take care of it”. I say to you that I will take care of it, and that there is no medicine more powerful than My loving intervention. By My love, I promise this to you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 5

And when I must lead you on a path different from the one you see, I will prepare you; I will carry you in My arms; I will let you find yourself, like children who have fallen asleep in their mother’s arms, on the other bank of the river. What troubles you and hurts you immensely are your reason, your thoughts and worry, and your desire at all costs to deal with what afflicts you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 6

You are sleepless; you want to judge everything, direct everything and see to everything and you surrender to human strength, or worse – to men themselves, trusting in their intervention, – this is what hinders My words and My views. Oh how much I wish from you this surrender, to help you; and how I suffer when I see you so agitated! Satan tries to do exactly this: to agitate you and to remove you from my protection and to throw you into the jaws of human initiative. So, trust only in Me, rest in Me, surrender to Me in everything.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 7

I perform miracles in proportion to your full surrender to Me and to your not thinking of yourselves. I sow treasure troves of graces when you are in the deepest poverty. No person of reason, no thinker, has ever performed miracles, not even among the saints. He does divine works whosoever surrenders to God. So don’t think about it any more, because your mind is acute and for you it is very hard to see evil and to trust in Me and to not think of yourself. Do this for all your needs, do this all of you and you will see great continual silent miracles. I will take care of things, I promise this to you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 8

Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away on the flowing current of My grace; close your eyes and do not think of the present, turning your thoughts away from the future just as you would from temptation. Repose in Me, believing in My goodness, and I promise you by My love that if you say “You take care of it” I will take care of it all; I will console you, liberate you and guide you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 9

Pray always in readiness to surrender, and you will receive from it great peace and great rewards, even when I confer on you the grace of immolation, of repentance and of love. Then what does suffering matter? It seems impossible to you? Close your eyes and say with all your soul, “Jesus, you take care of it”. Do not be afraid, I will take care of things and you will bless My name by humbling yourself. A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender, remember this well. There is no novena more effective than this.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Mother, I am Yours now and forever.
Through You and with You
I always want to belong
completely to Jesus.




He can turn the tides
And calm the angry sea.
He alone decides
Who writes a symphony.
He lights ev’ry star
That makes our darkness bright.
He keeps watch all through
Each long and lonely night.
He still finds the time
To hear a child’s first prayer.
Saint or sinner call
And always find Him there.

Though it makes him sad
To see the way we live,
He’ll always say, “I forgive.”

2. He can grant a wish
Or make a dream come true.
He can paint the clouds
And turn the gray to blue.
He alone knows where
To find the rainbow’s end.
He alone can see
What lies beyond the bend.
He can touch a tree
And turn the leaves to gold.
He knows every lie
That you and I have told.





By Ellen M. H. Gates

Come home! come home!
You are weary at heart,
For the way has been dark,
And so lonely and wild.
O prodigal child!
Come home! oh come home!

2. Come home! come home!
For we watch and we wait,
And we stand at the gate,
While the shadows are piled.
O prodigal child!
Come home! oh come home!

3. Come home! come home!
From the sorrow and blame,
From the sin and the shame,
And the tempter that smiled,
O prodigal child!
Come home! oh come home!

4. Come home! come home!
There is bread and to spare,
And a warm welcome there,
Then, to friends reconciled,
O prodigal child!
Come home! oh come home!

LENT 11 ~ Befriending the Wolf


          There is a path that has been carved out for me by angels who do the bidding of our Heavenly Father. It is a wind of road set into the weave of my life. It is not an easy one, but it is the only path for me.

          Sadly, there are a number of things that take me off the set course. Pride is one of them.

          In my life, pride is simply when I think God got it all wrong, and it’s my place to point out to Him alternative, easier, road for me.

It should have been this way, Lord…

          Pride is also when I seek to assume I know the mind of God although I’ve done little or nothing to understand God in the first place. When He has told me to forgive, and I cannot, instead of going back to Him to understand the whys and the hows, I surmise that if it’s so tough to forgive, then it’s got to be the wrong path to take. God, You don’t understand….

          Pride is when little time has been invested in humble prayer and devotions because I have failed to realize that the fundamental purpose of prayer and devotion is to learn the mind of God. Not bully heaven into obeying my will.

          Pride controls me when I’ve been tardy in my religious practices, cutting myself too much slack, being overly gentle on myself, and not seeing this weakness as symptomatic of an insidious underlying lack of faith in God.

          Pride is my master when I have arrived at moral conclusions without the right religious basis to back them – because I simply don’t know what God’s Commandments are, I don’t understand them or what they call me to.

          Pride is when I seek to play God, although my own respect for Godly authority is suspect. Or worse – in tatters.

          It turns deadly when I direct the spiritual journey of others despite being spiritually malnourished myself. If I think I can feed others when I myself do not know which are the streams of Living Water.

          Directed and blinded by pride, I might stray into the wolf’s lair unaided by heavenly insight. Emboldened by pride in myself, I might seek, ostensibly, to secure the enemy, fully confident of my own wisdom, but slowly, unknowingly, gentle towards the wolf, and ultimately, lose myself in its embrace.



LENT 12 ~ When Grace Is Misted


          For many long grey years, I played to the bidding of a person who loved herself to the point of excluding God. I lived in troubled compliance in her world, and she lived gleefully in mine. Marionette and puppeteer.

