In coming back home to the Catholic faith, lately, I find myself constantly looking for the opportunity to bring the faith to others. There are many ways to do this and one being prayer in public. In my domestic church, we pray before every meal. While we don’t have the opportunity to eat meals out very often, when we do, prayer does not stop. We pray as a family over our meals in public too. Not having a care as to who is watching as we did not start doing this to impress anyone, but we carry our “Domestic Church” everywhere we go. Starting with a very simple, Sign of the Cross. By this very simple task, we are being used as God’s instrument to bring the faith to others. When others see this act of faith in praying, even for a split second, they know our Lord is working among them. Thus, the seeds of faith are planted simply by being God’s bait for souls.
Monthly Archives: December 2011
Just a general observation today that I can not help but ponder.
Upon attending mass this morning and seeing the wonderful display of Our Lady of Guadalupe inside our church, I was brought to question something. Something so sad I can not help but mention it. If I am missing something here, or anyone finds fault with what I am about to say, I am sorry. Forgive me, and help to change the way I am seeing this today.
In 1531 a “Lady from Heaven” appeared to a humble Native American at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of what is now Mexico City.
She identified herself as the ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth.
She made a request for a church to be built on the site, and submitted her wish to the local Bishop. When the Bishop hesitated, and requested her for a sign, the Mother of God obeyed without delay or question to the Church’s local Bishop, and sent her native messenger to the top of the hill in mid-December to gather an assorment of roses for the Bishop.
After complying to the Bishop’s request for a sign, She also left for us an image of herself imprinted miraculously on the native’s tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 479 years later and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin.
It apparently even reflects in Her eyes what was in front of her in 1531.
Her message of love and compassion, and her universal promise of help and protection to all mankind, as well as the story of the apparitions, are described in the “Nican Mopohua”, a 16th century document written in the native Nahuatl language.
There is reason to believe that at Tepeyac Mary came in her glorified body, and her actual physical hands rearranged the roses in Juan Diego’s tilma, which makes this apparition very special.
As I arrived at mass this morning, in the courtyard were many tents set up and scores of souls celebrating the feast day set for tomorrow. Vendors were selling statues and other items, including lots of food in booths. It was a carnival atmosphere. Many souls gathering together to eat, drink and celebrate. Its a feast! But where are they when our Lord is calling to them. Granted I am sure Mama Mary is honored, but at the price of leaving her Son, our Lord unattended, I can only ask for forgiveness and see no need to partake of this sort of feast.
Yesterday, I was saddened because I had received many calls from souls sitting in our Blessed Sacrament chapel, who had no one to release them. For the past few weeks, since Thanksgiving, many of our Adorers have stopped attending and we have been left with gaping holes in our Adoration schedule, in where the same souls sit with our Lord, in prayer, for several hours longer then the one hour they had signed up for. Keep in mind, our parish is over 70% Hispanic, but there has been a huge lack of response to get the over four thousand parishoners to participate in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
When Our Lady of Guadalupe first requested that a “church” be built in 1531, one was built. The “Church” is the place to worship her Son. The “Church” is where holy mass, the True Feast, is celebrated. From the Holy Mass, we attain Our Lord in complete humility in the Blessed Sacrament, and for the past few weeks, He is being left alone in the “Church”, His mother, our Holy Mother, requested to be built.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, through your intercession, I beg of you to ask our Lord to bring all God’s children back to the “Church” you requested to be built. To worship our Lord, to love God with our entire heart, mind, strength, body and soul. To place Him above all, including our own wants and needs. Abba Father forgive us and wake us up to Your needs, Most Merciful. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen
Help of Christians, pray for us.
Mystical Rose of the Immaculate Conception,
protectress of priests and the consecrated,
win them the favor of Jesus Christ! Amen.
Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception and I wish to share with you a little sliver of heaven. Yesterday was my birthday and my entire day, I thank Mama Mary and the Holy Trinity for blessing me with the honor of spending that day with them in the following way.
I attended the 8 AM mass as I usualy do and left in peace to share this inner peace with every soul I was to come in contact with. I got home and prayed to our Lord asking Him about how I was going to spend the day. I went into my yard and began to water my plants. I am in San Diego and the weather here permits me to do so. As I was watering my plants, I moved to my rose bushes and began to water them. I only have three and my gardening skills have taken a back seat for the past few months so I had not been attending to them or most of my yard for that matter. I noticed my roses in bloom but one bush stood out over the others.
