As time passes by, I find myself trying to extricate from writing about what I think about God and more about the story of my relationship with Him. It is hard to do! Our modern media and books, religious or not, tend to dwell much in “how to do things, how to be successful, how to organize everything from our prayer life to dressing styles, to avoid aging at all cost,” etc. It is hard for me to stay away from “preaching” the do’s and don’ts even when it comes from my own experience with God. Instead, I will try one more time to stay on course and share what God did for me, so that you can use any part of it for your own edification, if you are led to. I understand that it is the way to do it simply because words in general (except for the Word) cannot change anybody, unless each person is given the grace by the Holy Spirit to desire to change, to convert. A switch has to be turn on and only God can turn it on. And the truth is that it is personal prayer and loving God and others, the keys that beg God to do so!
This coming month we will celebrate in a special day this bond of Love with His Heart. As you proceed to read this blog and your time is precious, ask Him to render special graces to “see” what He wants you to see in this message. And take these words that follow as a “love story” of a God Who many years ago engaged a little 6 year old to know Him as present in a piece of Bread, an understanding that never left her. He brought her into His Eucharistic Presence via His Sacred Heart, since the school and place where He placed her was all about this devotion to His Heart. And today, at the sunset of my life, I can assure you that this Love is real! More on it later! So, I will be rehashing old stories (I) which I have mentioned before in other blogs and that happened in the month of May, and (II) sharing the new ones since I wrote last. Last but not least, (III) I will write about the upcoming feasts, and major ones as Pentecost was.
I. Every year I have to remember these three dates with great rejoicing and thanksgiving. I have mentioned these anniversaries to you in previous blogs, but it is worthwhile to review them in the context of this Love of His Sacred Heart, and in this case, in my life.
1. May 19, 1977. I had been in private practice for almost 5 years in a suburb of Detroit, MI. I was making $215,000/year when I left this practice in order to move the family to the area of Ann Arbor. My husband as a pathologist then, could not find jobs in the area where we resided. So, I accepted a fee for service (doing my own billing to patients) in the same small hospital where he became the pathologist. I only made $15,000 in 8 months. I had to move to the University of Michigan, but the salary was low as well ($75,000/year). In the mean time, I found the Charismatic Movement since Ann Arbor was an important U.S. hub of this movement… On this date I was “baptized” in the Holy Spirit, a ceremony where people pray for you to receive a new awareness of the Holy Spirit, or a reaffirmation of the power of the Holy Spirit received in Baptism and Confirmation. It was like a new Pentecost of sorts. Some 18 months later, I started receiving an awareness of His direction for certain events as related below.
2. May 4, 1989 – I was at a medical meeting in Houston, TX. It was a Thursday, and besides it was the Feast of the Ascension…I took a taxi at noon time after I had the hotel locate a Mass for me in a nearby parish since it was a holiday of obligation. That evening, as I was getting ready to go to bed, I read the Bible. I never go hardly a day without doing so, and the Gideon’s Bible is always there in every hotel waiting for me. Blessed be our separated brothers and sisters that keep those Bibles available.
I was given a page to check. It was Joshua, chapter 3, and I understood clearly the following: “Just like Joshua crossed the Jordan River with the Israelites and no one got wet, so will you. When you get home there will be offers of jobs for you and your husband. Take them.” It was strange… I had been in St. Bend, IN for almost 3 years working fee for service (not an employee of a group or of the hospital but billing for my services). I got there because of my first major professional and out of the blue persecution in Cleveland, OH… So, it was obvious that God wanted me there plus my husband had finally sold the house in Cleveland and we all were together again in So. Bend area. Besides, I had just bought a home after renting for a while. My oldest son was attending the University of Michigan. My second one had one more year to go at St. Ignatius High School and he preferred to be transferred to Trinity School, a Protestant/Catholic Spirit filled small private school… South Bend was another very active hub for the Charismatic movement. I had already attended several yearly Charismatic Conferences at Notre Dame while I lived in Cleveland. The younger sons were sent to private schools, and son number 3, the now theologian, entered Trinity School while we were there. It was a perfect scenario for family life and for spiritual renewal… In fact, my second son had started already his studies at Notre Dame and we were saving money by not having him live outside of our home. So, this message was out of context… Or was it? When the Holy Spirit wants something, He does it… Nothing different to the Acts of the Apostles…
On Sunday, May 7, I returned to So. Bend . That evening, an HMO hospital in Cleveland called my husband who had left them to come to Indiana, and offered us jobs. I would be the chief and he would be another anesthesiologist since I had more experience (My husband had been a pathologist for 15 years before he re-trained in anesthesiology.) I heard him telling the chief of staff of this hospital that we were doing very well and not interested in moving. I immediately remembered the message of three days before and asked him to pause in his conversation and suggested to at least hear them… He told them we would hear their offer… Then, I took him to my prayer room and explained why I had said so… He was not a believer at that time in his life (fallen away Catholic), but trusted my insights in prayer. We both laughed that it would be a waste of time since this HMO paid very little.
