Please consider ordering my book on healing wounds from Sexual Abuse.
“EMBRACING YOUR GREATNESS: Healing Wounds and Reclaiming our greatness through Theology of the body.
You can get your copy by clicking the link.
Please consider ordering my book on healing wounds from Sexual Abuse.
“EMBRACING YOUR GREATNESS: Healing Wounds and Reclaiming our greatness through Theology of the body.
You can get your copy by clicking the link.
Want to know why you feel so screwed up? Well, it is probably from wounds created by sin that has you believing a lie in which you have then made vows to do or not do this or that ever again in an attempts to get control over your pain or fear or distrust or feelings of powerlessness. How do you fix it? Read on.
(This is a long piece and meant only for those who desire to understand what their root wounds are that are causing such great suffering in their lives due to a life of neglect, trauma or abuse).
From the very beginning of the Bible sin is defined as separation from God. It is also spoken of as a transgression, which means to violate the law. Since the law is meant to protect us and the world we live in, we see that sin is not only a violation of God but a violation of us and of all creation. When we sin we separate ourselves from God, transgress against his will and against one another and against all of creation. This is the condition we live in due to original sin.
The word sin can also be understood as missing the mark. Greek archers used the word sin when an archer would aim for a target but miss the mark, they would fall short of their target. Many of us aim to please God yet we all fall short of the glory of God.
So with these biblical definitions I think we can agree that we are all sinners. All of us live in that place of struggle in which we miss the mark, transgress upon the will of God and in doing so violate one another and ourselves
So all of us are sinners and our sin has it’s effects by creating wounds. Sin always wounds. Our sin wounds us every time. But we are also wounded by the sins of those around us. So it seems very clear that we have no possibility of living in this world without being wounded.
Sin is like cancer in that if it’s ignored it will grow in our bodies. As Christians we are called to be the body of Christ. We are to make Christ visible in and through our lives. We are to be living signs, our families an icon of the Trinitarian love of God revealing truth, life and love to the world. When we sin, the effects of our sin spreads in three directions thus marring our ability to reveal Christ to the world.
Sin spreads socially, to all those around us.
When we sin, we diminish Christ’s glory, not that Christ’s glory can be diminished but certainly our ability to be an icon that reveals His Glory can be diminished. How can someone see Christ in us when our sin is the first thing someone sees when they look at us.
Scripture tells us in Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy that sin also has an effect for generations. Some scriptures say ten generations. Many of us are not only dealing with our own sinfulness but with sin that has had it’s effects in our families down through the generations. For people who have been abused, simple affection can be difficult to give to their children. Those children then have difficulty with affection and so you see that the same affects of the sin from abuse has its affects down the generations.
When I began my journey in inner healing and realized my own sinfulness as a result of my wounds I discovered that the same wounds that had been passed down through the generations to me did not stop there. I realized I was in fact responsible for bringing the same kind of pain to the people in my family. This led me to become overwhelmed with grief.
How can we prevent hurting our own children? The answer is we can’t.
The only thing we can do is to continue to clean up our hearts. The cleaner our hearts become the better we can love those around us. It is like our heart is a vase meant for holding flowers but with sin and wounds our “vase” is cracked and holds sludge instead of water. When we clean out the sludge and allow Christ to heal us, we can retain His grace to love others the way He loves and the water is not tainted with the sludge.
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.
“There are many kinds of wounds but what they all have in common is that they affect us in such as ways as to give us a taste of hell.” Says Dr. Bob Schuchts, founder of the John Paul II healing center and creator of healing retreats in Tallahassee Florida. These retreats are what I believe have saved my marriage and saved my own children from growing up even worse off than perhaps I was. While taking his course “Sexual Healing and Redemption” at the Theology of the Body Institute, he spoke of 6 common wounds that many of us carry. He bases that number off of the Theophostic Healing research done by Ed Smith’s work who lays out 7 common wounds. Dr. Bob has condensed the list to 6. He lists them as follows:
1) Abandonment Wounds. “I am all alone and I will always be alone”.
2) Fear or terror wounds. “I can’t trust anybody.”
3) Shame. “I’m unworthy, I’m unlovable.”
4) Powerlessness. “I have no ability to do anything. I can’t change anything.”
5) Rejection. “I’m unacceptable, I’m disgusting, I’m repulsive.”
6) Hopelessness. “I can’t change anything.”
7) Identity Wounds. “I am garbage, I am nothing, I do not matter”.
When events in our lives cause us suffering, the devil, the enemy of our soul, comes to us in that moment and proposes a lie to us much like a groom would propose marriage to us. If we believe the lie he proposes, we are then opening ourselves to him. This is a foothold. St. Paul tells us how sin can becomes a foothold using anger as an example.
“Do not be angry and sin in your anger and give the devil a foothold”.
We are either in relationship with God or relationship with the devil. We are either walking in truth or walking in a lie. When Eve was in the garden of Eden, the devil came and proposed his lie to her that God could not be trusted, that he was keeping something back from her by not allowing her to eat from the tree of knowledge. He was proposing that God did not love her. When Eve ate the apple, she was accepting the proposal of the devil, she accepted his lie and just like any marriage there was fruit that came from her accepting the proposal. The fruit was death. When we accept the lies that the devil proposes to us we too our severing our union with God and are uniting ourselves to the evil one. With our free will, we are chosing to be in relationship with the liar and this foothold we have given him, will grow like a cancer if we ignore it. Like cancer spreads in our bodies, so too does the affects of the lies we consent to believe in. These footholds turn into strongholds.
“A stronghold is any pattern of behavior in your life that you know is against the will of God but continues to persist even when you try to change it.” ( Dr Bob Schuchts Anatomy of a wound audio http://www.OnlyPeople.net).
This pattern is a result of the barriers we have built around our heart, brick by brick, lie by lie and vow by vow in an attempt to protect ourselves from being hurt or suffering in some way. The problem with putting up walls around our hearts is that we keep out the good along with the bad. We become like a prisoner within a castle and the stronghold keeps us there.
Counseling can bring us temporary relief, can teach us coping skills and can give us a means by which to deal with the distress symptoms that result from us believing the lies but they cannot change the stronghold or bring it down. Medication can offer us some relief as well, perhaps helping us manage our anxiety that is related to the stronghold but this is not a chemical imbalance we are talking of. A stronghold is an action of our free will and unless we take it down with our own free will it will not be moved by medication. Praying is helpful and is definitely a step in the right direction as God is the one that can help to expose the lies so we know where to start but unless we are using the weapons spoken of by St. Paul then we are only managing the our pain rather than finding true freedom.
