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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My Lord and my God….

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas
By Caravaggio

I love this painting.  I wonder what Jesus was thinking, as He so kindly invited Thomas to actually put his hand into those Precious Wounds.  Did Jesus really take Thomas by the hand, as depicted above, and Himself guide the apostle’s fingers to the Wound in His Side?

One would think Thomas would not have dared touch the risen Jesus on his own.  The other two apostles are watching intently.  Did they also still have doubts?  Did they need to see Jesus’ Wounds as well?

How patient Jesus is….willing even to allow His Wounds to be probed in order to satisfy Thomas’ doubts.

Then, looking at Thomas and the others…..perhaps looking down through the centuries, He spoke those most beautiful words, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20:29)

At Mass today, my pastor reminded the congregation that Jesus was speaking about us…those of us,  “..who have not seen and yet believe.”

We are not “blessed” because we have done anything of ourselves.  Rather, we are blessed because God has so generously given to us the gift of Faith, enabling us to believe all that was passed down to us through those very apostles who first entertained doubts about the Resurrection.

Is it not a miracle of grace that we believe in Someone Whom we have never seen with our eyes or heard with our ears or touched, like Thomas?  We believe that He knows and loves us, that He died for us over 2000 years ago.  We believe that He rose from the dead, and that He is coming back someday to take us to live with Him forever in a place called Heaven.

We believe in a God Who is One Being with Three Divine Persons.  We believe that bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at the words of Consecration by a duly ordained priest.

There are some who think we are mad indeed to believe such things.  But, we not only believe, in a sense, we know.  We are sure.  We stake our lives on these tenets of our Creed.

For there is something more going on within us than mere belief.  It is a conviction, wrought within us by the Holy Spirit.  And, each time we assent to the gift of Faith given to us at Baptism, it takes deeper root.  It penetrates our souls, becoming so much a part of us, until we are sure that we would shed every drop of our blood before denying Jesus Christ and the truths taught by His Holy Church.

How is such a thing possible?  Is it not a miracle that you believe what you believe?  That millions upon millions have believed the same things?

Jesus knew it would be so.  That is why He thought of us so long ago.
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.

Yes Lord, we are blessed indeed. You have given us what we could never possibly earn or deserve…the precious Gift of Faith.

Thank You, Jesus for the Grace to believe, which opens to us the doorway to all of the countless other gifts which You pour into our souls. We pray for those who do not yet believe in You. Please have Mercy on them, that they too may be counted among those who will love You forever.

And thank You for thinking of us so long ago, dear Jesus, and counting us among those whom You called “blessed.”

I AM the Resurrection and the Life…..

“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!”  Revelation 1:18


“I am the bread of life” (John 6:35,48,51).

“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).

“I am the door of the sheep”(John 10:7,9).

“I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11,14).

“I am the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25).

“I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

“I am the true vine” (John 15:1,5).

The very stones will cry out……


And when He drew near and saw the city He wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.

Luke 19:41-44

Tuesday Adoration….my widow’s mite….

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)

Jesus is so delightful.  Nothing escapes His notice….the story of the “widow’s mite” is  a perfect example.  He not only observed her with obvious love and kindness, but He deemed her example worthy of pointing out to His apostles…and to us. 

When I think of this story, I believe that Jesus is speaking not only of money, but of everything we offer to God.

I know many people who have wonderful gifts of teaching and speaking and leadership and organization etc., who really make a difference in my parish and diocese.  But, I’m not one of them.  I don’t have those gifts.

It has always been that way.  I was the quiet, compliant child who prayed that the teacher wouldn’t call on me, not because I didn’t know the answer, but because I knew my face would blush bright red as soon as I heard my name.

My gifts are quiet gifts.  I love to talk to people one on one; I’m really interested in what they have to say.  I try to notice the unique qualities in others, and to give sincere praise, because we all need encouragement.  I can keep a secret forever, and oh, I smile….a lot.  I always have.  I didn’t even realize this until the yearbook crew in my junior high wrote one of those “wills” and by my name declared:  “Patricia wills her ear to ear smile to……”

The years passed, and I guess I kept on smiling. But I didn’t do any of the big, important things that others around me were doing.  That just wasn’t my way.  So, I tried to think of what I might do for the Lord, and I decided that one thing I could easily do would be to  deliberately smile at the people I encountered throughout my day.  And so I made a point of offering warm smiles and a kind word to as many people as possible….especially the elderly, who always smiled back.

