Showing posts with label healing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healing. Show all posts

30 Dec 2017

A Heartfelt Plea to Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

By Laura Durant

....I’ve seen blessings of great proportion due to regular visits to the Blessed Sacrament not just in my life, but in the lives of others around me. I’ve seen courage develop to follow the Lord’s Will, especially with great uncertainty in the outcome, in those whom otherwise would not have taken the leap of faith. I’ve seen, and experienced for myself, leaving behind dreams and plans which had sensible and seemingly certain outcomes, for roads less traveled and less in line with the way of the world which resulted in many blessings, in the development of devout faith and a fast track to great spiritual growth. I’ve seen hearts transform in a matter of months, sometimes weeks, being purified of deeply entrenched sins of the flesh, of mind and heart, such as pride and prejudice, and in their place, be filled with virtue and greater love for the Lord and all His children. All of this through regular visits to the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to Mary and Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart...

...Go to Him. Visit with Him. Spend time with Him. And be ready for great transformation and blessings on a heavenly scale. His Will for your life and blessings will most certainly be of an unexpected nature, but you will see when you are generous with Him, He will give you a joy unspoken of among those who do not know Him, a peace you cannot describe in words and a love that seems it will burst beyond the confines of your heart if you do not share it with others...

11 Dec 2017

Advent: A Time for Healing and Forgiveness



Most people think of Advent as the time for preparation for the celebration of the incarnation of Christ; when Jesus entered humanity. Advent is just that, but it is also a time for healing and forgiveness, as we see in today’s Gospel from Luke 5:17-26, In this Gospel reading, we learn of the power and authority of Jesus to forgive sins. We hear about the paralyzed man lowered from the roof into the place where Jesus was preaching. Jesus not only forgives the man of his sins, but because of the confidence in God, expressed by his friends, Jesus also heals the man of his paralysis.

What sin may be paralyzing you; preventing you from embracing the joy and peace of the Christmas season? Now is the time to seek...Read more... 

4 May 2016

Singing through the Pain


by Nancy Ward

Last Mother’s Day we went to the 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Jude’s in Allen, TX,  with my son Andrew and his family. We arrived early while the choir was practicing and sat in the third row behind their two reserved rows. Andrew prepared his French horn and joined the music practice.

When the practice was over, just before Mass started, I observed this young man come from the row of choir microphones and around the pews with an armful of pillows. He headed toward the pew in front of us where an elderly woman and a couple of young people were sitting. He motioned that he wanted to sit in that pew and they moved toward the aisle to allow him to move past them. He hesitated, said something to them and after a short conversation, they moved to another pew. He arranged his pillows in the pew and lay down on his back. 
I turned to my daughter-in-law inquisitively and she told me about the man’s back problems and recent back surgery. His name was Patrick Underwood. He lay there until time to sing the processional, then painstakingly pulled himself to his feet by grasping the back of the pew in front of him and forcing his body erect. He had a booming voice and played the bongo drums during the Alleluia with a passion I had never seen—at least not at mass!
Read more of this Mother's Day Story on JoyAlive.net

27 Jan 2016

Grandma and Timmy's Hope!

Grandma and Timmy’s Story of Hope

Timmy was waiting by the front window for Grandma to arrive. “Will she remember me?” thought the little four-year old. Timmy remembered Grandma’s sweet perfume, and soft cheeks. He loved her laugh. He was bursting at the seams waiting for her arrival. Then, he saw the car pull up in the driveway. Daddy ran around from the driver’s side and opened the passenger door. There was Grandma! The wait was over!

Timmy ran out the front door and dashed into Grandma’s arms. He hugged her tight, never wanting to let her go. “Grandma, it’s so good to see you,” Timmy said excitedly. “I’ve missed you!” It was only after getting his hug, that Timmy noticed something different about his Grandma. ... Read more...

8 Dec 2015

SURPRISE!!!

