I wrote this 3 years ago, based on St. Luke’s Gospel.
I went to Confession and Mass again, praise God, as the accuser has been strong. Today’s the Feast of All Carmelite Saints as well. This was the Gospel. As I said last year, I was struck by the fact that Jesus was A. Going to Jerusalem (Heaven). B. Told them to go show themselves to the priests to be healed. C. They were healed “as they were going” to the priests. Only one of them immediately realized AND then acknowledged aloud in a spirit of humility and repentance that he had been healed both physically and spiritually by God, by Jesus, the High Priest, and thus, in his act of faith, he had been both saved from the leprosy and saved from his sins. (No one can see the Face of God and live.) The former leper had received an apocalypse, an unveiling, a revelation of Jesus as both God and Man. But, so did the other 9! He was the only one who chose to acknowledge Him aloud. Therefore, he falls to his feet, thanking him and glorifying Him. It had never dawned on me until yesterday that the Priest He had enabled them to acknowledge was Him. Whenever He heals, He heals not only the physical sickness (that came with the original sin and the Fall), but He also heals the sight, restoring the eyes of faith if we do not harden our hearts and gives us recognition of His Divinity and Omnipotence, the unveiling, the Apocalypse, so we can choose to repent and worship Him.
In his encyclical Casti Connubii, Pope Pius XI says right here in 120 “it is the duty of the public authority to supply for the insufficient forces of individual effort.” This is not calling for communism (communism is atheist anyway!), but the safety net that is supposed to *prevent* communist revolution. If we don’t want Russia’s errors to spread, then we should care more for the vulnerable poor, body, mind, and soul.
Right before this, in part 119, he mentions it is the duty of the rich to be generously charitable to families (“private resources”).
As he concludes part 120, the Pope admits it is understandable that the neglected poor would become “emboldened to hope for chance advantage from the upheaval of the state and of established order.” Aka rioting, revolution, crossing borders illegally, etc. 🤔 He *is* saying for the State to provide for the poor, in particular the working poor, so as to avoid such rioting and revolution, when individual and private resources are insufficient. He admits how much more difficult it can be for the poor to follow God’s commands. (I never understand condemning a just wage and then complaining about the government “handouts”…if in the proper order a just wage was had, then we wouldn’t have to get to private or public resources, in theory.)
I would add that the Pope repeatedly indicates that this “public duty” should be designed around the family as a *unit,* with a preferential option to support families, not as we do primarily today with giving help as individuals instead of viewing situations as familial and adapting the aid to the overall diverse needs of that family. Children get Medicaid but not their parents, in many cases, for example, particularly the working poor. Three siblings may not be “disabled enough” as individuals for SSI, but together they are and so should qualify for modified help as family members. A poor wife who just gave birth can get Medicaid for a year but not the husband. But if they are unmarried, many times they can get Medicaid and more government help, when their marriage and work should be supported. Or if they’re unmarried, better promotions since they don’t have to ask for time off as much. (Something the pope also notes, that single mothers and their children get more help than married couples and their children, and that was back in 1930. )
If you rightly recognize stable marriages as the bedrock of society, then you need to support a firmer safety net to let families join and bounce back *together.* Pope Pius XI rightly recognized securing the individual *family* (not just each person individually) secures civil order.
120. If, however, for this purpose, private resources do not suffice, it is the duty of the public authority to supply for the insufficient forces of individual effort, particularly in a matter which is of such importance to the common weal, touching as it does the maintenance of the family and married people. If families, particularly those in which there are many children, have not suitable dwellings; if the husband cannot find employment and means of livelihood; if the necessities of life cannot be purchased except at exorbitant prices; if even the mother of the family to the great harm of the home, is compelled to go forth and seek a living by her own labor; if she, too, in the ordinary or even extraordinary labors of childbirth, is deprived of proper food, medicine, and the assistance of a skilled physician, it is patent to all to what an extent married people may lose heart, and how home life and the observance of God’s commands are rendered difficult for them; indeed it is obvious how great a peril can arise to the public security and to the welfare and very life of civil society itself when such men are reduced to that condition of desperation that, having nothing which they fear to lose, they are emboldened to hope for chance advantage from the upheaval of the state and of established order.
