I write this message in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and in thanksgiving to God for my first Pentecost at the Baptismal font, on a July 17th…
If you know basketball, you know that the thousands of fans chant “defense, defense,” when the game is close and the defense is crucial to avoid any more points from the visiting team… But I will tell you more about it towards the end… Obviously it has to do with what we need to do in the spiritual life to defend ourselves during our perennial spiritual warfare, our flesh and the world.
If I were to write a text book on evangelization I would start and end with describing the key to God’s Heart, so that He could change hearts faster than ever. All other activities that can help getting us to the Lord’s Heart, like Bible studies, prayer groups, praying the Rosary and the Chaplet of Mercy, going to daily Mass as the most extraordinary form of addressing the Throne of Mercy, well, the fruits of such practices depend on the state of our heart or the key to God’s heart, that is, on our total trust that this God is in love with us, and how we must correspond to His love by doing His will in everything but at every present moment and with our desire to save souls for His glory.
Last November, I wrote extensively about the need to trust in Jesus and I did it to no end. The message is the same… Yet, I must touch the subject once more since I have learned a few things as to ways of growing into this trust. Our world is simply in huge disrepair. Every day I am afraid of turning the TV on or my AOL or Yahoo accounts because the news are interminable, repetitious, many of them extremely violent, and we Christians seem not to be alarmed enough to stop it. Here is where I am convinced that I must become first a true Christian and right now… What I mean is that I truly need to “trust in Jesus” but LIVE, constantly while in awe of His mercy!
It goes like this: if I am Christian, well, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. If I am His follower I must try to do what He taught us and teaches us through His Word and through the Church He founded. If I do not act as such is because I am missing something. If the world is upside down and getting worse by the month, it can only mean that I am not doing enough, knowing well that His mercy is always available and totally powerful to even bring the Iron Curtain down in a short time… I can even move a mountain if I have faith the size of the mustard seed. So, I may not be able to convince others to do the same, and yet, I have to change my routing in what pertains to bring His story to those whom He sends me. In these last 4 weeks, I have started to adhere to Him like a stamp to an envelope… by His grace and instruction, and I will pass more information of this part at the end of the blog.
But first, let me illustrate the state we live of diabolic influence that distracts us with opinions and sayings and we lose sight of how much Satan has control of much of our lives. If we, as a Church really believed that Satan is that powerful, we would have started praying and fasting and believing that He is in charge without even being told about it. We would be acting as victorious, since we are with His mercy, and could be exterminating the craziness going on. Here are a couple of examples of what is going on and that proves my point. Of course, you know of Facebook and YouTube and on and on, but here are some real numbers.
1) Word Press is the group through which I bought a space in late October 2008 to construct my blog site. On July 20, 2012, Word Press had 437,169 bloggers… The new posts on just this day were 1,009,790… 232,507,900 words were written on July 20. These blogs produced 1,425,180 comments. I never had looked into the site of these fellow bloggers of mine. Word Press has them classified in about 10 different groups. I checked a few (may be 4), and I almost vomited. People write every possible stupid thought that comes to their mind. I felt insulted and these blogs were not pornographic or anti-Christian per se, although some comments had a tinge of it. These blogs revealed to me that we cannot shut up our minds. WE HAVE BEEN WIRED TO OPINE ABOUT EVERYTHING… and at times they sound like parrots, just saying things they think are cute or funny, and yes, at times they sound even stupid.
2) In our daily MORNING national TV shows from ABC, CBS and NBC, FOX, CNN, etc., the hosts are constantly trying to be funny. They laugh and laugh about everything. We have become infants and allow these very low quality shows to use our time and leave us with: NOTHING… In my case, I listen for just a few minutes and turn off the TV. The blogs and these programs are about the same and we do not pray enough daily to end this madness…
So, I repeat, we do not truly “see” the extent of these diabolic times because we have not stopped this horror that is maligning the brains of millions of people. And you would ask: “But how to stop it?” Huh! If we truly believe that Jesus is Jesus, and that He loves us like crazy, we could have visited His Throne of Mercy many times a day and ask for His mercy to do it and with great confidence that it will be so, but out of love for our brothers and sisters, although all of this done within the frame of our complete “yes” to His will without any changes… or attempts to ask Him to revise His will according to our desires. The yes of Our Lady is not a part of our Christian heritage just placed there as a writer would do in a novel. Nor we have her Son insist that His bread was to do the will of His Father in heaven… Hmm. This lack of trust in His love has to be exterminated from our heads through obedience… More later on how I am trying to do that to my brain to offer obedience to each moment at all cost.
O.K, some of you would say,”Well I am a devotee of the Divine Mercy and I say the Chaplet daily and the Rosary as well.” I would answer: this is the proof that just praying for mercy will not have a 100% impact. Why? Well, very simple: He hinted to us the crux of the matter… In order for His mercy to be fully operative, we have to ask Him for it and TRUST IN HIM that He will take care of everything out of His crazy love for us. Do we believe that He is crazy for us? I am certain that we do not in its entirety…IF I DO NOT TRULY BELIEVE THAT GOD LOVES ME, HOW CAN I TRUST IN HIM? And if I do not trust Him, well, His mercy is not sent to me in the amount I need to receive the graces to “see,” to “hear,” to “love Him to no end through blind obedience to His will,” and “to love my neighbor as never before.” So, there is something I am lacking in order to withdraw from His Throne of Mercy all the help necessary to show the world that He is alive and loving us in everything He did while on earth and does for us every second of our lives.
Jesus knew of this upcoming insanity for our times: of the TV’s verborrhea and entertainment which are super duplicated in the Internet… or this space that we do not know where it is but which is next to us… It is like another god… everywhere… So, He prepared us in the XX Century with two saints who came to speak eloquently of His mercy. He announced through them that His mercy will prepare us for the end times… Most of us know the story written by St. Faustina Kowalska. Many saints have written extraordinary volumes about God and His love for us, but have any of them written a book specifically announcing how to TRUST in God’s love so radically that this faith will bring the miracle of His mercy and even attest that His Mercy will be the turning point for the end of the world? This Diary reveals how Jesus connected His Mercy with His Eucharistic Presence, and also how He took St. Faustina by the hand revealing to her how to build a relationship of love between them.
So, the KEY TO GOD’S HEART is to believe, to feel, to be enraptured by this knowledge of how much He loves us.Therefore, we must understand that He loves us in the crosses we suffer. He loves us in the moments that we need others and they are not there. He is constantly counting the hairs of our heads. When we ask for something, He already knows about it. If He has not answered it is because in His perfect plan of love for us He knows is not the time.
Devotion to God’s mercy is not just in the chanting of the Chaplet only; it is also in the chanting of our love for Him in everything we do. He is love and only converses the best with the language of love. So, for evangelization, to bring many, Baptized or pagan to taste His love, we must be changed into love for God and others, as we TRUST that He is truly crazy about us. It sounds very difficult to obtain… Well, there is where the Holy Mass and the Rosary, the Sacraments and our constant seeking of Him as we serve the poor, or as we love our enemies and forgive and pray for them, there it is the well of grace where the Holy Spirit will convict us of how much we are loved. Once we feel this love, then we become love as well, and He will use us to evangelize in ways not ever seen in recent centuries.
Said in other words, it is when we can sell the love we feel from Him, to others. But we cannot take the message to them until we have left ourselves behind and truly follow Him. There is where we have entered a personal relationship with the Savior and He does the rest… However, this month I was taught a great lesson regarding one of the things that can interfere and big time with this TRUST… or that He is crazy about me…
June 22. On this date I had a long conversation with my Lord and understood that many times we simply want to be in control of what we do. Here I clearly received the concept that I do not need to control anything. He said to me, “You say a convincing ‘yes’ to what I want you to do, and I will do the rest including in the souls of your children and grandchildren…” I started to realize that one reason at the root of my hesitation to trust in God’s love for me was fear of losing control… Please, keep this in mind, or that we fear many things without actually paying attention and it is very detrimental as you will find out later.
