hope is greater

A little while back, I wrote a post about the limitations of the English language, particularly for the word love. How is it possible that this rich verb can be used to describe the most beautiful union between man and women, while at the same time describing affection for a pair of shoes?!

It recently dawned on me, that the same goes for the word hope. This was the word I received for the new year, and the Lord keeps revealing to me how necessary hope is for the world- especially in these confusing times.

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It’s funny though, how often we use this word for everyday, simple experiences.”I hope it doesn’t rain today”, “I hope we make it on time”, I hope she likes the gift”… you get the idea!

Yet in reality, hope is so much more than these simple desires we ascribe to it. Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church writes about hope:

The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.

CCC #1818

Isn’t that beautiful!? Hope is like the compass that points us to our heavenly home! It’s the antidote against discouragement, depression, despair. Hope leads us to happiness, opens our hearts, and reminds us that we are journeying towards Christ himself.

It is my prayer, that you, wherever you are, and whatever you might be going through, are renewed and strengthened by this promise of authentic hope. Let us all fix our eyes above the current situation, and hope in what is to come, and in He who is the source of our hope.

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healing love.

O Spirit of God,

On us descend,

So that we might see,

The hearts to mend.

Those broken and lost,

Or crippled with fear.

The lonely and hurt,

O let them hear:

That God is alive,

His Word stands true.

His power to heal,

Is meant for you.

Full freedom from chains,

Authentic peace.

A place to call home,

Will never cease.

Let Christians proclaim,

This healing love.

A message of hope,

Sent from above.

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dancing before the King

Do you ever feel like God is being a little too quiet in your life? Despite your prayer times, participation in the sacramental life and various missions… it just seems like you can’t hear His voice anymore?

I’ve been feeling like this over the past few weeks, and it was starting to get really discouraging. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something this past Friday during adoration:

God does not hesitate to use others to communicate His love and presence with us.

We attended an adoration evening on Friday, and we came late so we sat in the very last pew! Due to our seating, I could see the whole church and in particular a little girl with gorgeous blond hair near the front.

As the choir started to sing, this little girl stood up in her pew and started to sway back and forth to the music. There was something so peaceful and innocent about her movements and her presence before the Lord.

Immediately, I was touched to tears as I watched this young girl, so powerfully free, dance before her King. At one point, her sister tugged on her jacket to sit down, and she just pulled away and kept on swaying.

I knew exactly in that moment, that God was calling me to be free like this little girl. To find my comfort, my peace and my joy in Christ alone. To be so wrapped in His love, that I could even dance before Him.

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This little girl modelled what radical and pure love for Christ looks like. It’s unafraid, it’s bold, it’s present, it’s pure and it’s contagious.

So, even though I didn’t hear God in my morning prayer or the mass readings, I sure heard Him speaking through His precious child, who beautifully danced before her King and her Lord.

powerful intercessor

Hi!

Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping in!

Today is just a short story about the power of prayer. I think sometimes we forget how powerful prayer is, and all the gifts our Heavenly Father wants to bestow on us through prayer.

A few weeks ago, I was driving home with a friend after a nice night out. We were chatting a little bit about Mary and our relationship with our Heavenly Mama. We both shared some of our joys and struggles with this relationship, and even questioned if we could pray with Mary too much? Was this taking away from our time with Jesus?

As we hit the freeway, our conversation was abruptly stopped because my friend’s little three month old baby started to cry. Now the thing is… this baby doesn’t soothe herself in the carseat. No. The carseat is the one place that makes her grumpy, upset and unconsolable (understandable… those seats have almost zero padding). Even worse, we were a long way from home.

My first thought was “this is going to be a horrible ride home”, because the baby was getting progressively louder and louder. Not to mention that my friend has, in the past, had to stop on the side of the road multiple times to soothe her little peanut. Perhaps worst of all, it was so sad to hear her crying with almost no way of helping her.

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But then, something happened. I had to think of our conversation about Mary. Out of the blue I just said, “why don’t we pray a Hail Mary?”. Literally as soon as we started praying the words together, the sweet little baby in the back started to calm down. It was incredible. No soother. No mama. No milk. Just the words, ” Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with Thee…”

I looked at my friend, she looked at me and said, “ I think were going to have to pray the whole rosary!”. And that’s what we did. We said the whole rosary together, and the baby didn’t make a sound. In fact, she was soothed to sleep by the sweet words and intercession of her Heavenly Mother.

