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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

God the Consoler

A few nights ago I came across a video on You Tube for the song "Mary Did You Know?" It is a wonderful Christmas song contemplating what is in store for the Holy Family over the next 33 years. It consisted of scenes from a few movies, including Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ." I still have not seen the movie because I don't think I can handle it.

One short clip, taken from the "Passion of the Christ", was of the guards dragging away a battered Jesus after the Scourging at the Pillar. I admit, I am not strong enough to view these scenes. When I do, they often bother me for days. But, I am often consoled by God - usually in a dream.

This time it was last night. I had a dream I was among the crowds just before the crucifixion. I remember feeling distressed and I wanted to stop it. Then the events took a different turn from what we hear in the Bible. Everyone disappeared for a moment - or at least it seemed so. Then, as Jesus carried the cross, He turned to me and told me that this is God's plan for our salvation. He then led me to the exact spot where His cross would be placed.

Once again as in the dream I had over a year ago, I don't remember the words. It was like watching a silent movie and yet I understood everything He told me. I came away from the dream with the understanding that this is the way God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit wanted it.

I remember feeling better, but still concerned. Then He showed me what it might have been like even if everyone felt like I did. He showed me Him teaching the crowd that he must be crucified to fulfill God's plan. I think it was a dramatic display of God confirming that this is all part of His plan. Logically, I know that and always have. It's seeing Him in such a state that gets to me sometimes. He is our King and our God and that was what we did to Him.

But once again, God consoled my soul and brought peace to it. Just like the last time, I can't remember His words, but I'll never forget the peace He left me with. And when I let the peace fill my heart I remembered that the Crucifixion was NOT the end of the story. Jesus rising and opening the gates of Heaven for us was the final outcome of the Crucifixion. Now He lives in Glory forever - as our God and King should be.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Manhattan Declarationn of Christian Conscience

A group of people from different denominations of Christianity banned together on Nov 20,2009 in objection to laws that attack such Christian values as: right to life, traditional family, faith and liberty.

They formed and signed a document titled the "Manhattan Declaration of Christian Conscience." These people remind us through their actions that even in a world with so much negativity, Christ's light is still there. His light of hope.

Please visit the webpage and read all about this important declaration. If you are as inspired as I was, consider adding your name to the list of signatures. Here's your chance to add your Christian voice: Do not force us to pay for vital issues against our beliefs. When we leave this world and face judgement, we will have to answer for all our actions.

Thank you to the brave people who created this declaration!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Never Underestimate the Rosary

I try to make a habbit of saying the Rosary every night. I used to attempt it at the very end of the night and most of the time I would fall asleep. I'm pretty sure the reason is every time I say the Rosary, I'm filled with peace. A calm, worry free, relaxing peace. But because I have a hard time making it through the entire Rosary that late at night, I've been saying it a little earlier.

Tonight, my 4-year old son was having a hard time going to sleep. I chose to stay in the room with him until he settled down. I tried reading 4 of his favorite books to him. It worked for a second, but he was determined to stay up. His older sisters were awake. Why couldn't he stay up too? After attempting to read to him, I turned down the lights and sat very quiet. However, he took that time to try to convince me to let him stay awake.

Then I decided to say my Rosary. I started to say it quietly in my head, but it was hard with my son's fussiness. So, I said it aloud. I was up to the first decade when I decided to say my prayers out loud in front of my son. By the time I got to the second decade, he was silent and calmed down. He was amazingly peaceful for the entire Rosary. He listened intently, and became relaxed.

It's hard to tell when he actually fell asleep, but to be sure, I started a second set of mysteries. After the second decade I stopped, for he was surely asleep.

I pray the Rosary as often as I can and it never ceases to amaze me. This is the most powerful prayer in the world. It has calmed me after severe hurtful situations, it always brings peace to my heart, and now I've wittnessed it bring peace to my son's heart.

If you've neglected your Rosary ( as I have until about 1 1/2 years ago), consider picking it up. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Prayers For Writers - a New Blog

Once again I feel I was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Small prayer-like lines filled my head - all of which had to do with authors. I started writing them down. That's when I chose to start a new blog Prayers for Writers at . They aren't too elaborate, just words of inspiration and asking of God's guidance as we teach through our words. Head on over and check it out sometime.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our Lady of America

To me, the apparitions of Our Lady of America to Sister Mildred Mary Neuzil are a new concept. I may have come across the title in other research before, but never really learned about it. Then, one morning in my mailbox was a free copy of a newsletter all about our Lady of America.

