Striving For Holiness With A Catholic Heart
“The purpose of our growing in union with God, becoming more holy, is never, never, just for ourselves, that we may grow in sanctity…. The final purpose is that we become more holy, and united with God, that we may be more effective channels of His grace to others. This is the purpose of becoming holy. This is the fundamental motive for growing in sanctity. Why? So, that being united with God ourselves, we might then be used by God, in the measure of our union with Him.”
“Holy people are used by God to sanctify others,
humble people to bring humility to others, patient people to bring patience, chaste people to bring chastity.” (Fr John Hardon, S.J.)
This den is my cave where peace can reign as I sort through my thoughts and days.
Lioness is my outreach. It is the lioness who feeds the pride for the most part. She is also fierce in defending her young. That is what I want to do in serving God, provide food for thought and sustenance for the soul, be it in a very small way. My part will be as small as I am , but God can use the small, the weak, the nobody.
In the very ordinary of each day, one day at a time, this will be my respite. I’ll share this space and ask my visitors to come and go in peace. In truth, I’m simply striving for holiness here in the dark, open to the Light, with a Catholic heart. Prayer and daily Mass feed me and help keep me aware of God’s presence.
By profession, I am a registered nurse. Working the wards at Mt. Sinai, as a student at night was always a cause for anxiety, working sprawling hospital wards as charge nurse caused me to feel a bit insecure, too many patients, too many rooms. IV’s could be running out or someone in trouble, and we didn’t have all the “eyes” of fancy monitors as we do nowadays. Occasionally, my anxieties would speak up in dreams.
A dream I’ll always remember went like this: I was on a hospital ward, and the ward was immense (though in my dream the ward looked more like a castle) and the halls seemed endless. Suddenly, I was aware of a great lion roaming the passage ways. Now, in my dream, the ward/castle became even bigger, extending to several floors above and below.The lion prowled like a monitor. His appearance seemed threatening, but instead of fear, I was flooded with a profound sense of security. End of dream!
In those days my life was in a bit of flux, with husband in school; me, with two young daughters to care for, living with my in-laws, and working nights in a newborn intensive care unit. Waking from the dream, I wanted to know who the lion was? I prayed, and then opening the Bible saw a passage that read, “Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of my husband the lion” Esther C: 24.* I was ecstatic! That day I took the dream to mean, with God’s providential help, my husband would take care of us. In other words, “Not to worry.”
Since the Lord speaks on many levels, and with multiple meanings, in this day I think the Lord is saying, “I am your Husband the Lion who guards and protects the passages of your life. You are My bride, My castle.”
The Mission of My Life
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about. John Henry Cardinal Newman
“When speaking of spiritual matters an ignorant person like myself,” says St.Teresa of Avila, “must write much that is superfluous and even alien to the subject before coming to the point. My readers must be patient with me as I am with myself ..”
All posts are copyrighted, 2009 Joann Nelander (AKA: Lioness)
Just for fun:
My dog Tubok:
*Septuagint: Esther contains six “Additions” to the Hebrew text. These are labeled A,B,C,D,E,and F. They are intersperse through the Hebrew text. C follow Esther 4:17 and includes the prayer of Mordecai, and Prayer of Esther.
PRAYER OF ESTHER
Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.
“And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies;
turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness.”