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It's Too Late...

It's too late... Have you ever felt this way?

It's too late to...change, it's too late to... move on, it's too late...to chase your dreams, it's too late...to become a saint, it's too late..."to apologize...It's TOO LATEEEE". (Thank you, One Republic.)

We hear it in the songs, we hear it in our heads...and if we linger in these notions long enough, we somehow believe it in our hearts. We seem to think this is the voice of reason, "You are not worthy", "You'll never change", "You don't deserve a second chance". Unfortunately, too often when we hear these voices, we give up. We stop trying. We become lazy. We continue to fall into bad habits. We fall into despair. Whether those thoughts come from an outside force or from our own heads, I've spent too long believing them and buying into them. This is simply NOT THE TRUTH when it comes to Our God, and if you have been believing or living like this at all lately, its time to hear the truth and live in it!

One of the hardest parts of my own spiritual journey has been to believe in the Lord's mercy for me. It is a constant daily struggle between the thoughts in my head that tell me to give up-that it's too late, and the voice of truth coming from Christ to continually trust in His mercy. This being the year of mercy, I feel like lately the Lord has been truly pulling me ever deeper into the understanding that, despite how I think or what the songs say...Mercy is always the response to these thoughts that try to rob me of living in the light. The Lord is always extending His hand to offer mercy.

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The truth is, by ourselves we are not worthy, we do not deserve a second chance, and we may never change, but because of the perfect and acceptable sacrifice of Christ, we are made worthy, we are given many second chances, and we can always change till the moment we take our last breath.

When Jesus appeared to St. Faustina he spoke of His great mercy, "My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy. Do not argue with Me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace." (The Diary of St. Faustina ,1485) And even to the greatest of sinners and weakest of humanity, Jesus says, "Let the greatest sinners place their trust in my mercy...the greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to my mercy." (" 1146, 723) Wow. If that isn't mercy. If that isn't second chances. If that isn't LOVE, then I don't know what is.

With God it is never too late. His mercies are NEW every morning. So while we are in this year of mercy, better yet, while we still live, and move and have being, let us cling to the mercy of God. It is never too late. We are never too far gone, and He never tires of pouring his love and mercy into our hearts.

Let us pray like St. Faustina, especially on this feast of the Sacred Heart...

"God, One in the Holy Trinity, I want to love You as no human soul has ever loved You before; and although I am utterly miserable and small, I have, nevertheless, cast the anchor of my trust deep down into the abyss of Your mercy, O my God and Creator! In spite of my great misery I fear nothing, but hope to sing You a hymn of glory for ever. Let no soul, even the most miserable, fall prey to doubt; for, as long as one is alive, each one can become a great saint, so great is the power of God‟s grace. It remains only for us not to oppose God's action." (283)

So what are we waiting for?! It's time to move forward. It's time to trust. It's time to believe in mercy. It's never too late.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

AMDG

"We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.”- Pope Saint John Paul II

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Valentine's Day...What It's REALLY About.

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Valentine's Day...What It's REALLY About.

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So, Valentines Day is approaching… Some of us are off the wall excited and can hardly wait to spend time with the man/woman we love or the new love interest in the picture.

And still for others this is one of the most self-conscious days of the year-the dreaded “single awareness” day: The day when all insecurities about not having a love interest are exposed.

Stop just for a minute.

Try not to think about which one of those crowds you fall under and lets take a trip back in time to Rome in the year 300 AD during a time of great persecution.

The Emperor, Claudius at the time, passed a law prohibiting marriage to further his agenda to force men to join the Roman army so that their focus would be on fighting recklessly for the state and not back at home with their wives. (Messed up, right?) Now of course, you can imagine the disapproval of not only the Christians, but also of anyone who believed in love. Engagements and marriage ceremonies were forbidden- and so the sacrament of marriage was also prohibited.

Now, one man in particular, a priest in Rome, was especially horrified by this decree: his name was Valentine. In opposition, he performed the sacrament of marriage to couples in secret. He was eventually caught, imprisoned, and the Emperor sentenced him to death. While in the jail, he befriended the jailer’s daughter, who was blind. He proceeded to heal her of her blindness, and as a result, the daughter, the jailer, and his whole family converted to faith in Christ. The night before the execution, he sent a letter of encouragement and farewell to the girl signing it “From your Valentine”. The next day he was brutally beaten with clubs, stoned, and finally beheaded for his support of true love and marriage.

Can you imagine the kind of love that burned within this man’s heart? Although he knew the consequences of marrying couples against the law, he knew it was the right thing to do. Despite the fact that he was about to die, he showed the love of God by healing and bringing the faith to a girl he barely knew. He put aside all his fears and doubts and took a stand for love!

