Episode 6: St. Maria Goretti & The Rescue of God

Kelly Leisten

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God’s steady stream of grace much of the time can go unseen but when there is a breakthrough of grace it is transformational. Kelly Leisten, a cradle Catholic, leaned into her faith even when it seemed futile and cruel. A witness to this grace Kelly joined the Navy at 17 getting married within the Church at 23 and found the fountain of grace through sincere seeking. Her faith carried her through marriage and family and has led her on a journey where she eventually found herself studying at the Theology of the Body Institute and has now been accepted into the School of Spiritual Direction at Franciscan University of Stuebenville.

Discussion Questions

1. Ponder the following quote by Pope Saint Paul VI: ""We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is always [attentive] to our prayers" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 962). What stands out to you from this quote about the saints, for your life?
2. Reflect on the following Scripture on the mercy of Jesus: "3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again. - John 8:3-11
3. Prayer to St. Maria Goretti: Oh Saint Maria Goretti who, strengthened by God's grace, did not hesitate even at the age of twelve to shed your blood and sacrifice life itself to defend your virginal purity, look graciously on the unhappy human race which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation. Teach us all, and especially youth,with what courage and promptitude we should flee for the love of Jesus anything that could offend Him or stain our souls with sin. Obtain for us from our Lord victory in temptation, comfort in the sorrows of life, and the grace which we earnestly beg of thee (here insert intention), and may we one day enjoy with thee the imperishable glory of Heaven. Amen.

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