Sunday, June 24. We in our U. S. Church were at this point praying during the period called Fortnight for Freedom, or time to reflect and pray to regain our freedom of conscience from civil authorities. My Pastor in his homily said something like this, “We have to defend our freedom of conscience but must start with us within.” Right on…I realized that my freedom starts within when I cease to control my life and simply because God has the perfect plan for me out of His love, and trying to control my actions bring me anxiety, fear, and I am no longer truly free… I must also trust that with His plan comes the how of its execution and I just have to let Him do it all. My entire journey is all about trusting in God’s love for me all the way to Golgotha, and the rest is up to Him. How can I free others from the world, flesh and Satan if I am always attempting to control my own destiny, even in spiritual terms?
Monday, June 25. I received a good Bible lesson about the above subject matter:
Romans 8: 14-17; 31b – For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into FEAR, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and if children of God, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs of Christ, if we only suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. If God is for us, who can be against us?
Wow!… There it was… I have to become a kid and let my Father take over. In other words, I must trust my Daddy as a little child would do! But how to end the spirit of slavery so not to fall back into fears of any kind?
Saturday, June 30. I had several Bible verses depicting what doubt can do in the life of someone who deals with God almost face to face, like Moses and King David. One hit the rock twice to get water, as if the water would come with the effort of tapping the rock and not by the love of God for the Israelites. At the time, God said this,
Deuteronomy 32: 49-52. On that very day the Lord said to Moses, “Go up on Mount Nebo, here in the Abarim Mountains and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites as their possession. Then you shall die on the mountain you have climbed, and shall be taken to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and there was taken to his people; because both of you broke faith with Me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribah-kadesh in the desert of Zin by failing to manifest My sanctity among the Israelites. You may indeed view the land at a distance, but you shall not enter that land which I am giving to the Israelites.”
I say, “Ouch and ouch and ouch.” There you have ample proof that breaking faith with God is fatal… 1) Moses did not trust in God sufficiently to just hit the rock once… and get water… 2) Moses made another mistake: he did not witness to the love of God for the Israelites and confidently hit the rock once and expecting results… BIG boo-boo! 3) God’s last words make me believe that intimacy with God had been breached… He could no longer enter the Promised Land, a sign of His love for Israel promised to them for many generations before. It was as if God was saying to Moses, “Sorry but you do not belong to the group that will enter this gift I have for them.” 4) It seems to me that our Promised Land is the life of deep intimacy with God, which we were invited to possess with the help of the Holy Spirit on the day of our Baptism. The Promised Land is our personal relationship with God, the God who stayed with us in the Eucharist… Before you continue reading, please never forget this story. Doubting God’s love for us is a very dangerous step in our spiritual life, because we may not be able to enter into the relationship necessary to become a good evangelist.
And here I found a good definition of an evangelist: ONE WHO MANIFESTS THE SANCTITY OF GOD or how much God loves those to whom he/she is presenting the Gospel. And in order to manifest the Sanctity of God, one must live trusting that He will provide not only water as He did in the desert, but everything else. Jesus sent them in two’s without any assurance of sustenance… because they should trust in His mercy for their day to day needs.
In the case of King David, he counted his troops as if the number would guarantee his victories with battles against enemies, when it was God Who would win their battles out of love for His people. I started to identify fear and doubt as culprits in my journey in order to think and act as a child…
Sunday, July 1. In recent days we had a local trial regarding in the abuse of a 7 year old child by a cleric, which happened many years ago. The victim is now and adult and he attacked the now old priest in 2010. It coincided with the case of Jerry Sandusky’s trial and conviction for pedophilia in Pennsylvania. I was pretty upset… But what to do about it? Again, here I went into my controlling side regarding what to do… as a lay person. While saying the Rosary before Mass, I asked the Eucharistic Jesus what to do? He said, “You only need one thing: Me. You have it all. You are here with Me. You must trust in my love for all involved and I will do what needs to be done.” The Gospel for this Sunday was the faith of the Centurion… who convinced Jesus not to go and heal his servant, since He could “will” it from afar… Ouch! So, I had another good hint: I must truly let God be God and I become His child and He will do everything else. And course, “walking on water” is not for cowards…
In these moments I realized how much I need to grow in losing my control over things, and pray and fast my ego to get the grace to TRUST THAT God is in charge. It is my faith that will allow Him to do miracles… While on earth, He gave multiple examples regarding this faith in Him. After Communion He said, “We have to get into people’s hearts like a centipede or a turtle, slowly but going at all times. You open the door with your trust in my Mercy and I enter… (Me: But how do I open hearts?) “With your example, your yes to My will, love for others, which are expressions of your faith in Me.” Wow… The lesson is clear: I must decrease so that He can increase… On this day I was reviewing the Zenit news and found great words from one of my favorite Archbishops… I must share just a few words of his.
Jun 21, 2012
Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
This speech was delivered last night in Indianapolis to a group of Catholic journalists on the eve of the “Fortnight for Freedom,” a national campaign of teaching, witness, and prayer against the abortifacient and contraceptive mandate and in favor or religious freedom.
(Archbishop Chaput spoke of five points regarding this topic of religious freedom. I will share just one for brevity’s sake.)
“Here’s my fifth and final point: Politics and the courts are important. But our religious freedom ultimately depends on the vividness of our own Christian faith–in other words, how deeply we believe it, and how honestly we live it. Religious liberty is an empty shell if the spiritual core of a people is weak. Or to put it more bluntly, if people don’t believe in God, religious liberty isn’t a value. That’s the heart of the matter. It’s the reason Pope Benedict calls us to a Year of Faith this October. The worst enemies of religious freedom aren’t “out there” among the legion of critics who hate Christ or the Gospel or the Church, or all three. The worst enemies are in here, with us–all of us, clergy, religious, and lay–when we live our faith with tepidness, routine, and hypocrisy.
“Religious liberty isn’t a privilege granted by the state. It’s our birthright as children of God. And even the worst bigotry can’t kill it in the face of a believing people. But if we value it and want to keep it, then we need to become people worthy of it. Which means we need to change the way we live–radically change, both as individual Catholics and as the Church. And that’s where I’d like to turn for the rest of these brief remarks.
“I think it’s fair, in part, to blame Church leaders for a spirit of complacency and inertia, clericalism, even arrogance, and for operating off a model of the Church–often for well-intentioned reasons–rooted in the past and out of touch with reality. But there’s plenty of blame to go around. Too many ordinary Catholics have been greedy, losing themselves in America’s culture of consumerism and success. Too many have been complicit in the dullness–the acedia–that has seeped into Church life, and the cynicism and resentment that naturally follow it.
“These problems kill a Christian love of poverty and zeal. They choke off a real life of faith. They create the shadows that hide institutional and personal sins. And they encourage a paralysis that can burrow itself into every heart and every layer of the Church, right down to individual Catholics in the pews. The result is that Philadelphia, like so much of the Church in the rest of our country, is now really mission territory–again; for the second time.
“My point is this. We live in a world of illusions when we lose sight of who Jesus Christ really is, and what he asks from each of us as disciples.. One of novelist Ray Bradbury’s characters once said, “I wonder if God recognizes his own son the way we’ve dressed him up, or is it dressed him down? He’s a regular peppermint stick now, all sugar crystal and saccharine.” Father John Hugo, a friend and counselor to Dorothy Day, put it even more forcefully when he wrote of our “falsified picture of Jesus [with his] eyes perpetually raised to heaven, soft, even girlish in beauty, [the] very incarnation of impotence.”