Stop and ask yourself, which group or groups do you give yourself permission to think of as “less?” Imagine that ingrained into you from a young age (you shouldn’t have to imagine–everyone–myself included–is given some group, probably several, they have permission to mock or think less of, if they think of them as at all, starting as a young child) and then decide what would happen if you found your whole community, every aspect of your life, reinforcing this group as less, day in and day out for most of your life. You’re not permitted to know the full history of the persecution, and you only know what you are taught. Anyone who undermines the history also engages in hatred of your own beliefs and upbringing and you can’t see how they’re any different as they engage in evil behavior.
What would happen? (What’s happening now.)
What’s the remedy? (The grace of constant repentance to God by each person.)
From 1951 until 1959, CBS telecast a live-action anthology series called Schlitz Playhouse. The show welcomed a variety of famous actors from the stage and screen to perform timeless stories. At 9:30 p.m. EST on Friday, March 1st, 1957, “The Life You Save,” based on Flannery O’Connor’s short story “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” aired. The cast included Gene Kelly, Agnes Moorhead, and Janice Rule as the main characters of Mr. Shiftlet, Ma Crater, and Lucynell, respectively.
After O’Connor sold the television rights to the story in the fall
of 1956, entertainment news columns announced Gene Kelly as the lead. She feared
the production would become a dancing musical.
Similar articles noted Kelly hoped the role would provide him more room to
showcase his acting talents than his typical stage talents.
A dancing musical it was not, but producers took liberties with
People are wringing their hands over why the majority of Catholics don’t believe in the Eucharist. They blame Communion on the hand. They blame poor catechesis. They blame people who want the married priesthood restored. (Isn’t that tradition?)
I am about to have surgery I cannot type well but I still feel obliged to post this. So forgive the roughness.
Take a teen who has been abused by his adopted uncle, a prominent man in the community. How much does that teen trust ANYTHING that man has to say? Then he finds out more members of the extended family are in on the abuse, or, perhaps worse, KNEW about the abuse but just looked the other way. He was told if he complained, he would make the family look bad and nobody would want to join them. More importantly, the uncle and the other family abusers were rich pharmacists and doctors and the only ones who could treat the familial disorder. They had a special patented compound that only he could make and handle and sell. If he said anything, he could die from not having it. But he settled for leaving to try a lesser treatment to get away from the deceit and lies and narcissistic abuse.
I think it is the abuse and the not-so-secret double lives of clerics (and wealthier laity) which makes people doubt that the Eucharist is the true Body and Blood of Christ and doubt that Confession is something necessary. Much of these double lives took place well before Vatican II. People have known for decades about it but were powerless to do anything. Look up St. Joseph Calasanz or St. Peter Damien. There is the double life of Judas as well. Which apostle didn’t know he was up to no good? Read Joseph Sciambra’s modern attempts at dealing with bishops on sexuality teachings. Their manipulation makes it all seem like smoke and mirrors and makes the teachings about the Eucharist and the other sacraments a means of twisted control by dishonest men. They make the sacraments impossible instead of the means of grace. We just lost a priest who was soliciting 18 year old men on Grindr and had previously had an affair with a woman. How did THAT help Catholics in their faith? How can we trust he kept the seal of the Confessional? He was clearly lying to begin with.
I had another priest who openly mocked a dying woman in his homily because she didn’t trust him because of his awful behavior to her and had broken the seal of the Confessional. He also started speaking out in favor of homosexuals being married, which clearly goes against Church teaching. (The bishop did nothing.) It is awful.
Here is what I posted in a Catholic discussion group. I was told I was impolite.
My rude response:
You didn’t address anything I actually said. I found that very impolite. I said priests who had strong relationships with family were the ones I can trust. This is exactly what I am talking about. People bring up the true problem and then we are accused of being impolite. As if being a good Catholic means having nice manners. The narcissism of the priests I have known has been horrible and caused many to leave. That is the truth. Read BishopAccountability and the sworn testimonies of the abused. My uncle left Spring Hill seminary in the 60s because they were having gay orgies there on a regular basis. I lost a priest who told the bishop our pastor was buying homosexual porn via mail order. This same pastor regularly preached heresy. He got a cushy retirement and the priest who told the bishop was forced into seclusion with no source of income. He had also found out a priest was having an open affair with a married women. The whistleblower was made the scapegoat, not the actual perpetrators. We were told as a parish that Father James Haley was the problem, that he was rude, not Father Daniel Hamilton. How do I explain that to my kids? Our former pastor from 8 years ago here told many people horrid manipulating things behind closed doors and when the bishop was told, he did nothing. This pastor also accused people of being rude. This is reality. There is nothing polite about what has been done and continues to be done. How many times the victims were told they were being rude by not wanting to be alone with these men (and women). If you are a silent observer, go read how Joseph Sciambra has struggled for years to get bishops to address these problems and to no avail. Look at how Mother Angelica tried to do so with EWTN. She was frequently accused of being rude for speaking the truth.