Then, I began to think that perhaps this was silly…all this smiling.  “I don’t think I’m going to do this anymore, Lord,”  I said one day.   “I probably look like an idiot.”

I didn’t hear Jesus’ response until the next day, when I read the Letters to the Editor section of our newspaper.  To my amazement, there was a lovely letter written by an older, retired gentleman who simply said that while he had been out shopping in the meat department of his local supermarket, a young woman had smiled at him, and that it had greatly lifted his spirits and made his day.  He went on to say how such little things as a smile are so undervalued in our busy lifestyles, and that sometimes he passed several days without anyone smiling at him…and that he just wanted to say “thank-you.”

I was astonished by the letter, which even I could not write off as a coincidence.  But most of all, I was touched by the graciousness of Jesus.  All this time, He really had been watching me…just as He had observed the widow.  He knew that I wasn’t rich in the gifts most esteemed by others, but He wanted me to know that He was still pleased with my “widow’s mite” of a smile. 

Truly, in His Eyes, everything we try to do for love of Him has worth.  Nothing is too small…not even a smile.  So, if you think that you too are poor like me, look more closely and I know you will find a precious “coin” which will bring great joy to the Heart of Jesus.

When my parents died, within 13 days of each other, I hardly knew my son’s girlfriend (now fiancé.)   But, at the second funeral (my dad’s) she showed up at the funeral home with dozens of delicious homemade cookies.  She must have been up all night baking.  They were just what we needed for a light breakfast before the services began.  I have never forgotten her thoughtfulness, and she quickly endeared herself to my heart that day.

So, even if you can’t do great things by the world’s standards, don’t discount your widow’s mite.  Only in Heaven will you learn its true value.

As for me, well I’m still smiling, with a sub-specialty in children and old people.  ; )

But the One to Whom I give my biggest, most joyful smiles is Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and I know He smiles right back at me.

The Smile of God, purchased with a widow’s mite!

The lost hour of Gethsemane…

 “Could you not watch one hour with me?”  (MT 26:40)

 
It was Thursday night.  I wrote Father’s words down on the crisp white page of my new journal: The Church is still trying to recover the lost holy hour of Gethsemane.

I had never thought about that before….the “lost holy hour.”

Jesus did not receive the comfort of this first holy hour from His closest apostles, who fell asleep when He needed them most. But was it to them alone that He implored, “Could you not watch one hour with me?”

Was His voice not resounding throughout the centuries, imploring the heart of each man and woman…

Watch with me…Oh please watch with me!
Care that I love you so much
Care that My Blood poured out as sweat upon the ground.
Care that I pressed My Face into the dirt,
unable to bear that so many would reject My Love.
It was not the physical suffering which tore at My Heart,
but the sight of all who would refuse My Love, even hate Me.
This was the chalice I begged My Father to remove from Me..
The chalice of rejection…Love would not be loved!
I would lose forever, so many precious souls  
Whom I gladly paid for with My Blood.

You at least, watch with Me!

 

THE FIRST STATION

Jesus is condemned to die.

“His cheek still burned with the kiss of betrayal.”               

O my God! I too have left You such burning kisses, betraying You by my sins
after You have given me Your Very Life.

My Jesus, grant that I may now cover You with sweet and tender kisses of love.
Time grows short…this could be my last moment on earth….to love You.

Jesus, You burn; You thirst; You die for those tender kisses.
You gave Your Life for them.
You gave Your Life for Love…our love.
“I THIRST.”  You cried out.
“Give Me to drink.”  You begged.

Must you always be so parched, my beloved Jesus?
Oh, give me the Grace to comfort You, for without You, I can do nothing.

My Jesus, quivering in your suffering,
I will put my arms around You.
I will try to cool your burning cheek with grateful kisses.
I will watch with You.

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!