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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Have You Entered through the Holy Doors? Profound Reasons to Make the Effort While There is Still Time

Open Wide the Doors of Christ!!! 

In this time of such deep division, confusion, hatred and violence.  God has given us the remedy.  For, "where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more" Romans 5:20.
Thus, let us never lose hope; but, instead, commit ourselves to receiving and pouring out all the grace that abounds in the Body of Christ during this Extraordinary Year of Mercy.

By entering through the Holy Doors, we are entering into not only into unfathomable realities, but we are tangibly responding to what St. John Paul II proclaimed in his first homily as Pope:
"Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows "what is in man". He alone knows it."

This Extraordinary Year ends this Sunday, November 20th on the Solemnity of Christ the King.  So, we only have a few days left to experience the grace of entering through the Holy Doors.

The Holy Doors are signs of this abounding grace and saving power of Christ in so many ways...

But to enter into this abounding grace, it is helpful to first understand this time of Jubilee.
During this Extraordinary Year of Mercy, every diocese has taken up to call to "open wide the doors of Christ!" They have responded by opening doors that are normally sealed in Cathedrals and other designated Churches so that they become Jubilee Doors - Holy Doors. 

Why?


Detail of the Holy Door at St. Peter's in Rome

The Holy Doors are a Sign of the Great Jubilee Year

It is a sign of the great Jubilee Year that God instructed His people to declare every 50 years in the Old Covenant. This Jubilee would mark a time of extraordinary mercy following the perfect number of years (Seven is known as the number of perfection in Scripture. Thus, we arrive at 49 years by multiplying seven years by seven).  

In the Jubilee year ( see Leviticus 25:8-13) the Mercy of God was particularly manifested as it granted liberty to all. Remitting all debts and giving God's people the ability to return to their own home and their own families, regardless of how they might have squandered them away in previous years. It was a year of rest of labor and considered a Sabbath of years that was holy, in which all were to eat of its increase! 

In light of this knowledge, it is apparent that this Extraordinary Year of Mercy is exactly that: extraordinary!  Pope Francis felt compelled to inaugurate a Jubilee without waiting for another 50 years to come around again, proclaiming in his teaching the preeminence of Jesus as God's Mercy incarnate:  

Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him. 


Detail of Holy Door at St. Mary Major in Rome

Detail of Holy Door at St. Mary Major in Rome

We have been living in this time of extraordinary grace and mercy (perhaps without realizing it) since December 8th, 2015. This year has been a sign for us to cling to Christ and the Mercy He has won for us.  And by doing so, we are to be assured that God is more powerful than the sin and evil that is so prevalent in our world. 

So, what's the big deal about going through Holy Doors?  

After this Sunday, we can't enter through Holy Doors... Why is it important?
And why doors?  It seems like an odd way to show forth God's grace and mercy. 

Actually, these same questions are ones that I've asked myself.  So, I've prayed for wisdom  so that I could enter more fully into this gift the Church has given us.

The Holy Doors Reveal Deep Scriptural Insights

As I prayed, I began to realize how deeply scriptural the Holy Doors are!  The Scriptures not only give us understanding regarding the Holy Doors themselves, but provide profound opportunities to contemplate Christ as we enter through them:

1. Jesus spoke about being the "Door" when He said HE is the ONLY way to the Father, saying:

"I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me!" John 14:6

It is only through and in Christ that we have access to a relationship with the God of all creation.  It is in Jesus alone that God is revealed to us as the most Merciful of Fathers. Who, while we were still a long way off, catches sight of us and comes running to embrace us and restore to us everything that sin has tried to rob us of -- not only our birthright, but also our Father's daily provisions and most importantly, our relationship with Him as His sons and daughters!

2. "I am the sheep gate. Whoever enters through me shall be saved..." John 10:9

It is profound to comprehend there were no doors to keep the sheep from wandering in Jesus' time... the shepherd would lie across the opening and become, himself, their door of safety and protection.  He was the shield that would keep evil from his flock. 


The Holy Doors Are A Tangible Sign of Untold and Beautiful Realities

St. John writes of his visions of heaven, saying: "I had a vision of an open door to heaven..."  Rev. 4:1

How profound to realize that by entering through the doors of the Catholic Church, we enter into the mystery of heaven present in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! 

If we had eyes to see, we would see that every Catholic Church is itself an open door to heaven, in which we are lifted up in the Spirit! Where, in the Mass and in the Sacraments, the great cosmic battle between God and Satan for our souls is won for us in the One, Eternal, Perpetual offering of the Son to the Father that transcends all space and time. In the Mass, we encounter the One Who lives to constantly intercede for us (cf. Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34)!