It was quite an interesting read, however, we have been warned by Jesus himself of any false prophets. So, with skepticism I did some research about these apparitions and found conflicting information. Some places I've read that it has been approved. Other places say there has been no decision. Either way, the message is about love.

It's funny, but here in America, you would think we'd hear more about her and her messages. There was nothing sensational about the visions. It appeared to me to be a repetition of what she's always been asking all humanity: consecration to her heart, love, accepting God' s Mercy and living for God.

There were times during these apparitions where Mary was sad. I often wonder what she is feeling. How awful it must be to watch as her children harm themselves. The only thing I can compare it to, which doesn't even come close, is any mother standing by helplessly as their child self destructs.

Mary keeps visiting us for a reason. She is our mother and wants us to survive. But we can only survive if we want to. He has given us the gift of Free Will. You can't help those who don't want to help themselves.

Let's accept God's offerings of grace and Mercy. Love God. Live for Him. Don't just know who he is and like it. Love who He is and Love Him. Love him through your thoughts, actions, words and deeds. He is our Father and wants us to be with Him.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Praying for the Sick

One of my favorite prayers is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Ever since I learned about it, I make it a point to pray it when I know of someone who is ill. Jesus taught this chaplet to Saint Faustina. He told her to pray it when someone is dying, and they will receive His mercy at their time of death.

Since I'm never sure of how things will go, whenever I hear of someone becoming ill I offer the chaplet. This past Saturday, my Father-in-law had a heart attack. My Mother-in-law called us as they were on the way to the hospital. My husband left the house and joined them. I was home with the children, so I did what I could and offered the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I often feel at peace when I finish the Chaplet. My husband returned home hours later and reported that his father survived the heart attack. He was in the ICU in the hospital recovering. While there are still many things the doctors must attend to, I view this survival as a miracle.

Usually the Chaplet is helpful in death, but I often wonder if it had to do with my Father-in-law's survival. Was this a second chance at life? While nobody knows for sure what role the Chaplet played in this incident, I am sure that it was as helpful as it has always been. God hears our prayers. And as long as it is in line with His Will, He answers those prayers.

Thank you Jesus for hearing my prayers.


The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Crucifix - 1 Our Father

Then say:

1 Apostles' Creed, Hail Mary and Glory Be

On all the Our Father Beads before each decade of the Rosary, say this prayer:

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and the Blood of you dearly beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

On all the Hail Mary beads say this prayer:

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

After the final prayer in the 5th decade repeat this prayer 3 times:

Holy God,Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One , have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Special Thank You for Brave Bishops

It warms my heart to see such good in a world surrounded by darkness. There were 83 Bishops who spoke out against President Obama's attendance at the Notre Dame graduation. As with all witnesses for Jesus, these brave men risked ridicule, persecution, and their reputation in order to promote the Catholic Teachings. They endured many trials, but their support enforced the passionate students who value their faith.

When I see thngs like this, it proves there's still good in this world.

As a special thank you, the Cardinal Newman Society presented a Spiritual Boquet to the 83 Bishops who spoke out agains t the Notre Dame Scandal.

Click here. to see a copy of the Spiritual Bouquet Certificate sent to the bishop.

Click to see the list of all 83 Bishops.

The overwhelming prayer response in the spiritual bouquet includes:

Mass Intentions: 116,741

Divine Mercy Chaplets
: 74,974

: 57,728

General Prayers: 236,615

Eucharistic Holy Hours
: 37,125

Holy Rosaries
: 146,944

Novenas: 19,877

Days of Fasting
: 28,862

In addition to these prayers, Catholic priests offered 3,272 Holy Sacrifices of the Mass for the bishops.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Love Your Enemies

"Love your enemies." Sometimes those words are like high-pitched screeches to my ears. Especially when I've been "attacked" by my neighbor. The last thing I want to do is pray for them.

Our family just had an incident with our neighbor. They constantly harass us and find ways to add stress to our already stressful life.

