Saturday, February 28, 2009

TEACHINGS TO LIFT YOU UP "Take Up Your Cross" by RITA RING Post 103, December 18, 1993

Take Up Your Cross

God's Blue Book I Cover

December 18, 1993

Jesus speaks: Pain? Oh, how I suffered! The pain was so intense, I could hardly bear it. I was so wounded and so covered with blood. Think of a little gash and how it hurts when it begins to bleed. I bled and I bled all over. Such intense pain. Every time you experience pain, think of Me and how minute your little pain is. There was not a place on My body that was not covered with blood. There were deep wounds all over Me. My head throbbed from the crown they had placed on Me and I was forced to carry a big cross so heavy, I scarce could move it on My shoulder. My shoulder ached so badly I felt as if it was constantly breaking by the weight of the cross. But I carried it and pushed on My way. If I stopped, I was poked and pushed and hit. The crowd jeered and they forced Me on My way. What crime had I committed? Why was I forced to endure such torture? It was out of love of you that I continued that journey. I was God. I could have stopped at any moment. I was obedient to death to the demands of My Father.

Pain, child? I suffered so much for love of you! This is how I love you at this moment. In all that befalls you you must know at every moment that I know exactly what you are suffering. There is nothing that happens in your life without My consent and it comes from Him Who loves you.

Take your crosses and truly endure them. Accept them. Know that everything that happens in your life I have allowed. Accept it with the love with which I give it. You are being taught in that pain. You are suffering for yourselves and others. I endured all that pain. Did I once say, "Father, take it away?" I am your model. I showed you the way. I took it all, every last wound, every kick and smack and vileness. I took My cross and I carried it without a word. This is what I ask of you. Know that when you are experiencing pain or suffering, or being taunted by those around you, look to the Master for your course of action. I took it all, every last wound, and accepted it to My death. I did not say, "Oh, how awful." I did not complain. I walked in silence that bumpy road with a heavy cross, with My mother suffering by My side and I never complained. I accepted it all for love of you.

Carry your crosses, little ones. They are gifts from Me. Do not look for an explanation or a way to get rid of them. I will take them when I think you have had enough. It is in suffering that you experience My life more fully. It is in suffering that I speak to you in a special way. Endure it. I know every ache and pain you are experiencing. I am this close to you! Your pain may save a soul dead in sin or get a soul from purgatory. Accept all I send you and don't complain. A lot of the pain is enhanced by your rejection. A lot of your lessons are lost by your refusal to see that crosses come from Me. I give you crosses to share in My suffering. I love you so much, little ones. Know how personal I am with you: the very hairs of your head are numbered. Come close to Me and look into My eyes. I am truly here with you at every single moment. Think of Me as a person, but I am closer than any person could ever be! I am there and I know your every breath and I care about your every breath. Who could even do this for another? Others would have to sometimes think of themselves.

I am God and I can think of you at every instant. I am so close to you you do not have any comprehension. It is not a myth. I am truly present to you at every instant. Feel My presence. Make Me alive to you. Experience all I have to give you. You will know Me as your personal Jesus the more you read and re-read these letters. I write them to each of you. Only God could love you each this way. Focus on Me and you and how close I am to you. I love you so, little one. Whence you go you never walk alone. I walked a road of torture that led to My death for love of you! When will you realize what I say is true? When will you know how close I am to you and embrace Me as I so desire? You hold yourself back because you do not focus on My love for you. I would walk that path this day for you. I love you the same this moment as I did then. Oh, little one, you want to put your little crosses down so fast. Hold them and walk awhile with Me down the road to Calvary. Be by My side and share a little in how intently I trod out of love of you.

I am Jesus, Son of the Living God. I am alive in this room with you. I am by your side. A toothache, you say-what pain! Accept your pain. I want you to feel that pain now. It will go away.* It is so little. Heartache I know, heartache to love each of My children so much and be ignored or put at arm's length! Do you know how it is to love another and not have their love? I long for your love with Me, but you are busy. You do not have the time to be with Me while I await thee. I am an ardent lover Who waits for each of My children to come and experience this great love. You stay away from Me Who is always waiting and you search this barren desert for that which I have to give you. I watch you in this search and want you to come home to My heart. I am waiting for you, little one. Don't keep yourself from Me. Remember how I suffered for love of you. When you feel a pain, remember the pain I suffered for love of you. That is how I love you this very day. Take your cross and walk with Me. Come and be with Me. I have that which your hungry soul craves.

I am your loving Jesus. I love you, child. You do not know. I wait to be closer to you. You must see Me as this personal and this alive in your life! Oh, sweet one, I love you to My death and I love you this way today. I lament My children lost in darkness. I want to be united to you. Come and make Me the center of your life. I wait for you!

R. *My toothache is gone!


And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother: "Behold, this child is set for the falling and rising up of many in Israel; and for a sign which is shall be contradicted." (Luke 2:34)

This prediction pierced the Heart of Mary like a sword; but what an impression did it not make on the Heart of her Divine Son! Jesus Christ then offered Himself to His Eternal Father for the salvation of all men, and the price which He offered was infinitely beyond the debt which He paid. Nevertheless, this Victim immolated for all will be useless for a very great number, and the infinite price offered for all men will be for the ruin and the resurrection of many. This Divine Victim is still offered and immolated daily on our altars for our salvation by the hands of the priest, and may we not say that this same Victim is for the ruin and the resurrection of many? And how could it be otherwise, since He is still an object of contradiction for men? Some refuse to recognize Jesus Christ; others while recognizing Him, despise Him. The majority forget Him, and even those who think of Him are not always grateful. Was it not enough, O my Divine Savior, that this prophecy should have been accomplished during Thy mortal life; must it be still renewed daily by the contempt with which Thy Sacred Person is treated in the Blessed Sacrament? It has pierced the Heart of Thy Mother with sorrow; will it never touch my heart?

