2016 was the most challenging year of my life, in fact the damage done in a four month study abroad trip still wreaks havoc on me, body and soul. However, I came to know God’s great mercy in a much deeper, intimate way and for that I am extremely grateful.
My daughter, . . . I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened.
It is difficult to understand God’s love for us; almost impossible to really comprehend it with the human intellect. How could such an all powerful being love and care for me? How is it that God loves me even when I am ungrateful, selfish, and have strayed from Him on many occasions?
From the time I was pregnant with our first child, I decided that I would offer my suffering during labor for the soul of that baby and for the soul of my husband. As a registered nurse, I knew that (if I was able to have a natural labor) avoiding interventions would be the best for my health and the health of the baby. And so my decision was made, but as my day of pain drew nearer, I waned between determination, fear, and dread. I was consoled only by the thought of surrendering my pain to the Lord and uniting my suffering with Christ’s suffering on the cross.
On Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion, some of the priests and deacons in the area of my local parish were asked to give meditations on the seven last words of Christ. I was asked to give my meditation on Christ’s second last word: “Today you will be with me in paradise.” The following podcast is a reconstruction of that meditation.
Sometimes people call me the “good thief.” Believe me, there’s no such thing as a “good thief.” I am the repentant thief. Today I’m called St. Dismas, but that title means nothing to me. What matters above all, what makes all the difference, is that Jesus of Nazareth, the innocent Son of God, died on the cross for me, in sacrifice for my sins. He asked nothing from me in repayment of his love, other than my repentance and my love of him from that day forward.
There is a semi-popular saying that floats around the internet and social media and it goes like this: “The Devil calls you by your Sins. Christ calls you by name.” The truth of this saying is something I often ponder when reading the story of Mary Magdalen when she goes to the tomb of Jesus.
I think I have been channeling my inner St. Peter recently. St. Peter was a very determined, almost stubborn fellow, who was quick to jump to extremes with Jesus. Most notably, St. Peter liked to speak by using a lot of “never”s.
Our gospel for the Fifth Sunday of Lent is taken from John 11:1-45. It’s a very beautiful gospel, rich in meaning and filled with a number of wonderful elements. Its main thrust is the raising of Lazarus from the dead. This podcast focuses on the words of Jesus Christ given to Martha, Lazarus’s sister, in the context of the general resurrection: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” What will take place at the general resurrection of the dead? What will the glorified body the followers of Christ receive be like?
Seasons of life are a funny thing. Right now we are celebrating the beginning of spring with blooming flowers and popcorn poppin’ on the popcorn trees. However, as Catholics we are still walking through the penitential season of lent. The dichotomy of these two seasons is striking and proves to me that God wants us to celebrate even in the midst of suffering or fasting. We should take delight in the beauty of spring while still offering Him our most sincere prayers, fasting and almsgiving for lent.