By Lenora Grimaud

When a marriage is on the brink of a divorce it means that both partners are in need of healing, both are wounded, both need to make changes in their own selves. It takes two to make a marriage healthy, and it takes two to get a divorce.

When my marriage was on the brink of divorce, I went into Rehab because I was consuming too much wine. Later, I discovered that this was not my problem, but a symptom of the problem. I was using wine to numb the pain that I was in. This is common with people who are going through a divorce. They look for any means to distract them from the pain and loneliness—promiscuity, alcohol, drugs, gambling, affairs, pornography, food, shopping, etc.

Our marriage ended in divorce before either of us could get the healing we needed and make the necessary changes for a healthy marriage.

I discovered that I was suffering from burn-out, and it was slowly killing me. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually, I broke down. That was when I went for help. Sometimes we have to literally hit bottom—come to the end of our rope, the end of our human strength—before we recognize that we need help. I learned that I needed to learn how to say “no” without feeling guilty. I learned that I needed to learn how to discern between what was my responsibility and what was not my responsibility, because I took responsibility for everyone and everything, thinking it was my responsibility. I needed to become aware of my limitations and surrender them to God in humility, instead of punishing myself for them, or blaming others for them. I needed to become aware of my own personal wants, needs, and desires, and to learn how to care for and nurture myself. I was always very independent and never wanted or expected others to take care of me, but I also did not know how to take care of myself. I thought I did, but actually I just denied my own wants, needs, and desires because I believed that it was selfish to have them. I saw my purpose in life as being to serve and love others; to make others happy, not myself. So, I neglected taking care of myself. I didn’t know how to cope with my emotions and feelings. My emotions were out of control and my feelings were suppressed until they became numb. My priorities became confused and out of order.

Our purpose in life is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is why we were created. Our first priority is our relationship with God, which includes our relationship with our own self—the salvation of our own soul. Self-knowledge and knowledge of God go hand in hand. Humility enables us to know the difference--who God is and who we are. If we are not in right relationship with God, we will not be able to be in right relationship with anyone else. Our second priority is our spouse and children. If we are not in right relationship with God, our relationship with our spouse and children will suffer. We will not have good judgment or be able to make good decisions. We will not be able to provide our family with the right kind of guidance and nurturing. Our love will be disordered. This will affect our relationships with everyone outside our home as well. If our immediate family unit is healthy and ordered, our love will flow out from it to others outside our home—family and relatives, friends, and community. Our priorities will be in order. If this family unit is not healthy, all our other relationships will suffer, as well.

It took quite awhile for me to get the healing I needed and to make the changes in myself that I needed. When I finally felt that I was healthy enough to resume my marriage, to be committed to my marriage and husband even if my husband didn’t change, it was too late. My husband didn’t want me back, or wasn’t ready to make a commitment to me or our marriage. Both partners have to be willing to make a commitment to each other and to the marriage; a commitment to work towards a healthy and fruitful marriage, or it will be a marriage in name only.

If one partner is involved with someone else, they have to be willing to give that person up, or there can be no healing, no marriage. If one partner is violent or controlled by rage, they have to be willing to get help—to get therapy. If one partner has a serious addiction that threatens the safety and security of the family, they have to seek healing, or there can be no marriage. In some cases, there is a serious pathology that makes it difficult or impossible for one or both partners to have a relationship of intimacy and mutuality. Unconditional love doesn’t mean that it is always good or possible to live under the same roof as another person. We need to know our limitations. We need to discover them ourselves. No one else can make our decisions for us. But, we need pastoral and family counseling to hold up a mirror for us so that we can make a free and morally sound choice. Sacrifice, and even martyrdom, is a necessary part of marriage. But, suicide is not. As long as both partners are willing to heal their marriage, and to forgive, most other kinds of wounds, defects, or problems, can be healed and over-come.

Most of all we need the power and strength that comes from the Sacraments. When we are going through distress, we can’t always pray as we would like; or pray at all. Our prayer is more like some of the psalms of misery and distress. We wonder where God is in all this and why we can’t hear him, or why he doesn’t answer us. We feel lost and abandoned by God and when we pray, we feel numb; like we are just going through the motions. This is when we need the Eucharist, regular Confession, and the Community, the most. We come face to face with Jesus in the Sacraments, even though we can’t experience his presence. When we are in distress, we are bombarded with negative thoughts and emotions—anger, resentment, guilt, fear, judgment, self-pity, condemnation, blaming, etc. We need the Sacrament of Confession to set us free and keep us open to love and grace. Through Confession and Eucharist, Jesus gives us what we need, and turns our problems into opportunities for growth and an abundance of his love. “God works all things for good for those who trust in him.”

We may be on the brink of divorce, but we are not without hope. We can turn things around and have a marriage that is truly a Sacrament—where Jesus is truly present—where we sanctify and make each other holy.


By Lenora Grimaud

God is a relationship of three persons. The domestic family is a reflection of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, created in the image and likeness of God. The self-donating love that exists in the Trinity is a model for how we are called to love and relate with one another. We do not choose our parents, siblings, relatives, children, and in-laws. We are born into a family organism. This family organism is expanded when we get married. We are called by the spirit of love to, at least, attempt to form relationships with all those who are part of our family organism. This is where we develop a sense of our own self—our own unique person or identity; where we dismantle the ego and replace it with the true self. Until we do this, we are really not capable of having a mature or healthy relationship with anyone. Our relationships will be immature or superficial, or they will be dysfunctional or one-sided.