He made the 5 hour trip by car to Cleveland and the offer was very good…! If the Holy Spirit had not directed me just three days before, we wouldn’t have ever accepted the offer since we had to sell the house and relocate kids and schools, etc. Of course, the move worked for everybody… The younger 2 kids were able to attend the high school of their older brothers, St. Ignatius again. This change took son number 3 to study theology as he went with his class to a trip outside of the United States where he heard the call and received the conviction… I went from a Catholic Hospital in the area of So. Bend, famous for being one of the 17 hospitals that Join Commission had chosen in the entire U.S., in order to start their new agenda for change to evaluate hospital practices regarding safety for patients, to this HMO hospital which was going to be reviewed by Joint Commission, and my expertise was essential to get its accreditation (this was a bonus for this hospital since they had no idea of my expertise in the matter).
(Please read this with attention as to how the Holy Ghost works in guiding us and how He prepares us even years before…) Years later, when I needed a job because I had left my position in Toledo, OH in a wonderful huge hospital due to my occasional assignment to do “abortions on demand” for which I had to beg others to switch with me for one case at the time…, the Holy Spirit left me home for a full year without finding a position and in retrospect, it was just to assist my husband in his diagnosis and impending death due to cancer. My colleagues at this huge hospital were great and they tried not to assign me to those cases but because some surgeries can run much longer, at the last minute the nursing staff had to change cases to different operating rooms. So, I had to leave at all cost and regardless of consequences. But it was this expertise in Joint Commission Accreditation in two prior hospitals (South Bend and HMO hospital in Cleveland) that gave me a job as director of a surgery center close to my residence and 3 months before he died; so we did not have to move him or change his doctors when he was at the gates of death.
He had a change of heart about God right at the time of surgery which diagnosed his cancer, and a Jesuit priest friend was the one who heard his confession. They also came to visit him at home. He had the peace of God since he never felt he needed to live longer than the allotted time and turned down radiotherapy that could give him at most 3 more months of life. He never had any pain. He did not have to go to a hospice facility, which he was deadly afraid of…, and did not have to because his third son stopped his studies in Rome to assist him as I started my job at the surgery center. He eventually fell into a comma for 3 days, and only woke up in front of me and of my second son and looked around. As I gave him permission to go to Jesus, he put his head down and passed to another world.
I never had to say one word to convince him to accept Jesus… It was all done by the Holy Ghost. Said in other words, his conversion had nothing to do with me except for years of prayer for his soul… Had I pushed for it, maybe he would not have done it so fast…This was also directed by the Holy Ghost, but I suspect that someone else was doing much intercession for his soul. I had taken the whole family to Medjugorje in 1987. This trip was sprinkled with so many blessings and eye openers! Our departure from Chicago O’Hare to Yugoslavia (still under a communist regime) was delayed by 6 hours. Instead of departing at 10 PM on Christmas Eve…!!!, we departed at 4 AM on Christmas Day. I tried to attend midnight Mass at the airport but would have to walk from one terminal to another, something very dangerous to do at that time. Instead, the Lord treated us by spending Christmas Eve with many homeless people who slept there (at least on those days). We were able to share some money with them to give them the best gift, bread to eat… I had a long conversation with one of them, a 40 year old who had lost his entire family and all his possessions in a home fire; he never recuperated financially or emotionally. My sons were taught what this world is all about!
Coming back, it was just 3 days after the Pan Am flight had exploded over Scottish territory and all of our flights were delayed and cancelled due to improvised security checks. We could not get out of Mostar for almost 8 hours, and finally we departed via Germany first, and from there we were re-routed to Montreal/Chicago. What a lesson we all had! à The hunger of the homeless, international terrorism and the peace felt in Medjugorje! In hindsight, I wonder if this visit was blessed by Our Lady’s intercession at the Throne of Mercy for the radical conversion of this man… Amazing Woman full of grace! This conversion came not only with the peace to accept God again, but also to accept death without fear or difficulty. He did not want a funeral and wanted his ashes dispersed in the Great Lakes… I followed his orders but found out that the law for ashes to be dispersed in the Lakes need to be done many miles away from shore… Here I always think of the parable that Jesus used to prove that no matter how late some servants came to labor for the owner of a farm, they got paid the same wages than the ones who worked many hours more. His mercy is simply a dream and equal to the love of a mother for her baby.
So, led by the Holy Spirit again, I quietly took the jar with his ashes to my Christ the King parish during a Mass… and offered it as a funeral. Then, I made a trip to my home country where four years before, I had purchased a space in a columbarium of the Temple of the Sacred Heart!!!… and just 10 feet from the Tabernacle… I placed his ashes there. One hundred Masses were requested to be celebrated in this church and since his body was right there, he had 100 funerals… Huh! But I must add that this idea of purchasing this niche came because I felt so drawn to have my body reside next to His Eucharistic Presence… even after death… In fact, many times I enjoy just thinking that one day we (Jesus’ Body and mine) will be together precisely in a church named after His Sacred Heart, and as my spirit takes the journey of purification (Purgatory) to end up with Him also…
3. May 9, 2002. On this date, I attended Mass with some other 25 people at the Vatican’s private Papal chapel and it was celebrated by John Paul II. Shortly after, I had a private audience with him, but how I got there must be told, in order to see the action of the Holy Spirit for this gift through His mercy.