“From the cross at San Damiano, Jesus said to Francis: Repair my house, which is falling into ruin. Those same words fill this room tonight. How we respond is up to us.” (End of quote)
This was a huge call for me to enter a more profound attentive stage of my spiritual life: I must learn to defend the basketball court so that the ball of the other team (in our parlance, the devil, the world) does not enter the basket (my soul) and the Rosary is key for the defense. At the same time, I can win the game by making points and throwing the ball that I have in my hands exactly into the basket…but clearly knowing that the ability to make points depends on my trust in God that leads me to say Yes to His will.
II. MY EYES WERE OPENED FURTHER by going back to the writings on God’s Mercy and its implication for evangelization
This part I am sure will be a repetition of what you already know well; yet, reviewing the writings of these two saints, St. Faustina Kowalska (Diary) and Blessed John Paul II (Encyclical Dives in Misericordia), they helped me understand that the time is now for me to “trust in Jesus” once and for all… whether in the storms of life, when I am in a boat with Jesus and He is napping longer than ever, or when He asks me to walk on water without paying attention to anything else because He is in charge of every move of my feet on the water… There are important points in the writings of these two saints that belong to a central truth: God loves us and we have to learn to trust in this love. We cannot continue to talk about it; or to tell the story of those who trusted God to the point of martyrdom, red or white… GOD’S MERCY IS THE PRESCRIPTION FOR OUR PRESENT TIMES… or God would not have sent two saints from the same country to extensively give witness of His mercy in the same century. Satan knows it and will try his best to obstruct our total trust in this love. There will be suffering for those who walk the talk of trusting in Jesus… Personally, I want to learn to walk the talk and make a difference. His mercy will be with me to assist me if I only trust in Him. To do the latter, I already had started a plan which I will share later.
A. – St. Faustina
How I went back to this saint’s diary.
Monday, July 9, 2012. For the last week and a half, I had many moments of oppression… I did not know it but I was being prepared to understand a lot more about them. On this day, EWTN showed the first 30 minutes and every day until Friday, of an Indian priest who resides in the U.S. Fr. Bala Udumala, spoke about God’s Divine Mercy. He obviously started talking about St. Faustina on episode one. He said how she was full of depressions, anguish and suffering of all sorts. I then started to read the Diary of St. Faustina one more time. I have two of them. One I started reading in the mid 1980’s during a year that I was home after my first major professional persecution in Cleveland, OH. This copy needs a rubber band around it because it is coming apart. Yet, it has many notes on the sides that I wrote in different years.
I found so much that explains many things in my own spiritual life and that has given me much hope regarding my so called oppressions… I had never paid much attention to these parts of her diary because I never suffered them until the last 2 years… I have depressions only if I eat the wrong foods; oppressions have no relation to foods and they disappear as if by magic. It also gave me a huge insight as to how Satan has entered the Church… He tried with St. Faustina… but her TRUST IN Jesus… did not allow her to do what he advised her… Hmm! I am going to share the next entries of her Diary, even that I was almost ready to erase what I had copied just to make this blog shorter. After prayer, I realized that God wanted them to be part of this writing, so that this story on the need to trust God like never before would be remembered in the life of this saint, and help us to deal with such occasions in our own lives.
332. When I started the Holy Hour, I wanted to immerse myself in the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Olives. Then I heard a voice in my soul: “Meditate on the mystery of the Incarnation.” And suddenly the Infant Jesus appeared before me, radiant with beauty. He told me how much God is pleased with simplicity in a soul. “Although my greatness is beyond understanding, I commune only with those who are little. I demand of you a childlike spirit.” (How clear it is that we have to be like kids in order to trust…)
50. … Jesus: “Distrust on the part of souls is tearing at My insides. The distrust of a chosen soul causes Me even greater pain…” (Wow!)
67. When I fell sick (probably the beginning of consumption – TB) after my first vows and when, despite the kind and solicitous care of my Superiors and the efforts of the doctor, I felt neither better nor worse, remarks began to reach my ears which inferred that I was making believe. With that, my suffering was doubled, and this lasted for quite a long time. One day I complained to Jesus that I was being a burden to the sisters. Jesus answered me, “You are not living for yourself but for souls, and other souls profit from your sufferings. Your prolonged suffering will give them the light and strength to accept my Will.”
(Extraordinary phrase from Jesus… Suffering is crucial for evangelization! It has given me much desire to suffer my ailments with a big yes…)
74. One day I felt driven to take steps to see to it that the Feast of Mercy be instituted and the image of the Merciful Jesus be painted and I could find no peace. Something was pervading my whole being, and yet I feared being deluded. However, these doubts always came from outside, because in the depths of my soul I felt it was the Lord who was penetrating my being. The priest to whom I was going to confession at that time told me that one can often have illusions, and I felt that he was afraid to hear my confession. This was a torture for me. Seeing that I was getting very little help from people, I turned all the more to Jesus, the best of all teachers. … I said, “If You who commune with me and talk to me are truly my God, I beg You, O Lord, to make this ward go this very day to confession; this sign will give me reassurance.” At that very moment, the girl asked to go to confession. … and this person made her confession with great compunction. At the same time, I heard a voice within me say, “Do you believe Me now?” And once again a strange power pervaded my soul, strengthening and reassuring me to such a degree that I myself was surprised that I had allowed myself to doubt even for a moment.
(Hmm! Good to remember. Amazing story which tortures me at times in a similar way asking, “Why to write blogs? I have no idea if truly God is directing them? What about if I am confused…?” This story gave me much peace on this subject matter!)
96. The soul’s love (for God) is still not such as God would have it. The soul suddenly loses the tangible perception of God’s presence. …. The soul craves passionately for God, but sees its own misery; it begins to sense God’s justice… (Excellent reminder of what lack love for God can bring!)
97. Faith staggers under the impact; the struggle is fierce. The soul tries hard to cling to God by an act of will. With God’s permission, Satan goes even further: hope and love are put to the test. These temptations are terrible. God supports the soul in secret, so to speak.
98….. If God wishes to keep the soul in such darkness, no one will be able to give it light. … In the midst of this, the evil spirit adds to the soul’s suffering, mocking it, “Will you persist in your faithfulness? This is you reward; you are in our power” But Satan has only as much influence over the soul as God allows him, and God knows how much we can bear. (Great points)
(In the following entries of her diary, I counted 26 different fruits for the soul after years of trial. I wrote in 2006 on the side of this book that since 1984, I had 22 years of trials… Yet there is so much consolation to read all the good things that suffering can do for one’s soul.)
120… When a soul has been cleansed, and the Lord is on intimate terms with it, it begins to apply all its inner force in striving after God. Yet the soul cannot do anything of itself. God alone arranges everything. (Such an important reminder…)
123. … For quite a long time I was regarded as one possessed by the evil spirit, and I was looked upon with pity, and the superior took certain precautionary actions in my respect. It reached my ears that the sisters also regarded me as such. And the sky grew dark around me. I began to shun these divine graces, but it was beyond my power to do so…
125. All these things could still be endured, but when the Lord demanded that I should paint that picture, they began to speak openly about me and to regard me as a hysteric and a fantasist, and the rumors began to grow louder…. But I had to listen to such things every day. God only knows how tiring it was.
126. I resolved to bear everything in silence and to give no explanations when I was questioned. (A huge yes to God’s will)
128. Still superiors are always superiors. And although they humiliated me personally and, on occasions, filled me with all kinds of doubts, they always allowed me to do what the Lord demanded. … One day, one of the Mothers (probably Mother Jane) poured out so much of her anger on me and humiliated me so much that I thought I would not be able to endure it. She said to me, “You queer, hysterical visionary, get out of this room; go on with you Sister!”… When I got to my cell, I fell on my face before the cross, and then looked at Jesus; but I could no longer say a single word.
