“Poverty has few preparations to make.”

Yesterday the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows book reached a milestone. It has sold 1000 copies! While that of course is not a blockbuster, it is a great start. It is appropriate that this milestone occurs during Passion week – the week in which we are most encouraged to meditate on Our Lady’s sorrows.

I hope that Father Faber is smiling down from heaven knowing that his words, written almost 170 years ago, continue to bring the faithful closer to Our Sorrowful Mother. I hope the Sorrowful Rosary book has led others to read his complete work, The Foot of the Cross: The Sorrows of Mary. It is packed with gems – “precious one-liners” that provide ample seed for meditation.

One of these gems is from the second sorrow, The Flight into Egypt. The line that keeps coming back to me, almost hauntingly is, “Poverty has few preparations to make.” There are so many layers and directions that this one line could take a soul, but I’ll start with the most obvious.

Our Lady and Saint Joseph were not of a wealthy class so it makes sense that as soon as the angel directed Joseph to flee “with heaven’s best treasures on earth,” the preparation to leave was minimal. They didn’t have time, much to take, nor did they have the ability to carry much. Would we be able to say the same thing if we suddenly had to “bug out”?

We have so many earthly things to care for, that we have a newer social category of people called “preppers.” I am almost embarrassed to admit that I am somewhat of a prepper. I of course want to take care of my family’s needs in a crisis, but why am I embarrassed to admit that I am “prepping”? It’s because during Lent, I have been struggling with my “busy-ness.” It is a constant battle to stay focused on prayer, reading, Mass, . . .because my mind has so many preparations to make! What the Lord and Our Lady keep asking me is, “Are you prepping for eternity the way you are prepping for an earthly crisis?”

I wish I could say yes. But at least they have gotten my full attention and I’m in the conversation. I’m trying to relax about all the events that may come which is not to say that I am relaxed – I have a long way to go – I am way more Martha than Mary. But I am asking for mercy and the grace to better prioritize my day so prepping for heaven comes first.

It is no accident that I write a post today after being away from posting for too many months. There are many posts already written in my head and Lent is almost gone, but I haven’t prioritized sitting down and making that happen.

What got me to write today was a session I had yesterday with someone who I am tutoring for school and counseling on motivation. He shared that at a retreat last week one of the talks discussed, “Delayed obedience is still DISOBEDIENCE! Whoa! Who is teaching whom? A long time ago I heard the saying, “We often teach what we need to learn.” Got me! I knew I was being called to write more, so I finally sat down to write.

I have even more to say on this “one-liner, but I am going to save that for tomorrow. I pray I continue to keep my priorities focused above as St. Joseph and Mary always did. It is no accident that the word “disciples” is derived from the word DISCIPLINE.

Have a blessed remainder of Passion Week and Holy Week.


Why A Seven Sorrows Rosary?

Seven Sorrows

In this blog post, I want to explain what led me to create A Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.  I am certain that I was supposed to complete this task as the book is selling consistently without any advertising.  I hope Father Faber is pleased looking down from heaven as he and I both know that I could not have done this without his unique insights into the Blessed Mother’s sorrows.  He has been my teacher, and I want to use my training as a teacher, to share his lessons with you.

Throughout my journey as a Catholic, I was aware of Our Lady of Sorrows, however it wasn’t until a priest of mine did a sermon on Father Faber’s book, The Foot of the Cross, that I began to search out more information on this devotion.

My Own Loss

I too was a mother who had lost a child, a very young child, but I wasn’t quite ready to tackle Father Faber’s 450-page book. But I did find a pamphlet on the Seven Sorrows that I purchased because of a single statement on the first page. It said, “There is a word for a woman who loses her husband – a widow, and there is a word for a child who loses his or her parents – an orphan, but there is no word for a mother who loses her child.”  That jabbed at my heart!

I bought the pamphlet immediately being sure that this would contain the enlightened words that would help me make sense of the loss of our little boy Martín. Sadly, beyond that one line, the pamphlet held nothing for me and left me again, searching.

I mused on my own for a while and was able to take particular events from my son’s short life and align them to Our Lady’s sorrows. I could relate the shock of the moment when we were told our four-month-old baby boy had liver cancer to Simeon’s prophecy to the young mother Mary. I knew our bewildering nighttime drive from San Diego to the UCLA Medical Center to receive Martín’s first liver transplant fit with the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt. I too had cried all the way knowing that somewhere a mother was mourning that night so that my child could live. But I began to question whether or not I should be doing this. No matter how great my loss, nothing could be as great as losing God himself.  

