Faith, Do I Believe? Part I
Lourdes Pinto — July 19, 2018
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Note: This text are supplemental notes, not a complete transcription of the audio.
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God loves us and His mission so much that He desires to make our faith PERFECT. For our mission to be ESTABLISHED firm, each of us MUST BELIEVE what the Lord has said to us.
Our FAITH must be witnessed in the way we live the storms, piercings and thorns in our flesh. If any of us continue to believe with our minds, but not in the way we act in our daily lives, then our mission and community will not be firm.
Correlation between Faith and Repentance:
1. Faith: Isaiah 7:1-9
2. Repentance: Mathew 11:20-24
Isaiah (7:2): “Aram has allied itself with[a] Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.”
God permits this storm to enter into the lives of His nation, Israel, SO THAT their faith can be strengthened. By the way they acted, the condition of their hearts is revealed,so God tells Isaiah to tell His people four things to do: “Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint.”(Is 7:4) At the end of this Scripture passage, God speaks powerful words to us: “If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established.” (7:9) (Another Scripture translation reads: “Unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm.”)
During our trials we are tempted to contradict Jesus. Our deepest thoughts come to light. The trial reveals the condition of our hearts to ourselves. How we respond will be our rise or fall. Simeon told Mary (Lk 2:34-35) that Jesus “is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Mary stood faithful as her heart was piercedat the Cross. We need, like St. John, to be with her in our trials.
Fr Ron asked us an important question: “Am I living my identityas a MOC and MC as God’s hidden victim of love?” He told us that the answer to that question is found in the way we ACT or react to the many daily challenges and trials God permitsor wills in our lives.
Recently I suffered a piercing that wounded my heart. The Lord blessed me with that suffering so that I could honestly, without self–deception, be able to answer that question: “Im I living as a victim of love?” I was confronted with my pure pain, but I was also confronted with feelings of anger, resentment and discouragement. As Fr Ron said, these feelings are not from God, so I started to dig deep for days before the Blessed Sacrament asking the Lord where those feelings where coming from. Why, beyond the sorrow, was I angry? I was finally face to face with the condition of my heart. I was able to SEE the truth about myself that God, in His infinite mercy, wanted me to see SO THAT I could Repentand BELIEVE. I was confronted with my lack of believing what He has said to me for years:
You must believe in the power of your hidden ordinary lives united as ONE to My sacrifice of love as God's hidden force that will renew the face of the earth.
I found the truth, naked before God: the reason I was frustrated and angry is that I still lack faith in all that the Lord has spoken to me for so many years about victim souls. I still did not believe enough in the power of my suffering with Christ. I believe with my intellect but I do not yet live it perfectly because I have not believed fully with a pure heart. I still lack trust and abandonment to God’s Will.
The piercing I suffered affected me in a good way. It brought to self–knowledge and to profound repentance. Repentance brought me to a greater faith. I cannot describe to you the freedom I then felt after the piercing, after receiving the gift of self–knowledge, after getting down on my knees, after I cried and asked God for forgiveness and asked the Lord for true faith. I felt that my faith was strengthened, I felt totally renewed, refreshed, free, happy, as when I came out of the healing waters of Lourdes.
The promises the Lord has made to us are contingent on our faith, on believing what He has told us. “Believe, My daughter, believe!”
I remembered Jesus’ words to His disciples when they were unable to cast out a demon, Mathew 17:20:
Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
God loves me and His mission so much that He desires to make my faith and yours PERFECT.
For our mission to be ESTABLISHED, firm, it is going to depend on our CAPACITY TO BELIEVE what the Lord has said to us. The strength of our community is the strength of the faith of each member. Each of us have a great responsibility before God. The mission does not depend only on my faith as the head of the community, though that is a great responsibility.
Our FAITH must be witnessed in the way we live the storms, piercings and thorns in our flesh. If any of us continue to believe with our minds, but not in the way we act in our daily lives, then our mission and community will not be firm. Every MOC and MC has a GREAT RESPONSIBILITY because Jesus has done “mighty works” with us (Mt 11:20,23). Jesus reproaches the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum because He blessed them with so much and they did not REPENT.
