OBEDIENCE

Go Forward On Your Way

the-alps-3264223_1280

Place over the eyes of your soul the bandage of holy and loving submission to God. . . Thus without reasoning or swerving from your path, go forward on your way.   ~  St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

 

          St Margaret Mary is a saint I’ve become acquainted with only in recent years. I cannot recall exactly when, but I suspect it was since I began a sincere devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – for St Margaret Mary is the saint of the Sacred Heart.

          Since God sent her to be my friend, I’ve found that she comes just when I’m about to reach a fork in some road. And so it was this time too. She had come last week, on a very happy Friday, after I had an hours long call with my beloved godmother, talking, sharing and laughing over so many things. I had come out of that call suddenly aware that the deep drying out of my spirit had lifted and that I could feel and touch the sun~joys once more. Happy to be back to my old self, I was nevertheless visited by disquiet when I saw St Margaret Mary’s words,

Place over the eyes of your soul the bandage of holy and loving submission to God. . . Thus without reasoning or swerving from your path, go forward on your way.

 

          Oh, what could she mean? I agonized. Incidentally, there had been a number of things we had been discussing as a family. Decisions were being made and we were weighing everything. But suddenly comes this,

Thus without reasoning or swerving…

          I was so very troubled. Were we wrong about the working decisions we had made? How could we have gone so wrong in discerning? What had we missed? Every time I pondered that together with St. Margaret Mary’s words, my anxiety deepened. Even as tickles and laughter found me, I remained afraid and troubled deep inside.

          Today, just after receiving some sweet news about work, just as I was about to celebrate it, the ground beneath me cracked open slightly with a shocking turn of events. I was cut to the core by what my government had done, by its cruel deceit. Once again, just as it had been with the defenseless old man’s death, anger and hurt found easy entry into my heart. I knew I had every right to be angry.

          But deep down, I also knew it wasn’t God’s way.

          So, I went before the Blessed Sacrament, and deep into Jesus’ Heart, I placed every thorn and wound, every fear and weight. I had barely begun when I sensed an unmistakable lightness. Where there had been a painful heaviness before, it was now light and quiet, swept clean. Greatly surprised at this, I instinctively sought out St. Margaret Mary’s words once more.

Place over the eyes of your soul the bandage of holy and loving submission to God. . . Thus without reasoning or swerving from your path, go forward on your way.

          Suddenly, her words filled me with a deep peace! Where there was tension and anxiety before, now there was only relief and gentle quiet within me. I was stunned by the change. Over and over, I read the saint’s words. And then, I understood. Her words were meant for now, not last week.

 

Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.

They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.   ~  Luke 4: 24 – 30

 

          The mob will take us to the brow of the hill, they will move to hurl us down headlong. 

Place over the eyes of your soul the bandage of holy and loving submission to God. . . Thus without reasoning or swerving from your path, go forward on your way.

          But by fixing our gaze upon God, in trust and in loving obedience to Him and only Him, without giving in to the mob, without attempting to engage with them, we will pass through the very midst of them.

          And we will go forward on our way.

 

Lent 33 ~ Step Into the Breach

merlin_170546439_78a72534-5d83-4de0-ab43-ce1424282099-mobileMasterAt3x

Yesterday a woman from Crema phoned me to get news about her grandmother who is hospitalized and in serious conditions at the Sacco. She told me of her other grandmother, who died of Covid, and of her mother, who is in intensive care in Crema, and then she said, “You see, Doctor, at the beginning I was praying, but now I’ve stopped.”

