Nov 02 2010

In this time as in no other is the Father predisposed to shower graces on his children…

2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son in truth and love.

“Beloved, there is no limit to the grace I can give, so why do you limit what you will receive? Root out all that separates you from grace, that is, sin and worldly attachments. I am longing to fill the hearts of my faithful with gifts and graces unimagined. In this time as in no other is the Father predisposed to shower graces on his children. Think how much it hurts him to see his gifts rejected, his graces unclaimed, and to see the creature more in love with mere created things than with the Creator of all things. What I am asking is not difficult. Open your hands and I will fill them! But first you must let go of what you cling to. If you do, you will receive far more than you ever thought possible and you will wonder why you clung to those useless things for so long.”

O my Father, I repent of all the times I have preferred mere creatures to you, my loving Creator-Father. I ask pardon for all the rejection you suffer and with humble gratitude I accept every gift and grace it pleases you to give me, including those being rejected by others. May your holy will be accomplished by the faithful remnant whose hearts and hands are open to your graces. Jesus we trust in you. Amen.

31 responses so far

31 Responses to “In this time as in no other is the Father predisposed to shower graces on his children…”

  1. Kathy Andre-Eameson 02 Nov 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Mother Mary, Immaculate one, you knew better than anyone, how to be a fitting vessel to receive the greatest Grace of all, the God-man, and so many other magnificent graces. Come into my heart, Mother, empty it of all but Jesus. Purify it, cleanse it, humble it, make it hungry, longing for all that the Father has to give. Fill me, O my God, according to Your Will–all I want is to satisfy your great thirst to give and to use every grace and gift for your Glory! Holy is your Name!

  2. Beckyon 03 Nov 2010 at 6:24 am

    Dear Lord,
    Forgive me, a sinner. I don’t know what to say b/c my heart is so full, it would come out as mixed up, emotional sobs. I can’t help that you made me a girl – a very emotional being. Since saying my “Fiat” to you, you know I have struggled emotionally. You will have to help me and show me how to have Holy detachment and to love you more.

    I know I still struggle with attachment. How sad that I was nervous to tell my husband that I gave my Fiat, hoping he wouldn’t be upset. But as I told him, I have to love you more than I love him. Help me to love your creation with Holy love and NOT clinging. You know I am living with the knowledge of a loved one who still clings to the loss of daddy and Nini. Help her please, Lord.

    Help me to continue to detach in Holy prudence. It’s confusing to think you are calling us (hubby and myself) to a goal, but then with this message be confused as to whether or not we are going about it all wrong.

    I remember during my conversion 10 years ago, loving you so much that had you asked me to take your place on the Cross, I would have. Had you told me it was time to go home to you and leave my husband and children, I was ready to go – no turning back. Father, I’m sorry that I have fallen so far from that state. Please help me back up.

    I’m sorry for the mixed up words of this prayer. I am your child. Abba, Daddy, please take the tears I am crying now and know that each one is a hug and kiss to you – a hug and kiss from your child who so wishes to consol and please you, but worries that she makes things worse when trying to be a warrior for you.

    I will try harder, but only b/c I know that it is your love, grace and strength that will get me through.

    I love you, Abba.

  3. pelianitoon 03 Nov 2010 at 7:24 am

    Becky, you must discern carefully what God is calling you to, and not throw out your plan based on one message. Talk to a priest. There may not be a conflict between what you are called to do and this message. You may be misunderstanding it or mis-interpreting it in your situation. Obey your priest above any message. Private revelation is not given the same importance in the Church as Scripture, and even comes after the counsel of a priest. Honor your husband and humbly allow him to decide what course to follow. The Lord will honor that if it does not lead to sin. Above all, do what gives you peace. The Peace of Christ be with you dear sister.

  4. lucyon 03 Nov 2010 at 8:28 am

    Saint Catherine of Sienna :

    “Lord , be my Fullness, and I will be Your Capacity”… the desire to first be like the empty vases in the story of the Wedding at Cana: made of “stone” for ritual ablution (cleansing)….made of stone now instead of clay pots, because we are now part of the Rock, of the Church, of the Mystical Body of Christ that is solid as a rock ! And these vases do not remain empty but rather they are filled with the Water of Baptism, the Living Waters that flow from Christ. This water then becomes the Wine of Joy : we are the beloved children of the Father, united in an Eternal Covenant of Love that can never be broken! That is truly the Wine of Thanksgiving and the bliss of the Wedding Banquet of the
    Lamb !!!!

