Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Hand of Mercy

He sat off in the corner watching a crowd of people that had gathered around the teacher. Unable to speak, he sat alone; he was always alone. Unaccepted by others who often ridiculed him, rage became his only companion, you could say it latched onto him and wouldn’t let go. It possessed him.

The teacher, while addressing the crowd, glanced over and saw him sitting there alone and began to walk toward him. The man felt the rage within him began to stir. As the teacher moved closer, rage griped the man tightly and began to shake him violently, pushing him to the floor. Rage was well aware of who this teacher was and it was read to fight. 

The teacher, with full authority, stretched out his hand toward the man, looked through him to the eyes of rage and said "Leave him"! Just at that moment mercy and compassion filled the man and there was no room  for rage to reside. It left him.

The man immediately got up, kissed the teacher's hand with gratitude and said ,"thank you" , for all to hear. Amazed by what they had just witnessed, some in the crowd questioned the teacher's works, for mercy and compassion were unfamiliar to them.

Some continued to follow the teacher and they shared his works of mercy with those they met along the way. Others left the teacher, never to return.

"Dear Children! Open your heart to God’s mercy in this Lenten time. The heavenly Father desires to
deliver each of you from the slavery of sin. Therefore, little
children, make good use of this time and through meeting with God
in confession, leave sin and decide for holiness. Do this out of
love for Jesus, who redeemed you all with his blood, that you may
be happy and in peace. Do not forget, little children: your
freedom is your weakness, therefore follow my messages with
seriousness. Thank you for having responded to my call."
 BVM, Medjugorje, 2/25/2007

Notes:  Adapted from Luke 11: 14-23

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Say My "Fiat" for All of You

Quietly sitting in her room, she waits.

Born to parents in their later years of life,
And dedicated to God from the earliest part of her youth,
She waits.

Prayer and fasting are her constant companions,
For the eyes of her soul are turned inward as she watches for things to come.

The ears of her spirit listen as she reads the Holy Scriptures,
Always contemplating on the One,
The One who would bring salvation to her people.

She is no more than a girl by some standards,
Around fifteen years of age.
And while quietly sitting in her room,
She begins to sing softly.
Her heart lifted in prayer.

It is nearing dusk, and the dim light that has entered her room begins to brighten.
Increasing slowly at first, the light becomes radiant.
She is filled with awe as the angel of the Lord stands before her.

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus” Luke 1:31

Bowing low, arms crossed on her breast, she responds…..

…….“May it be done to me according to your word” Luke 1:38

Yes….forever yes….

She and the light are now one,

Its radiance consumes her.
A lifetime of waiting is fulfilled.

God has brought salvation to his people.

“Today, before God, I say my “Fiat” for all of you. I repeat it: I say my “Yes” for all of you. Dear children, pray, so that the kingdom of love may come into the whole world. How mankind would be happy if love reigned.” BVM, Medjugorje March 25, 1986

March 25, 2011 Message to Marija

"Dear children! In a special way today I desire to call you to conversion. As of today, may new life begin in your heart. Children, I desire to see your ‘yes’, and may your life be a joyful living of God’s will at every moment of your life. In a special way today, I bless you with my motherly blessing of peace, love and unity in my heart and in the heart of my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call."


Miryam of Nazareth, Woman of Strenth & Wisdom, Ann Johnson, 1984 by Ave Maria Press, Inc.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Call for Prayer

He was 44 years old when he was ordained, a late bloomer, much like ‘Autumn Joy’. 

To say he had a colorful past would be an understatement. He lived fast, he lived hard, he lived reckless, a total disaster by his own words.

 He was a troubled soul in need of mercy and in that need he cried out to God. 

LORD, hear my prayer,
   listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
   come to my relief. Psalm 143:1
God, whose name is Mercy, heard his plea and seven years later he was ordained to the priesthood by Pope John Paul II. Fr. John Corapi, man of the cloth, pillar of strength, preacher of the Gospel.

