…just as no one knows the Father except the Son


‘Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God,
Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.’

When I was in formation for First Promises in the Discalced Secular Carmelites, my formation teacher taught our little group to be aware of words, thoughts, ideas, etc., which seemed to recur throughout the days and weeks.  This could happen in a book or through something we were listening to or watching or in a friendly conversation, but most importantly, especially during prayer.  She instructed us to write down these “coincidences,” and to look for a pattern, because God often communicates with us in this way.

I remembered this little exercise when over the past couple of Sundays at Mass, the phrase, Son of the Father, from the beautiful song of praise, the Gloria, caught my attention.  How many times have I heard these words, and yet suddenly they were impressed deeply upon my heart.

Monday morning, when I tuned in to Women of Grace on EWTN, Johnette’s guest for the week was Father George Montague,SM who has recently written a book entitled: Living in the Father’s Embrace.  If I were still keeping my little notebook, I would have had much to write.

As though I needed more encouragement, the patron Saint chosen for this week’s Women of Grace series was St. Therese, described as  “a patron for loving the Father.”

Lord, what does all of this mean?  I whispered.  I thought perhaps it would please Jesus if I began calling Him Son of the Father more often…not just at Mass.

Then I turned to the Scriptures and recalled the words of Jesus:  “Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  Matthew 11:27 (NJB)

On Johnette’s programs this week, one theme has been how so many view the Father as the God of the Old Testament.  Many people fear thunderbolts and severity if they draw too near to God the Father.  Yet, Who is Jesus but the perfect Image of the Father?  All of the tenderness, mercy and love we are attracted to in Jesus dwell in the Heart of the Father as well.


In the introduction to his book, Father Montague writes:  “…if we really want to know Jesus, we had better ask the Father to show us who Jesus really is.  And by the same token, to know the Father as Jesus knows him…and that is the only way…Jesus must give us the gift of his own experience of the Father.”

I am excited and humbled that Jesus is calling me, and surely you as well, to better know His Father as He knows Him, and in turn, to know Jesus as only the Father knows the Son.

To know God more is to love Him more!  Let us enter deeply into this revelation which Jesus, Son of the Father, desires to share with us.  Surely His Sacred Heart burns for us to love His Father with the greatest affection and trust.

St. Therese, whose confidence in God knew no bounds, spoke of playing on the “lap” of God in Heaven.  Surely she will indeed be a patron for us in learning to love God the Father.


Father Montague gives us this lovely prayer in the introduction to his book:

Jesus, lay your hands upon my head at this
moment and send me the Holy Spirit to teach me to
know the Father as you know him, to call him
“Abba.” As I read, may your Spirit breathe upon
my heart and enlighten my mind to this mystery of
Trinitarian LOVE.  

Quotations by Father George Montague, SM are from his book:
Living in the Father’s Embrace
Experiencing the Love at the Heart of the Trinity
Introduction: Invitation
Publisher: The Word Among Us Press
Copyright 2014 by George T. Montague, SM

Let us follow Our Mother to Heaven…

The Virgin Mary was taken up to the heavenly bridal chamber where the King of kings is seated on a starry throne.  (Antiphon 2, Evening prayer for the Solemnity of the Assumption)


Today at Mass, on the Feast of Our Lady’s Glorious Assumption, one of the topics Father spoke about was the value God places on our bodies.

God loves our bodies.  In fact, He esteems them so much that He did not hesitate to take upon Himself human flesh, in the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I recently heard a mystic describe an experience of God’s Love overwhelming him.  He said that it was as though every cell in his body knew and responded to its Creator, and that although the experience lasted but a few moments, he cried out, “Jesus, stop, or I will die for I cannot contain anymore of Your Love for me.”

This is almost exactly the description St. Therese gave of her mystical encounter where she was “burning up” with love. One moment more and I would have died.  St. Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross and many other mystics relate similar experiences of God invading their entire being with His Love.

