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The author Fr. James Mallon has been known for this statement. The first time I read it, I did a double take. Scandalous? What? It seems to me that God's mercy and scandal should be pointing in the exact opposite direction. But then I began to think about this crazy concept.
God's mercy. Scandal.
Then it dawned on me, as it probably already has for you.
God's mercy = Scandal
It actually equals it! In our world, God's mercy became such a radical concept. It differed and continues to differ from our human, natural predispositions to mercy. Why? Well, to put it bluntly, God's mercy just isn't fair. At least not in our human-need-for-justice kind of fair.
In my house, every day is a test of fairness. Claims to the lack of it abound regularly.
"She hasn't cleaned as much as I have!"
"I fed chickens two times in a row. It's not fair! It's time for someone else to do it!"
At one time we even had a serious family discussion on why everyone's dishes jobs were not getting completed consistently. One of the kids said that in order to fill the dishwasher, the other person had to empty it. The claim was that the emptying often was not occurring, so the filler couldn't do her job.
Then my husband posed the question: "Depending on the circumstances, why couldn't you do both jobs? We don't want to promote lack of responsibility, but sometimes the reason is beyond control and it would be a great mercy."
I think I could have used a knife to cut through the silence at his question. I didn't have to read their minds to know what they were thinking..."We can't do that because it's not fair!"
However, their faces also revealed a light dawning. What their dad had put on the table was God's mercy. His mercy was difficult, challenging, and completely unfair to our humanness. But that was how they knew the difference.
God's mercy breaks what has become the mold of mercy in this world. And the breaking of this mold is scandalous. And, honestly, for the sake of my soul, I praise God for this scandalous mercy. There is so much undeserved mercy that He gives me every single day.
I would venture to say that His greatest example of this is in showing me that although I could never deserve it, I can someday enter into eternity with Him.
Wow. Can't get more merciful than that!
Sometime this week, let's take advantage of an opportunity to show God's form of mercy to someone.
I pray that God brings one to light and gives us the grace to be a radical example of His love in that moment!
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/question-mark-answer-communication-1990155/
Inner healing, physical healing, forgiveness, freedom from addiction, and the cutting of soul ties. Don't these words bring up lots of fuzzy feelings? Well, although you might not doodle bubble hearts of sentiment around them, I hope that these words do promote positive reflection.
Why? Because although our minds may not consider them often, these are topics of which our souls are very aware, recognizing the the pain incurred as unresolved issues and the incredible hope, peace and healing that comes when approached well on a level of faith.
They are also issues that each of us faces, whether we are aware of it or not.
If you were to stop reading right now and look at each topic above, what would come to mind? Better yet, what if you read each topic and came up with one example of healing that is needed relating to each one?
My guess is, you would probably have little difficulty in coming up with a healing that is needed in each category. We are all "beneficiaries" of the fall by our original parents, so our need for healing runs rampant in our bodies and souls.
This being said, of course, we have no need to fear this great disconnect between our wounded selves and our "intended" selves.
As God stands outside of time, He sees the truth: our brokenness, all of our failures and our desperate need for healing. But, at the very same time, He sees our perfected selves, healed and freed from all of the effects that sin has imposed on us. In other words, the Master Creator sees US in our complete form.
There is no hiding, no running away from Divine Love. He knows.
He LOVES. And He keeps on loving.
As we confront failure on a daily basis, perhaps the greatest failure of all is that we don't approach Divine Love enough for healing.
"Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed. Save me, and I will be saved. For you are my praise." Jeremiah 17:14.
The Lord of Life, the Great Healer, wants us to ask Him for healing! He wants us to grow closer to our "intended" selves.
As He did in the gospel of Mark, He waits daily to say this to us...."Your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
So, why do we hesitate? Do we think we are unworthy of healing? Do we struggle with believing that healing could even be possible?
Don't falter! Be strong and believe!
Yes, we may be beneficiaries of the fall of man, but the greater reality is that we are the inheritors of the Kingdom of Life, possessing king and queenship under the Lord of the Universe. By this very nature we are not meant to be slaves to the effects of sin, but were created for an eternal life of love, perfection and peace.
Let the Great Healer fulfill His desire. Go to Him with an expectant faith, accepting whatever healing He will ordain to you at that moment.
How exciting it is to grow closer to the person that God created us to be. In the end, our arrival to Perfection will be beautiful and beyond anything we can imagine. What a moment that will be!
Happy St. Valentine's Day!!!!
Looking for a craft to do with the kids today? Here's a video to show you how to make some really cute duct tape flowers!!
As we remember the great witness of love that we find in St. Valentine, let's really focus on loving all of those around us today. Encourage the kids (and ourselves!) to do one good deed for each member of the family.
St. Valentine will be pleased! :)
Remember the ancient hymn lyrics...
Let Love Reign! :)
Have a beautiful and heart-filled day!
