The Dream……

(Because I am in the midst of a storm, and need to snuggle close to Jesus on the rough waters of life, I share this post from 2011.)

Then it began to blow a great gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But He was in the stern, His head on the cushion, asleep. Mark 4:37-39

I especially love Mark’s account of the calming of the storm on the lake, because it includes the lovely little detail of Jesus resting His head on the cushion

O Son of God, asleep in the boat, Your Sacred Head resting upon a cushion — like us, You sought a bit of comfort. 

O how beautiful You are, Divine Jesus.  I love to sit and contemplate Your Holy Countenance at rest.  Sweet and Innocent Lamb of God, You are breathtaking, and I cannot turn my eyes away.

Gently, I reach out to brush back your damp hair so that I may drink in all the Beauty of Your Face.

I find myself wondering what You are dreaming about.  You look so peaceful.  O, I hope it is a lovely dream.  Perhaps You are dreaming of all who will one day love You and sing Your praises forever.

Are you dreaming of the great Saints and Martyrs who will live lives of heroic virtue, and even die for love of you?  Are you dreaming of Your Home in Heaven?

My Jesus, do I dare hope that You are dreaming of me?

The wind has picked up and a huge storm is moving into my life, but I must not wake You.   I recall Your words to Your disciples:  “Why are you frightened?  Have you still no faith?”

Increase my faith, O dearest Jesus!

“I sleep, but My Heart is awake.” (Song of Songs 5:2)  Your Heart hears my unspoken prayers.

Our boat is tossed about.  I can scarcely hold on.  I come closer, and snuggle next to You, resting my head upon Your Heart.  I close my eyes.  The waves wash over us.  I feel Your Closeness.  “I will not wake Him,”  I whisper to myself.  And I too drift off to peaceful sleep…….

“His left arm is under my head,
His right embraces me.” (Song of Songs 2:6)

 ………Some years ago, I often liked to ask Jesus what He dreamed about while on earth.  I never expected an answer, of course.  But one weekend, I went to a huge Marian Conference in New Orleans.  There were thousands of people there praising and worshiping God.  The Masses were beautiful.  There was an adoration chapel set up, and Our Blessed Lady was honored with beautiful words, prayers and an abundance of flowers.

I felt I had died and gone to Heaven, but the best was yet to come.  On Sunday evening, suddenly I heard the steady ringing of bells from a distance while the choir began to exquisitely sing “Crown Him with many Crowns.”  Then I saw the procession of white vested priests start down the aisle, amidst clouds of incense, and as the bells grew louder, I saw Him.  He was being carried in a ciborium swaddled in white, surrounded by candles.

But what took my breath away were His people.  As the procession passed each row in this immense conference center, all of the people bowed to the ground.  Row after row fell on their faces before Him.  As I watched with tears filling my eyes, awaiting His approach, I thought, “Oh, this must be what Heaven is like.”

And, unexpectedly, astonishingly, I heard a clear and tender voice whisper to my heart,

THIS is one of My Dreams! 

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“We have no king but Caesar…” (John 19:16)

Samuel thought that it was wrong of them to say, “Let us have a king to judge us,” so he prayed to Yahweh. But Yahweh said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people….it is not you they have rejected but Me, not wishing Me to reign over them any more. Do as they ask and give them a king.”  I Samuel 8:6-8, 22

My beloved God, after all you had done for your people Israel, they rejected Your Majesty and demanded that a mere man be made their king: The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel. They said, “No! We are determined to have a king, so that we can be like the other nations, with our own king to rule us and lead us and fight our battles.” (I Samuel 8:20-21)

My Jesus, how foolish we are to think that the creature is preferable to the Creator…that worldly things will ever satisfy our hearts. Yet, you permit us to choose what we wish. Surely your heart broke when Your people rejected Your Kingship.

It is so painful to read these verses in Scripture, and yet I know that I too have many times rejected Your sovereignty.  My heart breaks to realize that truth. But today, I ask You to be my Lord and King forever…let nothing created ever distract my gaze from Your Beauty. Let me entrust my heart to no one but You. Grant that I may fight all of my battles under the banner of Your Cross.

Jesus, you know that I have secretly rejoiced that I live in a place and time in which I have never been subject to an earthly king. Yet among your Saints are numbered kings and queens. It is not royalty which offends you, but enslavement to sin, whether among king or peasant.