Celibacy has long been a front for homosexuality or a hiding place for men with women and children issues. We refuse to acknowledge it or do anything about it.
There was a reason Jesus chose widowers and married men. The best priests I have had have been widowers or married men, or they are celibate priests who have a strong relationship with their own families–we see their family. They talk about them. Their wives and children were the reason they were so good in their priesthoods, as they had proven to have matured through those responsibilities. They were called elders for a reason. If you can’t trust a priest, how can you trust any of the teachings? That is the problem. Has little to do with TLM or Novus Ordo as such.
If you want people to believe, have the entire hierarchy repent, sell all their riches and give the money to the poor. Make a vow of poverty a requirement. And if they are frauds using the priesthood for their own selfish desires, remove them at once.
The question isn’t why don’t we have women priests. The question is why aren’t clergy formed to listen to women and generally speaking, think of most of their concerns and requests as their “honey do lists.” I am obviously not meaning sinful or heretical requests. Are priests willing to admit mistakes and apologize? Do they know their Bride? Is the Church a bride or a groom?
When we did engaged encounter, our priest told us the question asked before accepting a seminarian was, “Would he make a good husband?” If the answer was no, then he wasn’t admitted.
But are priests trained to listen to women, like Christ did to His Mother and every woman He encountered? Before I met Father Michael and Father Wilson, I would say definitively, no. Many priests were taught clericalism and chauvinism and have no concept of what it’s like to be a husband or what women go through as wives and mothers.
The demeaning of the married priesthood is sacrilegious. Seeing the nastiness spilled about it seems to prove we desperately need them and the high percentage of the clergy who have women issues. The Khouriyas of the East are Godsends. Their husbands intimately know the needs of their wives and children. Their wives support and console them, and yes, set them straight.
I see the Mother Angelica meme going around. Mother Angelica was constantly at odds with “progressive” bishops and priests and said she would blow EWTN sky high before she would let them have it. No woman in the Church today has the power that Mother Angelica had. I don’t think they ever will. Arguably, she is the reason the Church is still going as well as it is in the USA. But it is in spite of many of the clergy, not because of them. Notice she hasn’t been fast-tracked to canonized sainthood.
Maybe we should start Mass with the women saying, “They have no more wine.” The men come in and the women say, “Do whatever He tells you.” Then, the point would be made. Men serve at the women’s requests, just as Christ did. He did not always answer exactly as expected–He usually did a slight correction or test of faith–but He always answered affirmatively. He never turned them away. The hemorraghing woman had her request answered just by touching His hem.
June 12 BLESSED ALPHONSUS MARY MAZUREK,
Priest, AND COMPANIONS, Martyrs
Optional Memorial In the Polish provinces: Memorial
He was born in 1891 at Baranowka, near Lubartow, Poland. He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1908, taking the religious name Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit. He was ordained a priest and appointed as a professor while dedicating himself to the education of youth. Afterward, he served in his Order as prior and bursar. In 1944, after having been arrested by the troops that had invaded his country, he was shot on 28 August at Nawojowa Gora, near Krzeszowice. He was beatified by John Paul II on 13 June 1999, together with many other Polish martyrs.
From the common of several martyrs; psalms from the current weekday
Office of Readings
From the addresses of Pope John Paul II (OR 7-8 June 1999 p. 11; 18/6/1999, p. 4)
I am a volunteer for reading her diaries and typing them out. I am still confused over these issues, as if they are as bad as people claim, then how did she even get named as Servant of God? OTOH, the child abuse scandals of the Church were breaking as they railroaded the canonizations of Pope John Paul II and John the XXIII, who seemed to know of the matters but handled them disastrously. So…SIGH. I still do not see how the Church gets around Acts 2.
I’ve been studying this issue for some time and have reached the conclusion that Dorothy Day had so conflated Communism and Catholicism in her own mind that she saw them as one and the same; which is the only explanation I can find for her lifetime support of Communist governments and ideology, co-existing with devout practice of her Catholic faith.
