Your first day in Heaven…

My love lifts up his voice,
he says to me,
“Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come….”  (Song of Songs 2:10)

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I love when God surprises me!

On the way home from running errands, I stopped by a church to visit Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  I was alone except for the organist, and a vocalist who were seated at the organ and whispering.

Kneeling, I rested my head on my arms, hoping not to be distracted by the musicians. Suddenly, the organist launched into the the majestic tones of Felix Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.  How grand it sounded, as music poured out of the huge pipe organ, filling every nook and cranny of the empty church.

I looked up toward the aisle and imagined a bride, in her beautiful wedding gown, beginning her walk on her father’s arm.  What a glorious celebration a wedding is, and the bride plays the starring role.  Everyone stands to look at her as she appears in back of the church.  Every eye follows her walk toward her waiting groom.

But then…another thought flooded my consciousness.  If a wedding on on earth can be so beautiful, so magical and magnificent, what must the eternal espousals, celebrated in heaven, between God and the soul be like?

Surely no soul arrives in Heaven as though it were just an ordinary day.  God is no ordinary Lover.  Here comes His beloved, for whom He laid down His Life to purchase her freedom. Here approaches a priceless soul, fed on His Own Body and Blood.  Here she is at last, forgiven, cleansed, purified, clothed in His Grace, and ready for that for which she was created — everlasting union with the Most Blessed Trinity.  She will never be lost to Him again.   Sin is no longer possible.  She is His forever.  My love is mine and I am His.  (Song of Songs 2:16)

I shall betroth you to myself for ever,
I shall betroth you in uprightness and justice,
and faithful love and tenderness.  (Hosea 2:21)

Yes, all of heaven rejoices as she approaches the King of kings.  No one is unaware of her presence.  She will even have a new name known only to her and her beloved.

“…to those who prove victorious  I will give some hidden manna and a white stone, with a new name written on it, known only to the person who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17)

I am grateful that the organist continues to play the beautiful Wedding March.  But my heart is caught up with awe and wonderment at what must be the celebration of a soul’s entrance into heaven.   It is a new thought for me.  I had never before considered it.

Yet, God has written of this unending day all over the Scriptures– His “foolishness of Love” as St. Catherine of Siena once described Divine Love.  We cannot hope for too much.  We cannot dream too big.  Nothing we can imagine could even come close to the reality.  God is so in love with each of us.

If we desire it, if we accept His Love, and truly love Him in return, someday the Creator of the Universe shall say to us:

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)

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A Little Pentecost…

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How faithful and loving is the Holy Spirit as He carefully directs our souls.  I am convinced that in Heaven we will be astonished at all that He has done for us at every moment….the inspirations, the graces to resist temptation, the soothing comfort when we are troubled, the wisdom to solve difficulties that come our way.

And yet, He cares about other things too…like friends.

When I was a young mother, we moved to a new town.  I didn’t know many people for quite some time, and I didn’t know anyone at all with whom I could share my Catholic faith.  This was especially painful since I had just left a community of Catholic friends and a most beloved pastor in my former parish.

Thirsting to hear Jesus spoken about, I would often watch Protestant television shows.  Our cable network didn’t carry EWTN at the time.

While reading a book one day, I came across a beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit.  It was actually the Veni Sancte Spiritus.  Suddenly I had an idea.  Although I had not prayed much to the Holy Spirit previously, I would make a 30 day novena to Him, using the Veni Sancte Spiritus.

And so I did.  I prayed this prayer each day for 30 days, with the intention that the Holy Spirit would send me a friend with whom I could share my Catholic faith.

When the 30 days were up, my phone rang.  It was Paula, the neighbor who had moved next door a couple of months before.  We had exchanged small talk over the fence a few times, but I really knew very little about her.  So, I was quite surprised to hear her voice on the phone.

She had called to tell me that she was attending a Life in the Spirit seminar at her church.   I had already attended one a couple of years before, and so I knew what she was talking about.  But I was amazed that she had called out of the blue to tell me about it.  (Holy Spirit, is that you?)  Then she suggested that we attend an upcoming charismatic conference together.

Paula was one of those people who is a magnet for friends.  Outgoing and absolutely hilarious, everyone knew and loved her.  Before long, the Holy Spirit had sent me more friends than I could ever have wished for.

