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Whatsoever you do…

Sunday, 26. August 2012 0:59

Just like many people today, I am on a spiritual journey towards holiness. I have found it quite difficult at times, and today was no exception. I realized something today…you know when Jesus said, “whatsoever you do to the least of these (people), you do to Me.” Well, He even meant whatsoever we do also…to ourselves!

I am a diabetic. I have been really fighting within myself for most of my adult life, about eating and my weight. I have starved, I was anorexic when I was 13-16. Then I began eating, or rather over-eating for a period of about 10 years, then I became bulimic for many years after that, till I was 35 or so. Then with counseling I stopped bingeing and purging, and just plain over-ate. This last period has lasted me about 17 years so far.

Each and every day is a struggle within myself to eat what I should, when I should. I had actually been much better in the last 4 weeks or more, eating much healthier, and staying away from sugar. But today, was my sister’s birthday, so there was cake, not one, not two, but THREE cakes. I didn’t have a piece of all three, but I DID have 2 helpings of 2 of them…which comes down to 4 pieces of cake! And I’m a diabetic. Yes, I’m adamant about checking my blood, and I made sure that I had taken enough insulin, but when I got to my desk, where I have a wonderful picture of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, there He looked back at me…very dissappointed in me. He almost looked very sad, like I had really betrayed Him. But then I believe His Holy Spirit gave me this thought…”Whatsoever you do to the least of these, you do to Me…even if you do it TO YOURSELF”!

“Wow”, I thought, “I never considered that statement, THAT way. But actually if you think about it, yes, that IS true…what you do to yourself, you also do to Jesus!” So, if you hate yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself. If you overindulge yourself in things you should not, all those are things you DO to Jesus too! At my sister’s dinner party, a friend of a neighbor came to dinner with our neighbor. He was a really nice guy, but after talking with him for half the night, I realized one thing…this guys does NOT care for himself AT ALL. He is a diabetic. He drinks alcohol every night. He does NOT check his blood. He does NOT take insulin. He only takes medicine for the diabetes. He said his doctor wanted to check his blood 3 times a year. The guy told his doctor “No. I’ll come every 6 months, that’s it!” So, I told this guy, “but your doctor just wants to make sure your blood sugars aren’t too high, because if they are, there may be one day when you go to bed, and you’ll never wake up!” This guy didn’t care. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “well, then I die.” But I have been watching a number of videos on YouTube that feature people who have really died, and GONE TO HELL.

I have been thinking about this a lot…why would people go to Hell? Especially if they knew they were doing things wrong! Many of them have too much pride…they think they have time to get their lives in order or right. They think that they will have many years to fix their wrongdoing, even if it’s to themselves. But there is a point at which there is NO FIXING what we have done wrong to ourselves. And many people pass that line, and do not think they have. They still think things are fine, and that they can always fix things later. Almost every person in every video about Hell thought that. They all thought they had time. No one realized that EACH AND EVERY ONE of us no matter how young or old, healthy or sickly, WE EACH COULD DIE TODAY!

I LOVE sugar. I especially love cake with whipped cream frosting. I had been doing well giving up sugar. I had not had sugar for about 6 weeks or so…until today. Today I went crazy eating cake and whipped cream frosting. But, like I said, when I came up to my office computer, and looked at the very sad face of Jesus just behind my computer screen…I knew…I had not only disappointed Jesus, I HURT HIM. By hurting myself with sugar. The problem is, I’m no better than that guy. I thought I was, because I take my blood sugar measurements 5 times a day give or take. I take my insulin to compensate for what I eat. But at what point is it too late? At what point have I done so much damage to my body that it cannot tolerate ANY sugar at all, even fruit?!

