“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
Mary Magdalene loved Jesus. When Jesus casted out all the demons from her life, she was healed and began a new life:
“Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. There Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out…” Luke 8:1-2
I can imagine how difficult her life must have been before she met Jesus. Due to her psychological mind frame, she must have been scorned by all, and probably lived in isolation.
Her sadness upon discovering Jesus’ body gone must have distressed her, and seeing Christ, I can imagine her running to him and holding Him tightly in an embrace.
Jesus asks, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
His wounds fresh, Jesus tells her, “Stop holding on to me.” Jesus had not ascended yet. He gives Mary Magdalene a mission.
My question to myself is, “What mission does Jesus give me?”
How do I feel about the resurrected Christ? How has it changed my life?
As part of my Art Therapy session today, I was asked, “how would I imagine myself as a landscape?” My thoughts drifted to Mary Magdalene, her search for Jesus when she thought He was gone, and then running off to share the good news. I closed my eyes and imagine my arms outstretched embracing the world sharing the light of Christ.
Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her.
I know my “Happy” Holy Week makes me sound like an oxymoron, especially as we focus on Christ’s journey to the cross, and in light of what our Lord went through at the hands of not only the principality that washed their hands and handed him over to the Pharisee, Sadducee and mob, but it is also a time to meditate on the passion – the horrendous pain and sacrifices he made for us – it was not at all “happy.” I like to focus and look at the love of our Father, and his divine mercy for each of us so that through the blood of his son, Jesus, we may be renewed and saved from our sin.
So happy it is as we celebrate and thank our Holy Father for sending us his son. A love of a father who wanted to see his children set free from the chains of sin. Rejoice in Christ, for only one drop of his blood is enough for the salvation of all humanity. Thank you for this gift, which we cannot repaid except through our own devotion and obedience to the divine will of God.
This week, let us focus on the last week of Jesus’ life on earth, as he journeyed towards the cross, the pain and the suffering, as well as his obedience to the Father, and his ultimate sacrifice for each of us.
Meditation for Monday
Gospel Jn 12:1-11
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.
Reading the Bible and meditating on God’s word has helped me establish a deeper relationship with him. Reading and rereading a Bible verse over a period of a few days and visualizing it within my minds eye (placing myself in the scene/words), allows me to pray and meditate over a word or phrase which pops out at me. Sitting in silent prayer allows the Holy Spirit to pour forth graces of understanding and insight.
For many coming to know Jesus, the Bible is a source of not only comfort, but a foundation in our faith journey. It helps us stand strong in our faith, so that life’s curve balls don’t strike us down. From my own personal experience, knowing specific Bible verses has helped me overcome doubt, spiritual attacks, and depression. Specific Bible verses have saved me from myself.
I have compiled Bible verses for those on their faith journey. My hope is that these verses will help each of us establish a deeper relationship in our daily walk with God.
christ the center
2 Corinthians 5:17 (RSVCE)
17 Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.
Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST
Romans 12:1 (RSVCE)
12 I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
John 14:21 (RSVCE)
21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
Joshua 1:8 (RSVCE)
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.
2 Timothy 3:16 (RSVCE)
6 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
John 15:7 (RSVCE)
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
Philippians 4:6-7 (RSVCE)
6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
1 John 1:3 (RSVCE)
3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Planting seeds/working for God
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
1 Corinthians 15:58
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
I asked my Spiritual Director, “Why don’t we learn from history (WW1 and 2)?” Her response, “We don’t, each generation has to relearn.” Her response struck a chord within me. Sadly, I have got to say there is much truth to her statement. History repeated is basically the history of human civilization.
Each generation has to relearn how to deal with the challenges that befalls their lives (their country and the world). The sins of the father is often repeated.
In Jesus, we can trust that He is unchanging:
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.Hebrews 13:8 NRSVC
Hence the world may change and fall into turmoil, and repeat the sins of the past, but God remains the same – yesterday, today, forever. Yes, we will have moments of doubt and darkness. I admit I have been questioning my own faith lately, but realize that is exactly what Satan wants. Satan wants confusion, division, doubt and fear. These are energies that feed his vile appetite.
I can only battle this by keeping Jesus centered in my live, and living out God’s divine will.
Stand firm in God’s plan is paramount:
11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.Jeremiah 29:11.
If God has plans for me and you, imagine His grip over the world. “He’s got the whole world in His hands!”
I often think of Job and his trial.
In Job 8:8, in fact the whole chapter, there is a long reply from Bildad the Shuhite about the importance of respecting history and the seeds of wisdom that comes from our past. In fact many came to see Job and brought with them their points of view and explanation as to why Job was suffering. Not one of them prayed or asked God. In fact they did not know God. Each visitor was unable to understand God’s divine hand in Job’s life.