Dr Bob Schucht’s goes on to say that “Every thought and imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God results in a stronghold.” (Anatomy of a wound audio). So in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power of God we can break strongholds. Without the power of God we are just using our will to do something or not do something. If we try to overcome stronghold by own own sheer will we will end up frustrated or giving up all together.
They are pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth. Dr. Bob Schucht’s reminds us that “It is interesting to note that they are dispositions or attitudes of our hearts before they are sins. These are attitudes of our hearts that orientate us towards sin. Each one of them has an idolatry of something that exalts itself above God.” (The Anatomy of a wound audio on onlypeople.net).
Anger is an idolatry of control.
Pride is an idolatry of self.
Greed is an idolatry of things.
Lust is an idolatry relationship.
Gluttony is an idolatry of substance to comfort.
Sloth is an idolatry of comfort to avoid pain.
Envy is an idolatry of the status position or privileges of other people.
To explain this further let me clarify the relationship of sin, idol, wound, lies and vows. When the enemy proposes a lie, and if we accept his proposal, we then turn away from God. When we turn away from God, we then are turning towards something else. This “something else” becomes our idol. If we are feeling powerless, the enemy may propose the lie that “we must be in control or we will be hurt”. We then accept his proposal and profess to him our vows to unite ourselves to his lie. Our vow may be “I will make sure I always remain in control”. My idol is now control and not God. When I am feeling powerless I no longer turn to God and believing that he will protect me and his hand is guiding my life for my well-being. Instead, my heart has closed itself to God, instead my new idol of control is what I live by to protect myself from feeling powerless. I have exalted control above God. When I cannot control a situation and begin to feel as if I am losing control the result is my anger. I sin out of my anger in many ways and they are the distress symptoms. You will see my outbursts, my nit-picking, my perfectionism, my passive-aggressive means of manipulating others you will see me rage.
For every wound there is an idol and for every idol we worship we manifest sinful actions. Every sin has an effect and those effects are usually very visible to the people around us. (I have made a chart and attached it above to give an understanding ow how they all go together. I have used the information that I learned at several healing retreats taught by Dr. Bob Schuchts however, I could not find a chart that put together the connection of all of the components to make it easier for people to discover what their wounds are so I created my own.
We begin to make God’s out of all of those things because we think they will give us some satisfaction yet they are all characterizations of the devil so if we begin to engage in the lies that he tells us, we allow him the very foothold upon which he can ensnare us.
So how are we going to break free from the strongholds? We must be willing to suffer. When we are willing to suffer the original thing we were running away from and turn back to God and ask him to help us, then and only then do we acquire the actual graces to practice the virtues necessary in overcoming a particular sin in our life. If we have experienced abuse, trauma or neglect as children then the powerlessness we experienced in those moments may have resulted in our attempts to control everything and everyone. Most likely it also resulted in distrust, fear and un-forgiveness. When we forgive people who have hurt us we then begin to embody the merciful heart of Jesus Christ. Anger cannot remain where one has softened their hearts and become forgiving and merciful. Anger cannot abide where a heart has turned to God and begins to relinquish it’s power in exchange for his grace and his will in their life.
The only thing that overcomes pride is humility. Humbly acknowledging your pride before God and asking Him to take it away. If you think you can work on your pride then you are being prideful. The sin of being prideful or self-justifying comes from identity wounds. When we grow up in homes where we might not have been affirmed and loved as unique and unrepeatable person we begin to self-justify. If the only thing we were affirmed for was being attractive, this may become our new idol. This is vanity which is a form of pride. When we were only affirmed for being smart we make our intellect or academics our idol. The only way to overcome these things is to acknowledge that these are gifts from God meant to bring souls to Christ.
The only thing that overcomes our greed is generosity because greed is the control over our possession because of insecurity. Many people who hoard money or objects (there are even shows on television showing the lives of hoarders) desire to keep as much “things” around them and with them because they have entered into a relationship with objects that are safe and cannot “hurt” them. Greed is a “distress” symptom of a wound. We sin in our greed in attempt to stop feeling insecure or afraid about our well-being. We do not trust that God will care for us.The irony is that they are hurting because of the isolation their greed may cause. This is like a cycle that repeats itself. The only thing that can overcome greed is trusting in the generosity of God and then becoming generous yourself. Generosity is saying and believing that you trust in the providence of God. So if you think your issue is greed you are wrong, it is a fear wound and a trust issue.
The only thing that overcomes lust is not “getting yourself under control” and saying to yourself “I just won’t look at the person or that pornography.” Our issue is a rejection wound. Out of that place of feeling disgusting or that no one can love you a false idol is made out of disordered relationships of intimacy where the other can not “in-to-me-see”. Intimacy is about seeing deeply into an other and allowing oneself to be deeply seen. When we come to see the beauty and purpose of the human person made visible in and through our bodies we begin to heal. Theology of the Body is the antidote and chastity is lived out because once we understand our sexuality we desire to “speak” a language of love in and with our bodies. It is then that we can come before God and beg him for purity of our eyes and our hearts and of our bodies. Chastity is seeing the awesome creation of our sexuality “male and female” He created us.
The only thing that overcomes gluttony is abstinence and fasting. This can come from shame or hopelessness wounds and so we begin to consume a substance that comforts us rather than go to God and ask Him to fill the hole inside our hearts. We begin to forget the spiritual life and rely only upon the pleasures of the body. It is disordering our very personhood. This often times leads to sloth.
The only thing that overcomes sloth is diligence. This can come from feeling powerless. We become bound up in sloth when we believe the lie that we are powerless in some area of our life or in life in general and so we avoid the pain of trying to effect change by being slothful. It is in being diligent and willing to do the things that God is asking us to do especially when it is difficult that helps us to get free from Sloth. This is a common attack as it has to do with keeping the body of Christ from realizing we are in a spiritual battle. If we feel powerless and so then give up and become slothful the enemy can make more ground. I would say fortitude and diligence as well as courage and perseverance are important in overcoming sloth.
The only thing that overcomes envy is kindness. The wounds here can be from identity wounds. When you grow up feeling that you do not matter and that you are garbage, it is easy to begin hating your neighbor whose life may seem so much better. Envy is not just desiring your neighbors goods or status it is also believing that they have gotten something that you deserved to have. Is the reality that you deserve to be seen as good and worthy? Yes, but when one suffers from identity wounds then the lie is that you don’t matter and so envy builds up in our hearts turning it even more cold and hard against others. When we can be kind to others, be truly concerned for others this hardness softens. When you begin to see that each of us are called into being by our creator, each of us are unique and unrepeatable persons, then we see that our own worth and dignity is God given and are no longer angry about the good fortune of others.
