CATHOLIC MESSAGES - "Traditional Catholic Values - Serving People of all Faiths"
HEALING MESSAGES FOR THE SOUL (PART 2 OF 2) by Vincent T. Bemowski - Designed to bring you encouragement and increase your self-esteem and hope. 
* After the Rain
* Measure Everything in Relation to Heaven
* A Dream We Can Believe In
* The Fear of Death
* Random Thoughts
* The Tragedy of Suicide (Sadness, Discouragement, and Depression)
* Remember When....
* Do you live in an Oasis or the Desert?
* Forgiveness
* Sometimes You Just Need Someone To Talk To
A friend who was going through a very difficult trial shared this poem with me.  Her cousin, who died in 2007 after a long battle with cancer, sent it to her.  It is not known who actually wrote it, but her cousin recited it whenever she felt discouraged and loved to share it with others.  Please feel free to do the same.
Whatever your cross, whatever your pain,
There will always be sunshine, after the rain...
Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall,
But God is always ready, to answer your call...
He knows every heartache, sees every tear,
A word from His lips, can calm every fear...
Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish, in dawn's early light...
The Savior is waiting, somewhere above,
To give you His grace, and send you His love...
Whatever your cross, whatever your pain,
God always sends rainbows, after the rain.
Recorded April 5, 2008
As you are aware, our stay here on earth cannot be compared to eternity in Heaven.  There are different levels of happiness in Heaven, depending upon how much love we had in our heart and how we lived our life: “In my Father's house there are MANY MANSIONS.  If not, I would have told you because I go to prepare a PLACE for you” (John 14:2). 
This does not mean each person in Heaven will not feel fulfilled.  For example, our degree of happiness in Heaven can be compared to three vasesOne is large, one average, and one is very small in size.  However, when liquid is poured to the top, each of them is filled.  So it will be with us, we will be “filled” with happiness and joy and desire nothing more even if we are among the very small “vases.” But to those who have loved God to a greater degree here on earth, a greater reward awaits them in Heaven in terms of joy
And we know that we are not given understanding for all that awaits us in the Kingdom of Heaven: “But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him“ (1 Corinthians 2:9). 
Therefore, no suffering here on earth is ever “wasted;”  we will be rewarded in Heaven for each of them.  This does not mean we should not try to eliminate them, but if that proves not to be possible, then accepting them, or accepting God’s Will should become our goal. 
Some believe that all who believe God exists will obtain Heaven, but that is not true, for Judas believed, and lost his soulSt. James tells us: “So faith also, if it have not works, is DEAD in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works; show me thy faith without works, and I will show thee, by WORKS, my faith. Thou believest that there is ONE GOD
Thou dost well; the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O VAIN man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:17-20).
Written April 27, 2008
A man had a dream about his journey to God.  He saw himself on a dusty, stone filled road walking towards a barely visible high mountain.  On top of that mountain was a great light that in a mysterious way attracted him.  Therefore he sought to reach that mountain & climb to it’s top and investigate what caused that light. 
Since that mountain was a great distance away, he often grew tired and needed to rest.  However, when attempting to refresh himself & sleep, his physical pains prevented him from obtaining a deep sleep & he often woke up. Mentally he was exhausted & it took every ounce of his will to get up and resume his journey. 
Along the way he encountered many obstacles that distracted him.  He saw many people who were not concerned about the light - their main concern was how they could enjoy themselves & they often invited him to join them.  They loved the things they possessed & had no desire to go towards that mountain and get a closer look at the light, if indeed it did exist.  Sometimes he would join them, but because of his pains & his faith he never felt peace in their company.  He found the most peace when he was alone on his journey towards that mountain.
Although he was not particularly handsome & had a number of physical disabilities, he did have a certain “glow” about him that some people grew jealous of.  They therefore tried to place obstacles in his path & often ridiculed & made fun of him.  He was deeply hurt by their cruel actions & words, but to their displeasure their conduct appeared to strengthen him rather than weaken him - he became even more determined to reach his destination. 
Finally, after years of great struggles & sufferings he reached the top of that mountain.  There he finally found true peace & joy because the “Light” was JESUS who had been calling him all those years.  Then his dream ended & with tears of joy & a renewed sense of hope, he vowed that to his last breath he would always seek to please God rather than man
Written May 24, 2008
“Fear not the sentence of death. Remember what things have been before thee, and what shall come after thee; this sentence is from the Lord upon all flesh”  (Ecclesiasticus 41:5).
