If love had a face, what would it look like?
I read a great quote by Heidi Baker about revival looks like. She talked about how it looks like stopping daily for the one in front of you and looking into his or her eyes. We have to see the “one’. If we cannot see the “one”, we will not be able to deal with the multitudes. If we see the “one”, we will understand suffering, because we will see one child that is dying from cancer. We will see one mother angry that God would take her innocent child. We will see the one widow trying to not lose her faith as she tries to imagine how she will raise up her children alone. We will see one man struggling with pornography and the impact it has on his marriage. Revival is about looking into the eyes of the “one” and seeing Jesus looking back at you.
So it seems to me that revival is about an encounter of love. If love has a face, then it has to be our face. We have to be willing to look at one another with love in our eyes and love in our hearts. The Church needs lovers. It needs people filled with love and overflowing upon all that they encounter.
The Church needs a radical army of laid down lovers willing to see Jesus in the lost and the broken. We need a generation of Christians who are so full of passion and intimacy that they run into the darkness without fear to bring in the lost bride. Those who do not know love hide in darkness. We, who are lovers of Jesus are to hide in the light of who He is. We are to carry his light in our vessels of clay, we are to be tabernacles, the hands and feet of Christ. That is what love looks like. It looks like you and I opening our hearts to the divine life of the trinity and allowing Him to transform us and conceive his truth, life and love into the very tabernacle of our souls and then sharing that love with others.
Love is not a mission or a program or a feeling or even an action or act of the will. Love is a person. God himself is love and He desires to form us into little Christ’s so that we can be the face of love to world that is desperate for love.
So why is it that when we are desperate for love that we seem to be incapable of giving and receiving it? Because you cannot give what you do not have. Why don’t we have it? Because many us have wounds from our childhoods caused by a lack of love or a distortion of what love actually is…
“Wounds caused by a lack of love, or a distortion of love, are often at the root of our brokenness. That’s why we call it ‘healing broken hearts’…healed by a positive experience of love. It is not enough to discover the roots of conflict. We must fill the emptiness with the merciful love that flows from the heart of Jesus.”- Fr. Emiliano Tardif, Jesus Lives Today
People are not perfect. The imperfect a person is the worse they may wound or hurt you. The expression “hurt people hurt people” comes to mind. The thing is…we must first encounter and receive love personally before we can be the face of love to others. So if we are not encountering love in the people we meet then it may be because those people are hurting and are in need of healing. People are hurting because of a lack of love and affirmation.
“Love does not start with a good program. It cannot. It starts with being in love, being intimately connected to Jesus. It starts with knowing first that I am loved. I cannot give what I do not have. It is supernatural. It cannot be apart from Him. All living fruit in my life has come only from a living relationship with Him.” Michelle Perry
We need healing so we can hold all of the love that God desires to pour into our hearts. Without healing, we leak like a sieve…the graces we receive from prayer and sacrifice just leak right out of the cracks. The enemy of our soul has us believing that none of this works, God is not real or that prayer and sacrifice don’t matter. The reality is we are barely able retain the graces God is giving to us much less share with anyone around us when we don’t address the places we are leaking.
We don’t need more programs. We don’t need more catechesis. We don’t need to focus on teaching the rules of religion. The “how’s and what’s” are killing people’s love. What we need is healing. We need to seek healing for our own broken hearts so that we can love others better.
We are all family. Love desires to see the one in front of you. Love means stopping for the one and making a connection because every person is awaiting your face of love is asking themselves “Can you look past my pain and addiction and love me anyway? Can you see beyond the masks I wear to who I really am? Will you love me even when I disappoint and hurt you?”
I realize that stopping to see the “one” may be a bit frightening for some of you because “seeing” might compel us to become involved and that involvement would surely entail risk. Risk might mean personal cost and this is why so many people wear masks, hiding there pain, their fear and the broken places where they feel thew will be rejected or abandoned. However, I KNOW that we are on the cusp of a major revival. I KNOW that many people are praying for courage and beginning to say yes to the Holy Spirit so they can be the radical laid down lovers for Jesus Christ that the world needs so badly. I know because I am in that army.
What is the key to revival? SIMPLY PUT IT’S deeply and intensely Loving your Neighbor. Radical intimacy is needed because love has a face and it is not something it is someone and that someone is you. Are you so full of passion for Jesus that no matter what you are asked to do you will say yes?
Perhaps you are worried you won’t do or say the right thing. Well the truth is that there may be NOTHING you will be able to do but you can listen to their stories and pray with them. All we need to do is all things in love. Even the tone of our voice or making eye contact in a loving way can be an invitation to a hurting and lost soul to enter into deeper intimacy and this prepares the way for relationship with Christ, when they see Christ in us.
One thing we need to be better at is empathy. Many of us are sympathetic but not empathetic. What people desire is connection and when we are empathetic we connect to something in us that understands the pain or suffering in the other person in a real and personal way and we feel WITH people. Sympathy is a pat on the back and usually starts with words like “At least….” where we try to makes someone feel better or try to make them see the bright side or we say “when life gives you lemons make lemonade!” Well, if you lemons are the death of spouse how do you make lemonade out of that? This short video says all that you need to hear about how and why we need to STOP being sympathetic and learn to be empathetic so that we can honor one another in a more intimate and connected way.