Words don’t do justice to the beauty of that moment. Just physically seeing the power of prayer answered in our midst. Seeing how Mary wants to, and delights in, answering our prayers. Not for her own benefit. But for the love of her Son.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe once said, ” Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did” . This couldn’t be more true. Loving Mary, asking for her intercession, seeking her aid in times of trouble is exactly what Jesus wants! He knows that everything we entrust to her, is taken to Him.

Mary Mother of God- Pray for us!

washed clean

Hi Again!

During these crazy times, access to the sacraments have been scarce. We’ve had to adapt to streamed masses, reserving spots for mass online ( if your quick enough!) and a whole lot of hand sanitizer….. Let’s just say, it hasn’t been easy.

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But there is something that has brought me (and perhaps you, too?!) A LOT of peace and comfort during the past months and that is:

Confession!

Confession has been the one sacrament that has been relatively easy to receive during the chaos of Covid-19. I don’t know about your experience, but we could make appointments with our parish priest anytime and every Saturday morning from 11:00-12:00 there was “drive through” confession!

I found so much solace in the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it was the closest I could get to Jesus when our masses weren’t taking place.

The Lord knows how painful these times have been and still are. He wants us to receive him again through the Holy Eucharist. He wants to be united, heart to heart. But if we are unable to go to mass, don’t forget to encounter Jesus in confession, as well ! It is a powerful encounter where Jesus himself, through the priest, can heal all our sins, anxieties, mistakes, fears and missed opportunities to love.

I can testify to the power of this healing and life giving encounter with Jesus through confession! Every time I went to confession during the “pandemic”, Jesus was speaking so clearly through the priest about my heart and the areas that needed deep conversion. That kind of realization is humbling, but I drove away every time feeling more loved, joyful, peaceful, motivated and light. It’s a feeling you cannot buy, and one that comes only from the healing touch of Jesus our Saviour.

God bless you all!

right now.

So last Sunday, we were watching the mass with Fr. Mike Schmitz and he said something in the homily that has stayed with me all week. He said ( I’m paraphrasing here) we can’t encounter God in the past or the future, only in the present.

Obvious? Maybe. Profound? Definitely. If we actually believe this, it has the power to change our attitude, our perspective and our life!

How many of us are guilty for playing on repeat the mistakes of the past, or the way things should have gone? Or how about the worries of the future? How much time is wasted thinking about what might happen, what could be, or the perfect scenario?

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What Father Mike is encouraging us to do, is to radically trust in the power of God working in the present moment! Isn’t that freeing?! Just think: actually letting go and surrendering all that happened in your past, and all that you worry and fear for in the future. Just living moment to moment with your Heavenly Father.

Lord Jesus,

You see each one of us right now. You know our hearts, and our thoughts. You see the burdens we carry from the past and the fears that we hold for the future. We surrender all of these moments, worries, anxieties and hopes to you. We want to live in the freedom that you have won for us on the Cross. We want to live with you right now! Come Jesus into our hearts and meet us in this exact moment. Show us how to live a life that is truly present to you and your people. Send your Spirit to guide, inspire and enlighten us. We love and thank you.

Amen.

steeped in love ☕️

I think it’s safe to say that most of us experience desert like conditions in our prayer life! Perhaps our prayers seem insincere or maybe we have no desire to enter prayer because we feel lost, empty or confused.

That’s pretty much where I found myself today during my prayer time. After a lot of non prayer related thinking and worrying -I tried to actively receive the love of the Lord. Father Larry Richards gave a talk in a virtual conference a few weeks ago, and he mentioned how crucial it is to let ourselves be held and loved by Jesus. That talk and his words have really stayed with me and came back to my mind in prayer today.

So after finally letting go and just focusing on the love of Christ- I had this beautiful image. It was a very simple cup of tea. The tea bag was released into the hot water, and slowly the water was changed into a beautiful rich brown, full of flavour and depth.

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It seems to me that we could be likened to this bag of tea. We are called to steep in the waters of the love of Christ; in his warm, constant and life giving presence. Christ gives us this daily invitation to accept, receive and steep in his constant, perfect and all fulfilling love. What could be more wonderful?

will we?

Will we come to the sacred Cross,

And kneel at Mary’s side?

To contemplate this gruesome loss,

Our Savior who has died.

In silence do we bear the pain,

Submit to greater love?

To know the Lamb who has been slain,

Was sent from heavn’ above.

With eyes like Mary, let us see,

That light and hope remain.

His body hung upon the tree,

Will come to life again.

Adapted from original post on December 2, 2016