Prayers and Heavenly Promises by Joan Carroll Cruz  click here 


The clouds of summer

The clouds of summer roil and knit together their darkness, with thunder, parting to show a moon that will always be there as will be the Truth of God.

There are clouds that bring needed water and others that bear what some see as faces (left, a not-so-pleasant one, last week, from the London Mirror); as if reflecting a spiritual battle.

Others are simply dynamic -- as when (below, right, from Reuters) they form both a tornado and lightning, the latter also photographed in some cases when there is an erupting volcano; lightning flashing from smoke, which pours from a netherworld, as many things also erupt from us when we harbor darkness (and need to be right with the Lord).

There are spiritual lessons.

When we have darkness inside we misperceive, we bring tension, we harbor false notions, we lack forgiveness, we imagine slights, we fail to see our own shortcomings, for darkness obscures; it blinds. There is no discouragement when there is only light.

The darker the times, the more that God's Light is visible from you -- beckoning others; the stormier it is, the more we are called to make the final purge of any darkness -- "clouds," smoke -- in our own spirits. As a wise man once said, hundreds of candles can be lit from a single candle without diminishing its flame; here is your calling, in the darkness: Hold the light.

Here is another truth: no matter how dark it seems, there is no reason for discouragement.

Joy is to be found in all challenges. Dispel darkness; don't dwell on it. Surrender all to the Lord.

It is when we have darkness within that it connects with the darkness without and dulls our enthusiasm for life, which always has been and always will be a challenge, as designed by the Good God.

"Dear children," the Blessed Mother has said, "I am calling upon you to pray at a time like the present when Satan is powerful and wants to gain possession of the greatest possible number of souls."

"I am your mother full of goodness, and Jesus is your great friend. Do not fear anything in His Presence. Give Him your heart, from the bottom of your heart. Tell Him your sufferings, thus will you be invigorated by prayer, with a free heart, in a peace without fear."

Abandon. Surrender. And:

Just hold the light. God will tend to the rest. Be secure and full of joy in the face of everything. Joy never decreases by being shared, nor does it allow discouragement.

Getting to a place of balance brings peace and this means the type of balance that dispels all anger, for -- speaking of volcanoes -- holding to anger is grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone; you are the one who gets burned. This comes from an old spiritual leader who we do not follow but who had aspects of wisdom.

When we lack faith we lack God; when we lack faith, we enslave ourselves. Those who do not believe in God negate their own spirits, their own identities, their own selves, their own freedom; they have become robots, made of bones and flesh from which they can't go beyond.

Say this coming week, "I love God in everything." Pray always to return to what is you at your highest, at your deepest, at your strongest. Hold the Light. Just hold it. Pray long before Mass, which will make  reception of the Eucharist even more powerful than usual -- that much more cleansing, that much more capable of parting any clouds inside or up there.

[resources: Michael Brown's What You Take to Heaven and A Life of Blessings]

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