Part I Our Lady Part II Evangelization

I want to spend some time commenting about my experience with the Mother of God for this month of July for two reasons: we celebrate her feast day as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Carmelite Order named after her has produced extraordinary saints for our Church, and I grew up very close to St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese of Lissieux. The second reason is that she mediated a major miracle in my life this past July 16!

But first I would like to write about different important dates in this month besides her feast plus some highlights about my recent trip to Omaha, NE.

July 4th always brings great memories. In 2002 I was in a pilgrimage in France under the direction of a Jesuit priest friend of mine, who happens to be a great devotee of St. Therese and has a doctoral degree on St. John of the Cross… Hmm! Just before the 4th of July we visited Lissieux, Paray-le-Monial ( another major connection with my childhood), the place where St. Margaret Mary Alacoque received the apparitions and promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We also visited Ars where St. John Vianney lived and died; the site where Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Laboure in Paris now known as Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, and finally, we had dinner on July 4th by the Seine River also in Paris and went on a boat ride as well…So, since then on this date, I contemplate the blessings of this trip, and the best pilgrimage I ever took.

July 8th was of importance because two years ago I arrived to this west coast area from Toledo, Ohio after 3 days of driving. As I have written many times, I had walked on water for the last 5 years in that Ohioan city, wanting to sell my home while the home sales  market was down and not being allowed by the Lord. Yet, when the permission was granted, the house sold in 4 months… 11 other homes in my street were for sale for months and months!  It is not easy to do things according to God’s will when the money was not there to keep the home expenses, and even worse is to know that some family or friends may think that you are crazy. But it is exactly in these instances when God makes us grow or lose ground in the spiritual life and according to our docility  to do what He wills.

On July 24, EWTN presented the life of St. Faustina Kowalska, and it still frightens me to see how much she suffered because they thought she was mentally disturbed… Priests, superiors and a few nuns were not able to grasp her graces… Ouch! In fact, after seeing this movie I inquired of the Lord if He really wanted me to post this blog, which was already written but in the process of being edited… BY THE WAY, it will be a very long blog and every time I pray about the length and what to cut, I come up with no answers. Sorry! Yet, it is your time and choice not to continue this reading! The Holy Spirit will guide you. But let me tell you that I pray for all who come to this site, so that whatever you may need, He will provide the understanding for you!

July 13th was the feast day of St. Teresa of the Andes, another Carmelite nun, a Chilean who was madly in love with the Crucified. She entered the Carmelite Convent at age 19 and 9 months later she was hurriedly professed even that she needed more years of formation and just because she was dying. Some 6 years ago, I contacted the nuns of her monastery in the Chilean Andes and they sent me relics of St. Teresa…I gave one to the Bishop who has kept an eye on these blogs from their inception, simply because he was born in the same date than this St. Teresa of Jesus!

July 16th. The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel which I will talk about later.

July 17th. Date of my Baptismal anniversary and my first encounter with the Holy Ghost. It is exciting to think about it. I was four months old… and have a picture of this great day right in my room. As I was thinking of this photo, I remembered that I also have in this house my first notebook with my handwriting when I started learning English at this St. Margaret Mary’s grade school. Hmm. English came so early in my life! And then you know that I ended up coming as an exchange student to a place near Los Angeles, even that I was not chosen to begin with! The U.S. State Department paid for most of my expenses. How then could I not now use this language to proclaim the Gospel to my American brothers and sisters?

July 22th. Not only was it the feast of one of my favorite saints, St. Mary Magdalene, but it was also the 9th anniversary of the death of my husband… Mary Magdalene was an evangelist because Jesus sent her to tell His Apostles that He was alive,  and I want to do the same! As you may have read in a previous blog, my husband was an atheist diagnosed with duodenal cancer (upper part of the small intestine); he was given 6 months to live and died peacefully and having reconciled with the Church without anyone pushing him to do it and he did it immediately after his diagnosis. But what I had not reported was something that again, the Holy Spirit in his incessant ability to guide us, brought to my mind. My memory problems had totally erased this fact. Here is the story.

I came from Church about 2 weeks ago and found myself sticking my hands in one of the boxes in the garage that came from Toledo. I ended up in my hands with a copy of a letter sent to a dear friend in Chicago dated July 14, 2001 (just 8 days before his death). She is also from the Dominican Republic as he was. In this letter I mentioned to her about my husband’s impending death, about my new job at the surgery center (it had started March 19), and how peaceful we were (we, meaning my third son Omar and I) expecting his last day on earth. I told her the story of how Our Lady had asked me on June 21 to start a daily Holy Hour to prepare him for death, and how because of my job (very distant from my home in south Toledo), I had to get up at 4 AM every day to be at Christ the King (near the surgery center where I worked and not my parish at this time) by 5:30 AM. I explained to my friend how peaceful it was to pray at this hour and then how I would receive Him at the 6:30 AM Communion service before I went to work. I had forgotten this detail completely. To begin with, it would have never occurred to me that we should help a family member make that transition when they are close to departing, a time when Satan is more active than ever…

I then went to check the book I wrote in 2004 for which this same Bishop I just mentioned had given an O.K. to publish but of course, not an imprimatur. Sure enough, this incident on June 21, 2001 was just one little part of a huge spiritual training I had during the entire year of 2000, much before my husband was diagnosed with cancer just after Thanksgiving of  that same year. I had left this good place of practice in Toledo on February 2000 because I could not avoid being assigned to do abortions on demand, as I have mentioned before. Yet, I had to go back to work to help out with all the bills of my household, payment of universities, studies in Rome of my third son, etc. However, it turned out to be another time that I had to wait…But it was the Mother of God who intervened and taught me to walk on water until the diagnosis of his cancer came the day after Thanksgiving.

 By February of 2001 and after assisting this now cancer patient going through surgery,  a job came to me in this same city of Toledo in the surgery center I had mentioned. But, I was hired because of my expertise in Joint Commission’s rules and expectations for the upcoming accreditation review of this center (Oct. 2001) that comes every 3 years. Here I had a dying person in my home and I had to re-vamp every policy, seek what went wrong during the past 3 years when I was not there, establish quickly a process of performance improvement, and all the necessary steps to implement it, monitor it and come up with a plan to avoid any errors in the daily service to patients during surgery per se and anesthetics as well, even that I was not a surgeon but as the director of the place I had to cover everything. From March 19, 2001 when I started working to July 22 when my husband died, this Mom of ours was there with me every step of the way. I am discerning now if I should place some chapters of this book in the section of “pages” of this blog site.

