Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely;
In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Last weekend I went on a CRHP retreat. (pronounced chirp) It is an acronym for Christ Renews His Parish. It is a 2 day retreated, segregated by sex. It is a renewal weekend. A time to remember who we are in Christ.
This last Wednesday, was what I refer to as our decompression session. Time is given for those who want to share about their experience. This is extended to both those who went on the retreat and those who helped with it.
From last weekend to Wednesday, I am amazed at how similar all of us men are. We all have our own crosses that are distinctly unique. The feelings and experiences that go with them mirror the same themes of pain, lack of trust, mediocrity, and more. I really didn’t have any intentions of sharing my “stuff”. The theme of greater risk equaling a greater reward is still running rampant. I took my leap and shared with the entire group that I am a celibate gay male. I’ve had blow back before, revealing my sexuality in religious settings. I didn’t Wednesday night. For this, I am truly grateful. There are many preconceived notions about homosexuality. Not just within the church, but from without as well. I cannot battle them all. I can however be open and honest in my journey with Christ.
I am a firm believer that conversion is an ongoing process. At this moment it is a refreshingly bright experience. It isn’t always. Sometimes being refined by God’s love feels like a furnace.
The next 12 weeks I have the opportunity for some faith formation with the men from CRHP. I am looking forward to it. I need it. My 3 closest friends are female. That is fine. I do need some male friendships though. Call it a hunch.
One thing I was reminded of this weekend is just how male I truly am. I really don’t like opening up to other men. Expressing feelings isn’t on my bucket either. That doesn’t mean I don’t think I am a man, or not man enough. It was just a little detail, a reminder, that just like 30 other guys, I’m human and I am seeking Jesus.
That has been a theme I have revisited several times in my life. Is it true? I think so. The caveat being that the risk be aligned with God’s will. That means you cannot risk 2 million dollars in savings for lottery tickets and a chance to win 300 million. That is just stupid, in my unhumble estimation of the human condition.
There are so many things I wanted to share from the last few days. So many things I want to say. I won’t. For once, I will be obedient. I will share as I have been prompted to by the Holy Spirit.
First, I owe my readers an apology. I have committed the sin of lying by omission to you. It has had consequences for me, people close to me, and readers I have never met. I used the anonymity of the internet as just cause to not be honest about who I am. Some (many I bet), I bet will want to argue for me. That I do not have to divulge the particulars of my life so brazenly on the internet. Perhaps, they are correct. It has felt like lying. It has felt dishonest. And in some ways, it has given cause to scandal. I am truly sorry. I do apologize, and seek my readers forgiveness.
6 months after I was confirmed in the Catholic Church, I married a man. 15 months after receiving a singular grace of understanding the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, I decided that the love of one man was more important than the love of my Savior.
The marriage ended after 4 months. It shattered my whole world. I’ve spent the last year slowly trying to rebuild my life. It has had its own share of ups and downs, I am better off now. I thank the Holy Spirit for talking to me and leading me through this whole ordeal. It isn’t over yet. I still have to find a way to legally end it.
In the last year it has become ever apparent where I belong. It has also become apparent that sex does not serve me. Truly, it has never served me well. That is why today I live a celibate life, strive for internal chastity, and will continue to do so as long as I have air to breathe. I am sure that some well intentioned people will have much to say. Please do so. Whether it be that I am bonkers, or you fully support me, I welcome you to say something. Having lied to you, it is the least I can do in reparation.
My decision is not a pronouncement on someone else’s identity, orientation, needs, wants, beliefs, or political ideations. It really isn’t one on mine either. It is a following of something within me. To be honest, it happened a while back. I’m just revealing the information now. It is actually similar to coming out of the closet. Less glitter and no party hats though. (terrible joke, I know.) It took time. I needed to at least partially recover from the split with my spouse, Michael. I’ve looked at my life with a certain amount of frankness. Where have I been, where am I, where do I want to go? It became obvious to me that my choices in regards to relationships, partners, and sexual activity were serving only consequences to me. Here is where I can honestly say, I don’t need to divulge details. If you must know some sordid detail, ask privately.
