Press on in Prayer

I don’t know about you, Friends, but I’ve been commenting to others that I feel a great sense of expectancy. It reminds me of the homilies I’ve heard during Advent which have acknowledged the atmosphere in times when Our Lady gave her FIAT and Jesus was conceived. The Jewish people were abuzz with vibrancy concerning the pending arrival of the Messiah. Then, as the Lord embarked on His public ministry, the Scriptures tell us, people were asking John the Baptist, “”Are *you* the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the people intuited, first, that the Messiah was near and, then, that he had come. Emmanuel.

Expectancy. In these days, I’m feeling as I did when the birth of each of my children approached. I know there will be great suffering when the Storm breaks in its fullness yet I also hold dear the promises of rebirth, renewal and rescue with the arrival of the baby of babies, the dream and fulfillment of the neverending intercession of our Blessed Mother as she has come under many titles, to many places in this Age of Mary: the return of so many brothers and sisters to God and His Ways. 

Our reader quietpathways described these times, yesterday, in an image which, I think, characterizes just how decayed and degenerate are societies and cultures, all over the world, when he commented:

It’s good to be reminded of what this current administration is up against, as well as ourselves. Lets not sit back and think, ah, Trump is working on it, the swamp will be drained. The recovery of a country does not survive on Trump alone, but by every next right step of it’s people 🙂
I do wonder how long before we understand that human action won’t be enough. Right now it feels like we’re in a very slow motion train-wreck. There are frantic attempts to put the wheels back on track, but many of the other wheels have already had their lug nuts removed, and are being held to their bare bolts, solely by the grace of God.

Still, we cling to hope for God DOES have a Plan which continues to unfold before us and, as quietpathways exhorts, each of us has next right steps to take in order to accomplish the little we each can do, wherever we are living and loving. We CAN do this. We *can*choose to carry on, filled with hope as we Trust.Do.Love. In God’s economy, that little we can do has great purpose and value. Placed on the Cross with Christ, HE magnifies its effect as it ripples to invigorate all people and places of the world. As hearts are being revealed, the effects of evil choices are being revealed as raw evidence of the breadth and depth of societal and cultural depravity is reported. Please take heart! We remember: “Where sin abounds, grace abounds the more.” (Romans 5:20)

An action item to consider involves signing a petition that all charges against David Daleiden and Susan Merritt be dropped. There are many such initiatives. If you haven’t yet signed such a petition, here’s one promoted by the Manhattan Declaration.

Please continue to pray:

*For David and Susan

*For Charlie and God’s Plan for him as he remains in watchful retirement and we swirl in the ever choppier waters of chaos, confusion and division

* For our Syrian brother and sisters. Such evil and heartache for too long! As Cardinal DiNardo says, It “shocks the soul.”

*For the developing story surrounding the news of the latest use of chemical weapons in Syria. Here, I remind us of the “broad sweep” of events wherein the U.S. will ally with Russia to beat back Islam. Let us ask Our Lady to crush any efforts that attempt to obstruct the establishment of such an alliance.

*For our country and God’s Plan to be fulfilled as we observe the “slow motion train wreck” of its implosion.

*For every country as the world is on fire in many places, fraught with dangerous possibilities. For some solid enlightenment on this reality, I point you to this piece by Victor David Hanson. As you may know, Charlie has great respect for some of the writers featured at National Review. Hanson solidly captures the issues of the day surrounding “the U.S. effectively reasserting itself in world affairs”:

“Rightly or wrongly, China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Middle East-based terrorists concluded after 2009 that the U.S. saw itself in decline and preferred a recession from world affairs.

In that void, rival states were emboldened, assuming that America thought it could not — or should not — any longer exercise the sort of political and military leadership it had demonstrated in the past.

Enemies thought the U.S. was more focused on climate change, United Nations initiatives, resets, goodwill gestures to enemies such as Iran and Cuba, and soft-power race, class, and gender agendas than on protecting and upholding longtime U.S. alliances and global rules.

In reaction, North Korea increased its missile launches and loudly promised nuclear destruction of the West and its allies. Russia violated its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and absorbed borderlands of former Soviet republics. Iran harassed American ships in the Persian Gulf and issued serial threats against the U.S. China built artificial island bases in the South China Sea to send a message about its imminent management of Asian commerce. In Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State killed thousands in medieval fashion and sponsored terrorist attacks inside Western countries. Amid such growing chaos, a return to former (and normal) U.S. deterrence would inflame such aggressors and be considered provocative by provocateurs.”

Be sure to visit National Review and read Hanson’s suggested, “few old rules for these scary new crises on the horizon.”

*Please remember the prayer given by the Lady of All Nations. Her special prayer reveals she knew these times were coming and, in God’s Plan, she has provided a prayerful antidote to the current evil:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now Your Spirit over the earth. Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations that they may be preserved from degenration, disaster and war. May the Lady of All Nations, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our advocate. Amen.

*For North Korea, in particular, at this time. We know its current alliance with China. We know the prophecy concerning the struggle we face with China and the promise that Our Lady will intervene when all seems lost. In my personal and group encounters with Maria Esperanza, one of my spiritual mothers, I heard her repeatedly warn concerning future struggles emerging with some of the Asian governments. Naming this reality is not meant to induce fear for it is the evil one’s tactic to induce fear. No. This is to evoke prayer while focusing, with great confidence, on God’s Plan.

*Not as a prayer taskmaster, but as a reminder of truth and a purveyor of God’s Hope and Concrete Assistance in this time of real need for us and all peoples, I encourage us to make use of the gifts given by Our Lord and Our Lady in the Flame of Love Prayers:

Prayer #1: Jesus told Elizabeth:

“A great battle awaits you, but you will conquer in the sign of the cross. When you make the cross, think of the three Divine Persons. Make the sign of the cross five times, while thinking of my Five Wounds. Always look at my eyes bathed in blood. Tell everyone all that I tell you.”

Prayer #2: The Unity Prayer about which Jesus said : “Through this prayer, Satan will be blind and souls will not be led into sin… The Lord explained, “Satan being blind signifies a worldwide triumph of my Sacred Heart, the freedom of souls and a full opening of the road of salvation.” 

May our feet journey together.
May our hands gather in unity.
May our hearts beat in unison.
May our souls be in harmony.
May our thoughts be as one.
May our ears listen to the silence together.
May our glances profoundly penetrate each other.
May our lips pray together to gain mercy from the Eternal Father.

