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Video: Facing Our Immortality

Facing Our Immortality Cancer Ministry

Facing Our Immortality is a cancer outreach ministry for those affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly. We desire for you a sense of community and renewal through Christ, supported by monthly virtual support groups as well as specialized retreats. Peace and Grace.

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Updates

Our New Book “Gathering The Light: Treasures Out Of The Darkness”

Announcing a new book by Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, Society of Our Lady Of The Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). These thoughtful reflections have been most helpful to our cherished monthly support group participants. Now these reflections, along with other treasures, are all together in one book to help you on your spiritual journey.

“Gathering The Light” is a collection of articles, reflections and poetry. Many of the articles have appeared in various Catholic publications. It is set up in such a way that it can be used for personal reflection, book studies and support groups.

We have been using a reflection from this collection every time we meet as the “Facing Our Immortality” cancer support group. In the midst of serious illness, or perhaps because of it, the desire to know the deep things of God becomes even more active and especially efficacious.

The format of “Gathering The Light” offers focal points of light meant to help us see what perhaps we have not seen before. Each article, with a few exceptions, hovers around one-thousand words. It is very manageable for busy persons trying to go a little deeper in their relationship with God. At the end, some questions for reflection are provided if needed.

This book is available for purchase from Amazon, please link here – Gathering The Light: Treasures Out Of The Darkness.

In The Heart Of The Blessed Mother,

Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT

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Updates

The Spiritual Contest And The Mind: Spiritual Exercise 05/11/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

The Spiritual Contest And The Mind

The first, and undoubtedly the worst, bad decision ever made, was made in a battle between two superior intelligences before historical time began. Though we image the conflict with St. Michael dressed in armor and wielding a spear over Lucifer, the most beautiful of the angels now turned into a writhing, contorted, dragon-like creature, the battle was not physical but rather intellectual in nature. The arrogant supposition on the part of Lucifer, that he was greater than God in determining the “right order” of things, was resoundingly contested and conquered when St. Michael thunderously proclaimed: “Who is like unto God!” The power of those words suffused with truth and piercing light and rumbling through the far reaches of the heavens was enough to cast the demons from the seraphic realms forever.

Intelligence, a God-given gift which makes us different from the animals, and gives us a likeness to God, can be cradled in either pride or humility. Humility recognizes the gift; pride glories in the gift without acknowledging the origin. Humility generates light; pride is blind to it.

We do well to remember spiritual warfare is not out there somewhere. It takes place inside of us, in the understanding and the will, the mind, and the heart. Jesus tells us the Kingdom of God is within, and “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force.” Matthew 11:12. You cannot run from this battle. Every man is put to the test within his very self.

We may feel at a distinct disadvantage in a battle where our foe knows every weakness we have and has a superior intelligence with which to fight against us. And yet, our victory is had beyond the limits of purely human reasoning and strength. When the mind, the intellect is filled with the light of faith, we are able to see things and assent to things we do not fully understand, and thus to be victorious. And when the will is informed by charity, by the love of God, it moves easily to that which is shown to it by faith.

When Jesus contends with the devil in the desert, he does not engage in dialogue, because what the devil says, is technically true. He simply reverts to the love and providence of the Father and manifests His determination to wait on Him, even in suffering, rather than follow any direction coming from a creature who has willfully cut himself off from infinite good.

All temptation follows the pattern of the first sin in the Garden. The devil attacks the understanding: “Did God really say that? That’s not true! He knows if you eat this fruit you will be just like Him, and He doesn’t want that. So He’s keeping it back from you.” Once Adam and Eve allow doubt to be sown into their minds, their hearts lose trust in God, and they choose what they should have rejected.

The same thing happens to us in our personal temptations. A thought comes to us, and we toy with it for a while and then start thinking it wouldn’t be so bad to do the thing after all. God will understand, etc. Check for the tail of the serpent when you find yourself thinking like this about things you know are expressly wrong. Our pride and our inordinate seeking after pleasure can blind us to truths which God is very clear about.

It is sobering to observe that these internal battles can affect far more than ourselves. Lucifer must have been so persuasive in his argument that he swayed 1/3 of the angelic hosts to follow him. So too, do we see the same principle play out in human history. The last century has produced ideology after ideology (nazism, fascism, socialism, communism, radical feminism, liberalism, conservatism, traditionalism, modernism, and on and on, masses of people following an often diabolically compelling and magnetic leader set on an appealing but fatally flawed idea).

Jordan Peterson, a popular speaker and engaging thinker says this about ideologies: “Ideologies are substitutes for true knowledge, and ideologues are always dangerous when they come to power, because a simple-minded I-know- it-all approach is no match for the complexity of existence.”

― Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

This certainly has been evidenced over and over again in the last century, with the resulting human destruction numbering in the hundreds of millions. But this is simply spiritual warfare on a grander scale. Someone takes the bait in a bad idea, which usually has to do with creating a better existence but hides a lust for power. The attempted implementation of the idea ultimately destroys everything in its reach. The followers, and surrounding people pay the price with their lives because they are deceived into believing that utopia, (a perfect existence), here on earth is possible and that people will change and be happy if they just acquiesce to the plan.

It is merely a re-packaging of the original temptation. The serpent whispers the same lie to the modern age: your life will be better if you do what I say, not what God says. This is the seed of corruption that ruins everything from individual lives to whole nations under the sway of contaminated ideas. Pope Benedict XVI noted that: “Wherever politics (read ideologies) tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.” Truth And Tolerance: Christian Belief And World Religions

Be aware of your thoughts. They have the power of heaven or hell in them.