A healthy relationship among adults is always a two-sided relationship, or it isn’t a relationship. A relationship is not about becoming part of the lives of others, or of others becoming part of our life. It is not either/or, it is both, or it is not a relationship. You can’t have a one-sided relationship. We invite others to become part of our life, and they invite us to become part of their life—it can’t be forced—and it has to be mutual.

Relationships are formed through mutual giving and receiving. Sometimes this is easier with friends or community outside the family. But, whether we are able to form healthy relationships with family members, or not, there is a family bond that ties us to that family, making it necessary to love them unconditionally—to love them as we love our own self. This extends out to the Church family, and eventually to the whole world. The Church is made one family organism through the Sacrament of Baptism. The family is a micro Church.

In this expansion of the human family, we cannot cut ourselves off from our biological family in order to move into another family organism. We need to remain connected and take them with us wherever we go, while maintaining our own individuality and living out of our own center. If we do cut them off, it is like amputating a part of our own body. We go through life handicapped. This includes the Church Family.

Most people, unfortunately, are ego-centered; they live out of their ego. The ego must die so that the true self can be regenerated. This can only happen by being “born again”—“baptized in the Holy Spirit”—through a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In order to have healthy relationships, in order to love as God loves, God must become our center; but, not God alone. Our true self must enter into union with God within the center of our soul—our heart. This union is a relationship with God—a “spiritual marriage” with God. In this union, we do not become God, or dissolve into God. We do not lose our humanity, or the distinction between creator and creature. We become “one with” God, not one God, without losing our identity, our unique separateness, our soul (just as a husband and wife become one through marriage). We become of one mind, with God—one heart, one will, one purpose. God gives us a portion of his spirit—his love, grace, holiness, and gifts. We give God our body, heart, mind, and soul and are then able to receive what He gives to us. Very few people have entered into a “spiritual marriage” with God, but this is what we are all called to. We are all called to be Saints.

Some adults, after having some kind of crisis or unresolved conflict with a parent, reject and abandon their childhood and young adult life, and everything they experienced during that time. Sometimes, they abandon their faith heritage and their inner child, as well. By abandoning their inner child, they abandon part of their own self. The child is still within them, but it is lost, wounded, and sobbing. These people will never be free until they reclaim their inner child, and integrate their past with their present and future. They have to find a way to resolve the conflict with their mother and/or father, even if the parent is no longer living. Forgiveness is needed because as long as the conflict remains they will transfer more and more negative qualities onto that parent and anyone who reminds them of the parent.

There is a reason why the Commandment says: “Honor Thy Parents,” (mother and father) instead of “Honor Thy Children.” God didn’t give this Commandment because parents deserve to be honored or because he wanted to exalt parents. He did it for the sake of the children; they are the ones who will be blessed. To know how to honor lawful authority is to know how to love, and affects all our relationships. The world would be a very different place if we really understood the meaning of this Commandment. Unless we learn to honor and reverence our parents we will probably not be able to honor God, others, or ourselves. We will probably never have respect for authority, either. The Commandment is not really given to children, it is given to adult children. Children don’t really understand what it means to “honor” their parents. They only understand it in terms of “obedience,” which ends when they become adults. Parents teach their children to honor them by the way they honor their spouses and their own parents. To honor someone is to sing their praises, to lift them up. There is something in every parent worthy of praise. To honor our parents means to never judge them, criticize them, look down on them, treat them with scorn, talk about them behind their back, mock them, ridicule, or laugh at them. To honor our parents means that we do not presume to correct them or give them unsolicited advice. I remember the hurt that I saw in my father’s eyes when, as an obnoxious young adult, I presumed to give him advice on raising children. We should never presume to give anyone unsolicited advice, but especially our parents. To honor our parents means to remember them, to pay them tribute, to show our appreciation for them, to give thanks for their life and all that they have given us. To honor our parents is to always have our doors open to them; to be open to listen to whatever wisdom they have to pass on. The role of parents, when their children are grown, is to become “wisdom figures” for their families. The primary role of grandparents is to pass on their wisdom, and all that they have learned from their mistakes in life to their families. To honor our parents means to have compassion for them in their old age and times of illness; to care for them. Pride is the enemy of honor. Haughtiness is the sister of arrogance. To honor our parents is to see our parents deserving of more respect than we are. This does not include “unfit parents” who should have their children taken from them. Although, even these deserve some honor, if only because they gave life.

This understanding of what it means to honor our parents is really only an ideal, however. Parents need to realize that they can only teach their children what it means to honor their parents, and model it for them, but, they cannot demand it, force it, or expect it. Honor has to come from “free will,” and from the heart. If parents have this expectation of their adult children, they will probably be very disappointed. Adult children tend to honor their fathers more than they do their mothers, not because they love their fathers more, but because women tend to show more respect and honor to their husbands than husbands show for their wives. Fathers are more likely to expect or demand that their adult children honor them. Women honor their fathers more than their mothers, and men honor their mothers more than their fathers. Mothers are more likely to be taken for granted than fathers are, because they are more accepting and have a deeper emotional bond with their children. This isn’t always the case, but generally, it is. Adult children will tend to treat their mothers as equal, and be more patronizing towards them. This isn’t usually the case with fathers. Children respect their parents by obeying them; adults respect their parents by honoring them. Generally, adult children tend to respect their parents, but fail to go beyond to really honoring them. Today, marriage and family life has been profaned and almost destroyed. This has a lot to do with our present culture, which worships equality, independence, and individualism; and rejects all authority and hierarchical boundaries. As adults, we are called to interdependence, not independence.