Much like his patron saint, St. John  the Baptist, he has been like  "a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'" Mark 1:3

His love for the Blessed Virgin Mary led him to “Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary”, a spirituality taught by St. Louis de Montfort.

When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” 
Jn 19:26-27
Fr. John has told us that in these times we Catholics need to stay very close to our Mother.

"Totus tuus," "Everything for you."

As many of us know by now, Fr. John Corapi has come under fire, accused of misconduct unbecoming of a priest, and placed on administrative leave. On his  website he has called us to prayer of all concerned.

I heard Fr. John say one time, while watching EWTN, that every time someone asks him to pray for someone or some intention that he would immediately put that person or intention into the Immaculate Heart of his Mother Mary. He knew that once he gave it to her that she would ask Jesus to take care of it because Jesus always listens to his mother.

I ask all of you who take the time to read this post today, to place Fr. John Corapi in the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to keep him in your prayers.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Seek to Know the Cross

If we seek to really know Jesus, then we must seek to know the cross.

Jesus has many who love his heavenly kingdom, but few who carry his cross. He has many who desire consolation, but few who desire tribulation. He finds more to share his table, but few his fasting. All wish to rejoice with him, few who want to bear anything for him. Many follow Jesus to the breaking of the bread, but few to drinking his chalice of suffering. (Adapted from the Imitation of Christ, St. Louis de Montfort)

We all have crosses to bear, some much bigger than others. Some of us have family members that barely speak to one another. Some of us have children or spouses with addictions of various types. Some of us have been victims of violence. Some of us suffer from serious medical problems. Some of us have lost our jobs and carry extreme financial burdens.

It is so easy to get lost in self pity, to become overwhelmed at the weight of our cross from time to time, to deem it unfair or undeserving.

It is times like these, when sorrow sets in, that I am thankful for my Catholic upbringing because I was always taught about the redemptive suffering of Christ. Mom always told me that without the cross there would be no resurrection. Resurrection is hope; hope gives us courage, and courage gives us strength to continue the journey. I never thought of this as a simple answer, but I found it encouraging.

If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Lk 9:23).

“Dear children, remember the four things you have to do during Lent. Tonight when you go home, I ask you to be thankful in front of the cross for all that you feel you should be grateful for; thank Jesus for what you have. My Son will hear you.” BVM, Medjugorje 2/13/1989

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Reflection of Jesus

If I am worthy, I am ready to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for Christ's name.
– St. Patrick
 Dear children, I invite you to decide whether or not you want to live the messages which I give you. I wish that you live and actively convey my messages to others.
In a very particular way, dear children, I wish that all of you become a reflection of Jesus, and bear witness to this unfaithful world. I desire that you become a light to all, that all of you will testify to the light.
 Dear children, you are not called to darkness, but to light. So be a light, by the way you live your life. BVM, Medjugorje, June 6, 1986.

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, it gives light to all the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Mt. 5:14-16)

St. Patrick was a light of love and hope to the people of Ireland, a missionary of rare courage and holiness. In the same way, we are to be a light to others, "the reflection of Jesus".

Today's reflection is taken from Medjugorje Day by Day, by Richard J. Beyer

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sharing God's Mercy

"I assure you, as often as you did it for one of My least brothers, you did it for Me." –Matthew 25:40

I was in need of guidance,
and you shared your faith with me.

I was in spiritual dryness,
and you prayed for me.

I had been away from the church for some time,
and you invited me.

I came from a family that never knew Jesus,
and your love for him warmed my heart and drew me it.

As Christians, we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves, to share God’s mercy with both believers and non-believers. We are called to be a light in a world of spiritual darkness.
  It is through the  corporal and spiritual works of mercy that we truly practice our faith.

