Christmas reflections from Brunhilde Luken

Dear Friends,

Is it just me, or do you also think Christmas was just here? It is my most beautiful time of the year. Decorating, baking, purchasing some gifts, and most of all preparing my heart anew for the birth of baby Jesus. This precious gift God sent to us over 2000 years ago. Can this be true, a gift so great to come to us to save us?

Perhaps we can imagine, at least some of us, how it felt when our first baby was born and the nurse or doctor put this precious little bundle into our arms, what a gift this was.

Christmas 2015

The gift to us was much bigger. He sent baby Jesus to us so we could have eternal life. So we too can spend eternity in heaven with all the saints and all those that looked towards heaven that left us already, most of all with our Lord. Many saints or apostles talked about visions of heaven. Do we really know? It certainly can spur our imagination. It will be so beautiful we don’t have words to describe this beauty. It will be truly a gift. Only then can we understand the gift our Lord sent to us.

Years ago I wrote a poem that was on my lips as I woke up one morning. It sure felt real, a peek of heaven. How real was it? I don’t think God truly wants us to know. Jesus did say: “I will go and prepare a place for you, so that where I am you will be also.” It will be so beautiful that it is truly worth all our efforts and sacrifices to try to get to heaven and spend eternity there. Our intellect cannot grasp that beauty. He loved us so much. There is no greater love than His.

Let us truly hold baby Jesus close. He will help us to have Christ born within each one of us. What a celebration this will be.

I will share a poem with you that I wrote long ago; it’s one of my favorites:
This is Christmas
I walked through this beautiful town.
The sun was shining brightly. It was so peaceful.
The leaves were glistening from the morning dew.
I made a comment, how beautiful,
To my guardian angel who was guiding me through town.
He looked at me and said: “You have to see this on Christmas.”
Immediately everywhere the lights started flickering.
The whole town was lit up.
A tremendous peace came over me.
I looked at Him and said: “Oh yes, this is Christmas.”

(John 14:27): “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

To each one of you, have a wonderful Christmas celebration and a renewed birth of Christ within you.

Together let us follow the Star; Merry Christmas to all of you.

Thanksgiving 2015

In a few days we are celebrating Thanksgiving; it is a wonderful day set aside to celebrate with family and friends to give thanks. I am especially thankful to live in a country where I can celebrate and proudly confess my Catholic faith. A faith that stood firm generation after generation.

I am also thankful that we can hold hands with all our neighbors, friends and all those that cross our path, Christian and non-Christian alike, where we allow each one to be free. A country where we can share the love that Christ brought into the world for all of us alike. We have to remember He died on the cross for all the world. These are hard times right now. There is so much suffering in the world right now. At times we all suffer. By embracing our suffering, God will pull us closer to Him. This will help us to pray for all. Let us all pray especially for those that need it most. Let us share the gifts that God gave us. When we pray we speak to God, when we read the scripture, God speaks to us. A Gift given to all of us, a gift we can share with all.

Touched by the Spirit 2015

We are the ones to show the face of Christ to the world, and to see the face of Christ in everyone. Let each moment be a moment of thanks. I am also most thankful for each one of you.

I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving, may God’s blessing be upon you and your whole family.

Psalm 95

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth.
The heights of the hills are His also
The sea is His, for He made it.
And His hands formed the dry land.
Oh come let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God.
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
When your fathers tested me;
They tried me, though they saw my work
For forty years I was grieved with that generation.
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their heart.
And they do not know my ways.’
So I swore in my wrath’,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’ ”

Let us bow our heads in Thanksgiving to the Almighty, the “I AM WHO I AM”, “FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT.”

You can find more of Brunhilde’s lovely paintings at her website, http://brunhildeluken.fineartstudioonline.com/.

Announcing the second edition of Brunhilde Luken’s classic spiritual book

Dear Friends,

I like to introduce you to my latest book, My Walk With Christ, A Spiritual Journey which you can purchase through Tate Publishing.

