By Debbie Shelley

The Catholic Commentator 

During times of crisis, such as the current coronavirus pandemic, is when people drop to their knees in prayer.  

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Pictured are Flood family members, from left, Christopher, Herb, Lisa, Ryan and Trevor.  Photo provided by Lisa Flood  

 

And while in prayer God’s mercy floods them with hope and revived faith, according to Lisa Flood, who actively spreads such messages after the feast of Divine Mercy touched her own family.  

Flood is a cradle Catholic but in the face of the clergy sexual abuse scandal she and her husband, Herb, who had young children, left the Catholic Church with no intentions of returning. They were among three generations of their family to leave the church.  

Their trust in the church was broken.  

“For my husband and I, we loved Jesus, we just didn’t love the Catholic Church,” said Flood.  

Facing other difficulties, Flood said a non-denominational church gave the family the fellowship they needed, and they became actively involved.  

But Jesus eventually called Flood and her family back to the church on the Feast of Divine Mercy.  

Flood said her brother heard the Blessed Mother call him to make a 10-day pilgrimage to Medjugorje for the Feast of Divine Mercy. He went with Flood’s father and three other men and said his faith was “on fire” when he returned.  

“He kept saying ‘I know God is calling you back to the church’ but I didn’t want to hear it,” said Flood.  

She said one day her brother called and said, ” ‘I’m not asking you to come back to the church, but I want to ask you to do one thing. Visit an adoration chapel and ask Jesus what he wants for your family.’  

She visited the adoration chapel twice and felt peaceful but didn’t hear anything from Jesus.  

Before getting out of her car on the third visit, she told Jesus, “I’m here for the last time. If you have something to say please be clear with me.” 

When she knelt before the Blessed Sacrament, she said Jesus told her, “My daughter, it’s time for you to return to me in the sacrament of reconciliation.”  

According to Flood, Jesus directed her to tell the priest her story and gave her the words to do so.  

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Lisa Flood

 

The priest was overjoyed and an appointment was made for her to talk with him. 

Flood said this is the first of the three basics (“ABCs”) of Divine Mercy for her: Ask for mercy.  

The priest told Flood “welcome home” and that day was the first day of tremendous growth for her marriage and her family, leading her to eventually speak to people about God’s mercy and how he moved in her life.  

It would be a couple of more years before her husband returned to the church. He respected that she thought she was doing the right thing, but he didn’t feel the same way.  

This is when the second basic of Divine Mercy intervened: Be merciful to others. She said Jesus challenged her to stop asking her husband to return to the church and simply love him.  

This came during an important step in Flood’s healing process – Ignatian prayer. She became involved with the “Lord, Teach Me to Pray” series and as her prayer life intensified people wondered what was changing her.  

When Flood was halfway through the series, her husband came home from work and searched her eyes.  

“He asked, ‘Who are you and what have you done with my wife? I feel loved by you now in a way that I never did,’ ” Flood said. “I was starting to cry and he said, ‘And I know it is only because of your relationship with Jesus that I see that love in you.’ ”  

As her husband made his own steps back to the church Lisa practiced the third Divine Mercy basic: Complete trust in Jesus.  

“My husband told me ‘Thank you for loving me to the truth and to the Catholic Church,’ ” Flood said. 

True to the priest’s words during the appointment which ushered her back into to the church, Flood is an evangelizer of God’s love and the message of divine mercy. She has served in Catholic media for the past 10 years as a host of Focus Catholic TV and  as a  co-host of Catch the Fire on Catholic Community Radio.  

“I think the Lord allowed us to learn about his mercy so I could come back strong,” said Flood.  

She, along with Jamie McWilliams; Allie Dazzio, parish administrator at Christ the King Church and Student Center at LSU; and CTK pastor Father Andrew Merrick have been instrumental in introducing Our Lady’s Fighting Tigers at LSU, a group of parents, family and friends of students and staff of Christ the King. The intercessory group gathers to pray for the intentions of CTK’s student ministry. 

“Through all the amazing people I’ve met and amazing conversion stories I’ve heard, two things stand out: people often lose their way in college and at the heart of every conversion story there was someone praying for them. A praying mom, dad, grandparent, godparent. And I am certain that our prayers matter, especially when it comes for people to know that God loves them,” said Flood.