Monday, December 21, 2009

A Blessed Christmas

"The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Savior into the world- because, thanks to her YES, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time” Pope Benedict XVI

In these final days of preparation for the birth of our blessed Savior, I want to take a minute to wish you all a very Blessed Christmas. You have shared so much of yourselves and your faith with me during this Advent season, and I am truly thankful for each one of you.

You will be in my prayers every day, as well as your families and the requests for prayer that you have shared.

Until the New Year, may the Lord continue to bless you and hold you close to His Sacred Heart.
In Christ,

Daily Grace

A virgin unspotted, the prophet foretold,

Should bring forth a Savior, which now we behold,

To be our Redeemer from death, hell, and sin,

Which Adam’s transgression had wrappèd us in.

The King of all kings to this world being brought,

Small store of fine linen to wrap Him was sought,

But when she had swaddled her young Son so sweet,

Within an ox manger she laid Him to sleep.

Then God sent an angel from Heaven so high,

To certain poor shepherds in fields where they lie,

And bade them no longer in sorrow to stay,

Because that our Savior was born on this day.

Then presently after the shepherds did spy

Vast numbers of angels to stand in the sky;

They joyfully talkèd and sweetly did sing,

To God be all glory, our heavenly King.

To teach us humility all this was done,

And learn we from thence haughty pride for to shun:

A manger His cradle Who came from above,

The great God of mercy, of peace and of love.

Words & Music: Ap­par­ent­ly based on A Vir­gin Most Pure. This ver­sion ap­peared in Christ­mas Car­ols New and Old, by Henry R. Bram­ley and John Stain­er (Lond­on: No­vel­lo, Ew­er & Co., 1871), pp. 6-7 (MI­DI, score).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Presentation

Wrapped in a blanket, coffee steaming from my cup;

Rosary beads in hand, I watch the gentle flames dance in the fireplace as they warm the room.
In the name of the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit, I begin this day.

It is now the fourth joyful mystery, Mary and Joseph present the child Jesus in the temple; with joyful obedience they present him.

Simeon, a righteous and devout man, is moved by the Holy Spirit and praises God, saying:

"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel." Luke 2: 29-32

And, a prophetess, Anna, was also there. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2: 36-38

As I think of what faithful prayer warriors Simeon and Anna were, I am reminded of a prayer request that I had received yesterday from a beautiful great grandmother on behalf of her great grandson, Liam.

Liam is only 3 months old. He was in the hospital for about 10 days; most of that time was in critical care. He has been home now for about 3 weeks on the highest dose of medication allowed. However, he is continuing to have 5-6 seizures a day. The doctors do not want to increase the medications that he is on. Liam’s family is asking for prayers.

Oh Blessed Mother, just as you and St. Joseph presented baby Jesus in the temple for consecration to the Lord, please present baby Liam to your Son today. Ask Him to touch this little child with His healing hand and to bring peace to his tiny body. With each bead on this rosary, I ask you to increase the number of prayer warriors, like Simeon and Anna, on Liam’s behalf and to give his parents the courage they will need to get through this. In Jesus name, Amen

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Totally Yours

“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”

But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus. (Luke 1: 28-31)

I slept very little last night, thinking of what the morning would bring. I rose early, around 4:30 a.m., got ready as quickly as I could and left to meet my mother for 6:30 mass on this beautiful feast day of the Immaculate Conception.

We arrived about 30 minutes early to pray together.You see, for the past thirty three days, I have been preparing and waiting for this special feast day of our Lady, because it would be my day of consecration, "To Jesus, through Mary".

As I walked up to receive Holy Communion, the cantor was leading us all in Immaculate Mary. Tears filled my eyes, and joy filled my heart. Returning to my pew, I once again read my Act of Consecration, as the presence of Christ embraced me.

After mass, my mother and I recited the "Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary", hugged one another, and thanked Jesus for the gift of His mother.

Hail, then, O Immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men. Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for the end receive the vows and offering which in my lowliness I present to thee…….

I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before....

Today I, too, can say the words of Pope John Paul II, “Totus Tuus”, which in Latin means, “totally yours”.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Come Closer

The door to the hall was opened. As I looked around, I could see that the floors were still damp from being mopped. Somebody had to be close at hand because one of the closet doors was also opened, with a bucket and mop sitting close by.

“Hello”, I called out. “Is anyone in here?” A small gray haired man walked out from behind the closet doors. “Yeah, what do you need?” he asked me. “I read on the Internet that the church here has adoration on First Fridays, is that right?” “Yeah, you enter the church through those doors over there”, he grumbled at me. Then he went back into the closet to attend to whatever he had been doing before I had interrupted him.

As I entered the doors to the church however, I immediately felt a much warmer response, though I was the only person there. It was in the quiet of that moment, that I looked up at the altar and saw the body of my Lord exposed in the monstrance. As I knelt before Him, it was as if I heard Him say to me, “I’ve been waiting for you; come closer.”

I walked up to the front pew, genuflected, then lowered the kneeler to pray and pay Him homage. A simple Advent wreath stood next to the altar. The altar cloth itself , had four small banners hanging down the front of it. One banner read peace, the other love, and the two that followed read hope and joy.

As I prayed I whispered to Him, “I feel your peace and love right now, thank you Lord”.

I said my rosary, then read some pages from a book I have on St. Louis de Montfort’s, True Devotion…., and just relaxed in this much needed time with the Lord.

As I  got up to said goodbye and started to leave, I realized the He had given me a gift. He had given me the gift of hope and joy that I would need to finish this day.

"Thank you",I said.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Heard A Gentle Call

Our Lady of Medjugorge

Message of November 25, 2009

"Dear children! In this time of grace I call you all to renew prayer in your families. Prepare yourselves with joy for the coming of Jesus. Little children, may your hearts be pure and pleasing, so that love and warmth may flow through you into every heart that is far from His love. Little children, be my extended hands, hands of love for all those who have become lost, who have no more faith and hope. Thank you for having responded to my call."

I heard a gentle call from a gentle mother;
I heard a gentle call from a gentle friend.
I heard a gentle call from a gentle mother;
Calling be back to her son again.

I heard a call in the middle of the night,
Calling me to wake, calling me to change my life.
I heard a call in the middle of the day,
Calling me to fast,
Calling me to pray, pray, pray.

I heard a gentle call from a gentle mother,
I heard a gentle call from a gentle friend.
I heard a gentle call from a gentle mother,
Calling be back to her son again.

I heard a call in the middle of a war;
Calling me to peace,
Calling to pray some more.
I heard a call in the middle of despair
Calling me to faith, to believe that God’s always there.

Oh, the sun turned round, and the rosaries turned gold,
But the cross on the hill was something to behold.

But the greatest change that I did see;
Is a change that happened inside of me;
The change that happened when my mother called me.

I heard a gentle call from a gentle mother,
I heard a gentle call from a gentle friend.
I heard a gentle call from a gentle mother,
Calling be back to her son again.

Song by Connie Salazar

May the peace of Christ be with us this day as we prepare for His coming.
Mary, Mother of our Redeemer, pray for us.

Connie Salazar

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Novena To Saint Andrew

I awoke early this morning with a burning desire to spend the morning with Jesus. So, I dressed quickly and set off for the 6:30 mass, knowing that I would find the peaceful quite time I needed to be with the Lord.

As I knelt in the pew, looking up at the crucifix and the first advent candle burning brightly, a dear friend of my mother entered the pew behind me and tapped me on the shoulder.” I have a Novena for you to St. Andrew”, she said. “It starts today and you say it everyday during Advent”. I thanked her, and then she added “Give a copy to your mother”. I smiled, continued my prayer and waited for mass to begin.

Later that afternoon, I was also invited to listen to today’s homily on EWTN, given by Fr. Joseph Mary, MFVA. Interestingly enough, it was about a miraculous healing that happen to this priest’s great, great Uncle Andy, after saying this novena to St. Andrew.

Apparently, Uncle Andy, who was 90 years old at the time, was completely blind in his right eye, and legally blind in his left. He said the novena prayer to St. Andrew fifteen times a day throughout Advent and at the end of the novena; he regained the sight in his right eye. He continued the novena prayer, repeating it fifteen times a day or more, everyday after that, and he has now regained the sight in his left eye as well.

Uncle Andy continues to say this novena everyday for the end of abortion.

This novena prayer is so beautiful and so centered on the birth of our Savoir and our Blessed Mother, that I wanted to share it with you.

Novena to Saint Andrew:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment

in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary,

at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.

