Threshold of Hope

 

 

THERE is much talk these days of darkness: "dark clouds", "dark shadows", "dark signs" etc. In the light of the Gospels, this could be seen as a cocoon, wrapping itself around humanity. But it is only for a short time…

Soon the cocoon withers… the hardened eggshell breaks, the placenta depletes. Then it comes, quickly: new life. The butterfly emerges, the chick spreads its wings, and a new child emerges from the "narrow and difficult" passage of the birth canal.

Indeed, are we not on the threshold of Hope?

 

The Great Sifting

 

 

THERE will come a moment when we will walk by faith, not by consolation. It will seem as though we have been abandoned… like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. But our angel of comfort in the Garden will be the knowledge that we do not suffer alone; that other’s believe and suffer as we do, in the same unity of the Holy Spirit.

Surely, if Jesus continued along the Way of his Passion in a certain abandonment, then so will the Church (cf. CCC 675). This will be the great test. It will sift the true followers of Christ like wheat.

Lord, help us to remain faithful.

The Master Painter

 

 

JESUS does not take away our crosses — He helps us to carry them.

So often in suffering, we feel God has abandoned us. This is a terrible untruth. Jesus promised to remain with us "until the end of the age."

 

OILS OF SUFFERING

God permits certain sufferings in our lives, with the precision and care of a painter. He allows a dash of the blues (sorrow); He mixes in a bit of red (injustice); He blends a bit of grey (lack of consolation)… and even black (misfortune).

We mistake the stroke of the coarse brush hairs for rejection, abandonment, and punishment. But God in his mysterious plan, uses the oils of suffering—introduced into the world by our sin—to create a masterpiece, if we let him.

But not all is grief and pain! God also adds to this canvas yellow (consolation), purple (peace), and green (mercy).

If Christ Himself received the relief of Simon carrying his cross, the consolation of Veronica wiping his face, the comfort of the weeping women of Jerusalem, and the presence and love of his Mother and beloved friend John, will not He, who commands us to pick up our cross and follow Him, not also permit consolations along the Way as well?

Prepare Your Heart!

WITH URGENCY I write this tonight… we must put our hearts right with God. We must look squarely at our sin, and repent of it — leave it behind, at the foot of the Cross.

CONFESSION… we must go regularly. St. Pio said every 8 days. Pope John Paul II said every week. Once a week… come to the Father, pour out your heart, and let him speak words of forgiveness and healing. Why be afraid of so great a gift?

I can hear objections. But it is more important than work. More important than kid’s soccer. More important than watching television. Our soul is more important than these things.

We must prepare our hearts to receive a great Light by ridding anything in our heart which would create a shadow.

IN REPLY to someone who wrote, doubting that God could speak through the violence of nature:

    Creation belongs to God, and as such, he has the right to assert his presence when and how he pleases. We know from the revelation of Jesus Christ, and of scripture, that God is not just loving, God IS love. Thus, he is merciful, patient, and forgiving. But he is also just, and because he is our Father, scripture teaches that he also disciplines us.

    Neither does God force humanity to love him… but the wages of sin is death. In other words, humanity reaps what it sows. If we sow destruction, that’s what we reap, both naturally and spiritually. Continue reading

Visions and Dreams


Helix Nebula

 

THE destruction is, what one local resident described to me as of "biblical proportions". I could only agree in stunned silence after seeing the damage of Hurricane Katrina first hand.

The storm occurred seven months ago–only two weeks after our concert in Violet, 15 miles south of New Orleans. It looks like it happened last week.

Continue reading

DURING prayer today, a word came to me…

    It is no longer the eleventh hour. It is midnight.

Later on around noon, a group of women prayed over Fr. Kyle Dave and I. As they did, the church bell tolled 12 times.

AT MORNING Mass, the Lord began speaking to me about “detachment”…

Attachment to things, people, or ideas keeps us from being able to soar like an eagle with the Holy Spirit; it muddies our soul, preventing us from perfectly reflecting the Son; it fills our heart with other-ness, rather than with God.

And so the Lord wishes us to be detached from all inordinate desires, not to keep us from pleasure, but to enrole us in the joy of heaven.

I also understood more clearly how the Cross is the only Way for the Christian. There are many consolations in the beginning of the sincere Christian journey–the “honeymoon”, so to speak. But if one is to progress into the deeper life toward union with God, it requires a self-renunciation–an embrace of suffering and self-denial (we all suffer, but what a difference when we permit it to put to death self-will).

Didn’t Christ already say this?

Unless a grain of what falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. –John 12:24

Unless the Christian embraces the crosses of life, he’ll remain an infant. But if he dies to himself, he will produce much fruit. He will grow into the full stature of Christ.

FROM the first night of the St. Gabriel, LA parish mission:

    Pope John Paul II seemed to speak as the eternal optimist — the glass was always half full. Pope Benedict, at least as a Cardinal, tended to see the glass half empty. Neither of them was wrong, for both views were rooted in reality. Together, the glass is full.