Pope Francis described the Jubilee Year of Mercy back in April 2015 in his official document, Misericordiae Vultus. The final paragraph of that document knocks my socks off. Here's my favorite part:

“In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of casting open the doors of his heart and of repeating that he loves us and wants to share his love with us.”
— Misericordiae Vultus, ¶25


Let us allow God to surprise us!
Amen! I'm excited to journey intentionally through this Year of Mercy. On this December 8th morning, though, as we begin the jubilee, I am thinking less about what I plan on doing and more on what God can do. Truly, I am overwhelmed at what the Lord wants to offer us.

“From the heart of the Trinity, from the depths of the mystery of God, the great river of mercy wells up and overflows unceasingly. It is a spring that will never run dry, no matter how many people draw from it. Every time someone is in need, he or she can approach it, because the mercy of God never ends.”
— Misericordiae Vultus, ¶25
Imagine what God can do with this inexhaustible supply of mercy. Just imagine!Please join me at Praying with Grace to dream and pray about mercy.

4 Dec 2015

Hope in the midst of darkness - Isaiah 29: 17-24

Thus says the Lord GOD:
But a very little while,
and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard,
and the orchard be regarded as a forest!
On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book;
And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see.
The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD,
and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
auntjojo Surely..., Flickr Creative Commons auntjojo Surely..., Flickr Creative Common
Click here to continue.

30 Oct 2015

Life restored after a season of loss: “River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times” in word and song -


00 cover drop shadowI am pleased to announce my first book, published by Ave Maria Press. 

River of Grace: Creative Passages Through Difficult Times (now available on Amazon) is a spiritual memoir that reveals how several major losses helped me rediscover creativity and faith. Ave Maria Press describes it as "Filled with powerful insights on the presence and action of grace--in the Mass and the sacraments, nature and grief, and even through the life and works of Louisa May Alcott--River of Grace guides readers in strengthening their faith, discovering their own hidden gifts and restoring a joy in living during and after tough times." It contains lots of practical spiritual exercises called Flow Lessons that lead you there. (Some of the Flow Lessons are on this site--check them out here.)

Losing a part of yourself

One of the losses I experienced was that of my singing voice. Yet throughout the writing of River of Grace, I kept thinking of songs that would fit with each chapter. While writing the third chapter on the loss of my voice, I experienced a miraculous healing after receiving a throat blessing on the Feast of St. Blaise. This song was playing in my head; here's a passage from chapter 3 on why:

25 Aug 2015

Theology of the Body for Children, Part 2

Sooner than I expected, the gender-identity crisis has hit my family. A friend of my high school children recently announced that she occupies the wrong body. She is adopting a male name and look, and asks that everyone embrace the new identity.

My children are struggling to respond. I was about to write that my children are agonizing over how to respond (which is true), but whatever confusion they are experiencing is nothing compared to the agony of their friend. A bright, talented young person, their friend has decided--at the age of eighteen--that her body is a mistake. Every conscious moment must be torture for her. Every time she moves, looks at herself, or speaks, she regrets having the "wrong" body.


Please join me at Praying with Grace to get a glimpse of a new set of books for children (ages 4-7) that can help adults respond with love to gender issues.

17 May 2015

Dealing with the problems in our country: One person, one step at a time

This is my most recent column in The Catholic Free Press:

stephen's classroom
Our son called the other day to share a lovely story about a former student. Until recently Stephen had been a pre-school teacher in Brooklyn, NY. Although he had neither experience nor background in education, he took the job because he was desperate, having been unemployed for months. Even as he fumbled in the dark with no idea as to what he was doing, Stephen managed to touch the life of a then 3-year-old boy.

Surprising encounter

Stephen knew well the thankless nature of teaching. So imagine his surprise when the now five-year-old boy recognized him on the street and ran up to him, throwing his arms around him. The family followed up with a phone call and Stephen is planning an outing with them as a result.

Give what little we have

We never know how we will affect other people’s lives. We think we have to be experts; my son’s experience says otherwise. We don’t need to know anything—we just need to be open and vulnerable, willing to give whatever we have.
Click here to continue reading ...

5 May 2015

Leaping into the unknown: is it worth it?

