Have you ever felt the pain of the past? A feeling of guilt, shame or simply confusion? Maybe you have wished with all your heart that you could change something, but can’t? I have. Typically, these feelings run deep and most others just would not understand your personal hurt as they didn’t experience what you did or are not going through what you are currently going through. This makes the pain even stronger.
As I sat in mass one Sunday afternoon, sadness surfaced to my heart. You see, the evil one likes to distract us and bring fear, doubt, guilt and ugly lies… he knows just how to do that, especially during holy moments like the mass. This particular Sunday I was at a polish mass with my then Fiancé, now Husband. I don’t speak polish so really it was like a nice hr of adoration/me crying out to Jesus.
Around this time, Our Lady of Guadalupe began following my husband and I. She seemed to have chosen us the moment we got engaged. He intended to propose to me in front of Our Lady of Czestochowa but providence had it that we would kneel in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe when he asked me to be his wife. Little did we know the grand joy of that slight difference. Ever since then, she would just pop up in all sorts of places that we did not expect. This particular Sunday at this beautiful polish church, SHE WAS THERE! It was just a guest visit, so to speak, as her image was traveling around, but of course she would be there when we were.
As I prayed during the homily, since I didn’t understand the polish priest, I stared at Our Lady with the past weighing me down. My heart didn’t understand nor did it know what to do with it. When I looked at Mary a sudden strength of peace overcame me and I felt Mama speak to my bleeding heart. “ I know what you felt. I know your pain. I understand your confusion then and now, and I, your Mother, am here.” With that, I felt her wrap me in her mantle of deep deep love and hope as tears fell down my cheek. Even now, as I write this memory, I weep, for her gentle presence was unmistakable.
The surest way to a peaceful heart is through the Mercy of God. This painting, Misericordiae Invitatio, aims at pulling the viewer outside of time and drawing one in to see how we have responded personally to God’s Love, a choice of receptivity or rejection. In this work, one simultaneously sees the example of Adam and Eve’s separation and despair due to the rejection of God, The Father, while Mary, our Blessed Mother, is radiating harmony and union during the first moment of conception as she responds openly and trustingly to God’s invitation. Mary gives her fiat as Adam and Eve turn toward lies. Furthermore, as a result of grace, the dead tree from the fall is linked to the blooming tree that surrounds Mary ablaze. She and Christ are given to mankind as the new Adam and Eve for salvation history. This work is clear in sharing that God has a plan and Mary and Jesus are not a second thought in God’s salvation but a purposeful gift for all the fallen. A blue Iris that grows near to Adam’s gaze symbolizes the hope and a promise in love. Where we have attached ourselves to death and lies, hope and love still remain a gift offering. Thus, we are invited into God’s Mercy daily (Misericordiae Invitatio) where we too can be set ablaze upon entering into a deeper union with Christ, as Mary our Mother exemplifies.
“It is true that “the powers of death shall not prevail”, as the Lord assured (Mt 16:18), but this does not mean that we are exempt from trials and battles against the snares of the evil one.In this struggle the Archangel Michael stands alongside the Church to defend her against all the iniquities of the age, to help believers to resist the devil, who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).”
This battle against the devil which characterizes the Archangel Michael is still going on, because the devil is still alive and at work in the world. In fact, the evil that is in it, the disorder we see in society, the infidelity of man, the interior fragmentation of which he is a victim, are not merely the consequences of original sin, but also the effect of the dark and infesting activity of Satan, of this saboteur of man’s moral equilibrium.”
– St John Paul II
The other day in prayer, I felt the Lord’s heart weeping. The feeling was strong and undeniable. He was sad by how many doubt His true presence in the Eucharist, by how many of us are careless in receiving Him at mass, by how many of us who forget what is actually taking place when we consume His body and blood. We receive the King of Kings and often don’t even say hello. Though it may sound strange to some, Christ aches to marry us, and to be untied fully with us. He literally gives us His body, and the moment of consuming Him is an invitation into consummation with Him! But we have forgotten, or worse yet, choose not to believe. We are hurting the one who loves us most.