I had promised my supervisory Bishop never to write in this blog about interior locutions, and not because he requested it, but because I did not want to embarrass him in any way…I respect him very much and he is one of the priests I have met in my entire life who has given me much peace of mind. Well, as always in my life, all was orchestrated by the Lord. He came from the Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan to Toledo in 2005 (?) and my sons were all born there, and as you may remember, before I came to this country for specialty training, I had dealt with the Lord to choose the hospital that accepted me first (if any among of the 5 that I applied to). It turned out to be Detroit. I had arrived in Toledo in 1998. His mother was Polish and he has a great interest in the Divine Mercy Devotion…! God simply got us together to meet in Toledo, and he has helped me a lot. But how? Because I trust him as a priest…

But the truth is that I have kept this activity of interior locutions in secret for many years. I do not want followers who want just to know what I heard. I only want to love God more and more until He cannot take it… and I use these messages (once I discern where they are coming from)  precisely to give Him glory and grow in my dedication to Him. Since my love affair started as a child, I suspect that this grace of being able to talk to my Father, to His Son and to my Mother through the power of the Holy Spirit, was given to me as part of the gift I received at age 6. So, if you please pray for me to find out if I should place in this site some pages of the 350 of this book. It was never published, and in hindsight, I am almost sure that it was mandated to be written (1985) on the topic of His Mercy just to jot down in 2004 my experience of ongoing conversions, because my memory loss was going to be erasing many details of this journey of love. My memory loss started to show up in 2007…

I continue now with the events of July 22 of 2001. It is obvious that my husband’s  peaceful departure was phenomenal, miraculous, in front of two of us and not dying in the middle of the night because he was already in coma since July 19, and therefore, we would never have known if he struggled or was afraid, and most importantly, he did not die alone. And I also forgot to mention in a previous blog that my older two sons had been convened from Los Angeles and San Francisco when Hospice services had indicated that his death would occur within the next 3 days. The two other sons were in Toledo already; my youngest was a medical student in Toledo and had his own apartment, and the third son was there taking care of his father. Let me add that my husband had been a very good father.

On Saturday we had planned that on Sunday July 22, after going to Mass, the four brothers would go to eat at a very wonderful restaurant since they had not been together for a while, and the conditions in the house would not allow me the peace of mind to cook for them. My husband died at 2:30PM and after the fact, there was so much peace around us that they kept their plans and went to eat that same evening. It is until 2010 on the 9th.anniversary of his death and after reading the letter I had written with details of the plan of prayer for his passing, that I finally was able to grasp the depth and height and width of this miracle. What a Mother I had to give such instruction, which blessed the entire family.

June 22 to June 29, 2010. And now let me tell you a few highlights about our trip to Omaha because of some signs and wonders, since I asked for your prayers and for those who prayed, you are entitled to know about your intercessory power…

I could not fly because my undiagnosed illness at the time, with difficulty some days to stand up for long periods of time, and therefore, unable to walk in these huge long hallways that we find in airports. Also the presence of shortness of breath and nausea which I could not foretell if it would be on the day of air travel, made it prohibitive. I had been suffering from this for almost 2.5 years after a large amount of weight loss, which probably released mercury and even fluoride from the melted fat. Since its inception, I had not received permission from the Lord to seek a doctor. Again, something similar to my prolonged stay in Toledo, and at the same time, I was getting to understand that may be this was a cross that I needed to carry for many other needs, personal and for the Church.

We left on June 22 and drove the 23 hours distance going through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and finally Nebraska. We arrived on June 24 for the celebration of my oldest grandchild’s 5th birthday. Here are some interesting events.

1. The mountains of Nevada, Utah and Wyoming were breathtaking. We had passed them just two years before in route from Toledo, but still, you know that you know that God made them. Their tops were still covered with snow, and that proves how high they rise to the heavens. It would be impossible to believe that the “big- bang” theory created such beauty! My present pastor loves to hike, and finally I understood why! Yes, there something godly about nature and mountains, especially when you are not driving most of the way and can admire them.

Sometimes I even studied my little Bible that I keep in my purse (New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs). I, of course, relished a little teaching I received. So, I understood that Saul of Tarsus even that he had encountered Jesus in person, he really did not need to become blind but he did… so that Jesus would contact Ananias to go and heal him… Why? In order to give credibility to this great enemy of the Christian Community and right from the mouth of God, and therefore, to be accepted in it. Just imagine if Ananias had not been willing to obey the Lord? Jesus told Ananias that He needed Saul to be healed because he had been chosen and He had to show him all the persecutions he would endure…

2. We also found out that Hispanics took over around these towns nearby the road we were on… There were at least 4 radio stations in Spanish at all times… The rest was country music, and only one station for a short time with “oldies”… I had 5 stations to listen to EWTN’s radio in this long 23 hour trip, and of course, we had to wait for each of them as we entered their signal. Reno had a strong signal. Salt Lake had one. All of Wyoming and part of Nebraska had a 1010 AM radio station with beautiful clarity and very powerful. Coming back we heard the Live Journey Home program and the guest was Fr. Jordan Turano, OP. His story honored my Mother and made me smile… When he was ready to enter the seminary, he asked her to give him a sign by making him debt free, something required for his admission, and someone came to tap his shoulder to offer the money. Please, re-read what I just wrote… Pleeease… Later you will see what she can do… and did for me in recent days.

Of course, I came back home to watch the TV re-runs and to meet Fr. Turano…who  made my day while we were in the middle of nature and mountains, by telling the wonders that Our Lady keeps doing since the time of her FIAT. She is still visiting people with signs and wonders…

3. For the 1,646 miles times two or round trip, we found no road construction delays, no accidents, and no bad weather. We seemed to pass every large city like Reno, Salt Lake City and Cheyenne before or after the rush hour traffic …

 4. We stayed in a hotel in Omaha a little distant from my son’s home for safety reasons and Satan showed up in my room. I am used to him and please do not be upset… He likes to play games… One day we wanted to go to my son’s place around 11 AM in order to give him and his wife space early in the morning to take care of the two children, ages 5 and 2. The World Cup was on and as you know, soccer is my favorite sport. I was watching a game in this my room of this hotel while waiting for the 11 AM hour and the TV seemed new and digital of course. Suddenly, the volume started rising and I had to stop it by pushing the mute button. But it did it over and over… I could not even get too far from the set because the volume would go very hi… Suddenly, the mute button did not work either. I suspected it was Satan but what to do about it? I suddenly understood with clear instructions to go and hit on the side of this very thin wall screen with some force (but not hard enough to destroy the set), and sure enough, it stopped. About half hour later, the TV set turned itself off… I had to turn it on again.

But here is the way the Holy Spirit speaks to us… God had allowed this, but why?… I had noticed that this Hampton Inn in Omaha had given me a room key-card in this tiny envelope with a tiny flap. Normally, these envelopes do not have a flap and in both of our room’s key envelope flaps there was a hand written blue ink inscription that read: “St. Michael come home now.” It was mind bugling. Although  I knew that Satan was around after the incident with the TV set,  this inscription did not interest me much except for the novelty, until  suddenly I understood that most likely the Lord wanted to hint us to use more often St. Michael’s intercession in this trip … From then on, I called St. Michael very often. You know that I am a consecrated member of the group called Work of the Holy Angels or Opus Sanctorum Angelorum plus my baptismal name carries their name, but rarely do I call them to help me out. Of course, when we left I asked about the meaning of this inscription and the front desk said that it happened probably because these two adjacent rooms were not used by members of a baseball team who were playing for the World Series of College Baseball going on in Omaha at the time, and when they had canceled, the hotel desk did not change the envelopes. But still, why was this strange message written in the flap of the envelopes?

OUR LADY.

