May 1, 2011 the first step to making this come to fruition will take place as the entombed remains of Pope John Paul II will be on public view for veneration. Pope Benedict XVI will beatify his adored predecessor.
Father of Love and Life,
In every age you inspire your people
Through the teaching and example
Of leaders who are living witnesses of your Kingdom.
We thank you for Blessed John Paul II,
Whom you raised up to point the way
To a Culture of Life.
May we learn from his teachings
That the defense of the unborn
Stands at the center of our moral priorities.
May we learn from his example
How to defend life with courage and joy.
May we echo his conviction
That the outcome of the battle for life
Has already been decided,
Because Jesus Christ is Risen from the dead.
May we, remembering Blessed John Paul II,
Always proclaim, celebrate, and serve
The Gospel of Life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
“I am Eternal Truth, incapable of any lie. I am faithful to My promises.” – Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary
Have you given much thought to Divine Providence or how it has impacted your life? Often things happen in our life and we aren’t really sure as to why this or that happened. To have a better understanding of the meaning of Divine Providence:
The purpose, or goal, of divine providence is to accomplish the will of God. To ensure that His purposes are fulfilled, God governs the affairs of men and works through the natural order of things. The laws of nature are nothing more than a depiction of God at work in the universe. The laws of nature have no inherent power, nor do they work independently. The laws of nature are the rules and principles that God set in place to govern how things work.
This is what I believe Our Lord was saying to St. Margaret Mary, it is through his promise of never lying to us and always faithful to the promises of life eternal as long as we simply believe.
I am a convert to the Catholic Church and truly believe that this too, was an act of Divine Providence. I was born into a family to parents of different religious backgrounds. My Mother was from a rural community and worshiped in a rural Church. My Father was a “city slicker” and had attended parochial schools and was baptized Catholic. However, after the marriage, my father no longer worshiped in a church of his faith but would attend church with the family as a whole. Life was good in those days and to a child it was carefree! My mother let us visit other churches with friends and relatives and it was one of those times with a great-aunt that I knew I was destined to become Catholic. Vatican II had not yet come into play so Mass was still said in Latin but I was in awe, not by the vestments of the Priest but by how I connected within my young soul. After hearing sermons with the minister pounding his fist on the podium and raising his voice to make his message known; I was transformed at Mass by what I felt at the time to be that of holiness and a sense of feeling God’s presence. I was always an inquisitive child and I think that trait has sense transferred to my adulthood! I would ask questions relentlessly of the great-aunt in which I had attended Mass with and she did the best of her ability to explain to me as time went forward. She told me about the Rosary and it’s meaning and even gave me a small altar to place in my bedroom to put candles on. However, though at the time not fully understanding everything herself about the Catholic Faith I was instructed to give the altar back to my aunt by my mother. I soon became, sadly, bored with going to the Protestant Church as I no longer felt the connection like I had when I went to Mass. As I became a teenager and like most of you know, teen-agers at some point think they know all about everything…so I decided that I was just not going to go to church!
Bad decision! Unfortunately, like many teen-agers I fell into what is commonly referred to as the “wrong crowd.” This is not a confessional of any sorts but a means of showing you how Divine Providence led me out of the darkness.
As I reached a “mature”age, I started to seriously do some soul searching and looking at where I was at in my life. Was I pleasing God? Was I living right? By this time, I had separated myself from my family and was in a very low place or like Mother Theresa wrote about being in doubt. I was in a job that no longer made me happy for at the time I wasn’t sure what that was. I started to pray..and pray..once in a while I would think that my prayers were in vain for nothing seemed to change. One evening while driving downtown I drove past a century old Catholic Church and suddenly as if someone had flipped a switch I felt the urgent need to go to Mass and the following Sunday, I was sitting nervously in the middle of this ornate Church. I stood when the others stood and knelled when they knelled. It was on that occasion that I knew what I had to do! I called the Parish closest to my home and soon was in Catechism classes. I was belittled by those who thought was I was doing was ridiculous but I never let their words deter my intentions. I finished the classes and the following Easter was welcomed into the Church. I was elated! I finally felt that I was on the right track and then something else started to bother me, I was unhappy doing the work in which I was doing at the time. It really doesn’t matter what it was but I knew in my heart that it was not pleasing to God and that is what I wanted most in the world was to please Him and in a sense seek forgiveness for the sins of my youth. So, once again I found myself praying in earnest, often to the point of tears streaming down my face and once again…the doubt started to enter my mind. Was it really “me” having the doubts or was it Satan who was realizing he was loosing his grip on a lost soul as I no longer felt lost. This time my wait wasn’t as long as before and you know the old saying, “things don’t happen in our time but in God’s time.”
