(The translation in Spanish will appear on April 16, in a “page” titled: “Misericordia en el Ciberespacio.” à La traducción en español aparecerá el 16 de abril en una “página” en el lado derecho, titulada “Misericordia en el Ciberespacio”)
In early March, I found a magazine in the back of my church where people leave some publications once they have read them. It interested me because de cover said, “Benedict on Vatican II”, and there was a picture of our Pope where he looked much younger. By the way, tomorrow, April 16, he will be 82 years old. You may like to pray for him. The magazine was dated Feb. 2, 2009. Some 2 weeks later, I felt summoned to read other articles in the same magazine, and voila, I found one titled, “The Virtual Church – Give us this day our daily blog…” by Deacon Greg Kandra.
He is a deacon from Brooklyn, NY, ordained in May 2007. He wrote, “With my head still swimming from the incense and my ears still ringing with the Litany of Saints, I clicked on my computer and, in an act of either madness or inspiration, did something that would mysteriously and permanently change my life. I started a blog. For the less Web-savvy, a blog is a kind of online journal for posting ideas, opinions, news, videos, songs – almost anything. I am hardly a pioneer. Blogs have been around for a decade or so, and one of the most engaging Catholic sites is maintained by Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley.” This Deacon’s blog grew by leaps and bounds. Friend bloggers advised him to show lots of links. Readers left encouraging comments that he traced (with a special technology) to be coming from Rome, Manila, London, and South Africa. You may visit his blog site at www.deacbench.blogspot.com.
Through his blog site, which I visited for the first time just this past Holy Week, I found a large amount of links to other Catholic blog sites, from daily prayers of the Breviary to the Bostonian Cardinal monthly blog, showing pictures and news about recent events. A true “virtual Church!” And to think that I was born in a tiny country within a humble beginning, and now I was part of this brand new Catholic virtual Church… Hmm… After checking many sites linked by this original web site mentioned, I came to the conclusion that I truly do not see the need of being part of posting a blog if it is for just information purposes. There are enough of them which do so. I will continue “blogging” although very open to hear the Holy Spirit regarding the format and/or discontinuation altogether.
Also during Holy Week 2009, I also became aware of other related issues but before I tell you, here is another important story related to this new understanding experienced above. It so happened that a friend of mine from the city I moved from, some 9 months ago, had ordered a Mass to be offered for me as an Easter gift. I got up at 4 AM on this past Monday of Holy Week to be present in spirit during its celebration at 7 AM EST. And lo and behold, most likely as a fruit of this Mass, I was illumined about two other things, and I will share a third story, which proved to me how alive He is… walking besides us.
1. By Good Friday I wondered that when it comes to creating a web site on Mercy and not just a blog site in order to become A THRONE OF HIS MERCY IN THE INTERNET, if St. Faustina’s Diary were posted some day in the Web by the people who own the copyright, it may be all what is necessary to create this cyberspace Throne of His Mercy. In the other hand, what I feel inspired or called to create is:
1) A web-site made of witnesses of all Christian Denominations with changed lives that can show how the mercy of God worked in their lives!
2) Where we can reveal an army of souls actively attempting to live a life of “faith without fear” or TRUST in God’s mercy plus all its fruits.
3) A web site for the Holy Spirit to talk through many souls about the mercy of God, and where teens talk to teens, Priests to Priests, elders to elders, like a “live” conversation a la Skype style, but VIA Internet with “dynamic links” with people talking about their experience of mercy.
4) However, I also realized that it is an enterprise that needs a group of people, old, young, with or without Holy Orders, that can use God given talents to create and keep up other links as needed for this THRONE of mercy.
5) Of course, it could have some general information about Divine Mercy and what the Bible and the Saints have said about it or how they experienced it.
6) However, it should be a site that calls us to live His resurrection that we are celebrating right now! I should exude ideas as to how to seek such resurrection in the normal routine of daily life, and how tangible it is to get there by the sheer power of His having paid the cost of our resurrection when Blood and Water gushed forth from His side to become a fountain of mercy for us!!!
7) It should be a site that call us like the one heard by Lazarus, so that we can get enthused enough to want to cooperate in order to leave our empty tombs full of fears, doubts, golden calves, confusion, lack of love and forgiveness.
8 ) A place where we recount our ways of self-denial. Where we can share the different ways we are embracing our crosses and our struggles in doing so, and how the mercy of God, miraculously intervened for us to suddenly embrace “X” cross, with renewed hope in the graces these crosses bring.