          My mistress stood sentry between God and I. She proclaimed herself the doorway to Christ, except that a walk through her portal never led to God. Through a serpentine meandering in endless false lights and upheavals, it always led back to her.

          One day, an angel came to my soul, bearing a gift ribboned in the purple of sorrow. Opening my door to the angel’s weeping, I learned a grief known to many others. My jealous mistress tugged hard on the strings, to jerk my gaze back to her. But my mourning became a powerful grace. It was the sword which the angel wielded to keep her beyond the gate, where her shadow fell too far to mark me.

          And by grace too, my tears were transformed into dew lights and vessels, which illuminated and carried me along the waters of seeking to make sense of this sorrow. Had grace been absent from my grieving, I would have rapidly been lost in the pit of self-pity.


          It was the first of journeys I navigated unfettered. For the very first time, I was journeying on my own, towards the true God, through the portal of grace that did not seem at all like graces should – all bright and iridescent with shimmering hope.

          All who knew of my pain, even I, only saw my Cross, not the grace, for the sorrow given to me was a veiled grace. The pain was the gift of heavenly luminescence meant to guide my soul to God. But the luminescence was hidden from curious minds to protect me from confusion that can arise from too many onlooker-interpretations.

          This grace did not come with the expected joy-glitter of a thousand diamonds. Hence it was long years before my spirit was ready to see it for what it was.

          And that is how grace often is. Seldom clearly discernible. Often misted over. Veiled. Hidden within the Cross.


LENT 13 ~ Be Patient In Humiliations


          Yesterday was the day for me to burn in someone’s fire. I was asked to bow before someone and to submit to a will not mine and certainly not the Lord’s. Having lived most of my life in that exact same position, and only recently finding the courage not to, I wasn’t about to make another huge knot  that Mother Mary would have to undo all over again.

          So, I silently refused to step into the circle of human homage. And that unleashed the flames on me.

          I suffered in the tirade of thwarted intentions. Over and over, the flames leapt for me. I sat in the heart of it, unable to escape the line of fire. Any prayer thought was snatched away by the relentless flames.

          But by the waning rays of sunset, another, more unfortunate, fire had started in my beleaguered heart. I began to be consumed by fury at the injustice meted out to me. I made some weak stabs at prayer, but a more concerted effort went into planning fire darts to avenge this wrong to me.

          By nightfall, however, I had begun to weary. The anger raged as strong as ever, but this time, my soul fought back, refusing to bend in submission to this sin on my part. It raised a different tempest within me – the tempest of awareness. That tempest took away peace to teach me the consequences of my sin.

          I found that I could bear the searing pain of someone’s fire, but not the loss of peace in my soul.

          So, I turned my heart determinedly to prayer. One after another, I called at all the harbours I knew, every prayer and bible verse, begging for respite from the storm. I know that no prayer is ever wasted, but I didn’t feel the soothing balm of comfort I sought. Restless and anxious, I learned anew then, the lesson learned over and over by wilful souls – everything in His time, not  ours.

          I ploughed on, nevertheless.

          It was then that I recalled my father, Padre Pio. I thought of his anger, how different it had been from mine. But he had known anger, understood the familiarity of struggling against it. He would know what help I needed to extinguish its wounding flames.

St Pio, help me, St Pio help me, St Pio help me.

          By the closing of the night’s Rosary, the winds died down. But in unfortunate possession of a nature that can seethe on demand, I remained suspicious of the calm.

          Awakening in the morning, these words came, brought on the dew wet breath of dawn ~

Be  patient  in  humiliations.

          Not trials. Not challenges. Not difficulties. But – humiliations. That alone pointed to the heavenly origins of the counsel, because the seed of the firestorm of which I was a victim was the very humiliating  public scourging I was receiving for daring to break ranks, and to stand apart and alone for my faith and principles.

Be  patient  in  humiliations.  Love from the heart of heaven for the storm in mine.

          I pick up my cross again, but this time, with a gentled spirit and a renewed strength.





LENT 14 ~ The Press of Water


          The week before Lent began, I had a dream about a coming water. A violent rush of taint and filth. People in another part of the town heard of its impending arrival, and they made haste to flee. Flee , they told me too. But I refused.

          For hours later, I pondered the dream. Dismiss or delve deeper? I sought the counsel of the Discerner of Dreams, St Joseph.

Then, it came :


 A week later, after night Rosary, a deepening of meaning :

A coming cleansing to pave the way for a Promised Land on earth.

          Some days into Lent, came the call to immerse lost and dying soulsinto the waters of Lourdes, and later I was given to understand that the waters of Lourdes were the Tears of the Holy Mother.

A pretty deep press of water into my soul this Lent thus far. Then, they knitted together:

Prepare for a coming cleansing by immersing lost and dying souls in the Tears of the Heavenly Mother.




Years of toil that have yielded little. The giving of almost entire lives only to receive indifference and contempt. Praying all the right prayers, thinking  we’ve obeyed all the Spirit’s prompts.

And yet, it’s the endless expanse of sunburnt sands that stretches before us.

Our spirits falter, and we sink defeated. It becomes a struggle to set one foot in front of the other to continue a journey suddenly emptied of meaning and purpose.

And yet go on we must, with a courage we might not have, in possession of a hope rendered more and more barren by the day, by the casting out of a net that repeatedly returns empty. And why must we persevere? Because…

There is no such thing as an empty net but sometimes God puts the fish on hold for a good reason…~ Carlos Caso-Rosendi, The Call

Fish on hold.

