Sometimes we have to crawl under…

I have been thinking a lot about the walls we all build around ourselves and our hearts.  We build walls for all kinds of reasons, for protection, to hide, to exclude others, but I think most of these reasons boil down to fear – we build walls because we are afraid.

It is interesting when you come up against someones wall, it usually appears to be quite strong, tall and unable to be breached, but I think most of these walls are not set on firm foundations. They are built quickly out of fear and as times passes openings appear at the bottom.  These openings are small and initially hidden, but are easily spotted by those near the ground. They are the perfect size for a sly serpent to crawl under and continue feeding the fears, or for a humble heart to crawl under and dispel the fears with the light of truth that shines forth from humble heart.

This is not new information, but oh how important it is – we should revisit it often and remember to humble ourselves.

Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.

Welcome them…

Welcome the awkward moments, the disapproving stares, the under the breath judgements and tongue clicks in humble silence for both our sweet Lord Jesus and our sweet Mother Mary. They endured these and much more throughout their lives.  We have only read some of the persecutions of our Lord, Jesus, and the others I don’t think we can even imagine them, they were so terrible.  We have read even less about what Mary endured, but imagine for a moment what Mary humbly endured at the discovery of her pregnancy out of wedlock.  We know how gently St. Joseph dealt with the news and we know of his change of heart after being visited by an angel of the Lord in his dream, but we don’t often think of how her neighbors treated her in this situation, but we can image because we see this situation often in our world today.

Welcome them, these difficult moments in life, and run to Mary, clinging to her leg, hiding in her skirt, kneeling at her feet and welcoming her loving comfort and encouragement and remember that Mary raised Jesus, comforting, guiding and encouraging Him in these moments and she will do the same for us.

Pray in these moments as Our Lady of Fatima recommends when you make a sacrifice or humbly and silently accept a persecution:
O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Peter 4:14
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests on you.

Self Reflection

As we walk along the path of our life journey I think the surest way to know that we are headed in the right direction is to practice self reflection.   This is a practice of humility – when we are willing to see ourselves in His light of truth, the light continues to grow and extends beyond the boundaries of ourselves shining it’s light on our path ahead.

John 3:21
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Laying low

In today’s modern world their are very few times if any during our lives when we are physically laying low on the ground.  I think skipping this chance to humble ourselves and physically lay prostrate on the ground deprives us of His Mercy and the many Graces that still pour forth with great fervor from the wounds of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  If the spring of Mercy and Grace is truly still flowing, wouldn’t the world be slowly filling up with Mercy and Grace from the ground up.

Let us lay low in the Mercy and Grace that continues to cover the ground at the feet of our Mother Mary hidden in the dark folds of her mantle letting her words permeate our souls and knowing that she remains always at the foot of her Son’s Cross, the source of the spring of His Mercy and Grace.

Psalm 119:25
I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to Your Word.

Footprints

As I walk along a beach covered in the visible footprints of today, and in the hidden footprints of many yesterdays and tomorrows  – I praise and thank You, O Lord, for directing my steps into the footprints of those who walk in Your ways, and I praise and thank You, O Lord, for leading in Your ways those whose footprints I walk in. Amen.

Psalm 25:4
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths.

Psalm 86:11
Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.

Hail Mary

About two years ago I started feeling called to pray the Rosary.  I was excited to pray it and wanted to spread the call. I asked a friend to pray with me.  I bought Rosaries to give to the homeless and asked them to pray with me, and I bought a book about the Rosary, The Secret of the Rosary by Saint Louis de Montfort.

And then the time came to pray… every time I would begin to pray, I lacked patience, the desire to complete it left me as soon as I began and honestly I kept falling asleep in the middle of saying it.  My attempts became fewer and fewer and my excitement waned.

Then about six months ago I had an interesting discussion regarding the strong connection between our physical actions and our prayers, and I decided to begin trying to pray the Rosary again, but in action this time.

