Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

Holy Week Part I… Holy Thursday

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on March 29, 2017

1Cor 1: 27b-30

1Cor 1: 27b-30

CHRISTIAN PRAYER: Tuesday, Holy Week, Evening Prayer: READING 1Cor 1: 27b-30 (emphasis added with commentary)

God singled out the weak of this world to shame the strong…

Jesus’ birth did not alert the wisest of men in Jerusalem or even the rulers of Israel; instead the message was made known to foreigners and shepherds – Mt 2:1-3 & Lk 2: 8-15

He chose the world’s lowborn and despised, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who were something…

“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him…” Mt. 1:3
“Behold, this Child is set for the rise and fall of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted…” Lk 2: 34b

So that mankind can do no boasting before God. 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God…lest any man should boast.” Eph 2:8, 9b

God it is who has given you life in Christ Jesus.  He has made Him our wisdom and also our justice, our sanctification, and our redemption.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away behold the new has come…Christ reconciled us to Himself…For our sake [God] made Him to be sin who knew no sin, that that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2Cor 5:17, 18b, 21

The Word of the Lord … Thanks be to God!

Holy Thursday, March 29th, 2018…

It is Holy Thursday…

And the INCREDIBLE is about to occur…

On its heels will come the UNTHINKABLE…

With a day in between before the UNBELIEVABLE…!

Out of all the Gospel accounts of the Passion of Christ and the immediate events leading up to it, I think I like St. John’s the best.  His detail is not only filled with much Spiritual Insight, but his is also a First Person account as he was the ONLY APOSTLE to be at the foot of the Cross and constantly at the side of the Mother of God, Mary, during the entire ordeal of Christ’s Passion.

Having said that, it is important to note, in order to have the fullness of the Passion account, however, the reader does need to also refer to the both the Gospels according to St. Matthew and St Luke.

(Special Note: St. Mark’s gospel account mirrors St. Matthew’s gospel which is why I do not refer to it above…)

THE INCREDIBLE…

What IS Holy Thursday? 

Feast of Unleavened Bread

Holy Thursday is known for many things.  It is the day in which the Feast of…

… Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?”

He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, and tell the householder, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready.”

And they went, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover. ~Lk 22: 7-13

Here I want to point out a “little known detail” that I learned in my scriptural classes, the “man carrying a jug of water” is an Essene, the Jewish equivalence of a Religious Brother.  They used a different calendar from the religious Jews which explains why Jesus celebrated His Passover on Thursday and not on Saturday (our calendar denotations) as the rest of Jerusalem did.  But as we will soon find out, this small change only adds to the depth of the Passion itself…

Then they shall take some of the blood…

So it is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the remembrance of Israel’s deliverance out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt.  When the Hebrews were commanded to “gird their loins”, eat bread without leaven as to demonstrate “haste”, no time to sit down and enjoy a meal.  They must be ready to leave at “a moment’s notice”.  And one thing more… they must,

…take every man a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household; and if the household is too small for a lamb, then a man and his neighbor next to his house shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old; you shall take it from the sheep or from the goats [not everyone had sheep]; ~Ex 12: 3c-5

A Lamb without blemish…

The Lamb must be WITHOUT BLEMISH…

For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. ~2 Cor 5:21

Jesus knew His “hour had come”, when He was to…

…depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. ~Jn 13:1


AND IT IS ALSO THE DAY when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples…

Rose from supper, laid aside His garments… poured water into a basin…

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside His garments, and girded Himself with a towel. Then He poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. ~Jn 13: 3-5

A puzzling thing, for us in this modern world of socks and shoes, to see the Savior of the world WASH the feet of those He called Apostles.  But for the ancient, this action has GREAT SIGNIFICANCE. 

Anytime one entered into a house or a banquet there were always pitchers and basins of water available to wash the feet of those who had come in from the outside.  Usually done by the person with their own dirty feet.  But CHRIST washed the feet of HIS DISCIPLES, showing them utmost respect.