I am giving some highlights of this journey to Omaha to emphasize that God is always walking with us. I also believe that Emmaus is in the Bible for the purpose of reinforcing the fact that Emmanuel is always walking with us… There were a few other signs and wonders throughout this journey, which I associated with the power of prayer from friends, even from a priest, and God was with us. However, I always make the same mistake and forget about my Mother being a great companion as well. I had written in the past about our trip to Spain in 1983 where we drove a rented car and how she provided with hotels everywhere…during the week after Holy Week,  a week of traveling vacations for Europeans, and finding space for a family of six was short of impossible. My request to find a hotel with a church nearby was fulfilled to perfection, and in Seville, the hotel was located across a church called, The Porta Celli. We took a local tour to see the city and in a destroyed church frontispiece from the civil war in Spain and part of which was still standing, it said in Spanish, “The Virgin Mary is the Gate of Heaven…” Of course, Porta Celli means the same. It was until then that I realized that she was behind this finding of hotels with nearby churches in miraculous ways each and every one of them. I also suspect that she was involved in this journey to Omaha as well…

I had started a preparation to make a consecration to her for this past July 16th.  Because of my illness and my reticence about writing blogs, etc., we entered into a deal and we have done them many times before. She had to send me a big sign to continue not only the blog but working in whatever way for the Kingdom, beyond living a silent life praying for it. It also meant that she had to help me with my health to do that service. So far with this illness, the problem was that I had no diagnosis. My memory loss continues to improve and I do not have the so called Alzheimer’s gene, but from day to day, I do not feel too well as I previously mentioned.

On July 16th I was not feeling well at all and I pushed myself to attend 6:30 AM Mass, just because the air condition in my church had malfunctioned and noon Mass would be too hot for my condition. I did the consecration after Mass. I came home very sick and checked my email. Many times I do not touch the computer until late afternoon, especially if I do not feel well. AOL was reporting that a mother of a 12 year old had made the diagnosis of what was wrong with her daughter because several doctors had not been able to find out what was wrong.

I followed the Internet links of this disease, POTS or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. I will give you the highlights of this illness, one that is common in children, young adults and which became relevant only 15 years ago. Mayo Clinic says that the number of symptoms that come with it is so spread all over the body, that many doctors cannot get to the diagnosis, just as the mother of the 12 year old narrated in the AOL story. Many doctors also ignore that it even exists… It did fit my symptoms like a right size glove to a hand… Amazing…They cite many possible causes for this syndrome, including viruses and heavy metals like mercury… I wonder if fluoride, so prevalent in our country because of our drinking water is full of it in order to protect our teeth… (A crazy reason and I have already written in this site of how toxic fluoride is for our bodies), and if POTS comes so early in life, it is possible that the excessive amount of toxic materials (pesticides, heavy metals, fluoride, etc.) overwhelms some of our bodies that are missing some of the 6 genes that have to do with proper detoxification. (Book of Dr. Mark Hyman, “The Ultramind Solution”). 

WHAT IS POTS? (From the Internet):

Standing up is something most of us take for granted; we’ve been doing it since childhood. Our bodies automatically adjust to the pull of gravity by increasing vascular tone, heart rate and cardiac output. Blood vessels contract, heart rates increase and our systolic blood pressure (higher number) remains the same or decreases slightly while diastolic pressure (lower number) increases slightly. Our bodies operate in perfect homeostasis and we stand up with little effort. However, the simple act of standing up can be a challenge for some people. There are disorders that affect the body’s ability to appropriately adjust to the pull of gravity. When the body cannot effectively adjust to upright posture, a person is said to have orthostatic intolerance. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a disorder characterized by orthostatic intolerance.

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is defined by excessive heart rate increments upon upright posture. A person with POTS will experience heart rates that increase 30 beats or more per minute upon standing and/or increase to 120 beats or more per minute upon standing. These exaggerated heart rate increases usually occur within 10 minutes of rising. While the hallmark of POTS is an excessive heart rate increment upon standing, patients often exhibit numerous symptoms of autonomic nervous system deregulation, and research by the Mayo Clinic suggests POTS is a limited autonomic neuropathy. Many POTS symptoms seem to be caused by an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system’s control over blood flow. It is the autonomic nervous system (ANS, that is the vagus nerve and the sympathetic system that runs along all arteries of the body, and are present in every organ as well) that regulates the needed adjustments in vascular tone, heart rate and blood pressure upon standing. Some of the messages coming from the autonomic nervous system tell the blood vessels to relax or tighten. In people with POTS, the system seems to be out of balance and blood is not going to the right place at the right time to do what the body needs.

The autonomic nervous system is also responsible for regulating a multitude of organs and functions throughout the body. Some of these functions include temperature, respiration, pupil dilation and constriction, salivation and the digestive tract. A patient experiencing ANS deregulation may experience abnormalities in the many organs and functions the ANS regulates. For example, around one third to one half of POTS patients has digestive troubles.The problem is that blood flow is not matching the need, so blood is not going to the right part of the intestinal system when it needs to. As a result, these people have trouble with nausea. For a smaller percentage of patients, the trouble is that there is too much blood in parts of the intestines. The body is attempting to digest food when there is no food to digest. This leads to cramping and colicky-like pains.

Symptoms reported by POTS researches (Those underlined I have experienced, some all the time and others some of the time but often, at least 2-3 times per week)

PalpitationsTremulousness  Shortness of breath  – Chest discomfort and/or pain  Lightheadedness   Fainting or near fainting  Generalized weakness  Loss of sweating Excessive sweating  Bloating after meals Nausea Vomiting Abdominal pain   DiarrheaConstipationBladder dysfunction (this may include Polyuria or excessive urination) Pupillary dysfunction Fatigue Sleep disorders Headache/migraine Myofascial pain (characterized by regional muscle pain accompanied by trigger points) Neuropathic pain  Dizziness Tachycardia  – Exercise intolerance Clamminess Anxiety Flushing Postprandial hypotension ( (low blood pressure after meals)  Blood pooling in limbs Intolerance to heat Feeling cold all over Low blood pressure upon standing Cognitive impairment (may include difficulties with concentration, brain fog, memory and/or word recall) Cold hands (and often feet & nose) Hypovolemia (low blood volume) Chills High blood pressure HyperventilationNumbness or tingling sensations Aching neck and shoulders Noise sensitivity.

Other symptoms reported by POTS patients include:

Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) – Chemical sensitivities (May have multiple chemical sensitivity and can be very sensitive to medications – may only need small doses) – Easily over-stimulated Feeling full quicklyFeeling “wired”Food allergies/sensitivities (some foods seem to make symptoms worse) –  Muscle aches and/or joint painsPolydipsia (excessive thirst) –  END OF REPORT.          

Just imagine what this discovery/miracle has meant for me…My big concern about going to a doctor with these many disconnected symptoms was that he/she would submit me to a thousand laboratory studies and tons of radiation in order to find something… and probably never give me a diagnosis. Fortunately, God never gave me permission to seek assistance. What a loving God… All along and in hindsight, He only wanted me to exercise trust in His love and that if He was in control, why should I fret about it. He has done this over and over and over in my life… His training of my soul is just superb… And this time He used His Mom to come and reveal to me what was wrong.

