Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Draw Your Strength From the Lord

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.
 Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.
For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.
Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. 
 Ephesians 6 10:13

"Dear children! God gave you the grace to live and to defend all the good that is in you and around you, and to inspire others to be better and holier; but Satan, too, does not sleep and through modernism diverts you and leads you to his way. Therefore, little children, in the love for my Immaculate Heart, love God above everything and live His commandments. In this way, your life will have meaning and peace will rule on earth. Thank you for having responded to my call." 
BVM May 25, 2010  

Lord, you have told us that the greatest commandment of all is to love the Lord, our God, 
with all are hearts, 
with all our soul and all our mind;
            May this be our prayer.
            And may we love our neighbor as ourselves,
            Growing in holiness everyday and leading others to you.  Amen

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Advocate

And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Acts 2: 1-2

The days were absolutely gorgeous while we were in Medjugorje, nothing but blue sky and sunshine. Each day my daughter and I would walk from the home where we were staying to the downtown village where St. James Parish is located. We would walk alongside of vineyards, huge vegetable gardens and watch the children climbing fruit trees. The village women gathered on the paths to sell rosary beads, linen tablecloths and local honey.  Occasionally we would encounter the neighborhood peacock that proudly guarded his own yard. It was a walk we looked forward to each day.

But this particular morning we gathered into small vans with the other pilgrims in our tour group. We were going to visit a group of Franciscan nuns that had relocated their convent to the Medjugorje area after their original convent had been bombed by the communists.

Sister Janja (pronounced YAN ya), one of the original people to help the visionaries while they were still children, spoke with us about the broken crucifix that hung on the chapel wall. This crucifix, which the nuns had brought with them, had hung in their previous chapel. Sister told us that though the communists had broken this cross, she and her Franciscan community took it here with them to symbolize that we all have broken Christ in our lives.

After Sister Janja spoke, Fr. Patrick Crowley, SS.CC., our spiritual director while in Medjugorje, held mass for us in the nuns chapel. As he was praying for an increase or outpouring of the Holy Spirit among us , a strong wind shook the chapel walls and stained glass windows. The doors blew open and slammed shut with unbelievable force and the crowd inside began to praise God loudly, some of them sang praises in tongues. It was truly amazing.

Father, a very humble man, smiled and stated that the Lord had let us witness a small version of Pentecost. Ask and you shall receive!

The good Lord always wants to share His gifts with His children. And just as Christ gave us the Advocate which is the Holy Spirit, we, too, are called to be advocates for Christ Jesus in the world today. May we continue to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth. Ps 104

Friday, May 21, 2010

He Abandoned Himself Completely to Mary.

I came across the most inspiring article today regarding Pope John Paul II and  I just wanted to share it with you. 
God bless you.

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist   for Living His Life Abundantly, Women of Grace

The physician who treated Pope John Paul II throughout his life said the dying pontiff refused all pain medication and, at the end of his life, abandoned himself completely to Mary.

The Catholic News Agency (CNA) is reporting that Italian physician Renato Buzzonetti, who served as Pope John Paul II’s personal physiciam from 1978 until his death, described the pope’s heroic suffering during a recent interview with L’Osservatore Romano.
When he was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, Buzzonetti said he reassured the pope that “no one ever died” from a shaky hand. But as the world watched, the disease gradually worsened.
“The Pope’s life was more complicated later because of the painful joint symptoms that were particularly intense in his right knee, which prevented John Paul II from standing up and walking briskly,” Buzzonetti said. “These were two symptoms that, put together and intertwined, made it necessary for him to use a cane and later a wheelchair.”
Despite the pain, the Holy Father “never asked for sedatives, not even in his final stages,” he said. “It was above all the pain of a man who was enclosed, prostrate on a bed or in a chair, who had lost physical autonomy. He couldn’t do anything by himself, and eventually he was completely physically disabled: he could not walk, he couldn’t speak other than with a weak voice, his breathing was labored and short, he ate with increasing difficulty.”
Buzzonetti spoke about the final days of the pope’s life, when he was forced to perform a tracheotomy that would take away his ability to speak.
“Upon getting himself up after the anesthesia, after having given his consent, he realized he could no longer speak,” Buzzonetti said. “Suddenly he found himself facing an extremely difficult reality. On a little chalkboard he wrote, ‘What have you done to me. Totus tuus (totally yours)’.  It was the realization of the new state in which he had fallen, suddenly exalted by the act of trust in Mary.”
Buzzonetti said the last few days with John Paul II were especially intense. “I felt extremely tense because of the great responsibility that was on my shoulders … My colleagues and I were aware that the disease was … in its final phase. Our battle had been waged with patience, humility and prudence, which was extremely difficult because we knew it would end in defeat.”
The death of Pope John Paul II “was the death of man divested of everything, who had lived through times of struggle and of glory and who was interiorly stripped of everything to meet the Lord and return the keys of the Kingdom,” Buzzonetti said. “At that hour of pain and astonishment, I had the sensation of being on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The story was reset, as Christ was preparing to call the new Peter.”

Monday, May 17, 2010

Love Will Remain

Hope and faith will both come to an end when we die. But love will remain. Love is eternal. Love comes from God and returns to God. When we die, we will lose everything that life gave us except love. The love with which we lived our lives is the life of God within us. It is the divine, indestructible core of our being. This love not only will remain but will also bear fruit from generation to generation.
Daily Meditation, Henri Nouwen

Love looks not to itself, but to others.

Love nurtures self-respect, thus it respects others.

Love is never greedy; it never takes more than it gives..

Love never competes, it complements.

Love is neither angry, nor does it hold a grudge.

Love is a uniting force that brings separated brethren together.

Love is Christ within us, it is what He wants us to pass on to others.

