Pelianito Speaks: Flame of Love, Witness of Joy Redux

(Given the ongoing challenges all around us, as our country seems to be s.l.o.w.l.y. imploding and our world is s.u.f.f.e.r.i.n.g., this beautiful piece by Janet, also known as Pelianito, is as fitting today as it was when it first appeared on this site.)

Pelianito Speaks: Flame of Love, Witness of Joy

flame of love

(This guest piece is by Janet, who comments here but is best known as Pelianito, for the  wonderful spiritual blog she does, one of the few I link to permanently, at right. Her comments are timely and, in their little way, marvelous advice for spiritual preparation – as was St. Paul’s advice, which she quotes,  from today’s readings)

By Pelianito

From the Second Reading 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Philippians 4: 12-16 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

The theme of joy has been coming very strongly to me in the last few days. It seems strange, given much of what is occurring in the world and much of what I am feeling in my spirit. Human logic would make joy an unlikely theme in these perilous times. Yet, it comes to me, again and again along with the scripture passage from Nehemiah 8:10 –“Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Some years ago I felt the Lord give me an image. I was in stormy waters and clinging to a rock, getting tossed around a bit but hanging on quite easily. In the image I was joyful, and even though the situation seemed dire, I was actually having fun! I felt the Lord explain: “The rock is hope, and joy is the glue that holds you to it. Let not fear drive joy from your heart, for love and joy must reign in the hearts of my faithful ones.”

We are living in increasingly terrible times, which seem likely to get worse before they get horrific! Now is the time to increase our capacity for joy. God is not calling us to be sad sacks and worry warts. As the days continue to descend into darkness, we need to be less and less prophets of doom and more and more prophets of holy joy.

How is that possible, when things are so dark and getting darker? My friends, it has always been true that if our joy is tied to earthly circumstances, we are in deep trouble. Our joy must have its source in the Lord and be independent of our earthly circumstances. God has not left us orphans; he has not abandoned us and will never leave us—much less in our time of direst need. Scripture is steeped in hope and full of promise. GOD WINS! WE GET TO GO TO HEAVEN! All this toil and trouble is temporary. God loves us and nothing can change that. Whatever happens to us in this life we will be infinitely—infinitely!—compensated for in the next, so long as we keep our faith.

All the more reason to take every opportunity to expand our heart’s capacity for joy. We do that by practicing joy and gratitude in every moment. Remember, we don’t have to actually feel the joy, but we are called to BE joyful, whether we feel it or not. Joy is not a feeling, but a grace. As Nehemiah tells us, it is not actually our joy, but the joy of the Lord. The grace is given, but the practice of it requires discipline, and engaging in joyful penance is a discipline we should be cultivating on a regular basis.

“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18)

In the Office of Readings for the feast day of St. Andrew Dung Lac, a Vietnamese priest who was martyred in 1839 we read this poignant illustration of joyful hope in dire circumstances:

“The prison here is a true image of everlasting hell: to cruel tortures of every kind–shackles, iron chains, manacles–are added hatred, vengeance, calumnies, obscene speech, quarrels, evil acts, swearing, curses, as well as anguish and grief. But the God who once freed the three children from the fiery furnace is with me always; he has delivered me from these tribulations and made them sweet, for his mercy is forever. In the midst of these torments, which usually terrify others, I am, by the grace of God, full of joy and gladness, because I am not alone—Christ is with me.”

Yes, the joy of the Lord is our strength!

Christ was unequivocal in his message to his disciples:

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11)

“So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” (John 16:22-24)

In the diary of Elizabeth Kindelmann who was given the Flame of Love devotion, she relates the words of Jesus from August 16, 1962: “Be my servant! Be always joyful! Every day that you serve Me must be a feast. Do not let anyone or anything that disturbs your cheerful spirit come near your soul. Take good care of your nuptial garment and let it radiate happiness. Wherever you go, let it be felt that you partake every day in the heavenly banquet. Desire that everyone have this same yearning. Let the coming of my Kingdom be the only object of prime importance in your life.”

The Lord wants us to live in the Kingdom now, here, today and in that way the joy of the Lord becomes our strength.

I want to end with a present-day story of someone who lives in the the joy of the Lord. A friend related to me what happened to her father some years ago. He had been diagnosed with a serious degenerative disease that eventually left him unable to walk. He and his wife decided to go to Medjugorje to pray for a miracle. At one point on their trip, he says he felt a warm sensation at the back of his neck where the degeneration was causing damage. Very shortly, not only was he able to walk—he was able to run! It was a dramatic healing, a true miracle!

The healing was short-lived, however. Within two weeks of his return, he was back in his wheelchair and has been that way for over 20 years; today he is a quadriplegic. But that is not the end of the story, because ever since returning from Medjugorje, to the wonderment of all who know him or meet him, and most especially those who care for him, he has been filled with true joy and radiates it to all around him. He is a beacon of hope to all he encounters.

