Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Meditations on Mercy - Sunday, May 1st, 2016

Meditations on Mercy – Sunday, May 1, 2016



The Church and the Mercy of God
 
The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church,
decided to choose representatives and to send them to…
convey this same message by word of mouth:
"It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities…"
Acts 15:22-29
 
The holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God…
had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Rev 21:10-14, 22-23

What great mercy and love our Lord has shown in providing us with the guidance of His Church, led by the Holy Spirit. The first reading for Sunday, May 1st shows the apostles settling disputes which arose in the early church and determining which rules Christians must follow. The full glory of God’s plan for His Church is revealed in the second reading, with John’s vision of the heavenly City built on the rock foundation of the twelve apostles.

Then, in the Gospel, we hear Jesus’s beautiful promise to dwell with those who keep His word. Yet, knowing we would often fail to keep His word, Jesus gave His Church full authority to determine what is sinful, and also to forgive sins. But Jesus will not force us to accept this great gift of mercy. We must respond by turning to God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where Jesus longs to pour out His healing love for each of us.

Do not fear; come, and find grace, mercy, and the peace that passes all understanding.

“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him...
My peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”
Jn 14:23,27

 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Meditations on Mercy - April 24th, 2016

Meditations on Mercy

Fifth Sunday of Easter, April 24, 2016

 


I also saw the holy city… prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.   Rev 21:2
 “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” Jn 13:34

It’s hard to believe that God uses something as ordinary as marriage as a symbol of our eternal destiny, but that’s what we see throughout scripture. Today’s second reading depicts the Church “as a bride adorned for her husband,” while Jesus in the Gospel calls us to love one another as He has loved us. Jesus shows how to love, giving His life for His bride without counting the cost, purifying her to prepare her for their eternal divine union as one body. 

Jesus calls His followers to have that same radical, self-giving love for one another. This is not an easy commandment but with God, all things are possible. Yet when we do fail to love, God, who is “rich in mercy,” picks us up, dusts us off, and wipes away our tears in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, making all things new again. There in the confessional, the merciful Jesus waits for you: trust in Him, go to Him, and forgiveness is yours.
The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and rich in mercy. Ps 145:8
 
 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Meditations on Mercy


Sunday, April 17th, 2016 - The Year of Mercy
 
Meditations on Mercy

The Lord is good: His mercy endures forever. Ps. 100:5

For the Lamb... will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  Rev. 7:9

Jesus said: "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish... My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one."  Jn. 10:27-30

Jesus comes in silence and obscurity into human history and into every heart that welcomes him. In today's readings, Jesus, in the humble image of a shepherd, speaks to us with love, promising to protect us and keep us safe. With infinite tenderness, Jesus, who is one with God the Father, promises to wipe away every tear from our eyes and lead us to eternal life.

This merciful God knows your heart, counts every tear, sees all your hidden suffering, and longs to comfort you and lead you home.

Do you hear His voice? Don't hesitate to follow Him. Trust in the infinite mercy and love of God and you will never be lost or alone.



Friday, January 15, 2016

Love, Honor, and Obey

My article for the National Catholic Register about my journey through reconciliation, healing, and the annulment process to find God's blessing for my marriage is linked below.



 
 
 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hope and Healing After Abortion: God's Mercy Endures Forever



Pope Francis’s recent call for mercy and forgiveness for women who have had an abortion has many people wondering at this seeming change of Catholic Church policy. But as someone who has personally experienced the lasting grief and regret of abortion and also found healing and hope through the Church, I can assure you that Pope Francis is simply renewing the same message of mercy that the Church has always offered: a message of repentance, confession of sins, and restoration.

The new start that Catholics are blessed with each time we confess our sins is just the beginning of the Divine Mercy of Christ that flows from His Church. But sin has consequences, and the consequence of abortion is the loss of your child. When that truth becomes clear, the hidden grief and haunting regret of abortion can wreak havoc in a woman’s heart and soul. The day of that loss is often burned into the memory, while unrecognized trauma may lead to mental, emotional and physical problems. In my case, although I had been forgiven, the wound in my heart remained, so I was deeply moved when I read “The Gospel of Life” by Pope John Paul II and found a message that spoke directly to me:

“I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your … painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was… terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope … give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same merciful Father you can with sure hope entrust your child. …As a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life.” (§99)

To know that the Church and the Pope recognized the wounds of abortion and were reaching out to women who suffered silently meant so much to me. I hope that, in the same way, women who hear Pope Francis’s invitation will respond, and many who felt they could never confess the sin of abortion will overcome their fears and find grace, healing, and forgiveness.

A few years after reading the Pope’s message, I learned about Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats, a Catholic and Interdenominational Christian post-abortion healing ministry. I attended a retreat and experienced profound healing and peace. These weekend retreats, available worldwide, provide a small group setting with others who grieve an abortion: a time to share our sorrow, encounter God’s mercy through scriptural exercises, and receive spiritual and psychological counsel.

Knowing the importance of overcoming the traumatic effects of abortion and wanting others to find the same healing as I had, I later volunteered with Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats, then in 2010 developed The Healing Light Retreat, a day-long Catholic retreat based on the same principals. I encourage anyone who grieves an abortion to take time for a healing retreat. Don’t be afraid to turn to Jesus and let Him heal the wound in your heart.
For more information about healing the wounds of abortion, please visit:
 
 


Sunday, September 20, 2015

40 Days for Life Kick-off Rally

The next 40 Days for Life prayer campaign to end abortion begins Wednesday, Sept. 23rd  continuing each day from 7 AM until 7 PM until Sunday, Nov. 1st at noon.

The Kick-off Rally was wonderful, the speakers were inspiring! Much thanks to Karen and the 40 Days event team for organizing. Fr. Mac led the opening prayer, followed by campaign leader's Winnie Zeamer's introduction. Our worship music led by Kara & Kellen was awesome!
 
We heard from Cheri with an update about the Pregnancy Resource Center, Hope Medical - slated to open Oct. 1st - please pray for an MD to take on the job of Medical Director - and from Lenette of Imagepoint about the new mobile ultrasound coming to the Tri-Cities thanks to the Hope Outfitters campaign last spring.


Pastor Jim Mailloux of First Baptist in Richland gave the keynote address, witnessing to his own change of heart and call to become active in pro-life work.


Lydia Veder, the organizer of the Protest Planned Parenthood event in Kennewick last month, shared her personal story, giving witness to God's power in her life.
 
With some inspirational closing remarks, the rally came to an end. The wind did not cease, but after hearing Lenette speak about the whirlwind of prayer that closed the Cedar River abortion clinic in Yakima, we didn't mind!
 
Here the link to news coverage from KEPR TV's Hannah Vogel:
 
 
 

Friday, September 18, 2015

If You've Had An Abortion, There's Hope!

This exact message has been in my heart, as I have written and spoken about healing the wounds of abortion., but this video says it so perfectly. Please listen and share. You never know who may be needing to hear this today.

"A message from Feminists for Life to women who had abortions --and others who participated in abortions: We understand that you were told it was legal and thought that made it right. You were raised not to inconvenience family and friends with your pregnancy. Maybe... your school or workplace was unsupportive. Perhaps you were abandoned or poor. Maybe you had other mouths to feed. No matter the reason, no matter the situation, if you regret your abortion we want you to know that you are not alone. You are welcome here."
 

Listen to -- and share -- this message of hope and healing from a woman at Stanton Healthcare who understands too. Check out the listings at the end, and visit the links on my blog.