But that is not all… The Internet via Mayo Clinic and many other reputable web sites, give some advice as to how-to  ameliorate these symptoms, like drinking water all the time to keep tamed the changes in blood pressure upon standing. I had noticed that I crave salt often. Well, my brain knew what it was doing… Salt will retain some of the water in my body… I was treating my hi blood pressure that I had since the mid 90’s but lately, it was so labile that I have kept a little book and took it sometimes 3-4 times a day and wrote it. Remember that my memory was and is still faulty and I could not remember numbers even the same day. I took medication according the numbers obtained. Well, this was also the right treatment for this syndrome, although I still did not know that God was sending me to treat it much ahead of the diagnosis. Of course, I stopped all possible fluoride and take quick showers with not too hot water and still only drink the expensive Evian bottled water (low in Fluoride) and take detoxifiers.

Summary: Trusting in God and walking on water when the world thinks we are crazy for doing so, is the way to go in order to tap His mercy, and St. Faustina said so over and over in her diary. In the other hand, Our Lady is our best teacher, protector and intercessor. The Rosary is our weapon to summon her if we pray it from the heart and realizing that we are saying the Words of the Bible and contemplating the life of Jesus, while at the same time asking her to pray for us (Hail Mary) 50 times per Rosary, and expecting all our needs (water) to be turned into wine (graces). She has power over Satan precisely because she fulfilled the will of God perfectly, something that Satan refused to do, and even Jesus saw Satan falling when the disciples went preaching upon His request (or when the apostles were obedient to His will. Luke 10: 17-20)… Of course, trusting in God and walking on water depend totally in our obedience to God’s will, and we are back to Our Lady who did it to perfection.

POTS has no cure, or so they say! Yet, I already devised a treatment protocol for myself. Let’s say that I am a guinea pig. My argument is that since my memory has improved so much with detoxification, it means that toxics have been removed from my brain. If it happened there, why my autonomic nervous system (ANS) not go back to normalcy in time? In the other hand, the cross of POTS may very well be leading me to the cure for many others, especially children.

Well, this Mom of mine came through and at least mediated a diagnosis for my malady! But there is something even more important: not only I know what is wrong with my health but there are doctors specialists on POTS… Huh! Of course, if you do not know, I must reiterate to you that God is soo funny… He has a funny bone! I started looking for names of these docs in the State where I live, in Nebraska (just for kicks) and my previous State of Ohio… California has 6, and only one nearby… in this northern part. Nebraska had only one in Omaha…! Ohio had 10…. One in Columbus, the capital; 4 in Cleveland, a place where I lived for a long time and where I worked at (Cleveland Clinic), but 5 are in Toledo…!!!  One of these doctors is located about 5 blocks from the house I sold two years ago… Just imagine if I were to need surgery. I always think of going back to Toledo where I have friends (anesthesiologists and good ones)  who can deliver an anesthetic with the least amount of gases (fluorinated…). Now, I could even have my own POTS doctor in this city… Anesthetics given to POTS patients are very difficult because of their blood pressure being so labile due to the deregulation of ANS.

Corollary: So, when in trouble, go to your Mom in heaven. She is simply a dream come true for us on earth.

This next month of August will be another mighty month to celebrate and honor her. Aug. 2 is the feast of Our Lady Queen of Angels, the patroness of my country who became so because she appeared in the XVI C (just after Tepeyac, MX) to an Indian girl in a place called Cartago… Our Lady left us a little stony statue of hers that we keep in a monstrance type set up in her Basilica… I was named after her!!! On August 15th we will celebrate the feast of her assumption to heaven, and of course, it is mother’s day in my country… On August 22, we celebrate her under the title of Our Lady Queen of the Universe, the title under which she has made huge miracles for friends of mine. Her shrine is in Joliet, Illinois and I enthroned her in my home in Cleveland (1986) under this title. It is interesting that she is ALSO the patroness of this diocese where I live now, although her title here is Our Lady Queen of the World but with the same feast day. But there is more. Very recently, our present Holy Father made her Shrine in Orlando, FL, a minor Basilica!!!  Of course, guess where I want to live? Orlando Florida, by her side since they have Perpetual Adoration… This would be the greatest retirement plan I could aspire to… And we are waiting for a new Bishop for this Diocese of Orlando. I am already praying for a great man of God to come and pray for the millions of people who pass daily through Disney World. Shall I make it to Orlando? I have no idea what His plans are in this regard.

II. EVANGELIZATION

As a Church, much we have written and discussed about evangelizing the world and letting them know that Jesus Christ is our alpha and omega, our beginning and our end, our Savior and that with Him we already won the war. This has been going on for many centuries, when the God of Israel and later the Son of God have been pursuing us as some of us are trying to follow Him and to bring others along the way. Yet, never before evangelists found themselves so overwhelmed by man’s worldly wisdom, technology, which Satan has used to confuse, divide, lie, give fear and to tempt us to despair. Yes, the Church has seen ups and downs through the centuries, but never has become so overwhelmed and unable to hit this giant in the head as in the present Century, a giant like King David encountered (this giant for us is made of brutal distracting communication methods). The worse part for us so called faithful Christians is that this technology has us so distracted and made us so forgetful about our power against the giant… that we simply keep re-arranging the chairs of this Titanic.

For some weeks now, I have been drawn to this topic by the Holy Spirit and  it suddenly became so “clear.” For example, I was not aware of this GIANT social networking , Facebook…! It grew in 5 years by 250,000 members, but in the last year, 2009, it grew by another 250,000 – or half a billion members… Then, this month of July and within one week’s time, two different persons, one in Toledo (a dear friend) and one in my home country (a family member) invited me to meet in Facebook. I resisted for days and prayed and prayed about it. What scared me the most is that with these two invitations came the pictures of other members that were my friends too or family members. Ouch! How did Facebook know me so well? Very scary. I consulted with the son whom I live with and who is a data base professional. After he read all the papers in Facebook that has to do with security, we both decided for me to join. My plan has been not to chat on this site… I can always use the email system and the phone.

Well, yesterday some unknown person to me came to invite me to her Facebook site. This gave me more questions… Suddenly I thought that I had to find out if this person is a friend of my family members and friends in Facebook. Who knows if they talked about me and my naturopathic medicine fervor, etc.  But today after Communion, I started to “see” other things… What about if I can make of this site a place for evangelization? Hmm. We shall see… Shall I joint this Giant in order to give glory to God?

Let’s continue with the topic of evangelization of the world. We have in our hands the manual to evangelize… God is soo just, soo merciful, so loving, that He gave us all the stories that we need in order to act accordingly and bring many to our Faith.  Satan, in the other hand, has been right there working overtime. Through the centuries he used scandals of all kinds; so, God sent His saints for each mayor spiritual decadence. Yet, we Christians became divided in hundreds of groups, but we did not take a look at the instructions… Our separated brothers and sisters in the Protestant side took off with “sola Scriptura” but also failed to recognize the instructions… We in the Catholic Church have God Incarnate Himself, with Sacraments that brought us the Holy Ghost, and yet, we keep looking at different models of evangelization, from faith formation to retreats, to Bible studies, etc, but not to the Biblical model. Of course, this statement is coming from a simple lay woman who may be wrong altogether… So read the rest of this blog with inquisitive attention.