Sometimes we can’t truly choose to become free from something so we may begin by choosing to become free in something else. We may chose to abstain in a smaller area which will then give us the strength to deal with a more powerful stronghold later. This helps us overcome the hopelessness of feeling that nothing will ever change.
These are just some of the examples of how sin and wounds and lies work together and how once discovered and the virtues sought can enable us to brings some real healing into our lives. None of us are any position to judge one another yet I am sure all of us can identify with one or more of these sins. All of us struggle with these sins and virtue is the way in which we will get free.
Once your identity a sin in your life that you cannot seem to get free from you must then begin to identify the lies that you believe. You must then renounce those lies and ask Jesus to forgive you for making a false idol in an attempt to deal with your pain alone rather than to open your heart to God. This is where healing comes in. If I have truth to undo the lie, if I believe the scripture that tells me that I should not worry about what I eat and what I wear because I trust in God’s providence then all of a sudden I can have security, real security because the stronghold lie begins to crumble. In asking forgiveness for making a false idol and renouncing the lie in Jesus’ name the enemies power is broken. Now the drawbridge has been lowered so that the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete can come in and be the divine physician.
So how do we begin? First you must ask the Holy Spirit to come and help you. God knows what you are ready to deal with and where you must first get free in order to have the strength and courage to press into the other wounds. If you go into areas you are not ready to deal with it will feel as if the enemy is rubbing salt in your wounds and you may be to afraid or feel to incapable of handling the pain associated with it.
I started with a distress symptom, an area of my life I felt was creating a pattern of sinful behavior that I just could not seem to get free of. I then asked the Holy Spirit to show me what He wanted me to know about it. For me, he showed me a memory. I then asked the Holy Spirit to reveal the lie in my heart that I believed. I then asked Him to reveal the judgment I had made about God and about the other person. I then asked God’s forgiveness for the believing the lies, making the judgments and for turning to a false idol instead of to Him. I then asked God to help me forgive the person for what they did. As for the lies, I renounced them in the name of Jesus Christ. It was as if I broke off my union with the enemy had re-united myself to my true Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. The effects were immediate. The peace was beyond anything counseling or anxiety meds or alcohol or food had ever done for me.
When I contemplated the lie again, I laughed out loud because it sounded, AND FELT, so ridiculous. It no longer had any hold over me. Who would have thought that freedom would and could be so instantaneous. This is because it is by the power of God. So why did this work when nothing else seemed to? Because God does not and will not violate our free will. He can supernaturally heal us but before that we must first surrender our will to God and invite him in. It is, to use the castle analogy, as if we must lower the drawbridge to give him access.
St. Peter says “Anyone who is willing to suffer in the flesh is done with sin” 1 peter
Jesus is the only person who experienced all of the same wounds we have and yet did not sin out of his wounds. He was abandoned “My God, my God why have you forsaken me”. All his friends left him. He was abandoned, yet did not sin.
“He was rejected and despised among men” IS 53, but he did not give into the rejection, he continued to love in the face of that rejection.
He was complete helplessness on the cross, but he chose to surrender his will to the father.
He tasted the greatest despair on him from our sins in the garden and on the cross but he never gave into despair or sloth.
He experienced every single wound in the mystery of creation and chose to be obedient. He took on every wound for us and the sins and penalties of the wounds and the sins. He did this for us. He also identified with us so that we can see that we can identify with him in our suffering and know his compassion for our pain.
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.
Are you still afraid? Are you still feeling hopeless? Are you still not sure how to begin? Then start simply. You can say “I can not overcome this Jesus, but you can”. “I can not bear this Jesus, but you can.”
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.
Take some time to journal. Take an area of your life, some place of distress in your life. Pray and ask God to show you what the lie is that you believe in your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what the root wound and the root sin is. Ask him to show you where it is rooted in term of memory and experience. For some it may be a recent event for others something farther back.
This part is important. Allow yourself the chance to feel the pain of that. Bring that to Jesus and ask Jesus to reveal the truth and bring his healing love there.
He who is willing to suffer in the flesh is done with sin!
God will meet us. It’s a matter of walking there so don’t be impatient with yourself. It is a process and He is not going to give you something that is more than you can bear.
I want to give you hope that as you walk through this, to know that there is such joy on the other side of healing. It is awesome and worth every bit of the pain you might go through as you look at events or people in your lives that wounded you with their sin. Keep your eyes, your focus on Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He will bring you to the joy that He promises. That may be hard to believe, especially for those who might have been dealing with deep hopelessness wounds for a long time. Let me encourage you to not give in to sloth, remain diligent, keep going forward even if it is very small steps, that is still progress and you will be greatly rewarded.
This information comes from Dr. Bob Schucht’s work on “Healing The Whole Person” and other great Inner Healing work he provides for those desiring real freedom. You can find more information on how to attend his healing retreats by going to his website The John Paul II Healing Center .
The fact that hell exists is proof of God’s love. Without a choice to go to hell there is no free will, there are no choices, there is no love. If there was not a hell, then God could not honor our choice to reject Him. Hell makes choosing God possible, without there is no choice. If there were not a choice to go to hell we would be animals, without choice, relying on our instincts to dictate our lives.
Does God pre-destine a soul to go to hell? The short answer is no. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church Predestined means that we are selected for divine adoption by an eternal decree of God (Eph 1:4). “Predestination is a mystery revealed but not fully understood; what we know for certain is that God is free to act as he chooses (Ps 135:6) and man is free to accept or reject his blessings (Rom 2:6-8; Sir 15:11-13). No one is predestined by God for eternal damnation” (CCC 1037).
Predestined and predetermined are two different things. We are in fact predestined for heaven. The old Baltimore Catechism says this about why God created us: “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.” This goes against the argument that some protestants have used to say God predestines some people to go to hell and there is nothing they can do to change it. They believe that some people are chosen and brought into existence for this purpose, to go to hell. This is false. God does not desire it nor does He bring into being a person so he can then “send” them to hell.
It is a person’s free will that destines a person for hell. God’s gift of free will allows each person to choose heaven or hell. There are two choices really. “I am a handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to they word” as Mary said or “Not my will but thine be done” as Jesus said. The alternative is “I will not serve” which was the response of Lucifer.
So how is one to understand how a person is “predetermined” to go to hell? When we understand the immaculate conception we understand predetermined. Why is this? Because the Immaculate Conception reveals the very timelessness of God. God is outside of time and space. God applied the graces merited by Jesus Christ on the cross and applied it to Mary at the moment of her conception.
How could He do that? Because God knew Mary would say yes. This did not mean she did not get to chose it, it just means that because He is God He exists outside of space and time. He is past present and future. God knows no boundaries. He knew she would say yes it happened already outside of time and he preemptively applied the grace. This is of course my laymen terms for such a complex theology that only a theologian (which I am not) could explain it concisely.
You could say that Mary was predetermined to say yes and be the mother of God. Bl Anne Catherine Emerich talks about this in her 4 volumes that Mel Gibson used to write the screen play for “The Passion”. She said in her writings that God desired to bring about the salvation of the world sooner but it was not until St. Anne and St. Joachim that two loved like the trinity into which Mary was brought and in which she would say yes to being the mother of God that God could then move forward with His divine plan. That shows you how much God honors our free will. He won’t even save us unless we allow Him to, that is how much He respects our free will.
It is hard to understand how the graces merited on the cross by Jesus Christ were given to His mother before she was even born. Another way to wrap ones head around this mystery is to contemplate the Eucharist. At mass we experience Calvary. It is because the Holy Sacrifice of the mass is able to pass outside of space and time, literally making present the body of Jesus Christ, that this is possible. We are not re-creating Christ’s death and crucifixion, nor are we re-sacrificing Him, rather we step through a mystical veil of time and space and Calvary is made present. We are at the foot of the Cross.
This is why we pray for the dead or why we ask for the Communion of Saints to pray for us. Our prayers can bestow graces to them before their deaths. We can pray for those who died and our prayers can merit graces that outside of time can be given to them before they died to help perfect their nature. It is this mystery of timelessness that many of us cannot understand because we are temporal beings. We are bound by space and time but God is not. The spiritual is not. Angels pass through this veil easily because they are not bound time space as we are. Perhaps this is why some Saints could bi-locate. They could pass through the veil because it is a reality created by God to govern the physical realm. However, we are spiritual and physical beings. Therefore, we too are able to pass through the veil in ways known only to God and in our Glorified bodies we will move as fast as our thoughts and will pass through walls much like Christ did when manifested into the upper room. He passed through the veil, the dimension that separates us.
At the moment of conception God creates a holy immortal soul and infuses it into the body of that child. At that moment God knows all of the choices that person will make before they make them, never diminishing their free will.
It is the choices they will make that will determine their final destination. All souls are destined for heaven. This is the the truth of the trinity because every person is created in the image and likeness of God who is Love. God is love poured out and overflowing and in that excess of love He creates Holy immortal souls. This means we are all created to love and be loved. If we do not chose enter into that love we reject God (who is Love) and chose the alternative.
The fact that hell exists is another proof of God’s love. Without a choice to go to hell there is no free will, there are no choices, there is no love. If there was not a hell, then God could not honor our choice to reject Him. Hell makes choosing God possible, without there is no choice. If there were not a choice to go to hell we would be animals, without choice, relying on our instincts to dictate our lives.
God does not force himself on us but rather allows us to decide if we will be with Him forever in Heaven or if we will reject Him and spend eternity in Hell. We will exist for all eternity, where we do it is up to us.
So if we are not predestined to go to hell are we predetermined to go to hell? What does predetermined mean? In this context predetermined means that before it happens it is already known to happen. Souls are predetermined for hell because their choice of hell is known by God before they live it out.
James 1:13-15, “Let know one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.”
It is our choice to sin that determines whether or not we spend eternity in hell. When a soul is pre-determined to go to hell it means that God knows that they would reject Him regardless of His invitations or intersessions. He knows it because He sees their decisions, sees into their personhood, knows their hearts and understands all of their choices and gives them the freedom to choose.
Free will is a very powerful thing. Even the devil has no real power other than what our free will gives him. When we submit our will to evil and enflesh it, that is when the devil is able to oppress us. Free will is something we should all contemplate more. It transcends space and time and can condemn a person before they are born (because a birthday is a time and God is outside time). On a positive note, it can also save the entire human race. Jesus and Mary are proof of that.
Why I love Survivor
Say what you will about reality television, for me I have loved watching “Survivor” on CBS from the day it first aired in May of 2000. For those of you that don’t know what Survivor is, let me enlighten you.
The show takes 16 total strangers and maroons them on a remote tropical island for 33 days.
The players are split into two “tribes”. While living on the island each tribe lives off the land with limited supplies of beans and rice. They must forage for food and start fires the way cavemen did.
They live together in a shelter that they must build themselves and usually have only the clothes on their backs.
The tribes compete against each other in “challenges” which consist of puzzles, obstacle courses, relay races, memory games or eating disgusting local foods.
The challenges in which they compete are either for a reward, which is usually a luxury item (blankets, soap etc.) or immunity. The immunity challenges protect a tribe from having to go to “tribal council” in which they must vote off one of their own members.
At the halfway point in the show, about day 11, the remaining persons on each tribe are merged together forming one new tribe. At this point they begin competing as individuals. The people who are voted off at this point become the “jury”. The jury consists of the last players voted off (they are housed at a nearby resort). Every other night the jury attends tribal council to see how everything plays out until the last 3 players are standing.
When the tribe consists of “final three”, there is a final tribal council. At this tribal council the last players plead their case to the jury as to why they believe they deserve to be voted as the winner of Survivor. They must explain how they have outwitted, outplayed and outlasted everyone else. They also face a group of persons who get to question them in turn. Whoever gets the most jury votes wins a million dollars.
So now your probably thinking, “What a waste of time!” or perhaps “why in the world is this one of your favorite shows?” or “why are you using so many air quotes?”
The answer is relationships. I don’t love this show because they eat grubs or swim relays or start fires with friction. I love this show because of the people and their relationships.
When the season begins I am introduced to 16 people that I don’t know and will never know as a personal experience, but I do get to know them. Over the several months of the show I watch them form alliances, make friends, share personal stores about their lives as well as plot and strategize how to win “the game”.
I see how each person treats others or how they establish relationships (or don’t). I listen to their individual commentaries as they are each taken (privately) throughout the show to discuss the game as it unfolds. They tell the camera why they are doing what they are doing, how they feel about it and how it is affecting them. This is a great way to understand more about who they are. It’s like reading the inner dialogue of a character in a book.
What have I seen?
I have seen the good. I have watched people give up food to give it to their tribe, sacrifice a visit with a family member to allow another person to receive that luxury and I have seen people give up immunity in attempts to save another.
I have seen the bad. I have watched emotional meltdowns, manipulation, and lying, cheating, stealing and downright bad sportsmanship like throwing challenges just to vote someone out.
I have watched the ugly. I have seen people burn others clothing to make them miserable, destroy a food supply to make their tribe starve and I have seen players orchestrate deceptions resulting in an entire tribe ganging up on one individual and verbally and emotional abusing them.
Everything I have seen has taught me a lot about how people hide from who they really are. Some use rationalization saying, “it’s just a game”. Many manipulate or use people all the while denying that their actions speak about who they are as persons, after all it is “just a game”.
These persons often despise those who are kind and honest. They see those players as “weak” and untrustworthy. After all, the players that are honest cannot be expected to lie and cheat and steal as they do so they are a “liability”. It doesn’t always go like this. It depends on the tribe. Get one very wounded and unhealthy person on a tribe and they will either get voted off or they will take over the game.
Regardless of how a person “plays the game”; we still see each person’s heart. What I see is people hearts being poured out on screen as the games literally breaks them open. All facades are stripped away, there is no hiding the true self, not on Survivor; everyone is broken open there.
The lack of things to do, the harshness of daily life, the constant companionship, the exhaustion, the lack of food, all cracks open the shells used to protect themselves. We see all of the wounds a person is carrying in their hearts as they are broken open and poured out on screen. While it is true that we are seeing an edited version of reality, we are still able to see into the hearts of each person as we watch how they “play the game”.
What I don’t like is when the contestants begin to tell the camera that they are going to lie and cheat and steal and do whatever it takes to win because, after all, it’s only a game. They go on and on about how this is not the kind of person they are, they are separating out who they are from how the game requires people to play.
This could not be farther from the truth. The choices we make everyday and in every situation IS life. Survivor is not a game, it is a competition in which people compete and the person they are factors into how they “play the game”.
I like watching this show because I learn about people. I learn how to love people better. When I watch Survivor I learn about all kinds of people dealing with all kinds of issues and I learn how to love them better. When I see how wounds that people carry in their hearts effects their capacity to love others, I am reminded to love them anyways. I can love people when I can see how what they are doing to me might be more about something hurting in them and less about trying to hurt me. This is when we truly begin to see one another. It’s like our sin is a figurative fig leaf that helps us to hide ourselves from being truly seen. The irony? We all desperately long to be seen.
Survivor has taught me that what you see is NOT what you get. Do not judge a book by its cover. Every person has become who he or she is through the circumstances of their lives. We can love them better when we learn to see the forest through the trees. Meaning? We can love people better when we learn to truly see them.
Each of us has been created for a reason. When we discover it, we find our passion and purpose in life. The trick is to always keep it before our eyes. In doing this, we may be consoled during periods of desolation.
How do we keep our passion and purpose before our eyes? Is it like a photograph in the back of a soldier’s pocket during wartime? For soldiers, a photograph would console them as war waged all around. We too need something to take out and gaze upon as the challenges of life press in upon us.
What might your photograph look like? What consoles you most when the difficulties and sufferings of life feel that they might consume you?
St. Therese of Lisieux created such a photograph for herself. She created a coat of arms. Many of us would say it is like a family crest. In it she placed symbols that described her spirituality, her relationship with God and what her mission in life was. It was a snapshot of her passion and her purpose that would give her perseverance.
Here is the description of St. Theresa of Lisieux, The Child of Jesus, The Little Flower’s Coat of Arms;
After seeing that St. Theresa created her own snapshot to make visible the invisible reality of what gives her passion and purpose in life, I decided to create my own. I encourage anyone that is desiring perseverance admits the struggles and tribulations of daily life to create their own and put it somewhere they can look upon for consolation. If you do not feel artistically inclined but still desire to create a coat of arms then consider checking out the online website that helps you step by step to create your own.
Beauty will save the world because it inspires within human beings passion and purpose along with the very virtues necessary to live it out. Here is a description of my own Coat of Arms that I have put together while contemplating what gives me passion and purpose.
I will start with myself. If the world was a garden, what flower would you be and why?
I would be the Lily of The Valley. It grows in darkness. My childhood was one of darkness and yet God’s grace sustained me. As a child the Lily of the Valley grew in the shade of one of the many houses I lived in. The smell is one of my most favorite. It’s delicate bell like blossoms are like pearls on a string. I would like to think I resemble this flower.
I have put 10 blossoms because the pearls in my life are my 10 children. Eight of my children are still living.
The Three round circles are a family from which my children sprung from. It is also the love of the bride and bridegroom from which this free, full, faithful and fruitful comes and from which we are called into union and communion. It seemed appropriate to put this relationship in my coat of arms as it is the tender, gentle and sweet love of the Bridegroom which has wooed me to Himself. Theology of the Body helps us to understand the trinitarian love of God in this same light and has become my life’s work.
Mary is responsible for bringing me to Jesus. This is so perfect since I grew up without a presence of a father in my life. My parents divorced when I was 3 months old and there were years that went by without ever seeing him. The step-father in my life sexually, physically, mentally and emotionally abused me. My conversion came through her direct intercession. I read stories about her appearing in Fatima and began to learn about who God is and about the love of Jesus.
I used two triangles in union to symbolize Mary (blue triangle facing up to heaven) and how she was espoused with the Holy Spirit (the green triangle facing down toward earth). The Immaculate Heart (flowers on heart) of Mary is in the center of the two triangles with 7 swords (7 sorrows) piercing her heart. This is because I believe I have been called to build up her army and the secrets she holds enables us to crush the head of the serpent.
“In the Holy Spirit’s union with Mary we observe more than the love of two beings; in one there is all the love of the Blessed Trinity; in the other all of creations love. So it is that in this union heaven and earth are joined, all of heaven with all of earth; the totality of eternal love with the totality of created love. It is truly the summit of love.” St. Maximilian Kolbe
Above Mary, we are led to the source and summit. The Sacred Heart of Jesus, inflamed with love for all mankind is surrounded by thorns. The green in them reminds us that His suffering and sacrifice is life-giving. His heart is crowned because Jesus Christ is my King. My name reminds me of this. Christina King, like Christ the King is how I help people remember my name. The Halo is representative of my love of iconography. The Nahuatl Glyph found in the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe has so much meaning I barely know where to start. Let’s just say is symbolizes Divine Mercy, Bl. Pope John Paul II, the Church and the establishment of a new civilization of love which I have been called to help bring into existence. The rays flow from the mouth as they do in the tilma symbolizing the writings of St. Faustina.
The motto of my crest is “Jesus, I trust In You” and it is in German. I am the first generation to be born in the United States. I chose German because so much of my identity is tied to my German heritage.
Finally, the top cross has the letters J.M.J. to symbolize Jesus, Mary and Joseph as well as Archbishop Fulton Sheen. I have been called to evangelize as a teacher, in media and through speaking and I fell in love with ArchBishop Fulton Sheen very early on in my conversion. I still pray for him to intercede for me.
This is a simple example of how we can create an image to be our own coat of arms. This image can help to inspire us when we need it most.
This past weekend I attended the “Unbound Leadership Conference” put on by Heart of The Father Ministries. I was able to meet Neal Lozano, who has written a number of books helping people to find real freedom in Christ by utilizing this very simple and duplicable model of deliverance.
The word deliverance can scare some people but I like what Neal say’s about it. To say that deliverance is about the devil is like saying that the Exodus story in Genesis is about Pharaoh. Deliverance is about Christ setting the captives free. It is about the power of Jesus Christ that is given to us in baptism, renewed and refreshed through repentance and reconciliation and empowered by the gifts of the Holy Spirit released in confirmation. However, some of us have not been renewed and refreshed. Some of us have not been reconciled and have not asked for the Holy Spirit to release the gifts of confirmation.
When we are not free to love and be loved then we are not making the invisible visible through our lives and our example. We are to be the body of Christ, yet some of us are still bound up from the lies we believe, the vows we have made, the judgments of others and when this effects our identities we are cut off from the very life giving source that we must draw upon.
So how do we listen to the Holy Spirit? How do we find freedom? How do we refresh, reconcile and release the Holy Spirit in us and through us?
The first thing we have to do is pray to the Holy Spirit. COME HOLY SPIRIT COME! It can begin with simplest of prayers, really it can.
Before going through the 5 Keys of Unbound, we need to call upon the Holy Spirit and we need to learn to listen to what the Holy Spirit desires to do in our hearts. If you rush into the 5 keys without the Holy Spirit, the 5 keys can become like the keys you have in your junk drawers at home. You know they open something, but you don’t know what.
Here is how you begin. Call upon the Holy Spirit. Pray for Him to release the gifts within and through you.
I would like to show how those that use the examination of conscience taught in the book “33 Days to Morning Glory” can really benefit by incorporation the 5 keys taught in the Unbound model.
Fr. Michael Gaitley’s “B.A.K.E.R. examination of conscience, when utilizing the 5 keys of Unbound, can be truly effective because you can then hear what the Holy Spirit desire for you to know. Rather than just using introspection or merely “thinking” about your shortcomings or sinful patterns or behaviors.
It is a gentle way to go into what I like to call the “bad neighborhoods” of our past. There may be many things we need to repent of. Where do we start so we do not get overwhelmed? I heard a Catholic Answers speaker say that our pasts are like bad neighborhoods, you would not want to go in there without some protection or you will get the cr*P beat out of you. So before we go looking at all the places we have failed and come up short or down right sinned, let us first begin by having the Holy Spirit remind us who God is and who we are. So we begin with B
We begin by looking at the places in which we have seen the blessings in our lives. We begin with going to the truth and seeing who the Father is and how He has blessed us. This is our “consolations”. Our identities may have been beaten up by the broken people of the world sinning out of their own wounds and this can cause us to have difficulty with knowing who we truly are. Some of us self-justify, or have shame or feelings of unworthiness, we misinterpret God’s intentions or circumstances in our lives and others just do not believe God desires to share intimate secrets with their hearts alone. Whatever the struggles, we must begin with looking to our consolations and blessings and rest in the truth that God is good and that He loves us as we are, right now, today, faults and all.
Now we call once again upon the Holy Spirit and ask for the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds as to what God desires for us to know about where there are barriers to Him, or where we are in need of repentance. This is the first Key of the Unbound Model.
1. Repentance and Faith
When we ask the Holy Spirit He can reveal the root issue instead of the surface things that continue to plague us. For instance, if we have anger issues, raging when things feel out of control or when someone “attacks” us or our worth, we could think our issue is anger. This is how clever the Father of lies is. Anger and rage is a distress symptom of a deeper issue. The Holy Spirit knows the gentlest way to guide you to truth and freedom and He desires to woo His bride gently, He does not desire to kick in your doors or expose you in shame. When we ask Him to lead us to the root, we then can have our hearts moved by His tender Mercy to true repentance.
He can show us that the anger is a reaction to a lie in our heart, an inner vow we have made that locks His healing truth out or perhaps of a judgment we have made about other people or even about God Himself. Anger is a symptom of an idolatry of control. Control is an idol we use to protect ourselves or manage our fears due to powerless wounds or perhaps even fear bonds formed that cause us to believe that God does not save, or He does but will not save us.
When walked through the repentance key, it is so comforting to hear the words of the Prayer team acknowledging and affirming your fear and your deeper desire while at the same time, asking God to forgive you for your judgments, your lack of faith. “In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask your forgiveness for not believing I could trust you.” “Forgive me Jesus for using control as an idol instead of coming to you.” This “Asking” is a beautiful way to know what God desires to start with. If we merely think about our shortcomings, our failures and our limitations to love, we will soon despair. When we look at our sin without the Mercy of Jesus Christ and can easily be convinced by the father of lies that we are not forgiven, our sin is too big or perhaps our God will not save us. If we do not ask the Holy Spirit to lead us in this, those that do repent may do it out of shame, fear of judgment or to be “good” rather than to find healing and reconciliation. This will not set the captives free, but causes the lies to dig themselves in deeper. If the root wound is powerlessness and fear, then we find other ways to “control” so as to not open to God. Anger is symptom of an idolatry of control as a means to self-protect so you see repentance must come from the heart. It is handing the reigns over to Christ, both of them. If we continue to hold onto one of the reigns, we cannot go in the direction God desires to take us in.
When we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where we need to forgive we become aware of places we are bound up that we may never have even realized we were not yet set free! He knows all and everything. He knows where pain has caused us to not yet forgiven someone. He knows where we still believe someone does not deserve our forgiveness. He knows where we still desire someone to make atonement for what they did to us. He knows where we are so afraid of dealing with our emotions or anger that we have made unforgiveness and our anger a means to protect our hearts. He sees past false humility to the pride that tries to justify our unforgiveness, He knows where we still do not understand the depths of His ocean of Mercy and He even knows which evil spirits are binding us up of our own free will. The Holy Spirit will gently reveal where we need to forgive, He will lead us there and He will help to set us free.
“In the name of Jesus I forgive my Father for leaving me as a baby and never getting to know me as a daughter. In the name of Jesus I forgive my father for not wanting to be in my life and for not coming to my graduation from high school or college”. In the name of Jesus, I forgive my father for not holding my hand, for not holding me in his arms and for not being there to protect me as a child.”
Forgiveness is not about giving up your rights or even excusing what someone has done to you. It is about allowing God to work it all out to His better good and glory and relinquishing it’s power over you by trusting in the Father. When an intercessor gives you the words, just hearing them said to you out loud is a validation that what was done to you requires forgiveness. When you repeat them, you can feel the healing salve being administered to your heart. It is freeing in that very moment.
What killed or desolated you today? When did your heart drop in your chest from what was done to you or what you had done to someone else? We are not to make major decisions in times of desolation because the father of lies is so good at manipulating our emotions that we are not free to see rightly. When we ask the Holy Spirit to show us the daily desolations, we see where we the wounds of others were at work and it may not have been our cross to carry. We also see the places the enemy is stirring up our emotions to cause us to believe his lies, to make more judgments or vows that separate us from God and in doing so cause us forget that our Father in Heaven knew what He was getting when He made us, we are no surprise to God, yet He so desired us that He willed us into existence despite how He knew we would fail Him. This leads me to the third key.
“In the Name of Jesus Christ, I renounce the spirit of control. In the name of Jesus Christ, I renounce the Spirit of Anger and unforgiveness”. When we renounce, we break any agreements we have made with the liar and turn our faces back to the Father. We are breaking the ties that bind us. I also believe the renewal of our baptismal vows is a powerful way to renounce the enemy and his lies. It is renouncing Satan, his pomps and works and empty promises. Many of us have had relationships outside of covenant marriage or have been involved with the occult. There are tarot cards, Ouiji boards, wearing crystals and more. These things must be renounced. “In the name of Jesus Christ I renounce any physical or spiritual ties with NAME and I take back what I gave to HIM/Her.” Every day we should be going through B.A.K.E.R. with the 5 Keys of Unbound. When we get to the 3rd key, we need to renounce anything that the Holy Spirit has inspired for us to renounce.
“In the name of Jesus Christ, I command every evil spirit and spirits associated to it that I have renounced and every spirit behind the sins I have confessed to leave me right now and go directly to the foot of the cross”. “Thank you Jesus for setting me free from the influence of evil spirits. Thank you Father for sending your son to save me.” Amen
This is about being set free and Jesus Christ has that authority and power. We, by virtue of our baptism can call upon this power of Jesus Christ and command what we renounce in His name as well as any of the powers and principalities infesting or oppressing us to leave! We need to stand in the authority that we as Christians have been given. Christ said that we would do “all these things and even greater things than this” and He meant it.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” John 14:12
Greater works? Yes!!! We will be set free so that we can bring Christ to others so that they too can find healing and freedom!
This coincides with the final key of Unbound. When we embrace the love of the Father we embrace the greatness of God’s love, the gifts He desires to share with the world through our yes, we embrace the Fathers Blessing.
Did you know that your name is very important? For all of the years I have traveled and spoke around the country I have noticed that peoples names strangely revealed how God was using them as instruments of His divine will. I began experimenting and by telling people (before they told me) what it was that I thought they were doing in ministry. Not only would I be right but when I was wrong it was not because I was wrong at all but it was because it was on their hearts to do but they had not answered that stirring in their heart.
All throughout the bible we are shown that names matter so much that even Paul was renamed to ensure his name matched his calling. Isaac was so named because his mother laughed. All of us have names that were inspired in our parents because of the movements of the Holy Spirit because our name was written on God’s heart before it ever was uttered on our parents lips. At the moment He names us our name lit up the heavens and flashed like a comet through the stars and throughout the entire universe heralding our goodness as unique and unrepeatable persons with dignity, honor and great worth beyond price. I challenge you to look up your name. If you cannot find your name to mean something that reveals your call then email me because I guarantee I can. What is your confirmation name? I have been told we do not pick our confirmation Saint, the Saint picks us. The Holy Spirit attracts us to that Saint because they will help protect the mission in which we have been chosen to fulfill.
The Fathers blessing is something that all of us must embrace because it heals the wounds it fills the empty and formless void so that we can see what was always there but never realized, we have been chosen, we have been called by name.
The final examen peace is to reconcile. This is another word for being set free! When our hearts are freed to love we desire to reconcile, to bring healing and freedom to others. When we realize we reacted in a way to self-justify and in doing so hurt someone we love, our first inclination upon healing is to run to them like the prodigal son and say please, please forgive me! I desire to make amends and to restore what was broken between us.
If you have not heard of Unbound I challenge you to discover what has continued to bring me great freedom and healing. If you have not consecrated yourself to Mary I would prayerfully suggest you read my article on why she is the one that helps us to receive our triple portion of the Holy Spirit. If you desire for the Holy Spirit to permeate you, transform you and make you a new creature in Christ, then Mary is the perfect mold from which to pour ourselves into because she formed the body of Christ in her womb.
We are going to set the world ablaze with Fire of Christ’s love! Come and Join me as there are many, many captives that need to be set free. Will you join me?
What is Heart of the Father Ministries? It say’s this on their website.
“Heart of the Father Ministries empowers people to reclaim their true identity in Christ as sons and daughters of the Father through Unbound:Freedom in Christ ministry.
Heart of the Father is dedicated to equipping people throughout the world to take hold of the freedom they have been given in Christ and to help others do the same by using the principles of the Five Keys as found in Unbound.
The Five Keys are taught and implemented at the Unbound: Freedom in Christ Conferences and through a growing network committed to proclaiming this message.”
The 5 Keys of Unbound
1. Repentance and Faith
5. Father’s Blessing
Have you noticed there are a lot of zombie movies and television shows lately? It is as if Hollywood can see what so many of us are refusing to see. We are the walking wounded. 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 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 as these moments we can become bound up as prisoner to our pain, our fears and the vows that we make to ourselves.
If you or someone you know feels they are nailed to their cross instead of carrying it, then this book may be an answer to prayer. I have endured many of the abuses listed above. I have done what most do, I have gone on to wound others in the very way in which I am wounded. It is an irony that is not lost on me. However, it is helpful to recognize this because it helps us to discover the root wounds buried and hidden deep with us. When we see how we wound others, or we meet people that create a distress in us, usually it is a neon sign, pointing us to an area that we need healing in.