9) A place where we can be a Simon of Cyrene to each other, helping each other to carry any cross that is too heavy and when we find ourselves discouraged.
10) A place where the major work is to share our lives as to how we become better and better disciples in the ways He suggested.
11) A place where we can air our victories and defeats and how Satan have tried to dissuade us of picking up our crosses and running with them. Said in other words, a place where we narrate our battles and how we used our spiritual weapons to win those wars against the evil one.
12) A place where we have a “virtual” Catholic Congregation dedicated not only to find deeper meaning of the mercy of God for us, but one where we encourage each other in this road of becoming the best disciples in His terms; where we share our experiences and as brothers and sisters of the family of God can do, sitting at the feet of the Throne of Mercy in Cyberspace, as source of the graces to live this togetherness.
13) But at the same time, a place where we learn to catch ourselves in our great ventures of self-satisfaction and self-empowerment, which is the “in” idea nowadays, that we must find ourselves by empowering ourselves and the opposite idea to the teachings of the Crucified. ….!!!! Ouch!
14) Where we can become used to live lives with the Jesus’ prayer in our lips (Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner), as a constant incense that reaches the heavens so that He can have permission to mold us in becoming holy as our Father is holy, and all for His glory, because we have grown in self-denial, and using the sacrifice of our tightly embraced crosses, as the fire to activate our son-ship/daughter-ship that He earned for us through the Blood of the Lamb.
15) A place where we do not tell only stories of great success, but stories of our trying and backsliding, of our struggles but seeing success coming little by little.
16) A place where we can share not just information, but our transformation in Christ Jesus.
17) A place where we find hope when discouraged; faith when in doubt; love when hatred and lack of forgiveness are drowning us.
Could it be possible to create such website? It seems that this plan has to be directed by God Himself. I then wondered if this Mass on Monday of Holy Week did create in me a miracle of understanding and wisdom on how to create a Web-Throne of Mercy for many to come and get enchanted with what He can do… Yet, I could not do it by myself. So, the big truth continues to be that He has to intervene for this website to become a reality, or simply, let the idea die for now, and someone else, can later pick it up from there. That is the 64,000 dollar question! However, with your prayer and mine, I am sure He will tell us. The God Whom I know is full of surprises!
2. And here comes a story of hope that for God nothing is impossible and that His mercy is always all over us, no matter whom He uses, and I also attribute this experience to your prayers and this Mass offered for me. This is a story that also led me to believe how interesting it would be if we should share our personal encounters with God… through His Mercy. My present pastor had suggested for us retired people, to attend the 2 PM Good Friday Service. The 12 noon he wanted to be less crowded for those who used their lunch hour to attend. At 1 PM they had scheduled the Way of the Cross. So, those of the first group that could stay, would do so, and the second group could come to pray it as well, before the 2 PM service. I knew that parking would be the major problem and it sure was. I arrived at 12:40 PM but I entered the church until 12: 55. They were starting to adore the Cross and a few people started leaving. So, I decided to go forward to adore the cross during this first service and occupy one of the front seats left free.
Yet, all through these minutes, I was in anguish… I was missing Him…He was not there à His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. Every Holy Week I go crazy with this scenario. But in my prior church, which I attended for 7 years, I knew where He was hidden (school library adjacent to this huge modern rectangle shaped structure and main church) and I would go and say hello, at times just through a window because the library would be locked, but it would calm my anxiety. This time, I could not do that. Tears kept coming out as if I were in a funeral. When my mother, father, grandmother and husband died, I never shed a tear. Since I always believe that death is gain, and therefore, I also want to go “home” soon, I was actually happy when they died. But not this day… He was gone and I finally was able to feel somewhat what Mary Magdalene felt when she found the empty tomb… I had felt before her need of going to tell others that He was risen, but this time I shared with her the sadness of not finding Him.
After the adoration of the Cross, we said the Our Father and they started distributing Communion… I could have jumped for joy!… There He was again… After Holy Communion, I felt His Presence LIKE I NEVER HAD BEFORE EVER… I thought of this Mass said for me and realized that it had to be another fruit… I had found Him risen and told Him, “I could not live without You. Period. And please never get lost from my life, ever!” I also understood that this new thing of my crying when He is absent… it’s a way to call me to new resurrections, precisely to be changed enough to interest others to do the same! I stayed for the 1:15 PM Way of the Cross but moved to the left side where I normally sit in order to be in front of the Tabernacle…Yet, it was empty… open and empty. By now, He had been taken back to the sacristy somewhere. I could have stayed for the second service but since I already had received Him and the pain of the separation was still there, a very deep pain, I left and somewhat fascinated with this profund love I have for Him. These are the times when I get confused because I do not see others so attached to Him, and I start thinking that may be, may be, I am totally crazy!