42 Then Job answered the Lord:
2 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4 ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’ 5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; 6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42 NRSVC
Indeed we do not learn from our past, each generation has to relearn life lessons – life is after all a journey of not only individuals, but communities, but countries. In a life without Jesus, we become empty shells looking towards the world to fill it. With Christ within, we can live our life in faith, hope and charity – and look forward to a life in God’s Kingdom.
One last word, I often think abut the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. In Matthew 16:19. The rich man begs Abraham to send someone from the dead to warn his family of the consequences of sin. (Abraham) said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:19-31.
Through our prayers, we can help avert the dangers that befalls our world. Marian apparitions throughout history has always come with grave warnings of impending danger to our humanity. At all times, they are warnings and calls to return to God. They are request by Mother Mary to pray daily on our own, as country, or as a community for God’s Divine Mercy.
It is easy to feel a sense of doom especially in light of the many events that has happened within the last two years. It is just as easy to fall into a depression, and take on an attitude that one can do nothing.
A mother’s love is great, and Mother Mary has come time and time again to warn us to ask for the diversion of impeding disasters through prayer, and turning back from our sins. She reminds us to embrace the Divine Mercy of God. Pray the Rosary daily. Pray for love and peace as a community, with a friend, with your family, or on your own:
The Hail Mary
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
We must denied ourselves and take up the cross of Jesus Christ.
33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his[righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
To deny our disorders, laziness, our distractedness and inordinate comforts. Denying all those things that keep us from prayer, worship and time with God. The temptation is there, and we need overrun the evil one with God’s help by taking up the cross (Ralph Martin – Run: You Can!)
Choose God, choose faith, choose to take up the cross and pray unceasingly.
Times like these will tempt our faith. They will make us doubt. There is a battle going on between good and evil. Run to Jesus with every breathe and with every step. I always imagine within my mind’s eye of stomping on the serpent’s head – with God’s help (Genesis 3:15, Revelation 12:1-6).
Be open to receiving God’s grace to that we can let go of all the burdens that weights us down.
Hope, Faith, and Charity.
Jesus, I trust in you.
Posted below are a few videos by Mark Goring, Father Chris Alar and Ralph Martin that I compiled in the hope of easing your fears, anxieties and stress for present world events. They are a reminder that Mother Mary loves her children, and needs our help in prayer. They remind us to take up the cross for Jesus. This means denying the secularism that has pushed God and all sense of spirituality into the back burners of our lives.
God Bless 💖Let us all cone together in prayer.
Mark Goring on Prophesy and Marian Apparition in Kiev
Father Chris – Explaining the Faith – Ukraine, Russia, Fatima: What Heaven is Telling Us
The past week has been like an emotional roller coaster ride – my mind, body and soul suffering a sense of disconnection. My body, mind and heart unable to process and grapple with the state of our world – the reality and the possibility of doom. My heart and body felt anxious and restless as I contemplated the outbreak of war – the events in the Ukraine exploded just as in Canada and other parts of the world are still dealing with the consequences of Covid mandates. In Canada, we were still coming to terms with issues of freedom. There is also the threat of China invading Taiwan.
I felt the hand of Satan stroking the fire and manipulating the powers that be, where innocent people are sandwiched between two evils. I understand that things must play out according to God’s plan – we are in a spiritual war. God has given each of us the freedom to chose. Some chose Satan while others chose God.
I recall when Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days, and Satan offered Him wealth, prestige, and a kingdom:
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” Matthew 4:8-10
To chose that which is good and respectful of the dignity of mankind is also a choice. Sometimes what is thought to be for the good is a subjective perception – just saying – it is a selfish subjective truth that is not God’s righteousness and truth.
I spent the past week getting myself out of despair – my inner demons. With it also came the insightful reality that dwelling on all this is not conducive to the soul. In fact it takes me away from focusing on God.
I realize that to live in this world, having God with me is the only way to live. More importantly, it is to trust only in Him. God has the whole world in His hands:
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Isaiah 40:12
God Bless and let us rejoice in living with Jesus💖
There are some mornings when I wake up and I am more tired then when I went to bed. I recall waking up a few times during the night with vivid images from a dream – disturbing – it was like I was in some spiritual saga – a battle. Each time I woke up, I prayed and fell back to sleep.
Upon awakening, I recall flashes of my dream, but then by the time I have my first coffee, I can’t remember them.
After a somewhat choppy morning prayer, I was looking for inspiration to complement my grunt of a prayer. I came across St. Catherine of Siena’s quote (the image above).
I call this a gentle nudge from God. It is His way of reminding me (and us) of his amazing grace and hand in my (our) life (lives). “He will provide the way and the means…”
No matter how terrible my night was, I can rest assure of God’s protection:
Assurance of God’s Protection
1 You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, 2 will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” 3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; 4 he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, 6 or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, 10 no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.
14 Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. 15 When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. 16 With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.