(This story reminded me that we all are sinners, and as such, we can encounter people that could influence our spiritual life in a negative way. This is not new… St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross are examples of very super holy people who were persecuted by their peers… It is here that I realized that no matter what, I have to undergo a true “ongoing” conversion in order to grow in my personal relationship with Jesus; this will translate into my being able to discern the times and destroy any fear that can come from what may be going on in Catholic circles and also not to condemn those who scandalize me, but be more like Him by His grace, and to love them instead. In the next entry, notice what the insults from her superior brought to St. Faustina – that is discouragement and its consequences)
129. Satan always takes advantage of such moments; thoughts of discouragement began to rise to the surface – “for your faithfulness and sincerity – this is your reward.” Jesus, Jesus, I cannot go on any longer. Again I fell to the ground under this weight, and I broke out in a sweat.
(These previous suffering in the entries quoted happened in 1934 and 1935. Now notice the following ones happening in 1938; they are still going on…)
1487. Soul: Lord, my sufferings are so great and numerous and have lasted so long that I become discouraged. Poor health detains me on the way of holiness. I cannot fulfill my duties. I am as useless as an extra wheel on a wagon. I cannot mortify myself or fast to any extent, as the saints did. Furthermore, nobody believes I am sick, so that mental pain is added to those of the body, and I am often humiliated. Jesus, how can anyone become holy in such circumstances?
Jesus: True, my child, all that is painful. But there is no way to heaven except the way of the cross. I followed it first. You must learn that it is the shortest and surest way. (Here I realized how dangerous it is to live without crosses…)
Soul: My Lord, I am also discouraged because neither my superiors nor my confessors understand my interior trials. Darkness clouds my mind. How can I advance?
Jesus: Well, my child, this time you have told Me a good deal. I realize how painful it is not to be understood, and especially by those whom one loves and with whom one has been very open. But suffice it to know that I understand all your troubles and misery. Learn from this that no one will understand a soul entirely – that is beyond human ability. Therefore, I have remained on earth to comfort your aching heart and to fortify your soul, so that you will not falter on the way. You say that a dense darkness is obscuring your mind. But why, at such times, you do not come to Me, the light Who can in an instant pour into your soul more understanding about holiness than can be found in any books? No confessor is capable of teaching and enlightening a soul in this way.
(How many of us turn to our fellow sojourners trying to understand a difficulty in our lives, when all along the Tabernacle is the right place to do it!)
Know, too, that the darkness about which you complain I first endured in the Garden of Olives when My soul was crushed in mortal anguish. I am giving you the share in those sufferings because of My special love for you and in view of the high degree of holiness I am intending for you in haven. A suffering soul is closest to My Heart.
(I am copying all this much from the Diary not for you as much as for myself, in order to have a summary available of these difficult moments for St. Faustina and the teaching from Jesus to her. When these readings came, I was engulfed in pain from the most recent of stories of pedophilia as mentioned before. But St. Faustina suffered much in a different way and Jesus was adamant to call her to be with Him and lean on Him. See what He taught her next.)
Soul: One more thing, Lord. What should I do when I am ignored and rejected by people, especially by those on whom I had a right to count in times of great need?
Jesus: My child, make the resolution never to rely on people. ENTRUST YOURSELF COMPLETELY TO MY WILL, saying, “Not as I want, but according to Your will, O God, let it be done unto me.” These words, spoken from the depths of one’s heart can raise a soul to the summit of sanctity in a short time. In such a soul I delight. Such a soul gives Me glory…. But understand that this strength by which you bear sufferings comes from frequent Communions. So, approach this fountain of mercy often, to draw with the vessel of trust whatever you need.
(Wow! All that Jesus wanted of this saint was for her to trust in Him as alive, as a friend, as a confidant… and as a God who loved her very much. His mercy would then give her all the consolation and persistence not to be afraid or discouraged…)
1488. Soul: Lord, the reason for my sadness is that, in spite of my sincere resolutions, I fall again into the same faults. I make resolutions in the morning, but in the evening I see how much I have departed from them.
Jesus: You see, My child, what you are of yourself. The cause of your falls is that you rely too much upon yourself and too little on Me. But let this not sadden you so much. You are dealing with the God of mercy, which your misery cannot exhaust.
(There is no doubt that trusting in Jesus for everything and all the time is crucial for our daily spiritual survival)
Soul: Yes, I know that, but great temptations assail me and various doubts awaken within me and moreover, everything irritates and discourages me.
Jesus: My child, know that the greatest obstacle to holiness are discouragement and exaggerated anxiety… All temptations together ought not to disturb your interior peace, not even momentarily. Sensitiveness and discouragement are the fruits of self love. You should not become discouraged, but strive to make My love reign in place of your self-love.
1489. St. Faustina: O Jesus, I want to bring souls to the fount of Your mercy to draw the reviving water of life with the vessel of trust. The soul desirous of more of God’s mercy should approach God with greater trust; and if her trust in God is unlimited, then the mercy of God toward it will be likewise limitlessness.
Jesus:…… All the treasures of My Heart are open to you. Take from this Heart all that you need for yourself and for the whole world… A single act of pure love pleases Me more than a thousand imperfect prayers. One of your sighs of love atones for many offenses with which the godless overwhelms Me… In a soul that lives on My Love alone, I reign as in heaven. I watch over it day and night. In it I find My happiness; My ear is attentive to each request of its heart; often I anticipate its requests… My child, that you may answer My call worthily, receive Me daily in Holy Communion. I will give you strength.
(Notice how clear Jesus was… My entire life should be one where I constantly live in His Presence telling Him how much I love Him… But just telling Him is a cheap action… I must proof to Him that I do so, and that is to trust in His entire plan of salvation for my soul with my eyes closed. He will take care of the rest. But in order to trust that way I need something else. I need to know that He loves me and this knowledge speaks of a relationship, one that can only happen with my yes to do whatever He tells me… A personal relationship with Him is key. More on it at the end of this blog)
1496. January 17, 1938 (Nine months before her death on October 5, 1938). Today, since early morning, MY SOUL HAS BEEN IN DARKNESS. I cannot ascend to Jesus, and I feel as though I have been forsaken by Him. I WILL NOT TURN TO CREATURES FOR LIGHT because I know they will not enlighten me if Jesus wills to keep me in darkness. I submit myself to His holy will and suffer. Still, the struggle is becoming more and more desperate. During Vespers, I wanted to unite myself with the sisters through prayer (She was in bed in the infirmary).
1497. When I went, in my thoughts, to the Chapel, my spirit was plunged into even greater darkness. TOTAL DISCOURAGEMENT CAME OVER ME. Then I heard Satans’ voice, “See how contradictory everything is that Jesus gives to you; He tells you to set about establishing this Feast of Mercy while the whole world does not at all want such a feast. Why do you pray for this feast? It is so inopportune.” My soul remained silent, and by an act of the will, continued to pray without entering into conversation with the Spirit of Darkness. NEVERTHELESS, SUCH AN EXTRAORDINARY DISGUST WITH LIFE CAME OVER ME, THAT I HAD TO MAKE A GREAT ACT OF THE WILL TO CONSENT TO GO ON LIVING…
And again, I heard the tempter’s words: “Ask for death for yourself tomorrow after Holy Communion. God will hear you, for He has heard you so many times before and has given you what you asked for.”
1499. Jesus: …. Let be confirmed and engraved on your heart that I am always with you, even if you don’t feel My Presence at the time of battle.