Most of us don’t often think about God’s love for our physical being.  We tend to focus mostly on our souls, which of course are made in the image and likeness of God.  But our souls and bodies dwell in a mysterious union.  What we think about is simultaneously transmitted to our bodies, which react with fear, joy, peace, tears, laughter and many other emotions and sensations.

Perhaps the most frightening thing about death is the awareness that our being will be rent in two… our soul and our body separated for the first time in our existence.  We cannot imagine what that will be like.

Nor do we know how long this separation will endure.

But in the gospels, Our Lord assures us that our bodies will live again.  We know that for those who die in God’s Grace, they will be glorious, resplendent bodies, free of pain and suffering, and in complete accord with our will, which will then be perfectly united to God’s Will.

Our bodies then should be holy, as Father said this morning, since they are tabernacles of the Most Holy Trinity.  We should keep them clean, modestly dressed, and borne with the dignity of a child of God.  Moreover, we should treat the bodies of others with respect at every stage of life.

Our Lady, in her Church approved apparitions is always described as “beautiful,” a word usually stammered out in desperation, in a feeble attempt to capture what is beyond human comprehension…..the glorified appearance of our Heavenly Mother.  What is seen by these chosen visionaries is no doubt vastly inferior to the true, radiant beauty and glory which the Mother of God possesses in Heaven.

How different that heavenly beauty is from what we admire on earth, where outward appearance attracts so much attention.  In heaven, it is the holiness of the soul which will communicate its splendor to our glorified body.  Earthly beauty will have passed away.

Today we celebrate with joy, Our Lady’s bodily assumption into Heaven.  It is a day to rejoice that Our Lord and Savior has promised to all of us that if we have died in Christ, we shall also rise with Him.

At the signal given by the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God, the Lord Himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and only after that shall we who remain alive be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air.  This is the way we shall be with the Lord for ever    I Thessalonians 4: 16-17  (NJB)


An Unpetalled Rose….

(I have been on a bit of a blog break, falling in love with my precious granddaughter….now ten weeks old).   Meanwhile, here is a favorite post of mine from 2011.


The summer after I graduated from highschool, I attended a “going away” shower for a pretty girl who had graduated with me.  She was leaving to enter a Carmelite monastery nearby.                                                                                                                  

Earlier that year when Mary had announced her plans, the comment, “What a waste,”  was frequently bantered about.  And on the day of her shower, after we had helped her load the gifts into her car, and she had hugged everyone good-bye, the same comment was repeated as she drove away.

Then there was Dolores Hart.  She sent the “what a waste” crowd into apoplexy when she abandoned her Hollywood career to join a Benedictine monastery — even after starring in two movies with Elvis, no less.  I admit to being intrigued by Dolores myself when she made appearances on EWTN Live a couple of times over the past few years.  She is still beautiful in her 70’s, and is radiant and funny and full of joy– and still a nun.

My friend Mary, and Mother Dolores Hart come to mind whenever I read one of my favorite poems by St. Therese.  It’s titled, The Unpetalled Rose.  How like Therese to want to “squander” her life just for God — simply to give Him pleasure, to be a fresh petal beneath His feet.

But this beautiful poem is not limited to cloistered nuns like Therese and Mary and Dolores.  We can all desire to be “unpetalled.”  We can surrender with joy our plans and dreams into the Heart of God and fling away the script we had hoped our life would follow.

And, petals fall too when we truly seek the last place, rejoicing when others are praised and rewarded while we are overlooked….when we live our lives “with mystery” as Therese states in the last stanza of her poem.  To live in mystery is to be an enigma to the world, to choose what the world does not understand, all the while in secret, unpetalling the rose of our lives.

There are a thousand ways to lose our petals, and allow ourselves to simply be used up for God’s pleasure.  You can tell when you are being unpetalled.  There is a pain within, like a struggle… like dying…..to self.

But suddenly, you feel lighter.  There is fragrance.  Another petal has dropped…. for  His Joy Alone!

