What to say? With each new revelation that has come to light in the Catholic Church since this past June, I have been sent into an emotional tail spin. It is all rather horrifying and almost unbelievable that these things have been going on and others have been covering them up.
I am glad these things are finally coming into the light. How grievious it must have been for our Lord when he was the only one that knew about these things and they were allowed to continue.
So, I decided to go back and read some of my past journals to see if the Lord had been saying anything regarding all this. One thing I found was a scripture the Lord gave me more than once. He also gave it to me the beginning of the year when I asked him what the year was going to be like. The scripture is:
Matthew 3:12 - "His winnowing fork is in his hand, and He will thoroughly clear his threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat in to the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Recently when I was praying about all this, I believe the Lord showed me that the shaking has just begun. We are just at the beginning stages.
I have no plans to leave the Catholic Church. This is where I am called and Jesus is there. I cannot leave him. Also, Tom and I witnessed that the grass is not greener on the other side. Besides, the shaking might have started with the Catholic Church but it is not going to stop there. Protestants and then the world are also going to experience a shaking.
The shaking that is going to take place in the world, might get a little scary. The Lord told me, "Do not be afraid of things that are to come. They are necessary for the conversion of souls."
I have a lot of hope for the future. It is time for the Laity to rise up! Many are going to have the calling on their life to help rebuild the Church like St. Francis.
I think after the shakings, we are going to come into some exciting times. Some other words I was reminded of when reading my journals are:
"You are about to witness the greatest move of my Spirit that has ever been poured out on the earth! Unlike the Chrismatic movement, it will not be able to be contained. It will start with the youth and spread to the four corners of the earth."
"A new day is dawning! What you are about to see is a privilege and others in the past had longed to see!"
"It is coming! It is coming! It is coming! A great harvest of souls is coming! Now is the time to get ready!
Personally, even though I am grieving for our Church, I also feel a new strength and courage. I have always felt intimidated by authority figures and at times have felt held back by clericialism. With all that is going on, I have a renewed boldness and passion to demonstrate that our Lord is real and he is alive!
I didn't find out till I was nineteen years old that Jesus knew me personally and I could know him personally and that he still speaks. Unfortunately, I think that is the case with many Catholics. It has been my passion to make Him real to others and carry and impart His presence wherever I go.
People need to know more than ever that Jesus is passionately in love with them and He will do whatever it takes to draw people to Himself!
He still speaks, He still heals, He still delivers!
Our Church needs rebuilding. Let it begin with us! The walls have been removed; Some in authority have forfeited their right to be in authority. There should be nothing holding us back from spreading and demonstrating the Good news of the Gospel!
Like many of the laity and I suspect, holy priests and religious, I have been grieving over the state of the Church as the McCarrick scandal came to light this past June. Tom and I also recently watched the movie, Spotlight about the widespread sex abuse that came to light in the Boston area in the early 2000's. I also wouldn't be surprised if more incidences come to light in the near future. I think we are going to see that the scandals and cover-ups run deep. Tom and I also know more than one person that has been personally affected by it all.
I have literally been crying to the Lord in prayer as I can't imagine how His heart has been grieved as he is all knowing and sees all. I have also been grieving for the victims of these predatory crimes. I am glad these things are coming into the light and I pray they will be dealt with accordingly.
Even before this latest incident broke with Cardinal McCarrick, I was already grieving over the fact that so many have already left the Church and are not practicing any type of faith whatsoever. That describes many of mine and Tom's relatives, some that we visited this summer. Some are agnostics and some out right atheists. The reason they left didn't even have anything to do with these scandals but because I suspect, when they were younger and went to church, they did not see evidence that Jesus was real, that he was alive, and that he loved them. Let's face it, many of our services are lifeless. We hold to the form of religion but often deny its power (2Tim.3:5).
So, what can we, the average laity do about this?
When I was 19, I went to a church where I saw real faith and passion for the Lord among the people. Through them I saw that Jesus was real and it changed my life! We can have that same effect on others!
So for starters, we need to let the Lord root out complacency and sin in our own hearts! We also need to ask Him to stir into flame the gift of the Holy Spirit that was given to us at Baptism!
I once had a powerful dream I will never forget! In the dream I was in darkness, wading around in mucky water with a lot of other people. I began to hear in the distance a simple but most beautiful song. The words were, "Walk in the light as He is in the light." The song began to get louder and louder and before I knew it, there was an angel standing on a rock in the middle of the mucky water who was singing the song. I could see her because as she lifted up her wings, the whole area was filled with light. The sound of the song was more beautiful than any song I had ever heard! The angel then disappeared. I then stood where the angel had been and shouted, "Did you all hear what the angel said? We need to repent and walk in the light!"
Now is the time to rise up and walk in the light like never before! We need to return to the Lord with our whole heart; rend our heart and not our garments. Especially with all that is going on in the Church, the world needs us to show them that God is still on the throne and he is real!
Also, when we keep our eyes on Jesus and allow his love to come in and transform us into his image, we become balm to his heart that is often broken. It is broken by those who reject him and fail to open their hearts to his love and instead choose mucky water.
Ephesians 2:5 which is part of the second reading for today sums it up well:
So, be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.
We in turn can also offer our lives as a sacrificial offering to God and become a fragrant aroma that will help console his heart!