A very blessed and fruitful Lent to us all!
The Gospel readings these days are heavily focused on the bounteous and loving mercy of God for us, sinners. God reminds us to be selfless and live with a compassionate, caring and generous heart where He abides to teach us LOVE (to treat others the ways we want to be treated; to not do the judging, to forgive most of all, etc.) I have heard so many painful and hurtful stories about relationships and recently, I have been given the grace to experience it firsthand. Why do we keep on crucifying our Lord repeatedly through our dealing with one another? Pride perhaps is the obvious answer! It is one thing to hurt someone unknowingly and unintentionally; it is another to do so with the intention to punish or to get revenge. “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40 . May God have mercy on us and our sinful tendency to act with a hardened heart. For those of us who suffer, as St. Teresa of Avila said: “This too shall pass!” This life journey is like a school. Challenges and lessons are given to us throughout our life. Unless we make a real effort to respond to God’s grace to learn and grow in virtues, we will be stuck at a spiritual level and suffer a certain cross until we pass the test! No doubt, sufferings are REAL, and God knows that. “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me!” Matthew 27:46, said the Lord! In faith, ceaselessly let us pray and never take our eyes off the Lord. Hang tight to the cross, and He will take us to the safe harbor and to our heavenly homeland.
I just gave a talk at St. Brigid of Ireland’s Church in Bergen on March 12, 2022, hosted by Ladies of Charity. I thank God for them! What dedicated and holy women! May God bless you, ladies, for your service to the Church! Amen.
Despite the bad weather, many showed up and I was neither worried nor afraid of traveling there. God was in control. Like Abba John Eudes, I talked spontaneously and uninterruptedly with fervent zeal and elevated spirit for over two hours. I did not even lose my voice this time. I recounted the same story of a soul which God has been writing, especially its last three critical years of life which was deeply marked a life in the desert. Accompanied by over 40 colorful and lively slides of collective pictures, I shared my soul’s journey with a more mature spirit and greater understanding and perception of God’s mysterious plan for us. Paradoxically, we all know that the more we get close to God, the more we are lost. The more we dare to ask to get a glimpse and to experience His Sacred Heart, the more we are given the opportunities to endure and unite our sufferings with the crucified Savior on His sacred cross. Pure and unconditional love detach us from ourselves and attach us to Him. When we truly seek to love the way God loves, we die to self in order to live with Him for eternity.
No surprise. People relate well with sufferings because we all have crosses to bear. They keep us alive, alert, and they help us grow. There is no other way home to heaven, but the way of the cross. Many graciously shared their crosses of being depressed, going through treatments with terminal illness and having trouble with the married life, and how one has to pay a heavy price when it comes to true love. It was a humbling experience and a consolation. I know I am not alone, and neither are you, my brothers and sisters. Thank you!
I realized that it was the first time in 25 years since I started to share A Soul’s Journey with God, I spoke of suffering and faith in God’s divine mercy. I certainly took people on a Rollercoaster traveling through 53 years of life (there was no time to share in detail the many miracles and graces of God’s intimate and constant presence.) People were responsive and supportive. They laughed and then cried! “My husband could sit still for two hours!”, a woman told me. “This is the first time”, she said! “You are a good speaker”, another told the group as they agreed with a smile. I was thinking to myself: “Yes Lord. Thanks to You. This gift surely comes with a heavy cross!”
I am now recuperating! I gave people everything I have got. In return, they helped strengthen my spirit and gave me the opportunity to remind myself that one is made up of one’s past, present, and future… I am still in the making, Oh my dear God.
All for His honor and glory. Amen.
P.s. I finally finished the Divine Mercy and two Immanuel Icons. Thank You, God for all the graces that we are so often taken for granted. Together we pray for our world, especially those who are suffering because of the bloodshed war in Ukraine. Like the Grinch’s converted heart, may our hearts be enlarged and softened by Your loving grace, God. Our crucified Savior has to pay for our redemption over and over again with a deadly price!
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us, sinners. Oh Blessed Mother, please intercede for us, the poor banished children of Eve. Amen
P.p.s. On top of all the trials and sufferings, God has given my colleagues and me a beautiful and competent friend and coworker. Brandy is a breath of fresh air. She works with me at our college Duplicating Center. She is like a daughter to me. She is a hard worker, intelligent, skillful, and most of all, humble. She brings us much joy here, and I am grateful to God! These days, she wants to cheer me up so dresses like me. May God bless her beautiful and compassionate heart. Thank you, Brandy!
And may He give you all a Brandy like mine! Amen.