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!):
“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
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.”
Satan works very hard to create a wedge in our relationship with God. God created us out of love, and He created us in his own likeness. One of the essences of this is we are meant to have a deep relationship with our Almighty Father. Satan has nothing except intense jealous for us. Satan has since the beginning used his tricks to endanger and sever this relationship. He was successful in the Fall of our first parents – Adam and Eve.
God wants us to continue to grow in faith, hope and love. He desires us to know his son Jesus, more deeply and intimately. Satan on the other hand, works hard to lead us off course and fall out of step with Christ. As we grow in spiritual life, Satan becomes more insistent in his attacks and tactics. Sometimes, his attacks are so subtle, it requires our ability to discern if it is indeed good or evil:
It is characteristic of God and his angels, by the motions they cause, to give genuine happiness and spiritual joy, and thereby to banish any sadness and turmoil induced by the enemy. It is characteristic of the enemy to fight against this happiness and spiritual consolation, by using specious reasonings, subtleties, and persistent deceits (Spiritual Exercise 329)
Hence, we must never stop praying, for it is our souls calling to God. With time and experience, we learn to “follow the lead of the good spirit and, conversely, to resist acting on the movement of the evil spirit” (The Ignatian Adventure, pg. 148)
14 Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, 16 and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
Preparations for the Passover.
17 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”’” 19 The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.
20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” 23 He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. 24 The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.” 25 Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”
I wasn’t sure how I would share this with my readers, but I must, and let you be the judge and discern. Exactly a year ago I had a prophetic dream. I often get them, and when I do they are usually messages for others especially concerning their health.
I won’t interpret these dreams, and hope they can be a source of inspiration for each in walking more closely with God, and pray for Humanity. Our creation was based on God’s immense love for us. Our role was to care for his creation.
Before Easter last year, I had a dream of a haggard woman pushing a broken carriage with a dead baby across a desolate landscape. Below this land, there lived a woman alone in some vaulted space. On the ground were rolls and rolls of circular holes out of which sprung young plant life of all kinds. Here the air was clear. The woman (me) underground was discovered by a soldier. He assured me I will be safe, and would not disclose my location.
This time last year my dream centred around an image of the universe – an indigo blue alighted with stars. A golden grid divided this space and on the other side of this were translucent bubbles. There were millions upon millions of these bubbles housing what seem to be souls. These bubbles were blocked by a golden grid and could not enter into the other side. It was a very visual dream. I remember waking up and asking God what to do with this dream. While praying I was told to tell my deacon this dream. My deacon emailed me two weeks later. The dream was meaningful for him.
However as I think about this dream, it has grace implications for humanity.
There are cameras everywhere, but I have learnt how to avoid them. Walking on the street in an awkward position (bent over) so as the cameras could not capture my face. However I was being watched by someone monitoring the area from a secure place.
I remember telling a friend about this dream and she also had a dream the same night. In her dream, she dreamt of ballon’s tied to people and it controlled their movement.
I am sleeping in a narrow bed with a stranger. There was no other room, and many had to make do to sleep where they can. I walk a ways and visit a camp where I meet former students. It is good to see them and I embrace them in a warm hug. They cannot leave this place. Those I know in this camp are of a specific religious group. I leave them and think of a time past, when we were free to go wherever we want.
I have had many dreams lately, and many I can’t remember – other times, I’ll get a memory or a glimpse, but I do know one was of a chastisement – I recall talking to my priest about it. It is so pertinent now for each of us to pray for peace. To pray for humanity. To pray for God’s hand in our battle against good and evil. Yes, we are in a spiritual warfare.
I can personally say that Satan is active, and it’s important we pray for God’s blessing on mankind.
Please pray specifically that Easter, and especially Monday can be celebrated in peace and love. Let us pray so that with all our voices lifted to heaven, Satan and any evil plans are crushed by the foot of our beloved Mother Mary.
As part of sharing my love for Jesus and meditating on his journey to the cross with my family, I read todays lectionary with my daughter this morning. I gave her a little background on Judas and Peter – one who betrayed Jesus, while the other denied him. Before I could go on one of my rants, my daughter tells me, “Mom, I know!” I think a bad habit I have is to repeat myself thinking my kids are not listening, when in fact they are.
Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant. One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him, “Master, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.” So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him. Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or to give something to the poor. So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.
When he had left, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.”
Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.” Peter said to him, “Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”