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Sacred Heart of Jesus, Your Mercy Saved Me

I have a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Being that this is His month, I wanted to share a little story of my childhood.

Growing up, my mom had this image of the Sacred Heart in our living room. This is the image I would look at day in and day out. This was HUGE by the way it measured about 5 feet x 3 feet, think a big poster. I experienced many sad moments in my childhood: the loss of my father, sexual abuse by my step father (I’ve shared in Broken Childhood, Healed by Christ), my mother’s alcoholism due to the first two, and much more. But this image always gave me hope, even when we didn’t go to Mass, even when my mom fell away from the Church.

One time when we were moving for what felt like the 1 billionth time, she wanted to change the frame it was in because it was heavy and she and I were moving our entire apartment alone with my little sisters (I was 12 then). She messed it up and sprayed the image itself in silver. She cried and cried so much! I told her that it didn’t matter, it was beautiful anyway. Once we moved she never put it back up on the wall. Mind you this move was to get away from the abusive man that had hurt all three little girls and in the process my poor mother. My uncle saw it in a corner and thought it was trash so he was going to throw it away but then thought to keep the frame for another picture. So he starts pulling the picture off and guess what?

There was a second intact image underneath it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For us it was a miracle and gave us the strength we needed to move forward and away from the life we had lived for so long that was so far from God. I knelt before this image begging God to help my mom and her alcoholism MANY MANY times. I screamed at Him many times too, in those moment where I felt so alone and helpless. He pulled me/us through though. Many years later, when I was 25, my mom stopped drinking completely, not even socially. She had dry moments but that wasn’t enough. She went through a retreat and at the end of it there was a Mass and then followed testimonies of Faith. She stood up and told this story and then publicly apologized to me and thanked me for my Faith in Him, which is what helped her she said.

I have an incredible devotion to the Sacred Heart, can you see why?

But God’s amazing mercy didn’t stop there. When I met my husband, Peter, (on what used to be and now he had this image as his profile picture for some time. It was a photo of the one that hung in his living room! The same exact one! It was what made me curious about him and got us chatting. His screen name was “SacredHeart1220”! In our bedroom we have a smaller but exact same image. My screen name was “LittleFlower1220”. Notice the 1220 that are similar? We have the same birthday, Dec. 20th. For me, there is no such thing as coincidence! Maybe God-incidences? See, I had just prayed a 30 Day Novena to the Holy Ghost and in it I wrote 30 things that I wanted my future husband to be like. I am not lying when I tell you he had all 30 things. It was just amazing, I giggle each time I remember…I met him on day 30!

Sometimes, it is hard to realize this but

God is always with us, even when men and the world, and the Devil want to hurt us. Cling to Him through the storm and in the end He will reward you!

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!


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My 10 Step Recipe for Spiritual Happiness

Do you feel like everything you plan just doesn’t work out?  Looking around and seeing so many people moving forward in life in so many levels but you feel like you’re stuck in neutral?  Do you sometimes feel like you pray, and pray, and pray and maybe God is not listening?  Do you feel like He is punishing you for something you have done in the past?  Do you feel spiritually dry?

We’ve been there and felt that way.  The economy is so bad, so many people out of work, it can get a bit depressing.  But looking back, I remember specific things we did to get out of this and move forward WITH God!  In May of 2008, my husband, Peter, was first laid off.  The timing was terrible, I was seven months pregnant with our fourth child.  Subsequent to this lay off we experienced a move to another state and another four lay offs in a matter of four years and a fifth child in the picture.  Finally, in early 2012, our prayers were answered and he now has a secure job.  Here is a recipe that worked for us.

1. Give all your worries and finances over to God. Trust the HE will provide for you, not you, not your husband.  Make sure your husband, the head of the household, understands this and verbally acknowledges this to God.

2. Trust in God’s will for you. I know this isn’t easy and sometimes scary sounding but it really isn’t.  Say, “I would love this Lord but I want your Will to be Done not mine.”  (I know this is easier said than done but trust me once you really do ask God for His will not yours, the graces start to flow because you trust the Lord.)  The BEST thing that happened to me was coming across a book by Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri entitled, “Uniformity with God’s Will.”

3. Go to Confession and Mass as often as possible.  I now go to Confession every other week.  Think of it like preventive medicine for the soul.

4. Keep on praying even if you don’t feel like it.  This was really hard for me, but I just kept going through the motions and going to Adoration.  Sometimes I said short prayers and just remained quiet and did more listening than anything.

5. Get your kids to pray for your situation, teach them to say, “Lord let your will be done for our family.” Pray the Rosary as a family.  If you don’t do this yet, start slow.  Get the kids to build their Rosary stamina.  We did one decade a day for a long time, especially when the children were smaller.

6. Ask your pastor to come over and bless your home at least once a year and ask him to also consecrate it to the Immaculate and Sacred Hearts.

7. Say the Old St. Joseph Novena daily until the perfect job comes.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request & don’t forget to ask for God’s will to be done with your family!)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.  Amen.

8. Don’t be shy to ask family, friends, and even strangers for prayers. (SUPER IMPORTANT)  I used to be shy to ask for this but after seeing the fruits of it, I don’t shy away from it.

9. Be thankful for every. little. tiny. thing you have. I was even thankful we had running water, no joke.

10. Accept the answer God gives you with grace and a smile on your face, sometimes the answer is NO, andis  not necessarily an unanswered prayer.

This little ten step “recipe” is what my family used to get out of this cycle.  It increased our hopes and helped us be more patient for and accepting the will of God for our lives.  It is my hopes in sharing this and  it might help you or someone you know.  The lesson I learned from those four years was that God is there the whole time, in the good times and the bad times.