In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God!

to hear my prayer and grant my desires,

through the merits of Our Savoir Jesus Christ,

and of His Blessed Mother.


"If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." –Rm 10:9


One candle,

One light,

To lead us, to guide us.

One angel,

One message,

One mother of great love.

One manger,

One child,

One hope for all nations.

One gift from Our Father,

From heaven above.

Loving Father, you have sent a great light into our darkness, to show us the way.
As we journey closer to your light during this first week of advent,
May our hearts be warmed by the fire of its brilliance, and may our souls take delight in this eternal flame.
May we grow in kindness and generosity towards others. And, may we be filled with expectant joy as we await the coming of our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thank Him

Being in a small construction business with my husband and partner for almost thirty years, we have ridden the waves of economic change many times. For the most part, we have always fared well. Nevertheless, there have been times of great struggle, not only to bring in new work, but also to collect from certain clients on work already done.

It was one of those times when collecting had been difficult, that the call came in from a general contractor who stated to me that our draw checks had arrived and I need to drive out, pick them up, and sign necessary releases, which is a common industry request.

Never having been to this contractor’s office before, I typed the address into MapQuest, printed my direction sheet, and out the door I went. It was about a 35 miles trip out into a rural area of Riverside County, which wouldn’t have been a problem if it weren’t for the road construction and detour signs, which of course, weren’t included in the directions I had printed! In no time at all I was lost. There were no service stations or roadside businesses to stop into and ask directions, so I keep driving, determined to find my way. After about 20 more minutes of hopeless searching, frustration had set in and I looked up and said “Dear Jesus, please send me someone who can show me the way”. It was just that simple of a prayer.

As I made my next turn around the bend, to my pleasant surprise, there was a small group of Caltrans workers. They were working on the road ahead. I pulled over and rolled down my driver side window. “Excuse me", I said." I seem to be lost; could you show me how to find this address?” One of the men walked over to my car and smiled, “sure lady, let me see where you want to go.” As I handed him my direction sheet, I looked at the stitched name tag on his shirt. His name was Jesus! He told me where to take my next turn and that it was only about 5 minutes away. I thanked him, looked up to heaven, and thanked Him.

 God is an awesome God! He is always there for us, and I am forever grateful!

Reflection:  As we gather around our Thanksgiving tables tomorrow, let’s not forget to thank Him for all our many blessing. And please, remember to add an extra prayer for all the people that are unemployed, struggling to put food on their tables, and wondering how they going to pay their bills.

God Bless

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh My King

As the visions during the night continued,

I saw one like a Son of man coming,on the clouds of heaven;when he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;
all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away,his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Daniel 7:13-14

Today we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King; the Alpha and the Omega, the one who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

Oh my King, what gift could I possibly give you;

You, who have given me life itself?

Everything my eyes fall on has been given to me by your love;

Every breath I take is a gift of your grace.

What gift could I give you my King?

All I possess has been given to me from You.

So I give back to you my life, in all its unworthiness,

Please take it and use me as you will, if you will.

May I forever testify to the truth,

That Jesus Christ is King, now and forever.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Calling on Angels

It was a rough afternoon at the clinic. Within the short shift that I worked, two different young women came in for pregnancy testing and ultra sounds.

The first young woman, married with a 4 month old, had taken a pregnancy test at home. Her results had been positive, but she wanted to double check and talk with a nurse. After taking another urine test, the results concurred, she was definitely pregnant. She left the clinic surprised, but happy, and went home to share her news with her husband and family members.

The second young woman was unmarried .She had only been with her boyfriend for 3 months and they had just broke up. She was there with one thought in mind, and it wasn’t to parent. She took a pregnancy test, and while we waited for the nurse to come in, we began to talk.

Being a pro-life clinic, we talked to her about her options for parenting and adoption, but it was easy to see her mind was closed to this. As the client advocate I was working with spoke to her further, I began to pray, begging our Blessed Mother to intercede on this baby’s behalf. Surprisingly, I began to tell her about a crisis pregnancy that I had had when I was only 16, a story I have told few people. I told her that even though it was a very difficult time for me at the beginning; it turned out to be such a wonderful blessing because that beautiful son of mine is now a father of two himself, and they are all  joys of my heart. I also told her about my son in law, a big loveable guy, who had recently joined our family. He had been adopted and now, not only did my daughter get to experience the joy and love that his life offers, but  my entire family and I get to share the joy of his life too!

