A Walk Among the Tombstones

Dear Friends,

Although I haven’t posted in several months, I’ve been busy at work. First of all, I have published two new articles: a page of advice on discernment, courtship, engagement, marriage, and parenting, and an article on the glory of Manual Labor. I’ve also made important updates to the Preparedness Post (you might want to read through this again if you’ve already done so).

I’d next like to encourage you all to join me in one of my favorite hobbies: prayer walks in cemeteries. This weekend is our last chance of the year to gain a Plenary Indulgence for doing just that. (Now, ideally Plenary Indulgences are gained each and every day, but when special ones such as these are offered, we should take advantage of them for the graces contained therein.) Cemeteries first and foremost are perfect places to pray for that most often neglected intention — the repose of the holy souls in Purgatory.

Secondly, cemeteries serve as a powerful reminder of our own end. I wish I could convey how much peace and joy I find in strolling through the large, beautiful, old Albany Rural Cemetery near my home. One day I looked up the number of people buried there, and to my surprise it far exceeded the population of the city of Albany. In few other places can I find such consolation in the midst of trials as I can there, where the simple fact is before my eyes that this life is a very short and passing thing which is already in the distant past for the vast majority of the Church (which of course includes the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering), and it is not our home, and we should not ever let the difficulties of it disturb our peace any more than we would let the imperfections of a hotel room we would spend one night in disturb our peace. In the twinkling of an eye it is over, and walking in prayer amidst the tombstones of more people than live in the adjacent city truly immerses me in the splendor of that truth. I pray it does likewise for you all!

Thirdly, cemeteries provide an oasis of peace and beauty in stark contrast to the ugliness and noise that seem to dominate society almost everywhere today. In few other places can you get away from the loud engines, terrible blaring music, obnoxious billboards, concrete & sheet metal monstrosities, boisterous unholy conversations, and the like (I could go on with that list for many pages!). Remember that beauty is a transcendent need of the human heart. If you find yourself drained, depressed, anxious, or melancholy, perhaps you should ask yourself if you’ve had sufficient beauty in your life recently. You need not spend thousands of dollars on a vacation to some idyllic location to find this utterly necessary beauty — you can simply take a stroll in the nearest cemetery! (Try and find one either sufficiently large to remove you from the noise of and exposure to nearby streets, or sufficiently secluded to do the same. I also recommend finding a hilly cemetery with plenty of trees.). Though risking a bit of gloating here (I will do so because I pray this counts as “Boasting in the Lord”!), I must say that I know I find more joy from a stroll through through Albany Rural Cemetery (and the adjacent Catholic St. Agnes Cemetery) with my wife and son, with both prayer and edifying conversation (which occurs naturally when our ultimate end is so starkly presented in front of our eyes), than worldly families do from these same vacations that cost them untold thousands, hobbies that require enormous dedication, and countless possessions that really only possess them. If only you insist on forming your interests and desires in order to be satisfied with the simple blessings that God gives, you will always be joyful and the chains of former worldliness falling off your shoulders will make you feel lighter than air.

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I would also like to share a radio interview I did last month about the Divine Will Missionaries of Mercy (below). I speak more about the Holy Year of Mercy during this 37 minute interview as well, so I’d recommend listening to it if you have the time. I have been updating the site, www.DWMoM.org, as well. I am striving to put more emphasis in being a DWMoM in spirit (since I know that most will not be able to be DWMoM city street walkers as I am), which something all of us can and should do. It is on my heart like fire, and I hope it is on yours as well, to not let this upcoming Holy Year of Mercy go to waste. It starts in a mere month! Let us not allow ourselves to eternally regret failing to do all we can to proclaim the Divine Mercy while there is still time left. God expects of us, as he told St. Faustina, “a great number of souls who will glorify His mercy for all eternity.” He said that the time of mercy will soon be over. Dear friends, if this Holy Year of Mercy (at the end of which the Door of Mercy will, literally, close) is not a sign that time is running out, then what is?

(Here is an mp3 file of the same interview)

Finally, I have great news: the rumor I mentioned I heard last post turned out to be true. Two of Luisa’s works: the Hours of the Passion and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, have indeed had the Moratorium on the publication of their English versions lifted (No doubt this is a sign of things to come with all of Luisa’s works!). Dear friends, do not underestimate the incredible importance of this. Jesus tells Luisa that these writings on the Divine Will are the very thing that will cause the Triumph of the Church. He says that a single morsel of knowledge pertaining to truths on the Divine Will that you learn on Earth is another Kingdom you inherit in Heaven. He even promises that for every word you prayerfully read of the Hours of the Passion, a soul will be saved. Please, please, read them! Here are some places you can receive them: