It’s another Wednesday for Saint Maria Faustina KoWalska (what else,)
with a brief reflection on the Divine Mercy of God:
“Speaking of Christian mercy, we are referring to acts which are morally good. Theology not only describes human acts, but also gives the criteria for their moral evaluation. Action (also human thought) plays an extremely important role in every human life for it shapes and forms one’s personality and attitudes, and influences the development of one’s spiritual life, or does the opposite – humiliating or degrading a person, and inhibiting his or her development as a human being and as a Christian. It is actions that speak about who a person is; they influence one for good or evil; they reveal one’s similarity or dissimilarity to the image of the Son of God. Every action leaves a trace in man, multiplying or reducing the good; this is why human choices, decisions and actions are so extremely important.” Beauty and Richness of Mercy p.28
One of the many admirations I have for Saint Faustina (and truthfully ANY of the Saints) was her bravery. I marvel at the ability to act on the ‘Will of God’. There were critical moments, for all of them, to internally evaluate the choice God had presented. Each circumstance, different and unique in their own lived-out life; yet, each were called upon to make a Choice for themselves. And each, despite the doubt or difficulty involved, chose to take that brave step of trust!
God strummed upon their hearts in ways they eventually heard.
Have I been listening to the ways He has been speaking to my heart? These past two weeks God has presented me with 3 beautiful examinations (of conscious & heart,) to ponder. Each of the 3 have been a ticker-tape display of thoughts billowing down and around.
#1 As I volunteered in a Ministry I am a part of I pondered: Do I use the gifts/talents God has entrusted to my care? Do I use them wisely? Enough? Do I nurture them? Share them? Or have they grown stagnant? Do I bravely claim them, use them, and glorify only God through them?
#2 Came as a result of recently spending some beautiful time with the relics of Saint Maria Goretti. Her relics are currently on a tour throughout the United States for the first time as a Pilgrimage of Mercy, and Cuppycake & I spent some time with her during the scheduled stop in Columbus, Ohio. (Amazingly our daughter also shared in this grace when her parish in Chantilly, Va hosted St. Maria’s relics & also our eldest son as her remains made their way to Atlanta!) She is The Patron Saint of Purity and Forgiveness: Have I forgiven all the harm done to me? To my loved ones? Have I forgiven myself for the ways I’ve failed to be His representative? Am I pure in thought and deed toward others and self? Do all my actions represent pure intention of glorifying only Him?
#3 While at a movie theatre viewing WOODLAWN: (God can be so imaginative and present Himself just about anywhere our hearts have been left open.) Several lines strummed my heart-strings but it all began with, “Sometimes old dreams must die for new ones to begin.” What HAVE I been dreaming of, Lord? Have I held on too long to dreams not meant to be fulfilled? Have I missed the ones You desire for me to complete? Will I trust you enough to believe this messy, sometimes cruel, all-the-while wonderful life You have given me has been a portion of what is necessary, to reach “The Real Dream” of being with You one day in Heaven?
And suddenly I feel brave.
Because My heart sums it all up for me…
#1 Love what has been given to you. (For if YOU love who God has created you to BE…gifts, lumps, bumps & all…you will generously give yourself away…unapologetically!!) Because God must love it…it was His GIFT for you!
#2 Love beyond measure. (Thoughts but especially deeds and no matter the cost to you! God will never forget what you have forgiven.)
#3 Above all things…Love! (Even that which dies away must be cherished and loved for it has brought you to where you stand today. And it is what will lead you to where you wish to go…)
And so, I have written this 5 word message in my phone to look at in those moments I lack courage…
“Today I will be brave!”
Won’t you join me?
hugs n’ blessings to everyone stepping into their brave shoes!
Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours today was a beautiful affirmation He is speaking, (as He does everyday)…
and bravely I practiced listening!
“My commandment is this: love one another as I have loved you.” ~Antiphon 1
“There is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends.” ~ Antiphon 2
“You are my friends, says the Lord, if you do what I command you.” ~Antiphon 3
A soul thirsting for God!
“O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My souls shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.
On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.”