I had been summoned to Rome for other reasons… A church size picture of St. Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionist Order in the 18th. Century ended up in my home, when the manager of the surgery center I just mentioned told me about it, just two months before my husband died. I found it in an antique store in Toledo, OH. It belonged to a monastery in England that fell into the sea …! Of course, he came to my life in order for me to get passionate about the Passion of Christ and to read all the four volumes of his letters and writings… Three years later, the Passion of the Christ movie came to theaters (2004) and again in 2005, and my interest in His passion was very alive from St. Paul of the Cross’s devotion. It was soo refreshing to see the Journey Home program this past May 15 in EWTN where an actor played Blessed Dominic Barberi, a priest of the Passionist Order and who had been summoned to England (by the Holy Spirit)…. and had to do with receiving John Henry Cardinal Newman to the Catholic faith… It was a sweet program for me, not only because this Journey Home program was done to perfection, but because I wondered if Blessed Dominic had ever visited this convent where this painting I have came from… Hmm…
Well, sometime after I had received this large painting of St. Paul of the Cross, I was summoned to go to Rome to visit his tomb in a church nearby the Vatican. My son who had interrupted his studies in Rome to take care of his father’s final days, ended up finding a job as secretary of a parish in La Crosse, WI… When I invited him to go with me to Rome because of his Italian language proficiency, his priest boss suggested to ask Bishop Burke for the possibility of getting an audience with the Pope, general and may be private. The later is very difficult to get. Well, as you may know, Archbishop Raymond Burke left La Crosse, moved to St. Louis, MO and now works in the Vatican’s Supreme Court. He agreed to fax to the Vatican a request on our behalf. We left. We did get a general audience on Wednesday May 7… But two days later, we were called to be part of this Mass with our beloved Santo subito. I still carry in my purse the rosary he gave me as he blessed me…
We left Rome the following day having visited St. Paul of the Cross and with the Pope twice… and we felt as if on eagle wings… The Pope of Mercy, the Totus Tuo of Our Lady had crossed our lives in ways that will never be forgotten. And the Holy Spirit had a superb plan: to get me to this surgery center to meet this administrator who was not a Catholic and who led me to this huge painting of Paul of the Cross, and my son was at the right diocese to get a kind Bishop for the Vatican to invite us… Wow… Was all of this the pay off for my refusal to kill babies? Well, it is possible, but I also think this was in the same package of this love from the Eucharistic Jesus given to me free of charge as a child, in order to love Him for the Holy Spirit to have a fertile ground to direct the course of my life, plus I needed this Pope of Mercy personal blessing to write about this topic. Amazing odyssey!
I am sure that all of you can make a list of particular dates when you know that the Holy Spirit made Himself present to you and called you do to something. Have you ever made a list? Only by remembering His blessings of understanding, wisdom, courage, patience, forgiveness, faith, hope and love for particular moments of our lives, can we, like Israel, look back and trust in His Love. This TRUST becomes an ocean of mercy for us according to the writings of St. Faustina.
II. The events that have showed me His love/mercy since my last blog.
1. April 25, 2010. On this Sunday and after Communion, I asked my Lord about the future of these blogs (the same old story!)… They are not easy to write… I have to be very attentive to the Holy Spirit and always expecting my flesh and the evil one to interfere, especially when I have no real formation in theology. Then I heard this: “Since I am in charge, you will know in due time. Your work is to trust in My love for you and nothing else.” There is the crux of the matter… I only have to trust in this Fire of His love, and obviously trying hard to stick to His Truth, not perfectly but as best as I can and every moment of my life… Period!
This is what makes Christianity so different to others beliefs: when we are created we have a general script to follow (His Truth) so that we can be faithful to the particular script for which we were created, all according to the needs of the One Who loves all of us equally, and in order to bring other souls to His Table. Jesus gave us a hint in the parable of the Great Feast. His job of coming to save us out of love and as a Servant, should be the “subject” of our lives in our discipleship role of following Him. We are those servants of the parable that are sent to bring all and everyone to this Feast, to His Love, to His Table where He gives Himself away to us. Our case should be the same. In fact, our beloved JP II wrote this: “We are made to give ourselves away.”
2. April 26, 2010. I further understood that my brain has to be re-wired to one thing –> to say yes to every present moment regardless of its content. Obviously, I need to remind myself all day and as often as it is required, to love God and my neighbor as my constant and MAIN occupation, in order to allow the Holy Spirit to re-wire my intellect and soul to do it automatically. Yes, I want to stop these blogs, but if I live in the present moment always trying to love, it does not matter what I want! The Holy Spirit will lead me in all Truth. I felt deep peace. As I write this scenario many days later, I need to quote the words of a dear priest who help us in our parish. He is the Vicar for Priests of this Diocese and soon to be the Rector of our Cathedral. He said that peace is not a lack of war or lack of personal conflicts or suffering because according to St. Augustine, “Peace is the tranquility of order.”
