Journey with the Holy Spirit: the Gift of Understanding

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-fjx7f-b6f76d

We are continuing this week a journey with the Holy Spirit through a contemplation of his seven gifts.

Today we are meditating on the gift of understanding. I sat down for a conversation with Jeannette de Beauvoir and talked about what the gift of understanding is, how it helps us grow in greater union with God, how it blesses our life, and how to prepare for this gift of the Holy Spirit.

The gift of understanding is infused in the soul with sanctifying grace, by which the intellect, under the illuminating action of the Holy Spirit, grasps revealed truths with penetrating and profound intuition.

The “plus” of the gift of understanding is a simple intuition of truth, a type of infused contemplation. Our intellect is incapable of seizing the infinite, even though it lives of faith. The gift of understanding surpasses our human way of comprehension and enlightens us in a divine way. By the gift of understanding we “experience” what is true, we grasp the divine mysteries with the understanding of the Spirit himself in a way that produces a profound effect in the soul. It is a swift, deep penetration which makes us understand the inner meaning of the revealed truth.

An Invitation: to become a part of my HeartWork community!

Welcome to the HeartWork Community.

A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counselling, the HeartWork community is a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Sometimes we can’t touch the sunrise within us because we are numb from the effort to keep pushing through the wounding of present or past situations and events in our life. But at a certain point, we can’t ignore our heart’s desire for more.

What is HeartWork
Here at the HeartWork Community we learn a simple and practical process of watchfulness “at the door of your heart” in the spirit of the Eastern Fathers, who teach that the process for healing the heart is through a patient and sacred watchfulness which gives rise to the deep experience of wonder that bubbles up from the heart.

For the past twenty years I’ve written about moving through our brokenness into the light of God. My best-selling title based on my own experience, Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach, has been translated into 12 languages and is in its third edition. My newest book, Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, has just been released. For years I’ve offered HeartWork personally on an individual basis to whoever wants to pursue the hard questions in their own life and grow in an integrated spiritual-human formation. As much as that has helped people over the years, I realize that many more people could benefit from HeartWork if there were various ways a person could access the program. I so believe that HeartWork can help people that I want to make it available to as many as possible. That’s why I created the HeartWork community at http://pauline.org/heartwork.

I hope I’ll see you around.

Sign up for my letter (not a newsletter) and investigate my facebook group at: http://touchingthesunrise.com

Journey with the Holy Spirit: The Gift of Piety

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ppfnx-b6f752

We are starting this week a journey with the Holy Spirit through a contemplation of his seven gifts.

Today we are meditating on the gift of piety. I sat down for a conversation with Jeannette de Beauvoir and talked about what the gift of piety is, how it helps us grow in greater union with God, how it blesses our life, and how to prepare for this gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is the gift of piety that surprises us with an affection for God as our beloved Father and an absolute child-like love. As we go through the situations of our life that could make us tremble, we walk instead with a filial confidence in the heavenly Father from whom all things come. Jordan Aumann states: “Intimately penetrated with the sentiment of its adoptive divine filiation, the soul abandons itself calmly and confidently to the heavenly Father. it is not preoccupied with any care, and nothing is capable of disturbing its unalterable peace, even for an instant. The souls asks nothing and rejects nothing. It is not concerned about health or sickness, a long life or a short life, consolations or aridity, persecution or praise, activity or idleness. It is completely submissive to the will of God and seeks only to glorify God with all its powers…. These souls run to God as a child runs to its Father.”

An Invitation: to become a part of my HeartWork community!

Welcome to the HeartWork Community.

A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counselling, the HeartWork community is a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Sometimes we can’t touch the sunrise within us because we are numb from the effort to keep pushing through the wounding of present or past situations and events in our life. But at a certain point, we can’t ignore our heart’s desire for more.

What is HeartWork
Here at the HeartWork Community we learn a simple and practical process of watchfulness “at the door of your heart” in the spirit of the Eastern Fathers, who teach that the process for healing the heart is through a patient and sacred watchfulness which gives rise to the deep experience of wonder that bubbles up from the heart.