My friends, we too are called to be that kind of witness! As this man shows us, the joy that we radiate on earth is a magnet that will attract others, an irresistible evangelical beacon. When all is darkening, we are called to be the light shining in that darkness. Jesus needs conduits of his light. We are called to be his instruments, his little torches, his flames of love. Let our joy be the lighthouse that guides others to the safe harbor which is the Church.

May we all be given the grace and the desire to live lives of holy joy in all circumstances. And may the joy of the Lord always be our strength. Amen.

Jeremiah 15:20-21 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the Lord. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.

“My beloved children, the time is upon you when the enemy of souls will seek ever more to crush the Bride of Christ. Remain firm and steadfast in your faith. Do not fear! He who is in you is stronger than he who is in the world. (cf 1 Jn 4:4) I tell you again be firm in your faith. You are standing on a rock. It is only if you abandon the rock that you will be in danger. Do not let toil or sorrow, pain or persecution discourage you, but begin now to give thanks to God in every circumstance. You will be amazed at the strength and power this will produce in you. Refrain from complaining. This is a very insidious form of ingratitude and will serve to weaken you. It is the joy that a grateful heart presents that will draw souls to me. In all things—praise!”

Heavenly Father, you are all goodness and love. We praise you for all you have given us and especially for the gift of faith—our light in a dark world. We trust in you to deliver us from evil. Keep us free from ingratitude and let us praise you in all circumstance. Thank you Father! Praise you Jesus! Come Holy Spirit! We love you!

About Beckita

Beckita, widow, mother and grandmother, lives in Missoula, Montana. After more than thirty years of service, she retired from two careers: elementary school educator and director of liturgical music ministry in a local parish. Serving the Catholic Church in many capacities since early childhood, she now provides care for a nearly 90 year old priest of Chinese origin and collaborates with him in evangelizing the Chinese people. For more than twenty-five years, she has welcomed words from heaven concerning these sobering times in which we live and, like so many, takes seriously Our Lord and Our Lady’s call to intercede for the return of souls to God. Responding to heaven’s call for prayer, for her, included making pilgrimages to shrines in Europe, Asia and South America. She says these travels, added to her years as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa in the mid-seventies, have expanded her heart to hold dear all peoples of the world. She is a longtime member of TNRS community and when she began reading Charlie’s posts, immediately, she found that his mission and message harmonize well with Church approved private revelation of our times. In September 2015, she accepted an invitation to become part of TNRS Answers Team. As events of the Storm evolved, last fall (2016), she accepted Charlie’s invitation to become managing editor of TNRS should he need to leave the site. With great gratitude to and for Charlie, founder of TNRS, and with great respect and admiration for the lifelong experiences and God-given gifts he brought to bear on his work at this site - she knows we all know he’s irreplaceable – still, she considers it a great privilege to serve the TNRS community.
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55 Responses to Pelianito Speaks: Flame of Love, Witness of Joy Redux

  1. Gina says:

    Wow! I love, love, LOVE this!!! It’s as though it was posted just for me!
    Just had a terrible accident on St Patrick’s day, my husband and I are struggling to get caught up on our bills after both having experienced periods of unemployment in 2016, the people renting my dad’s house are more than a month behind, dad lives in our home and I can barely help him financially, I wake up daily with lower back pain and heel pain in my left foot, I work 12 hour shifts and have to wear steel toed shoes, our gay, atheist neighbor is giving us much grief and my driver’s license was wrongly suspended for a ticket I got in another state but paid late due to not having the money. I got the ticket when I was in a hurry to get my husband whose truck broke down and left him stranded. My husband I were separated from Thanksgiving until January due to marital problems…I thought we were going to get divorced. To cut costs last year I dropped rental car coverage from my car insurance and now I need it because my car is not driveable after my wreck. My friend asked if I was beginning to feel like Job and I said, “Well, my flesh is not rotting off my bone, my son is still alive and graduating from college in May! My dad is alive and healthy!” Also, my marriage is being restored and my husband and I both work for the same company as of last month and we are both paid well. I just got a bonus on Tuesday which paid for the car rental. Had this wreck happened just one or two weeks earlier we would have been in a very serious bind!
    I had been battling depression at the beginning of the year and the enemy was telling me all kinds of lies…telling me I was a fraud and a failure. Praise God I rebuked that lousy liar and God has been good to me! This Lenten season was a wonderful time for me to draw deeper into communion with our Heavenly Father.
    God’s grace, mercy and love knows no bounds!

    Liked by 21 people

  2. maypeacebe says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post, Beckita and Janet (and Charlie)! So powerful, yet so simple. Regardless of our circumstances in life, may we all be filled with His joy and radiate that joy to others.