Prayer #3:  Elizabeth Kindleman said, “For a long time, I did not dare to record Our Lady’s petition, “When you pray the Hail Mary, include the following petition, ‘Spread the effect of grace of thy Flame of Love over all of humanity.’” When the bishop asked why this should be done, Jesus explained, “Because of the Holy Virgin’s efficacious pleas, the Most Blessed Trinity granted the outpouring of the Flame of Love. For her sake, you must place this prayer in the Hail Mary.” Mary said, “I want to awaken humanity by this petition. This is not a new formula but a constant supplication.”

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee,
blessed are Thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
spread the effect of grace of Thy Flame of Love over all of humanity,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let us also avail ourselves of the Surrender Novena and the Prayer of Miraculous Trust as potent interventions, for ourselves, our families and our world, in these days of turmoil.

How often Charlie reminded us that these things and these days must come. I have long pondered that without God’s Justice we humans are capable of totally destroying ourselves. It is fitting to remember: God’s Justice, wherein His Mercy is embedded, is NOT upon us because He is doing this to us. WE have provoked His Justice by concocting this stinky stew, suffused throughout the world. In the first reading proclaimed at Mass today, we heard Abba clearly convey to Abraham: “On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”

God is ALWAYS faithful. It is we who have failed in keeping our part of the covenant. God is the same yesterday, today and forever: He is the Source of ALL Goodness. He ONLY acts from Pure Love. He EVER provides the ways back to Him. For these reasons and for all His Goodness and Glory, we praise and thank Him, even in the darkest nights.

Blessed be God forever! Ave Maria eternally!

Posted in Uncategorized | 97 Comments

Invoking Our Lady Healer of Families

(At Catholic Stand, I discovered this heartening piece by Susan, our TNRS friend. With her permission, I reprint this hope-filled plea via a novena to Our Lady, first posted at Susan’s blog.)

Our Lady Healer of Families (part 1)


C0B9477C-ECFC-447E-A3EA-EC149DDDB0C7-52306-00002C865CE88147_tmp

Over the past year or so people have come to me over and over again asking me to pray for their families.  Parents estranged from children.  Children angry with parents.  Spouses at war.  Siblings who don’t speak.  Family members chained by addictions of all kinds.   Family members who are sick and caregivers who are exhausted.  I feel like I am seeing the front lines of the attack on and suffering of the Family.

In my prayer I have felt our Lady tell me over and over again that she is in union with the Divine will.  She is all things relationship with the Trinity.  Daughter of the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of the Son.  She knows union with God and we can, by following her example, have loving relationships with one another.

This week in my prayers I very clearly heard her tell me that she wants to heal Families.  That she is Our Lady Healer of Families and she wants a devotion under this title.  She asked me to have an Icon painted and a Litany written.  But she didn’t want me to write it.  She identified to me who she wanted to do these two things.  My cousin, Kathleen Carr, to paint the Icon, and a friend of mine to write the Litany.  She called them both, “My daughters, my friends.”  I called both my cousin and my friend.  My cousin informed me she had prayed only the night before about what to paint next — and then I called her in the morning.  She was amazed and quickly said she would do it so I gave her the parameters I saw in my prayer.  Her Icon will be part two of this post.  Please keep her in prayer as she paints.

My friend also agreed to write the Litany but has asked that her name be withheld and that you focus solely on the prayer.  I decided to post the prayer even though the Painting isn’t ready because in the past two days I have had multiple people come to me asking for prayers for their families.  I was told in prayer to promulgate this Litany and so I am posting it now.  We will also be rolling out a full Novena with the painting.  The Novena will be prayed for 9 days and then saying a Rosary.  So without further ado here is the Litany;

Litany to Our Lady Healer of Families

Hail full of grace,

Daughter of the Heavenly Father

Pray for us

Hail full of grace,

Daughter of the Alpha and Omega

Pray for us

Hail full of grace,

Daughter of the Creator of Heaven and Earth

Pray for us

Hail full of grace,

Daughter of Yahweh, the great I AM

Pray for us

Hail full of grace,

Daughter of St. Anne & St. Joachim

Pray for us

Most favored daughter

Pray for us

Most devoted daughter

Pray for us

Most obedient daughter

Pray for us

Most peaceful daughter

Pray for us

Most pure daughter

Pray for us

Most joyful daughter

Pray for us

Most modest daughter

Pray for us

Our Lady Healer of Families, the Lord is with you

Mary, Daughter of God the Father

Pray for us

Blessed are you,

Spouse of the Holy Spirit

Pray for us

Blessed are you,

Spouse of the Paraclete

Pray for us

Blessed are you,

Spouse of the Consuming Fire

Pray for us

Blessed are you,

Spouse of the Peaceful Dove

Pray for us

Blessed are you,

Spouse of St. Joseph

Pray for us

Most merciful spouse

Pray for us

Most humble spouse

Pray for us

Most selfless spouse

Pray for us

Most hopeful spouse

Pray for us

Most loyal spouse

Pray for us

Most unified spouse

Pray for us

Most affectionate spouse

Pray for us

Our Lady Healer of Families, the Lord is with you

Mary, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit

Pray for us

Holy Mary,

Mother of Jesus Christ

Pray for us

Holy Mary,

Mother of the Prince of Peace

Pray for us

Holy Mary,

Mother of The Word

Pray for us

Holy Mary,

Mother of The Way

Pray for us

Holy Mary,

Mother of the Eucharist

Pray for us

Most patient mother

Pray for us

Most gentle mother

Pray for us

Most encouraging mother

Pray for us

Most accepting mother

Pray for us

Most gracious mother

Pray for us

Most consoling mother

Pray for us

Most prayerful mother

Pray for us

Our Lady Healer of Families, the Lord is with you,

Mary, Mother of God the Eternal Son

Pray for us

Mary, Daughter of the One True God

Put an end to all heresies

Mary, Spouse of the Divine Spirit

Restore unity among all of humanity

Mary, Mother of the Divine Son

Crush the head of Satan and lead all souls back to Jesus

O Most Holy Trinity,

In our efforts to love one another more perfectly

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to sow peace in our relationships

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to offer forgiveness to those who have hurt us

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to care for the needs of others

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to offer up our sufferings for the salvation of souls

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to speak Your truth in word and deed

Unite us and bring healing

In our efforts to surrender our will to Yours

Unite us and bring healing

Oh Most Immaculate Virgin, Daughter of God the Father, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of Jesus Christ our Savior, you are the perfect example of human relationship with the Divine Will. Help us, O Most Holy Mother, to heal the broken bonds within our families, our friendships, and all our other relationships. Help us to love others the way that Christ loves us with self-sacrificing love. In particular, heal my relationship with (state intentions here). Intercede for us O Holy Daughter, Spouse, and Mother, so that through the mercy of God, the chains of division will be broken, uniting us once again as you are ever united to the Most Holy Trinity. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Posted in Uncategorized | 53 Comments

A Hope-filled Victory

In the final weeks of the administration of former President Barack Obama, a regulation was implemented which blocked states from defunding Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers that perform abortions. To reverse this slyly-timed action, today, the Senate advanced H.J. Resolution 43 which would allow states to deny family planning funding to Planned Parenthood. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote.

