Monday, February 29, 2016

No Drama in Heaven…

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…” (1 Cor 13:4-6) 
 
One day while at prayer, the following phrase popped into my mind: “There is no drama in heaven.” Such a cryptic and unexpected thought, I felt, was worth pondering.
Life is full of drama. There is a natural drama to life that flows from the struggle to survive and to get along with the other members of fallen humanity. But increasingly there is a more unnatural drama that has sin and vice as its source and sustenance. I think we have all met people who are addicted to the latter form of drama. It almost seems epidemic. The culture that idolizes entertainment and obsesses over celebrity certainly fosters and feeds this phenomenon. The more drama there is, the more frenzy and chaos abound.

“There is no drama in heaven.” What meaning can be taken from this simple sentence? Certainly, in heaven, the natural drama of the struggle to survive and get along with others is eliminated. All our needs are met in super-abundance, and the perfect unity of love between saints, angels, and the Blessed Trinity precludes all dis-harmony, as the scripture passage above so eloquently describes.
Needless to say all the frenzy and chaos of a world addicted to the drama of sin is completely obliterated in heaven—probably even from the memory of those who have participated in it, those holy souls having been purged of it before passing through the heavenly gates. The drama that we sometimes think makes life on earth “interesting”, is replaced by the surpassing joy and constant wonder of heaven. I have heard the wonder of heaven described as eternally feeling as if we have only just arrived.

“There is no drama in heaven.” What can this mean to us now? And what can it mean to those striving to live the life of penance? As I have reflected on this simple message, I have come to understand that is above all a call to detachment. Certainly all the Baptized are called to detachment from sin, from the glamour of evil, from the frenzy and chaos that are the fruits of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, envy, and pride. All the Baptized are called to reject the unnatural drama of the culture of death. But are we not also called to go further? To detach ourselves from the natural drama of life by surrendering our every moment, our every relationship to God?

St. Francis is a perfect example of the life of detachment. In his relationships he subjected himself to everyone as to Christ. Certainly if one is in a position of authority one cannot allow the students to run the classroom, for example. But one can serve their ultimate good as if one were serving Christ. We can try to let go of our worries and place all our trust in God’s loving providence. This is not a call to inaction, but a call to do what God puts in front of us each day without worrying about the results.

Perhaps we might consider living heaven on earth by detaching from the drama in which we are daily immersed. For example, watching TV is not sinful, but perhaps we are annoyed when we are interrupted when watching our favorite show. That’s drama. In the spirit of detachment, we would accept the interruption as God’s holy will for us in that moment. Perhaps we are drawn into conversation that is dramatic in nature; someone else’s life issue is discussed in far too much detail. We should consider how to detach from that conversation, or at least from full participation in it if we can’t get away from it entirely.

These are just examples, and certainly as sinful sojourners in a fallen world avoiding drama altogether would be difficult to accomplish perfectly. However, spending, for example what is left of Lent trying to detach from drama, could be a useful exercise in the spiritual life of a penitent. Certainly the saints were strong promoters of detachment.

“In detachment, the spirit finds quiet and repose for coveting nothing. Nothing wearies it by elation, and nothing oppresses it by dejection, because it stands in the center of its own humility.” –St. John of the Cross

“Give me ten truly detached men. and I will convert the world with them.” –St. Philip Neri
Lord Jesus, grant us a spirit of detachment. Outside of grace it is impossible for us, but by your grace and mercy all things are possible. Holy saints and angels, pray for us.

 by Janet Klasson

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Prayer and Fasting: The Friday Lenten Mercy Challenge

Prayer and fasting are our most powerful weapons in the fight against evil. In the midst of the evils of our worldwide culture of death and terrorism, we need to employ these weapons.


St. John Paul II said, "Jesus Himself has shown us by His own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11). As He taught His disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29)" (Gospel of Life, 100).

In response to his call, MyConsecration.org is promoting the Friday Lenten Mercy Challenge to encourage both prayer and fasting together to defeat evil and to grow closer to Christ. It’s very easy to do, but by joining together with thousands of others doing the same thing, we will be multiplying our spiritual power.

This Lenten project consists of praying only one decade of the Rosary and simply fasting on bread and water at lunch on Fridays during the six weeks of Lent. You may also offer that sacrifice to God for a specific intention as an act of mercy during this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

I encourage you to join me and many others who are responding to the Lenten Mercy Challenge.

