The Conversion of Saul to St Paul

The benefit of being home with my kids is that I get to participate in morning mass.  I  love listening to the word of God.  It’s even better when Aaron comes with me and behaves.  hehehe…Today’s readings were about conversion: the conversion of St Paul.

What causes our confusion??  What causes us to lose hope, to doubt in the existence of God?? I think for the most part, we are lacking faith.  In a previous post, I mentioned that faith is the ultimate reception of God’s love and gift.  We don’t believe that God will give us our gift, so we grab for it instead.

St Paul was one of the most hated among Christians because he persecuted them.  He tormented them and killed them, so why would people believe he had a conversion??

People are so skeptical of others that they can’t believe anyone could actually have a change of heart.  How can an invisible “God” really talk to us? Or, look at Jeanette’s life…she is always gossiping about others, how can she be a follower of Christ?  Christians are put under a microscope because we are expected to have all the answers and have a seemingly holier life, but people often forget that we are humans, not divine beings.  We are working everyday to get rid of the stigma that follows Christians, or at least we should.  Our lives should reflect the life of Christ.  We need a Paul-like conversion.  We need a total 180 degree change in our attitudes and lives so that we are now reflecting the life of Christ.

But how can we do that??  How can we have a deeper conversion??  I’ve been reading and contemplating this book called Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer by Fr. Thomas Dubay (I will post a link below) and it has really helped me deepen my prayer life as well as help with my conversion story.  He quotes St Bernard of Clairvaux, “There are more people who convert from mortal sin to grace, than there are religious converted from good to better!” WOW!!!  This is thought provoking….  why is it that this happens??  In one word: CONVERSION.  What is true conversion??

True conversion is looking at your life and seeing the faults and working towards God and mirroring your life after the saints, apostles, Jesus and Mary.  If it wasn’t for the conversion of St Paul, a lot of us would not be here believing in the gospel.

My conversion happened when I started studying the Theology of the Body.  Those writings of St. John Paul II really changed my life.  I am looking for ways to bring this to the wider group of people.  A lot of people can have their own conversion by listening to these very healing words.  There are many ways God can call us for conversion, but TOB was mine.  After going to the Theology of the Body Institute and learning more, I have total faith that I’m following the right path.  I am so happy I came across these writings, so please pray for me.

Below, I will share a link to download a talk by Christopher West entitled: Your Body Tells God’s Love Story!  It is an introductory talk on the Theology of the Body! I hope you enjoy it!

May God bless you and help you with your conversion story.

Your sister in Christ,

Jeanette

 

Link to Deep Conversion Deep Prayer:

http://www.amazon.ca/Deep-Conversion-Prayer-Thomas-DuBay/dp/1586171178/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453736061&sr=8-1&keywords=deep+conversion+deep+prayer

FREE talk by Christopher West

https://members.thecorproject.com/file/nYezD8ZRkd0

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Mary and Jesus: My Reflection

In yesterday’s Gospel reading we hear about Jesus’ first miracle: the miracle at Cana. It is beautiful to note the relationship between Jesus and Mary.  Even though Jesus said “it is no my time yet,” he perfomed the miracle on the request of his mother Mary.

So what does this mean for us??

Christ wants to fill our lives with His love.  Throughout the bible there is marriage.  The bible begins with a marriage between Adam and Eve; the bible ends with a marriage between Christ and His church; in the middle of the bible is the Song of Songs.  Jesus perfoms his first miracle at a wedding: the wedding at Cana.  Jesus and Mary are the new Adam and new Eve: the masculine and the feminine.

People often say that Mary isn’t as important as us Catholics make her out to be.  In reflecting on this topic, I would say that Mary is the most important woman in the bible. Mary is the perfect example of faith: being open to receiving the gift.  She did not understand God’s plan, but she said yes to it.  Because of Mary, we have Jesus and because of Jesus we have Mary.  The two cannot be separated.  In a similar way, Christ and his church cannot be separated. The funny thing is, Mary is the church: the church is feminine.  Why people say that the church is a patriarch is beyond me, in fact the church is feminine but has masculine components.  They are both needed and cannot live without the other.  Jesus is the ultimate example of masculinity: He was our gift in that He gave His life for us. In today’s society, we have a need for a truly masculine example, and we can find that in Jesus.  Mary, on the other hand, is the ultimate example of femininty; she perfectly received the gift.  To understand the feminine, we must look at Mary for our example.

The filling up of the wine is a representation of Christ being the one to fill our lives.  We fill our lives with things in the finite world: sex, drugs, and alcohol, and as much as it numbs the pain, it will never truly satisfy.  The only one that can fill the desire of our hearts is Christ, in the same way that He filled the jugs of water with the most delicious wine.  He wants to fill our lives with His love.  Mary is the one who helps us know her son.  She is the one that is always pointing our lives to her son. She is always with us on this journey to find Jesus.  As the saying goes: “no one can honour Mary more than Jesus her son.”