Fortunately, the priest I had heard preached again on our Blessed Mother’s sorrows in which he quoted Father Faber again. That did it.  I finally bought the book and began to devour it- albeit not that quickly as every page was so deep, so dense, so multifaceted, that I would often read a paragraph or two and have to stop. Those few words could sometimes be enough to spark an extended time of fruitful meditation. Everything Father Faber wrote was so rich that I was afraid to read too much in one sitting for fear I wouldn’t be able to absorb and retain it all.

It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but I think it took me 3 years to get through the entire book and not because I was setting it aside, but because I was reading it that thoroughly. I highlighted probably a hundred “favorite” lines, made notes in the margins.  It was my constant companion at holy hour.

Coming to Terms

The book led me to come to terms with our son’s death, and ironically, to be able to look back over the four-year struggle and acknowledge God’s presence and support through it all.  My husband and I would “secretly” talk about the beauty of some events we shared with Martín, knowing full well that outside of devout Catholics, few people could understand.   I’ll relate more details about these spiritual milestones in later post.

Father Faber also introduced me to the martyrdom of Mary, which I will never fully grasp in this lifetime, but I do feel he gave me an opportunity to begin to understand it.  So, what then prompted me to try to compile this rosary meditation?

Overcoming Spiritual Blahs

During a time of prolonged spiritual dryness, I admitted to my confessor that I was just plain blah. I didn’t want to pray, I was too tired to pray, and I was worried because I knew it was one thing to be dry, but another to altogether give up on my daily prayer life. He counseled me to go back and read something that had uplifted my spirit and had really brought me into meditation, so I went back to The Foot of the Cross, of course forgetting that I am always “there.”

I picked it up and started reading impatiently.  I couldn’t even start back at page one. I went directly to the many dog-eared pages and highlighted lines desperate to quickly recapture my original experience of being in the desert or wanting to be with Magdalen gently receiving our Lord’s feet as He was brought down from the Cross, and of course next to Mary, as our Lord was laid in His crushed, but not broken, mother’s arms.

Making Father Faber Portable & Accessible

Father Faber, Portrait. 1814-1863
Father Faber 1814-1863

Then I realized that if I could carefully choose choice lines that bring the Sorrows to life and arrange them into a text-based rosary, The Foot of the Cross could easily be available to travel anywhere. This was not an easy task as there were so many favorite details of mine from each of the seven Dolors. It was so hard to choose, so hard to select only 7 lines per mystery!   I deliberately tried to pick the most emotionally impactful lines, the ones that I felt both told the story, and at the same time explained the spirituality of Our Lady’s Sorrows which is such a large part of Father Faber’s teaching.

If you have purchased the book, I hope the rosary and the daily meditation have supported you with whatever spiritual cross you are shouldering.   And if you haven’t yet purchased it, I hope you will.  For me, it was a game changer.

I hope you’ll check back soon for more reflections on the Seven Sorrows devotion so Our Lady can support you in your spiritual life.

Holy Thursday – Thoughts on The Fourth Sorrow Meets the Fourth Station

What is better than an image from a troubled soul like Van Gogh to begin contemplating the darkness of Holy Thursday and Our Lord’s torment in the garden?

Although this post will discuss Our Blessed Mother’s fourth sorrow, since it is Holy Thursday, I want to speak first of her participation in the Agony in the Garden. Father Faber suggests that even though Mary was not physically present in the garden, that she experienced a corresponding agony.

This is not really hard to surmise since we know Our Lady was present at the Last Supper. She would have heard Jesus dropping the bomb that one of the Twelve would betray Him and it is not much of a reach to assume that in some way, she knew exactly who He was calling out. Father Faber reminds of us of “her intense prayers for that unhappy soul.” Also, it would have been nearly impossible for Judas to not display some evident physical reaction on his face as this news reverberates through the apostles.

Can you imagine the pain Our Lady felt that one of His inner circle would bring Him down? Is there anything more painful than betrayal by family? We all need to remember that when we sin egregiously. We are His family so our sins cause more pain.