    Vase Spirituale…one of the BVM’s titles in the Litany of Loreto…a spiritual vase. I do not know how other folks are, but many of us are pretty visual in the way we comprehend things, and thinking of this spiritual vase helps me to make myself “like a vase” :
    ” Lord Jesus, I ask you now to fill me with every Grace and Blessing …fill me, to the brim…. so that I may overflow with your Love and your Presence in the world ! “

  5. Mary Thereseon 03 Nov 2010 at 9:22 am

    Becky,
    You could be in the same spot (or similar) to the one I mentioned recently… Give your family to Jesus, love them unconditionally, and accept the fact that you are in the Divine Will…

    Live in the present moment and leave the rest to the Lord!

    Jesus, I trust in YOU!

  6. Janineon 03 Nov 2010 at 11:04 am

    Becky,everything will be ok!

    Remember our Daddy knows that we are trying and that we struggle – He knows our heart.. and He knows we are still in the world and sometimes it is difficult to keep focused on Him..

    One of the Collects from Sundays mass was a prayer for us to look past our emotion and always follow His will. We are emotional creatures, but He loves us and with an everlasting love that wont change! We simply need to take a deep breath even when we are struggling and keep going!! I feel the same as you sometimes… those times it seems harder to move on. But He is ALWAYS ever so close to us!

    Remember… it isnt if we are successful.. it is if we are faithful! all we have to do is keep trying! Im praying for you! Peace.

  7. Bonnieon 03 Nov 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I too gave myself completely to Jesus and then suffered and then “fell”. Looking back, I see all of the graces He offered that I was blind to, in my misery. Offer up ALL of it. The pain, suffering and the fall. Jesus got back up for us, AND he gave us Peter – the FIRST POPE!!! Jesus wants you to have confidence and CLAIM your graces! Also, I think He gave me that fall so that I would be stronger, and more aware of how I can get trapped.

    I always thought it was somewhat rude to say: “Jesus, protect and save the unborn.” or, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you, save souls!” But, in the middle of Luisa Picaretta’s early years – one of the things Jesus says is that he loves for us to have that confidence in Him. CLAIM IT! And, like Peli did, ask for the ones that others have rejected.

    Last night I claimed victory for the pro-life candidate who was losing. I gave God every reason I could think of to leverage His Favor (even that our state (Ohio) is shaped like a heart!). I claimed victory in the Divine Will. Guess what??? The very next time the tallies came up – he was on top!!! AND he won!!! Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ, King of ENDLESS GLORY!

    We don’t know our value. We are His Images! He LOVES us. Be calm and trusting in His Love.

    I receive a lot of consolation, even what I might call and “imposed peace” (not from me) by praying a Creed, Pater, Ave and then 9 Glory Be’s – one for each choir of Heavenly Angels. And, for good measure, one for ST. Michael, St. Raphael, St. Gabriel and my guardian angel (who continually looks upon the Face of God).

    The Holy Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Powers, Virtues, Archangels and Angels.

    God bless us ALL!

  8. pelianitoon 03 Nov 2010 at 4:59 pm

    This was from the Office of Readings today. From 1 Maccabees 3:1-26:

    But Apollonius mustered the pagans and a large force from Samaria to fight against Israel. When Judas learned of it, he went out to meet him and routed and killed him. Many fell wounded, and the survivors took to flight. Their spoils were seized and the sword of Apollonius was taken by Judas, who used it to fight with throughout his life. On hearing that Judas had raised a mixed force of believers and seasoned fighters. Seron, commander of the Syrian troops, said, ‘I will make a name for myself and gain honour in the kingdom if I fight Judas and those supporters of his who are so contemptuous of the king’s orders.’ He therefore launched another expedition, with a strong army of infidels to support him in taking revenge on the Israelites. He had nearly reached the descent of Beth-horon when Judas went out to confront him with a handful of men. But as soon as these saw the force advancing to meet them they said to Judas, ‘How can we, few as we are, engage such overwhelming numbers? We are exhausted as it is, not having had anything to eat today.’ ‘It is easy’ Judas answered ‘for a great number to be routed by a few; indeed in the sight of heaven deliverance, whether by many or by few, is all one; for victory in war does not depend on the size of the fighting force; it is from heaven that strength comes. They are coming against us in full-blown insolence and lawlessness to destroy us, our wives and our children, and to plunder us; but we are fighting for our lives and our laws, and he will crush them before our eyes; do not be afraid of them.’ When he had finished speaking, he made a sudden sally against Seron and his force and overwhelmed them. Judas pursued him down from Beth-horon as far as the plain. About eight hundred of their men fell, and the rest took refuge in the country of the Philistines. Judas and his brothers began to be feared, and alarm seized the surrounding peoples. His name even reached the king’s ears, and in every nation there was talk of Judas and his battles.