(It was at this time that I suddenly wondered if the evil one was giving unsolicited advice to otherwise good Bishops regarding the cover-up of pedophilic priests and Satan telling them that the scandal for the Church was to be avoided at all cost… Before this point, around mid July, I could not understand why this happened. I was feeling so much resentment for such actions. And here I realized that if Jesus was tempted three times, and if the Bible covers extensively the action of Satan, we could not ignore that it could happen to any of us. In the case of St. Faustina, she is clear about how Satan would come and talk to her and obviously allowed by God… But in her case, she had no difficulty in ignoring what Satan said. But why was she able to do it? Because SHE TRUSTED IN JESUS’ LOVE FOR HER…and His mercy brought her the understanding not to act on what she heard)
And St. Faustina was not the only victim of Satan in this way. Here is a story from the book “The Secret of the Rosary” of St. Louis de Monfort.
EIGHT ROSE. Marvels of the Rosary.
All during life, St. Dominic had nothing more at heart than to praise Our Lady, to preach her greatness and to inspire everybody to honor her by saying the Rosary. As a reward he received countless graces from her… — Almighty God granted him what he asked through Our Lady. The greatest honor of all was that she helped him crush the Albigensian heresy and made him the founder and patriarch of a great religious order.
As for Blessed Alan de la Roche who restored devotion to the Rosary, he received many privileges from Our Lady. He used to be horribly tempted and persecuted by devils, and then deep sadness would fall upon him and sometimes he used to be near to despair, but our Lady always comforted him by her sweet presence which vanished the clouds of darkness from his soul. She taught him how to say the Rosary.
Blessed Thomas of Saint John was well known for his sermons on the Most Holy Rosary, and the devil, jealous of the success he had with souls, tortured him so much that he fell ill and was sick so long that the doctors gave him up. One night when he really thought that he was dying, the devil appeared to him in the most horrible form imaginable. There was a picture of Our Lady near his bed; he looked at it and cried with all his heart and soul and strength: “Help me, save me, my sweet Mother!” No sooner he had said this than the picture seemed to come alive and Our Lady put out her hand, took him by the arm and said, “Do not be afraid, Thomas my son, here I am and I am going to save you: get up now and go on preaching my Rosary as you used to do. I promise you to shield you from your enemies.”
When Our Lady said this, the devil fled and Blessed Thomas got up, finding that he was in perfect health. He resumed his Rosary apostolate and his sermons were marvelously successful.
Back to St. Faustina’s Diary.
1777. Jesus: My daughter, know that My Heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy, graces flow out upon the whole world. No soul that has approached Me has ever gone away unconsoled. All misery gets buried in the depths of My mercy, and every saving and sanctifying grace flows from this fountain. My daughter, I desire that your heart be an abiding place of My mercy. I desire that this mercy flow out upon the whole world through your heart. Let no one who approaches you go away without that trust in My mercy which I so ardently desire for souls.
Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties, obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least.
1790. St. Faustina: I have come to know that, in order for God to act in a soul, it must give up acting on its own; otherwise, God will not carry His will in it.
B. DIVES IN MISERICORDIA (On the Mercy of God)
Blessed John Paul II — November 30, 1980
19. Especially through his lifestyle and through his actions, Jesus revealed that love is present in the world in which we live—an effective love, a love that addresses itself to man and embraces everything that makes up his humanity. This love makes itself particularly noticed in contact with suffering, injustice and poverty—in contact with the whole historical "human condition," which in various ways manifests man’s limitation and frailty, both physical and moral. It is precisely the mode and sphere in which love manifests itself that in biblical language is called "mercy."
20. Christ, then, reveals God who is Father, who is "love," as St. John will express it in his first letter; Christ reveals God as "rich in mercy," as we read in St. Paul. This truth is not just the subject of a teaching; it is reality made present to us by Christ. Making the Father present as love and mercy is, in Christ’s own consciousness, the fundamental touchstone of his mission as the Messiah; this is confirmed by the words that he uttered first in the synagogue at Nazareth and later in the presence of his disciples and of John the Baptist’s messengers. (How clear this Pope is that Jesus’ mission was to bring the awareness of the Father’s love to us. So, no doubt that we have to have a special ongoing relationship with Jesus in order to enter into the experience of the love of God for us)
21. On the basis of this way of manifesting the presence of God who is Father, love and mercy, Jesus makes mercy one of the principal themes of his preaching. As is his custom, he first teaches "in parables," since these express better the very essence of things. It is sufficient to recall the parable of the Prodigal Son, or the parable of the Good Samaritan, but also—by contrast—the parable of the merciless servant. There are many passages in the teaching of Christ that manifest love-mercy under some every fresh aspect. We need only consider the Good Shepherd who goes in search of the lost sheep, or the woman who sweeps the house in search of the lost coin. The gospel writer who particularly treats of these themes in Christ’s teaching is Luke, whose Gospel has earned the title of "the Gospel of mercy."
23. However, before devoting a further part of our considerations to this subject, that is to say, to establishing the meaning of the vocabulary and the content proper to the concept of "mercy," we must note that Christ, in revealing the love-mercy of God, at the same time demanded from people that they also should be guided in their lives by love and mercy. This requirement forms part of the very essence of the messianic message and constitutes the heart of the gospel ethos. The Teacher expressed this both through the medium of the commandment which he describes as "the greatest," and also in the form of a blessing, when in the Sermon on the Mount he proclaims: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
33. From all this it follows that mercy does not pertain only to the notion of God, but it is something that characterizes the life of the whole people of Israel and each of its sons and daughters: Mercy is the content of intimacy with their Lord, the content of their dialogue with him. Under precisely this aspect mercy is presented in the individual books of the Old Testament with a great richness of expression. It may be difficult to find in these books a purely theoretical answer to the question of what mercy is in itself. Nevertheless, the terminology that is used is in itself able to tell us much about this subject.
34. The Old Testament proclaims the mercy of the Lord by the use of many terms with related meanings; they are differentiated by their particular content, but it could be said that they all converge from different directions on one single fundamental content, to express its surpassing richness and at the same time to bring it close to man under different aspects. The Old Testament encourages people suffering from misfortune, especially those weighed down by sin—as also the whole of Israel, which had entered into the covenant with God—to appeal for mercy and enables them to count upon it: It reminds them of His mercy in times of failure and loss of trust. Subsequently, the Old Testament gives thanks and glory for mercy every time that mercy is made manifest in the life of the people or in the lives of individuals.
58. Going on, one can therefore say that the love for the son, the love that springs from the very essence of fatherhood, in a way obliges the father to be concerned about his son’s dignity. This concern is the measure of his love, the love of which St. Paul was to write: "Love is patient and kind . . . love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful . . . but rejoices in the right . . . hopes all things, endures all things" and "love never ends."
59. Mercy—as Christ has presented it in the parable of the prodigal son—has the interior form of the love that in the New Testament is called agape. This love is able to reach down to every prodigal son, to every human misery, and above all to every form of moral misery, to sin. When this happens, the person who is the object of mercy does not feel humiliated, but rather found again and "restored to value."
63. The parable of the prodigal son expresses in a simple but profound way the reality of conversion. Conversion is the most concrete expression of the working of love and of the presence of mercy in the human world. The true and proper meaning of mercy does not consist only in looking, however penetratingly and compassionately, at moral, physical or material evil: Mercy is manifested in its true and proper aspect when it restores to value, promotes and draws good from all the forms of evil existing in the world and in man. (Wow…)
64. Understood in this way, mercy constitutes the fundamental content of the messianic message of Christ and the constitutive power of his mission. His disciples and followers understood and practiced mercy in the same way. Mercy never ceased to reveal itself, in their hearts and in their actions, as an especially creative proof of the love which does not allow itself to be "conquered by evil," but overcomes "evil with good." (Wow…)
65. The genuine face of mercy has to be ever revealed anew. In spite of many prejudices, mercy seems particularly necessary for our times.
