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Claiming The Divine Mercy For Ourselves And The Whole World! Spiritual Exercise 04/12/21

Please join us Monday 04/12/21 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

Zoom Link: https://us05web.zoom.us/j/4537185699?pwd=emRVOEZwMTY1eGN1bzYrU2VldWhiZz09

Meeting ID: 4537185699

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

Claiming The Divine Mercy For Ourselves And The World!

How deeply the Divine Mercy penetrates into a life that claims that mercy! In His Divine Mercy, Jesus freed Mary Magdalene from the demonic in her life, forgave her sins, had a singular relationship with her that was so special he appeared to her in Resurrection even before the Apostles, and made her an Apostle of the Good News of Resurrection!

The Lord’s mercy has no restrictions on His part. We only have to ask for it. Here are some important things to remember about Jesus and the Divine Mercy:

From the diary of St. Faustina:

1. “’Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy.’” (No. 301)

2. “’My daughter, have fear of nothing; I am always with you. All your adversaries will harm you only to the degree that I permit them to do so. You are my dwelling place and my constant repose. For your sake I will withhold the hand which punishes; for your sake I bless the earth.’”  (No. 431)

3. “The Lord said to me, ‘The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness.  You always console Me when you pray for sinners. The prayer most pleasing to Me is prayer for the conversion of sinners. Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered.’” (No. 1397)

4. “Jesus: ‘My child, life on earth is a struggle indeed; a great struggle for my kingdom. But fear not, because you are not alone. I am always supporting you, so lean on Me as you struggle, fearing nothing. Take the vessel of trust and draw from the fountain of life – for yourself, but also for other souls, especially such as are distrustful of My goodness.’” (No. 1488)

5. “All grace flows from mercy, and the last hour abounds with mercy for us. Let no one doubt concerning the goodness of God; even if a person’s sins were as dark as night, God’s mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary; that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God’s merciful grace, and then God will do the rest.” (No. 1507)

6. “Today the Lord said to me, ‘Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity.  The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls.’” (No. 1602)

7. “’Oh how much I am hurt by a soul’s distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My Goodness. Even the devils believe in My Justice, but do not glorify My Goodness. My Heart rejoices in this title of Mercy.’” (No. 300)

8. “I realize more and more how much every soul needs God’s mercy throughout life and particularly at the hour of death. This chaplet (of Divine Mercy) mitigates God’s anger, as He Himself told me.” (No. 1036)

9. “Then I heard the words ‘I am glad you behaved like My true daughter. Be always merciful as I am merciful. Love everyone out of love for Me, even your greatest enemies, so that My mercy may be fully reflected in your heart.’” (No. 1695)

10. “When once I asked the Lord Jesus how He could tolerate so many sins and crimes and not punish them, the Lord answered me,‘I have an eternity for punishing [these], and so I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of [sinners]. But woe to them if they do not recognize the time of My visitation.’” (No. 1160)

Questions for reflection (please reflect in silence for 5-10 minutes)

1. How have you experienced the Divine Mercy in your own life?

2. Where do you see the Divine Mercy at work in the world?

3. How can you help people to understand and accept God’s mercy in their own lives? 

4. What challenges you most in showing mercy to others?

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love is everlasting.  

Please visit the link below to participate in the Divine Mercy Chaplet, in song. Our next session will take place May 10, 2021 

The Good Shepherd: Spiritual Exercise 03/08/21

Please join us Monday 03/08/21 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm ET)

Zoom Link: https://us05web.zoom.us/j/4537185699?pwd=emRVOEZwMTY1eGN1bzYrU2VldWhiZz09

Meeting ID: 4537185699

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 Good Shepherd

Reflection taken from “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” by Phillip Keller

Book of Psalms

Psalm 23

23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. 

Douay Rheims Version of the Catholic Bible

“All of this (Psalm 23), is summed up here by the psalmist in one brave but simple statement: “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life”! The sheep with such a shepherd knows of a surety that his is a privileged position. No matter what comes, at least and always he can be perfectly sure that goodness and mercy will be in the picture. He reassures himself that he is ever under sound, sympathetic, intelligent ownership. What more need he care about? Goodness and mercy will be the treatment he receives from his master’s expert, loving hands. 