    This is a wonderful passage and can inspire great confidence (to use Bonnie’s term) in us and our fight against the principalities and powers. “He will crush them before our eyes” if we only place our trust in the power of the Almighty and none in ourselves. Jesus we trust in you. May your name be praised and your glory celebrated in all the earth. Amen.

  9. Michael Patrickon 03 Nov 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for the reading, Peli, and I have to say your timing is perfect. I was just out on a run ruminating on a challenge and this set the course. I love The Book of Maccabees! I’ve been reading the Bible for some time, but it’s only the last couple of years that I’ve really taken to this part of scripture… over, and over, and over.

    Jesus, help us have the heart of The Maccabees in our ongoing ‘battles’. Jesus, we trust in You!

  10. Beckyon 03 Nov 2010 at 6:24 pm

    You are all so wonderful – thank you so much for your words of encouragement.

    Peli, thank you for your advise. After several good cries today, I went to the Lord in Adoration and went to him “as I was”, and was open and honest about who I really am. You see, I’m a planner, an organizer, a list maker, a calendar keeper, so planning for the “upcoming” is what I do and have done. Detaching from that and trusting in the Lord is hard. But after reading the detachment part of “Consoling the Heart of Jesus” book today, I realized I had to go to Jesus as I was, attached to these worldly things and hold His hand at the same time knowing that was OK and Jesus was OK with that.

    Deacon Michael who wrote the book said to deal with detachment in this way: for example, you’re attached to donuts. You really like your donuts and know that detaching from them will be hard and scary. You don’t go to the Lord asking for help with it b/c you are afraid that He’ll take them away all at once. So, we avoid being truly honest with God. Deacon Michael explaned that Jesus doesn’t want us to fear coming to Him with our attachments. He wants us to just hold His hand even if we are still clinging to our donuts. More than not, Jesus will say, no you are not ready to let go of those donuts, but please keep hold of my hand. Deacon Michael says that after a while, we hold on to Jesus more and loosen our hold on the donuts to the point that we no longer want the donuts and love Jesus more. So, I went to Adoration holding onto that goal I mentioned in the earlier post. A goal that I believe the Lord wants us to achieve, but in HIS TIME, not mine. That’s what I’m attached to: my time, my schedule, my plan. I grabbed hold of Jesus’ hand and brought all of my known attachments. My hope is that my grasp will get tighter to my Jesus of Mercy and my attachments will fall away.

    Janine, I’m not sure how you pronounce your name, but I am assuming “Ja-neen”. My baby sister, Jeanine (pronounced, Ja-nine) died almost 3 years ago on Ash Wednesday at the age of 33. Your post, as well as the others, brought me great comfort. But your named made me think of “Nini” (her nickname). She was pregnant when she died. Many think she was a martyr – she was on medication since she was 16 for rheumatoid arthritis. She got off the meds when she found out she was pregnant (b/c the meds would have killed the baby) which threw her body into horrible pain and illness causing her and the baby’s death. My dad died 10 days later from terminal pulmonary fibrosis. Your name made me think of her and remember that I have her and my dad in Heaven ready to help me to detach.

    God Bless all of you!