[From 'The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus' by Fr. John Croiset, SJ]


Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also: from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." (John 14:6-7)

THE NECESSITY OF FAITH: "No man cometh to the Father but by Me," said the Lord. It follows from this that no one who does not believe in Him can come to the Father, or attain to life everlasting. "This is eternal life," Jesus went on to say, "that they may know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

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Friday, February 27, 2009

TEACHINGS TO LIFT YOU UP "I Communicate In Your Heart" by RITA RING Post 102, December 17, 1993

I Communicate In Your Heart

God's Blue Book I Cover

December 17, 1993

Jesus speaks: You come and I wait for you to be here. I am the divine healer. I know Mine and My love for you bids you to come and be with Me. But many stay away even when they know how much I long to be with them and want to give them My gifts.

My love for you, each of you, bids Me to call each of you. But do you come? Where do you go, little scared ones? You look in vain in this valley of tears for a place of refuge. You drink, eat, seek, wander-all those things which lead you to the world-while I, Who alone can quiet your stalking heart, sit without your love. I am longing for your love. I am waiting for you to come and be with Me, but you are busy, busy off doing all those little things the world calls you to do.

I am the Sacred Heart of Jesus. My heart is a raging fire for love of you. My arms are waiting for you, open wide.

I am a furnace on fire for love of you.

Do you come to get your supplies from Me? When you visit Me at the tabernacle, I am full of intense love. I am bursting with My power to give in your soul. You sit, I dish it out in big, big scoops. My light becomes your inward flame, shining brightly for the world. You are given the light of life, a light shining in a dark world, a breath of warmth to a cold, cold heart. You are given interior healing. You are given the ability to be open to Me and to grow in your love of Me. What gifts I bestow to your weary soul!

You come empty, you leave full. "But," you say, "Lord, Lord, do I see You? Do You speak to me? What words, Lord? I sit and You are there, My God, but what words did You speak?" And I say to you: to a lover, do you ask how do you speak or are you just thrilled to sit by His side? Do you just feel the magic in being with one you love? Do you expect profound wisdom and measure His words as proof of the value of your time spent together?

I say to you, little child, I am as an ardent lover. Come and sit and be with Me! I do not measure what you say to Me. I sit and wait for you to come, day and night, and am always so happy when you come. I am the lover Who waits for your soul to be here. How do I communicate and become in union with your soul? Words are not the only way you communicate with your loved ones. Being present is all that matters. Few words may be spoken. I am God and I become joined with you in your soul. Talking, listening, etc., are human ways to communicate. Seeing, touching and hugging are all expressions of the body for love.

I communicate in your heart. I open wide your soul and fill you with a mystical light. You are transported to points you do not know. You still look for your human means of expression. I pour out My gifts of love and you do not even know how God touches you and loves you. You do not comprehend loving in the spirit. Come and sit with Me and experience love in your soul. You cannot put a finger on such spiritual things. How do you touch peace in one's heart? How do you touch compassion and love for your brothers in your soul? Can you touch the heart of Jesus? Can you touch Me? Then why do you want Me to communicate like a human?

Do you want My peace? Do you want My love? Do you want to experience the fire of My heart? You will not do this in human terms. Come and sit with Me and let Me have a free hand at filling you to the brim with the things of God. Open yourself up to your soul! Do not question. Do not become bored when you sit alone with Me. Become open and attentive. Listen. Do not be busy. Be silent and still. Let Me act. I am God. What could you do in My presence that could top what I want to do for you! Be still and know I am your God. Sit with your hearts open and your mind ready to be filled. Do not question what did I get with Him today. Is this how you approach your lover? You are just filled in your heart. Be filled in your heart by My presence. Come out of love and leave walking on a cloud! Oh, how I love you. Don't bring your business to My tabernacle. Throw away your watch. Don't time yourself with Me. Come and sit a while and let Me work in your heart. Let Me fill you with the things of the spirit. Let God penetrate your inner being. You come, inactive and open. This is My calling!

Such insights as wisdom, peace, love, joy, yearning-all the miraculous things man could never find anywhere on earth-that is what you get here and nowhere else! Come with your hearts open and your time free to be with your lover. Do you watch the clock when you are with one you love? Time escapes you and you never want to leave. Come to Me, your most ardent lover, in this same manner. Be filled to the brim with this love I have for you. Where, child, could you buy such a gift as the Love of God!

I am one crying out to you to come and get your supplies. Do not operate in this world without your arms. Your arms are your heart filled by the fire of My love. You are soldiers of love in a dark world. Where you go I power you with My love and light and you walk this darkness with the glow of My heart. I love you, little one. Come and get your supplies. Do not measure your visits or ask what you get. I am giving to you out of My bounty. That is not in words. It is a charge in your hearts and souls.


"And the lord of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him.' But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned one with another, saying, 'This is the heir: let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.' And they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him." (Luke 20:13-15)

The sense of this sad parable was only too literally accomplished in the person of Jesus Christ, whom the Jews treated in that manner; but is not the accomplishment of this same parable renewed every day among Christians in the unworthy manner in which they treat Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament?
Could the Eternal Father employ a means more proper to acquire for Himself faithful servants among men than by sending them His own Divine Son? And could Jesus Christ finds a means more proper to make Himself honored and loved by instituting the Blessed Eucharist? However, do people love Jesus Christ more for it? Is He not on the contrary worse treated on account of this? The ingratitude of the Jews makes us indignant, but why are we not concerned about our own ingratitude? Is it indeed surprising that the presence of Jesus Christ, His meekness, His generosity, His miracles had no effect on the hearts of the Jews, but is it not more strange that the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, His abasement, His silence, His liberality, and all the favors which He is ready to confer on us should have no little effect on the hearts of Christians?

