Chapter Thirteen: The First Rays of Sunshine.
Ready to bask in the light of God’s boundless love? If so, please consider joining women from around the Archdiocese of New Orleans (and from all around the country) for a day of inspiration, faith, fellowship and fun.
Spotlight Event: WINE (Women in the New Evangelization) Catholic Women’s Conference: Mercy: Encountering Boundless Love. Held in Metairie, LA on Saturday, October 15 from 8:00am to 3:30pm. Visit http://www.NewOrleansWINE-2016.eventbrite.com to register and learn more about our wonderful speakers, including Kelly Wahlquist, Teresa Tomeo, Kitty Cleveland and Judy Klein.
Virtual Pilgrimage Location: The Pantheon in Rome. No passport needed. Sit back, relax and experience a spiritual adventure from the comfort of your computer.
A sneak peak into Karen’s upcoming book. The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Chapter Thirteen: The First Rays of Sunshine.
Isaiah 9:1-3. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest; as people make merry when dividing spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed.
The unsettled young female felt her life spirit returning as their boat entered the calmer waters closer to shore. Basking in the breaking rays of sunshine, she longed for the divine joy missing in her life. Filled with a new sense of hope, she looked up and cried out, “Abba, Father, help me!” At that moment, she yearned for the tender and unforced love of God. Throughout her wayward journey, God had allowed her the free will to make independent choices and experience their consequences. However, He remained steadfast and patient, awaiting her return. Although she was still a long way off, filled with compassion, He heard her cries and came running towards her. At once, He called for a big celebration, for His wayward daughter was lost but now was found, was dead but now alive!
Virtual Pilgrimage Location: The Pantheon in Rome.
The Pantheon was an ancient Roman temple that was later converted into the Catholic Church of Santa Maria ad Martyrs in 609 AD. It was originally built by Marcus Agrippa to commemorate the victory of Actium over Anthony and Cleopatra 27 years before the birth of Christ. The Pantheon, dedicated to “all the gods” in 125 AD, was reconstructed by the Emperor Hadrian just as the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection was spreading throughout the entire Roman Empire. During its two centuries as a functioning temple, the Pantheon was the site of animal sacrifice, burned in the center in honor of the plethora of pagan gods filling its niches. The smoke of sacrifice could be seen escaping through the oculus or central opening in the center of its large concrete dome.
Despite the sheer power of Rome, the light of God’s love and boundless mercy could not be stopped, for in 346 AD, Christianity replaced paganism in Rome, public worship of multiple gods was prohibited, and many pagan temples were closed. The Pantheon fell into disarray and remained unused until the Byzantine emperor Phocis gave it to Pope Boniface IV in 609 AD. At that time, it was soon consecrated as a Christian Church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the many faithful martyrs who had given their lives in witness to the good news of the gospel. Legend has it that Pope Boniface transferred “cartloads” of holy relics from the catacombs in Rome and placed them beneath the church’s newly constructed high altar. Parts of the Pantheon’s bronze roof were later used by Bernini when constructing his famous baldachin above the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, where today, thousands of people give praise, honor and glory to the One True God and His incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. Thus is the bountiful fruit produced by the God’s boundless love and mercy!
Today’s Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.
Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).
Jesus, I trust in You.
To learn more about my new book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love, please click on the link below.