My initial reaction is to want to return the favor. But then I listen. I listen to a smaller -yet powerful voice that tells me doing so is not what Christ would do. How many times did people spit at him and hit him and mock him during his crucifixion? As he told his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Do you not think I could call upon the choirs of angels?"

This tells us that He accepted his suffering and did not hurt his enemies. He followed His own golden rule: "Treat others as you'd have done to you." How lucky we are to have such a perfect role model!

When we are asked to pray for our enemies, it is God's will that we do so. He loves all of us - no matter what we do. Some people need a ton of prayers to turn their hearts fully to God. Usually there aren't many people praying for them because of how they treat others. To us, it might not be a terrible loss. But to God - it is a huge loss. One of his creatures needs prayers. He loves them as He loves all of us. Because of that, we should do all we can to offer our prayers for their salvation.

After all, even as He walked the earth, Jesus said he was also here for the sinners. They need Him more than anyone.

Sure, these thoughts don't make the hurt go away. And praying for the enemies may or may not turn their hearts toward God. But at least we are doing what God asks of us. The rest is up to them. They need to want to have Him in their lives. Not just believe in Him, but live Him also.
And we all need prayers to continue to live Jesus' teachings and His will.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Offer a Rosary with Notre Dame

As Editor-in-chief of a Catholic centered magazine, I feel it is my duty to help in anyway I can for the cause of the Notre Dame Response. Students are in an uproar because the president of the university is going to honor pro-choice president Barak Obama on graduation day. Not only will he speak there, he will be given an honorary degree in Law.

While it is our duty to treat others as a brother and sister, it is also our duty to stand up for our beliefs. Many students of Notre Dame are so distressed that they are contemplating not attending their own graduation.

One thing they are planning, which I fond quite honorable, is a goal to say 1 million Rosaries for Barak Obama - to have a conversion of heart, etc. Jesus did tell us to pray for our "enemies". It is easy to pray for those we love.

If you would like to offer a rosary and help the students of Notre Dame, click here. You can tell them about a Rosary you have said for these intentions, and I think you can even pledge as well.

The Rosary is a wondrous prayer. Thank you for considering this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How Great Thou Art

Twice in the last few weeks I've seen a marvelous work of art from none other than God Himself.

The first was a powerful rainbow shown to us a few weeks ago. The sky was as dark as night and it was raining. At the same time, there was also the sun breaking through. The result was the most vivid rainbow I have ever seen. I didn't have my camera with me, so I could not get the picture of the whole arc of the rainbow. I did get one when we got home, but the picture did not do the rainbow justice.

Another work of art was captured by NASA. It looks like a large hand reaching for a glowing crown of thorns. Some say it takes an imagination to see that. I don't know. To me, it's as obvious as the nose on your face. I am in awe of this beautiful creation. Check out this picture. Click the picture to view the story.

Picture taken by NASA

This photo encourages many thoughts in me. Skeptics might say that it's just nature, a natural act expected to occur in the vastness of outer space. I think that it is a message for us. One of hope. One of warning. One of a reminder.

Hope - That God is still here. He is still with us. Every once in a while, it seems, humanity needs to be reassured of this. Especially in these time when wrong choices are being made at will. I find it very fitting that the picture is circulating right around the Easter holidays.

Warning - That we should not forget about God and His commandments. So much wrong is going on in the world now - terrorism, abortions, stealing, cheating, broken families.. Eventually we all will be judged according to our actions. Could this be a warning? God is with us, but he's also watching us -aware of all the good --and bad, we do.

Reminder - That God loves us. He was with us in the beginning of time, He was with us in Jesus' time and He is with us now. He loves us and wants us to be with Him in Heaven. Of course, the choice is ours. If we choose the wrong path, it will not lead us to God in Heaven.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This is a story about a wonderful dream I had just about a year ago. I wrote about it when I had a blog on Yahoo 360. It's so beautiful, that I wanted to share it here as well. God Bless!


Wednesday night (March 27, 2008) I had a dream that I was with Jesus. I didn't see Him, but I felt Him. I can only explain it like this: I didn't need to see Him to know he was there.

We were surrounded by a refreshing bright light (though I didn't find it blinding), the sand was golden, the sky a clean clear blue. We sat on white stone benches close to the ground. A tall stone wall was nearby.