[From 'The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus' by Fr. John Croiset, SJ]

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St. Peter's Basilica at Early Morning Photo wa...St. Peter's Basilica at early morning. Image via Wikipedia


"I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me; for they are thine: and all things that are mine are thine, and thine are mine: and I am glorified in them. And I am no more in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are." (John 17:9-11)

THE WONDERFUL UNITY OF THE CHURCH: For nothing did our Lord, before His death, pray more earnestly than that all who believe in Him might be one; and this unity for which He prayed was to be an outward unity such as could be recognized by the whole world. Our Lord willed to found a united Church; so that only a Church which is inwardly and outwardly, invisibly and visibly one, can be the true Church founded by Jesus Christ. There is but one Church which has all these marks! It is indeed a marvelous thing how the Catholic Church can be universal and at the same time one; for the enduring unity under one head of the faithful, of all ages, climes, and languages, could never have been brought about by natural means. The unity of the universal Church proves her to be the creation of God, and proves that He who founded her, our Lord Jesus Christ, is indeed the Son of God.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

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Thursday, February 26, 2009


And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, "A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house." And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. (Matt. 13:57-58)

In what way could Jesus Christ have been a source of scandal to them, unless it were by disguising Himself too much among them and being too liberal with them? The love which He bears us is excessive, it knows no moderation; but His love which should have gained for Him the hearts of all men, brings Him into contempt with many. Those among whom He had lived longest are those who know Him least and who render themselves most unworthy of His graces; and, as it is only among strangers that He finds faithful servants, it is only among them also that He works His greatest miracles and pours out His favors most liberally.
It is strange that a prophet is not without honor except in his own country, in his own house; but it is much more strange that Jesus Christ receives so many outrages in His own house, that He is so little known by those among whom He dwells unceasingly, and so little loved even by those to whom He is known. It is strange that when He opens to us all His treasures in the Blessed Sacrament, that when He gives Himself to us, we feel so little the marvelous effects of His presence; that those who approach oftenest and nearest to Him are not always the holiest nor those who love Him the most. It is strange that Jesus Christ, who is continually among us, works so few miracles, that He is to some an object of scandal. But will it be not still more strange if I myself, in spite of making all these reflections today, do not love Jesus Christ more, if I am insensible to the outrages which He receives in the Blessed Sacrament, and if I do not use all possible means to make reparation for them?

[From 'The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus' by Fr. John Croiset, SJ]

Bernini's stained glass window in St. Peter's ...Bernini's stained glass window in St. Peter's Basilica


"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you.
But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you."
(John 14:16-17; 26)

THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE CHURCH: Our Lord knew well that the apostles did not fully understand what He taught them, and He knew moreover that, owing to the weakness of human nature, much that He had taught them would, in the course of time, be forgotten, without the aid of a higher and supernatural assistance. He therefore promised to send the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, to abide with the apostles, to teach them all things, and to bring to their remembrance all that He had said to them. This Spirit of Truth was to abide with them "for ever"; but as the apostles were not to live for ever on this earth, the promise was not meant to apply only to them individually, but to their successors, the Popes and Bishops of the Church. The Spirit of Truth which, according to the promise, abides for ever in the Church, preserves intact in her the Truth taught by Jesus Christ, keeps her from error, and therefore renders the Church infallible.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009



"Dear children!  In this time of renunciation, prayer and penance, I call you anew: go and confess your sins so that grace may open your hearts, and permit it to change you.  Convert little children, open yourselves to God and to His plan for each of you.  Thank you for having responded to my call."


The Illuminating Fire



WHAT exactly will happen during the Illumination of Conscience? It is an event in which souls will encounter the living flame of Love who is Truth.


Purgatory is a state of grace given to redeemed souls who are not yet "holy and without blemish" (Eph 5:27). It is not a second chance, but a purification to prepare the soul for union with God. My sins may be forgiven, but my love for Him may still be mingled with self-love; I may have forgiven my neighbour, but my charity toward him may still be imperfect; I may have given alms to the poor, but remain attached to temporal things. God can only take to Himself that which is pure and holy, and therefore, everything which is not of Him is "burned up," so to speak, in the fire of Mercy. Hell, on the other hand, is not a fire which purifies—for the unrepentant soul has chosen to cling to his sin, and therefore, it burns eternally in the fire of Justice.

The coming Illumination, or "warning," is to reveal to humanity this impurity beforehand, which at this time in history, unlike previous generations, has an eschatological character as revealed through St. Faustina:

Write this: before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time… You have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge… Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for [granting] mercy. —Mary speaking to St. Faustina, Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul, n. 83, 635

The Illumination is a last chance for the world to change its course, and thus, it is a fire which at once illumines and saves. In his encyclical, Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict could almost be describing this salient event when he refers to the particular judgment each one of us will face at the end of our lives, which may require "purgatory"—purging fire:

The fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Saviour. The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgement. Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves. All that we build during our lives can prove to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses. Yet in the pain of this encounter, when the impurity and sickness of our lives become evident to us, there lies salvation. His gaze, the touch of his heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation “as through fire.” But it is a blessed pain, in which the holy power of his love sears through us like a flame, enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God. Spe Salvi "Saved In Hope", n. 47

Yes, the Illumination is both a warning to repent, and an invitation to "become totally ourselves and thus totally of God." What joy and zeal will be set afire in those who accept this invitation; what anger and darkness will consume those who refuse it. Salvation is open to all, and the souls of all will be laid bare as though it were a judgment in miniature:

Each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. (1 Cor 3:13)


Some people have asked me if the Illumination is already happening. While, according to the mystics, the Illumination is definitely a global event, certainly God is constantly illuminating, purifying, and uniting our hearts to Him in so far as we give our "Great Yes." In these days, I believe God has "sped up" the process, and is pouring out an ocean of graces, for the time is short. But these graces, while also for yourself, are intended to prepare you for the new evangelization which is here and coming. It is for this reason precisely that Jesus and Mary are preparing you now to become a living flame of love so that the grace of the Illumination may continue burning in souls whom you will encounter.