St. Mark the Ascetic says,”Every thought has its weight and measure in God’s sight.” If we can sin in our thoughts, we can likewise do good in our thoughts, exercising faith and holding onto trust in God. May Our Blessed Mother help us to put on the mind of Christ that we may fight the good fight and be victorious in the arena of our own souls.

  1. How aware of your thoughts are you?
  2. How do you discipline your thoughts, if at all?
  3. What would you say is the general tone of your thoughts throughout a day? Positive, negative, distracted,
    curious and unruly? How would you describe your thought life?
  4. What does “putting on the mind of Christ” mean to you and where do you personally see the most prominent
    attacks against that in your thinking?

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Updates

Easter In A Time Of Pandemic – “No Coward Soul Is Mine” 04/12/20

Matthew 28:6 “He is not here; for he has risen”

Facing Our Immortality Support Group

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

  1. Call Uber Conference at 720-735-7025 or
  2. Online at uberconference.com/facingourimmortality

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Easter in a Time of Pandemic – “No Coward Soul is Mine”

It’s hard to overstate the crushing trauma and demoralization, the numbing shock, and the paralyzing fear, the apostles experienced as they watched the sufferings and death of Jesus unfold before them in a quick succession of sudden and violent events. Once the betrayal was set in motion, their entire understanding and expectations were brutally assaulted and swiftly destroyed in a matter of hours. So overwhelming was the Paschal Mystery for the closest friends of Jesus that they could not stay with Him as He went through it. St. John, the beloved disciple managed, not on his own, but by relying on the only one who had any courage and faith left: Our Blessed Mother, who had also gathered a handful of grieving women around her.


As the events played out, darkness descended and stalked the followers of the Nazarene, now dead and locked inside a dark tomb behind a monstrous, immovable stone with Soldiers assigned to keep it sealed. An eerie stillness, a strange, suffocating breathlessness, unlike anything anyone had ever known, blanketed the whole earth and penetrated their own hearts, so there was no escape from it. Hope and faith beat feebly in the spirits and souls of those, (save one Woman), closest to the horrific Death of the Anointed One, the Messiah who was going to save the Chosen People. The whole world groaned, “Foundations once destroyed, what can the just man do?” Ps11


Jesus’ followers, who had known oppression, persecution, and exile in their history as a people, who had been separated from the temple and the worship of the One True God, were not ready. They were shocked by these events which had been foretold. And they were afraid. Though Jesus had tried to warn and prepare them, they did not understand Him deeply enough to hold onto the center of His entire message. We don’t understand either. We, too, have difficulty holding onto the truth about the Cross in our lives.


Despite this, the Resurrection of Jesus takes place. In the midst of trauma, fear, isolation, grave uncertainty, and a feeling of profound abandonment on the part of the disciples/apostles, Jesus rises. He definitively conquers death and wins for us freedom from sin, and the glory of everlasting life.


This Easter will be like that first Easter in many ways: we will be locked behind our doors, afraid, protecting ourselves, stupefied by what has so suddenly happened, mourning the loss of Our Lord Who has been taken away and sealed in a tomb whose entrance is barred to us.


This year there will be no public witness to the sufferings and death of Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer. Easter will not be communally celebrated with processions of light, incense, resounding notes of alleluia, flowers and bells ringing in the colors of spring and newness of life. Yet, Jesus, Who rose in an instant in the darkness of the night giving way to the dawn, will walk right through the barricades of fear, of unbelief, and unfaithfulness by first walking through our material protections: tombs, doors, and the roads we take away from the “awful” events of our lives.


He will do this for us this year just as He did on the very first Easter. We will not have the joy of physically celebrating together the most beautiful liturgy of the whole year, nor of receiving Jesus sacramentally. But this will not stop Jesus. There will be nothing to disguise or distract us from His presence if we have the hope of Easter in our eyes, and are truly yearning to see Him as the holy women did on Easter morning.


Jesus will spend the next forty days, strengthening us in our faith, just as He did, starting with Mary Magdalene, who didn’t recognize Him because she was not expecting to see Him. Peter, and the rest of the Apostles, assailed by shame and doubts will also need direct evidence before their faith is strengthened. But what joy then engulfs them when their eyes are opened, and they see beyond the limited appearances and understanding of this world.


This crisis can deepen our faith in the same way. Jesus has no barriers and is held back by nothing. He wants fearless warriors who charge right into the face of evil to conquer it in the name of the Risen One Who lives forever, no more to die. This is what the apostles became. This is what we too can become if we trust.

Emily Bronte expresses something of this in her poem: “No Coward Soul Is Mine” “There is no room for death, Nor atom that his might could render void; Thou – Thou art Being and Breath, And what Thou art may never be destroyed.”

Knowing God does not abandon His people ever, in exile, in suffering, in death and dying, we believe Our Risen Lord is always with us and promises us His glory if we persevere. Only one other person has walked through these kinds of times without faltering, and no others have done it without her. We ask Mary to attend us, teach us and keep us safe both in faith and from the invisible enemy looking for entry. We pray this virus die a timely death and forge us into great saints in the meantime in the midst of our hurt, our sorrows, fears and grief.


May we experience this Easter what St. Augustine so beautifully exclaims: “In my deepest wound I saw your glory and it dazzled me.”


Questions for Reflection:

  1. We are much like the original disciples. Who do you identify with? St. Peter? St. John? St. Thomas? The Holy Women?
  2. How has your faith been challenged during this time of pandemic?
  3. What is the real message of the Resurrection and how are you going to live it?
  4. What is your greatest sorrow at this time? What do you hope for and look forward to?

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