For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: The key to knowing the Father’s Heart
- Inside the Ministry: Now downloadable! The Joy of Love video course
- This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: God’s mysterious ways with an annulment
- This week’s video: God’s Radical Love in the Domestic Church
This week’s Trivia Challenge: Which book of the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit with feminine pronouns? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday June 3, 2023
When I was young and innocent,
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer
I prayed for her before the temple,
and I will seek her until the end.
(From Saturday’s first reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
The key to knowing the Father’s Heart
Have you ever doubted God’s love for you because you learned wrong ideas about him by witnessing the imperfections of others? For example, consider Charmaine’s story:
“It is so difficult for me to totally trust God, to surrender all to him. I keep trying to fix me but to no avail. You see, when as a child, my siblings called me bad names and I cannot remember ever being defended by either parent.”
Tonia says, “I continually remember the time during my senior year of high school that I wanted to become a dental assistant. At the time, our city did not offer classes and I would have to go to a city that was quite a distance. My parents refused my request. However, my oldest sister, who was the perfect daughter at the top of her high school and college graduating classes, was never refused when she asked to go away just as far. I felt like the child who is always walking in her shadow but never good enough!”
Recalling the times when we were not loved the way that we know, in our hearts, we should have been treated points us to the sources of our wrong images of Father God. This is key to getting to know him as he really is.
Father God revealed himself to you through the important people in your past, and he continues to do so whenever you remember the good times. A good spiritual exercise when you’re feeling low is to ask yourself: “What misconception about Father God is contributing to how I feel?” Then pull up a memory of your dad or mom or someone else doing something for you or saying something to you that made you feel good. God speaks through such memories. He, too, wants you to feel good.
For every unhealed wound of the past, we cry out to be nurtured and comforted by The One Who Is The Perfect Daddy — the one whom Jesus called “Abba” as he cried out for help during his great emotional agony in the Garden of Gethsemane just before he went to the Cross. We want Abba to hold us in a protective embrace and make every hurt go away.
The problem is, he’s invisible. He’s not physically touchable. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn how to feel his embrace. In the past, we turned to our human dad and mom (and others) and found them to be insufficient. Humans cannot give us everything we need nor fulfill every longing.
This has handicapped our understanding of the total sufficiency of God. On the one hand, we know that God is quite sufficient for our every need and every good desire. On the other hand, to some degree, each of us sees him as less than he is.
The truth is: God is more sufficient than we can imagine. As Ephesians 3:20 points out, he is able to do immeasurably more for us than we could ever ask for or even imagine. And he wants to reveal more of himself to you now.
I wrote my book 30 Days to the Father’s Heart to introduce you to Daddy Who Wipes Away Your Tears. In whatever ways your parents and other authority figures have failed to represent Father God’s true nature, he wants to enter into your heart more deeply and heal you. He wants to enable you to receive from him more of the goodness and love that you long for. He has been waiting for this day. He is inviting you to reach out to him and accept more from him — more than you know is possible.
For the next several weeks, I’m going to provide more excerpts (like the one above) from this book because I care about you and I want you to have the best possible friendship with Father God.
If you want to benefit even more by reading the whole book, order it from 30daystothefathersheart.com.
Inside the Ministry:
Now downloadable: The Joy of Love video course
Last week, someone new discovered Good News Ministries; she was particularly interested in our video course The Joy of Love, on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia. (See gnm.org/paracletia-course-description-C05.) She wanted to share it with her small study group.
To accommodate her, I made the videos downloadable and put the discussion questions into a PDF file for printing. Now I’d like to make this off-line package available to others, too. Let me know if you’ve got a small group that you’d like to share it with.
This is for more than just married couples and parents. If you will ever be in a position or opportunity to help others understand the Church’s teachings on marriage and family, then this is important — especially in today’s world where secular and immoral beliefs about marriage and family have become louder than the truth.
We all — every Catholic and indeed every Christian — increasingly need to be able to speak up about God’s design for marriage and family. We are called by Christ to evangelize the world into embracing God’s design. He longs to empower us to win back many who have gone astray and to strengthen couples’ resolve to have strong, holy marriages and to become parents who give the world the gift of children who are raised in the truth.
Let me know if you want to help strengthen marriage and family life in our world today.
This week’s recommended faith-builder:
God’s mysterious ways with an annulment
The following is the testimony of Caro Yanez about getting a difficult annulment so her second marriage could be blessed:
I met my husband, Felix, in April 2010, and we married in a civil ceremony in July 2011. He is my first and only husband. I became his second wife. Our road to happiness wasn’t going to be easy, because his first marriage had been by God’s laws. But we didn’t want to wait. I was already 40-something, and I knew for sure what I wanted. I felt there was no time to lose….
Each time we visited [my parents], my mother would ask when we are going to get married by God’s laws (Mexican moms worry all the time!), and each time my heart would feel the pain and the pressure that comes with this kind of tribulation.
In one of those visits to my parent’s house, I asked them for a private conversation to tell them about the annulment process: that it wasn’t going to be easy, that we’d have to touch the wounds of my husband, that we’d have to get witnesses who seemed to be nowhere, that it was going to be a long and difficult road full of emotional and spiritual stress and challenges.
To find out what happened, visit wordbytes.org/faqs/gods-mysterious-ways-with-an-annulment.
WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.
This week’s recommended video
God’s Radical Love in the Domestic Church
Radical Love (Good News Ministries style) is first knowing how deeply and unconditionally God loves you. This is the root of all successful love (the word “radical” means “root”). Then we rely on that love to share it with our spouse (and others, too, of course).
My seminar on “God’s Radical Love in the Domestic Church” reveals God’s design for family life and the Vocation of Marriage.
Listen to this seminar as an audio podcast @ wordbytes.org/marriage-and-family/the-vocation-of-marriage-is-radical-love.
Or watch the video @ gnm-media.org/gods-radical-love-part-1.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
Which book of the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit with feminine pronouns? Sirach — read this Saturday’s first reading!
God bless you!
Every morning, I lift up in prayer everyone who helps Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site. What can I cover in prayer for you? Post your prayer request.
How else can the team and I serve you today? Visit our homepage.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
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