Sometimes I just love the honesty of 6th graders! The other day, I was helping out at our parish Edge program for 6-8 graders, and the kids at my table were pondering the Bible passage about the woman who needed three measures of yeast for her leavened bread, considering the connection between it and heaven. During the discussion, one of the girls became suddenly quiet, then, without warning, burst forth with the statement, "I just don't get that we go to heaven forever! It's just so hard to imagine!" This statement was followed immediately by nodding heads and "I know!" by the others at the table.
Previous topic suddenly put aside, we jumped into this new one, and I couldn't stop the excitement building inside of me as the kids expressed their own visions of heaven. They listened attentively as we discussed how the Bible and the Church guide us in approaching this great mystery. Faces that had come into the room bearing that "I'll do my best to listen, but it's been a long day and I'm tired" had become animated with excitement, peppering questions with insatiable curiosity.
It was awesome! Sponges, they drank in the discussion, spitting back out some surprisingly deep thoughts and responses to each other.
By the end of class, those same, tired faces left the room with eyes lit up, thoughts of heaven dancing around in their heads. And mine were right there with them.
Yes, these kids might be in 6th grade. But, their honesty, willingness to listen, and beautiful sense of who God is reminded me of the importance of the Body of Christ, especially as a living reality of the Trinity.
And, as I consider this point in light of the revelation of the telling hearts of many our nation's members regarding our political climate, I am also reminded why Jesus tells us to be like the little children. Such wise, wise words.
As it was when the Israelites were wandering in the desert, our future is in the hands of our youth. And I, for one, am so glad it is!!
Dear Lord, continue to guide our children and the future of Your people back to Your Merciful Heart!
So…Justina's had many requests for this one! We decided that a tutorial of a Chibi Charm about the beautiful St. Therese would be a great idea to share in time for St. Valentine's Day. (The little rose theme?) Both kids an adults would love to create this simple little charm to give away as beautiful, heaven-sent "little" gift of love on the feast day that celebrates the gift of love!
We truly hope you enjoy it, and, if you'd like, take a picture and send it to us for our craft gallery! Each charm is uniquely made, so we'd love to see your artistic creation.
God bless your day, and happy creating!
Since the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is on February 11th, we'd like to put out a new Lego and Craft Challenge!
Miraculous Lady: Our Lady of Lourdes
Depict a creation relating the story of St. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes!
If you need inspiration, scroll down to the Jan 31-Feb. 6th examples in the Lego Gallery for more incredible examples from last year!
We can't wait to see your creativity!! If you get a chance, take a picture and send it in using our simple submission link.
God bless your day, and happy creating! :)
Last Friday, Julia and Justina from the Teen Take Team went to the March for Life in D.C. Recording their experience via iPhone, they have condensed their footage into a short video trip to give a teen's eye view of what it was like to be with their group on the trip. (And it was quite a bit different when compared to what the media portrayed!)
I really hope you get a chance to watch this positive video - for many reasons. For one, it is truly positive, and for another, it inspires hope for our future! Please share it with other teens!!
Attending was unforgettable for the team, and they would love to encourage other teens to go in the future. Please pass this on to anyone even slightly considering going someday.
God truly bless your day!!
Seriously, if you haven't yet checked out Navis Pictures, you are missing out. Their pictures are so fun and informative, using only teens and kids to act out parts that would normally be for adults! Written and Directed by Jim Morlino, they teach us about our faith in such a humorous and fun way. Here is one of my favorites to celebrate St. Thomas Aquinas' feast day: a Youtube video that so beautifully illustrates the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas with interwoven humor - a MUST in their films.
When you're done enjoying this clip called "Higher Education," check out their other videos on their website http://www.navispictures.com .
God bless your day! :)
Today is the Feast Day of the Conversion of St. Paul. I love this feast!! I think my deep affinity for St. Paul comes from the fact that his story is shines as a beacon of hope for all of us.
Due to the craziness of life the last two days I wasn't able to get this onto the blog, but I would be remiss if I didn't get it on today! Here is a printable craft for kids illustrating his how Paul's blindness turned to sight - in more ways than one!
I hope the kids enjoy it...God bless you all!
Remember my post during Advent that discussed the crazy Saint names that exist out there? Well, when I looked at today's feast day and saw this particular one, I just had to look him up!
And yes, you did read it correctly. St. Lawdog is this interesting saint's name! It turns out that there is very little known about him, if anything, honestly. We'd be left with just his name EXCEPT for the not-so obscure fact that he has four churches in Wales named after him and he founded a monastery from which has come incredible minds that have gone on to heavily influence the intellectual world in both Wales and Scotland.
Pretty neat, huh? St. Lawdog is yet another example of how we are all called to change the world, even if our history may someday be forgotten. Our legacy will live on, no matter what.
Just thought I would give you some food for thought today.
Have a blessed one!
Looking for our videos? Check out the Teen Take and Kid Korner tabs above!!
Here are some songs that St. Paul might have sung...
If a song's title includes (family recording), please refer to the blog entry on 3/8/16 for info...
Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
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