Because we fear the unknown it is natural to be afraid of dying.  However, we also know that many people lost that fear and resigned themselves to accepting death when their time drew near.  It is logical to reason that many have died before us, and many will die after us.
As I am sure you have, I have known people who faced death with dignity because they had a strong faith in Almighty God.  This is not to say it was easy for them because they knew they still had to also accept great sufferings due to the effects of an illness.  We also know it becomes far more difficult for those who will be left behind to accept the fact that someone they love is dying than it is for the person actually dying.  Most of us have experience in this area because just about everyone has lost someone whom they loved very dearly.  And as you grow older you experience the lost of more and more of your family members and friends. 
We simply are not meant to stay here on earth forever - Heaven is our true Home.  In fact, we are told to work hard to obtain that Place: “But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal“ (Matthew 6:20).
Those with knowledge of the Bible know that Heaven is spoken of hundreds of times in the New Testament alone.  So God must want us to have a strong desire to reach that Place of peace and joy and to often meditate on it: “Unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that can not fade, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).
Of course we will not really know how we will react when our time comes, but we will find some comfort if we prepare ourselves and from time to time think about the joy that awaits us when we finally do arrive there. 
Written June 18, 2008
Friendship should not based upon how many times we visit someone.  We all have dear friends we seldom see, but who still remain our friends in “SPIRIT.”
Acknowledging the sufferings of others recognizes the need they have for our compassion and understanding.  Many souls who undergo prolonged sufferings often feel ALONE and they need to know someone cares and will be there should they need to share their burdens. 
What RELIGION you believe in should have no bearing on the love you have for another person.  The vast majority of us share the religion of our parents.
We need ACCEPTANCE as to WHO we are, and WHERE we are in our spiritual lives.  There are many levels of spirituality.  To acquire a truly deep faith requires we love deeply, but that often takes a lifetime.
Not everyone has the same Gifts.  The greater the Gift, the greater the responsibility.  It is how we USE our Gifts that matters, not how MANY Gifts we have.
We may not be able to completely understand what someone goes through, but simply expressing a desire to help them carry their cross brings them a renewed sense of hope. HOPE is the “food” suffering souls live on.  Hope is “nourishment” for them, and we must never take for granted they have enough
When someone experiences repeated bouts of DEPRESSION, it is a real illness and not due to a LACK OF FAITH.  Physical, mental, and verbal abuse suffered during childhood and/or as an adult will cause serious harm to our emotional state if not addressed and treatedPsychiatrists have more skill in treating depression and administering drugs than regular doctors.  A chemical imbalance cannot be treated simply through counseling - it also requires prescription drugs.  To truly help us our physician & counselor must also have a strong faith
Our every thought, word, and action reveals the DEGREE OF LOVE we have for God and for others.
Written July 10, 2008
Suicide can occur within any family.  Some people, because they were deeply hurt during their childhood or at another time in their life, lose hope and come to believe life is not worth living.  They no longer have any self-esteem.  This can be due to physical, mental, or verbal abuse, or the result of a severe illness or accident.  This does not mean they don't love their family - it means they are emotionally damaged and no longer have the strength to endure the deep pain that affects both their mind and their body.  They may also lose their ability to reason or think clearly because of their emotional state.
Once people set their mind on some form of "escape," it is extremely difficult to talk them out of it.  However, God knows what we suffer.  He knows the true state of our physical and emotional health.  He sees the pain, and knows the degree of damage.  So although others may be severe in their judgment, God is not.  He created us and therefore knows our strengths and weaknesses. Because He is Merciful, His judgment is always based on LOVE.  He knows that if the person who committed suicide could have felt the pain his death would bring to his family, he or she would never have chosen to end their  life.  God knows an illness can cloud your reasoning, and therefore you can chose the wrong way to be healed.
Sadly, many people do choose the wrong way to bring about their healing.  And if we only knew the deep pain those with severe depression or suicidal thoughts feel, we would never want to contribute to it or be so indifferent to it.
This message is meant to make those who have the ability to help someone become more aware of the signs of depression and desperation in that person.  As you are aware, when people have the opportunity to help someone but turn their back on them, that is very selfish.