But as we continue to contemplate that night of darkness, imagine also that every minute after Our Lord leaves the Upper Room would have been a horrible strain for Our Lady. As Father Faber put it, “she is left for awhile to the anguish of uncertainty.” She accepts what is going to happen, but it is still “a distressing anticipation” as Father calls it in the Sixth Sorrow. For some of us, knowing what is happening concretely is better than being left to this uncertainty. The many hours of separation and darkness would have been a crushing weight for many of us.

The supernatural connection between Jesus and Mary is what amplifies all the pain for both of them. One of the most edifying scenes in Mel Gibson’s. The Passion, is when our Lady is on her knees with towels after the Scourging trying to retrieve His Precious Blood. And if that isn’t enough, she then begins to slide her hand around the stone because she senses her Son’s Presence beneath her in the dungeon. This is such an amazing illustration of her willingness to fully participate in the Passion,

It is this willingness that gets me to the Fourth Sorrow and the Fourth Station of the Cross. At my church, the Fourth Station looks similar to the image below and it got me thinking. There is something amiss in this depiction. Can you guess what it is?

For me, Mary is portrayed all wrong. As I have prayed the Seven Sorrows, studied the Seven Sorrows, contemplated the Seven Sorrows, the Mary I know, the Mother I know, would never have looked away! Father Faber talks about her being “His executioner” because seeing her increased His suffering. But I still believe that she was determined to fully embrace His every painful step, every blow, every insult, every last moment of His trial. She would not have looked away because it was the paradox of her presence – it increased His suffering while at the same time it consoled Him!

For me, the image below portrays the Mother of God the way I have come to know her.

May you have a very holy Triduum. Mater dolorosa, pray for us!

Part 2 “Poverty has few preparations to make.”

Feast of Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows – Friday in Passion Week

Today, the Friday of Passion Week, the Church calls our attention to Our Lady’s spiritual martyrdom through her participation in Our Lord’s life and Passion. It is one of the two days a year, today and September 15, that the faithful are encouraged to recite the Seven Sorrows Rosary, with special emphasis on Mary’s suffering at the foot of the Cross.

According to the 19th-century Benedictine abbot Dom Guéranger in his series, The Liturgical Year,* this feast was celebrated as far back as 1423 in the diocese of Cologne, but in 1727, Pope Pius XIII instituted it for the entire church under the name the Feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Yesterday I wrote about the physical and earthly aspects of “Poverty has few preparations to make,” a quote from Father Faber in the second dolor. I spoke about my own hyper-focus on day-to-day tasks often keeps me from preparing for what is most important – eternity. This of course is really a type for the more critical meaning of poverty, poverty of spirit. It follows that a truly humble soul would have fewer preparations to meet Our Blessed Lord, but attaining that humility is quite the bumpy path. Social media, family, wealth, competition in work, sports, even charitable works – can be just a few of the potholes we have to steer clear of on any given day. Are we connecting, or are we showing off?

Humility is tough – especially in a driven individualistic society like ours. But how can we complain about being called to this humility if even the humblest creature of them all, our sinless Blessed Mother, was called by her Son to greater and greater suffering even though no preparation was necessary for her soul, only for OURS! Father Faber expressed Our Lady’s “preparation” this way:

This reminds us that the road to holiness is never an easy one. Any progress we make is sure to be met with spiritual attack or condemnation from those around us. As I personally become more and more aware of my thoughts that are completely counter to humility, it feels overwhelming. It is humiliating to see how truly proud I am!

But Our Lady of Sorrows is the devotion to ask for assistance to overcome pride. Our Lady’s heart was pierced “so that thoughts may be revealed.” If you ask her, she will reveal your thoughts – that happen so frequently and so quickly – we would miss them without spiritual assistance.

As I pray the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows and meditate today on Our Lady at the foot of the Cross, uniting her suffering with My Saviour’s, I have to ask myself, what will I do to prepare – of what will I let go – to be more fully united in gratitude to My Lord and My Lady’s sacrifice?

Coincidence or Divine Providence?

I’m writing today because it is the anniversary of our son Martín’s death.  He died just shy of his 5th birthday from complications from his third liver transplant.  But this year the date is overshadowed by another tragic connection. 

I am compelled to share it because there were so many little synchronicities surrounding Martín’s life and even now, sixteen years after his death, they continue.