The staff nurse came in and greeted the young woman warmly, and she began to talk to her about her pregnancy, her family, and her thoughts on keeping her baby. After the young girl’s responses, the nurse answered all her questions in detail. Things did not look promising; but, she did agree to an ultra sound.

As she reclined on the table, the nurse began the procedure. The image on the screen was very clear and the precious little heart was beating away. The nurse asked her if she would like to take a look and with wide eyed curiosity she said,"Yes". As she looked at her child’s image on the screen she smiled and when she left, she took the picture with her, along with some prenatal vitamins.

I don’t know how this will turn out, but I'm calling on angels to pray for them both. Pray hard, please.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Man That Walks With God

As I sit here tonight, counting my blessings and looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday ahead, I want to share with you a little bit about my dad, a man that walks with God.

Born in 1930, he was one of five brothers. Rugged and quick tempered, he was known to love a good fist fight in his younger days. I find the thought of that amusing because the only thing I have ever seen him fight over was the last piece of strawberry pie!

But as I look back now, I would have to say that dad is a fighter. He is a great fighter that has weathered through tremendous personal loss, including the loss of his only son. He is a fighter that continued each day in the face of his brokenness to provide for his wife and his daughters. Our home was always warm and filled with love.

A man of deep prayer and devotion to Our Lady, dad opens his home to those in need. He works the soup kitchens, drives the elderly to church on Sunday (and he’s no spring chicken), brings the Holy Eucharist to the sick and promotes the rosary at every opportunity.

Over the past 19 years, dad has been fighting repeat bouts of both prostate and colon cancer. There have been times that the doctors have told us that he would not be with us for more than a year. What the doctors don’t know is that dad is a fighter and a man that walks with God.

Dad has started another round of chemotherapy, and as usual, his attitude is good. Please keep him in your prayers.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Be Still

It’s 3:00 in the morning and sleep has abandoned me,
The sounds of the night are all that I hear.
Lying beside me, my husband breathes deeply;
In a little more than an hour he'll start his day.

In this quite moment, I call out for Your spirit;
“Please lead me, please guide me, please show me the way”.
"Be still  my daughter and know that I love you”,
Is all that I seem to hear your voice say.

Then my body relaxes and my mind starts to settle;
I’m content  just to lay here in the darkness with you.
Then the next thing I hear are the birds singing sweetly,
With joy in my heart, I start a day new.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.
Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea,
Though its waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging.  The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. Selah
 Streams of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken; God will help it at break of day.
Though nations rage and kingdoms totter, God's voice thunders and the earth trembles.
The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. Selah
Come and see the works of the LORD, who has done fearsome deeds on earth;
Who stops wars to the ends of the earth, breaks the bow, splinters the spear, and burns the shields with fire;
Who says: "Be still and confess that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth."
The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. Selah

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mirror of the Soul

If I were to gaze into the mirror of my soul,

What reflection would I see?

Would I see the smiling eyes of love gazing back at me?

Would I see a heart that radiates a burning love so true?

Would I see a hand of mercy outstretched to hold onto?

As I end this day O Lord, I ask you to purify my soul, that it may be a reflection of Your love. And, for all the many blessings you have bestowed upon me and my family, I give you thanks

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beloved Soldier

Young and full of life’s promise, you chose to serve the country you loved.

You left all that was familiar and comfortable to you behind,
And with a heart full of courage you looked ahead; your mission was to serve.
You wanted to give back to those other brave heroes that had given to you;
It was your way to say thank you.
Who would have thought that here, on your own soil, amongst the people you trusted the most,
You would meet such a horrific fate.

The tragedy that transpired yesterday at Fort Hood, Texas, leaving 13 dead and 30 others injured,
has left their families shattered and our country both shocked and dismayed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Promote the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you; pray for it to the Lord, for upon its welfare depends your own. (Jer 29,7)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


A soft blanket surrounds me;

My mother’s arms embrace me.
Softly, she whispers of your love for me.

Stars twinkle brightly; moon high above,
Peace is my pillow;
I reflect on your love.

Sleep has now found me;
You are beside me,
Together we will share these hours of the night.

Until the morning light wakes me,
Safe I will be in the arms of my mothers,
As she whispers to me.