One particular day while napping I was awakened by the phone and my Aunt (by marriage) was on the other end and with an excited tone began to tell me that she thought she had met my grandmother while visiting her relative in a nursing home. I couldn’t believe my ears, I hadn’t seen my paternal grandmother nor my maternal grandparents in years…The very next day she went with me to visit her in the nursing home and guess what? Divine Providence once again became relevant and clear…It was that visit that led me to my current career as a Registered Nurse. I knew by caring for the sick, I would be able to please God with my service. Many refer to us as being “Angels” but I always scoff at that terminology and say that, “no, I am not an Angel but a servant to God.”
As my paternal grandmother lay dying, I sat beside her bed and placed the Crucifix on my Rosary upon her heart and prayed until I felt that I had swallowed a grapefruit. She would whisper, “pray for me” and I reassured her that indeed I was. I had started my nursing career in long term care but quickly and once again attribute this to Divine Providence moved to the hospital setting and I quickly applied at Catholic Hospital so I could work in a setting that reflected my faith.
I still have days where I have my doubts but they never last like they once did. I am reminded daily as I enter a patient’s room and see the Crucifix on the wall just what Our Lord sacrificed for us. I am more humbled by the suffering I see as I attribute this to the suffering Our Lord endured and it has only made my faith stronger.
One of my strongest devotions is to the Divine Mercy and I use it often when at work and caring for a terminally ill patient. As Jesus had instructed Sr.Faustina: “Unceasingly recite this chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death…Priest will recommend it to sinners as a last hope of salvation. Even the most hardened sinners, if he recites this chaplet will receive grace from My infinite mercy…Oh what great graces I will grant to souls who will recite this chaplet…By means if of it you can ask and obtain anything if what you ask for will be compatible with My will. I want the whole world to know My infinite mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who Trust [emphasis mine] My mercy.”
I feel blessed by His grace and by His mercy for it is by His Divine Providence that I am able to write about this today. Never lose your Faith and hold true to the promises that Our Lord gave to St. Margaret Mary and to countless other Saints and yes even to us if we only open our hearts and accept and Trust Him for he is ever with us.
O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from thy sublime height turn upon thine eyes of pity. Filled with confidence in thy goodness and knowing full well thy power, I beseech Thee to extend to me thine assistance in the journey of life, which is so full of dangers for my soul. And in order that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, but may ever live with my heart humble and pure, I entrust myself wholly to thee. I consecrate my heart to thee forever, my only desire being to love thy Divine Son, Jesus. Mary, none of thy devout servants has ever perished; may I too be saved. Amen.
Today we celebrate the feast day of the Immaculate Conception and the debut of this blog. How befitting to debut on a day that we honor her who gave us the greatest gift of all, our Savior, her son, Jesus.
I am not sure of the journey we will share on this blog, I am convinced that I am compelled to write about my faith and how it plays a crucial role in my life and I pray that I am guided by his mercy as I put forth the words needed to fill the pages to come.
My journey, like so many has been one of heartache and jubilation. It is my faith that has gotten me through even the most darkest of hours. For me, Mary, represents the ultimate Mother. One who has the ability to see past our faults and mishaps, one who is able to give us the kind of love so many of us seek, one that is unconditional.
I am in awe of the faith she displayed as she was called upon by the angel Gabriel, a messenger from God, that she was to bring forth his son and she did not waiver but graciously said yes to the word of God. Mary’s life was forever changed that day and she lived a life like most of us, one filled with joy and sorrow.
We are called to imitate her and to bring Jesus into the world; doing so we too shall suffer but it is our decision to either follow her example by living a life full of grace or succumbing to a life full of sin. I, pray to follow her lead and can only hope that I too, can continue to proclaim God’s greatness, knowing that he will be forever watchful if we keep our hearts open to his word. Luke 1:53 states:
The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
I find comfort in the words of St. John Vianney as he states,”Mary’s heart is so loving towards us that the hearts of all other mothers taken together are but a piece of ice in comparison.”
“Lord, thank you for your Blessed Mother! May I imitate her virtues and call upon her to help me walk with you.”