This is truly what Valentine’s Day is all about! Maybe we don't have someone special in our life in a romantic way right now or maybe we do, but the Lord and author of all love is always near to us- showering us with HIS gift of love and waiting patiently to be loved by us! Praise God! What a true lover! THIS is the love we celebrate today! Whatever your situation may be romantically, the Lord and lover of your soul LONGS to hear you say that you love Him! Forget about what the world says this day should be about in all of its nonsense, and remember the love that led Jesus Christ to the cross to die for love of you!

St. Valentine shows us through his own martyrdom that real love is about sacrifice, and that although believing in true love is hard- especially when the world tells us to settle for things less than love- true love is worth FIGHTING for! May we fight, as St. Valentine did so many years ago, for a life of true, authentic love. Let us not settle- but dive head first into the love that the Lord is constantly and freely giving to us- and may we in return, for all he’s done for us, love Him back.

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To Trust, or Not To Trust

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To Trust, or Not To Trust

mary mag passion "Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I t r u  s   t…"

Let’s just be real. Trust is one of the most DIFFICULT parts of life.

To trust or not to trust…that has been the burning question in my soul as of late.

In this world filled with so many crazy notions of truth and so much doubt and despair, it’s hard to know who to trust, let alone to allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to do so. Trusting in someone or something makes us prone to hurt, disappointment, and heartbreak… those experiences that we in our humanness try so desperately to avoid- and yet at some point in every person’s life, the need to trust presents itself. This rings true even more so in our relationship with God. We trust Him with our lives- but only as much as we see fit. We allow Him into our hearts-but only as deeply as we want Him to be there- and yet- He wants our complete trust.

Recently in my own life, the Lord has given me the opportunity to trust Him in new ways that I would have never previously conceded to. He gave me the grace, however, to let go of someone very dear to me to allow Him to more fully enter into my heart so that there, He could care for those deepest parts of my soul that are in desperate need of His transforming love.

I have come to realize that in order for my heart to be full, and truly alive, I need to allow myself to rely on the Lord in a way that I never have before: I need to allow Him to capture my heart- all of it- and to allow Him to romance me: to show me a love so deep and so true that nothing and no one in the world could satisfy in my heart but Him alone.Surrender

I admit, however, that this is more easily said than done. The person I am surrendering to the Lord is someone that I would consider my best friend- he has shown me the unconditional love of Christ in so many ways- yet even so: the Lord often calls us out of our comfort zone. He invites us ‘onto the waves’ with Him, not so that He can make us miserable and pull us away from those we love, but to immerse us into His ocean of love and mercy. He longs to be our first love- our source- for it is “because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19) that we love others. If it’s true that Christ is the source of all love, and that only He can fulfill those deepest desires of our hearts, than allowing Him to show us a love beyond imagining is a leap of faith that we all should want to take! How can we do this? Well, it requires surrender…and a lot of it.

Now, why in the world would we want to put our trust in something unseen? Why should we be docile and surrender everything into His hands? Because despite all our doubts, God became man and “…shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) We have every reason to trust a man who, knowing each and every one of our sins, chooses to become like us- to love us- take our sin upon Him…and to DIE for us.jesus on cross

For many of us, surrendering to the Lord right now might mean giving something up- good or bad. Maybe it’s that comfort or person that you tightly cling to, that while it may not be bad, may need to be surrendered in order for you to enter into a deeper union with the Lord. For others, it may just require a simple prayer of humble trust. Maybe it’s a habitual sin that you can't break free from. Who knows, maybe you're someone that doesn't have any trouble at all with surrendering your whole life to God (which I have good reason to doubt since we are all imperfect). Whatever your case may be, trusting is a constant action the Lord is calling us to. Even in surrendering something fundamentally good, we need not fear the absence of that good, for the Lord may eventually return it to us in His own perfect timing. We just have to trust that He sees beyond our own limited eyes: that He knows what is best for us and what will help us to become holy as He is. He wants us to surrender to Him completely: to trust Him with our whole lives. Truthfully, that’s really not a lot of Him to ask. He only laid down His entire life for us. Let us ask for the intercessions of Our Blessed Mother, who is the perfect model of complete surrender and trust in the Lord through her total "Fiat", and St. Faustina, who pondered and strived for perfect trust repeating, “Jesus, I trust in you”. May we imitate their trust for our own growth in holiness, but ultimately, all for the greater honor and glory of God.

May God Bless you all and thank you for reading!

Taylor

AMDG

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