Devotion to Mary means Devotion to Jesus.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cleanse Me, Oh Lord

We are all children of our age. It is said that you cannot leave clothes in a smoky room, without them taking on the smell of smoke. Similarly, by living in an age whose spirit is radically opposed to Christ, it is only to be expected that most of us will become tainted by the spirit in one way or another, to a greater or lesser degree. 1

Like the smoky clothing, we must be washed clean in order to grow closer to Christ.

Lord, my desire is to seek you in all things.

Open my eyes that I may see what it is that keeps me from you;

Open my ears that I may hear your call.

Open my heart that your love may pour in;

And create a spirit of generosity within me so great,

That I may desire nothing for myself, except your love.

1 Fr. Helmuts Libietis, St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion Consecration to Mary

Friday, October 30, 2009

Simple Stones

The Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. For forty days they taunted King Saul and his army. They were all terrified. But the faith and courage of one young boy changed what could have been a dreadful outcome.

David, son of Jesse, you slew Goliath with nothing but a sling shot and a bag of stones. As the 9 foot Philistine approached you, jeering at you and ridiculing you with his enormous size and mighty strength, you feared not! You, a simple shepherd boy, filled with trust and faithfulness to the God of Israel, took a stone from your side pouch, loaded your sling shot, aimed and launched the stone that ended his life and destroyed your enemy.

Our Lady has given us weapon to use against the attacks of the wicked enemy, Satan. These weapons are like the stones used by David to slay Goliath. They are prayer (daily Rosary), fasting, the Bible, monthly confession, and Holy Communion.

Since 1214, when the Church first received the Rosary from St. Dominic, given to him by Our Blessed Mother, the Rosary has been a powerful weapon for the conversion of sinners and a form of protection against the enemy.

To recite the Rosary is to be with Jesus and Mary, meditating on the mysteries of their lives. When we are daily linked with them by such meetings, then the joy of victory over death and sin is guaranteed to us with them. The gifts of the Spirit and the final triumph in heaven are assured us. 1

Sometimes, it is easy to say the Rosary in a hasty manner, rushing to finish it and off to start something else. But, we should try to say the Rosary like we were talking to a friend, enjoying the time we spend together, nurturing the moment and the relationship.

“Dear children! Today I invite you in a particular way to enter the battle against Satan by means of prayer. Satan wants to battle more, now that you are aware of his activity. Dear children, put on therefore, your armor against Satan, and with the Rosary in your hands, you will defeat him. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (August 8, 1985)

1  Pray with the Heart! Medjugorje Manual of Prayer, F. Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Mother's Love

A mother’s love is always constant, ever tireless and forever steadfast. She gives her all for her children and would go to great lengths to help them when they are troubled or in danger.

From as early as the year 40 AD, when Our Lady was said to have appeared in a vision to St. James the Greater while he was evangelizing to the people of Spain, we have seen her reaching out to us, comforting the afflicted and being a source of refuge to us sinners. Her unwavering mission, as our mother, is to reconcile us with her son.

Since June 24, 1981, Our Lady has been appearing in a place called Medjugorje, a small village in Bosnia-Herzegovina. She first appeared to two teenage girls, Ivanka Ivankovic and Mirjana Dragicevic while they were out walking on a hot afternoon. Noticing a bright light upon the hill of Mount Podbrdo, behind her village, Ivanka saw a figure of a lady. Although she wasn’t sure, she shouted out to her friend, “Mirjana, look. There is Gospa” (Meaning, Our Lady in Croatian). Assuming she was joking with her, Mirjana didn’t even bother to look up.”Come on”, she said, “would Our Lady appear to us?”

Ivanka said no more and they continued their walk. A younger girl, Milka Pavlovic, was tending her goats and asked them to help her. Arriving back to the previous spot where the two girls had been, all three now saw the figure of the lady. They knelt down. This time, another friend, Vicka Ivankovic , happened to come by. “Look up there,” they told her. Terrified, Vicka kicked off her shoes and ran. She met 16 year old Ivan Dragicevic and his friend Ivan Ivankovic. She told them what had happened and took them to check it all out. They, too, saw the vision and quickly ran home.

The following day, four of the children felt drawn to go back to the same spot by the hill. Vicka got her friend Marija (Milka’s sister) and 10 year old Jokov Colo to go with them. Milka and Ivan Ivankovic did not return that day and never saw Our Lady again.

