Monday, June 25, 2012

Let Prayer Be The Joy Of Your Soul

Dear children! With great hope in the heart, also today I call you to prayer. If you pray, little children, you are with me and you are seeking the will of my Son and are living it. Be open and live prayer and, at every moment, may it be for you the savoir and joy of your soul. I am with you and I intercede for all of you before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call. BVM, Medjugorje  June 25, 2012

For the last 31 years Our Lady, Queen of Peace, has been calling us to prayer. As our mother she knows that only in prayer  will we find wisdom, only in prayer  will we find joy, only in prayer will we find peace, and  only in prayer will we find her son, Jesus.

Therefore, let us pray as individuals, let us pray together as a family, let us pray together as neighbors, and  let us pray together as one nation under God, that we will always have the religious freedom to live our lives according to faith we profess to believe.
Throughout our history, Americans of faith have always turned to prayer — for wisdom, prayer for resolve, prayers for compassion and strength, prayers for commitment to justice and for a spirit of forgiveness.
Since America’s founding, prayer has reassured us that the hand of God is guiding the affairs of this nation. We have never asserted a special claim on His favor, yet we’ve always believed in God’s presence in our lives. This has always been true. But it has never been more true since September the 11th. Prayer has comforted people in grief. Prayer has served as a unifying factor in our nation. Prayer gives us strength for the journey ahead.
I work the rope lines a lot, and people say, ‘Mr. President, I pray for you and your family.’ I turn to them, I look them in the eye, and say, that’s the greatest gift you can give. That’s the greatest gift you can give. I mean it with all sincerity.
And so I want to thank you for your prayers. I want to thank you for what you do for our nation. I want to thank you for your good works. I want to thank you for helping change America one heart, one soul, one conscience at a time.”  [President George W. Bush - excerpts from the President's remarks at the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast, May 16, 2002]

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Giving Generously

“When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, … win the praise of others…., do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,…..And your Father who sees in secret will repay you”.    Matthew 6: 1-6

Have you ever put so much of your time and effort into something and had it go unnoticed? 

Or, maybe you put so much of yourself into something and someone close to you makes a comment saying, “Why did you go to all this trouble when you could have easily done this instead?”.

......... sound familiar?

These words of Jesus hit home for me today because, if I were to be honest, I would have to say that I'd hope others would notice my efforts once in a while. Maybe just a little pat on the back or a hooyah for good measure would be nice!
But the fact is, Jesus wants me to do things because I believe in what I am doing and not because I want to be noticed. On the other hand, I think he wants me to be more aware of what others do for me, especially in my family. A little thank you goes a long way, it is an act of love.
Gratitude is another form of alms-giving, give generously!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom

Join in Prayer and Spread the Word!

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter afortnight-for-freedom-montagend Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Special Masses

Opening Mass—June 21 in Baltimore, MDTime: 7 p.m.
Location: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption
Celebrant:  Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore
Closing Mass—July 4 in Washington, DCTime: 12:10 p.m.
Location: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Celebrant: His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
Homilist: Most Reverend Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
Nationwide Telecast: EWTN cable network. Check your local listings.

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator,
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Prayer Resources

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We Must Flavor the World

There is rarely a Saturday afternoon that goes by when we don’t have some of the young neighborhood kids’ stroll into our garage to see if our yellow Labrador Daisy can play.

Daisy is a seven year old Lab who is as gentle as they come. She thinks that her purpose in life is to lick as many people as she possibly can, and to give others the opportunity to play with her. Awe, what a life she leads!

My husband usually has Ding Dongs and Capri Sun drinks in the refrigerator for the kids’ when they come by, but, on one particular Saturday I decided to make them some chocolate chip cookies instead. So, I gathered my ingredients from the pantry and went to work measuring, mixing, and the rest.

I resisted the temptation of eating the dough and was quite proud of myself for doing so.But, being the sucker that I am for a hot chocolate chip cookie, I waited impatiently in the kitchen while they baked. The smell of the all the warm chocolate filled my senses, and the second I took them out of the oven, I grabbed a napkin and a spatula, and served myself the first one. But, instead of feeling that ,“love at first bite”, sensation that usually follows, I was met with disappointment. They tasted so blah! Something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t figure out what.
I did a replay in my mind to see what I had done different and realized I forgot to add a teaspoon of salt to the dough. What a difference it made. Needless to say, the cookies never made it to the neighbor kids. I had to toss them out.

Salt adds flavor to everything. How dull the world would be with out it!

In today Gospel reading from St. Matthew, Jesus said to his disciples:

"You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father."

As I read this passage many good everyday people came to mind, like the people that volunteer their time at local shelters, making sure that those without homes are clothed and feed and given a safe place to lay their heads down for awhile. Or, there are the many people that stand silently on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood praying the rosary or holding a sign that praises the gift of life. There are those that bring the communion to the sick and the elderly. And, there are many who spend countless hours in adoration praying for you, me and the rest of the world.

I guess I could say that these "salty" people inspire me. They encourage me to give more of myself.

Day unto day take up the story
And night unto night make known the messages.
~Magnificat , June , Tuesday 12th, Morning P161

"Dear children! Today I invite you to open
yourselves to God the Creator, so that He changes you. Little
children, you are dear to me. I love you all and I call you to be
closer to me and that your love towards my Immaculate Heart be
more fervent. I wish to renew you and lead you with my Heart to
the Heart of Jesus, which still today suffers for you and calls
you to conversion and renewal. Through you, I wish to renew the
world. Comprehend, little children, that you are today the salt
of the earth and the light of the world. Little children, I
invite you and I love you and in a special way implore: Convert!"
Thank you for having responded to my call." BVM, Medjugorje,
October 25, 1996

Friday, June 8, 2012

America! America!

As the many flags waved throughout the Civic Center Plaza in Santa Ana, California, the crowd of about 2,000, both young and old, gathered to show their support for the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally.

While the music played familiar patriotic hymns from the stage area, a local Boy Scout troop presented the colors. Jack Hammet, a retired US Navy officer and Pearl Harbor Survivor lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and as we said the words, “One nation under God”, you could sense in all of us present just how meaningful these words were to us.

Jack shared  that while he was in the war, that he had fought the enemy to help preserve our freedom. As he spoke, he quoted a line from Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She said “We had to fight the enemy without….Now we are fighting the enemy within. It is more difficult to fight, but just as dangerous to liberty...” What a fitting statement for our fight today for religious freedom.

He ended his talk by reminding us of what he was taught in Pearl Harbor, “Keep America alert”.

A letter was later read to us from Pablo Jose Barroso, producer of “For Greater Glory”, a wonderful film that is out in theaters right now. Pablo reminded us that we need to be the Cristero’s of today and stand up for the right of religious freedom in America through our voice and our vote.

Renee Bondi, a popular inspirational speaker, author and recording artist lead us all in,  the song “America the Beautiful”. And, she asked us to pay close attention to the second and third verse: 

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

As the rally came to an end we were told by Orthodox Rabbi Fisher that religion should not be touchable by the government, that this is everyone’s fight.

I am glad that I was able to attend this rally and ask each of you to continue to pray for our great country and for the right of religious freedom.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Come Out And Make A Stand

 June 8, 2012, marks the 223rd anniversary of  the day our Founding Father James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, with its guarantee of religious freedom, to the First Congress.

Madison's original proposal for a bill of rights provision concerning religion read: ''The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.'' 1 The language was altered in the House to read: ''Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.'' 2 In the Senate, the section adopted read: ''Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith, or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, . . .'' 3

Religious freedom is something we here in the United States think of as a birth right, something we take for granted. But religious freedom here in the United States is under attach.

As most of us are well aware, on January 20, 2012 the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, unveiled a new policy which has come to be known at the “HHS Mandate.”
The new Mandate would requiring nearly all private health insurance plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptive drugs and devices, surgical sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs—drugs that interfere with implantation in the womb and therefore destroy the life of a human being in the earliest stage of development.

 The Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society are pleased to announce that the next Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will take place on Friday, June 8, in cities and towns across the United States.

Please come out and support this rally at a location near you. Call a friend or family member and invite them along with you. If there isn't a location near you or you are unable to attend, join our efforts in prayer and fasting this day.

Stand up for Religious Freedom
 The First Amendment Overview

Saturday, June 2, 2012

We Have Been Chosen

Dear children, I am continuously among you because, with my endless love, I desire to show you the door of Heaven. I desire to tell you how it is opened: Through goodness, mercy, love and peace – through my Son. Therefore, my children, do not waste time on vanities. 

Only knowledge of the love of my Son can save you. Through that salvific love and the Holy Spirit he chose me and I, together with him, am choosing you to be apostles of his love and will. 

My children, great is the responsibility upon you. I desire that by your example you help sinners regain their sight, enrich their poor souls and bring them back into my embrace. 

Therefore pray; pray, fast and confess regularly. If receiving my Son in the Eucharist is the center of your life, then do not be afraid, you can do everything. I am with you. 

Everyday I pray for the shepherds and I expect the same of you. Because, my children, without their guidance and strengthening through their blessing, you can not do it. Thank you. BVM, June 2, 2012 Message to Mirijana

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, St. Jude reminds us today to remain strong:

Beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand
by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in the love of God
and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
that leads to eternal life.
On those who waver, have mercy;
save others by snatching them out of the fire;
on others have mercy with fear,
abhorring even the outer garment stained by the flesh.(JUDE 20-25).

Our Lady's spirit is the same as that of her Son; she is all inclined to mercy. Saint Bernard said to Our Lady; " You, O Mary, have clothed the sun, that is, the Eternal Word, with human flesh. But he has clothed you with his power and mercy."  Magnificat , June 2, pg39-40
Our Lady reminds us today that we are called by our example to bring all humanity to her Son. This is her desire. We have been chosen to bring Christ's mercy to a people that have lost their way.

Lord Jesus Christ, you have chosen your mother Mary, vessel of love and mercy, to lead us back to you, for we have strayed so far away. May our hearts be open to receive her call and may every generation continue to say "Blessed are you among women and Blessed is the fruit of your womb." Lk 1:42