Victim of Love

The thoughts and prayers of a soul who deeply desires to Love God as He Himself desires to be Loved.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Our heart longs for God

Like Saint Paul I can say, "I have not already reached perfection, but this I do: forgetting what lies behind, and stretching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the prize to which I am called in the life to come." He also compares life to a race. And what a long race it is! But what a prize! The prize is no less than the possession of God Himself who is the fulfillment of all the desires and longings of our hearts!

I challenge you all to a holy competition. Let us see who can LOVE more! I dare you to take up the challenge and begin today to try and live every moment for Him who is the only One who is worthy of our LOVE. We can do only very little things, but how generously every little thing we do for LOVE is rewarded! And we usually have to do those very little things anyway... So why not do them for LOVE? For example, this morning, when I folded my clothes I said, "For thee, dear Lord." Or when I made dinner, "For thee, dear mother." (Since Jesus is so pleased when we honor His Holy Mother.) And before I began typing I knelt down in front of the picture I have of Our Lady and the Child Jesus, prayed a Hail Mary, and asked her to do good through me. Later, when I play "Hi, Ho Cherry O!" with my four year old, - even though I really, really don't want to - I will do it for LOVE. Such little insignificant things, but it makes Our Lord smile! Not to mention the graces poured out upon my family and (I dare say) the whole world! Even when I do things I really, really like to do - like read ancient history to my 10 and 11 year olds for history today - I do it all for LOVE. But how can we be filled with LOVE when our hearts are filled with things of the world?

Saint Augustine said, "God means to fill each one of you with what is good; so cast out what is bad! If he wishes to fill you with honey and you are full of sour wine, where is the honey to go? The vessel must be emptied of its contents and then be cleansed. Yes, it must be cleansed even if you have to work hard and scour it. It must be made fit for the new thing." So when we decide to work for LOVE, we have to get rid of all the bad things we are attached to so that we can receive the LOVE we want to work for. We can aquire this detachment little by little. Pick one thing and start with that. That's what we, as Catholics, do during lent. We give up things we are attached to so that we can become more attached to God and He can fill that empty space with Himself. Saint Augustine compares God to honey and the bad habits we have with sour wine. But he goes on to say that "whatever we say cannot express the glorious reality that is God." Whatever we say about God is always necessarily less than the full truth! It is mind boggling to try to imagine the beauty, sweetness, majesty, etc, etc, etc. of God! Nothing we can think of will ever reach the AWESOME reality! My favorite example is that of a LOVER... what pleasure we have when we love someone who is beautiful, intelligent, kind, caring, rich, has everything we ever dreamed of and we find out that that person loves us back with all his heart! What bliss! Multiply that to the millionth power and that doesn't even compare with what union with God is!

"Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who LOVE Him."

"Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart's desire"

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Back to earth...

My feet are on the ground again... After floating around for a couple of weeks and longing for heaven and desiring to "save the world", I now long for Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, chocolate chip cookies, and Vanilla Coke - and I've had my share this morning, believe me! (Nursing a 19 month old toddler sure makes you hungry!)

C'est la vie!

It's a good thing Love is not based on feelings but on what we will to think, say, and do.

Thank you, Lord, for chocolate!