Are you ready to reach out for the lost? Are you ready to be a radical laid down lover for Christ? Well, honestly, sometimes the way Jesus begins is by undoing us so that He can put us back together in a more whole and perfected way. We need to be transformed from the inside out. This happens with our own personal encounter. Encountering does not always feel warm and fuzzy or profoundly healing, sometimes it is more as though He comes and sits on you to make a point. Sometimes pain and suffering is the only thing that will make us give in and stop running and surrender to Him and allow Him to do His work in our hearts and heal and transforming us so we can radiate love to everyone around us.
It is not what He is building around us it is what He is building inside of us that truly matters. We need to focus on the eternal things. Everything around us is in a state of decay, houses, cars, things rust and break down but Holy immortal souls are being lost and the Holy Spirit desires to set the world on fire with the burning love of the Trinity.
If love has a face, it is my face and it is your face and we have to look at one another with love in our eyes and love in our hearts. Who do you need to forgive so that you can begin loving them?
If you desire to be the face of love then pray this prayer right now!
Come Holy Spirit! Father, please come and heal my wounded and troubled heart. I beg you to heal the torments that are causing anxiety in my life. I beg you, Lord Jesus in a particular way, to heal the underlying source of my sinfulness. I beg you to come into my life and heal the psychological harms that may have struck me in my childhood and from the injuries they have caused throughout my life. Lord Jesus, you know my burdens. I lay them on your Good Shepherd’s Heart. I beseech you—by the merits of the great open wound in your heart—to heal the small wounds that are in mine. Heal my memories, so that nothing that has happened to me will cause me to remain in pain and anguish, filled with anxiety. I want to forgive all those who have offended me. Look to those inner sores that make me unable to forgive. You who came to forgive the afflicted of heart, please, heal my wounded and troubled heart. Heal, O Lord Jesus, all those intimate wounds that are the root cause of my physical illnesses. Jesus, I offer you my heart. Accept it, purify it and give me the sentiments of your own Divine Heart.
Come Holy Spirit and Heal me. Heal me from the pain caused by the loss, death or abandonment of my loved ones. Grant me the grace to regain peace and joy in the knowledge that you are the Resurrection and the Life. Make me an authentic witness to your resurrection, your victory over sin and death, and your loving presence among all men and women. Amen
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing”. 1 COR 13:1-3
“If there is a victim or predator spirit in this situation, I command you in the name of Jesus to stop & be silent.”
I declare I am no longer a victim and a target for abuse. In the name of Jesus Christ I declare I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Amen”. Lord, I choose today to see myself as a child of the king. Jesus, I receive since I am bought with a price that I am a royal priesthood and can walk with my head up high and that I do deserve good things from God. Lord, I choose to accept the best from the Lord and not take the least again. Amen.
Take the time to sign your name ________________________ and date it: ___________________ to acknowledge you are the Bride of Christ and a Royal Priesthood since the Lord is the King of the Universe and you belong to His kingdom and not the world’s kingdom.
KNOWING WHO I AM IN CHRIST
I am complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).
I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).
I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).
I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).
I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).
I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17,18).
I have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues. I have power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me (Mark 16:17,18; Luke 10:17,19).
I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me (Colossians 3:9,10).
I have given, and it is given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men give into my bosom (Luke 6:38). 1
I have no lack for my God supplies all of my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with my shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16).
I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).
I show forth the praises of God Who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
I am God’s child⎯for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).
I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am a spirit being⎯alive to God (Romans 6:11;1 Thessalonians 5:23).
I am a believer, and the light of the Gospel shines in my mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).
I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my actions (James 1:22, 25).
I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).
I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).
I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).
I am a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3,4).
I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).
I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). 2
I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19).
I am the head and not the tail; I am above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13).
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
I am His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and longsuffering (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12).
I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).
I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).
I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).
I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:7).
I am called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).
I am healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).
I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12;).
I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).
I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).
I am submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Jesus (James 4:7).
I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Philippians 3:14).
For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).
Copyright © 2008 Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. 3
Why do I run? The quick answer is because I like how it makes me feel.
Running makes me happy. It excites me. I run because running is fun. I love the beauty of the sun coming up in the morning, reading the sign on race day and even being inspired by the those pushing special needs or handicapped persons.
The long answer requires me to explain how a 46 year old mother of 8 children that never ran before suddenly signed up for a half-marathon and then did four more over the course of a six month period. Ya, I am kind of intense that way. Well really it came as a challenge from a high school friend who was fighting breast cancer but had started running half-marathons and I was like “If she can do it, so can I!”
Me my first time on treadmill in January of 2015
By the I ran those half-marathons almost back to back but I am not an athlete, on the contrary I am out of shape and over weight. I had no idea what I was doing so I used the internet to try and help me figure out what to do and how to do it.
I suffered from huge welts under my DDD breasts because I didn’t know about friction till ran my first long run. It would take me a year (and many experiments with options I read about online) before I discovered I could put Kineseology tape on my bra line to protect me from the rubbing. I came up with that on my own (your welcome large breasted runners).
I learned the hard way you have to have good shoes. I thought I had good shoes, but I was wrong. I discovered pain in parts of my body that I didn’t realize I had muscles in. The first few weeks I had horrible knee pain and almost gave up. I had no idea what a pace was and was constantly frustrated with my times and with being to tired to run. If I hadn’t taken the advice of my friend and signed up as soon as I decided to train I probably would have quit.