CatholicTV appearance

I had a chance to present this book during an interview with Jay Fadden and Fr. Reed on their program “This is the Day” on Catholic TV on Tuesday, September 15. If you are interested in watching the program, please click on the following link: www.catholictv.com/shows/this-is-the-day/walk-christ-brunhilde-luken

Book cover

The cover of the book is one of my paintings, “The Cup of Life.”

00 brunhilde luken The Cup of Life

“Do You love me most?” Yes Lord, I love you most.

My Walk with Christ is about how our Lord took me and shaped me, and taught me who He is.

In the quiet of my heart I heard You whisper—–Love, Peace and Joy.

John 15:16   You did not choose Me, but I chose you.

Dreams and visions

Throughout my life I have had many dreams and visions where I felt the guidance of the Lord. I recorded many in my daily journal, my conversations with the Lord. God speaks to us in many ways. He also speaks to me through my paintings.

In a dream my guardian angel took my hand and led me to a small room. He bent down to pick up a stack of paper and handed it to me. This happened in 2004. Since then I have self published two books with poetry and paintings. This book is my second edition of My Walk With Christ, A Spiritual Journey, published by Tate Publishing Co.

The following are examples of many wonderful dreams and visions where the Lord taught me who He is.

  • He allowed me to walk on water.
  • He led me to a clear mountain stream and told me to drink.
  • He got into murky water with alligators resting in the shallow waters. I knew I could not swim and I was afraid. The Lord said “come.” He swam beside me through the water past the alligators and took me out on the other side.
  • I was bathed in a pool with clean water. He showed me the narrow path with His guiding light.
  • He walked with me into the dark tunnel and brought me out on the other end.
  • He taught me how to trust Him fully.

My poetry and writings invite you to “come and see” my spiritual journey, to stay a while with a journey full of God’s heartfelt love, God’s guiding hand, God’s invitation for us to trust fully and receive God’s gifts of peace and joy.

Joshua 1:9–Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Stories of angels

My book also contains stories when our Lord sent me angels when I was in desperate need of help. Angels, I did not immediately recognize until the situation had passed.

Later I realized I needed to learn to trust Him fully. Every day He is asking us, “Surrender your life to me and you will see the wonderful journey I will take you on.”

A story of prayer, companionship and healing

My husband and I spent two years in Asia. Besides many different activities I also joined a group of international ladies. With this group I went on a visit to the hospital for the poor. The head nurse, the woman in charge, took us around.

To make it short—All of a sudden there I was alone with the nurse looking at a woman on a cot, totally bare and face down. The nurse pointed out a hole in her back, large enough to put my fist in, she went on to tell me that she would never walk again. The young woman was only about 30 years of age with a husband and two young girls and very poor. She was examined and the doctors found she had absolutely no feeling from her waist down. There was nothing they could do for her.

I was overcome by a deep sadness. At that moment the world stood still for me and I heard this whisper

Answering God’s call

“Brunhilde you can help her.” I immediately answered “Yes Lord,” never questioning how. I touched her arm, said a quiet prayer and asked the nurse if I could visit her on a regular basis. She said, “Oh yes, please.” From this point on I did not see much else. My mind was racing and I prayed, and prayed more. I knew if anybody can help her it was the Lord, I knew He would. She was a Muslim woman and every time I prayed with her she assured me that “your God is my God.”

The rest you will have to read in my book. By the time I left Asia, she was able to lift herself into a wheel chair, her feelings had returned and the hole in her back was almost totally closed. She now also received physical therapy. The day I went to say good bye, she was visiting at home with her family.

Praise the Lord. If we surrender our life to the Lord He can accomplish great things through us.

We are the body of Christ. We are disciples for our Lord.

Isaiah 6:8—-I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, And who will go for us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! send me.”

We are also messengers for the Lord. By our total surrender to the Lord, He will be able to communicate to us what He wants us to do. “

My book will help you to form a closer relationship with ourLord—-Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

With nothing hidden, with God’s love fully present, we have only to trust, and place our lives into His hands.

