Palm Sunday Mass Reveals A Eucharistic Phenomenon

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Because the healing retreat that I went to the weekend before Easter didn’t end until 11:30 am on Palm Sunday, many of us ladies attended the 5:30pm Mass at St. Gabriel’s in which a section in the first few rows on the right of the main aisle were reserved for us.  I had never sat in the front row (even at a Daily Mass) before nor was I about to sit there that day, but I was left with no choice because there weren’t any seats left in the other rows.  

I hadn’t a clue about the graces I would receive.  I wonder to this day, was I awarded such marvels because I sat in the first row or because I attended a spiritual retreat or both?

An overwhelming sense of love for everyone in that church filled up inside of me.  I could feel it illuminating out of my very being.  My soul was ablaze!  I wanted to hug, really hug everyone I saw, especially all of these women that I now held a special bond with due to the retreat.  

At the beginning of Mass, I saw my Spiritual Director take her seat a few rows back and the Director of Worship for St. Gabriel, a woman I highly esteem and admire, sat directly behind me with her beautiful granddaughter.  Seeing them and knowing that they were so close to me during the mass that begins Holy Week sent the intensity of my aflamed heart into a mountainous bonfire!

I closely felt Jesus’ presence in that church.  It was as if I were watching him ride on his colt among the massive crowd, waving our palms at him, and lining his way into Jerusalem for Passover two thousand years ago.

Later, as the consecration was underway, Father lifts the host. I look up.

Jesus, I want to be awed.

As I’m looking down to pray “My Lord and My God” something catches my eye.  It’s a soft glow, it’s a white blur, it’s a haze around the host.

The host is illuminated!  Wait, am I seeing things?  Did anyone else see that?

Then, Father raises the wine.  I look up.

Jesus, I want to see.

As I look down again, I see a fog, not a white fog, but a dark red, the color of blood, fog hovering over the chalice.

What the heck just happened?  What did I just witness?  Something spectacular.  A supernatural phenomenon. Something only possible by the Mystery of Faith.  

Jesus, I am in awe!  Jesus, I see!  Praise Jesus! Thank you Jesus!

I know it sounds ludicrous, but I kid you not.  It happened.  I saw it with my own eyes.  This was a sign from God.  This was His gift to me!  Somehow, I had won His favor again!

And this gift, all of His gifts to me so extraordinarily prevail over the bad, the ugly, the evil temptations that the devil throws at me, the poisonous thoughts the he places in my mind telling me I’m an unfit mother, a stupid, unintelligent housewife with no autonomy, a worthless human being who contributes nothing to society.

God will incessantly and perpetually give me the graces to conquer and trounce this relentless wickedness.

All I have to do is trust.

Jesus, I trust in you!

kara scow

Healing Retreat Brings Fiery Tongues from the Holy Spirit

 

Heart pounding. Harder, harder, harder. Eyes shut. Fluttering rapidly. Faster, faster, faster.Sun shining. Brighter, brighter, brighter.Adrenaline pumping. Rushing, racing, shooting through my veins! (1)

The weekend before Easter, I attended a Spiritual Healing Retreat with many women in our Parish.  This was something completely out of my comfort zone, but I felt called to go.  And I’m so glad that I did.

What a profoundly beautiful and sanctifying experience I obtained from that retreat.  It was truly inconceivable mercy!

Friday night and Saturday mostly consisted of scriptural teachings on healing, and I was enlightened by two lessons.

The first being something that has been repeated to me many times, but this time it finally sunk into my thick skull.

I am not worthy.  But Jesus did not die for the worthy.  He died for me.  The unworthy.  The screwup.  The hot mess.  He suffered for me.  He died for me!

I can’t even begin to describe the overpowering sense of realization in that moment!  A newly discovered color had just emerged into my spectrum!

The second was finding that I could discipline my children while maintaining that motherly love of Mary.  When they are disobedient, be strict and correct them, but follow up with an “I love you no matter what you do.  This is why I did [blankety blank] and had to take away [blankety blank].”  Saying “I love you” alongside the disciplining allows me time to think, calm myself down and toss out the urge to be angry or frustrated.  As a mother, this was a huge breakthrough for me, but these enlightenments didn’t hold a candle to the last day of the retreat, which occurred on Palm Sunday.

It was our final session and we broke off into prayer groups of 10-12 standing in separate circles with one chair in the middle.  Each person was to receive a turn at sitting in the middle while the rest of us women laid hands on that person and prayed for them internally and verbally.

The first two ladies’ prayer sessions were fairly uneventful.  I suppose the Holy Spirit was just warming up.

But then, He began to breath fiery tongues upon us like it was Pentecost!

It was mind blowing.

My roommate sat in the middle.  I began to feel something stirring inside of me.

Heart pounding. Harder, harder, harder.  

Eyes shut.  Fluttering rapidly.  Faster, faster, faster.

Sun shining.  Brighter, brighter, brighter.

Adrenaline pumping.  Rushing, racing, shooting through my veins!

It was unfathomable.