When the children asked the Lady who she was and why she had come to them, she replied, “Dear children, I am the Blessed Virgin Mary…I am your Mother, the Queen of Peace… I love you…I come on a mission from God the Father…God has chosen each one of you to use you in a great plan for the salvation of mankind. I wish to be with you to reconcile the world through prayer, fasting, faith, conversion and peace.”

Our Lady has appeared every day since then, teaching them to live holy lives and asking her “dear children” to relate her messages to the world. Each month, Our Lady gives messages to the world. On the 2nd she gives one to the visionary Mirjana and on the 25th to the visionary Marija. 1

2We must realize that Satan is real. He uses us for his own end and purposes. His main purpose is destruction. Destruction of love, peace, faith, family, and life. Just as God gave David 5 stones with which to defeat Goliath, Our Lady is also giving us 5 Stones or Weapons we can use to defeat satan. They are: 

• Daily Prayer (Of the Rosary)

• Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays

• Daily Reading of the Bible

• Monthly Confession

• Holy Communion
(Message of October 25, 2009 to Marija)

"Dear children! Also today I bring you my blessing, I bless you all and I call you to grow on this way, which God has begun through me for your salvation. Pray, fast and joyfully witness your faith, little children, and may your heart always be filled with prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call."

1 Medjugorje Magazine


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mother of All

Mother of one, mother of all;

Each child just as dear as the rest.
Heart pure and gentle; love always constant,
The glory of your son you attest.

Morning star, guiding light, strong and mighty,
In the distant horizon you shine.
Arms open, beckoning forward, your voice calling;
Peace in your sweet refuge I find.

Casting myself before you, humbly down at your feet;
Use all that I have precious Mother,
Make my devotion to complete.

Our Lady’s Message of September 25, 2009 to Marija

“Dear children, with joy, persistently work on your conversion. Offer all your
joys and sorrows to my Immaculate Heart that I may lead you all to my most beloved Son, so that you may find joy in His Heart. I am with you to instruct you and to lead you towards eternity. Thank you for having responded to my call”

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Be Prepared

The gentle wind blows through the valley;

The golden Aspen leaves shimmer in the breeze.
The tall pine branches sway to the melody,
And their many cones fall to the ground.

As the squirrels scamper to gather their food,
I watch God’s creatures prepare for winter in the Eastern Sierra.

I begin to think about my own preparedness, not just for the winter months,
but in my vocation as a wife, as a mother, as a Christian woman in my neighborhood and workplace.
If my Lord were to visit me today, what state would He find that with which he
has entrusted me?

Pondering this question, the story of the Ten Bridesmaids comes to mind.

Jesus told His disciples this parable: “The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25: 1-13)


Lord, when you call on me, may you find me amongst the wise, spiritually vigilant, with my oil lamp full.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are -- in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. ... You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society -- completely forgotten, completely left alone."

~ Blessed Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa’s words are so wise and so simple. It begins with me; it begins with you. We don’t need to go far to find someone in need, someone who needs a phone call, a smile, or some company.

It is like that old saying goes, “Bloom where you’re planted”

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes that I may see what I choose to neglect, especially in my own home and amongst my own family. Increase my charity so, that I may give to others, as you have given to me. May I bloom where you have planted me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alone in the Desert

Lost in the desert I wander,
How long will it be that I am here?
I walk for what seems like hours;
No water to be found anywhere.

The sun is high in the sky,
And its’ rays beat down on my head.
I turn to look behind me,
But only my shadow is there.

I fall to my knees and cry out,
“How long must I wander this desert?
I am thirsty and weary and weak”.

Then a voice from above, strong and gentle is heard,
“Keep going my child, you can make it;
You don’t have much further to go.
Keep straight on the path you are taking,
And know that you are never alone”.

Sometimes we all encounter what seems to be a desert experience in our
spiritual life, and our only prayer is, “Lord, I am thirsty”. Be steadfast and
do not falter. For what father would deny his child water; surely not our heavenly

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Forever Yours

As I rise to face the challenges of this day, O Lord;

My heart is filled with joy, for I am aware of your constant presence within me,

Always gentle, always leading onward.

You want so much for me; you have so much to teach me.

And I am like an eager student; I want so much to learn your ways,

To follow the course you have prepared for me.