A cold log burns briefly as it passes through the fire, but if it is held above a flame, it will eventually catch fire. You are to be that flame. But as we know, flames may have varying colors, depending upon what is burning ("gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw…" cf. 1 Cor 3:12). The hottest fire known to science is invisible. However, when impurities are added, colors can be emitted. The purer our hearts, the less the colors of "self" and the more the invisible, searing, transcendent presence of God can come through. That is why so many of us are suffering painful trials—not because God does not love us—but because He is drawing us deeper into His Sacred Heart so that we ourselves will eventually burst into pure flames of love!

Consider that as an object moves toward the Sun, it begins to glow more and more in its light. The closer it gets to the Sun, the more the object warms until it becomes so hot that it begins to transform. The closer it gets, the more radically the object is changed becoming more and more like the Sun to which it hastens until, at last, the object is so close to its goal, that it bursts into flame. It begins to rapidly change into the Sun itself until finally nothing of the object remains but fire, glowing, flickering, exploding flame as though itself were a Sun. While the object does not have the power and boundless energy of the Sun, nonetheless, it takes on the characteristics of the Sun such that the object and Sun are indistinguishable.

That which was at one time lost in the cold of space has now become Flame, itself casting light upon the universe.

The "living flame of love," of which St. John [of the Cross] speaks, is above all a purifying fire. The mystical nights described by this great Doctor of the Church on the basis of his own experience corresponds, in a certain sense, to Purgatory. God makes man pass through such an interior purgatory of his sensual and spiritual nature in order to bring him into union with Himself. Here we do not find ourselves before a mere tribunal. We present ourselves before the power of love itself. Before all else, it is Love that judges. God, who is Love, judges through love. It is love that demands purification, before man can be made ready for that union with God which is his ultimate vocation and destiny. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 186-187

All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven… sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1030, 1472

Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

Published in: DAILY JOURNAL, SPIRITUALITY | on February 25th, 2009 |

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"If I had not done among them the works which none other did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father." (John 15:24)


Consider, that even if the Jews had not been convinced by the testimony of the prophets, as they should have been, that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the miracles which He wrought, His admirable virtues, His indefatigable zeal for their salvation, His great meekness and especially the prodigious benefits which He lavished on this people in favor of whom He performed so many miracles, should have been more than sufficient to gain the hearts of all who knew Him.
But, alas! all this had quite the contrary effect. Jesus Christ was persecuted, hated, treated with greater indignity than if He had been the greatest criminal. Perhaps they had forgotten His benefits and His miracles? By no means: they remembered them, they spoke of them; they made His very benefits and miracles a crime, and He was treated with indignity by the Jews precisely because He loved them too much and was too liberal in their favor. Imagine then, if possible, what must have been the sentiments of Jesus Christ, what the affliction of His Sacred Heart at the sight of such black ingratitude!


But consider what must be now His thoughts at seeing Himself treated every day with such indignity in the Blessed Eucharist even by Catholics, although He instituted the Blessed Eucharist to satisfy His ardent love for these same Catholics. Even if Jesus Christ had not wrought this miracle, even if He had not loved us to this excess, would that be any reason for Catholics not loving Him? Ungrateful Catholics, has this loving Savior not done enough to merit your love? And if His extreme love has induced Him to do what seems to us too much, must this excess of love make us not love Him, nay, even despise Him? And has not this happened since the institution of this adorable mystery? Are not the words of the Prophets, who said: "He shall be filled with reproaches," "despised and most abject of men," fulfilled in our days in the treatment which He receives in the Blessed Sacrament? The ingratitude and impiety of the Jews excite in us just indignation against this unhappy people. We see, however, this impiety and ingratitude incessantly renewed in the indignities to which His love exposes Jesus Christ daily in the Blessed Sacrament, and are we never touched by it?
Hitherto, O my Savior, I have been ungrateful to Thee. I have replied to Thy bountiful favors by coldness and neglect; but do Thou continue to show Thy mercy in spite of my infidelity. Grant me either to die of sorrow or to live in continual regret for having so little loved God who has loved me to excess, and who gives me continually in the Eucharist the most extraordinary proof of the greatest love that ever existed.
I will henceforth love Thee, O my Savior, and will eagerly render Thee love and homage in the Blessed Sacrament. I will begin to give proof of my love by my modesty and respect in Thy Divine Presence, by my ardent devotion to Thy Sacred Heart, and by my eager desire to repair, as far as in my power, the outrages that have been offered to Thee, and which, alas! are still offered to Thee daily in the Sacrament of Thy love; grant that these dispositions may continue until my death.

[From 'The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus' by Fr. John Croiset, SJ]

Father, Son & Holy GhostImage by elston via Flickr


"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you. But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you." (John 14:16-17; 26)

THE HOLY GHOST is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Our Lord calls Him "another Paraclete" [Comforter], who would, in His own stead, enlighten, sanctify, strengthen and comfort the apostles and those who came after them, till the end of all things. This shows us that the Holy Ghost must be a Divine Person, distinct from the Father and from the Son. We have just read our Lord's words: The Father will send him in My Name;" and in another passage He speaks of "he Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, whom I will send you from the Father." The Holy Ghost is, therefore, the Spirit of the Father and the Son, who proceeds from all eternity from the Father and the Son, and who in time was sent by the Father and the Son.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Tribulation Times


February 24, 2009  

(Ecc 3:1-7) All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.

VATICAN: Pope Benedict's 2009 Message for Lent

ON FASTING:  Self restraint in order to leave room for God

MEDITATION: A season of hope - Lent - awaits us, offering full life by Bishop Robert Vasa


The TRIB TIMES will not be updated again this year during the Lenten season, extending to the first week after Easter.  My computer time will be limited to 30 minutes each morning and evening during Lent. I will read all emails I receive, and will answer all that I can, time permitting.  I may also occasionally email non-reformatted news articles to Trib Times subscribers that I find to be of particular interest. But barring a major event, the Trib Times web page itself will not be updated. 

