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Showing posts with the label healing

Fr. Albert Macpherson O.S.A.,“God You Have Made Us For Yourself“

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Almighty God, you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
till they find their rest in you;
so lead us by your Spirit
that in this life we may live to your glory
and in the life to come enjoy you forever;-  St. Augustine


Over the years, I have attended many retreats and masses, followed by healing prayer led by Fr. Albert MacPherson. For over 30 years, Father Albert MacPherson O.S.A. has traveled the globe on a healing mission. He takes his special healing ministry to parishes and provides parish communities with healing Masses and retreats. One mass I attended a few years ago was especially memorable. After mass, dressed in a black cassock, using holy water, blessed salt, holy oil and traditional prayers of the Church, Father simply blesses the people with God performing wonderful miracles in his wake. continue reading

A Heartfelt Plea to Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

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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 Sac…

Advent: A Time for Healing and Forgiveness

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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...

Singing through the Pain

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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. H…

Grandma and Timmy's Hope!

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Grandma and Timmy’s Story of HopeTimmy 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...

SURPRISE!!!

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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:

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

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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 Common
Click here to continue.

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

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I 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 t…

Theology of the Body for Children, Part 2

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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.

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

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


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 vulnerabl…

Leaping into the unknown: is it worth it?

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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.

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.

Behind the Name, Beautiful Thorns

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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 >

Roller Coasters, Puppies, and Learning to Fly!

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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 >

Learning to forgive and forget through your prayerful imagination

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Even though you've sought forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, do you still find yourself burdened with regret? Susan Bailey from beasone.org offers a prayerful way to use your imagination to let it all go. Click here to read

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#1 New Release in Recovery by Adult Children of Alcoholics

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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.

A Miscarriage: A Soul Acknowledged then Released

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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 t…

Inner Child Healing

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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…

Root Canals and Other Mundane Miracles

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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?
Read more here

One eye in heaven by Nancy

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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 th…

Jesus loves us MOST when we are weak.

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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 chos…