Please accept all my thoughts, words and deeds this day, as a small sign of my love for you. May I have the wisdom to see your hand at work in and through all circumstances, transforming my perspective. And in all my trials, may I rejoice with a trusting heart knowing that you are by my side.

Forever Yours

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Life is Beautiful

We packed up bread for the ducks, along snacks for ourselves, and Sofia and I set off to the park.

It was warm and breezy when we arrived and many young parents were out with their toddlers, enjoying the peaceful autumn morning.

Sofia, not quite two, joyfully ran over to where the children were; content just to be among them. They played on the slides, dug up the bark, ran around, and simply enjoyed the pleasure of the moment.

As I watched them from the bench, I pictured Jesus standing among them:

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them,

but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

After he placed his hands on them, he went away. (Matthew 19: 13-15)

Today marks the 12th day of the 40 Days for Life fall campaign. People from all across the country are joining this campaign. Many are praying and fasting with one common goal in mind, to stand up for life, to protect the unborn.

As I watched those little ones in the park, I thanked Jesus for each one of them, and I thanked him for groups like 40 Days for Life.

Prayer: Dear Lord, give us the courage to always stand up for the truth so that when others see our strength, they may glorify you, the source of all strength.

40 Days for Life

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Breath of My Soul

COME, O Creator Spirit blest,

And in our souls take up Thy rest,
Come with Thy grace and Heavenly aid,
And fill the hearts which Thou hast made. 1

Spirit of Christ, breath of my soul, joy of my heart;

It is Your “Divine Wisdom” that I seek.

Help me this day and always to,

Deny myself all that is in me,

That keeps me from You.

Grant me the grace to conquer my pride,

And to be ever mindful of the words that leave my lips.
Spirit of Christ, breath of my soul, joy of my heart;

May I never seek greatness in this world,

But, through holy obedience,

Prefer the role of a servant.

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow

The Father and the Son to know,

And Thee through endless times confessed

Of both the Eternal Spirit blest. 2

(1,2) Veni Creator

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The jelly beans were in a glass jar up on top of the counter when my granddaughter, just under the age of two, quickly spotted them. Her grandpa had given them to her before and she remembered how much she had enjoyed them.

She ran over to the counter, looked over at me with expectation and said, “Candy”. I gave her a few of them and walked away, thinking I had satisfied her, only to hear cry out louder, “Candy”. “I just gave you candy “, I replied. “Candy, candy, please!” she continued.

Though I was reluctant to give more at that time, she was so persistent, I eventually gave into handing her a few more.

God requires that we be persistent. Recall the parable that Jesus tells about the necessity of praying and never losing heart. 1

"In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man.

"There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.'

"For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man,

yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'"

And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said;

now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?

"I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:2-8

God wants to demonstrate His love for us by responding to the needs we present to Him. 2

Prayer: Lord, we are your children, may we always look to you with expectant faith , knowing you care about our every need.

(1,2) Benkovic, Johnnette. Full of Grace : Woman and the Abundant Life, Servant Publication. 1998 ed.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Day is done. Everyone here has quietly settled in for the night. The house is peaceful and it’s a perfect time to pray and reflect on all that has gone by.

As I sit here by the lamplight, my heart is filled with gratitude for I am given an awareness of the many blessings God has sent me this day.

Blessings come in many forms. Today my blessings came in forms of laughter shared with family and time spent well together, attending holy mass with my husband and neighbors, but most of all, receiving Christ in the Eucharist; the nourishment of my soul.

I end this day with the Fifth Luminous Mystery, “The Institution of the Eucharist”, fruit of the mystery, love of our Eucharist Lord.

1. I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.

2. Jesus took bread, blessed it: "Take and eat, this is My Body."

3. Taking the wine: "This cup is the new covenant in my Blood, shed for you."

4. At that eucharistic meal, Jesus celebrated the first Mass.

5. At every Mass the sacrifice of Calvary is made present.

6. At the Last Supper Jesus instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders to perpetuate this sacrifice.

7. "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."

8. The Eucharist is a sacrifice inasmuch as it is offered up, and a sacrament inasmuch as it is received.

9. In the Mass we offer ourselves to God, and God gives himself to us.

10. The Mass will be fruitful in the measure of our surrender to the Father.

Prayer: May I grow ever mindful of your presence in the Eucharist, may my longing for you increase.

The Luminous Mysteries

Friday, September 18, 2009

Not Again!

