Good Friday – What did Jesus say to you?

Meditation for Good Friday – use your imagination and contemplate what happens in the Garden of Gethsemane:

Relax and breathe in the healing light of Christ – Breathe out the tension in your spirit.  Know that you are in a safe place; no harm can come to you here; relax in Christ.  Open  your heart.

You are at the  Garden of Gethsemane.  You are standing nearby, watching as Jesus kneels to pray, while the apostles are huddled together – nearly falling asleep.

You can see how distressed Jesus is over what he is about to face.  He doesn’t want to take the cup that is before him – he knows of its bitter taste and he knows what is coming – but he says anyway, “Abba…..not my will, but your will Father.”

What are you feeling as you watch Jesus in his desolation?  He knows that his friend Judas will come and give him a fatal kiss of betrayal.  He knows that his disciple will betray him soon, not once, but 3 times.

Watch him as he looks around at the sleeping disciples.  And then he turns and sees YOU standing there.  See the pain and anguish in his eyes as he cries tears of blood.

Then he says, “The hour as come”.  Now he is ready to go and do his Father’s will.  He gets up and walks toward you – as he comes near you, he leans in toward you and whispers, “I do this just for you.”

How do you respond to Jesus?  Go to your own Garden of Gethsemane – Jesus is there.  Reflect on a time when Jesus asked you to drink from a cup you didn’t want to drink.  What are you feeling?  Tell Jesus about your fear, reluctance and even anger about having to take this cup before you.  Ask him for the courage to accept your cup and say your own Yes to the Father.

Listen to what Jesus says to you.  Receive his love and comfort.  Thank him for being there with you.  Feel him walking with you toward the cup, just as he promised.

Breathe deep.  Leave your Garden of Gethsemane, taking with you the gifts of love, peace, healing and forgiveness.   Remember:  Resurrection always follows Crucifixion!

garden gethsemane

Advent Mission – Come and be blessed!!!

If you missed my series in October, you have another chance to hear it and grow your relationship with God.

I will be repeating it in an Advent Mission at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church parish in New Iberia.  It will be December 4-5-6 at 6:00 in the Parish Life Center.  Come join me and lets grow our faith in Christ together!!  What a great birthday present you can give to Jesus – your presence!!!

Here is the summary of what we will cover for the 3 nights:

Dec 4:  God Invitation/A Life of Prayer:  You will have an opportunity to discover how your heart prefers to pray as you discern his will for your life.

Dec 5:  Mercy/Forgiveness:  As we look at sin and how much we are forgiven, we learn about God’s mercy and forgiveness; and learn how to cooperate with the grace his gives.

Dec 6:  Jesus and his Life:  We’ll get to know Jesus as friend, confidant and the gifts he bless us with in abundance.

During these turbulent times in our church we need to remember why we are Catholic and who we serve.  Let’s grow in Christ together, get to know our intimate God and discover his will for our lives.

I invite you to join me as I share my faith and invite you to grow yours.  Let’s make this a special Advent season by deepening our relationship with the Lord!!

To Priests/Deacons/Seminarians

I address this to priests/deacons/seminarians of my Diocese to express my support and trust in you and my love for my Catholic faith.  Being a Catholic all of my 66 years, I was taught to treat our parish priest with respect.  Priests were holy men who deserved our full attention and obedience – similar to what we were taught about God.  I trusted all of you to always teach me to right way to live my life and how to treat others.  Like Jesus, you were the example to follow and to my young eyes, would do no serious wrong

The purpose of this writing is to communicate to you how much I, and I believe everyone in the pews, need your unwavering faithfulness to your vocation as our shepherd, pastor and spiritual leader.  I would ask that each of you look at where you in your own walk with the Lord and discern if you have strayed from your call or are being tempted beyond your ability to resist.  Please do not allow the false spirit to rob you of your faith or by means of your weakness, of ours.  The crisis we are finding in the church today will no doubt shake the faith of some people.  As for me and my family, we know full well who we serve – Jesus and no other.  However, we do need good, faithful spiritual leaders to guide us and keep us strong in standing faithful to the gospel.