My Almighty One, I kiss the scepter of Your Cross and bow before Your Divine Majesty. Rule over me in all things, as I strive to finish my battle in this foreign land, and then bring me swiftly into Your Eternal Kingdom where I will adore you Face to face forever and ever, O King of all kings!

Then I heard all the living things in creation–everything that lives in Heaven, and on earth, and under the earth and in the sea, crying:
To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb,
be all praise, honor, glory and power,
forever and ever. (Revelation 5: 13)

Jesus among us…..yesterday, today and forever!

JESUS…The Wonder of You!

I see You walking along dusty roads with Your disciples, Your hair blowing in the wind; Your eyes squinting at the sunlight. I see You eating and drinking and sleeping, just as I do.

And I am in awe!

You are God! You are the Alpha and the Omega; the Beginning and the End. You are Mighty God and Prince of Peace.
You are Lord of All. Yet, You have chosen to be also truly One of us.

In Your Adorable Person dwell both Perfect Humanity and Perfect Divinity.

I am fascinated! And I shall be lost in loving You, My Perfect One, for all eternity.

O Wisdom so Beautiful! O Mercy so Tender! O Goodness so Sublime!

My nothingness adores Your All!

Tonight, from a back pew at Mass, I watched at the Agnus Dei as Father raised Jesus, and we sang the sweet strains of “Lamb of God…”

My eyes filled with tears as I gazed at the True Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world…and I thought of what He was about to do.

I watched as people began to fill the aisle and form two lines, but not just people….God’s beloved children. In the priest’s hands, Jesus waited to become our Food. He waited with such Love, such Longing, such Thirst for us. Just as He had poured out Himself on the Cross, so now He would also pour out His Entire Being to become One with each of us.

What kind of God does such a thing? Hides His Glory beneath a tiny Host and allows Himself to be consumed by anyone who approaches Him?

My mind drifted back to a talk I had heard this morning, on the Humility of God, and how Satan so hated God for becoming Incarnate….a mere Man. But, the priest had continued, how much more does the devil hate the Holy Eucharist, for God’s Humility reaches Its most Sublime Expression when He assumes the appearance of mere bread that He might feed the children He loves with such Infinite Tenderness…with His Own Flesh and Blood.

And now, I too was in line…awaiting the Food of my soul, the Living Bread come down from Heaven. The Bread which gives eternal life. Food for the journey. His Glorified Body. His Real Presence. His Beating Heart. What wonders, what miracles take place in our souls when we receive Jesus with love. What joy for Him to be loved by His poor little ones. As Therese taught:  His Love reaches Its Height, when It touches lowliness with Its Fire.

Father, help me to love Your Son,
Jesus, teach me to love Your Father,
Holy Spirit, inflame me with love for
My Triune God!

Can you spare ten minutes?

I just returned from Confession.  There was no line today, and I spent about 10 minutes with a very wise and kind Indian priest.  He said those awesome words, “I absolve you….”  Then it was over.  I left feeling, as always, so clean and free — ready to make a new start.

That’s all this Miracle of Grace cost me….ten minutes with a holy priest.

Then I went to the adoration chapel.  I went to thank Jesus, and looking at Him in the monstrance, was so lovely.  But then I looked above, at the crucifix on the wall. 

There He was, hands and feet nailed to the Cross, side pierced with a lance, head crowned with thorns, body beaten almost beyond recognition.

And I, purified by that Precious Blood which had poured forth from all His Wounds, and somehow mystically still pours over me when I am absolved from my sins, thought about all the Saturdays I put off going to Confession.

You see?  I was in the midst of a project at home, and didn’t want to stop and run off to Church in mid-afternoon.  And then there was the shopping I had to get done, or the dinner party I had to get ready for…   And oh well, I’ll just go next Saturday……or the one after that!

Oh Jesus, I am so sorry for all the times I’ve put my foolishness before You.  You Who should be first in my heart and in my thoughts at every moment. 

This great Sacrament which cost You Your Very Life always makes my soul more beautiful by Your Grace, and thereby unites me so much closer to You each time that I receive it.

One day, life will be over, and I will never again have this privilege of humbly kneeling before You, in the person of the priest, and unburdening my soul.

I love You, and I thank You for giving Your Life for me.  Let me never forget The Cost of Mercy:

For You — Everything!

