Clinging to Christ
Horror, devastation, anger, repulsion and sorrow. That partly sums up my reaction over the recent grand jury report and other corresponding news. My prayers of support and love go out to all who have been involved or impacted in any way by these monsters or by those who did nothing, said nothing or covered up the horrific actions.
To any member of the clergy who is guilty but not yet charged, heed our Lord's promise:
"For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light." Luke 8:17
Each and every one of these monsters are truly a devil in sheep clothing and deserve every bit of what our Lord promises will happen to those who are evil. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." Matthew 18:6
"He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned [up] with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear." Matthew 13:37-43
Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s prophetic warning came in 1948 when he said, “[Satan] will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the [Catholic] Church … It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content.”
What can I do? What can we do?
I kept repeating that to myself as I read more and more of the horrific reports. What can I do? How can I help?
“Who is going to save our Church? Do not look to the priests. Do not look to the bishops. It’s up to you, the laity, to remind our priests to be priests and our bishops to be bishops.” Another prophetic piece of advice from Archbishop Sheen.
Looking to the Saints and especially the Blessed Virgin Mary, the answer, for me right at this moment at least, is clear. Prayer (especially the Rosary), Eucharist and adoration.
There is nothing more than the evil one wants right now than for people to turn their backs on the Catholic Church- the ONLY TRUE CHURCH FOUNDED BY JESUS CHRIST. The evil one wants you to be completely sickened by the actions of these monsters disguised as Catholic clergy that you say “I can’t be Catholic anymore,” or “I am going to stop going to Church,” or “what will prayer do?” or any variation of the above.
The Catholic Church is the Church that Jesus Christ started, loved and is with to this very moment.
Don’t let the devil win.
Cling to Jesus.
Continue to pray, go to Mass, receive the Eucharist, attend adoration and pray the Rosary each day.
There is a reason why great saints like St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Louis de Montfort and St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina loved the Rosary so much. St. Padre Pio called the Rosary beads a weapon of extraordinary power against Satan.
On October 7th 1571, the Christian “Holy League”, of which the main powers were the Venetian Empire and the Spanish Empire were triumphant against a fleet of the Islamic Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto. Pope Pius V ordered the churches of Rome to be open for prayer both day and night and encouraged the faithful to petition the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary by praying the Rosary. Despite being outnumbered by the Ottoman Empire, the Holy League possessed “superior firepower” and won the battle. Pope Pius V then added a new feast day to the Roman Liturgical Calendar for October 7th: the feast of Our Lady of Victory which would be later changed to the feast of the Holy Rosary by Pope Gregory XIII.
If you aren't already praying the Rosary each day, please do. (Learn how to pray the Rosary, here.)
To join a new Holy League, become a part of the U.S. Rosary Coast to Coast movement. Learn more: http://rosarycoasttocoast.com
Another prayer to add to the end of your Rosary is this powerful prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel:
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..
Need more tips on how to combat the evil which has not only infiltrated the Church but our entire world?
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka, Pastor of Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida advises the following weaponry for spiritual battle:
“Pray and fast. Make Holy Hours. Daily Mass. Daily Rosary. First Fridays and First Saturdays. Go to confession frequently. Offer up all aches and pains and sufferings. Wear your Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, your miraculous medal and your St. Benedict medal. Pray the blessing before and grace after meals. Recite the Angelus. You know, just be Catholic!”
Remember, we are in this together, with Jesus Christ as our leader and our strength. God bless you always and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always.
Our Lady of the Rosary and the Battle of Lepanto.” Word On Fire, 6 Oct. 2017, www.wordonfire.org/resources/blog/our-lady-of-the-rosary-and-the-battle-of-lepanto/1220/.
Heilman, Fr. Richard “Things Accelerate Toward The End- Prophecy of Archbishop Fulton Sheen.” Roman Catholic Man, April 13, 2016, https://www.romancatholicman.com/things-accelerate-toward-the-end-prophecy-of-archbishop-fulton-sheen/
The Catholic Bible: the New American Bible, by Jean Marie Hiesberger, Oxford University Press, 2011.