The Holy Doors Physically Express God's Opening Heart of Mercy

Secondly, God loves to use ordinary things to show forth the extraordinary love He has for us! He desires that His love is tangible -- that it is touchable to our senses.  

For the most extreme example -- think of bread and wine becoming His very Body and Blood.
Or water being the sign of Baptism, bringing forth cleansing and new life in which we become tabernacles of God Most High, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 
Or the fact that we, as his adopted children, are called to be His Living Presence -- His hands and feet, as well as His priests, prophets and kings --here on earth!

This is the reason Pope Francis placed a sign outside of the Holy Doors of St. Peter's, which reads: 

"As you pass through the Holy Door remember that Jesus is the door who introduces you to the embrace of God's mercy. "




Thus, if we are in the Spirit, by going through the Holy Doors we enter through the heart of Christ into the Arms of Our Merciful Father, Who is ever ready to forgive us!

It is good to ponder the profound depth of this Mystery:
By entering through the doors, we are physically invited to enter into the very Heart of Christ, pierced out of love for us. We are called to be washed by the blood and water that pours forth as a fountain of life and grace for our souls, which opens the way to the Father and pours forth the Holy Spirit in our hearts, so that through Him, with Him, in Him we can renew the face of the earth!

The Holy Doors Are Symbolic Of Our Response To God's Unfathomable Mercy. 

By entering through the doors, we are tangibly invited to open wide the door of our hearts, minds and wills to receive the Mercy that Jesus suffered, died and rose from the dead to give us.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me"  Rev. 3:20.

Jesus has won our freedom, but it is up to us to respond and to accept the embrace of the Merciful Father and allow Him to shower gifts of sonship and so enter into relationship with Him! We do this by returning home to Him with a humbled and contrite heart seeking only to give ourselves as an offering to Him. 

Lastly, They Signify God's Desire To Heal The World Through Us!

Remember, God wants to make use of His creation to proclaim His love - to be a tangible, physical sign of His power and grace! He tells us:  "All I have is yours."  Lk 15:31 

And it is exactly in receiving all He has that we are given the means to give. It is in being loved that we are able to love. It is in receiving Mercy that we are able to be mercy for others. 

Thus, the act of going through Holy Doors is not meant to be a selfish act of receiving only mercy for ourselves, but an action that in time will lead us to long to live the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.  It is meant to be an action that pleads for the grace of Jesus' Sacrifice to pour upon souls to quench the fires of violence and hatred that Satan is stirring up within us and among us.  We must never lose sight that we are fighting a supernatural battle that is a result of sin, division and confusion that stems from rejecting of God's Mercy and His Truth.  So, we hold fast to the supernatural means of grace and the power of prayer to open hearts to receive and be transformed by the infinite tenderness and love of God!

Of course, the Doors of Mercy closing isn't a sign of God's Mercy ending for us. 


But, by receiving this extraordinary grace, we are able to pour out His Mercy in a unique way to the suffering Church in all its forms.


Going through Holy Doors during this Jubilee of Mercy has been something deeply meaningful to ponder and even more profound to experience.
I was able to enter through Holy Doors not only in my home diocese, but throughout Rome and Italy this past Spring. (You can read about my pilgrimage during this Year of Mercy here).

It is because I have had these extraordinary experiences, I feel compelled to share this opportunity with you while there is still time.

So, please consider taking a minute or two to locate a Holy Door in your area and make a plan to enter through it.  Do it not just for yourself, but to help God pour forth His Mercy on our families, on the poor souls in purgatory, on our nation and on the world! 

I promise, you'll never regret it! 

(You can pray with Pope Francis using the prayer he wrote for this Jubilee here.)

© 2016 Janet Moore. All photographs and all words are the sole property of Janet Moore. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Happy 99th Anniversary of the Great Miracle of the Sun


Happy 99th Anniversary of the great miracle of the sun, which took place in Fatima, Portugal! 

70,000 people, including atheists, saw the sun spin and dance in the sky -- sometimes even to plunging to earth. The earth, which had been thoroughly soaked by rain -- completely dried out simultaneously.  


Even secular newspapers covered the story! 



Our Lady of Fatima, you have given us heaven's plan to obtain peace. 
God's plan that He sent you to share with us then -- is just as needed now, as our world and our country is facing tremendous challenges and evils. 