    Liked by 11 people

  3. The Pelianito blog link has changed since this was first posted. I actually have two blogs: https://pelianitoblog.wordpress.com/ which is the one Charlie originally cited. It is where I post messages from my prayer journal–words I hear in my heart in lectio divina. The other blog, https://joyofpenance.wordpress.com/ , is one I write “on my own steam” as it were, and they are mostly articles I write for the newsletter of the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis of which I am a professed member (http://bspenance.org/). Just a little clarification and to update the link. 🙂

    Liked by 11 people

    • Beckita says:

      God bless you, Janet. I’ve corrected the link. Thank you for your inspirational witness and encouragement!

      Liked by 6 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Janet and Beckita, we also have your “pelianitoblog” link listed in the sidebar in the “Spiritual Sites I Like” section. Janet, would you like us to add your “joyofpenance” link there as well? It’s easy to do. I could retitle the current one “Pelianito’s Blog” and the new one “Pelianito’s Joy of Penance”. Or you could suggest a better title for either.

      “To link, or not to link; that is the question:
      Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
      The slings and arrows of incorrect linking,
      Or to take Arms against a Sea of said links,
      And by opposing fix them”.
      [pace Shakespeare] 😀

      Liked by 12 people

    • Linda says:

      Janet very beautiful piece..Charlie would be proud of you!!! I live & love Elizabeth Kindelman… what a beautiful devotion..I can really relate to her and think of her often for all she did to help Our Lord & Lady spread the Flame of Love.. God bless you Janet💖

      Liked by 7 people

    • SteveBC says:

      Janet, your two sites are now in the sidebar in “Spiritual Sites I Like”. Please check the links and let me know if you would like any other changes. If you hover over one of the links for a few seconds, a little pop-up will appear that you also might like to take a look at. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. cdeloreto3 says:

    Who is this from, Charliej373?

    >

    Like

  5. Sean Sullivan says:

    Trust. Trust in Jesus and don’t be discouraged.

    My Pastors homily compared the Miracle at Cana whereupon Mother Mary made a statement to Jesus “They have no wine” Upon receiving His reply “It is not my time” She spoke to the servents “do what ever He tells you” and departed.

    Trust. Trust Jesus, in our prayer and (then) allow Him to act. Let it go and move on. Exactly what the PMT prayer is all about. Speak once and let God do the rest. What Joy!

    Todays Gospel reading at mass:

    Gospel
    John 4:43-54
    Go, your son will live.

    At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee. For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his native place. When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves had gone to the feast.

    Then he returned to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, who was near death. Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” The royal official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.”

    The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. While the man was on his way back, his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live. He asked them when he began to recover. They told him, “The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.” The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live,” and he and his whole household came to believe. Now this was the second sign Jesus did when he came to Galilee from Judea.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Just a sojourner says:

    some years ago I was inspired to add this to my daily prayers, “I pray for an increase in the gifts of the Holy Spirit especially wisdom, knowledge, understanding and judgement, peace of mind and joy of spirit.” It has brought added blessings.

    Liked by 13 people

  7. Leslie'sOwn says:

    Thank you! This was hit home to me in 2000 when I saw an article entitled “The Flavor of Joy” which bottom line said: “Joy is not a function of your circumstances but based on what God has done for us”. I thought of Jesus dying on the cross, opening heaven and founding the church for starters!. My first thought was “You mean I don’t have to wear the world’s problems on my face? It was very freeing and I became a so much better wife, mother, Catholic and person in general! Fear also left! Thank again for the detailed reminder!

    Liked by 13 people

  8. Kati says:

    Thank you so much for this, Beckita (and Charlie….and Janet)! One of the wonderful resources that is also offered on the Pelianito Journal site is her link to resources on the DIVINE WILL. It is exceptional and I share it here as well: https://pelianitoblog.wordpress.com/divine-will-resources/

    I quote from her page regarding the link I have posted above:
    “This page is to introduce others to the the Divine Will revelations given to Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta in the early years of the 20th century. The writings of Luisa are a transcendent grace, granted by God specifically for these days in which we find ourselves. Luisa’s diary, The Book of Heaven, calls all of us creatures to return to the Order, to the Place, and to the Purpose for which we were created by God. In it Jesus teaches us about the Gift of Living in the Divine Will in anticipation of the coming Kingdom of the Divine Will, whose coming has been invoked through the Lord’s Prayer countless times in the past 2000 years: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.””

    Liked by 8 people

  9. Joe Crozier says:

    http://www.jkmi.com/pope-francis-said-mary-was-more-important-than-the-apostles-than-bishops-deacons-and-priests
    I found this during my lunch break today. As usual I agree with Pope Francis.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Joe Crozier says:

      Pope Francis says that theological explicitness with regards to the importance of woman in the church must be forthcoming. He says “woman” not just “women”.