Friday, January 28, 2005

In Memory

Mary Florence Johnson (1923-2004)
She lived in a poor little home all her life and by the time she was 81 it wasn't much more than a shack. She was widowed at the age of 40, with two daughters and two sons left to raise. She never sought for anything more than what she had and lived her life for her children. She was Catholic, although I don't believe she knew her faith much at all. It wasn't before my conversion that she realized that missing Sunday Mass was a sin, but as soon as she knew it she was there every Sunday. She prayed everyday... She prayed the rosary three times a day (in record time) and read every little prayer and letter from various priests that she got in the mail (Priests of the Sacred Heart, Miraculous Medal Association, etc.) She loved the little trinkets they sometimes sent her and always had one of them around her neck or pinned to her dress (notice the MM around her neck in the picture). She was my "little monmon" when I was a child, "me-me" after I had children, and now she's my beloved grandmother in heaven. I never knew the beauty of her soul until she died, but the moment her soul was released from her body it seems to me that God rent the heavens for a little while and revealed to me and others from her immediate family the beauty that we had never seen while she was on earth... and we were amazed at her glory!
She died at the Heart Hospital in Lafayette, La. Saturday, November 27 at 3:00 am. (About a month before, driving to see the movie Therese, I had accidentally turned into this very same hospital thinking it was United Artists and as I read the sign as I was driving away a premonition of something to come struck my heart and I thought to myself, "O God, what is it?") She had been in the hospital for three days and was in perfect health before that. (Me-me always did things fast). I was there with my two babies and as it was getting late we went into the van outside in the parking lot and there the babes went to sleep. I was praying the Hail Mary over and over on automatic pilot and begging for her life to be spared, but God was ready for her. At around 3 am the weather became so bad that the whole van was shaking... I was falling asleep, but still praying... I sat up with a jerk and said, "My Jesus, pardon and mercy through the merits of Your Holy Wounds!" and a few minutes later I saw headlights. It was my cousins coming from the hotel nearby... I knew what to expect... we ran into the hospital and she was gone. The tempest outside blew on... Sitting there in shock I remembered how Celine had ran outside when her sister St. Therese died, and how it was cloudy, and how she had said to herself, "If only the stars were out!" and immediately the clouds parted and she could see a patch of clear sky and the stars shining in the firmament. I thought how I would like such a gift and so I went outside and looked up and to my surprise there, in the cloudy sky, was a perfect clear circle with two shining stars and a little cloud that looked like the shape of an R (my name starts with R)! And as we drove back that night all the lights in Lafayette were out... no stoplights, no streetlights, just darkness... the tempest began again and I could hardly keep the van on the road. The wind was blowing it and the leaves were falling almost as hard as the rain... but on the horizon, in a patch of clear sky, was the full moon shining... a sign of hope for me and a symbol of glory!
As the Gospel read at her funeral Mass said, "Father glorify your name!... I have glorified it and will glorify it again..." Yes, God glorified Himself by taking my grandmother to heaven and he will glorify it again each time he takes one of his saints home.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Words of Wisdom

Every Wednesday Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, gives a catechetical speech to his children - all the faithful throughout the world - and I want to share with you two of his quotes:

"Prayer helps to discover the loving face of God. He never abandons his people but guarantees that, notwithstanding trials and suffering, in the end good triumphs." I have already experienced the truth of these words... Prayer does reveal to one the loving face of God. It is not some extraordinary vision but something very hidden that happens in the heart of the one who is faithful to prayer.

"If one is great, if one exalts oneself and is proud, the Lord does not protect one; if one thinks one is great, the Lord does not have mercy on one; but if one abases oneself, the Lord has mercy on one and protects one." Yes, I want to be humble. I want to be humble like Mary who said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done unto me as you have said." I know that I have abundant reasons to humble myself and I also know that humility is nothing other than the TRUTH. I am nothing but sin without the grace of God... All the evil that I have done in my life comes from me and all the good that I have done in my life was the good done by Jesus through me. But I also know that the Lord humbles the mighty and exalts the lowly and for this I praise You, my God! How glorious is Your Name through all the earth!

I ask you to say a prayer for our Holy Father, for his health and that he may be with us yet a little while longer.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

From the Blue Book...

Here are the St. Bridget Prayers and promises that I wrote about in the previous post. I promise that if you are faithful you will see MIRACLES happen in your life!!

