33 Days to Merciful Love

merciful love

“My power is made perfect in weakness.” Jesus

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.

merciful like the father

 

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.

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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 thisarchbishop fulton sheen 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 LeseurSecret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur

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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. satan

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.IMG_5524.JPG

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.IMG_5528

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.

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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

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What Gives You Passion and Purpose to Persevere?

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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.

theresa coat of arms

Here is the description of St. Theresa of Lisieux, The Child of Jesus, The Little Flower’s Coat of Arms;

Theresa coat description

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.

The Garden

The Garden

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 My Mother

Mary My Mother

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

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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.

Jesus I trust in You

Jesus I trust in You

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.