I apologize to all who have recently subscribed but will keep your email information for use after my return.  God willing, the next issue of the Trib Times should be shortly after Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19, 2009.  Please keep me in your prayers, and be assured that I will do the same.

I recommend the following links to keep up with unfolding events:

Catholic News

Signs of the Times

Readings & Meditations for Lent & Holy Week

Newer subscribers may also be interested in a meditation that first appeared in the Trib Times in 2004, The Pain of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 15- "On incorruptible purity and chastity"

19. Cetain learned men have well defined renunciation, by saying that it is hostility to the body and a fight against the stomach.   

Prayer request?  Send an email to:

This month's archive can be found at:

TEACHINGS TO LIFT YOU UP "Mary Is our Mother" by RITA RING Post 100, December 16, 1993

Mary Is Our Mother

God's Blue Book I Cover

December 16, 1993

Jesus speaks: Little one, you will not escape My time with you. I want to be joined to you in a special way. It is My love for you that drives you to this union. I am soft and gentle in heart. I am present in adversity. I am Jesus, little girl, Son of the One True God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. God is One in Three. I am He Who speaks to you. Power. I have it all. Let your heart never be troubled for I am with you on your way. Throw doubt and worry and useless thinking out the window. I guard you lest you stumble and fall, but you walk alone with Me up the hill to glory. May the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be praised in their names. God is Great in all His divinity and might. He is the one to be exalted. At His name all knees must bend to the almighty and His power is endless.

This is a special right for you as you approach the 17th day. You will feel this specialness to us, Jesus and Mary, as to a pair united in a special way and present to deliver these messages. Pray for grace now.

I am calling you from the darkness to the light. Your heart is made light by the love I impart to you now. Feel it enter your soul. Nothing else matters. Focus no more on your pain. Focus on your joy for each of Us.

R. Amen, Amen. Alleluia, Praise the Lord!

Jesus speaks: You are being blessed by the Trinity and Mary. Feel the blessing, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Specialness for you alone from Us. Praise the Father, Son, Holy Ghost and the Blessed Lady. You are entwined in their love. Alleluia.

Unity and power is here. Will you come whence I call you, child? Come and feel the unity between a Son and His mother. Very strong, very powerful, indeed! You will know a new dimension in the life of the Son, His love for His Mother. Alleluia, Alleluia.

R. Mary, come and answer my plea to do Jesus' work for me. I am guided by this prompting. It is not of me. It is a prayer you write in my hand. Hold me. Bless me. Watch over me as a loving mother. I am a little child and I look for my mother. She heals my ills and cares for me like a mother. Oh, Mary, to know you! I am so empty of my closeness to you. Fill my heart with knowledge and love of you. Bless me as a mother by your hand. The mother of all! Oh, mother, great are you. Thanks for your motherly call.

Specialness I feel to this union between Son and Mother, to know the loving Son, Jesus. Oh, Jesus, how You loved Your mother. Alleluia.

To know Jesus, we must know the love that exists between Him and His mother. He has given her to us as our mother. She is truly our loving mother.

Note: When we sit in front of the tabernacle, He does not communicate just with words. He may change us internally. He gives us our supplies. He does not need words. We do not know what He gives us when we sit in front of the tabernacle in silence. He gives us gifts in our heart: healing, opening us up, wisdom. We may not hear His voice or feel what He is doing, but He is giving us our supplies that we need to grow in Him. He doesn't have to speak. We still get gifts we do not know by His presence.

Pope Benedict XVI: “Paradoxically, freedom is achieved through service; we become free, we become servants of one another.”

VATICAN - Holy Father's "lectio divina" on the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians at Rome's Major Seminary: "Paradoxically, freedom is achieved through service; we become free, we become servants of one another."

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – On February 20, Vigil of Our Lady of Confidence, the Holy Father Benedict XVI made a visit to the Roman Major Seminary, where he held a "lectio divina" for seminarians on the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians, reflecting on the phrase: "You are called to freedom."

"Freedom in every epoch has been the great dream of humanity, from the very beginning, but especially in modern times," the Pope said, revealing that "Saint Paul helps us understand this complex reality of freedom, seeing it within the context of fundamental anthropological and theological perspectives." Saint Paul affirms: "This freedom should not become a pretext for living according to the flesh, but through charity you should place yourselves at each others' service," and the Pope explained that: "The absolute ego, which depends on nothing and no one, seems to possess complete freedom. I am free if I do not have to depend on anyone, if I can do anything I want. However, this absolutization of the ego is...degrading to man. This is not the triumph of freedom: libertarianism is not freedom; rather, it is freedom's failure."

Paul then proposes a strong paradox: "freedom is achieved through service; we become free, we become servants of one another. Thus, Paul places the entire problem of freedom in light of the truth about man," the Pope said. "Our truth is that we are, first and foremost, creatures, creatures of God, and we live in a relationship with the Creator. We are relational beings, and only by accepting this fact do we enter the truth. Otherwise we fall into lies and there, in the end, we destroy ourselves." This God and Creator is not a tyrant, like the human tyrants, and "He loves us and our dependence is to be in His love, in which case dependence is freedom. In this manner, in fact, we are in the charity of the Creator, united to Him, to His entire being and power. Hence, this is the first point: being a creature means being loved by the Creator, entering into this relationship of love that He gives us, and with which He precedes us. This is from whence we derive our truth which is also a call to charity."

Benedict XVI then focused on the second kind of relationship: "We are in relationship with God but, at the same time, as human family, we are also in relationship with one another. In other words, human freedom is, on one hand, to be in the joy and great realm of the love of God, but it also implies being only one thing with the other and for the other. There is no freedom in being against the other. If I absolutize myself, I become the other's enemy, we can no longer coexist on earth and the whole of life becomes cruelty and failure. Only a shared freedom is human freedom; in being together we can enter the symphony of freedom. Hence, this is another point of great importance: Only by accepting the other, by accepting also the apparent limitation that respect for the other implies for my freedom, only by inserting myself in the network of dependencies that makes us, finally, only one human family, will I be on the way to common liberation."