Maybe we’ve never really thought about it much, or didn’t learn much about it. If that’s the case, now is the time to ask those hard questions to the Lord and search for the fullness of truth. Questions are never wrong, but apathy and laziness are. So it’s ok if you’re wrestling with this right now, but let’s not sit in the state of uncaring. Scripturally speaking, the Lord literally says this is my body given up for you. Many left because it was a hard thing to receive. (Matthew 26:26) Traditionally speaking, there are many signs the Lord gives us to confirm this truth that He is offering His full self to us.
I recommend reading Scott Hahn’s study on the Fourth Cup that dives deep into scripture and traditional truths.
On this feast of Corpus Christi, I felt called to share this painting that is almost completed. This image speaks of the profound gift that is being offered us: our Lord and great Lover. Our Lady, the new tabernacle, new Ark of the Covenant, the church, and the prime example of union with the Lord, presents us her son. In this moment heaven literally touches earth and all the angels praise God for such a gift. The host shows a glimpse of the face of Christ and His precious blood dripping out in reference to countless miraculous moments that have taken place over the centuries world wide, confirming this gift being given to you and me.
Lord, the next time we receive you in Communion, we ask for the grace to be made ready for such a Divine gift. We ask for forgiveness for our apathy and unbelief, or any other ways that we have hurt you, our Love. We pray to see you in the host and wine and know your true presence. If my heart is struggling with unbelief, I give this to you, Jesus, and ask you to show me the truth; as you have said, “seek and you shall find.” We praise you and thank you for all that you are. Amen.
HOW LONG IS THE PROCESS?
The time varies from 4 to 10 months (longer for murals) depending on size and theme. It is best to connect with Kate to have a better idea. Please also note, it is common to have a wait time before your project would begin as Kate is often already booked with several commissions.
The evil one tries to tear the little ones from God's heart...the battle is real. He knows that they are POWERFUL because of their innocence and connection to the Lord.
I felt called to show St Rose in her younger years to recall what God can do in young hearts. If you know St Rose's story, it began with a beautiful connection to the Lord and her heart was won over by God. At a young age she chose to live for Christ. Jesus would even come to her and teach her how to read and write (which is happening in this painting). I believe Jesus comes to the little one's often but if we are not careful society will steal this time from them.
May we safeguard the young and allow them to become Saints for the Kingdom, may we cultivate in them a spirit of prayer and connection to the King of Kings. May we relish in the ways that they marvel at life and may we teach them how to reject the lies of the evil one so they may remain strong in God.
This Saint is one of many examples of how grace can work in any age. St Rose truly lived a life for the Lord. She knew that suffering in this life would bring great joy in the next life. She did not get distracted by the what the world offers and kept her gaze on the Lord. Not everyone is called to the same types of mortifications she entered into, but we are all called to the cross that we too may share in Christ's resurrection.
St Rose is one of my favorite saints, technically my confirmation saint, because I LOVED how Jesus would come to her and speak to her even as a young girl. This is what my heart longs for, to hear the Lord. Nothing else satisfies the heart. So it was extra special painting this one 😉
A few years ago, I was suffering internally with loneliness, confusion, and great doubt, the Lord spoke to me through the wisemen, particularly through the one who gave myrrh. Over the years, images of the wisemen seemed to follow me and writings about them came to my attention. As I studied the profound messages given to us in their story, I learned some key things.
1.The wisemen studied and sought out the truth.
2.They were ready for the King.
3.They came and offered gifts to the one they longed to see.
These gifts were intentional, each with profound meaning, but the one that stood out to me during that time was Myrrh.
Myrrh comes from a small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora in Saba and is used for medicinal purposes, burial preparations, and healing. It also symbolized suffering. Not only did this act as a pre-figuring to Christs passion and death but it was also an offering of the wiseman’s sufferings. In essence, it was the unity of the sufferings that was the gift that day, his and Christs.
I discovered this profound truth and I realized Jesus was inviting me to do the very same, to offer up my daily sufferings, big and small, to unite them with His.
We can reflect on the trials of this year and can see how signifiant this message is for each and everyone of us. It is a call to offer our own sufferings, and furthermore, to recognizing the sufferings of another, to be united in that.
As we enter into Advent, may we reflect on preparing our gifts of suffering to give to Christ. May we be patient and trusting during our current trials and may we encounter others in their suffering, embracing them as if we are embracing the Christ Child. Let us become the one who gives Myrrh.
All work is the sole property of Katelyn Capato and may not be used or reproduced in any way without permission.