The Conversion of a Saint

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. He was knocked off his horse and saw a vision of Our Lord and became one of the most fervent Apostles of the early Church. Well, I didn't get knocked off of a horse, but here's how my conversion went:

About 12 years ago, I was living a very sinful life. I was born Catholic, went to Sunday Mass, and that's about it. I spent my teenage years in all kinds of grievious sin... You name it, I did it... I was miserable and I didn't know why. It didn't help that I knew nothing of my faith, even though I did attend CCD (the teachers didn't know their faith either) and *God* to me was an impersonal blob in the sky.

One day I was left sitting in a friends car for a few minutes (it was his mothers car) and I remember feeling so hopeless. I asked myself, "Is this all there is to life?" I was bored so I turned around to look at what I could find in the back seat and I discovered this little blue prayer book. I had nothing else to do, so I flipped through the pages. Little did I know that this was the beginning of the end of the world as I knew it. I saw some prayers that had promises attached to them - 15 promises to be exact. The book said that they were given in a vision to this person called Saint Bridget of Sweden and the prayers were all about the sufferings of Our Lord during His passion and death on the cross. I became very excited because the promise were awesome and I had no idea that God was so generous.

To make a long story short, I said the prayers every day for a year, just as the book said you had to do to gain the promises, and I received more than I ever imagined... I was led to the fullness of the truth and joy beyond all human expectation! Oh! how I wish I could plunge your soul into mine so that you would instantly know and experience all that I have known and experienced since that happy day, but that's impossible, so you'll just have to wait for Heaven where I will sing the mercies of the Lord forever in the presence of all my dear brothers and sisters who will love and be loved for all eternity!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Loveliness of the Lord

Today at Mass we read Psalm 27... the second verse says:
One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, that I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple.

The Loveliness of the Lord! How can we comprehend it? We have never seen Him face to face, and indeed we could not bear it; for who can see the face of God and live? But we can, as it were, see him through a veil... through the lattices... We can glimpse some of that Infinite Beauty in prayer! The more we go to meet Jesus in prayer, the more He will reveal Himself to us. To what can I compare thee, O most beautiful of men? To an awe-inspiring sunset? To the beauty of a newborn babe? To the glorious rainbow? To a young and tender maiden? No, all of these things fall far short in comparison to You who are God and the Creator of all these things. Think of the most beautiful breathtaking thing that you have ever seen and you will not come close to the Beauty of God!

Oh, what will Heaven be? What will I see when I get there? How will it be to stand before You, my Lord? You who I love with all my heart and above all things! I long to see Your face, O Lord, show me Your face! Reveal to all Your Beauty, Glory, Power, Majesty, and Wisdom so that all may love You and serve You and enjoy You for all eternity!

He asks such a small thing from us: to follow His commandments, and in return He will reward us with more than we can ever imagine or deserve. It will seem like nothing to have lived a long life of suffering when we finally have possession of that glorious reward that He gives to those who love Him! My God, I would do anything to save souls! Anything! Just hold my hand and don't let me offend You and then do what You will with me!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Let the Saints draw you to an ever greator LOVE of GOD!

Read more about St. Agnes

St. Agnes

St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr, Pray for us!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Love waits for you!

October 2004 - October 2005

O my hidden Jesus, may I love you more than life itself! You hide Yourself under the species of humble bread and allow me to come into Your presence to speak with You as a friend as often as I desire. O how I love these intimate trysts in which I can pour out my heart to You in silence and receive your Peace and Joy, Your Wisdom and Love in abundance. O Lord, it seems to me that I would do anything to make you known and loved by all... I greatly desire that You reveal Yourself to the nations, so that You may receive the praise and adoration You deserve!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Out of the darkness...

and into the LIGHT!

Reading _The Life of Christ_ by Fulton Sheen in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord today I had ample material for meditation...

