While talking to my Spiritual Director, I realized in our discussion about my daily examen, it was too focused on the negative – on sin.
Pages and pages in my journal centred on the negative. As I reflect on this, I realize my focus on sin stems from my strict Protestant upbringing. Sin and hell bent fire sermons expounding again and again human shortcomings and redemption through Jesus. My spiritual journey will look also at the positive – the goodness of God, and his amazing grace for me.
I did a little search online for a deeper and more effective way to do my Daily Examen, and share it with my readers on this post.
As I am working daily with St. Ignatius Spiritual Direction, it is normal I will share the Examen:
St. Ignatius invites us to find God in all things. That means we have to pay careful attention to how the Spirit is moving in each moment of our daily lives. We have to take a magnifying glass to the seemingly ordinary, seeking to encounter the Divine.
That’s why the Examen is such a powerful prayer. In it, we’re invited to encounter God, express gratitude for the gift and gifts of each day, and to commit to make up for any mistakes we may have made.
The Examen is a flexible prayer, too, responding to the signs of the times. Below, you’ll find several variations to meet your need in this moment.
How to Pray the Examen
1. Place yourself in God’s presence. Give thanks for God’s great love for you.
2. Pray for the grace to understand how God is acting in your life.
3. Review your day — recall specific moments and your feelings at the time.
4. Reflect on what you did, said, or thought in those instances. Were you drawing closer to God, or further away?
5. Look toward tomorrow — think of how you might collaborate more effectively with God’s plan. Be specific, and conclude with the “Our Father.”
God Bless your journey with him. Please pray for me as I pray for you. 💕🙏
Understanding Demonology and the spiritual war we are in will help us maneuver our world. It will also help each of us lead an authentic Catholic life. Sharing with my readers Fr. Chad Ripperger’s lecture on this topic. It’s almost 2 hours long, and very comprehensive based on his experience as an exorcist and demonology.
I hope I am not bombarding my readers with too much information (my priest once told me to take baby steps in teaching RCIA). The topic can be mind boggling, and most will be afraid to know or discuss this topic, but pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God Bless 🙏💕.
This past few weeks, so many around me are going through life (filled) challenges. Many are in a “clinical” depression, sad, or anxious. There are a few friends going through cancer treatments. For some, they cannot see the light and cannot grasp the inner joy within. I lack words of comfort.
For many their darkness stems from not only the death of those close to them, but from the dark cloak of secularism which has taken away their soul and replacing it with shallow emotionalism. Where has their inner joy, peace and love gone?
A young friend just lost her mom and bestie, and she asked me why she is being punished. “Where is God?” “God doesn’t exist!” She is not the only friend who has experienced the death of love ones. I can only listen and silently pray in my heart for them.
There is another recovering from addiction, and sometimes the pain is so bad she has strayed away from her program – “falling off the wagon.”
I recall Father D. Callaway, MIC once saying that therapy without healing the soul (spiritual) is ineffective. The mind and body may get better, but the spirit is weak and often times they fall back into their addiction.
How do I proactively help them? Yes, I try to listen mindfully without opening my big mouth. I give a hug. I also say a silent prayer for them asking for the light of Jesus to touch their souls. I pray for their healing, or I send them prayers to pray.
When someone is ill, praying is the last thing on their mind. When in a depression, it’s difficult to see the light. When someone is going through the pain of lost, no words can comfort. That’s why it’s up to us to pray for their healing, pray a rosary, or light a candle, or offer a mass on their behalf, and above all something I have learnt of late – to listen mindfully. With Jesus in us, this is what we are called to do.
Going through the “dark night of the soul” is real. It is also a process of drawing one nearer to God. There is a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. God is ever loving and merciful – He waits to hear from us. He waits for us to seek him to help us go through the “dark night of the soul”.
He welcomes our prays for the other.
There is also the freedom to choose. God also wants us – sick, depressed and going through life challenges – to seek him freely.
God also seeks for those in need to seek him from where they are at in their life’s journey. Following Father Mike today – Day 8 helped me understand this more fully: https://youtu.be/m6f2J4Cr3Ps
God Bless all those going through trials, illness, depression, and lost of love ones. Those of us in the faith, let us pray, pray, and pray for them. We can pray the Rosary 📿, light a candle at church, offer a mass. 🙏💕
Note: Forgive me for doing injustice to Saint John of the cross and his “dark night of the soul”. There is a multi-fold meaning to his work, and I do him a great injustice by the flippant and generalized way I am appropriating his phrase.
There are times when we need to talk to Jesus and ask for his help. It’s as simple as that, but in our brokenness, our pride gets in the way.
Or we have reached a point in our lives that we no longer believe in the good around us. Yeah, there are lots or reason why in our brokenness we don’t see. A veil of despair and disbelief covers our eyes and psychological mind-frame. There is hope!
Know that Jesus is the way!
A simple prayer for those in need:
“The Book of Psalms is a collection of cries, prayers and praise. The authors of each chapter experienced every struggle, heartache and fear imaginable. This collection of comforting verses will help guide you toward whole and complete healing.”
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” ~ Psalm 109:19-21
“LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” ~ Psalm 30:2
“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.” ~ Psalms 34:17-22
“Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” ~ Psalms 103:2-4
“Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.” ~ Psalms 6:2
“I said, “Have mercy on me, LORD; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” ~ Psalm 41:4
“Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me; LORD, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” ~ Psalms 30:10-11
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” ~ Psalms 73:26
I pray Jesus will heal your pains and troubles with his healing embrace. God Bless 🙏💕
During Covid lockdowns, I was confronted with the state of my own faith when churches literally closed their doors for worship. The advent of Covid lead to a hybrid form of worship as many religious institutions had to go virtual.
Covid was for me a time of reflection and examination of my faith, my walk with Jesus and a chance for me to make a choice – to know Jesus more intimately, love him more deeply and to follow him more closely.
However, given the many Marian apparitions and signs of the time, there will come a time of the Illumination of Conscience. I share this with my readers. It is a topic not really discussed, and in many ways, the church is reluctant to discuss it. However, it is an important revelation that needs to be discussed and told especially as we look at the signs of our time.
There is much discussion about the Illumination of Conscience. I repost the following article as it explains it more clearly than I could:
Everyone will see the state of their soul as God sees it
According to foretold prophecy, the Illumination of Conscience, or the Warning, will be an experience in which every person on earth except small children will be allowed by God to see the condition of their soul as well as their eternal destination if they were to die that day. During the Illumination of Conscience, in what will be the greatest act of His mercy, God will also convince us that He does indeed exist, and that He wants our salvation.
According to different sources, the event will be preceded by the appearance in the sky of the Cross which will be visible to all mankind.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1021 and 1022), describes the Particular Judgement, an encounter at the end of the earthly life of each human being.
(1021) “Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ. The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul–a destiny which can be different for some and for others.
(1022) “Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven, through a purification or immediately –or immediate and everlasting damnation. At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.” (St. John of the Cross)
The Illumination of Conscience was described by mystics and saints in recent Church history as God’s gracious opportunity for repentence and salvation before the Final Judgement and independent of each person’s Particular Judgement.
Saint Edmund Campion
The English martyr, St. Edmund Campion (1540-1581), appears to have been the first Catholic saint to refer to a “great day of change”. The English charged Campion with sedition, saying he threatened England with invasion by the King of Spain in order to reestablish Catholicism as the national religion. St. Edmund’s defense was that he was not threatening invasion but was referring to “a great day wherein the terrible Judge should reveal all men’s consciences and try every man of each kind of religion. This is the day of change, this is the Great Day which I threatened, comfortable to the well-being and terrible to all heretics.” (St. Edmund Campion, Cobett’s Complete Collection of State Trials, Vol. I, p. 1063).
Saint Faustina Kowalska
In her Diary, where she transcribed her mystical dialogues with Jesus, the Polish nun, St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) reported that she experienced an Illumination of Conscience.
“Once I was summoned to the judgment [seat] of God. I stood alone before the Lord. Jesus appeared such as we know him during his Passion. After a moment, his wounds disappeared except for five, those in his hands, his feet and his side. Suddenly I saw the complete condition of my soul as God sees it. I could clearly see all that is displeasing to God. I did not know that even the smallest transgressions will have to be accounted for.” (Diary, 36).
Jesus said to St. Faustina: “Write this: before I come as the Just Judge, I come as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, this sign in the sky will be given to mankind. All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the Cross will be seen in the sky, and from the holes where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth a brilliant light, which will illuminate the Earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day” (Diary, 83).
In 1945, young Grete Ganseforth, blessed with the stigmata, was one of the witnesses of apparitions in Heede, Germany. She was said to receive words from Christ which referred to a “small judgment”.