79. Believing in the crucified Son means "seeing the Father," means believing that love is present in the world and that this love is more powerful than any kind of evil in which individuals, humanity or the world are involved. Believing in this love means believing in mercy. For mercy is an indispensable dimension of love; it is as it were love’s second name and, at the same time, the specific manner in which love is revealed and effected vis-à-vis the reality of the evil that is in the world, affecting and besieging man, insinuating itself even into his heart and capable of causing him to "perish in Gehenna."
102. We have every right to believe that our generation too was included in the words of the mother of God when she glorified that mercy shared in "from generation to generation" by those who allow themselves to be guided by the fear of God. The words of Mary’s Magnificat have a prophetic content that concerns not only the past of Israel but also the whole future of the people of God on earth. In fact, all of us now living on earth are the generation that is aware of the approach of the third millennium and that profoundly feels the change that is occurring in history.
110. Contemporary man, therefore, fears that by the use of the means invented by this type of society, individuals and the environment, communities, societies and nations can fall victim to the abuse of power by other individuals, environments and societies. The history of our century offers many examples of this. In spite of all the declarations on the rights of man in his integral dimension that is to say in his bodily and spiritual existence we cannot say that these examples belong only to the past.
111. Man rightly fears falling victim to an oppression that will deprive him of his interior freedom, of the possibility of expressing the truth of which he is convinced, of the faith that he professes, of the ability to obey the voice of conscience that tells him the right path to follow. The technical means at the disposal of modern society conceal within themselves not only the possibility of self-destruction through military conflict, but also the possibility of a "peaceful" subjugation of individuals, of environments, of entire societies and of nations, that for one reason or another might prove inconvenient for those who possess the necessary means and are ready to use them without scruple. An instance is the continued existence of torture, systematically used by authority as a means of domination and political oppression and practiced by subordinates with impunity.
112. Together with awareness of the biological threat, therefore, there is a growing awareness of yet another threat, even more destructive of what is essentially human, what is intimately bound up with the dignity of the person and his or her right to truth and freedom.
135. Therefore, the church professes and proclaims conversion. Conversion to God always consists in discovering his mercy, that is, in discovering that love which is patient and kind as only the Creator and Father can be; the love to which the "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" is faithful to the uttermost consequences in the history of his covenant with man: even to the cross and to the death and resurrection of the Son. Conversion to God is always the fruit of the "rediscovery" of this Father, who is rich in mercy.
136. Authentic knowledge of the God of mercy, the God of tender love, is a constant and inexhaustible source of conversion, not only as a momentary interior act but also as a permanent attitude, as a state of mind. Those who come to know God in this way, who "see" him in this way, can live only in a state of being continually converted to him. They live, therefore, in statu conversionis; and it is this state of conversion which marks out the most profound element of the pilgrimage of every man and woman on earth in statu viatoris.
140. This authentically evangelical process is not just a spiritual transformation realized once and for all: It is a whole lifestyle, an essential and continuous characteristic of the Christian vocation. It consists in the constant discovery and persevering practice of love as a unifying and also elevating power despite all difficulties of a psychological or social nature: it is a question, in fact, of a merciful love which, by its essence, is a creative love.
163. However, at no time and in no historical period—especially at a moment as critical as our own—can the church forget the prayer that is a cry for the mercy of God amid the many forms of evil which weigh upon humanity and threaten it. Precisely this is the fundamental right and duty of the church in Christ Jesus, her right and duty toward God and toward humanity. The more the human conscience succumbs to secularization, loses its sense of the very meaning of the word "mercy," moves away from God and distances itself from the mystery of mercy, the more the church has the right and the duty to appeal to the God of mercy, "with loud cries."
167. With this cry let us, like the sacred writers, call upon the God who cannot despise anything that he has made, the God who is faithful to himself, to his Fatherhood and his love. And, like the prophets, let us appeal to that love which has maternal characteristics and which, like a mother, follows each of her children, each lost sheep, even if they should number millions, even if in the world evil should prevail over goodness, even if contemporary humanity should deserve a new "flood" on account of its sins, as once the generation of Noah did.
III. THE POWER OF THE ROSARY. A new teaching for me.
In this section I will relate what my Mother made me understand as to how I was allowing Satan get close to my soul…and of course, my fears came to be a source of entry, and doubts followed and trust in God’s love suffered somewhat because my trust in His mercy was not exemplary.
Monday, July 7. By the time I came home from Holy Hour and Mass, I was very oppressed… I asked God for a big sign… A major sign or I would desist on going to daily Mass… I gave up with great tears and told Him that He had to do something drastic… or I would just go to 8 AM Mass on Sunday’s and stop blogs and the rest. Fear was still present regarding the stories of our priests and Bishops losing the way in the cases of pedophilia…At 12:30 Noon, I turned on EWTN and they were starting the Rosary for the unborn (every Saturday). I decided to pray it with them but my heart had a knife inside. Just before the Rosary, they prayed the first day of the Novena of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and of course, this feast of my Mother is one of my favorite titles being raised with much knowledge of the Carmelites saints. I also remembered that on July 16, 2010, my Mom asked me to check the AOL news to find the diagnosis of my illness, POTS, or imbalance of my autonomic nervous system. So, she is always great around this feast…
On the very first mystery and I was downstairs in the living room, I heard her saying, "Look at me." I turned my face and looked at her picture (O.L. of Guadalupe), and she said, "Let me tell you why you get these oppressions… Your fear opens the door to Satan. (Me: "But Ma, it cannot be. I pray so many Rosaries. I love your Son like crazy. You are at my side all the time. Satan has not a chance.") O yes, he does… My child, fear means doubt… that God loves you, and that He knows the state of the Church and the indifference that many members inside are showing you. Then doubt brings lack of trust in God’s mercy. And no matter how much you pray, any fear opens wide the door to Satan to oppress you…
(Me: "And how am I going to do away with this fear?")
1) Think of me every time you fear and end up doubting that God is in charge.
2) Ask me to help you but with a contrite heart for the sin of doubting His mercy.
3) Ask Him to have mercy for you with the Jesus’ prayer.
4) But above all… tell God that you are ready to do all the things He has asked of you, because you know that He is in charge 24/7 even of every hair that falls from your hair.
5) Always walk in the hope and confidence that He would not allow you to do anything that is not His will, if you repent and recognize your lack of trust in His great love for you and ask Him for the grace necessary never to fear or doubt.
6) Finally, say often, ‘I am the servant of the Lord. Do unto me according to what you have asked of me.’ This latter phrase is the "yes" to His will for your particular case. You worry at times that you may not have heard well what you are supposed to do. This is lack of trust because of the many things that He has done for you in past years. He would not allow Satan to confuse you so much and you have ample proof of how He does it in your life. Again, you should never open the door of your soul to Satan by worrying and fearing, when God has proved to you what He has done in your life and many times over."
I immediately thought of the many times Jesus said in the Bible, "Do not be afraid, have faith in Me." .PEACE AND JOY suddenly appeared.
It was on this same day that I started receiving a new understanding of the Rosary. Here it is:
The Rosary prayers contain a series of truths and some no one had told me about and they now fascinate me.
1. The Creed. Here we repeat the summary of our beliefs and covers the story of love of the Creator for us until we return home.
2. The Our Father is the summit of all prayers… It was authored by the Son of God and it contains very important statements:
1) I refer to God as my Dad… So, it is a family prayer.
2) I praise His Name and call His Kingdom to come to me…
3) I submit my will to His.
4) I ask Him for bread, and I am sure that theologians have written what it means. For me (with no theology on board), it means this: I want the bread, the food as Jesus described in in John 4:34 – “My food is to do the will of the one who sent Me and to finish His work.”
In my case, I want help from my Father to do whatever He tells me, to do His will second by second but with a joyous convincing yes.
5) I repent for my sins and ask for forgiveness and promise to do the same with others. Here I always think of my sins of not trusting Jesus when He has sent me to walk on water or to receive persecution as a blessing for my formation. I repent for doubting His love for me.