So, I quit. I gave up. I surrendered. I can’t. He can help me. I’m going to let Him. The beauty is of course, in the simplicity of how it evolved. Fear, though has held me back from sharing about it. The world is crazy enough without talking about sex and sexuality. I thought I could avoid talking about my decision. God, in the infinite wisdom He posses, thought differently. He had more grace to pour into me.
I went on a retreat this weekend. I will share more about it later, I promise. We split off into pairs. We were doing simple interviews (getting to know each other) by asking a couple of questions about where we were spiritually. I don’t know how much I have grown as a Christian. One thing I simply cannot do is lie or be intentionally vague sitting face to face with someone. Every thing in our conversation kept leading back to me needing to be honest. It is a terrifying thing to say, “I am broken. I hurt, I have pain.” Especially to a complete stranger. And yes, it is really hard for me to share with a man. Honestly, I think sex with a stranger is probably easier. Sordid, yes. It is the honest truth though.
I took the leap (eventually). It felt like plunging off a skyscraper. Of course, I had to cry a little. That always help. Somehow I managed to gather the courage to look in that man’s eyes. For the second time in my life I experienced a singular grace. From his eyes, flowed grace, compassion, and mercy. I’m sure he said something truly kind. I was in complete shock. It was a very vulnerable moment, and I will be forever grateful to the him for his kindness. His kindness actually has given me the courage to be honest with readers and others.
I’m sure there are some people that are warming up their label maker. Fag, queer, homosexual, SSA, gay, celibate, etc.
For the record I prefer Roy the former pagan, comedian who loves Jesus and His Church.
Some quotes that come to mind now as I realize I am actually going to publish this.
Jesus, I trust in you.
The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried. – Chesterton
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again, for forgiveness has risen from the grave. St. John Chrysostom
The hardest part now is seeing where I land. Will the 55 men I met this weekend react the same as one man did. I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. What matters now is truth, being honest with myself and others.
The reward? Freedom. Freedom from self. Freedom for eternity.
Early in my RCIA formation I met with our parish priest, Fr. Jim. You can read up on it here. At the end of that meeting, he gave me a small book titled, “The Divine Mercy, Message and Devotion.” I thumbed through the book and put it away. During many of Fr. Jim’s sermons he has mentioned St. Faustina Kowalska and her personal revelation of Divine Mercy.
Having heard about it so many times led me back to that little book. It definitely piqued my interest. Back in February, I was surfing EWTN on my ROKU and encountered The Chaplet of Divine Mercy being sang. It was breath takingly beautiful. It moved places in my heart that I don’t think I had recognized earlier. Here is a link to the EWTN Chaplet of Divine Mercy here. Later, I discovered another version in song, that moved me as well. I posted it several weeks ago, here.
At the time I was encountering this chaplet, I was seriously considering to stop smoking. I decided during Mass one day that I would stop on Good Friday, March 29th, 2013. In the following days, I knew I need a plan in order to be successful. I decided to use the patch. Even with that, I knew that I was going to have to shake up my normal routine greatly. I am a very addictive type, and am also very habitual. During another Mass, Fr. Jim mentioned that the parish would be praying the Divine Mercy Novena starting on Good Friday. I quickly saw this as a plan to do things very different. I made the necessary arrangements with work to take off. (Gotta love paid time off!) For those who are unfamiliar, novena means “nine days”. It meant that every day, I would follow the outline of personal revelation of St. Faustina. Yes, I had my personal intention of stopping smoking. With this novena, each day has a specific group to pray for: sinners, priests, children, non-believers, etc. I have learned from experience that praying for others while dealing with difficulties can be very helpful. This is what drew me most to the idea of making this committment. I believe by praying for others, I receive in return, God’s help with my own difficulties.
