Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cleansing the Soul

I had walked past the mirror many times before noticing the smoky film that had began to cloud its reflective shine. Hmmm, I thought to myself, had it really been that long since I had last attended to it? 

Promptly, I walked over to my cupboard, the one that houses all my cleaning supplies. I got out a fresh cloth and began to wipe off the dust that had accumulated, and then I took out my window cleaner, a small bucket and a squeegee to finish the job. 

 I carefully washed the mirror, starting from top to bottom. Then I stood off to the right and then to the left, inspecting it ever so scrupulously, making sure that not a single streak or smudge was left behind.  

The film  is now completely gone and when  the afternoon sun shines through the window and onto the mirror its reflection is brilliant.

A thought came to mind that our souls, left unattended, can quickly become much like the smoky mirror. 

Caught up in daily routines and desensitized by an ever growing secular society and strong media influence, we fail to notice the film and residue that we begin to collect within us. The light of Christ, the one that is meant to separates us from the world, fades leading us to stumble and lose our way.

That is when we need to draw on the strength of the sacraments of the Church. Confession is a cleansing of the soul. It removes all obstacles of sin that have built up. It sets us free of guilt and shame. It strengthens us for the journey of life, enabling us to be a reflective light of our Savior Jesus Christ.

In the first months of the apparitions in Medjugorje, the following was given to Vicka and Jakov:

“ Pray, pray! It is necessary to believe firmly, to go to confession regularly, and also to recive Holy Communion. It is the only salvation  (BVM, 2/10/1982)

No matter what we have done, if we turn away from the sin, and turn to Jesus we will be forgiven.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Set Me Free

Of all the enemies that I might have,
I know I am the worst.
In guilt and shame I dwell on flaws,
My mind becomes immersed.

And then I hear my Shepherd’s voice
Calling after me,

His arm outstretched,
Both firm and strong.
He’s come to set me free.

Speaking to the prayer group that Ivan and Marija had formed, the Virgin said:

You will be happy if you do not judge yourselves according to your faults, but understand that graces are offered to you even in your faults.” BVM, Medjugorje May 12, 1986  1

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Lk 6:37)

Forgiveness not only frees the mind and heart, it also opens us up to receive the great gift of peace. But we cannot receive this grace while bitterness and resentment toward others tear at our souls.

Lord, you are truly the Good Shepherd of my soul.
Thank you for creating me just the way I am, with all my flaws and imperfections.
Today I surrender my past to you and I give to you my future.
Heal me heart of any bitterness and hurt that I may cling to;
Fill me with your peace, that I may be peace to all I meet this day.

1. Citation from: Medjugorje Day by Day, Richard J. Beyer

Friday, November 2, 2012

I Implore You To Perserve As My Apostles

Our Lady Queen of Peace of Medjugorje’s November 2, 2012
Apparition and Message Given to Mirjana on the Day for Nonbelievers

Wrapped in ponchos, hats and gloves, pilgrims braved the rain and cold to spend the night in prayer before Our Lady’s arrival at the Blue Cross. Rosaries and singing began as early as 6:30 P.M. November 1st, and continued throughout the night, as thousands gathered to greet Our Lady this morning. The joy throughout the crowd was visible as Mirjana arrived and knelt at the Blue Cross. Our Lady appeared around 8:39 A.M., coming in the middle of the Rosary. Our Lady stayed for 6 minutes.  Following is Our Lady's message given today, November 2, 2012 on the day of prayer for nonbelievers:
“Dear children; As a mother I implore you to persevere as my apostles. I am praying to my Son to give you Divine wisdom and strength. I am praying that you may discern everything around you according to God's truth and to strongly resist everything that wants to distance you from my Son. I am praying that you may witness the love of the Heavenly Father according to my Son. My children, great graces have been given to you to be witnesses of God's love. Do not take the given responsibility lightly. Do not sadden my motherly heart. As a mother I desire to rely on my children, on my apostles. Through fasting and prayer you are opening the way for me to pray to my Son for Him to be beside you and for His name to be holy through you. Pray for the shepherds because none of this would be possible without them. Thank you.”

Mirjana said that Our Lady blessed all of us and all of our religious articles brought for blessing. Mirjana said that Our Lady was decisive.


Holy Hour

Each day I want to spend an hour
That's given just to You.
To let Your light come shine on me
To show what's good and true.

You fill me with Your presence Lord,
Your wisdom, joy and peace.
And changing anger into trust
You make all storms to cease.

Fr.  Donald McDonnell

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Striving for Sainthhood

May all of the holy angels and saints intercede for you on this very special feast day~

Today, the Church celebrates All Saints Day. The magnificent diversity of the Saints indicates to us that we have been called to holiness. Holiness is about more than a kind of humanism; it's about a deliberate and sincere discipline of life by which we imitate Christ and accept his presence in all the circumstances of our lives.

Fr. Barron's sermon on this great Solemnity and Holy Day of Obligation is featured here. In this sermon, Fr. Barron speaks of the panoply of saints, both those who are similar to us and those who bring out the parts of us that are "in shadow." He speaks of how making those complementary saints our friends can help sanctify this shadow side.

He also reminds us that it is now "our turn" to become saints. God desires us to be with him; he wants more saints-- now is the time.

In addition, here is the preview clip from Episode 8 of the CATHOLICISM series in which Father Barron speaks of the "little way" of the great saint, Therese of Lisieux:

Word on Fire