Children are not born with a sense of their own self. Infants cannot distinguish between themselves and the world around them, and as they bond with their mother, their mother becomes their world. As children begin to grow, they experience their self as an extension of their parents, like a branch on a vine. This is what bonds them to their parents. They respond to love but are not really able to love unconditionally, with their will. Their ego develops first and they love through their ego. The child sees the whole world revolving around them. Their ego becomes the center of the world. The ego has to grow and develop, like the caterpillar, and then when the time is right, it has to die so that the butterfly—the true self—can emerge. The cocoon, where this transformation takes place, is likened to the Spirit, or spiritual life—the Kingdom of God within.

There are two extremes that parents have to be on guard against with their children. One extreme is to lose their own self—their identity—by making their children’s lives their lives. They began to live vicariously through their children and lose their own unique self. If a parent becomes overly attached to their child, they are in danger of losing their own identity. Like the infant, they can’t distinguish between the child and their own true self. They begin to project parts of their own self onto their child, both positive and negative aspects. Parents also have to guard against letting their children take possession of their self, their life. The other extreme is when the parent tries to force their children to live out their dreams, ambitions, values, beliefs, etc. The children will not be able to develop a sense of their own self—their own unique person. This takes time, however. While the child is developing his own person, he remains connected to the parents like a new born connected to its mother by an umbilical cord. Parents have to know when it is time, and be willing, to cut the cord.

Parents are called to be their own person—to live their own life. As they do, they become “models” for their children. They model their vision of life, their hopes and dreams, their beliefs and values, their gifts and talents—without forcing their children to become possessed by their “self.” Their children, as they mature, are free to choose what they see modeled for them and to integrate it without losing their own identity, or self.

Children generally love and bond with those that their parents love and bond with. They are open to relationships with those that their parents relate with—at least until they come into their own self. They are attracted to friends that like them, teachers and other adults who like them or remind them of their parents. They generally don’t trust people or relatives that their parents have a problem with. They pick up on their parents’ attitudes and are always listening at the key hole to what their parents don’t want them to hear.

The parent-child relationship is very much like the relationship between God and humans. It starts out very one-sided. The parent gives and the child receives. God gives and we receive. There is nothing that we can give to God that we have not received from Him. We love God because he first loved us. The child is dependent on the parents for everything. The difference is that eventually the child becomes a man or woman, no longer dependent on the parents; they come into their own self and have something of their own to give. We will always be dependent on God, however, and never be able to give what we have not first received from God. God is the vine and we are the branches.



By Lenora Grimaud

“Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42)

Jesus came, not to do his own will but his Father’s will. His Father’s will was for him to reveal the Father’s love to the world; a love that puts others first, and is unconditional and sacrificial—A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). He came to save the world—For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved (John 3:17). He came to deliver humanity from evil, selfishness, and sin—which makes us slaves, and leads to death—I tell you most solemnly, everyone who commits sin is a slave. Now the slave’s place in the house is not assured, but the son’s place is assured. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:34-36). He came to reveal the name of the Father and to make him known to all humanity through his disciples—I have made your name known to the men you took from the world to give me (John 17:6). He came to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth; a kingdom of peace, harmony, unity, and love by bringing everyone into a personal relationship with the Father—unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). He came to bring the Holy Spirit in order to transform humanity into the image of God—you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses (Acts 1:8). This was the will of the Father, and Jesus was ready to abandon his personal human will for his own good, to the Father for the good of all humanity—I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but to do the will of the one who sent me (John 6:38).

While it is true that we have a free will and the freedom of choice, we frequently choose death instead of life. Because of sin, our will has been corrupted. It naturally leans toward self-gratification and selfishness instead of love. We seek out that which gives us pleasure in the moment, instead of that which brings eternal spiritual joy and life. Our spirit seeks God—goodness, beauty, truth, and love—but, our perverse and unredeemed will seeks its own pleasure. When it comes to our “will,” there are three paths open to us: choosing to gratify ourselves by doing our own will, independent of God (narcissism); choosing to hand over our will to another person, place or thing (dependency & codependency); or choosing to unite our will with God in order to do the will of the Father (altruism & divine love). Eve’s choice is an example of the first path, and Adam’s choice is an example of the second path. Jesus came to restore humanity by choosing the third path.

Narcissism: 1 Excessive self-love in whatever form; characterized by a preoccupation with oneself to the exclusion of others; 2 self-centered; limited in outlook or concern to one’s own activities and needs; 3 an exaggerated sense of self-importance. The narcissistic person is centered in his own self. He makes his self his God. He sees the world and everything in it as revolving around him, and expects everyone to be subservient to his needs. His own happiness is his goal in life.

Dependency & Codependency: 1 In Clinical Psychology a person is said to be dependent on someone or something to the extent that he needs that thing or person in order to go about his regular activities. 2 A psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition. The dependent or codependent person is not free. He has given over his will to others and loses his own self (idolatry). In a marriage where one or both spouses surrender their will to the other, it is a codependent relationship rather than a true marriage. It can only be a true marriage when both spouses unite their will with the will of God—love—in order to freely give themselves to each other.

