Thursday, May 21, 2015

Encouragement to go to Confession

One sacrament we all need more of is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We can try all we want to "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps" but the reality is we can't become the person God created us to be in our own strength. We can't save ourselves. We need a savior, we need to grace. We need forgiveness of our sins.

When we are baptized, we are made a son or daughter of God, After that initial infusion of grace, we have to depend on God regularly, in the Eucharist and when we fall, in Reconciliation. 

A new friend of mine, Tom Andry had a profound impact on me this week when he was sharing about how much God loves him. I was caught off guard. Could anyone really feel the love of God so personally? Then Tom shared with me that he had had a very powerful experience, in all places...the confessional booth, where he knew without a doubt the extravagant love of the Father.

Do yourself a favor- get in "the booth" today. Make a good confession, lay down the burdens you have been carrying and know without doubt, the Father's love of YOU.
CLICK HERE for an audio interview with Tom Andry.

The Booth
by Tom Andry

A day that started like so many others

Dragging myself to confession to uncover

The same old sins this time as last

I’m sure to God, this is a blast

How bored He must be of me

Wondering why I can’t have the victory

He promised over death and sin

And I can’t even fix this funk I’m in

As Father quietly listened and began to share

His words were powerful and we both became aware

The Spirit came down and to this Priest was saying

I have honored the prayer time you’ve been paying

Get out the way and let Me speak

I can take over if you both are meek

As I listened to the wisdom that came from on high

I knew that the power He could supply

As tears began rolling down both our cheeks

We knew that this could be a typical week

That Catholics could take advantage of the truth

That is only present in that quiet little booth

If you have been away from the sacrament, need some encouragement to go or need to learn more about Reconciliation?
 CLICK HERE for some amazing talks about Confession on MP3 or CD.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Blessings and Graces from Surgery and Illness

View from my sickbed
During the last 30 days I have had the privilege, and I do mean privilege, of having a little outpatient surgery and feeling really, really down, bad and sick.Throughout that time I have been on an incredible journey with our Lord and He is not let me down one step of the way.

April 10 I had small surgery on my leg to remove a melanoma and what was supposed to be a quick outpatient thing went on for 10 days. Ten days where I never even put on shoes or drove a car due to the narcotics to keep away the pain. This is from a person who has never had surgery, never broken a bone, doesn't take ANY medicine at all and has probably been sick in bed for a total of 10 days in my entire life. So this rocked my world!

During this time I had some wonderful things happen to me and some amazing graces poured down on me, thank you Jesus! Because the surgery was on the Friday before  Divine Mercy Sunday, I was able to immerse myself in the mercy of our Lord and the way I had never before done.

So here are some of the blessings and graces I've received:

The grace of a wonderful husband who has laid down his life for me during the last 29 years but especially these last 30 days. The grace of the four children living in my home bearing with me and being patient and helping as much as they can. The grace of the two children living outside the home contacting me and being concerned about me in the way they've never had to be before.

Faithful friends who have stopped by and brought the Lord to me in Holy Communion and brought themselves to me to visit when I was lonely or sad.

Jesus'word from Diary of St Faustina, 1385: I desire to unite myself with human souls: My great delight is to unite Myself with souls. Know, My daughter, that when I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul.

A clean bathroom and beautiful flowers to look at as I recuperated.

A sister who came up to watch the kids, make pork chops, do laundry and clean up.

The grace of becoming a little, small, weak and chicken so that others may be strong. Many days I felt as if I was rolled over by a steamroller. I learned that in flattening out myself, I have allowed room for Jesus to completely fill me.

Jesus' words from the Diary of St. Faustina 1486 "What joy fills My Heart when you return to me. Because you are weak, I take you in My arms and carry you to the home of My Father."

Laying down 49 years of carrying heavy burdens and beginning to walk in the peaceful love of Jesus knowing that all He wants of me is to love Him.

Having the gift of the retreat series Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr.  Michael Gaitley  as I suffered. This is been a book and a DVD set gave me practical tips to persevere and suffering. The grace of God taking me through the school of trust in a very gentle and easy way as I cling to my donut and yet hold the hand of Jesus and I rely on him alone for only needs. (Donut image from the book Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael Gaitley)

A new friend named Barbara who is prayed with me repeatedly and has given me outstanding joy and consolation when I had some of my darkest days.

An amazing friend who brought me soup is throwing a birthday party for me next month.

The grace of slowing down my work schedule which I so badly needed to do and would have never done on my own.

Divine Mercy Flood My SoulMarian Grace
Having three amazing musical "guests" in my bedroom via my iPod:Colleen Nixon and Marian Grace,  John Michael Talbot and particularly Annie Karto who's album "Divine Mercy Flood My Soul" I must have played 100 times as I offered up my suffering for souls

The graces of remembering many scriptures and reading many scriptures and knowing for sure that God has given us every love letter we ever need through the holy Bible.

Phl 2

2 Cor 12:9-10
Col 1:24
Ps 23
Ps 62
Romans 8:18

The grace of reconciliation in my work life when a company policy was put into place that I could never have guessed would happen that has helped me tremendously.

Faustina's words from Diary of St. Faustina 786 
"As I continued with Vespers meditating on this mixture of suffering and grace, I heard the voice of Our Lady: 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."

Superhero saints who accompanied me on the journey, along with Jesus: Mary, St. Joseph, who adopted me as his own April 21, Saint John Paul II, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalski, St Maximillian Mary Kolbe, St. Therese of Lisiuex, St Benedict, St. Teresa of Avila,  blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

My amazing mother-in-law who has "taken me in" as her own daughter. She has quite a gift for listening and has been patiently listening to me all month.

And most importantly, entering the "school of trust." I am learning to praise and thank Jesus in every situation.

Blessed be the Lord, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Mercy, the God who saves, I shall not fear the dark of night nor the arrow that flies by day. Ps 91