Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Time For Change

The real risk that we run in calling upon the living God, is not that we might wake God up. Rather, the danger is that God might awaken us. [We] might open our eyes to the ways that God is ever present with us. [He] has been right under our noses, waiting for us to notice. 1

Life seems like a ride in the fast lane with the radio on loud. Pedal to the floor, two hands on the wheel; if we take time to check our blind spot before making that lane change we congratulate ourselves for driving defensively. 

Our cars become our homes away from home. And, if we slow down just a moment to look around the inside of our highway homes we might have to admit that the surroundings reflect the messy, disarray of how we are living our lives.

Half drank soda cans, fast food wrappers, jacket, sports uniforms and gym bags, are just a small part of the rubble inside. 

We are all so busy being busy.

Texting has replace phone conversation with family and friends. And, Facebook supposedly gives us the feeling that we are in touch with one another.

There are many times, exhausted and empty, that we cry out to the Lord to help us. But, we think he is going to answer us as quickly as we operate our lives and when he does not, we easily  become discouraged and continue on in the same manner that lead us to this emptiness in the first place.

Nothing changes. 

Last weekend, my husband and I attended the Medjugorje Peace Conference in Irvine, CA. During the Eucharistic Liturgy on Friday evening, Fr. Joe Grbes, OFM, asked how many of us attended the conference last year. Many peoples raised their hands. Then he asked us, “How have you changed? Are you different than you were last year?”  If you had not changed, what prevented you from changing, and why did you come back this year? What is it going to take to make you change?

His comments made me stop and think, as I looked around, I saw many expressions that lead me to believe that other people might be asking themselves the same question.
God is ever present to us all the time. He is trying to wake us up. He is trying to get us to slow down long enough to take a look at our lives. He is calling us to change. He calls us to union with him, it's up to us to give him our "yes", our "fiat".

“Dear Children! I am looking at you and in your hearts I don not see joy. Today I desire to give you joy of the Risen One, that He may lead you and embrace you with His love and tenderness. I love you and I am praying for your conversion without ceasing before my son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.” BVM, Medjugorje, October 25, 2011.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


"Then the eyes of both were opened" (Genesis 3:7). They were exposed. When they heard the voice of God on the evening breeze, Eve and Adam hid themselves. From the One who had formed them, from the One who had given them life, they fled. 1

In their shame, in their sin, they hid their faces and refused to look upon the One who had created them, thus distancing themselves from God.2

Much like Eve and Adam, we have all experienced the shame of sin in our lives. This shame leads us to distancing ourselves from God and from one another. This shame leads us to sew  our own fig leaves together and to hide our selves from the life God has planned for us, from the gifts He wants to share with us.

Yet, we know that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God except our own refusal to acknowledge our sinfulness and to turn away from it.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and did not hide my iniquity; I said I will confess my sins to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilty of my sin.
Therefore, let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them. ~Psalm 32: 5-6

 "Dear children! My prayer today is for
all of you who seek the grace of conversion. You knock on the
door of my heart, but without hope and prayer, in sin, and
without the Sacrament of Reconciliation with God. Leave sin and
decide, little children, for holiness. Only in this way can I
help you, hear your prayers and seek intercession before the Most
High. Thank you for having responded to my call."    BVM, Medjugorje,
Message of May 25, 2011     

Saturday, October 22, 2011

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.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

21st Medjugorje Peace Conference

"Today I call you to have your life be
connected with God the Creator

(Our Lady’s message at Medjugorje)
We cordially you, your family and your friends to this conference in Irvine to hear our Blessed Mother's messages and seriously consider living the conversion to which she is ardently calling us.
The Conference Program includes Speakers, Testimonies,
Sacraments of Reconciliation, Medjugorje Holy Hour, Healing Service, Daily
Rosary, and Daily Holy Mass

      In June of 1981, six young people in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina, were stunned by the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary and by her impassioned messages given for the salvation of the world: “Dear children, I am your Mother, the Queen of Peace…God sends me to you out of love that I may help you comprehend that without Him there is no future or joy and above all, there is no eternal salvation. ...I call you to have your life be connected with God the Creator.”

      For thirty years, out of love for each one of us, Our Blessed Mother continues to speak to the world through these six visionaries: “Now is a time of grace… I wish to be with you to reconcile the world through prayer, fasting, faith, conversion and peace…God is sending me to show you the way…Give your hand to me…and permit me to lead you.Yes, now is a time to break free from our old ways of thinking, reasoning, judging and living—a time to embrace conversion of heart and true love for our neighbor, a time to pray and a time to fast.

      At this conference we are encouraged to ponder this invitation from Our Blessed Mother who copiously fills our cup with graces to help us stay connected with God the Creator. We have but to drink from it.

      “I am your Mother, I love you…God has permitted me to obtain graces for you… Realize that all the earthly things are not important for you, that only heaven is that for which it is necessary to strive.”
“I beg of you…to live my messages
and relate them to whomever you meet.”