Altruism: 1 The opposite of selfishness; being concerned for others rather than oneself (or one’s self). 2 Unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others. 3 Behavior that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others. This is the model that Jesus lived and called others to. We can only be truly free when we freely choose to abandon our will to God—become subservient to God—because God’s will is our perfect good. God is love, and only by giving our will over to divine love can we hope to be truly free and truly happy—For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it (Mat. 16:25). The altruistic person is centered in God, rather than himself; God is the center of his life and all life. He sees everyone as his brother and sister, and all are equal. He sees all of life as good.

God is the only one we can surrender our will to without losing our freedom, because He respects our free will and always asks for our permission. Jesus, like his mother, Mary, said “yes” to God, allowing the Father to work his will through them. Jesus said: No one takes it [my life] from me; I lay it down of my own free will (John 10:18). To abandon ourselves to the will of God is to trust in God enough to accept our total dependence on Him for everything. We are never separated from Him; He is in us and we are in Him. Surrendering to the will of God is not something we do once and for all, but a day by day, moment by moment, free choice to unite our will with God’s will. We never lose our free will, but freely choose to will the will of God. By abandoning ourselves to the will of God, we do not lose our will, we find it, and our true self, as well.

Without this union with God, made possible through the merits of Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Spirit, if we are a teacher we will most likely be a false teacher; if we are a prophet we will most likely be a false prophet; if we claim to be a son of God, we will most likely be a false Christ. To be what we were created to be, to be our true self, we have to be able to say with Jesus, Father, let your will be done, not mine.

God gave us a free will and will never take it away from us. We are free to love him or reject him. He does not punish us for rejecting him. The consequences of our own choices are its own punishment. We are judged and condemned by our own free will. We reap what we sew. The only thing that can save us from the effects of our choice to sin and to do evil is the mercy of God. But, we have to accept his mercy! If we don’t, we suffer the consequences of those choices. All rational people believe in “cause and effect.” The Buddhists call it “Karma.” It is a “Law of Nature.” Someone always pays the price for sin and evil. If we manage to get away with something, someone pays for it—usually the poor. This is why Christians are called to do penance. But, without the sacrifice of love made by Jesus Christ, all our penance would be in vain.

The worst consequence of sin and evil is that it destroys love and goodness within our soul, to the point that we are no longer able to love or receive love. We are left without hope and faith, and given over to pride, despair, and insanity. If we had no sin in us, our will would be the same as the Father’s will. Why would any sane person choose death rather than accept mercy? It all boils down to “pride.” We would rather be our own God and die in our sins rather than accept mercy from the true God and live. Pride is the root of all sin and evil. We need to recognize that, as the result of sin and evil, our human will has been corrupted, making it necessary for us to cry out with Jesus, Father, let your will be done, not mine!



by Lenora Grimaud

The following prophecy came to me during prayer in 1978, and I wrote it down. I was part of a Charismatic Prayer Group, and shared it with others at the time. There seemed to be many other prophecies received by people throughout the Charismatic Renewal that were very similar, and seemed to confirm the message of this particular prophecy. Recently, during prayer, I felt that the Lord was telling me to share this prophecy again, that it is very relevant for our present times. I pray that you will receive it according to the measure of faith that the Lord has given you. Whatever does not seem right to you, just set it aside.

My people, I am calling you to see my wounds amongst you. I am calling you to walk with me on the road to Calvary—to share one another’s trials and to help each other with your crosses. I am calling you to walk together, to be one, to be bound together as I was bound to the column. I am calling you to weep out of compassion for one another, to have your hearts rent for one another. I am calling you to help the weary and downtrodden, to wipe each other’s faces. I am calling you to feed the hungry, to give drink to those who are thirsty. Feed their minds with my Word, the mind of Christ. Feed their spirits with the power of my Holy Spirit. Feed their bodies from your own table and the labor of your own hands. I am calling you to anoint each other’s wounds, to heal each other, to lead each other to rest—to my rest—and to eternal life. I am calling you to clothe each other with my armor, to build each other up. I am calling you to remain at each other’s side—waiting patiently for resurrection, for new life to come forth in one another.

Look around you, my people—look at my wounded body. Let your hearts be stirred to action. There are some members of my body that are lonely, that feel like strangers. They feel deserted. They cry out for community, for relationship, not just once a week, but daily. If you have a living relationship with me, you must have a living relationship with each other. There are those amongst you who have no one to celebrate special Feasts with, and so they eat alone.

I am calling you to a radical commitment to one another. Your brother’s problems are your problems. You must care for one another as you would your own body. I am calling you to stretch out your hands and to reveal your wounds to each other. Let no one hide himself from his brother.

I am calling you to bring your children to me. I want to prepare a place for them within my body where they can be nurtured and come to know the voice of their Shepherd. Do not leave them outside or they will be attacked and carried off by wolves. My heart cries out for my little ones. Bring them to me. Let me bless them. My Church is not a haven for adults. It is a home for all ages.

Listen, my people, I have not come to condemn you. I have come to prepare you. I want you to be ready for what is to come. In the past you have celebrated the Lenten Season by choosing you own deserts—your own sacrifices and fasts. But, a Lenten Season is coming upon the World of which no man has any control. I am leading you into a desert that you did not choose. I am preparing you for a time of glory, for victory. Trust me! Follow me! If you love me and love one another, the desert cannot hurt you. You will be victorious and through you I will save the world.

I have warned you that days of darkness are coming upon the world, days of trial and tribulation. A great light will soon go out in Rome. When that happens, greater darkness will come upon the earth.

Do not rely on any of the supports you have had in the past. I am going to strip you of everything you depend on now so that you will depend only on me. For my power is strongest in weakness. I will pour out all the gifts of my Spirit and when you are completely empty you will be able to fully yield to my Spirit and my power will be manifest in you and through you.