6) Lead us not into temptation… Here I understood something I never thought before: we tend to first think of other temptations, human ones, but the worse temptation is to doubt that He is available to help us in everything because He loves us, and that faith in Him without fears or doubts, can heal the temptations from the flesh or help us manage them according to His will.
7) Deliver us from evil. Yes, we remind our Dad about the devil, but if I truly TRUST in His mercy, the evil one has no chance. However, I must enter into total trust that He can truly deliver me from evil… and obviously, not to open the door to Satan with my fears.
I was sent to a page in the Bible with verses and all, and it said,
Romans 16: 19-20a. “For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise as to what is good, and simple as to what is evil; then the God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet.” (St. Paul establishes what is needed to have God dispatch Satan… or to be obedient, choose good and reject evil…)
A few days later, I received the most beautiful explanation of the Hail Mary.
1. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. THIS QUOTE from the words of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary represent the (1) THE LOVE OF GOD FOR US humans as God the Father was sending His only Son to be incarnated in her womb.
2. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. It CLEARLY acknowledges that our Lady had already said Yes to the Archangel and that Baby Jesus was already in formation in her womb. Therefore, she had already (2) loved God perfectly with her yes to His will. But also, in the words of Elizabeth, we recognize that she had left right away to help her cousin and we have the most extraordinary depiction of (3) love of neighbor as well. Points one and two contain the mystery of love between God and His creature… So the first half of the Hail Mary is a hymn of love of God to His creature, of the creature to God and to neighbor… (Wow)
3. Jesus – The Name of Jesus reminds us its power since every knee should be bowing to Him according to St. Paul. Therefore, the power of His Name in my lips is real when I pray each Hail Mary.
4. Holy Mary, Mother of God – We address no less and no more than Jesus’ Mother… It is our salute to her.
5. Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Here is where we ask for her intercession, but since love in all its forms, from God to us, from her to God and for neighbor, are preceding this request, it became obvious to me that I must be asking for her intercession to allow me to know the love of God as she did; also, to say yes to His will as she did in order to prove my love for God, and to become the best lover of neighbor. If I am able to do what she did, there is no question that my TRUST IN HIM will be perfect and God’s mercy will come to me in order to go and tell others about Jesus. There is no question that the repetition of 50 Hail Mary’s in one Rosary allows us to remember how much God loves us and over and over. It must have great power in the eyes of God!
THE GLORY BE: It is a reminder that we are remembering through the Rosary the presence of the Holy Trinity: So, we give glory to the Triune God for this His plan of our salvation as depicted in the Rosary.
Another day I received an understanding of what the Rosary represents, based on what we contemplate in every mystery. All the mysteries are reminders of the love of God, of what God has done for us, of His majesty, of His mercy towards us from the Incarnation of the Word of God to the coming of the Holy Spirit, ending with our Mother to remind us that she is in heaven praying for us.
AND THE ROSARY IS PART OF OUR “DEFENSE” … The entire exercise is a form of keeping Satan in a corner. It is a prayer of power and triumph of good over evil. It is a prayer of intercession to enter into a relationship with the Triune God under the protection of Our Mother. It is a prayer of victory as we engage in remembering what God has done for us, of His love. If said with such knowledge, when we use it to pray for others, we become merciful towards them. If we say it for ourselves, we can get the fruits of total trust in God’s mercy as seeing in this review of God’s plan of love for us.
The good news for me is that I pray the Rosary now with a smile in my face… because it reminds me that God loves me and each mystery contemplated testifies to this love.
The entire Rosary is a story of love… and I had never paid attention to this fact ever before. Ouch!
IV. HOW TO DEFEND THE COURT AND MAKE BASKETS AT THE SAME TIME in order to win the game of our salvation?
Monday, July 16. My Mother was very explicit as to how to play “spiritual basketball.”
This is what I learned from her:
She wanted me to remember these Bible words:
Isaiah 7: 4; 9b.
“Take care you remain tranquil and do not fear; let not your courage fail… (or, do not become discouraged.) Unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm!”
1. No matter what, I must trust God (faith without fear). What is next should be ignored, pros and cons and the rest.
2. All fear must be dealt with immediately!
3. But to destroy fears in order for my faith to become TRUST in His love for me as a child would, or with a firm faith, I MUST SAY “YES” to all that God allows in my life and with great determination in every present moment. This is necessary because my “yes” will automatically neutralize all fears. The power in saying yes to God’s will is full trust in Him and this pours His mercy to protect me from head to toe. (I must report that this has been so in my experience of the last weeks. How I have done will be reported later.)
4. As I constantly trust in God with my “yes” to His will, it will release His mercy in order for me to live as a newborn, totally dependent on Him. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MY DEFENSE.
5. My trust in His love will also open the door of souls and His mercy will enter those hearts.
6. Yet, for this yes to be faithfully lived, I must have help, and praying the Rosary will have my Mother visiting often the Throne of Mercy on my behalf.
7. I must never forget that the greatest temptation is to worry about the next present moment. Again, it represents a direct insult to God Who has prepared such a fine plan of salvation for me and which lacks errors, and so I do not have to correct anything. On the contrary, I must embrace the present moment in total indifference of the next, knowing that will produce perfection as well, and no matter how much suffering is involved.
Tuesday, July 17. I went to Mass to thank God for giving me a family that took me on this month and day many years ago to a Bishop in the church of Our Lady of Mercy, to become one of His kids through Baptism. The Mass was celebrated by a visiting Bishop from India… one whom I had met in 2010 as a priest. I had not seen him any more until this morning. I was happy to have another Bishop present for this celebration as it had happened in my Baptism. At the Consecration I offered my will and desires to God. I embraced all my crosses tightly and said a big “yes” to whatever He wants of me. I closed by saying, “Here I am Lord. I come to do Your will. I renew my Baptismal promises.”
When I left the Church, I saw a car passing by with two of the sacristan women and the Bishop and another visiting priest, a Carmelite from India but working in Nairobi. I understood they were out for breakfast since it was 7:15 AM and these sacristans go often to breakfast. The Lord said, “Follow them and say hello to the Bishop.” I did and I did say hello to Bishop James Thoppil as they were parking their car.
I remembered then what my Lord had said recently, “Everything that happens each moment contains a blessing to be passed on to others. My yes to that moment is the trust needed to allow God to deliver graces,” and in this case, to salute with love this new Bishop.
So, this is what I am doing now and the FRUITS COMING OF IT:
SINCE EVERY PRESENT MOMENT IS A GIFT FROM GOD I am doing the following:
1. I am placing a “do not disturb sign” at the entrance of my heart and mind… and avoiding any fears that leads to doubt in God’s love that leads to not trusting Him 100% of the time… ad in this way, opening my heart to His mercy.
It is easy to say the above statement: “to avoid fears.” But how?… Well it is a revolving door… I stop fears by living each present moment intensely with a constant “yes” to whatever that moment contains… The grace that comes from such unity of wills, His and mine, will produce tons of grace to destroy the fears. Example: when at times I find myself showing some fear about the future, immediately I feel the calling of God within reminding to me to stop the fear with my “yes” to His will… It really works.
The fear to some future event becomes just a warning of what MAY happen and not of my liking because of my many human obstacles, or so I think of them, like age, health, lack of theology formation, the devil around me to obstruct my work, etc. but at this time, once I say yes, I have at the same time a peaceful acceptance to whatever in the certainty that He is in charge and if the event becomes reality, well, it will be necessary in the precious complete and perfect plan of my Father for me and others. THIS THAT I JUST DESCRIBED becomes AN ACT OF TRUST IN HIS LOVE… And the rest you know… I will have buckets of His mercy to continue to say yes to whatever and with fears pretty much dealt with… Satan loses the round.
