Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:8-18
Are you struggling out there? Finding it hard to even make decisions? If so, you are not alone. Navigating this pandemic, this pontificate, this election, it’s like being sucked into a swirling Vortex and it’s hard to see when gale force winds blow in our faces, winds that probably will pick up speed in the near future, what are we to do?
When it comes to deciphering what’s going on we can look deep into our interior. While there are many emotions within us, usually we can boil most all of it down to two things; Fear or Love. When we are making a decision we need to ask ourselves is it fear or is it love that motivates us? We must ask ourselves what love looks like.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
I don’t know about you but I have seen a lot of impatience, unkindness, envy, anger, lack of trust and unforgiveness out there, and even within my own heart.
I want to tell you a story of what happened to me a few weeks ago. I was getting ready for my RCIA class. On this particular night I was the catechist, which isn’t always the case, but on this night I was the main teacher. I got a call a half hour before class that my mom had fallen and hit her head.
In the past I would have stressed out about the class, but in 2020 with all that is happening I let go of it and just placed a last minute cancellation out to the class members. The Lord is teaching me to let go of control when I have none. Any vestige of control I may think I have is surely being stripped away.
I set out to the hospital, not knowing if I would be allowed in. My mom, who has dementia, and who I have been unable to visit (which is a whole other blog post) was sent alone to the hospital. I arrived at the hospital, masked, and temperature checked by the nurse at the door. I went into the ER and asked to see my mom. I was told I was not allowed in to see her.
I will pause here and state that in the past I would have yelled at the ER attendant. I would have made a big stink and railed at the injustice of it all. I am a fighting kind of woman, that’s who I am, but the Lord whispered in my ear, “mercy” and I knew he was talking about having mercy on the worker. The policy wasn’t her doing, and who knows what she had been through that day. We have all been affected by COVID in ways we couldn’t have imagined one year ago. I just looked at her and a tear rolled down my face. She then asked me for my phone number and said she would talk to the Doctor.
I went outside and sobbed. I then looked up and saw the most breathtaking sunset I have seen in a long time and through my tears I said, “God, you are so good.” I just wanted to acknowledge the goodness of God in that moment of suffering. Because even though I was suffering, I could, in that sunset, see that He is good. It was a spiritual moment, seeing that sunset. I then began to pray the Rosary and during the second decade, the ER attendant called and the Doctor had agreed to let me in. And the Lord said, “be still, I will fight for you.” And I realized that by taking the path of mercy, instead of rage at the injustice of it, He had indeed fought for me. I visited with my mom for 3 hours in the ER. She ended up being fine. She was lucid, and we laughed and we cried and we loved. And I came home grateful.
For each one of us decisions can look different, but love breathes life, love builds relationship, love walks in mercy. Fear leads to despair.
As we sit in this storm, remember who is the keeper of the storm and keep your eyes on Him; on Love.
We have, in our world, lost sight of love. There is a Spirit of Rebellion and an ungodly self-reliance. I know I found myself often trying to save myself instead of letting God save me. In that one instance with my mom, I could see how the love of God can move things that seem unmovable.
Still these spirits weigh heavy, these spirits of rebellion and ungodly self-reliance. We can bind those spirits off of us. Bind the spirits of control off of ourselves. Control is a form of witchcraft, and we have seen that come out this past election cycle. We have the authority over ourselves to tell them to leave, but better yet Priests out there can bind them off their flock in their parishes, and Exorcists off of their Diocese; bind these things that blind us to love and move us to work in fear.
Rely on God. Trust in him with all your might. It is His grace you are standing in.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but wealso boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5
My name is Susan Skinner. I am a native of Maryland and grew up attending all Catholic Schools, including the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. In 1997, I moved South where I subsequently met my husband, Jason. We now have three children. I am a certified catechist through Aquinas College and I am a Director of RCIA and Adult Faith Formation at a parish in the South. I have always identified as Catholic, but it was the murder of my friend in 2010 that brought a transforming change to my heart and made me a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I now make it my mission to spread His Love and Good News everywhere I go. My friend's name was Veronica, and so my blog is named Veil of Veronica. Jesus isn't just someone we should just know about, He is someone we should KNOW, personally. He has made me new and I know God has brought me to where I am. I am nothing without him.