Another clear mark, in my opinion, of her lifetime adherence to Communism was that she never denounced it or its evils to protect others from becoming ensnared, which is what most people, yours truly included, do once they see a past way of life clearly for the wrong path it was.
My husband John C. Hathaway died in October 2018, age 41, and he suffered from a connective tissue disorder called Marfan Syndrome his entire life. He had chronic, excruciating pain, fatigue, asthma, dislocated lenses (wore trifocals), subluxed joints, low muscle tone, and aneurysms in his brain and aorta. In the last months of his life, he developed seizures.
He talks about his suffering on this blog, and how he eventually accepted it as fully walking in the footsteps of Christ. I do think it is something we as Catholics need to focus on, the redemptive suffering, that He came not to just suffer for us, but with us. My husband was mocked by some Catholics for not being healed. It really angered him as such thinking gives us a false understanding of Christ’s Love.
As I have greatly struggled with grieving my husband’s loss and wondering did I do everything I could for him, I contemplated the Holy Family, particularly St. Joseph’s death. I have seen the focus so much on St Joseph’s death being happy, that we seem to leave out the fact that it was also completely devastating for Mary and I think in some sense, Jesus.
Jesus could have healed Saint Joseph and he could have lived a longer life to be with Mary. St. Joseph literally had the Best Physician, and yet he still suffered and died– a consolation God gave me when I wondered had I done enough. I believe in His Divine Wisdom, that He allowed his foster father to die, so that He would know that excruciating suffering, along with Mary. Whenever Christ references a widow or an orphan, He is speaking from that personal pain. He also allowed his death, to remind us that being healed in this world is but for a time so we can continue to serve Him–whether He allows us to suffer or be healed has nothing to do with our personal holiness-it is only by dying and rising with Him that we are fully healed. My husband also loves(d) TS Eliot, and he recorded part of Eliot’s “Four Quartets,” The Wounded Surgeon.
It is a meditation on Good Friday. My husband recorded this a few days before his sixteen hour surgery to replace his descending aorta, which resulted in a 3 month hospital stay, mainly in cardiac ICU, hooked up to life support. He miraculously lived 5 more years and 6 months and 2 weeks.
“Our only health is the disease If we obey the dying nurse Whose constant care is not to please But to remind of our, and Adam’s curse, And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse. The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, Wherein, if we do well, we shall Die of the absolute paternal care That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.”
We use that line a lot when things are not going as we wished.
While I personally have never been in a relationship, I do have several friends who have, and they often ask me for advice or simply tell me how their relationship is going. One thing I’ve picked up on is that when you’re in a good, healthy, relationship you feel a constant need for the other person. Not in a “they are mine and mine alone” but in the sense that they’re your other half, without them you feel incomplete, like something is missing from you.
So why don’t we feel the same way about Christ?
The Church is Jesus Christ’s bride (in a metaphorical sense); people often treat this in a light way and don’t think about it very often. But this is actually a really powerful thing. Each of us makes up part of the church, therefore we are each a bride of Christ (regardless of gender).
OK, here’s what we know (SPOILERS)
1) The Black Lodge and the White Lodge are presumably Hell and Heaven, respectively, though the show has left room for the interpretation that they’re parallel universes/other worlds. The “Twin Peaks” (Blue Pine Mountain and White Tail Mountain) are a particular nexus, and each has a portal to one of the Lodges.
2) Fire/Electricity is a means of opening dimensional gates.
3) Whether because of the moral atrocity, the immense power, or both, the invention of the atomic bomb opened up apparently lots of random portals in different parts of the world, and the Black Lodge released its spirits on the world. Though MIKE suggests that BOB is Satan himself in early season 2, in season 3, episode 8, we see BOB being unleashed by some evil mother spirit in response to Los Alamos.
4) The White Lodge, seeing BOB released, releases a spirit into the world, which looks like Laura Palmer.
5) The claims of disappearances, abductions, alien encounters, etc., in the 1950s and later, as well as rises in violent crime, are attributed to these portals in random places and to these spirits walking the earth, sometimes by possessing human hosts and sometimes through physical clones/dopplegangers. Electricity/Fire/Heat/the Smell of burning are associated with the transportation of Lodge spirits.