Not all cases of severe depression can be dealt with without the proper medical attention and drugs
However, those who have a solid faith are also aware that the degree of faith a person has does have a great deal to do with how he or she views life, and many who are weak in faith try to take what they believe is the easy way out.  Although if they have even one ounce of goodness in them their soul will not be lost, if at all possible they still must be warned of why suicide is wrong and informed abut the pain it will bring to their family, as well as the poor example they will give to others.
Above all, they must be reminded of the Lord's Commandment: "Thou shalt not kill" and this teaching from the Sacred Scriptures: "And JESUS looking on them, said: 'With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God'" (Mark 10:27).
God has a Plan for each of us, and we should never override His Will with our own will.  Life is a Gift from God, and we must learn to appreciate that Gift.  If we suffer, we must not forget how JESUS suffered because of His love for us.  Each of us is very special in the Sight of God, each of us He considers to be His special child - we are very, very dear to Him.  When we feel down, it is always good to pray that the Lord increases our hope and gives us an understanding of why we suffer.
Everything we suffer is not only for the good of our own soul, but through those sufferings we also benefit many other souls by providing Grace for them so that they return to God and not worship the world.  Our stay on earth is very short in comparison to eternity and we will be rewarded for every suffering we experience here.
Our days become easier when we concentrate on the difficulties and sufferings others experience.  Reading a few pages from the New Testament each day will increase your hope and bring you closer to God for you will get to know JESUS in a intimate way.  Spend a day without the TV on and play some soft music.  Take time to let the Spirit of God refresh your soul.  Try to do this every Sunday if possible, and as needed during the week.   Remember we are in union with God through prayer if we are sincere and pray from our heart.  Many people are undergoing great sufferings, it is good to pray for them.  When we do these things, we will be blessed and experience Christ's Peace.
It is natural to at times feel down and be somewhat discouraged or depressed. But we must not let sadness permanently take hold and control our lives, for God has revealed: "Give not up thy soul to sadness, and afflict not thyself in thy own counsel.  The joyfulness of the heart is the life of a man and a never failing treasure of holiness.  The joy of a man is length of life.  Have pity on thy own soul, pleasing God, and contain thyself; gather up thy heart in his holiness and drive away sadness far from thee.  For sadness hath killed many and there is no profit in it" (Ecclesiasticus 30:23-25).
We must continue to persevere and not lose hope, and always remember that God loves us even if no one else does.
Written July 26, 2008 - Updated April 15, 2009
Note: I hope the author will forgive me editing some of the lines of this thoughtful reminder.  I tried to simplify it to make it more readable - I hope I have succeeded.

(Author unknown)
Most people had a little house and one car?
All mowers had to be pushed?
You had  phone and no need for an answering machine because someone was always home?
Your home had a living room and kitchen and no family room or dining room?
You had one TV set with only three channels?
Snacks were potato chips and onion dip because your mom was a good cook?
Weekends were for family trips or staying home to play?
Your family did all things together - even going to church?
You knew where everyone in the family was even though you had no cell phone?
You went to outdoor movies?
The family had picnics for no special reason?
Baseball was the favorite sport - even family members played?
Your doctor made house calls?
You did not need insurance or a lawyer?
You paid cash for everything you bought?
The milkman went from door to door covering the entire neighborhood and milk cost only a few cents more than at the store?
You did not receive a lot of junk mail?
You knew every make and model of cars?
Music not only came from the radio but from phonographs that played vinyl 45 records?
Life seemed so simple?
Games like kick the can were fun?
Boys put baseball cards between bicycle spokes?
You could buy a coke for a nickel?
Life seemed easier and everything was at a much slower pace?
The new technology is great, but so were the good old days. We know nothing stays the same and time moves on, but sometimes it is good to reminisce and walk down memory lane.
A final note: Only in Heaven will we have no regrets or memories that draw us back to a previous time in our lives because there is no time to measure in Heaven.  Everything in Heaven is now, with no past or future to worry about - there is nothing we will lack, we will always be in the presence of Almighty God and everyone will be our friend.  Love will fill our soul and the souls of everyone we come into contact with.  No more suffering, no more pain, no more tears.
Copied Sept. 10, 2008
When we are new to our faith and/or at various other times we are very joyful and filled with powerful inspirations and deep gratitude towards God.  We feel great emotion & are able to express our love for God with a heart that is almost bursting with love.  We are at peace with almost everyone & reasonably content with where we are in life.  Thoughts of God occupy most of our day & remain into the night & at times even in our dreams.  We see beauty all around us & God's Goodness & Mercy are powerfully experienced, & we are basically happy.  This is because God has placed us in an OASIS.
