… overwhelmed with gratitude and deep joy for the daily discoveries I’m receiving from the Lord in this new chapter of my life! Not a day goes by that I don’t find myself, once again, so thankful for what Christ reveals to me about Himself…. new graces and mercy that surprises me beyond words!
I am more in love with Jesus than I ever knew could be possible! I recognize it’s because of the Gift of Christ that I receive in daily Holy Communion …. it’s almost like “going to the altar” for surrender and peace each and every time! I also credit my closeness to Jesus because of the time I spend in adoration before The Blessed Sacrament.
I have been experiencing beautiful, yet not extraordinary, answers to prayer in this past month. Please allow me to share some of them with you:
Not too long ago I blogged about someone who had been gripped by fear. I introduced her to the power God uses through St. Michael, the Archangel to gain victory over our fears and issues. In speaking with her recently, I asked her how she was doing, without referring to him at all. I had noticed that she seemed to be handling life so differently these days! She excitedly told me that she has “matured a lot”! I was thrilled to hear this, yet not surprised! Michael the Archangel fights victoriously for us if we ask him to and mean it! He helps us along life’s journey as we call upon him to fight our battles, especially the ones where “self” gets in the way!
Our church, St. Peter Roman Catholic Church of Merchantville, NJ has given me some profound experiences in ministries I never knew I would be involved in, much less enjoy! I’m so blessed to be a part of them all! It’s no wonder, that, after submitting my resume in several places and having had two phone interviews, I still have yet to get a job! God certainly has HIS reasons for why I’m not working. I am, however, quite content to be where He has me for now! Allow me to share some of these joys:
- The second graders that come to St. Peter’s school for Catechism studies after school have me wrapped around their fingers! It has been such a joy for me! These kids are seven years old and want to know more about the Bible and who God is. Working with these kids has reminded me how much I enjoy preparing materials for children like I did in Peru when we were missionaries there! I love it!
- On the opposite end of the age spectrum is the Senior Ministry of my church. They have hearts of gold but also struggle with daily physical issues. They meet every day and are willing to be transparent with each other and share their desire to grow in Christ together. They have exercise classes, daily prayer, arts and crafts, lunch and currently a weekly Bible Study with former Evangelical pastor, Jeff Cavins.
- Gary and I attend the 6:45 a.m. daily Mass at St. Peters. This is key to our mutual spiritual growth. After receiving Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, I kneel quietly and meditate on Him as the Mass ends then take Gary to the train headed for Philly. I then head back to church to spend time in Eucharistic Adoration. Eucharistic Adoration of the Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Communion are the main reasons I have grown so much in my relationship with Him. It’s such a joy to spend time with Him like this every day!
- I also have the honor of proclaiming God’s Word from the pulpit (“ambo”) as well as helping distribute the Holy Eucharist to the parishioners from time to time.
- Being a Lector, that is, one who reads from the Old and New Testament before the priest comes forward to read the Gospel, is such a privilege for me. God’s Word is so profound! Did you know that almost the entire New Testament and all the important events of the Old Testament are read in the Mass every three years? I always thought Catholics didn’t read the Bible… how wrong I was!
- I have found so much freedom from my old anxieties regarding reading Scripture from the pulpit. I continue to be surprised at how I no longer feel nervous to read in public. I used to be so uptight when I had to read in front of others, always fearful that I wouldn’t do it perfectly right, for fear of embarrassment or criticism. That has changed and I’m “overwhelmed” at the beauty in this new dependence on Christ. It’s a freedom I’ve never known to this degree before as an Evangelical. There’s just a depth and fullness I can’t explain but know is real.
- This new found freedom in Christ is due to my understanding (and love for ) the both the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) as well as in daily receiving Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist at Mass. I’ve been experiencing His deep and abiding love in new and different ways. I find that all I can say after receiving Christ in the Eucharist is this: “Thank You, Thank You, Thank you! May I know You more and more…”
I finally gave in and went to a Chiropractor (for the first time in my life, thanks to my daughter’s strong encouragement to do so!) because of my frequent back pain flare ups. My Chiropractor told me that I have curvature of the spine, something I never knew! No wonder I’m in pain! So it has been a good experience for me to “offer up the pain” because I know it is not wasted. I can use it to pray for someone else’s need. That was a new concept for me but it makes such sense! I’m so grateful because it helps me handle the pain better than I may have in the past. We all have one ailment or another, whether physical, emotional or mental, and we can “offer that up” to Jesus for the needs of someone else for whatever reason. God uses my pain to help someone else and I’m grateful to be a part of that. What a relief! My pain isn’t wasted!
I told you that I’d keep you posted about my new friend “Karen” from my last blog .
We’ve texted one another and spoken on the phone several times, but have yet to meet up due to our crazy schedules. It’s the beginning of a harmonious friendship and we find we have much in common… that too will be continued!
God has been so good to me and yes, “I’m overwhelmed” at His graciousness and love as I seek to further know, love and serve Him!