What happens when you begin to fear doing something you've done for much of your life? How to cope? This scenario has been playing out since I received a healing of my singing voice. God was calling me to go public again. I share to show that fear never conquers so long as we are willing to go where God leads and we trust in him.

from picturespost.blogspot.com
During the fifteen years that I was a professional musician I went out on gigs, holding concerts and sometimes doing some public speaking. When my mother died in 2010, I stopped doing that sort of thing. Now, five years later, I've decided to dive back in.

It is not without fear and trepidation for I am rusty! While I had my years of experience to fall back on, I wasn't sure I would remember how to do it. Something once familiar to me had become unknown territory.

Was it worth trying? Yes!

Click to continue reading.

27 Mar 2015

Behind the Name, Beautiful Thorns

Years ago I went through a severe trial and very intense spiritual warfare. After that happened, I cried out to the Lord and told him, "I just want a normal, leisurely life"!  Well, he heard my prayer and he left me alone for the next 6 years. Needless to say, I was miserable! There were no spiritual consolations; I did not sense or hear from the Lord at all during that time. The worst part about it though was my passion towards him was gone! I had no desire to pray or serve him. I felt like Jesus could have appeared in all his glory right in front of me and I would not have been moved. It was a very scary place to be and even made me question my salvation.

Continue Reading @ Beautiful Thorns >

21 Jan 2015

Roller Coasters, Puppies, and Learning to Fly!

The past eleven days has been a real roller coaster ride! I am not a big fan of roller coasters, either at amusement parks or in real life! They make me nauseous and I'm not a fan of the thrill. Sometimes however the trials of life that feel like roller-coaster rides can help us grow the most in faith. Hopefully the story I am about to tell will produce growth in me. After all, the Lord can use anything (Romans 8:28)!

Our children have been begging us for a while for a puppy. My husband and I have been researching what would be a good breed for our family. We have tried big breed dogs and they usually knock the children over and can be pretty destructive so that did not work for our family.  

Read more @ Beautifulthorns >

12 Jan 2015

20 Nov 2014

#1 New Release in Recovery by Adult Children of Alcoholics

Little Girl Lost, Little Girl Found is a fictional account of a woman’s journey of recovery and is the #1 New Release in Recovery by Adult Children of Alcoholics on Amazon.

Written by Helen A. Scieszka, Ph.D., affectionately known as "Dr. Helen," Little GirlLost, Little Girl Found is the first book in a trilogy which gently and lovingly approaches the journey of self-discovery and healing. Dr. Helen has degrees in Clinical Psychology and a special master’s level certification in Theology. Once retiring from her careers as an advertising executive, therapist, college professor, parish Pastoral Associate and diocesan Married and Family life director she was finally able to focus on her lifetime love of writing with the focus on using fiction as a tool for healing.


Little Girl Lost,Little Girl Found is highly recommended reading for all adults looking for inspirational fiction and is particularly valuable to adults seeking to heal wounds of the past and embrace the future. 

25 Sep 2014

A Miscarriage: A Soul Acknowledged then Released

I have always considered myself blessed with ten pregnancies which resulted in nine healthy babies and only one miscarriage.
I thought that I knew how to handle a miscarriage, emotionally and spiritually.
I thought I had done everything right by this little one who died before birth.
I was mistaken.
Twenty-five years ago I was in a panic when I discovered that I was pregnant with my seventh.  I had just reconciled with God and embraced this baby when I started to spot. An ultrasound revealed that although I was 12 weeks pregnant, my womb was only at 9 weeks in size and was empty. Apparently the body reabsorbs a fetus in spontaneous, natural ‘abortions’. This news shook me. I felt a sense of betrayal because I had experienced real, spiritual joy when I finally accepted that I was expecting again. My womb was empty, yet  I KNEW, we had created a soul.
I had learned that it is important to name a miscarried baby. During prayer, we sensed that this baby was a girl. I choseRuth because I love that name but my husband had been reluctant to call a living, little girl – Ruth.  We dedicated Ruth to Jesus and commended her soul to God.
I rarely thought of her, with three more births quickly following this miscarriage. continue reading>

25 Aug 2014

Inner Child Healing


What is “inner child healing?”

Does everyone have an “inner child” that needs to be healed?