This also marked a big change in routine for me. I tend to be somewhat of a lay-a-bout. Actually, I am pretty lazy. To pray this novena at church I needed to be out of bed a 6 am. It didn’t allow me time, to ponder and suffer on being a non-smoker. So, every morning, bleary eyed, I showed up at SMG with my book and my beads. The only day I prayed at home was Easter Sunday. That is only because, the parish did not meet specifically that day to pray the novena. Another added benefit was being able to receive the Eucharist every morning (except Good Friday, I hadn’t been confirmed yet.)
What a blessing this Novena has been to me. I have become very attached to the prayers, and the chaplet. YES! I am still not smoking too! I haven’t been cured or zapped holy. In those moments when I really want to go get a cigarette, I can pause and say, “Jesus, I trust in you.” Or, “For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.” It really does help.
Another moment of providence (because as a catholic coincidence is moot), came after confirmation. After the Vigil we all gathered in the Holy Life Family Centre to chow down on some sandwiches. One of the RCIA sponsors came up with a gift bag. Mind you, I had no clue I would be getting a present from anyone, I was just happy to be Catholic. One of the books, Shelia gave me was, “Revelations of Divine Mercy.” It is a year-long devotional! How sweet and how neat. I’ve made St. Faustina’s personal revelation of Divine Mercy a big part of my studies for this year. It won’t be the only thing I read about, or the only prayers, I will say. It will be however, my anchor.
You see, I am a bit of an arrogant and pompous ass much of the time. I can be about as judgemental, rude, acerbic, and condescending as the love child of Bill Maher and George Carlin. I need to be more merciful and kind. I am grateful I have this awareness right now, and these tools available to me. I hope that this will add the strongest elements to my Catholic faith.
For some, it may be a little confusing. Personal revelation is also known as particular revelation. It isn’t a church teaching. It does not conflict with a church teaching in any way though. Blessed Pope John Paul recognized the power of St. Faustina’s personal revelation and helped to increase people’s awareness of it. The Sunday after Easter is designated as Divine Mercy Sunday.
I can share something else with you. You don’t have to be Catholic, or even own a set of rosary beads to pray the chaplet. There is nothing in the Divine Mercy Prayers that go against the grain for protestants. ( I hear people mumbling about prayers for souls in Purgatory.) That is part of the Novena, not the chaplet. (Someone just said there is a Hail Mary in there.) Look at it this way, the Hail Mary is entirely scripture. The only thing you are doing is acknowledging her place as the Mother of Jesus, and asking her to pray for you. If you are feeling stuck, or want to try some new prayers to get things moving, I have the basic instructions here.
Bio, Catechism, Catholicism, Christ, Christ-like, Communion, community, conversion, Eucharist, Faith, Forgiveness, Formation, God, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus, Passion, prayer, RCIA, Real Presence, sacraments of the church
For those of you that didn’t already know, I tried to cut my finger off on Monday. I had already started working on this post. I had to stop because I couldn’t type. Sorry for the delay. Here it is.
I am not sure words can describe what the last 3 days have been like for me. I am not even sure that I should attempt to, lest I not capture the full glory of what I was allowed to experience.
There are so many memories crammed into these last few days though, I worry that if I do not put them down indelibly, that I could forget; or that they could possibly lose the power they have wrapped my heart in.
Maybe the best thing to do is share with you all, some of the things that I know I will never forget.
I will never forget veneration of the cross. During this time a simple wooden cross is held up in front of the sanctuary. People come up and kneel, or touch, or kiss the cross. A very simple gesture of faith and belief. That is, until I was asked to hold the cross. When I first heard Fr. Jim ask me to, I thought he could read my mind. I wanted nothing more than to throw my arms around that wooden cross and hold to it for dear life. Standing there, so close to people in their own rapt love of Christ and all He did, was almost as unfathomable as God’s mercy. At the end of the Mass, there was a solemn procession. Christ (the blessed sacrament) was removed from the tabernacle and taken to the Altar of Repose. Ours was in the Family centre. To see hundreds of people on their knees in worship, elicited the same feelings of mystery and mercy to me.