Of course, when I follow in my spiritual life the “order” set up by Jesus and His Church and according to His Truth, I experience tranquility, peace. This must refer to the peace beyond understanding that He spoke about, the peace that is not of this world but His peace. It is the same to say that to follow Him brings us order, and therefore, tranquility/peace. How consoling it is to find the Way to peace… which in turn, gives us Life…
3. April 28. On the feast of St. Luis Marie de Monfort, and thinking of this extraordinary Saint, I was disturbed before Mass regarding the lukewarmness I see regarding the Presence of Jesus in the tabernacle in the left side of this church. I do not want to pay attention to it, but as they enter, they are right in front of my eyes as I pray to Him. After Communion I heard these words: — “This lukewarmness of some will make you or break you. Leave them alone and instead, pray for them. Do not pay attention to what it is not important. Any resentment towards them is not love. Break the habit of seeing their sin. Instead, seek their goodness and as you suffer, accept this cross every time and remember that they are My images, but victims of deception and blindness. Be attentive and willing to stay away from further judgment or from being scandalized by their behavior as an ACT OF LAYING DOWN YOUR LIFE for them, as a sacrifice, as a form of fasting your will.
“When tempted this way, seek God’s presence within with praise and adoration on your behalf and on behalf of the brother or sister who stirs controversy in your heart. Say often, “My soul magnifies the Lord and mi spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Then walk away from any further mental discussion of your present moment just lived. Remember that the gifts of wisdom, prudence and understanding for the present circumstances need good stewardship, plus these gifts need to be multiplied and the Holy Spirit could not do so until you summon Him through your love for them.” (Ouch) Much later on that day I remembered how one time (Mark 11) Jesus came to the temple and became furious with vendors and money changers. He screamed, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people but you made it a den of thieves”. Yes, me too! I was stealing in my inner temple the identity of these people at church, their image of Christ, and as a result, I had interrupted my prayer… (Ouch again)
4. April 29. Feast of St. Catherine of Siena. She was present to many trials in the Church as we all know very well… I would say that her trials were worse than ours… Two Popes…? In her time, the Dominican Order was decreasing in numbers. The Lord told her to write that obedience to His will is the most important because obedience is in itself an act of love for God…
After receiving Communion on this day, I received this beautiful teaching that pretty much repeats the words of the Old Testament regarding His mercy. We His followers are the body that makes His Church, or the Body of Christ. He led me to imagine this Church (all of us) as a little baby girl…a one that He loves soo much and as we have said before, which the Hebrew word of Rahamin alludes to: the love of a mother for the baby in her womb… But we know that all babies soil their diapers and several times a day. Yet, as parents, we do not stop loving the baby that soils his/her diapers. The same is with God… In His mercy, He never gets tired to change the soiled diapers of our sinful patterns, because His love is unconditional. Nor should we get tired of accepting the soiled diapers of His “baby girl”, the Church that He founded.
Just the day before I had received a Bible quote about deceivers. Mark 13: 5-6. Jesus began to say to them (Peter, James and John), “SEE THAT NO ONE DECEIVES YOU. Many will come in My Name saying, ‘I am He,’ and they will deceive many.” I had no clue what it meant. Yet, on this feast of St. Catherine and through her biographical data, I learned that the Lord had said to her regarding Priests: “They dress like good men but are dressed in costume.” Well, one dresses in costume when we are “acting a role.” Hmm! Suddenly, this verse from St. Mark’s Gospel made me aware that it could apply to any and all of us.
a) We act as “disciples of Christ,” attend church and may be very pious and respectful of all rules and guidance from the Church, yet, have no desire to truly engage ourselves in loving Him via obedience to His will for every present moment without dragging and complaining about our crosses.
b) We may belong to Bible studies but as an education, and not even be remotely interested in obeying what it says.
c) We may preach/teach Christ to others in the name of evangelization but never be interested in becoming His image since our main interest is our “image”, a self-made image who loves to go to Church and enjoy it as a social act to see friends.
d) Or we need to interact with others to soothe our own self esteem, to gain power over others, to be noticed, to be dressed in costume as actors of “servanthood.” Or said in other words: to be Martha’s with no remote desire to be first a Mary, and from that encounter of love and as a fruit, to serve in the Church.
e) But worse, we may even dare to tell others what to do or get scandalized by what we see, and yet never look inside ourselves to see if we our following the WAY and Truth. We are servants but with an agenda (self love) and not doing it for the Kingdom of God per se.
f) I further understood that my sin of inspecting my brother/sister sins (past or present) partially comes from resentment. If we forgive them, their sin is no more (in our minds), exactly as we receive forgiveness in the confessional (through God’s mercy). He showed us His way as He forgave the woman caught in adultery. But his first step was to dispatch those ready to stone her by asking if they had no sin to do it. It had been happening to me often. Every time I heard the name of this now famous departed priest founder of a major Catholic Order, I forgot that I was not free of sin to condemn him. Plus, as I kept remembering his sins, (1) I was not forgiving him, and therefore, (2) I was very far away from loving him. (3) If I do not love him, well the Holy Spirit cannot keep His love active in my soul for further spiritual growth.(4) If I keep my brain re-wired with disdain for this man, I cannot truly become an evangelizer in the power of the Holy Spirit. In summary: spiritually, I am as reckless as this man was. Ouch… Mea culpa! I have not thrown any more stones to this dead man since…!
