Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February 7, 2014- Overflowing Graces!

            They were having Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at church today from nine until three in the afternoon, so I went over.  In walking to the church I have to cut through Barb Plante’s yard across the street, she has a half-acre, long, narrow lot similar to ours.  She is a lovely, widowed Catholic woman who is the greatest, being about my own mother’s age.  I love to chit chat with her, she is always active in the church and with her cheery attitude she keeps herself very busy.

                                    (My husband cut us a path through her yard!!)
            She stopped me on my way and told me to come in the house for a moment; she had something for me to do.  There is a very “old school” conservative Catholic church that she goes to quite often for daily mass (St. Cyril and Methodius) and she said a few weeks back one of the priests had a large basket of saint cards, and he wanted everyone there to take one, without seeing who they drew, and to pray to that saint, and learn what they could from them.
            She said that she thought of me of all people and decided at that moment to take two cards.  She did not look at them, but placed them in her bible until she saw me.  Finally, she thought of it today as she noticed me walking through her yard and pulled out the two cards, face down, and told me to choose.
            One of the cards was under the other and the thought came to me of choosing the lower one, recalling the discarded Jesus, and how I see the Eucharist flung into the mud and I mentally dig myself down lower, into the mud so I can adore Him from below. 
            I drew the lower card and looked at it in amazement.  It was none other than St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the young nun to whom Jesus appeared and revealed to the church His Sacred Heart.  It was through her that He chose to make known the First Friday devotions.
            Today is a first Friday.
            I have been thinking recently of adding to my written thoughts here some of the quotes of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary because they are incredible.  He said, “I thirst, I so ardently thirst to be loved by men in the most Blessed Sacrament, that this thirst devours Me, and yet I find no one who tries to slake My thirst by giving Me some little return of love for love.”
            I am really blown away today.  I am in awe of God, working in this miserable, withered heart.  So, I walked over once again and sat with my Jesus.  Some of the children from Holy Family School which is on the church grounds were also in the chapel for a few minutes.  I smiled as I watched each of the kindergarteners genuflecting on the kneelers right before the Exposed Sacrament on the altar before they left.  Jesus was smiling at them. 
            And I sat there and read out of my Visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary prayer book I have, written by St. Alphonsus Liguori these words:

In one of her letters, a religious to whom God had given an intense love for the Blessed Sacrament expressed, among other things, the following sentiments: ‘I realize that everything good in me comes from the Blessed Sacrament. I have offered and consecrated myself entirely to my Sacramental Jesus. I know that numberless graces are not granted simply because people do not go to Jesus in the Tabernacle. His desire to distribute graces from this throne of Love is very great. O holy Mystery! O Sacred Host! Where, if not in the Blessed Sacrament, does God show the greatness of His power?  For the Sacred Host is the expression of all that God has ever done for us. We ought not to be envious of the lot of the blessed, for here on earth we have the very same God as they, only that to us He shows even greater marvels of His love. Try to get everybody with whom you speak to give himself completely to Jesus in the Tabernacle.’ 
         I wept as I sat there in church.  The heaping pile of graces!  He is talking to me!!  “…gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.” (Lk 6:38)  And that is how I ask for them.  Heap them on me Jesus!  As St. Therese said, “I want it all!”  And that is another way that I can relate to my patron saint.  I always have gone before the Eucharist and said that I want the lion’s share.  I am not meaning the lion’s share of “happy thoughts and feelings” (although, don’t get me wrong, I want those in heaping amounts too).  I know in my heart that those things are His way of fortifying me to handle the crosses I am given.  I will remember what this love, and joy, and gratitude feels like, (I can see how a person can kind of get addicted to it really) so that I can say yes with a full heart to whatever He wants to give me.
            He cannot be outdone in His generosity.   
            Waves of good thoughts come to me, and I praise Him, I offer it all back to Him.  I think on our move to this particular house.  He placed me there, so He could be physically close to me.  Then His mother started picking me up and carrying me to see Him, and receive the wellspring of all blessings and bounty… “a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing”.  I am Jesus’s neighbor!  All I have to do is walk over and sit with Him!  I see it.  He is proving to me the absolute truth in this!  He is giving me the lion’s share.
            Right on the heels of this joy comes this longing, this begging Jesus, “Don’t leave me.  Please, don’t ever leave me, or I will surely fall into the pit.”  Of course it would be me leaving Him, we both know that.  And that is what concerns me.  So I beg, and I beg, and I beg.    
            Everything in me wants everyone to know about this Pearl of Greatest Value!  He is heaping it on me, and through His grace alone I am accepting it.  I think He is strengthening me for my cross.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be a honking one; it can be as simple as not losing my mind when the little beach ball thing keeps a spinning with my sluggish internet connection.  And today I say Yes Lord!  (Don’t know how weak I will be tomorrow, or even ten minutes from now! But strike while the iron is hot Lord!) 
               Bring on the long run tomorrow.  If you hide me in your Sacred Heart; I am ready.

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