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Have Confidence in God

Header-Have Confidence I have Overcome


Our God is not a weak God. Our Father is not a wimpy Father. 

He is, rather, an awesome God, a strong God, a loving Father who creates, gives and bestows without measure. Indeed He is a Father of tender goodness and mercy, but not a God of “handouts”. 

Our God tests our faith, proves our wills and our loyalty; and it was so from the beginning. 

Once the mighty stone rolled over the entrance of Jesus’ tomb, the silence of the small group that witnessed His interment mirrored that of the corpse within. Indeed, He was truly dead.

He who had restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, movement to the lame, and life to the dead, was now Himself dead. 

After a gruesome passion and crucifixion, He had cried out: 

“Father! Into Thy hands I commend my spirit!” 

And as He breathed forth His divine/human soul, His bruised head fell heavily on His sunken chest.

PietaThe corpse that was lovingly lowered from the cross, and laid in Mary’s arms was scarred beyond recognition, and ghastly pale, the last drops of blood spilled when His side was pierced. 

He had given all. And now He was dead. 

Back when He had first predicted that He would die, Peter, just constituted first Pope, was badly shaken. He tried to dissuade the Son from the Father’s will, only to receive the scathing rebuke, “Get behind me Satan! You are a scandal to Me because you understand not the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16:23.

Peter was thinking along human lines, hoping for an earthly kingdom in which Jesus would be universally acclaimed. He hadn’t fully understood that integrity such as his Master’s is never permanently crowned on this earth of sin and compromise. He hadn’t learned to trust God’s decrees even when they spell apparent death for, in the end, they always give life. He hadn’t fully understood that this life’s test is the test of confidence in the divine, not the human. 

And now, His Master was dead. 

Doubt flickered in all but one heart, a heart that knew not the shadow of sin, the heart of Mary. She who so penetrated God’s higher reasons that she had stood by the cross, alone knew that He would rise again as He had said. 

As Jesus’ corpse lay in the cold sepulcher, the fullness of faith was reduced to one heart. 

All was quiet that Sunday dawn. Mary prayed, and the apostles gathered behind closed doors.

As Mary Magdalen and other holy women visited the tomb, they found the stone rolled, and an angel who showed them the empty place where His body had been, and announced to them that He had risen!

Our Lord the ConsolatorAnd all those that had seen Him dead and buried, saw Him alive. Thomas even placed his doubting finger in the Lord’s open side. And one after the other, the apostles and first disciples, testified to His resurrection; and one after the other of the twelve, excepting John, sealed their witness with their blood by later dying as martyrs. 

Indeed Christ’s resurrection is the divine stamp on all He said and did.

And his bride, the church, born of His pierced side, and confirmed at Pentecost came forth to conquer the pagan world. Hers would be fierce battles against persecution, heresy, and the very gates of hell, as her Bridegroom predicted: “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt.16:18.

And so it is. Through the ages, like Him, at times seemingly buried, the church always bursts forth in the splendor of her Truth. She is like the moon that only wanes to come back to full glory time and time again. 

In these days of seeming triumph of so much evil and flaunting immorality, in these times when chaos and confusion have infiltrated even the bride, let us stay with Mary, and our faith will not flicker.

At the apparitions of Fatima in 1917, as Our Lady of the Rosary, she predicted war, chaos, calamities and persecutions, but also said, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”. 

Let us pray and meditate on her Rosary, and we will not faint or fear, for Her Son’s word endures through the ages, “Have confidence. I have overcome!” John, 16:33.

 


By M. Taylor
Photo Attributions: 
Pieta - Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica.
Christ the Consolator - New York City Productions

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 12, 2020

“Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the...

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July 12

 

“Know you not
that you are the temple of God, and
that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
(1 Corinthians 3:16)

St. Paul the Apostle


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. John Gualbert

Meeting his brother’s murderer in a narrow alley, he was a...

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St. John Gualbert

John Gualbert or Giovanni Gualberto, was a Florentine nobleman who one day, meeting his brother’s murderer in a narrow alley was about to slay him when the culprit, falling to his knees, implored mercy with his arms outstretched in the form of a cross. It was a Good Friday, and Gualbert, suddenly reminded of Jesus Crucified, embraced the man and forgave him.

Going on his way, John entered the monastery of St. Miniato where he knelt before a crucifix. As he prayed, the crucifix miraculously bowed his head in thanks for John’s act of generosity. Struck to the heart, Gualbert sought the abbot, asked to be given the religious habit, and was ultimately accepted.

He later left St. Miniato with a companion, looking for a more perfect way of life and founded, in Vallombrosa near Fiesole, a new order based on the primitive, austere rule of St. Benedict adapted to the particular circumstances of his time.

He was known for his zeal but also for his mildness, and for making the burden of discipline sweet. In his humility he never received even minor orders. He zealously fought simony, which is the sale of ecclesiastical posts.

His order grew and monasteries multiplied, which were a blessing to their regions and especially to the poor, as no beggar was ever turned away empty handed.

Popes sought his wise counsel, and Pope Alexander II testified that the whole country where he lived owed the extinction of simony to his zeal.

John Gualbert died on July 12, 1073 being eighty or more years of age. Pope Celestine III canonized him in 1193.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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