For the past twenty years I’ve written about moving through our brokenness into the light of God. My best-selling title based on my own experience, Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach, has been translated into 12 languages and is in its third edition. My newest book, Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, has just been released. For years I’ve offered HeartWork personally on an individual basis to whoever wants to pursue the hard questions in their own life and grow in an integrated spiritual-human formation. As much as that has helped people over the years, I realize that many more people could benefit from HeartWork if there were various ways a person could access the program. I so believe that HeartWork can help people that I want to make it available to as many as possible. That’s why I created the HeartWork community at http://pauline.org/heartwork.

I hope I’ll see you around.

Sign up for my letter (not a newsletter) and investigate my facebook group at: http://touchingthesunrise.com

Interview with Sr Jackie Jean-Marie Gitonga, FSP

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-uie7c-b6f728

It is a joy to share with you this week an interview with Sr Jackie Jean-Marie Gitonga who made her perpetual profession in her home town in Kenya. She shares with us the cultural high points and the profoundly personal reflections of professing her vows as a Daughter of St Paul for all her life.

An Invitation: to become a part of my HeartWork community!

Welcome to the HeartWork Community.

A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counselling, the HeartWork community is a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Sometimes we can’t touch the sunrise within us because we are numb from the effort to keep pushing through the wounding of present or past situations and events in our life. But at a certain point, we can’t ignore our heart’s desire for more.

What is HeartWork
Here at the HeartWork Community we learn a simple and practical process of watchfulness “at the door of your heart” in the spirit of the Eastern Fathers, who teach that the process for healing the heart is through a patient and sacred watchfulness which gives rise to the deep experience of wonder that bubbles up from the heart.

For the past twenty years I’ve written about moving through our brokenness into the light of God. My best-selling title based on my own experience, Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach, has been translated into 12 languages and is in its third edition. My newest book, Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, has just been released. For years I’ve offered HeartWork personally on an individual basis to whoever wants to pursue the hard questions in their own life and grow in an integrated spiritual-human formation. As much as that has helped people over the years, I realize that many more people could benefit from HeartWork if there were various ways a person could access the program. I so believe that HeartWork can help people that I want to make it available to as many as possible. That’s why I created the HeartWork community at http://pauline.org/heartwork.

I hope I’ll see you around.

Sign up for my letter (not a newsletter) and investigate my facebook group at: http://touchingthesunrise.com

Interview with Sr Armanda Marie Detry, FSP

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-tffqw-b6f734

It is always a joy to welcome a new sister into the community. Recently we had the joy of welcoming Sr Amanda Marie into the Daughters of St Paul. She made her profession at the end of June, 2019. We sat down with each other for a conversation in which she shares what it meant to her and some thoughtful advice for the rest of us.

An Invitation: to become a part of my HeartWork community!

Welcome to the HeartWork Community.

A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counselling, the HeartWork community is a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Sometimes we can’t touch the sunrise within us because we are numb from the effort to keep pushing through the wounding of present or past situations and events in our life. But at a certain point, we can’t ignore our heart’s desire for more.

What is HeartWork
Here at the HeartWork Community we learn a simple and practical process of watchfulness “at the door of your heart” in the spirit of the Eastern Fathers, who teach that the process for healing the heart is through a patient and sacred watchfulness which gives rise to the deep experience of wonder that bubbles up from the heart.

For the past twenty years I’ve written about moving through our brokenness into the light of God. My best-selling title based on my own experience, Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach, has been translated into 12 languages and is in its third edition. My newest book, Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, has just been released. For years I’ve offered HeartWork personally on an individual basis to whoever wants to pursue the hard questions in their own life and grow in an integrated spiritual-human formation. As much as that has helped people over the years, I realize that many more people could benefit from HeartWork if there were various ways a person could access the program. I so believe that HeartWork can help people that I want to make it available to as many as possible. That’s why I created the HeartWork community at http://pauline.org/heartwork.

I hope I’ll see you around.

Sign up for my letter (not a newsletter) and investigate my facebook group at: http://touchingthesunrise.com

“I need a Heart…who will be my support forever”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-6ccma-b650dc

“I need a Heart…who will be my support forever” (Saint Thérèse).