My first race was the Oshkosh half-marathon. My daughter signed up to run with me. We arrived almost a half hour late because I did not understand the race day schedule. I had us start late and run anyway cause I did not work that hard to go home now! I ran the entire way because I thought that running a half-marathon meant I had to run the whole way. I knew nothings of intervals and would not learn about them till about 8 weeks ago which is almost 2 years into running. At the completion of my race I cramped up so bad I could barely bend my legs to get into the car. For almost a week after I could barely walk. I learned to stretch after running and to not stop running completely but make sure in the days following a race some movement even if only a mile or two walking is necessary to keep things limber.
Because I am stubborn (and because I registered for three more races upon the advice of a friend who said if you don’t register you will give up) I started running again, well, once I was able to get moving again that is.
My second race was the Rock and Sole in Milwaukee. I had a woman loss consciousness in front of me at the last mile marker. They were giving her CPR. She made it but just a head of me a 20 year old boy from the University of Oshkosh dropped dead after crossing the finish line. My husband asked me if I was sure I should do this after all, I was a just a 45 year old woman, out of shape, past my prime and I had no idea what I was doing. I learned during this race that if you have long hair ( and especially if it rains) it is best to braid your hair or it will ball up into a nasty knot. It took me two days to get out all the knots.
At my third race was the Hilbert Cheesehead Race. It is close to my house and it had a cool medal so I signed up. I had decided since I am in so much pain and discomfort after a race I shouldn’t do races far away because I am practically immobile after. I now realize that my lack of proper training is why I was so miserable after my runs. At the Hilbert race I learned that just because they give you water doesn’t mean you should drink it. I was worried about getting dehydrated so I drank at every water station plus I had my own two water bottles. I had to stop and go to the bathroom so much that I really struggled and at one point I was miserable as there was no bathroom for quite some time. I learned how much I usually will need to run and to stick with it.
I ran a few 5k’s during the summer as well but there is just something about the challenge of a half-marathon that made me keep signing up for them.
My fourth race was the Fox Cities Marathon. I remember learning that you could walk a half-marathon when a number of elderly people WALKING at pace that even my slow jog could not keep up to, PASSED ME! The word “Walker” was on the back of their shirts. It was quite depressing as I was “running.” I made several mistakes at this race. The first was changing what you do on race day. I guess that is like the number one rule but being self trained I missed that one. At about mile 6 they were passing out oranges and apples as well as water and gel.
I remembered watching iron mans on TV and seeing long distance runners saying you need to eat during the run to keep the energy up. While a half-marathon is not an iron man I thought the logic sounded good so I ate some oranges and apples. Remember I still knew nothing about intervals at this point but I did notice some people were walking and then running. I would pass a lady and the next thing I knew she passed me. For several miles the same people would pass me and then I would pass them till they finally disappeared in front of me. I couldn’t figure out how people that were walking then running pass me when I ran the whole time! They then disappeared because they had more endurance I kept getting slower.
Out of frustration I decided at mile 11 to walk. I thought I would walk for a mile to gather my strength and to rest my body so I could run hard the last mile. Well, remember how your not supposed to change something on the day of your run? Around mile 12 my stomach became very ill. In fact, I began getting the worst stomach cramps of my life. I had to walk the 13th mile because there was no way I could start running again. I managed a little jog for the last few hundred feet because of course I thought I must look pathetic walking across the finish line. The other reason I made myself jog is embarrassing. I had to google it to understand why it happened.
Sudden onset explosive diarrhea. How could that have happened you ask? It began the night before. It seems you have to eat well the night before a race, usually high carbs like spaghetti dinner or other pasta dish. Not me, I had Mexican food the night before with a couple margarita’s. Not the best choice. It also seems that when you run for so long the blood gets diverted to the extremities and away from your digestive system. When you stop running the blood goes back to the main organs and fires ups the digestion system. Combine the Mexican food, the oranges and apples signaling to my body that we are no longer running but eating as well as me coming to walking pace rather than running pace and you get explosive diarrhea that keeps you in a porta potty for an hour after your race. I learned not to change your routine on race day.
My fifth race was at the University of Wisconsin Madison. I ran this with my daughter Sarah. She was much faster but it was fun having someone to sign up with.
We were there to explore the campus that my daughter Elisha was going to attend the following year. I figured as long as I was there, I could run the half-marathon. I had become addicted to medals. I still am addicted to medals.
This should have been my best race but was my worst. I had to walk almost all of it because I barely ran leading up to it because I was suffering from horrific shin splints and a stress fracture that had kept me up nights with throbbing pain.
When I was passed by a 70 year old man I got pretty depressed. I did the run but was really unhappy about my time. I also was depressed because I still had not lost a single pound even though I had begun running on a weekly basis. I went from the couch to running and did not lose any weight. I finished my half-marathon in 3 hours and 10 minutes which was my worst time ever. I don’t think I learned anything on this run. Instead I just became depressed and gave up.
For the next 3 months I did not do anything and gained almost 20 pounds. How did I do that? No clue. I was pissed. I decided to start training again for the Oshkosh half which is in April every year and started preparing in January. My shins starting acting up right away and the leg with the stress fracture got really bad really fast. I hate cross training and I hate lifting weights cause I have no idea how to do it) so I spiraled downward.