An article in US News, which details the implications of this Obama era regulation, noted:

“We are so grateful that Vice President Mike Pence, who began the battle to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion corporation when he was a Congressman, traveled up Pennsylvania Avenue to cast the tie-breaking vote in defense of human dignity and babies lives,” said Maureen Ferguson, a senior adviser for The Catholic Association. “This Senate vote to advance H.J. Res 43 is a victory for all Americans who don’t want to see their tax dollars subsidizing the abortion industry and its ghoulish trafficking in aborted baby’s organs.”

Thanking God for this victory, let’s press on in prayer, seeking the deliverance of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt from the persecution they are under with the power abuse of pummelling 15 felony charges against them on Tuesday. Of all places, an editorial in the LA Times names this for what it is:

“Felony charges are a disturbing overreach for the duo behind the Planned Parenthood sting videos.”

David French at National Review covers the story well, aptly describing the persecution:

California’s case not only fails on the merits, it reeks of selective prosecution. There is no shortage of examples of concealed-camera videos in California exposing scandalous behavior (the Federalist’s Sean Davis has been tweeting them since the indictment), often in the arena of animal rights. In 2014, a group called Mercy for Animals released an undercover video that “allegedly show[ed] widespread animal abuse and cruelty at one of California’s largest duck farms.” Authorities reportedly responded to the video — by investigating the farm.”

Mona Charen, also at National Review, gets right to it in her piece:

“We are witnesses to an abuse of power by government that represents a test of our democracy. Anyone who fails to rally to the cause of the Americans victimized in this case should be discredited.”

Life News had a great article about the new video release. For those who may have missed it, you can view the video embedded in the article.

And EWTN Nightly News had a fine interview with David Daleiden which has been uploaded for viewing. Thanks be to God for this courageous man! David is a friend of this site so:

David, if you’re reading, please know TNRS stands with you in solidarity and prayer. As ever, we acknowledge God, listening for Holy Spirit’s nudges to direct any next right steps that would support the work you do while praying and sacrificing for you, your colleagues, your work, the conversion of all entangled in the lies of abortion with its life-sucking tentacles spawning additional evils, and the end of the scourge of this culture of death.  

Posted in Uncategorized | 60 Comments

Your Brother’s Blood Cries to Me from the Ground

O let us pray and pray in these days of Choosing as truths, long hidden from clear telling, are being revealed. Those who have had personal experiences or have read extensively concerning the tangled, perverted, appalling web of evil in abortion, and associated with abortion, are aware of the heartwrenching personal devastation, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, of those involved. We know well, there is grave, far-reaching impact on a society which legally condones this evil.

In an address to the new Ambassador of New Zealand at the Holy See on May 25,
2000, Pope St. John Paul II said: “A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members; and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying.”

In Evangelium Vitae (1995, no.59), Pope St. John Paul II proclaimed: “But responsibility likewise falls on the legislators who have promoted and approved abortion laws, and, to the extent that they have a say in the matter, on the administrators of the health-care centers where abortions are performed. In this sense, abortion goes beyond the responsibility of individuals and beyond the harm done to them, and takes on a distinctly social dimension. It is a most serious wound inflicted on society and its culture by the very people who ought to be society’s promoters and defenders.”

Today’s sickening news concerning Planned Parenthood may not be anything new to many. On the other hand, it may stun those of good will, not fully aware of this depravity. Either way, let’s open our minds and hearts to receive this news as an opportunity to recharge and renew our own resolve to act, with whatever next right steps to which each one is nudged, and to pray that our legislators will move, NOW, that the laws in our land which promote a culture of death will, finally, be reversed to support a culture of life. It’s beyond time to defund Planned Parenthood. May NOW be the time, please God! 

Let’s pray that scales will fall, scales fossilized in dehumanizing babies, firmly blinding the eyes of too many, hardening the hearts of abortion doctors, workers and providers. Let’s pray that those involved in abortion have an illumination of conscience concerning this evil. Seem impossible? Simply pray with great faith. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)  Let’s pray for people who may be battle weary in their pro life work that they be heartened with truth revealed, ugly, sordid and horrid as it is. Let’s pray for all people of good will to be moved to prayer and action. Let us surely continue to pray for David Daleiden, CMP Project Lead, as well as all who are a part of CMP.

Today’s news:

PLANNED PARENTHOOD ABORTIONIST: “PAY ATTENTION TO WHO’S IN THE ROOM” TO DEAL WITH INFANTS BORN ALIVE

Longtime Planned Parenthood Arizona Medical Director, Trained by PPFA Senior Director of Medical Services, Discusses Custom Abortions to Harvest Baby Parts

LOS ANGELES, March 29–New undercover video shows Dr. DeShawn Taylor, previous Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Arizona and longtime abortion provider at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, graphically describing how to deliver intact fetuses in late-term abortions to harvest high-quality body parts, and indicating possible cover-up of infanticide.

The footage is never-before-released material obtained by The Center for Medical Progress, whose undercover videos recorded top-level Planned Parenthood leaders negotiating the harvesting and sale of the hearts, lungs, livers, and brains of aborted fetuses for financial benefit.

At a networking reception at a Planned Parenthood conference, CMP investigators posing as buyers from a biotech company are introduced to Dr. Taylor by Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services.

Dr. Taylor confirms she does elective abortions on healthy fetuses and pregnant women up to 24 weeks. When the investigators ask her about obtaining intact fetal organs, Dr. Taylor replies, “It’s not a matter of how I feel about it coming out intact, but I gotta worry about my staff and people’s feelings about it coming out looking like a baby.”