2. I am now paying attention during the day to many of my present moments and much more than before.
I make a quick diagnostic evaluation of each moment as often as possible and I am sure that God is leading this part. So, I say, “This moment, what is it all about it?” Quickly I make an inventory. Is it full of fear? Do I the need to know what is next? Am experiencing suffering because of oppression or pain in my knee or negative news about the Church? Am I wondering about the blog, what to write? Am I full of Joy? Am I experiencing tiredness of so much violence everywhere? Is resentment clouding my heart?
3. Immediately after and quickly as well I say,
Yes to everything I do not understand.
Yes to the pain of not understanding what is next for my life.
Yes to my lack of health issues, especially what to do about my left eye.
Yes to the things that have happened in the Church in past years and that hurts me for not been able to understand fully these horror stories.
Yes to the pain of hearing about God’s mercy in so many ways but more as a devotion than as a powerful tool for personal sanctity in the work of evangelization.
And when the yes is for a cross or suffering of any kind, I offer it up for the Roman Catholic Church, for myself and family.
And I end the encounter with the content of the moment with a refusal to think anymore about it and place myself in God’s Presence within, asking for His mercy when I am tempted to keep dealing with that moment and not drop it.
4. I must report that sure enough, I am mostly living a moment at a time. Apparently, so far, I have received the grace to accept each moment as it is… and not changed in any form. In fact, I do not want it changed because the grace has arrived to let me know without any fear that His love for me is so huge that I simply cannot attempt to ask for changes. It is too risky to ask to change a perfect plan coming from so much love. And also, my saying several Rosaries per day and with a new understanding of the words, seem to have greatly changed me.
5. It has also given me a sense of freedom. I am freeing myself from my own will and in real terms, and not as must do item. I do not have to know anything about the next moment. I do not have to understand anything either. And you may ask, “What about if you have to make a decision and need to enter into the pros and cons of the decision?” Well, it is true but when we say Yes to God’s will constantly, He handles the problem and quite well. Trusting Jesus means that He will direct us to choose the right path and make a perfect decision. Part of the graces of saying yes to His will is that one feels guided at all times with a certitude, peace, joy that identifies the work of the Holy Spirit versus the presence of Satan…
6. By the way, I cannot use any excuses not to come to the Table of His Love, His Mercy. So, on July 20, He took me to Luke 14, about the Parable of the Great Feast. This man was inviting his friends and it is obvious that he loved them to choose them to eat at his table. Yet, they came with many banal excuses not to attend… He did not like it and sent his servants to seek many others, strangers, and condemned his own friends not to taste his dinner… This dinner depicted Jesus’ love, His presence and it was part of a relationship as if from the shepherd to His sheep. So, this yes to everything cannot be here and there. It is definitely the route to get to His Mercy and I cannot have any excuses. And by the way, anyone reading this blog cannot come up with excuses thinking that only a few of us are enlisted to do it… On the contrary, once you visit the Baptismal font, you are sent and His mercy is available 24/7, for training, for graces necessary, for guidance, for power to convert the whole world in an instant if need be… Our Master can do it all but only if He finds enough faith in His workers.
7. I also became very clear in the understanding that God’s mercy is the answer to the mess we are living. I cannot change others but I can submit myself to His mercy and say yes to His will no matter what so to show Him how much I trust in Him… He provides the grace as long as I provide my fiat… Nothing different than our Mother did. In other words, my fiat will make me spiritually pregnant with His love, and this way, I can take Him to others by the action of the Holy Spirit. Evangelization is so easy if we only follow the guidelines left for us. His mercy does it. I only cooperate with a constant “yes” to whatever He calls me to do or whatever I suffer for whatever reason… even if I do not understand or actually agree with His plan, since His plans sometimes are a little crazy, and Abraham and Moses attest to it.
8. It has become obvious that paying attention to each moment, and as often as possible, makes me very attentive to think of Jesus all day. This is crucial because I become more attentive to call the Holy Spirit for guidance. The waters may be stormy and yet, this constant attention to the Master gives me the faith needed. Again, it is a give and take situation or revolving door. I do my best to live each present moment saying yes to it, and He provides me with faith, hope, love, and gifts from the Holy Spirit to exercise my “yes” like never before. My flesh will try to seed my soul with doubt and fear. Satan will be around trying to sow discouragement. The world, even close people to us, will be more attuned to their personal view of the matter and in this way, totally ignoring the “Trust in Jesus” SIGN as the fastest way to call the Holy Ghost to truly decide the matter.
9. This constant attention to God to manage each present moment according to His will, has one of the most important fruits: to grow into a very deep relationship with Him . Relationships are based on mutual trust.
10. One of the greatest realizations is that when I get to my personal judgment, God will NOT ask me, “Do you love me,” and may be three times as He asked St. Peter… He will know that I am crazy for Him by the way I have trusted Him
11. Of course, my prayers for others will be heard quite fast because he moment I act similarly to my Mother with a big yes for everything without asking for explanations because I love Him, He will honor my requests … And voila, my love for neighbor will gain a few points… but the real treasure here is for the sake of evangelization in the midst of these perilous times.
12. But there is something else: all these changes have come in a month when I have felt very upset with myself… Here I have a site about God’s mercy and I could not look at Jesus and tell Him without any ambivalence or fear what He asked St. Faustina to write in the picture: “Jesus I trust in You.” I was upset because this makes me a true joke… At least, today I must report that I am working at it all the time… And I am willing to do it… I am definitely very determined to accept His will no matter what. There is so much that I can complain about and be afraid of… Yet, it truly distracts me from being in God’s Presence as my Mother was, and truly saying, “Yes Lord, do whatever with me,” and “I do not want to know your ways. For this reason I am your daughter. You are a Father of wisdom and also a Father to me. And if you take me through the darkness of night, I know you are taking me to Yourself.” (Words St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, OCD – Edith Stein)
O yes, we can… for God all things are possible, and He can use us in extraordinary ways but with our fiat in our lips all day and for everything, the good, the bad, the ugly, the humiliating, the crazy or so we may think. He takes care of the rest. The more we trust, the more we can evangelize and with power. I truly have to be a woman of the Bible. Unless I become like a little child and let Him take me in His arms so only one set of feet prints may be seen in the sand, I have not tapped the Mercy of God for these end times.
Let me close with the words of St. Paul, which are so powerful when talking about Abraham, our father in faith.
Romans 4: 18-25. – “He believed, hoping against hope, that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “Thus shall your descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body as (already) dead (for he was almost a hundred years old) and the dead womb of Sarah. He did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God and was fully convinced that what he had promised he was also able to do. That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” But it was not for him alone that it was written that “it was credited to him”; it was also for us, to whom it will be credited, who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over for our transgressions and was raised for our justification.”
Huh! No more excuses on my part. I solemnly declare in this very public site that I cannot doubt the plan of God for my life… and such plan requires my yes to whatever He has in mind and at each present moment.
Let’s ask our Mother in this month of August to pray for us to learn to love God and neighbor as she did, and to leave ourselves behind, as she did when she took off to help her cousin.
HER FEASTS: August 2 will be the feast of Our Lady Queen of Angels, patroness of Costa Rica… August 5: the feast of Our Lady of Grace and of the Snows. August 15, we celebrate the mighty Feast of her Assumption and it is Mother’s Day in Costa Rica. August 21 is the feast of Our Lady of Knock. August 22, is the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is a mighty feast for me since in 1985, I enthroned her in my home under this title and she has done so many miracles for me in the lives of others… I have narrated such miracles in this site before. Also, little did I know that I would come to reside (4 years already and counting) in the Oakland Diocese where she is the patroness… August 26: Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa. August 28. Feast of the Dormition of Mary. Besides, on August 1 will celebrate another anniversary of my Confirmation!!!
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of His servant Israel for He has remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever. Amen