PLEASE help to spread the word! See their Social Media Tips and get more information here: LentenMercyChallenge.org.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

"Be a Tugboat"

tugboat - noun (tʌɡˌboʊt/ (short form tug,  /tʌɡ/ )
a ​boat with a ​powerful ​engine which can ​change ​direction ​easily
and is used to ​pull ​large ​ships into and out of ​port

Finally it is the first Sunday of lent, St. Valentine's Day. A day to celebrate love. A day in the year of Mercy that many of us are still pining and longing for our loved ones to return to the beloved Catholic Church. The church founded by the Son of man, The Son of God, Jesus Christ.

I have been silent on this blog for several weeks as I keep going deeper into the mystery of the mercy this Son of man has for His beloved friends. Yes we are His friends and He does love us very very much.

I have been meditating and reading and listening to mothers and family members. Listening for the Heart of Jesus to speak to me and to them about how much we are loved by Him Who is the great, " I AM."

So often I hear that, "All we can do is pray." I have  been for a long time a person who prays and takes action according to what  I believe to be God's will in any given situation. There is however a  difference between single people who have no children and the way they  are able to more directly evangelize in the world than a parent looking at  a child who seems to be doing ok, just left Jesus out of his or her life. Or a  child or sibling who has really taken a harmful direction. How do  we approach these situations with our loved ones?

This morning I asked Jesus, "how do you answer this  question?" His immediate answer was, "Be a Tugboat". Now that  makes sense to me, we are being asked to not only pray but to guide, push and pull  theses ships through  the murky waters and  deceptions of this  world in order to bring them to the freedom of the open sea. The truth is in all  of us, yet we have been so deceived by the world. Our spouses, our  children, our grandchildren deceived by the good guys. Those  who are suppose to be honest and educate us as to the right and wrong way  to conduct a well rounded life.

The necessary purification of the world is in progress,  many have come once again to the truth and been humbled by the loving way  in which Jesus and His Mother turned them around. Thirty years ago my  ship was sinking and with the help of many seriously loving and kind women  I was bailed, patched and set afloat again. Once  heading in the right  direction I found myself before the Tabernacle of St. Mary's church in my home  town. I was so happy I thought I had found Jesus. I was so full of love I  couldn't wait to tell Him. As I knelt before the tabernacle I heard these  words, "You did not pursue me, I pursued you." I was shocked, yet  happy and so loved.

Jesus is calling every soul on this earth to come running  and say, I found You!! He can say, "You never lost Me!!" "I was there all  the time!!"

I have learned a lot about his Mercy and his love over  the last several weeks as well as the course of my life. He wants us to  stop dying from our own sins and come home to his Body and Blood given  for you!!

Jesus has filled me with insight and understanding, I  hope to be sharing once again.

Sincerely,
Margaret of Souls for Jesus

Monday, February 1, 2016

Our Lady of Lourdes Novena begins February 2nd

About Our Lady of Lourdes

“Mercy is the tangible expression of God's love in the world.-
Saint Bernadette was a young girl gathering firewood in the French town of Lourdes with her sister and a friend when the Virgin Mary appeared to her and spoke to her.
Our Lady appeared to Saint Bernadette a total of 18 times! During these apparitions, Bernadette asked her name and Mary replied: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Another time, Our lady told Bernadette where to dig to find a miraculous spring. And another time, Mary told Bernadette to build a church at the grotto where she had appeared to her.
The image of Mary at Lourdes is known as Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of the Rosary.
The water from the miraculous spring has cured and healed many people ever since. Millions of pilgrims go to Lourdes to see the place where Mary appeared and to bathe in the spring to be healed and blessed.

Our Lady of Lourdes Novena Prayers

Our Lady of Lourdes, we come to you like little Bernadette at the grotto. We pray with childlike trust in you. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, when you appeared in Lourdes, you made it a holy sanctuary where many have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. We pray  with confidence for your holy intercession.
(State your intentions here)
Holy Mother of the Rosary, we feel confident that your prayers on our behalf with be graciously heard by God.

Day 1: Immaculate Mother, show us your mercy, O Mother of God.
Day 2: Immaculate Mother, comfort us in our affliction.
Day 3: Immaculate Mother, pray that we may have hope in times of trial.
Day 4: Immaculate Mother, pray for the grace of God to be our strength.
Day 5: Immaculate Mother, pray that we may reach the consolation of heaven.
Day 6: Immaculate Mother, manifest in us your sweetness and beauty.
Day 7: Immaculate Mother, shower us with the love of your pure heart.
Day 8: Immaculate Mother, fill our hearts with love for Jesus and for you.
Day 9: Immaculate Mother, give us what your motherly heart sees we need at this moment.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to you do we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer us.
Amen

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!
Saint Bernadette, pray for us!