She continues, “We have the people who do our paperwork for the fetal death certificates, they email us calling them ‘babies’. Baby this, baby that, baby so-and-so, and I’m like, that’s creepy!”

Dr. Taylor explains to the investigators, “In Arizona, if the fetus comes out with any signs of life, we’re supposed to transport it. To the hospital.” When one investigator then asks, “Is there any standard procedure for verifying signs of of life?” Dr. Taylor replies, “Well, the thing is, I mean the key is, you need to pay attention to who’s in the room, right?”

Dr. Taylor then laughs as she repeats what the Arizona law requires, and says, “It’s a mess. It’s a mess.”

Dr. Taylor acknowledges that the feticidal chemical digoxin cannot be used in an abortion where fetal body parts will be harvested for sale, but she remarks that in a standard dismemberment dilation and evacuation abortion, “My biceps appreciate when the dig[oxin] works,” to kill the fetus before the procedure. “I remember when I was a [Family Planning] Fellow and I was training, I was like, Oh, I have to hit the gym for this,” she says, describing the force she feels in her biceps when performing a dismemberment abortion with forceps.

Dr. Taylor also mentions she was trained by Dr. Nucatola. In CMP’s first-released video in July 2015, Dr. Nucatola discussed the per-specimen pricing of fetal tissue and harvesting intact hearts, lungs, livers, and brains using partial-birth abortions.

CMP Project Lead David Daleiden notes, “This footage shows a longtime Planned Parenthood abortion doctor willing to sell baby parts for profit, use criminal abortion methods to get more intact body parts, and even cover up infanticide. This doctor was trained by Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, and encouraged by her to participate in the fetal body parts market. This footage is just a preview of the damning and incriminating admissions of Planned Parenthood leaders on our further unreleased tapes, being censored by an unconstitutional gag order from a federal judge in San Francisco.”

Daleiden continues, “The only difference between Planned Parenthood’s barbaric abortion business, and that of the notorious Dr. Kermit Gosnell, is that Gosnell was not so careful as to ‘pay attention to who’s in the room.’ Elected officials must stop forcing taxpayers to subsidize Planned Parenthood’s criminal abortion business, and the Department of Justice must immediately open a full investigation and prosecute Planned Parenthood to the fullest extent of the law.”

The sale or purchase of human fetal tissue is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000 (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). In December, after over a year of comprehensive, nationwide investigation, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel referred Planned Parenthood Federation of America, several of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country, and three of their fetal parts business associates to the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.

Watch the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeINzcwb3qU

Find out more about CMP’s investigative journalism work at cmp.org

Posted in Uncategorized | 112 Comments

Pelianito Speaks: Flame of Love, Witness of Joy Redux

(Given the ongoing challenges all around us, as our country seems to be s.l.o.w.l.y. imploding and our world is s.u.f.f.e.r.i.n.g., this beautiful piece by Janet, also known as Pelianito, is as fitting today as it was when it first appeared on this site.)

Pelianito Speaks: Flame of Love, Witness of Joy

flame of love

(This guest piece is by Janet, who comments here but is best known as Pelianito, for the  wonderful spiritual blog she does, one of the few I link to permanently, at right. Her comments are timely and, in their little way, marvelous advice for spiritual preparation – as was St. Paul’s advice, which she quotes,  from today’s readings)

By Pelianito

From the Second Reading 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Philippians 4: 12-16 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

The theme of joy has been coming very strongly to me in the last few days. It seems strange, given much of what is occurring in the world and much of what I am feeling in my spirit. Human logic would make joy an unlikely theme in these perilous times. Yet, it comes to me, again and again along with the scripture passage from Nehemiah 8:10 –“Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Some years ago I felt the Lord give me an image. I was in stormy waters and clinging to a rock, getting tossed around a bit but hanging on quite easily. In the image I was joyful, and even though the situation seemed dire, I was actually having fun! I felt the Lord explain: “The rock is hope, and joy is the glue that holds you to it. Let not fear drive joy from your heart, for love and joy must reign in the hearts of my faithful ones.”

We are living in increasingly terrible times, which seem likely to get worse before they get horrific! Now is the time to increase our capacity for joy. God is not calling us to be sad sacks and worry warts. As the days continue to descend into darkness, we need to be less and less prophets of doom and more and more prophets of holy joy.

How is that possible, when things are so dark and getting darker? My friends, it has always been true that if our joy is tied to earthly circumstances, we are in deep trouble. Our joy must have its source in the Lord and be independent of our earthly circumstances. God has not left us orphans; he has not abandoned us and will never leave us—much less in our time of direst need. Scripture is steeped in hope and full of promise. GOD WINS! WE GET TO GO TO HEAVEN! All this toil and trouble is temporary. God loves us and nothing can change that. Whatever happens to us in this life we will be infinitely—infinitely!—compensated for in the next, so long as we keep our faith.

All the more reason to take every opportunity to expand our heart’s capacity for joy. We do that by practicing joy and gratitude in every moment. Remember, we don’t have to actually feel the joy, but we are called to BE joyful, whether we feel it or not. Joy is not a feeling, but a grace. As Nehemiah tells us, it is not actually our joy, but the joy of the Lord. The grace is given, but the practice of it requires discipline, and engaging in joyful penance is a discipline we should be cultivating on a regular basis.

“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18)

In the Office of Readings for the feast day of St. Andrew Dung Lac, a Vietnamese priest who was martyred in 1839 we read this poignant illustration of joyful hope in dire circumstances:

“The prison here is a true image of everlasting hell: to cruel tortures of every kind–shackles, iron chains, manacles–are added hatred, vengeance, calumnies, obscene speech, quarrels, evil acts, swearing, curses, as well as anguish and grief. But the God who once freed the three children from the fiery furnace is with me always; he has delivered me from these tribulations and made them sweet, for his mercy is forever. In the midst of these torments, which usually terrify others, I am, by the grace of God, full of joy and gladness, because I am not alone—Christ is with me.”

Yes, the joy of the Lord is our strength!

Christ was unequivocal in his message to his disciples:

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11)

“So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” (John 16:22-24)

In the diary of Elizabeth Kindelmann who was given the Flame of Love devotion, she relates the words of Jesus from August 16, 1962: “Be my servant! Be always joyful! Every day that you serve Me must be a feast. Do not let anyone or anything that disturbs your cheerful spirit come near your soul. Take good care of your nuptial garment and let it radiate happiness. Wherever you go, let it be felt that you partake every day in the heavenly banquet. Desire that everyone have this same yearning. Let the coming of my Kingdom be the only object of prime importance in your life.”

