Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Miracle of Divine Mercy

I wanted to share this beautiful excerpt from the book The Secrets of Mary by Janice Connell.  This is a recorded story pertaining a miracle of Divine Mercy.  I read this months ago and remembered it this last week.

" In a southern state in the United States, a hardened criminal awaited execution on death row.  His behaviour was obviously evil.  A young lawyer was assigned to the case who did not believe in capital punishment.  He tried his best, at great personal sacrifice, through every available legal means, to have the criminal's death sentence commuted.  As each appeal was exhausted, the inmate's chance for life diminished.  At the height of his frustration, the lawyer received a telephone call from a nun he did not know.  She asked to have a meeting with the condemned criminal.  The lawyer quickly assured her that the warden on death row would never allow such a meeting.  But the nun persisted and begged him to ask the warden for the meeting.  The lawyer begrudgingly agreed.  To his shock, the warden readily acquiesced.

  Before the date of the execution, the nun met with the heavily guarded criminal.  She gave him an image of Jesus Christ, the Divine Mercy and asked him simply to look at the image as often as possible.  The meeting lasted less than two minutes.  Several weeks before his execution, the criminal, born and raised in the dregs of Appalachia, requested baptism.  On the day of his execution, he stood between the prison minister and his attorney.  Holding the image of Divine Mercy to his heart, he praised the mercy of Jesus Christ and begged forgiveness of all whom he had harmed.  His attorney was stunned, as were those who had known the hardened man during his incarceration.

  When the executed criminal's lawyer attempted to find the nun who had insisted upon seeing his late client, he was told the young woman was confined to a nearby nursing home.  Surprised, he decided to return the well-worn image of the Divine Mercy to her.  He found her terribly crippled and in the final stages of multiple sclerosis.  The illness had come upon her quite suddenly after her visit to death row.  The lawyer patiently explained to her the spiritual events surrounding the final hours of the condemned man's life.  'Souls are expensive,' responded the suffering nun.  She was thirty three years old."

Monday, July 23, 2012

With Love

The last few weeks I haven't been able to sign in to the blog account.  That's why I haven't been able to post anything.  Kind of wondering if it's still something I should be doing at this point.  Life continues to proceed on.  I'm continuing to carry my cross, as it continues to be extremely heavy.  This last week I think I've cried every day.  That hasn't happened for awhile.  The feeling of abandonment has been consuming.  I had four days this week that I was shown something with great power and weight.  The grief emotions are terrible, guilt is usually the one that is absolutely hardest for me...until this last week.  It was the first time I felt completely and utterly abandoned and hopeless.  I felt confused and angry.  Now, yes, I have gotten angry with God and told Him, so but this was different.  How so?  The darkness I experienced was like no other.  I felt like Jesus on the Cross, with blood saturating every inch of His body, every muscle throbbing, and life slowly beginning to leave His mortal vessel. Like, Jesus, in that condition I cry out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!!"  For four days, this abandonment took a blow to my head, knocked me to the floor and as a result, I felt so confused about God and His existence.  It was the most horrible experience.  I realized how everything I do, everything I am is because of my desire for Him.  Therefore, without Him, what is there for me?  Without hope for Heaven, what am I doing on this earth?

As this started to pass, I have come to realize what that time was to show me.  There are many many souls walking this earth in this darkness.  The experience I had for those days was heavier than the sorrow I feel for Stella.  Which seemed impossible.  I will endure this life without her, in all the agony of grief, for the hope I have in Jesus, in Home, in Heaven.  Many people do not accept this or even search for it.  No wonder people do what they do and are who they are.  I got a glimpse of that.  No wonder when I pass through the grocery isle I see the child speak so disrespectful to the mother, and the mother speak even worse to the child.  No wonder, I hear conversations that do not glorify things that are lovely, beautiful, and pure.  Conversations that may even appear harmless but have no depth, leaving me wonder how that soul detached itself so far from Meaning, from Truth, from its very Lifeline. And the way a soul walks down the bread isle, with brisk stomps and huffs and puffs.  His eyes full of anger and bitterness. The way he then snaps at the check-out clerk over a silly mistake. Why pornography shops and strip clubs continue to thrive.  Why abortion is no big deal and families are broken apart.  I get it.  Because after those four days, feeling like He wasn't there and never was.  I could easily become one of those dying souls.  For without Him, there is NOTHING.  At least nothing really worth living for.  My heart bleeds for the world, and I see a little clearer why sacrifice and suffering is so needed to aid my brothers and sisters as we all continue to travel in this land of exile.  It is the cross that one carries united to Christ's that opens the doors of Grace for a lost child to accept the Grace needed to accept God.  And isn't there that military saying, "A good soldier never leaves a man behind."  If we have been trained in any way by God's Grace, we must, I must, strive to never leave a man behind.  That is what this is all about, isn't it.

However, tests continue to come my way.  I am an exhausted soul soldiering on in this war for souls.  I feel like Peter the Apostle, when Jesus speaks to him after He resurrected and Peter had denied Him three times. Jesus asks, Peter three times if Peter loves Him.  Peter keeps answering yes, and finally after being asked for the third time Peter sounds exasperated and answers "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you."  The words simply aren't enough.  Jesus then, replies " Amen, Amen I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted, but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."  He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.  and when he had said this, he said to him, 'Follow me.'" John 21:18-19. 

That's how I feel. For the greater glory I have been lead where I didn't want to go.  But who am I?  I was created for this cross, just as each of you are created for yours.  But the glory will come.  The Cross is the only way to get there.  I am just so very weary.  God bless you, the few that are even reading this any more.

I do want to share a precious Gia story.  How to describe Gia?  Gia thinks she's an adult.  She is very joyful, but is learning the hard way she is actually not in charge.  All of my children are strong willed in some way, but Gia I think is the most.  She's hilarious and endearing in this way as well.  Gia has been developing Stella's CURLS too!  I need to post a picture.  She is very independent and likes to do things on her own.  SHe thinks Johnny is her baby brother and she should take care of him.  So...we try to go to daily Mass.  She is very busy the whole Mass, but she loves walking down the isle to receive her blessing from the priest or Eucharistic minister at Communion time.  Crazy, "grown-up" Gia walks down the isle ever so slowly with her hands folded in prayer form.  She not only like to get her blessing from the person who awaits us in our line, she cuts off other people to get blessings from every Eucharistic minister and the priest.  So here she is not abiding by the rules that she doesn't think apply to her, but she does it with such reverence that everyone at Mass is so blessed by it.  She also loves going around and giving the sign of peace to everyone.  All I think about is Stella telling her when she was a newborn, "Gia, one day you're going to be a GREAT SAINT."  I hope I can rear her and her characteristics that have the up and downside in a way that will be pleasing to God and her.  Great saints must have spunk in them because this Road is not for wimps.  So I love watching the "Great Saint" in the making scream commands one minute and then walk down the isle at Church so reverently the next, however, cutting other people off.  It makes me laugh and brings joy to my heart.