RELIGION AND MY LIFE SERIES:-FRIENDS

I am listening to gregorian chants as I write this, I find them really soothing and in line with my brain waves which makes it conducive to passive thinking.  As you read this you may like to do so as well ( click below)

We all need friends, but I have found that the older I get, the smaller my circle of friends is becoming.

Seven years ago, my husband and I went on a holiday to Europe with three other couples whom we had been friends with for decades and thought we knew well. Before we left for our holidays, we met on numerous occasions over coffee to discuss rules and boundaries so as not to tread on each other’s toes, as we were going to be in close proximity to one another for around six weeks.

What a challenge it was for us going away with them on this trip !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Very early in the trip, it became very clear to us that they were not going to follow the briefing we went through before we left. Our friends showed their true colours. We were happy to let things go and continue on our journey by just being polite and not responding with rebuttals. We calmly and reservedly kept going throughout the trip and tried to maintain a professional and cordial relationship.

The jealousy started coming out in words and action, the backstabbing went on and they avoided us as much as they could because in their eyes, we were not team players.  Our silence and us ignoring them didn’t suit them,  it gave them more ammunition to disgrace us.

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Throughout the six weeks the eyes were rolling, we had to endure smirking, gossip, whispers, secrets, and avoidance tactics. We prayed morning, noon and night throughout all this and God gave us the strength to keep going and not roll up into balls and retaliate or retreat indoors.  We went on excursions with the tour group and joined up with other couples or others would ask us to join in with them.

Truly I tell you, God was with us and kept us focused throughout the whole trip.  We finished the tour and returned home having a feeling and sense of fulfillment and achievement. My husband and I had a wonderful time and visited so many great places throughout Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, the power of prayer brought us real joy and comfort to our hearts everyday.

Upon our return, even though we felt joy from having completed the trip, the bullying didn’t stop, these so called friends poisoned our other friend’s hearts, those who couldn’t come. We were not about to start a tit for tat communication, we decided to allow God do His work.  We felt empty with feelings of loss , but we never gave up!!

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God did not desert us, He had a plan for us, He showed us to let it all go, to forgive and move on. As our faith in God was getting stronger, God was building us up and raising us to another level. God was pruning us to prepare us for bigger and better things.

Feeling quite battered, six months later my husband and I took some prayer healing courses. We got prayer healing for ourselves and by invitation, went on to serve and facilitate healing through prayer for others. Life is great now. I can’t imagine our lives any other way. God has transformed us. I don’t believe this would have followed, if it hadn’t been for that experience and loss.

Nothing phases us because we know that God is working through our lives moment by moment. We do our bit and God does the rest.

We have continued to pray and ask God to lead us. My husband and I have our own ministry, together we run a Men’s Spirituality Group at the local church, I teach children who want to come from local state schools about our faith and  help them receive the sacraments. I also have my own Spirituality blog. I am a carer for my 81 year old mother who lives at the family home by herself and I enjoy doing things for her and doing things together as well.

The children I teach before me, have a great thirst for God and Jesus Christ, they ask me lots of questions, they are attending church services more, they feel stronger in their relationships in mainstream schools and love coming to classes out of their own free will. They are praying more and then go home and tell their parents what they have learnt and then the parents tell me what they have learnt through their children. WOW!!! I SAY!!!!!!And all because we went on that trip seven years ago.

God was pruning us and what seemed a challenging experience to us then, God was planting seeds in us, turning things around so that we could grow and be His instruments. I have never felt happier, more content and fulfilled than I do now.  Everyday I get affirmations from God that I am on the right track. What seems enormous He makes easy. What seems impossible He makes possible. When I give money away, I have more money in my wallet. I don’t take any credit for this because God makes it all happen, we’re just His instruments.

Yesterday, our daughter returned from having attended the COACHELLA 2018 festival in Palm Springs. I can’t deny that we weren’t a little apprehensive. She came back overjoyed that everything went better than she had ever expected. She asked us if we prayed for her, because she felt a spiritual protection over her the whole time. Of course the answer was a resounding YES!!! (  We prayed before, during and after the festival). So make no mistake, God is at work every minute of our lives even though things may seem quiet and that nothing is happening, God is aligning things up and testing you to see how far you are prepared to go.

Our eldest daughter is getting married next year and what others have said about wedding preparations been hard,  I am enjoying immensely and like clockwork, everything is lining up as we want, with ease. NO WORRIES!!

We now have different friends, ones we have met at church. So I say to you, if your friends don’t appreciate or celebrate who you are, if they are the naysayers and blockers in your life, let them go,  forgive them and give them to God.            PRAISE THE LORD!

I’d love to hear about your friends, please write to me. 

