about the Power of Prayer
Power of Prayer: a personal testimony
Throughout the existence of mankind on earth,
wars of been fought and countless lives lost over the pursuit of
power. Throughout written history it has been one of the single
greatest motivating forces behind mankind’s actions…yet nothing
has been so elusive a concept. We live in a world where weapons
exist that are capable of turning Mother Earth into a lifeless ball
of rock spinning in space. Yet even that…even THAT cannot compare
to the true source of power…real power…capable of changing the course
of history and even staying the hand of GOD Himself when He wishes
to strike out at mankind as Just Judge. It is the power to save
countless lives from endless suffering. It can change destinies.
IT alone can bring us a life that is richer and more wondrous than
anything else is capable of doing…this one single key to peace,
happiness and eternal bliss is so blessedly simple…prayer.
We live in an era when GOD HIMSELF speaks to mankind.
Yet humans have done everything they possibly can to deny His infinite
mercy and explain away His miracles. Miracles did not stop occurring
when Charlton Heston parted the red jello. The faith of a mustard
seed may be able to move a mountain but that is nothing...NOTHING…compared
to the power to move a heart of stone, hardened by a materialistic
society that swallows lives whole into its yawning, chasm-like maw.
THAT, my dear friends and fellow humans, is the OLYMPICS of prayer.
I will admit it…mia culpa…I am a bit of a klutz.
As my dear sister Fran has said, I would long ago have inadvertently
killed myself it where not for her intervention. Similarly, we live
in a world where it has become necessary for God, Mother Mary and
the Angels to speak to us directly to prevent us from destroying
ourselves in a fit or genocidal fury. Am I exaggerating? How many
of us have seen people DIE, lives ENDED, so someone can get an extra
car length ahead in traffic and arrive at their destination SIXTY
SECONDS sooner? When God speaks, my dear friends, even EF Hutton
listens. That being said, who with an intellect as least as great
has a box of hammers would not avail themselves of the opportunity
to listen to what GOD, my Dear Sweet Spouse, has to say on the subject
“I will enwrap your soul
and keep you thus, in perfect union with Me; and by grace I shall
draw from you greater sacrifices, greater amendments; I shall draw
you into a greater interior life and higher forms of prayer... and,
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, I
will teach you too, to do the same and you, little child, bear My
Cross of Unity, together with Me and allow yourself to be guided
by My Spirit, He will be the Sign for you and your guarantee, that
you come from Me; My favor rests upon you.
I still have many favors in store for you, generation, favors that
will lead you into sanctity and into My Kingdom; so I tell you,
you who would be ready to judge, do not start judging according
to appearances, prematurely, let your judgment mature and be according
to what is good and right; - today I cry out as I once did in Jerusalem:
"if anyone is thirsty, come! let him come to Me! come and drink,
you who believe in Me! for from My Sacred Heart flows fountains
of living water! come and refresh yourselves, come and revive! then,
the light of your eyes will become the light of My Spirit; - many
of you have made out of My Kingdom a Kingdom of words alone; I tell
you: My Kingdom is power I will visit anyone who thirsts for Me
in one way or another, and with great power I will restore My Kingdom.”
God to Vassula Ryden, July 3, 1996
"Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets
his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing."
William Shakespeare, "MacBeth"
Dear friends…do you feel that your prayers fall
upon deaf ears? Are your prayers falling short of the ears of God?
Do you feel that they leave your lips and fall say…somewhere on
the other side of the room? Do you find yourselves pleading with
God like an Oliver Twist saying, “Please sir may I have some more?”
Do you assume that God OUR Father might find it an IMPOSITION to
provide for His children…sending us to bed without our supper only
willing to grant the OCCASIONAL prayer just to get us to quit nagging?
Fear not friends. Your
prayers are answered!…or at least they will be. The problem, my
dear, dear friends is that instead of a cap gun, you should be using…no,
not an m-16, not a cannon, but…the spiritual ATOMIC BOMB of prayer…faith,
absolute trust, altruism and complete abandonment to God’s divine
The big picture…
The big picture is not about files and folios.
It is not about reports and earnings ratios. It is about relationships.
Perhaps we can take the earnings ratios to the bank, but we can
take the relationships we create with us throughout our lives and
beyond. That is the true big picture. Carry a song in your heart
and live your life as if each step is a prayer.
blood is to the body, so prayer is to the soul.