  11. jonion 03 Nov 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Bonnnie I have also experienced that “imposed peace ” on a few occasions when I felt very sad or very hurt by something. I have gone from feeling extremely upset , unconsolable to a feeling of complete peace in a matter of seconds when I have prayed /sobbed ” Jesus help me”! This happened last night most recently, as I was feeling overwhelmed and tearful with certain events I feel I’m being tested with at the moment. Your comment confirmed what I felt to be true, that God was /has literally consoled me there and then on the spot instantly. I felt greatly comforted by the experience as I feel Jesus was proving his promise that every grace would be available to us and that he would never abandon us if we agreed to “enter into his passion with him.” Also Peli the latest message has really struck home because I feel very much that Jesus is wanting me to “detach” from creatures and place all my faith and trust in Him ALONE . This tallies very much with the “Rome prophecy ” on Mark Mallets site .I don’t mean to stop loving people or caring but not to expect or rely too much on others or anything for that matter but to expect and to rely on everything from him. To draw me into a closer and closer union and prayer life with Him. It was very pertinent to my circumstances at the moment. To finish off I would just like to add that I’m so glad I found you all and am so encouraged by the sincerity, the love and devotion to God of all of you here. It is like a quick stop in heaven , being with people who are so God centred , so refreshing and energising…we are out there !I love reading all your comments and prayers so beautifully worded, I feel somewhat inarticulate in comparison. So I apologise for the humble ramblings that I post, but I just wanted to say I can very much confirm what everyone is feeling ,and experiencing . I really feel that the Holy Spirit has guided this community together which in itself is truly remarkable . God our wonderful God , you are truly , truly WONDERFUL and all we want, is to love , praise and adore you for ALL eternity and bring as many souls with us as possible. Maranatha dear Lord Jesus Maranatha!

  12. pelianitoon 03 Nov 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Can we do more? The blood of the martyrs in Iraq is asking for our prayers and sacrifices. Al-Qaeda of Iraq has called for Christians everywhere to be targeted. Here is the article from Catholic Online. And there is more at http://www.asianews.it. Jesus we trust in you. Save souls!

  13. ajon 03 Nov 2010 at 9:39 pm

    How appropriate is the reading from the Office of Readings Peli! Our GOD does speak to us on every page of scripture doesn’t HE?

    What a SHEPHERD we have in JESUS…never abandoning HIS flock and finding us when we stray to bring us home.

    JESUS I Trust in YOU!!!
    JESUS, MARY, Joseph we Love YOU, save souls.

  14. Mon 04 Nov 2010 at 7:31 am

    I’m struck by the timeliness, once again, between this word and what I am reading at the moment. Perhaps it will help to share this with you. The book I mentioned previously spends a bit of time discussing St Ignatius’s ‘First Principle and Foundation’, which is such a clear way, I think, to achieve what we are being asked, though I suspect it is no where near as easy to acheive!

    ‘The First Principle and Foundation

    The goal of our life is to live with God forever.
    God who loves us, gave us life.
    Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us
    without limit.

    All the things in this world are gifts of God,
    presented to us so that we can know God more easily
    and make a return of love more readily.

    As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God
    insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.
    But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
    they displace God
    and so hinder our growth toward our goal.

    In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
    before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
    and are not bound by some obligation.
    We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
    wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one.
    For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
    a deeper response to our life in God.

    Our only desire and our one choice
    should be this:
    I want and I choose what better
    leads to the
    deepening of God’s life in me.’

    - St. Ignatius as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J. from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises

    Also I have a deep feeling we could learn a lot from the early Christians/Church Fathers and how they lived in their difficult times-maybe this could use more study/prayer? What do you think?

  15. Mon 04 Nov 2010 at 7:36 am

    Also, with regard to our brothers and sisters in Iraq, take a look at this film
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FfiwooaUy4

  16. Terryon 04 Nov 2010 at 6:19 pm

    I can’t begin to tell you all how uplifiting it is to read so many different insights, perspectives and stories from all of you. I can’t get through a day without checking this blog. There are so few places where we can share our heartfelt love for Our Lord, our spiritual journies and concerns. I continually pray for all of you.

    M, I too have had a feeling/direction to learn more from the early Christians and how they lived in their difficult times. The saints Perpetua and Felicity were on my heart, and I was fortunate to find this link with their writings. Surprising to read of their joy even during imprisonment, how they supported each other and what gifts Our Lord bestowed on them. Enjoy and be edified. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/perpetua.html

  17. pelianitoon 04 Nov 2010 at 7:26 pm

    M, I love this beautifully simple teaching! I hope to be able to mediate on it from time to time. Thank you for sharing it with us and for bringing the book to our attention.