Then, when life on earth is ending, and I look back on my life well lived,

I hope I made a difference,

In people that I passed.

“Do you love Me most?” Yes Lord, I love you most.

Comments:

I have been told many times that my book makes you feel the presence of the Lord. I have also been told that my book is totally uplifting, on a seemingly bad day, all you have to do is read a few pages of my book and you feel like the Lord is directly speaking to you. It is a wonderful daily reading, page by page, your time with the Lord. A book you can read over and over and feel the Lord speaking directly to you. We are all on a journey. A journey with our Lord. My book will help you say: Lord, please take my hand and lead me.

May God bless all of you.

Brunhilde

My book is available through Tate Publishing, most bookstores and on Amazon.com. It will make a wonderful gift for your friends. You can also see some of my paintings when you visit the web site http://brunhildeluken.fineartstudioonline.com.

I have also shared my faith with some church groups. I can be contacted through brunluken@gmail.com or I can be reached at 413-998-3781.

 

Pentecost 2015

by Brunhilde Luken

Yes, let us shout for Joy, Christ is risen, He is risen indeed. He has also sent to us, as He had promised, “The Holy Spirit.”

His disciples could barely retain this wonderful God given joy.

The tomb was empty.

Mary Magdalene saw it first and was smitten with tears, as she cried out, “Where have they laid my Lord?”

Then Jesus called her by name, “Mary.” She immediately recognized Him and answered “Raboni (Teacher).” What a joy she must have felt. Nobody could say her name with so much love expressed, by simply calling her name.

I can imagine her joy as she ran and told the other disciples and also Mary, His mother.

Their faith was a bit shaken when He died so brutally beaten on the cross. Deep in their hearts they had kept the words hidden when Jesus said, “This Temple will be destroyed and in three days I will rebuild it.” Mary knew deep in her heart that Jesus was special. He was the Son of God, born without sin, yet fully human and fully God. He had promised. “In three days I will rise again.”

His presence felt special, yet it was all so out of the ordinary that the disciples became frightened. They feared for their own lives.

Jesus knew all of this. This is why he promised them the Holy Spirit. He knew their weaknesses. He knew they needed help.

Many disciples gathered in one room after it was confirmed by His appearance that He has risen as He had promised. As they were deciding what is next, then, all of a sudden Jesus stood among them. What a joy and love there was among all off them. Jesus asked for food to show He was truly alive. As all were huddled together, maybe even danced around shouting for joy, He vanished from their sight. Now they all knew it was all true. All the words Jesus spoke were alive. Thomas was not with them at the time. When he arrived they excitingly told him of the appearance of Jesus but he did not believe. He said, “Unless I see Jesus’ wounds and touch them I will not believe.” Again Jesus appeared to those gathered with Thomas. Thomas touched His wounds, “and now he believed”.

Jesus was seen by many during a time after He had died.

The Holy Spirit Promised, Acts 1:4-9:

“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the Promise of the Father,” which, He said, “You have heard from Me; For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him saying “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”And He said to them,” It is not for you to know: times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samara, and to the end of the earth.”

The Upper Room Prayer Meeting, Acts 1:12-15:

“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying; Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Asphacus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one acord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

Coming of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:1-8:

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another,” Look, are not al these who speak Galileans?”

We also live in a troubled world. There are times when I don’t like to listen to the news. Too much darkness covers the earth today. There is also much light. Christ never promised it would be easy to follow Him. Our responsibility is to live according to His word. We have to stand firm in the teachings of the scripture. It does not say anywhere we will always be happy, but we can feel the peace and joy that comes from the Lord. Pray without ceasing.

“Come Holy, Spirit come”

2 Corinthians 4:18: “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but on what is unseen is eternal.”

“In Solitude I will find you.”

"In Solitude" by Brunhilde Luken
“In Solitude” by Brunhilde Luken

When I created this painting, as usually when I paint, I may have a thought but soon I loose my self in the painting, as I feel truly touched by the Lord. I really don’t feel the time pass, but I know when it is finished. I can say while I paint I feel one with the Lord. When I looked at the finished painting I felt so moved by the Holy Spirit. I looked again and I saw the Christ with outstretched arms. I knew then my work of art was finished.

