Session #6

The Power of the Blood from the Crown of Thorns

Question for discussion (please post a comment):

What are some of the ways that others have belittled you or hurt you in your thoughts about yourself or Church teachings. Think about how Jesus has helped you heal from that.

Think of someone else who has been belittled or is confused about a teaching of the Church. With what you now know, how might your own experiences minister to them?

One of the participants shared this:

I’ve been reading a book about Padre Pio; in it he says, speaking about the Eucharist, that “we receive the energy necessary to enrich this journey, this coming closer in this new spiritual life.”

In this session you speak of the Blood becoming our healing, and, you speak of how we put more thorns in the crown. Well I spent all of my life, up until 7 years ago, on the receiving end of pain and fear. I grew up with no spiritual life, just rules and fear. That fear left when the people who adopted me were finally dead. I felt free for the first time….

I left the church after I divorced my abusive husband. When I went into the confessional during the divorce proceedings, the old pastor got up and walked out, saying I could not divorce him. (I was rescued by the other priests I worked for, hidden by nuns in their convent, and the tribunal nullified the marriage — but all of this was like getting help from a doctor, a hospital; it was not spiritual.) I never went back to confession.

My children and I were forced out of our house and had to move away from that parish. We moved across the street from our diocesan cathedral. I called to make an appointment with a priest. It was a “cold” place and I was searching again for something spiritual, but I was told they did not have time. That was it. I left the church, angry, upset, weak and rejected — my life all over again.

After the man who adopted me died, I went on, knowing my birth mom’s name. I found a sister…. In June last year, she came for a visit. Knowing she goes to Mass every Saturday, I went to a church not far from my home. When I heard Fr. Roberto explain what the first reading would be about and what was important to listen to, I knew he would answer my questions about faith and spirituality…. He is now my spiritual director.

I went to a retreat there, and it was great, but best was when Father led us in a guided meditation and I met the Holy Spirit. I really met him. It was the end of the sign of the cross.

Tonight I will go to First Friday Mass, which includes an overnight adoration and, of course, Father hears confessions. I go every month. This time, I am readier than I have ever been in my life. Thank you for this course. You put the final touches in my preparation for tonight. (Our Lady had a lot to do with it too, and Padre Pio, and Father Roberto and and and — well you are part of a great spiritual team.)

I am 72, but as far as I am concerned I was born June 6, 2015. I do not feel I have crosses, just inconveniences. I am blessed.

Response from Terry:

Praise the Lord, what a wonderful testimony! The Lord has been healing you from many thorns that were inflicted upon you during your childhood and by the abusive man you married.

Your crosses have been heavier than most people’s, and your spiritual muscles have grown so strong – this is why today’s crosses seem so light to you. Other people could find healing, too, if you help them discover the same strength that you have.

Our biggest, most significant resurrections come from ministering to others who are now suffering from what we’ve healed from. What we’ve learned from our hardships are meant to become healing for others. The Holy Spirit has an important ministry for you! Maybe you’ve already started it.

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