The Miracles and the Power of the Rosary in Our Fight Against Evil

May we heed your requests and pray the rosary every day. Knowing that we should never fear praying the rosary, for the rosary is about Jesus. The rosary is meditating on Jesus' life - from His conception to His Glory - through your motherly eyes and your heart. It's like you are opening up a baby book to us and telling us about your Son - leading us to love and worship Him in an ever deeper way - the more we pray.  

I've never prayed the Rosary before. How Do I Pray It?


Dear Mother, you gave us our salvation when you said yes to bringing Jesus into the world -- today, you seek to bring us back to salvation -- seeking only to lead us back to your Son.  

Dear Mother, thank you for never ceasing to pray for us and our country!   

We are in great need of you!

Jesus, have mercy on us! We trust in You!

For more information about this phenomenal miracle and the plan of God to change the world, please see:

Entering into the Mystery: Our Lady of Fatima in Words and Pictures


© Janet Moore 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Heartbeat of God


Can you imagine the sound of blood pumping through a heart?
Can you hear it in your mind?

Try to imagine.

Perhaps you're a doctor and you listen to heartbeats daily through a stethescope - can you hear the whoosh of the blood going through the heart playing in your mind?

It's important to try, so to get an understanding of how God shared His Presence in me today.
I share it with you, because I know that it was not meant just for me alone.
God has made me realize everything that I have been given is a gift that I don't deserve and could never earn; and so I am to share it freely, so He may be able to touch others through me.

But first...
The Backstory: 

For many years,  I have had the incredible grace and privilege of receiving Jesus in Communion nearly everyday.  Many times upon receiving Communion, I've tried to place myself on the Heart of Christ -- trying to imagine I'm resting my head on Jesus' chest (like St. John, the Beloved Disciple).

I never experienced what this might have felt like for St. John in a sensible reality... until today.
Although in faith, I KNOW this happens and I KNOW that we are truly ONE with Jesus in Communion -- in a unity greater than we can ever conceive!

But, let me back up just a little bit more, to something I read that was life changing.  It was, in large part, because of this quote that I have tried to place myself on the heart of Christ.  A few years ago I read Jesus' Words to St. Faustina:
"When I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. Oh, how sad I am that souls do not recognize love. They treat me as a dead object" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1385). 
When I read these words, they cut me to the heart.  I knew that I had been one of the ones that had treated the LORD OF THE UNIVERSE as a dead object.  He DIED TO GIVE HIMSELF TO ME AS FOOD!  (Oftentimes we become so numb and preoccupied, this astonishing GRACE doesn't impact us like it should!)

So, each time I went to Mass and before receiving Him in Communion,  I would remind myself that Jesus is ALIVE and He is longing to pour out graces upon me!!!

And I would tell myself:

No matter my spiritual or emotional experiences, the fact remains -- Jesus has come to LIVE INSIDE ME in Communion!!!  There is no greater gift that Jesus could give me! On the night before He died, in anticipation of giving His Life for our salvation, He created an EVERLASTING COVENANT that we could participate in until the end of time.  Recognizing that we would no longer have His Physical Presence after He sacrificed Himself, (to bear the weight of our sins and our punishment!), in His Infinite Wisdom and Power, He made Himself Food in order to remain with us and for us to live in Him as He promised,  "Behold, I AM with you always, even unto the end of the age!" (Mt. 28:20).  The Last Supper was the first Mass.  And when He said,

"Take this, all of you, and eat of it,
for this is My BODY, which will be given up for you!"
"Take this, all of you, and drink from it,
for this is the chalice of my BLOOD,
the blood of the new and eternal covenant;
which will be poured out for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in memory of me"

-- HE MEANT IT!
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Word will never pass away!" (Lk 21: 33, Mt 24:35; Mk 13:31).

It is no longer bread or wine, it is TRULY His Body and Blood, as He said!
It was REAL then, and it is just as REAL NOW!
His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity are really is present in the Eucharist!  He is TRULY ALIVE AND WITH US!  God, forgive me... how often I act as if You aren't alive or real!

And so, knowing God is beyond all space and time, I began to ask forgiveness for all the times I went to Communion distractedly and not recognizing Him.  And I began to beg for all the graces that I had squandered -- all those times I didn't open myself up to receive them in the past.  I also began to ask for all the graces He couldn't give to others  -- due to souls' inattentiveness and their lack of love and desire.  I asked Jesus if I could come in place of those who weren't asking for the Graces He longed to give and begged that He give them to me.  Asking if I could be a channel of Grace for others,  in whatever way God wanted to use me,  realizing that "Freely you have received, freely you must give!" (Mt 10:8).