I became aware that Jesus was speaking to me, but I didn't hear with my ears. It was more with my heart. I can't spell out word for word what He said to me - but my soul felt peace.

It's been months since I had that dream and it's still as crystal clear as ever. Every night when I drift off to sleep, I hope to meet Jesus in my dreams again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What'sYour Lenten Promise?

Last year about this time, I had a conversion of heart. It was during Lent and I was touched every time I went to Mass and paid attention to what was being taught. Shortly after that, I started to go to daily Mass, pray the Rosary almost daily and read the Bible. Instantly my life seemed to be going so much better. Maybe it was because I was so in tune with my relationship with God. Things were going well and I felt very strong, like no matter what the enemy tried to throw at me, I could turn away.

Then November happened. A family problem exploded and I literally dropped everything I was doing to work on this problem. I felt that if I didn't, my family would fall apart. There's still trouble now and then, but things seem to be looking up.

I wish I could say the same about my efforts with my relationship with God. I didn't intentionally "leave" Him. But yet I still feel so far away. I know a big part of it is due to not saying the Rosary or reading the Bible as much.

That's why this Lent I want to get back into my routine again. Attend Daily Mass, Pray the Rosary, Read the Bible. I know it will take time, but am confident that if I'm persistent, my goal will be reached.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Beautiful Prayers

Every Choir practice I attend begins and ends with a prayer. Tonight's ending prayer was very nice. Our leader just finished practicing the last song with us, and continuted to play the music as we stood in prayer. There's something beautiful and touching about saying a prayer and our intentions while soft church music is playing.

Occasionally, we do this just after we sing the "Our Father" at Mass on Sundays. The music keeps playing softly as the priest says a blessing. After the blessing we continue singing, "For the kingdom, the power ... "

These things are wonderful spiritual experiences. You just want it to continue on forever. Each time I encounter this I feel myself growing. Music and prayer - the perfect way to worship God.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Miraculous Prayer

We pray often. God is always listening to us. However, there is a special prayer given to us by Our Lady - the Holy Rosary. Just the make-up of the Rosary makes it special. We include the prayer Jesus taught us so long ago( The Our Father - Matthew 6 9-13), and we use lines from the Bible about Mary: "Hail Mary full of Grace. The Lord is with You."(Luke 1:28) "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." (Luke 1:42).

I try to make a habit of praying the Rosary everyday, but I often fall short. When I do, I'm always filled with peace. Many times when I am upset, I am filled with the deepest sense of peace by the time I finish this prayer. This is true especially after an argument with a family member. The Rosary has helped me focous on what was important in life, not who is wrong or right. It is an amazing feeling. I've often felt that I had been consoled by my mother. I guess that's true. I was being consoled by my Heavenly Mother, who not only made me feel better, but instilled a little wisdom along the way. Pray the'll be glad you did!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Judge Not

Today I saw someone who was just pulled over by the police --probably a routine traffic stop. I thought to myself, "What a way to start the day." Thoughts were running through my head. The first thought was about the driver of the car. I thought how he should have followed the traffic rules. Then I thought more about that. The first thought was true, however we are also told not to judge each other.

Something inside told me this man needed some prayers. I wondered what this guy's life was like. Was he rushing off to work? Did he just not see the stop sign? Was this the first event in a really bad day? I decided that no matter what the situation is, even if the man intentionally broke the traffic law, that I should offer him a prayer. Maybe the prayer would help this man have a better day or make him see the need for traffic laws.

As we drove by, I said a silent Hail Mary, Our Father and Glory Be with the intention to help this man have a better day. Somehow in my soul I knew these prayers would be answered. Even though I wouldn't be able to see the results of my prayers, I knew in my heart that I helped make this man's day a little brighter. That alone filled up my heart with joy. I found a way to change my heart from a judging one to a praying one.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January 6: The Feast of the Epiphany

One of my favorite parts of Christmas (other than the birth of Jesus) is the feast of the Epiphany. That is when the Wise Men visited Jesus in the manger. It's an amazing story of faith, wisdom and adoration. As the Wise Men were not Jews, the story also represents how Jesus was sent here for the Gentiles as well. He came here to save us all. It's up to us to accept it or not.