Two days ago, we went to a going away party for a young couple who were leaving California and moving to Virginia.  The gathering was relatively small and mostly people from our parish.  However, they had invited one woman whom they knew through their involvement in rescuing and fostering cats and kittens.  I was introduced to the woman because we are both teachers.  Little did I know that our lives were far more intimately connected.

K. as I will call her, was a special education pre-school teacher at an elementary school not far from us.  Martín was supposed to have gone to that school when he was 3, but he could not attend because he was immune suppressed and several students there had not been vaccinated.  So, the school district had assigned one of the teachers, M.B., to come and homeschool our son at home in the afternoons after her regular teaching day.

So naturally when I heard where K. taught, I asked her if she knew M.B.  Turns out they worked so closely that K. said they were teaching partners.  I asked if Miss M. had retired yet and how she was doing.  K. stunned me when she said Miss M. had died a few years earlier.  Turns out she had been struck by a car and killed! 

The news through me and I became emotional as you can imagine.  So instead of asking for specifics other than how long ago, I began pouring out details about how wonderful Miss M. had been for both our sons – reminiscing about how she had created a full-on preschool experience right there in our kitchen.  As I gave the details, K. realized that she remembered both our sons because Miss M. had talked about them so much.  She told me that Martín and Tomas had been very special to Miss M.

It was important for me that K. know how special Miss M. had been to us.  After all, they had been close friends and colleagues.  I explained to K. that Miss M. had been the hardest phone call to make after Martín died.  I remembered that we were driving past Camp Pendleton on our way home after three and half months at the university medical center when I got up the courage to call.  Miss M. had started screaming.  I couldn’t console her. 

Miss M. had missed the funeral but showed up near the end of the burial service with a dozen white balloons.  Everyone else was leaving to give our small family some private time before they lowered Martín’s small white rose-covered casket, but we kept Miss M. at our side.  When we were alone, we took turns kissing each balloon and then releasing them into the sky – a tradition that continued for every birthday and anniversary at the cemetery for at least the next 10 years.

Martín had been the first medically fragile student Miss M. had worked with after school, but she had continued from then on taking on all kinds of other kiddos who were too sick to go to school.  It was a difficult addition to her teaching life because often her students didn’t make it.  K. shared that she too had started to homeschool these extra special little ones.  So even Martín had touched her life.

When my husband and I got home that evening after the party, we broke the news to our son Tomas.  He also had many fond memories of Miss M like doing spin art with paints and such.

It made me recall the time I had bought multi-colored goldfish crackers across the street from the hospital and worried that Martín wouldn’t eat them because they were different.  But when he saw them, he said, “Oh, just like Miss M.” and happily popped them into his mouth.  I had shared that story with Miss M. on the phone all those years ago trying to demonstrate how she had touched Martín.

the crunchy snack that smiles back | AllieKF | Flickr

Yesterday I couldn’t get Miss M. off my mind as I prayed for her. I was bothered too by the similarity to another death related to Martín. 

We had adopted Martín at birth from a homeless couple.  His bio dad was an alcoholic and had walked in front of a car just a few months after Martín was born.  R.K. had died a few months later in the hospital.  I kept thinking about Miss M. also being hit by a car.  People just don’t walk that much in our metropolitan area and where Miss M. lived everyone drives.  So, I searched the internet.

Sure enough, an article popped up.  Miss M. had been hit around 9PM on a mid autumn evening nearly four years ago.  The man said she had stepped out in front of his car and he didn’t have time to stop.  It apparently was across from a mobile home park.  There was no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved.  The medical examiner believed she was transient. I broke down.  Poor Miss M.! 

When I had last seen her, she was living in a beautiful home and driving a Jaguar.  I did recall her being single with no family to speak of and she had had some financial problems when she first started coming to our home.  But the purchase of the Jaguar had made me assume that that situation had turned around. 

The questions!!!!   What was Miss M. doing there?  Did she live at the mobile home park?  She would have had a healthy teacher’s pension so . . .   I know that stretch of road.  It would have been dark – there would have been headlights!

I don’t even want to give voice to the fears I have. 

Was meeting K. and learning of Miss M’s untimely death a mere coincidence or Divine Providence?

I have this strong sense that Martín and Our Sorrowful Mother wanted me to know all this because they know I will faithfully pray for this beautiful loving soul who was apparently so alone at the end. 

When we go to the cemetery later today, I think we will take two balloons.  One for Martín and one for Miss M.  May she rest in peace!

What about the Seven Sorrows devotion for men?