What I found was a rich prayer life and service
to God that nourished my spirit. The work I did for God became a
ministry of pleasure; God was, and continues to be, with me. By
ministering to others I began to find gifts that God had given me
of which I was never aware. The greatest gift I began to find was
the one I had sought after most of my life…peace. When The Lord
gave the cup of his blood to his disciples at the last supper He
established The Eucharist…Holy Communion. When I gave my life to
God He made me a living cup to be poured out in His name.
Give a little…get a lot…
When I look back on my past life, I see an individual
who was so arrogant and prideful that I am surprised that the almighty
didn’t simply get fed up with me, kick me to the curb and yell “next.”
Yet God has infinite love, mercy and patience. Like the father of
a prodigal daughter He was all too willing and anxious to take me
back. When I was not busy blaming God for making me a hermaphrodite,
and feeling worthless because of it, I was busy being angry at the
entire world because it saw me as the worthless being that I presented
to it. Yet Jesus did not see what was outside. He did not see who
I was…instead he saw His beautiful wife I could become because of
believe that if a little flower could speak, it would tell very
simply and fully all that God had done for it. It would not say
that it was ungraceful and had no scent, that the sun had spoilt
its freshness, or that a storm had snapped its stem - not when it
knew the exact opposite was true.
St. Therese of Lisieux “The Story of a Soul”
A Private Little Hell...
Growing up I thought I was the only one who suffered
the way I did. I had not even heard the word hermaphrodite let alone
understand I was one. All I knew was that some thing was wrong...dreadfully
wrong. With the advent of the internet I found just how many other
people out there shared my private little hell. Society treats us
two ways...they, like most of our parents, usually pretend we don't
exist. If they do think about us we are the bearded ladies at the
circus...the strange little freaks with one breast in old circus
advertisements they have seen. The problem is that we are real people,
with real feelings and we are being torn apart. Mostly by society...but
even worse by ourselves. There, as Shakespeare once said, lays the
rub. When society is confronted by the reality of the situation
they usually find themselves floating down the river Nile/Denial.
We are perhaps the only segment of society that are denied our right
to our most basic identity...our gender. There are so many different
reactions to this that they are too numerous to mention. What the
result is, however, is that all hermaphrodites, no matter what the
form, share one thing in common...a private little hell that few
people who are not born this way can entirely understand. It is
also a private little hell that only the hermaphrodite can find
their way out of...as my dear sister so recently pointed out to
Tragically, most hermaphrodites share one other
thing in common...the reaction to the private little hell. We all
reach our breaking point at different points in our life. I once
met a woman (a hermaphrodite) who reacted to her inability to cope
with the hatred society hurled at her on a daily basis by sticking
a shotgun in her mouth and pulling the trigger...it didn't go off.
Another close friend, also a hermaphrodite, tried to kill himself
five times. The last time he almost succeeded...almost. He had a
purpose in life that only the Lord Jesus Christ knows. It was the
process of digging my own way out of this private little hell that
finally brought me to an understanding of the true path God had
in store for me.
I came from an angry militant woman, ready to
put the next person who crossed me in traction, to the bride of
Christ. This was, and continues to be a very difficult task. As
soon as I manage to climb out of that private little hell...someone,
sometimes even myself, pushes more dirt back in for me to claw my
way out of.
Most people want so many things out of life that
they set lofty goals. Some want fame. I have known a few people
who have achieved it. Some people want money...piles of it...and
find at the other end of their lives that there are only so many
yachts that you can water ski behind. Me...I only want one thing.
Peace of mind. Yet when you were born the way I was this is a very,
very difficult thing to achieve. I found that I was my own worst
enemy. God, a caring sister (with the patience of a saint to put
up with my bullshit) and dear friends are the only thing that saved
me from myself... The path to this peace of mind is long and treacherous...especially
when there is a world of people hating you that want nothing more
than to take it away. Part of the private little hell is that for
those of us born hermaphrodites it doesn't matter how far we run...wherever
you go...there you are. Even if we barricade ourselves in a dark
room and brick up the entrance the hatred will find us...often from
within. A priest once described my life as being like an inverted
pyramid balanced on a point. What I thought of at once was that
this represented my mental state of health and how easy it was to
fall into a suicidal depression. It was not until later, like Saul
on the road to Damascus, that I had my own little epiphany and realized
just what the priest had meant...and meant for me to discover. It
was only by discovering the true meaning of this, that it would
be of any help to my life whatsoever.