The Lord wants us to live in the Kingdom now, here, today and in that way the joy of the Lord becomes our strength.

I want to end with a present-day story of someone who lives in the the joy of the Lord. A friend related to me what happened to her father some years ago. He had been diagnosed with a serious degenerative disease that eventually left him unable to walk. He and his wife decided to go to Medjugorje to pray for a miracle. At one point on their trip, he says he felt a warm sensation at the back of his neck where the degeneration was causing damage. Very shortly, not only was he able to walk—he was able to run! It was a dramatic healing, a true miracle!

The healing was short-lived, however. Within two weeks of his return, he was back in his wheelchair and has been that way for over 20 years; today he is a quadriplegic. But that is not the end of the story, because ever since returning from Medjugorje, to the wonderment of all who know him or meet him, and most especially those who care for him, he has been filled with true joy and radiates it to all around him. He is a beacon of hope to all he encounters.

My friends, we too are called to be that kind of witness! As this man shows us, the joy that we radiate on earth is a magnet that will attract others, an irresistible evangelical beacon. When all is darkening, we are called to be the light shining in that darkness. Jesus needs conduits of his light. We are called to be his instruments, his little torches, his flames of love. Let our joy be the lighthouse that guides others to the safe harbor which is the Church.

May we all be given the grace and the desire to live lives of holy joy in all circumstances. And may the joy of the Lord always be our strength. Amen.

Jeremiah 15:20-21 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the Lord. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.

“My beloved children, the time is upon you when the enemy of souls will seek ever more to crush the Bride of Christ. Remain firm and steadfast in your faith. Do not fear! He who is in you is stronger than he who is in the world. (cf 1 Jn 4:4) I tell you again be firm in your faith. You are standing on a rock. It is only if you abandon the rock that you will be in danger. Do not let toil or sorrow, pain or persecution discourage you, but begin now to give thanks to God in every circumstance. You will be amazed at the strength and power this will produce in you. Refrain from complaining. This is a very insidious form of ingratitude and will serve to weaken you. It is the joy that a grateful heart presents that will draw souls to me. In all things—praise!”

Heavenly Father, you are all goodness and love. We praise you for all you have given us and especially for the gift of faith—our light in a dark world. We trust in you to deliver us from evil. Keep us free from ingratitude and let us praise you in all circumstance. Thank you Father! Praise you Jesus! Come Holy Spirit! We love you!

Posted in Uncategorized | 55 Comments

Our Lady of Tepeyac, We Need You

Our Lady of Tepeyac

In this time when hearts continue to be revealed and people are choosing, I find the expressed wisdom of Annabelle Hazard to be heartening. As we pray for all who visit here and our families, let us continue seeking graces for the conversion of ALL in this hurting, troubled world. 

Our Lady of Tepeyac, Mother of Conversion, pray for us!

Converting Family and Friends

(Comment from Charlie: I always emphasize a light touch. I saw this piece by Annabelle Hazard in Catholic Stand and was so enamored of it, I decided to reprint it in its entirety here:)

The Secret to Converting Your Friends and Family

There’s someone out there you want to see safely home in the Catholic Church, right? Someone you know would be the next St. Augustine, if he found truth and decided to work for truth for the rest of his life.  You’ve been evangelizing to him by buying books and videos, posting articles on social media, even speaking directly on the stuff he’s missed. Still, he’s unmoved, probably  accused you of judging. So, you’re about ready to give up.

Please don’t!

Instead, work harder and change tactics. The thing about conversion is that it isn’t entirely up to you. The timing and the manner is purely an act of God’s grace. However, there are things you can do to cooperate and further God’s Will of performing miracles in changing hearts behind the scenes. Here are five secrets to converting your family and friends:

1. The Rosary. Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Supremi Apostolatus Officio declared the Rosary as an effective spiritual weapon against the evils afflicting society. St. John Paul II in Rosarium Virginis Mariae emphasized the importance of a family Rosary for the spiritual safety of its members when he said “the family, the primary cell of society, increasingly menaced by forces of disintegration on both the ideological and practical planes, so as to make us fear for the future of this fundamental and indispensable institution and, with it, for the future of society as a whole. The revival of the Rosary in Christian families… will be an effective aid to countering the devastating effects of this crisis typical of our age.” Catholic speaker and author Kathleen Beckman attributes her son’s conversion with the daily Rosary during Eucharistic Adoration, as a deliverance prayer.

2. The Divine Mercy conversion prayer: “O blood and water, which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus.” Jesus made a promise to St. Faustina in her Diary: “When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion.” Our parish has been saying this prayer at every Mass and our priest can verify the return of fallen away Catholics to Church.

3. Fasting: Jesus taught in scripture Mark 9: 29, that there are certain demons in our lives that can “only be driven out by prayer and fasting.” The USCCB’s Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence stress that “the need for conversion and salvation is unchanging, as is the necessity that, confessing our sinfulness, we perform, personally and in community, acts of penance in pledge of our inward penitence and conversion.” The same statement places first priority to abstinence from meat every Friday, but also, fasting includes self-denial like giving up tasty deserts, a favorite beverage, TV, internet, shopping. If you want proof of the effectiveness of fasting, look no further. The recent Supreme Court decision affirming religious freedom was a direct result of the USCCB’s campaign on penance and fasting.

4. Redemptive Suffering. Redemptive suffering is the teaching that human suffering, when accepted and offered up in union with the Passion of Jesus, can remit the just punishment for one’s sins or for the sins of another. St. John Paul II wrote in Salvifici Doloris “In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his sufferings, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ. Pope Pius XII’s Encyclical on the Mystical Body revealed that the salvation (and conversion) of many souls depends on the prayers and voluntary penances offered by the Mystical Body for that intention. If you offer up your suffering, inconveniences and frustrations for the conversion of sinners and unite it with the Eucharist (the commemoration of the suffering of Christ), you can atone for the sins of others and give souls the opportunity to be opened up for grace to set in. “Suffering,” said St. Therese, “converts more souls than sermons.”

