Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Crowning With Thorns

The Third Sorrowful Mystery

So Pilate asked Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And He answered him and said, "It is as you say."
 Luke 23:3

"And the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace, and they called together the whole band: And they clothe him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon him."

Mark 16:16,17

My Jesus, they crowned You with the crown of thorns after the scourging. They wrapped You in a scarlet military cloak and made a fool of You-those who were near You. For, Your friends were far away!

When hatred starts forging evil plans, then it is not likely to stop. It was not enough for them to have scourged You so murderously and now they go on mocking You and crowning You with the crown of thorns. But this time, to hatred and evil were surprised before You. You remained calm in all Your suffering. They saw in Your behavior that You understood even those who treated You like that. And even more: that You loved them and that You did not condemn them. But their wickedness had no limits. That is what happens when evil has affected a man or woman, a family, a community. Then it never stops destroying. Jesus, look upon all the offended and the humiliated, the scorned and the rejected. Redeem them with Your crown of thorns and under the grindstone of torturers and oppressors. Cleanse their heart of every hatred. Do not let them plan revenge and return evil with evil. Jesus, in Your name, let forgiveness spread. 1

1 Fr. Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M, Pray With the Heart

For Moral Courage:
I ask prayers this day for an 18 year old girl I met yesterday who is considering an abortion. May all the mighty prayer warriors in heaven and earth protect her and her unborn child through intercessory prayer today. In Jesus name, Amen

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Scourging at the Pillar

The Second Sorrowful Mystery.

Posted by dad.

They bound you to a post in Pilate's court and scrounged you mercilessly. Following each strike, wounds remained. Your blood flowed; you were loosing your strength and were in pain. You offered all this for us in order to free us from evil and sin.

How does one identify with this kind of suffering? Even if you tried you would come up miserly short. When I was asked to reflect on this decade of the rosary I found myself despairing because it brought to mind the greatest sorrow in my own life, the loss of my 3 year old son who was struck down by a station wagon in front of our home. The driver came around the corner of our street with a load of 2x4’s hanging out his rear window. My son and a young neighborhood boy were out front at the time. The neighbor boy took my son by the hand to take him across the street to play. The driver was watching the shifting lumber that was not tied down in his car and he did not see the boys crossing the street. At that instant our lives were forever dramatically changed. I could not forget or forgive that person.

For years I wished that moment would be taken away; my anger grew and this affected the rest of my family. The only thing that kept me going was to know my son was in a better place with his heavenly Father and that some day I would be with him in heaven.

Thank you Lord for giving us your son Jesus so that we may all be united together in

Lord, I offer my prayers for those who, in their hearts, carry the wounds they receive in their lives. Jesus, break those wounds that may cause them to fall into new evils, scourging themselves and others. Jesus, break the chains of evil and sin so that your peace, love and forgiveness may come to dwell in every heart. I offer my prayers to you for parents who have scourged their children with drunken behavior, faithlessness, drugs, gambling, fights and divorces. Please free families from these evils. Grant that all of their wounds be healed so that we may experience peace, joy and both spiritual and physical health. Amen. 1

1 Fr. Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M

The Agony in the Garden

The Agony in the Garden left panel from the Altarpiece of St. Zeno of Verona 1456
They went to a place called Gethsemane…And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. (Mk 14:32, 33)

Posted by my dad; a man that walks with God.

My daughter has asked me to share my thoughts with you during this time of lent on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. I chose to share “The Agony in the Garden.”

I have been struggling with cancer for many years now. And the story I want to share with you began about six years ago after I had my third major operation for colon cancer.

These operations were taking place as frequently as every six months even though I had undergone an incredibly painful chemotherapy treatment following my first surgery.

It was after the third surgery, with my family gathered by my side to hear the news, that my doctors told me that they wanted to attack the cancer more aggressively by surgically implanting a stint inside of me so that I could take larger doses of chemo on a daily basis. I told the doctors that I did not want to subject myself to anymore of this torturous treatment and that my wife and I had purchased tickets to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands. We were scheduled to leave in six months and we were going with a Carmelite order of priests. My oncologist informed me that I would be dead in six months if I did not submit to the treatment. I asked how much time I would have if I submitted to the treatments; he said I could probably add up to two years.

Six months later I found myself in the Garden of Gethsemane, possibly under the same olive trees that our Lord Jesus Christ knelt to ask his father to take this cup from him. We know that this was the cup of forgiveness of  our sins and most importantly our salvation. Yet we know he said “Not my will be done but yours be done”.

As I knelt under these olive trees, I asked our Lord to take this cup (cancer) from me and if not, then please accept my pain and suffering in atonement for my sins and the suffering of others that may be so afflicted.

Some of these olive trees have lived well over 2000 years; and as I looked over the Valley of Kidron I could see the walls of Jerusalem where Jesus traveled to his agonizing torture and death on the cross for you and me.

Six years later I am here to thank God for this miraculous healing and to thank my fellow pilgrims, my family and friends that prayed for me constantly and the priest that gave me the Holy Sacrament of Healing of the Sick; I will feel forever indebted.

I pray to You to look upon all those who are seeking the Father's will now, for the sake of Your bitter agony. Help also those who have learnt the Father's will, but are too weak to accept it. May all the agony be redeemed through a renewed acceptance of the Father's will.1

Fr. Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M  Pray with the Heart

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Be it done to me according to your Word

Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
Like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
Let justice also spring up!
I, the Lord have created this. Isaiah 45:8

Be it done according to your Word! (Lk 1:38)

For thirty three days I have been praying for the Total Consecration of my family to Jesus through Mary.

Today on this feast of the Annunciation, before the holy tabernacle of our Lord Jesus Christ, I consecrate them officially to  Jesus through you, oh mother Mary. You alone are their mother, their protector, their intercessor. Be the mother to them that I never was. Hold them close to your motherly heart and present them to your Son daily, that they may grow closer to him daily.

May their love for your Son and their love for others blossom like the flowers of spring, attracting all those you send their way. May their hearts be filled with peace, that they may become bearers of peace to all they meet each day. May their joy be so contagious that all they meet might catch it. And may their arms always be open, as your son Jesus arms are always open to comfort those in need.

In His name I pray.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ask not what your mother can do for you...

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13: 1

Last night my husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a home mass with a group of eleven dear friends. The evening started with the recitation of the rosary, then mass, finished with a wonderful meal.

When I walked into the kitchen to help with the meal preparation I saw a plaque on the wall; it was a Mother’s day gift from the host's son and when I read it I thought of our Blessed Mother.

"Ask not what your Mother can do for you,
But what you can do for your Mother. "

This simple message said so much to me. I thought of a mother's love and it was a gentle reminder to pray for for the gift of love, not only for myself and my family, but for the world as a whole.

"Dear children! Today I call you to love with all your heart and with all your soul. Pray for the gift of love, because when the soul loves it calls my Son to itself. My Son does not refuse those who call Him and who desire to live according to Him. Pray for those who do not comprehend love, who do not understand what it means to love. Pray that God may be their Father and not their Judge. My children, you be my apostles, be my river of love. I need you. Thank you." BVM , Medjugorje, March 18, 2010 Message

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pray Before the Crucifix

“From tonight I ask you to pray even more. Meditate on the wounds of Jesus. Pray as much as you can in front of the crucifix.” BVM Medjugore 03/20/89

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength (1 Cor 1:18; 22-25)

Mary asks us to contemplate the wounds of Christ, for they speak so clearly of his love. Christ’s entire life and especially his passion were one unequaled act of divine love.

The mystery of the cross, for truly it is a mystery of the deepest currents of love, can only be comprehended through prayer.1

O Jesus! I remember the abundant outpouring of Blood which You shed. From Your Side, pierced with a lance by a soldier, Blood and Water poured forth until there was not left in Your Body a single Drop; and finally the very substance of Your Body withered and the marrow of Your Bones dried up.