I have been working in this topic of evangelization for at least four years because at some point in my previous parish in Ohio, a priest wanted to implement the formation of small Faith Communities with the purpose of evangelization. At the time, I understood that we were going to do something good but it was not really going to solve the problem. They have been around for a while and locally they may have helped. Universally I have heard little of their fruits, and in some instances in So. Africa, I heard of abuses. I say this because in the past I belonged to prayer groups. Precisely in 1975, I was home after my first major professional persecution and I founded a Charismatic prayer group in this Cleveland suburb parish run by Jesuits. Another Jesuit priest from across the street at John Carroll University would come to celebrate a Mass for us every month!!! I carried two wheeled luggage pieces full of books, and I would lend books to people, who attended this Mass and many were from other parishes; this was like a library in wheels. Little did I know that I was evangelizing, or I did not see it that way, but at the end, I saw little results… and precisely in the year that our Pope Paul VI gave us the encyclical  EVANGELII NUNTIANDI of December 8, 1975. I will place some excerpts of this encyclical here and there in this month’s blog, but if you want a larger summary (not the complete work of 43 pages; only 12 of them), you can go to the side where “pages” are listed in this blog site and look for the above name in Latin and you will find 12 pages of excerpts.  

Encyclical:

55. Also significant is the preoccupation of the last Synod in regard to two spheres which are very different from one another but which at the same time are very close by reason of the challenge which they make to evangelization, each in its own way. The first sphere is the one which can be called the increase of unbelief in the modern world.

From the spiritual point of view, the modern world seems to be forever immersed in what a modern author has termed “the drama of atheistic humanism.”

 On the one hand one is forced to note in the very heart of this contemporary world the phenomenon which is becoming almost its most striking characteristic: secularism…. This sort of secularism, in order to recognize the power of man, therefore ends up by doing without God and even by denying Him.

56. The second sphere is that of those who do not practice. Today there is a very large number of baptized people who for the most part have not formally renounced their Baptism but who are entirely indifferent to it and not living in accordance with it. The phenomenon of the non practicing is a very ancient one in the history of Christianity; it is the result of a natural weakness, a profound inconsistency which we unfortunately bear deep within us. Today however it shows certain new characteristics. It is often the result of the uprooting typical of our time. It also springs from the fact that Christians live in close proximity with non-believers and constantly experience the effects of unbelief. Furthermore, the non-practicing Christians of today, more so than those of previous periods, seek to explain and justify their position in the name of an interior religion, of personal independence or authenticity.

Thus we have atheists and unbelievers on the one side and those who do not practice on the other, and both groups put up a considerable resistance to evangelization. The resistance of the former takes the form of a certain refusal and an inability to grasp the new order of things, the new meaning of the world, of life and of history; such is not possible if one does not start from a divine absolute. The resistance the second group takes the form of inertia and the slightly hostile attitude of the person who feels that he is one of the homily, who claims to know it all and to have tried it all and who no longer believes it. (End of quote)

It is interesting that while living the above phenomena we had :

1. Popes in the XX C., the century of extraordinary instant communications, who have been simply adorable, saintly, beautiful men. JP II became another Paul of Tarsus, traveling everywhere (106 trips?) with the message of the Gospel. We saw the universal youth wake up and rise up, but our older generation still remained the same.

2. For the last 26 years we have had the luxury of having a satellite dish in Space that has sent to the ends of the earth pictures, stories and teachings about our Catholic faith. (EWTN). God has been very busy in trying to shower His mercy upon us with extraordinary miracles like a simple nun who knew how to evangelize via TV and by now this miracle of communication is connected to the web… and yet, we still do not get it. One of our worse mistakes and shame to us in the U.S. is to ignore that Satan would attack this universal TV broadcaster with all his power… and on a regular basis we never prayed and fasted enough for everyone in this place in Alabama. So, a few priests came, left because of Satan’s very powerful job in their souls, and we were not there to prevent it, and we could have done it… Yikes! As the Bishop of this Diocese has said before: “We were found asleep at the wheel.”

3. Of course, Satan made sure that many priests in the entire world would be tempted with sins of the flesh, and we as His Body could have avoided that too, if we truly knew the manual of instructions and live it…!!!!!!!! Shame on us! I want to say this in clear words because acting as a manager as I was in the medical field, I had to sit down and find the problems if any in the service given, their root cause, create a plan to solve the problem and finally, keep an eye for some time (several months) to be sure that the solutions really worked, and all of this in the name of safety for patients… In spiritual matters, we were found not only asleep at the wheel but without the right plan… or so I think, judging by what I have seen in the last 45 years after the great Vatican II Council. Our Popes have been great Lamps in our path, and yet, we did not get it…

So, be prepared to receive an “empacho”… a statement in Spanish that means “to be prepared to receive news that will give you indigestion.” I want to remind you AGAIN that I am a nobody besides being a daughter of my Father, and it is always possible that I will have some things wrong. So, be patient and pray for me often.  Paul VI’s encyclical contemplated many aspects of evangelization. He was right on the money about the most important points. But for now, I want to explore the book of instructions for evangelization (Bible) and add other ideas. It will be long, may be tedious, but I need to emphasize what we have to know by heart as we get up every morning.

Old Testament: (I will “number” what God did for Israel, and sometimes I will have to repeat the number; the sins of the people will have letters)

The Bible starts with a God who treats these two first humans like royalty (1) (great love and mercy for them but He (2) expected obedience until they did exactly the contrary (a) and disobeyed.  But (3) God was patient and kept choosing other men (usually in their old age, except for King David) and these men had the gift of (4) great faith… like Abraham. Notice that (5) signs and wonders were part of their blessings for their faithfulness

God came (6) to instruct the Israelites that no matter what and despite all their sufferings undergone, especially as slaves in Egypt (just think for a moment if the present State of Israel were slaves in present Egypt… What a horror in would be even for us in the U.S.); He (1) loved them so much that He (7)would win their wars, and showed it to them over and over but they kept doing the same things that they did to Jesus centuries later. (b) They doubted and doubted, including Moses and Aaron… Moses kept being the link and able to talk to God directly, and yet, when they needed water, he decided to hit the stone twice… You know the story! Yet, God was always so tender with them (1) (His mercy).

Sirach 18: 7-13. “The sum of man’s days is great if it reaches a hundred years; like a drop of sea water, like a grain of sand, so are these few years among the days of eternity. That is why the Lord is (3) patient with men and showers upon them (1) His mercy. He sees and understands that their death is grievous, and so (1) He forgives them, all the more. Man may be merciful to his fellow man, but the Lord’s mercy reaches all flesh, reproving, admonishing and teaching them as a shepherd guides his flock; merciful to those who accept His guidance, who are diligent in His precepts.”