"Man needs order and law, to be able to realize his freedom, which is a freedom lived in common," the Pope said. "And how can we find this just order, in which no one is oppressed, but each one can make his own contribution to form this sort of concert of freedom? If there is no common truth of man as it appears in the vision of God, only positivism remains and one has the impression of something imposed even in a violent manner. Hence the rebellion against order and law as if it was a question of slavery."

Continuing with his "lectio divina," the Pope quoted Saint Paul: "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' After this affirmation the mystery of the Incarnate God appears, the mystery of Christ appears who in his life, Death and Resurrection becomes the living law. Immediately, the first words of our reading -- 'You were called to freedom' -- point to this mystery. We have been called by the Gospel, we have really been called in baptism, to participate in the death and resurrection of Christ, and in this way we have passed from the 'flesh,' from egoism, to communion with Christ. And so we are in the fullness of the law...By participation in the sacraments, by listening to the Word of God, the Divine Will, the divine law really enters our will, our will identifies with his, they become only one will and thus we are really free, we can really do what we will, because we love with Christ, we love in truth and with truth. Therefore, let us pray to the Lord that he will help us on this path that began with baptism, a path of identification with Christ that is always realized again in the Eucharist."

Lastly, the Holy Father made reference to the difficult situation of the community of Galatians, in the "controversies that arise when faith degenerates into intellectualism and humility is substituted by the arrogance of being better than the other." He added: "Today there are similar things when, instead of being inserted in communion with Christ, in the Body of Christ which is the Church, each one wants to be better than the other and with intellectual arrogance wants to be regarded as the best. And thus controversies arise which are destructive, born is a caricature of the Church, which should be one soul and one heart. In St. Paul's warning we should find today a reason to examine our conscience: not to think of being better than the other, but to meet one another in the humility of Christ, in the humility of the Virgin, to enter into the obedience of the faith. Precisely in this way the great realm of truth and freedom in love is really opened also for us."

(SL) (Agenzia Fides 23/2/2009)

Complete text of the Holy Father's address, in Italian

Before & After Pictures
Georgetown Students Respond to Desecration with of Our Lady's Statue With Prayer Vigil

Last Wednesday, February 18, a prominent statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was desecrated at Georgetown University. Students offended by the action are now planning a 24-hour prayer vigil beginning this Thursday in reparation for the outrage and in support of the university’s Catholic identity.

Read the whole story here:

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"Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God: believe also in me. In my Father's house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. And if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself: that where I am, you also may be. And whither I go you know: and the way you know." Thomas saith to him: "Lord, we know not whither thou goest. And how can we know the way?" Jesus saith to him: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him. And you have seen him." Philip saith to him: "Lord, shew us the Father; and it is enough for us." Jesus saith to him: "Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou: Shew us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works. Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen, I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do: and greater than these shall he do. Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do. If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14: 1-15)

JESUS CHRIST OUR MEDIATOR: The chapter we have just read shows us that our Lord gave His life for love of us; that it is only through Him that we can come to the Father; that He prepares a place for us in the House of His Father; that He gives everlasting life to His followers; that the Holy Ghost is sent in His name; and that whoever prays in His name will be heard. It follows from all these passages that Jesus Christ is our Mediator with the Father; that through Him we are reconciled to God; and that it is only through Him that we can obtain grace and glory.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

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Monday, February 23, 2009

TEACHINGS TO LIFT YOU UP "Accept Your Life, Crosses and All" by RITA RING Post 99, December 15, 1993

Accept Your Life, Crosses and All

God's Blue Book I Cover

December 15, 1993 - 3:25a.m.

Jesus speaks: I come, you write. I am Jesus, Son of the Living God. Who are you that I come to you? You are indeed special and I love you! I am your Savior. I come and make My ways known to you. If you listen and are attentive to Me, I teach you My ways. My teachings are given in your daily life. Everything that happens in your life is from Him Who loves you. I allowed what is happening to you to happen and I am He Who cares so much for you that I died a brutal death for you. When you realize that all day you are being taught, you will learn My valuable lessons. You, My child, are going to school each day. What are you being taught? You are being taught My ways.

When you get up today and something happens, you must accept what I send you and ask yourself, "What am I being taught here by Him Who loves me?" If you look at your everyday occurrences as teachings from Him Who loves you, they are accepted and you are not bucking yourself.

I am the teacher for your life this day. You are My pupil. Will you learn your lesson today or will you fight that which is happening and will happen anyway? I have a divine plan for you. I want to use you to do My work. If you do not work for Me, My work is not done. How many lives will be untouched tomorrow while you feel sorry for yourself? How many teachings do others miss while you are unsure and act badly? You must accept what is happening to you as given from a most loving God. You are on your way to sainthood. You are being tested in fire. What comes from the fire is a sinner or a saint. You either love Me or you don't. In this world today you cannot straddle the fence. You have to take a strong stand if you are on the side of the saints! There is no way you can live in this world and be mediocre.

The commitment you make to accept your life, crosses and all, to look for My teachings and to stay close to Me, is the most important commitment you make. I want your commitment. I want your total commitment to Me. I came and died for you that you might live. I ask you now to live in Me in this world. Be the light to the bowed down. Be the heart to the afflicted. Be Me to all those you meet. Smile My smiles, love your brothers, look beyond their hardened hearts to the creation of the Father. Look into their eyes and see Me in them. Don't miss an opportunity to be Me to your brothers. All this I have instructed you in lessons: being loving, putting aside your self pity, releasing yourself of doubt.

