.A great blessing of my life has been to have served at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France for 3 years. I returned to reside in the U.S. at the beginning of last year – I’m sure Mother Mary wanted to bring me home during COVID!
Lourdes is an amazing place – a great sign that the Kingdom of Heaven is among us now, calling the world to the peace of Christ. I have known personally of a number of dramatic physical cures – miracles – and I was a part of many profound spiritual healings – in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
It was normal for me to hear confessions four hours a day or more. People really open their hearts, many coming back to the Sacrament after years: deeply scarred and kicked around – and finally laying down the burden, finding deep peace. A miracle of GRACE.
Then so many others, maybe not so wounded but still feeling really stuck in a marriage that seemed without love nor life… Or simply really frustrated with themselves … “Father, my confessions are all the same. I never change. How can I stop being so resentful of my father, or judgmental of everyone around me … or LONELY and afraid…? I’d try to help with some words of counsel, but I knew full well the Grace of the Sacrament was what they were experiencing, to lift them up, to heal, and to turn them around.
The readings today are about CONVERSION: turning toward the Lord, reconciliation, coming back to real life. The Gospel today, from the Sermon on the Mount, is inviting us to a New Covenant in which the LAW OF LOVE will truly be written on our hearts and lived in our homes! Profound change from the inside out!
Change, healing and coming back to life are possible! How does it happen? Through a beautiful interplay of sanctifying GRACE that is received with desire, intention, and careful attention to put it into practice. Sometimes there are dramatic moments of healing… but then there’s the daily journey of putting new habits into practice. VIRTUE! Staying close to Christ!
How are you growing?
Lourdes is a wonderful place, but you don’t need to go there to heal your heart. You do need the Lord’s sanctifying grace so you can become fully alive. The Holy Spirit is all around you, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to lead you on this journey to wholeness and holiness! Of course, many haven’t been able to go to confession during COVID, but may absence make our hearts grow fonder! As we can return to it, let’s do so with love and great wonder!
This Lent, the Lord wants us to take some real steps in dying to selfishness to learn to love.
Mother Mary, help us!
- Father Jim's inspirational homily was recorded live this morning during Mass at the Father Peyton Center. Please view the video on our Facebook page. (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
To view Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook page at 11:30 am EST, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)