Isn’t the idea of an “inner child” the by-product of new-age thinking or 60s hippie mumbo-jumbo—or just an entertaining Hallmark movie of the week?

The fact is, the concept of “inner child healing” is sound—even Scripturally based—and, in many instances, a necessary step to the wholeness that everyone desires.

Very few adults reach adulthood without trauma, tragedy, or some sort of emotional damage that makes a very real difference in how they function in the world. These experiences affect how they interact, express and interpret things, and make decisions. For some the “baggage” of childhood is light and has few ill effects; but, mostly it is a burden that many carry and need to learn how to let go.

Enter “inner child healing.”

Inner child healing is the release of the past’s hold on your present life—it is the reconciliation of the little, wounded child and the adult that the child has become—in a way that the adult is able to more fully function as he or she should: as a thriving, joyful, engaged-in-the-world grown-up.

7 Aug 2014

Root Canals and Other Mundane Miracles

I so did not want a root canal and although I couldn’t chew on the right side of my mouth for more than 6 months, I still patiently prayed for my miracle healing.

After all, I kept telling myself, “I am healed by the stripes of Christ.”


Am I right?

19 Oct 2013

One eye in heaven by Nancy


When the nurse removed the bandage the day after cataract surgery on my right eye, immediately I noticed something strange and beautiful. The walls and medical equipment on the left side of the room were the normal tan tones of the office. The right side of the room was aglow with a brilliant blue-white light. The colors on the walls and medical equipment were dazzling. It seemed I had one foot firmly on the earth and the other one in heaven, at least at the threshold of heaven’s supernatural colors.

The doctor explained that the swelling in the right eye with the new lens caused the unreal colors. Okay, but why the brilliant glow surrounding everything within view of the right eye? Whatever the cause, I enjoyed the euphoria.

So for several weeks I’ve lived with these phenomena, even when the swelling went down. I could cover my right eye and see the world in all its dull reality. Then I could cover my left eye and see everything as if bathed in the glow of heaven. The line between these two worlds was as distinguishable as the border between living in the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of God.
Continue reading at JoyAlive.net

9 Oct 2013

Jesus loves us MOST when we are weak.

At the Secular Carmelite retreat I went to last weekend, I heard a message I didn't expect and it has changed the way I'm hearing scripture, liturgy and homilies. I have different ears somehow.

The topic of our retreat was, "Rediscovering the Riches of Divine Intimacy," with retreat master Father Robert Barcelos, OCD. I had been wondering how to grow in intimacy with God, pondering how it was that I had been feeling stuck for so long and even having a hard time following through on my prayer commitments. 

Father Robert said that Jesus loves us MOST where we are weak. He doesn't love us DESPITE when  we're weak, but loves us MOST when we are weak. It's his preference. Whenever Jesus picks a place of encounter, it is in a place where life is messy, shameful or overwhelming for us.

Where did Jesus choose to encounter mankind, face to face, in the flesh, for the first time? In a dank, smelly stable, in the middle of the night. He could have chosen any other place to meet us, but he chose there, a messy, unpleasant, uncomfortable place. When we follow Jesus through the scriptures, where does He meet us? He goes to where the tax collectors and prostitutes are. He is right there when the adulterous woman is to be stoned to death. He's there with the sick, hungry and grieving. He doesn't seek out places where He isn't needed or where people don't realize that they need Him, but He is, as Father Robert said, "a magnet for our affliction." He wants with all His heart to love us there.

The enemy also zones in on affliction. Like a shark smelling blood, he moves quickly for a kill. The greatest spiritual battles of our lives are around our wounded places and our weak places. The enemy will try to make you run from God in shame, but where do you go when you feel ashamed? Into the arms of the enemy instead.
read more>

15 Feb 2013

My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints

Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. ~Apocalypse 13:10
My Peace I Give You by Dawn Eden is a much-needed spiritual resource for those recovering from any type of physical or emotional suffering brought on by the lust, crassness or cruelty of others. It took a long time to read because I had to stop and take time to ponder and absorb, reading several parts of it over again. Not only is Dawn's book well-written but every contention is backed up by solid references. With modesty and restraint, she confronts a topic uncomfortable to many. The misuse of the gift of life-giving sexuality has scourged multiple lives and institutions, not the least of which is our Holy Catholic Church. Too often amid the scandals, the wounded do not receive the treatment which they need in order to heal. This book, coming from the long and painful recovery of a survivor of abuse, will be a grace for many who are hurting from similar wounds. Hopefully, it will inspire all who read it to take action to insure a safer world for the innocent.