© Copyright 2011 Medjugorje Peace Conference.
If you have any special intentions you would like brought to the conference you may either leave them in the comment box or email them to me and I will include them in the basket of intentions that will be lifted up at the mass and healing service Saturday evening.
Please keep the conference in prayer this weekend.
God bless you all,
Daily Grace

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Medjugorje: Souha's Most Beautiful Confession

Souha’s most beautiful confession. A group came from the Middle East to spend a few days in Medjugorje, wanting to make a holy pilgrimage. Among them was Souha, a married woman whose husband is a doctor. She came without him because he was working.

Souha had a secret that left her without peace. Soon after her arrival, she went to see a priest from her group and confided to him that she had an abortion. The child that she was expecting was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, and she and her husband did not want him. They decided together to have him removed from the womb and had an abortion performed. Her heart was still restless however and Souha asked the priest, “It’s not a sin, is it?” The priest answered, “But yes, my daughter, it is a sin! A grave sin! You must go to confession!”

Souha was not convinced and she shut herself within her denial. Yet she asked the Blessed Mother for a sign to know whether she should confess this act.

In the evening, at the apparition of the Gospa on the hill with Ivan, Souha was with her group. As soon as the Blessed Mother arrived, Souha unexpectedly bent over with her nose on the ground. She remained like this for a while and when she came back up after the apparition, her friends saw her crying. She told them, “Please call a priest, I must go to confession right away!”

I do not know what happened to her during the apparition, her friends respected her secret, but Our Mother acted.

In tears, Souha made the most beautiful confession of her life. Yes, she touched the horror of sin and it made her cry. She accepted God’s mercy towards her. Her inner peace was at last restored. Now she is free! What a contrast on her face! What light! She witnesses to her friends that she feels a deep joy, as never before in her life.

In Medjugorje, some pilgrims groups have a fine tradition. The guide suggests that each pilgrim receives the responsibility of praying for a particular person of the group during the whole pilgrimage. Thus the first or second night, each one must draw from a little basket the name of another pilgrim. That evening, out of the 150 people in the group, who received the name of Souha and the call to pray for her? A young woman with Down’s syndrome!

That same night, Souha’s husband called, and after hearing his wife’s story, tells her, “You know, I am calling you because I find it strange that you are over there praying to God, while I am here performing abortions. It is not right! Today, I have decided not to that anymore.” He also was crying over the phone. The whole day, he had the feeling that something was happening to his wife and he was ready to take this giant step professionally. Souha could not believe her ears.

This happened last August. Now Souha, her husband and their children are living differently, they put God in the first place. They practice the sacraments and go to Mass almost everyday. They give testimonies. After this memorable pilgrimage, they were wondering how to make reparation for such a past when they suddenly received a call from an orphanage needing help. Sisters were asking them to care for an orphaned child. They saw this as the answer from God, they were grateful to Him and decided to do everything in their power for the child.

And what has become of the aborted baby? In Medjugorje, Mary says of these unborn children, “They are with me”. This child is certainly praying for his parents and for all his little companions who, today, are programmed never to see the sun.

I am asking myself the question: did the baby really have Down’s syndrome? For I see more and more examples of wrong diagnostics: many mothers decide to keep their child whatever the handicap, and often, the child is born perfectly normal. Bizarre! To be meditated!

But God is wonderful! For this family, He changed evil into good. Now hundreds of children (perhaps even thousands) will never be aborted by this doctor who now fights for life.

*“Dear children, tonight I invite you to pray in a special way for the unborn children. Pray especially for the mothers who kill their children. Dear children, I am sad because so many children are killed. Pray that there are no more such mothers in the world.”
(To the Medjugorje Prayer group, 3- 03- 90)
Children of Medjugorje”

Shared by Ed Sousa, Sr..

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day is Done

Day is done. Everyone here at the cabin 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.

So much to think about, and so much to be grateful for.

Father Paul’s homily today at mass was wonderful. He spoke about “giving to God what belonged to God”.

And, He asked us, “what has God given you”, “what has God given to all of us?”

He reminded us that God has given us the gift of our lives; he tells us that God lives inside each of  us. He says that God has given us everything we possess,. God is with us in our hopes and dreams for the future. He has given us our talents, our families, our  every possessions;

God has given us so much. And, what does God want from us in return? He wants us to love him, to serve him, to be happy with him in this world and the next.1

God looks for our gratefulness.

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 came in many forms. Today my blessings came in forms of laughter shared with my Catholic community after mass. Blessings came in sharing a walk and a rosary with my husband. But most of all for  receiving Christ in the Eucharist; the nourishment of my soul. Nothing in the whole world can compare to this blessing.

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.

1 Baltimore Catechism

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We Are All Called

“If you will be what you should be, you will set all of Italy afire. Don’t be content with the small things: he, the Lord God, wants them great”…St. Catherine

Each and every one of us is called to a particular vocation in life.

Some of us might be called to be doctors; some of might be called to hospital ministry. Some of might be called to be teachers; some of us might be called to help out with religious education programs at our local parishes. Some of us are called to the priesthood; some of us are called to parenthood.Yes, we are all called.