    The Iraqi martyrs! Lord Jesus have mercy! The persecution is horrific as we see in the short video. Let us keep them in prayer. Our parish is going to sponsor a family of Iraqi refugees. The Bishop of Toronto, Archbishop Thomas Collins has encouraged all the parishes in the Toronto Archdiocese to sponsor a family.

    Terry thank you for posting the link to the early church martyrs. Grace in action. They were never abandoned by God, but were honored and revered by the angels themselves. Grace upon grace! Jesus we trust in you.

  18. pelianitoon 04 Nov 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Here’s a great article from Spirit Daily.

  19. Mary Thereseon 04 Nov 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I live in the area of the North American Martyrs–St. Isaac Jogues and others. Our parish priest–a very holy man–once told me that 90% of the Catholic Faith in America was located within a 300 mile radius of where they lived and died.

    And so I expect no less than a tremendous victory for Our Lord when it comes to these present day martyrs in Iraq, Vietnam and elsewhere. Let us pray and fast for all those who would harm the Body of Christ…

    Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

  20. Kathy Andre-Eameson 04 Nov 2010 at 8:49 pm

    In this article from SPIRIT DAILY posted by Peli, you see an icon of Christ, the PANTOCRATOR (Creator) icon. This is the oldest icon which the church has of Christ, from the 13th century. What is remarkable about it is its history. One article which I found shows that it was painted from the shroud of Turin. This website shows the overlay of the painting with the Shroud: http://www.shroudofturin4journalists.com/pantocrator.htm

  21. Kathy Andre-Eameson 04 Nov 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I’m sorry! Just did a fact check. This image was painted in 550 AD. It is probably the most reliable painting of Christ which was ever created! http://www.shroudofturin4journalists.com/pantocrator.htm

  22. Reginaon 04 Nov 2010 at 10:45 pm

    How do we sponsor an Iraqi family? What happens when they are sponsored? Do they leave Iraq? My heart breaks for them and the people who are being persecuted in Vietnam and elsewhere. I saw a video of the Church massacre. It was devastating. Thank you for your help.

  23. Kathy Andre-Eameson 05 Nov 2010 at 12:50 am

    Tonight I opened my bible and meditated on Ephesians 1, 3-6: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, WHO HAS BLESSED US IN CHRIST WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN THE HEAVENS, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, FOR THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE that he granted us in the beloved.” Paul repeats in 1,12: “SO THAT WE MIGHT EXIST FOR THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY….” He says also in 1,13: “you…were sealed with the promised holy Spirit, which is the first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY.”

    The Father wants to shower us with all his treasures of grace and blessing that we might praise His Glory! It is not our worthiness that draws such mercy to us, but His immeasurable desire and thirst to give. It is for us only to gratefully receive and praise His Glory for it. Knowing the state of the world, the Father has so few on whom He can lavish the graces that come to us through His Beloved Jesus. Our struggle to remain His faithful remnant, chosen “before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish” draws such gifts. We will never be worthy, but He “chose us in Him” as a part of His divine plan. What a confirmation of Peli’s message.

  24. pelianitoon 05 Nov 2010 at 7:11 am

    Regina, you should contact your diocesan office and see if they have a refugee sponsorship committee set up. Here is an article on the Toronto diocesan project.

    When you sponsor a family they come to live in your parish/community. Depending on the supporting agency you could be responsible for finding them employment or housing, etc. However in our case, as we are a small parish, we are not responsible for anything like that, but are providing support to have them adjust to life in Canada and make them feel welcome in our parish and our community, adjust to the school, etc.. We have a committee that facilitates this.

  25. pelianitoon 05 Nov 2010 at 7:19 am

    Thanks for this Kathy AE. The Office of Readings usually has a reading from a Church Father or Doctor. Today the reading was from St. Gregory Nazianzen and very much confirmed this message as well. I is also a beautiful reading for the month of the deceased, if you go here you can read the whole reading. Actually if you want to be strengthened in your faith each day, the Office of Readings is a rich source of grace. It may be found at Universalis.com. See the left-hand menu for the Office of Readings.