Today I just wanted to put together some quick thoughts about why devotion to the Seven Sorrows of our Lady is helpful for men as well.

First, there were men supporting Our Lady at every single one of the sorrows.  It follows that she would call men to continue to support her now as well.  The world certainly feels like we’re preparing for battle, and men have always been on the front lines.

St Joseph of course, experienced the first three sorrows right along with Mary.  Even before the first sorrow, it was Joseph’s responsibility to provide and protect Mary as they searched for lodging in Bethlehem. Then Joseph too heard the heavenly choirs praising the Baby Jesus and witnessed the humble adoration of the shepherds.  While scripture directly states that Mary kept many things in her heart, it doesn’t take much to realize that much would have been going on in Joseph’s heart as well.  

Being a holy man, Joseph must have been keenly aware of the divinity of the Babe and the sanctity of his wife. Such pressure to protect them.  And then, on what should have been a joyous day, the presentation of the Babe in the temple is disturbingly overshadowed by Simeon’s dark prophecy. 

Did Joseph feel a jolt when Mary was told that a sword would pierce her heart? Did he notice some outward sign of distress flash across her face?  Even if she quickly collected herself, this would have caused him such distress to see her suffer.  Is there much worse for a man than to feel helpless to alleviate the suffering of someone whom he loves?

Did Joseph feel an anxiety of anticipation?  Would he be there when Our Lady’s heart would be pierced?  Would he know what to do? Would he be able to minimize the pain?  The feelings any husband or father would have hoping to spare their family and loved ones.  Ah! The immense responsibility to care for Our Lady and Jesus was continually escalating!

In the second sorrow, when they already had the burden of the prophecy, Joseph was instructed by the angel to flee to a heathen land with his family.  Father Faber explicitly details how it grieved Joseph to bring this additional sorrow to Mary.  Imagine how it is today for a husband to come home to tell his wife that he’s lost his job, or they must move?  Or maybe they receive terrible medical news about a child?

While Joseph had to take his holy family and physically flee to a foreign land, so many men today are forced “to flee” the culture with their families while still having to exist in it.  How difficult it is to navigate the heathen land of corporations and workplaces that would like to sack them because they hold a biblical worldview.  The struggle for men to balance how to provide for those around them in both temporal and spiritual ways cannot be understated. 

Try to imagine in the third sorrow when Mary and Joseph suddenly lock eyes in realization that Jesus is gone!  Poor Joseph.  Again, he must have felt immense responsibility to solve the problem while trying to reassure Mary.  As our world and culture continue to turn inside out and upside down, the pressure on men is immense to stay two steps ahead of the accelerating pitfalls that threatened to derail families.  

Finally, in the 4th through 7th sorrows where St Joseph is no longer present, other men were called to step up and protect our Blessed Mother who in this case I believe also represents our church.  

Even before our Lord officially instructed St John to take care of His mother as John’s own, he was the only apostle at her side throughout the entire Passion. He was the one that got her close enough to say a last goodbye to her Son. He supported her through the entire three hours of the Crucifixion.  

Then, John, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus saw what had to be done because of their faith in Christ.  Likewise, holy men today are often called to care for more than just their immediate families.  Faithful men everywhere are networking to support and nurture other men and protect the church.  This may mean mentoring young men in the ways of righteousness. 

So yes, this devotion draws us to consider and experience Our Blessed Mother’s sorrowful heart, but it reminds us that she was not alone. The men of the early church, as well as the current Christian soldiers, are crucial to this battle.  

Surprising Connection

The morning after I uploaded my first blog post I was shocked to see an email that said someone was following my blog. How could that possibly be?  I’m a new author.

What was even more surprising was that it was a man that I think was Chinese. I immediately realized that it was unlikely that this man was following me because he had a devotion to Our Sorrowful Mother.  I suspect he has some way of receiving notifications whenever somebody posts a new blog.  I believe he most likely followed me so that I would click on his name and look at his writing. He was right. My curiosity got the better of me.

When I clicked on his link and began to read his poetry which was written in English, I found it interesting and ironic.  He was lamenting not having access to the protections of democracy.  He would have had no idea that I am the daughter of a man who spent almost 2 years of hell in a communist Chinese prisoner of war camp. So, I take the whole threat of communism against democracy a little more personally.  