In these days before Pentecost, as we wait for the Paraclete, may we pray for an outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon ourselves, our families, our Church and our nation. And above all, let us pray for an increase of the divine love within us that comes from God alone.

"Dear children! Tonight I wish to tell
you during the days of this novena to pray for the outpouring of
the Holy Spirit on your families and on your parish. Pray, and
you shall not regret it. God will give you gifts by which you
will glorify Him till the end of your life on this earth. Thank
you for having responded to my call." BVM,Medjurorje, June 2, 1984

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Joyful Witness

I will witness to you in the world, O Lord. I will spread the knowledge of your name among my brothers and sisters, alleluia
(Ps 17:50; 21:23)

A warm simile that welcomes the stranger
Arms that reach out to others
Eyes that look into the heart
Ears that take time to listen
Patience to put the need of others before my own
Humility to serve
Energy to endure

Grant me these things today, my Lord that I may joyfully witness your love to those who love not.
                                                                           In Jesus name I pray.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Her Loving Gaze is Upon Us

Our Lord entrusts each of us into the care of the most blessed of all women- Mary, His mother.

How delicate a mother’s heart really is and how it shows its tenderness in a thousand little cares that no on thinks about.”
The Story of a Soul, Saint Therese “the Little Flower”

Since the moment of our conception, we have been under the gaze of Our Lady. Even now, at this very moment, her loving gaze is upon us.

Her love for us is pure and holy. Her maternal love finds expression in guiding us to Jesus. Mary is all about Jesus, and what her heart desires is whatever Jesus desires for us, namely, that we do the Father’s will.  Sister Sophia, O.C.D., Spirit of Carmel, spring 2010

"Dear children! At this time, when in a special way you are praying and seeking my intercession, I call you, little children, to pray so that through your prayers I can help you to have all the more hearts be opened to my messages. Pray for my intentions. I am with you and I intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call." BVM Monthly Message, April 25, 2010

I offer you my every thought word and deed this day as a prayer for your intentions, oh holy Mother Mary. May every heart be open to your messages.  In Jesus name I pray.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I Have Given You Love, So That You May Give it to Others

“The love of God is the only eccentricity the world does not and will never accept.” Elisabeth Leseur (+1914)

Lord of all, you have given yourself entirely to me without reserve;

Oh, that I may give myself to you entirely and without reserve.

Everywhere I look I see your goodness.

You are the gentle eyes of the elderly man that looks toward me as I stand in line at the market.

You are the laughter I hear from the children waiting for the school bus near my house most mornings.

You are the song of the birds in my trees;

You are the cooing voice of the baby on his daddy’s shoulder at mass in the pew in front of me on Sunday morning.

There is nowhere I look that I do not see your face. Alleluia

It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…..John 15:16

"I have given you my love, so that you may give it to others." BVM, Medjugorje to Marija 9-1985

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Discovering God in Silence

“The Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him”  Habakkuk 2:20

God cannot be found in noise and agitation. His true power and love are revealed in what is hardly perceptible, in gentle breeze that requires stillness and quiet to detect.  In silence, God listens to us. In silence, listen to Him.  In silence, God speaks to our souls and the power of His word is enough to transform our very being. We cannot speak to God and to the world at the same time. We need the sacred space that silence creates in order to turn our undivided attention toward God even if it is only for a few precious moments of our day. 
By Sister Mary Clare, O.C.D. , Spirit of Carmel, Spring 2010

“Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
John 15:4
This is our Eucharistic connection to our Lord. Without him we can do nothing.

May we find that sacred space of silence we need to be with our Lord today.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Latter Went Home Justified

The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector. Luke 18:11

I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 18:14

It was my first day back to work after a relaxing ten day stay in the Eastern Sierra Mountains, our mountain house as I like to refer to it. My desk was piled high with mail, billing, reports, insurance requests and contract files that had to be gone through. I spent the morning sorting out my work by its highest level of importance and by the time the lunch hour came along, I was more than ready for a well deserved break.

There are a few antique shops in the old downtown district of Pomona that I like to wander through and I had some particular items in mind for the mountain house, so I headed over in that direction.

While browsing in this one particular shop, I found a beautiful bronze earthen pitcher that I thought would look nice up at the house, so I picked it up and headed toward the cash register.

Just then a solicitor, poorly clad, walked in with a large box. He told the man and woman behind the register that he had some items that he thought they might be interested in and invited them to take a look. The man rudely dismissed the solicitor, telling him there was a sign posted outside that stated that they never buy items from walk-ins, then added, “Didn’t you read it!” The solicitor, very politely apologized for his mistake, said goodbye and left.
For some reason, the man standing behind the register wasn’t satisfied that the solicitor had left without incident; he continued the conversation with the woman next to him, as if I wasn’t even there. “The illiterate piece of trash probably couldn’t read”, he said. Then, they both look at me and smiled asking me if I was ready with my purchase. “You know”, I said as I looked at the man, “I think I just changed my mind, you aren’t very nice.” With that I handed him the earthen pitcher, bid them both a good day and left their shop.

My heart hurt for the solicitor. I work in a poor area of Pomona, in fact my business in down the street from the local recycle center so I see many people day in and day out pushing their shopping carts and wagons with their cardboard, aluminum cans and bottles piled high. There are many others that stand on street corners selling fruit, flowers or ice cream. Once a lady came into my shop and sold me some fresh banana bread. They work hard everyday doing jobs many of us would not want to do. I have a lot of respect for these hard working men and women.Please remember them in your prayers.

In a world divided. let us pray for the Spirit of peace:

God of peace, make peace among those at war,
God of justice, make right what we have made wrong,
God of goodness, make holy what we have turned to our own selfish endsIntercessions from Missal