"The closer a person approaches God, the less worthy he feels. A painting under candlelight shows fewer defects than under the brilliance of the sun; so too souls who are some distance from God feel more certain of their moral integrity than those who are very close to Him... In the presence of the holiest of creatures, the soul becomes self-accusing and broken-hearted with the weight of its defects. As evil men feel their guilt more in the presence of an innocent babe than in the companionship of those who are wicked like themselves, so he who loves God is the most deeply burdened with the sense of his own unworthiness... As dust in the room cannot be seen until the light is let in, so no man can know himself until this Light shows him his true condition." ~ Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

O Lord let me see myself as You see me. Shine your most holy light on my soul and let me see it in all truth... I want to see all that is ugly in me so that I may fight to be rid of it, but only with Your strength and Your grace can I even begin to try. Amen.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Method of Prayer

Yesterday at our monthly Carmelite meeting our instructor spoke to us about the seven steps of mental prayer. I will post them here along with a few quotes from Saint Teresa of Avila:

1 - Preparation
The preparation serves to bring us close to Our Lord; to place ourselves in the presence of God with lively faith and humble attitudes of a soul that knows itself to be a child of God
"I say that how they are to begin is very important - in fact, all important. They must have a great and very resolute determination to perservere until reaching the end..." ~ St. Teresa of Avila

2 - Reading or Study a Picture of Christ
Serves to provide a subject for loving conversation with our Lord.
Spiritual books can lead us to a deeper knowledge and love for Christ. At the top of the list is Holy Scripture, especially the Four Gospels. You can also choose from the numerous and enlightening documents of the Church: encyclicals, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, etc...
Anything by the Saints, esp. the Doctors of the Church (with 33 of them you have ample material for a whole lifetime)
Pictures of the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord, Our Lady, the Saints, Icons can help us focus on the mysteries of our faith.
A book is read for a few minutes - perhaps five or ten minutes, or only two or three if that be sufficient. A few paragraphs or even a couple of sentences may serve the purpose. This reading is to be done slowly and attentively - not with the rapidity customary in other forms of reading.

3 - Meditation
Reflect upon the material, ask oneself questions: who, what, why, for what reason? Use the imagination. We do this to better understand God's infinite Love for us and respond to Him with our own Love. If we are distracted we should just say no to the distraction when we realize what has happened, come back to our meditation and use the book at hand if needed by reading a few more lines...

4 - Loving Colloquy
This is intimate conversation with Our Lord. It is the most important part of prayer. During this time the soul talks directly to Christ as a friend would speak to a most beloved friend. Speak slowly and in your own words. You need not say much and if you have nothing at all to say, just look lovingly at Christ. Once there was a poor peasant who was seen entering the church after work every evening. He was known to stay there for quite a long time. His parish priest approached him and asked what he did during this time in the church and he replied, "I look at Jesus and He looks at me." What a sublime prayer! If this is all we do then we are doing very much indeed. Most of the time I sit with Jesus and every few minutes I tell Him how much I love Him and how I long for Him to be loved by everyone...
"Those who by such a method can enclose themselves within this little heaven of our soul, where the Maker of heaven and earth is present, and grow accustomed to refusing to be where the exterior senses have gone... they are following an excellent path and will not fail to drink water from the fount..." ~ St. Teresa of Avila

5 - Thanksgiving
Thank God for his many blessings, temporal and spiritual

6 - Offering
I give myself to you, O Lord, that your most Holy and Perfect Will may be accomplished in me

7 - Petition
We pray for the needs of others, especially salvation and sanctification, for the whole people of God, for all the world
We pray for or own needs and desires

"More is given than is asked for, beyond what we could desire." ~ St. Teresa of Avila

Sunday, January 16, 2005

For the Glory of God

I've started this blog for one reason only: The Greatest Glory of God

May each letter I type be an act of Love to You, my Beloved; may my thoughts and prayers draw others to search for You who are the Joy and Desire of all hearts! May many souls be drawn to meditation and DIVINE LOVE so that they may be purified and see in ever brighter light Your Beauty and Your Love!

"Prayer is a dialogue of friendship with God..." ~ St. Teresa of Avila

"Prayer is a simple glance toward heaven..." ~ St. Therese of Liseaux