5. Marian Pilgrimage. Pilgrimage is a personal act of devotion and sacrifice. Pilgrimage sites abound in graces. If your future, St. Augustine likes travel, bring him along on a Marian pilgrimage. There is a plethora of conversion stories through Mary’s intercession in pilgrimage places: models and nobility turned nuns, new agers turned Catholics, Atheist turned believers, drug addicts turned sober, actor turned revert (that would be Jim Caviezel). If however, only you get the chance to go, pray for the graces from Mary’s intercession to live a life that will be an evangelization tool in and of itself. St. Louis de Montfort wrote: “[Mary] attained an immense and inconceivable degree of grace. So much so, that the Almighty made her the sole custodian of his treasures and the sole dispenser of his graces. She can now ennoble, exalt and enrich all she chooses. She can lead them along the narrow path to heaven and guide them through the narrow gate to life.”

Conversion can occur immediately or gradually, during one’s life or the moment before his death. Your prayers and sacrifices for conversion of souls are always in God’s Will and will bear fruit at the appropriate time. So, don’t give up on your friends and family. Convert them in secret.

Posted in Uncategorized | 90 Comments

Let Us Pray Anew for Pope Francis and Our Church

With a heavy heart, I invite us to join anew in prayer for our Holy Father and our Church. Never in the history of the Church has there been a conference focused on the topic of how to depose a heretical pope. On March 17th at Life Site News, it was reported that canon lawyers and theologians will hold a conference in two weeks in Paris, entitled: “Deposing the Pope: Theological Premises, Canonical Models, Constitutional Challenge.”

This news evoked such sadness that I reached out to Yong Duk, asking if he would write for us on this development. We are so blessed with his wise and heartening shepherd’s voice:

Let me pray on this, Beckita.

My heart is telling me that we have hit a junction that Charlie has spoken of before which the Bible speaks of time and again.

Recall yesterday’s Gospel (Friday of the Second Week of Lent: Mt 21:33-43;45-46).

The Pharisees and the Chief Priests.

We saw it under John Paul II from the one side and now we are seeing it from the other side under Pope Francis.

Where is the docility? Yes it is the responsibility of the theologians to speculate and to ponder tough questions but always under Docility to the Holy Spirit and, thus, also to the Church.

Many have spoken on the need that there has to be a necessary Hardening of Hearts. That is God’s way. Look at yesterday’s Office of Readings (Exodus 19:1-19;20:18-21). The same with the Pharaoh. The same with the Pharisees and Chief Priests. The same Today. Then look at the Second Reading from St. Iraneus’ Against Heresies: the Covenant of the Lord.

To go to Hell, one need be perfect in one’s choice, have chosen freely, and to have known what was chosen. The Perfection of a Soul in a radical Choice, a Moral Act, against Charity, against Love, against the Holy Spirit, against Communion and against the Communion of Saints. 

That is the Hardening and it is necessary again within the Body of Christ, just as it was 2,000 years ago against Christ.

Then the Crucifixion. Then the Resurrection. The Church is necessarily going through the Same.

Pace Bene

O let us pray anew for Pope Francis and our Church!

Posted in Uncategorized | 318 Comments

A Sign of Hope

(Since I stepped in to continue keeping TNRS site going, I have thought a great deal about Janet’s request made some time ago concerning guidelines for speaking about prophecy here. It will always be important to honor the Archdiocesan statements and, as events of the Storm continue to unfold, it seems only natural, at times, to refer to the broad sweep of events to come as we have so often discussed them here. Let us continue.) 

When viewing the Birmingham dinner video, I first learned of the numbers of Muslims, millions of them each year, converting to Christianity. This week, a new report concerning this ongoing development was printed by Michael Snyder at his site, The Most Important News:

“Millions of Muslims all over the world are giving their lives to Jesus Christ, and in many instances this is happening because of dreams, visions and other supernatural encounters… Fortunately, the decaying state of the Church in the United States is only a small part of the overall story. In other areas of the globe, Christianity is experiencing absolutely explosive growth even in the midst of horrendous persecution. This is particularly true in Islamic nations where we are seeing things happen that could have come straight out of the Book of Acts.”

Snyder relays stories of dreams and visions, including the story of a former ISIS fighter who had been killing Christians. This fighter conveyed that a “man in white” was coming to the fighter in dreams and said, “You are killing my people.” At one point, this ISIS fighter was given a Bible from a Christian man just before the fighter killed the Christian. The fighter began reading the Bible and, in yet another dream, he was invited by Christ to follow Him.

Snyder shares stories and statistics from Iran, Africa, and Asia. He closes his article with something very familiar to NRSteppers.

“I believe that a great move of God is coming to the western world too, but a great shaking is going to have to come first. Hearts have grown so hard and so prideful that it is going to take a great humbling before most people understand that they need the Lord. So even though the shaking will be very challenging, we should welcome it, because it will shake multitudes into the Kingdom of God.”

May there be a great harvest one day and may we be so blessed to participate in the ordinary ways of helping people in our local communities both now and in the days of greatest difficulties.

Posted in Uncategorized | 126 Comments

Mary and the Saints

(As we continue on the Lenten Journey, praying, watching, waiting on the Lord and living our lives as sherpas, I reprint the following article, written by Charlie, for our consideration and contemplation. Even as a cradle Catholic, familiar with these understandings from childhood, I appreciate Charlie’s teaching style and how this article gives witness to the gift of Our Lady and the Communion of Saints. They are eager to help us and all we need do is ask for their assistance. With the Queen of Heaven and Earth, may all the saints and angels intercede for us as we make our way through the Storm!)

Mary and the Saints – for Protestants

mary and the saints

By Charlie Johnston

I was in my early 20s when I went to my first Catholic Mass as a worshipper. Oh, I had been to many in my teens as a hired trumpet player, but the musicians in the choir loft don’t follow the same rules as the regular worshippers as far as standing, kneeling and sitting. For a lifelong Protestant, attending your first Mass is a very baffling disorienting affair. People just spontaneously stand up, or sit down, or kneel, or talk back to the priest in unison for no reason you can quite fathom. Within about 10 minutes of the beginning of Mass, I found a woman near the front row who seemed to know what she was doing – so I just determined to watch and do whatever she did.

A few years after my conversion, I was at a wedding Mass where there were a lot of baffled Protestants. About 15 minutes in I realized, with a little irony, that some of them were carefully watching me. Now, apparently, I was the guy who looked like he knew what he was doing. I must confess, every time I am at a Mass that I know has drawn a lot of Protestants out, I have to fight back the temptation to do a cartwheel in the aisle – just to see how many do one with me.