The Salve Regina is right when it calls this world a “vale of tears.” From Mary Magdalene to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the saints have sought in the Sacred Heart of Jesus their solace along this painful path we call life. If you are looking for a friend who will be refuge and strength in your every need, these two great saints point you to the most Sacred Heart of the Master.

___

The Touching the Sunrise HeartWork Community is a place where you can ask your hard questions and walk with ever-growing strength to your heavenly homeland. We are all pilgrims on the way, but we don’t need to walk alone.

The old adage is “you are the friends you keep.” We are an intentional group of pilgrims on the way to our eternal homeland, where our citizenship already is in heaven. In the HeartWork community we live in this “vale of tears” with a bit of heaven in our hearts.

So if you have a hard question, I invite you to share it at Pauline.org/hardquestions. I’ll be posting answers to these questions every other week. Sometimes a shift in the way we’re thinking comes about with just a word or idea that’s Spirit-inspired just for you. Sometimes someone else’s question sparks an insight of your own. It is all good. The Spirit knows the best way to reach each one of us.

As always you can find more support along the way at touchingthesunrise.com.

You can find my Group on Facebook, sign up for my by-weekly letter Touching the Sunrise, or participate in the HeartWork community… So I hope I see you around!

May the Spirit who has been poured out upon you, flood your spirit with a new and radiant Dawn. God bless

“I need a Heart…who will be my support forever”

“I need a Heart…who will be my support forever” (Saint Thérèse).

The Salve Regina is right when it calls this world a “vale of tears.” From Mary Magdalene to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the saints have sought in the Sacred Heart of Jesus their solace along this painful path we call life. If you are looking for a friend who will be refuge and strength in your every need, these two great saints point you to the most Sacred Heart of the Master.

In the still-darkened dawn, Mary Magdalene made her way to the tomb in which her Master had been laid after being taken down from the cross. It was the third day since the beating of that great Heart ceased on the hill of Calvary. Did Magdalene have any tears left to shed? Any marks of grief not yet exhausted?

Unknown to her, God was coming to meet her there at the tomb. He veiled his glory, showing her first his face, before allowing her to hear once again her name upon his lips: Mary.

Like Mary Magdalene, we all want to see the face of God. It is a desire planted in us at our creation, for it is the final goal of our lives to see the glory of God, to surrender to the glory of God.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, in her poem “To the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” declares how, like Mary Magdalene, she wants to see God. She writes of her own search for him:

“I need a heart burning with tenderness,
Who will be my support forever,
Who loves everything in me, even my weakness…
And who never leaves me day or night.”

Little Thérèse, in words typical of her Little Way, does not consider the symbol of Christ’s Heart wounded by the lance, a picture with which we are so familiar. Instead, she opens up for us the reality of that Heart: “the loving Person of Jesus, his deep feelings, and the love that fills his Heart” (The Poetry of St Thérèse of Lisieux: The Complete Edition, ICS Publications). For her, Mary Magdalene is the woman who opens up to us the floodgates of tenderness from a Heart that has loved us as no other.

She cries out in her poem, as if she herself suddenly sees Jesus face to face who has come in answer to her call:

“You heard me, only Friend whom I love.
To ravish my heart, you became man.
You shed your blood, what a supreme mystery!…
And you still live for me on the Altar.”

John Henry Newman, convert, cardinal, and major figure in the Oxford Movement, whose canonization is expected to take place later this year, composed this prayer to the Sacred Heart that is found in his Meditations and Devotions. He reminds us where we can find the Master’s face today, where the Heart of Jesus still beats: at the altar. What joy that after we receive Jesus in communion, we can pray, “O make my heart beat with Thy Heart.”

O most Sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still… I worship Thee with all my best love and awe, with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will.

O my God, when Thou dost condescend to suffer me to receive Thee, to eat and drink Thee, and Thou for a while takest up Thy abode within me, O make my heart beat with Thy Heart.

Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness.