      Jesus said to His Mother at Cana “What is that to do with me, woman?” And to her on calvary, “Woman behold thy Son”. Pope Francis says “Woman, you are essential and vital to Salvation, Woman has never been more important.” I wonder if he is contemplating the 5th Dogma.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Beckita says:

        Praying so, Joe.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Joe Crozier says:

        Oops I was tired when making this comment – I should not have put quotes around the Woman you are essential to Salvation sentence . This was my understanding of what the Pope was saying. Sorry. That is still my understanding, just not a quote.

        Liked by 1 person

        • James Ignatius McAuley says:

          Joe and Beckita, the importance of motherhood is little understood. Too many sermons of the fathers on Marian issues ignore her maternity and focus on a theological point, or they overemphasize devotional aspects. I have found none better than Proclus of Constantinople, Germanus of Constantinople and Gregory Palamas for getting the balance right. I would recommend, also, the Infancy Gospel of James as the best devotional work that addresses a much of this.

          No Mother of God, no incarnation, no salvation. It is as simple as that.

          Liked by 8 people

          • Beckita says:

            Amen, James. Thank you for the recommendations. In striving to be more Christlike, I appreciate that the Mother of God has been given to each of us as Mother. If we’re willing, she’s willing… to shape us to be more like her Son.

            Liked by 4 people

  10. Monica says:

    Thank you for the beautiful post! I needed that reminder—to be filled with the joy of the Lord no matter what is happening in the world. It’s too easy to get bogged down by the persistent evil all around us and forget that our hope lies in the victory of Jesus. I am reading Archbishop Chaput’s book, Strangers in a Strange Land and last night what I read was the same thing Pelianito wrote about so beautifully. Chaput asks: “How can we live in joy, and serve the common good as leaven, in a culture that no longer shares what we believe? The answer to that question springs from a simple historical fact: On a quiet Sunday morning two thousand years ago, God raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. This small moment, unseen by any human eye, turned the world upside down and changed history forever. It confirmed Jesus’ victory over death and evil. (pp. 146-147) In another place he says: “We need to hope in God and in heaven not as heartwarming pieties but as our real and final home. When we do, we’ll see that there’s no more room for despair, no time for sloth, but an open vista of joy before us.” ( p. 155)
    Jesus, fill us with your hope and joy. We trust in you and we surrender to you. Take care of everything!

    Liked by 11 people

  11. singingjuls says:

    Janet and Beckita, I have to tell you, this has come at a perfect time for me. (But God’s timing is always perfect, right)? Last week I sang at an Alpha retreat and I am always invited to join in the small groups. When we were praying for each other, guess what one of the things I asked for prayers for? The grace of Joy! This word is popping up all over the place in my life now, and I even wrote about it right before I read this. I am really trying to discern the difference between ‘feeling’ joy and having the grace. This helped me to understand the joy I have been longing for so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am now smiling ear to ear! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 9 people

  12. Bob says:

    this link of the Fatima Statue going to the UN. More seeds being planted even there:
    http://www.spiritdaily.com/pilgrimstatue.htm

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Bob says:

    This one by Mark Mallott on prophecy is worth a read:
    https://www.markmallett.com/blog/turn-on-the-headlights/#more-26773

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Phillip Frank says:

    I have an interesting story of how Joy can be found in the most unlikely if places.
    I did an outdoor concert this past Saturday for an event called
    “Making the Blind More Visible.” It was a public outreach event to heighten awareness for the blind.
    Multiple vendors where positioned around the square to offer, food, fun or information about the blind including skits and sidewalk games intended to be played blindfolded to allow one a sense of how the blind live their lives.
    We had a partially blind young guitarist named Christian who was loosing his sight from diabetes. Our band leader Mark, wanted to let him fulfill his dream of playing on a big stage. We backed Christian up as he played an original song he wrote, then let him stand out front and do a guitar solo over a thunderous PA system.
    Dream fulfilled!
    After the gig, Mark told me of some other children he met including a nine year old dieing from cancer that also caused him to go blind. Tearing with emotion, he told me how the nine year old rushed up to him as he started playing a song exclaiming he “knew that one” and proceeded to sing it word-for-word. Mark was flabbergasted at this child’s JOY in being so full of life while being so close to death! I told Mark that I believed the boy was becoming part of the New Jerusalem while still on this side of the vale, that the vale was thinning more and more for him and revealing itself to the spiritual eyes of this physically blind boy.
    “So we are actually the blind ones!” Mark said, pondering what this ment.
    Later the same day at Mass the reading was about Jesus curing the man blind from birth,(John 9-3) The part of the reading which stuck out was….
    “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Suddenly the light bulbs went on in our heads!
    God had allowed these two separate incidents “to happen” to allow JOY to enter our hearts as these “works of God” were being displayed through this blind boys joy….
    and in the scripture story, through the joy of the blind mans healing.

    Liked by 8 people

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