I answered, “I understand, ma’am. Do not worry. I will be the one praying for her.”   ~  Dr. Amedeo Capetti, A Letter from the Trenches, Luigi Sacco Hospital, Milan

 

 

          An insistent whisper beats against my heart,

Step into the breach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lent 26 ~ Fighting the Weeds

flowers_and_weeds-wallpaper-1920x1080

          I went to bed last night, dead inside and tired. I had heeded a call to share a verse from Isaiah with one of my children who had come home with poor grades. I was reluctant to – initially. The verse was They shall live in the houses they build, and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant ~ Isaiah 65:21,  and it came after I had breathed a prayer for heavenly illumination to handle this escalating problem. Nonetheless, answer or not, I was not sure if I had heard heaven right. In all times past, whenever I was hurt or upset over something, my prayers had always taken me to God’s gentle rebuke or comfort or strength.

          If I had read Isaiah 65 at any other time, the verses in the chapter would surely have comforted and lifted drooping spirits. But this time, all I saw in They shall live in the houses they build, and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant – was a warning.

          A warning to my child.

          I had come from a life where my mother had liberally used the Bible and God to cow me into submission. I didn’t want to be my mother; I wanted none of her in the way I mothered my own brood. So, naturally, I was more than a little unwilling to take Isaiah 65:21  – as a warning – to my child. There had to be another way.

          Everything then went dead inside. No whisper, no murmur. However insistently I troubled the depths of me in search, my spirit stubbornly yielded nothing.

          It folded in on itself. And I found myself locked out. All I had with me was Isaiah 65:21.

          It was as if by asking God for an alternative, He was answering me by giving me none.

          Breathing a silent prayer, I shared the verse with my child.

          It was not the most pleasant or easy of encounters.

          I had been raised to fear God. My children had thus far been raised to love and trust Him. When they do wrong, we teach them to see the hurt they had caused God. Negative fear of God had damaged my relationship with God for so many, many years, and I swore I would never allow that in our lives now.

          Yet, what I sensed in the call of yesterday was that I was not to water down or strip the words of Isaiah of its sternness. I was to give them as they were.

          Deeply unhappy, I obeyed, all the while hoping I had read the call right.

          As feared, in sharing the verse as it was, I hurt my child – which in turn, hurt me. I was not rewarded with flooding joy to tell me all would be well. All I carried away with me was the wounded look in clear, jovial eyes over the message that if change was not willed and adhered to, there would be consequences to live with.

          It was deeply unpleasant to see my hurting child, and worse, to know I was the perpetrator.

          This morning, dulled in spirit upon rousing, in the cold stillness of a day still caught in the dark of slumber, I heard the unmistakable strains of Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Ave Maria, in my heart. They followed the tune of a hymn I heard sung in a Fatima apparition video, The 13th Day, that we had watched as a family on Annunciation Day. Most mornings, I say the Rosary of Atonement – the Divine Mercy chaplet, and I had intended to do just that today.

          But the Ave Maria strummed stronger than ever against my heart. It blocked out every other hymn I tried to play against it. It was odd, something I had never before experienced.

          Hours after I had obeyed, joy began to trickle into my heart and into the heart of my child. This made me ponder the chain of events, the connection between points.

          Isaiah. Obedience. Repentance. Fatima. Rosary.

          Did this mean the sun would never retreat from this point on? That is not possible, I think. Raising children is rarely a perpetually happy jaunt through flowering meadows. The weeds of challenges and struggles is a constant presence in every family life.

         These challenges are not to be made light of. Not to be watered down, plastered over, just to protect our beloved children from the unpleasantness of God’s judgment. Sister Lucia of the Fatima apparitions has said: “The final confrontation between the Lord and satan will be over Family and Marriage.” And she is right. What had happened to our family was not just a simple matter of exams or school. Our child’s problem had its roots in spiritual disinterest. A dangerous spiraling that starts out innocuous, but can see likely ending in spiritual death as it slowly chokes and leeches life out.

          And when one life is affected, it hurts the entire family. That is the insidious power of spiritual lethargy. If we step aside and simply allow our lives and hopes to unravel by making excuses for it, by refusing to face it for what it is, then what happens to a single child can extend death to the marriage as well.

