Monica’s Praise Report 3/22/23

Post Date: March 22, 2023
Author: Monica Hebert

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever. Praise be His Holy and powerful Name! Forever will He reign!  He is all good, all mighty, all loving, all merciful, all just, constant and good! 

Thank You Lord for all thy benefits!  Thank You for the constant stream of love, mercy, and grace poured out upon us and the whole world. Thank you for the very breath we breathe, for the beating of our hearts, for the sweat of our brow and every hair on our heads. We are nothing without You! 

Lord, forgive us the times we lose sight of who You are!  Forgive us the moments we place our wills above Yours. Forgive us when we make ourselves or anything in this world a god. We are so sorry!  

Lord, we trust, help our distrust. Lord, we believe, help our unbelief. Lord, we hope, help our despair. Lord, we love You, help us to do so perfectly. Lord, we see You, help us to see You more. Lord, we hear You, help us to hear You clearly. Come Holy Spirit, and fall afresh on us! Renew us! Refresh us! Grant us all the graces from every Sacrament, sacramental, good work, and every prayer to know, love, and serve You! 

Oh my!  How God has been working on me!  I know He is working on us all. I see Him in our daily life, guiding, softening hearts, patiently revealing truths through seemingly  ordinary moments. Sometimes, He is hitting us right between the eyes with a realization. He allows us to react and “chew” on the nuggets of truth He reveals. He is so loving even when our initial reactions are so human! He is closing doors and opening windows. He is active and constantly calling us to Himself. If we only look and listen. 

Let me share with you two moments of God working actively in my life as He constantly calls me to Himself and reveals nuggets of truth in the way and words He knows I’ll understand. He doesn’t speak to everyone like He does to me. He speaks the language of Monica to me, because He knows that’s how I will “get it”. You see, I am not gentle and meek by nature. I am rough around the edges and often need to be jolted back to my place. So please bear with me as I share, knowing He will speak to You very differently than He speaks to me. 

“Check your motives, Monica! “  I could sense this message loud and clear. Several  years back, a very special anniversary that is normally celebrated with Mass came up. At that time, finding a daily Mass without mask requirements was nearly impossible without a long drive. This anniversary landed during the week with not much time from daily responsibilities to afford a commute. I have a condition that makes mask wearing for an extended period of time – well challenging.   But for this anniversary, I was willing to make adjustments so that I could be present at Mass. I had not, up to that time, been to daily Mass, since March 2020, because I was unable to do so wearing a mask. I spent that whole Mass in tears. They were not tears of joy or thanksgiving, I am ashamed to admit. They were tears of sadness. I looked around at these covered faces and felt such sadness. I was mourning the loss of worship as I had known it. That’s just one emotion. So, I’ll get real here. I FELT ALL THE FEELS! I was mad, and sad. I felt abandoned and orphaned by the Church. It’s not that I was not grateful to have access to the Sacrament – THE SACRAMENT.  I was, but I was so disappointed in how I was being asked to receive and participate. And yet, through tears of experiencing so many emotions and thoughts, I stayed. I participated and received as best I could for this anniversary. And then, I sensed it. “Check your motives, Monica.  You are willing to do this for the love of the person you are here to celebrate, but are you willing to do this for Me? Check yourself.”  Talk about tears and reflection!  Needless to say, my last few Confessions have involved the First commandment!  I am STILL working on it! I am STILL checking myself. It’s not pleasant to be disciplined … but I am grateful. I know He is doing His best to get me to do mine! 

“I don’t want to be needed; I want to be loved”  Again, God speaks to me through everyday happening and struggles. I had driven to Louisiana for just one night with two of my girls. Of course, when a hurricane was in the Gulf!  On our way back, what seemed like the whole state was evacuating. It took us eight hours to drive a normally 3 and a half hour drive. Everything seemed so last minute. In laws were also on their way to our house to wait out the storm. Any mom will know what it takes to prepare for guests when all beds in a large family home are occupied. And mom was not home to prepare it!  Can you imagine the phone calls I received from those at home?  What should we cook?  Where should we put up the guests?  Etc. etc. etc. I was overwhelmed with the stress of driving already, and then, all these questions. I was so agitated! I couldn’t quite express why though. Finally, the words  popped in my head, “ I don’t want to be needed; I want to be loved. “   In that moment, a moment of stress and feeling unprepared, I didn’t need to be needed. I needed to feel loved. I know somehow, though, that these words were not just about me and this moment. It was deeper than that.  It’s almost as if God was telling me those words were from Him. To tell the truth, I am still “chewing” on that piece of nugget. A prayer partner told me when I shared with her that God desires us to seek His heart and not just His hand.  I know God will reveal more of this lesson to me over time. I can hardly wait to see how He teaches me about this. 

Please reach out and share how God is moving and working in your life!  You never know who needs to hear it or read it!  

Our life is not perfect!  Our life is full of struggle and mistakes and weaknesses. We all know that this life in this world is overflowing with moments of fallen humanity and the constant work of overcoming and intentionality of living out our faith and vocations. There is joy at times, but mostly there is peace! Peace beyond all understanding. I pray that we cling to that peace- not allowing the changing of circumstances to take it away. Guard it, nurture it. The world and the enemy will always be attempting to take it from us. But, I hold firmly to the words of our Lord, “Peace* I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.s” (John 14:27)

Photo by Joseph Frank on Unsplash

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