For me — ten minutes on a Saturday afternoon.

The Dream……

Then it began to blow a great gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But He was in the stern, His head on the cushion, asleep. Mark 4:37-39

I especially love Mark’s account of the calming of the storm on the lake, because it includes the lovely little detail of Jesus resting His head on the cushion

O Son of God, asleep in the boat, Your Sacred Head resting upon a cushion — like us, You sought a bit of comfort. 

O how beautiful You are, Divine Jesus.  I love to sit and contemplate Your Holy Countenance at rest.  Sweet and Innocent Lamb of God, You are breathtaking, and I cannot turn my eyes away.

Gently, I reach out to brush back your damp hair so that I may drink in all the Beauty of Your Face.

I find myself wondering what You are dreaming about.  You look so peaceful.  O, I hope it is a lovely dream.  Perhaps You are dreaming of all who will one day love You and sing Your praises forever.

Are you dreaming of the great Saints and Martyrs who will live lives of heroic virtue, and even die for love of you?  Are you dreaming of Your Home in Heaven?

My Jesus, do I dare hope that You are dreaming of me?

The wind has picked up and a huge storm is moving into my life, but I must not wake You.   I recall Your words to Your disciples:  “Why are you frightened?  Have you still no faith?”

Increase my faith, O dearest Jesus!

“I sleep, but My Heart is awake.” (Song of Songs 5:2)  Your Heart hears my unspoken prayers.

Our boat is tossed about.  I can scarcely hold on.  I come closer, and snuggle next to You, resting my head upon Your Heart.  I close my eyes.  The waves wash over us.  I feel Your Closeness.  “I will not wake Him,”  I whisper to myself.  And I too drift off to peaceful sleep…….

“His left arm is under my head,
His right embraces me.” (Song of Songs 2:6)

 

 ………Some years ago, I often liked to ask Jesus what He dreamed about while on earth.  I never expected an answer, of course.  But one weekend, I went to a huge Marian Conference in New Orleans.  There were thousands of people there praising and worshiping God.  The Masses were beautiful.  There was an adoration chapel set up, and Our Blessed Lady was honored with beautiful words, prayers and an abundance of flowers.

I felt I had died and gone to Heaven, but the best was yet to come.  On Sunday evening, suddenly I heard the steady ringing of bells from a distance while the choir began to exquisitely sing “Crown Him with many Crowns.”  Then I saw the procession of white vested priests start down the aisle, amidst clouds of incense, and as the bells grew louder, I saw Him.  He was being carried in a ciborium swaddled in white, surrounded by candles.

But what took my breath away were His people.  As the procession passed each row in this immense conference center, all of the people bowed to the ground.  Row after row fell on their faces before Him.  As I watched with tears filling my eyes, awaiting His approach, I thought, “Oh, this must be what Heaven is like.”

And, unexpectedly, astonishingly, I heard a clear and tender voice whisper to my heart,

THIS is one of My Dreams! 

The Invitation

My Jesus, thank You for Your Presence here, where I can worship You, face to Face – a true prelude to Heaven.

Our intimacy deepens with each encounter; I can feel it in my soul. You are always the same, but I am never the same after having gazed upon You!

Come and see,” You told your future disciples in those early days, when they asked where you stayed. (John 1:39)

You gave them no answer that might merely satisfy their curiosity and allow them to separate from You.  Instead, You lovingly answered their question with an invitation.

You desired their company, and You wanted to give them the Gift of Your Presence.

They stayed all evening. How welcome, how comfortable they must have felt, and how drawn to Your Most Adorable Person.

Your Mother was most likely there. I can imagine her joy as she heard laughter and looked down the dusty road to see you accompanied by your new friends. No doubt, the delicious aroma of freshly baking bread was soon wafting through Your little home, as Mary prepared supper, while quietly singing Psalms of praise to Your Father.

I wonder what You and Your new companions talked about during those hours. I’m sure that You asked them many questions. (You love to ask questions.)

Oh, please speak to me too! I have found You here, in Your Real Presence, where You dwell as fully and alive as Your did on that long ago day in Nazareth.

I rejoice that I too know where You stay!

“I have found Him Whom my heart loves. I have taken hold of Him, and will not let Him go.” (Song of Songs 3:4)

Choices

My Jesus, You embraced me when I was but twenty-five, a long, tender embrace which drew me to You forever. I stayed in Your arms for a while. Oh, how delightful it was there — a foretaste of Heaven.

