The healing Mass is such a powerful display of God's love and awesome power. I thought I knew God and myself until I found that I truly knew neither. I searched for my soul with limited success because I searched selfishly using my will, I bent life to my will, I existed for my own will. It was not until I attended this mass that the true peace of God's love came upon me and showed me the error of my way. I was healed of body and spirit and discovered that God had never forsaken me...no, he had been with me all along. Waiting for me to open my eyes. This is a glorious and powerful night, I urge anyone who is curious to attend.
My two children recently attended vacation Bible school here at Immaculate where they learned more about how to think like Jesus, talk like Jesus, and act like Jesus. Then, the South Carolina murders of 9 people during bible study happened. My children asked me why God would let such a terrible thing happen, in a church. Their question gave me a reason to think like Jesus about why bad things happen, and I was able to talk like Jesus, about free will. I told my children that God never left Jesus when he died, and that God is still with Jesus now. God was with the 9 people who were murdered, and even in death he never leaves us. Free will means bad things are going to happen and it is up to us all to choose to act like Jesus so we too can go to heaven when we die. At the end of our talk we prayed, that the 9 people are at peace and that God have mercy on the murder's soul. In this small way, I too learned more about how to think like Jesus, talk like Jesus, and act like Jesus.
Every night it took me a while to fall asleep. Then, I tried praying the rosary. I do that every night and no longer have trouble sleeping. I feel like Jesus and Mary are helping me sleep.
I encounter Christ by reading the Scriptures and daily reflections by Ite Missa Est. I had never read the Bible outside of Sunday Mass, and this daily practice has been a helpful way to start the day. Thank you, Ite Missa Est.
At the parish retreat, we all received bracelets bearing the Cross of Jerusalem. I made it a goal of mine to wear it everyday until the next retreat as a way for me to always be mindful to be a disciple and to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open for encounters with Christ. It was a good way for me to remember that being a disciple is a choice - to either wear it or set it aside. I found it to be a positive challenge to me to continue to choose to be a disciple whenever I felt the urge to take it off. Another positive aspect was that it allowed me to wear my faith on my “sleeve” if you will, as people would see the bracelet peek out of my shirt sleeve or in plain sight next to my watch as I run, and opened a conversation between us about faith.
As I was helping a woman load a heavy A/C unit into her shopping cart at a Walmart recently, the thread holding the medallion of the Cross of Jerusalem broke. Instead of being upset, the situation made me think of how Christ sacrificed himself to help us. Christ broke himself to make our broken selves whole, and he continually breaks himself in the Eucharist for us. My bracelet could have broke off at any other time in any other circumstance, but I’m glad it was with helping someone whose name I may never know, and it's my hope they will offer an act of kindness to another.
For now the medallion rests on the item I most have on me: my keys. While not literally on me, it'll remain to serve as a reminder to me to continually be a follower of Christ.
I have an acquaintance who I have known over the last several years. And through various superficial interactions and observations, I have made several presumptions about her in my mind. This past year I have been able to get to know her a little better and have found that she is a very caring and loving, generous with her time and resources, and truly believes in the goodness of those around her. These are all contrary to to the image I had made of her in my mind.
It was as if Jesus gently telling me, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you." Matt. 7:1-2 and "Do not consider (her) appearance..., for the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1Sam 16:7
Gee, without realizing it, while I was cleaning, I realized how God really does make good come from evil, beauty from ugliness. This was only stains on this drain that would have taken me forever to perfect. Without perfecting, I left half the stains strategically and it ended up pretty!!!!!! I felt like "yesssss", this is my encounter with Jesus today, thank you Dear Lord.
When my friend and I crossed into W. Virginia on our motorcycles we were confident that the worst of the threatening weather was behind us, but as we continued on that twisting narrow two lane blacktop mountain road the skies suddenly opened up with a deluge of rain not often seen. My vision was nearly zero as I could only make out the red taillights of my friends motorcycle a few yards ahead. After a short time the rain stopped just as quickly as it started and a magnificent rainbow formed its arch directly in front of us-not in the sky but in a forested area- from one side of the road to the other and not more than 15 or 20 ft. high, like a gate. As we rode through the arch we seemed to be clothed in the colors and the entire landscape became surreal as it took on a misty hue of multiple colors, even as we rode through several curves. My friend commented that it seemed to be following us. I think it was God saying, “ Just so you know, it was (I) who led you through that storm.”
Hearing Fr. Satish's struggle with being away from his parents helped me as I came to terms with my kids moving far away from home.....Let us be bread blessed by the Lord, broken and shared, life for the world....