Some hold that our why?  to that is, perhaps, our greatest undoing, because our questioning of delays sometimes leads to a darker despair. But true faith does not come from a slumbering obedience either; it comes from an active pondering, a sincere and earnest seeking to know His will. Questioning to understand the Divine Will is not wrong; seeking to undermine it, is.

Hence, when hopes are long in coming true, when every good comes undone, and the desert of despair looms closer, may we seek His counsel, plead for it, even. And if His answer is silence, may we continue to beseech heaven, but for the armour of hope and strength to keep the faith, even as we are buffeted by confusion, distraction and delusion.

Tribulation is a gift from God – one that he especially gives His special friends – St. Thomas More

Every hill and valley along our journey must be traversed, for each has its place in the journey towards His Coming. We must stay the course, all through the barren wilderness, pressed upon by doubt and fear, because the harbor of respite is just beyond the bend.



LENT 16 ~ Manna for the Soul


During my years in the cell, I was told by the keeper of the keys that spiritual reading was important – to know the mind of God.

But to know the mind of God – in order to gain the respect and admiration of all.

That motivation didn’t go very far with me because I hated the attention that came with being on any pedestal. But to resist and question would have been to invite trouble, so I acquiesced when asked to read.

Being young and having no access to money, I read whatever was chosen for me. Reading should have brought a knife of illumination for me, but it didn’t – because, not only was I denied a say in the choice of reading material, I was also never given the books to be read from cover to cover; important bits from selected books were excerpted by my keeper, typed out with personal clarification notes, and added to other excerpts, from other books, to form a collage of truths on a given topic.

So, I never really read a book in its entirety. I was given a heavily excerpted and edited version under the excuse that I lacked the intelligence to understand matters of the Lord unaided. It should have worked out just fine to read a summarized and simplified version better suited to my limited cognitive abilities, but it didn’t. I remained in that dank cell. Heaven was not opened to me because what I read was distorted  through manipulation.

The work of the Holy Spirit to enlighten and edify was pre-empted through the controlling and censoring of reading material. By the barring of the Spirit, I was jailed too.


Today, I am no longer where I once was. I am free to read, to question and to ponder. I am encouraged by a strong and loving husband to seek the truth through spiritual reading. But he has never once endeavored to take the place of the Spirit – to force my enlightenment towards a path that leads back to him. He has steered clear of being the gatekeeper to my own soul.

It is this freedom that I now know, that allows me to seek God through the means denied to me before. It is a seeking blessed and nourished by the Spirit. I do not always understand all I read. Often, I have doubted and prematurely rejected goldpearls of truth. But all this makes up the essence of any true journey undertaken in absolute spiritual freedom.

When you immerse your mind and heart in spiritual books, you will always be filled, for spiritual reading gives you a foundation in God ~ St John Chrysostom


Read some chapter of a devout book….It is very easy and most necessary, for just as you speak to God when at prayer, God speaks to you when you read. ~ St. Vincent de Paul


And read, we must, in order to be free. To never be jailed by human will. Spiritual reading directed by the Spirit always leads to a true knowing of God and His ways. Read in joy, certainly, but read when in sorrow and fear too, because it is what keeps the Light shining in our spirits even in the midst of storms.

As we feed our bodies, so must we, with greater diligence, feed our souls with Manna from our Saviour’s hands.



LENT 17 -Novena of the Holy Spirit

Novena Of The Holy Spirit
by St. Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

sheep in light.png

Who are you, sweet light, that fills me
And illumines the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother’s hand,
And should you let go of me,
I would not know how to take another step.
You are the space
That embraces my being and buries it in yourself.
Away from you it sinks into the abyss
Of nothingness, from which you raised it to the light.
You, nearer to me than I to myself
And more interior than my most interior
And still impalpable and intangible
And beyond any name:
Holy Spirit eternal love!


Are you not the sweet manna
That from the Son’s heart
Overflows into my heart,
The food of angels and the blessed?
He who raised himself from death to life,
He has also awakened me to new life
From the sleep of death.
And he gives me new life from day to day,
And at some time his fullness is to stream through me,
Life of your life indeed, you yourself:
Holy Spirit eternal life!


Are you the ray
That flashes down from the eternal Judge’s throne
And breaks into the night of the soul
That had never known itself?
Mercifully relentlessly
It penetrates hidden folds.
Alarmed at seeing itself,
The self makes space for holy fear,
The beginning of that wisdom
That comes from on high
And anchors us firmly in the heights,
Your action,
That creates us anew:
Holy Spirit ray that penetrates everything!


Are you the spirit’s fullness and the power
By which the Lamb releases the seal
Of God’s eternal decree?
Driven by you
The messengers of judgment ride through the world
And separate with a sharp sword
The kingdom of light from the kingdom of night.
Then heaven becomes new and new the earth,
And all finds its proper place
Through your breath:
Holy Spirit victorious power!


Are you the master who builds the eternal cathedral,
Which towers from the earth through the heavens?
Animated by you, the columns are raised high
And stand immovably firm.
Marked with the eternal name of God,
They stretch up to the light,
Bearing the dome,
Which crowns the holy cathedral,
Your work that encircles the world:
Holy Spirit God’s molding hand!


Are you the one who created the unclouded mirror
Next to the Almighty’s throne,
Like a crystal sea,
In which Divinity lovingly looks at itself?
You bend over the fairest work of your creation,
And radiantly your own gaze
Is illumined in return.
And of all creatures the pure beauty
Is joined in one in the dear form
Of the Virgin, your immaculate bride:
Holy Spirit Creator of all!