I decided to connect praying the Rosary with an exercise I love, yoga. Below is how I have been been praying the Rosary of our sweet and wonderful Mother, and I hope that if you struggle to pray the Rosary this will help you.  Use this as a guide to pray with me, or as a spark to ignite a new idea within you to honor and pray the Rosary of our sweet Mother Mary!

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I begin the Rosary by praying the Apostle’s Creed in the humble position of prayer on my knees with my hands together in prayer.

I then pray the Our Father with my arms spread wide and my face tilted upward open to both receiving and giving according to His Holy Will.

For each Hail Mary I go through a vinyasa yoga flow.

I begin in the downward-facing dog pose, a humble position showing Mary that I desire to learn from her.

Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.

I then flow into a plank pose, a position of strength acknowledging the great and unimaginable strength required by her to FULLY surrender to our Lord.

Blessed art thou among women,

I then lower into a prostrate position and spread my arms wide to form a cross as I speak of her Holy and Blessed Son, Jesus.  I desire to be one with the dust of the ground when speaking of our Lord.

And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God

I then bring my hands in and press up into a cobra pose, the pose of a snake acknowledging that I have sinned and I have caused others to sin just as the snake in the Garden of Eden did so long ago.

Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Pressing back into downward dog pose, I continue this flow for each Hail Mary.

Then at the end of the first 3 Hail Mary’s or at the end of each decade I sit back into a child’s pose, a pose of rest and humility, honoring the Trinity, begging for forgiveness and mercy and once again acknowledging that Mary is my mother, and I long to learn from her as I pray.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.

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Acts 1:14
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

A call to prayer

Many are fasting for various reasons these days, especially right now in the middle of Ramadan.  As I finished reading a book on fasting, The Roots and Fruits of Fasting by Mary Ruth Swope, I ran into 5 people who told me they were fasting.

I pray when and if we fast, we let the feelings of hunger, the rumblings within act as an internal bell tolling and calling us to prayer, calling us into deeper communion with our Lord.

Joel 2:12
Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.

Pray Outside the Dimension of Time

My friends, I think we need to remove ourselves from the DIMENSION of TIME when we pray.  This is where our sweet and holy Lord resides and longs for us to join Him in prayer.  Removing TIME from our prayers removes one more constraint that He placed on Himself, with the knowledge that we would set Him free.

Rise above our vast timeline, rolling it up in your mind into a ball and praying over all generations, past, present and future, trusting that He knew that YOU would sit by His side, and pray a blessing over all of His children from generation to generation.

Hope is NEVER lost, for to Him every moment is NOW.  He set us free and He patiently waits for all of us to join Him in prayer and set Him FREE!

Romans 8:2
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Encircled

I saw an interesting rainbow yesterday.  It actually looked like it was inverted – instead of arching down towards the earth, encircling the earth, the ends appeared to go up as if encircling something in the sky.

From what I found online, the physical explanation is that I must have seen a higher order bow, the 3rd or 4th reflections of the light within the water droplets sending the light forward and creating a bow that encircles the sun.

Keep watch my friends, for we know neither the day nor the hour.

Revelation 4:3
And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.

 

PRAYER

In the Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena, St. Catherine asked our Lord what fruit souls receive?

His response to her was “The fruit which I destine for them, constrained by the prayers of My servants…”
Treatise on Divine Providence, page 11

Our Infinite, Mighty and Sweet Lord allows Himself and His Gifts to be CONSTRAINED by our prayers for each other.

His Infinite, Mighty and Sweet Gifts, Graces and Fruits flow freely to those for whom we pray – start at home, pray for your spouse, your children, your family, your neighbors and watch as our Lord fills them with His Good and Holy Graces, and also changes and expands your heart as He greatly desires for us to pray for everyone and at all times.

Pray, pray, and pray more my friends – for with deep, humble and heartfelt prayer for others and the world, we set free our Infinite, Mighty and Sweet Lord from the constraints He has given Himself and open the door for His Infinite Ocean of Grace and Mercy to pour down on the whole world!

Ephesians 6:18
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.