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RELIGION AND MY LIFE SERIES_PURGATORY

 HOW DOES RELIGION AFFECT MY LIFE?
SR. FAUSTINA                b. 1905- d. 1935
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This is the first of a series that I will put together to show people how my catholic faith affects my life.
Why does anybody do what they do? Because they are programmed for God, because without God we’ll forever have a restless heart.  Our spirit guides us into doing what we do.
I recently came into full understanding of what PURGATORY is all about.
I knew about it from a child, but really never stopped to think or research more on this topic until I was given an auditory tape that explained it fully.
Why should I believe in it at all one might ask? Well!!!! I don’t want to waste this life on a 50/50 % chance. I cannot come back and change my life but I can change my future. I can’t change my eternity. I believe that this life is so very short and when I think back I just realise how quickly this life is passing.
So then, PURGATORY IS a place of cleansing or purifying.
” The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: verbatim   All who die in God’s grace, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven (1030).
Let me break that down a little. The word purgatory is the label given to us using hundreds of years of intelligence. The word bible does not appear in the bible either.  However, the description of what is written down (see above) is just that-Purgatory. Not all christian bibles will have 2 Maccabees 12: 41-45  as it has been omitted. My protestant  friends tell me that salvation is automatic if you choose God, but I don’t think it’s that simple.
Did God not allow Jesus to be crucified for our sins? Does God forbid all
sin that may come to us or that we partake in? No, He doesn’t,  God allows evil in the world.
When Jesus died on the cross, He forgave the repentant thief because he repented out aloud to Jesus. He asked for forgiveness and Jesus told him that he would be with Him in paradise. He had already suffered a terrible death on the cross like Jesus and  that would have counted towards his atonement, but do we know for sure that the other thief went to heaven too? Who knows??????
Heaven is perfect. God is perfect. Jesus is perfect. If we have traces of sin we are rendered imperfect so when we die we cannot enter Heaven straight away. It doesn’t mean we are not saved, it means that we have to atone for what is left
Anything imperfect cannot enter heaven. It’s pretty straight forward.
Matthew 16:19 says……. ”and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

2 Maccabees 12:41-45 (RSVCE)

41 So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; 42 and they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. 43 He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. 44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. 45 But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.[a]

GOD IS LOVE, JESUS IS THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB OF GOD WHO DIED, SO THAT WE CAN BE PURIFIED OF SIN IF WE REPENT AND FORGIVE.
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Jesus does not go to purgatory but Mary does. Mary the great intercessor of us  all. Mary who has been elevated to the Queen of Heaven, the mother of God’s Son and the Mother of us all, visits purgatory often as a reprieve to those waiting to enter heaven.
We as humans are not expected to know everything about God or His plans. We grow into the truth and sometimes the people of His choosing get messages from God from Jesus or Mary. Isn’t that how the prophets knew about Jesus and who He was? Isn’t that how that oral tradition was passed on and eventually written down? Isn’t that how John  wrote the book of Revelations?
Well, in this case Jesus chose to reveal the afterlife- hell, purgatory and heaven to Sr. Faustina, why her you might ask??????? God chooses those who will honour Him and bring glory to His name and Sr. Faustina (now a Roman Catholic saint) was just that person. -Her Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul,  is a book she wrote  based on the contents of her diary from 1934 until her death, in 1938 in which she describes vividly her visions( click below for more info).
Why would Jesus reveal these to her? Because God wants us all with Him in heaven and He will stop at nothing to help us get there.
SR FAUSTINA’S VISION OF PURGATORY WRITTEN IN HER DIARY AS SHE SAW IT
(click below)
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So how has this changed my life??? Well,  I go to confession to repent of my sins. I don’t hold grudges, I quickly ask for forgiveness from those I have wronged.
I try to pass the message on to others. I have taught students at school about this and my own children at length, so there is no mistaking purgatory for what it is and that it is a real place.
 I ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO REGIFT ME, SO THAT I CAN BE BETTER AND BE THE BEST VERSION OF MYSELF. I ASK GOD TO ALIGN MY WILL WITH HIS WILL.
Recently it was my father’s anniversary of his passing and not only do I pray for him but my family and I had a mass celebrated in his name. November is the month of “ALL SOULS, “again we have masses celebrating our beloved.
One cannot get out of purgatory by themselves, hence we need to live your lives for God now and hope for a better eternity for ourselves. We need prayers from the living.  Prayers are never wasted, if you pray and your beloved are already in heaven, God will use your prayers for someone else who need them.
The rosary(given to us by Mary) prayed by oneself or with others, helps souls get to heaven.
(see link for virtual rosary below)
PRAYER FOR THE DEAD
ETERNAL REST GRANT UNTO HIS/HER (NAME OF PERSON PRAYING FOR) SOUL O LORD AND MAY PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON HIM/HER.
MAY (HE/SHE) REST IN PEACE. AMEN

50 days of Easter-How one weekend changed the world forever

E A S T E R _Our hope and our path to joy

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THERE IS NO DEATH WHEN WE PUT OUR TRUST IN HIM

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Because Easter is the most important feast in the Christian calendar, even more important than Christmas, the Easter season continues on for 50 days, through the Ascension of Our Lord to Pentecost Sunday, seven full weeks after Easter Sunday! 50 days to contemplate the joy that Jesus brought,  the hope for a better life with Him. The hope that we are not on our own to muddle through this mess we’ve got ourselves in.

When we surrender to the grace of God, He will help us. This doesn’t mean that pain will end, that problems won’t come, that death won’t touch us. But THAT EVERYTHING ON THIS EARTH WILL PASS. Everything that GOD HAS PROMISED WILL COME TO US. EVERYTHING with God’s stamp on it will be easier to endure, easier to cope with, easier to resolve.

Isn’t that why God gave us His Son Jesus, to lead us all to the Heavenly Father???? That’s where God wants us, that’s where we belong with our Father in heaven.

So, I say, shake off the blues, sorrow, hopelessness and believe in the one who is greater than this world and everyone or everything in it.

I can’t understand why many don’t aspire to this? It’s not that the alternative is better, it might leave you with some instant gratification but then comes the aftermath- the self pity, regret, hurt and destruction that the sin first enticed you with.

As St. John Chrysostom reminds us .. “Christ has destroyed death, and now is the feast of faith.”

At this time of the year I like to listen to Handel’s Messiah_ “If God be for us”

please click below and enjoy_ Courtesy of YOUTUBE

 JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU

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HOLY GOD

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. (Repeat 3 times- traditional catholic prayer)

CLOSING PRAYER
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. (traditional catholic prayer)

I’d love to hear your comments, reflections, observances.

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Oppression of what is truth and moral

Black Brunch' Protesters Strike Again — but Restaurant Staff ...

In this day and age, whenever one makes a moral argument about something the tag of discrimination goes up. People who have right wing, conservative politics and bring up bible truths and laws instituted by Jesus Christ, get called old fashioned, xenophobic, misogynistic, racist and uncaring. The leftist argument is that Jesus cared for all people, that He didn’t discriminate. But Jesus also made us aware of SIN. His laws are found in the New Testament, they serve as a guide to living. Isn’t that the reason Father-God sent him to us?

In the New Testament, Jesus gives us laws about family, marriage, birth and death, abortion, gender, etc…. Jesus was not concerned with political correctness, He was concerned with justice and fairness, law and order avoiding SIN for salvation.  Upholders of moral, conservative, right wing views are now the recipients of censorship and oppression of free speech rights. Is this what progress looks like? Well, I say it’s going backwards.

Milo Yiannopoulos a right wing, gay, catholic, activist, highlights this and although I don’t agree with everything he says, makes some very good points here. He is a perfect example of one who is misreported, discriminated upon by losing his job, and told that he is inciting violence for expressing his truth as he sees it. Never mind that he has sold out shows wherever he goes, especially in Australia and that he speaks what most are too afraid to say. Check it out below

Germaine Greer and the interview she gave to a BBC reporter who is very provocative and trying to trip her up, is appalling.  This shows exactly the oppression and discrimination we are facing today. Then Germaine Greer does not receive her honorary doctorate because of her transgender views even though she gives scientific factual arguments to support them. What a lot of rubbish!!!!!!!

This is exactly what Jesus had to endure, because He was different, because He was testing the Pharisees and their laws, He was rejected. Jesus came to give them a new way to live, a way to salvation which is through Him. The Pharisees couldn’t fathom a different way of living so they hated and persecuted Jesus. Well, nothing has changed, we still have Pharisees amongst us. Christians are being persecuted today for their beliefs, it might be covert in the western world but it’s happening around us.

I can’t understand why I can’t practise my religion without having to justify it. Christianity is what has formed many countries of the world and it’s on the rise in China and South Korea. Some of THE TOP CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS ARE CHRISTIANS eg…

  1. World Vision
  2. Caritas
  3. Salvation Army
  4. St. Vincent De Paul
  5. Compassion Australia

I can’t understand why conservative, right wing views have to be justified when much of what is spoken of are set as laws which have held us in good stead for centuries. If you look at societies today, can we believe that we have progressed when we have more violence, more censorship, more oppression of christians, more slavery, more poverty, more suicide especially amongst men, than ever before????????????????

Disregard the grey screen (double click below) for Germaine Greer’s interview

I leave you with a prayer, let me know what you think and if you have felt like this.

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Dear Lord,                                                                                                                                  You are our Father, the fountain of all truth, You gave us Your Son Jesus to lead,  help and protect us. Help us to see Jesus as our model and to live out His gospel truths.  Raise people up to be warriors who will lead us to You through Your Son Jesus Christ. AMEN