5. April 30. I needed to see a friend who is not a regular parishioner but comes to our noon Mass sometimes and when she does not make it to an earlier Mass at her parish. I needed some information about a nearby place where they do order DNA tests looking for APOe genes combinations for Alzheimer’s disease. She was not there. My parish is located in an extremely busy city during lunch time and I never go to this health food store at lunch time. After Communion, I was prompted to go anyway. I had to wait for a parking space for a few minutes, and the spot led me to enter one of 3 doors, the one farthest away from the cart station, and so I normally never use it. Well, I had no choice and as I went in, my friend Loretta was coming in through the same door… and gave me the information I needed. I wanted to cry to see this God so crazy about loving us that had made this miracle for me. As I picked up the things I needed I heard this: “Always trust that I am in charge.” And I realized that most of my life I cheated myself from these miracles because I had no real faith without fear of being wrong that if something I needed was agreeable to God, it would happen no matter what. Just imagine what the Holy Spirit had to do to move Loretta to come at a certain time and through this door. I could have missed her since this market is huge.
6. May 2. It is obvious that I am in big need to grow in loving my brothers and sisters and most especially when they give me no reason to do so. It is tantamount to impossible! Well, for me… because for God, all things are possible… You all know the fiasco and programming changes between Jay Leno and Conant O’Brien. I never watch them because they air too late and because I have no desire for their shows; besides Conant was never my favorite at all. Well, this God is so persuasive in His guidance and teaching that this day I turned the TV on and there was someone interviewing Conant O’Brien… He was so nice. I was able to hear him talking about the debacle with the utmost peace, tranquility, forgiveness even that he said he would not have done it, to accept to go back to the spot that was in discussion and as Leno did. He brought up his Catholicism… At least in this interview, I saw a Catholic that truly acted like a disciple… Instantaneously, I loved this young man and now I added his name to my community Rosary. God was showing me how He can lead us to conquer love for others. I never liked him and I was missing the real Conant. I repented for harboring ill feelings because I did not know much about this person. Ouch! We become so conflicted with the character assessment (and sometimes character assassination) that we make of other people, without truly knowing anything about them… I was amazed about this lesson I had received… Wow.
7. Unfortunately I did not write the following story directly in my journal and forgot to date it in this month of May. It was a wonderful moment. Out of the blue, or so I thought… I started reviewing my previous diary notebook, which started in Oct. 2009. Why? Because I was seeking to find the progress of my memory ongoing improvement for the book I am writing on the subject matter. Or so I thought, and yet, I found something of more importance!
On October 23, 2009 I had received a page (47) and in the New Testament it was Matthew 21. 2; 6-7. – Jesus said to His disciples: “Go into the village opposite to you, and immediately you will find an ass tethered and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them here to Me.” The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them. They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them, and He sat upon them. The same page 47 in the Old Testament was Genesis 41 regarding the story about Joseph who had to interpret Pharaoh’s two dreams. I became extremely interested to find out what He meant since I never knew in these many years that in the Gospel of Mathew Jesus asks for two animals… and that He rode on both…!! I also did not know that Pharaoh had had two dreams instead of one, as I thought before. So, I summoned the Holy Spirit for guidance and I understood this: “Just as you are learning this for the first time, you will hear of two new ideas. Pay attention.” And six months later, April 24, I was posting the Two Sciences in this site… This is an example of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, which in my case I ignored big time. Ouch!
8. May 23. FEAST OF PENTECOST!
This was the most fascinating Pentecost I have ever lived! Look at the sequence of events and after I had written bunches on the Holy Spirit in my last blog. It was as if He wanted to show me how precious He is…
1) On Thursday May 20, I received an email from a friend of mine, the president of MaryTV in South Bend. I have known Dennis since the late 1980’s and had nothing to do with Medjugorje, but now, MaryTV Association is building a television station in Medjugorje… When I arrived in South Bend in 1986, I already had been there several times for the Charismatic Conferences at the Joyce Arena in the campus of the University of Notre Dame. And remember, this is the university named after our Mother and therefore, Satan loves to make trouble in there! In due time, these annual spring conferences became the Medjugorje conferences. Well, Denis was alerting me that this 22nd. Marian annual conference would start on Friday night May 21, all day Saturday and part of Sunday May 23, Pentecost Sunday… Huh! The conference was to be LIVE via Internet through the web site – If you want to look up the website, this is the address: www.marytv.tv
2) There were 3 hours of difference with my time. I was feeling sickly and I missed the Saturday morning Mass, but from then on, I was tuned up LIVE. It was so strange because I knew at all times that I was there as if my spirit had been transported to this university arena… The big window in my room where my computer is looks to the east!!! So, as I watched and prayed with them, I was looking towards Indiana. I said the Rosary with them and I was totally moved in tears by the presence of my Mother near me and among them. Yet, the greatest moment followed at the Holy Hour that they had on Saturday evening, 5 to 6 PM my time. The camera was looking at the monstrance, and I knew He was there as present as He is when I visit Him in the Tabernacle of my parish. I cried so many times. I prayed, I adored, I praised Him in song with the people in there. It was heaven on earth!
3) On Saturday, May 22, my parish was going to have Vespers for Pentecost and I heard that it was awesome, all organized by our new Mexican born associate pastor…To this young man and some weeks ago, I had given the book “The Sanctifier”, written by one of his own Archbishops, in order to celebrate his upcoming anniversary of ordination. Little did I know that he was ordained on May 28 of 6 years ago… on Pentecost Sunday… The time of these vespers was 7:30 PM to 12 AM with two Holy Hours… I wanted to go… so badly, yet, I understood that the following day was the big one… and I had to rest after spending all day Saturday in front of my computer living in the Presence of the Son in South Bend but also honoring His Mother.
