Thursday, April 27, 2017

THE BAD NEWS AND THE AWESOME NEWS!

Many of you know that I have had spinal problems for years. I have degerative disc disease, or "DDD", meaning the discs between my vertebrae are slowly disintegrating leaving a bone-on-bone situation that hurts like hades.  In 2005, as I've written about before, I had a two-level funsion of the last two levels of the lumbar section of the spine.  Not long ago, I began having pain in my lower back and it proceeded to get worse.  My doctor ordered an MRI. The results were not good. The two levels above the block have now disintegrated. My doctor told me that everthing he's read on this predicament is that you cannot do another fusion on top of an existing fusion, but he suggested I get a couple more opinions.  I went to see two of the top neurosurgeons in this area and took my MRI with me. One unceremoniously walked in, sat down and crossed his arms and said, "there's nothing we can do for you." I repeated what he said with a question mark at the end and he repeated it. I thought that I had done something displeasing when he had operated on my cervical spine a few years earlier. I grabbed my purse and slowly left the office completely confused. He didn't even bother to tell me "why" he couldn't do anything for me.

My cousin, who is a just-retired orthopedic surgeon and who had just had a 7-level fusion, which is mindblowing, told me who his doctor was. I knew that since he was a doctor in that field, he would have had the best surgeon there is.  A couple of weeks later, I was sitting in this doctor's office, waiting for him to appear.  He came in and was quite nice and sympathetic when he told me that surgery was not an option. At least he went on to explain "why", which is what my first doctor had said he'd read about these situations. I began to cry and asked, "so what do I do?" He told me to have my doctor refer me to a good pain clinic.

Bottom line, I am on pain pills and a strong muscle relaxer. BUT, he said that was only the beginning of our options, of which he explained and said we'd get to those later.  Good thing is that he does epidurals in his office and I know I can get on before I go out to see my folks in June.

My best friend's husband is a very Godly man. He was raised primarily by his grandmother, and that included reading the Bible every night after dinner and always church on Sundays. His wife has broken her back twice and she deals with the same kind of pain I am having. I went by there yesterday and he called later to say he'd had me and all that I said about my back and my moans and groans, and thus was led to find the "right scripture" for me at this point in time. He did and it's a beauty. I'll copy and paste what he sent to me that led me to tears, especially as I read the prayer.

Saying "thank you" is not enough for you, Curt. I will never forget all the kindnesses you've shown me as your wife's best friend, but as also being one great friend all by yourself. You and Carmel were sent to me by God, and I'm so very thankful. The fruits of our friendships abound!

Read on ......

~*~


All The Grace You Need
Walk in the Word - James MacDonald Bible Teaching

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in
weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
 —2 Corinthians 12:9

When we study Scripture, there are times when a nuance provided by the meaning learned 
from the Bible’s original languages can rock us to the core. The Greek word order of 
2 Corinthians 12:9 provides us with meaning we don’t want to miss: “Sufficient for you
is the grace of me.” 
That is an incredible promise! Essentially the Lord told the apostle 
Paul, I am the grace. I’m all the grace you need.

God does not dispense strength and encouragement like a pharmacist fills a prescription. 
God never says, Here, take two of these and call Me in the morning. He is the grace. He is the strength. His presence is the power. All we need comes through intimacy with Him. No matter what we face, Jesus is the complete answer. “Sufficient for you is the grace of me.” He doesn’t give what we need and then go somewhere else. He comes to stay. “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20)

Notice that the Lord explains how I’m all the grace you need actually works in our lives: 
“For my power is made perfect in weakness.” “Perfect” means fulfilled, accomplished, 
completed, finished. It’s the same term Jesus spoke as His final word on the cross, 
tetelestai, which means, “It is finished” (John 19:30). God brings His sufficient and 
powerful grace to the relationship; all we bring is weakness. All of this is grace because 
we can’t do anything to deserve what He does for us. And He makes sure the results 
are perfect and complete.