Joy coming from sorrow. As I sat and listened to the reading of Christ’s passion. To recognize his humanity and how humble he was. It was sorrowful. It had to come to pass. If there was no death, there would be no resurrection. Though every ounce of my finite human compassion would will it not to happen…it was inevitable. Christ willingly came to earth fully man and fully God. He experienced everything human kind can. He did it with no sin. He loved his mother, father, his disciples, and others. He experienced hunger, pain, and anger. In all things, including temptation, He remained sinless. After experiencing all of this, and after seeing humanity and its capacity for love, its depth of depravity…He willingly entered into his Passion. He allowed himself to be offered up as a perfect sacrifice, for all of mankind.
And then He died.
If there was ever a day I have longed for! From the moment of personal revelation that the Christ was really in the Eucharist, to every Mass I went to with my hand over my heart, for the waiting for 36 weeks, and all the longing to experience Christ fully…this was the day I truly prepared my entire life for. Memories of the last 9 months would file through my mind, along with remembering all the things that had brought me to this point.
Mass was LONG! The wait before Mass was LONG! I think there is enough symbology in this one celebration to ponder for a lifetime. As we entered into the church in complete darkness (except for the flame of candles), I did feel the weight of my own ignorance. Slowly we read through God’s plan of salvation for all of mankind.
As the story culminated to its conclusion, the church was fully illuminated. The tomb was empty, Christ was alive, and salvation was available to me, you, my family, your friends, and the whole world.
It seemed that the entire congregation, the priests, the angels and saints, and God himself, had turned their attention to the front four pews on the St. Mary Altar side, of St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church. It was such a blessing to see so many people baptized. It was amazing to see Fr. Jim do it with such joy and love. Fr. Larry’s gentleness and kindness touched my heart. Fr. Larry had many of the women with pretty hairdo’s. He was very gentle in his pouring. What Fr. Larry had in gentleness, Fr. Jim had zeal. After they were baptized and given their baptismal mantle, they were welcomed into the Church as its newest babies, with applause. Yes, applause.
Then, us candidates were up. In the moment it seemed to happen in slow motion, and looking back it seemed so fast. We made the profession of faith, and then one by one were sealed to the church. My confirmation name is Francis, as in Francis de Assisi. I may have picked the most common, but to me it is most special. With a love of animals and plants, child-like zeal for God, and a need to be more humble; I can not think of a better person to emulate. Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do.
As I sat in my seat, confessed and confirmed, it truly began to soak in.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world.
Lamb of God, grant us peace.
Christ was here! The Eucharist! The thing I had longed for the most was going to happen. Nobody was going to stand up and say, “Everyone except Roy.” Nobody would block my path. I was going to be able to experience Christ on a level I never had before. By eating his flesh, and drinking his blood I was going to receive an impartation of Grace that only Christ can give. I have many friends who simply do not understand why the Eucharist is such an important thing to us Catholics. Maybe in a later post I will haltingly and poorly try to explain The Eucharist. For now, we can leave it as the source and summit of the Catholic Faith. There was no lightning, no angels to be seen. There was however, reverence. Sacred reverence for Christ, King of the universe my Savior and redeemer;living more fully inside of me, than I had ever allowed before. Afterwards, I did begin to detect, and still do, a sense of peace and strength. I am sure there will be days when I don’t feel it. Hell, I’m sure there will be days that I am convinced that it is gone.
You see that is one reason why I have been writing this blog. I am human. I need reminders to guide my future. I am weak. I forget when I have had strength. When I sin, I need to be reminded that there is grace. This has always been to help me. I am blessed to have so many friends and fellow bloggers that read this. It is truly a blessing. I’m not really interested in being well-known or famous. Sometimes though, I look at the world map on my stats page and pray that somehow, something I have said has helped someone else in the world.
My name is Roy. I’m a Catholic. Those are words that I never considered in my first 36 years of living. I’m hoping that in the next 36 years, it will always rank as my #2 or maybe #3.
What would be my #1?
Jesus, I trust in you.
I can share with you one of the greatest gifts Catholicism has given me. (So far.) You can take it, use it, quote it, steal it and not give me credit. It is yours to do with as you will.
