God’s Loving Plan for Our Lives!

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Have you read any good books lately? How about God’s best selling book, the Bible?

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, correction, and training in holiness, so that the man of God may be fully competent and equipped for every good work” (2Timothy 3:16).

Please join me on a virtual pilgrimage to the beautiful country of Israel, as we take a visual journey through God’s plan for our salvation.

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The Bible: God’s love story for His people.

Book Excerpt. Chapter Twenty-Three: A longing for wisdom. (The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. By: Karen Sheehy)

Exhausted from the demands and emotional difficulties in raising a special needs child, the young mother sought a quiet refuge in the arms of God. Finding rest and comfort in His house, she made regular Mass attendance and Eucharistic Adoration a main stay in her life. This special time, spent with her beloved Jesus, enlivened a deep longing for God’s Word in Sacred Scripture. Recalling her cherished Easter and Christmas memories, she suddenly found these childhood stories lacking. Desiring a more intimate relationship with God, she resolved to read and learn all about His plan for her life. The following day, with her new Bible and CD study set in tow, she started her slow, but persistent journey through God’s love story for His people.

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God’s loving plan of salvation is hidden amongst a “library of books” contained within the pages of Sacred Scripture. By learning which books are narrative and which are supplemental, one can read and better grasp the story of salvation history. Following the narrative thread will reveal the patient love of the Father, beckoning call of His Beloved Son, Jesus, and steadfast guidance of His Holy Spirit. The eternal Trinity of Love, there in the beginning, is present to you now, and always will be. I hope you enjoy this visual journey through the story of salvation history and that it inspires you to dive into the pages of God’s eternal love story. (Taken from Appendix Five: The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. By: Karen Sheehy)

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…….” (Genesis 1:1)

Narrative Books: Genesis 1-11 

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Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.         

Beginning with the opening chapters of the book of Genesis and continuing to the last book of Revelation, God the Father reveals His plan of salvation and His loving desire to re-establish the broken relationship between Himself and man. The promise and beginning of the fulfillment of that plan, revealed in the book of Genesis, is manifested in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

Then the Lord Gods said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel”         (Genesis 3:15)

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“Abraham’s gate”, in northern Israel, where Abraham first entered the land promised to him by God.

The Lord said to Abram: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1).

God called Abraham and promised that his descendants will be numerous and that they will inherit the Promised Land. This promise, or covenant, indicates their special relationship with God. They are now His chosen people, set apart to love and worship Him. The courtship has begun.

Narrative Books: Genesis 12-50, (Supplemental: Job).

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord swept the sea with a strong east wind throughout the night and so turned it into dry land. When the water was thus divided, the Israelites marched into the midst of the sea on dry land, with the water like a wall to their right and to their left, (Exodus 14:21-22).

God kept His promise to Abraham, as he became the father of a great nation, named Israel. Freed from 400 years of bondage in Egypt, the Israelites are eventually led by God and his prophet, Moses, towards the Promised Land. After forty years of wandering in the desert, they cross the River Jordan and make their triumphant re-entry into modern day Israel.

Narrative Books: Exodus, Numbers and Joshua (Supplemental: Leviticus and Deuteronomy).

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Qasr el Yahud, the traditional baptismal site of Jesus, is located on the eastern bank of the River Jordan, just north of the Dead Sea and east of Jericho. Other biblical events associated with this site include Joshua’s leading of the Israelites across the river into the promised land (Joshua 3) and the prophet Elijah’s miraculous ascent into heaven (2Kings).

The Lord said to Samuel, “Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons” (1Samuel 16:1).

The next period in salvation history is often referred to as the monarchy, for then the nation of Israel asks for a King. David, a mighty warrior and a man after God’s own heart, unites the tribes of Israel into one kingdom. Solomon, his son, builds the Jewish Temple in their new capital city of Jerusalem.

Narrative Books: Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1Kings 1-11 (Supplemental: Psalms, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs).

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The remains of the ancient Jewish Temple Western Wall, located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The original Jewish Temple, built by King Solomon, is believed to be atop the site of Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:2 and 1Kings 6).

They have forsaken the Lord, spurned the Holy One of Israel, apostatized. Where would you yet be struck, you that rebel again and again? (Isaiah 1: 4-5).

After Solomon’s death there is a disagreement among the tribes. Subsequently, God’s people split into two rival kingdoms, Israel to the north and Judah to the south. Despite the warnings of many prophets, the people of both nations turn their back on God and continue to worship many pagan gods. Their stubborn self-reliance, and rejection of God, eventually leads to a time period of captivity in many foreign lands. This period in Jewish history is often referred to as the exile and return. Forty years later, the Jewish nation returns home, rebuilds the Temple and fortifies the Jerusalem city wall. Once a powerful and thriving nation, they are now a small nation occupied by first the Greeks and then the Romans. Feeling lost, but not alone, they eagerly await the future coming of a just, gentile, suffering servant-king who will once again free them from bondage.

Narrative Books: 1Kings 12-22, 2Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Maccabees. (Supplemental: Obadiah, Joel, Amos, Jonah, Tobit, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Daniel, Ezekiel, Judith, Lamentations, Zephaniah, Baruch, Zechariah, Haggai, Ester and Malachi).

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Remnants of the ancient wall surrounding the city of Jerusalem.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us and we have seen his glory: the glory of an only Son coming from the Father, filled with enduring love, (John 1:14).

God never abandons his Chosen People, for when the time was right, He sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. This is the ultimate event in salvation history. Jesus Christ, the Word Made Flesh, is the complete and final revelation of God’s saving plan. Although many of the Jews are hoping for a mighty warrior, Jesus shows them a different way. He preaches love and forgiveness. He heals wounds, works miracles, and ultimately dies to free us all from the bondage of sin. Through His death and resurrection, we have once again gained access to the garden of eden.

Narrative Books: Luke, Acts and Revelation (Supplemental: Matthew, Mark, John, Paul’s Letters, and the other letters of the New Testament).

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Grotto of the birth of Our Lord in Bethlehem.

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Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, built over the sites of Our Lord’s death and resurrection.

The next day, when John the Baptist caught sight of Jesus coming toward him, he exclaimed: “Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

I hope that you enjoyed the pictorial walk through the Bible and humanity’s story of salvation. Now that you know the narrative books, start reading, for you don’t want to be standing before God speechless when He asks, “Did you read my book?” As an adjunct to your readings, I highly recommend Walking with God. A Journey Through the Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins. http://store.spiritualsafariguide.com/t/books-cds-dvds

 

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.

Please click on the link below to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, make a donation for the people of Haiti, Rwanda, or the Holy Land, shop, or read about my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Thank you and God Bless!

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com

The Door to God’s Mercy and Forgiveness.

Chapter Fourteen: A New Beginning.

VATICAN-JUBILEE-HOLY YEAR

Pope Francis opens a “Holy Door” at St Peter’s basilica to mark the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, on December 8, 2015 in the Vatican. In Catholic tradition, the opening of “Holy Doors” in Rome symbolizes an invitation from the Church to believers to enter into a renewed relationship with God. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO / AFP / VINCENZO PINTO

What is the true doorway to God’s mercy and forgiveness? To search for answers, please consider joining women from around the Archdiocese of New Orleans (and from all around the country) as they encounter God’s boundless love and mercy!

John 10:9. Jesus said, “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be safe.”

Spotlight Event: WINE (Women in the New Evangelization) Catholic Women’s Conference. Mercy: Encountering Boundless Love. A day of inspiration, faith, fellowship and fun, 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: St. Peter’s Holy Door in Rome and Abraham’s Gate in northern Israel. No passport needed. Just sit back, relax and experience a spiritual journey towards the Doorway of Mercy.

A sneak peak into Karen’s upcoming book.

The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love.

Chapter Fourteen: A New Beginning

Luke 3:3-6. He went about the entire region of Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance which led to the forgiveness of sins, as is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “A herald’s voice in the desert, crying, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be leveled. The windings shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth, and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.'”

The estranged couple’s ride home from the beach that weekend was uneventful. Unaware of his wife’s deep rooted despair, he was in his typical cold and distant mood. Only after discussing her marital concerns did he return to his old pattern of rage and abuse. Desperate to save her marriage, she pleaded with him to attend counseling sessions. Unfortunately, he refused and within a month their marriage was over. Deeply wounded, she returned home to discuss the Catholic annulment process with Fr. T., an old family friend, lawyer and priest. To the recent divorcee, an annulment was not merely “Catholic divorce”, or a formality of Catholic canon law, but her personal pathway towards spiritual healing. She longed for the peace and forgiveness that this process would provide. Filled with hope, she entered the Parish Center, greeted Fr. T., and followed him through the doorway of mercy.

Virtual Pilgrimage: St. Peter’s Holy Door in Rome and Abraham’s Gate in northern Israel. No passport needed.

The Holy Door is the northernmost door of St. Peter's Basilica. It is only opened at special occasion during a Holy year such as the Jubilee year which occurs every 25 years and symbolizes an invitation to grace. It is also known as Porta Sancta. The last

The bronze doors, or Holy Doors, at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

We pass through many doorways throughout our lifetime. At birth, we pass through a physical gateway to life, and later, we rise to eternal live through Christ in the Sacrament of Baptism. We enter doorways to new schools, friendships, homes and vocations. Eventually, we pass through the final gateway, the doorway from this world to the next. However, traditionally, when speaking about a Holy Door, we mainly think of the entrance or doorway to one of the major basilicas in Rome. Sealed by mortar or cement from the inside, the Holy Doors in Rome are only opened during a Jubilee Year.

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The sealed Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome between years of Jubilee.

Generally, the Catholic Jubilee is celebrated every 25-50 years, however, in December of 2015, Pope Francis called for an Extraordinary Year of Mercy or Jubilee. Breaking with tradition, he instructed each diocese, throughout the world, to designate one or more local Holy Doors so that Catholics could readily obtain the plenary indulgences or forgiveness of sins granted during such a celebration. Therefore, the Church encourages each of us to journey towards the Holy Door, either in Rome or in another location throughout the world, because this earthly pilgrimage reflects, in many ways, our own inner sacrifice, dedication, and desire for God. According to Pope Francis, by passing through the Door of Mercy, “All will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.” Renewed and filled with love, we are called to conversion and to reflect God’s boundless love and abundant mercy to others.

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Abraham’s Gate was built in the ancient city of Dan (in northern Israel) around 1750 B.C.

 

Abraham, our father in faith, entered this gateway when rescuing his nephew, Lot, from the hands of marauders. Pursuing them as far as Damascus (in modern day Syria), he finally freed Lot from the forces of darkness. When Abraham returned, the High Priest, Melchizedek, brought out bread and wine, then blessed Abraham saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High and blessed be God Most High, who delivered your foes into your hands,” (Genesis 14:14016). Here, we learn that, having passed through the door of mercy, we, like Abraham, are called to worship and praise God, the Most High. Through the breaking of the bread, we encounter God in a very intimate manner. Then, filled with gratitude and hope, we must strive to reflect His boundless love and abundant mercy to those we meet along the way. In closing, let us pray for the strength, courage and endurance of Abraham, so that we too, may be, “Merciful just as the Father is merciful,” (Luke 6:36). Amen

 

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.

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com