The Belly of the Whale

My sweet husband took me to Lourdes, France this summer. On our first morning we attended the International Mass in the Basilica of St. Pius X. The Basilica of St. Pius X is a huge underground cathedral with a maximum capacity of 25,000 people.

During the mass there were many times that I didn’t understand what was being said, because it was held in many different languages. In these moments, I took in my surroundings and was amazed to realize that I was sitting in what looked like the belly of a whale.

We were not there for 3 days and 3 nights, instead about 3 hours, but in that time I prayed and praised the Lord for inviting us, bringing us and preparing all of us, me, my family, everyone there (about 2000 people), to do His Holy and Good Will!

Jonah 2:1-10

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said:

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me.
From deep in realm of the dead, I called for help,
and You listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the depths,
into the very heart of the seas,
and currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers swept over me.
I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight;
yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’
The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
brought my life up from the pit.
When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered You, Lord,
and my prayer rose to You,
to Your holy temple.
Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to You.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from Lord.'”

And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.


Ponder and Praise

As we ponder and praise His Word and His Ways in our hearts, we are being fermented inside. He waits patiently, with great excitement and anticipation, as our vintage is prepared for His table. On our final day, at the end of our final hour He will pop the cork from our bottle of champagne and savor the great LOVE we have for Him as He raises His glass.

It always has, does, and will come down to LOVE. When we truly love Him, we naturally love each other. My sweet Jesus, help me to love You more… I want to love You with every thought, word, action and breath of my body.

Psalm 1
Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but
whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and
who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Do you remember when…

When I die, I hope this is what will be said…

Remember that time when Sarah did something really kind for you? That was really Jesus helping her to do something good.

Do you remember that other time when Sarah was really generous? Well, that that was Jesus too.

Do you remember when Sarah said something really meaningful and profound? Well, you guessed it, that was Jesus!

Now, do you remember all those times when Sarah did something really mean, selfish, greedy, out of envy, out of anger, or full of pride? Well, Jesus told our Dad, Abba, that He did all those things so she wouldn’t get in trouble, because He wants her to come home. Now she gets to go to Heaven too!

Thank You Jesus!

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. “By His stripes you are healed.”
1 Peter 2:24

“It is the Lord”

Someday we will finally realize that He is here, in all of us, with all of us, all of the time. He is with us, helping us as we do something good, and He is with us, covering for us when we do something that is not good.

When this day comes, the veil will fall and like the disciple whom Jesus loved we too will cry out, “It is the Lord!” to EVERYONE we see!

As these beautiful thoughts run through my mind, I sit quietly, yet inside hope filled, joyful anticipation builds within my soul – let the fermentation continue my sweet Lord!

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way:  Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

John 21:1-7

Agony

Kneeling by the couch once more,
I nod off, just as they did many years ago.
Position doesn’t matter kneeling, standing, sitting, plank…
In any position I sleep.
Watchful nights come easily to me 364 days of the year.
But on this night, the night He asks us to
Stay awake,
Watch,
And pray,
I sleep.
As dawn breaks, I wake up and I am sad.
He was alone, once again.

When He rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, He found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.  “Why are you sleeping?” He asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Luke 22:45-46

It starts with a seed

Imagine a tiny seed of Faith, something as small as a mustard seed gifted to us within our soul through His Grace. If we want it to grow we must tend this tiny seed through thanksgiving and prayer. As it grows we start to notice when our prayers are answered and we thank Him, and then begin noticing our unanswered prayers and thank Him. Eventually our thanksgiving becomes constant in all moments of our day and somewhere along the way this tiny plant of Faith flowers and a new seed is created, Hope.

After the success of one flower we continue tending our tiny garden with the same methods, constant thanksgiving and prayer, and then we notice a new light that has begun to fill our soul. It is a light we have not seen before, but we notice that it nourishes this new and tiny seedling in our soul and we begin longing to know this unknown light. As our longing and desire increases this new light begins shining on things that were previously not understood or known. With each new glimpse in the light our tiny plant of Hope grows and eventually flowers creating a new seed, Charity.