God wants His grace to be completed in your weakness. You never really experience 
the grace unless you see the need for it—and even that realization comes by grace. 
The power of Jesus' grace is not fully seen until weakness is fully acknowledged. The 
moment you are overwhelmed with your absolute helplessness is the moment you 
are ready to hear Jesus say, I’m all the grace you need.

Think about the place where you regularly meet with God. Is it a chair in your bedroom? 
At the kitchen table? Or as one father of five small children confessed, is it in the 
garage in the backseat of your car? In light of today’s verse ask yourself, How many
times have I gotten up from that place and left God’s sufficient grace there? 
The Lord 
was there with you—holding out to you the grace for the trial you were going to face
that day, as your mind was drifting off to your own plan. How many days did you run 
out to a busy day and leave Him there with His sufficient grace?

If you want to live by God’s sufficient grace, you’re not going to catch it falling from the 
sky as you hurry to your next appointment. You must go to the fountain and drink deeply. 
He is the One who quenches your thirst. When you read His Word and are thinking 
about it, His grace is flowing into you.

He is also the One who wants to go with you every step of the way. And when a trial 
threatens to overwhelm you, remember His promise: “Sufficient for you is the grace
of me.”
 The Lord is a faithful friend, sustaining you. He is all the grace you need.

Pray

Lord, what an amazing thought that Your grace is not separate from You—I
can’t experience Your grace without experiencing You. You deliver grace
personally, and Your presence in my life is grace. I know that because it’s
Your grace, sufficient doesn’t mean “just enough” or “barely enough,” but
way more than enough for whatever I face. Help me to rest fully in Your grace
as I seek to live for You in the day ahead. In Jesus’ name, amen.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

THE FIRST EUCHARIST - LUKE 24:13-35

On the Road to Emmaus


13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 
14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 
15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;
16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”They stood still, their faces downcast. 
18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 
19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 
20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 
21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 
22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 
23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 
24Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 
26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 
27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 
29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 
31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 
32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 
34and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 
35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

`*`

As Jesus walked with the Disciples, talking with them along the way, they didn't recognize him. What he spoke of and from what the Disciples knew but had forgotten, was like a jigsaw puzzle. Remember doing one of these 1,000-piece puzzles and finally at the end, four or five pieces fell into place and the puzzle was finished, Oh how happy you were at the feeling of success in solving the mystery.

He spake unto them "how slow you are to believe all that the prophets have announced! Did not the Messiah have to undergo all of this so as to enter into his glory?"  Here, the whole of Christianity is hanging in the balance.

The Disciples didn't quite understand at first. They didn't get the secret, the mystery, the key, the pattern. And what was this? It was God's self-emptying love even unto death.  God was taking upon the sins of the world so he could take them away with him. This is the Mystery of Redemption through suffering.

I have spoken many times about suffering and how you might compare your own suffering to that suffered on the cross for your sins. Our suffering will never be as great as the suffering of Jesus on the cross to take away our sins forever.

When the Disciples were stopping for the evening, they invited Jesus whom they still did not recognize, to come in and have the evening meal with them. When Jesus prayed over the bread and broke it and passed it to the Disciples, all became clear and they recognized who he was. That was the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place. The Eucharist made present this love unto death, this love that is more powerful than sin and death. The Eucharist is the key!

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Lovingly in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

WHEN SOMEONE LEAVES ....

Firstly, I had written a post to let everyone know that I was going to be offline during Lent. However, it "failed to launch", and who knows what you all have been thinking. Is she gone for good? NEVER! Not until God calls me to another place. So, I apologize for not double-checking to be sure that this message was conveyed to you.

My Uncle passed away into heaven this past Thursday. He was my mother's last living relative. He lived in Tennessee and it was just too far for her to travel. My husband and I went to attend the funeral. I went for me, to represent our family, and to give support to his children and grandchildren and friends.

I know it is a cliche, but I did not recognize the man in the casket at all. He didn't look like my uncle. I couldn't find one feature that looked like my uncle. He was dressed in his military uniform and the American flag was draped half-way on top of the casket. His military headdress and his medals were prominently displayed. And the newest favorite of families, a video slide show of his life played on a large screen. But he looked hollow when I looked at his closed eyes. I touched his cold, waxy hands and prayed. He had been in such pain for years and I was happy for hm. 89 years of a good life of a man who loved Jesus. And his soul was gone to heaven to be with Jesus. 