I want you to know that I am praying for you and your vocation; that it remain pure and not be tainted by any temptation.  If you have fallen prey to sin by the false spirit, pray for forgiveness and remove yourself from the pulpit.  The healing process needs to begin and continue until our church is whole.  I believe that God is calling for a renewed conversion of everyone in the church today, for those in the pew and especially for you who stand at the pulpit.  To those of you who have not sinned, keep yourself safely in God’s protective embrace and do not stray from it.

To the young priests and seminarians; the faith of my grandchildren is in your hands.  When you baptize them, you must be able to stand true to the baptismal promises you ask us to make.  I don’t want them to experience the disappointment, sadness and even anger I feel during these times of crisis.  So, I would ask you to discern carefully your motive in answering a call to the priesthood.  Is it truly a call from God or a pursuit to a worldly lifestyle you might be attracted to?

I have been a Spiritual Director for the past 13 years.  Never have I heard of such pain, sadness and disappointment in some of our shepherds who have fallen prey to sin, whether proven or otherwise.  You may be unaware of how much your parishioners look to you and observe your behavior.  You really do set the example and when you fail to live up to the gospel message you preach to us, it is difficult to reconcile and feels very hypocritical.  You must stand faithful if you are to be true to your vocation.  I offer these words to you in a spirit of love and spiritual admonition.

We need our priests to be true disciples and good models of Jesus.

Malachi 2:7  For the lips of the priest are to keep knowledge, and instruction is to be sought from his mouth because he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. 

I will always remain true to my Catholic faith.  I choose to stand faithful and pray big for each of you during these times of cleansing and healing in our church.  I also pledge my prayers and support to you who are true to your vocation and never lose sight of it.

God Bless You!


Prayer Only for Today

I came across this beautiful prayer several days ago in the Magnificat Year of Mercy Companion book.  I’ve been praying it and would like to offer it for your reflection.

Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

Only for today, I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

Only for today, I will devote ten minutes to some good reading, for good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.

Only for today, I will make a plan for myself; I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

Only for today, I will have no fears.  In particular, i will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness.

(Pope John XXIII)


Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Have you every experienced the mercy of God?  I mean really experienced his mercy; and when you have – what are you to do with it?

God’s mercy is limitless, unconditional and guaranteed to all who call on him.  We are to call on him asking for it.  And when we do – he doesn’t skimp on how much mercy he gives.  It is usually more than we deserve.  That’s the think about mercy – we don’t deserve it – our sinful nature makes it impossible to be worthy of divine mercy – yet he lavishes us with it.

Here’s the thing about gift of mercy – when you receive it – you are to give it – without hesitation and limit.  Mercy is truly yours when you give it to another.  Just like you, they may not deserve it – but mercy given can be the seed of redemption.  Don’t withhold mercy to any one.

I have experienced God’s mercy at different times in my life.  How do I know I received it? When I was able to give it to others at times when I didn’t think I was capable of giving it.  I gave it without hesitation at times and other times it took me a bit longer to arrive at mercy – but with God’s grace – mercy came – mercy was given.  Along with it came such peace in knowing that I had cooperated with God’s grace.

Ponder:  When have you experienced God’s mercy?  When have you given it?

Don’t Get Too Busy.

Our Pastor recently gave a great homily about being too busy for prayer or to nourish our souls.   The gospel that day was  Luke 10:38-42  where Jesus talks to Martha.

“Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many things and yet few are needed, indeed only one.  It is Mary who has chosen the better part, it is not to be taken from her.”

Jesus was so right!!  If we keep our selves so busy that we don’t take time to be in his presence  or to give him our presence.

Father said in his homily, “We are so busy making money that we don’t have time to enjoy the houses we are so busy working to pay for.  We are so busy making money that we don’t spend much time at home with our children.  We are so busy that life is slipping by at a very fast rate and we need to slow it down.  Where are we all going to end up at the end of life and what is the purpose of life?  Life is about getting to know God, loving God and serving God.”  Well said Father – well said!

This reminds me of our Baltimore catechism.  Where did God create us?  To know, love and serve him.  Are we living up to our purpose?  We should each take a moment – soon – and look at all of our activities and discern if they are leading us toward God or away from Him.  Do our activities and our motivations align with God’s plan for our lives?

Does your “Martha-activities” balance with your “Mary-spirit”?