“Humanity has not listened to My holy Mother, revealed at Fatima to exhort her to do penance. So I will warn the world myself… I am all ready. The terra will shake and be shaken. It will be terrible: a small judgment! But don’t be afraid. I am with you. You will rejoice and thank Me. Those who are waiting for Me have My help, My grace, My love. But for those who are not in a state of grace, it will be frightening… I will make myself known to men. Every soul will recognize Me as its God. I come! I am at the door. The earth will shake and moan.”
At the start of the apparitions, the Bishop of Osnabrück appointed a new pastor who declared in a diocesan bulletin the supernatural character of the events in Heede. There is “undeniable evidence of the seriousness and the authenticity of these events”. In 1959, after examining the facts, the Vicariate of Osnabrück, in a letter to the clergy of the diocese, confirmed the validity of the apparitions and their supernatural origin.
Conchita in 1965
Apparitions at Garabandal, Spain (1961-1965) also prophesied a Warning. In a letter dated June 2, 1965, Conchita Gonzalez, the oldest of Garabandal’s four seers, wrote: “Before the miracle, the Virgin told me on January 1, 1965, there will be a warning that the world make amends. This Warning, like the Punishment, is very dreadful for the good and for the bad: for the good to bring them closer to God, for the bad to warn them that the end of time is coming and that these are the last warnings… It will not cause death by itself, but it is possible that some die of it so the emotion will be intense. Death would be a thousand times better. We will see that this Warning comes from God… each human being will therefore see the ugliness of his sins and their participation in the Passion of Christ.”
Don Stefano Gobbi
Forty-eight years following the prophecy of Grete Ganseforth, in 1988, a locution was received by Don Stefano Gobbi on Pentecost Sunday at Heede, Germany. The term “small judgment” was used. The Virgin Mary said: “The Holy Spirit will come to establish the glorious reign of Christ and it will be a reign of grace, of holiness, of love, of justice and of peace. With His divine love, He will open the doors of hearts and illuminate all consciences. Every person will see himself in the burning fire of divine truth. It will be like a judgment in miniature. And then Jesus Christ will bring His glorious reign in the world.”
The Warning was also revealed to Sulema Gomez, born in 1954, in El Salvador. For more than 30 years, she has lived in Canada with her husband and their two children, and has received messages from heaven since 1991. She is followed by two priests who act as spiritual directors. Here is Jesus’message on August 28, 2012:
“What will the Illumination of Conscience look like? It is a direct intervention of God, it is a purification, the first sign for all that your time is drawing to a close, that is to say the end of life as it is now. This event is a unique moment in the history of mankind. A deafening noise will be heard, and the luminous Cross will shine in the sky. It will extend from east to west to announce the proximity of the Illumination of Conscience. As soon as you see the sky darken, get down on your knees, rosary in hand, and pray, pray, pray, because everything will happen very quickly. The day will become night. As in Fatima, the sun will turn and it will go out for three hours; the moon will darken and there will be great phenomena all over the earth!
“The whole world will be turned upside down, people will believe that the end of the world has come. Fear will be dependent on the sins committed by each, the greatest destruction will be manifested in hearts. Each will live a mystical experience by which he will be able to see his state of mind in the light of divine justice, similar to the grace granted to Saul of Tarsus who was penetrated by this light. Paul obeyed the warning I gave him, he repented and became the right disciple, the apostle of the Gentiles.
“When it occurs, everything will stop, my children. It will be like fire, but it will not burn your flesh; however, you will feel it inside and out. The Holy Spirit will come as a heavenly dew of grace and fire which will renew the whole world; then your sins will be exposed to you, the good you neglected to do and the bad you have done. He will bring to light what is hidden in the darkness and he will reveal the secret intentions, for nothing will be hidden any more, not to make you suffer, but rather out of love and mercy; you will suffer because of your unconfessed sins.
“Do you understand My insistence on showing you why you have to go to the Sacrament of Penance to be ready? Otherwise, you will experience the pain of purgatory or hell. You will all see it whether you like it or not. It will be the greatest gesture of My mercy. I will give everyone one last chance.
“And, at this time, each one will be able to free himself from all his sins by going to the Sacrament of Pardon with a great repentance and the desire not to offend God any more, by rectifying his behavior, by changing his habits; or else, drag his sins with him to damnation by refusing to meet Me in the person of the priest. I will forgive everything, but you will have to repent; I will accept your return to My Sacred Heart, but you will have to come back to Me on your own.