Sirach 16: 22-27  (5) “Hearken to Me, my son, take My advice, apply your mind to My words, while I propose measured wisdom, and impart accurate knowledge. When at first God created His works and, as He made them, assigned their tasks, He ordered for all time what they were to do and their domains from generation to generation. They were not to hunger, nor grow weary, nor ever crowd its neighbor, nor should they (2) ever disobey His word. Then the Lord looked upon the earth and filled it with His blessings.”

He expected them to repent when they became unruly and doubtful of His love. He wanted them to offer sacrifices to atone for their sins and to pray much asking for His mercy. Notice that He never chose too many leaders to shepherd this large group of Jews crossing the dessert for 40 years… When Moses became very tired, God suggested choosing 12 elders to help him out. Eventually, they made it to the Promised Land and of course, Moses could not enter because he doubted… Ouch… I can clearly see that God only needed a few workers for the vineyard, but workers who trusted and loved Him, because He was enough… Period! Keep that in mind for later… Besides, Jesus also asked us to pray for laborers for the vineyard… When we ask our Father, of course, He sends the best… and the best means righteous men and women. It is when we go and choose them that one may end up with the wrong crowd. If the laborers are holy, you need just a few!!!

God sent them Prophets who through His Holy Spirit encouraged the Israelites and warned them about their sins. All these great favors of God were aimed to have the Israelites trust in His love for them. However, eventually He had to send His only begotten Son and give them a certificate of adoption, to them and many gentiles to this date. God kept doing things for them to prove His love for them in the desert and later on by sending His Son, and He keeps doing the same thing in the XXI C. However, we keep missing this crazy love of His for us.

New Testament: the New Covenant

Jesus came to be Mercy Himself, “teaching, reproving and admonishing as a shepherd guides his flock”… This is act No. 2 of the same story. He explained how this model of mercy and love worked. Again, He chose just a few. He chose only 12 Apostles… Yes, this is a number representing the 12 tribes of Israel, but He could have chosen 40 Apostles, another number of Biblical significance… Eventually He sent the 72 in pairs. Notice that He could have sent an undisclosed number of disciples, but the evangelists speak of this particular number… It looks like He started to group them and  make them feel part of a family, which eventually would be called the Church.

Teaching

1. He taught them that one starts from below… He came as a baby showing an extreme case of vulnerability and to start calling us to act as children… He could have appeared at age 30… I do not know of any child not trusting the love of their parents. I just came from observing this 5 and 2 year olds running to their parents for everything. They know they are loved… Period! But no matter what God has done for us, even sending his Son, we still do not trust in His love for us.

2. He taught them detachment from all possessions, because He did not even had a place to put his head to rest. Again., trust in the Father’s providence was good enough for Him and obviously for us too!

3. Right from the beginning, He showed us the first evangelist of the New Covenant, Our Lady. He presented her as a very powerful intercessor… Eventually He even gave her to us as our own Mother… Hmm! She was mighty as a mediator but without her own agenda… She always sent us “to do whatever He tells you.”

4. He taught us that this first evangelist went in haste to bring the Holy Ghost to the next mighty evangelist of the New Covenant, John the Baptist. Here we have clear hints of the power of the Holy Spirit as the “evangelizer” of all on this earth. God also shows us what could happen to those who evangelize: they are persecuted and some killed…Make no mistake about it. 

5. Jesus chose to be born in the most extreme homelessness. If He did this way is because He was teaching us of the importance of physical poverty to hint us that God and mamon cannot go together. 

6. His Angels were busy summoning people to come and adore Him… Hmm… The Angels were evangelists themselves… Amazing… How many times we call our guardian angel to help us in the evangelization process of each day?

7. Right from the start He chose to get lost and even to preoccupy His Mom and Dad, but to be at the service of His Father by teaching in the Temple, and years later, He said that loving mother, father or children more than Him, he/she was not worthy of Him… It is interesting that He then disappeared from public view for another 18 years, and the Bible said that “He went down with them (father and mother) and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them…. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.” Luke2:51-52.

8. So, Jesus waited 18 years to wait for His cousin to prepare the way… He also sent His disciples ahead of Him, before He went to a new town! Why?  I do not have the answer, and I am sure that one of our great saints and theologians has it…What it is clear is that the Baptist and the followers of Jesus, all went and asked the people to repent… And by extension, to be renewed, to be changed before God came to visit them…

John the Baptist also went away for some years before re-appearing and he preached what was needed to become holy. Of course, the Baptist had had his Pentecost in the womb of his mom! Amazing! God always has every detail of the plan in mind!  

9. Jesus was baptized by His cousin… What humility. Shortly after, He allowed Satan to tempt Him in order to underline to us the presence of evil around us… Hmm!

10. He immediately started his three year public life with many rejections.

11. Before He chose the twelve, He spent the night in prayer. (Luke 6:12)… Huge teaching about our need to pray before we do anything…

12. The Sermon on the Mountain would be the addendum to the 12 Commandments, but instead of being commands, He expressed them in an appealing way… as receiving a blessing for accepting in difficult moments the will of God in their lives.

13. He extensively preached regarding the two most important commandments, and of course the Love of God meant to do His will, to follow His Word. (My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” Luke 8: 21“Rather, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and observe it.” Luke 11:28) The love of neighbor went farther than ever, and instead of an eye for an eye, He taught us that we should love even our enemies. (I want to place here what my experience has been with my persecutors: when I remember them, if I do not feel love for them per se, I ask for it and sure enough, it is soo easy to end up loving my enemies… It is miraculous, but I have to ask Him for this gift  and at times over and over…)

14. The many cures He did, He clearly explained them as result of the gift of faith from the persons who received the cure… This is a big hint for us. If we want miracles and cures, we need to have faith, but since faith is a gift, we should be begging for it day and night…However, we ask for the gift of faith to give it away, and not for own advantage.

15. He started to summon His followers to be “light” for others using the gifts given to them, and knowing that this is the way to multiply their own gifts…

16. The four Evangelists took time (through the Holy Spirit) to describe the power of Jesus over demons. Amazing it is that the Bible starts with Satan and Jesus makes a big deal about warning us about him in His own life, and yet, in Catholic circles we are afraid that people may feel oppressed by talking too much about the devil… Hmm. What a temptation. Satan’s greatest victory is for us to talk the least about him… 

17. He sent the Apostles and disciples to preach without worrying about what to eat or how it would be done… (Luke 9: 1-6; Luke 10:1-12) It is a BIG, BIG, BIG HINT for our efforts in evangelization! Since they were able to cure diseases and get demons out, well, they carried a power that was not theirs… and had been given by Jesus to them for this work… But, not worrying about anything else meant not to make plans as to how many they would convince to become Jesus’ followers, or how they were going to be provided for. It was a major teaching on being just a servant… This inaugurates the presence of the Holy Spirit taking care of every detail… It is a very true depiction of what happens. We all are called to be evangelists… We all are called not to make plans, expect plans for seeking our ongoing conversion, and bingo, the Holy Ghost shows up in the most minimal details… Then, the work of evangelization becomes the most exciting odyssey…  

Here I will quote these verses: “The seventy two returned rejoicing, and said, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of Your Name.’ Jesus said, ‘I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and NOTHING WILL HARM YOU. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.’” Luke 10: 17-20. Wow, wow, wow!!! He was as clear as ever… I understood that Jesus wanted them joyful  simply because they were sent by Him and they had obeyed the will of God… Obedience, obedience, doing His will is a form of loving God with all our hearts and even Satan ran away… It is a big hint for us to know that our obedience to God’s will takes care of Satan… Hmm.  Plus they also loved others by giving them the Gospel. 