Then, taking my hand, You led me to the battlefield.  And blood flowed.

There have been many wounds, and much sorrow and pain. At times I thought I was mortally wounded, but You never left my side. Your Love has sustained me.

You gave me mighty weapons to wage my battles — faith in Your Merciful Love, trust in Your Infinite Goodness, a thirst for You in Your Most Blessed Sacrament.

You gave me other gifts that were “wrapped.”  At first, they seemed like unwelcome presents, but beneath the wrapping, I found treasures.

So often, You gave me what I did not want, but later realized, was exactly what I needed.

You have not permitted me to become attached to even what seemed good to me.

You gave me lovely gifts, but withheld others in order to plant a few seeds of humility in my poor soul.

I am amazed at Your untiring Love and Patience toward me.  Sometimes I think I am dreaming….

I love to call You the Faithful One, and You are indeed that, as well as my Adored One.

It delights me that You will never forget a single word or act of love from me, and yet, you do forget all of my sins, once my soul has been washed in Your Most Precious Blood.

My Jesus, You have denied me so many things I desired in this life, but looking back, I realize that your Love has given me an abundance of all that is best.

Thank You for choosing for me, that I might be able to say:

I choose You forever, my Most Precious God!

“But as for you, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30

I read yesterday that God is truly, completely, absolutely, Our Father. Our existence comes forth from Him.  He gives His Own Life to us. He is really Our Father — much more than our earthly fathers could ever be.

How beautiful to call God “FATHER” — not just as a title, but as a true relationship.

This is a truth of our faith which we can never completely comprehend or exhaust.  We must return to it again and again to allow God to reveal its wonders, its heights and depths, and privilege beyond all imagining.

I recall with joy how I knew and cherished every inch of my son’s tiny body when he was an infant. I loved the sweet smell of his hair, the softness of his tiny feet, and the roundness of his baby tummy. There was never a scratch or a rash or a mark of any kind which escaped my notice. Caressed, kissed, rocked, this tiny child drew never before known streams of delight and tenderness from my heart.

Are we not consumed with love for our own children — intoxicated by our babies? So also God is intoxicated with us.  More than intoxicated – “madly in love” so say the Saints.

 We are His precious little ones.

Therese reserved for herself in Heaven the very “lap” of God.  She dreamed of the day when she would be able to climb up, and play on the knees of the Almighty One.

If we seek to become a little child like Therese, we will be humble and reverent, but also delighted that we are so loved by Our Father.  If we approach Him as a child, He will permit us intimacies which even the angels do not enjoy.

Once, when I was feeling sad and lonely, I said to God:  “Oh how I wish You could give me a hug!”  Immediately I heard in my heart, so clearly and tenderly, “I am always hugging you.” 

If the very hairs of our head are counted, as Jesus tells us, then can we doubt that we too are being kissed and caressed and rocked in the arms of God – “always.”

 (See below for related idea expressed much more eloquently by the great Saint and Doctor of the Church) 

St. Catherine of Siena prayer to the Trinity:

“How, then, did you create, O Eternal Father, this your creature? […] Fire constrained you. O ineffable love, even though in your light you saw all the iniquities, which your creature would commit against your infinite goodness, you looked as if you did not see, but rested your sight on the beauty of your creature, whom you, as mad and drunk with love, fell in love with and out of love you drew her to yourself giving her being in your image and likeness. You, eternal truth, have declared to me your truth, that is, that loved constrained you to create her.”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding… Proverbs 3:5

I like to look at Jesus, and see Him looking back at me.  Both of us are silent, our eyes fixed in an exchange of love.

His pierced hands hold mine as He looks at me with kindness and reassurance.  He glances at my heart, for evidence of faith in Him, and His eyes tell me to keep trusting – not to give up, to believe in Him no matter what may seem to happen.

His eyes are serious.  This trust is so important to Him.  He’s counting on me.  He’s waiting.  I’m waiting.  We wait together for His Father’s timing.

His eyes plead with me not to doubt Him.  So many have doubted, and left Him.

No Jesus, I will not doubt You.  I will sit here with You for as long as You desire,  just gazing, gazing, at Your Incomparable Loveliness.