But now let Therese tell us as only she can –

An Unpetalled Rose

  St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

Jesus, when I see you held by your Mother,
Leaving her arms
Trying, trembling, your first steps
On our sad earth,
Before you I’d like to unpetal a rose
 In its freshness
So that your little foot might rest ever so softly
On a flower!….

This unpetalled rose is the faithful image,
Divine Child,
Of the heart that wants to sacrifice itself for you unreservedly
at each moment.
Lord, on your altars more than one new rose
Likes to shine.
 It gives itself to you…..but I dream of something else:
 To be unpetalled!….”

The rose in its splendor can adorn your feast,
Lovable Child,
But the unpetalled rose is just flung out
To blow away.
 An unpetalled rose gives itself unaffectedly
To be no more.
Like it, with joy I abandon myself to you,
Little Jesus.

One walks on rose petals with no regrets,
And this debris
Is a simple ornament that one disposes of artlessly,
That I’ve understood.
Jesus, for your love I’ve squandered my life,
My future.
In the eyes of men, a rose forever withered,
I must die!…

For you, I must die, Child, Beauty Supreme,
What a blessed fate!
In being unpetalled, I want to prove to you that I love you,
O my Treasure!…
Under your baby steps, I want to live here below
With mystery,
And I’d like to soften once more on Calvary
Your last steps!….

(all emphases by Therese)

From:  The Poetry of St. Therese of Lisieux

Translated By:  Donald Kinney, OCD

ICS Publications, (Institute of Carmelite Studies) 1995

(first posted August 9, 2011)

From the palette of God….

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”   Psalm 14:1

 Lilac breasted Roller in South Africa.

Lilac breasted Roller in South Africa

There is no God? But who could believe such a thing? See the masterpiece I present to you above? A reproduction of a tiny, simple creature whose magnificence puts to shame even the greatest art created by man. For, in nature, this beauteous bird has a beating heart and downy feathers, and his little wings lift him aloft to fly above the treetops. Yet, he knows not where he came from, or even what he is. He simply hatched from an egg and shook out his little body into a cascade of breathtaking colors. See his design? How carefully each grouping of feathers is “painted,” with highlights shimmering in all the perfect places?

If you saw this bird — a splash of painted perfection across a canvas in a museum, you would surely look for the artist’s name….for of necessity, there would be an artist.  Such wonders do not occur when a palette of paints accidentally tumbles onto a canvas.

But if this bird with heart beating, song singing, wings fluttering….if this living, breathing, warm fluff ball of rainbowed loveliness alighted on a branch near you, and cocked its little head, if you are a fool, then you might say, “There is no God.”

And indeed, you would have proved yourself a fool
…………to consider the imitation more needful of a creator than the vibrant reality before you.

God is Beauty, and He has strewn wonders across our world in a super abundant feast to attract us, to fascinate us and to give us enticing glimpses of what awaits us when we at last behold the One Who is all Beauty.

Be a fool no longer!  Seek your Creator, the God of the Universe, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, your Beloved, the Beautiful One.

He longs for you, desires you, above all the beauty of His creation.

He calls to you?  Will you not answer….will you not seek Him and the delights He has prepared for you alone?

You ravish my heart,
my sister, my promised bride,
you ravish my heart
with a single one of your glances,
with a single link of your necklace.
What spells lie in your love,
my sister, my promised bride! 
Song of Songs 4:9-10 (NJB)

(first posted in January 2013)

Enter into His Heart…in silence


God loves silence.

In silence, when all noise and distraction have ceased, there is only God, Who is everywhere. God and us in the silence…together.

Great and mighty things happen in silence.  The Eternal Word leapt down from Heaven and became flesh in Mary’s womb … in silence.

“…and on the third day, He arose again from the dead.”  In silence.

Little miracles happen in silence too.  We go to bed at night and we wake up in the morning, and roses have bloomed and seeds have sprouted and the sun has appeared again….all in silence.

Our Lady is almost completely silent in the gospels, her Immaculate Heart so united to God that she too prefers the silence….so full of God.