18. When the apostles came back from their mission of evangelization, the crowds were following Jesus, and He ordered the disciples to provide the food for them. It was a beautiful image of their mission. Jesus could have done the same miracle of the multiplication of the loves and distribute them Himself, but He commanded them to be the distributors of the graces… Hmm… What a responsibility! What an honor!

19. Jesus made a solemn statement as to how to become a disciple(Luke 9:23) He not only had hinted what to do by the way He was living in prayer and obedience to His Father, but He defined the process… Therefore, I must die to my plans, my ambitions (“No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what is left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62). I must accept that crosses are thrown in my path for my own sanctification, and therefore, as Jesus would ultimately do, I must embrace them and live them as if they were ALSO a gift for the salvation of souls. Finally, I have to do what He did… He loved us all the way to the cruelty of the crucifixion…which we re-live at the ongoing sacrifice at every Mass. There is no doubt that He wanted to call us to do the same, which was part of “following Him.”

20. Jesus taught us how to pray… Also about being persistent in prayer(Luke11: 1-8) and persistence in prayer is not to ask and ask the same thing because we want it. Persistent prayer is to adore Him, to ask Him for His mercy, for His Holy Spirit, in order to be the best servants possible… and to save many souls for whom we intercede… He also assured us about how our prayers will be answered. (Luke 11:9-13). In these verses He goes as far as saying to us and I am paraphrasing, “Ask for the Holy Spirit and the Father will give it to you!” Look at the hint: we need the Holy Spirit not only for our own sanctification with all His Gifts and Fruits, but to evangelize the whole world…

The parable of the persistent widow is another example. (Luke 18:1-8)

21. He taught us to depend on God. He was clear and said to trust God’s love for us, and how He will take care of everything. “Instead, seek His Kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Luke 12:31-34).

22. He taught us about His mercy in the parable of the prodigal son. (Luke 15: 11-32). It was a great story for all of us who try to follow Him, and to dance for joy when someone else comes back to the Father.

23. He emphasized the need to thank God for our graces and lives in the story of the ten lepers with only one returning to thank Him. (Luke 17:11-19)

24. He taught about trust and purity. “Amen I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” (Luke 18:1).

Reproving: 

“You (Pharisees) justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 17:15

Admonishing

1. “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediate when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on His arrival. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Luke 12: 35-37; 48 b.

2. A call to repentance. Luke 13: 1-5

3. “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” Luke 13: 24.

4. In the same way, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.  Luke 15: 33.

(End of review of most of Jesus’ teaching, reproving and admonishing)

NOW I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU. Why do you think I took the time to go over all of these aspects of Jesus’ Words on earth?  I did it because I was led by the Holy Spirit in order to emphasize in my own spiritual life the points that are important to follow Him as a disciple. This review also led me to read and just a few days ago, the encyclical of Pope Paul VI… Eventually I understood more about evangelization in general.  

Look again to Pope Paul VI’s encyclical  EVANGELII NUNTIANDI

10. This kingdom and this salvation, which are the key words of Jesus Christ’s evangelization, are available to every human being as grace and mercy, and yet at the same time each individual must gain them by forcethey belong to the violent, says the Lord, through toil and suffering, through a life lived according to the Gospel, through abnegation and the cross, through the spirit of the beatitudes. But above all each individual gains them through a total interior renewal which the Gospel calls metanoia; it is a radical conversion, a profound change of mind and heart. (!!!!!)

12.Thus He accomplishes His revelation, completing it and confirming it by the entire revelation that He makes of Himself, by words and deeds, by signs and miracles, and more especially by His death, by His resurrection and by the sending of the Spirit of Truth. (Here we have a clear mandatum to do the same…)

15. The Church is an evangelizer, but she begins by being evangelized herself…. In brief, this means that she has a constant need of being evangelized, if she wishes to retain freshness, vigor and strength in order to proclaim the Gospel. The Second Vatican Council recalled and the 1974 Synod vigorously took up again this theme of the Church which is evangelized by constant conversion and renewal, in order to evangelize the world with credibility. (AMAZING WORDS)

21. Above all the Gospel must be proclaimed by witness. …. Let us suppose that, in addition, they radiate in an altogether simple and unaffected way their faith in values that go beyond current values, and their hope in something that is not seen and that one would not dare to imagine. Through this wordless witness these Christians stir up irresistible questions in the hearts of those who see how they live: Why are they like this? Why do they live in this way? What or who is it that inspires them? Why are they in our midst? Such a witness is already a silent proclamation of the Good News and a very powerful and effective one.

26. It is not superfluous to recall the following points: to evangelize is first of all to bear witness, in a simple and direct way, to God revealed by Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit, to bear witness that in His Son God has loved the world—that in His Incarnate Word He has given being to all things and has called men to eternal life.

41. Without repeating everything that we have already mentioned, it is appropriate first of all to emphasize the following point: for the Church, the first means of evangelization is the witness of an authentically Christian life, given over to God in a communion that nothing should destroy and at the same time given to one’s neighbor with limitless zeal. As we said recently to a group of lay people, Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” … It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus—the witness of poverty and detachment, of freedom in the face of the powers of this world, in short, the witness of sanctity.

42. Preaching, the verbal proclamation of a message, is indeed always indispensable. We are well aware that modern man is sated by talk; he is obviously often tired of listening and, what is worse, impervious to words.

The fatigue produced these days by so much empty talk and the relevance of many other forms of communication must not however diminish the permanent power of the word, or cause a loss of confidence in it. The word remains ever relevant, especially when it is the bearer of the power of God. This is why St. Paul’s axiom, “Faith comes from what is heard,” also retains its relevance: it is the Word that is heard which leads to belief.

43. It suffices to have true spiritual sensitivity for reading God’s message in events. But at a time when the liturgy renewed by the Council has given greatly increased value to the Liturgy of the Word, it would be a mistake not to see in the homily an important and very adaptable instrument of evangelization. Of course it is necessary to know and put to good use the exigencies and the possibilities of the homily, so that it can acquire all its pastoral effectiveness. But above all it is necessary to be convinced of this and to devote oneself to it with love. (Extraordinary statement)

75. Evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit descends on Jesus of Nazareth at the moment of His baptism when the voice of the Father—”This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased”—manifests in an external way the election of Jesus and His mission. Jesus is “led by the Spirit” to experience in the desert the decisive combat and the supreme test before beginning this mission. It is “in the power of the Spirit” that He returns to Galilee and begins His preaching at Nazareth, applying to Himself the passage of Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” And He proclaims: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled.” To the disciples whom He was about to send forth He says, breathing on them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

In fact, it is only after the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost that the apostles depart to all the ends of the earth in order to begin the great work of the Church’s evangelization.