Are you the sweet song of love
And of holy awe
That eternally resounds around the triune throne,
That weds in itself the clear chimes of each and every being?
The harmony,
That joins together the members to the Head,
In which each one
Finds the mysterious meaning of his being blessed
And joyously surges forth,
Freely dissolved in your surging:
Holy Spirit eternal jubilation!




Storm Clouds Hill Trees UHD[1].jpg

Since the dream of coming waters, I have been mulling the call I heard: Prepare . As the dream showed an impending trauma for my town and community, I often wondered what kind of a preparation I was being called to. Spiritual, certainly, but physical? Probably, but to what extent? Although it should have been pretty obvious, it wasn’t to me. For some reason, every time my mind traced the word, Prepare , I sensed a veil mist over the word.

And I wondered why.

I had been slowly working my way through St Faustina’s Diary – Divine Mercy in My Soul, reading a page or two every day. Every single time I opened the book to read, there would be an answer to a question I would have been thinking about just before. It has happened every single time.

And Sunday was no different. I accompanied my husband on a quick grocery errand late that evening, but opted to stay in the car to keep out of his way as he scuttled around in the mart. My thoughts dwelling on the word, Prepare, and praying for lost and dying souls, I opened the Diary to entry #625:

In the evening, when I was praying, the Mother of God told me, Your lives must be like mine: quiet and hidden, in unceasing union with God, pleading for humanity and preparing the world for the second coming of God. ~ St Faustina, Diary, #625

Preparing. It seared through me. Caught my spirit. I tried to read on but something held my eyes focused on the entry.

Only then did I see the words I’d just read: For the second coming of God .


I thought of the dream again. A coming sorrow. A terrible fear for some, resulting in panic, minds closed to reasoning. Reacting to the fear by fleeing to seek refuge in structures built on sand.

Prepare them for the second coming of God.

LENT 19 ~ When The Red Goes


From my waking, all through to the waning hours of sunset, the gentle hymn, Bread of Life, played in my consciousness. I began my day in a cheery gentleness, with a skip in my step, but soon my blue-gold day was snagged by the thorns of difficult human behavior, and I had to bite down my anger and frustrations.

          I failed more than I succeeded because not once did I bring God into the redness of my day.

          Back home, I was safe from the stings of the workplace. Yet, I felt scratched. Not from the challenges of the day, but from the angry thoughts that I had allowed to nestle and burgeon unchecked within me. Anger was now gone, but for the hours it found a willing home in me, it left me a parting gift of sand in my wounds for my sinfulness.

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:9

          Sore. Nettled.

          So, this is what fool  feels like when the red of anger has gone, and the Holy Spirit vexed.

1. Bread of life and cup of hope,
we come as gift to you.
Change our hearts; fill us with peace.
Transform our lives anew.
Open our eyes so that we might see
your presence in one another.
Your life, poured out in love today,
unites us all in you.

2. Loving Lord, Creator God,
open our eyes to see
the good that lives in each of us,
that called the world to be.
And when we fail to see the good,
when friendships falter and crumble,
give us the courage to forgive
that we may live in peace.

3. Living Word, O Son of God,
your love shows us the way
that we may live in harmony,
and from you never stray.
Wipe all oppression from our midst;
give us a love for all people.
Your song of justice sing in us,
to live for peace today.



LENT 20 ~ A Goodbye and a Boat Row


Somewhere in the purple shadows of an old day, someone went out on the boat, to the chorus of farewelling birds, heading for a distant shore. No one stood among the reeds to wave goodbye.

          No one knew.

          And later, as the night winds picked up, and the world slept, the boat returned empty, from a journey willed not by God, but by the heart.

          A young soul had left this world.

          No one stood in the wet sands watching the ripples return. No one knew.

          The young mother wearied by life and its loop of struggles chose the day to row her boat away from shores she had known all her life. She had in error surmised, this life, its twists and turns, the sands, the pebbles, the rocks, were jagged outcrops on a journey meant for others not her.

          After all, wasn’t the path to heaven supposedly wide and strewn with roses?

          So, she set sights on a distant shore where the sun dimpled peacefully in the quiet ebb and flow of waters; where the reeds swayed in the lilt of gentle winds, and no storm clouds ever held court.

She didn’t know that the way to that gold-blessed shore was by the Cross.

          She wrote a note and said goodbye, stilled her grief and mind, and took her leave of this world meant for others not her.

          When her darkness remained unlit by light, her child found the note no mother should ever have to write, no child should ever have to find. And read of a goodbye and a boat row across the lake to a distant shore that didn’t know pain.

          The young one now vigil keeps, in the wet sands among the reeds, watching the ripples return bearing the secret deep.

          A note. A goodbye. A lifetime of anguish bequeathed.

LENT 21 ~ Rest Awhile


If the day has been hard, if you’ve fallen once too often and are too weary to try and stand up again, forgive yourself. Place your soul in His hands and rest awhile. And angels will come, and brush your soul with light.


LENT 22 ~ Mercy in the Mind


During mental prayer, it is well, at times, to imagine that many insults and injuries are being heaped upon us, that misfortunes have befallen us, and then strive to train our heart to bear and forgive these things patiently, in imitation of our Saviour. This is the way to acquire a strong spirit. ~ St. Philip NeriI never ever expected to read such a quote on prayer. Some of us are gifted with a fertile imagination that often wounds and maims charity in our souls more than reality itself. When these powerful imaginations play out in technicolour detail future situations we might encounter, St Philip’s words offer a splendid way to track out the venom of our imaginings and replace it with the dew of mercy.