One of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him, (Please note, Jesus did not invite him, HE INVITED Jesus.  Jesus ate with sinners but only at their invitation, C. Dolan…) and He went into the Pharisee’s house, and took His place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that He was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

Then turning toward the woman He said to [the Pharisee], “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave Me no water for my feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with ointment. ~Lk 7:36-38, 44-46

Utmost RESPECT…

Son, they have no more wine… Do whatever He tells you.

Beyond the necessary and practical, this was not the first time we encountered this.  The first occurred at another feast, a WEDDING FEAST, when Jesus revealed who He was to His disciples at His mother’s request.  Do you remember when? See Jn 2: 1-11. 

Something to note, the Jars that Jesus had filled which tells us the water in them had already been emptied.  For what?  For the washing of feet, as is customary when entering a house or a feast.  And in these jars Jesus made  NEW WINE out of water.  Thus giving us a FORETASTE of the NEW WINE He will soon institute during this Passover celebration with His Apostles.


We come today to that solemn moment when something of Eternity, something of the sacred sanctuary where God dwells in His total otherness, breaks through out world, and we come face to face with the Living God.  We celebrate today the institution of the Eucharist [the 5th Luminous Mystery] that astonishing gift that Jesus left each one of us, His Presence among us [cf Mt 28:20b], as a living memorial of His Passion and Death, and as the living evidence of His care and concern for us, who often get so lost in the business of living we can forget how precious we are to our Creator.   ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Holy Thursday, emphasis added.


This is My Body which is given for you.

Tuesday and Wednesday’s readings (Jn 13: 33, 36-38 and Mt 26: 14-25), prepare us for Christ’s Passion and death.  Today’s reading focus on the washing of the Apostle’s feet, which is why we must now look to the accounts in Luke and Matthew to discover this great gift that Jesus fulfills the promise ahead of time, that He will never leave us (Mt 28:20b).  Taken from the Gospels according to St. Luke and St. Matthew, we read…

And He took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My Body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood…” ~Lk 22: 19-20, (emphasis added)

“Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins ~Mt 26: 27c-28, (emphasis added)

Did you know that this mirrors much of what was written in Exodus when the directions of how to eat the Passover are explained?

They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. ~Ex 12:8, (emphasis added)

The flesh of…?

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male…Ex 12:3c (emphasis added)

But that ‘s not all!  What about the blood from this unblemished male lamb?

Then they shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them… ~Ex 3:7

The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. ~Ex 3:13 (emphasis added)

Question:  What is often referred to as the “doorway to the soul”? 

Answer: The Human Heart

But He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by His stripes we were healed. ~Is 53:5 (NAB)

… Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart.  I use punishment when they themselves force me to do so;  My hand is reluctant to take hold of the Sword of Justice (cf. Rev 19:11-16).  Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy.~Diary§1588  (emphasis added), Divine Mercy, St. Faustina…

Question: What kind of plague can destroy a person?

Answer: DEATH

Shall I deliver them from the power of the nether world? Shall I redeem them from death? Where are your plagues, O death! where is your sting O nether world!  Compassion is hid from my eyes. ~Hosea 13:14

“O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~1 Cor 15: 15c-17

So by the pouring out of the Lamb’s blood, the “sting of death”, which is right judgment for all who oppose God…

…the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…~Romans 3: 22-23 (emphasis added)

God’s rightful judgment will pass over us IF we rely on the Son and His GREAT MERCY which flows from His pierced side…

This IS MY BODY…

So when you attend Mass tonight, and participate in the Lord’s Supper and the washing of the feet, REMEMBER, this TREMENDOUS GIFT came from Him who is LOVE.  Do not receive this gift haphazardly as if it were nothing but mere bread and wine, for what Jesus said, HE MEANT…!

This IS  My Body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me…This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood…” ~Luke 22: 19, 20, (emphasis added)

“Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” ~Mt 26: 27c-28, (emphasis added)

Because St. Paul warns us MOST STERNLY…

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the BODY and BLOOD of the Lord. Let a man examine himself [CONFESSION], and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. ~1 Cor 11: 23-29 (emphasis added)

Have you been to Confession yet?