So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it, but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace. Amen. (Source: www.newmanfriendsinternational.org)

Jesus wants to replace our heart, with all its suffering and treacherous disorders, with his own Heart. The story of Saint Lutgarde has always inspired me. Born in the 13th century, Saint Lutgarde was a Cistercian mystic of Aywieres, Belgium. She was one of the great precursors of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Christ came to Lutgarde and offered her any gift of grace she desired. She asked for a better grasp of Latin, so that she might better understand the word of God and sing his praise. She thought this gift would help her love the Lord more. Christ granted her request and Lutgarde’s mind was flooded with the riches of psalms, antiphons, readings, and responsories. However, her painful emptiness persisted. She returned to Christ, asking to return his gift, and wondering if she might exchange it for another. “And for what would you exchange it?” Christ asked. “Lord,” said Lutgarde, “I would exchange it for your Heart.” Christ then reached into Lutgarde and, removing her heart, replaced it with his own, at the same time hiding her heart within his breast.

All we need to do is ask for this most precious of gifts. We may feel no different. We will still fall in our weakness. But with Saint Thérèse we need not fear our littleness. As she prays in her poem To The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Ah! I know well, all our righteousness
Is worthless in your sight.
To give value to my sacrifices,
I want to cast them into your Divine Heart.
…I hide myself in your Sacred Heart, Jesus.
I do not fear, my virtue is You!…

Thérèse teaches us to not tremble before the history of our weakness and sin or before the power of Almighty God. Instead, she encourages us to dare to trust, to cast our works into Jesus’ Heart. Even this daring is an expression of her love, and it can be also an expression of our own.

I pray this prayer for you. Let us pray it for each other:

O Heart beating with love for us, help us find you, always waiting for us, to show us your face. Oh what joy it must give you to find us there before the Blessed Sacrament where your Heart beats still and your love pours forth on the sisters and brothers you so love!

When tears moisten our pillows and depression weighs down our spirits, lift us up by calling us by name, turning our eyes to your face.

Let us remember that even as we look for you, you have already come in search of us, eager to reveal to us that we are, with all our weaknesses, welcome in your Father’s embrace.

Take our hearts as your own, hearts so in need of purification and consolation, disordered in so many ways. Cast our hearts into the fire that burns in your own most Sacred Heart.

Plant within us, tender Master, your own Heart, that your fire burning within us might propel us to help, preserve, and nurture every living being, that we might run through the world sharing the glorious inheritance you have freely given us by rescuing us completely from the rule of darkness, cancelling our sins, and translating us into your kingdom forever (cf. Colossians 1: 5, 12-13).

I praise you now for all you are working in us, all you will accomplish in us, for the holiness you will bring about in each of us and all we love. Amen.

by Sr Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP

ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE? HERE ARE 5 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 6 ways you can join me on the journey:

  1. Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST
  2. Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
  3. Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.  Enroll in the free 5-day email series introducing Reclaim Regret.
  4. Enroll in courses on Midlife, Contemplative Prayer, and a do-it-yourself downloadable Surviving Depression retreat
  5. Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

 

Midlife Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-thh8z-b55e92

I have beautiful memories of devotion to the Sacred Heart when I was a child. Today in my fifties, however, after half-a-lifetime or more of relationships, problems, dreams, the joy of giving life and love to others, disillusionments, sorrows, my devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is very different. This program offers ways in which someone in their fifties lives their love for Jesus and their devotion to his most Sacred Heart.

ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE? HERE ARE 5 WAYS TO GO DEEPER…

God has amazing ways of knocking on people’s hearts, awakening desires, arousing questions, provoking an unexpected spiritual fire. If you have enjoyed this article, and are ready to embark on a sustained spiritual journey, here are 6 ways you can join me on the journey:

  1. Join my private Facebook Group and walk the road of healing with a great group of people. I offer a half-hour live spiritual conference here Tuesday evenings at 7pm EST
  2. Sign-up for my letter Touching the Sunrise. I write a letter a couple times a month from my heart to yours to support you along the way.
  3. Explore my books: Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach; Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments; Just a Minute Meditations Deeper Trust and Inner Peace.  Enroll in the free 5-day email series introducing Reclaim Regret.
  4. Enroll in courses on Midlife, Contemplative Prayer, and a do-it-yourself downloadable Surviving Depression retreat
  5. Become a part of the HeartWork Community, a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

 

Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo’s Secrets to Holiness

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-tmjt2-b4abae

“This year, with the grace of God, I want to grow in holiness. I want to become a great saint and I want to do this quickly! By myself I can do nothing, but with God I can do all things.”

