Friday, July 27, 2018

Faith. Trust. Prayer.

It has been awhile since I last posted anything new. My life has changed. My priorities and what I thought I wanted in this life have found new meaning.  I have written several books, but none of the stories I've told contain as much truth and honesty as my life has been saturated in through prayer these past several months.

I finally have a story that is worth telling, for now I realize what is true and I have to share it.  My life and everything I am is a gift from God. The witness of my journey into a life of prayer and faith is what I am being called to write.
St. Joseph Catholic Church | Waconia, MN
Photo by Sarah Richards
Everyone has a story to tell. I never thought mine was extraordinary, but how God has blessed my life in unexpected ways is worth sharing.

Like many, my story is one of hardships, struggle and fear; but faith and trust are the antidotes to fear. Suffering and joy are not inseparable. Jesus suffered more than I ever will. He promises to not only empathize but give us the strength to endure.

I know the Jesus has been at my side in my darkest hour.  When I was broken and alone, I cried out to God, “Lord, why am I here?”

The Lord answered me, “You’re here because I invited you. Oh, how I’ve waited for you to come. Open you heart and trust me. I won’t let you down. I know you have been hurt by many people and situations, but I have always been with you. You need to learn to let go. Let go and forgive. ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46:11)”

“Lord, tell me what to do.” I pleaded. “I don’t want to hurt anymore.”

“Will that make you happy?” Jesus gently asked. “Why did my Father give you free-will unless you use it? What do you want? Yes, you have suffered much at the hands of others. I have too. But why do you hurt. You can list all the people who have hurt you, but why do you hang on?"

“I don’t know.” I sobbed. “Just tell me.”

 “That’s not how this works,” said Jesus. “You need to work this out. I am here, waiting for you to come to me.”
“...he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, he is calling you.”He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.” (Mark 11:47b, 49-52)
I see know I was that blind man. I was Bartimaeus. So focused on the negative side of suffering in my life, I had missed seeing it for the joy it is It is a chance to united our suffering with his through his Sacred Heart.

Now when the Jesus asks me “What do you want me to do for you?” I ask in return “What do you want me to do for you Lord?”

For I have found the one thing I want. “There is one thing I ask of the Lord, Only this I seek, to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of my Lord, to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4

To which the Lord said to me, “Come. You shall search me out in this life but soon you will find me in paradise. But I need you in this world right now. I need you to pray - this world needs you to pray. Paul was right “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Pray to my mother, ask for intercession for the world, for the Holy ones being held and killed, persecuted because of me. So much suffering. Pray.”

So I pray. I pray for Divine Mercy. The mercy and love of our Lord through his Sacred Heart is for all of us. All we need to do is come to Him and ask.

In the Divine Mercy prayer, Jesus is asking me to place my trust in him and to renew my consecration daily. Not as a way to control me. I do this willingly for I am not afraid of losing my freedom or control over my life.
 “The Lord is compassionate and merciful; forgives sins and saves in times of trouble.”(Sirach 2:11)
There is no reason to fear or worry if you completely surrender your trust to the Lord. Bad things will continue to happen in my life, the Lord has told me as much, but that is okay. I need not know what or when trouble and suffering will come because Jesus will not forsake me in my hour of need. He feels my pain and suffering in his heart too and the love he pours out is unceasing mercy for all who trust in him, in his unfailing love.

I have learned to be a disciple is to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn how to become a saint. Until the past several months the idea that I could become a saint left me scoffing in disbelief. Now I know it is what I was called to do, what we are all called to. We must sit and learn to carry out Jesus’s mission. We must share what we learn with others because the thirst of the Lord for all will become our own as we decrease and He increase in our lives until our will matches that of our heavenly Father.
“John answered, no one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven...; Therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:27-29b, 30
The message and mission of Jesus revolves around mercy and love. Jesus is the living embodiment of divine mercy. Our petition for mercy is not convincing God to give us mercy but about opening ourselves up to the mercy God wants to give us. Our God is love, and love extends itself in mercy. God’s mercy is bigger than our sins and our pain. God’s mercy is bigger than the distance we put between ourselves and God.

We are all called to carry out His mission as disciples. How will you answer the call to serve the Lord?

Will you come and learn at the feet of Jesus?
Will you follow him?
Will you come eat this bread and drink this cup?
Will you Trust in the Lord?
Jesus  said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
I have been called now to write about my journey of faith through prayer and I invite you to journey with me, for we are not meant to journey alone. We are all members of the Body of Christ. We must encourage one another and share the faith.
May the love of God wash over you today, that you may come to believe. Amen.

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