I ran maybe twice a week knowing that my April run was going to be rough. The week before the Oshkosh half-marathon I had horrible chest pain that radiated down my left arm. I did not go to the doctor. I ran the Oshkosh half but took what I had learned so far and applied it so it was not so bad. I finished over 3 hours but at least I finished. My daughter was going to run with me but ended up having to work. My nephew (pictured) literally decided the night before to take her spot and ran (show off) so that the money for the registration was not wasted. The next week I went to the doctor’s and found out I had an arrhythmia and high blood pressure. I was signed up for the Green Bay Cellcom run but had to miss it because of my blood pressure. I was signed up Hilbert and missed it. I was signed up for the Fox Cities Marathon and missed it.
It is not like anyone would miss me. It was very lonely running because I did not have any companionship and no one knew me. My husband usually just showed up at the end to clap and take me home. I was always very envious of all the people who had signs for them encouraging them at different mile markers or those who had running buddies. I had asked a couple of people I knew that ran if they would run with me but they had their own buddies already. I was very depressed about not having any support and with these new issues I just quit. I gained more weight. Got more depressed. I started to drink more cause “why not?”
January of 2017 I decided that if I wanted my blood pressure to get better I had to lose weight. If I want to lose weight I have to exercise. The only exercise I actually enjoyed was running. Why do I enjoy it? First of all I forgot how much I love music. I used to listen to music all the time but then I had 8 kids and there was always so much noise in the house the last thing I wanted was music blasting. I have made myself amazing playlists of music that moves my soul and encourages me and makes me cry when I am running. It is like the music helps me to quiet the thoughts in my mind and helps me to feel and meditate and pray and contemplate my life and the hardships and joys and everything in between. I never have time to honor that expect when I am running. I also make so many excuses as to why I should not give myself that time. There is always laundry, housework, shopping for groceries cooking or other things that have to be done so to say “I am going to go for a run” was super hard for me to justify. I felt guilty for doing it.
I was finally able to overcome this when I saw a post on facebook by Fleet Feet about a program called “Winter Warriors.” It was a program through the winter to encourage running and training. I was terrified to sign up, what if they know I am not really a runner. What if they are all friends and I am just alone? I was signing up because I needed help and motivation to do the thing I love but cannot justify giving to myself. The other reason is laziness. I need accountability because sometimes staying on the couch in winter when it is 15 degrees out sounds better than running. Do you know what is crazy? I actually love running in the cold more than running when it is hot. I love seeing my breath in the night air and the colorful light up vest I wear energizes me.
Out of the 10 weeks offered about 3 or 4 were cancelled for below zero temps and I skipped about 4 others only coming to two or three. The first night I went I was the very last person and it made me feel really inadequate.
My self talk tapes were on full blast and screaming to me about how out of my league I was and how I should just give up being a wanna be runner. It was really intimidating to see everyone who already seemed to know everyone and have buddies and all seemed to have great paces and I was just clueless. I signed up and paid for registration for a 10k but because I did adequately train I changed it to the 5k. The morning of the event I did not even go. I felt like I was not really apart of the group and would feel left out or awkward trying to tag along.
Then I got a jacket. The group all received a running jacket. That jacket meant a lot to me. When I picked up my jacket from Fleet Feet and saw the Winter Warrior logo on it I felt like I had the possibility of being a part of something. That jacket means a lot to me. I decided to sign up for the Spring training and continue making a regular commitment. So what if I missed almost all the previous runs at least I went to some and was trying. I could keep trying.
I signed up the Summer training and met a young woman who was also new. She had only run a 5k. We ran together that night. She told me I helped her push herself, me! She told me she would see me on Saturday and I was like, ok now I have to come. This is what I was looking for, accountability. We ran together on Saturday and it was awesome! We ran 4 miles and it was getting easier for me because this new group I was running with who called themselves the “Back of the Pack” taught me about intervals. I found I could run farther and faster than I have ever run using intervals! Right now I like 2 min running and 1 min walking but I am thinking of changing the walking to 45 sec and then maybe 30 sec but not sure yet.
My desire is to run a marathon. Right now it seems like a unattainable challenge but somehow I think If I stick with this group I am in they will help me meet my goal and succeed in this challenge I have set for myself. I know this because they have already helped me so much.
I run because the person I have been created to be has gotten lost over the years in the roles I have to play in my life. I am the counselor, the friend, the speaker, the mother, the wife and running allows me to spend time with Christina. I have time to think about what is going on in my life. It gives me a runners high and a feeling of accomplishment especially when life is so stressful. Running is something that has also allowed me to feel valuable and helps me to make healthier choices. I keep running because I am excited about the next challenge in front of me that won’t tear me down but will build me up. Usually challenges in our lives have the capacity to hurt us or create added stress in our lives but running only adds to it. The challenge to shave time or run farther pushes me to accept the next challenge and I have such pride in myself when I am able to do meet those challenges. Running makes me happy. It excites me. I run because running is fun. All I need is cheer leaders on race day.
I have received profound healing in my relationship with God through the Hearts A Fire retreat’s written by Fr. Michael Gaitley. 33 Days to Merciful Love is proving to be a beautiful and wonderful book that I believe is a gift to the Church for these times. We are now in a time where so many of us have been wounded by people and sometimes even by the Church herself.
When the Church is who hurts us, we may be tempted to believe that God is not Good or that we are not good or deserving of anything good. I have met many people deeply and profoundly wounded by the Church. This has created a huge division in our world. I believe this book/retreat is a tool that can begin to heal division and bring all Christian souls together with one uniting purpose; to receive the merciful love of Jesus Christ and then to bring it to hurting souls in our broken world.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (397) it says that “Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his creator die in his heart…” lets talk about what this means. First of all we are all created in the image and likeness of God. Male or female we are icons of the truth, life and love of God walking around on earth and we are supposed to be making visible the invisible reality of God through the living our of our lives in union with God. However, when the devil comes and whispers his lies, we can in a sense, divorce ourselves from God and accept the proposal of the evil one.
Why do we do that? Because the father of lies wants us to believe that God is not trustworthy and does not want to honor our desires. He begins by planting seeds of doubt. We doubt that God loves us, doubt that He desires to bless us, doubt that he will honor our desires. This doubt leads us to fear. In our fear, we may respond by grasping or taking instead of remaining in a place of trust. Doubt means to be uncertain, to fear, to be afraid. Why do we plan and strive for what we think will bless us rather than wait for God’s timing or say on the matter? Because we are afraid and we hide ourselves. We turn away from God.
Now that we understand that the evil one uses doubt to tempt us to believe his lies, we need to identify what our desires are and where we may have doubts so that we can invite the Holy Spirit it shine his flashlight of truth there and help us to come back into union with God.
Dr. Phil says “you can’t change what you won’t acknowledge.” This is so true! We must first see where we are being lied to before we can divorce ourselves from the liar and come into union with God and his truth and will for our lives. If we pretend that we don’t need God or that what we are doing is God’s will when it isn’t we will remain miserable, lost and afraid.
By inviting the Holy Spirit in, we expose where the enemy of our soul (Satan) has put fear into our hearts. Adam and Eve were afraid and so they hid themselves. God desires for us to take off the fig leafs we hide behind. He wants us to not be afraid because He promises us that He will always show up. He wants to honor our desires and he wants to heap a double portion of blessings upon each of us. The question is, do we believe Him and what, if any, lies are obstacles to His truth coming alive in our hearts? One way to discover the answer to these questions is to journal. When we journal we contemplate, we meditate, we hold truth in our hearts and ponder it thus allowing it to be birthed within us. It is in this secret place where the Holy Spirit begins to speak to us. It is as if the Holy Spirit is a flashlight that illuminates things that we cannot see in the darkness. When we journal, our thoughts and emotions as well as our will is engaged and in this sacred place and time the Holy Spirit shines His healing light on the broken places in our hearts, minds and souls. He speaks to us gently there telling us what it is he wants us to know about his love for us.
After reading through “What is Trust” (Week 1 Day 1) I have put together some thoughts and questions to ponder and journal through.
Do we believe God is trustworthy? Are you afraid that God cannot be trusted to honor your heart’s desires? Why or Why not?
Where have you felt God has not shown up in your life or where do you feel you are still waiting for him to bless you?
Think of one memory in which God did show up or bless you?
What is it that you desire God to do in your life?
Now quietly pray to the Holy Spirit to come and shine a light on this desire and ask Him to show you what He wants you to know about this desire of your heart.
Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, fire of mercy, Help me better to know the great and unsurpassable goodness of God. Amen
Fr. Michael Gaitley has done is again. He has anticipated the movements of the Holy Spirit and given us means by which to suck the marrow out of this year of Mercy. The year of mercy was declared by Pope Francis as “The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy” starting on December 8, 2015 till November 20, 2016 and is given to all as an occasion of focusing on the forgiveness and mercy of God.
For those of you that have not yet done the 33 Days to Morning Glory, I urge you to order a book and workbook (the workbook is anointed and will lead you through healing of religion wounds, mother wounds and other). Fr Michael has been, in my opinion, anointed & appointed by God to give the Church a means by which to heal wounds that block intimacy in faith and block relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as well as a process of which to enlist into Mary’s Army as she prepares for the final confrontation.
Years ago, not realizing that there was such a thing as asking to consecrate oneself as a victim of holocaust to the merciful love of Jesus, I did exactly that. I was listening to the Lighthouse Catholic Media CD by ArchBishop Fulton Sheen in which he shared the story of the woman who married the atheist. The story goes that she prayed for his conversion and one day, realizing that l
ife is suffering and she could suffer on this earth for something great or suffer for all eternity for nothing, she chose to offer herself as a victim holocaust. Those were not the words on the CD but it is as I understood it.
Her name was Elizabeth Leseur and her husband’s name was Felix. She prayed a simple prayer. That Jesus might allow her to receive all the necessary suffering so that her husband might be saved and be with her in heaven. Her husband did not know this. They were deeply in love yet remained unchanged. She would never stop believing and he would never begin to believe in God.
“Every human being is an incalculable force, bearing within him something of the future. To the end of time, our daily words and actions will bear fruit, either good or bad; nothing that we have once given of ourselves will perish, but our words and works, handed on from one to another, will continue to do good or harm to remote generations. This is why life is a sacred thing, and we ought not to pass through it thoughtlessly, but to appreciate its value and use it so that, when we are gone, the sum total of good in the world may be greater.”
― Elisabeth Leseur,
She became ill with cancer. Her husband watched as she suffered terribly yet never once stopped praising God. In his anger he asked her how she could praise a God that would allow her to suffer when she was supposed to be his faithful servant. The man’s wife smiled and said she offered herself and all suffering necessary for his salvation and that God has not only promised to convert her husband but that her husband would become a dominican priest. He laughed of course, thinking this to be ridiculous but in fact, this is a famous story and the man did become a priest.
She offered her suffering. She entered into the redemption of her husband, the saving of his soul by offering her suffering. This is co-redemptive suffering. She did not marry the wrong the man, she married the exact right man and her life was to be a prayer. Her true love of her husband, the love of his soul allowed her to see that she could offer her pain as gift, a sacrifice to Jesus. She said suffering for souls is a powerful form of action. The most fruitful apostolate she said, was our lives. When we suffer and love others in our lives, we are embracing our apostolate.
I decided that night, after listening to this story that I would offer myself and all the suffering I had endured including the sexual abuse that began when I was only three years old and all of the abuse that occurred after as well as any future suffering as a offering of love so that Christ might pour out grace to my husband and children so that they might be saved. At that moment, in my mind’s eye I imagined the devil screaming from hell realizing that his ability to torture me with my past had thus been taken from him. I was, at that exact moment, no longer a victim.
I went to the mass the next day and wrote on a simple piece of paper “I offer you, almighty God, my sufferings and ask you to send me sufficient sufferings to purchase the souls of my husband and children. On the day that I die, that price will have been paid” and I put that piece of paper into the offering plate so that I might offer this gift with the highest form of prayer possible, the mass.
If you have seen the movie Princess Bride then you know the famous quote “Life is pain highness, anyone telling you differently is selling something.” It is this reality that I hold onto every single day. It is a lie to believe that the goal in life is to make money, be famous, to receive praise or even to accomplish something.
Embracing our greatness means we embrace the unique unrepeatable gift of life and person that we are we endure the tremendous sufferings of life with love and in doing this we enter into the redemption of the world with Jesus Christ. We allow our lives, our very bodies to become living tabernacles. We become the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We can enter into co-redemptive suffering. It was God that deemed the salvation of man would come through the unselfish act of a woman and then through her son. We are all called into the redemption of the world, to birth souls into heaven but labor is painful.
Have you enlisted into Mary’s Army? Have you given your yes? Are you willing to be a living tabernacles, offering Jesus Christ your hands, your feet, you very life to others so that they might be saved? If not, time is growing short.
We are in the age of mercy and grace is abounding all the more! We are the Church Militant and we have the Church Suffering (souls in purgatory) just waiting to be invited into the war that Satan has unleashed upon the earth. We have the Church Triumphant (Saints in Heaven) waiting to called upon! Come now, enter into work that will make all of your suffering beautiful.
PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO MERCIFUL LOVE
“Merciful Father, relying on the prayers and example of Abraham and Mary, my father and mother in faith, and of St. Therese, my sister in the way of humble confidence. I, ______, choose, this day, with the help of your grace, to strive with all my heart to follow the Little Way. And so,
I firmly intend to fight discouragement, do little things with great love, and be merciful to my neighbor in deed, word, and prayer.
I aim to keep before my eyes my poverty, weakness, brokenness, and sin, trusting that my littleness and contrite heart will attract your Merciful Love.
I choose to remain always little, not relying on my own merits but solely on yours, dear Lord, and those of the Blessed Mother.
Finally, I believe, my God, that you can and will make me into a saint, even if I won’t see it, even if I have to struggle all my life against vice and sin, even if I have to wait until the very end. This blind hope in your mercy, O Lord, is my only treasure.
And now, to confirm my resolve and to console you for so much rejection of your mercy, I OFFER MYSELF, THROUGH THE HANDS OF MARY IMMACULATE, AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, asking you to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within you to overflow into my soul, and that I may thus become a martyr of your Love, O my God, and a gift of mercy to so many others. I ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen
(PRAYER WRITTEN BY FR MICHAEL GAITLEY BASED ON ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX PRAYER OF OFFERING TO MERCIFUL LOVE) #33DaystoMercifulLove
“The Church must undergo a passion in unity with Jesus, each member of His Body, the Church, must in their own sense undergo a passion in order to merit eternal salvation. The story of St. Elizabeth Leseur and her husband Felix is told in order to drive home the point of each person’s individual passion, and the necessary suffering one must endure if one is to save his own soul, and possibly the soul of another.” Quote from The Passion of The Church Website
Many are not aware of all of the messages on the Tilma of St. Juan Diego. The iconic image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is speaking to us about how to prepare for battle and how to help usher in a new Civilization of Love.
Please listen to the audio. It is unedited from the original recording and it starts about 1 min 40 second in.
The Walking Dead is a highly successful television series that has just begun it’s 5th season. Why is it that so many people are interested in shows about Zombie apocalypse or an outbreak of illness creating zombies? Perhaps Hollywood can see what so many of us are refusing to acknowledge. Many of us are the walking dead. Well to be fair some of us are the walking dead and some of us are the walking wounded. Drug addiction, alcoholism, porn addiction, food addiction, kids killing each other in school, people beheading other people for “God”. What the heck is going on? It seems like we are living in a world filled with zombies.
What is interesting to me about all of these successful movies and sitcoms is how they parallel our own culture. It is as if these movies are a commentary on our culture of death. We may not live in the biblical times of leprosy but we certainly live in a time of spiritual leprosy. We live in a fallen world and with fallen people. The new normal is not man and wife with three kids a dog, a house and a white picket fence. In fact, I am not even sure what the new normal is, but it is definitely not the “traditional” family.