However, like He tested JOB, God will at times also test our love & allow severe TRIALS to come upon us by placing us in a DESERT.  Some are placed there for long periods of time & some for a short time.  As you know, in the desert it is very hot and DRY & it is very difficult to accomplish simple everyday things because we don't feel inspired.  Our health & contentment are also affected and rarely do we express our love for God or appreciate His Goodness with the same devotion we once had when we were in that OASIS.  We no longer can FEEL very much love for God because we live in a state of spiritual DRYNESS.  We no longer can pray or sing with the same enthusiasm.
We are often confused & have great difficulty believing God is still helping us & it is difficult to completely trust in Him.  We often feel alone, fearful, & abandoned, not only by God, but by our family & friends who fail to understand what it means to live in a desert, especially if you are not physically or mentally healthy.
However, should we still remain FAITHFUL, it is then that we add to our REWARD in Heaven & gain the most merit.  For it is easy to live in an oasis, but very difficult to live in a desert.  Therefore, God our TRUE FATHER, is far more pleased with us & close to us when we have little hope that things will change, but yet continue to persevere because of our faith.
Written Oct. 1, 2008
It is cruel and uncharitable to tell those who were severely abused verbally, emotionally, mentally, or physically, that they must forgive the guilty party.  We will only add to their burdens & re-open unhealed wounds that still remain in their heart and memory.  It is not possible to pass on our forgiveness to those who are not truly sorry or willing to admit the harm they caused us.  When our Lord from the Cross said: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34),  He was OFFERING His forgiveness.  Those who refused to accept it were NOT forgiven.
Our Lord does not forgive the guilty if they do not acknowledge their sins and are truly sorry for them.  The Lord requires that they not only ask forgiveness from Him, but also from the one they harmed.  While it is good to try and have forgiveness in our heart so we may be more at peace, if we are aware the guilty party will not be open to it, we are never obligated to make known our offer either verbally or through a letter.
The vast majority of those who have been abused are not healed enough to accept our personal testimony as to how forgiving others helped us obtain peace - it will only add to their stress.
Those who were abused need our friendship, support and prayers, and that is how we can help them obtain peace and add to their self-esteem, but we must also allow the Lord time to heal them, and for some it is a long & difficult process because they are unable to rid themselves of the deep pain & inner hurts they experienced when being abused.
The main thing to remember is that the Lord is a loving Father, filled with kindness and compassion for those who quietly try to accept their sufferings while continuing to place their trust in Him.  It is also very important that those who were abused are taking the correct level of medications to help them deal with their depression and they are being treated by a physician who loves God and is guided by His Spirit.
Written Oct. 14, 2008
Since we are only human, we can get discouraged, feel depressed, or even wonder if this life is truly worth living.  Of course, the Sacred Scriptures provide us with God's Messages for our soul and His Promises.  The Holy Bible is an invaluable Resource to rely upon when things get difficult.  However, because of the Lord's great love for us, He also provides opportunities for us to receive an uplifting word through others
Therefore, should you, or anyone you know (from teenagers through the elderly) need that word or feel the need to speak to someone about certain problems, it is good to contact a priest or minister and receive face to face counseling.  In addition, free resources may be available through local help centers found in your phone book.
In addition, no matter what your Faith, please remember the help Our Mother Mary offers us, her dear children, whom she keeps safe in her Immaculate Heart when we stay free of serious sin.  When we become discouraged, are tempted by the devil, or need help even in the smallest of things, a powerful prayer to say is: "Blessed Mother help me." 
She will never fail to respond to your request.  As others have, you will increasingly gain confidence in her intercessory power.  (I use the above prayer many times during the day, and for the more difficult decisions, I add: "Holy Spirit guide me").  I hope you, or someone you love benefits from some of these spiritual messages and you will not give up on yourself and seek help when you feel down or depressed. 
You may of course always contact me - I offer three things:
1.  Encouragement
2.  Support & the ability to listen without judging
3.  A confirmation of what you may already be feeling
See: TESTIMONIALS (This is an internal link, you must backspace to return to this section of this page)
God bless you,
Vincent T. Bemowski - Website Editor
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