Be prepared to lose everything for my sake and you will gain everything. You will have to suffer for a little while but your sorrow will be turned into joy. Nature will cry out in birth pangs and there will be famines and floods and earthquakes. But, I will renew the face of the earth. Trust in Me. Many people will be given over to evil, rejecting God and hating all that is good and holy. You will be hated and persecuted, and some will even be martyrs for my name.

I have told you all this so that your faith will not be shaken. Band yourselves together in me, for I will triumph and my glory will be seen upon the earth. A new day is coming and when that day comes your joy will be great. In that day you will have everything. But, you must let me prepare you. From now on a man’s household will extend to his community, his brothers and sisters in Christ. It has been said “A woman’s place is in the home.” From now on a woman’s home extends to the community. It has been said, “Put your house in order.” But, I say to you “Put your community in order.”

If you do not want your love to diminish, then keep my commandments.

Do not let the sun go down on your anger. Make up with one another while you still have time. You must seek to heal all wounds of division and strife. Humble yourself before one another. If you really want to, you can make peace without compromising the truth.

Do not resent you brother’s every offense and never act in a fit of passion. Pray first, and let go of your anger before acting. I have no favorites. If you are angry when you correct your brother, you are as guilty as he is—unless it is righteous anger, which is seen only in the perfect.

Do not find fault before making a thorough inquiry—first, reflect and pray, then give a reprimand.

Jealously guard one another’s reputation and good name. Do not allow anyone to speak against your brother. What they say about your brother they say about you, too, because you are one. Remember, your enemy will pile up false accusations against you to turn you against each other. Do not be quick to listen to all you hear. Do not be gossip mongers.

Listen before you answer and do not interrupt a speech in the middle. Do not argue about something that does not concern you. Support one another; don’t knock each other down.

Do not put on airs when you are in difficulties. Do not be afraid or ashamed to let your brother see your vulnerability. Your vulnerability is precious to me and moves my heart to compassion. Be honest with yourselves and with one another. Do not repress your feelings. If your brother has offended you, then go to him, humbly, and make it known to him. You may discover that it was unintended, that your hurt was in vain.

Make each other’s needs your own. Suffer with those who are suffering, rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Be patient with one another and allow for each other’s mistakes and weaknesses. Do not criticize or rashly judge one another. Your vision is limited and you do not see the whole of a man’s heart. Teach one another. Build each other up in my love. Be gentle when you need to correct.

Do not make comparisons, comparing one person with another or one group with another. Do not take sides, one against another. Have nothing to do with factions. Do not judge a man by his outward appearance, or whether he is rich or poor, young or old, black or white, educated or uneducated, Protestant or Catholic, layman or clergy. My choice has nothing to do with these things. I choose whom I will.

Show your love for me by accepting all that I allow to happen to you with joy and thanksgiving. Do not grumble or complain. Trust in me. Praise me in adversity, in trials, in suffering, in tribulation.

My people, the world will not be changed until they can say “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” You are my servants and I send you forth in my Name. If you remain in my name, you shall truly be blessed and the world will come to acknowledge this as they proclaim “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” You also must say to your brother: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Acknowledge one another as the image of God and see me in your brother and sister. Through you, and my Spirit living in you, all of mankind shall be recreated in the image and likeness of God and my glory will fill all the earth.


MARRIAGE . . . "The Two Become One Body"

By Lenora Grimaud

The “Institution of Marriage” has gone through many transitions over the past centuries, but from the very beginning, God intended for Marriage to be a Sacrament, two becoming one body in Jesus Christ, the “Image of God.” As Bishop Sheen has said: “It takes three to get married: a man, a woman, and Jesus Christ.” Ever since the beginning of time, Marriage has been on a roller coaster ride towards its fulfillment as an authentic, Sacramental Marriage.

The 20th Century produced a very dramatic shift in our understanding of the Theology of Marriage, and Marriage as a Sacrament. Before this shift took place, our culture, including the Church of our times, had a very different concept of what an authentic Marriage is. Our culture had a very different concept of what it means to be a whole man and what it means to be a whole woman, as well. Naturally, this concept would also distort the meaning of two becoming one body. Women were not regarded as having equal worth and dignity to men. At best, the attitude of society regarding women as brides, was rather like that of a “mail-order bride”—a woman who was contracted to be a wife in exchange for security and the basic necessities of life. Women were regarded as an asset or possession of their husbands, to serve his needs and goals in life. Women were not equal partners with individual or equal rights of their own. The well-being of the man was top priority, and the well-being of the woman was not really even a consideration. The world revolved around the man. These concepts were usually not preached or spoken out loud, but in reality, this was the mind-set of society and our culture. This kind of mind-set could never produce a truly Sacramental Marriage. It is a contradiction to the Gospel of Life and of Jesus Christ. This kind of mind-set is contrary to the Kingdom of God.

In spite of the cultural mind-set of the times, many Christian couples, after having a total conversion of hearts and receiving the sacramental grace of Marriage, became one body. Even though they lacked an intellectual conversion and still had the cultural mind-set of the times, their conversion of heart changed their reality, their attitude, and their vision of life, and the two became one body. When two become one body, each spouse loves the other as much, or more than their own self. Their marriage is a covenant, rather than a contract. They see themselves as equal in dignity and worth. Their lives do not revolve around only the husband, but also the wife, and every child that is brought into the family. No longer is the well-being of the man the primary consideration. The physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of every member of the family is equally important. This mutual well-being is the basis for every choice and decision the couple has to make regarding the sanctity of the marriage and the good of each member of the family; and every decision and choice is made together, not just the choice of one of them. They are one—united in everything—not divided or dominated by one or the other of them. Everything is held in common; what belongs to one belongs to both. Their income, property, possessions, awards, honors, accolades, status, position, as well as present and future benefits—earnings, promotions, savings—belong to both of them. Not only do they have an equal share of all their goods, talents, and gifts, they also share in each others sufferings, losses, weaknesses, and disabilities. Any duties or responsibilities one spouse has to family, friends, community, Church, or Country, both spouses have. Whatever sacrifices that one spouse makes to family, friends, community, Church, and County, both spouses make. Whatever happens to one of them happens to both of them. Even their own individual body belongs to both of them, because they are no longer two, but one body.

The human family is a micro-church. The marriage between a man and a woman prefigures the marriage between Christ and his Church. Just as a man and woman become one body in Christ, through marriage, the Church becomes one body—the “body of Christ,” through her union with Jesus. There is no separation between Jesus and the Church because they are one body.

If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all, be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing which would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people's interests instead. (Phil. 2:1-5)

When the shift in the cultural mind-set came about, and women were seen to have equal worth and dignity—when women were seen as persons instead of objects—it had a radical affect upon marriages of couples who lacked a conversion of hearts. Intellectually, they bought the new mind-set, but their reality, vision of life, and attitudes remained the same. They became confused and divided and divorce was on the rampage. Battles over custody of children and divorce settlements ensued. Women resisted the equal rights and entitlements of their husbands, regarding their children and custody of them. Men resisted the equal rights and entitlements of their wives, regarding community property, alimony, and retirement. Those who lacked a conversion of heart saw themselves as “victims” and felt violated by their spouse. This suffering, however, cannot end by one of them giving up their individual rights; that can only lead to abuse and tyranny.

In a marriage where the two become one body, there is no place for revenge, retribution, competition, jealousy, or envy between the spouses; only a couple that are divided and separate, experience such things. There is nothing that they can’t forgive each other for. Whatever they do to their spouse, they do to themselves. Love cannot exist in a person who refuses to forgive another person; they can neither receive nor give love because their heart is hardened.

Divorce and the consequences of divorce still plague our society, today. We cannot forgive because we don’t want to forgive. We want to hold onto our desire for retribution, revenge, and our distorted perception of justice. Unless a person is willing to forgive and let go of their desire for retribution, revenge, and what they perceive to be justice, they will remain in the prison of their own pain. The healing of the wounds and suffering caused by divorce and unjust mind-sets can only come from a conversion of hearts and forgiveness. We cannot forgive those who have hurt us, except through the grace of the Holy Spirit and the will to forgive. But, if we don’t forgive we will continue to live in a prison of pain; a prison that we have built ourselves.

It still takes three to make a truly authentic marriage—a man, a woman, and Jesus Christ. A true marriage needs the mind-set that comes from Christ—to “put on the mind of Christ.” Both, the man and the woman need to have a conversion of heart—to love each other unconditionally until death, as Jesus loves us. An authentic, true, and sacramental marriage still requires that the two become one body.

Beatitudes for the Married:

Blessed are they who do not let the sun go down on their anger and make every attempt to be reconciled before going to sleep. The Son will always shine on their marriage.

Blessed are they who have such mutual support for one another that they strive to not allow themselves to be angry both at the same time, so that all strife and dissension between them may be avoided. The Holy Spirit will always dwell in their house.

Blessed are they who guard their spouse’s reputation and never allow anyone to criticize them. They will be esteemed and respected by their community.

Blessed is the woman whose husband is praised by others, for she knows she has been a loving wife.

Blessed is the man whose wife is praised by others, for he knows he has been a loving husband.

Blessed is the woman who honors her husband in the presence of her children, for her children will call her blessed and reverence their father.

Woe to the woman who ridicules or criticizes her husband in front of her children, for her children will rebel against her and hate their father.

Blessed is the man who honors his wife in front of his children, for his children will honor him and cherish their mother.

Woe to the man who ridicules or criticizes his wife in front of his children, for they will rebel against him and treat their mothers with scorn.

Blessed is the woman who is humble and submissive, for her husband will treat her like a queen.

Blessed is the man who is dependable and faithful, for his wife will have confidence and trust in him.

Blessed is the woman who keeps her eyes fixed on her husband’s virtues instead of his faults, for his faults will disappear.

Blessed is the man who keeps his eyes fixed on his wife’s virtues instead of her faults, for he makes her holy.

Blessed is the woman who shows affection to her husband, for she makes him strong and courageous.

Blessed is the man who shows affection to his wife, for he makes her gentle and kind.

Blessed are they who do not judge or analyze one another, for they shall not be judged.

Blessed are they who forgive their spouse, for they shall be forgiven.

Blessed are they who are made righteous by God, for they will impart righteousness to their children.

Blessed are they who are detached from everything, for everything belongs to them.

Blessed are they who know how to listen, for they shall be heard when they speak.

Blessed are they who renew their marriage vows, daily, for their honeymoon will never be over.


DIVISION IN THE CHURCH--The Breakdown of a Family

By Lenora Grimaud

Some people would say that the reason we have so much division and disunity in the Church, and in the world, is due to a lack of communication and dialogue. Yet, never before has there been a time where communication skills have been so advanced, and opportunities for dialogue so plentiful. “Communication” marks our present age in time. So, what is the real problem? It seems to me that the real problem is the lack of understanding—good language interpreters. Everyone is talking to each other, but we all seem to speak a different language, and there is no one to interpret what we hear and say. Our skills of understanding and interpretation are so limited that we only hear half of what is really being revealed, and what we hear is usually distorted or taken out of context. In spite of all our advanced communications, we are in the same world state as
the people of Babel were.

The best interpretation I have heard of what the word “heresy” means, is: “The magnification of one truth to the exclusion of another.” We don’t see the whole picture. We choose to accept subjective truth to the exclusion of objective truth, and vice versa. We confuse what is temporal with what is eternal; what is changing and evolving with what is absolute or definitive. We confuse Church Law with Divine Law. We confuse what is external (visible) with what is internal (invisible). We confuse catechesis (doctrine) with pastoral or spiritual direction; we teach doctrine when we should be simply listening and meeting the other person where they are at. We teach pastoral guidance as though it were catechesis and doctrine; we attempt to replace the Law—what is definitive and revealed—with our own personal opinions and understanding. We confuse theology, the understanding of the Church, with our own personal opinions and speculations.

Catechesis is the teaching of the faith. It is based on objective truth. It doesn’t change. It is what has already been revealed. Theology is subjective. It is always developing. It is our understanding of the faith—of what has been revealed. If we try to replace “Revelation” with theology, we end up with heresy. We end up with false teaching—a mass of disjointed fragments of truth and error that cannot be joined or integrated as a whole. We end up with people making their own opinions and subjective understanding into a law and calling it the “Teaching of the Faith.” If we attempt to teach catechesis, while rejecting theology and subjective understanding, we replace love with the Law. Instead of being “under the Spirit,” we regress and put ourselves back “under the Law.” (Gal. 3).

The Church encourages all Christians to grow in their faith, and their knowledge and understanding of God. She encourages the study of religions, philosophy, and the natural sciences. She encourages Christians to meditate, to reflect, and even to question and speculate. This is all part of the learning process. However, she also cautions them to hold fast to the teaching of the Church and Scripture, and to have good guides, teachers, and spiritual directors for their faith journey, in order to be able to withstand the confusion, doubts, distractions, and false teaching that often accompany the study of religion. Most people are aware of the importance of a balanced diet to the health of our bodies. We know that not everything we can consume is good—some things are poisonous, or can cause an allergic reaction. We know that diet is dependent on age, growth, and development—small babies can only be fed milk. We know that too much of a good thing is bad, and can lead to obesity. If diet is so important to the health of our bodies, we should be even more concerned about what we feed our minds, souls, and spirits.

The Church gives a lot of license to Theologians, for speculation and theories when it comes to the study of Religion, because she knows that it takes time to “flesh out meaning and understanding.” However, the Church does not give Theologians permission or authority to teach their speculations and theories to the faithful, when they contradict the teaching of the Church, Scripture, or Tradition.

In regards to mortal sin, the Church teaches what “objective mortal sin” is. But, she does not presume to judge any individual of being in a “state of mortal sin”—which is a “subjective” state of being. In order to be a mortal sin, a person must know it is a sin, think about it, and deliberately choose to do it anyway, knowing that they are rejecting God, intentionally. People today, have had their minds and consciences formed, or at least highly influenced, by the secular culture. Their understanding of sin is not the same as the Teaching of the Church. This includes some priests and bishops, as well. Everyone is influenced by the secular culture to some degree. This means that people can reject or misinterpret the Teaching of the Church, and yet not be in a “state of mortal sin” even when they commit actions that are taught by the Church to be mortal or grave sins. At most, we can only say that these persons do not possess the fullness of the Faith—they do not have a complete or whole understanding of the Teaching of the Church; they are immature Christians—toddlers in the Faith. This is very problematic when those who represent the Church attempt to teach their own understanding to others, and openly reject the Magisterium; when they teach that good is evil and evil is good, because that is what they believe. The Church must take a stand against them for the sake of all the “Faithful.” At the same time, the Church must continue to love and nurture them, rather than giving up on them and rejecting them. She must continue to give them pastoral and spiritual direction, leading them to Jesus so that the Holy Spirit can mold and transform them. The pastoral guidance of the Church is evident in St. Paul’s words to Timothy:

Avoid these futile and silly speculations, understanding that they only give rise to quarrels; and a servant of the Lord is not to engage in quarrels, but has to be kind to everyone, a good teacher, and patient. He has to be gentle when he corrects people who dispute what he says, never forgetting that God may give them a change of mind so that they recognize the truth and come to their senses, once out of the trap where the devil caught them and kept them enslaved. (2Tim. 2:23-26).

Mortal sin is a mortal wound to the soul. It is a loss of the spiritual life in the “Kingdom of God” that Jesus gave us through Baptism. Jesus really does make a difference in the lives of Christians. He came to give us new life—the fullness of life. This new life is a personal relationship with the indwelling Holy Trinity, making us an intimate member of the family of God—the household of God—the Kingdom of God. Through our union with the Holy Trinity, we have access to sanctifying grace, which can transform us into saints. This is what we lose through mortal sin. We become like the “prodigal son,” leaving home and cut off from his father’s house. A person who is actually spiritually dead due to sin and evil, is incapable of really loving God or anyone else. This is also evidenced by bad character, vices, and lack of virtues. The person cannot even repent on their own volition. It takes grace coming from outside of them to bring about conversion—someone to prepare the way of the Lord, the Word of God, miracles, prophecy, & healing—this is the mission of the Church.