One rose, one perficet rose was fully open. This plant I call my “Sacred Heart” roses. They are white roses with the outer petals sprayed with red. I often ponder it as the prestine white rose being dipped into the blood of our crusified Lord. The rose that stood out had a very long stem. I had never seen a stem this long from one of my plants. Not only was the stem very long, no other branch came forth from it. It was attached directly to the base of the bush and very close to the ground where the root entered the earth. Mind you, the stem on this beautiful flower looked as if it was three foot high. If I were to have cut it further it could have been. Three being the Holy Trinity did cross my mind. I did not grow this rose. This was a gift from Abba Father telling me to bring it to Mama Mary.
I cut the rose and knew exactly where it needed to go. I dropped everything and headed back to church because I knew this special rose belonged to Mama Mary as her Immaculate Conception was the true celebration I was looking forward to. As I pulled up, I noticed our maintenance man working outside and asked him to let me in, so I could present it to our Holy Mother’s statue. I walked in and the woman who decorates the church was just starting to decorate for the following days feast. She needed help and I told her I would help her. I spent the remainder of the day helping her to decorate for the feast. I had to run back home at a point because we did not have a cloth big enough to cover the table our Holy Mother’s statue would be on. I brought back the same cloth, that was used when the international pilgrim traveling statue of Our Lady of Fatima made a visit to our parish.
This beautiful rose became the center point under the Immaculate Mary’s statue. The patroness of the Legion of Mary in which I serve in, is called “Mystical Rose”. There is no doubt, our Lord wanted me to spend this birthday doing exactly what I had done and provided me with a beautiful gift to give Mama Mary on the day of her Immaculate Conception, the day of her birth into life.
If you do not know about the Mystical Rose, please read here
Keep in mind, yesterday was December 7th
SNIP from the above link:
“Sixth Apparition on December 7, 1947
This time when Our Lady appeared again in the parish church there were only three persons present. Among them was the Reverend Confessor of the seer. Our Lady, as “Rosa Mystica,” wore a white cloak. This was held at the right side by a boy, at the left side by a girl. Both were also dressed in white.
Our Lady said, “Tomorrow I shall show you my Immaculate Heart which human beings know so little.” Here she paused and then went on, “In Fatima I spread the dedication to my Immaculate Heart.” With heartfelt expression she went on, “In Bonate I tried to introduce this devotion into Christian families.” (Bonate, where Our Lady appeared during the war, is situated near Bergamo.)
Here she made a somewhat longer pause, then continued, “Here in Montichiari I wish the devotion of the ‘Rosa Mystica,’ together with the veneration of my Immaculate Heart, to be increased in the religious institutes and the monastic communities, in order that these souls dedicated to God may receive more graces from my motherly Heart.”
Then Our Lady told Pierina a mystery and promised that she herself would let her know when she had to reveal it. Pierina asked, “Who are the two children at your side?”
Our Lady answered, “Jacinta and Francesco. They will be your companions in all your afflictions. They too have suffered, though they were much younger than you. Look, this is how I would like you to be—–simple and good—–as these children used to be.” Our Lady extended her arms protectingly, looked up to Heaven and exclaimed, “Sia benedetto il Signore!” which means, “Praised be the Lord!” Then she disappeared.”
From another site: “By praying, sacrificing and doing penance we bring roses to our Mother and do reparation for the injury of the swords.
A white rose : spirit of prayer.
A Red rose: spirit of sacrifice (reparation)
A golden-yellow rose: spirit of total immolation
“This three roses will make the three swords fall from the Most Blessed Hearts of Jesus and Mary”
For the past few weeks, every Monday night, I have been blessed to be a part of singing Vespers and Compline (Night Prayer) in my parish, with the Brothers of the Little Oratory. Granted, I have not been blessed with a singing voice in the least and feel I am a hinder to them rather then special add. LOL But they are most definitely a blessing to our parish and to me.
For my readers who do not know what vespers are, even Vatican II stressed the importance of every Catholic praying the Liturgy of the Hours or otherwise known as Divine Office. Please check out the link HERE. Litergy of the Hours is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings. Together with the Mass, it constitutes the official public prayer life of the Church. Upon ordination to the Diaconate, the daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours becomes a canonical obligation. The Liturgy of the Hours also forms the basis of prayer within Christian monasticism.