6) Project Blue Book led to the government’s awareness of the Lodges. Some, like Maj. Briggs, thought the goal was to achieve enlightenment, but the real goal was to tap into their power.
7) Over time, the FBI joined in on Project Blue Book, and after the first case of a doppleganger–encountered by the young Agent Gordon Cole–who called herself a “Blue Rose” (something not found in nature) cases that touched on the Lodges or their inhabitants were called “Blue Rose” cases.
8) Of the FBI agents involved in Blue Book/Blue Rose, every one that encountered the Black Lodge turned evil and/or disappeared–Windom Earle turned evil. Chet Desmond disappeared and was never heard from again. Philip Jeffries disappeared, reappeared briefly, then apparently became or was replaced by some kind of important figure in the Black Lodge. Dale Cooper went in the Lodge, was replaced by BOB in a Doppleganger, then after apparently raping Audrey Horne and the paying a visit to Maj. Briggs (who himself disappeared in a mysterious fire the next day), “disappeared,” but in his case just went off the grid and became a crime boss known as “Mr. C.” Only Gordon Cole and Albert Rosenfield remain.
9) For some reason, BOB was supposed to inhabit Cooper’s body for 25 years and then return to the Lodge. He decided he liked being “Mr. C.” however and created another doppleganger, named “Dougie Jones,” placing him in Las Vegas. Dougie appeared in Las Vegas in the late 90s as an amnesiac who’d recently been in an accident, and apparently would have periodic bouts of odd behavior. He got a job as an insurance salesman, and met and married Janey-E, who is also the estranged sister of Cooper’s former assistant, Diane. Dougie was the Jekyll to Mr. C’s Hyde, per the _Once Upon a Time_ approach to the characters, essentially representing not so much Cooper’s goodness as his weaknesses. So Dougie was a “nice guy” but a gambler and adulterer who indulges in coffee and sweets. When Cooper is released, instead of his own body, he gets Dougie’s body. Somehow this puts him a state of amnesia, and everyone who knows Dougie takes it as another of Dougie’s spells.
10) Mr. C’s plan is to have Dougie killed, but his agents keep failing/getting the wrong man.
11) The original plan for Season 3, had it aired 1991-92, was to have Sheryl Lee return as a third character, this time a redhead.
12) In Fire Walk With Me we learn that BOB had intended to possess Laura, not kill her, because his time in Leland was running out. Ronette Pulaski was supposed to be killed but prayed to God for mercy, got rescued by a pair of angels, and then fled into the woods, so BOB killed Laura.
13) Maddy speaks of how she always felt that she and Laura had some kind of bond.
Conclusion: just as there are three “Coopers,” the “real” Dale Cooper, Dougie and Mr. C., there are three “Laura’s”: Laura, Maddy and the Redhead. Just as Mr. C. doesn’t want to go back to the Lodge, and like the woman in Gordon’s early case, the “Laura” who died on February 24, 1989, was a “Blue Rose.” Somehow, in returning the “Real” Dale Cooper, the “real” Laura Palmer will also be returned, with possibly the “real” Leland as well.
C. S. Lewis observes of ecumenism, even in his day, that those who speak most of being “ecumenical” are more likely to fight, while those who speak of being orthodox relative to their specific denominations are more likely to actually find agreement with one another and discuss things. (John snippet)
The Church needs more married priests, but not for the reason people think.
One of the reasons the Western Church moved to mandatory celibacy was that it simplified things.
It has always been the case that ordination is an impediment to marriage. Once a man is ordained a deacon, he becomes a spiritual father to his community (in the East, deacons are called “Father,” as well). Except for very rare extenuating circumstances, if a married, ordained man is widowed, he is not permitted to remarry. Even while his wife lives, a married priest and his wife are expected *at least* to abstain from marital relations before celebrating the Liturgy (incidentally, fasting from sexual relations was part of the traditional fasting rules for laity, as well), often, and always in the Roman sui iuris church, married priests are required, or choose, to practice perpetual marital continence.
In the east, the wife of a deacon is called a “deaconess,” and the wife of a priest is called the “priestess” (or sometimes “Sister” or “Mother”). Usually in Engish, the original language of the autocephalic church is used (such as “diakona” or “presbytera” in Greek). The wife participates in her husband’s ministry (1 Cor 9:5).
As his wife, she is his confidante and supporter. As the traditional observance of Sunday includes a community gathering after Divine Liturgy, the wife of the priest is to be the hostess of that gathering, mirroring her husband’s role in the liturgy.