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…” 2Cor 5:18

In the Eucharist, we come closer to God than is conceivable and He draws close to us in a moment of breathtaking wonder, if we only open our eyes and our minds to the marvel.  [As St. Thomas Aquinas said], “The Eucharist…is the living evidence, the shining token of God’s overpowering LOVE for us.  The very substance of our hopes has its foundation in this tender familiarity of Christ towards us.  The Eucharist IS PROOF…of God’s passionate love for us and all of our HOPE is grounded in this closeness that we have to God in this amazing MYSTERY.” ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Holy Thursday, (emphasis added)

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine…

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Simply Breathtaking!

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on March 19, 2017

Breathtaking!

Monday, March 19, 2018

This is it! The FINAL week before the week that literally changed the world!

EVENING PRAYER:

[Brothers and Sisters], realize that you were delivered from the futile way of life your fathers handed on to you, not by any diminishable sum of silver or gold, but by Christ’s blood beyond all price: the blood of a spotless, unblemished lamb [cf Exod 12:5a] chosen before the world’s foundation and revealed for your sake in these last days.  It is through Him that you are believers in God, the God who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory.  Your faith and hope, then, are CENTERED IN GOD. ~1 Peter 1: 18-21, Evening Prayer, 5th Sunday of Lent.

Our FAITH is CENTERED IN GOD, that is our FAITH revolves around the ONE Who created us; the ONE who bought us at the price of the “spotless [and] unblemished lamb” (cf, Exodus 12:5) He that IS the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29), He has GREAT MERCY on us!

Can you hear the trumpet blast?

But for how long?  How long will lawlessness run rampant?  How long will the great Hand of God be held back before justice begins?  We do not know.  But the current world situation seems to indicate that the door of mercy might soon be closed, at least for a time…

Jesus’ words to St. Faustina,

“Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My Mercy… before I come as a Just Judge, I first open wide the door of My Mercy.  He who refuses to pass through the door of My Mercy must pass through the door of My Justice.” ~Diary of St. Faustina, §1146.

Thus it is IMPERATIVE that we come to Jesus in ALL HUMILITY, seeking His Great Mercy, crying out to Him for His GREAT LOVE.  For Jesus also said to St. Faustina,

Souls that make and appeal to My Mercy delight Me.  To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy…” ~ Ibid.

DO NOT DELAY, brothers and sisters! For we do not know how much longer we have for this time of mercy.  In a “blink of an eye”, your life could be demanded of you!

You fool! Tonight your life is required of you!

Jesus tells us this parable,

“The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’  And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones’ and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul you have ample good laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry!’

But God said to him, ‘Fool!  This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? ~Lk 12: 16-20

So many have been caught “unaware” in recent natural disasters.  Good and evil alike.  No one was spared.  You MUST have your heart revolving around GOD, that, if your soul should “be required of you”, you will not be unprepared to meet your Heavenly Father (see Hebrews 9:27).

But here is the GOOD NEWS!  RIGHT NOW we have a GREAT TIME OF GRACE.  It’s Lent!  Forty (40) Days of fasting and prayer, of wrestling with temptation and the great tempter, himself!  Yet, NOT WITHOUT HELP, not without a Heavenly example to guide AND guard us on our way.

We have been given so much, a GREAT EXAMPLE of Obedience, Humility, Wisdom, and LOVE

There is nothing we have to “invent”, all has been done before, all is before us on HOW TO GET IT DONE.  So, why do we resist?

“I am the light of the world, anyone who follows me will not walk in darkness.” [ Jn 8:12] What a magnificent promise.  We walk in the light, a light that enlightens every human being who comes into the world, and that light is perhaps the most precious possession that we have.  Lent is a time to ‘burnish that light, to trim the wicks, to put new oil in our lamps’ [cf Mt 25: 7-9], and begin to glimpse something of the wonder and the magnitude of God.” ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Monday of the 5th Week of Lent, emphasis added.

God’s Mercy, especially at this time, is unprecedented and should not be taken lightly.  With our world steeped in the Culture of Death, it is a wonder we are all here to “talk about it”.  I thank God DAILY, that I am not He.  You should too!  If I were God, my patience would have worn thin long ago with mankind…and that would include myself…Oh the irony!

