Dive down deep in the ocean of mercy

A reflection to inspire you to dive down deep into the waves of God’s justice and immerse yourself in the ocean of His mercy.

I sprinted across the warm golden beach and splashed into the cool ocean water.  After a few steps, the sand dropped off and the waves leaped up.  I tried to keep my head above water, but the breaking wave dragged me under, slammed me on the rocky bottom, and washed me, gasping, up on the shore.

I was a ten year old who didn’t know how to face the ocean.

With sand-caked hair dripping down my back, I slumped to the safety of our beach blanket.  But my dad turned me around and sent me back toward the water, bellowing words of encouragement.

Don’t fight the wave.  Dive down deep under it, as far as you can go.  Immerse yourself in the water.


Don’t fight the wave. Dive down deep under it, as far as you can go.  Immerse yourself in the water.  Tweet this.


I ran in again, faced the looming wave, ignored the fear, and took the plunge.

As I sank down towards the sandy floor, the water gently swirled around me.  I felt the wave rush over me, but I was safe from its destructive power.  When the tugging passed and the calm lull returned, I sunk my feet into the sand, pushed hard, and surfaced safe on the other side of the wave.

Lord my God, I often wonder how Your justice and mercy can coexist.  But I imagine them now as the fierce crashing waves and the calm rolling depths of the ocean.  Both part of the same body, with no clear separating line.

Waves of Justice

The ocean is violent where the sea meets the sky.

The rough waves tumble and crash against the shore.  At the surface of the ocean, I witness the power, the strength, the waves that beat upon the shore, wear away the land, and tumble mountains.  Your justice, Lord, does the same to my sins and my pride.

In my pride, I fight You like I fought the waves at the ocean shore.

But like my naive 10 year old self, I find myself crashing down.  A tussle with the ocean means certain destruction.  My pride results in my fall, tumbled onto the shore, weary and defeated.

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Even if I stood before You as firm in my sinfulness as rocky cliffs at the ocean’s edge, I can’t stand against You forever.

Just as the land rose from the sea and will be battered down to return to it someday, so too will my own self.  I rose from Your providence, created through Your goodness and love, and I will return to You at the end of my life.

If I stand against You like the mountain at the edge of the ocean, my pride will be the means of my demise at the encounter with Your justice.  You call for atonement for my sins.

But by the power of Your Cross and Resurrection, my Jesus, Your justice is appeased.  I don’t need to end in ruin.

Depths of Mercy

I surrender my will to You.  I surrender my faults, my sins, and my failings to Your saving grace.

I choose to dive down deep.

To immerse myself in Your depths.

To accept Your love and Your mercy.


Your grace and love encircle me, washing around me, gently wearing away at my faults. Tweet this.


Like I learned to do that day on the beach so many years ago, I allow myself to be drawn down beneath the turmoil of the waves.

Your grace and love encircle me, washing around me, gently wearing away at my faults until You shape me to Your heart’s desire and allow me to resurface, unhurt, on the other side.

Beneath the waves, the further down I let You draw me in, the less I need to fear.  Your justice will no longer be a threat.  Rather, it will be an opportunity to allow myself to formed and shaped by Your mercy.

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As the grains of sand rest on the bottom of the ocean floor, so too do I rest in Your mercy.  Your mercy is gentle and forgiving.  It washes around me but doesn’t destroy.

Like the plants on the ocean floor, I sway with the movements of Your mercy.  I submit myself to the currents of Your will, allowing myself to be drawn along the path You call me to in life.

I surrender my sins and imperfections to Your cleansing waters, to be gently washed away and lost to the depths forever.

A Prayer of Surrender

Oh Lord, show me the way to Your heart!

Break down the mountain of my pride.  Let me abandon myself to You so that I may be engulfed, immersed, molded and changed into the person You desire me to be.

I enter the ocean facing the strength and power of the waves of Your justice.  But I don’t want to fight You any longer.  I want to dive down deep into Your mercy.

I surrender myself to You today.

Immerse me, Lord, in the ocean of Your mercy.

Amen.


I enter the ocean facing the waves of Your justice but I want to dive down deep into Your mercy.  Amen. Tweet this. 