I can’t tell you, express to you the sorrow I feel. It is like the sorrow that the people on YouTube felt when they went to Hell. They all realized TOO LATE what they had done. “If only…” they would say. I do NOT want to be that. I do not want to ruin my life, my body, my mission, that God has given me and me only to accomplish. And if I ruin my body, I will most likely not complete this mission that is mine. And it will go undone. Like the mission of that guy, whose blood sugar was over 300 one day, and he didn’t worry about it, because it “dropped” to 189 two days later!! It is pride. I couldn’t explain how it’s pride, but it is pride. Maybe it’s the pride of thinking we are in control of ourselves, when we really aren’t. Or the pride of thinking we can do, eat, drink, or smoke anything we want and still be fine. I think that’s it. I ate 4 pieces of something I told Jesus/God that I would give up completely. I also ate 2 portions of red meat, beef, that I also promised Jesus/God I would not eat! Wow, today was a stellar day in terms of FAILURE!

But, I thank God that I AM AWARE of my mistake, and my pride…now something can be done about it. Now at least I can pick myself up, dust myself off, realize I should NEVER have given into my craving for sugar, and move on. Start fresh, with a new promise to take care of myself. But I will need help in the future, the help that ONLY God/Jesus can give me. I need His Holy Spirit, to help me to treat myself (or rather Him), as best that I can, not neglecting what I should do and shouldn’t do.

Dearest Lord, I hope and pray that You will give me the strength I need to take care of myself properly. Help me to NOT be prideful and think that I can do, eat, drink, or smoke whatever I want now, and later I can “fix” it. Help me to know that to take care of MYSELF is to TAKE CARE OF JESUS. Because whatsoever I do to MYSELF, I also do to Jesus!

God Bless,
With Gassho,
Sr. Frances

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The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Saturday, 16. June 2012 23:31

Today was the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Now, to most non-Catholics, that’s not a big deal. But recently, I completed not one, but two “consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary” this last spring. The book that I started with, “30 days to Morning Glory” said that “this is a life-changing event”. When I first completed it, I really didn’t “feel” any different. But as time has gone, I realize, this consecration, was really something huge for my Spiritual Life.

By giving my life TOTALLY to Mother Mary, it is like giving yourself over completely to God, because Mary is united to the Holy Spirit, who is united to God and Who Is God. So, when we give ourselves over to Mother Mary, we in essence give ourselves to God. But Mother Mary is SO loving, and SO patient with us. She guides us ALWAYS TOWARDS GOD AND NEVER AWAY FROM HIM. So many non-Catholics do not understand Catholic’s relationship with Our Blessed Mother. They think we “worship” her AS God. We don’t. We simply acknowledge that she has a special bond with God that no other HUMAN being has. Jesus is God AND human. Mary is totally human, except without sin. So, because of this special relationship that Mary has with God and Jesus, she is especially helpful in helping us to get to know God/Jesus.

After I did the “total consecration to Mary” by St. Louis De Montefort, I did start to feel a little something, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. As time has passed I realized that Mother Mary has lead me deeper into my journey to find God, to know God, than I have ever been before, and she’s done it quicker than I have in the last 50 years! That’s something I read as well, that those who REALLY give themselves over to Mother Mary, heart and soul, that she does not waste a moment in bringing that soul closer to God/Jesus. There is also a thought that those who do give themselves to Mary, are never lost. Mary does not allow a soul to wander into perdition, those that give themselves truly to her care. She truly is OUR Mother. I really found that out, and am finding that out every day that I go deeper into my “total consecration”.

So, after Mass I went to confession, as I try to go to confession about twice a month or so. So, one of the things that Mother Mary has been helping me to do is to re-evaluate the amount I actually sin. I have been “revisiting” sins that I thought I had stopped doing, but realized I was doing them all along. Things like judging others, being critical of others, and even avoiding those that I think are difficult to be around, or who I think don’t like me. So, I confessed that, and the priest told me about St. Therese the little flower. He said, she saw all these great people around her, who were part of the Body of Christ, teachers, missionaries, preists, etc, and she wondered, “where do I fit in the Body of Christ?” “what is MY role in that body?” Then she realized towards the end of her life, that her role in the Body of Christ was LOVE. She would LOVE, completely and unconditionally. But knowing her own weakness, she asked God to love unconditionally those around her, THROUGH her, because her heart was just too human for the task. She realized she actually was turned off by many of the sisters around her, and that would not do for the Good God! So, He helped her to love everyone, by simply being patient and kind to them, even those she found very annoying or repugnant.