Cradle Catholics cannot imagine how disorienting and baffling even the liturgy is to lifelong Protestants. Even more puzzling is the Catholic devotion to various saints and to the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. Even the language of faith can be perplexing, for often the two camps mean different things while using the same words. Throw in that Catholics often have a hard time explaining what, exactly, they believe, much less why they believe it – and that many Evangelical Protestants have often been told some pretty absurd caricatures of what Catholics profess and it is a wonder the encounters are not even more awkward and confused.

Now, I am not going to discuss everything that Catholics do not believe here that many think we do. I will also note from the outset that some Catholics abuse what the Church teaches in ways that help foster misconceptions about what the Church actually teaches. I am only going to focus here on Mary and the Saints – and what the Church actually proclaims.

Many Protestants believe that we worship Mary, in particular, and the saints to a lesser extent. I know – that’s what I used to believe, because that’s what everybody said. To the contrary, when we pray to a saint, including Mary, we are asking them to pray for us, usually for specific intentions. Everyone of faith, Protestant or Catholic, asks their friends to pray for them. It is so common and well-accepted no one disputes the propriety of it. Many Protestants only count those on earth among the communion of the faithful and, thus, properly to be asked for prayers. Catholics consider all the faithful, both in this world and in the next, to be among the communion of the faithful. If it is proper and fruitful to ask friends here to pray for you, how much more fruitful to ask those who already behold the Face of God?

Some argue, though, that it is improper to ask those who are dead to pray for us. Yet in Luke 20:38 and Mark 12:27, Jesus notes that Moses called God the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and that He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all are alive to Him. If all the faithful are alive to God – and Jesus says they are – then it is at least as good to ask St. Peter to pray for you as it is to ask your cousin, Peter, to do the same. That is properly what Catholics are called to do.

We do not worship any of the saints, including Mary. Rather, together with all the saints, we worship the One God alone, the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Contrary to the belief of many, including many Catholics, the Catholic Church has no power whatsoever to “make” saints. That power belongs to God, alone. The power the Church does have is to recognize infallibly a small handful of the saints God has made. A person is not honored by being recognized as a saint here. If he is a saint, he already has received all the honor he may ever receive by being called to join the heavenly host. The honor is less meaningful to the saint than it would be to give a King a participation certificate for attending a pancake breakfast. That does not mean it is a matter of indifference to the saint involved, for his love still calls him to the same thing it did while he walked this earth: call his fellows to the joy and peace which is in Christ. That takes us to why God chooses to reveal some saints to us in the first place. It is not for their sake, but for ours.

Saints come in all shapes and sizes. There are those whose lifelong purity and steadfastness are breathtaking and astounding. But to limit saints to icons of improbable virtue is an error, if a common one. More often, their sanctity is demonstrated by their transcendence of their own flaws and limitations through their love of God, manifested through their love of those around them. Oh, how I would that people would read good biographies of the saints! St. Francis, that great icon of poverty, purity and love of the poor, was once a wealthy, reckless dandy. St. Augustine was a cynical manipulator of public opinion and a lusty rake in his early life. St. Mary Magdalene was once a prostitute. Saints are often portrayed as universally soft-spoken, gentle souls. But many were lions – and often irritable lions at that. St Teresa of Avila was known for her tart tongue. St Catherine of Sienna was not shy about directing and cajoling Popes, though she was discreet about it. That popular modern saint, St. Padre Pio, was often abrupt and scathing – even as he submitted with humility to errant efforts by his superiors to suppress his spirituality and charges of fraud and humbug from critics.

Among the saints can be found virgins and those notable for the abundance of their progeny, peasants and kings, pacifists and warriors. In fact, saints are to be found from almost every walk of life. Some New Age commentators have used this fact as evidence that there are many paths to God, which is a trivialization of what is true. What is true is that there are many trails to the single path that leads to God, which is the way of love. Love is the only motivation strong enough to sustain a noble purpose through trials, hardships and even martyrdom. God gives each person a unique personality, then intends that authentic personality to be used for a unique mission in His service to His people. For each fundamental quality of a man, there is a disordered and a properly ordered manifestation of that quality. God has uses for a passionate man, but passion can easily manifest itself as cruelty or lustfulness. God has uses for a soul of notable purity, but even that can degenerate into self-righteousness and an arid sterility. Weighted down by the burden of original sin, we are constantly tempted to use our talents to serve ourselves and our own appetites. Transformed by love of God, the saints use those talents in service of their neighbor, which they love in the image of God. They often struggle with the old disorder, but progressively live service with ever greater fortitude and resolve. The sinner constantly asks, “What about me?” The saint constantly seeks to hearten those around him. A pretender can – and often does – use the forms of piety for mere self-aggrandizement, a species of blasphemy. A saint does not hesitate to get his hands dirty to bring the hope of God to those furthest from Him. A pretender is sensitive to any hint of insult to his imagined dignity. A saint is impervious to any slanders seeking to keep him from caring for those around him. Whatever he says, a pretender is always looking inward, concerned about what events mean for him. A saint is always looking upward to God and outward to the needs of those around him.

The great variety of saints can help hearten us that whatever the nature of our authentic personality, God has use for it. We can find friends among the saints, people who shared trials and temptations similar to our own. We can ask for their prayers and guidance just as we would a trusted, bosom friend. We can find inspiration in how they handled similar troubles – and hope in how they transcended them by trusting to God.

If there is so much variety among the personalities of authentic saints, what is the heart of sanctity, the visible sign? I long contemplated that. The focus I settled on was St. Joan of Arc. Technically, she was not a Christian martyr. She fell into the hands of an enemy power. Though a corrupt Bishop was used as the means to condemn her, she was condemned for having defeated England, not for her faith. She was often prophetic, but her prophecies were wrong almost as often as they were right. Oh, the ones that were right were so improbable it was comparable to choosing the exact right lottery numbers six out of ten tries – a margin of error anyone would gladly accept for such stakes. So what was it that revealed her sanctity?

I came up with an answer that struck me in considering the great prayer of Mary, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). In most English-language Bibles, the first line is translated as, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Think of that. At its most basic, every saint ultimately becomes a pure lens through which our vision of the Lord is magnified more clearly. The holier the saint, the more pure the magnification.