Each of our callings is different from another, but every calling is unique in the eyes of God the Father that made us. And why did God make us?  God made us to know him, to love him, and to serve him in this world, and to be happy with him forever in heaven.1

Our existence is a manifestation of his love for us. Yet, the world today tries to show us that we don’t need God, that we can have societies and families without him. Little by little we push him aside, we become disconnected from God. Thinking that we know what is best for us, we put our trust in ourselves, rather than putting our trust in God that made us.

Jesus tells us, “You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk”(Luke 11:44).  Our spirituality is catching no one!

Jesus was asking the Pharisees and scholars of his days to wake up, to become what they should be. He is asking us to do the same. He wants us to set the world on fire with the love of his Holy Spirit. He wants our every action and reaction to reflect the love God has for us.

 "Dear children; Also today my motherly heart calls you to prayer, to your personal relationship with God the Father, to the joy of prayer in Him. God the Father is not far away from you and He is not unknown to you. He revealed Himself to you through my Son and gave you Life that is my Son. Therefore, my children do not give in to temptations that want to separate you from God the Father. Pray! Do not attempt to have families and societies without Him. Pray! Pray that your hearts may be flooded with the goodness which comes only from my Son, Who is sincere goodness. Only hearts filled with goodness can comprehend and accept God the Father. I will continue to lead you. In a special way I implore you not to judge your shepherds. My children, are you forgetting that God the Father called them? Pray! Thank you." BVM, Medjugorje, October 2, 2011

Mirjana said: I have never said anything before, but are you aware, brothers and sisters, that the Mother of God was with us? Each of us should ask himself: "Are you worthy of this?" I am saying this because it is difficult for me to see Her (Our Lady) in pain, because each of us is seeking a miracle, but does not want to work a miracle in himself.

1. Baltimore Catechism 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Our Lady of the Rosary

 "Dear children! Today I call you to begin to pray
the Rosary with a living faith.  Only in that way I will be able to help you. You wish to receive graces, but you do not pray. I am not able to help you if you do not decide to begin.
  I invite you, dear children, to pray the rosary in such a way
that it will be a commitment for you , achieved in joy.
  In this way,  you shall understand the reason I am with you for such a long time. I want to teach you to pray. Thank you for having responded to my call".

  BVM, Medjugorje, June 12, 1986

 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!  Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”  Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther.But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them. When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.  They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them Lk 24:25-33

 Reflection: In this story we find that the risen Christ "interpreted for them every passage of scripture which referred to him," so that his disciples would understand the meaning of his life, death, and resurrection.
 In meditating on the mysteries of the rosary, Jesus also helps us to interpret and understand the meaning of his life and death. And today Our Lady as well says to, "let the faithful meditate each day on the life of Jesus while praying the rosary." It is not necessary to concentrate on the repetitive prayer of the rosary, (which serves as a mantra) but to let the quite rhythm of the prayers keep us centered on the particular mystery on which we are meditating.
 The more we reflect on the lives of Jesus and Mary through the mysteries, the more we become like them in mind and heart. By means of the rosary, the Spirit of God gradually transfigures our hearts and minds to resemble those of Christ and his Mother.
Application: Pray the scriptural rosary  if you have a book with the verses, or if not, pray the traditional rosary truly from the heart, "meditating on the life of Jesus," as Mary asks of us. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Way

Raymond Arroyo, from the The World Over Live, has actors Martin Sheen and son, Emilio Estevez as featured guests this week. They are promoting their new movie, "The Way" which opens up this Friday. October 7, 2011.

"The Way"  is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges we face while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James. Rather than return home, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage to honor his son's desire to finish the journey. What Tom doesn't plan on is the profound impact the journey will have on him and his "California Bubble Life.”
Inexperienced as a trekker, Tom soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey. On "The Way," Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world, each with their own issues and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen), a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irish writer (James Nesbitt), who is suffering from a bout of writer's block.
From the unexpected and, oftentimes, amusing experiences along "The Way," this unlikely quartet of misfits creates an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again. Through Tom's unresolved relationship with his son, he discovers the difference between "the life we live and the life we choose."
THE WAY, written and directed by Emilio Estevez, was filmed entirely in Spain and France along the actual Camino de Santiago.

The support of films of faith and purpose depend on us! I hope you will consider asking a friend or family member to come at and see this film this weekend!

God bless, Daily Grace

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sanctify Yourself and You will Sanctify Society

"Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.
– St. Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi was poor only that he might be Christ-like.He really believed what Jesus said: "Announce the kingdom! Possess no gold or silver or copper in your purses, no traveling bag, no sandals, no staff" (see Luke 9:1-3).
         He recognized creation as another manifestation of the beauty of God. In 1979, he was named aptron of ecology. He did great penance (apologizing to "Brother Body" later in life) that he might be totally disciplined for the will of God. His poverty had a sister, humility, by which he meant total dependence on the good God. But all this was, as it were, preliminary to the heart of his spirituality: living the gospel life, summed up in the charity of Jesus and perfectly expressed in the Eucharist. 
Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons and Feasts, Leonard Foley, O.F.M, revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M
        "Dear children! Without prayer there is no
         peace. Therefore I say to you, dear children, pray at the foot of
         the cross for peace. Thank you for having responded to my call."
         September 6, 1984, BVM, Medjugorge