She loved much….

(A re-post of a favorite, from May, 2011)

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov 

Mary Magdalene, what are you about,
as I follow your footsteps through the gospels?
You begin and you end with JESUS.

I see you at Simon’s house
with your perfumed oil,
and I find you again at the tomb,
carrying fragrant spices.

What are you about Mary?
You are unique in the gospels,
 always at the feet of Jesus.

At your home, where Martha busied herself.
at the Cross with Our Lady.
I never find you when you are not in adoration of Him.

Such faithful love did not go unnoticed.
You were the first to see Him after He rose.

“Mary,” He said,
And you were at His feet again.

Mary Magdalene, what are you about?
Tell me please,
that I too may follow in your way

And anoint today
the Adorable Face of JESUS,
with grateful love.

And sit at His feet,
washing them with
tears of repentance

And stand by the Cross,
consoling Him as I bear
my own little crosses.

And someday, behold Him
resurrected as you did,
and fall at His feet in worship.

Where are you going O Mary?
Take me along please!
For no greater words could I hear
Than those JESUS spoke of you:

“She loved much.”

Happy Easter to all….

Artist unknown

Artist unknown

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead, but he laid his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid, it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One, I was dead and look..I am alive for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of Hades…” (Revelation 1:17-18)

Mother of Sorrows…..

Michelangelo's_Pieta_5450_cut_out_black

Mary, Mother of Sorrows, after all your had witnessed, after all the torture you had seen inflicted upon your Precious Son, they were not yet finished with Him.

Standing beneath His dead Body, you must have hoped that He would soon be taken down and laid in your arms so that you could tenderly wipe His Face and cover it with kisses mixed with tears.

But no, your agony had not yet ended. Even with His death, they were not finished ravaging His Sacred Body. A soldier thrust a lance into the very Heart of Your Son. Oh Mary, surely your whole body quivered in horror and how deeply you must have experienced those long ago words of the prophet Simeon, and a sword shall pierce your own heart…

PRAY FOR US O HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!

Learn from Me….

O THE HUMILITY OF JESUS WHO KNELT TO WASH THE FEET OF HIS APOSTLES -
HIS SACRED HEART AFLAME WITH LOVE AND JOY IN SERVING HIS OWN CREATURES!

Giovanni Stefano Danedi public domain

Giovanni Stefano Danedi
public domain

O my Jesus, when I look at You upon Your knees, how I despise my prideful heart. You are Love poured out, not a drop held back. How beautiful You are, my Jesus! It is no wonder that your Eternal Father let His praise ring out from the Heavens: This is My Beloved Son, in Him I am well pleased…

Jesus, Your Life is the Book I must study. Let me memorize Your every word and deed. All perfection is contained therein.

O Jesus, I believe that You cherished this night of Love which began with You on your knees washing feet like a slave, and ended with You on your knees, sweating Blood in Your Agony.

In the midst of it all, You gave us Your Greatest Gift, Your Own Body and Blood to become our Food and Drink, to sustain us for this journey here on earth. You gave us Your Real Presence, to dwell with us always. And You rejoiced to give away, Your very Flesh and Blood!

IS THIS NOT INFINITE LOVE?

Rescuing Lent……

THANK YOU to everyone who so kindly expressed thoughtful concern and promises of prayer upon the sudden illness and death of my sister. I will be forever grateful for your goodness and generosity. I hope to respond to each comment individually over the next day or two.

Below is a post about one of my “favorite” Lenten seasons. Each one is different, as you know. This one was shared with a friend. I call it my Lent of “flowers.”

How is your Lent going?  Are you keeping all of those penances and promises?

As I see the mid-point of Lent fast approaching, I realize that I have not been as faithful and consistent as I had hoped, with all of my Lenten resolutions.  In fact, I can only remember one Lent when I felt I made it to the finish line, keeping all of my promises.

I call it my Lenten Springtime, or the Lent of flowers.

About 15 years ago, I met someone who had recently returned to the Church after an absence of over 30 years.  He was very excited and on fire with his re-found faith, but was a bit intimidated by Lent, and had no idea what he might do for penance.  He wanted to choose something very difficult…almost to punish himself, it seemed, for his years away from the Lord.

So, I suggested that together, we offer an extra 1000 prayers and/or sacrifices to Jesus throughout the 40 days of Lent.  That meant a total of 25 offerings each day between us.  He was delighted with the idea of one thousand sacrifices, and we decided to express each offering by a flower of our own choosing.

Making an extra holy hour for example, could be a beautiful long-stemmed red rose, or a magnificent white orchid, while saying an extra decade of the rosary might earn a sunny yellow daffodil.