To make a long story short, Paula and I had many faith related adventures throughout the next dozen years.  We even met with our cable company and got them to pick up the four hours of EWTN which were available at the time.  Much to my surprise, I found myself being towed by Paula to the founding meeting in our diocese for a women’s prayer breakfast ministry.   Throughout the six years I served, I made many more friends and was blessed to meet speakers from all over the country and to pray with some of God’s most devoted children.

It was shortly after I left this ministry that Paula went back to work.  Her kids were then in high school.  At the same time, I found myself drawn to a more contemplative, quiet way of life.  I looked into third orders, and after much prayer began attending meetings with the Discalced Secular Carmelites.  Eucharistic Adoration had also become a frequent and much loved part of my prayer life.

And so the Most Beloved Holy Spirit answered my novena in a wondrous way.  He tossed me out of my comfort zone into a whirlwind of people and active ministry.  (As they say, be careful what you pray for 😉  )

As He drew me back to my true preference for solitude, quiet prayer and adoration,  He confirmed my beautiful vocation to the contemplative Order of Carmel and I made my First Promise in 1998.

But among that  group of extraordinary women who became my friends for a time, I learned that with God’s Grace, I could do things I never dreamed possible.  It was an exciting, energizing and delightful time in my life.  I am forever grateful for those years.

My life these days is quiet and simple…focused more on our growing family which now includes grandchildren.  My husband and I moved to a rural town several years ago, and I have lost touch with Paula and most of the women who were my friends twenty years ago.

But I am surrounded by the beauty of nature, and best of all, a perpetual Adoration chapel is only 15 minutes away.  It is there that I regularly meet with my very Best Friend, the One I had been seeking all along.

I am thinking of beginning another 30 day novena to the Holy Spirit this Pentecost.  And although I don’t expect tongues of fire, I have a feeling that the answer will come in, at the very least, a “little Pentecost.”

Come Holy Spirit, and knit my soul to Thee!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus!

 

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Glory to God for such a Savior as we have in Jesus Christ!  His Love knows no limits.  He chose to suffer all that He, the God-Man, could bear in Body and Soul. He could have chosen otherwise, but He never gives less than All.

Will we not need an eternity to ponder and contemplate so great a God as we have? What mystery, what beauty, what Love is the Life and Person of Jesus Christ.

And He loves us! Each one of us with an unfathomable Love. We would die of joy if we truly comprehended how lovingly obsessed He is with His children.

Today, we celebrate His Glorious Resurrection. He lives forever, and so shall we, if only we desire it, and go to Him. He has already told us that He turns no one away. How merciful He is!  How inconceivably blessed are we!

Imagine, one day we will see His Face…the Face of God.

Jesus Christ is risen today!    Our hope, our joy, our Heaven.  Jesus!

And the Light shines in the darkness…

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O Holy Night….words so precious, so sublime that it seems they must be whispered.  Jesus has come!  The Light has come into the world.  The Son of God has been born, and nothing will ever be the same.

I give thanks to the Lord with all of my heart that I was chosen to live after the coming of Jesus.  I cannot imagine a world without Jesus; a life without the sweet and consoling Presence of His Love.

He is truly the Light of the world.  How dark those places are where He is shut out, where His Beauty, Truth and Love are unknown or rejected.

Imagine….living in the era before the birth of Jesus.  How hopeless life must have seemed, for Jesus is our Hope, our Joy, our Everything!

O Heavenly Father, thank You for the Gift of Your Son, Whose birth we celebrate on this Holy Night.  We are astonished that Your Love would deign to send Him to us, to live among us, to give His Life that we might have eternal life.  Jesus, the inestimable Gift!

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness grasped it not.

It was the true light that enlightens every man who comes into the world.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.  And we saw his glory…glory as of the only-begotten of the Father..full of grace and of truth.

(John 1: 4, 9, 14)

(from the archives)

Musings on Father’s Day……

I love this picture of my son and his one month old daughter on His first Father’s Day one year ago.  He is looking at her with such absolute delight, and she is trying to look back, in spite of her little bobbing head.   But, I see so much more  here…..

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This little scene reminds me so much of God’s Love for his children.

My son is obviously delighted with his baby girl, as he gazes upon her with sheer joy.  But why? What has she to give?  She doesn’t even know who he is yet.  She can’t even see him well, in spite of attempts to steady her bobbing little head long enough to see her father’s face.

