Woman, what have I told you?
Crying, treasuring the last time I would receive our Lord at Sunday's Mass, my heart hears these words. "Woman, why are you weeping? Remember my words. Remember to rejoice always, in all things, give thanks; and pray without ceasing -- for this is the will of the Father for you."
In the midst of my tears, then a smile comes, for I know, yes, I am to rejoice! This is not the end -- this is, in my thinking -- the beginning. Communion and Mass will come again -- just as he too, will come again as he promised.
Dear beloved of God, do not let your hearts be saddened for GOD is ever going before us to prepare all that is to come, and the places of protection too that God has set up for us. Under his wings, forever in his hands.
Read aloud daily Psalm 91 for he indeed is our refuge and our strength, our God in whom we trustnow and forever.
1 You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, *who abide in the shade of the Almighty,*
2 Say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.”
3 He will rescue you from the fowler’s snare, from the destroying plague,
4 He will shelter you with his pinions, and under his wings you may take refuge; his faithfulness is a protecting shield.
5 You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness, nor the plague that ravages at noon.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, near you it shall not come.
8 You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see.
9 Because you have the LORD for your refuge and have made the Most High your stronghold,
10 No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent.
11 *For he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go.
12 With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You can tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon.
14 Because he clings to me I will deliver him; because he knows my name I will set him on high.
15 He will call upon me and I will answer; I will be with him in distress; I will deliver him and give him honor.
16 With length of days I will satisfy him, and fill him with my saving power.
Remember his words! Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all things and rejoice. He is with us always!
Elizabeth Johanna Thomas writes from Clarksville.
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