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Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or “No, I won't.' Anything beyond this is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37

    What is the definition of personal boundaries? Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.

    This definition sounds clear enough but it is quite hard to put into practice when it comes to those who are close to you. For me it has to begin with me knowing who I am. First of all, I am a child of God. As God's child, I am to be treated with dignity and respect. When someone treats me with disrespect and lashes out at me with harsh, mean words, I can simple say to the person. “I do not like the way you just talked to me. This is unacceptable behavior and I will not tolerate it. I am finished talking to you until you treat me with respect.”

    I have found that when I stand up for myself and not put up with unacceptable behavior I feel better about myself regardless of the response of the other person. It also teaches the other person that he or she has crossed the line.

    Jesus set boundaries for himself as well. He spoke truth whether those who heard him liked it or not. Sometimes He was silent but always filled with dignity and grace. I will try to follow Jesus' way with dignity and grace one day at a time.

 

Reflection:

I will remember that knowing my boundaries does not mean forcing other to change, it means that I know my own limits and take care of myself by respecting them.” -Courage to Change-Alanon.

 

 

 

   I had a very simple but yet profound dream awhile ago. They say you dream every night. Most dreams do not make much sense and are a product of our subconscious. However, I believe that some dreams are a way for God to get our attention.

    My dream woke me up from a sound sleep. I recalled that I was dreaming of a person whom I knew at my former parish. I had not thought about her for years. She died a few years ago. I immediately began to pray for this person's soul. I prayed the Hail Mary probably a number of times before drifting off to sleep again. When I awoke the next morning, I began to think about this departed soul. I felt like the Holy Spirit was asking me to remember this departed soul in my prayers.

    What does the Church teach us about purgatory? “The souls in purgatory died in the mercy of God, this is why they are called holy; however, because they still had attachment to sin at the time of their death, they must undergo a spiritual purification of their souls before they are able to fully love God with their whole heart, mind, and soul for all eternity.”

    I must admit that before this dream I wasn't in the habit of praying daily for the poor souls in purgatory accept at Mass. However the Holy Spirit has convicted my heart to remember the poor souls who are waiting for our prayers so that they can be released and experience the full love of God in Heaven.

   I have adopted a way of remembering the holy souls in purgatory daily. As I pray my daily Rosary, I dedicate the third decade of the Rosary for the holy souls in purgatory and for all those who will die this day.

    What are some of the ways to pray for our departed brothers and sisters?-This is just a short list and I am sure they are many other ways to pray for the holy souls: Having a Mass said for the departed soul; praying the rosary; Divine Mercy Chaplet; novenas, Stations of the Cross and when we visit a cemetery sprinkle holy water on the graves while praying for the departed souls. During the month of November, let us remember to pray for the holy souls in purgatory.

 

Reflection:

 

I ask you Blessed Mother Mary to console the souls in purgatory, particularly those most abandoned. “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them. And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Jesus said to his Disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” Matthew 5: 43-45

    These words of Jesus are tough to put into practice. It is easy to love those who love us but it is rather challenging to love and pray for our enemies. Before I can begin to love and pray for my enemies, I need to know who are my enemies? It is easy to identify those who wish to do harm to our families or our Nation by terrorist attacks and nuclear war threats.

   Jesus doesn't put into categories the different degree of enemies from absolutely terrible to just plain annoying. I consider those who hold political office and support abortion, our enemy in much need of pray. Sometimes I find myself getting really angry and upset with them because they have bought into the culture of death hook, line and sinker.

    Perhaps my angry is justified but when I can't stand to look at them on the Television screen, I need to repent of these resentments. I need to pray for them by surrendering them to Jesus who is the transformer of hearts.

    I like to pray a decade of the Rosary for those who are caught in the culture of death. I try and remember Saint Paul and his dramatic conversion. He persecuted and killed Christians. However, Jesus' grace and mercy was able to crack open the hardness of his heart. After his conversion, Saint Paul was a changed man who served His Master the rest of his life. Conversion is always possible.

Reflection:

Jesus help me to pray for our enemies every day. Help me to see them as a child of God in much need of God's mercy and grace.

    I recently went to the movie entitled, Gosnell. It is a true story about the trial of America's biggest serial killer (Abortion Doctor.) The film is the shocking true story of the investigation and trial of Dr Kermit Gosnell - his 30 year killing spree and the political and media establishment that tried to cover it up. Dr. Gosnell is now serving a life time sentence without parole.

    It reveals the horror of abortion and the women who died and others who were victimized along with the many babies who died at the hands of this abortionist.

    It moved my heart so much to see the ugly, demonic world of abortion. We have legalized the murder of the babies in the womb, tears at my heart so much. There are generations of babies who are wiped away and generations of women who suffer from the effects of their abortion. They all believed the lie of the Evil One.

    As Christians, we are called to stand up and defend life from the moment of conception to natural death. We have been silent too long. We must speak up, pray and fast to end this Holocaust.

   I am urging you to go to this movie. It is in Helena now and other places. My hope is that it will move your heart and motivate you to stand up, pray and fast like never before.

  We need to encourage our pastors to speak out about defending the life of the innocent ones. The quote by Edmund Burke says it all: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (1769).

  There is a 40-days-for-life campaign going on right now in Helena and other cities throughout our country. 40-days-for-life is a peaceful prayer vigil. We gather to pray at Planned Parenthood. We are not like the mob you've seen on TV recently with the Justice Kavanaugh hearings. We believe in praying and fasting for the mothers, fathers, babies in the womb and those who work at Planned Parenthood.

   If we don't stand up for those who have no voice, who will? Jesus says: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40. When one member of the body of Christ (the baby in the womb) suffers we all suffer.

  It seems so unsurmountable to tackle this Evil in our land but lets take Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta's words to heart: “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” Just look what she did one soul at a time!

Let us pray:

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

 

 

 

"With Christ I am nailed to the cross. It is now no longer I that live but Christ Who lives in me" Gal. 2: 19-20

   As Catholics we have heard from the time we were little “Offer it up.” From a little headache to a very serious emotional or physically hurt, we were encouraged to “Offer it up.” It wasn't until I was an adult that I pondered the meaning and purpose of “Offering it up.”

    Now I understand it as redemptive suffering. Redemptive suffering is the belief that human suffering, when accepted and offered up in union with the Passion of Jesus, can remit the just punishment for one's sins or for the sins of another.

    In this life, we are going to suffer various minor and serious physical, mental, emotional and spiritual trials. We can choose to grumble about it or we can surrender it all to Jesus. We can choose to unite our suffering with Jesus suffering during his Passion. It can be redemptive and it can be effective in helping someone open their hearts to receive Jesus' healing and forgiveness.

    We may never know in this life how offering up our sufferings has helped someone else break free of the bondages that have held them for so long. Sometimes God allows us to experience the joy of seeing someone break loose of a life of sin because of our prayers and offering up our suffering for them.

    I can just imagine when we finally arrive in Heaven that those we were praying for and offering up our sufferings will greet us and thank us for offering up our sufferings for them.

   Redemptive suffering is one of those areas that can be difficult to fully understand but when we look at Scripture and what Jesus taught and how his followers lived, we can see that it is something that God is encouraging us to do.

Reflection:

Jesus help me each day to offer up my little and big sufferings, difficulties, annoyances and unite them to you on the cross.

Latest comments

23.10 | 21:08

I would like to receive i’m a catholic

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23.10 | 18:50

Thank you for your straight to the point reflection. GOD Bless and good health

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23.10 | 10:37

Beautiful Connie!

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14.10 | 09:08

Connie, help me to be reminded to lean into the pain.

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