Thus, a potential for more pain is transformed by mercy into the sweet incense of prayer.




LENT 23 ~ Lasts


There is a summons that comes that no soul can evade, no power on earth can prevent. Whether in gentleness or violence come, it is a call that must be answered.

Several have passed on into the next life recently. Some from previous weeks, Nancy Reagan yesterday. When the heavenly call came, some were ready, some not. Some did not wait for the summons but marked it on the calendar in their hardened hearts and willfully untethered their boats as angels wept.

As they began their passing, each one of them, did they turn back, one last look at a life they knew too well? A life aged and feebled from trials and twists, weathered by the beat of joyful suns and the mourn of rains? Did they then see, in the final misting, all that had been done and yet to be done? In the final sight that nothing can blur nor blot out, did they see every deed, small and great, what was willed by Heaven and what was not?

Did they feel the lance of bitter regret in the final waning minutes, and lurch to make one last lunge to hold on to a passing hope? Or in weariness turn away from all that was, to all that will be?

Did they hear melodies unheard by human ears, the shimmering joy~notes of cherubim in their welcome of another to the breast of heaven? Or was it a dirge of hopes destroyed, or anguished terror of other lives forcibly ended, that haunted dying ears in that final weep to the sandbank on the other side?

Did they see faces known and loved come back to love and lead to Light again? Did parents see the faces of children and babies, loved and gone, not loved and made to go?

Who did they see, what did they hear, before the final blurring of earthly sight and sounds? What fell upon dying senses when angels released the moorings one last time, for that last of journeys across the lake of still, to the feet of a just Judge…



LENT 24 ~ Breath In The Shadows


A saint loved by millions, it was only late last year that St Francis of Assisi came to mean something to me, as I wrote in Why HimandCall of the Blue King. I will forever remember him as the saint who led me to Our Lady of Guadalupe. And after that, he left.

After a silence of three months, on Sunday, at Mass, I felt a quick but firm tug of spirit towards St Francis again. I should have been ecstatic, but instead took a deep breath in wariness. Since last year, I have come to learn that when he ‘appears’ to me, it always means – Quieten Down, Listen Up.

Oh dear, I thought guiltily, I haven’t been good.

I went towards him, Speak to me, St Francis, signaling my readiness to listen. And I trudged back to the sentry post I had deserted over much of the weekend.

I didn’t have to wait long. St Francis spoke through a commenter’s sharing that her favourite book was The Little Flowers of St Francis of Assisi. I had never heard of it. But something about flowers and St Francis lit a burst of sudden joy within me. To feel this way for no discernible reason could only mean one thing, and one thing only: get the book.

My first day on Little Flowers, expecting a downy pillow for my spirit, St Francis spoke with an unexpected firmness:

          Beware of being angry, as thou appearest to be; for anger woundeth the soul, preventing it from discerning the truth.  ~ The angel at the gate to Brother Elias, Little Flowers of St Francis of Assisi, Part 1, Chapter IV

Having a low boiling point, anger is always a struggle for me. Of late, sensing something ahead but caught in a shifting fog, not being able to discern, I’ve been praying for discernment. The fog clears, but for a wee while, before it’s waved back again by some entity. I blamed my discernment blights on people, situations.

Now I know the culprit by its name: ANGER. The red mist that blocks the light of discernment.

Unseen hands continued to lead me on.

          …the pride of Brother Elias made him unworthy to converse with an angel  Little Flowers of St Francis of Assisi, Part 1, Chapter IV.

I had hidden a yearning in the deepest folds of my heart:  to see and be able to speak to my angel. I spoke about it to no one. But it was brought to the light. And now, I am told in the silver lance of truth that my pride puts me in the shadows, away from the counsel of angels.

The arrow has found its mark again….yet again. There’s a part of me that seeks breath in the shadows. It’s not a fight I can ever win on my own.

          For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on me and on the whole world.



LENT 25 ~ By Love, on love


At the end of our earthly travails, we will be judged by Love, on love.


ALL THAT MATTERS   by Edgar A. Guest

When all that matters shall be written down
And the long record of our years is told,
Where sham, like flesh, must perish and grow cold;
When the tomb closes on our fair renown
And priest and layman, sage and motleyed clown
Must quit the places which they dearly hold,
What to our credit shall we find enscrolled?
And what shall be the jewels of our crown?
I fancy we shall hear to our surprise
Some little deeds of kindness, long forgot,
Telling our glory, and the brave and wise
Deeds which we boasted often, mentioned not.
God gave us life not just to buy and sell,
And all that matters is to live it well.



LENT 26 ~ In the Shadow of the Prodigal



Mothers watching the door, listening out for a familiar sound, a hesitant call;

Fathers too, tears hidden deep, waiting for the shuffle they know, the shadow of a child long not seen;

Pilgrim souls, journeying through bog and sands, cliffs and drops, trying to keep the faith for ones who do not care enough;

Those who have borne crosses all their life, did all they should, kept the faith, only to be asked to lay to rest their only child;

Faithful and diligent in the vineyards of life, being rewarded with a cancer diagnosis in twilight years;

Too many lifetimes lived in one life, too many shadowed pasts crippling the soul with shame;

Frightened and confused, backed into a sullen corner, believing that there is no Hand held out to us….

