Monday, March 19, 2012

ocean of mercy

I need to retell a story Mother Angelica told. I heard it about two months ago, and it's been resonating with me since (though it was a re-broadcast of 'Mother Angelica Live' from about 1997).

Mother had been to a conference on the east coast, probably the Carolinas, somewhere. During a break, she was taunting the waves. "C'mon, is that all you've got? You can't even get my toes? You can do better than that." Suddenly, a larger wave surprised her. It splashed up to her knees and spattered her whole self. As she was flinging the water droplets back to the sea, Our Lord spoke to her, though I don't know if she heard it with her ears or her heart. He said, "My daughter, did you see the size of the that droplet flung back to the sea?" "Yes, Lord, it was very tiny!" "That droplet represents your sin. Do you see the size of the ocean?" "Yes, Lord, it's ENORMOUS!" "Daughter, once you flung the droplet, was it distinguishable to you any longer?" "Oh, no, Lord! The ocean is too large!" "The ocean represents the ocean of my Mercy. Do you not think the ocean of My Divine Mercy is not large enough to absorb and obliterate your sin? It only remains to be asked of Me."

During Lent, there's usually a theme that keeps appearing to me, unsolicited. Last year it was forgiveness for others. The year before it was unconditional love.

What I keep realizing THIS Lent, through overheard snippets of conversations, radio programs, and words that catch my eye from a page, is that I am worthy of forgiveness. I struggle with that, even though I shouldn't. I mean, is that the absolute affront to the Passion and Cross, or what? Once in confession, I told this to Father. He said, "You know that that's your pride, right? That you think YOUR sins are so big. That you think YOU have the worst past. How can YOU be forgiven these terrible things. What do you think Jesus thinks about THAT, hmm? You MUST accept your absolution,,that is what He died for!" Boy, was I chastened! Now, I think he misunderstood to a degree, as I never questioned when absolution was administered that I was absolved,,I was trying to convey that I didn't feel worthy, though I did get him, and know that we are all worthy. See, He made us. That alone makes us worthy. It makes ME worthy.

There are times still, though, when I'm ashamed, even of things I've confessed and promised to change with a firm purpose of ammendment. Sometimes these terrible, horrible, evil things haunt me. That is why Mother Angelica's story touched me so profoundly. "Do you not think the ocean of My Divine Mercy is not large enough to absorb and obliterate your sin?" Whoa. Oh, thank you, dear Lord,,thank you for this, when I need it most, because I call upon it often now. This is the clarification of Father's admonishment. You, oh Lord, are bigger than my worst sin, confessed with contrite heart, and You have forgiven me, and I am worthy of Your forgiveness. Thank you for coming to me as Merciful Savior, not as Just Judge.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world.

Monday, February 6, 2012

simple thoughts on a joyful monday

I love the Joyful Mysteries. I didn't used to. The first three I got, but the last two I didn't. Simeon and Anna's words of warning? I'd be scared. Losing your boy? Angry, to say the least.

Reflection is amazing, especially when you have time to kill in the car, so you whip out your rosary beads. Sometimes I have to remind myself, even at 40, to reflect on each mystery, not just recite the words. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone.

I was driving to the doctor on Monday, and began my rosary. "C'mon, self, don't just drive and mumble your prayers,,think about the mysteries,,,reflect,,," Interesting fruit comes of these kinds of promptings :). I love the parallels and lessons.

Obviously mothers have an affinity for the BVM. She's a mother; we're mothers. She loves her boy and feels his pain; we'd gladly experience our children's sufferings for them if we could. The Joyful Mysteries are particularly Marian, and relate-able to us as human mothers:

-The first Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation -

Mary's news is beautiful, wonderful, and disconcerting, but she trusts God. So, we get our news, especially for the first baby, and we know our lives will change, and we wonder if we're ready for this and we have to adjust our thinking about everything and sometimes THAT's disconcerting, but don't we have this young, beautiful, grace-filled, marvelous example,,our own Mother in Heaven, to show us that we trust God! "I am the handmaiden of the Lord,," yes, Father, be it done unto me according to Thy will..

-The second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation -

Our Lady was sent to her cousin Elizabeth, and what affirmation it must have been of God's goodness and the Truth of what was happening, to hear her say "how is it that the mother of my Lord has come to see me?".

-The third Joyful Mystery: The Birth of Our Lord -

Love, just,,love,,

-The fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple-

We get these gifts, and then we are so joyful, and we give them to God, in an act of utter faith that He will guide their lives and their lives are His. This parallel with baptism, where our children are claimed for Christ, is magnificent.

-The fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus at the Temple-

Jesus reminds his parents, "did you not know I would be at the house of my Father?" Our babies are "little Jesus-es". They are not ours. They belong to their Father.

Hail Mary, let me value my children as you valued you Most Precious Son. Holy Mary, pray for me as I teach them His ways, so that they, claimed for Him, will return to Him in eternal life. I love you.