The Liturgy of the Hours, along with the Eucharist, has formed part of the Catholic Church’s public worship from the earliest times.
Praying Vespers on Monday Night is an absolute treat to my soul. Although, I do pray the Divine Office daily. It is prayed in Gregorian Chant, completely in Latin. Last night was the first night I let go of my inhibitions and sung without fear. I have to admit I have never been able to carry a tone but with the help of this group, and the Holy Spirit, I am working on that. As I was praying last night, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something I used to do as a very young child. When I was about four or five, in my parents basement, there was a metal bookcase. More like a utility cabinet that kept books. In it, were my older sisters school books and one of them was the Liturgy of the Hours. I used to take it out and try to read it. Never knowing what it was. I used to ponder about how hard it was to be “Big”. To have to learn all this new stuff. I would sit and stare at the Latin and the voice notes and wonder when I would be able to read them and understand them. I never knew what it was or what it meant. One day, my older sister came home and seen me flipping through the book and said something on the order of “Your Reading Gregorian Chant now? I’ll believe its a miracle when you actually start singing it”. And walked away.
Well??? Here we are. Forty one years later and look! I’m singing Gregorian Chat, the Divine Office, and the glory goes to God.
EDIT TO ADD:
I have to mention the school my older sisters attended was Mother Théodore Guérin High School. Saint Mother Théodore Guérin (1798 – 1856), designated by the Vatican as Saint Theodora, is the foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, a congregation of Catholic nuns. After a standard process of approval within the church often referred to as a “cause for sainthood,” she was beatified by Pope John Paul II in October 1998 and finally canonized a saint of the Roman Catholic church on October 15, 2006, by Pope Benedict XVI.
Thank you for your intercession Saint Theodora. I truly understand how serious our Lord’s intrest is, in my soul and every soul on earth.
Isaiah 55:1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
In the past few months in my absence, our Lord has been keeping me very busy. So busy, I haven’t found any time to spend wallowing in self pity or my past sinful nature. Or should I say, when He has given me time for this, I pray rather the do this. The guilt of my past is gone and has been replaced with love. He has granted my soul with many gifts. So many gifts it would be impossible to list them. I have found our Lord in every action, in every moment of time I have been using. Imagine putting a puzzle together. Each puzzle piece representing the gifts from our Lord. Each individual piece containing numerous instances of God’s grace in your life. So numerous, you could never count them. Or if you tried to, it would take the rest of your life to do so. Seeing the forest for the trees would be the best description. When one full piece is placed next to the matching piece, the picture becomes clearer and the drive to finish the puzzle is overwhelming. Not in a way that would be considered to be under pressure to complete it, but rather freely completing it because no other joy on this level has ever been attained. This I can only call the gift of life. You see yourself not able to do anything but His will and self is empty.
What I have been able to do, though God’s grace, is ponder how He has destroyed everything in my life He never placed in my soul, that I should believe myself to be, to begin with. The joy found in this magnificent destruction of the self, is overwhelming. Its calming and true peace. Where for so many years, my life was as a desert dust storm. Sand blowing in every direction never knowing where it was to land. Never knowing what its true purpose was, but to reek turmoil in the path of all it should encounter. Making life miserable for all who entered as I was miserable and did not know where to turn or what to do. I listened to wind and those who kicked me up and landed in the direction where they had kicked me. I tried to fill the forms others had made for me and could never be what they wanted me to be. I was dried up.
Doing continual work for our Lord, praying continually, attending mass not only on Sundays and Holy Days, but every day, constant receiving of the Sacraments, through Christ, He continually waters me. The joy of not only seeing His work, but knowing His word is eternal, brings fourth such a peace through knowing He is King. He is truth. Everything He said, is true. He never changes. He changes us. Truth that so many miss in this world and don’t even know it. Yet seek this peace in material possessions and never find it. What absolute awe to see God destroy the things in a soul for the only purpose, His, to replace them with love.
Hello to all! Blessings to all!
Sorry for the long delay in posts as I have been very busy with the Legion of Mary and other functions around the community of St. John of the Cross. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I will do my best to account for my blog and help to spread the Word of God. Lord have mercy on us all.