Have you ever had an encounter with God that left you in tears because you understood the power of His goodness? I will never forget the first time I watched Passion of the Christ a few years ago and how it brought me into the life of Christ in such a powerful way. I watched Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem to accomplish the Paschal Mystery, His passion and resurrection with fresh eyes. Seeing Jesus portrayed in His humanity and divinity brought home for me the magnitude of suffering, rejection, and betrayal He faced. I may start my Spiritual Director’s practice of watching this movie on Good Friday. Will you join us?Continue reading “Palm Sunday – Encountering God’s Goodness”
We celebrate the beautiful Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord on March 25. This day, which is nine months prior to Christmas Day, honors the Blessed Virgin Mary saying “Yes” to God’s will for her as part of His divine plan for salvation of the world. Mary’s “Yes” is included every year in the Gospel reading for this Solemnity:
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.Luke 1:38
The Solemnity of the Annunciation is a bittersweet day for me as it is also the anniversary of my father’s death. He died on March 25, 1998, and I have had a Mass said in his memory each year on this day. Over the years, I have found comfort in the Mass readings for the Solemnity, which provide me with encouragement and strength to accept God’s will for my life. Mary’s brave and trusting acceptance of God’s will helps me to accept God’s will in my life, even to accept God’s will for the death of a beloved parent. The Gospel reading also reminds me that God is always with us, and that I should not be afraid (Luke 1:26-38).Continue reading “Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord — Saying Yes to God’s Will”
Joy isn’t what happens when life goes perfectly. It’s what happens when you know you’re loved perfectly, even when life’s a mess.
Chris Stefanick, Living Joy
The journey of Smitten With Goodness began with a simple question. What does it mean to love?Continue reading “Finding Perfect Precious Love”
Each day that begins, if welcomed in prayer, is accompanied by courage, so that the problems we have to face no longer seem to be obstacles to our happiness, but rather appeals from God, opportunities for our encounter with him.Continue reading “Celebrating Happiness”
As I am in the remaining few weeks of Lent where he is purifying my heart, I want to honor St. Joseph, my saint buddy who is helping me see God’s goodness working in my life. I am in awe with his surrender to God’s will and his trust and confidence in what he heard. Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, spouse of Mary during this Year of St. Joseph designated by Pope Francis.Continue reading “Inspiring Goodness: St. Joseph”
Today’s post, on this second Sunday of Lent, is written by a guest contributor Melanie Boutiette. Melanie is my sister, mother figure, and friend. I am pleased to introduce you to her and an article from her blog Just Beloved, Words of Encouragement for you!
I love to garden. I love digging my hands in the rich soil, planting beautiful flowers, and transforming a once barren area into a beautiful bed or landscape. The whole yard is filled with a variety of flowers and plants. I especially love the front of the house. I have an English garden there that once was just an ugly plot of ground after disease destroyed all the bushes and plants. To look at my yard right now in the dead of winter, you cannot tell that I love to garden.Continue reading “Pruning Hearts”
Another blow. Why can’t we catch a break? These were my thoughts as I drove my husband to the emergency room. He had only been home from the hospital 20 days after previous admissions adding up to more than 200 days following his bone marrow transplant last year. Sometimes it is just too much to be surrounded by all the suffering, the uncertainty life brings, and waiting in the fear of the what ifs. The blanket of heaviness can descend upon me covering me in darkness when all I want to do is bask in the light.Continue reading “Reclaiming Peace”
Return to me with your whole heart for I am gracious and merciful
During this third Sunday of Lent as I continue wandering in the desert of my soul, I am very grateful for God’s endless mercy and graciousness. As the Master Gardener pulls the sinful weeds that crowd out the flowers of beauty, my Creator is pruning my heart for beauty to burst forth! Ouch!Continue reading “Are You Perfectly Merciful?”