To Be Consecrated in Truth

I’m emotionally unable to let go of an encounter from a few weeks ago… with a woman named Dawn, and her dog, Spirit… she’s one of the homeless in Downtown L.A. As we presented her with items (lunch, grooming kit, etc.), she became a little overwhelmed. I asked if I could give her a hug, and she said yes, crying softly in that moment. She asked for a shirt because hers was in bad condition. She said she didn’t want to be dressed like that anymore. I should have given her my jacket. We were about the same size, and it had a hood for the rain.

She said we could pray with her. However, the outreach team was split apart, ministering to various people. So the two of us just prayed an Our Father. Since it was the feast day of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, I gave her a holy card of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She said it was beautiful and was ready to cry again.

You can give people a hug, a smile, a prayer… but the problems in this world run really deep… who knows what Dawn had gone through—family problems, physical abuse, drugs, rape? She clearly didn’t want to be in this position. And she still had some fight left in her, so we can be thankful for that.

Experiencing things like this, you can’t live your life the same way anymore. How can you go to Disneyland or to a fancy restaurant if you know someone out there is crying in the streets? Yes, we still have to take care of our families and enjoy life together, but like in a marriage, love requires a commitment in the good times AND the bad. I think we’ve forgotten the other half of the equation—how to suffer together…

It’s a little difficult going through these changes… my priorities have definitely changed… I want everything to glorify God. And I don’t see escapism—running away from the real issues—as an answer to anything. While it’s good to retreat, to rest, to allow God to heal you, I think God also wants us to venture out and not let our fears control us. Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18)…

I did some street evangelization on Wednesday. To be honest, I physically just wanted to stay home and work on some art. But I’m glad I listened to the promptings of the Holy Spirit…

There were two children eager for books. These are our future saints—the next generation, whom we need to support. One woman requested a Bible. The first person to ask me for one—hungry for the Word of God. Two non-Catholic Christian college students stopped by to ask questions about the Catholic faith. We talked about Purgatory, Mary, the sacrament of confession, the inherent problems with the “once saved, always saved” theology… it was a very respectful and open dialogue, and I’m hoping that it was of some help to them. But the real beauty was in the middle of all that, two elderly Catholic women interrupted with some good news. Many weeks ago, we had prayed together (an Our Father) for someone who was sick, and they told me that that person miraculously got better the following day! From being sick in the hospital to being able to leave the hospital… it sure sounded like a miracle the way they described it! We gave thanks and praise to God together, and interiorly, I promised to go to Mass the next morning in thanksgiving for this great grace.

I guess I’m sharing this because in the midst of the darkness, it’s very hard to see anything good sometimes. It’s hard to see God, Who can be so quiet and invisible… and Satan is so loud and attention-grabbing… tempting us with the vices he wants us to become addicted to… he’s worse than any pimp or drug dealer… he lies and manipulates so skillfully. But we are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27), so the things of Satan are naturally abhorrent to us. To fall in love with Satan is to hate yourself—it is to be unhappy, to fall into despair, to reject the beautiful image that God has made in you. It is identity confusion. You’re a child of God, not a child of a fallen angel. We are to be children of heaven, not children of this broken world. We are to be in the world, but not of the world…

Jesus with Saints Peter and Paul

“And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your Name that You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are. When I was with them I protected them in Your Name that You gave Me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to You. I speak this in the world so that they may share My joy completely. I gave them Your Word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that You take them out of the world but that You keep them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your Word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate Myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth. I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, so that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one, as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that You sent Me, and that You loved them even as You loved Me. Father, they are Your gift to Me. I wish that where I am they also may be with Me, that they may see My glory that You gave Me, because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know You, but I know You, and they know that You sent Me. I made known to them Your Name and I will make it known, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them and I in them.” (John 17:11-26)

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consecratedhearts

A child of Jesus and Mary.

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