3/4/15

Daily, Daily Sing to Mary


Saint Casimir favorite song was Daily, Daily Sing to Mary

St. Casimir, Prince of Poland and "Father of the Poor"



The saint of the day for March 4 is St. Casimir of Poland, a prince whose life of service to God has made him a patron saint of Poland, Lithuania, and young people. He is also the patron saint of bachelors and is represented by a crown and a lily (which symbolizes purity.)

Casimir was born on October 3, 1458, the third of thirteen children of King Casimir IV and Elizabeth of Austria, daughter of Albert II of Habsburg. He and several of his brothers studied with the priest and historian John Dlugosz, whose deep piety and political expertise influenced Casimir in his upbringing. The young prince displayed holiness at an early age. In contrast to the other members of the royal court, he was a shining example of faith, piety, humility, and chastity. He had a great love for the Eucharist and for the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Hungarian nobles prevailed upon Casimir's father to send his 13-year-old son to be their king; Casimir obeyed, taking the crown, but refusing to exercise power. His army was outnumbered, his troops deserting because they were not paid. Casimir returned home, and was a conscientious objector from that time on.

Casimir foretold the hour of his death, and chose to die a virgin, refusing the advice of physicians who told him to marry, suggesting that this would improve his health and possibly prolong his life.

St. Casimir was a charismatic person who was noted for his strong sense of justice and for his charity. In an atmosphere of luxury and magnificence the young prince fasted, wore a hair-shirt, slept upon the bare earth, prayed by night, and watched for the opening of the church doors at dawn.

His charity to the poor and afflicted knew no bounds. The young prince consoled the poor with his gracious words, and frequently helped with generous alms. He was known to visit the sick and served them in their needs counting it an honor as he saw in the afflicted one the person of Christ Himself. Thus he earned the title, "Father of the poor."



He expressed his deep love for our Blessed Lady by frequently singing a beautiful hymn in her honor. He was buried with this favorite song to Our Lady -- a Latin hymn to Mary called "Omni die dic Mariae" which we know as "Daily, Daily Sing to Mary."

Casimir died at the age of 26 on March 4, 1484, a victim of tuberculosis. Buried at Vilnius, Lithuania, his tomb became famed for many miracles. He was canonized in 1522 by Pope Adrian VI.

PRAYER

All-powerful God,
to serve you is to reign:
by the prayers of Saint Casimir,
help us to serve you in holiness and justice.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

3/2/15

Medjugorje: Our Lady's Apparition to Mirjana of March 2, 2015


"Dear children! You are my strength. You, my apostles, who with your love, humility and silence of prayer are making it possible for one to come to know my Son. You live in me. You carry me in your heart. You know that you have a mother who loves you and who has come to bring love. I am looking at you in the Heavenly Father - your thoughts, your pains, your sufferings - and I offer them to my Son. Do not be afraid and do not lose hope, because my Son listens to his mother. Since He was born He loves and I desire for all of my children to come to know that love. 

I desire that all those who left Him because of their pain and misunderstanding may return to Him and that all those who have never known Him may come to know Him. That is why you are here, my apostles, and I as a mother am with you. Pray for the firmness of faith, because love and mercy come from firm faith. Through love and mercy you will help all those who are not aware that they are choosing darkness instead of light. Pray for your shepherds because they are the strength of the Church which My Son left to you. Through my Son, they are the shepherds of souls. Thank you."

Lapsed Catholics, Its Never To Late


3/1/15

ABBA


"This will prove that you are sons of your heavenly Father." -Matthew 5:45

In this time of Lent, the Church emphasizes more than ever the command: "In a word, you must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48). Like our Father, we must show love practically even to our persecutors and enemies (Mt 5:44-45).

Lent is traditionally a time of God the Father confirming His love for us as His sons and daughters.  Before Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit (Mt 4:1), He heard His Father say: "This is My beloved Son. My favor rests on Him" (Mt 3:17). In the desert, Satan tempted Jesus to doubt that He was the beloved Son of God (Mt 4:3, 6). Jesus overcame these temptations and was confirmed in His Father's love. During this Lent we, like Jesus, will be tempted to doubt the Father's love for us. Yet we will be given the grace to overcome these temptations and to believe more than ever in the Father's infinite love for us.

The Holy Spirit will grace us with confirmation of our Father's love through our Lenten penances. Therefore, "keep your deeds of mercy secret, and your Father Who sees in secret will repay you" (Mt 6:4).  "Whenever you pray, go to your room, close your door, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, Who sees what no man sees, will repay you" (Mt 6:6). "When you fast, see to it that you groom your hair and wash your face. In that way no one can see you are fasting but your Father Who is hidden; and your Father Who sees what is hidden will repay you" (Mt 6:17-18). Live a Lent in which you trust God the Father completely and let Him father you in simple, practical ways. Let the Holy Spirit cry out in your heart, "Abba" ("Father") (Gal 4:6; Rm 8:15).

: Abba, give me humble faith to be secure in Your love.

 "Provided you keep all His commandments...you will be a people sacred to the Lord, your God." -Dt 26:18, 19

2/27/15

Pope John Paul--Be Prepared to undergo great trials

St. John Paul II in that candid interview with pilgrims in Germany:
November 1980
We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because it is only in this way that the Church can be effectively renewed. How many times, indeed, has the renewal of the Church been effected in blood? This time, again, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong, we must prepare ourselves, we must entrust ourselves to Christ and to His Mother, and we must be attentive, very attentive, to the prayer of the Rosary. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, interview with Catholics at Fulda, Germany, Nov. 1980; www.ewtn.com

2/26/15

Walking With Mary


Walking With Mary in Lent: 10 Little Steps

In the wee hours of the morning, shivering from the cold, damp interior of the darkened Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, I lingered in prayer at the rock of Calvary. Resting my hand on the cold rock where the noble cross of Jesus Christ stood upright on the first Good Friday, I prayed. Oh, how I poured my heart out! I was in a spiritual place of desolation when I arrived on retreat in the Holy Land having just gone through a big upheaval in my life. Doors closed, paths turned, and the future seemed unclear to me. I was searching and completely open, available and docile to the next phase of God’s plan for my life.
In the exalted atmosphere of Calvary, now in the spiritual state of freedom, I set my heart on Christ’s passion and death. Placing my hand on Calvary’s surface, I contrasted the cold, hard rock with the warmth of the Sacred Heart aflame with love’s passion. In the pangs of death by crucifixion, his heart was entirely kindled with the fire that he longed to start on earth. He was ready to offer his heart to be pierced, desirous of opening his sacred side to be the portal for the saving water and blood that would gush over humanity to redeem it. In the words of Augustine, “What sacrifice can I offer to God worthy of his mercy?”
In the silent hours I remained in prayer, I could almost hear the cacophony of the murderous crowd at Calvary and the contrasting peaceful, steady rhythm of the heart of Jesus. How very perfect is his sacrifice! It became incredibly personal: I crucified him and it was for me that he suffered and died. I pondered if I would have remained near the cross with Mary, and John the beloved, Magdalene and the other holy women? Would I have run away in fear with the first Apostles?
The mystery remains, but of this I became certain. If I had remained at the foot of the cross at Calvary, it would have been because of Mary’s maternal solicitude. I would have looked into her eyes for a sign, a cue of sorts. I can’t imagine that I would run away in fear if I had looked into the eyes of the Mother of the Crucified One, ever faithful and courageous! One faith-filled look from Mary would have helped to plant my feet in a steadfast manner at the foot of the cross. Gazing into Mary’s eyes mirroring the Lord, I would have known that the abyss between heaven and earth was about to be bridged by the cross upon which hung Jesus.
Looking at Mary so full of love, and knowing that she is looking back at me, coaching me in virtue, protecting me from cowardice, I would have believed and hoped against all appearances of failure. I would have taken my mind off myself and focused on what was really happening here: the redemption of the world! Mary’s loving gaze would have reminded me of her Son’s words, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22).  Mary, the perfect Mother of Grace, would urge me to join in her hymn of praise, the Magnificat. Though her holy face would be wet with tears and her heart seven times pierced with sorrow, Mary is the perfect icon of fidelity, courage and love in the midst of the unfathomable sacrifice of Jesus, bone of her bone, flesh of her flesh. Here hangs Mary’s Son, the God-Man so disfigured by the brutality of sin, urging the Father to forgive his executioners.  Here stands Mary, in unspeakable pain, full of grace, without fear or shame, full of hope. Her feet firmly planted on the rock of Calvary, she knows the time of salvation has come. Was she relieved when Jesus said to Abba, “It is finished”? Perhaps. But in her maternal heart of wisdom, she must have known, that it was only beginning for her and the Church.
I’ve been praying about how to best live this Lenten season. It has become clear that the Lord is inviting me to keep company with Mary on the way of the cross. Mary can aid us to peer into the mystery of the passion and death of Jesus to discover a love we need to know. She will protect us from countless temptations in the desert of Lent when the devil would like to sift us like sand. He fears Mary and would rather flee than be near the Woman who is the New Eve: obedient and full of grace!
The Lenten desert can be a place of decrease where the false self and unrealistic expectations are put to death for good. Passages from death to new life are not always easy. Mary can accompany us and help us to discern what we need to let go of in order to receive the greater gift of God.
Mothers are adept at helping us to clean up, get ready, and put things in proper order again. Mothers are skillful at applying healing salves to the wounds of children. Mary excels at holding us close to her heart in an embrace that brings peace and strength.  Mary never tires of repeating the truth that we are beloved of God. She can help break the chains that bind us from true freedom such as the pesky addictions (alcohol, food, TV, Internet), the compromises (missing times of prayer and the sacraments, illicit relationships, numbing laziness, or frenzied busyness). If we invite Mary into our brokenness, her holiness will take over and help to sever whatever binds us from authentic freedom, love and joy. She doesn’t invade our lives; we need to invite her.
Mary enriches our spiritual journey always. Perhaps we can consider living the Lenten season with Mary as fulfilling our Marian consecration also.
How do we walk with Mary during Lent? Here are 10 little steps.
  1. Take up Mary’s spiritual practices, which likely included, praying the Psalms, meditating on the Scriptures, offering hymns of praise and gratitude to God such as her Magnificat.
  2. Imitate Mary’s courageous “yes” more intentionally as you walk the Stations of the Cross with her.
  3. Imitate Mary’s forgiveness and mercy at the foot of the cross where she also forgave her Son’s executioners.
  4. Imitate Mary’s complete focus on her Son Jesus during all the phases of his suffering; and her intercessory prayer for everyone involved.
  5. Strive to live Mary’s faith, hope and love, simplicity, sacrifice, service and obedience—even in the face of such terrorizing agony.
  6. With Mary, sit at the feet of Jesus, choosing the better part—perhaps attend Eucharistic Adoration more frequently and read John’s Gospel, Chapter 19.
  7. Take up Mary’s “beads”. Intentionally, live Mary’s memories! Linger in contemplation of the Sorrowful Mysteries, asking Mary to help you encounter Jesus in His Passion that you may love him more.
  8. Consider when Jesus breathed his last and Mary did as he said, “Behold your son”—John the Beloved. She took him into her heart and brought forth the best of his Priesthood. Consider the vocation of spiritual motherhood or fatherhood of priests.
  9. With Mary, receive Holy Communion more often, mindful that Mary helps you to encounter Jesus more intimately.
  10. Console the Sorrowful Mother along the Via Dolorosa, perhaps offering to share in her pierced heart for love of God and neighbor.
Julian of Norwich wrote about Mary, “Our Lord showed me our Lady, Saint Mary, to teach us this: that it was the wisdom and truth in her, when she beheld her Maker, that enabled her to know him as so great, so holy, so mighty, and so good. His greatness and his nobleness overwhelmed her. She saw herself so little and low, so simple and poor compared to God that she was filled with humility. And so from this humble state she was lifted up to grace and all manner of virtues, and stands above all. This above all causes the soul to seem small in its own sight, to see and love its Maker. And this is what fills it with reverence and humility, and with generous love to our fellow-Christians. The seeking, with faith, hope and love, pleases our Lord, and the finding pleases the soul and fills it with joy.” (Enfolded in Love).       http://catholicexchange.com/

2/25/15

Our Lady's Medjugorje message of February 25, 2015

Dear children! In this time of grace I call all of you: pray more and speak less. In prayer seek the will of God and live it according to the commandments to which God calls you. I am with you and am praying with you. Thank you for having responded to my call. ________________________________________________________________________________ A Little Reflection (by Sr. Isabel) The season of Lent is a gift to each one of us because it provides us an opportunity to search ourselves to determine areas where we are far from God and His will and to make a course correction. We all have dimensions of our daily lives that could be focused more on Our Merciful Lord and His will for us. This is indeed a time of grace. To seize the graces God wants to give us, we need to spend time with the Lord, listening to Him and his promptings. Hence Our Lady calls us to pray more and to speak less. What a great way to fast! Speak less and listen more! God is faithful and He will show us where we need to change. In all things, Our Lady will be at our side and show us the way. Happy Lent!

2/24/15

Medjugorje is different from other places.


Places in life that mark you forever

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bm_KP-zmW40/UtrYewNPiOI/AAAAAAAAKHY/sC9PCqwCH3E/s1600/Our+Lady+at+St.+James+2.jpg
Posted by Renee Maroon
 Jan: 18,2014
           
There are some. Places in life that mark you forever. Once you have come in contact with them, You feel like a new person, and even others are aware that something has changed your life, the place that has marked me is called Medjugorje 

Medjugorje is different from other places. Because there is a presence there, that you do not see, but whose effects and benefits you gather, it is a presence that speaks to our hearts and manifests itself in a personal manner for each one of us. This presence is Mary, the mother of God.


In Medjugorje I discover that this mother, the queen of peace wants to enter our lives .That is the reason she says to us “, dear children, accept me in your lives, because I desire to bestow my love upon you”. 
When I first heard of Medjugorje in 2001 I felt immediately the desire to be there.


I wanted to be where my Mother is, I wanted to be in her presence, I wanted to be near her, if only for a little while. But now I understand it was God who put that desire in my heart through my Mother, Mary.
Yes, I could go to any church and be with Her, but in Medjugorje it is our Lady who comes.

I remember when our lady invited us to the apparition mountain for the first time. She said that she is very happy to see so many people there at the apparition site. She prayed with us. She said, “You are important! I need everyone to help in God’s Plan”.

Remember, you are important to God’s Plan.

My experience in Medjugorje has given me gifts that I unwrap each and every day and each day I find something more beautiful placed in my soul!
What kind of gifts are they? The gift of prayer. She said God will grant special graces in prayer.  The gift of fasting on bread and water; The gift of confession. The gift of the Eucharist: 

Are these gifts available here at home? Of course they are…..but when you plant a seed you want to nurture it, be sure to give it plenty of water, good shelter, watch the environment, to make sure it will be able to grow best.

I do not believe that growth will be best in a dry climate, or in the weeds; the weeds in our culture do not nourish or deepen spiritual growth in the heart.

Our mother calls all her children to her heart, and so I see Medjugorje as the pulse of our Mother’s heart, the love pouring through those who live the messages. 

I know it is true we don’t need to be in Medjugorje to receive a gift of the holy spirit. The kingdom is inside our heart, but we know we are very weak by ourselves.  The world, as Gospa said, “is a world without God.. 
“I am with you, “she said. Her presence is also physical in an overwhelming way, as the visionaries have told us.

Spiritually, how could I describe for you what I felt for the first time there?  I was exactly like a lost child who needs their mother and feels her presence again. All the time I felt a special love and attention like Our Lady was telling me,” I know you are here for me.  I am with you ... Look! Here I am.

It is feeling Her love which changed my life and made me understand and experience things which I might never have experienced here at home.
By observing what happens in Medjugorje and why our lady chose this way to reveal her love to me, I cannot answer in specific words.

But I know these are God’s way..I will pray that each one of you feel the call to go to Medjugorje because it is a little piece of heaven, if I want to go to heaven and not to remain forever in this earthly life, then I must at least take a look, on how it will be in heaven.

In this way I discovered most of the things which I must change in my life. By experiencing heaven there. Which I been to Medjugorje four times I could say found it all in Medjugorje: love, peace, and joy, 
How do you describe pure love of the heart .the peace of the Gospa and the joy of heaven?  I cannot describe it but I say the Gospa is in Medjugorje.  Gospa is a Croatian word.  It means the Blessed Mother.

I wish I had gone sooner. I wouldn’t have missed out on all the blessing, and have been closer to Our Lady and Jesus sooner in life. I could have spent less time worrying and more time trusting God, loving and believing.

I will tell you not to ignore this call in your heart.  Let the 
Holy Spirit lead you. Do not say no to heaven!

Medjugorje brings great peace into your heart. The good thing about Medjugorje is that you keep carrying it with you forever.
I always take myself back there in my mind and heart and immediately I find this peace, God’s peace. This fills my heart.

Every time I go to Medjugorje,  I got to live free from this world and got to live what I hope will be how I get to live in eternity. 

I always say it is not the same thing to talk about Medjugorje as it is to experience it yourself. It is different when you go into the church , it is different when you climb the Krezevac, the cross mountain, it is different when you climb the apparition hill to be with Our Lady on the same holy ground. I hope this bring's some light to your heart.
May Our Lady’s love touch your heart today and every day of your life! 

THE WORD of GOD FOR LENT


"So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but shall do My will, achieving the end for which I sent it." -Isaiah 55:11

God's Word does not return void but achieves the end for which it is sent. Because God's Word is always "living and effective" (Heb 4:12), it is "more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces" (Ps 119:72). Therefore, we should read and share God's Word daily (Acts 17:11), for ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ (Catechism, 133, St. Jerome).

This Lent, may God's Word find a home in your life. "Humbly welcome the word that has taken root in you, with its power to save you" (Jas 1:21). Like Jesus, use God's Word to resist the temptations of Satan (Lk 4:4, 8, 12). Abide in God's Word (Jn 8:31). Soak in it, and let yourselves be purified "in the bath of water by the power of the word" (Eph 5:26). Delight in the Word of the Lord and meditate on it day and night (see Ps 1:2). "Keep this book of the law on your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may observe carefully all that is written in it; then you will successfully attain your goal" (Jos 1:8). This Lent, prepare for Easter by taking a long walk with Jesus as He interprets for you "every passage of Scripture which [refers] to Him" (Lk 24:27). A Lent in God's Word is a Lent in God's will - a Lent of a lifetime.

 Father, this Lent may Your Word burn in me and purify me (Lk 24:32).

 "Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us." -Mt 6:11-12

2/21/15

Medjugorje Today -- THE VIRGIN MARY: "PEACE IS IN DANGER, PRAY FOR PEACE!


THE VIRGIN MARY CALLS TO PRAYER FOR WORLD PEACE
The Virgin Mary called to prayer for world peace during her apparition to visionary Ivan Dragicevic on February 21, Medjugorje guide Michele Vasilj reported after attending the apparition. The call comes one day after Mary told Ivan that peace is in danger (see her message of February 20 athttps://www.facebook.com/267099289994777/photos/a.323244837713555.73217.267099289994777/835637986474235/?type=1&theater )
Daily professiona...
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THE VIRGIN MARY: "PEACE IS IN DANGER, PRAY FOR PEACE!"
Message of the Virgin Mary, given on February 20
during apparition to Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic:
"Dear children! Today I invite you to pray for peace, peace is in danger, pray more, pray with the heart. The Mother prays with you and I intercede before my Son for all of you. Thank you, dear children, because also today you have responded to my call."
Daily professional news + more articles on the Medjugorje apparitions:
http://www.medjugorjetoday.tv
Photo from Ivan's private chapel on February 20: Radoslav Edward Sego
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2/20/15

Pope Francis says, ask God for the gift of tears this lent


Ashes. Credit: Sarah (Rosenau) Korf via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).
.- In his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said the time of Lent is a call to leave hypocrisy behind and reconcile with God through fasting, charity and prayerful tears before our merciful Father.

“I ask you a question: do I cry? Does the Pope cry? Do cardinals cry? Do bishops cry? Do consecrated men and women cry? Do priests cry?” the Pope said during his Feb. 18 Ash Wednesday Mass.

Pope Francis focused during the Mass on the idea of “weeping in prayer.”

In keeping with papal tradition for Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis began the Lenten liturgy with a procession, during which he walked from Rome’s Sant’Anselmo church to the church of Santa Sabina on Aventine Hill.

He immediately turned to the words of the prophet Joel, who calls the people to penance and conversion due to a locus invasion plaguing the land.

Joel tells the people to beg the Lord for deliverance with prayer, fasting and the confession of their sins, since God is the only one who can save them from the “scourge.”

The prophet’s call to “return to me with all your heart” is an invitation to an interior conversion that is not “superficial or transient,” but rather signals a journey involving the most intimate part of ourselves, the Pope said.

In his prophesy, Joel focuses largely on the prayer of priests, saying it should be “accompanied by tears,” Francis noted, and encouraged faithful to pray for the gift of tears during Lent “so as to make our prayer and journey of conversion ever more authentic and without hypocrisy.”

Francis turned to the day’s Gospel reading from Matthew, in which the apostle recounts Jesus’ reinterpretation of the traditional works of piety put forth in the Mosaic law: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Over the course of time, “these requirements have been eroded by the rust of external formalism, or were even changed into a sign of social superiority,” the Pope said.

However, in the Gospel, Jesus warns his disciples against common temptations surrounding these pious works when he tells them to “perform righteous deeds” in secret rather than in front of others, and not to “blow a trumpet” when the give alms.

Jesus also cautions his disciples not to pray in front of others so as to attract attention, and tells them not to “look gloomy” when they fast, lest they be like the hypocrites.

Hypocrites, Francis said, “don't know how to cry. They have forgotten how to cry. They don't ask for the gift of tears.”

Pope Francis noted that when we perform a good work, there is often an almost “instinctive” reaction to look for respect and admiration for it. Jesus’ invitation during Lent is instead to let go of our desire for satisfaction when performing good works, and trust in the reward we will receive in heaven.

“Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord does not ever tire of having mercy on us, and wants to offer us his forgiveness still one more time, inviting us to return to him with a new heart, purified from evil, so as to take part in his joy,” the Pope said.

But welcoming this invitation to conversion takes more than just our human effort, he said, explaining that reconciliation with God can only be achieved thanks to the mercy and love of the Father.

Only in Christ, who died for our sins even though he himself was sinless, can we ourselves become just, Francis said, asking those present, “Please, let's stop. Let's pause a little and let ourselves be reconciled with God.”

Pope Francis closed his homily by noting that as Lent begins, the phrases “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return,” and “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” are said along with the distribution of the ashes.

Both of these lines are a reminder that as human beings, we are limited and are sinners always in need of penance and conversion, Francis noted.

The call to conversion, he said, “is therefore a push to return, as did the son of the parable, to the arms of God and to cry in those arms, to trust him and to trust in him.”

2/19/15

The Medjugorje Message: Fr Jozo Zoko blessed Croatia’s Presidential office...

The Medjugorje Message: Fr Jozo Zoko blessed Croatia’s Presidential office...: Today, on her first working day as the new president of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović extended a special invitation to Fr Jozo Zovko ...

2/16/15

Pope Francis on Monday denounced the murder of 21 Coptic Christians

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday denounced the murder of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIL militants in Libya. The Islamist terrorist organization released a video of the killings on Sunday. 
Speaking in Spanish to an ecumenical delegation from the Church of Scotland, the Holy Father noted those killed only said “Jesus help me.”
“They were killed simply for the fact they were Christians,” Pope Francis said.
“The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard,” said the Pope.  It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ.''
Pope Francis said that in remembering these brothers and sisters who have been murdered simply for confessing Christ, Christians should encourage one another in the ecumenical goal, noting the “ecumenism of blood.”
“The martyrs belong to all Christians,” he said.

2/14/15

What would I do without faith?

NOVEMBER 4, 2014
Alberta Sequeira 

I ask myself this many times, especially in a crisis. Faith means different things to many people. It’s a belief, trust, confidence, creditability, and sometimes, hope that pulls you through a situation. These feelings make you loyal and devoted to your understanding or assumption that you are right. We want something to hold on to so we can get over the problem we are facing.
They say the topics of politics and religion should not be discussed because they cause many disagreements that lead to arguing, fights, or worse, killings. I think we get our strong positions with faith by how we are brought up by our parents. They pass-down their judgment on what and how they were taught on a topic by our grandparents. The cycle continues down into each generation.
Imagine if we were brought up to see no difference with a person of a different race or culture than us. What a world we would have. Wars are not between military men and women fighting, it’s the governments in each country that bring us into one.
Atheists believe there is no God, some people believe in miracles while others believe that a problem had been resolved came from a scientific result. To save time with disagreements, I guess you could say that no one is right or wrong, because it is what you believe yourself to be true.
I have to admit our family is Catholic and my father made sure we all went to church on Sunday morning either with our without him. No excuses were accepted, unless you had a fever and were sick in bed. Since I was thirteen, I loved going to Mass. In my days, the church doors were always kept open.
I would have to pass our church to meet my friends for our walk to an ice cream place after supper..our homework had to be completed. Never did I go by without entering the church, walked down the aisle, and sat for a few moments in a pew facing the statues of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The peace is hard to explain, but I cherished those moments. We never went by a church in a car without blessing ourselves with the sign of the cross.
Now being grownup, I thank my father for his firm hand in making us go. What would I do if I had no faith? Would I have any morals, be kind to another person, pray for someone, or believe that there is no life after death? I’d wonder why we were put on earth and for what reason?
My faith had been strong when I tried to hold on to my marriage with an alcoholic. Not having the knowledge that the alcoholic had to change themselves, I tried for 14 years trying to find ways to make him stop. From the stress, I had a small breakdown and blamed God for our suffering because he wasn’t helping us.
What I didn’t face was that God gives us choices; Richie’s had been to stop drinking or stay with the decision to keep abusing his body, and my choice was to keep living with the confusion, fear, and abuse or do something about it. Now, I realize that I had pushed myself mentally and physically beyond what my body could take without seeing any results and staying in a very unhealthy environment for me and my daughters. (Story in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis)
My faith came alive in 1990 when I watched my father, Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm, dying of cancer at eighty-years old. He had been one of the commanding officers of the 26th Yankee Division during WWII, fighting in Metz, Lorraine and the Battle of the Bulge. He promised Our Blessed Mother if she brought him home safely to his family, he would say the rosary until he died. He had been struggling to concentrate on the prayer near the end. My family said them for him and it was the first time, I learned the rosary. I say them daily. I watched the devotion of my father and his love for the Virgin Mary, I realized I wanted God back in my life. Without Him, my life was in turmoil. It brought me to the realization that we are all going to die. Jesus said, “If you believe in me, you will live.” (Story in A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje)
Three miracles happened to me after my father’s death. One of them occurred when I was packing to go to the hospital for surgery. Out of nowhere, I heard “inside” my head a voice that said, “Don’t be Afraid, I’ll be with you!” A warm feeling entered my head from outside, traveled through like lightening to the end of my toes to my fingers. Instantly, peace came over me. 

If someone said they experienced this, I would have laughed my head off. “Oh, Yeah!!”
I was afraid to tell Al, thinking he would send me to the Funny Farm. It was two months later, when I watched a show on spiritual miracles. During WWII, a soldier was in a tank and was petrified that he was going to die. A voice said to him, “Don’t be afraid. You will not die.” He had explained the same peace that came over him after the same vibrations went through his body that I had happen. It was then that I shared my miracle with Al. ( Story in A Spiritual Renewal a Journey to Medjugorje)
Faith can pull many through the death of a loved one. The six visionaries at Medjugorje said Our Lady calls each person herself when you take a trip to this remote village in Bosnia where she is still appearing each day since 1981. It’s there where I felt a sampler of heaven when I took a ten day pilgrimage to this location. I believe The Blessed Mother gave me the strength to go through Lori’s death and had planned on me to write about my life and loss and started me on the journey with my talks on spiritual changes and alcohol abuse.
When I go to any church, I notice all the different statues of Jesus on the cross. I find it odd that not one shows him with the true pain that He went through. He looks clean with nails in His hands and feet. I saw reality in Medjugorje when I went to the Oasis of Peace. This tiny chapel had a full-size statue of a man..Jesus.
Yes, we forget he was a human like us. They had hair on his body, with blood coming down His face dripping off his toes from the crown of thorns dug deep into his skull. The five thousand and some cuts on his body (told to St. Bridget during an apparition) showed the scorning. He had one gash so large that his beating took a chunk of flesh out of his shoulder down to his bare bone. He had to carry the cross with His unbearable pain. I wanted to wrap the statue up and take it to every land for people of all faiths to see what He actually went through for us.
Why? because he died for our sins so that we can have life after death. Jesus was a Man who was nothing but love and full of mercy who died so we can live and look at how many of us are living! Sin and crimes are pushed aside like they are normal ways to handle our problems.
Faith is what gets me through my days that are good or bad. I can’t picture waking up without prayer and not thanking God for the day ahead of me. I go to bed at night thanking him for my gifts he gave me, whether it’s from seeing a loved one, having me meet a new person where we touched each other’s heart, money to buy the food for the family, or anything else good that came my way. Even a bad day is a gift so I can learn from what I did or didn’t do right.
Faith is a gift from God if we open our hearts. The problem with being human is we want to see or feel the gifts and blessings we get during the day. Our Lady told the visionaries that people would not believe the graces God has for each of us but we don’t ask for them.
Our Lady told the visionaries that a Mass said for the dead is the greatest action to get that person closer to heaven. Sitting in Adoration in a chapel with God present is one of the highest graces bestowed on us. Prayer will end wars and no one thinks of what can save our world.
Faith and believing will never make us feel alone.
https://albertasequeira.wordpress.com/

2/13/15

Dear Children I'm Calling You

"Pray for the Holy Spirit to descend upon you"

"Begin to invoke the Holy Spirit each day. The most important thing is to pray to the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit descends on the earth, then all becomes clear and all is transformed.” (Advent 1983)
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" The important thing is to pray for the Holy Spirit to descend upon you. When you have the Holy Spirit, you have everything." (Friday, Oct. 21, 1983)
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"Pray to the Holy Spirit that He enlighten you and you will thereby come to know all that you want.” (Sat. May 26, 1984)
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 “Dear children! In this time, I call you all to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit upon every baptized creature, so that the Holy Spirit may renew you all and lead you on the way of witnessing your faith – you and all those who are far from God and His love. I am with you and intercede for you before the Most High. Thank you for having responded to my call.”  Message of May, 2009
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Dear Children!Today I call you, through prayer and sacrifice, to prepare yourselves for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Little children, this is a time of grace and so, again, I call you to decide for God the Creator. Allow him to transform and change you. May your heart be prepared to listen to, and live, everything which the Holy Spirit has in his plan for each of you. Little children, allow the Holy Spirit to lead you on the way of truth and salvation towards eternal life. Thank you for having responded to my call. May 25, 1998
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Dear children! At this time of grace, I call you to prayer. Little children, you work much but without God's blessing. Bless and seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to lead you at this time so that you may comprehend and live in the grace of this time. Convert, little children, and kneel in the silence of your hearts. Put God in the centre of your being so that, in that way, you can witness in joy the beauty that God continually gives in your life. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje message, May 25, 2001
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Dear children! Today I pray for you and with you that the Holy Spirit may help you and increase your faith, so that you may accept even more the messages that I am giving you here in this holy place. Little children, comprehend that this is a time of grace for each of you; and with me, little children, you are secure. I desire to lead you all on the way of holiness. Live my messages and put into life every word that I am giving you. May they be precious to you because they come from heaven. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje message, June 25, 2002
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Dear children! You are not conscious of the messages which God is sending you through me. He is giving you great graces and you do not comprehend them. Pray to the Holy Spirit for enlightenment. If you only knew how great are the graces God is granting you, you would be praying without ceasing. Thank you for having responded to my call. Medjugorje message, November 8, 1984
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 Dear children! As I call you to prayer for those who have not come to know the love of God, if you were to look into your hearts you would comprehend that I am speaking about many of you. With an open heart, sincerely ask yourselves if you want the Living God or do you want to eliminate Him and live as you want. Look around you, my children, and see where the world is going, the world that thinks of doing everything without the Father, and which wanders in the darkness of temptation. I am offering to you the light of the Truth and the Holy Spirit. According to God's plan I am with you to help you to have my Son, His Cross and Resurrection, triumph in your hearts. As a mother, I desire and pray for your unity with my Son and His works. I am with you: You decide. Thank you. (June 2, 2011)


Dear children, I am calling you and am coming among you because I need you. I need apostles with a pure heart. I am praying, and you should also pray, that the Holy Spirit may enable and lead you, that he may illuminate you and fill you with love and humility. Pray that he may fill you with grace and mercy. Only then will you understand me, my children. Only then will you understand my pain because of those who have not come to know the love of God. Then you will be able to help me. You will be my light-bearers of God’s love. You will illuminate the way for those who have been given eyes but do not want to see. I desire for all of my children to see my Son. I desire for all of my children to experience his Kingdom. Again I call you and implore you to pray for those whom my Son has called. Thank you.
 Medjugorje Message October 12, 2012
Come, Lord Jesus, Send Us Your Spirit.