4) For Pentecost Sunday, I was led to get up at 1 AM to be present LIVE with the Holy Father in Rome for the Feast of Pentecost. I did.
5) At 5 AM, I was present LIVE at the EWTN Mass in Birmingham, AL
6) At 8 AM I had my own Mass in my parish
7) At 10 AM I was back in front of my computer to be present LIVE for the closing Mass at Notre Dame.
I had been to four Masses and had received many blessings… I felt the awesome tranquility of order that only the Spirit can bring us from the Father and Son. In spirit, I was all over the world… I begged for His Mercy for all these crowds of people everywhere. As of late I have been re-reading some of the entries in Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (Conchita), from the book “Conchita” edited by M.M Philipon, O.P (1978) and still available through Alba House in Staten Island, NY. I have quoted this book in past blogs (March 7, 2009), but now, I found so more meaning in some of the things the Lord told Conchita one century ago…
January 26, 1916. “On sending to the world a new Pentecost, I want it inflamed, purified, illumined by the light and fire of the Holy Spirit. The last stage of the world must be marked very especially by the effusion of the Holy Spirit. He must reign in hearts and in the entire world, not so much for the glory of His Person as for making the Father loved and bearing testimony of Me, although His glory is that of the whole Trinity.”
September 27, 1918. “The world is foundering because it rejects the Holy Spirit, and all the evils which afflict it have therein their origin. The remedy is found in Him. He is the Consoler, the author of all grace, the bond of union between the Father and the Son and the supreme conciliator since He is charity, uncreated and eternal Love. May the whole world have recourse to this Holy Spirit since the day of His reign has arrived. This last stage of the world belongs very specially to Him that He be honored and exalted. May the Church preach Him, may souls love Him, may the whole world be consecrated to Him, and peace will come along with a moral and spiritual reaction, greater than the evil by which the world is tormented.
November 1, 1927. Ask for this renewal, this new Pentecost, for My Church has need of priests sanctified by the Holy Spirit. The world is foundering in the abyss since it lacks priests who will help it from falling in; priests who bear the light to shine on the paths of good; pure priests to pull out of the mud so many hearts; priests afire who will fill the entire universe with divine love. Ask; supplicate heaven, that all may be restored in Me by the Holy Spirit.”
January 5, 1928. I want to return to the world in My priests. I want to renew the world of souls by making Myself seen in My priests. I want to give a mighty impulse to My Church infusing in her, as it were, a new Pentecost, the Holy Spirit in My priests.”
January 25, 1928. “To obtain what I ask, every priest must make a consecration to the Holy Spirit, asking Him, through Mary’s intercession to come to them as it were in a new Pentecost, to purify them, to fill them with love, posses them, unify them, sanctify them and transform them in Me.”
III. Upcoming major feasts: the Holy Trinity, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A. We are near to the Feast of the Holy Trinity. I will quote again a few phrases from the Diary of Venerable Conchita Cabrera de Armida,
1893. Jesus to Conchita: “Fill your life, hour by hour, without thinking of what comes later, as if it were your last our; fill it, abandoning yourself to My will, seeking only to please Me. Repeat this: ‘May Your will be done, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Glory to You most Holy Trinity.”
July 19, 1906. Jesus to Conchita: “You must live in continual contact with the Trinity… You must live, breathe, labor, in the bosom of these three divine Persons. They must constitute your atmosphere, your breathing, your existence. Thus, you will sanctify your life and what you are, divinizing your whole being and each of your steps to heaven. From today on, you must live more and more in this intimacy with the Trinity, drawing from It light, the way you conduct yourself, force, grace and all the help needed to carry out your mission on earth. You should not leave on high, as on a throne and far away, this Trinity of Persons, but live, breathe and dwell in Its bosom under Its fecund influence, in the radiance of Its divinity, in the shadow of Its grace. If your are possessed by the Holy Spirit, if you truly possess Him, you will not be able to separate yourself from Him, but on the contrary, you will remain most intimately united with the Father and the Word. “
September 17, 1927. Her spiritual director, Archbishop Luis Maria Martinez told her, “The teacher and model of this life is Mary. Contemplate her. Imitate her.”
October 27, 1927. Conchita wrote, “I must spend my whole life in union with Mary, without leaving Mary, imitating her love for Jesus, her total submission to the Father and acting only under the impulse of the Holy Spirit.”
B. The Sacred Heart of Jesus
These stories shared above can show you what His love is all about… But I have to refer again to the very beginning… I fell in love with His Eucharistic Presence as a kid. And remember what love does to us: it ignites the gifts and fruits of His Spirit. Of course, this is a love that one cannot describe nor understand… As I have written before, it is a love exactly as any human love we encounter between men and women. If any one of you has fallen in love in your life, there it is the same feeling of this love I had as a child and that continues to this date, and it grows… It grows and becomes the pearl of great prize.
