During my last pilgrimage, Marion Shrines of Europe, in 2019. I asked Our Lord when I was in Lourdes, with humility, where did the answer lie as to the role of women in the priesthood and to help me understand with clarity the answer. You see, I was very much in favor of women priests. I researched the question and sought out dialogue about it. My studies moved in an open, liberal circle of thought through my advanced degree. I developed prayer services. I gave reflections on the gospel, and I was highly involved in my parish as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. I openly received the Eucharist in my hands. Generally, I felt I was being circumvented by not administering the Sacrament of the Sick to patients in my hospital when priest availability was lacking. I share this background understanding with you, only so you may see the level of my fall and give the glory to God where it belongs. Spiritual pride and confusion might be good indicators to identify the state of my mind that impacted my soul—a spiritual dilemma.
I received my answer, which amounted to the illumination of my consciousness as I was on my way to confession that morning. Some may hear this phrase and immediately discount my truth. However, God does talk to us directly, as He wills, if we invite Him. I stopped in my tracks and immediately sat down, for my answer was total and complete in all areas. In a few seconds, God revealed the errors in my thinking and actions. He called out the underpinning sin that caused my offense and told me I had been troubled by this sin before. Tears of healing flowed as I recognized by grave error and accepted His truth. Joy replaced the sadness as I understood that despite my flaws, I am deeply loved! God's grace of mercy and forgiveness flowed through me at this recognition of what I had done and would never do again.
As I reflect on my words, my illumination amounts to a private Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Catholic Church provides seven sacraments to help us grow in holiness through the graces dispensed from them. The sacraments are valuable spiritual gifts established by God for the good of His people. They are powerful in combating sin and evil. They give us boosts of grace at different stages of our life as we grow and mature in the faith.
The direction of my Catholic practices changed that day. I now attend the traditional Latin mass, no longer receive the Eucharist "in the hand," and have given up my role as Extraordinary Minister of the Holy Eucharist. I see the work of God's hand as he continues to place people, priests, and organizations in my path that give glory and honor to His son and Our Blessed Mother. I continue my hospital ministry with a new depth of humility, compassion, and love.
My idea for creating my website and blog was to provide a scared space to share changes and spiritual awakenings in my life and my passion for God's relationship with humanity for your benefit. In many ways, I have honored this goal in this blog post. Much has changed in this world since my last pilgrimage. Some would have you believe that the path has changed and the road is full of curves and twists, and everything must change to straighten it out. Be at peace, for the road has not changed; Jesus is the way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through me. (John 14:6). Hold fast. Stay close to Our Lady, lest you be led astray! Develop your spiritual practices "for Behold Man does not know the hour of the Bridegroom’s arrival. (summarized from Matthew 25:1-16) Let joy fill your heart in the knowledge that God loves you and has called you by name. (Isaiah 43:1) Peace.