Not only is this a bold statement, but it is somewhat of a boast, an exclamation of implicit confidence in the One who controls his career and destiny. How many Christians actually feel this way about Christ? How many of us are truly convinced that no matter what occurs in our lives we are being followed by goodness and mercy? 

Of course, it is very simple to speak this way when things are going well. If my health is excellent, my income is flourishing, my family is well, and my friends are fond of me, it is not hard to say, “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” 

But what about when one’s body breaks down? What do I say when I stand by helpless, as I have had to do, and watch a life partner die by degrees under appalling pain? What is my reaction when my job folds up and there is no money to meet bills? What happens if my children can’t make their grades in school or get caught running with the wrong gang? What do I say when suddenly, without good grounds, friends prove false and turn against me? 

These are the sort of times that test a person’s confidence in the care of Christ. These are the occasions during which the chips are down and life is more than a list of pious platitudes. When my little world is falling apart and the dream castles of my ambitions and hopes crumble into ruins, can I honestly declare, “Surely—yes, surely—goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life”? Or is this sheer humbug and a maddening mockery? 

In looking back over my own life, in the light of my love and care for my sheep, I can see again and again a similar compassion and concern for me in my Master’s management of my affairs. There were events, which at the time seemed like utter calamities; there were paths down which He led me that appeared like blind alleys; there were days He took me through which were well-nigh black as night itself. But all in the end turned out for my benefit and my well-being. 

With my limited understanding as a finite human being I could not always comprehend His management executed in infinite wisdom. With my natural tendencies to fear, worry, and ask “why,” it was not always simple to assume that He really did know what He was doing with me. There were times I was tempted to panic, to bolt, and to leave His care. 

Somehow I had the strange, stupid notion I could survive better on my own. Most men and women do. But despite this perverse behavior I am so glad He did not give up. I am so grateful He did follow me in goodness and mercy. The only possible motivation was His own love, His care and concern for me as one of His sheep. And despite my doubts, despite my misgivings about His management of my affairs, He has picked me up and borne me back again in great tenderness. 

As I see all of this in retrospect, I realize that for the one who is truly in Christ’s care, no difficulty can arise, no dilemma emerge, no seeming disaster descend on life without eventual good coming out of the chaos. This is to see the goodness and mercy of my Master in my life. It has become the great foundation of my faith and confidence in Him.”

Questions for reflection. Allow 5-10 minutes in silence for this section of the exercise.

1. How do you see the goodness and mercy of God present in your own life?

2. Where have you been challenged in believing in the Lord’s care for you?

3. As the Good Shepherd, how would you say the Lord has led you through your life? Always through sunny pastures or sometimes through dark valleys?

4. Do you really allow the Lord to manage your affairs?

Group Discussion: During this time we talk about our responses and share how these are seen in our lives.

Our Lady Of Lourdes, Pray For Us

Our Lady Of Lourdes

Oh ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy. When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favors, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. My loving Mother, obtain my request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share your company and bless you in eternity.

“On Feb. 11, the Catholic Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, recalling a series of 18 appearances that the Blessed Virgin Mary made to a 14-year-old French peasant girl, Saint Bernadette Soubirous.”

Amen.

The Language Of Heaven: Spiritual Exercise 02/08/21

Please join us Monday 02/08/21 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm ET)

Zoom Link: https://us05web.zoom.us/j/4537185699?pwd=emRVOEZwMTY1eGN1bzYrU2VldWhiZz09

Meeting ID: 4537185699

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 Language of Heaven

One of the deepest purifications in the spiritual life is a purification to the truth.  Closely tied to this is a purification of language… because, we most often offend against the truth through language.

Words are meant to convey reality.  They allow us to have honest communication with God and with each other.  Changing words, abusing or misusing language does not change reality but it deeply affects our perception of what is real and what isn’t, and can alter, as a consequence, our views, opinions and thoughts in such a way that we become disconnected from reality, from truth.

Josef Pieper, a renowned Catholic philosopher, offers a prophetic warning:

“The degradation…of man through man has its beginning at the almost imperceptible moment when the word loses its dignity.  The dignity of the word, to be sure, consists in this: through the word is accomplished what no other means can accomplish, namely, communication based on reality.”

To examine our use of language, one has only to imagine what the use of language will be like in heaven.  In that light we can obtain a sense of what habits of speech need to be jettisoned before we get there. We can make some obvious assumptions immediately.  Heaven will contain no dishonesty of any kind.  And if there is anything that marks our misuse of language today, it is dishonesty.  