And why did I receive it? I will never know why nor I need to know. It was an unmerited gift but I am sure that it was given for me to talk about it now… However, I may have understood something and precisely on this last Pentecost Sunday… It was a busy day for me! During the EWTN LIVE Benediction in Hanceville, AL, on that same day, Fr. Joseph Wolf found a teaching from our JPII from one of his audiences in 1989, who said that “only through the Spirit of God, the giver of Life, can the Eucharistic food and drink produce in us communion, that is to say, salvific union with Christ crucified and glorified.” In other words, it was only after the Ascension and after Pentecost that the Apostles devoted themselves to the breaking of the bread (Acts 2:44), as if the Holy Spirit directed them to the Eucharist. Well, if they were directed to the Eucharist after the coming of the Holy Ghost in the Upper Room, I must have had a Pentecost of sorts at age 6 to have been directed to the Eucharist in a way that still exists, that it is like a magnet…He is real! He is alive! He is here with us!
And I am also sure that each one of us is created to fulfill a mission for the Kingdom. The scripts are different but all of us have one. I had one… Even with this great love for the Eucharist, I never thought of becoming a nun… I wrote that last month and it was not with the purpose of putting down the religious life. I simply knew at age four that I would become a doctor and a secretary as I have shared before. My script was clear from the very beginning. I am very sure that it is clearly His love, this love of His Sacred Heart, which is key to fulfill this plan. We may encounter Him at any age or after any kind of a sinful life as in the case of Paul of Tarsus, but all of us are given this opportunity to feel such love. The revelation of His love “in action” in our lives, is His mercy… This we should review often… His mercy conveys to us His love, and little by little, we can grow into this call, into His plan.
Now, I am going to assume that my reader does not know anything about the Devotion to the Sacred Heart… So, excuse me if you know it all and you may!
1. The Promises of the Sacred Heart
Given to St. Margaret Mary by Jesus Christ
St. Margaret Mary, 1647 – 1690, was a nun in France who received profound revelations from Jesus Christ to found a new devotion in the Catholic Church called the Devotion to the Sacred Heart. She was known for her profound humility and wisdom, much of which has been preserved to this day in such books as The Autobiography of St. Margaret Mary and Thoughts, Sayings of St. Margaret Mary, and the Letters of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
Four Great Apparitions
St. Margaret Mary experienced four great apparitions asking for the Devotion to the Sacred Heart to be founded and spread throughout the world. St. Margaret Mary summarized the 12 promises made by Jesus to her on behalf of all souls who would propagate, practice, further and pray this devotion in a letter to her spiritual director, Father Croiset and Father Rolin, on August 24th, 1685.
Promises of Jesus for those who Practice Devotion to the Sacred Heart
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5. I will pour abundant blessings on their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
2. The following encyclicals were written about the Sacred Heart of Jesus
May 25, 1899. Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Consecration to the Sacred Heart
May 18, 1928 Encyclical of Pius XI for reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
May 15, 1956. Encyclical of Pius XII on Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
When Archbishop Raymond Burke came to St. Louis, MO, he had the Archdiocese promote the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in homes!!! Please read about in a page on the right side entitled: “Enthronement to the Sacred Heart.”
3. Here are a few of the words of St. Margaret Mary as she wrote letters to many.
1) 1686 to Sister Felice-Madeleine de la Barge, at Moulins.
Short Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (from St. Margaret Mary)
I, ______give myself and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, my person and my life, my actions, pains and sufferings, so that I may no longer wish to make use of any part of my being other than to honor, love and glorify the Sacred Heart. This is my irrevocable will, namely, to belong entirely to Him, and to do everything for the love of Him, and I renounce with all my heart anything that can be displeasing to Him. I therefore take You, O Sacred Heart, to be the only object of my love, the protector of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy for my infirmities and the reparation for all the sins of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of death.
Be, then, O Heart of goodness, my justification with God the Father, and turn away from me the blows of His just wrath. O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in You, for I fear everything from my malice but I hope everything from Your goodness. Consume in me all that can displease You or resist Your holy will; let your pure love imprint Your image so deeply upon my heart, that I shall never be able to forget You or to be separated from You. May I obtain from Your loving kindness, the grace of having my name written in Your Heart, for I wish to live and die as Your slave. Amen.
(Letter) “You could find no surer bond, beloved Sister, to draw me into a more intimate union with Your Charity than to love the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I do not doubt the sacrifice, which you want to make of yourself to Him so that you may be wholly His, to do and suffer everything for His love, so that you may be able to live completely into Him according to His desires. I do not doubt, I say, that this sacrifice is very pleasing to Him. It is a life of sacrifice, of abandonment and of love. Of sacrifice of all that is most dear to you and of what will cost you the most. Of complete abandonment of yourself to His loving care, taking Him as your guide on the way of salvation.
You will do nothing unless you ask Him for the help of His grace. And this I am sure He will give you to the measure in which you trust Him. Moreover, we must live a life of love. By our humble submission and complete self-effacement it will unite us with Him and make us altogether like Him in His life of sacrifice and love in the Blessed Sacrament. Love keeps Him there as a victim completely and perpetually delivered over to sacrifice for the glory of His Father and for our salvation. Refer everything to His glory. … Place in this Heart all your suffering and difficulties. Everything that comes from the Sacred Heart is sweet. He changes everything into love. Let us love Him, then, dear sister, with all our might and strength. Let us belong to Him without reserve, because He wants all or nothing. And after we have once given Him everything, let us take nothing back. He will be sure to sanctify us in proportion as we are careful to glorify Him.
