The Sacraments have always personally marked a huge spiritual milestone for me. I remember around the time of my First Holy Communion, when I was about 7 years old, I was really struggling with jealousy. My little sister, at least to my eyes, was the perfect angel and she was always favored over me. I resented that it seemed so easy for her to listen to our parents, and was so nice about sharing, while it was like pulling teeth for me, and I sure vocalized it too. Deep in my heart I knew it was wrong and I desired to be a more loving and obedient girl, I just didn’t know how.
Thanks to my parents’ prompting, I remember writing a card to Jesus before my First Communion to thank Him for the gift of Himself and to ask for a very special grace. I asked that as He entered my heart that He take from me this jealousy. And He did. It was like night and day for me afterwards. I sometimes still felt the pangs of jealousy but now I had the strength, the grace to fight it.
A Transforming Love
Our Lord is truly there in the Blessed Sacrament, always present and His grace can truly transform us and work miracles. Listen as with each beat of His heart He professes His love for you.
“I love you”.
“You are precious to me.”
“I would do it all again for YOU (with your full name) alone.”
“Come, rest in me.”
“Let me heal your hurting…your burdened heart.” He will heal, transform, comfort, and strengthen us if we but come to Him and allow Him.
“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion”.
-St. Maximilian Kolbe
Celebrating First Holy Communion
First Holy Communion is one of the sacraments we especially celebrate this month. We celebrate and rejoice that these little children are receiving a gift not even the angels are privileged to enjoy. It is a reminder for us what a tremendous gift the Eucharist is, and an invitation to keep our hearts like little children!
Our First Communion Rosary and Bracelet Gift Sets, specifically designed for children, are a beautiful way to celebrate this Sacrament of love! The rosaries are light enough for children to wear/carry, yet sturdy enough to accompany their daily adventures. They are sure to be a gift which keeps giving. Our Lady always leads us to her Son and through each bead, each Hail Mary, she will guide them time and time again back to His loving arms. Be sure to visit our store and order this Blessing gift today!
“I want to encourage everyone to visit- if possible, every day- especially amid life’s difficulties, the Blessed Sacrament of the infinite love of Christ and his mercy, preserved in our churches, and often abandoned, to speak filially with Him, to listen to Him in silence, and to peacefully entrust yourself to Him.” – Pope Francis, Message to the 2016 Eucharistic Congress.
Fr. Michael Gaitley, a member of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, describes mercy as, “.love’s second name.” It’s a particular kind of love, a particular mode of love when it encounters suffering, poverty, brokenness, and sin. Divine Mercy is when God’s love meets us and helps us in the midst of our suffering and sin.”
This year the feast of Divine Mercy is celebrated on Sunday April 8, the eighth and final day of Easter, known as the Octave of Easter; a day that is celebrated for the beauty of bountiful graces poured out from Jesus. His great Divine Mercy flows out from his heart and washes over those who have submitted trust and given over reliance to His eternal love.
Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalski (1905-1938) was a Polish nun, who in prayer with Jesus, received messages prompting her to bring forth an image to the world that would depict God’s great mercy for us. The painted image shows Jesus standing in a white robe with rays of red and white light beaming from His heart. Sr. Faustina had to get many artist renderings because none of the paintings revealed the beauty she saw when she had the vision. I imagine such a glorious vision that human artistry could not capture the beauty!
On that day (Divine Mercy Sunday), the very depths of My tender mercy are opened. I pour out a whole ocean of graces to those souls who approach the fount of My mercy…
Many people have been called to conversion discovering our merciful Savior in the prayers and image of Divine Mercy. Trust in Him, experience His blessings and love, and you will receive His great mercy.
We share the Image and inspiration through our My Saint My Hero Divine Mercy Braceletwhich includes the simple yet powerful words, “JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU.”
All of us are invited to come home to where God dwells with us, wipes away our tears, and gives us the fullness of life and joy in the presence of Christ. During Easter season, you have a very special and heartfelt invitation; no matter how far you have wandered, no matter where you have gone, no matter how guilty you feel, come home to the Lord! You will find yourself far more welcomed and loved than you could ever imagine!
Easter is a special time, it is a time of renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation. Come join me as we stretch out our hand in blessing, in pardon and in peace…may our hearts be open and may we hear the Word of God speak, “Welcome home my good and faithful servant.”
— inspired by Matthew 25:21 and the Magnificat Easter Blessing
Attend Eucharistic Adoration. Buy a sketchbook. Draw what Jesus put on your heart. Color your prayers. Write your heart out as a poem. Read old books you find in your church. Start a prayer card collection. Sing a song about Jesus every morning. Find a community. Understand your past faults. Confess and repent. Write Jesus a thank-you letter. Send someone a postcard with a prayer on it. Believe. Write your honest thoughts with your Father. Give flowers to Mary. Wear saints around your neck as friendship necklaces. Keep your heart in the hands of Jesus. Know that you are blessed. Fast. Pray. Give alms. Be here, in Lent.
This Lent, my boldness comes from the fire of the Holy Spirit to give more of myself. I’m focusing especially on fasting because I believe a consistent sacrifice sings a song to God who gave us all we have. I enjoy only drinking water in place of any other drink during Lent to ground me to the truth that Jesus alone can satisfy. Any thirst in life that I experience can only be fulfilled by Christ, and the Holy Spirit has inspired me to apply this truth to my fasting. – Maclain/A Catholic Convo Blog
How are you being bold this Lent? This Lent we are being bold by doing things a little different. We are featuring YOU and your stories. We want to see how you are changing the world.Share your journey for a chance to be featured this Lent – tag us on social media or share HERE! ⠀
When I met my husband, I wasn’t praying for love. I wasn’t praying for a boyfriend or a relationship. I was praying to draw closer to the Lord. I was at a crossroads in my life, and my prayer was simply that the Lord have His way in my life and that He turn my heart towards Him. Little did I know that He’d answer my prayer by bringing Pete into my life. Meeting Pete radically changed my life. It was a true turning point in my faith. He’s shown me love and faithfulness like I never could’ve imagined in a man. He was the first person to show me a devotional and ask me to read the bible with him. He’s challenged me to walk out my faith in big bold ways and all of the small, every day, in-between ways.⠀
In every step of the way, through every act of love, he’s pointed me back to Jesus… I’ve been praying for simplicity, to shed the weight of the distractions in this world so that I can make more room for Jesus. I want Him to be the center of everything I do – how I serve my clients, how I treat my friends, how I love my husband. Today I’m reminded that it all comes back to one thing: love.⠀- Jordan Jones/ Living For More, With Less Blog
Being a mom of three is the greatest gift God has given me. It has not only changed my perspective but showed me what matters. In the midst of it all, I am constantly seeking ways to strengthen my personal relationship with Jesus to, in turn, instill my faith to my children.
How are you being bold this Lent? This Lent we are being bold by doing things a little different. We are featuring YOU and your stories. We want to see how you are changing the world. Send in your photos, tag us on your socials and share your journey for a chance to be featured this Lent! ⠀
I consider the My Saint My Hero Iconic Jewelry Collection one of our most unique and stunning. The iconic image imprinted on each cuff you wear is literally a prayer written through images that has been inspired by the Holy Spirit.
“Icons are actually called prayers. So we’re actually wearing a prayer. While I’m working, my prayer is always that the eyes will draw you into a deeper devotion…” -Vivian/Iconographer
Did you know icons in the Orthodox Christian tradition are written, not painted? The process of making icons is considered more a form of prayer than art, and it is believed that the iconographer’s hand is guided by God. Each brush stroke is a form of meditation and prayer. You can read more about it here.
“Guide the hands of your unworthy servant”…I am not worthy to write this but the Holy Spirit guides me through these images.” -Vivian
An icon is a “window into heaven” because it offers us a glimpse of what awaits us in eternity with Christ—it’s like a meeting between heaven and earth.
ABOUT THE ARTIST An artist from Southern California, Vivian Imbruglia practices the ancient art of iconography. She learned the traditional techniques of writing icons from several master iconographers, thus merging her artistic abilities with her exploding Catholic faith. Iconography has become more than her profession, it is her ministry. Vivian’s commissioned artwork, both traditional icons and more contemporary sacred images, can be found in churches, abbeys, and private chapels throughout the United States and abroad. One image was given as a gift directly to the Holy Father Pope Francis. When writing original images, Vivian puts great emphasis on the eyes as that aspect most effectively draws in the viewer, encouraging prayerful reflection and meditation. As with all traditional iconography, Vivian never signs the displayed part of her work. Instead she includes on the back, “Written by the hand of Vivian Imbruglia.” At the same time Vivian has developed her own tradition of writing somewhere within every piece the letters “AMDG” which stands for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, explaining her ultimate purpose as working for the greater glory of God. Watch Vivian create Mary Star of the Sea.
Sometimes writing something down helps me reflect on what it means for me right now.
After a much-loved and appreciated Christmas break, most of us are back at work, school and ordinary life. Let us not be quick to forget our New Year resolutions, the blessings we received from the Infant Jesus, and the hope this new year brings.
If you woke up this morning a little deflated and hesitant, I invite you to simply BEGIN.
Surround yourself with those things that uplift and encourage you, such as a Blessing Bracelet, and with your trust solidly set in God, embark from whatever shore you find yourself on and set sail towards the new horizons of your dreams and goals. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from trying, as every attempt is in itself a victory.
Something that has personally helped me immensely is this advice: if you feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by the sheer amount of tasks or work ahead of you, then simply choose one easy task and just focus on doing that. Then do another. Then another. Get the ball rolling. Begin. Start somewhere and you will find yourself making progress and overcoming those fears that held you back.
Let’s take advantage of the momentum that comes with a New Year. Ride the wave of those feelings of resolve within you, find strength in those goals you’ve written down, and the voice within you that fuels your hope to begin again. To begin anew. Lastly, remember that you are not alone. Let your wearable Blessing pieces remind you that when you feel discouraged, that you are loved, that you are being prayed for, and that your efforts and prayers are helping others just like you. Take heart!