We cannot, however, judge the state of anyone’s soul, or their relationship with God. The “Desert Fathers” taught that whenever we go against our conscience, we sin. This is so even when our conscience is not formed according to the mind of Christ, or the Church. If we believe something is a sin, it is a sin for us—subjectively. St. Paul taught the same thing and warns us to be careful not to cause people to go against their conscience. He taught that if people believed it was a sin to eat meat that was offered to idols, it was a sin if they ate it. Their conscience needed to be reformed, first. If we believe that something is not a sin, it is not a sin for us (subjectively) if we do it. Sin has to do with culpability, and only God can judge our culpability.

Far from passing judgment on each other, therefore, you should make up your mind never to be the cause of your brother tripping or falling. Now I am perfectly well aware, of course, and I speak for the Lord Jesus, that no food is unclean in itself; however, if someone thinks that a particular food is unclean, then it is unclean for him . . . Hold onto your own belief, as between yourself and God—and consider the man fortunate who can make his decision without going against his conscience. But anybody who eats in a state of doubt is condemned, because he is not in good faith; and every act done in bad faith is a sin. (Rom. 14:13-14, 22-23)

Some people practice immoral behavior and they know they are doing wrong. But, there are others who really do not believe that what they are doing is immoral or a sin. Some examples from the past are: slavery, the Crusades, religious intolerance, racial bigotry, and injustice to women and children. Present day examples might be: abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, divorce, religious indifference, and relativism. The human conscience has been corrupted. Unless the conscience is reformed by the Truth, we cannot expect others to live according to the Truth. As Christians, we must strive to inform the conscience of others, through love. It is useless, and maybe even harmful, to try to change our behavior, without first changing our conscience and what we believe.

Some members have seemingly rejected the morality and teaching of the Church, no longer having anything in common with the Church; and some even believe that the Church is corrupt or evil. Although these persons have separated themselves from the Church, the visible “body of Christ” on earth, they may not have separated themselves from the Spirit, the “mystical body of Christ.” They may only be rejecting certain members of the Church, rather than the Church, at large; or certain teachings of the Church. They may be acting out of a distorted or corrupt conscience. Some people are close to God, subjectively, but not objectively through the Church. God meets every person where they are at, and will never abandon anyone. There is always a danger, however, that a person will lose their subjective relationship with God if they consistently reject an objective relationship with God through the visible Church. Only God can judge a soul, but the Church can and must judge the objective behavior (conduct) of her children according to the teachings she has received.

The Church is a “family” of persons, who on their own would be dysfunctional. Every member of this family is limited in their understanding and their faith, as well as in their love and trust in God. The Church always has to consider the “common good” over the individual. The Church is a mother with a Shepherd’s heart, always seeking out the lost and the broken and leading them back into the fold. She does this while making sure that the rest of the “fold” are safe and secure, first. We excommunicate ourselves from this family when we are no longer of one mind, heart, and Spirit with the Church; when we no longer have anything in common with the family—a common purpose; when we no longer come together with the family for fellowship and the “breaking of the bread”—when we move away from all communion with the family; when we no longer love or accept the “parents” of this family—Jesus, Mary, the Apostles, and the Magisterium. If we excommunicate ourselves from our “Mother” we also excommunicate ourselves from our brothers and sisters. The family is no longer complete or whole. We excommunicate ourselves from the “family” when the only reason we stay is to tear it down rather than to build it up.

Sometimes the Church is forced to excommunicate a member of the family. This is always with the hope that they will have a change of heart and one day return. It is “tough love.” When a member of the family persists in immoral behavior, according to the objective teaching of the Church, which begins to corrupt or abuse the rest of the family, the Church has to resort to “tough love.” When a member of the family insists on teaching false doctrines, or their own opinions and speculations that are not in accordance with the objective teaching of the Church, and begins to corrupt and diminish the faith of the rest of the family, the Church is forced to resort to “tough love.” This is not difficult for rational people to understand. If a natural family has a member who is controlled by drugs or some other substance, refuses help or even to acknowledge a need for help, and begins to abuse and corrupt the rest of the family, the parents may be forced to institutionalize that member, or force them to leave the home, for the sake of the rest of the family. This is a last resort, and the parents suffer much grief when they have to do it. They never stop hoping that this member will have a change of heart and return. Like the father of the “prodigal son” they are always watching and waiting for their return. If the Church does not secure the safety of the rest of the family, and exercise her authority over the rebellious child, the whole family will be divided and crumble.

There is much diversity among the people of God because we are all unique individuals, with unique gifts, talents, and virtues, as well as faults, vices, and limitations. Diversity is not the same as division, however. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all. (Eph. 4:5-6). St. Paul exhorts us: be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. (Phil. 2:2). The universality of the Church, the common good, and Communion of Saints, cannot be replaced with individualism and pluralism or the Church will be destroyed. Unity does not mean that we are all at the same place in our spiritual growth, or that we all have the same understanding. It means that we are a family and continue to love each other and stay together, without turning against each other or disowning each other. Diversity builds up the Church. Division tears it down. Abuse of authority is a major cause of division in the Church. Abuse of authority is not only the misuse of authority, but the attack against authority and the usurping of authority by those who have not been given authority—such as when children govern their parents, and when individuals try to govern the Magisterium. Unless we reverence lawful authority, we cannot reverence God, and we will always be divided and at war with everyone, including ourselves.