Spiritual Notes 01.01.1927

Mother Thecla’s secrets for the spiritual journey include: Have great desires, be aware of your need for the Lord, yearn for the will of God,  remember heaven, open your heart to the world, take Mary as your guide, believe that God embraces your nothingness.

Mother Thecla is the Co-Foundress of the Daughters of St Paul. Mother Thecla Merlo was a contemplative in action; a simple soul who knew her place before God and with her fellow sisters

Her life was one of continuous adhesion to the will of God We know, however, peak moments which showed the spiritual evolution that was taking place.

If you’re wondering if you could get some help along the spiritual path but aren’t really interested in committing to one-on-one spiritual accompaniment, you should check out my Patreon membership. 

If you want to explore more, from as little as $2 per month my valued Patreon friends develop their relationship with God through:

  • over 50+ audio and video programs and guides on spirituality and prayer,
  • my very popular Journalling Sheets created for each month
  • monthly HeartWork Exercise Guides
  • weekly new podcasts

Maybe you never heard of Patreon before? Worried about whether you could find yourself around?

Patreon helps fund writers and artists by letting supporters become patrons. The artist sets goals: what they will do with the pledged money. And the patrons pledge a monthly amount–in our case: $2, $4, $8 or $22. You choose your contribution. In return, you get rewards – and lots of them!

I hope to see you around!

The Secret of Sanctity

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-qb2ts-b2942a

Look around you. Do you see Spirit-filled Christians? Do you see Catholics on fire for the Gospel? Men and women totally surrendered to God and living lives marked by the beatitudes: Blessed the poor in spirit, the meek, the pure of heart?

The event of Pentecost as it is recounted in the Acts of the Apostles gives us a clear indication of why we don’t see the Spirit transforming the earth.

The descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles was part of a long process of transformation for these twelve disciples of Jesus. The Master took these men from their professions as fishermen or tax collector, for example, and began a three-year process of helping them see that they could do nothing of themselves. Nothing. Peter’s betrayal of Jesus within just hours of his boast that he would die for him is a clear example of this. Peter learned, he had to learn, as we all have to learn, apart from Jesus we are nothing. We can do nothing. Without the Spirit of Jesus, no one of us can say Jesus is Lord.

This cuts against the grain. Today we all want to prove who we are, strut our stuff, even in the spiritual life. We humans think we can do at least part of it on our own and God can help us out with the rest….

If you’re wondering if you could get some help along the spiritual path but aren’t really interested in committing to one-on-one spiritual accompaniment, you should check out my Patreon membership. 

If you want to explore more, from as little as $2 per month my valued Patreon friends develop their relationship with God through:

  • over 50+ audio and video programs and guides on spirituality and prayer,
  • my very popular Journalling Sheets created for each month
  • monthly HeartWork Exercise Guides
  • weekly new podcasts

Maybe you never heard of Patreon before? Worried about whether you could find yourself around?

Patreon helps fund writers and artists by letting supporters become patrons. The artist sets goals: what they will do with the pledged money. And the patrons pledge a monthly amount–in our case: $2, $4, $8 or $22. You choose your contribution. In return, you get rewards – and lots of them!

I hope to see you around!

Bless and Do Not Curse: How Love Conquers Everything

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-iy8g7-b2941d

I love you. You know that. I’m sorry. You know you’re my dearest daughter.

The words were soothing, forgiving, as I rested a moment in my father’s hug. It had been a long week and a lot of work as we prepared their house to go on the market and my parents to move.

I love you. You know that.

All my failures rushed over me. I hadn’t been able that week to plaster over my own broken humanness with a schedule of prayer and community and work. Instead I saw me. In the raw. Tired. Unable to rise above the frustrations of the moment. The worry. The fatigue. The sleeplessness….

If you’re wondering if you could get some help along the spiritual path but aren’t really interested in committing to one-on-one spiritual accompaniment, you should check out my Patreon membership. 

If you want to explore more, from as little as $2 per month my valued Patreon friends develop their relationship with God through:

  • over 50+ audio and video programs and guides on spirituality and prayer,
  • my very popular Journalling Sheets created for each month
  • monthly HeartWork Exercise Guides
  • weekly new podcasts