The words and prayers that spilled out of us were something not of this world.  Something only God could bring to light.

Cast out her anxiety.  Toss it away and never return.  Worry be gone!

Make her fruitful.  Bless her fertility.  She will be the mother of 12 kids!

Then it was my turn.

First, silence.  Then….

The word redeemed is coming to mind. You are redeemed!  

Fill her with the necessary knowledge when she’s with her family this Easter.  

The Serenity Prayer just came to me.  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

I suddenly sensed the sun shining, beaming, completely enveloping me.

I felt the need to move so the sunlight could shine on you.

I was keenly aware of God’s warmth.  It was awesome!

A friend from my bible study group sat in the middle.

My eyes began moving rapidly underneath my closed eyelids.  I felt intense supernatural energy.

Let it go.  You are carrying a cross that isn’t yours to carry.  

Another lady.  I voiced all that consumed my heart and mind.

May God bless you with heroic patience and motherly love.

And another.

Look at the water.  The light reflecting off the lake will renew you.  You are renewed in it!

Finally, the last woman of our group sat in the middle chair.  We laid our hands on her.

I see a woman standing in front of a wave.  A giant cowabunga wave.  She is unafraid.  Then she is surfing the wave.  Riding it, gliding down, arms spread, fearlessness in her eyes. She seems to be saying, “I can conquer anything because God is with me!”  She is surfing in the image of Mary!  She is the Surfing Madonna!

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Her new nickname is now Surfing Madonna.  

If you’ve never heard of her, she is captured as a mosaic image of the Virgin of Guadalupe surfing a wave.  It is located on a wall in Solana Beach, CA (which is where one of my sister’s lives) outside of a local winery, hence the reason I know of her.

And all of this Holy Spirit action happened in one morning.  The rest of Palm Sunday brought me more unimaginable graces which I will reveal in my next post.

kara scow

My Bout with Spiritual Warfare 


I began writing this post over a week ago and the post turned into a novel. So to keep my ADD readers from going AWOL and to practice the art of brevity I’ll keep that post to myself and label it as a few diary entries during Holy Week.
To those who are unbelieving, this sequence would simply seem like a coincidental occurrence of bad events. I see it as Spiritual Warfare. What is it? The devil on attack. Yes, I said the devil.
Many cringe at the very sound of his name, but he is real and God is his number one enemy. God could crush him in one tiny wisp of a breath, but he doesn’t. Why? Because he is leaving that battle up to us. He wants us to choose between good and evil. He wants us, mere human beings, to defeat him.
The devil’s favorite time to pounce is usually right before or during a very spiritual period, in which you are receiving many graces from God. For myself and for my family that time was most definitely during Holy Week, but it is also now, and forever. We are a family of continual conversion, therefore, our Spiritual Warfare will go on and on.
To update you, my husband completed his RCIA and received full communion (Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion) into the Catholic Church on Easter Vigil Saturday.
It’s a big deal and the devil knew it!
He was about to lose another soul and he was scared.


The following are actual events that occurred before, during, and after Holy Week:

3.18

Day Before I leave for my Spiritual Retreat

Davny trips and falls head first into the brick mailbox that we installed that same day! Her bump protrudes out to a magnitude I’ve only seen on cartoons. I take her to the ER. They give her a CAT Scan. She is fine!

Thank you, Jesus!
3.19-3.20

Spiritual Retreat and Palm Sunday

Some amazing events occurred, but I’ll reserve them for a future post.
Holy Week
3.21

My Twinados strike the playroom and they cause a destruction I’ve never encountered before. An F4 level of destruction. And no nap. My patience is thinning with every tantrum. Then, my neighbors come to the rescue and surprise me with an impromptu birthday celebration. Their kids entertain mine.

Praise God!
3.22

Matt and I plan to put the kids to bed early to watch Passion of the Christ as we eat dinner. We succeed in getting them in their rooms by 6:15 with a 20 minute “reading” time. Upon return, to tuck them in bed, books are torn all over the room. Strike 1.
Lights out. Matt is on the phone. Coffee table in front of the TV is set with dinner and wine is opened. Twenty minutes later I hear a blood curdling scream from Davny. Nothing out of the ordinary. I wait. Screaming continues. I go up. Gadsden says, “Dirty Blankie”. What is going on? I turn on the lights. Giant blood stain is on Davny’s bed along with a blood smeared sound machine. What the? I turn around. Davny’s head and face are covered in blood. Strike 2.
Oh my dear Lord, please be ok.  I rush her downstairs to clean off the blood. It’s from a gash on her forehead. Not deep. Not big. No stitches needed. Phew.

Alleluia!

We conclude, by the evidence presented, that Gadsden threw the sound machine at Davny’s head. That was the end of anything but stuffed animals given to them at bedtime.
I give Davny a bath to wash off the rest of the blood. Matt is attacking the stains on the blankets and sheets in the laundry room. I assume Gadsden is with him. I hear “NO GADSDEN” from Matt. I finish up Davny’s bath and ask Matt what happened. Gadsden was playing Sommelier with our wine on the coffee table. He poured wine in our glass, but spilled some on the floor. Strike 3.

Most of it actually ended up in our glasses. Only 2 years old and he already knows how to pour wine. That’s my son!

Praise Jesus!
3.26

Easter Vigil Saturday

Matt’s family and my family arrive to witness and celebrate Matt’s full communion into the church.
3.27 

Easter Sunday

Gadsden trips and hits his head on the stairs. It leaves a giant bruise and bump on his forehead. He’s fine.

Thank you, Guardian Angel!
3.28-4.2

A week of uninterrupted fun with Matt’s family in town!
4.3

Divine Mercy Sunday

Matt’s family returned to Montana yesterday. Matt left for a work trip this morning. I take the kids to the park. We explore next to a lake and hike up and down the stepped spillway. Davny wants to walk through a marshy area. I tell her no. She throws a tantrum. I proceed to carry her up the stepped spillway and back to the stroller. We are at the top. Gadsden is behind me. I set Davny down to talk to her and try to calm her down. I look back. I see Gadsden near the edge. He teeters. Oh no, Gadsden! He falls over the side…
I run and jump over the edge. It’s a 10 foot drop. Thankfully the bottom is all grass. He’s crying. I don’t know what to do. Now, Davny is near the edge crying. I have one hurt from the fall and one about to do the same and there is only one of me. I run back and forth.

A man and his wife in a nearby house witnessed the entire episode and they run to help. Gadsden isn’t really moving, but he’s crying. Please, nothing be broken. Please, not his neck. He’s not moving his neck. I’m frantic. I carry him up and lay him down next to the man. I call my neighbor. By God’s grace she is driving home with her daughter and is nearby. She arrives. Gadsden is up and moving now, but still crying. I think he is going to be ok, but I’m not sure.

We try to put our gigantic stroller in the back of her car. We can’t. She takes Davny in the stroller. I put Gadsden in the back of her car. Her daughter rides with me. We drive to my house so I can grab my purse. I put Gadsden in our car. We go to Urgent Care. It’s closed.

We go to the ER at Baylor. We wait. They do a full body examination. No bumps, no bruises, no broken bones, no signs of concussion. Nothing.

Praise the Lord!

They want to be sure, so they request a full chest X-Ray. We wait another hour. The X-Ray is done. We wait for the results. The PA does another examination to make sure he hasn’t developed any signs of concussion. Nothing. The X-Ray results are normal. Phew! We are discharged.

My saints, my angels, my Lord and my God, Thank you!
We get home. My neighbor is there. It’s late. Davny is asleep in bed. I give Gadsden milk. He doesn’t want any food. I’m talking to my neighbor. Gadsden throws up. Uh oh. That’s not good. Could he have a concussion?  We clean it up. I put him to bed and monitor him. All is well….
4.4

The next morning, I go upstairs to get the already awake kids. I smell vomit immediately when I enter the room. Oh no. Vomit is all over Gadsden and his bed.

Holy cannoli! He does have a concussion! He could have died! I don’t want to go to the ER again.

I strip the room and wash everything, including the children. Gadsden feels warm. He has a fever. It occurs to me that he could have the stomach bug that’s been going around. I text my neighbor. I make an appointment with our doctor. Neighbor comes over. We go to the doctor. He has a stomach bug. I am actually happy that he’s sick. I can handle sick.

Thank you, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!


 

So what do you think?  Spiritual Warfare or just random bad coincidences?

My Gift from God because I said “Yes”!

They lived their last moments with me holding them.In the warmest, coziest, safest place that is closest to my heart and soul.

Many of you know my story.  I was infertile.  My husband, Matt and I, chose to do IVF.  We had boy/girl twins.  Upon rediscovering my faith in the Catholic Church, I found out IVF was a mortal sin.  

Matt and I asked ourselves: What do we do with our three leftover embryos? We don’t want five children, do we?  Could we handle that many kids?  What on earth did we get ourselves into?  

We decided that this decision wasn’t up to us.  It was God’s will to give us all of these children.  They are not property.  We don’t own them.  We can’t discard them.  They are human.  They are alive.  They have souls.  They deserve a chance at continuing their already created lives.  

It was our responsibility as their parents, their guardians, their protectors, to un-interrupt the interrupted, to rescue our children from their stagnant state that we had put them in.

We said “Yes” to resuming God’s will for us, despite our fears of raising a big family.

Today, on the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I read this reflection and it dawned on me that I had said “Yes” to God’s will too.  Just as this woman, just as Mary, just as Jesus, and I experienced the same gift from God that this woman experienced: a little more time with our children.

None of our remaining embryos survived, but instead of “living” their lives indefinitely in a cold freezer or tossed out to die in a trash can or experimented on in a lab to be killed in a petri dish, they passed away inside of me.  

They lived their last moments with me holding them.

In the warmest, coziest, safest place that is closest to my heart and soul.  

In my womb.

God granted me this beautiful gift.  Why?  

Because I won His favor.  

Because I said “Yes” to His will.

 

 

Benedicamus Domino, 

Kara