An Experience of God

This leads me to today, when I received an experience of God unlike anything else I've ever experienced.
Remember the heartbeat?
I'm attempting to describe the indescribable, so please ask Jesus, the Holy Spirit and our Mother Mary to come to your aid and imagine not really the sound of a heart beat, but the sound of blood flowing through the heart, because I don't just want to tell you about an experience I had.

I pray, as you read this, that it becomes an experience that you have...

After receiving Jesus in Communion, while in prayer...
I, again, tried to imagine myself resting on the Heart of Christ...

And I began to hear and experience in my heart
Whoosh...  (imagine something like the Wind blowing through the trees)
The Holy Spirit pouring into my soul
In prayer, I recognized it as the sound of Blood flowing
Whoosh...
It was Blood pumping through Jesus' Heart
Whoosh...
Upon each heartbeat, I heard and felt Blood pulsing through His Heart...
Whoosh....
The pulsation lasted a long time --- not like anything I'd ever heard before... it lasted several seconds...
The blood was pulsing through His Heart and into mine -- to the depths of my being
-- so much so that with each pulsation, I felt as if His Blood was PENETRATING MY SOUL
Whoosh...
Each beat was so STRONG...
Can you imagine?  For I don't have an adequate way of expressing it's strength...
Whoosh.....
Whoosh...
Whoosh....
Not only was it longer, but it was louder in my mind than I had ever heard the sound of a normal heartbeat ...
And I understood that its strength was so great because it was the Heartbeat of the LORD OF HEAVEN AND EARTH! It was the Heartbeat of the God of ALL Creation!

It continued to pour into me...
Whoosh...
and with each heartbeat,
I experienced LIFE
the LIFE FORCE of God, Who created the universe out of nothing!
Imagine!!! (Really, do try to imagine this!)
Whoosh...
I experienced FORGIVENESS flowing through my veins
Whoosh...
I experienced tremendous and incomprehensible HEALING
Whoosh...
POWER
Whoosh....
PEACE
whoosh...
And I understood the Heart of God BEATS FOR ME...
And His LOVE flowed through me and into my heart -- until we beat as ONE --
joining us irrevocably HEART to heart
 -- melting my soul with love
and fusing us together as the wax of two candles fuse together with the FIRE of His Love.

The depth of His love...
I had never experienced it quite in this way

And God's Glory entered into me and flowed through me
Whoosh....
over
Whoosh....
and over
Whoosh...
and over again
Whoosh....
"You are my Child, my Beloved, in Whom I am pleased... Listen to her." (Mk 1: 11)
(As each of us are called to listen to each other -- for in Baptism, we are all His Children).
The Blood and Water, which flowed from His side pulsed through me.
Whoosh...
Again and again, with every heartbeat, I felt the grace of His forgiveness washing me and making me clean!
Whoosh...

His Love touching and healing me in ways that are inexpressible.
Whoosh...

As His Life poured out and flowed into mine.
Whoosh...

Into sheer and incomprehensible unity...
Whoosh...

Regardless of how we think or feel,
or if we ever have a similar experience to this....
this is the REALITY of what happens to each of us each time we give ourselves to Jesus in Communion and truly open ourselves up to Him to receive Him in return.

So often, we don't really believe or open ourselves.
So often, we go through the motions without recognizing the Reality -- even in our will.
Yet, it is the Will that matters...
So often feelings and even thoughts come and go -- but do we WILL to believe?
Do we WILL to become ONE with Jesus at each Communion?
If we do, this is the REALITY that takes place regardless of our subjective experiences.

If we do WILL it, that's all that matters.

Jesus, becomes ONE with us and remains with us and makes His Home in us... just as He promised.

They say that Jesus remains physically present with us for 15 minutes. That's the time it takes for the Eucharist to dissolve and be assimilated into us.

I would say this incredible experience continued at least that long.
I longed for it to never end.
I knew this experience was meant to be shared.  It was not for me alone, but for all of God's people.  Each of us is loved in this incredible way!
This experience gave me (and I hope each of you) a glimpse into the REALITY that is beyond us.
How REAL God is and How close He is to us -- not only at Communion, but at ALL times!!!!

He wants to remain with us ALWAYS and so I continue to hear in my will (though the subjective experience has faded) as I write this and go about my daily duties...
The TRUTH that His Heartbeat is beating within me remains... and so I call to mind over and over again the experience

Whoosh...
Whoosh...
Whoosh...