The soul is alive! It is who we are. It is our blueprint and holds all of the information about our entire lives, everything we did, everyone whom we knew, and everyone whom we loved. The soul may leave, but it will never die. If you have given yourself fully to Jesus, the horrid and barbaric death he endured secured your place in one of the many rooms that has been built in the Father's house just for you! 

I am sad when someone leaves, but then I think of the fact that they are in paradise with Jesus, with all their loved ones who have gone before them, and are with our God, I find much peace and happiness for them. For they have lived the life that God gave them and now left the worries and pain in this world for a place we cannot fathom. 

And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: 
and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, 
that not one thing hath failed of all the good things 
which the Lord your God spake concerning you; 
all are come to pass unto you, 
and not one thing hath failed thereof.
Joshua 23:14

Image result for homily john 14 27 images

Even Jesus told his Disciples that they should be happy for him because he was going to be with his Father in heaven. Hence the following verse:

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: 
not as the world givethgive I untoyou. 
Let not your heart be troubledneither let it be afraid.
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go awayand come again unto you. 

If ye loved me, ye would rejoicebecausesaid, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
And now I have told youbefore it come to pass
that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
John 14:27-29

Lovingly in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY

Monday, April 17, 2017

THE DIVINE ANTEDOTE

Rejoice! The Lesson of Why Jesus Appeared First to Magdalen

Our beautiful Mother tells Venerable Mary of Agreda: “You will also draw a very useful lesson if you worthily contemplate how quickly the immense Charity of the most High responds to those who are contrite and humble of heart (Ps. 33:19), and how ready God is, immediately to assist those who seek Him in love, who meditate and speak of His Passion and Death (Wis 6:13)…Imitate then the fervor of Magdalen in search of her Master, who did not permit herself to be diverted even by the angels, or leave the grave with the others, or rest until she found Him so full of sweetness and kindness. This she also earned by having accompanied me through all the Passion with an ardent and unfaltering heart. Similar was the conduct of the other Mary’s, who thus merited before so many others the joys of the Resurrection.”

~*~

Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in.  She saw two white-robed Noli me tangere by Correggioangels sitting at the head and foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.  "Why are  crying?" the angels asked her.

"Because they have taken away my Lord," she replied, "and I don't know where they have put him."

She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her.  It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize him.  

"Why are you crying?" Jesus asked her.  "Who are you looking for?"

She thought he was the gardener.

"Sir," she said, "if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him."

"Mary!" Jesus said.

She turned toward him and exclaimed, "Teacher!"

"Don't cling to me," Jesus said, "for I haven't yet ascended to the Father.  But go find my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God."

Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, "I have seen the Lord!" 

Then she gave them his message."

John 20:11-18


~Dual Ravens


Sunday, February 26, 2017

SPIRITUAL GEMS

A Reminder of our Lady's Critical Role: There is No Other Plan of God

Our Lord to Christiana Agbo: "I have come to talk to you about Mary and the ways she obtains Graces for you. Your trust in Mary should be immense knowing that by the decree of God her power is without limit. She is the special means of Grace by which you can approach God more faithfully. All that I could give to Mary, I have given her; and all that she was capable of receiving, she has received in fullness. If you ask for her help,  you will place yourselves in the very flood of Divine Grace. She is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit and the Channel of All Graces. You receive nothing  which you do not owe to a positive intervention on her part. She obtains everything for you....The purpose of My coming is to explain her position in the Church...She is the woman with whom God shares His mysteries, and she in turn communicates them to her children."

From the Bishop approved Messages from our Lord and our Mother in Aokpe, Nigeria


If you are desiring the acceptance of the Grace by a Pastor, Priest, friend or relative, ask St. Joseph each day to find lodging in that person's soul for the Flame of Love Grace and watch what happens with persistent prayer to him!  Please let us know of your successes!