The French people were disheartened, dispirited, given over to despair as the 100-Years War appeared it would end in the extinction of the Nation of France. When Joan appeared, this dispirited rabble was infused with new heart, new hope, new resolve. Her soul magnified the Lord – and the people felt the effects of it. But there were others who felt it, too, the self-promoters, those whose field of vision never rose above their own temporal ambitions and covetousness. Some of those, even, were to be found in the French Court. They all hated Joan with an irrational fury, constantly trying to pull her down. There is nothing that so infuriates a fraud as to be confronted with the real thing. That is the heart, the visible evidence of sanctity. A saint’s soul magnifies the Lord, giving new heart to those who have lost heart, while infuriating those who are absorbed in themselves and their petty ambitions. The Lord speaks through His saints. His sheep recognize His voice in them and rejoice. But satan’s goats recognize His voice in them, too, and rage at them.

No one is closer to Our Lord than His Mother. She lived the sorrow of His passion with Him, at His feet – and a sword pierced her soul. (Luke 2:35). As Jesus was dying on the Cross, He committed His Mother to His beloved disciple, John – and committed John, the Church, to the care of His Mother. (John 19:26).

Throughout the ages, Mary has prayed unceasingly for her children, the Church – and all of her children have recourse to her. She busies herself constantly running out to greet people, encouraging them to come on in, come in to the warmth and safety of Her Holy Son. Most Protestants think the Rosary is a worshipful devotion to Mary. It is not; it is an extended contemplation of the Life of Christ alongside Mary, through her loving heart. A full Rosary goes through four sets of mysteries, each of which contemplates some aspect of the life of Our Lord.

As I studied the history of Christianity in depth I was surprised to learn that the line, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” was not incorporated into the Hail Mary to underscore Mary’s motherhood. Rather, there was a great heresy raging that claimed that Jesus was just a man, a created being Who achieved divinity by His righteousness. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is True God and True Man. The Eternal, Uncreated Son chose to take on our humanity at a particular point in time, to suffer and die in that humanity, that all might be saved. People often note that Jesus is the Son of God. That is absolutely true, but because of our limitations, it sometimes blinds us to the fact that it is equally true that the Eternal Father is the Father of God. They are One. We also stumble because our experience tells us that the child proceeds from the parents. This is true except in the case of Christ, the one case in history in which the parents proceeded from the Son. The phrase, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” was incorporated into the “Hail Mary” to underscore Christ’s divinity, not Mary’s motherhood.

Even knowing these things, and even having fallen in love with the Catholic Church, my old Evangelical Protestant training filled me with dread at the sound of the phrase, “Holy Mary, Mother of God…” in the “Hail Mary.” Intimations of blasphemy would fill my head and whiffs of brimstone fill my nostrils at it, choking it off in my throat, so I had decided that would not be a devotion I practiced. But at my reception into the Church, one of the gifts was a beautiful, elegant Rosary. I knew that a sense of dread was often God warning us away from something sinful. But I also knew it could be used by satan to keep us from something fruitful. So I added a new tool of discernment. I prayed, telling God that He knew I loved Him…that this Church had been such a wonderful and unexpected gift that I was going to pray this Rosary for three weeks – and depend on Him to show me whether it was proper or not. If it was not, I would quietly refrain from ever saying it again. Those next three weeks were an unprecedented period of extravagant and improbable graces and blessings. Ever since, like the beloved disciple, I have joyfully followed the Lord’s command to take His Mother into my heart as my mother.

And that is why I say, with profound gratitude and joy,

Hail Mary, full of grace,

The Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women,

And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

Pray for us sinners,

And spread the effect of the grace of thy flame of love,

Over all humanity,

Now, and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

Posted in Uncategorized | 61 Comments

The Lady of All Nations

A movement continues to stir within the Church. For years, it has been welcomed for the hope rooted in its promises and, at the same time, it has been opposed in the face of misunderstanding. As I continue to contemplate what we have been through, where we now find ourselves and where we are headed, the apparitions of Our Lady to Ida Peerdeman in Amsterdam, Holland, continue to surface in the silence and in the news. In these series of apparitions, Blessed Mother makes known that she is the Lady of All Nations, or, Mother of All Peoples. Ida began to receive the messages on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 1945, the same year in which WWII came to an end.

Before considering what our Mother requested from Amsterdam, let us recall that Our Lady of Fatima appeared for the last time to the three shepherd children on October 13, 1917, when the Miracle of the Sun was witnessed by thousands. On that very same day, Our Lady silently appeared to another child, Ida, twelve years old at the time, on a street near this child’s home in Amsterdam. The convergence of Fatima and Amsterdam extends to Akita, Japan, but for this discussion, we’ll focus on Amsterdam.

The 56 Marian messages were given in apparitions which took place between 1945 and 1969. On May 31, 2002, Bishop Jozeph M. Punt declared: “In light and virtue of all the recommendations, testimonies and developments, and in pondering all this in prayer and theological reflection, I have come to the conclusion that the apparitions of the Lady of All Nations in Amsterdam consist of a supernatural origin.” More detailed information can be found at the website.

The Lady of All Nations tells us she will bring peace to the world with a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit and that, through the declaration of the Fifth Marian Dogma, she can proceed to open floodgates of grace. She urged us to often pray a special prayer and to venerate her image as this would hasten the declaration of the new dogma.

Another site rich with resources is Mother of All Peoples. There, you will discover an invitation to write Pope Francis, requesting the declaration of the dogma. You will also find writings explicating theological foundations and understandings concerning the Fifth Marian Dogma which would declare Blessed Mother: “Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate.” Perhaps the greatest hurdle has been overcoming the misinterpretation of the “Coredemptrix” title. The prefix “co” comes from the Latin word “cum” so we can remember Our Lady is NOT equal to her Son who is the ONLY Redeemer. Rather, Blessed Mother is the preeminent coredeemer and we, her children, are called to follow in her footsteps as coredeemers.

“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1:24)

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

In highlighting these apparitions, I invite each of us to consider praying the prayer, daily, and venerating the image so we may have a direct role in hastening the declaration of the Fifth Marian Dogma, thereby actively bringing us closer to a world where peace abounds with a new outpouring of Holy Spirit. No phylacteries needed at TNRS. Just a simple prayer with reverent veneration for an image of our Mother who never ceases to intercede for us as she prays with us. We will continue to strive to live the ordinary way and kindle the flame which burns as reminder to do the little we can, right before us, even while chaos, confusion and division abound. As we cling to the hope of Rescue with a New Beginning, it is heartening to remember,  “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” (Romans 5:20)

Not only our country, but our entire world is so deeply troubled. Always trusting God and His Plan, it must be said, we live in very dangerous times. Oi! Let us welcome the Lady of All Nations and her promises as a sign of hope in the Storm.

Posted in Uncategorized | 97 Comments