As He tells me:
"I AM with you!"
What need is there for fear if I AM With You?!

Whoosh....

I hear the sound of His Heart beating, as it pumps STRENGTH into me, so I can do what needs to be done... "In Him Who is my Strength, I have strength for everything." (Phil 4:13). 
Whoosh....

I feel His Blood washing every sin away -- along with my shame.  I recognize I am made clean, I am FORGIVEN and FREE! "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; they they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (Is 1: 18). 

With my sins washed away, I feel each beat of His Heart pouring into me PEACE: "Peace that surpasses understanding." (Phil 4: 7). (What an indescribable gift for those whose mind normally is at war!)
Whoosh...

I experience such strength, such power, such might, such LOVE, one can't help but be filled with HOPE AND TRUST!
And so, I respond:  Jesus, I trust in You!  O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy for us, I place all my trust in You!"
Whoosh...

To experience such life coursing through your body, one can't help but feel renewed and made new!  "Anyone who lives in me and I in Him becomes a new creation - the old has passed away! Behold, I make all things new!"  (cf. Jn 6:56; Jn 15:5; 2 Cor 5: 17; Is 43:19; Is 65:17; Rev. 21:5).

Whoosh...
With each beat of His Heart, each pulsation pours LOVE BEYOND ALL TELLING into me!  How "greatly He desires to share this Passover with us!" (cf. Lk 22:15).  
How He longs to pour forth His Love upon each of us!  O, How He loves us!  

What more could He do to show us His Love?  
Will we return Love for Love?  
Will we go to Him in faith and confidence in His Word: "This is My Body given for you! This is My Blood!"  
Will we go to Him in repentance -- so we are open to receive all the graces He longs to give us?

I pray it be so. Amen! So be it!
Jesus, thank You for your love!

@Janet Moore 2016. All Rights Reserved. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

THY WILL BE DONE!!!



Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

The words of this beautiful song, echoing Your perfect prayer kept floating through my thoughts in adoration this morning (really for the past few weeks).

Instead of pushing them aside so I could pray... :)

I entered into them today.

I grabbed my rosary beads and allowed this most beautiful prayer to continue ... as the beads passed through my fingers... considering...

You, O God, Who in Your tremendous Mercy and because of Your most Holy Will stand before me and remain with us unto the end of time...

Your Will is infinitely better and more perfect than what I could ever ask for or imagine for myself and for those God has placed in my heart to pray for....

I saw Him in prayer look upon each of us with infinite love, compassion and tenderness..
And I understood in my will that He is alive, His Heart beating in front of me and He desires to pour out every grace and blessing upon me and upon the world...
But so many graces are never asked for as so many (including myself, too many times) have treated Him as a dead object instead of Our God, Who is Alive, Who is our Father, our Savior and our Advocate
and I began to intercede....

All those I love came to mind,  and I prayed...

Thy Will be done...
Thy Will be done....
Thy Will be done as an image of each of my children passed before my mind,
Thy Will be done for my husband,
Thy Will be done...
for my parents and siblings and all my family...
Thy Will be done for my in-laws ...
Thy Will be done for my god-children,
my friends,
my priests,
all whom I pray for and all who it is in God's Will that I go as a messenger ahead of Him...
Thy Will be done....
Thy Will be done...
Thy Will be done for all who have blessed me!

....and as I lifted each person up to God's most holy and perfect will -- I knew His Holy Will is to save them, to bless them, to protect them, to guide them into His Sacred Heart, which is the source of unfathomable grace!
It is His Will to strengthen them as they carry their crosses...
It is His Will to fill them with the Spirit... and with every good gift!!!

Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

All those who have died came to mind -- those whom I've known -- friends and family...
and those whom I don't know....
I saw the images from the news and Facebook posts of people come to mind
I prayed for those who died "untimely" deaths,
those who died as a result of tragedy,  of natural disasters, of horrific events of injustice.... of hatred and violence and terrorism...
And as each person passed through my mind I prayed,

God's will be done, which is the same as asking for mercy and healing and wholeness and the graces necessary to be in the arms of God for eternity.
God's will be done!
God's will be done!

All the perpetrators of hatred and violence came to my mind...
those so lost and deceived by sin...
for all the injustices that are so prevalent in our time --
Knowing that You came to save, Your will is for everyone's salvation and so Your will is to also give them all that is necessary for their repentance and healing and wholeness.
Yet, also knowing Your Will is also perfect Justice!
For in the Cross alone is perfect Justice won by Your sacrifice as well as perfect Mercy....
Sin can never be belittled or its consequences ignored...