On this Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I am thinking of the silence of His Eucharistic Heart beating within us at Holy Communion.  I love to ponder the Heart of Jesus embracing my poor little heart and beating with Infinite Love within me, during those precious moments of His Presence…..that union with Him beyond words.

Yet all is silent.  I do not sense the flames of Divine Love.  I do not hear His sweet voice, or experience the transformation of my soul.  But I believe that all of this is present….in the silence in which I immerse myself in thanksgiving.

I try to rest in that silence, my head on His breast, my inner voice stilled.  It is enough to be with Him in those few moments, in a mutual embrace of love….in silence.

It is the same when I kneel in Adoration before His Sacred and Eucharistic Heart.  Those hours are the most silent periods of my week.  Yet, they are the most transformative.  I am in His Presence.  Nothing more is needed.  He is at work in my soul … silently.

An hour, a  day, a week, a month later, I experience evidence of those Divine touches.  I find patience I did not know I had, forgiveness comes easily, there is strength for a difficult trial, there is peace in my soul, there is joy in my heart.   All the work of the Master.  He never comes without changing us, without leaving gifts yet to be discovered.  You too have experienced this, I know.

And, He does it all….in silence.

Let us not become discouraged because we do not see visions of the Sacred Heart like St. Margaret Mary, or do not experience Jesus placing a flame of His Heart within us as He did to this humble nun..

Let us not even doubt when we walk the path of spiritual dryness and darkness and feel as though Jesus has abandoned us.  That will never happen.  He likes to hide, that we might seek Him more, as the bride in the Song of Songs sought her Lover.

And are they not especially silent, these times of aridity and spiritual desolation?  Great graces are being showered upon us, if we remain faithful to God….in the silence.

Our poor little hearts are so easily distracted by what our senses perceive.  But God gives us the gift of silence wherein there is only He, and nothing created to compete with the One we cannot yet see.

What joy we will bring to the Sacred Heart of Jesus today, if we seek Him in silence, draw near and rest our head upon that Heart which is filled with such unimaginable tenderness for each one of us.

“Behold this Heart which has so loved men, but is loved so little in return.”  Jesus to St. Margaret Mary.

Let us love Him in return….in silence,  which is, after all,  the language of Love.

(If you would like to read more about silence, please visit my friend Theresa’s blog, desert of my heart, where she writes so beautifully on this topic.)


After This….nothing more but Heaven

“The Eucharist is the supreme proof of the love of Jesus. After this, there is nothing more but Heaven itself.”

St. Peter Julian Eymard

“When we go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament we represent the one in the world who is in most need of God’s Mercy.” We “Stand in behalf of the one in the world who does not know Christ and who is farthest away from God and we bring down upon their soul the Precious Blood of The Lamb.”

Pope St. John Paul II

 “O Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I would like to be filled with love for You; keep me closely united with You, may my heart be near to Yours. I want to be to You like the apostle John. O Mary of the Rosary, keep me recollected when I say these prayers of yours; bind me forever, with your rosary, to Jesus of the Blessed Sacrament. Blessed be Jesus, my love..,” 

Pope St. John XXIII, Journal of a Soul

 “For One in such a lofty position to stoop so low is a marvel that is staggering. What sublime humility and humble sublimeness, that the Lord of the Universe, the Divine Son of God, should stoop as to hide Himself under the appearance of bread for our salvation! Behold the humble way of God, my brothers. Therefore, do not hold yourselves to be anything of yourselves, so that you may be entirely acceptable to One Who gives Himself entirely to you.”

St. Francis of Assisi

“O Sisters, if we would only comprehend the fact that while the Eucharistic Species remain within us, Jesus is there and working in us inseparably with the Father and the Holy Spirit and therefore the whole Holy Trinity is there…,” 

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

I broke His Heart….


My Jesus, how often I forget that it was I who condemned You to death. If everyone else who has ever lived could somehow vanish, as though they had never been, you still would have been condemned to death, by me….and my sins. Not by Pilate, but by me. Your Love for me alone would have brought You to the Cross.

