When I woke up this morning, I felt empty. Even when I am running in twenty different directions to get ready for Easter - if I don’t have the Lord - I feel empty. Jesus died for us, and was laid to rest in the tomb. But as we prepare for either tonight or tomorrow - let us remember that He. is. triumphant.
Stop and reflect on the journey, walk with Mary through the Day; she stood by and watched her Son be beaten, bruised and crucified. Today, find those chains that are holding you back, let Jesus take them with Him to the cross. Today, completely and totally surrender yourself to the Jesus on the Cross.
Here we are on this journey together. We have packed our bags and have been running full force over the past 38 days. We packed our bags full of the items we would need to get through the desert of Lent with the Lord. And here we are standing at the edge of the Triduum.
When something is ransomed it means that they were held prisoner or freed as a prisoner in return for payment. We are human. Reality check if you needed it. But we make mistakes, we fall; because of Adam and Eve there was a fall and we make mistakes and sin. Today, I specifically want to dive into these two verses because so much lays in them.
40 days. Forty days that you have been walking through this desert. Forty days that you have been sacrificing. Forty days of change and challenge. Forty days. Forty days that you thought you might be walking alone. Forty days that you felt like you were dying of thirst. Forty days to feel rejuvenated. Forty days to surrender in the Lord. Forty days to walk side by side with the Lord.
Have any of you seen, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? There is a scene where Aslan goes and sacrifices his life on the Altar for the people of Narnia. Every single time I get to this part of the movie, I tear up some. Holy. Smokes. The imagery of the big beautiful Lion being shaved & striped of its protection then being bound and sacrificed is beyond words. Then the alter breaks. I get chills just thinking of it.
Sisters, this is your weekly "Art for the Heart".
Each Sunday we will share a lock screen for your smart phone or tablet (or both) featuring a thought for the week. Save it as your phone lock screen & see this every time you access your phone! We access our smart devices constantly - so that means this is a great way to constantly see God's inspiration & love.
We encourage you to share it with your family & friends on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest too!
Don't forget to use #HOMWF when sharing Heart of Mary with others :)
I think so many times in Lent we get caught up in what to give up, what to do, when to fast, 40 days, do we still sacrifice on Sunday … on and on and on. Yet, when we behold the Lamb through this Lenten season that is when we are called to retake a look at ourselves. As we are coming towards the end of this Lenten season are we consumed in our Lenten sacrifice or are we consumed in the Sacrificial Lamb and the reason we are doing them.
The Sacrificial Lamb, the Lamb of God, the Passover Lamb, and the Triumphant Lamb - these are all names of our Lord and representations of how he loves us as well.
This week we have been going over the virtues mercy and forgiveness that we find in scripture and tradition. The next step of this journey is to go over the virtue of Hope!
In the Compendium we read that, “Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire and await from God eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit to merit it and to persevere to the end of our earthly life” (387).
I recently watched a movie review by Father Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire, (check it out on the web!) on the newly released movie, Calvary. It peaked my curiosity enough to propel me to the RedBox down the street last night. Without giving away too much of the plot, in case you want to watch it for yourself, it is about a Parish Priest named Father James who lives in a small town in Ireland. As the movie begins the following line is presented in small white letters, “Do not despair, one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume, one of the thieves was damned.” The next clip shows Father in the confessional as he is told that he will be killed in exactly one week for the sins of another priest. The man who threatens his life has not forgiven his abuser and will take out his vengeance on Father James.
A good friend of mine recommended the book that holds the quote above. Her and I both have a love for reading quality stories. I resolved that after my college career ended (for now at least) I would read as much as possible for pleasure. Books on Love, Philosophy, Theology, and Poetry are my favorite. Once I picked up this book titled, A Severe Mercy, I couldn't put it down.
In the above scripture passage we are reading what the Catholic Church calls 'The Corporal Works of Mercy.' Corporal meaning corpus in Latin, cuerpo en Espanol ;) or body in English. These are the works that we are called to do each day of our lives. They call us out of ourselves and into a suffering, needy world. As I reflect on these words of our Lord, I am convicted that I have not kept these commands at all times. I am also reminded that I too was once a recipient of these merciful acts.
I recently watched the movie The Equalizer in spite of my friend's comment on it being bloody, gruesome, and violent. I am the girl who will pick a great action drama movie over a romantic comedy ANY DAY. I tend to not like blood and guts (even though I was an EMT...ironic) but I figured it couldn't be too bad. I was also thinking that I need to be up-to-date on what my students are watching since they always ask me if I know about pop culture singers, actors, movies, etc. (I usually don't have a clue about these types of things. I just tell them I'm a 26 year old vieja (old lady) and then they shake their cute little heads in agreement). I don't support them watching these types of movies, but it happens and I have to be prepared to know whats going on in their minds. So, I rented it.
Before we begin to dive into this meditation today I ask that you go somewhere where no one will interrupt you, close your eyes to any distractions, open your hands in receptivity and surrender while asking (out loud) for the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you and guide you in this time of prayer and reflection. I know it can be very difficult to just STOP and BE STILL. However, it is in silence and solitude “that God enables your heart to hear the secret words that only He can speak. His heart will speak to yours in a language that only” you can understand (Imitation of Mary p.37).
When I was told that our theme for this Lenten season was based off of the scripture verse Hosea 2:16, I knew that being active in this women's ministry was part of God's plan for me. Let me explain. I recently graduated from Franciscan University this past fall and had some promising career prospects already set up. Option One: Stay in wonderful Steubenville, Ohio where there was my comfy affordable home, great fellowship, friends, and an adrenaline/adventure rich EMT career already set into motion. This seemed...
Hello my beautiful sisters! I am sincerely honored to be journeying with ya'll these next 8 days as we are reminded of the severe merciful love of Christ that drew him to Calvary for our sake. As we come into this Holy Week we will be focusing on the nature of Mercy. We will explore what it truly means to be merciful, how the Lord shows us His Divine mercy in scripture/tradition, the inner workings of mercy in our personal/work relationships, and how to be genuinely merciful to ourselves and others.
We come full circle from the first post on gratitude to talk once more about perfection. And for good reason.
As we cultivate gratitude in our hearts, it becomes easier to see the beauty of imperfection. In a way, that's the whole point. Gratitude is hard specifically because we encounter uncertainty and imperfection every day, and we don't like it. It's hard to be thankful for it.
Cultivating a garden is an interesting thing. We can plant seeds all we want, find the perfect soil, and faithfully water them every day, but we can never guarantee the flower will grow. And if it does, we cannot control when it decides to bloom. And when it does bloom, we can never guarantee its survival.
These two verses are by far my favorite in all of Scripture. So we do not lose heart. St. Paul's encouragement is beautiful and moving. He identifies with the suffering that comes from feeling everything is wasting away and nothing is worthwhile. His words cut through the despair to bring hope, reminding us of the eternal glory waiting for us at the end of our lives!