After the success of two flowers we continue tending our tiny garden now with a deep longing and hope for the light that reveals hidden mysteries around every corner, but always returning to constant thanksgiving and prayer even in the moments when we cannot see or feel the light. As our tiny seedling of charity grows, the light begins to shine on tiny glimpses of His Plan and we see the goodness and perfection of it. As our desire for the fulfillment of His Holy Will and Plan increases our thanksgiving and prayers continue, but are now changed as our requests decrease and our praise, thanksgiving and joy increase. Our sweet little plant begins to flower creating a new seed of True Charity, which is a great desire to love God above all else and glorify Him in everything, always.

It all starts with a tiny seed, but once we arrive at True Charity, we no longer wish to move the mountains of this world, for they His Glorious works for art. Instead we long for Him to work through us and with us and in us moving spiritual mountains to prepare the way for the fulfillment of His Holy, Good and Perfect Will.

Matthew 17:19-20 – Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Breath of God

Every breath is His because it is His breath that fills each of us with the breath of life. I am in humble awe as His breath soothes me in the darkness while I listen to the soft exhales of my sleeping husband. I am humbly overjoyed as His breath tickles me as my daughter whispers sweet secrets into my ear. I am filled with sorrow as I recall a sharp and hurtful word that I spoke polluting the sweet scent of His breath, and then I am consoled as I cry out, “Forgive me” and He responds in a gentle whisper sweetly carried on the fresh breeze of spring.

My Lord, I pray that You guard every utterance of my mouth so that the words I speak will never again pollute the sweet scent of Your breath, but instead will carry forth from my being to bring You Eternal Glory.

Genesis 2:7 – Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Fasting from Hallelujah…

In preparation for fasting from Hallelujah during Lent, I decided to say Hallelujah as many times as I could today, in praise of our sweet Lord. I repeated over and over again in my head at the gym, out loud in the car, while doing things around the house, almost all day. Later when I sat down to do my bible study lesson the final question asked us to write a psalm in praise of our Sweet and Holy God! It flowed quickly from me like water pouring out of a cracked and broken vessel.

I cry out an eternal Hallelujah,
From the infinite depths of my heart.
It fills the air with praise for our God,
Permeating everything until it fills the world and beyond.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Our Sweet, Faithful and Holy Lord always prepares the way for us, we cannot go wrong if we listen and follow!

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Luke 11:28

Precious Jewels of Time

We are often reminded that our time is precious and we must spend it wisely. This is very true, but we don’t often look at the flip side of the coin.  We often think only of our own time, but very carelessly toss away the precious time that others have taken to spend time with us or do something for us.  My sweet baby had her precious time very carelessly tossed aside and trampled yesterday and it really hurts, a lot.

As I think about it this morning, He has opened my eyes to an even greater sorrow. He has gently reminded me that I have done this to His other sweet children many times… oh please forgive me my sweet Lord.  He has also opened my eyes to an even greater joy.  He has reminded me that He treasures all of our jewels, especially the ones that the world casts aside.  Glory to You my sweet Lord! Thank You, thank You, thank You…

My sweet Lord, please forgive me and help me to treasure the precious jewels of time that others give to me so that I won’t be the cause of this pain to You again, and an INFINITE THANK YOU for treasuring and carefully gathering all of our jewels, especially the ones that the world casts aside and tramples.

Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Ephesians 5:15-16
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Isaiah 45:3
And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness — secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.

Our Brother’s Keepers

On our final day, the day that we meet our Maker and Judge, we will each mourn.

Some will mourn and be filled with fear and sorrow when they hear the words, “I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
– Matthew 7:23

The rest will mourn and be filled with shame and sorrow when they realize how many opportunities they missed to help guide and bring others home with them.

So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the troops; for the troops heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.”  The troops stole into the city that day as soldiers steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle.
– Samuel 19:2-3

Our sweet Lord wants EVERYONE to come home, all of His sons and daughters, all of our brothers and sisters, let us not forget that we are our brother’s keepers!

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
– Matthew 22:36-40