You ask, "When, Lord, do I have time for My work?" I say to you that this is My work for you! If you do not do this work, you have missed the boat. The gift I give you is My life. The gift I give you is My love! I ask you for your life. I ask you to die to yourself that you might live in Me! Give Me your life and I will guard you in all you do!

You will run but not get weary for I am by your side. You will fly like an eagle and you will sail the skies adorned in My love. It is you who fight the Master. It is you who do not accept My way for you. This causes resistance. This causes you stress. Accept all I send you. Know I watch your coming in and your going out. Know that I am a teacher Who loves My pupils. I am here to teach you lessons.

R. What are You teaching me today, Lord, in this trial? Thank You, thank You for Your great love, Lord. I accept all You send me and want to do Your will.

Jesus speaks: "But, Lord," you say, "what about my job? What about what I want to do? What about me, Lord?" You, My child, have a free will. You can totally leave Me out of your life and do exactly as you wish. How is your life this way? Miserable! You are created to know, love and serve Me. To serve other lands and other people is to bump the reason you were created. You are met with so much resistance. You cut the line which I have given to you, or you plug it up so you don't hear. I give you a line to Me and instruct you each day in your heart. To plug up the line and do your own thing is to live a life of misery. Your soul craves this union. It is a pull stronger than any appetite you have. It is the pull of the spirit on you. You are bucking a bull when you plug up the line to Me.

Your life is not free and you are not happy. You wander in darkness with a hardened heart and wonder what will show you a better life. You are never at rest for you are always on the move, looking for that which begs in your chest to be answered. But you put a towel on the line and try to turn off the ringer. I call, you don't listen. You become good at tuning Me out. You live your life always holding that towel on the phone. What a pain that is, to be given a direct line to God and to cover it up with a towel!

Little one, I am here, every minute of every day. The more you open up yourselves to accept Me, the louder the telephone rings. You get into synch with Me. You hear Me. My life for you is not a secret. I am here constantly directing you and teaching you. It is you who cover up My line. It is you who live in a noisy, busy world that blocks My whispers in your heart. What are you being taught today?

I am very much a part of your life, every minute, every second. I am here. You have a pipeline to God. You can realize this and become more aware of My constant presence in your life or you can cover up My line! But, child, this is an act of the will on your part. You have to put the towel on My line and hold it there. You are never free. One of your hands is tied up on the phone, holding the rag on it. The other hand is always busy searching for that which the other hand has covered up. What a useless task My children in darkness do, to cover up that which you are looking for. Oh, children, you are so silly. Life is so simple. You make it so complicated! Love God. Love each other. That is it and all falls into place.

Follow Me and I will give you rest. Listen to your heart. Make a commitment to the Master, He Who loves you. Accept your life as given from Me. Die, child, to yourself. Open your hands to the heavens and praise your God Who sends you such gifts. Thank Him, worship Him and surrender to the life He gives you. Spend your days seeking to do His will. Listen by a quiet brook. Come and be taught by the greatest teacher of all. It is free. His school is renowned and you will know peace in your heart. What school offers this? The world teaches many things, none of which is quiet and leads to peace in the heart. The world is noisy and boisterous. You learn lessons for things you never use. You are forced to learn foolish things and graded on their content, but the greatest lessons of all are being ignored and they are the lessons for your life.

Oh, America, you are all messed up! Come back to the basics: God, family, love. All other stuff you fill your heads with is useless! You can have a third-grade education and be happy. Some of you have never attended My school for one day. I am the greatest teacher of all. I live in your heart. My lessons are learned in your daily living. All you have to do is listen and be attentive to Me. My school is free! But you remain in darkness and search a barren desert for the treasures being revealed in your chest. Little ones, I love you so much!

Put God first and you will not search in vain. Make a commitment to Me. Make your goal a diploma in sainthood. This is all that matters. Then all you touch will be taught by the Master, for I teach through you when you go to My school. You are teaching lessons today to your brothers through your actions. Are they My lessons or are they the world's? You are busy, little one. I have work for you to do. Why sit you idle while I teach? Listen to My promptings in your heart and be of Me. This is the greatest work you can do. All else is of no account. You are My teachers in this world. See that you teach My lessons by your daily life. To do this you must come and be taught be Me yourself.

Virginia Senate Kills Prayer 'In Jesus Name'

RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- On Monday the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 8-6-1 along party lines to kill a pro-faith bill, HB2314, which would have restored the rights of Virginia State Police Chaplains to pray publicly "in Jesus name."

The Virginia House of Delegates had successfully voted 66-30 last month for HB2314, written by Delegate Charles W. Carrico, (R-Galax, call 276-730- 4375 for interviews), which would have restored the rights of State Trooper Chaplains, six of whom heroically resigned last fall, rather than water-down their prayers or publicly deny Christ, as ordered by the Governor Tim Kaine Administration. Now Del. Carrico admits the chaplains' rights will unfortunately not be reinstated, until new elections are held on Nov. 3rd, 2009.

8 Democrats voted against allowing Jesus prayers. Their phone numbers are:
Sen. Creigh Deeds, (D-Charlottesville), 804-698- 7525/434-296-5491.
Sen. Linda Toddy Puller, (D-Mount Vernon), 804- 698-7536/703-765-1150.
Sen. John S. Edwards, (D-Roanoke), 804-698- 7521/540-985-8690.
Sen. L. Louise Lucas, (D-Portsmouth), 804-698- 7518/757-397-8209.
Sen. Janet D. Howell, (D-Reston/Fairfax), 804- 698-7532/703-709-8283.
Sen. W. Roscoe Reynolds, (D-Martinsville), 804- 698-7520/276-638-2315.
Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, (D-Springfield/Fairfax), 804-698-7535/703-978-0200.
Sen. Henry L. Marsh III, (D-Richmond), 804-698- 7516/804-648-9073.