The greatest sin in life is not the deed done, or what we failed to do. The greatest sin is believing that whatever deed was done, or whatever we failed to do, is so big, that it cannot be overcome by the ocean of mercy, that is Christ Jesus.
Peace be with you.
I recently began praying this chaplet. The novena is nine days of prayer, with specifics each day. This song is the chaplet, sang. It can be prayed anytime of day or night. Mercy hour is 3pm. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Available on CD at: http://www.divinemercyinsong.com
Produced by Trish Short. As heard worldwide on EWTN. Absolutely the most inspiring version of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy ever created.
Great Mercy and Forgiveness comes to those who recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
The Song is designed to help all come closer to Christ. To help those who do not know how to pray – to begin their conversation with God. The message of The Divine Mercy is simple. It is that God loves us, all of us – even the most wretched. And, He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins.
Read more about the Divine Mercy (esp. on the forgiveness of sins coz someone asked me about that). Thanks! http://www.english.santisimavirgen.co…
In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy,
Sister tells us:
“I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it.
Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross
and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to
look through Our Lord’s wounds and I understood that God blessed
the earth for the sake of Jesus.”
Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:
“I saw an Angel, the executor of God’s wrath… about to strike
the earth…I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words
which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel’s helplessness, and he could not carry out the just
The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on
ordinary rosary beads:
“First say one ‘Our Father’, ‘Hail Mary’, and ‘I believe’. Then on
the large beads say the following words:
‘Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement
for our sins and those of the whole world.’
On the smaller beads you are to say the following words:
‘For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the
In conclusion you are to say these words three times:
‘Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us
and on the whole world’.
Jesus said later to Sister Faustina:
“Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who
says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests
will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most
hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will
receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to
know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to
those who trust in My Mercy….”
“….When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior”.
How to pray The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
The Divine Mercy Novena
The Divine Mercy Novena
Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said: “These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.’ The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.”
In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:
“On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy … On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls.”
The different souls prayed for on each day of the novena are:
DAY 1 (Good Friday) – All mankind, especially sinners
DAY 2 (Holy Saturday) – The souls of priests and religious
DAY 3 (Easter Sunday) – All devout and faithful souls
DAY 4 (Easter Monday) – Those who do not believe in Jesus and those who do not yet know Him
DAY 5 (Easter Tuesday) – The souls of separated brethren
DAY 6 (Easter Wednesday) – The meek and humble souls and the souls of children
DAY 7 (Easter Thursday) – The souls who especially venerate and glorify Jesus’ mercy
DAY 8 (Easter Friday) – The souls who are detained in purgatory;
DAY 9 (Easter Saturday) – The souls who have become lukewarm.
During the Solemn Novena leading to Divine Mercy Sunday,
the Chaplet of Divine Mercy should be offered each day for the
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.”
Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind.”
Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun “us” since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use.
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.”
Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.”
Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
*Our Lord’s original words here were “the pagans.” Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion.”
Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son’s Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
*Our Lord’s original words here were “heretics and schismatics,” since He spoke to Saint Faustina within the context of her times. As of the Second Vatican Council, Church authorities have seen fit not to use those designations in accordance with the explanation given in the Council’s Decree on Ecumenism (n.3). Every pope since the Council has reaffirmed that usage. Saint Faustina herself, her heart always in harmony with the mind of the Church, most certainly would have agreed. When at one time, because of the decisions of her superiors and father confessor, she was not able to execute Our Lord’s inspirations and orders, she declared: “I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus ” I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me” (497). The Lord confirmed her action and praised her for it.
and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.
Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.
Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:
Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.
*The text leads one to conclude that in the first prayer directed to Jesus, Who is the Redeemer, it is “victim” souls and contemplatives that are being prayed for; those persons, that is, that voluntarily offered themselves to God for the salvation of their neighbor (see Col 1:24; 2 Cor 4:12). This explains their close union with the Savior and the extraordinary efficacy that their invisible activity has for others. In the second prayer, directed to the Father from whom comes “every worthwhile gift and every genuine benefit,”we recommend the “active” souls, who promote devotion to The Divine Mercy and exercise with it all the other works that lend themselves to the spiritual and material uplifting of their brethren.
