Dream: Last night I had a dream about a young woman who was walking at the top of a big hydro dam and somehow slipped and was falling down the wet concrete to the thundering waters below. A young strong man also fell but manage to save himself. After a second, he made the decision to plunge down after her in order to try to save her. Miraculously he reached her and they both ended up being caught on a branch or ledge. The strong young man pulled the young woman up behind him struggling to get them both to safety. Instead of being helpful and grateful, the young woman was berating him the whole time saying things like, “I would have been fine. I didn’t need you to rescue me. Why didn’t you mind your own business?” Once the young man saw that they had made it to a place of relative safety, and seeing that his presence was a thorn in her side, he parted ways with her, making sure she was in a place where she could make it the rest of the way on her own. He placed her in a little stream that was emptying into the dam and told her to go upstream with her mother who was there and make her own way to safety. Then he left. Even though the stream was not deep or fast, they had trouble going upstream. They came to a bend in the stream and another young man appeared. It was the young woman’s “new boyfriend”. Even though she not in serious jeopardy, he was not able to help her out of the stream and offered to go for help. The young woman screamed, “NO! Stay! You can never leave me!” She reached for his hand. He was very happy to be so needed. Neither one seemed aware that this situation was not getting them anywhere. Neither one really even acknowledged the mother who was there the whole time.
I have been pondering this dream today. I feel the young woman represents so many people who place their souls in grave danger and when Our Lord offers his miraculous help through the sacraments, the church, the singular graces of the age such as Divine Mercy, Divine Will, and Flame of Love, they are roundly rejected. “I don’t need your help! I can save myself!” It is the height of pride and ingratitude. So, the good and gentle God who has risked all to save the poor soul, leaves sadly, out of respect for that one’s free will, appointing his Mother to be her faithful companion. No matter how much the soul struggles, however, she will not go to her Mother for help. Ah, but this “new boyfriend”, this shiny idol in her life, this new age religion, these occult practices, these thoughts, ideas, and notions, these she clings to with all her might, even though these idols have no power to save.
The ingratitude of the young woman was very stark in the dream. As divine providence would have it, Anthony Mullen’s blog post on March 26 was on the topic of gratitude, and its necessity in the devout life. Anthony’s blog is called The Divine Antidote, https://divineantidote.wordpress.com and I would encourage you to subscribe to if you haven’t already. I have found his messages to be a tremendous aid in the spiritual life. I asked Anthony if I could re-post that message here and he has given permission.
May God grant us all the grace of a grateful, humble heart, open to his loving care and his saving help. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Praise and Thanksgiving Increase the Gifts and Discernment of Inspirations of the Holy Spirit
Posted on March 26, 2017 by Anthony Mullen
(I felt a strong inspiration to remind us as we hit the halfway point of Lent that what follows below is the main reason why we don’t make the spiritual progress we so desire. Take note especially of what St. Therese has to say on thanksgiving).
We know from our Faith that God will grant us the Grace to respond to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit for our sanctification, but only if we truly love God and correspond with the effort of our free will to His Grace. St. Frances de Sales, Doctor of the Church, states: “…if we do not resist God’s Grace, He gives each of us the inspirations we need in order to live, act and maintain ourselves in the spiritual life.” It is the Gifts of the Holy Spirit placed in our soul at Baptism and strengthened at our Confirmation and further strengthened with each worthy Holy Communion, which allow us to hear and respond consistently to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. St. Thomas Aquinas, the great Doctor of the Church, states that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit “prepare the soul to follow promptly the impulse of Divine inspiration.” So, since the Gifts and Virtues of the Holy Spirit are essential to our growth in holiness, it is a matter of the greatest importance that we learn and practice all we can about the Gifts and how they open our faculties to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. But how do we activate and grow the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Our guide in this matter, Fr. Jacques Philippe, from “In the School of the Holy Spirit”, explains that the main reason that we do not receive the necessary Grace is: WE FAIL TO THANK GOD FOR THE GRACES HE HAS ALREADY GIVEN TO US (emphasis added). He quotes St. Therese of Lisieux, another Doctor of the Church: “What most draws down graces from our dear Lord is gratitude, for if we thank Him for a gift, He hastens to give us ten more, and if we thank Him again with the same sincerity, what an incalculable multiplication of graces! I have experienced this; try it and see.”
Fr. Jacques asks us to see and understand that our subtle ingratitude, our failure to recognize our nothingness and that everything…every single thing we have is Grace…pure Gift…is indeed what stifles Grace, especially since we do not consistently thank God for all the blessings and benefits of each moment of each day and simply take them for granted (our Faith, Hope, Love, talents, skills, parents, country, occupation, house, food). Why is it that we are one of every three people in the world who believes in Christ? Why are we not in the two of every three people who do not know or believe in Christ? Why is it that we are a Catholic and not a Protestant? How is it that we know and believe in the Most Blessed Sacrament? How is it that we are in the 1% of all people who actually can and do take advantage of this Gift of all Gifts on a daily basis? How is it that we were chosen to know and receive the Extraordinary Flame of Love Grace? All is Pure Gift of an All-Loving, Infinite God! All we have is a gratuitous Gift! Yet, we take these incredible Gifts of God for granted…or certainly we do not thank God often and profusely for these incredible Gifts of His Love.
So, what must we do? We must change by begging for more Grace to be truly thankful each day and seek to practice praise and thanksgiving each day throughout the day, especially with formal prayers of praise and thanksgiving added to our daily prayer time; and with short bursts of praise and thanksgiving throughout the day….”Lord, I praise and thank you for everything You have given me!” Next, we must give more time and effort devoted to praising and thanking God from our free time. Worthily attending daily Mass with Holy Communion is the greatest way to thank and praise God! If we are already doing that…then making a Holy Hour each week would be the next gift of praise and thanksgiving! We must continue to give God more of our free time, which is now wasted on foolish things like TV, Internet and too much talking and entertainment. Instead, we must use this wasted time to especially praise Him and thank Him for the Graces we have received.
Once we become consistent at this praise and thanksgiving, we will begin to see and feel new Graces bestowed and we will begin to be more patient and docile in listening for the inspirations of the Holy Spirit at each moment of the day. We will then find we are growing closer to God and beginning to act more like His Mother and He would act in each situation of the day. We will see our bad habits and laziness begin to change! Come Holy Spirit, come into my daily life in a new and more powerful way with Your Gifts, and let me hear and act on all Your inspirations, so I may be Holy as You are Holy for Your Glory and the salvation of souls! I praise and thank You for all the Graces I have ever received and will ever receive! Please, I beg You to do this through the power of the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary! By trusting in our Mother and taking and living the Flame of Love Grace, this process of gratitude for Grace is accelerated and made much more secure! She is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mediatrix of all Grace and Mother of perfect thanksgiving! Fiat!