But one thing she does have is trust.  She knows that firm but tender touch which supports her.  She recognizes the familiar voice, although the words are incomprehensible.  It’s a voice she has come to know, a voice that brings food and dry diapers and soothing back rubs when her tummy hurts.  In her four weeks of life, she has already learned that her dad’s voice means safety and comfort.  Perhaps most of all, it means the warmth of being held close in his strong arms.

One day she will see his face, and comprehend his words and begin to understand how much he loves her.  But for now, she begins with trust.  When he’s there, it’s safe and warm and she falls asleep.

When Jesus spoke of becoming like little children if we wanted to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, maybe He was thinking of helpless infants trusting completely, because they haven’t yet learned how to doubt.

And maybe this is where God wants us to be, resting peacefully in His arms.

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After a year of seeing and knowing and being loved…she is learning to give back, if only in that adorable smile! ❤

What a difference a year makes! Father’s Day 2015
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A Prayer so needed in these times….

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Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most sweet Jesus,
Redeemer of the human race,
look down upon us,
humbly prostrate before Thine altar.

We are Thine and Thine we wish to be;
but to be more surely united with Thee,
behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today
to Thy Most Sacred Heart.

Many, indeed, have never known Thee;
many, too, despising Thy precepts,
have rejected Thee.

Have mercy on them all,
most merciful Jesus,
and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.

Be Thou King, O Lord,
not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee,
but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee,
grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house,
lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions,
or whom discord keeps aloof
and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith,
so that soon there may be but one flock and one shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who even now sit in the shadow of idolatry or Islam,
and refuse not Thou to bring them into the light of Thy kingdom.
Look, finally, with eyes of pity upon the children of that race,
which was for so long a time Thy chosen people;
and let Thy Blood, which was once invoked upon them in vengeance,
now descend upon them also in a cleansing flood of redemption and eternal life.

Grant, O Lord,
to Thy Church,
assurance of freedom and immunity from harm;
give peace and order to all nations,
and make the earth resound
from pole to pole with one cry:
Praise to the Divine Heart
that wrought our salvation:
to it be glory
and honour forever.

Amen

By Pope Pius XI

The Three in One are calling….

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My love lifts up his voice
he says to me,
“Come then, my beloved,
my lovely one, come.
For see, winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.

Flowers are appearing on the earth
The seasons of glad songs has come,
the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree is forming its first figs
and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance.
Come then, my beloved,
my lovely one, come. (Song of Songs 2:10-13) NJB

I love these verses. God has used them to speak so meaningfully to my heart at different times in my life. They bring back a special memory, as I anticipate the Feast of the Holy Trinity this Sunday. It was on that Feast, 14 years ago, that I made my Definitive (final) profession as a Secular Discalced Carmelite.

How appropriate those words seemed on that very special day of final commitment to the Most Holy Trinity, through the life of contemplative prayer to which a Carmelite is called.

I will be on our annual Carmelite retreat this weekend…a special joy that it fell on my anniversary this year. Hopefully in the silence, I will better hear the words of the Lover of souls, who never ceases to call each one of us.

Listen, He is calling you….in that longing you have to be loved completely. In that emptiness in your heart which nothing on earth seems to fill. He is calling you when you feel lonely, rejected, abandoned. When you are in pain, confused, or burdened. Jesus is calling.

You ravish my heart,
my sister, my promised bride,
You ravish my hearat
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

God is so in love with you!

My Litany of Love

This beautiful post was reblogged from my friend Grace’s blog, which radiates her deep and precious love for Jesus. Grace is discerning a religious vocation, so I’m sure she would appreciate your prayers. I hope you visit her at amoiesu.wordpress.com

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Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Jesus Most Beautiful, I love You!

Jesus Most Merciful, I love You!

Jesus Truest Love, I love You!

Jesus Most Perfect, I love You!

Jesus Desire of My Heart, I love You!

Jesus Omnipotent, I love You!

Jesus Compassionate, I love You!

Jesus Savior of My Soul, I love You!

Jesus Holiness Itself, I love You!

Jesus Healer of My Heart and Body, I love You!

Jesus Most Humble, I love You!

Jesus Prince Most Charming, I love You!

Jesus My Everything, I love You!

Jesus Beloved Bridegroom of Souls, I love…

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