In the words of Michelangelo Buonarroti:

“True art is made noble and religious by the mind producing it …. the endeavor to create something perfect, for God is perfection, and whoever strives after perfection is striving for something divine.”

Also, as Paul Klee expressed so eloquently, “Art does not reproduce the visible, rather, it makes visible.”

May all of you feel especially touched by the Holy Spirit as we celebrate Pentecost.

Let us be united in His Love.

 

Reflections on Holy Week

 by Brunhilde Luken

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and  I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Last week we observed Palm Sunday, the beginning of the most important week of the year as we journey with our Lord to the cross.

What greater love is there than the love our Lord showed us by sending His Son to us. There is no greater love than the love Jesus gave to us by dying on the cross for us. He was fully human and fully God. What pain He must have felt when He approached His final days on earth.

I shuddered this morning after mass when I heard the pounding of a hammer, imitating the pounding of the nails into the hands and feet of our Lord. Unaware for a moment of the people around me, I felt the pain and my tears wanted to come. What pain did I cause the Lord to have by my inadequacies? He freely carried the cross and freely died for each one of us. He forgave us all of our sins.

Come Closer by Brunhilde Luken
Come Closer by Brunhilde Luken

The most beautiful words in scripture are: 1 John 4:9-11″In this the love of God was manifested towards us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins, Beloved, If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

What a gift, yet the world is in so much darkness and will not accept this gift, so freely given to us. 1 John 3:16-17 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

Christ suffered and died for us and by His love He set us free. Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the mids of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

Jesus is surely the greatest companion anyone can have and He loves you and me. I know I need Jesus in my life. You know He loves you. What greater love is there, than the love of  Jesus. If you call Him into your life, He is always with you. He will guide you in all things.

When you surrender your life to Jesus He will bring victory to your life.

Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are called acording to His purpose. For whom He foreknew . He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and  whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

As I watched Bill O’Reilly’s movie, “Killing Jesus”, this evening, I was astounded and pleased how often the humanity of Jesus came through. When Jesus felt anger or discontent with those He encountered He took time-outs to speak to the Father. This put Him in the right state of mind.

I have a friend with ALS who understandably gets also upset with her life in this unexpected state. When she first became ill I saw an advertisement on a Christian channel about a speaker to come who is also aflicted with ALS. I made a point to watch this program to see if there was anything I could learn to be of help to my friend. Besides many helpful hints how he manages life now, the one thing that he talked about was how every time his sicknes becomes too hard to bear, he took five minutes to speak to the Lord. He spoke about how he had to take many time-outs with the Lord troughout the day. I thought what a wonderful way to carry his cross.  This is a helpful way for all of us if we can take a deep breath and take five minutes with the Lord as we go through our struggles in life.

As we journey towards Maundy Thursday and Good Friday it is good to be with the Lord.

Our life has a purpose.  Because Jesus took on our sins and died for us, we can safely and happily journey through life. We are able to tell all our friends about our journey, because we are on a journey with the most wonderful destination. We can’t come back and talk about our destination, but we certainly can talk about our journey and our wonderful destination that is promised to us who surrender our life to Jesus. He will take us on our journey and what an exciting journey it is.

What a wonderful friend we share in Jesus, the greatest travel companion on our journey all the way to our destination. Then we are also able to enjoy eternity with all those who journeyed with us now and before us in the company of Jesus and all the Heavenly Host.

All Glory to you Lord Jesus Christ now and for all eternity.

Love to all of you on your Journey and have a wonderful Easter.

Your friend Brunhilde

Lent 2015 – Reaching out to our Lord

As we begin this season of Lent let’s together reach for our Lord’s stretched out hand and build a circle of friendship in His love. He has made us in His image. He is constantly calling, come closer. 