    A sermon by St Gregory Nazianzen
    It is a holy thought to pray for the dead

    What is man, that you are mindful of him? What is this new mystery surrounding me? I am both small and great, both lowly and exalted, mortal and immortal, earthly and heavenly. I am to be buried with Christ and to rise again with him, to become a co-heir with him, a son of God, and indeed God himself.

    This is what the great mystery means for us; this is why God became man and became poor for our sake: it was to raise up our flesh, to recover the divine image, to re-create mankind, so that all of us might become one in Christ who perfectly became in us everything that he is himself. So we are no longer to be male and female, barbarian and Scythian, slave and free – distinctions deriving from the flesh – but are to bear within ourselves only the seal of God, by whom and for whom we were created. We are to be so formed and molded by him that we are recognied as belonging to his one family.

    If only we could be what we hope to be, by the great kindness of our generous God! He asks so little and gives so much, in this life and in the next, to those who love him sincerely. In a spirit of hope and out of love for him, let us then bear and endure all things and give thanks for everything that befalls us, since even reason can often recognise these things as weapons to win salvation. And meanwhile let us commend to God our own souls and the souls of those who, being more ready for it, have reached the place of rest before us although they walked the same road as we do.

  26. Kathyon 05 Nov 2010 at 8:20 am

    Reading the RICH messages here. Thank you all for them! My husband and I will be on retreat this weekend. Please pray that this retreat is permeated by the Holy Spirit. Also, I noticed this today:

    “To love God as He ought to be loved, we must be detached from all temporal love. We must love nothing but Him, or if we love anything else, we must love it only for His sake.” (St. Peter Claver)

  27. Laura Son 05 Nov 2010 at 10:14 am

    I just received this in my Email Ministry email that I subscribe to and thought I would post it…

    We are sometimes so hard on ourselves in that we are not worthy to serve the Lord as we are…this is a somewhat light hearted reminder for us…. God bless…

    GOD CAN USE YOU!!

    There are many reasons why God shouldn’t have called you.

    But don’t worry. You’re in good company . . .

    Moses stuttered.
    David’s armor didn’t fit.
    John Mark was rejected by Paul.
    Timothy had ulcers.
    Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
    Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
    Jacob was a liar.
    David had an affair.
    Solomon was too rich.
    Jesus was too poor.
    Abraham was too old.
    David was too young.
    Peter was afraid of death.
    Lazarus was dead.
    John was self-righteous.
    Naomi was a widow.
    Paul was a murderer.
    So was Moses.
    Jonah ran from God.
    Miriam was a gossip.
    Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
    Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
    Elijah was burnt out.
    John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
    Martha was a worry-wart.
    Mary was lazy.
    Samson had long hair.
    Noah got drunk.

    Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
    So did Peter, Paul — well, lots of folks did.
    But God doesn’t require a job interview.
    He doesn’t hire and fire like most bosses, because He’s more our Dad
    than our Boss.
    He doesn’t look at financial gain or loss.
    He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging, sassy, or brassy,
    not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need.
    As much as we try, God’s gifts are free.
    We could do wonderful things for wonderful people and still not be . . .
    Wonderful.
    Satan says, “You’re not worthy.” Jesus says, “So what? . . . I AM.”
    Satan looks back and sees our mistakes.
    God looks back and sees the cross.
    He doesn’t calculate what you did in ’98.
    It’s not even on the record.
    Sure. There are lots of reasons why God shouldn’t have called us.
    But if we are magically in love with Him,
    if we hunger for Him more than our next breath,
    He’ll use us in spite of who we are, where we’ve been,
    or what we look like.
    Pray that as Christians, we will step out of our limitations into the
    illimitable nature of who God is.
    Then our passion for God and our passion to communicate with Him will
    make mincemeat of our limitations.

    – Author Unknown

  28. Columbkilleon 05 Nov 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Here a few threads to weave into the discussion. This from Fr. Mark Daniel Kirby at ‘Vultus Christi’:

    “The Collect for today’s memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo contains an extraordinary phrase. We beseech (quaesumus) the Father that the Church, being ceaselessly renewed, and thus conformed to the image of Christ, may show forth His Face to the world: Christi se imagini conformans, ipsius vultum mundo valeat ostendere.

    The Face Reveals the Heart: This is the mission of the Church: to show forth the Face of Christ to the world. In showing forth the Face of Christ, the Church invites all peoples to discover the merciful love of His Heart.

    Saint Charles and the Holy Shroud: It is no coincidence, I think, that Saint Charles Borromeo, who venerated the Holy Shroud in Turin on October 10, 1578 was profoundly affected by the experience. Could not the allusion to the Face of Christ in today’s Collect be a discreet allusion to the great reforming bishop’s encounter with the mysterious Face of the Shroud?”

    back to me on other posts:

    How well I know that struggle to have the ‘first love’!! As life goes on and we become accustomed to the companionship of loved ones, our logic tells us how great our losses could be and our experience confirms it. Then comes fear, clinging…how can we put an invisible Lover first? How do you cling by faith to the Unseen One?

    It may not be either/or. It may be both/and – as long as I understand the right place for each thing. Jesus made us for Himself and expects the first place. Jesus also made the church, marriage (remember St. Paul called it a great mystery and likened it to the Church) and Jesus made fellowship. He was the one who said, ‘When two or three are gathered in My name I am in the midst of them.’ Not many, but more than one.

    This does not negate his presence to us individually (Lo, I am with you always/I will never leave or forsake you). There are two ways in which He is present. To us individually, and to us in the aggregate as the Church.

    We need the human touch, what some call, ‘Jesus with skin on’. It comes from a story of a child who called out for Dad from his dark bedroom because he was afraid. Dad responded he shouldn’t be afraid because Jesus was in the room, thinking to comfort the child without going in himself. The frightened child responded, ‘Yes Dad, but I need Jesus with skin on.’ So often the church isn’t the church unless it’s Jesus-with-skin-on, giving the loan, the hospitality, the smile, the help, the food, the sickbed care, the companionship to the lonely person. Jesus rarely shows up personally to do these things, and He knows how desperately we need them. One of the curses of modern life is the illusion, helped by technology, that we don’t have to have other people, we can get along by ourselves, or with a few friends.

    Certainly if we worship people above God we are committing idolatry, but it takes a lot of work to place people that high and you can’t do it without noticing. In defiance of God we would do more and more things that displease him in order to meet the peer pressure. That’s easy to measure if we’re daily in Scripture and spend some time in thought about our lives. And the Holy Spirit is going to make us uncomfortable about it.

    Within marriage, however, the ‘two are one flesh’. There’s a qualitative difference between that relationship and others. A family is really the smallest increment (‘cell’) of the church. This is why the wedding rite prayers talk about God blessing the relationship such that couples can open their homes to others – increasing the size of the home ‘church’. That’s also why the warnings against being ‘unequally yoked’. In such a relationship it’s very hard to be faithful when a partner is not or leaves the faith.

    It is very true that the longer we walk with Jesus, holding His hand, the less attached we become to things. I’ve seen conversions where no one had to say, ‘You really need to clean up your language’, ‘Get rid of the witchcraft’, or ‘Reduce the drinking’, because the Holy Spirit dwelling in the new believer just cleaned house and there was no desire for those things. In some cases the work was harder and longer, but the Lord was there pushing for the changes, convicting and convincing and giving the grace for it.

    But I think a distinction has to be made between lawfully right relationships and other kinds of attachments. A woman will always be one flesh with her husband, and always closer to family and children. God made it this way. As long as we don’t expect the husband, child or family member to be in the place of God to us, strong relationships are good. The losses of these are catastrophic and would make no sense in the face of a good God unless there was Heaven and a way that all sorrows could be healed and all relationships restored.

    The original post Peli made was about graces. I have a question! Why are graces so often evident in little things but the big things seem to take a lot more prayer, discernment, etc?

    I have a ‘chicken coop’ illustration. Member’s of ‘Peli’s family’ know that I got a lot of help from Our Lord in building chicken housing this summer and inventing ways to open the coops from the back deck. There was one more door to go, and I was enamoured of an idea the Lord had given with springs, so I cooked up a design of my own. And of course, there were problems with my design. Overwhelmed with many other, serious things I was seeking guidance about, I started prayer with the simplest thing first, that dratted door. In a flash, I saw a picture of how it should be and why it didn’t work, and why the new design would work. In less than 15 minutes I changed it, discovered I’d put a critical component on the wrong place…but I’m still waiting for answers on those other things! Why is this?