I am finishing this blog after Easter and before the Feast of Divine Mercy with the good news that in this Lent of 2009, He decided to be even more present to me than at any other time, and therefore that He is alive, truly alive… It kind of reminded me when I was 6 years old, of my call to be close to Him because there was like a magnet calling me to be near His Eucharistic Presence.
3. Another revelation of His Presence: this past Monday after Easter I went to 12 Noon Mass and had arrived early to say my Rosaries. However, I only had time for one. I was going to stay for the second one, but there was this burning inside me to leave. I was not sure if I would stop to get some cash at an ATM machine in a 7 Eleven store of the many in route, because the cash needed was not urgent. And I did end up in one of them. As I approached the store, I saw two “albino” looking men, one about 50+ and the other about 30+ and they looked homeless. By the time I entered, they were ordering a pack of cigarettes and the cashier was saying, “It is $7.69”. They did not have enough money to pay. They asked for the cheapest brand. Suddenly, I FOUND MYSELF saying, “I will pay for it.” I did. And again, I found myself giving them $20.00 for lunch.
I want to be sure that I am sharing with you all of this because I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS SO CALLED CHARITY. Instead, I was totally engulfed by the most powerful love for these two men, just as if they were the most beautiful 6 month old babies. Also I immediately and clearly understood that this event had been planned by God. Not for these men per se… Yes, they were surprised and thanked me many times but they will forget about it… But for sure, this was for me: I was able to taste how much God loves us… I loved these two raggedy strangers with a passion that had nothing to do with me… It was His love through me… and all in order for me to taste this His so crazy love for all of us… Of course, He is risen and He wanted to show me how busy He is… taking care of the least of our brothers. As I left the store, they were sitting in a nearby bus stop. I went to buy some food to a nearby restaurant and shortly after I passed again in front of this bus stop booth, and there they were, one dressed with a light blue operating room scrub uniform. Their hair was sooo white, they were so thin and tall that I wondered, “Are they Angels sent to me to meet me at a very particular moment, so that I could recognize Christ in them, but disguised as homeless people? Anyway, I am a member of the Opus Sanctorum Angelorum (The Work of the Holy Angels), and my baptismal name says that I am “of the Angels), but I will never know if they were truly Angels…
Again, I still have no idea what will happen regarding the creation of a future web site on Divine Mercy. My son is extremely busy right now to put together the beginnings of it. I will wait for further instructions from the Holy Spirit. Please pray for this intention on this Feast of Divine Mercy on this Sunday. He loves to surprise us and as we all know, He is a miracle maker…
“Even if through Easter, Christ has destroyed the root of evil, He still wants the assistance of men and women in every time and place who help Him to affirm His victory using His own weapons: the weapons of justice and truth, mercy, forgiveness and love. Let us ask the Lord, Who has given us the grace of Baptism, for the gift always to be sources of pure, fresh water, bubbling up from the fountain of His truth and His love!”
1) I have placed the Rosary intertwined with the Chaplet of Mercy that I pray daily, offering the 50 Hail Mary’s for different groups of people, in the “pages” section titled, “Rosary” (Only in English). I am sharing with you my general intentions and I erased my personal ones. So, there are many empty Hail Mary’s that you could fill out with your family and friend’s names and whatever other intentions, this if you feel called to follow this format. I have used it for at a least 3 years and I have obtained so many miracles for so many people….The whole Rosary/Chaplet is for each person as well, but in different Hail Mary’s, I write the name of the person (s) or group, and this way I do not forget to pray for people, for the world, for the Church, etc. asking for God’s mercy for all of them!
2) Since this blog turned out to be long, the next one will be posted a week from now, on Wednesday or so.
3) For those wanting to better understand the concept of cyberspace:
A metaphor for describing the non-physical terrain created by computer systems. Online , for example, create a cyberspace within which people can communicate with one another (via e-mail), do research, or simply window shop. Like physical space, cyberspace contains objects (files, mail messages, graphics, etc.) and different modes of transportation and delivery. Unlike real space, though, exploring cyberspace does not require any physical movement other than pressing keys on a keyboard or moving a mouse.
The term was coined by author William Gibson in his sci-fi novel Neuromancer (1984).