Through this bitter Passion and through the outpouring of Your Precious Blood, I beg You to pierce my heart so that my tears of penance and love may be my bread day and night. May I be entirely converted to You; may my heart be Your perpetual resting place; may my conversation be pleasing to You; and may the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven and there with Your saints praise You forever. Amen.    Prayer of St. Bridget

1 Medjugoreje Day by Day, A Daily Meditation Book Based on the Messages of Our Lady of Medjugorje. Richard J. Beyer

Thursday, March 18, 2010


"Then He spoke of exterminating them, but Moses, His chosen one, withstood Him in the breach to turn back His destructive wrath." –Psalm 106:23

As I read today’s passage from the book of Exodus, the word “intercession” comes to mind. Though Israel turns from God, Moses intercedes on behalf of the people and asks God to show them mercy.

Like Israel, we too have turned away from God many times in our lives, individually and as a nation. Our molten calf might not be made of wood and gold, but what we tend to worship can come in many forms; these things lead us more toward self interest and less toward the kingdom and glory of God.

Thankfully, God in His mercy is aware of our weakness and He sends us wonderful angels of intercession to help us find our way back to Him. These angels come in many forms, such as family members, friends or people in our Christian community. But above all these, He sends us the Blessed Mother, Queen of the Angels, Mother of the Living God.

Mary intercedes for us before the Father and she is always asking us to intercede for the needs of the world as well.

“Have them believe and pray; I cannot help him who does not pray and does not sacrifice…The more you pray and fast for the same intention, the greater is the grace and the mercy of God.” BVM Medjugore 8/18/1982

May we all become intercessors for others and the world as a whole.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I'm not sure if it was the snoring of our dog or if it was the restlessness of my husband that roused me from my sleep last night. What I do know is that it was 3:00 a.m. and I was staring into the darkness of our room rather than enjoying the peacefulness of my dreams.

Turning to my side and tucking the blankets tightly around me, I tried to go back to sleep, but a single word kept playing over and over in my head, "vocation". I had read an article before going to bed this night entitled “The Vocation of Christians in American Public Life” which led me to reflect on my own vocation as a Catholic wife, mother, grandmother, and woman in the world today.

As I thought about the vocation I have been called to, I thought about the strong women of faith in my own life, the ones closes to me that have led me by their examples, like my mother and grandmother. I thought of the many women of faith that I have prayed with in our times of need; I thought of the women of courage and conviction I have read about like Mother Teresa and Dorothy Day.

The woman I thought about the most however, was our Blessed Mother Mary. Called to be the “Mother of the Redeemer”, Mary showed us how to fulfill our call to spritual motherhood by becoming the handmaid of the Lord. She was ready to serve God according to His will.

I came to realize that in following Mary's example our vocation cannot be a passive one, but an active call to action; after all her beloved Son was considered quite radical.

According to St. Louis de Montfort’s "The Secret of Mary", this calling requires a sincere desire for the gift of humility, unceasing prayer, complete self-denial, abandonment to divine Providence, and obedience to the will of God.

This is a tall order for most of us; it sure is for me, and the grace and help of God is absolutely necessary for us to put these virtues to practice. But, just like anything we strive to achieve; we must first desire to achieve it.

God bless you and yours always.

Take From Ave Maris Stella

Virgin all excelling,

mildest of the mild,

free from guilt preserve us

meek and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,

make our way secure

till we find in Jesus,

joy for evermore.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hope for the Journey

"Dear children! In this time of grace, when nature also prepares to give the most beautiful colors of the year, I call you, little children, to open your hearts to God the Creator for Him to transform and mould you in His image, so that all the good which has fallen asleep in your hearts may awaken to a new life and a longing towards eternity. Thank you for having responded to my call." February 25 2010 Message BVM

This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:

Rise up, be off to the potter's house; there I will give you my message.
I went down to the potter's house and there he was, working at the wheel.
Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.
Then the word of the Lord came to me:
Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done? says the LORD. Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.  Jeremiah 18 1-6

Dad has been ill with cancer for many years. He has suffered greatly, yet he never complains. His health keeps him close to home most of the time where he spends hours gardening.

Back in November, dad prepared his soil and planted several daffodil and tulip bulbs both in the front and backyard, then he sat back and waited for nature to transform them into the beauty that surrounds his home today. This beauty greets everyone that comes to the door, hinting of the warmth and love you will find inside.

Lord, as we continue our Lenten journey, open our hearts to the beauty that surrounds us this day that we may be transformed and molded into your image as we make our way towards eternity. Amen

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.