Mary’s Visit

How do I share the Gospels with my friends and family?

For those of us who walk with Jesus, grace overflows within us, and it is only natural we want to share and embrace those around us into our joy. Jesus changes us. Jesus has healed us. It is natural we want to let others know.

The journey to the cross has been a long and winding one for me. When I think about it, Jesus has always been with me – at times walking beside me, and at other times holding me in His embrace as I meandered here and there in secular life. There were many times, I pushed Jesus away. He was always there. When I was ready – I fell upon His feet – humbled and in awe – for finally, I was ready to submit all of me to Him.

Healing comes from the grace of God – “a stronger ME in my own existence.”

A sketch for my series “a stronger ME in my own existence.” May 24, 2021

Healing from Jesus is the willingness on my part to give into God’s will for me, and to be guided by the Holy Spirit. For my own journey with Jesus, this means daily meditation and contemplation into His words – The Bible and in prayer. In the beginning it was daunting to find a starting point, and there are many vehicles to guide us. I chose to follow along daily with The Bible in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz) – available in many podcast online. Having the Sacraments became important to me, and I try to make it to mass at my local parish at least once or twice a week, but when I can’t receive the Holy Eucharist daily, I watch online via Divine Mercy – YouTube. Sometimes I watch the morning mass broadcast online from my local parish (Holy Name of Jesus Parish | Laval, QC, St. Ignatius of Loyola MTL | You Matter to God. You Matter to Us. (stig.ca).

Prayer is the most important part of my walk with Jesus. Each morning I take the time to praise and talk to Him. I also pray the Rosary after. This sounds like a routine, but it works for me. Praying the Rosary is an important part of getting to know Jesus. It is through contemplating the mysteries of each decade that I have come to have deeper insights into the passion of Jesus. I find when I let the Holy Spirit guide me in prayer, there is a rich understanding and depth into the life of Jesus that is heart felt.

Coming from a Protestant background that denied Mary’s holiness, finding the Holy Virgin Mary through the Rosary was an intense awakening for me. It gave me a Holy Mother who bespeaks to me the importance of being thoughtful and mindful.

I have got to say that I feel such a burst of joy within me, that it is only natural to want to share that light with others around me, especially those with whom I love, and with friends with whom I know are having challenges in their lives. It is natural I want to share with them the wonderful love and grace of Jesus. I want to shout out and let those around me know that in Jesus, there is Divine Mercy – forgive and healing.

Well, I have come to realize that sharing the Gospel means praying for them – those around us may be too invested in the secular world to want to hear about Jesus. I know I was! They may not be at a point in their life journey to think about their soul or eternity. They want to enjoy the now.

I invited many to join Alpha, and even after sharing my own story, not one of my friends or family members signed up. It took me some time to realize that they just were not ready, or too invested in “life” to want to know about Jesus. Their “no”, had me reflect upon my own journey to Jesus. I thought about my mom who never stopped praying for me.

How I can be effective is be a light through my own example – in the way I live my life – and continue to pray, love and care for those around me in my own actions, words, understanding and kindness. When others are ready or being called by Jesus, perhaps then, I will be the one used by Him to be there for them as one of the many “angels” there for them when they are at a crossroad.

Jesus, I trust in You 💖

Sharing with you an awesome homily from Fr. Chris on Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke 1:39-56)

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Mary’s Song of Praise

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
    and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

This post is part of my series on Holy Virgin Mary. Here is a link to all the post:

Mary’s Month – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Mary’s Trust – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Mary’s Thought – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Why Mary? – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Know Mary – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Who is Mary? – Be Inspired! (rejoiceandpraise.ca)

Mary’s Month

Ways to Celebrate Mary’s Month

(https://www.motherteresa.org/)

There are many ways to celebrate this particular devotion. Most churches have a daily recitation of the rosary. Some include the crowning of Our Lady’s statue. The important thing is that Mary be honored in a special way. At one time, the domestic celebrations of the month of May were widespread, especially by setting up a small May altar in the home.