2) January 1689. To Mother Marie-Felice Dubuysson, at Moulins.
“Oh, how happy I am that you love Him and want to belong entirely to Him! You ask for a short prayer that will express your love for Him. I myself know no other, not do I find any better, than this love itself. For everything speaks when one loves. Even the most engrossing occupations are proofs of our love. So, as St. Augustine says, ‘Love and the do what you will.’ And since we cannot love without suffering, let us both love and suffer and not lose a moment of this. For every cross is precious to a heart that loves its God and wants to be loved by Him. Let us strive then, to make ourselves true copies of our crucified Love.”
3) 1686. To her Novices.
“Oh, dear Sisters, if we only knew how much we lost by not profiting by occasions of suffering we would be much more careful not to lose a moment of it. Let us not deceive ourselves; if we do not make better use of the occasions offered us for suffering, humiliations and contradictions, we shall lose favor with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. He wishes us to love and consider as our dearest friends and benefactors all those who make us suffer or furnish us with an occasion for it. So let us be sorry for having given this displeasure to the Sacred Heart by frustrating His designs on us.”
4. In 1996, I did enthrone the Sacred Heart in my home and followed the guidelines of a priest with British parents but born in Peru. Fr. Mateo Crawley- Boevey, SS.CC. (1875-1960). He was the Founder of the Work of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home. At the age of sixteen he joined the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Valparaiso, Chile, and applied himself with great zeal to promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart.
5. I received the Eucharist for the first time on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, on a Friday, June 8th! This will be another personal feast that I will celebrate this coming month.
To close this message, I was led to add the Gospel of today, May 28th, when this blog will be posted.
1) In Mark 11, Jesus had already checked the temple area but because it was late, He left for Bethany with the Twelve.
2) The following morning He went to Jerusalem again but this time He entered the temple (wow, He walked much)
3) In route, He was hungry and expected a fig tree to have fruit even that it was not the time for the tree to do so (!) and He cursed the tree…. Well, in my estimation He was preparing the scene for a later teaching on prayer.
4) Of course, He makes known to all inside the temple that it was a house of prayer and not a den of thieves.
5) Upon returning, the Apostles realized that the fig tree was withered.
6) Then He tells them to have faith, never to doubt that what you ask in prayer, we shall receive it.
7) But suddenly, he talks about the need to forgive anyone against whom we have a grievance…
For me it was like if He had said: “In each present moment, make your inner temple a house of prayer which can be words or a sentiment of living in My Presence as you do My will, which expects you to love your neighbor as yourself (forgive). Ask for this to happen in your heart but have faith that the power of My Spirit within you will do it for you.”
So, when I do not produce spiritual fruits, He is still hungry for them. Then, my prayer but with total trust that He loves me regardless and that His Holy Spirit is present within me to show me His love if I just asked Him, will revive my inner temple/tree to produce them. And part of these fruits has to do with this Love relationship with His Sacred Heart, Who is hungry for us…! So help us, Sacred Heart of Jesus. Show us Your love in the form of Your awesome mercy for us. Send us Your Holy Spirit to guide us to Your merciful Heart. Amen.
Prayer of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Pius XI
O sweetest Jesus, whose overflowing charity towards men is most ungratefully repaid by such great forgetfulness, neglect and contempt, see, prostrate before Thy altars, we strive by special honor to make amends for the wicked coldness of men and the contumely with which Thy most loving Heart is everywhere treated.
At the same time, mindful of the fact that we too have sometimes not been free from unworthiness, and moved therefore with most vehement sorrow, in the first place we implore Thy mercy on us, being prepared by voluntary expiation to make amends for the sins we have ourselves committed, and also for the sins of those who wander far from the way of salvation, whether because, being obstinate in their unbelief, they refuse to follow Thee as their shepherd and leader, or because, spurning the promises of their Baptism, they have cast off the most sweet yoke of Thy law. We now endeavor to expiate all these lamentable crimes together, and it is also our purpose to make amends for each one of them severally: for the want of modesty in life and dress, for impurities, for so many snares set for the minds of the innocent, for the violation of feast days, for the horrid blasphemies against Thee and Thy saints, for the insults offered to Thy Vicar and to the priestly order, for the neglect of the Sacrament of Divine love or its profanation by horrible sacrileges, and lastly for the public sins of nations which resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast instituted. Would that we could wash away these crimes with our own blood! And now, to make amends for the outrage offered to the Divine honor, we offer to Thee the same satisfaction which Thou didst once offer to Thy Father on the Cross and which Thou dost continually renew on our altars, we offer this conjoined with the expiations of the Virgin Mother and of all the Saints, and of all pious Christians, promising from our heart that so far as in us lies, with the help of Thy grace, we will make amends for our own past sins, and for the sins of others, and for the neglect of Thy boundless love, by firm faith, by a pure way of life, and by a perfect observance of the Gospel law, especially that of charity; we will also strive with all our strength to prevent injuries being offered to Thee, and gather as many as we can to become Thy followers. Receive, we beseech Thee, O most benign Jesus, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Reparatress, the voluntary homage of this expiation, and vouchsafe, by that great gift of final perseverance, to keep us most faithful until death in our duty and in Thy service, so that at length we may all come to that fatherland, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God forever and ever. Amen.