Monthly Archives: April 2017

Weekly Inspiration from St. Faustina

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St-Faustina-Kowalska

Faustina lived in the early 1900’s in Poland.  She entered the Convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Kracow, Poland.

The Lord Jesus appeared to her in the Convent and called her “Apostle & Secretary of Divine Mercy.”  He had chosen her to write his message of mercy for the world; so all would know of the mercy of God.  He also instructed her to have an image painted, in her own words:

“In the evening, when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening of the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently at the Lord; my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me, ‘paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You.'”

Among many messages of the Lord to Sr. Faustina, He asked that the Sunday after Easter Sunday be dedicated to His Divine Mercy.  Here are the words of our Lord concerning the Feast of Divine Mercy to St. Faustina:

“Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.” (Diary 300)

“This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies.” (Diary 420)

St. Faustina was obedient to the Lord; thus the image was painted, the Feast of Divine Mercy was instituted into the Liturgical Calendar of the Church (thanks to Pope John Paul II), and today her Diary is translated into many languages for people throughout the world.

God loves you and waits to bestow His mercy on you. An excellent way to start is by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for a new beginning.

Feast Day: October 15

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Weekly Inspiration from St. Mary Magdalene

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St-Mary-Magdalene

“I have seen the Lord!”  – John 20:18

Mary was from Magdala, a village along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was an industrious fishing village exporting dry, salted fish to Rome during the first century.  When she met Jesus, Mary had major problems in her life; the Gospels tell us that Jesus cast seven devils out from her (Mk 16:9, Lk 8:2).   She encountered Jesus, was healed by him, and discovered in him her Teacher, Friend, Lord and Savior. Not only did she become his disciple, but also one of the strongest benefactors of his work.

She followed Jesus, stood at the foot of the Cross during His crucifixion, and was among the women who approached the Tomb after His burial.  When she found the tomb empty, she wept, she hadn’t understand what had happened to His body.  It was then that the Lord appeared to her and called her name, “Mary!” She went to the disciples to inform them, “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18).

Mary Magdalene had a dark past.  She encountered Jesus and believed He was the Christ.  She was present when Jesus was tortured, at his crucifixion, and at his death (Mt 27:56; Mk 15:40; Lk 23:49; Jn 19:25, Mk 15:47).

Today, we recognize her as “Apostle to the Apostles,” a woman of faith, a Saint of the Resurrection.  We, too, can encounter Jesus by calling out to Him from our heart.  So many people through the years have done this and have experienced a peace, a consolation.

Jesus, I turn to you believing you are the Son of God and our Savior.  Look into my heart Lord, bless me and lead me to experience your peace.  Thank you, Jesus.

Feast Day in the Holy Land: Saturday after Easter Sunday

Universal Feast Day: July 22

Inspiration from St. Teresa of Calcutta

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Life

“Surrender is true love.  The more we surrender, the more we love God and souls.”

These words of St. Teresa of Calcutta are good for us to take to heart as we begin Holy Week.  These next few days leading to the Sacred Triduum can be a good opportunity to take a few moments of silence each day and meditate on this quote of Mother Teresa.  What does it mean to surrender?  In very simple terms, it is to turn ourselves towards God and choose to follow Him, as we ask Him for the graces needed to follow Him and to desire His will in our lives.

A simple way to begin: Take 3-5 minutes daily to be in silence with the Lord.  Let Him speak to you.  You may begin your silence with these words: “Lord, I love you and adore you.  Fill my heart with your love.”

Feast Day: September 5

Inspiration from St. Bridget of Sweden

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Life

As we approach Holy Week during this Season of Lent, we are reminded of the Passion of Christ: what Christ went through from the time of His last Passover Meal (the Last Supper), the time in the Garden of Gethsemane, His trial, leading to the Crucifixion.

St. Bridget, born in Sweden, had visions of Christ crucified since the age of 7.  These led her to a deep love for Jesus, resulting in a life of prayer and service.  After her husband’s death, she lived a strict life of a penance, giving her land and buildings to found monasteries for men and women.  This group became known as the Order of the Bridgetines, which are still in existence today.

She made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where she visited the holy sites related to the Lord’s Passion in Jerusalem.

St. Bridget’s visions of the Lord’s Passion have been compiled; one of the prayers given to her by the Lord is that of the “Fifteen Prayers.”

The Church celebrates her feast day on July 23.

Action: As you approach Holy Week, read the New Testament scriptures related to the Lord’s Passion.  Imagine yourself there in the Garden of Gethsemane, in Jerusalem, throughout His Passion, and think about what you are feeling and thinking.  This meditation may lead you to a deeper experience of Holy Thursday and Good Friday.