“Jesus looked at me and said, ‘Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion.  I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy.  If they will not adore My Mercy, they will perish for all eternity…tell souls about this great Mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My Justice, is near.”  ~Diary§965

God prunes His Church like a good vinedresser does his vineyard…

Back in 2009, a PROFOUND REFLECTION came upon me as I trimmed a tree that belonged to a friend of mine.  As I trimmed I was impressed with a sense of God and the trimming in His Church and among His people, that, as the vine-dresser (cf John 15:1), He has every right to do.  I highly recommend reading that reflection,  as I have re-read it myself, and made a few aesthetical changes, and noticed how it REALLY REFLECTS today’s world and the work God is doing in it.

As I trimmed I noticed:

Plants are not quite as simple as they seem.  They need water the same as we do but they have something different about parts of the plant that no longer bear any fruit, or in this case, any leaves.

That is, water will continue to be directed to all parts of the plant whether or not they contain leaves or not.  Good water will be sent to dead limbs at the expense of the rest of the plant that have healthy limbs.

This is partly why it is necessary to trim branches from bushes and small trees, to prevent the plant from dehydrating itself.  I immediately set to work to cut free those dead and useless branches that were no longer bearing fruit that is leaves.

As I reflected on this further, a situation came to mind involving a man I know.  He desires holiness, but he cannot obtain it.  He goes through all the motions of piety and prayer, but he remains “dead” inside.  This is proven by the “fruits” his piety bares.  Hardly fit to “eat”, as his behaviors remain the same, bringing stress and heartache to his family.

So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus you will know them by their fruits. ~Mt 7:17-20

Forgiven!

It’s that taking of the first steps that are the hardest.  Letting go of oneself and the PRIDE that stands in the way of God POURING OUT HIS LOVE on all that will COME TO HIM IN HUMILITY.

No life is easy or without strife, and I know, dear apostles, that you experience your share of difficulty. These difficulties are important for you because through the suffering of them you gain mastery over yourself.

When you conquer a difficulty, using the holiness you have received from Me, you become stronger spiritually and then when the next difficulty comes, you both view it differently and treat it differently

You treat it differently because you know that I am with you today as I have been with you in the past. ~Monthly Message, April 2011, excerpts.

Well then, IF God is FOR US – and I do believe He IS – then who can be against us?  Why should we fear or live in fear when it comes to desiring and accepting the change we know needs to happen?  We should not fear BECAUSE FEAR IS NOT OF GOD.  GOD IS LOVE.

“God is worshiped in silence – not that we can think or say nothing about Him, but that we should appreciate how far He surpasses our comprehension.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas, quoted by Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Ibid, emphasis added.

God IS ALSO MERCY.  This week our focus is: Crying out, relying on, the DIVINE MERCY OF GOD.

Week 5 of Lent, Day 35 of 40 Days of Lent:

This is it, folks!  Last item on THE LIST.  Can you believe it?  It has gone so fast!  But I am confident that YOU ARE READY!  From the beginning of this time of prayer and fasting, you have (hopefully) been practicing your new habits of OBEDIENCE, HUMILITY, WISDOM.  Good for you for every attempt and success that you made!  If you haven’t tried, do not despair, you still have this week to TRY with God’s Help.

This week you are to DEPEND ENTIRELY on the DIVINE MERCY OF GODHow? An excellent question.  This is HOW: When your FIFTH (5th) thing presents itself, close your eyes and see Christ in His Divine Image:

Jesus I TRUST in YOU!

Yes, the head of the dragon is poised to leap out and “devour the child” (cf. Rev 12:4c), for those who notice the head clearly at the ray of Christ’s blood.  But as Revelation continues, “but [the] child was caught up to God and to His throne” telling us that GOD’S VICTORY is SET!  So HAVE NO FEAR!  Speak with WORDs of Love and, cry out:

JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!  YOU ARE LOVE!

NOT MINE, BUT YOUR WILL BE DONE,

FOR I CAN DO NOTHING WITHOUT YOU!

BLESS ME, AND MAKE ME HOLY!

Your path will be SET, TRUST IN HIM, and in ALL THINGS give GOD THE GLORY!

Courtesy of : www.simplecatholicliving.com Thanks, Carol!

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