6 Republicans voted to allow Jesus prayers. Their phone numbers are:
Sen. Frederick M. Quayle, (R-Virginia Beach), 804- 698-7513/757-483-9173.
Sen. Robert Hurt, (R-Chatham), 804-698- 7519/434-432-4600.
Sen. Ryan T. McDougle, (R-Mechanicsville), 804- 698-7504/804-730-1026.
Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), 804- 698-7526/540-437-1451.
Sen. Ken T. Cuccinelli, II (R-Fairfax), 804-698- 7537/703-766-0635.
Sen. Ken Stolle, (R-Virginia Beach) 804-698- 7508/757-486-5700.

1 Republican, Sen. Thomas Norment, (R- Williamsburg), 804-698-7503/757-259-7810, not only voted against Jesus prayers, but wrote an aggressive amendment gutting HB2314 by mandating "non- sectarian" prayers, which would've permanently banned police chaplains from praying publicly "in Jesus name."

Sen. Creigh Deeds, one of three Democrats running for Governor this year, voted against Jesus prayers. But Attorney General Bob McDonnell, the only Republican running for Governor (, issued a statement defending police chaplains right to pray "in Jesus name," and if elected will have the power to reverse the Kaine Administration's ban on religious freedom.

Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, spokesman for the six police chaplains forced to resign (who himself was fired in 2006 for praying "in Jesus name" in uniform outside chapel), had delivered 6,805 paper petitions (please sign petition at to each of the 15 Senators listed above, with a DVD showing 1,000 citizens who rallied to honor Jesus and the six chaplains outside the Governor's mansion last fall.

Chaplain Klingenschmitt is available for media interviews, or to fly and speak at any church nationwide:,, 719-360-5132.

Deacon John


The School of Love

Sacred Heart, by Lea Mallett

BEFORE the Blessed Sacrament, I heard:

How I long to see your heart burst into flame! But your heart must be willing to love as I love. When you are petty, avoiding eye contact with this one, or an encounter with that one, your love becomes preferential. It is really not love at all, because your kindness to others has as its end self-love.

No, My child, love means to expend yourself, even for your enemies. Is this not the measure of love I demonstrated upon the Cross? Did I only take the scourge, or the thorns—or did Love completely exhaust itself? When your love for another is a crucifixion of self; when it bends you; when it burns like a scourge, when it pierces you like thorns, when it leaves you vulnerable—then, you have truly begun to love.

Do not ask me to take you out of your present situation. It is a school of love. Learn to love here, and you will be ready to graduate into the perfection of love. Let My pierced Sacred Heart be your guide, that you too may burst into a living flame of love. For self-love douses the Divine Love within you, and renders the heart cold.

Then I was led to this Scripture:

Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart. (1 Peter 1:22)


We are in those days when:

…because of the increase in evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. (Matt 24:12)

The antidote to this frigid despair is not more programs.

Holy people alone can renew humanity. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Message to the Youth of the World, World Youth Day; n. 7; Cologne Germany, 2005

The "program" is to become a living flame of love!—a soul who lights fires in the hearts of others because he has been willing to pick up his cross, deny himself, and follow in the footsteps of our Lord’s Passion. Such a soul becomes a Living Well of love because it is no longer he who lives (in his own will), but Jesus living through him.

What is your cross? The weaknesses, irritations, demands, and frustrations that those around you present to you each and every day. These form the cross on which you must lie. Their hurtful actions are the long whip that scourges, their words the thorns that prick, their neglect the nails that pierce. And the lance that wounds is the seeming absence of God to deliver you from it all: "Why have you forsaken me?" At the time, the trial seems senseless and foolish to endure. Indeed, the Cross is foolishness to the world, but to those who embrace it, the wisdom of God. For the one who endures, a resurrection of grace streams forth, and it can transform the world around you.

Alas, we are more often like the Apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was Jesus who was seized by force—yet it was the Apostles who fled at the first sign of tribulation! Oh Lord, have pity… I see my soul in them. How can I conquer my instinct to flee suffering?


The answer lies precisely in the one who did not flee—the beloved Apostle John. Perhaps he ran at first, but we find him later standing courageously beneath the Cross. How?

One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus. (John 13:23)

John did not flee because he had listened to the heartbeats of Jesus. He learned at the Divine Breast the curriculum of the school of love: Mercy. The student John heard echoing within his own soul the great destiny for all those created in the image of God: to reflect the Lord’s own Mercy. Thus, the beloved Apostle did not strike out with a sword at the high priest’s guard. Instead, his presence beneath the Cross became the first act of mercy of the Church, to comfort His beaten and abandoned Lord, alongside the Mother. John’s own com-passion flowed from the school in which he was taught.

Yes, there are two parts to this school—the knowledge and the application. Prayer is the desk at which we learn the curriculum, and the Cross is the laboratory where we apply what we have learned. Jesus modeled this in Gethsemane. There, upon His knees, at the desk of prayer, Jesus leaned against the heart of His Father and begged that the cup of suffering be withdrawn. And the Father replied:


With that, our Savior stood up, and as it were, offered Himself in the laboratory of suffering, the school of love.


After I received that Scripture from 1 Peter, I heard one last word:

Through your wounds, when united to Mine, many will find healing.

How? Through our testimony. Our testimony exposes to others the wounds and nailmarks which we bore for the sake of Christ. If you have suffered them willingly, entering the darkness of the tomb, then you too will emerge with wounds like our Lord’s that now, instead of bleeding, shine with the light of truth and power. Then others can, through your testimony, place their doubting fingers into your pierced side, and like Thomas, cry out, "My Lord and my God!" as they discover Jesus living in you, burning and leaping into their hearts like a living flame of love.

They conquered [the accuser of the brethren] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. (Rev 12:11)

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church.. (Col 1:24)

The world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal 6:14)

We are… always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. (2 Cor 4:8-10)

Published in: DAILY JOURNAL, SPIRITUALITY | on February 23rd, 2009 |

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