  29. Mary Thereseon 05 Nov 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you, Laura S! “God can use you” helps us all to smile and have confidence!

  30. pelianitoon 05 Nov 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Good points as always, C. In my experience, sometimes our Lord asks us to give up something we are clinging to so that he can give it back to us in a right relationship. We should give him all permission to do so as we are never happy when we are in an unbalanced relationship with anything or anyone.

    As far as the small graces/big graces go, that is an eternal question isn’t it? Perhaps it has something to do with God wishing us to feel his presence in the little things. These days he is certainly making his nearness known. But he also has a purpose for our struggles. In my experience, again, he never gives me the whole plan, a prudent move, since all my sincere efforts to fulfill it, “improve it”, and hurry it along, would undoubtedly succeed only in mess it up. So God gives me only the next step, and sometimes not even that. Sometimes I have to say, “Lord in the absence of a clear direction, I am going to do this. If it is not the right thing, please do not allow it to go forward.”

    As I was formulating this response the term, “step out in faith” came to mind and I looked up some of the other messages with that phrase in it. May we all be guided into his holy will.
    >>>

    Mark 16: 17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.
    “Beloved child, disciple of my heart, do you wish to be one of these, my followers?” Lord, I do wish it! In your mercy grant me every grace and gift I need to be faithful to you. “Beloved one, take every opportunity I send you. Do not be alarmed if they do not seem to tie in with your mission. All will be made clear to you in eternity. With prayer and supplication, step out in faith. Be persistent, not giving up too easily, but persevering to the end. Give glory to God in all you do, and do not be afraid to do whatever is asked, for I have given you the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions. Beloved child, do not delay. The time is short.” Lord, help me to know in what order I must do things. Be my planner in all things. Amen. Alleluia!
    >>>
    Mark 6: 37 He said to them in reply, “Give them some food yourselves.”
    “Beloved, give what you have to those I send you and I will multiply it a thousand-fold. Be not afraid to step out in faith. Do not make the mistake of thinking that there are tasks to big for your God. Go where I lead you, give what you have and leave the rest to me. Beloved, ‘feed them yourself’.” Lord, O long to be your instrument and trust that whatever I need, you will give to me, so that I may give to those you send me. Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will.
    >>>
    Ephesians 4:14 so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery… “Child the path on which you are embarking is the path of greatest resistance* where you will be asked to overcome your ‘self’ and live totally for your Lord, the Beloved (Mt. 16:24-25). Be at peace, step out in faith, be always joyful, and live in my eternal love (Ep. 5:1). Child you are mine!” Father I am yours! Thy will be done! (*The path of greatest resistance: this image comes to mind: the tungsten filament of a light bulb is chosen for its high resistance to the flow of electricity which then produces light. It follows that the “path of greatest resistance” produces the brightest light. Alleluia!)
    >>>
    “Beloved child remember that you have been born of the Spirit. Therefore do not let the desires of the flesh take root in you. Remain docile to the Holy Spirit, seize courage, and step out in faith. Child my love is pleased to dwell in you. Let not your sin impede the flow of my love into the world. Repent often and draw ever-nearer to my heart.”

  31. Jaredon 06 Nov 2010 at 3:38 pm

    In answer to Columbkille “Why are graces so often evident in little things but the big things seem to take a lot more prayer, discernment, etc?”

    I like to think of the sling shot. The more you pull back, the longer the throw.

    My father prayed long and suffered much for a priest among his children, but as I was the only son that responsibility fell on me.
    But for many years I had been a disappointment to him.

    Nevertheless, my son will be ordained a priest on Dec. 3rd.
    I credit this vocation to my father’s faith and prayers.

    As with Abraham, God’s answer to his requests were fulfilled
    long after he was gone.
    Think of St. Augustine’s mother, St. Monica, who prayed twenty years for his conversion. Her prayers accumulated over a long period of time so that God could do a tremendous work in Augustine’s life that has lasted 1500 years.
    This type of prayer requires faith and perseverance.

    I hope this will help some.

    May the merits of Christ give us this kind of faith and perseverence
    to accomplish his work through us.

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