Palka, Fr. Edwin, "One Proposed Solution." Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Church, August 19, 2018. , https://epiphanytampa.weebly.com/pastors-bulletin-article/one-proposed-solution
I have anxiety. For most of my life I have had anxiety and always recall being "anxious" as a child and an adult. My anxiety got much worse during a difficult pregnancy and then even worse once my little love was born and I unknowingly suffered from Postpartum Anxiety. Since I do not want to take medication for my anxiety, I have had to find ways to cope otherwise.
*Note: I am not against mediation, I do not look down upon anyone who takes any medication for any mental illness nor am I suggesting that anyone should not take medication. This post is not medical advice, should not be misconstrued as medical advice and should definitely not be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. I am not a medical professional. I am merely a Catholic wife and mother who happens to have anxiety and wants to share what works with others. Please speak to your doctor if you have any questions regarding your health.
With that disclaimer said, there are four questions that I ask myself whether I am either getting even a smidgen of anxiety creeping up or when I am about to have a full-on panic attack (which, thank God, is now rare.)
This Catholic Mom's Four Questions To Bring Down Anxiety:
1. Am I breathing?
It may sound odd, ridiculous, obvious or all of the above, but reminding myself that I need to breath almost always helps bring down my anxiety. I find that when I get anxious, my breathing becomes shortened and shallow.
When I notice this happening, instead of allowing myself to continue with the rapid breaths, I take a moment to inhale deeply and fill up my lungs with air. Holding the air for a moment and then slowly releasing the air, repeating as many times as necessary.
While deep breathing exercises are a popularly known method to reduce anxiety, for me at least, I have to be conscience about reminding myself to not only breathe, but really breathe. (Find some great tips, here.)
What also happens when I remind myself to breathe is that I am telling my "anxiety" that I am in control and that it can calm down. My therapist gave me this tip. She told me that everyone has a fight or flight trigger. Mine is just on overdrive. She said that I should thank my trigger when I am feeling anxious but then remind the trigger that all is well and that I've got it under control. This works.
2. How much water have I had today?
Whenever I am not drinking enough water, I find that I am more susceptible to anxious moments. I aim to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day and for me that means drinking half of my body weight in ounces. That amount may be too little or too much for you, so see what works best for you.
I almost always have a water bottle or glass with me (and one for my husband and son as well.) It goes everywhere with me! Whether I am at home, running errands, in a meeting or at the playground with my family, it actually helps me to know that I have water with me at all times. Just be sure to wash your bottle each day so that it doesn't harbor bacteria. (Gross!)
3. How much food have I eaten today?
Since I am a believer in the "brain-gut connection" (you can read more here) and agree with Hippocrates that [mostly] "all disease begins in the gut," I strive to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet.
That means that I try my hardest to get enough protein, healthy fats, grains, fruits and veggies in each day. Unfortunately, striving and actually accomplishing are two very different things. I notice that when I am not eating "well" my anxiety, among other health factors, are greatly impacted.
Thanks to our little love, I am used to keeping healthy snacks on hand and especially when we are on the go. If I find that I haven't eaten well or even enough during the day, I will sneak some of his snacks and in a short time I am feeling better.
4. Have I asked God for help?
This, like the rest of the questions I ask myself, seems like "duh, that's obvious!" but, for me at least, I have to remind myself that God is on my side and I can ask Him for help whenever I want. He is on your side too and is ready in a moments notice to help whenever we call on Him.
Sometimes (okay, often) it is hard for me to ask for help, even from God. I downplay my anxiety and think that it isn't as significant or extreme as other peoples worries or problems. But God doesn't work that way. He wants to help all of us. He wants to help those who have "big" and "little" problems. To God, we all matter and we are all worthy of his help in life.
In fact, life is easier when I remember to ask God for help and then remember to thank Him as well. Just knowing that I do not have to go through life alone, helps tremendously. Prayer brings miracles and even anxiety is no match for our Lord.
But remember, if you are feeling anxious, depressed, etc... you do not have to do it all alone or even alone plus God. God gives us people like therapists and psychiatrists and even naturopathic doctors for a reason. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. Mental illness is not a sign of weakness. My former therapist said to me once when I was feeling sad because of my anxiety, "you wouldn't feel ashamed if you had anemia you would just seek treatment." The same is true for mental illness, don't be ashamed and remember, you don't have to do it alone.
For more information on mental illness and to get help, please click here.
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!
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