Our Lady of the Eschaton

OLOEI could have graduated with my MA Theology last year. I could have been done with everything way sooner. But because I overlooked a few things (like taking enough credits), my thesis defense was yesterday, and my commencement was today: April 28th, 2018–also the feast day of St. Louis de Montfort.

The same saint who I based my thesis work on (his True Devotion text is a must for any serious Catholic Christian).

The saint I once dismissed as a mushy Mama’s boy.

The saint who helped me know our heavenly Mother in a deeper way.

Not a coincidence.

In hindsight, this seems quite obvious. After all, I had handfuls of strange, mystical-like experiences with our Lady, for five years I carried a mini-statue of Our Lady of La Vang to all my classes throughout seminary and the Masters program, and my wall is an iconostasis of Marian icons and images.

And to think I was once unsure what I would research and write about for my thesis!

Our Lady of the Eschaton: The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Mission in the End Times According to St. Louis de Montfort, is posted here for you to peruse and enjoy. Like the title says, it’s about Mary’s Second Coming at the end of time. That’s right… it’s about the big bad end of the world and how Mary has a role in it.

Got your attention yet?

If not, here’s more: the devil is trying to stop Mary, and he’s trying to trick you into doing his dirty work.

*click here to find out more*

Blessings this Feast of St. Louis de Montfort!

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Sacred Heart of Jesus

Let me tell you the tale behind this latest Holy Smack card:

As with all of the cards, I wait for the Holy Spirit to prompt me and provide me with art and prayer to pair together into a holy card. Without the Spirit’s guidance, I do nothing. One thing that being a former seminarian has taught me is to be obedient to God’s will. And when we obey His will, amazing things happen that we could never have imagined.

With this card, I was searching for images of our Lord’s Sacred Heart. I had been on the lookout for many months, but nothing came up that rendered me speechless, until I stumbled on this blog and saw this piece. As soon as I saw Him and His heart, I knew this was the image I was always meant to find, and meant to find at that specific moment in time.

At that point, I had been going through a severe struggle in my life. Someone precious to me had been suffering in spirit and body, and like anyone who ever loved, when one’s beloved is in sorrow, one is in mourning also. Yet, when I saw this image of our Lord, the power of His light cut into my darkness. I had to find out more about the artist.

It turns out, the beaming Sacred Heart of Jesus here is a freak “accident” of flash photography! The image is a photo taken by a priest, and the blast of holy light is only a reflection of the camera’s flash. The shot was perfect, and so the priest posted it on his blog, and that’s where the digital paper trail ends, for after contacting Father, I was informed the artist is unknown, and perhaps even deceased.

And for the next four months, I deliberated and waited, I searched and listened. I found a prayer and I finished the entire card’s design, yet I still hesitated. Something was not yet in place. And then my friend shared with me more tragedy.

It was then I knew the time had come to print. The card was meant for her all along. The Lord was meant for her, His Sacred Heart was for her, the humble prayer was for her. And the card is the first to be dedicated to anyone.

Please pray for her.

Thank you, and if you happen to know the artist of the image, please do inform me so I can seek her or his forgiveness for using the image without permission.

—Updated June 8, 2018: Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus…

In honor of today’s feast, I have re-designed the prayer card (images updated below) and will be stocking up on them! Please continue praying for all to know the love of our Lord.

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Note: as with all of my cards, please know I would be honored to share them with you for free and that any donation would be appreciated to support the continued ministry.

Pentecost — aka: Holy-Spirit-Smack-Down-Day!

To celebrate Pentecost this year, may I present the new Holy Smack logo! On the first Pentecost of the Church (2,000 years ago), the Holy Spirit zapped the Apostles with the grace of God and sent them throughout the world to spread the Gospel and increase the Church. Today, the successors of those first few bishops (yes, all the Apostles were bishops — Judas included [may God have mercy on us all]) have continued spreading the Gospel and increasing the Church*

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[May the Holy Spirit smack you in the Faith and break down the darkness.]

*World Youth Day — just one teeny, weeny, itty, bitty way the Gospel has spread and the Church has increased:

WYD in Rome, 2000

Believe in Something MORE

A certain meme set off my sarcastic side* today. Here it is with my response all over it:

Don’t always believe in yourself — always believe in something MORE!

In case you can’t read the heresy, it says with much naivete: “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself.”

There are a half dozen things wrong with the claim. I’ll let you figure out the others after I share the big one:

I don’t believe in myself. I know that sounds like I have a major lack of self-esteem, but it’s more than that. I don’t believe in myself because I’m only human!

I make more mistakes than good calls. I miss more opportunities than I can remember, and the fact that I can’t remember (because of my limited mortal brain) makes me even less reliable.

I’d much rather believe in Him who is forever greater than me, because I am so limited, selfish, mortal and sinful. Even if I do believe in myself, without the Lord, there’s not much to believe in… (sorry to bust your bubble! I’m not God, and you aren’t either. I can prove it: one day we’ll both be dead! What’ll we believe in then? A corpse?!)

Every success I have in my life has been because the Holy Spirit has helped me. Either through others (like my parents, family, friends…) or directly (like when I get random awesome ideas and surges of motivation that zip in from nowhere)!

So next time you need to believe in yourself, actually pray that God helps you to believe in yourself, because your lazy and forgetful self will probably stop believing pretty quick. (See what I did there? I blew up a contradiction.)

*Sorry for the sarcasm if it offended you. Occasional bursts of sarcasm are known to emit randomly from my highly critical mind.