Each soul on earth lives a different life, but a common thread rivers through – every life is part of the collage that is the parable of the Prodigal Son. We are the sorrowing father who chose to love by releasing. We are the son who thought he had the world under his feet, and was then shocked into bitter reality. We are the older one who worked His will in silence but secretly nurtured a clandestine hope of earthly reward in the deepest recesses of his heart.

We are different people, in different places, yet in the same shadow.

What is left is to write the same ending of mercy.




Prodigal Son   by Father Eugene O’Reilly C.Ss.R


  1. Father I have sinned, help me find my way,

Remember not my sins, just let me hear You say


I forgive you, I love you. You are mine, take My hand

Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.


2. Father I have turned, my back and walked away

Depended on my strength, and loved life my own way


I forgive you, I love you. You are mine, take My hand

Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.


3. Father I have closed, my heart to those in need

Thought only of myself, a victim of my greed


I forgive you, I love you. You are mine, take My hand

Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.


4. Father I’ve returned, I’m home with You to stay

Standing by your door, knowing that You’ll say


I forgive you, I love you. You are mine, take My hand

Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.




LENT 27 ~ Our Hand in Heaven



Heaven is God’s grace to us. But the grace comes to us only through the doors of the life of holy obedience we lead on earth.

Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received – only what you have given.  ~ St Francis of Assisi




LENT 28 ~ Unfasten the Moorings


When God unties binds that hold us to loves, our tears birth seas never seen that our souls may traverse. When God takes away loves we hold close, and when we mourn the loss, we see another world through mourning- one we wouldn’t have seen, any other way.

We will see the little joys we missed that should have been treasured. We will see that the questions we asked God that seemed so important then, matter little now. We will see that the mountains we raged against were mere bumps of sand on life’s footpath.

We will see the seas of grace we were immersed in when all seemed wet and gray.

We will see glory in the mundane of every day.

One day, perhaps years from that birth of our weep, we will see that we were loved, because through the tempest of grief, God lit His Light in our souls, and gently launched us out into the sea of His Will, to travel life’s lanes to understand the love we are called to.

The day will come when we will see that true love means unfastening the moorings of our loves, and releasing them to journey untethered, praying them all the way into the harbor of God’s Heart.


LENT 29 ~ Touching Heaven


So often, tired out from my crosses, do I seek heaven in a sunshine-strewn life free of cares and troubled people. My wistful longing for respite from worries and the scratch of human nature makes me search for eternal joys among bursts of blooms and in the green of unblemished landscapes and perfection.

Yet, looking back on the life I have lived thus far, I cannot escape knowing that the path to heaven is seldom through the ease of a carefree wind dance through green welcomes, gay and bright. While my seeking does indeed take me through pockets of joys and merriment, more often than not, I touch heaven through the rough and painful, through deserts and desolation, for it is then that having need of God, I seek Him in humility and with a fervor, for myself and for others.

It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience. ~ St. John of the Cross, Sayings of Light and Love






LENT 30 ~ When Shadows Fall


In recent weeks, I’ve been sensing a call to be less dismissive of unease that has seemingly no discernible source. Holding tight to the first part of 1 John 4:1 ~ Do not believe every spirit, and trying to not wing off like a nervous bird at the slightest frisson of alarm, I have, unwittingly, been damping down some of the Spirit’s promptings by averting my spiritual sight from some red bells of warning.

Thankfully, an incident over the weekend taught me the importance of holding the rest of that verse close to heart – …but test the spirits to see whether they are of God..

I travelled with some people to a destination some hours away over the weekend. On our way there, we tried a new route that took us through sparsely populated farm and forested lands. It was the kind of route that I loved for its quietness and lush vegetation, and the odd cow that strayed right up to the roadside.

Yet, the very moment we hit the route, a shadow fell across my spirit. It gripped me with a darkening urgency. I wondered if it was an omen of something ahead, and prayed for the Blood of Christ protection on all of us, and on my family too.

But the anxiousness didn’t let up.

Puzzled, I scanned the passing landscape for any danger. I didn’t see anything, but my spirit sensed an odd, unsettling stillness. It wasn’t the peace that surpasseth understanding, for sure. There were signs of life, as in open doors and laundry drying in the morning winds, but not a soul did I see. This being a poor small-farm community, there ought to have been the usual sight of children in the deeps of play.

But I saw no one. People were living there, and yet, there was no life in that community.

Still, unwilling to cloud a beautiful day of golds and greens, I tried to pin this unease on something else.

It only worsened.

Finally, I sought St Joseph, and asked him to tell me where this was coming from. I didn’t hear an actual answer, but it felt as if I was beginning to see more and more of that odd absence of life in every homestead we passed. I had a feeling that my prayer was being answered: something was not right in the place we were passing through. I sought St Joseph again. Please tell me what to do.

I received no answer.

Is there danger ahead? Silence.

Do you wish us to never pass through here again?

An immediate lifting of the darkness. Instantly.

By then, we had reached the end of the route, and turned onto the busy highway. The unease never came back. But I never forgot it. All through my weekend away, I thought about it.

Our business done some days later, we headed back home. I told our group leader about what had happened. He agreed that our route that day had taken us through some lonely areas. He agreed we should not take the same route back but to go by the busy freeway. Since we were not all from the same home area, we split into several groups, and I found myself in a very small group.