She had struggled with her quick temper many times in the past, and many times she had told herself that she wouldn’t let it get the best of her next time. But, here was next time and she was behaving the same way! “Why did I do this again”, she asked herself.

Overcoming personal struggles are not easy. Even the Apostle Paul said, “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate (Romans 7:15).

The Lord knows we aren’t perfect, but, I think He appreciates our struggle. In our struggle we acknowledge our flaws and we open ourselves up to change. It is our openness to change that draws us ever closer to Him.

Prayer: Lord, I acknowledge to you that I am not a perfect person. Grant me the grace I will need today to continue the struggle with a grateful heart, and to make amends with anyone I may have offended.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Decision

We make many decisions in our lives.

Some of these decisions are easy and some of them are hard. You see, every decision that we make requires something from us; it requires a “yes” or a no.

When the angel came to Mary and told her that she had been chosen to be the mother of our Lord her decision was an immediate “yes”. “I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

As women, God calls each one of us by name and asks us if we will bring His Son into the world today. He asks us to carry Him in our hearts, and to birth Him into the lives of others.

Like Mary, we have a decision to make. God will never force us to do anything. And, if we say “yes” like she did, it will require something from us.

Prayer: Lord, give me the graces I need to decide for you today, that I, too, may be a bearer of your Son.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Juggler

Her juggling act was superb! The more she practiced, the better she got. And, it seemed as though every week she was adding another ball, then another ball. As a result,her juggling act was getting bigger and bigger, and  practice took up more and more of her time, until it consumed her.

She began to get cranky, a sign of fatigue. And the simple things she loved to do, well, there just wasn’t time to do them. Depression was becoming a frequent companion. Happiness had lost itself along the way.

Driving home one night, after another long day of juggling, she drove by a church and decided to go in. As she entered, she blessed herself with holy water, and taking notice of how quite everything was , she took a seat close to the tabernacle.

It took a minute or two to settle herself down; she was so use to juggling. As she relaxed, many thoughts, memories and people came into her mind. She began to talk to God in a way she hadn’t done in a long time, and wondered why it had taken her so long to come there.

When she was done talking, she just sat there before Him, silently and peacefully. And when it was time for her to go, she thanked Him for listening and for being there. She felt so refreshed, and wondered if she would continue to juggle as much as she had before.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to see my addictions for what they are, and grant me the grace to overcome them.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Be Open

They had both been complaining about each other for years. It was often a complaint about small things that they had let grow into big things. But, it was always about something.

“I’ve told him many times” she would say, “but he just doesn’t get it”. He would shake his head as he told his friend, “You can’t tell her anything, she never listens”.
And so it went. They had both become so sure that it was the other one that was wrong; they became deaf to one another.
Sadly, this situation happens all too often to many of us in married and family life. We think we are right and our pride takes over. As we close our ears, we close our hearts.
In today’s gospel reading, Jesus looks up to heaven and groans, and said "Eph'phatha," that is, "Be opened." (Mk 7: 34). He is referring to the deaf man that He has just healed. But, the Lord is calling each of us to be open as well.
Prayer: Lord, open my ears to your word and my heart to forgive.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Gift

A strong set of lungs and a face like an angel were the first thoughts I had of this little granddaughter of mine.
I held her in my arms and looked up at her father, whom I had also held just like this many years ago.

Offspring of my offspring~joy of my heart.Suddenly, the term family tree had taken on a new meaning; it became a reality.

The gift of life is so precious.
'Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession (Genesis 48:4)

Prayer "Thank you Lord for precious gift of life"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dawn in Suburbia

The alarm clock goes off, the bathroom light goes on, the dog yawns and my husband kisses me goodbye. It’s 4:50 a.m. and I am grateful that I have about twenty more minutes to lie here before I get out of bed.

The weekday morning routine seldom varies. The coffee pot is percolating and this quiet time alone with God is my favorite part of the day. Funny, I never thought of this before, but caffeine and the rosary are an awesome combination! The caffeine stimulates me, while the rosary strengthens me providing the grace I need to start the day.

Today, while praying the Sorrowful Mysteries, I think of Jesus carrying His cross, and wonder what the day will bring. Family and friends come to mind, and I entwine these thoughts of them between each small bead.

Dawn in suburbia brings hope and promise. Today is a gift to be used wisely.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5: 11).