My name is Becky and I started developing this site after my spiritual director suggested I read the Song of Songs (from the Bible), during Lent (2013). My attention was captured by this segment from chapter 1, verse 6:
"Do not gaze at me because I am swarthy,
because the sun has scorched me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me,
they made me keeper of the vineyards;
but, my own vineyard I have not kept!
It was the last line that spoke to me about not having been able to tend my own vineyard (read soul) because trauma, abuse, and neglect in my life left me a people-pleaser. I spent vast amounts of time and energy doing things to make other people happy (and tending their vineyards/needs), but I was miserable because deep down, at a place that I wasn't even conscious of, I didn't believe that my vineyard (or soul) was worth taking care of....so I didn't.
A lot of prayer, reading, psychoeducation, and healing brought me to a place where, at long last, I do know my own worth. It feels wonderful...and yet I also feel a sadness because I lived the first 55 years of my life in darkness due to unresolved trauma, abuse, and neglect. Things other people did to me - coupled with spiritual warfare - had the spiritual/psychological effect of binding me hand and foot, putting duck tape over my mouth, throwing me into a cramped tiny root cellar and locking the doors. My "free will" was not free at all, but was controlled by fear, which is a cruel master. My sadness is due to the fact that I know if this happened to me....then it has happened to a lot of other people too. I want to use my own experiences, and the understanding the Lord has given me about them, to help others who are suffering find the freedom Christ talks about.
In this light, the vineyard is more than my own soul, the work expands to include the whole Body of Christ, or the Church, which is in great need of some tender loving care. I think many of Jesus' teachings have both a private and a public aspect to them, which can cause confusion if we try to understand it on our own. The good news is that we aren't alone; just as He promised prior to His Passion, Jesus did not leave us oprhans, which St. John recounts in Chapter 14 of his Gospel, included below. As Catholics we have the Bible, the Catechism, numerous encyclicals and teachings from the Church Fathers and we have the lives of the saints to help us along the narrow path.
My desire in creating and maintaining this website is to provided reliable (spiritually safe) information for Catholic Christians. There is much confusion about faith and morality in the world today - I was terribly mis-guided in my life until God kind of tapped me on the shoulder in 2006 and pointed me in the right direction through a spiritual conversion, metanoia, or sincere change of heart that I continue to work on every day. The most helpful part of this was discovering the Disciples of Jesus and Mary formation (DJM). With a trained leader guiding me I was able to see how God had been leading me throughout my life - even though I didn't know it at the time. I learned to surrender myself into His loving arms and to allow Him to re-form me in my faith. I cherish my faith and my new relationship with God, and I look forward to experiencing the fullness of this relationship when I am finally called home.
May God shower you with abundant blessings, and may you be open to recieving them!
I am praying for you.
From John 14
"Last Supper Discourses. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. 4 Where [I] am going you know the way.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. 12 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.
The Advocate. 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, 17 the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19 In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” 22 Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, [then] what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.
25 “I have told you this while I am with you. 26 The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] told you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. 28 You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. 30 I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, 31 but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me. Get up, let us go."
More to come........