Ocean of Mercy Pinterest

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The Mass: 2 things you know and 1 that will blow your mind

A reflection on the Mass in the context of Holy Week.

We go to Mass every Sunday or more.  We know the routine so well we sometimes go on auto-pilot.  We receive the Eucharist habitually.  And we lose our sense of awe and mystery.

I’m here to bring it back today.

Let’s start with what we know. Continue reading “The Mass: 2 things you know and 1 that will blow your mind”

Reflections for Holy Week

What is Holy Week all about?

I knew there was Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.  But what about the rest of the week?  Oh yeah, I’ve heard of Spy Wednesday somewhere before.  But what do we do about Monday and Tuesday?  Not to mention Saturday, the weirdest feeling day of the year, between Christ’s death and Resurrection.

Well, Fr. Mike shares a way to enter into every single day of Holy Week. Continue reading “Reflections for Holy Week”

The Gift of Friendship

A reflection on the gift of friendship.

I left the kids home with my husband for the entire. Saturday. morning. while I went out to Mass, breakfast, and Adoration with another mom friend.

We were able to actually pray during Mass (imagine that).  We talked and laughed for over an hour as we ate our entire breakfast without sharing (another miracle).  Then we spent a half hour in the adoration chapel in silence (I saw your jaw drop at that one)!

Understatement of the year: We had a great time. Continue reading “The Gift of Friendship”

Weep for Yourself: Step into the Passion

A reflection on Jesus’ words to the women of Jerusalem.

A mess of tears streaked down my face the first time I watched The Passion.  My stomach churned at the horror of each torturous scene.  The unimaginable pain inflicted on Jesus weighed on my body and crushed me in my seat.

As I watched the story of the Passion unfold from the safety of my living room, I was horrified that “those people” could do “that” to an innocent man.  And I was filled with sorrow that my sins contributed to the gruesome death of my God.

I watched the crucifixion from the outside.  And it was only a story of drama, not of saving grace.

Until Jesus reeled me in. Continue reading “Weep for Yourself: Step into the Passion”

A Prayer of Praise to the Holy Trinity

Today, my God, I don’t ask you for anything.  I just want to be with You and adore You in Your majesty.

God, You are beautiful in creation.

Your design is amazing.  From the intricate details of the tiniest bug to the great design of the entire universe, Your plan is incredible.

How did you think of so many beautiful things to fill such a blank canvas?  You are infinitely creative. Continue reading “A Prayer of Praise to the Holy Trinity”

When Lent Punches You in the Gut

Hope for those with unexpected suffering this Lent.

You had a plan for Lent.

Whether you wanted to give up one thing for 40 days, or everything for 5 minutes at a time.  Perhaps you planned to break a sinful habit or take up daily spiritual reading.  Maybe you started small, or maybe you launched a heroic sacrifice.

And then Lent punched you in the gut. Continue reading “When Lent Punches You in the Gut”

Lent and Onions: for when you need a good cry

How Ash Wednesday and the Transfiguration point us toward heaven.  A reflection on  mortality and immortality.

Whenever I need an excuse for a good cry, I add onions to the menu.

While I prepare dinner, I take time to reflect on life’s toughest problems.  As I peel back the onion’s layers with my knife, I peel back the layers holding the sorrows in my heart.  My eyes sting from the pungent mince under my knife, and my sorrow surfaces with the tears.

My pain releases, and it doesn’t take long for the healing waters to wash over me and restore my heart.

By the time dinner is complete, the bitterness of both the onion and my sorrows will turn to savory sweetness.

This week, we enter into Lent – the bitter onion that often brings me to tears.  Continue reading “Lent and Onions: for when you need a good cry”

My Dear Friend, I Can’t Convert You

Only God can convert. My job is to evangelize.  A letter to a friend who doesn’t yet embrace the Faith, and a reflection for those who have friends and family whom they desperately want to see come home to the Church.  

My Dear Friend,

I can’t convert you.

But have you ever heard of Saul?

The early Christians were on fire with the Faith.  They taught about Jesus all the time and everywhere.

But Saul wasn’t buying it.

No, more than that.  Saul hated it. Continue reading “My Dear Friend, I Can’t Convert You”