There was potential for trouble but I had determined I owed it to myself to set the record straight. I truly felt I had been mis-judged. Fr. Satish's Easter homily and the words, "Easter is an invitation to be like Jesus even when it seems we are losing," brought me upright! I really have no complaints.
I encounter Christ in my husband as he mentors a refugee and assists her family as they adjust and settle in a new country.
I encounter Christ in my husband and daughter who transport food from Trader Joes's to the House of Bread to feed those in need.
During the 6:00 pm rock mass last Sunday, Fr. Dave encouraged us once again to try to write a few lines about our encounters with Christ. It is so difficult to put things and thoughts and emotions into writing. Life is a struggle and sometimes quite burdensome. But I also know so far things could have always been worse. Just this morning on my drive into work, I feel like I'm being asked to really start promoting a prayer that I've repeated many times during my life when I am scared or stressed or grieving, and it always calms me down. Somehow I feel I should share St. Teresa of Avila's prayer, "Let Nothing Disturb Thee," with as many family members as possible, and even others.
So here is my Encounter with Christ through Teresa of Avila’s prayer in difficult times - hopefully if can be an encounter for you, too:
Let nothing disturb thee
Nothing affright thee
All things are passing
God never changeth
Attaineth to all things
Who God possesseth
In nothing is wanting
Alone God sufficeth
-St. Teresa of Avila
Encountering Christ: As we combined all of the Catechist of Good Shepard Classes ages 3-12 together into the hall to procession into the room where we could as a class re-enact 'The Last Supper' I said to myself "Oh Jesus help, these very little ones are so active!" I focused immediately on the most active 3 year old. I said "Hi, would you like to help me by carrying the Crucifix of Jesus?" He was adorable when he took the Crucifix from me and his whole disposition knew in that second he had Jesus in his hand and that this was SPECIAL. Jesus was SPECIAL. This was a very important SPECIAL time for Jesus and for him! The 3 year old little boy held the Crucifix out away from his body and up in front of his face (I never told him to do this). Instantly he was present to Jesus. Instantly I knew this was a manifestation of Jesus Christ in this child's spirit. He was so in awe of this Crucifix of Jesus. I was in awe of how he was so affected so much so quickly and in such a holy way. He never said a word the whole time he carried the Crucifix nor did he look anything else as he walked to place the Crucifix on the table. When I asked him if he was okay this previous loud child never answered, he just moved his head motioning he was okay. I was not quite so sure I was, as this was the first time I had ever witnessed or felt so humbled to witness this encounter with Jesus, Himself, so adorably in a human being. Thank you.
My family and I encountered Christ in the overwhelmingly generous love of a struggling birth mother. My daughter and son-in-law have been wanting to start a family and had undergone training and licensure for fostering because they have not been able to have a child but had love they wanted to share with a child. They began the process wanting to have an infant that they would eventually be able to adopt. They were told this was extremely unlikely as there are very few infants available and often the infants that are available have special needs due to alcohol or drug exposure. The entire family was prepared that they would not have a healthy infant but maybe we would be able to bring a slightly older special child into our family.
Last week my daughter and son-in-law received a miraculous call telling them that a 2 day old newborn was available for them to foster with the possibility of eventual adoption. They agreed to accept the placement with very little information about the situation and brought the baby home from the hospital. We later found out that the baby was perfectly healthy and that birth mother was a very good single mother with other children. She had decided that due to her situation she would not be able to adequately care for another child along with her other children. She made the very difficult and extremely loving decision to place her newborn for adoption. We have been thanking God and praying daily for this generous lady who allowed us to encounter Christ in her selfless love of her children.
We've experienced Christ as the Godhead, 3 in 1. The community of IC has shown us a communal life-giving love and in that way has revealed the Trinity as a whole.
Every Saturday Mass I look around to see old people who can barely walk, rain or snow, show up to honor Jesus.
I was driving downtown with my daughter, looking for parking, when we saw a sign for "VIP parking $10". She said, "There's a place! We are Very Important People " Consequently, we had a little lesson on the difference between God's eternal economy, where all of His beloved children are VIP's, and the world's fleeting economy based on financial wealth.
May we treat all we encounter as God's VIPs, regardless of their status in the world's economy.
A friend of ours recently separated from his wife, and she left him with the care of their three children, the youngest merely a baby. The mother is no longer a part of their lives, and we were very heartbroken to hear of this. The last time we visited with him, however, the children were surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends of the family who are now sharing the responsibilities of raising the children with this single father. We saw how these children may have lost a mother, but God provided several new "mothers" in her place to love them like their own.