Secular world drama

I have been having conversations with some interesting people these past few days. I am a Catholic and will be for the rest of my life. I believe in the truths of the Gospel, and I believe that God calls us to a spiritual battle on a daily basis.

I spoke with someone the other day, let’s call her Nancy, that struggles with pornography. Nancy grew up in a Christian/Catholic house and sadly something happened while she was young that caused her to think that her body was an object of someone else’s desires. Nancy’s view of her body and of men skewed her view on what the true meaning of sex is. It opened the door to a battle with pornography that she was never meant to struggle with. In an ideal world, that situation that happened when she was young would have never happened. The man would have been there to protect her instead of take advantage of her. He would have loved her as Christ loves us, by giving up his life for us all. Instead of becoming a slave to his desires, that man would have desired only the pure, the good, and the beautiful. That man scarred Nancy, he tried to break her. He almost did BUT the Lord is so great. He has redeemed Nancy. He gave her the graces she so desired and has been trying to restore her life to its once original innocence.

The other person I spoke with was once a priest who used to fully believe in the truths of the Gospel, but now has since taken a sabbatical in order to discern what his place in this world is: let’s call him George. He has mentioned to me that he has been turning away from religion and has become more accepting of the secular world, which generally I’m ok with. I understand that not everyone is in the vocation that they were meant to be in, but I also know that there are such things as moral absolutes. George was mentioning that one doesn’t need God or Jesus to live a moral life. I honestly don’t believe that because morality, what is true, good and beautiful, can only come from God. He mentioned that you don’t need Jesus to tell you that murder is bad…. Really??? I think, as humans, we need to have rules set for us, or our world would be in utter chaos. We need to be told what to do because obviously we don’t seem to be getting it right. To the person that has morals without faith, who tells you that you are living a moral life? Did you wake up one day and say…today I’m not going to kill anyone…and go about your business as you would any other day??  Is it enough to live in this world being content with the truth of the secular world? Or do you believe that you were called to do something greater than what’s at the end of your arm’s length??

In both cases, Nancy and George have been working through issues that have been caused by what the world has to offer. They have both become victims of their generation. The devil is a very sneaky seraph, and I must admit that he has a good strategy to distract the faithful. He often makes us doubt ourselves and doubt the loving nature of our Lord. The oldest trick in the book is for us to believe the lie that God will withhold the gifts that He has for us; to put doubt in our hearts. In my conversations with my friends, I have been pondering a lot about the truth of how the Theology of the Body can help to restore our broken society. But before we start, we have to ask God for faith. If we don’t ask, the answer will always be no. Having faith is allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to the will of the father and remaining open to hearing His whispers. He always gives us a choice to either do good or bad, so we need to be open to receiving the gifts He has in store for us!

To Nancy and George, I pray that the Lord will give you the graces you need to understand the truth He sets before you!

Your sister in Christ,

Jeanette

 

Insight!

This past week has definitely been an interesting and insightful week for the truth of my character. I left my job after giving birth to my third son Aaron because I felt a calling to do something more in life. Because of how the Theology of the Body impacted my life, I felt/feel a strong calling to take this beautiful teaching and bring it to a wider audience. At my parish, St Anthony of Padua, we are going to offer the introductory Theology of the Body Course in the DVD format starting in April, but until then, I am biding my time praying and reflecting on deepening my own prayer life.

One of my favourite Saints, St Teresa of Avila comes to my mind and even though she was in a lot of pain in her life, she used it as a way to show others her love for Christ. She knew how to live in the ache. She had an understanding that everyone is broken but it is how we use our brokenness that will either make or break a person. If not her, who? The same can be said for us, if we are not doing the Lord’s work… who is?? The Lord has no body on this earth but ours, but are we going to allow him to work through us? If we are all called to be a part of the Body of Christ, what part are you? It made me think… I am being called by the Lord to proclaim the good news about why we were created, and I’m looking for opportunities to speak this truth… this week has made me realize that this mission is bigger than I am and that I need prayers please!  can anyone help me get in touch with speaking opportunities??

 

Your sister in Christ,

Jeanette

First Post

So this is my first ever blog post, and I’m kind of excited.  I’m hoping that I will be able to express my feelings and thoughts on this blog as well as provide my readers with some insightful information.  I have been thinking about starting a blog for awhile now, and I suppose, if I want to be a public speaker, I need to have some kind of blog or online diary.  Most of the content of this blog will be about my thoughts on the theology of the body, my kids, my husband, the Catholic Church, and my favourite Melaleuca products.  I hope you find some great information on this blog, and I thank you for coming on this journey with me.

God bless,

Jeanette