Jesus, as I look upon Your Suffering, with compassion and sorrow, let me remember that my sins cause you immeasurably more pain than the scourging and the thorns and the nails. Those were physical sufferings, but I broke Your Heart.

Grant that I may remember always that the slightest deliberate venial sin wounds Your Heart so deeply, and brings tears to Your Beautiful Eyes. Jesus, I tremble to think that it was I in the crowd screaming “Crucify Him,” when Pilate asked what to do with You.

Yes my Jesus, I condemned You to die by my sins.  Forgive me……….

The beautiful Wounds of Jesus…

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:24-28)



That beautiful verse of Scripture is cherished by many of us for the love Jesus shows to “doubting” Thomas, and for His beautiful promise, “Blessed are those who have not seen, but have believed.”  It’s such a rich passage:   the touching, the intimacy Jesus extends to His somewhat bewildered apostle. One can only imagine the awe with which the others present must have looked on.

But this passage is significant for another reason. It clearly reveals to us something perhaps unexpected: Jesus still bears His Wounds upon His Resurrected Body.

But why?  Certainly, God could have removed any sign of the torments inflicted upon His Son’s precious Body. Jesus Christ possesses the most beautiful, most glorious risen Body which even God could create…for Jesus is God, and therefore perfect…even bearing Wounds.

On a retreat I attended several years ago, the priest spoke of the Wounds of Christ, and he said that Our Lord’s Sacred Wounds now shine like splendid rubies in His glorified Body. Far from detracting from the perfection of that Holy Body, they contribute greatly to its Glory. For those Wounds are the Wounds of Love. The very Body of Jesus is imprinted forever with His Love for you and for me.

Jesus is no longer on the Cross, but He would never wish to surrender His Wounds. How He must cherish them…these Sacred Marks upon His Holy flesh which visibly proclaim to all of creation the Love He bears for poor sinners.

And to chosen souls, who love Him greatly, what gift does He sometimes give? The stigmata…wounds of the crucifixion mystically experienced in the bodies of great Saints like Catherine of Siena, Francis of Assisi and Padre Pio, to name a few.

The priest at my retreat went on to suggest that we too may bear wounds in Heaven. Not scars or disfigurement, but our own precious wounds of love. He explained that we should not be surprised to see that what we have suffered in our bodies for Jesus, through sickness, pain, torment, etc., will be manifested one day as great beauty. We too shall be adorned with heavenly jewels….for Jesus counts every tear and measures every pain, storing them all as treasures awaiting us in Heaven.

As I listened to Father, I thought of how Jesus so generously allows us to participate in His Saving Work by redemptive suffering. How like Him to desire that our little wounds of love, willingly suffered for Him, would tell the story of our love for all eternity.

When I allow myself to consider the possibility of Jesus without His Glorious Wounds, I cannot do so for very long. It is too sad…too heartbreaking. Jesus without His pierced hands and feet and His wounded Heart?  That is impossible!  His Love makes it impossible. I hope one day in Heaven to kiss those Precious Wounds, as I have so often kissed them on my little crucifixes. Like Thomas, I want to be able to recognize Jesus by His beautiful Wounds of Love and proclaim, “My Lord and my God!”

The transforming Gaze of Jesus….

Below is an excerpt (permitted to be shared) from a book I think I would like to read.  I have long been fascinated by the “gaze” of Jesus, this unseen “Face to face” which we can even now enter into…especially in the Presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

The gaze of Jesus rests always upon us, and how He longs for us to us to fix our minds and hearts upon Him, in a mutual gaze of love.

Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy….  Psalm 34:5


The following is Vinny Flynn’s introduction to his latest book, Mercy’s Gaze: 100 Readings from Scripture and the Diary of St. Faustinapublished by Marian Press:

“O Eternal Love, You command Your Sacred Image to be painted” (Diary of St. Faustina, 1).