Thy will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

Images of aborted babies and each of their precious lives who did not die in vain, for
God's Will be done!
God's Will be done!
God's Will be done!

For their mothers and fathers and families... many of whom were forced into this decision or who have been so greatly deceived...

Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

The sick, the suffering, the homeless, the starving, those alone Whom only You know...

Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

Our country and all countries of the world
For the future of humanity --whose only sure path is in God's Will...

Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

For myself and my family,
that God is able to use us according to His glory and honor and for the purpose He destined for us...

Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

For the plans that we have made,
the calls God has placed on our lives,
the difficulties and the discouragements...
and the Crosses...

Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

For the Pope and all priests and religious -- in thanksgiving for their lives and begging God's Will be done in their hearts, in their minds, in their actions -- so that will remain faithful and so give to us our DAILY BREAD in the Eucharist
         Forgiveness in Confession,
                 Adoption as Children of God, the grace to be Temples of the Holy Spirit and became new               creations in Baptism,
                           Strength and Courage to be soldiers of You in Confirmations
                                   Grace to be made One Body bringing sanctity, love and life in Marriage
                                             Eternal grace in sickness and in death in the Anointing of the Sick
EVERY GRACE & BLESSING IN THE MASS which we can only enter into through the Priesthood

Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

In this time of great Mercy, in this time of Extraordinary Grace before the time of Justice....

Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

For all who read this...
for all mothers and fathers and grandparents and children,
for those alone in this world and those most in need... for all who will die this day...

Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!
Thy Will be done!

To pray for God's Will is to Trust Him completely!
To abandon ourselves, our situations and the world to Him!
To be humble...
To beg for an ocean of Mercy to come all people, praying for all to be saved!

Thy Will be done in me and in all Your Children!
Amen!
So be it!

© 2016. Janet Moore. All Rights Reserved.






Sunday, September 25, 2016

Padre Pio and My Pilgrimage of Mercy

I was privileged to go to Rome this spring on pilgrimage.
I went with my fellow Padre Pio prayer group members to witness Padre Pio being named  “Apostle of Mercy” for this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

We came at the invitation of Pope Francis, who invited all Padre Pio Prayer Group members from around the world to come to a private audience for the ceremony.
(Who knew there were 400 million prayer group members?  And 60,000 would end up coming to the same private audience?)

We had many incredible experiences – some deeply personal and private – but the core of each experience I had on that pilgrimage, (really the core of each experience of God I’ve had in my entire life), can be summed up as an experience of Mercy.

How can we understand God's Mercy and how do we experience it, because His Divine Mercy is manifested on multiple levels and in innumerable ways?

Truly, the fact that even the universe, (or this planet that we live on), exists at all is due to the gracious kindness of a God who seeks to shower us with love. Not out of any need on His part, but as an expression of Who He is! This God of Love, cannot help but be loving, creating and continually pouring out Himself in endless wonders and beauty! And the culmination of all His creation is humankind - us! Imagine!


I know it’s hard to fathom when we are barraged with so many lies, both outside and within, that tell us 'that just ain’t so'!  Many travel literally around the world, spending thousands to see the wonders that God has created – and they are glorious!!!!!  Think of the Grand Canyon, the Tuscan countryside, or the isles of Greece – yet, they are nothing in comparison to a human being - for we are "created in His Image and Likeness" (cf. Gen 1:27)!!!! So often we fail to see the beauty looking back at us in the mirror – the beauty and the glory of our own creation. Scripture tells us all will pass away-- all save one creation of God – us!  For while our bodies will turn to dust, our souls have been created immortal! 

When God created us He breathed into us life, intelligence and a will – giving each of us the ability to freely choose Him and recognize Him as our creator or not. Because He is ever-giving, life-giving Love, it is His essence to pour forth Goodness, Beauty, Truth and Glory upon us -- we --who are the crown of His creation (cf. Gen 1: 29-31)  -- even to giving each of us a guardian angel to care for us and to bring us joy! Isn’t this Mercy?!

So often we miss God's goodness as we busy ourselves as we struggle and fight to accumulate more, to make more money, to achieve more… or we neglect God and relationships because it is takes too much work and interferes with our comfort and ease.  Yet, all that will remain is God and the human beings in our paths that we so often overlook and dismiss. So often we judge each other and ourselves as unattractive, unworthy, unacceptable or not worth our time... So many times we can’t see the glorious beauty of God’s creation that is right in front of us! For each of us is a completely unique, unrepeatable masterpiece who expresses God in a way no other soul ever has or will!  