          A year ago, I had a deeply upsetting dream that satan was hunting our children as recruits for his evil army. Since the dream, my husband and I have assumed the watchman’s post at every plausible point of entry.

          But I think we made one mistake. We expected satan to come with a burst and a bang. We were on guard for the inevitable commotion and ruckus that would have heralded his attempt to enter our children’s lives.

          But he is not called serpent and wily for nothing. He came to our children alright. But he came in the deadliest of silences – spiritual lethargy. He came in small and light and quietly. Like weeds in the flowerbeds. A prayer missed here and another missed there. Mild disinterest in Mass, lapses in attention. Typically adolescent, we assured ourselves even as we did reprimand and do the necessary pulling back.

          We failed to go into battle. Because I came from endless chaos in my growing up years, I wasn’t about to overreact and resurrect that same tumult now. That was my priority. Not God. And that was where we tripped. Satan had come in some distance before the poor exam scores led to some soul-searching.

          It was then that we realized we had left one of the gates wide open…..

          We will not go meekly. Every child given is to be returned in holiness to God some day. We must go to battle against this darkness as it seeks our children to build its own dark army. We needn’t fear bereftness. Through humility, obedience and the Holy Rosary, we have the power of an army beyond compare.

          Any gardener with a heart and will, will fight to save his flowers from weeds. 

          Even more so, parents. For what we have is far, far more precious.

Last of August

apennine-mountains-italy-1[1]

Appenine Mountains, Italy

 

          This last day of August here is a joyous gathering of wind souls, in a camaraderie understood best by the busy cloud vessels sailing the skies, and the sage welcomes adorning the trees. All morning, the breezes have been in a delightful tumbling, giddily greeting one wind~friend after another. From the dawn hours, they have been linking arms and dancing the merriness of spirit, as the soft, white sky-pouches race to partake of this sacred joy.

          For anyone tired or afraid of what September holds, they need only to rest their gaze against the cloud-laced skies of this last of August, and feel the love caresses of brethren winds that see far beyond the hollows and ridges of today.

         No matter what the ninth of the year keeps hidden in its bosom, in the cusp between old Augusts and September mists, I realize the sunlit winds of the morning have brushed a question against my heart: am I willing to let go of the old, and make way for the new? Am I willing to be born again?

          I’m not sure what I am being called to, but with a sudden ease, I fall into seeking the Holy Spirit. I allow it into my heart, unhindered.

          I’m putting out into the deep.

LENT 8 ~ Repose In Me

35001-girl-flying-with-the-birds-1920x1080-artistic-wallpaper

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)

 

NOVENA OF SURRENDER

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.

LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH

I struggled with a minor disturbance recently, struggled to keep the sun shining and the clouds at bay. I was aggrieved at the irritant, and in need of a sympathetic audience, took my angst to God. In a whitesilver flash, He cut through, and gave me this hymn:

nature%20dawn%20flowers%20butterfly%20silhouette%202560x1920%20wallpaper_www.wall321.com_42[1]

LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH

 

Let there be peace on earth

And let it begin with me.

prayer2[1]

Let there be peace on earth

The peace that was meant to be.

digital-art-17[1]

With God as our Father

Brothers all are we.

barboni-parrucchieri-Angels[1]

Let me walk with my brother

In perfect harmony.

3 indonesia[1]

Let peace begin with me

Let this be the moment now.

Image of praying hands

With every step I take

Let this be my solemn vow.

candles_twilight_cathedral_church_stuff_ultra_3840x2160_hd-wallpaper-237032[1]

To take each moment

And live each moment

women%20children%20people%20monochrome%20old%20people%201680x1050%20wallpaper_www.wall321.com_65[1]

With peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth,

And let it begin with me.

lantern_lighting_resources_creative_brick_ultra_3840x2160_hd-wallpaper-1601491[1]

MESSENGERS

maxresdefault[1]

There is a Call going out, far and wide, streaming over hills, echoing through valleys. The One seeks messengers for His vineyard of daily toil, to trumpet His call through prayer, word and deed.