My friend and I soon became ingenious at collecting our daily tally…..we left food unsalted,went thirsty for an hour, took cool baths/showers, etc.  We scored gorgeous roses with sacrifices like holding our tongue when treated unjustly, or going out of our way to be nice to someone we didn’t especially like.

We thought up so many penances as well as good deeds to accomplish, that I’m quite sure our guardian angels must have gotten in on the fun.

Each night, we exchanged emails recording that day’s bounty of flowers.  As Easter approached, we were filled with joy, seeing that our goal was in sight.  We worked extra hard during Holy Week to be sure that we would not fall short at the last moment.

When Easter morning finally arrived, we printed out our very long list of well over one thousand flowers of all kinds, colors and fragrances.  With great joy and excitement, I received Jesus in Holy Communion, and presented to Him this lovely spiritual bouquet.

It was a simple Lent, a joyful Lent, a Lent shared with a friend recently renewed in his faith.  Yet, the prayers, the sacrifices and penances had all cost  us….but we hadn’t felt it so much, since our focus was on gathering the most beautiful flowers for Jesus.

Like every season of life, each Lent is different.  But that Lent seemed just about perfect to me.  In a way, it reminds me of Therese who as a little girl, liked to count her sacrifices on a string of beads.

Sometimes when attempting all of those grown-up, demanding and challenging Lenten practices seems to weigh us down, burden and discourage us, it might be a nudge from the Lord to return to the simple things of a child….like gathering flowers.

So if your Lent is in need of a bit of “rescuing,” there is still plenty of time to assemble a truly gorgeous bouquet.

But you can be sure that even if you can only manage a bunch of wildflowers, He Who numbers the very hairs of your head will receive them with the greatest Joy!  And one day in Heaven, you will see those very flowers, eternally fresh, fragrant and beautiful at the feet of Jesus.

(First published March 12, 2012)

Prayers urgently needed…

PLEASE PRAY!

I received news earlier today that my older sister, who lives on the other side of the country, is in a coma and not expected to survive.

I am still in shock, as she was well the last time we were in touch.  This all happened suddenly.  She went into cardiac arrest last night, and is now on full life support.

Thank God she is in a Catholic hospital and I was able to contact them and ask that she be anointed.

This dear sister of mine was raised Catholic, but has not practiced her faith in many years.  But, she is a good person with a very tender heart, and I have great faith in Our Lord’s Mercy.

So, that is what I ask here:  you prayers for His Mercy on her soul.

I am grateful that she survived the night so that my other sister and I could request prayers for her and call a priest.  What a tremendous comfort this is to us at this difficult time.

We are praying for a miracle, but mostly we are praying for God’s Mercy on her soul.  If you would join with us in prayer, we would be most grateful, and I will remember each of you who pray in my holy hours of Adoration throughout the rest of this year.

May God bless you, and may He have Mercy on the whole world!

Jesus, I trust in You!

The day I met the King…..

The new movie, Son of God, opened last weekend. I had to go see it. You see, movies about Jesus remind me of a long ago spring day when I first met the King. You can read about it in a re-post from two years ago below.

I first met the King of the Universe in a movie theater when I was twelve years old. And I still consider it one of the great graces of my life.

Mom worked in retail downtown in New Orleans.  Adjacent to the store where she was employed was a movie theater.

It was magical.  It had a lovely balcony, and in the ceiling were tiny lights that twinkled like stars.  Grecian inspired statues posed elegantly on pedestals nestled against luxurious drapery that ringed the theater ceiling to floor.  And it was huge.  Row after row of seats stretched across several aisles before the huge screen.

One glorious spring day, I accompanied my mother to work, so that I could meet a friend to have lunch and shop at the five and dime store nearby.  But my friend wasn’t feeling well, and couldn’t meet me.

Mom was going to send me home in a taxi, but then I looked up at the marquee on the magical theater and read the words:  King of Kings.

“Mom, there is a movie about a king playing next door.  Can I please go see it?”

And so, I bought my ticket for the eleven o’clock matinée.  Those were the days when movies ran consecutively, without pause to empty out the theater…so you could stay as long as you liked.  I settled into the end seat on a side aisle, with my popcorn, and waited for the movie to begin.

From the moment I heard the majestic music, and saw the title flash on the screen in imposing letters, I realized that this would be a movie about Jesus.  He was a King, wasn’t He?

I didn’t consider myself to be very religious.  I had book knowledge about God from my Catholic school, but I didn’t know Him at all.  In fact, I was rather afraid of Him. Yet, for as long as I could remember, I had always felt a strong attraction to this mysterious God, and would sometimes catch myself daydreaming about Him, most especially, Jesus…the Crucified One.