We have a saying in our house when TV shows get too morally or ontologically problematic: “These people need Jesus.”
C. S. Lewis says several places, himself following Chesterton, that everyone who thinks they’re saying something new is really saying something that one of the classical or medieval philosophers already said. (snippet unfinished by John)
When I first read Flannery O’Connor (also 20 years ago), I had the same reaction as Melody Lyons describes here. Since that time, after learning how much evil there is (and how much has been covered up in our society and church) , suffering through my own chronic health problems and my husband’s sufferings from Marfan syndrome and his death this past October, I have a whole new appreciation for Flannery.
“Show me what is my secret sin” (Psalm 19) is the purpose I think of all of her works. Reading her stories and essays, after understanding their anagogical meaning, does lead me to make a better Confession as I realize how much sin I tend to rationalize and excuse unknowingly instead of repenting and confessing it. Father Theodore from the Norbertines wrote an excellent homily that encouraged and inspired me to pray the prayer of the psalmist. (http://22.214.171.124/our-top-secret-sin?page=2 is the link if that one does not work.)
Ornan the Jebusite offers David his threshing room floor for the sacrifice
In Acts 2, the early Church shared everything, even though they were being taxed by the pagan government. In Second Kings and First Chronicles , David and his people suffered horribly because he took a census, described as “A satan–rose up against Israel, and he incited David to take a census of Israel.” In other words, the devil cajoled David such that trusted his own wisdom over that of God’s and doubted His Providence. Given 3 choices, he chose to be punished by God for 3 days until he made the atonement. Because of the generosity of a stranger, Ornan the Jebusite, who gave him the land, including his threshing room, and freely offered to pay the entire atonement, at the very spot that would house the Temple in Jerusalem, David and his sins for presuming God had not granted enough for the people, were atoned. Interestingly, David turned down Ornan’s offer for it to be free, wanting to pay from his own stores.
7 But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his place of baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit worthy of repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax lies ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but after me will come One more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and to gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Jesus came when a “census of the whole world” was being done by the secular, pagan government and offered His Life, once and for all, in atonement for our sins and for the whole world, essentially paying the price for our taking a census, of saying, no God, there isn’t enough, we can’t provide for all, which is blasphemy, as He does indeed provide for all. That pride and greed is essentially where all the other sins come from.
It’s Caesar we worship when we refuse to help each other, saying it’s the government’s job or those in need should have planned better (taken a census) instead of our very duty as followers of Christ is to trust Him and do whatever *He* tells us. Read Matthew 25 for those responsibilities. No, I am not even talking about immigration matters, though that certainly is part of it. Asking myself how many times I have “taken a census” to avoid helping someone or put someone down, period, is a good examination of conscience.
Went to Confession today. Didn’t want to be a “10 minute Confession,” so I prayed a long time about it–including my post about the Saints last night–and I talked about my existential doubt/Dark Night, my doubt of the Church, and rash actions committed because I was really angry at God and didn’t realize it. Father said to pray the Glorious mysteries and focus on the third. Didn’t even say that Penance till later this evening, but when I came out of Confession, I sat down, rejoined the people saying the Sorrowful Mysteries in church, and felt a deep sense of God’s Presence to a level I haven’t felt in a long time, and didn’t think I’d ever feel again now that I ‘m in the last stages of the Dark Night. I felt so overwhelmed by JOY, by LOVE, by PEACE, that I practically felt like a Charismatic. I thought of Joy Davidman Lewis’s famous description of her conversion:
“All my defenses—the walls of arrogance and cocksureness and self-love behind which I hid from God—went down momentarily. And God came in.”
It was my consolation from God on the night my husband died, to realize that of all the titles I had heard of Our Lady, widow was not one of them, but now I know intimately the pain she must have felt at St. Joseph’s death. I suddenly realized every time Jesus refers to a widow and/or an orphan, He refers to His Mother and Himself. I found this article very helpful:
“The experience of Mary and her times of loneliness that arose from the circumstances of her life as the mother of Jesus is a reminder that Mary’s life was real and truly human.
She knew what it meant to be isolated, to fear, to experience terrible anxiety, loneliness, and hurt. For all her sinlessness, Mary’s life was filled with the faith-demanding events just mentioned. There likely were many more.”