My own reactions to the private little hell of
a world full of hatred, stress and people bent on destroying my
life, has been varied. Initially I was of such a delicate mental
balance that the second any adversity touched my life I would run,
cry and hide in a private dark little place inside myself and never
come out. Part of this reaction was hiding out in an abusive relationship
for nine years of my life. It finally reached a point in my life
where I said, "I am mad as hell and I am not going to take
it any more." I became an angry, militant woman that many knew
me as...a loaded gun waiting to go off at the slightest provocation.
When my sister and God found me I thought that turning the other
cheek was the solution...the route of pacifism. All I found was
that I had gotten beat into the dirt and I became my own worst enemy.
I reached the point, again, where I became suicidal and couldn't
stand to be with myself it was remarkable that anyone could stand
to be with me at all.
The most important discovery of my life, is the
true meaning of my life depicted as an inverted pyramid. It is only
by this continual balancing act that a peaceful life as a hermaphrodite
is even possible. When running didn't work I got angry. When angry
didn't work I tried pacifism. When pacifism didn't work I denounced
God. I blamed God and the entire world. I didn't pray for death...I
prayed for oblivion...to never have existed.
What I found...and dear reader learn this if nothing
else from these pages...is how to live with myself in peace amidst
a world of hatred. The solution, and I mean the ONLY solution that
has worked is simply a matter of firm resolve and absolute
trust in GOD. This may seem simple but it is very, very
difficult to do. Try and be firmly resolved to be happy in your
identity as a woman when the world tells you on a daily basis...sometimes
strangers screaming it in your face...that you are not one. Try
living in peace when others hate you instantly and make it a point
to tell you so. What has to be done is to find a balancing point
between anger and pacifism. Just because Jesus turned the other
cheek doesn't mean he was a doormat. It doesn't mean that you, I
or anyone has to be one either.
First, and perhaps most difficult, is the process
of finding yourself. This is very difficult to do and there will
be many, many people who will dearly love to take that happy, strong
person away from you. It is very easy to lose that person, especially
in the eyes of someone else. Once you find that person, hold on
to who you are with all your strength. Know that whoever you are,
you are a child of God and are loved by him. You are the best you
there can ever be. The balancing act is a matter of never and I
mean NEVER letting anyone take that strong, happy person away from
you...no matter what comes your way. This means not letting you
take it away from you as well...through pride, stubbornness, depression
or one of the other myriad reasons for losing yourself.
Remember...when Jesus turned the other cheek doesn't
mean he was a doormat. Jesus was not a coward. Don't be one yourself.
Let people dish out whatever hatred they want. BUT NEVER BE AFRAID
TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF. Don't be afraid to confront the hate,
the stressors in your life, all those who will revile you. This
doesn't mean pull a blunt instrument off the shelf or a pistol out
of your pocket and wack the next person who wrongs you with it.
Simply, look the source of the pain, person, place, emotion, spiritual
enemy, whatever...in the eye and tell them that they are wrong...no
matter how desperately they need for you to be someone else, you
are going to be who you are. They and all of the rest of creation
will have to simply adjust to it...or go find some other planet
to live on. Then turn the cheek again and let them discover that
the abuse they wish to dish out doesn't make any difference. My
dear departed grandfather would tell you this was the art of telling
someone to go to hell and making them like it.
Don't misunderstand that this means allowing
anger to control your life. What you are controlling is THEIR ANGER...whether
THEY LIKE IT OR NOT. It is a matter of being the willow instead
of the Oak. The willow bends (turns the other cheek) but remains
firmly rooted where it is.
Find the source of this strength in your life,
and keep it...find peace of mind in a world that desperately wants
to take it away from you. As my Mother Superior (who is also my
dear sister) pointed out to me..."remember that balancing the
inverted pyramid of your life is honoring yourself. No matter what
the world thinks of you...no amount of hatred or revilement will
change who you are...it will never change who God loves...you. The
tip of the pyramid upon which your life balances is holy self love...true
self esteem...not being egotistical...just aware of your worth in
the eyes of God." I have worked for the day when my sister
and I can build a convent and point to the results with the words,
"We are only the tools. If you want to know how we rebuilt
our lives and built the convent go ask the carpenter...Jesus."
Peace be with you.
of the Sisters of Embracement
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