Though words help us understand, construct or deconstruct the world we live in, the common language of the public today will NOT ring through the halls of Heaven.  There will be no silly or suggestive talk, which is not to say there won’t be any humor.  But there will also be no detraction, no exaggeration, no slander, libel or calumny, no backbiting, derision, detraction, gossip, flattery, sarcasm, cynicism, boasting, accusation, cursing, doublespeak or lying in any of its forms, big or little.  Bad language, and bad use of language, almost a mark of honor today, will be banished.  

We often say we are meant to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world.  But we are also meant, says St Anselm, to be the mouth of Christ in the world, speaking blessing to our neighbor and praise to God.  We will be accountable for everything else we utter. 

In Heaven, every communication will be a blessing of pure love and truth and consequently, joy!

When traveling to another country where the language is different it’s good to begin learning it ahead of time.  In the end, we will have to be fluent in the language of Heaven in order to enter.

1. Words have power.  They participate to some degree in the power of God’s Word which always accomplishes what it says.  For this reason, our use of words can be beneficial to ourselves and others, or dangerous.  How would you characterize your use of language generally speaking?  Is it worthy of Heaven?

2. Have you ever experienced the power of words in relationship to your health issues?  This can be positive or negative.  Do you think negative thinking and speaking can actually make your condition worse?

3. Our use of words attracts good spirits and/or bad spirits.  This is why Jesus tells us to bless and not curse even our enemies.  Cursing just brings more negative spirits and makes things worse.  What do you observe of the power of words over the climate or tenor of a conversation or discussion?

4. What dangers do you see today in the use of language?  What can be done to encourage the use of language as God intended?

If you are seeking daily spiritual refreshment, please visit our YouTube channel. There you will find daily Gospel bullets for personal reflection.

May God Bless you and thank you for joining us.

Spiritual Reflection Group To Resume In February, Stay Tuned

Gospel Bullet For Today: The Baptism Of The Lord

This past week has brought many people to their knees. Let us renew our Baptismal vows and truly seek comfort in Jesus.

We talk about this but it is difficult to live it when people act with deadly hate on such a massive scale.

Do not fall prey to conspiracy theories, no matter which conspiracy theories attract you.

Truth Exists In Christ Alone.

Today’s Gospel

This is what John The Baptist proclaimed: 

“One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee 
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.

On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open 
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

To See God Face To Face: Spiritual Exercise 12/14/20

Please join us Monday 12/14/20 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm ET)

Zoom Link: https://us05web.zoom.us/j/4537185699?pwd=emRVOEZwMTY1eGN1bzYrU2VldWhiZz09

Meeting ID: 4537185699

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.

To See God Face to Face

CS Lewis’ last novel: “Till We Have Faces” is a modern retelling of a classic Greek myth. Lewis had been fascinated by the story of Cupid and Psyche for many years.  Cupid is a god who falls in love with Psyche, a mere mortal.  He takes her as his bride and situates her in a palace full of wealth and treasure but only comes to her at night, warning her she must not look at him.

One night her curiosity gets the best of her, and she peeks at him while he is sleeping.  He is so stunningly beautiful that she accidentally lets a drop of hot oil from her lamp fall on his arm.  He awakens and flees in anger. What follows is an intense and complicated drama which ultimately ends with Cupid bringing Psyche to Olympus and making her immortal so they can live together happily ever after. 

Whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, a saint approaching the heights of holiness, or a sinner struggling to crawl out of a pit, the desire to see God is a primordial one.  It is found in everyone, even the skeptical and the young.  (A child approached a holy priest once and complained he couldn’t see Jesus in the Eucharist.  The Priest smiled, looked at him with fatherly affection and said: “That’s ok.  Some people can.”)

During Advent, we cry with the prophet Isaiah…”Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,” and, we might add, “ so we can see you!”  Christmas is the answer to our desire to “see” God in time.

God helps us to see as much as we are capable of in our present frame. He comes to us, hiding the overwhelming light of His glory. He comes to us as a baby willing to grow up with us so that He can one day lead us out of the limiting shell we inhabit here on earth and take us to the full freedom of our existence, a divinized and immortal life where we can live with Him as He truly is. 

Imagine Mary contemplating Jesus within her and wondering what He, the most beautiful baby ever conceived, will look like. Imagine his sweet little hands and perfect toes, His divine smile, His piercingly beautiful eyes.  

Before the Christmas mystery, we whisper, with Lewis: “I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?”

May this Christmas find us enraptured by the light radiating from the face of the tiny Babe, whose breathless beauty and infinite love transforms us and makes us His own.

1. Trusting the Lord in what St. John of the Cross calls the dark night of faith can be a real challenge in the spiritual life.  What is your experience of moving with God through things you don’t understand?

2. Sin always narrows our vision. The more purified we are the more we see with our “inner” senses. (Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.) Lack of confidence and trust in God also hide Him from our “sight.” God reveals Himself more fully to the those who believe and those who have confidence in His great love. Where do you find yourself?

3. If you could sit down with Jesus face to face right now, and you could ask Him anything, what would you want to know at this time in your life?  

4. What is your Christmas wish/prayer for this year and how is it different from what you would have prayed a year ago?  

The Paradox Of True Power: Spiritual Exercise 11/16/20

Facing Our Immortality Support Group Call

  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 Paradox Of True Power

One of the worst experiences we encounter in life is the feeling of powerlessness in the face of evident evil. In the Old Testament, from Genesis through Exodus, David and the Kings, to the time of Christ, God’s people knew their dependence on the Lord’s omnipotence, and freely implored His mighty interventions. Joshua, outnumbered 5 to 1, yet assured a victory by the Lord, asked Him to hold the sun and moon still so they could finish the battle in daylight, and the Lord obliged, suspending the movements of the heavenly bodies for a day so that it lasted well beyond its normal time. (Joshua 10 )

Perhaps we are now in a time where a full awareness and confidence in God’s power is precisely what we need. We live in the illusion that we have power because of all the marvels of the modern age. But often we find ourselves at the mercy of forces we cannot control.

More than ever, we must see that the most powerful force in the universe abides among us, hidden in our Chapels, in our tabernacles, and even within our very selves. If the physical, moral, psychological and spiritual universe were to show signs of collapse, we would always have a safe refuge in our all-powerful God. The Catechism notes “to confess this power has great bearing on our lives.” (CCC#268)

But there is a paradox. This power which is so near and accessible to us is most fully operative in human weakness. This is clearly seen in Jesus, Who endured the depths of human weakness and apparent defeat. Yet, at the same time, the fullness of Divine power coursed through Jesus for the Redemption of all mankind.

Our Lady testifies to God’s power also by making one of the most beautiful declarations of God’s might at work in human history all throughout her Magnificat.  “He who is mighty has done great things for me…”. “He casts down the mighty, feeds the hungry, sends the rich away empty…”. (Luke 1:46-55)  St. Paul knows this secret too! “I glory in my weakness,” he says, “so that the power of Christ may rest upon me”. (2Cor 12:9)

We are all going to feel our powerlessness at some point as the future continues to unfold and the battle between good and evil intensifies. We will need God more than ever.

We may face multiple Goliaths, Red Seas, famine, war, betrayal, chaos, or more subtle assaults of darkness.  But unwavering reliance on God’s supreme power will change the outcome of every threat and guarantee peace of soul no matter what comes.  

Please reflect in silence for 5-10 minutes on the following questions.

  1. What is your experience of powerlessness? Share a time or two when you felt utterly powerless in the face of something.
  2. Why do you think God is allowing us to experience our powerlessness now, especially as a nation in the face of our current challenges?  
  3. The grand stories of the Old Testament are so inspiring but in many ways they don’t seem real to the age we live in.  We tend to think we can take care of things or that we will eventually find the answer, yet many answers continue to evade us.  What wisdom of God is at work in the way He moves with us today?
  4. In your own life, where has God shown you your utter dependence on Him?  Where do you resist being dependent on Him?  It is easy to say we are dependent on Him when on examination we find we really are not expecting that God will help us in any kind of way, let alone a mighty way.

After each person shares their personal and spiritual reflection, the group discussion can begin. Please allow all reflections to be offered without comment or judgement. God Bless you

Act of Contrition 

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. 

I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life.

Amen. 

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Peace and Blessings from Sr Anne Marie Walsh and Denise Archuleta