So begins the Diary of St. Faustina, written by a simple, uneducated Polish nun, who was destined to become the first saint of the Jubilee Year that ushered in the third Christian millennium.

It seems fitting that her Diary should begin this way, for the painting of Christ as He appeared to her — known now throughout the world as the Divine Mercy Image — reveals to those who look deeply the entire message of mercy that comes from the 600-page Diary.

Why did the Lord appear to her and command that this image be painted? The clue comes in an easily overlooked phrase in Faustina’s dramatic description of this first major revelation recorded in the Diary. The Lord has just appeared to her, dressed in the white robe of the priesthood, with His right hand raised in blessing and His left hand holding His garment open in the area of His Heart, from which gush forth red and pale rays as an endless fountain of mercy. Faustina writes: “I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord” (Diary, 47).

Filled with “awe, but also with great joy,” Faustina says nothing, but simply keeps her gaze fixed on Christ. The Lord doesn’t immediately speak to her either, but only “after a while” tells her to paint His image. He first gives her time to contemplate in her mind and heart what she is seeing with her eyes — to look as Our Lady looked, pondering in her heart deeply so that she could enter more fully into the mystery of Christ’s love, in complete trust and surrender to His will.

Pope John Paul II (now blessed), who referred to St. Faustina as “a sign for our times,” considered this type of contemplative gazing so important that he proclaimed it as the agenda of the Church for the next thousand years. “To contemplate the face of Jesus,” he wrote in his encyclical on the Eucharist, “and to contemplate it with Mary, is the ‘programme’ which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 6).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church also stresses the importance of this gazing upon the Lord, connecting it with the daily conversion we all need. “The human heart,” it tells us, “is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced” (1432).

How can looking at Jesus convert our hearts? Because when we really look, we also see the Father and come to understand His plan of mercy for all.

Jesus is the “image of the invisible God,” writes St. Paul (Col 1:15). Who’s the “invisible God”? The Father. Jesus Himself makes this clear when He explains to the apostles, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9).

According to Pope John Paul II, this is why Jesus came — to show us that God is a Father who is “rich in mercy. … Believing in the crucified Son means ‘seeing the Father'” (Dives in Misericordia, 1, 7).

What’s all this have to do with converting our hearts?

“Conversion to God,” John Paul continues, “always consists in discovering His mercy, … [and] is always the fruit of the ‘rediscovery’ of this Father, who is rich in mercy” (Dives in Misericordia, 13).

So, when we gaze upon Christ as He is represented in this image — not only with our eyes but with our minds and hearts — we “rediscover” the Father. We recognize that it’s His hand raised over us in blessing, His mercy gushing forth from the Heart of Jesus. We come to know who Christ is, who the Father is, and who we are called to be, and we are progressively transformed into living images of mercy.

Christ didn’t command this image to be painted so that we could simply hang it on a wall and glance at it now and then. We are not supposed to just look at this image; we are supposed to become it.

As St. Paul explains, “All of us, gazing with unveiled faces upon the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor 3:18).

Saint Faustina’s spiritual director, Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko, in recounting her instructions for the painting of the image, emphasizes that it should be painted in such a way that our gazing upon it also reveals to us the compassionate gaze of Jesus.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) also speaks of this gaze of Christ, explaining that communicating with Christ demands not only that we gaze on Him but also that we “allow him to gaze on us, listen to him, get to know him” (God Is Near Us, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2003, p. 97).

This gazing upon Christ — and receiving His gaze — changes us, transforms us, bit-by-bit, healing our hearts and enabling us to entrust our lives to Him. It is this double gazing that I invite you to experience as you read this book. Don’t attempt to consume it quickly, all at once, but sit for a while with each entry. Ponder it to make it your own and allow it to touch your life. Take the time to contemplate the face of Jesus. Get to know Him and listen in your heart to what He wants to say to you today through Sacred Scripture and the Diary of St. Faustina.

