I hear my Beloved. See how he comes
leaping on the mountains,
bounding over the hills. Song of Songs 2:8
How great is the Love of Jesus for us! When we cannot go to Him, He will come eagerly to us. Let us greet Him with sweet and loving kisses, unlike Judas’ kiss of betrayal. Invite Him into your heart, for it is His heaven on earth.
The Price He paid overwhelmed me, as I recalled the Stations of the Cross, His Holy Face pressed into the dust and rock as the Cross fell heavily upon His scourged Body. More blows from the soldiers as He struggled first to His knees, and then to His feet….for me.
Before me was the Crucifix where I could see the nails, the nakedness, the agony, the forsakenness. Heart racing, lungs burning, muscles cramping, Blood spilling, cold sweat….Tears.
Within me, the Sacred Host. Jesus dwelling in nothingness, wretchedness, yet robing me in the Grace He had purchased with so much suffering.
I am motionless. How does one move when they contain within their dust not the universe, but the One Who made the universe? Not a pure and sacred thing, but Holiness Itself? Not a king, but a God Who is King of all kings?
How do I breathe? Why am I not annihilated by such Glory, such Majesty, such burning Purity?
“You are Mine,” Jesus said. “I paid the price. I paid more than the cost. I gave Everything. I gave All. Now no one or nothing else can ever claim you, for I gave my last drop of Blood….for you.
No one can pay more. But you can refuse my Love. You are free to love me…or not.”
I am lost in the Love I cannot comprehend, in what He chose to give in exchange for me — not an ocean of precious jewels or a mountain of gold or even a thousand universes! But His Own Blood, His Own Life is what He chose to give.
I am confused by the extravagance of my worth.
Where do I go?
What do I do?
How can I love enough?
The Host rests within me.
We are one.
And Jesus says:
“Do not fear.
My Love has made you worth
everything to Me.
And I will live in you,
And I will love in you,
And together we will go,
When the time comes…
For you are Mine.”
My love lifts up his voice,
he says to me,
“Come then, my beloved, my lovely one, come….” (Song of Songs 2:10)
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)
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!
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!
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)