Finding that balance that only God can give me is finding time for prayer. Why pray? Pray puts me before the divine light of God, and it is only in him with the Holy Spirit moving in me that I can find healing from my own depraved desires and obsessions. Without Jesus as my role model, and the spirit of his guidance, I would have long ago been sucked into the darkness that seduces my soul.
I can understand the trials many saints have gone through especially when their words can touch the core of my being. In An Introduction To The Devout Life – St. Francis de Sales, (p. 61) writes:
“Prayer brings our mind into the brightness of divine light, and exposes our will to the warmth of divine love. Nothing else can so purge our mind from its ignorance, and our will from its depraved affections. It is a blessed fountain which, as it flows, revives our good desires and causes them to bring forth fruit, washes away the stains of infirmity from our soul, and calms the passions of our hearts.”
I have to share this video by Father Mike. He had me smiling all the way through it. His honesty and humility shines through as he shares his story about his tattoo.
When I was a teenager, I use to wear a heart shaped patch on my jeans. Embroidered on it was “Jesus Loves You,” and I recall many happy memories of my youth in those jeans. When I got older, I somehow lost that carefreeness and became much more reserved. Today, wearing religious symbols is rare and often for fashion and not based on a religious commitment or belief. Getting a tattoo – I think it’s cool. I’m too old now. Also, I can imagine the teasing I’ll get from my own kids – thinking mom has gone bonkers!
Father Mike’s love for Jesus shines (I give him a thumbs up!):
There is a wonderful simplicity in this statement, that it is easy to miss the essence and profoundness of this message. How do I imagine or even grasp visually, intellectually or even emotionally not only who God is, but what does the phrase – “God is love” mean?
God’s love for me, you and each of us, can be found in the very first verse in the first book of the Bible:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit[c] of God was moving over the face of the waters.Genesis 1:1-2
When I really think about it, God the holy immortal one, did not have to create the world and humanity. He did. He created all out of love. It’s really profoundly simple: “God is Love.”
I can see him in the sky and in the soft fluffy clouds over yonder, and I can see him in the children playing in the park. I can hear God in the birds chirping and tweeting at the first ray of light. God is in the grass beneath my feet as I play catch with my dog. I see him in the ants crawling around their ant mound, or I see him in the trees that stretch outwards reaching out for the sun. I see him in the house plants that adorn my home, and in the seedlings and their sprouting stems as they lean towards the light. I see God’s presence everywhere, and I feel him with every changing tide and nuances in the movement of the moon as day change into night.
God is everywhere – and all the beauty around us is a testament of his everlasting love for us. He is in the beauty in each of us, in our children, in our community, in the our own outpouring of love for others.
Just as God is love, we are created in “imago Dei” – image of God. We in turn share in the beauty of life – in the creation of life in the womb. I had drawn and painted this earlier this week. After looking at it for the past few days, there is even beauty in it’s messy playfulness of color and scrawls.
Having my own quiet time is an important part of my daily walk with Jesus. The pass several weeks, this includes time to draw, sketch or paint. Today, I imagined what my quiet and private space looks like.
Jesus often spent time alone with his Father:
35 And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35
In my busy world trying to keep up my mom face, keeping positive, and, juggle all facets of daily life, I don’t allow myself the time to be think, reflect, be sad, down, or even depressed. These days, I take some time and do exactly that – allowing myself to say – I don’t feel too happy today. I feel achy and my joints hurt. I’m feeling sad! Time to cry! Taking ownership of these negative feelings allows me to own it and give them up to Jesus.
Yup, there is time spend on prayer, in reading the scripture, but time spent owning the “bad, good and the ugly”,” and giving it up to Christ gives me a sense of release and peace.
I just prayed this tonight, and it was so beautiful, it’s definitely a must share. It was a part of the EWTN at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy at Stockbridge, Mass (https://www.thedivinemercy.org/):
“The best lay plans often goes astray,” and thank God for never failing me. A crazy few days and last minute family chaos, son and car issues, rescheduling and the mores, I thank God for His love of each and everyone of us.
God is consistent and never fails us:
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Hebrews 13:8 RSCV
4 …God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, Ephesians 2:4 RSCV
Wow, I never pictured myself the bride walking towards Jesus (the groom) in the Holy Eucharist. I will forever have this imagine in my mind when I attend mass. Father Chris’ homily today is truly God speaking to me (and you) today!
God’s Divine Mercy Sunday completes the Easter Octave, and it’s His gift for all of us – to come before Him and to say – Jesus, I am sorry for my sins. I ask for your grace of forgiveness.
Father Chris’ homily is enlightening and inspirational. It is much needed spiritual nourishment for my soul. He explains clearly the meaning of God’s Divine Mercy, and the church (me and each of us) the bride: