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, Secret Diary of 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