The movies we watch that are depicting human beings as zombies, are closer to the truth than most tv sitcoms. We are all in need of healing. We need to find a means from which to heal our wounds. We are all wounded in some way. Some of us are living with the effects of sexual abuse or physical abuse; some of us were abandoned by our parents. Still others were emotionally abused or psychologically traumatized by alcoholic or drug addicted parents or even others were ritualistically abused. Whatever the your childhood, chances are you either experienced abuse or neglect yourself or someone very close to you did. The effects of abuse wounds us and it is in through these wounds that we begin to form our understandings and beliefs about who we are, who God is and whether or not we believe in anyone or anything.
The wounds that are inflicted upon us are openings to evil or negativity. Call it what you will, it is through wounds that we are opened up and it is at these moments we can become bound as prisoners to our pain, our fears and the vows that we make to ourselves. We also need friends that we can trust to love us despite our wounds. We need friends to help encourage us and help us find joy and courage to persevere so that we can go into those dark places and bring healing to them. The reason why we are struggling in this world is not because we are somehow strange or because we are not faithful or pious enough, it is because we live in a world that has been divided because of sin. Being faithful and growing in holiness can help us in our struggles but unless we address our wounds we may find ourselves carrying a larger struggle than God desires for us to carry by ourselves.
If you or someone you know feels they are nailed to their cross instead of carrying it, then perhaps you are in need of healing.
Here is the Good News! Christ came to restore us! He makes all things new! Am I saying that healing our wounds is as simple as bringing our suffering to Him on the cross? Yes I am. It is not simple or easy to do but it is simple in choice.
But wait a minute…have you been seeing Jesus as some wimpy guy walking around in an effeminate gown talking in gentle high pitched voice? Cause my Jesus is not wimpy, he is B.A. He will kick some major butt if anyone tries to mess with his girl (that’s me). Are you seeing Jesus as the laid down lover he is? He is ready and willing to run into the darkest of nights to bring in his lost bride (that’s you). You just have to call out to him..
In scripture, it says we have a mighty savior that will wipe away every tear and comfort every infirmity and remove every sin for those who believe and trust in him. Instead of despair we shall have the oil of gladness, instead of shame we shall have double honor, not just in heaven but here in our lives, progressively as grace perfects our nature. The zombies are the sin and the evil in the world and he wants to eradicate it so that you can be resurrected and made new!
Jesus wants your happiness in the world and in the next, he wants to set you free from all that has enslaved you! Everywhere you go he is with you and longs for you to trust in him. He pursues all of us intensely because of his great love for us. We are no surprise to God, he knew what he was getting when he made us! You are no surprise to God, I am no surprise to God yet he created us anyways! That is such a consolation!
When our wounds are redeemed and washed clean in the blood of Christ we are made new. The very places you feel the most broken become your most beautiful gifts. He will shine out of your wounds in ways that will not only transform you, but it will transform the people around you. His light shines through our wounds revealing hope and healing. When we are set free from the healing power of Jesus Christ we are able to retain the graces He pours out to us and we will have Christ to give them in their own thirst.
How can one begin? Pray this prayer. Come Holy Spirit Come. Next ask for prayer ministry. Even Jesus had someone help him carry his cross. Then, find a healing mass and receive the sacrament of the sick so that your wounds can be healed. The sacraments are means of grace that fills us. Grace perfects our nature and healing ministry is the means from which to retain this grace so that we can be transformed. It will be through this transformation that the world will be reconciled to God.
For the past 6 months I have had the honor and privilege to be apart of a healing ministry that has been offering a monthly healing mass as well as prayer ministry. People have been coming from all over the state of Wisconsin. If you cannot find a healing mass in your area then consider a pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville Wisconsin. We are offering a monthly healing mass to heal and free the oppressed. If you need deliverance from the evil one, if you need healing for your afflictions then come to the living water! Come be healed! You will receive anointing with oil in the sacrament of the sick, there will be deliverance, there will be healing prayer ministry and you will be given an arsenal kit to take home so as to continue finding healing and freedom. Perhaps you are called to bring a healing mass and prayer ministry to your own parish. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern what it is you are being called to do and then ask for the grace to do it. I believe we are on the cusp of a revolution of laid down lovers willing to run into the darkness to bring in the lost bride. I believe that that Army is a Marian Army. Join the revolution. For more information you can check out our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/TotusTuusHealing
“As an experiment,
The Washington Post
asked a concert violinist—
wearing jeans, tennis shoes,
and a baseball cap—
to stand near a trash can
at rush hour in the subway
and play Bach
on a Stradivarius.
Partita No. 2 in D Minor
called out to commuters
like an ocean to waves,
sang to the station
about why we should bother
to live…..” excerpt from “Bach in the DC Subway” by David Lee Garrison
On a cold January morning in the L’Enfant Plaza Station of the subway line in Washington, D.C. one of the worlds best violinist, Joshua Bell, played for 45 minutes on a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. It was a social experiment to see whether or not people would stop to appreciate beauty.
Over a thousand people passed him by as he played some of the most intricate pieces ever written for violin. Just that week he had performed at a theater in Boston, which sold out even though tickets were selling at $100 a seat. So how many people stopped to appreciate this free concert? Only seven.
Among the seven that stopped to receive the beautiful self-gift of his heart being poured out through his violin was a 3-year-old little boy. The boy tried to stop and take in what I can only describe as achingly beautiful music, when his mother can be seen on the YouTube video pushing him along, forcing him to move for what I must assume was a very important play date. Most of the children that walked by kept their face towards him, listening to the sweet sounds of the strings even though they were being marched away in the opposite direction.
Jesus says we must be like little children to enter into the Kingdom of God. I am not sure he was talking about the children of the 21st century. The children of the 21st century are quite different than those of even 20 years ago. Today those children are either on their phones, iPod’s or gaming device and on their way to select soccer, baseball, gymnastics, football, hockey or the like. Some how an appreciation for what is beautiful is being lost or perhaps replaced with “more important” things. However, as human beings I believe what sets us apart as unique and unrepeatable persons made in the image and likeness of God is that we create as well as take in beauty.
The Sistine Chapel, Mozart’s Requiem Mass, the Eiffel Tower are all examples of beautiful things man has created. Beautiful things elevate our minds and cause us to transcend this world to contemplate the divine. Beauty will save the world or at least that is what Dostoevsky has famously declared.
This social experiment done in Washington D. C. reminds me of the time I left the Theology of the Body Institute with a busload of other attendees and was dropped at the airport. After getting through security I began to look above my head to see which direction to go for my gate.
Several of my class attendees were with me and had gravitated to an interactive light puzzle projected onto the wall. It was at least six feet tall and at least 10 or 12 feet long. I watched as they moved the pieces by touching them and sliding them around. They laughed and giggled and played with this beautiful wall mural.
The truth is that I would not had even noticed it if I had been on my own. Was it because they were in there 20’s and I was in my 40’s that I had not even thought to try it? I went over to the puzzle and took my turn moving the pieces around. The entire time all I could think was “Why don’t I stop and look around more? What else am I missing?”
I made a decision right then to pursue what is beautiful. When it snows I tilt my head back and watch the flakes cascade down to my face. I pulled over on the side of the road and watch the sun setting. I get out of my car and take my shoes off and walk through fields with thick lush grass and I even lay down on a beach at night to behold the stars. I make time for beauty.
Do you have time for beauty? You and I are called to pursue what is beautiful, true and good, but are we? Perhaps the question we have to ask ourselves is that if we do not have time to stop and listen to a world class musician playing the most intricately written music on the best instrument ever made then maybe we need to re-prioritize our pursuits.
At first I thought going to a memorial service to say good-bye to Kolbe (the baby I just lost in miscarriage) was that last thing I would do. The thought of making myself emotionally vulnerable and go back into the wound that I just wanted to walk away from was the least appealing idea to me. Yet, when the priest at my Church texted to tell me that the cemetery that Kolbe was to be buried at had a memorial service being offered the very next week after losing my baby, it seemed to be an invitation from God. Either that or it was very coincidental that within a week of miscarrying there was a service being offered. Then he told me that the day it was offered was the very day we had a meeting scheduled anyways so he knew I would be free.
I have begun to see these kind of coincidences as ways in which God is gently nudging me in a particular direction. They are painful nudges, but they are invitations that I have begun to understand as doors God the Father desires for me, His daughter to walk through because He want to take me deeper, closer and farther in my spiritual walk towards Him.
I can refuse these invitations, but I some how know if I do I will be staying right where I am. A couple of years ago I began recognizing these invitations for the first time. I did not realize that I was always being invited and had even accepted many of them. Instead I had thought I was just “experiencing” deeper intimacy here and there, randomly. Then it happened. I was in Florida at a Healing Retreat dealing with the shit storm of what is my life and I heard the Holy Spirit prompt me to accept His invitation. That is when I recognized that I am always being given invitations. What do they look like? Usually they look very painful. That particular night the invitation was clear. “When I invite you, say yes. If you do, I will heal you. If you don’t, you will stay where you are.” The Holy Spirit was telling me that even when it was scary and felt like dying that if I trusted Him and said yes to whatever it was He was inviting me to, that on the other side of it I would find healing. It is as if you are blind-folded and walking through traffic and someone is reaching their hand out on the other side telling you to walk toward them. As scary as that felt, I still heard Him saying “Trust Me.”
Even now I am having a hard time articulating the intense fear and reservation that still accompanies his invitations. That invitation in Florida, the one that opened my eyes to see that I am always being invited, changed my life. I call it my undoing because I was undone, but then I was made new.
I heard the invitation to walk into the loss of this baby when it would be so much easier to just continue marching forward and get on with my life. It is so easy to do with all of the things on my calendar. I could easily slip away from it all and just try to forget. Yet, here I was standing in a cemetery listening to poems being read out loud by other women who just lost their babies. The most beautiful part of the ceremony was the moment the woman there handed me a purple balloon in honor of Kolbe. As it was placed in my hands the tears slipped out of my eyes and down my face. To hold something in my hands that was for Kolbe broke open the stones I had tried to put around the wound in my heart to keep from feeling the loss. One of my most favorite songs ever started playing as we were invited to say goodbye in our own private way.
I watched a mother and three children each take a balloon and tie a note to the string. They released their balloons together and I watched as she kneeled on the ground holding her children and watching with them as the balloons rose in the air carrying their little notes with them.
Looking back at my own balloon I closed my eyes for a brief moment and I swear I saw Kolbe holding hands with his siblings in heaven, laughing and running chasing after the balloons like children do. Then I did what I must always do when I am going to accept an invitation sent to me from God my Father. I let go.