Linger over this  -- ponder this -- and ask God to reveal to You this Truth.  It is something that we can never fully fathom this side of eternity.  It is something we must grow deeper in knowledge of every day as we endure everything around us (and Satan's voice within) that tells us otherwise.  But, to grasp onto this Truth even a little is life changing!  


In the face of this tremendous Truth, how it must pain Our Father, Our Savior and Our Advocate to see us belittle and judge each other and ourselves after He created us in His Image, became man so that we could become sharers of His divinity, and most marvelously, suffered an excruciating death to redeem us and then humbled Himself even further to become food for us!  So He can "remain with us always unto the end of time" (Mt 28:20) and so WE CAN BECOME ONE BODY with Him both NOW and FOREVER in Heaven!

The word Mercy literally means: misericordia - Misery Heart. A Heart of Misery. A Heart that is miserable in that it feels our pain, and bears our sins and its punishments out of love for us.  It is a heart that desires to be loved as it has loved. A Heart that is miserable when we reject Him. 

To describe this love to us, Jesus revealed that His Heart is burning and on fire to St. Margaret Mary Alocoque, saying:
Behold this Heart which has so loved men, that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself in order to testify to its love.  In return, I have received from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and their sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of Love.


Similarly as members of His Body, St. Paul said, "We make up what is lacking in the suffering of Christ" (Col 1: 24).  Not because anything was lacking in Christ's ultimate sacrifice, but because the suffering of Christ lacks our participation in it for the redemption of the world!  How incredible is that?! 

We are designed not only to be a reflection of God, but to also be co-redeemers with him!  

Yet, so often we feel the exact opposite.  Because I know the depth of my sinfulness, it is extremely easy for me to judge myself.  I get caught up in shame of what I’ve done and what I’ve failed to do. The times my words have hurt and killed another and the times I’ve been neglectful of those in my care!  How easily do I hear and accept the words of Satan condemning me – telling me I’m no good or that what I’ve done and the mistakes I’ve made are beyond repair (after tempting us to sin in the first place). How often do I fail to trust in God's love and forgiveness of me?


It's this terrible pit of darkness, self-condemnation and regret that Satan prepares for us and tempts us to stay locked into -- that's exactly the opposite of what God wants us to give us.  He understands our weakness and therefore, became sin to conquer it and to free us from its slavery and punishments.   If we can open ourselves even a little, God’s Mercy reaches in to save us. We don’t deserve it. We don’t earn it. Yet, still He cannot but help to freely give it, for that is Who He is!


He could not stand by as sin enslaved us and led us to live eternally separated from Him. In the face of the horror of sin and its mortal consequences, God does "rend the heavens and comes down" (Is 64: 1) to not only save us, but to become ONE with us in all things save sin! (cf Heb. 2: 17; GS 22.2). God’s Mercy is not only expressed in Jesus, it is Incarnate in Him. He is the full expression of God's Mercy manifested to us! He is Mercy enfleshed, so much so, that it even His Name, Jesus, which means, “God saves!” (CCC 430). Jesus is the Face of the Father’s Mercy as Pope Francis told us at the beginning of this Jubilee year! For God IS Love and Mercy itself!!! (Diary 1074). Evident in the fact that Jesus, in response to being crushed, broken and pierced by our sins, looks on us with tenderness and compassion! Even in the midst of our darkness – even while we are hammering nails into His hands and feet – even when we mock and deride Him, He cries out in prayer and love for us: "Father, forgive them. They know not what they do!"(Lk 23:34). 

Stay with this image for awhile and ponder this!  Allow yourself to hear Jesus speak these words to you. 



What wondrous love is this????
What incredible good news, for"God demonstrates His great love for us through this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5: 8).

This Jesus, this God of unfathomable Mercy, is Whom Padre Pio fell in love with and Whom He gave his life to. He let Jesus “have the run of him” and who could ever imagine all God would do in His life? From bearing Jesus’ wounds as visible marks in his body for 50 years, to bilocating, to healing, to being able to read souls… But, it was for none of those things that Pope Francis chose him as an Apostle of Mercy – rather, he spoke about his life of prayer and his dedication to pouring forth God's Mercy through the Sacrament of Confession –at times up to 19 hours a day!  Imagine! 

The Pope said of Padre Pio at the audience: “Through “the apostleship of listening” ...[in] the ministry of Confession he became the living caress of the Father, who heals the wounds of sin and revives the heart with peace." [emphasis mine].