While My Peace I Give You is written specifically for those who have experienced sexual abuse, it brought home to me that in this day and age there are few of us who have not experienced some form of assault upon our purity, at least psychologically. The public exultation of vice surrounds us with greater impunity than at any other time since the fall of the Roman Empire. It is impossible to go shopping or watch the news without hearing or seeing the effluvia of the intimate lives of others. In church, in school, in gatherings of friends or family, too often the natural barriers of modesty are breached by topics which are best left in the private realm. For instance, I think natural family planning is wonderful but must children hear the mechanics of it discussed in detail during Mass? Then there are the impure conversations to which the young are constantly subjected in many schools. It is desensitizing and can lead to a callous, utilitarian attitude towards male and female interactions, in which teenagers regard each other as playthings. The problem of emotional and physical sexual intrusion does not recognize the boundaries of liberal or conservative, rich or poor; it has totally infiltrated our entire society. A restoration of morals and self-control would help immensely, of course. In the meantime there must be a new recognition of propriety along with respect for the sensibilities and private sphere of others. It is not a matter of prudery but a matter refraining from invasive talk which might disturb or unsettle those whose inner struggles we cannot guess.

As for actual physical assault, Dawn uses episodes from the lives of various saints to show that such outrages are sadly nothing new. The story of the patroness of abuse victims, Blessed Laura Vicuña, is told. Blessed Laura was a young girl whose mother's live-in boyfriend made continual sexual advances upon her. How many weak-willed women today place their children in similar dangerous situations? Although the local nuns tried to protect Laura, the man's predatory obsession eventually led to her death. This and other accounts of saints' lives show us that sexual obsession is a demon that once let loose seeks only to devour and destroy.

The book offers the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as one of the paths of healing for those who are wounded by abuse. There is a discussion of the magnificent stained-glass windows in the Sacred Heart Chapel at Georgetown University, showing how sacred art can heal as well as inspire. The Sacred Heart devotion is an abyss of spiritual riches; the book helped me to deepen my understanding of it. To quote Dawn:
 Seeing St. John at Jesus' side, I imagine I am witnessing the moment in John's gospel when the Lord urged us to make the love of his Heart our own: 'I give you a new commandment: love one another' (John 13:34 NAB). And in that love he offers us the greatest gift of all: 'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid' (John 14:27 NAB).

The verse takes me back to the time when, as a child, I first took a curious look at the gospels. I remember how the phrase jumped out at me: 'Not as the world gives.' Someone understands, I thought. Someone understands that there is something very wrong with how the world gives peace. The world gives peace only to take it away unexpectedly at any moment. What I longed for was true peace, a living peace­­­­­−a peace I could enjoy forever. (p.27)
As I tend to read more than one book at a time, I read My Peace I Give You in conjunction with Stieg Larsson's fictional Millennium Trilogy and Robert K. Massie's biography of Catherine the Great, all of which deal with the abuse of women on some level. Only Dawn's book offers the key to the exit door from the vicious cycle of abasement and promiscuity. While dealing with the physical and psychological repercussions which can be suffered by those who have experienced trauma, My Peace I Give You takes into account the crucial spiritual aspects of the recovery and healing process, aspects which tend to be ignored in our materialistic culture. Practical and ethereal, suitable for both prayer and study, it is the kind of book I want to hand out to everyone I know.

(More on Blessed Laura, HERE.)

St. Joan in prison by Howard Pyle

 (*NOTE: This book was sent to me by the author's representative in exchange for my honest opinion.)  

Remembering Wisdom

I'm a Christian. So why, one might ask, am I not denouncing something most folks enjoy: like demon rum or Bingo? Or playing the Grinch...