As I sit in my office/studio this morning I can’t help but praise the Lord for all of His creation. The birds are flying back and forth in front of my window, all puffed up. Even in this bitter cold our Lord with His amazing creation keeps them warm.

Awaiting Spring
Awaiting Spring by Brunhilde Luken

Lent is a perfect time to again evaluate and reflect on our walk with our Lord. Did I get closer; did I stay on my course with all the distractions that we are presented with? Can I say, yes Lord, here I am? Yes, trust in the Lord with all your life. Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

With the Lord in your heart you will never walk alone. Our Lord desires our friendship and love. Our Lord loves us so much He sent His only Son to lay down His life for us. What greater love can there be, then to give His life for His children.

The following is from the Catechism (1286): The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism by John was the sign that this was he who was to come, the Messiah, the Son of God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit; his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him without measure.

Mark chapter 1:9-13 It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “you are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

After His time in the desert the mystery of Jesus and His mission began. He now called his disciples to him. For His mission to be fulfilled He also called for help.

Mark 1:16,17 As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Jesus knew why He was born and what He had to do. He freely gave His life to redeem the world. He said yes.

Let us all say “Yes Lord!” He will freely send us His Holy Spirit if we pray “Come Holy Spirit, come.” As we pray, “Please Lord put your light around me, show me the way.”  He will make us “broken bread” and “poured out wine.” We don’t have to look for a purpose. Our purpose in life is to serve the Lord. Let us all make our journey through Lent count. Renew our commitment by staying in His presence and studying His Word. His Word is the truth. It should not be altered or changed. If we truly love the Lord, we will live by His Word. Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

Let us belong to the, as Saint Augustine called it, “City of God”.

Let us be able to share our Lord’s message with all those we encounter and let us be free to choose Him.

 

Merry Christmas Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year

By Brunhilde Luken

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas celebration, a time to experience and celebrate the birth of Christ renewed within yourself. What a Gift our Lord gave to us. What a Gift we are able to celebrate each moment, each day, and each year anew;

It is all because Mary said “yes” to the Lord, not knowing all she said “yes” to, because she loved the Lord.

Let us all say “Yes” to our Lord’s teachings and see Christ in all of our brothers and sisters to help bring peace on earth. Then, together we can shout out with joy:

“LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME!”

The Magic of Christmas by Brunhilde Luken
The Magic of Christmas by Brunhilde Luken

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,” which is translated, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:23)

The following is taken from my daily reading My Utmost for His Highest:

His Birth and Our New Birth

His Birth in History. “That Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1: 35). Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He did not emerge out of history; He came into history from the outside. Jesus Christ is not the best human being the human race can boast of–He is a Being for whom the human race can take no credit at all. He is not man becoming God, but God Incarnate—God coming into human flesh from outside it. His life is the highest and the holiest entering through the most humble of doors. Our Lord’s birth was an advent—the appearance of God in human form.

His Birth in Me. “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you…”(Galatians 4:19). Just as our Lord came into human history from outside it, He must also come into me from outside. Have I allowed my personal human life to become a “Bethlehem” for the Son of God?  I cannot enter the realm of the kingdom of God unless I am born again from above by a birth totally unlike physical birth. “You must be born again” (John 3:7). This is not a command, but a fact based on the authority of God. The evidence of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that “Christ is formed” in me, His nature immediately begins to work through me.

God Evident in the Flesh. This is what is made so profoundly possible for you and for me through the redemption of man by Jesus Christ.

This is Christmas–a poem by Brunhilde Luken

I walked through this beautiful town.
The sun was shining brightly. It was so peaceful.
The leaves were glistening from the morning dew.|
I made a comment, how beautiful,
To my guardian angel who was guiding me through town.

He looked at me and said:” you have to see this on Christmas”
Immediately everywhere the lights started flickering.
The whole town was lit up.
A tremendous peace came over me.
I looked at him and said:” Oh yes, this is Christmas.”

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)

From all of us on the Commission for Women to all of you,

We wish you a Merry Christmas season and a Blessed New Year.