ONE day while driving through a pasture on my father-in-law’s farm, I noticed that there were mounds here and there throughout the field. I asked him why this was. Several years ago, he explained, my brother-in-law had dumped manure from the corral, but didn’t bother to spread it around.

But this is what caught my attention: on every mound, the grass was deep green and lush.

So too, in our own lives, we have piled up many wounds, sins, and bad habits over the years. But God, who can make “all things work for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28) is capable of anything — including making good come from the piles of crap we’ve created.

It’s never too late for God.

THIS came to me in prayer this morning:

    The glory of the future Church will not be its political power or impressive worldly structures, but the face of Love, shining brilliantly.

But first, the Church must be purified.

For it is time for the judgment to begin with the household of God (1 Pt 4:17)

The judgment has begun with the Hierarchy, and will continue with the laity until it becomes general in the world. Scandals are being exposed; corruption is oozing to the surface; and that which is hidden in darkness is being revealed.

The Refiner’s Fire does three things: by its light, it exposes hidden deeds; by its heat, it draws them to the surface; by it’s flame, it consumes and purifies.

This is the Time of Light, of Mercy, when the Fire is exposing sinfulness by it’s gentle flickering, and the heat of its nearness is drawing out the pus of evil. If we acknowledge our sins now, God is faithful and just and will cleanse us from every wrongdoing (1 Jn 1:9). Even those caught in the most scandalous of sins are being offered immeasurable Mercies! (Listen, dear bishops and priests, those authors of innumerable scandals–Christ loves you and greets you with the kiss of peace! Receive it!)

For soon, the Fire will be applied, and begin its work of burning–the Time of Fire, of Justice. If we have repented in this Time of Light, then there will be little to burn; the Fire will serve to illuminate and refine, rather than consume. But woe to those who do not repent! There will be much to burn… and sorrow will spill into the streets like blood.

Remaining, will be a humble, pure, and holy Bride–her face, shining with Love.

DURING prayer, I had an image of a Bible in one hand, and the Catechism in the other. Then they turned into a single double-edged sword, held in both hands.

Sword

We fight not with our own weapons, but with that which Christ gave us: Scripture and Tradition.

I thought of how our Protestant brethren often fight expertly with just the single-edged sword of Scripture. But, without the proper interpretation–Tradition–many have accidentally turned the sword on themselves.

Catholics have often entered the battle with just the single-edged sword of Tradition. But ignorant of the Word of God, they have been impuissant, leaving their sword in it’s sheath.

But when both are wielded as one… falsehood is slayed, lies are be-headed, and spiritual blindness put to flight!

IF the home is a “domestic church”, then the family table is its altar.

Everyday, we should gather there to share in the communion of one another’s presence. Our dining rooms should be adorned with pictures, icons, and crosses which remind us of the Sacred. We should take time to savor not only our daily bread, but to sing the hymns of our daily lives, strewn with victories and hardships.

Above all, it should be a place of prayer, that Christ may become the invisible tabernacle in the center of our room. Or rather, that the invisible tabernacle may be opened, and Christ adored where two or three are gathered.

And if anyone has a grievance against his brother or sister, mother or father, he should speak with that one before supping, and exchange the sign of peace–that is–forgiveness.

Yes, if our homes were to become domestic churches, this aching loneliness which simmers beneath North America’s technological comforts would be lanced. For we would discover Him for whom we long, there, seated beside me, in my brother, my sister, my mother, and my father.

As it is, our televisions have become the new tabernacle, and our computer rooms, the new chapels. We are the lonelier for it.

The sacrament of Family
Three of our seven kids at supper: “the sacrament of family”

    BE not afraid of your Savior, O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me. Child, do not run away from your Father… –1485, St. Faustina’s Diary

JESUS has left us a simple twofold pattern to follow: humility and obedience.

He emptied himself, taking the form of a slave... he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name. –Philippians 2:7-9

But, if I sin, have I not left the path? This is what the enemy of your soul wishes you to believe, so he can direct you on a new path: that of despair and self-pity.

But to admit your sin readily–is this not humility? To confess it–is this not obedience? So you see, your sinfulness (provided it is not mortal sin) provides an opportunity to advance. You did not leave the path; you stumbled on it.

Lost is the simplicity of what Christ asks of us: to become “little children”. Little children fall, and quite easily. So did our Lord three times along the Way. But if we persevere in humility and obedience, we too shall be exalted by the Father by being transformed into the image of Christ, sharing in the inner life of God–here, and in the next life.

WHENEVER there is a sharp turn of events in life, whether it is good or bad, it is always a sign of God’s presence. Not that God desires evil; but in his mysterious plan, he permits it. This can only be seen with eyes of faith.

So when sudden suffering befalls us (yes my friend, no matter how big or small the annoyance may be), we can rejoice and “give thanks in all circumstances” in that we know God is near, permitting even this, eventually working all things to the good for those who love Him. For the non-believer, this sounds absurd; to the Christian, it is an invitation into the darkness of the Tomb. Suffering deprives us of light to the senses, even intellect, and sometimes spirit. One must walk by faith, not sight.

And in “three days” there will be Resurrection.

THE winds of change are blowing!

STILL hanging in my mind is the image of being a little drop of vapor, suspended in the Sky of God. At any moment I could fall to the ground were it not for His grace and love holding me there. It is pride and self-will which make me too “heavy” to remain in this Cloud. Likewise, it is being “like a child” that gives me the lightness of heart to float freely in God’s favor.

Let anyone who thinks he is standing upright watch out lest he fall! –1 Corinthians 10:12

Song of the Martyr

 

Scarred, but not broken

Weak, but not tepid
Hungry, but not famished

Zeal consumes my soul
Love devours my heart
Mercy conquers my spirit

Sword in hand
Faith in front
Eye on Christ

All for Him