Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Meditations on Mercy, June 5th, 2016

Mercy Meditation, June 5th, 2016

“At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the dawn, rejoicing.”

There is nothing that breaks a parent’s heart like the death of a child. In both readings today, the Lord takes compassion on a brokenhearted mother and restores her child to life. God hears the prayers of those who mourn; He counts every tear, and responds by doing what every loving parent would do: gives his own life to save His children. Death is not the victor; the Lord transforms our mourning into dancing.

Jesus will not force us to accept His gift of eternal life, but imagine His heartbreak when we reject Him, choosing death for our souls. This breaks the heart of a loving Father, who mourns for His lost children. Desiring all to be saved, our Church has declared this a Year of Mercy, extending a call especially to the millions of women and men whose hearts are broken and souls darkened by the tragic sin of abortion. Abortion is heartbreak visited on desperate mothers seeking a way out of a difficult situation. At some point, when a woman recognizes the loss of her own child, she experiences profound grief and regret. The Church desires these women to come to the source of all healing, Jesus Christ.

As St. John Paul II wrote in the Gospel of Life, "The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope... The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation." 

Reconciliation with God through the sacrament of repentance is the beginning of healing the wounds of abortion, but often more is needed to address the trauma and grief experienced by post-abortive women. The Catholic Church was the first to recognize this need and extend help through the Bishops’ ministry of Project Rachel. Now, over 40 years later, the Church is still extending God’s mercy through cooperation with ministries like Rachel's Vineyard Retreats, offered in hundreds of locations. In our area (Tri-Cities, Washington), the Healing Light Retreat will be offered June 10-11th. This retreat is a time set aside for all those wounded by abortion to lay down their burdens and the wounds of their past and allow the Divine Physician to heal them. The Lord desires that all those who hide in darkness and the shadow of death let His healing light shine upon them. He longs to fill His beloved children with His peace, and restore them to life.


The Healing Light Retreat 

June 10-11th, 2016

For confidential information about the Healing Light Retreat,
please call Nancy Murray, (509) 554-9415 or email healinglightretreats@gmail.com

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mercy Meditations - Corpus Christi

Mercy Meditations - Corpus Christ

In her diary “Divine Mercy in My Soul” St. Faustina, who brought the Divine Mercy image and messages to the world, wrote about the image and its meaning, relating this story of a vision she received during a Corpus Christi procession, honoring the Body and Blood of Christ.
“When on one occasion my confessor told me to ask the Lord Jesus the meaning of the two rays in the image, I answered, "Very well, I will ask the Lord."

“During prayer I heard these words within me: The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the water that makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls ... These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when my agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross.” (Diary, 299)
“Once, the image was being exhibited over the altar during the Corpus Christi procession… When the priest exposed the Blessed Sacrament, and the choir began to sing, the rays from the image pierced the Sacred Host and spread out all over the world. Then I heard these words: These rays of mercy will pass through you, just as they have passed through this Host, and they will go out through all the world.” (Diary, 441)

Trust in the Mercy of God, ever present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar; the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Mercy Meditations - Trinity Sunday

Mercy Meditation for Trinity Sunday

… we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Today’s second reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans seems out of place for Trinity Sunday. Just when we want to focus on the beautiful mystery of three divine persons in one God, here’s Paul saying we should boast of our afflictions because somehow they produce endurance, character, and hope, which shows us the love of God poured out through the Holy Spirit.

Really, Paul? We should be glad about our afflictions because they show us the love of God? But isn’t love all about joy, and the Holy Spirit about inspiration? Afflictions are not exactly what come to mind as a way to show love; but then again, God’s ways are not our ways.

A story is told of Carmelite reformer St. Teresa of Avila getting stuck in a muddy ditch while traveling by wagon to start up a new monastery. She reportedly snapped at God, saying, “If this is how you treat your friends, it’s no wonder you have so few of them!” Many of us can relate to that complaint. Just when we are trying to do God’s work, obstacles appear, and suffering and adversity come our way. But, remember, Jesus did not call us to the easy path, but to the cross.

When we accept the cross of the Son with joy, the Father’s merciful love will pour out into the world through the Holy Spirit. And suddenly Paul’s words make sense for Trinity Sunday, because that is the Trinity in action.

"And I saw the river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of Heaven. And the name of that river was suffering. And I saw the boat which carries souls across the river. And the name of that boat was Love." ~ St. John of the Cross


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Come Holy Spirit!

Meditation on Mercy for Pentecost

Mercy, like rivers of living water, flows from God’s love for us. A merciful love so great that God himself became man, suffered, died, and rose for us, so that He could form a Church in which He would always be present to us, in the Eucharist and in the power to forgive sins. That’s really what it all comes down to. The power of the Church to forgive sin, a power bestowed on it by Christ.

Flowing from the Father through the wounded heart of Christ, the Holy Spirit breathes new life into us at our baptism, as we are adopted into God’s own family. When we sin, as we all do, God provides a path to renewal through His Church. Never despair, never lose hope: no sin is too great for the cross of Christ. God’s merciful love will breathe new life into our souls in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Come, Holy Spirit, come! Heal our wounds, our strength renew, on our dryness pour your dew, wash the stains of guilt away. On the faithful who adore, in your sevenfold gift descend, give them your salvation, Lord, give them joys that never end. Amen.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Ascension


 Meditations on Mercy – The Ascension of the Lord

 “…in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

The readings for the Ascension seem so hopeful to us, because we know what’s coming next: the power from on high, the tongues of fire, the Good News preached to all nations, and the birth of the Church. But, knowing none of this, the Apostles must have felt abandoned and alone as they stared up at the sky. Jesus, who had promised to remain with them always, was gone.

But Jesus truly has remained with us always, in the Church and the precious gifts that flow from her: the Eucharist, the Sacraments, the Mass, and the Gospel. The Church is entrusted with the mission of bringing God’s message of mercy to the whole world, a seemingly impossible task that can only be accomplished with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Yet Jesus allows the Apostles to wait nine long days before conferring the gift of the Holy Spirit. This time of prayer strengthens and prepares them to carry out God’s plans.

Now, during the nine days leading to Pentecost, we must pray as the Apostles did, for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church, because many have still not heard God’s message of mercy. The time is short; pray always!

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