“The outpouring of the Holy Spirit will be as strong and powerful, after the Warning, as it was at the time of the first Pentecost. What will manifest will be so great that there has never been anything like it since the world began! This event will increase your faith, it will help you draw closer to Me, it will prepare humanity to receive the messages of the Gospel.
“Why this event? Because without the knowledge of your sins, you will not be able to understand how much you need Me and My forgiveness. Do not fear, My children, those who believe in God and in My most holy Mother, those who will recognize that this comes from God, will be protected. Remember, those who will abide in My grace will have nothing to fear, nothing My children.
“Recite the Rosary, this is very important, recite the Rosary of Mercy, for I attach great graces to it. If I have come this evening to describe to you what the Illumination of Conscience, also known as the Warning, will look like, it is not to frighten you and make you lose your peace, no My children, no. It is to allow you to prepare yourselves through prayer, adoration and the sacraments, to remain in a state of grace, in this heart to heart with Me, your God, to remain safe from all danger in My Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of My most holy Mother, the Immaculate Conception.
“Prepare yourselves, my children, because your eyes will see events that no eye has ever seen before. The time is very short. Do not be afraid, be in joy, before I come as judge, I will come as King of Mercy, for you, My children of light, My little idyllic remnant that I love so much. I am close, I will never give up Mine, you, My loves. Be vigilant, do not let yourselves be distracted, “keep your lamps alight” (Lk. 12:35).
“When the Cross appears in the sky, it will be the sign of My return in glory, because I will come with it to establish my glorious reign in the world. It will be the door that opens the tomb in which lies humanity, to lead it into the Kingdom of the divine will.
“At the same time, there will be great anguish, great pain at not having received My messages and those of My Mother in time. Then it will be too late for those who will not be in a state of grace to repent, convert and do penance. Peoples of the earth, worship the Lord for He is coming! Take heart, do not fear, here comes your God! When you least expect it, the Warning will come, don’t doubt it, and you will see my Cross in heaven. What I say, I do. Be blessed in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit. Amen, hallelujah.”
In a message given on February 19, 2011, Jesus said to Sulema: “The days go by and people do not want to prepare to purify the state of their souls. They continue to live as if nothing was going to happen, but, in truth, I tell you my child: the day of the Illumination of Conscience is fast approaching! It will come like a thief (Rev. 3:3). As in Noah’s time (Gn. 7) people continue to drink, eat, feast without taking Us seriously, without taking the time to try to be in a state of grace, without taking the time to put themselves in service attire (Lk. 12: 35) so that the Lord and their God may find them with their lamps well lit and with a good supply of the oil of faith.”
On May 21, 2011, Mary said to Sulema: “Like a good mother, I want to prepare you to live this great event of the Illumination of Consciences in peace, in surrender to the Divine Will. It will be a movement of love and mercy where all the children of the earth must enter to experience this moment, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Your hearts must open to welcome the necessary graces, without which you will be unable to live this supernatural experience well. For your souls will be in the presence of the glory, the majesty, the omnipotence of God the Son who comes to show you the state of your lives, to show you where your sins have led you. Then everyone will know where to go.”
After reading about the Warning, do you know what you must do? Go to the confessional to be freed from the chains of sin and restore a state of grace and friendship with God! Do not risk separation from Him for eternity if physical death strikes. Whether or not one is vaccinated against the coronavirus, or not, this great event will happen to each human being one day!
There is time – to get our faith in order and on solid grounds with Jesus. Please take the time to pray to Jesus and ask for his mercy and forgiveness.
So many young people today are grappling with finding love in all the wrong places. A discussion on sex and sexuality with any youth or young adult will find their perception of love based on the distorted narratives of our secular world. Those who believe in man and woman as created by God are cancelled.
Not only do apps and social media forums make it easy for fast hook up and non committal sex, but the true meaning of God’s gift of love and relationships have been abandoned. Instant self gratification is the populous mantra.
In the resource section is a free pdf, Call to Love: John Paul II’s Theology of Human Love:
It’s been a heartfelt and spiritual journey this week reflecting on Jesus Christ’s last days before his crucifixion. I feel there is a sadness in Christ knowing that Judas was seduced by Satan and betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver.
The king takes the role of servant. There is also a great sense of humbleness and humility in our beloved Christ washing the feet of his disciples.
In the Gospel, Matthew 20:28, Jesus came “not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus taking a towel and basin expresses His deep humbleness and it foreshadowed His ultimate act of humility and love on the cross – and the washing away our sins.
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.” For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”