On our way home, one of our small group fell violently ill, and proceeded to be sick several times more along the way as dusk rushed to embrace night. Each time necessitated emergency stops for clean ups by the road. We finally reached home weary but safe and sound.

It was only a day later that I suddenly realized that had we returned by that same route we took going on out on the trip, we would have been stopping along extremely deserted roads, in the gathering night veils, in a place where spirits did not rest easy.

Heaven only knows what we had been saved from.

These are times that call for caution and prudence. It is wisdom to not dismiss, but to put everything to the test.




LENT 31 ~ The Final Ten


I had been wondering about how to observe the final ten days of this Lent. For this Lent, I had made for myself a little Lenten booklet of prayers and devotionals I was inspired to pray. But I couldn’t help but ask God if anything was needed of me in the final pearls.

It came to me gently late, late last night through an account in The Little Flowers of St Francis, about Brother Juniper, a most humble and loyal friar in the order that St Francis had established:

Brother Juniper once determined with himself to keep silence for six months together, in this manner. The first day for love of the Eternal Father. The second for love of Jesus Christ his Son. The third for love of the Holy Ghost. The fourth in reverence to the most holy Virgin Mary; and proceeding thus, each day in honour of some saint, he passed six whole months without speaking.  ~ The Little Flowers of St Francis, Chapter VI,  How Brother Juniper Kept Silence For Six Months

While I very much doubt anything can help me pipe down, much less go without speaking, the purposing of each day for a specific prayer, offered throughout the ebb and pull of the day, is a bloom in my spirit that tells me this His will for me in the final ten.




LENT 32 ~ Jesus, Save Babies


I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion…. And if we accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?   ~ Mother Teresa, National Prayer Breakfast Speech Against Abortion, USA, 1994

Jesus, Save Babies.




LENT 33 ~ Sea of Mercy

Being Renewed

As the hours wrapped themselves to sleep, I sought the Lord for the last two of ten. Do I continue to say, Jesus, Save Babies, or is there something else?

I picked up Divine Mercy In My Soul by St Faustina Kowalska to continue my reading.

Almost immediately, I sensed the answer lay in those pages, but a screen shielded it from me. I turned the page. Maybe I’m doing this wrong. I prayed on, Do I focus on my sins instead, in these remaining days of Lent?

Instantly, my eyes saw the words:

Tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy.  ~ # Entry 699, Divine Mercy In My Soul 

I was not done, and God was not done with me yet, either.

I turned back to the page where I sensed a veil. Tell me what to pray, Lord.

That very second, the veil lifted:

Sept 19, 1936…my soul was immersed in the whole sea of God’s mercy  ~ # Entry 694, Divine Mercy In My Soul 

Second of ten – I immerse souls in the whole sea of God’s mercy.




LENT 34 ~ Emptying to be Filled


Uncomfortable. Very, very tired. Irritable. It came soon after Confession this morning. After an entire Mass steeped in the prayer I was called to ~ I immerse souls in the whole sea of God’s mercy. Yet, I am left feeling scratched, torn, dry. I could blame it on the heat and the sand dry winds, but I know it’s more than that.

I’m experiencing an emptying today. I’m being emptied to be filled by Him. The waiting for the infilling is a dry and difficult time. I sense the claws of a hundred irritations.

I turn my thoughts and prayers to the emptying. Never one to sit quietly and wait for His will to unfurl its petals, I want in on the action of emptying. Like a child, I want to help too.

How does one empty one’s soul?

Only one prayer comes.

          Thy Will be done.




LENT 35 ~ Jesus Fought My Battle

St. Sebastian, St. Sebastian (41)[1]

Yesterday, the Lord called me to a fast from anger.

Never before have I felt such tenderness in a call. Never before have I found the firmness of will to obey.

The moment I sensed the call, there arose like mushrooms after the rain, endless pops of situations that tested my patience, and tempted me to anger. Seeing the end of Lent in sight, and not wanting to gift my Lord on Easter with the usual mess of red darts, I willfully chose to rest my heart and will in Jesus.

And He fought my battles for me.

I came to evening weary and listless from physical tiredness, but also with a relief that no one did I maim with my anger. Neither did it find a refuge within my soul in the sultry hours of yesterday.

Because, for once, I fasted from myself and let my Jesus fight for me.




LENT 36 ~ Empty Your Cup


          Empty your cup, said the Lord to me, as I flew headlong into the sullen morning that awaited me in the impatience of a hundred tasks. I arrived at work to the news that some people had made foolish decisions that impacted me. Their actions put paid to the hours of work I had put in.

The light of justified anger flashed.

          Empty your cup, said the Lord instead.

Stood a long while staring at what lay broken before me. Tempted to rage, I took a deep breath and sighed, and went on to other matters.

Soon, I found myself in something else. The stubborn hearts of my subordinates stood like an unyielding wall before me. I was tired of being patient, of putting up with irresponsibility and indifference.

The light of justified anger beckoned once more. I looked at it.

          Empty your cup, said my Lord yet again.

So I leaned my heart against His breast and drew from His strength; then, turned back to face that same resistance, but with a gentleness foreign to me.

I came home, at the wind down of a sandpaper day, stumbling eagerly into a cool welcome and the gentle embrace of a love long gone. On my table awaited a letter from someone whose only purpose in life was to torment and bully. Red-stained memories and the stench of past pains rose before me.

          Empty your cup, said the voice of my Shepherd, cutting through the rising choke.