Lord, remove from my heart the stubbornness of the goat, who butts and kicks when he doesn't get his way.
Please give me the grace to be more trusting like the sheep,
Who hears your voice and follows after you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring Cleaning for the Soul

Much like a good spring cleaning, the season of Lent gives us the opportunity to put our spiritual house in order. Like a closet, drawer or garage that becomes cluttered over time with junk we really don’t need, so do our daily lives become cluttered with things that keep us from God.

As I received my ashes on Ash Wednesday, the lay minister marked my head and said, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel”. Returning to my seat, I pondered these words and what they specifically meant for me. Great challenges came to mind. And, like the clutter in my closet, I knew it was time to do some spiritual house cleaning.

Create a clean heart in me, O God; give me a new steadfast spirit.    (Ps 50:12)

"Dear children! I invite you to surrender to God. In this season I specially want you to renounce all the things to which you are attached but which are hurting your spiritual life. Therefore, little children, decide completely for God, and do not allow Satan to come into your life through those things that hurt both you and your spiritual life. Little children, God is offering Himself to you in fullness, and you can discover and recognize Him only in prayer. Therefore make a decision for prayer. Thank you for having responded to call" BVM, Medjugorge, February 25, 1990

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lent: A Call to Fast and Feast

A special thank you to  Jek from In Search of... for this beautiful post.

Lent, a time to start over, a call to transformation.  A turning away from the old self to the true self, the self God intended for us to be.  Sometimes this can seem overwhelming, especially when we reflect on our sinfulness.  However, even though the season of Lent calls for us to examine our sinfulness, the Lord also calls us to renewal.  Let us then not dwell on our sinfulness, but learn from it and move forward this Lent, with a new spirit, as an example to others of the Lord's joy, promise and salvation.  Let us not only fast, but feast on the Lord's goodness and the goodness he calls us to!

I had the pleasure to attend Ash Wednesday Mass today at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in San Dimas, CA.  Fr. Peter Dennis, who said the mass, is a beautiful and witty older Irish Sacred Heart priest that is truly refreshing.  He always puts things in proper perspective, simple, yet profound.  He shared the following reflection,

"Lent:  A Call to Fast and Feast:"

Fast from judging others; feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the oneness of all.
Fast from the darkness around us; feast on the light of JESUS within us.
Fast from thoughts or illness; feast on the healing power of GOD.
Fast from actions that pollute; feast on deeds that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from pessimism; feast on hope.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from guilt; feast on freedom.
Fast from complaining; feast on complementing.
Fast from stress; feast on self-care.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from selfishness; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from apathy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from idle gossiping, feast on spreading the good news.
Fast from being so busy; feast on peaceful silence.
Fast from being in control; feast on letting go.

As I look at this list, it enhances the meaning of fasting, it transforms it and brings it to a heighten and even more challenging level.  It gives me hope that I can change my sinfulness, my hold habits and "feast" on new ones.  I appreciated this joyful, hopeful and optimistic view of Lent and I hope that you do too.  Let us remember, Lent is not a time to be gloomy, but reflective with a joyful attitude and symbol to others.

I wish you a very blessed and hopeful Lenten season.


"Lent:  A Call to Fast and Feast." Ash Wednesday Mass.  Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, San Dimas, CA.  March, 09, 2011.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Come as a Servant

The spirit of gratitude was upon you
For He had cured you of your many infirmities.

Magdalene, Joanna, Chuza and Susana,
In a time when it was uncommon for women to be in ministry,
Your faith and strength led you from your homes in Galilee. 

You gathered together your belongings
And in joyful service set out with Him and the Twelve
As He journeyed from town to town…….. 

Day by day you were with Him as He preached the good news of the God’s kingdom.
Your spirits danced within His presence as His love and mercy showed no bounds.

You understood when He said that He had come to serve and not be served,
And you vowed to follow in His footsteps.

Oh holy women of Galilee, pray for us that yearn to follow Him today,
That we too, may have the grace to come as a servant.

(Adapted from Luke 8 1:3 and Mark 10:32-45)