♦Consecration and Entrustment to Mary

♦Litanies of the Blessed Virgin Mary

♦Akathist Hymn to the Most Holy Mother of God (the Theotokos)

♦The Holy Rosary

♦The Regina Coeli

 ♦Holy Rosary

 

Saint Teresa of Calcutta:

“During this beautiful month of Our Lady, let us crown her with  fragrant flowers – the flowers of love, gentleness, meekness and  humility for one another, and ask Jesus to be truly a cause of joy to her as He was.” (From her letters)

Let’s take time each day and venerate our beloved Mother Mary.

God Bless 💖

Let Me

Photo by Vaishakh pillai on Unsplash

My loving Jesus,

let me help you carry Your cross

and share in some of Your pain

my sin a heavy burden

Am i worthy – i am broken

i am bond in this temporal space

mold me within Your will

fill this barren vessel

my soul raised out of the dark night

your hands reaches for me

You exist within and without

cradled in Your infinite love

let me wipe away your pain

hold you in my arms

let me comfort you

let me wrap You in my love

Within my minds eye

i can see in that dark space

sense, body and mind

transcends beyond the stars

God Bless all this Holy Thursday 💖

My Favorite Prayer

Photo from St. Ignatius, Montreal

Veni, Sancte Spiritus
(Come, Holy Spirit)


Come, Holy Spirit,
send down those beams,
which sweetly flow in silent streams from Thy bright throne above.


O come, Thou Father of the poor;
O come, Thou source of all our store, come, fill our hearts with love.


O Thou, of comforters the best,
O Thou, the soul’s delightful guest, the pilgrim’s sweet relief.


Rest art Thou in our toil, most sweet refreshment in the noonday heat; and solace in our grief.

O blessed Light of life Thou art; fill with Thy light the inmost heart of those who hope in Thee.


Without Thy Godhead nothing can, have any price or worth in man, nothing can harmless be.

Lord, wash our sinful stains away, refresh from heaven our barren clay, our wounds and bruises heal.

To Thy sweet yoke our stiff necks bow, warm with Thy fire our hearts of snow, our wandering feet recall.

Grant to Thy faithful, dearest Lord, whose only hope is Thy sure word, the sevenfold gifts of grace.
Grant us in life Thy grace that we, in peace may die and ever be,
in joy before Thy face.


Amen. Alleluia.

Today I wanted to share with you this beautiful prayer, “Come, Holy Spirit”. It’s become one of my daily prayers. I discovered this prayer as a part of my Lent reading and following the, Consecration to St. Joseph by Father Donald H. Calloway.

God Bless everyone as we share and discover our own favorite prayer 💖

Seed of Lies

Keeping Jesus in the center of my life is a choice. It is what I pray for daily. Why? Because the seduction of evil permeates all facets of our lives.

There was a time when money, work (I was a workaholic), the latest trend, hype fashion, and shopping was the center of my universe. It was all about me and what I wanted.

When did all that change?

I am not sure. In fact I think it was a gradual transformation. The realization I wanted something more out of life than my quest for “knowledge”, “things” and satisfying my “needs”. Perhaps it’s my journey from being a prodigal daughter to mother. I am not sure anymore, but I do know it started with wanting to leave a legacy for my children that will steer them away from the struggles I went through. I want them to lead a good life. I hope they walk a straight path rather than a meandering one filled with painful spiritual battles, sin, and mental challenges. I want to be able to guide them to lead meaningful lives.

Lies in our midst

The world we live in has been tainted by the dark hand of Satan. Everywhere we look, whether it be mass marketing, the media, social media, television, or online, everything has been permeated with a seed of evil. We see it in every facet of our lives. To be able to discern the truth from all the trash around us, requires our veils to be lifted. It is only then, that all lies can be exposed. It can be difficult to discern when the truth is persuasively interwoven with lies. Lies are cloaked in so called documentaries, films, novels, talk shows, YouTube, news, academic writing, etc.

