Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Joy of Finding Jesus

What a friend we have in Jesus

All our sins and grief to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer ~ Tennessee Ernie Ford

When Jesus is with us, the going seems easy and life seems less difficult.
When Jesus is not with us life seems harder, empty, and desolate.

They had journeyed quite awhile before she realized he was he was nowhere to be found. Fear overcomes her as she runs from group to group looking for her son, “Have you seen him?” she asks.”Please, will you pray that we find him, please?” Turning to her husband with pain and anguish in her eyes she says, “We must go back; he’s got to still be there.” And so they go.

Each moment he is missing seems like an eternity to her. Each passing hour is filled with anxiety. Every child’s voice she hears toys with her emotions as she makes the long way back Jerusalem. She can barely contain her tears. It has been three days and she is exhausted. As she enters the temple her fears turns to joy as she hears his voice. He is teaching the elders. Quickly she makes her way forward to him. He stands up and embraces her. He had remained behind to do the Father’s will.

Oh, the joy of finding Jesus. He that finds him has found a treasure and he who loses him loses everything.

 Many follow Jesus to the breaking of the bread, but few to drinkinking His chalice of suffering.1 Imitation of Christ, St. Louis de Montfort  

"Dear children! May this time be a time of prayer for you. My call, little children, desires to be for you a call to decide to follow the way of conversion; therefore, pray and seek the intercession of all the saints. May they be for you an example, an incentive and a joy towards eternal life. Thank you for having responded to my call." BVM October 25 2010 Message to Marija

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friend of the Cross

The crowd seemed to be growing larger in number and more abusive by the minute. It was getting harder for her to keep up with him. But she pressed on, trying desperately not to lose sight of him.

Through the shoves and the screams of the angry mob she remained focused on him. Blinding tears filled her eyes and the sickness that grabbed at her heart was growing tighter and tighter, making it harder for her to breath. “I am with you” were the words she kept repeating over and over again in her mind, “My son, I am with you”.

He staggers as he approaches her. Each stone or pothole in the road  weakens his knees causing him to falter. The weight of the cross is getting harder and harder to bear. The open wounds on his flesh stung and the rubbing of the heavy wood on his shoulder was widening some of his sores. He sees her standing there; he sees the pain in her eyes. At that moment between them his eyes seem to smile at her, trying to give her comfort. She in return stands up a little straighter, breathes in a little deeper, she wants to comfort him too.

The Centurion in charge of horrific events realizes that the man beneath the cross will need help to continue this journey. Looking around, his eyes fall upon a strong looking man, he is a father and two of his sons are with him. The Centurion grabs the man and forces him into service.

Thoughts cross the father’s mind, “What can I do, I can not refuse; God what have I gotten myself into?” Reluctantly, he takes the cross and shoulders it himself. He looks into the eyes of the accused man that stands before him and sees nothing but compassion. Suddenly, his heart, too, is moved and he nods at him as if to say, “Yes, I will help you, you can count on me all the way”. He becomes a friend of the cross.

My sweet and gentle Jesus, I, too, want to be a friend of the cross. Help me to see your face in every suffering man, woman or child that comes my way, especially to those that are the hardest to love.

I ask forgiveness for the times I have refused to help in the past, for the wounds I created though my own selfish neglect.

I thank you for those that have helped me in your name, for their love brought your peace and comfort to me in times of trouble.

Thank you mother Mary, your constant love and intercession helps me to recognize that being a friend of the cross means being a true Christ-bearer, or rather another Christ. With your intercession I pray I can answer the call.

"Dear children! Today I call you all to pray that God's plans for us may be realized and also everything that God desires through you! Help others to be converted, especially those who are coming to Medjugorje. Dear children, do not allow Satan to get control of your hearts, so you would be an image of Satan and not of me. I call you to pray for how you might be witnesses of my presence. Without you, God cannot bring to reality that which He desires. God has given a free will to everyone, and it's in your control. Thank you for having responded to my call." BVM, Medjugorje January 30, 1986

Friday, October 8, 2010

No Turning Back

My mother was a convert to Catholicism and her protestant background was rich with wonderful Christian Revival and Southern Gospel songs. As a young girl, I can still remember coming home from school and hearing Tennessee Ernie Ford or Kate Smith albums blaring from the stereo in our little front room.

I think that out of all these wonderful songs, I would have to say that one of my all time favorites would have to be, “I have decided to follow Jesus”.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Living in the world, but not giving in to worldly distractions and temptations takes a lot of effort on our part these days. In fact, living in this world and not becoming overwhelmed with despair while trying to live our Christian faith can seem very much like a battle from time to time.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this battle is against the great deceptor, Satan himself. He loves nothing better than to see us turn and run from our crosses.

He likes to see us distracted and overwhelmed, he likes to confuse us regarding issues of truth and morality, and he likes to see us keep ourselves so busy that we neglect the true vocation to which we all have been called.

But our Lord Jesus conquered sin and death by humbly embracing the cross. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39.

We all have different crosses that come in different forms; the Lord knows what we can bear and what we can not. And I believe that He will never give us more that we can handle, after all His mercy has no end.

Everyday  we find ourselves meeting new challenges as we strive forward trying to bring Christ’s message to those that are part of our lives, and to those that cross our paths.We must be willing to embrace our cross for it will be our means to battle the sin of the present time.

"Dear children, Today I call you to a humble, my children, humble devotion. Your hearts need to be just. May your crosses be your means in the battle against the sins of the present time. May your weapon be patience and boundless love – a love that knows to wait and which will make you capable of recognizing God's signs – that your life, by humble love, may show the truth to all those who seek it in the darkness of lies. My children, my apostles, help me to open the paths to my Son. Once again I call you to pray for your shepherds. Alongside them, I will triumph. Thank you." BVM, Medjugorje October 02 2010 Message to Mirjana

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chosen Soul

Chosen soul, living image of God and redeemed by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, God wants you to become holy like Him in this life, and glorious like Him in the next…

It is certain that growth in the holiness of God is your vocation. All your thoughts, words, actions, everything you suffer or undertake, must lead you towards that end. Otherwise you are resisting God in doing the work for which He created you…. (Secret of Mary, § 3, St. Louis de Monfort )

 One of Grandma’s favorite Bible quotes was, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. “ (Mt. 5:48).
It was a quote she lived her life by. She was a woman of simple means and very little money. But, if you asked her for her shoes, she would give you her socks to go with them. If you were sick she would cook and clean for you. If you needed a bed she would give you hers while she slept on the couch. This was how she lived her life. She belonged entirely to the Lord; and she considered the things she did for others to be her duty to fulfill His desire that we all become perfect. These deeds she did for Him, she did with love. She taught me many things, not so much by her words but through the work she did.

As Christians, God's chosen souls, we go through many stages in our life’s journey; sometimes we seem to advance on our path, other times we seem to get side tracked or move backwards. It takes humility for us to admit that we are weak, that we need the Lord’s help in everything we do. But, through prayer and penance we are strengthened so that we, too, may grow in holiness.

"Dear children! Today I am with you and bless you all with my motherly blessing of peace, and I urge you to live your life of faith even more, because you are still weak and are not humble. I urge you, little children, to speak less and to work more on your personal conversion so that your witness may be fruitful. And may your life be unceasing prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call." BVM , Medjugorje, September 25 2010 Message to Marija