But, I certainly had no intention of falling in love with Him while watching a movie. Yet, when Jeffrey Hunter appeared on the screen as the adult Christ, my heart soared….not for the handsome actor. Even then, I knew the difference. No, it was the Person of Jesus Christ Who attracted every fiber of my being. I was mesmerized as I watched Him gently hold in His arms the foaming at the mouth demoniac.  And when He visited John the Baptist in prison, I wanted to grasp His hand and hold on the way John did.

I loved Him for defending that poor woman caught in adultery,  and I imbibed every peaceful, loving and challenging word of the Sermon on the Mount. I wept with Him in His Agony in the Garden, and could barely watch the scourging and crucifixion. And then it all ended…. with only His shadow on the sand and those awesome words: ” I am with you always, even until the end of the world.”

If ever there was a movie I didn’t want to end, it was this one.  And yet the screen went dark…for a few minutes. But then it all began again: the music, the title, the Story…and I stayed. I stayed and watched the second viewing of this three hour long movie.

I was alone, in an empty part of the theater, yet I did not feel alone. I felt warm and joyful and hopeful inside…and yes, even loved.   I followed Jesus throughout His life again…this time focusing more on Who He was than what He did.

Jesus came alive for me on that screen, as He never had in my religion books or sermons I’d heard, or even the Bible stories we read at school. He knew I had needed to “see” Him.

And although it would be 13 more years before we sealed that first encounter, I never forgot our “first” meeting.  He was always with me…calling me, reminding me of His Love.  Although I fell into sin, and even stopped attending Mass for a time, He was always there. He was unforgettable.

In the theater, the third showing had begun, and I desperately wanted to stay…to stay forever, but I knew my parents would be waiting for me.  I stayed as long as I could, about an hour, and then slowly left the theater, fighting back tears.

Mom and Dad were amazed that I had spent the entire day at one movie, but they didn’t ask any questions. And I was grateful for that, as I had a need to be silent in that way that we do when we have felt the Master’s touch.

Since then, other more sophisticated and refined productions of the Life of Jesus have been produced, and I have seen as many as I heard about.

But superior though they may be by critics’ standards, none have ever transformed my life like that day I spent at the movies with the King of all kings.

Jesus, You are so beyond words…even the tongues of angels cannot praise You as You deserve.  Thank You for capturing my heart when I was twelve.  I didn’t realize at the time the depth of what I had experienced.  It would lie buried within for the next several years, but I knew You and I never ceased to desire You, even when I was running away from You.  O my King, may we never be separated again!  I love You!

How great and wonderful are all your works,
Lord God Almighty;
upright and true are all Your ways,
King of nations.
Who does not revere and glorify your name, O Lord?

For you alone are holy,
and all nations will come and adore you
for the many acts of saving justice you have shown. (Revelation 15: 3-4) NJB

Come walk with Jesus…

Let us walk with Jesus on this Lenten journey.  He is, after all, the Way, and there is no other way to Eternal Life.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word  was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through Him, and without Him, nothing came to be. What came to be through Him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.

And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we saw His glory, the glory of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 14) NAB

jesus-looking-from-sky

I AM THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE

Adoring the Holy Face of Jesus

Today is the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus.  It always falls on Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras.)  I can’t help thinking that this Feast of reparation falls on this day at least partly because of all the sins committed during the Mardi Gras celebrations.  (I grew up in New Orleans, so I know….)

I hope you will visit this link to my post featuring the history of this feast, as well as the Golden Arrow Prayer which Jesus Himself dictated to a Carmelite nun….a prayer to bring delight to His Heart.

But I also wanted to celebrate the Beauty of the Face of Jesus today.  I substituted at Adoration yesterday, and found myself meditating much on His Sacred Humanity, and how irresistible the Face of Jesus must be.

I cannot imagine such love and compassion, such kindness, tenderness, majesty and power, such goodness and glory all shining forth in one Sacred Countenance.  Truly, one could not see Him as He is and live!

I remember the words of St. Faustina:  Jesus, who will paint You as beautiful as You are?

faceofchrist

O Most Beautiful Face
Of my Savior,
I adore Your Divine Beauty,
Hidden from me now,
Yet known somehow
In the depths of my soul.
I sit before You,
Beneath Your Loving Gaze.
I gaze back,
Seeing
Only the Sacred Host,
Yet knowing
That it is into the
Eyes of my Beloved Savior that
I see,
Endlessly.

For an outstanding article on the Holy Face, visit: http://vultus.stblogs.org/index.php/2014/03/look-to-him-and-be-radiant/