Remember when Satan first appeared to Eve. The serpent was so conniving and convincing that before she had the time to think about it, she was seduced into believing his warped logic. This has not changed in our world. Today, any lie can be reinforced with quasi truth. In turn, seeds of these lies spread quickly – online. Catholicism, Jesus, our Holy Mother, is attacked time and time again with these quasi truth and lies. An online search can bring up many examples of this. There are just as many novels and movies that deconstructs and mars it with beguiling lies. Watching or reading some of this material seem to be plausible and true. It may even sound logical. Through skilled writing, many of these discourses propagate lies. This is how Satan works. The master of lies. A person reading or watching these movies can easily fall prey to these lies and even embrace these sacrilegious idiom. There are just as many academic researchers whose running critique on the Bible and on Catholicism seem to be based on sound research. The key word here is “seems” and “appears’ to be plausible. Any thesis or conjecture backed up with documentation can seem to be real. It is only with close examination (with the help of the Biblical truths, and filled with the Holy Spirit) that the lies can be exposed. Yes, lies can be very convincing! They use all kinds of examples and conjectures to prove their point. The populous watching or reading this material will find it believable.

Be aware that Satan rules over this world. He delights in planting doubtful seeds in our mind.

Parable of the Sower

Sowing of doubt is abound in our world, and many who are not grounded in their faith will be sweep away. Jesus warned of this in his parable of the sower:

And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!” Matthew 13: 3-9

It grieves my heart that my own husband after watching one of these so called documentary on Netflix believed the cleverly planted lies. Evil seduces us from every facet of our lives, and sometimes our fortitude is not strong enough to overcome it. Instead of refuting and arguing with him about the nature of all these lies, and getting into a dispute, I told him to stay grounded in Jesus. I also took some time to pray for him, and asked Jesus to open his heart to the truth. Remember Satan will attack those closest to us.

Ask, Search, Knock

‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Stay centered upon the word of God, and in the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help us discern especially in light of all the seductive lies in our world. Read about the lives of Saints and how they personally battled spiritual demons. Pray!

Prayers

Aside:

The sinner in me seeks forgiveness, and asks for God’s grace and mercy:

A moment I am not proud of, and ashamed of: My advice to my own son when he was in High School, “You can convince anyone of anything with skillful writing and using data/examples to back your theory/thesis/objective.” “Language is a game”, I recall telling him (Wittgenstein).

God Bless 💖

Starting Point

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

How do I talk to God?

I love my daughters’ definition about prayer. Her answer is so simple and succinct, “I don’t pray, I talk to God.” Her little statement enlists from me much food for thought. Each of us have our own journey with God. The very fact that it is immensely personal, makes it unique and different for each of us.

How do I start?
Relationships in life takes time to build.  Prayer is very much the same.  When we meet someone, not all of us have the skills to effectively communicate with ease.  I am an introvert, and simple conversation is a source of stress for me. Being able to talk with ease is also relationship building. Trust is also one of the important foundations in relationship building.

When it comes to prayer, it is easy to say, “Jesus, I trust you!”  Living it takes time.  Blind trust is not something all can do, and like our relationships, it requires time and effort.  Often, it is only during a crisis or when we are suffering that we call out in prayer.  For many this is how prayer and talking to God starts.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

How often have we called to God when we are scared? How often have I called to Him for help when the tunnel ahead looks dim? Yeah, I call to God when I was facing a crisis! This changed when I made the conscious decision to draw nearer to God, and turn away from my life of sin. Seeking for forgiveness, and then asking God to take the lead. “Help me be the person you meant me to be, ” I recall praying.

The video link below is one of the best discussions I have seen on prayer, and explains it much better than I would. I can only reiterate that prayer is an important part of my own spiritual growth and walk with Jesus Christ.