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.”
Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.”
Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.
|Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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I truly believe that this is the day I have been waiting for. Maybe it is the day I have been preparing for. Its been a day 37 years, 23 days, 20 hours, and 45 minutes in the making.
More realistically it started 1 year ago, today.
Here is what I posted on FB:
What a difference 1 year makes. 1 year ago, I made the hardest decision I have yet faced in my life. I made it a bit more difficult by announcing it over FB as well. That decision was to give up everything I knew, and everything I thought I knew, for something that was real and had depth. Immediately after that decision, I was plunged into what I refer to as my “dark night of the soul”. It lasted several months, actually. I went from someone who practiced native ways, to an agnostic, to atheist, to full blown crazy. Now I sit here on the eve of Easter Vigil. One step away from being in full communion with the Catholic Church; it is probably the most misunderstood, ridiculed, and despised institution on the planet.
You see though, Christ was hated. And he was misunderstood. Then He was crucified, died, and resurrected after 3 days. So if you don’t like my decisions, or how I live my life, or how I reconcile myself to my religion….
Mind your own business. I’m happier than I have ever been, and owe no-one an explanation.
If you haven’t read my bio it is here. It is hard to believe that it has been a year. I started RCIA 36 weeks ago. I distinctly remember how far away today seemed. Now, in about 12 hours I will step into a darkened sanctuary waiting for the light of the world. By the end, I will be in full communion with the Catholic Church.
Can you imagine me speechless? There are so many things I want to say and share. Holy week has been overwhelmingly beautiful. Somehow, at some point I will try to post all that I have seen these last two days. Then of course a post about the Easter Vigil!
More than anything, I just want to say thank you. I thank God for allowing me to make poor decisions and suffer the consequences. I also thank him for loving me as the prodigal son again…and again…again. I want to thank my RCIA sponsor Debbie Thomson. I know it has been a long road for you too. I hope this journey has increased your faith too. Thank you to Jon Cox and the entire RCIA Team. Every single person on the RCIA team has touched my heart in a very special and unique way. Amanda, you know. And I know you know…thank you. At the weakest moment when I wanted to run and hide in shame, you helped me stay. Thank you to Awestruck. You guys encouraged me to blog. Very early on in my walk, I had to narrow my field. I haven’t been able to come and visit as much as I would have liked. Your staff has been remembered in my prayers. Thank you to Fr. Larry for your help, encouragement and counsel each week at our RCIA class. Thank you for the homilies and blessings at 9 am dismissal each Sunday. Thank you to Fr. Jim for hearing my lengthy confession. Thank you for your always “brief” homilies. And thank you for the additional lessons that always pop up at the perfect moment. Thank you to everyone who has commented, followed, and encouraged me with this blog. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to every person who scoffed, rebuffed, or rebuked my decision to go to RCIA and join the Catholic Church. Each of you drove me deeper into prayer and study. I have grown strongest and learned the most from you.
Thankfully, today is not the be all and end all. Today is definitely climactic. After this I have a few more weeks of RCIA to look forward to. A period called Mystagogia. And then of course, there is always the lifetime ahead. The opportunity to spend each day with Christ, growing in his image and likeness.
Urban legend tells a tale about Ernest Hemingway. Having dinner at the Algonquin Hotel, E.H was having a round table discussion with some fellow writers. allegedly, he challenged them to a bet that he could write a short story that was only 6 words long. He assured them that if he lost, he would match each persons bet. With the money in the middle of the table, E.H scribbled a sentence on a napkin.
“For sale, baby shoes, never worn.”
He won the bet.
I listened to this story this morning on NPR. It was the background for a new NPR piece on race. It got my wheels to turning. There were powerful sentences that created powerful imagery describing race, stereotyping, and ethnicity. It also set my own wheels to turning. Not about race, mind you. I began to think about faith, religion, and spirituality.
What six words mean the most to you? You can leave a comment here or maybe on FB. If people comment on FB, I will attach them to the comments here.
Here are mine:
Blood, water gushed sacramental washing, clean.