Not knowing this man’s religious background, I do hope that he’ll return to my blog and read this post because the Catholic Church, the Sorrowful Mother, and of course the Holy Rosary are among our greatest weapons against the destructive societal trends in the world today.

Interestingly, the Chinese pow camp where my father was detained was the same camp that housed Father Emil Kapaun, a Catholic priest and US army chaplain, Medal of Honor winner and possibly soon to be Catholic saint.  The horrors of this officers’ camp have been detailed in several books in order to document Father Kapaun’s heroic compassion, bravery and spiritual support for his brother prisoners under the ruthless inhumane communists.  His selflessness is the ultimate contrast to these demonic forces. A few of these books are linked below. 

I am of an age where I remember when communism was ALWAYS a negative word, a threatening word and something to be fought against – and not just because I was the daughter of a POW and heard about Camp 5.  It used to be routine and acceptable to document communist atrocities along with the societal and economic traumas inflicted by this empty utopian lie.

When Our Lady of Fatima appeared in 1917 to caution the world that Russia would spread her errors, I’m sure she was also there as the Sorrowful Mother – sorrowful because she could see that many people were going to become comfortable and complacent.  They would feel that they no longer needed God in the equation.

This comfort that we’ve gained over the last century has made us soft.  We take so much for granted – our faith, our families, our food supply.  Were all the millions of lives, sacrificed and damaged, fighting totalitarianism in the World Wars, the Korean conflict, and Vietnam worth only a lousy 100 years of improvement?

It’s profound that I can relate to this poet lamenting a lack of democracy.  Our Sorrowful Mother laments with us and the young Chinese man half a world away.  

Books on Father Emil Kapaun:


A Lesson from the 1st Sorrow of Our Lady

“. . . that out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

If you have read the introduction to my book, A Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, I discussed a lesson on the First Sorrow that I learned from a sermon one Sunday at my church.  Then I heard the same point made in a talk given by Father Chad Ripperger that I found on the Internet.  This lesson really resonated with me.

The teaching explained that Simeon’s prophecy not only foretold the depth of pain that our Blessed Mother would endure throughout Jesus’s life, but as the spiritual mother of mankind, her pain would also allow her to assist us to know our sins.  “. . . that out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”  These thoughts apparently are the things that we hide from ourselves, frequently sins of which we are not immediately aware.

Trouble with Examination of Conscience?

I’m guessing that I’m not alone in having trouble at times to do a thorough examination of conscience. I’m clear that if I am out of bed going about my day, I have probably sinned.  But what if something specific doesn’t jump out at me?  Blatant detraction, extreme impatience, anger?  This has often caused me to put off going to confession for far too long.

But if we take this concern to our Sorrowful Mother, she will help us to see ourselves more clearly.  Now that is not always comfortable.  But I must admit that the first time I really experienced her help with this, I felt consolation in the confidence that I was able to make a much better confession of my sins.   

For me, she really taught me to look at my thoughts.  I realized that while I may often control outward expressions of resentment, competition, impatience – my slate was not so clean on the inside.  Unfortunately, I had to face the sin of comparison! 

Now of course not all comparisons are sinful, but if my feelings are hurt, certain relationships aren’t where I want them, something isn’t going my way, I now know how easily I slip into comparison.  I even had the priest character in my next book quip, “Sometimes I wonder why comparison wasn’t the eighth capital sin!”  Now of course that isn’t necessary because God already had comparisons covered in pride, envy, and vanity!

“We can treat negative thoughts like intruders in the brain.”  

Now that Our Lady has shown me, oh how those comparisons can nip at me like nasty little demons!  This was a humbling lesson because it takes practice and determination to identify the root thought and then to not to let it fester.  “We can treat negative thoughts like intruders in the brain.”  That is a little tool I learned from “Mental Health through Will Training” by Dr. Abraham Low.  He was not a Catholic writer, but what could be more Catholic than trying to train your will? This is a tool I have to return to frequently.

For me, I’ve learned that I must monitor my emotions.  When I suddenly feel a sharp jab, I need to stop and ask why.  Am I feeling jealous, disrespected, dismissed, ignored?  Why?  I rarely like what I see, but it is the best way to see my sins and failings.  And if I own them, I have a chance of not repeating them.  Easier said than done, but it’s a start. 

I am truly thankful that I found help from Our Lady of Sorrows.  I hope you’ll consult with her the next time you are preparing for confession.

Have a blessed week!