I, the Lord of sea and sky,

I have heard My people cry;

All who dwell in dark and sin,

My hand will save;

I who made the stars of night,

I will make their darkness bright;

Who will bear My light to them?

Whom shall I send?

article-2566885-1BC7A58E00000578-960_964x641[1]

Do you hear the Call? Do you sense it deep within? Do you feel it written on your heart?

alone boys (5)[1]

What answer will you give? Will you turn away? Will you ponder? Will you shrink back in fear and doubt?

old-man-watercolor-paintings-raghunath[1]

Or will you inch open the door, your heart you give?

BN-HX929_TAKEZA_J_20150416194059[1]

Here I am Lord,

Is it I, Lord?

I have heard You calling in the night;

I will go Lord,

If You lead me,

I will hold Your people in my heart.

5665562_orig.22470126_std[1]

Oh, messenger, with courage, joy and faith you step out, searching for this vineyard of His choosing, love for the suffering human race burning deep within. You make your way through doubt and darkness, your light – His Love and Truth. Nothing else matters.

wpid-famous-paintings-art-wallpaper[1]

Striving to attain the heights,

Turning in a new direction,

Entering a lonely place,

Welcoming a friend or stranger.

James_Hayllar_-_Grandfather's_Little_Nurse[1]

The sun dims, and the moon a fading somber glow. Soon, weariness weaves into the fabric of each day of service, a tiredness prayer cannot seem to dissipate.  Rejection, mocking, derision… your constant companions. Slowly, you look back on the life that was before, and the comfort of old life familiarity beckons.

il_570xN.166728147[1]

Silver is of passing worth,

Gold is not of constant value,

Jewels sparkle for a while,

What you long for is not lasting.

 And when the turmoil peaks and tempests wild, when your step falters and it’s too dark to see….you feel a Voice.

I am here, I am with you,

I have called, do you hear Me?

I am here, I am here,

I am with you.

The Holy Spirit Comforts and Guides.

LISTEN FOR THE ANGEL’S CALL

TvyamNb-BivtNwcoxtkc5xGBuGkIMh_nj4UJHQKuorbXjb0Ikh93JjONWRz0n5Cgqo9PIOMWI0egng[1]

Listen for the angel’s call,

Listen hard, listen always

For the chime that comes

When the human will is at obedient rest

And the soul is stilled in wait,

Welcome the leading that buds

In the voice and light of understanding

Guiding to Wisdom never wrong.

Bible[1]

Listen for the angel’s call,

Listen all through the hours given to earth

For the silver whispers that breeze in

When life is a skip and dance of joy

And even when hearts are downcast and scattered

For human frailties and misgivings, no barriers are they

To the angel who heeds only the Master.

 

Listen for the angel’s call,

Listen at rest and whilst at work

Discern whispers to sacrifice, prayer and mercy give

Stilling tempests within souls

Resting beauty’s balm on troubled hearts

Quickening pilgrim spirits weary yet hopeful

To heed in humble obedience,

Heaven’s call to Love.

angel_silhouette_by_nhrice-d6dfb45[1]

Savoring Sixty and Beyond

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16

Scraps of Joy

- a Joy infused view of the world

CatsinCambridge

Life with cats, and other things...

Oceans in the Desert

God saturates our desert places with the ocean of His love

Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life

Going Towards the Light

chopkins2x3

Life, love, photos, poetry, prayer,and personal musings: a bit of everything

rabbitpatchdiarycom

comfort and joy from my home to yours

Reflections from an Open Window

Linda Raha's Writing Corner

Muddling Through My Middle Age

Definitely older, possibly wiser....

Peaceful Heart, Open Mind

Going Towards the Light

The Breadbox Letters

Going Towards the Light

The Invisible Scar

raising awareness of emotional child abuse and offering hope for adult survivors

%d bloggers like this: