The Three Year Difference!

Are you facing darkness, despair and unimaginable hardship? Three years ago, I felt this same way. Amidst this pain, however, I also sensed an unexplainable hope, a hope grounded on Jesus and the future optimism for those who place their trust in Him. From darkness to light, from heartbreak to triumph, this is the journey we face as Christians. Today, I stand as a living testimony to the powerful transformation and rebirth which overcomes the darkness. Today, I recognize the three year difference and promises fulfilled for those who trust in the Lord!

croppedeaster2018

Picture of me and Joseph, my son, taken at the 2018 Easter Vigil Mass at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mandeville, LA.

 

In three weeks time, my husband, Tom, and I will welcome home our 18 year old son, Joseph, a troubled soul who found healing in the mountains of Wyoming. Three years earlier, he left our home a broken fifteen year old boy, and soon he will return a beautiful, spirit filled young man. I remember his difficult October departure, three years earlier, like it was yesterday. Out of options, my husband and I decided to send our only son to a highly structured functional cattle ranch and all boys Catholic boarding school in Cody, Wyoming. At that time, Joseph’s life had spiraled out of control, along with our family’s joy and sense of well-being. Although this prayerful decision was one of the most difficult I had to make as a mother, I knew this experience would provide him with a much-needed boost of confidence and spiritual illumination. Despite this maternal knowing, I still found myself surrounded by the darkness of despair. There too, however, hidden amidst this darkness, was hope, an unexplainable hope in my son’s promised resurrection.

hope

Chapter 29. Hope in the Face of Darkness. An excerpt from my newly released book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love.  Early the next morning, Joseph and Tom boarded a plane bound for Cody, Wyoming. Sitting at my kitchen table, I heard the deafening silence of our family home. My pain and sense of loss seemed unbearable. Overwhelmed with agony, I quietly bowed my head in prayer and pleaded for the patience to endure my son’s departure. I stared at the empty Easter lily stems in my backyard and felt their emptiness. Despite my profound sorrow, I somehow found hope, for in their promised spring beauty, I recognized the hidden glory of the Trinity of Love. In response, I said, “Beloved Jesus, I place my trust in You. Come, Holy Spirit, come, and make the sheer glory of your love and mercy known to my son, Joseph.  Heavenly Father, I beg you, heal the wounds of his broken heart and lead him towards the light of your love. Come, Holy Spirit, come and make us a holy family founded on love. Amen”

Today, three years after the painfully difficult moment detailed in my book excerpt above, I find myself experiencing the promised glory of those who place their trust in Jesus. Over the last several years, the Holy Spirit has indeed showed up and, as promised, He has transformed our lives in a powerful way. Together and individually, we stand as a living testimony to the unending love and mercy of the Triune God! God is so good, and although He often requires our trust and unexplainable hope in the face of darkness, He never disappoints. He is our healing, our hope and salvation. He remains constant and is always there directing, guiding and bringing us home.  He will never abandon us, for He is our Father, best Friend, eternal Spouse, and Spirit of love. He is relational and He is our home.

Front-Back-Books-Clipart

The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love.  My new book and three year labor of love is both a personal testimony and demonstration of God’s healing love and mercy. It is an invitation to experience your own faith discovery process, to journey with my small family of three from heartbreak to God’s healing glory. Self-reflective questions, Scripture quotes, catechetical teachings, and sacred devotionals woven throughout will warm your heart and fill your soul with divine inspiration.

The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love is a compelling account of finding joy and healing through the love and grace of God. It is an evoking testimony of faith’s ability to overcome distress and heartache. I hope you enjoy my story and that you encounter the amazing love and mercy of the Triune God within its pages! Thank you, Karen Schwaner Sheehy

Upcoming Book Signings: 

  1. Saturday, August 18th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm                                                                      The Catholic Book Store: 3003 Carrollton, New Orleans, LA 70118, (504) 861-7504
  2. Saturday, September 8th from Noon to 2 pm                                                                   Barnes and Noble Bookseller: 3414 Hwy. 190, Mandeville, LA 70471, (985) 626-8884

web postcard

The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love now available for purchase at amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles, local bookstores, or at my online web store: spiritualsafariguide.com. The accompanying personal reflective journal can only be purchased online at spiritulsafariguide.com.

Closing 3:00 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. Amen
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 new book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love. Thank you and God Bless!

Come Holy Spirit, Come.

The Feast of Pentecost is coming! In chapter fifteen of the Gospel of John, we find Jesus preaching about the gift of the Holy Spirit to His disciples. “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:26-27). Therefore, as May 20th approaches, it is good that we take some time to understand what the gift of the Holy Spirit looks like and entails.

Baptims-by-spiritGod is radically relational. He is a Triune God or Trinity of Love and He desires an intimate relationship with each of us. Pentecost is a beautiful time in the Liturgical Year to actively invite Him into our hearts. “Come, Holy Spirit, come. Make me a vessel of Your love.”

As I look back over my own life long spiritual journey, and the twenty-five years since my re-conversion to the faith, I marvel at the goodness of the Triune God and His abundant gift of grace. This grace is none other than the very indwelling of the Holy Spirit in my soul.

What is your faith journey or testimony? The passage presented from the Gospel of John invites each of us to consider the miraculous events in our life so we too can testify in the spirit of truth. God is truth and goodness. He is the answer to all of our desires. My story or faith journey is one of life, love, pain, rejection and return. Out of this prodigal daughter story, however, I have been renewed and transformed not only into a daughter of God and spouse of Jesus, but also into a life-giving vessel of the Holy Spirit. Filled with His Spirit, I long to bring the light and love of Christ to the world.

My miraculous story is detailed in my soon to be released book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love, due out this June. As Pentecost approaches, I would like to share an excerpt from the third of its three sections entitled, A Conduit of Love and Vessel of the Holy Spirit. I hope you find it enlightening.

cover with shadow

After three long years, my finished book is finally on its way. It should be available by the beginning of June. Praise God!

Book Excerpt: As the transformative light of Christ and indwelling of the Holy Spirit filled my heart, mind and soul, I felt compelled to share His love with others. Throughout this process, I heard Christ calling me to a life of discipleship, a life filled with self-sacrificial love and service for the sake of His Body, the Church. Accompanied by Mary, His mother, I continued to grow in faith. As I fell deeper and deeper in love with Jesus, I longed to know everything about my beloved, including His deep suffering and passion for the sake of others.

Soon, I began to view life’s many trials and hardships in a new and life-giving manner, for I desired to accompany and console my Lord. I longed to comfort the afflicted and offer up my sufferings for their sake. Slowly, I learned to pick up my Cross and follow Jesus down the path of self-sacrifice and redemptive love. Filled with the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, I offered my own “fiat” or yes to God, and walked onward in confidence. With the gift of the Holy Spirit came an unexplainable hope, as I began to understand the joy of the Resurrection which always follows the Cross. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I became a more effective conduit of Christ’s love to others.

Soon, my prayer life took on a mystical quality, existing somewhere between this world and the next. This gift of spiritual union forever transformed my soul. Graced with eternal wisdom and understanding, I walked forward with divine certitude. I knew that my soul’s mission and ultimate purpose was eternal union with the Triune God, for as St. Augustine of Hippo says, “our hearts are restless until they find rest in You, O God.”

giftsoftheHolySpirit1

As disciples, we are called to know and love Christ, to be vessels of His Holy Spirit, and display the gifts, or graces, of the Holy Spirit to the world. These gifts include both individual or sanctifying graces, known as the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the supernatural or extra-ordinary “charismatic gifts” given to individual Christians for the good of others and/or the building up of Christ’s Body.

As members of Christ’s Body, we are all called to live a life of personal holiness. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit allow us to do just that. They lead to personal santification or salvation in Christ. Only by the grace (or indwelling of God), and not by our own merit, can we be holy. Personal holiness attracts, therefore, it remains at the center of all our evangelization efforts, as we strive to be more effective disciples and witnesses to the spirit of truth.

The seven spiritual gifts, otherwise known as the beatitudes or 4 Cardinal and 3 theological virtues, produce good fruit, fruits which are visible signs of God’s grace to the world. These gifts and their resulting fruit include:

  • Wisdom and Charity-the ability to see and choose the light of Christ. Its fruits are love, peace and gentleness.
  • Faith and Understanding-the ability to accept the gift of faith and mysteries of Christ in our hearts. It fruit is faithfulness.
  • Counsel and Prudence-supernatural intuition. The ability to discern the will of God. Its fruit is self-control.
  • Courage and Fortitude-courageous endurance to stand up for what is right in the sight of God. Its fruit is patience.
  • Knowledge-the ability to see things and others as God does. Its fruit is kindness.
  • Justice and Piety-humble recognition of one’s total dependency on God. Its fruit is justice.
  • Fear of the Lord and Hope-awe or wonder in God’s glory and majesty as the source of perfect happiness. Its fruit is joy.

The extra-ordinary gifts or charisms of the Holy Spirit, given to individual believers for the good of others or for the building up of the Church, include:

  • the gifts of superabundant faith, healing, miracles, prophesy, discernment of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues, words of wisdom and knowledge.
  • the gift of vocation: apostle, prophet, teacher, servant, leadership within the Church or government, giver, counselor and evangelist.

7_gifts_of_the_holy_ghost_placemat

Each of us are created with special charisms or gifts which the Holy Spirit has imparted for the building up of Christ’s Kingdom. Therefore, as we approach Pentecost, remember to say a little prayer, “Come, Holy Spirit, come,” as you offer your own personal invitation to the powerful love of God which transforms. Then go out and testify with boldness, all the while trusting in the transformative power of the Holy Spirit. Remember, it is our job to testify or witness and its the Holy Spirit’s job to convert. Happy Easter!

Closing 3:00 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. Amen

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 Trinity of Love. Thank you and God Bless!

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com