The video link is a very good start in understanding why prayer is an important part of our spiritual growth and relationship with our Almighty.

This YouTube video is from this article on prayer is from this post:
Don’t Give Up on Prayer: What St. Faustina Said About the Power of Prayer in Suffering | (churchpop.com)

The Ease Of Using Apps

Our youths today spend a great amount of time online. They communicate by adding “likes” to postings on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat. There is minimal communication and interaction. As we move farther away from communicating in the physical and towards communication via online, we also lose the skills to communicate, that is to talk, to share our thoughts and ideas. Today’s communication becomes etherized in images, emojis, or one liner.

As I have discussed in other post, we live in a Hybrid world that fuses the real with online realities. There are many apps available to help us with prayer, and I have linked a few below. Why use an apps? Prayer apps are a great way to integrate prayers and conversations with God into our prayer life. We already use devices, and some of these apps like Our Story – Hallow is a great way to start. There are 1 minute mediations for those who literally don’t have the time to pray. They can over time develop into longer prayer time. What is important is to start, and if it means starting from a 1 minute meditation, then why not?

When you feel you don’t have time to pray, it usually means you need to talk to God. Go small and build up your prayer life. The very act of taking that first step will lead to many more steps, and before you know it, you will feel the Hand of the Holy Spirit moving you towards greater depth in prayer.

Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash


Here is a list of the best Catholic Apps: 

Catholic Apptitude | A testament to digital ministry | The Best List of Top Catholic Apps | Prayer Apps   

I personally use the two apps from Divine Mercy:  

Divine Mercy App | The Divine Mercy  (Divine Mercy Chaplet)
Apps | Marians of the Immaculate Conception (Basic Rosary)

Apps | Marians of the Immaculate ConceptionMary App. A complete resource for information on Our Lady and a guide to Marian devotion. Includes Marian prayers and an interactive Rosary. Free from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.www.marian.org
Divine Mercy App | The Divine MercyThe Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, who have promoted the authentic message of Divine Mercy since 1941, are pleased to release the OFFICIAL Divine Mercy App. This FREE app offers the complete Divine Mercy message and devotion in an easy to navigate format. The app has three main chapters with these features: (Screenshots from Android) THE MESSAGE Introduction towww.thedivinemercy.org

Rosary Apps: 

‎Holy Rosary – Standard Edition on the App Store (apple.com)The Holy Rosary – Apps on Google Play

The Holy Rosary – Apps on Google PlayThe Holy Rosary that automatically selects the mysteries by day with beautiful illustrations that accompany prayer. In the application there are also The Divine Mercy Chaplet and the main christian prayers. For those who have Android 6 or later, go to SETTINGS \ APP, select the App The Holy Rosary, go PERMITS, and enable STORAGE. If you would like to report a prayer, devotion, etc., you can do …play.google.com

Praying the Rosary on YouTube:

This is also available on Apple music, which is easily download – free if you have the plan or at a cost of a few dollars.  Great to listen to anywhere – car, walk, or walking the dog, etc.

17 Minute Rosary – Sorrowful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloud

17 Minute Rosary – Sorrowful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloudHoly Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday and Friday) A 17 minute version of the Rosary as heard on Relevant Radio daily at 9pm-9:30pm ET / 8pm-8:30pm CTsoundcloud.com

17 Minute Rosary – Joyful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloud

17 Minute Rosary – Joyful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloudGenre Rosary Comment by jo ki. Thank you this have been helping me so much . 2020-06-16T04:06:52Z Comment by danny. @rmmp62: its women. 2020-05-18T21:14:41Z Comment by user761734792. Jesus loves yousoundcloud.com

Relevant Radio has many you can chose from, just click one of the above and you will see others listed.

Hope this helps.  God Bless💖

He Hears Us

As my 14 year old daughter was preparing for bed the other night, I quietly reminded her, “Don’t forget to say your prayers”. Her response to me was, “Mom, I don’t pray to God, I talk to Him”. As much as I wanted to give her my two cents worth of insights, and share my own prayer experiences, I held back. Why?