Looking upon Jesus in this way and seeing how He looks at you with love, may you come to recognize and embrace the mystery of the Father’s mercy — the love that is greater than all sin, greater than all evil; the love that can reach the darkest corners of the world and heal all our brokenness; the love that we don’t deserve and can’t earn, but that is freely given; the love that can fill us to overflowing, transforming us, like St. Faustina, into living images of mercy for others.

Mary bashing…they should know better

I rarely visit Twitter. My followers are in double digits…barely. But, a couple of nights ago, I happened to glance at the feed, and to my shock, Our Lady was the subject of some twitter banter. Sadly, many people were claiming that she had been only an “incubator” for Jesus, that she had not even given Him flesh. Others said to “forget about Mary,” and to “put her aside.”

Well, I joined some other Catholics who were defending our Beloved Mother and tried to help enlighten those who were so cruelly disparaging her. What I found most heartbreaking was that they weren’t even neutral in their opinion, but rather anti-Mary…as though they wished they could just make her go away.

Because of this recent incident, I’m dusting off a past post I wrote about our Blessed Mother, and yes, I’ll be linking to it on Twitter. I doubt it will open any closed minds, but maybe the rosary I’m about to say will!  You just never know….

O Mary, Gate of Heaven, Morning Star, Ark of the Covenant, Theotokos, pray for us!

Sandro Botticelli, circa 1480

Mary was on my mind yesterday during adoration, no doubt because I was reading 33 Days to Morning Glory, and also because of the recent events related in my last post.

But it’s more than that. I’ve mentioned before that I listen to Catholic radio a lot, and during the call-in shows, Mary is often a topic of conversation. So many people simply do not grasp her sublime place in God’s Plan for our salvation, or worse yet, they think she was simply a convenient vehicle used by God to bring the Savior into the world. After Jesus was born, these individuals assume that Mary and Joseph led a normal married life and that Mary simply faded into oblivion.

What an insult to God! First to imagine that His Son would be conceived by an ordinary woman who had not been perfectly prepared by Him. Secondly, to ascribe to God such a capricious attitude of using one of His creatures for so exalted a purpose and then to essentially forget about her….to credit nothing to her for the sacrifice of her very own Son.

Scripture and the Church present us with such a very different picture of Mary’s life and Mary’s purpose.

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you….

What a great Mystery!  Mary is asked, and consents to be the Mother of Jesus.

And…in a glorious silence containing all the Power of Heaven and earth, the Holy Spirit overshadows her and enters into her virginal womb to create the Body and Soul of the God-Man, that Human Nature which would be hypostatically united to the Divine Nature and Person of the Son of God.

The Incarnation is God’s greatest Work, and It took place within Mary, hidden in silence, unheralded save by Gabriel’s few words to the chosen maiden.

How holy Mary was from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception… Full of Grace, as Gabriel addressed her. But what new and unique Graces surely flooded her soul in that wondrous Instant when she became the Mother of God, and truly the Spouse of the Holy Spirit!

Can anyone really dare to think that all of this happened in an off-handed, matter of fact way? That God overshadowed Mary, and then departed, bestowing no splendor of Grace, no bond between Himself and this Woman carrying the very Son of God, now incarnate?

Mary is matchless, and we can never comprehend her holiness and her unique relationship to God.  She is not Divine. God is infinitely above all of His creatures. But Mary has an exalted place which cannot be approached by even the greatest of the Saints.

She is the God-Bearer. And once you say that, what is left to say about her greatness? All that she is and all that she has was bestowed upon her because of the ineffable and most pure intimacy she experienced with the Most Holy Trinity.

Who can plumb the mysteries which passed between God and Mary in that Moment which changed everything? The Son became her Child…uniting her flesh to His Being in an act of humility and Gift for which the angels surely were rendered speechless to praise.

Yes, God defeated Satan through a humble maiden, forever raised to the heights of holiness because of her relationship with God.

If we become holy through Baptism, when The Trinity comes to dwell within us, then what is there to say of Mary’s holiness, her relationship to God, her exaltation?

O Mary, Daughter of the Most High, Mother of the Eternal Word, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us!