The Innkeeper’s Wife earns 5-STARS

I am excited to tell you about the recent 5-star reviews “THE INNKEEPER”S WIFE” received.  The reviews were great (and very humbling I have to admit).  Here’s a few:

Reviewed By Chris Fischer for Readers’ Favorite
The Innkeeper’s Wife: A Friendship Like No Other by author Joan T. Broussard is a book that most readers will find lovely and very enjoyable, retelling the story of Jesus’ birth from the viewpoint of the fictional Gertrude, the wife of the innkeeper. Gertrude’s life had been very busy, especially with all the people coming to Bethlehem to participate in the mandatory census decreed by King Herod. But she still prays for one thing that’s been missing from her life, a true friend. When her husband, the innkeeper, turns a young couple away from the inn one night when they are full, only allowing them to stay in the inn’s stable, Gertrude is horrified, especially after she realizes that the young woman is pregnant. And when a baby boy is born in the manger that night, Gertrude can’t imagine the journey this very child will take her on, one of conversion, love and sacrifice, and a new understanding of God.

I very much enjoyed The Innkeeper’s Wife. This story was beautifully written, and from a perspective that many would never have considered – that of a commoner looking in at the birth of Christ. Author Joan T. Broussard has presented this well known and loved episode of Jesus’ life in a creative and unique way that will warm their hearts and bring tears to their eyes at times. It is easy for me to give this book my highest recommendation, especially for those who enjoy Christian fiction. I will keep my eyes peeled for another such work by author Joan T. Broussard. If it’s anything like The Innkeeper’s Wife, it will absolutely be worth a read!

Reviewed By Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite
In a wonderful story by debut author Joan T. Broussard, The Innkeeper’s Wife retells a very familiar story with a unique twist. The story follows protagonist Gertrude, the wife of an innkeeper. Business is booming as many people are coming to Bethlehem to be included in the census required by King Herod. But even with the busyness of her life, Gertrude takes the time to pray and asks God to send her something she is missing, a friend. Late one night, when her husband sends a young couple to stay in the family’s stable, as all the rooms in the inn are occupied, Gertrude realizes that the young woman is pregnant, and the rest, as they say, is history. But, oh what a history! And what an interesting retelling of the story from this woman who eventually comes to understand God in an entirely new way.

I loved The Innkeeper’s Wife. Loved. It. How’s that for a review? Well, it’s definitely how I felt about author Joan T. Broussard’s book. The author has done an absolutely amazing job in creating characters that her readers will relate to, connect with, and come to truly care about, thinking of them long after the story is done. If that isn’t a hallmark of a great author, I’m not sure what is. Her retelling of the nativity story, from the viewpoint of Gertrude, was a lovely way to consider this beloved moment in biblical history. Any reader who loves Christian fiction, or who is looking for an interesting read of fiction in general, should absolutely read The Innkeeper’s Wife. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading more from Joan T. Broussard as soon as she has released another book! I also loved the cover.

Reviewed By Sarah Stuart for Readers’ Favorite
In Joan T. Broussard’s book, The Innkeeper’s Wife: A Friendship Like No Other, the author puts forward a captivatingly different idea for understanding the Bible, in particular the New Testament, and by doing so, moving closer to God. Ms Broussard does it in a fictional way, using a character named Gertrude who expresses herself in the first person. Through Gertrude, she tells the story of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, from the virgin birth, through the visits of the shepherds and the Magi, and the flight to Egypt, to His return to the land of His birth and His ultimate sacrifice and beyond. Each chapter is prefaced by Bible quotes and there are questions suggested for group discussion at the end, in addition to Ms Broussard’s personal journal explaining what led to the conception of “Gertrude.”

Joan T. Broussard’s fictional Gertrude takes on the persona of the Bethlehem innkeeper’s wife, giving the reader a fascinating glimpse into her relationship with her husband, Eli, and the tempestuous times in which they lived, ruled by King Herod. Childless herself, the innkeeper’s wife fights jealousy before she comes to accept that she has been privileged to deliver Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world. Joan T. Broussard’s presentation of the Jewish faith and customs are so accurate that they made me imagine how I might have felt in Gertrude’s shoes. The Innkeeper’s Wife is a unique way of encouraging Bible study; it is thought-provoking, and a delight to read.


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