She has her personal journey with Jesus. It is different from mine. She “owns” it so to speak through her prayer, and this makes it real for herself. Does it matter how she communicates with Jesus? As a parent, I can guide from behind the scenes – stealth mode. I pray for the hand of God, Holy Mary, and all the Angels and Saints to protect her from the clutches of Satan’s guiles (this can come from television, social media, etc.) as she journeys with Jesus.

My daughter is also absolutely right, praying is talking to God. Her way of communicating with God is personal and private. As I reflect on my own prayer life today, and how I use to pray in the past, I see a transformation in my prayer life as my own faith grew. Prayer is synchronous with my own growth and development as a Christian. From awkward prayers to free flowing lucid ones – “I don’t know what to say to Jesus!” – to sincerely heart felt prayers that often have me in tears before our Savior.

Prayer is also related to our own personal experiences. Each of us experiences and makes sense of our world based on different sets of lens. Our worldviews and the way we see things changes as we ourselves change and adjust to our environment. Prayer is much the same. It grows, expands along with our own sensitivities and life experiences.

Faith, Hope, Love!

Jesus, I trust in You!

Prayer is our dialogue with the Almighty. Through prayer, we acknowledge He is our God. He hears us.

The story of Esther in the Old Testament is a testament to this:

Queen Esther’s Prayer  

Esther C: 14-25, 14:4-9

“My Lord, our King, You alone are our God.
Please help me, for I am alone and I have no one else
but You to turn to; my life is in danger.
As a child I was always told by the people of the land
of my forefathers that You, O Lord, chose Israel
from among all peoples and designated our fathers
from among all their ancestors as a perpetual heritage,
and that all of Your promises to them were fulfilled.
Now, however, we have sinned in Your sight
by worshiping the gods of our enemies,
and You have delivered us into their hands
because You are just, O Lord …
Do not forget us, O Lord.
Be present to us in the time of our distress and grant me courage,
O King of gods and Ruler of every earthly power …
Save us by Your power, and come to my aid,
for I am alone and have no one but You on whom to depend, O Lord.”
Amen.

God hears!

Yes, and He answers Esther’s call for help by softening the King’s heart. Esther was also able to reveal to the King the treachery that belies his throne, and stop the persecution of the Jews.

As I reflect on my journey into Catholicism, praying has become the center of my day. Through faith, I know God hears me. Whether He answers right away is up to Him. I can only hope that He will answer me. Through prayer, I acknowledge Jesus and His divine greatness. Through prayer, I tell Jesus I love Him. It is a simple truth based on faith and love.

Sincerity is all that God asks of us.

There is a rich vault of prayers and chaplets in the Catholic faith. They are powerful tools for us to pray with. It was through praying the Rosary that I fell in love with my Holy Mother. As a former Protestant, I will admit that my yearly nod to the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph was only at Christmas (in the nativity story). I never delved deeper. My journey in the Catholic faith was the rediscovery of our Immaculate Virgin Mary through the Rosary. It is also a rediscovery of St. Joseph.

I recall those early days when after an online search and armed with YouTube and printed material, I awkwardly said the Rosary. After many weeks, it dawned on me, “I enjoy praying the Rosary”. There are days when it calms me. There are days I find myself sobbing and crying. I was led into an intimate journey through the Passions of Christ, His suffering and love for us. I was shown our human weakness.

Through praying the Rosary, I also got to know Holy Mary. The repetition upon each bead, I prayed, “Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus”. The Holy Spirit revealed to me insights and mysteries that transcends the day to day repetition of the Rosary. I think this is something each Catholic must discover on their own, as I believe it will be unique to each.

Praying the many prayers and chaplets shows our trust in God. It also acknowledges a bond of trust.

He hears our prayers.

God hears everyone and every whisper of our heart!

Our act of faith goes a long way.

God Bless 💖