Believe, so that My Light can shine through you to penetrate the darkness consuming the world. (Path #151, p. 439.)
The Lord is telling us that if we believe with all our hearts, mind, soul and strengths, that each suffering the God permits, united to Him, is going to penetrate the darkness consuming the world, but only if we believe.
Here we must see the connection between FAITH and REPENTANCE. To grow in faith and reach the spiritual level of living in complete trust and abandonment to God’s Will, we MUST be willing to go through the process:
Faith Perfected, (Diary of a MOC #115)
Your faith is perfected in sufferings and trials. Perfect faith is complete abandonment to My Father's Will in all things through your union in Me. Therefore, your growth in faith is dependent on the abandonment of your will to Me and also on your knowledge of My perfect love for you.
This means that any time the Lord permits a trial in our life, our faith will depend on our ability to abandon ourselves to God’s will and on being firm in the knowledge of God’s immense love for us.
The shedding of layers of attachments to your will, which is self-love, takes place as you begin to trust in My love for you. This is why suffering all your sorrows with Me is so beneficial for your soul, because in that process you touch the open wounds of My love for you. This perfects a soul quickly in abandonment and trust until you come to experience all, the good and what you perceive as bad, as a gift of My love for you.
In every trial we have the opportunity to shed another layer of attachment to disordered tendencies. Each layer shed brings us to greater purity of heart to love more perfectly. Perceiving our sufferings as gift of the Lord shows growth in humility and faith. With this comes love, peace and the power of God to move mountains.
The gift of knowing with your mind, heart, and soul that the love of God only desires to make of you the new creation you were created to be from the beginning of time, a creation in the image and likeness of God as holy sons and daughters of the Most High. This is why I came upon the earth: to set you free from the bondage of sin, to make of you a new creation and draw you into the ONENESS of the Most Holy Trinity to experience holy bliss for all eternity. What greater love is there than this? (12/14/11)
It is not enough to believe intellectually. Our growth in faith is connected to the condition of our hearts. This is why, through trials, the Lord takes us to see the truth of our hearts. This is difficult specially for men.
Romans 10:10 “For one believes with the heart and so is justified.”
The Lord teaches us in The Paththat “Faith is perfected in suffering and trials.” (#115, p.310) Why? “Because in order to believe our hearts must be pure.” (#116, 311)
To grow in faith, we need humility and simplicity. Otherwise, when we enter the trials, we will not receive the grace of knowledge, we remain obstinate and the grace of God will not penetrate the heart.
What it Means to Believe, Diary of a MOC #116.
What does it mean to believe in the One sent by God to the world? In order to believe in the Word of God, your heart must be pure. It is only through the Spirit that you can believe My Word, not with your mind but with your heart. My Word is My life that must touch the depth of your heart. A hardened heart cannot feel the touch of My living Word. The intellect can receive My Word and manipulate it, but the Spirit penetrates a heart with My Word and transforms it.
To believe is to abandon yourself to Me so that I can make you a new creation through My Spirit. What is required to believe? Humility and simplicity. That is why I say you must be like a child to truly come to believe and follow Me. You believe with the heart as you encounter the living God before you, as you hear His voice and gaze into His eyes. That is why it is only the pure of heart who can see, hear and truly know God.
Therefore, My daughter, tell My sons to be humble as I am humble, to rely on My Spirit teaching them and not on their own understanding, for their understanding is very limited, but My understanding will bring them to encounter the living God and possess the life of the Most Holy Trinity. (4/25/11)
Why was it that John the Baptist, Simeon and Anna knew Jesus at a deeper level than others? The answer lies in hearts that seek with faith. A hardened heart is set in its ways. It reduces the work of God to make it fit in its natural logic and experience. It is not open to see beyond what it controls. A pure heart, on the other hand, believes that for God nothing is impossible. It is docile and malleable, willing to be pierced, pruned and made new by God. (Path p. 43-44)
16. My Gaze Penetrates All Darkness, Diary of a MOC, p.59
My gaze is upon each of you. I see your struggles; I know your trials; I feel and suffer your sorrows; I collect your tears; I suffer with each of you.
Have perfect faith in the God that loves you… Believe in the power of your hidden ordinary lives lived through Me, with Me and in Me, ONE with Me, no longer two. Believe in My crucified love, in the power of My crucified gaze to penetrate all darkness. My gaze is upon you; allow Me to heal your wounds and purify all darkness.
My desire for you, My thirst for each of you, is to make you My living icons. My little ones, suffer all with Me, gazing upon My crucified love so that your suffering can perfect your faith and you can become My living chalices poured upon the world, redeeming, restoring and purifying with Me. Learn to wait upon the Lord, for that proves your love and perfects your trust.
The Path is the SCHOOL OF THE HEART!
The Lord not only heals our wounds, He also purifies all darkness, through self–knowledge and repentance.
The condition of our hearts is revealed through suffering.
God’s loving will permitted my heart to be pierced SO THAT I could discover a deeper darkness that remained in my heart. By allowing the sword to penetrate my heart, by opening my heart in prayer to ask God to reveal what is in my heart, I allow Him to give me full knowledge of what He wants me to see.
God gives the GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE, and through knowledge, the GIFT OF THE GOLD OF PRECIOUS REPENTANCE.
As the Light of God revealed to me the condition of my heart, I was able to SEE myself through the eyes of God, through humility, docility and simplicity, and not through the eyes of my self-deception. This is an immense grace for me, and all people, but I understood the importance of HUMILITY, SIMPLICITY AND DOCILITY in order to receive this grace. (Re Path#116).
The condition of our hearts is revealed through two types of suffering:
1. The Storm– Mt 8:18-34.
2. A thorn in our flesh – 2 Corinthians 12:7-8 “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment (harass) me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.”
The storms are the myriad of daily struggles and challenges in our lives. Yet a storm only lasts for a certain amount of time, it passes by, and then the “calm” is restored. Many times the Lord is “asleep” during our storms, as He was with the disciples, but this too, is part of God’s loving Will for each of us so that the condition of our hearts can be revealed to us—our lack of faith: “Why are you afraid? O men of little faith.” (Mt8:26)
A storm can be a struggle, fight, argument between a couple, friends, family, coworkers…an illness, unemployment… It usually lasts a short amount of time and passes.
During the storm our hearts can feel wounded, as if pierced, and at that moment, when we are feeling wounded, hurt, vulnerable, scared, confused, angry, frustrated, discouraged or resentful, when we’ve been “shaken” like the Israelites, the blessing of the grace of that particular storm—the grace of the KNOWLEDGE of the condition of our hearts is available to us. We are confronted with the question: are we living as a victim of love?
A thorn in our flesh:
A “thorn in our flesh” is also a suffering that God wills or permits, but unlike the storm which passes, it remains with us. St Paul asked three times for his thorn to be taken away, but God willed for him to live with it. A thorn can be a spouse, a child, as in the case of St Monica with St. Augustine, an illness, such as Lyme disease, migraines, a handicap, such as ADD, dyslexia, a mental illness….
A thorn in our flesh can also be a temptation that does not go away, such as an addiction: to pornography, masturbation and other impurities, to alcohol, drugs or any addiction. Notice that St Paul says that his thorn is from Satan and torments him. Many souls that suffer these temptations feel horrible torments, but when a soul receives the grace, like St Paul, to know that God is permitting that temptation for a greater good and sees that temptation as a thorn in his flesh as God’s Will, the soul is strengthened in faith.
It is important to note here that these temptations have a root system that come from deep wounds and lies, therefore, the interior work of going deep to allow the Light of Christ to heal and restore our hearts is CRUCIAL. The temptation can only be understood as a thorn in the flesh after a soul has done the work of interior healing and transformation. Then we trust that the grace of God will be with us to resist the temptation and share in the work of Christ by suffering with Him.
When we know a suffering is God’s Will, even a temptation, and we abandon ourselves to His Will because we believe that we have a mission to help save souls with Christ, than we enter the power of God through faith!
What is the thorn in my flesh? How do I live with this thorn? Do I see it as God’s Will for my life or do I spend my energy trying to change, control or reject this thorn?
What God has called us in L.C. to BELIEVE:
Path #25, p.78
Believe in the power of My Crossand the power of My Precious Blood, for it is only through the Triumph of My Cross that all darkness will be conquered. Live, love and suffer as ONE with Me; and you will become the sword that will pierce this darkness.
Martyrdom of the Heart, Diary of a MOC p.139
The martyrdom of the heartis the martyrdom of suffering with Love and for Love. My daughter, if you could only understand the fruit of the martyrdom of suffering, you would desire nothing else on earth. The hidden life of suffering with Love and for Love is of far greater worth than great and small works tainted with human recognition. Believe in the hidden force contained in the martyrdom of the heart. This is the purest fragrance of love that has the power to conquer the enemies of God. (11/9/12)
#56, p. 169
Believe in the power of My hidden forceas ONE with the power of My Eucharistic life.
Flame of Love, Diary of a MOC p.209
My flame of love is the Holy Spirit.Through My Path, My flame of love has possessed your minds, hearts, and facultiesso that it is no longer you who live but I who live in you. In this way, I live in you as you live in Me and the Father lives in us. Do not be afraid to be sent out as My heralds of hope to usher in My era of peace. Do not be afraid to confront the forces of evil as My Light, for it is the light of My holy remnant that will conquer the forces of darkness. Believe that you are the Light of the world and hold the power of God. (5/26/14)
#119. Joy Through Sorrows, Diary of a MOC p.320
Be filled with My joy in believing that God has found favor with you and he delights in you…
I asked, “My Lord, how do I live this joy with so much sorrow?”
Because your sorrows are saving souls… Your tears, united to Mary's, are watering the face of the earth with God's grace. Your sorrows in Me bring forth new life… God the Father showers grace upon the earth through the sorrows of Mary, which are one in My sorrows. Your sorrows united as one to the Mother of Sorrows brings new life upon the earth. Your joy will be found in your perfect faith in this truth. Believe and continue to save souls through your sorrows. (6/3/14)
Believe in the power of your prayers as ONE with the perfect Victim of Love.
Believe, my daughter, that the Mothers of the Cross will help raise up many of my fallen priests. Your hidden lives, lived in deep contemplation with me, will be a hidden force raising up my priests.
Believe, you are My people, My little ones, held in the Father's palm. Believe that I am one with you, the Light in the world, My living hosts. Believe, so that My Light can shine through you to penetrate the darkness consuming the world. Believe in the Power of God working through His hidden force.
Believe that the sword of this mission will conquer the dragon.
Believe, My little ones, believe that the God of heaven and earth has chosen you for the decisive battle. Live with the innocence of a child the mission given to you. Be little, pure and humble, be nothing; and it is I Who will do the impossible. Trust with the innocence of a child… for you are nothing; but I am God, and I will use My little ones to confound the mighty ones of the world. Believe in the power of My Cross and the power of My Precious Blood, for it is only through the Triumph of My Cross that all darkness will be conquered.
“Believe, My family (LC), in the hidden force I have revealed to you. My hidden force is My Eucharistic Life. Live, who you are called to be, as My living hosts in the world. This is the power of God, the fire of the Holy Spirit, that will set the world ablaze. Believe in the hidden force as the POWER OF GOD. The hidden force is the fire of My blazing Love. Live the martyrdom of solitude I am now revealing to you as ONE with Me. This most intimate union of suffering with Love and for Love will bring forth new life. Live as My hidden martyrs of love for these decisive times. Believe in the POWER OF GOD contained in THE LIVNG HOST.”
AMOS 3:7 “Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants, the prophets.”
I the God of heaven and earth am with you. I have heard your cries. It is I, My little one, who has chosen you to raise up My army of victim souls. This is My army which possesses My power. Believe in the power of your sorrowsimmersed in the Sacred Heart of My Son. Suffer all with perfect faith in the power of Christ's crucified love. Suffer with patient endurance. The Kingdom of God is at hand... My victim intercessors need to be purified in the fire of many sufferings.
My little one, believe that God our Father will receive the oblation of your livestoday in Spirit and Truth as a living torrent of grace to bless the world. You must believe in the power of your hidden ordinary lives united as ONE to My sacrifice of love as God's hidden force that will renew the face of the earth. 10/13/13