So, I thought about that today, how I, or rather, how all of us avoid those we don’t like, or find annoying. We avoid them like the plague sometimes. Then I thought of this one Buddhist saying or story I had read…a monk was in the mountains alone, spending some time there meditating. He had a tent, and his sleeping mat, and a fire going, with a tea pot boiling. Another monk comes along, a stranger to the camping monk, and he sees the camp that the other monk has, and he knocks down his tent, stomps out his fire, knocks over his pot of tea and then walks off. Later when the camping monk was retelling the story, he says to his monk brothers, “gee, I miss that monk!” When I first read this, I did not understand it. Later, when I learned about “no enemies”, I realized that was what the monk was practicing. Not only had he completely forgiven the monk that ruined his camp, but he LOVED him! That is what God wants of all of us! Unconditional love! We are all weak, and human. But all it takes is deciding to be patient with the quasi-friend that is harsh, or rude, to soften our hearts and love them, the way God wants us to. We will most likely have to beg for help in going through the meetings with these “friends” but over time, I have seen this in myself, our hearts soften, and we start to see the good that these people have deep down. Rather than seeing only the harshness, we see the deeper soul, holiness, or Buddha Nature as the case may be.

Another gift that I believe Mother Mary gave me on her feast day today, is she touched my heart so that I could REALLY see our wealth. By “our wealth” I mean the wealth of middle-class and upper-class people. Let me explain: I was in the grocery store after church, and I was buying corn, fresh corn on the cob. As I was looking over the beautiful ears of corn, I thought, “wow, how many people in this world would just die for ONE of these ears of corn!” Then the thought hit me…”what if I bought less for myself and my sister to eat, and with the extra money I saved, gave it to a food-bank so that some poorer people could eat a much needed meal?” It was almost like I was blind my whole life, and suddenly someone healed my vision. I couldn’t believe myself…that I had been so blind for ALL my life!!?? So, I am going to start eating less, which believe me, I need to eat less!! Then the money I save I will give to charities that feed people. Then I wouldn’t be quite so fat, and have weight problems, and someone else who needs the food, will have it! But this little awakening, didn’t just show me about food, and our sharing our food, but ALL our wealth! Our homes, our clothes, our cars…what if you bought a slightly older, cheaper car than what you “wanted” and gave the extra money to a charity that provides cars for poorer people? How about living in a smaller home, with less accessories? All of those things, added up, and given to charities that really help poorer people…would mean that NO ONE would be without. This is what I got today…the biggest gift of my life, I believe….the ability to SEE beyond myself and my own needs, to see the needs of the whole world around me!!

So many times we look at the world, and say, “oh my God, it’s SO overwhelming!! How can I, ONE person, make any difference?” Start small, don’t get that extra coffee in the afternoon…save the money, after a month, give that money to the food bank, or charity. Don’t use the money for yourself, for a bigger car, house, or more clothes…that is NOT the point of this practice. You have to “let go” of something you WANT, so that someone else can get what they NEED. Once you’ve done it, you will be so uplifted in mind, body, and soul, that you will want to give like that more, and more, and more. That is how the saints did it. Mother Theresa said it a lot…”just start with one.” You don’t have to do big things, just little things with great love!

Mother Mary has taken me in her Heart, and she will take you too, all you have to do is give yourself to her…if I could give my life to prove this I would, trust me, you will never regret doing it!

Namaste,
With Gassho,
God Bless

Sr. Frances
The Sisters of Embracement.org

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