I looked with a longing at the dark arms of sin held out beseechingly towards me.

I bent instead towards my Lord. Thy will be done, I whispered.




LENT 37 ~ Forsaking the Vineyard for the Potter’s Field


In these final days of Lent, there is a clamour on the steps outside the door of my heart. It is the past – using mercy as an excuse, a reason – to be allowed in again.

It has come right after Confession on Sunday, and today, the angels have given me insight:

When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’  ~  Luke 11:24

Something is just outside, and it is screaming and scratching to be let in.

Will I turn my back on the Lord? Will I avert my gaze, let go my hold on the Hand held out? Will I tear to naught the fabric of sacrifice and seeking of this Lent journey?

And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. ~  Luke 11:25

I sense the rising winds of desperate fury outside.

Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. ~  Luke 11:26

If I turn my back on the Lord, if I avert my gaze, let go my hold on the Hand held out, and return to the person I once was – allowing fear to blind and deafen me to God’s voice – then, it is none other than a refusing of my Father’s Mercy.

It is to return to the very darkness I fled from.

…..last state of that man becomes worse than the first.

When I allow that darkness to engulf and break me, I will be distracted from my calling, and I will then forsake my Saviour’s vineyard, for the futile toil in the Potter’s Field.



LENT 38 ~ Not My Sword To Wield


Two days ago, my peace was attacked by someone who has caused me grievous pain before, and it sent me out of kilter for a time. I gazed back on the many miles I’ve come since escaping this darkness. I saw the healing and joy my husband, children and I have come to as a family since then, and I felt anger that this person had re-emerged to chain me up again.

I decided enough was enough, and determined to put an end to this emotional and mental hegemony, once and for all.

I had it all planned and was on the brink of carrying it out when these words came, borne of Light:

No action undertaken on your own, even though you put much effort into it, pleases Me.  ~ #Entry 659, St Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy In My Soul.

I was discomfited. Why would the Lord say such a thing to me? He, more than anyone else, knew exactly what my family and I endured for so many long, dark years. And we had been mired in that muck of a maelstrom because I failed to do what was right for my husband and children – I failed to put them first.

Fear had come first.

My beautiful family came a distant, inferior second – because I allowed fear to set the terms of life for us all.

I didn’t deserve to be a mother and a wife if I allowed the past to become our present and future all over again.

He countered me:

It is in My Passion that you must seek light and strength. ~ #Entry 654, St Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy In My Soul.

It is in My Passion …..

My anger slowed and stilled. At any other time, those words might not have seared as deeply, but to hear them at the beginning of the holiest of journeys, I knew I had been summoned to the presence of God. I was being shown that the road ahead no longer merely curved and crooked as it had before .

It now forked. Into Life and Death.

I was being called to decide where my tread would henceforth take me.

All I wanted was to set right a wrong – protect my family as I never did before. Now, I was being asked to lay down my weapon as danger took another step closer.

Know, My daughter, that although I was raised to the dignity of Mother of God, seven swords of pain pierced My heart. Don’t do anything to defend yourself; bear everything with humility; God Himself will defend you.~ #Entry 786, St Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy In My Soul.

My Heavenly Mother reached in and took the fight out of me. I put down my sword as bidden.

It is not mine to hold and wield.


LENT 39 ~ I Put Him There


Today is Good Friday. On a day that calls for a commemoration of the suffering and death of Jesus, I was filled with a strange joy. As I readied the family and prepared for Mass, there was a smile in my heart and a spring in my step. I danced in a light unseen.

From time to time, I wondered if I had taken leave of my senses. Who in the right frame of mind glides through the hours of Good Friday with a skip and a twirl?

Yet, I knew, mad or not, I was free and joyful from the road I chose previous day, and that no human hand had placed the sun in my heart.

Still, I wished for a somberness more fitting for the holy day of mourning.

But in answer received a spirit of radiance instead.

As I travelled to our church, and later participated in the early part of the Good Friday service, I remained anchored in this light and joy. Yet, it was not a frivolous blitheness that held me. I felt an inner strength and a hope when I recalled the sins I had confessed. A strength to face the future and a hope that a new life awaited me now.

Then, our parish priest unveiled the purple-shrouded Crucifix.

Suddenly, I felt frissons of electricity run through me, and the joy in my heart immediately bowed before the Ultimate Sacrifice of the Lamb. In a split second, I had moved from the light of radiance to a searing awareness and realization.

          I put Him there.

Not the embittered Jews, not the callous Romans

Not the Pharisees nor Teachers of the Law

Not Pontius Pilate, not the High Priest, not the soldiers

But it was my doing

My sins.

The tears came and came.

           I put Him there.



LENT 40 ~ Sound of a Goodbye


It is a tenderly beautiful day of hushed breezes, windbrooms sweeping away the old and all that is worn down by sin, every little bud of wrong pried of its tethers and sent away.

It begins as a day of hope for a Light much needed and yearned for.

I hear the winds as they sing their mysteries, hushing yet lifting, placing hearts and lives within the Heart of the slain Lamb Risen. I sing and I sing and sing.

And then, for some minutes, the windsongs change their notes. In the briefest of minutes, a chilling in the gold~blue warmth through green welcomes. A hush of caution I hear.

I am led to a valley hidden, in the sundrenched blue of morning, where the winds sing differently for a wee while. They whisper their notes in my heart.

I hear the sound of a goodbye.

Something, somewhere will never be the same again.