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