I am hoping that those of you that are seeking healing are inspired by my story but are also given the courage to be vulnerable in ways you have dared not to for so very long.
It is in being vulnerable that we are able to open ourselves to the Bridegroom. Jesus is the Bridegroom and knows all of the secrets of our story. He desires to make us whole and it is only through His grace that we can be transformed. I am here to say it is not only possible, but what you might believe to be your greatest flaw or ugliest secret may just be the birthplace of greatness.
Each of us were created by God and chosen out of all the “potential” people God could have created to come into existence. God knew what He was getting when He created me, He knew how I would fall, how I would fail Him and yet He did it anyway. I am no surprise to God. He chose me! When we created me, He chose to make me female because God has a plan for my life and being a woman is part of His plan. People do bad things. Our free will allows for that. It’s called God’s permissive will. He does not actively will it, but He promised after the flood that He would not interfere directly against our will. He sealed it with a promise for all to see with a rainbow.
God gives each of us gifts and charisms to enable us to more perfectly carry out our calling yet each of us are given a choice as to whether or not we chose to live out our calling. When we are abused, we begin to lose our ability to function as a “whole” person because our very personhood is wounded. These wounds go very deep and actually separate us from being able to see truth, to love and to be loved and may even destroy our lives in the process. Joy becomes an abstract concept and not a personal experience for the person with wounds.
The wounds created in us many times lead to sin. Many people wound in the very ways in which they were wounded as a means to protect themselves. Many people who abuse were abused themselves.
Here is the Good News! Christ came to restore us! He makes all things new! 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 on the other side.
Come and put your fingers into my wounds so that you too will believe. Open your hearts and minds to not only believe but to receive your own healing because today is the day of freedom!
I want to issue a warning for those of you that are easily disturbed by stories that include abuse. While I am not descriptive in every detail, I do share my story of abuse. Please feel free to skip over areas that may be to troubling to you to read. Make note of anything that you read that stirs up fear or anxiety in a journal so you can go back to it later in prayer. Often times, our reactions that are distressing are actually distress symptoms of something within our own hearts that God desires to heal in us. It is the distress symptom that acts as the treasure map so that we can find the hidden areas within us that once discovered and healed, will be our greatest treasure and pearl of great worth.
This book is about my journey of healing from the wounds of my childhood. It is because I did not want to pass on my wounds to my own children, and because I no longer desire to live out of my wounds, that I embarked on a journey of self-discovery. The reason I have decided to write this book is because of the freedom I have found on that journey. I have received more healing in the last year by this method than all of the 30 years of counseling combined.
The Star of Bethlehem was a light in the darkness that guided men to God. We too are to become like a star. We are to shine like a light in the darkness and lead humanity to God.
Missionary Intention: Christ, light for all humanity. That Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church.
What does this mean? It means that we are to become tabernacles, carrying within us the light of Christ. We are bring Christ to others through our hands and our feet. We are to radiate something so magnificent that they cannot help but to see His Truth, His Life and His love. It should be reflected from our own faces as if those who encounter us are experiencing the living God in our own presence. It is not because of anything we do or say, but rather it in opening ourselves to God, receiving Him deep inside of our hearts, that He Conceives Divine Life within us and when humanity is in it’s presence their own personhood, their own spirit within them will encounter Him with us.
The star of Bethlehem guided those seeking for truth to the one true God. We live in a world where everyday there are people seeking to be filled and the only thing that can make them whole is God. In fact, that desire, that ache, that hunger was infused into them at the moment of their conception so that they would always reach outside of them self to be completed by the one and only thing that will satisfy. That “thing” is God revealed in the trinity.
How do we become a star of Bethlehem? We first have to receive Him ourselves. We cannot give what we do not have for ourself first. St. Ignatius said it is not enough to become holy for ourselves, the goal is to be filled to overflowing so that the graces fill us and spill out over us onto all that we meet. We must first receive Him but more importantly we must be transformed by Him before we can effectively help anyone else. When we are transformed, it is He would then attracts souls, not us. We radiate Him, we cannot help ourselves because we have become permeated into every part and participle of our being. We become smaller and He becomes bigger because what is visible to others is our nature perfected by Grace. We then bring Hope, Love, Kindness, Peace, Mercy to those who are falling under the weight of their own weaknesses. The world desperately needs us to receive Him. Ask for a triple portion. He desires to give it to you.
When we receive Him, He begins to conceive within us a transformation of love. We then are to ask the Holy Spirit to release the operational gifts of the Holy Spirit given to us at baptism and confirmation. These are what will make the person in front of us KNOW that God is real and seeking them out PERSONALLY.
When we speaks prophetic words, or words of knowledge, exhortation, wisdom, tongues or their interpretation we emanate like a light, we radiate Him and that is what will draw humanity to Him. Like St. John in his mother’s womb, deep within their own hearts there will be a leaping for joy as well as a reverent bow within them as they realize they have encountered the power of the living God.
It is the same with healing gifts and charisms, discernment of spirits, miracles, giving, hospitality, mercy gifts and more. We are to co-operate in the plan of redemption. We are to enter into His plan by bringing Christ to the world as well as to guide others out of darkness.
I will be writing on these in turn over the next weeks and months to help you recognize them, embrace them and live them out with courage and fortitude because before we can Catechize we must Evangelize and these gifts are what open peoples eyes to see, their ears to hear their minds to believe and their hearts to become transformed.
Pray for the gift of receptivity. Pray for the Holy Spirit to permeate you and conceive Divine Life within you and then become a star of Bethlehem.
“To speak of prayer for the healing of the soul is primarily to speak of prayer for releasing someone from psychological sickness and emotional pain due to hurts and deprivations of the past.
Prayer for healing of memories is in this category.
When someone has such a need he has a psychological barrier to freedom in Christ.” Leanne Payne
Though the human spirit is united with Christ, God’s Spirit cannot radiate through this problem area until the person gets help to understand and deal with it.” Leanne Payne
Are you ready to become more fully alive, more fully capable to love and more fully whole? Then inner healing is for you because it free’s us from compulsions to sin by helping us identify where we are wounded, how the enemy has oppressed you or your family?
If you answered yes, then listen to these 6 talks and take this powerful mini retreat to heal the wounds that bind you and prevent you from being able to fully be free in Jesus Christ to love your family, love your neighbors and love your enemies.