Do we experience this in the confessional? Do we believe we are truly forgiven and made new? If we don't, is it because we are believing the lies of Satan, who seeks to identify us with our sin and our failures, instead of realizing we have been made children of the Almighty Father at our baptisms? (cf. Eph 1: 4-5).

Jesus told St. Faustina, 
Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down up on your soul… Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust.  If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. (Diary, 1602).


Do we trust Him? If not, let us ask ourselves why and consider what more He could have done to prove His love for us?!

"How painfully distrust of My goodness wounds Me! Sins of distrust wound Me most painfully" (Diary, 1076). 


The Pope continued: 
[Padre Pio] was able to do this because he was always connected to the source: he ceaselessly quenched his thirst with Jesus Crucified, and thus became a channel of mercy.  He bore in his heart many people and many sufferings, uniting it all to the love of Christ … living the great mystery of sorrow offered up in love. In this way his little drop became a great river of mercy, which brought water to many deserted hearts and created oases of life in many parts of the world.  
What could God do with "our little drop" if we refuse him nothing?  What could God do with us if we completely trust in Him, "Who is mighty to save"(Is 63:1) and "whose Mercy is endless and whose compassion inexhaustible"? If we enter into this Mercy that is offered to us in every confession (and allow ourselves to receive it) it changes us!  It transforms us – pouring light and healing and forgiveness onto the darkness, sickness, the ugliness and the death caused by our sin -- even unto making us a "new creation"... for"the old has passed away" (2 Cor 5:17) – we are to remember our sins no more!  We are forgiven and freed!!!!! 


What if we never tire of running to Jesus in prayer as Padre Pio did– looking beyond ourselves to Christ Who is looking upon us with compassion and tenderness?

What if we LIVED a life of prayer (even when we don't feel like it - even in our darkest hours -- even in the midst of great pain and doubt)?



The Holy Father continued his address to us with these words:
Padre Pio used to say prayer is a “force that moves the world”… it is not a nice practice for finding a little peace of heart; nor is it a means of devotion for obtaining useful things from God. Were is so, then it would be an act of subtle selfishness….No… it is something else… it is instead a spiritual work of mercy, which means bringing everything to the heart of God…it is a relationship.. it is an intercession needed just as bread is… it is as Padre Pio like to say “the greatest weapon we have, a key that opens the heart of God”… it is the Church’s greatest strength, one which we must never let go of, for the Church bears fruit only if she does as did Our Lady and the Apostles, who “with one accord devoted themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14)… Padre Pio, who called himself “a poor brother who prays”, wrote that prayer is “the highest apostolate that a soul can exercise in the Church of God” (Epistolario II, 70). 



It is only in prayer that we can see ourselves as we truly are – which is similar to saying we are able to see ourselves as the Father sees us. It is also only in prayer that we can begin to see others in the same way and respond to their needs as the Father calls us.


Lord, help me to pray!  Help us to pray and so see You look upon us with such love and forgiveness that it transforms us, because we who "have been forgiven much, love much!" (Jn 7:47).  This experience then leads us into a life You created us to have, for You tell us: “I have come so that you will have life and have it to the full!” (Jn 10:10).

If we, too, like Padre Pio, live in prayer - "ever connected to God" - how much more could we reflect the LOVE you have for us and so in turn love one another as You first loved us? By opening ourselves to the LIFE and GRACE of our All Powerful Trinitarian God, Who loves us more than we can fathom, what more could God be able to do with us?


What could we do for the world if we lived this union with God in prayer: 
"Who is able to do infinitely more than we could ask for or imagine"(Eph 3:20)?  How would our world be changed?

What if we, too, answered Jesus' call to us and became Apostles of Mercy? What if the fate of the world depending on it? 



Dear Jesus, through the intercession of Padre Pio, help us to experience your love so we can love ourselves and others in the same way you love us. Help us to give you free reign in our lives so that You"can live and move and have your being"in us (Acts 17:28).  

Help us to more fully enter into this Year of Mercy -- this time of Extraordinary Grace and Mercy -- and through the "force that moves the world" - through prayer -  may we help bring forth torrents of Divine Mercy (of healing and grace and conversion) upon the world! 

May we, through “the greatest weapon we have, a key that opens the heart of God” help You save the world!  


Let us begin! 
Let us begin again each time we falter. And then, begin again and again... 


"For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jer 29:11).

Janet Moore © 2016. All Rights Reserved.