It is the Holy Spirit who, today just as at the beginning of the Church, acts in every evangelizer who allows himself to be possessed and led by Him. The Holy Spirit places on his lips the words which he could not find by himself, and at the same time the Holy Spirit predisposes the soul of the hearer to be open and receptive to the Good News and to the kingdom being proclaimed.

Now if the Spirit of God has a preeminent place in the whole life of the Church, it is in her evangelizing mission that He is most active. It is not by chance that the great inauguration of evangelization took place on the morning of Pentecost, under the inspiration of the Spirit.

The Bishops’ Synod of 1974, which insisted strongly on the place of the Holy Spirit in evangelization, also expressed the desire that pastors and theologians—and we would also say the faithful marked by the seal of the Spirit by Baptismshould study more thoroughly the nature and manner of the Holy Spirit’s action in evangelization today. This is our desire too, and we exhort all evangelizers, whoever they may be, to pray without ceasing to the Holy Spirit with faith and fervor and to let themselves prudently be guided by Him as the decisive inspirer of their plans, their initiatives and their evangelizing activity.

76. Let us now consider the very persons of the evangelizers.

It is often said nowadays that the present century thirsts for authenticity. Especially in regard to young people it is said that they have a horror of the artificial or false and that they are searching above all for truth and honesty.

These “signs of the times” should find us vigilant. Either tacitly or aloud—but always forcefully—we are being asked: Do you really believe what you are proclaiming? Do you live what you believe? Do you really preach what you live? The witness of life has become more than ever an essential condition for real effectiveness in preaching. Precisely because of this we are, to a certain extent, responsible for the progress of the Gospel that we proclaim.

The world calls for and expects from us simplicity of life, the spirit of prayer, charity towards all, especially towards the lowly and the poor, obedience and humility, detachment and self-sacrifice. Without this mark of holiness, our word will have difficulty in touching the heart of modern man. It risks being vain and sterile. (Wow!)

78. Every evangelizer is expected to have a reverence for truth, especially since the truth that he studies and communicates is none other than revealed truth and hence, more than any other, a sharing in the first truth which is God Himself. The preacher of the Gospel will therefore be a person who even at the price of personal renunciation and suffering always seeks the truth that he must transmit to others.

79. The work of evangelization presupposes in the evangelizer an ever increasing love for those whom he is evangelizing. That model evangelizer, the Apostle Paul, wrote these words to the Thessalonians, and they are a program for us all: “With such yearning love we chose to impart to you not only the gospel of God but our very selves, so dear had you become to us.”What is this love? It is much more than that of a teacher; it is the love of a father; and again, it is the love of a mother. It is this love that the Lord expects from every preacher of the Gospel, from every builder of the Church. END OF QUOTES.

Now my question is: BUT HOW TO IMPLEMENT THE COUNSEL AND TEACHING OF THIS DOCUMENT?   Notice that we have to depart from present patterns of practice because they are not working! I do not want to offend the ministerial Priesthood or religious Orders, but the results we have are not good. Therefore, we should assume that all groups, clergy, religious and lay people must be sent back to “rebuild” their inner temple and seek deeper holiness to become effective in the work of evangelization of the world. Evangelizers must be of one mind and heart with the Gospel before they are sent. If the first Apostles and disciples made the Church grow so well and fast in the midst of the Jewish tradition of which they still were part of to a certain extent, why could we not do it?

I loved the reading for Sunday July11, 2010. Even Moses was totally enlightened about this need to change from within… “Moses said to the people, ‘If you only heed the voice of the Lord, your God, and keep His commandments… For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote to you… No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.” Deuteronomy 30: 10-14.

Our Father to St. Catherine of Siena (from the Dialogue): “I have told you that this obedience is a key that unlocked heaven, a key that He put into the hands of His Vicar. This vicar puts it into the hands of each of you when you receive holy Baptism, promising to obey Me and to renounce the devil, the world, and all their pleasures and ostentation. So, each of you individually has it, the very Word’s key. And unless you walk by the light of faith and with the hand of love to open heaven’s gate with this key, you will never enter there, even though it has been opened by the Word. For I created you  without your help, without you ever asking Me, because I loved you before you even existed, but I will not save you without your help.

So here is my idea:  we need the Holy Spirit’s Gifts. We need to reform our inner temples on a daily basis in order to be powerful instrument in the hands of the Holy Spirit, Who does the evangelization, Who changes hearts. So, I am proposing this model of inner conversion based on the following Scripture verses, in order to bring many to God:

 “WISDOM HAS BUILT HER HOUSE, she has set up her seven columns; she has dressed her meat, mixed her wine, yes, she has spread the table.  She has sent out their maidens; she calls from the heights out over the city: ‘Let whoever is simple turn in here; to him who lacks understanding, I say, come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed! Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding.” Proverbs 9: 1-6.

“By wisdom A HOUSE IS BUILT, by understanding it is made firm; and by knowledge are its rooms filled with every precious and pleasing possession.” Proverbs 24: 3

 (Notice how our inner life, our temple/house is built with gifts from the Holy Spirit)

OUR INNER TEMPLE – A diagram for spiritual growth

1

H

O

L

Y

 

S

P

I

R

I

T

2

K

N

O

W

L

E

D

G

E

 

 

W

O

R

D

 

 

O

F

 

 

G

O

D

 

 

 

 

3

T

R

U

S

T

 

 

H

I

S

 

 

M

E

R

C

Y

4

L

O

V

E

 

 

F

O

R

 

O

U

R

 

 

L

A

D

Y

 

 

5

A

C

T

I

V

E

 

 

I

N

 

 

C

A

T

H

 

 

C

H

U

R

C

H

6

P

E

R

S

I

S

T

E

N

T

 

 

P

R

A

Y

E

R

 

 

7

S

A

I

N

T

S

 

 

A

N

D

 

 

A

N

G

E

L

S

 

 

          FOUNDATION

1. ABSOLUTE TRUST IN THE LOVE OF GOD FOR EACH OF US…

2.Love of God and neighbor

3.Ongoing inner-conversion

4.Acting on the Word of God

5.Practicing discipleship

6.Obedience to the Decalogue

7. Daily determination to do God’s will at whatever cost with no prayer to change the plan!

8.Welcoming of all crosses as sources of sanctification

9..Ongoing repentance and purpose of amendment

10..Active Sacramental life in the state of grace

11.. Forgiveness for others no matter what

12. Absolute recognition of the dignity of the unborn child and elders and  fighting for their right to live.

 

 

 

 

Foundation:  “Everyone who listens to these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.” Matthew 7: 24-25.

Columns:

1. Holy Spirit: Essential for the renewal necessary to become a witness of the Gospel in order to evangelize. Suffice to say that the Apostles and disciples were not terribly effective prior to Pentecost. After Pentecost, the words of St. Peter converted 3,000 people with one “homily.” !!! But, to believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and pretend to keep our own ways without a daily conversion, will not work. It was the action of  the same Spirit in their lives that allowed the Holy Spirit to lead them and teach them as to how bring others. John Paul II said in 1998 to a Charismatic gathering in Rome, “Enthusiastic faith alone is not enough.” This column calls to start a personal relationship with this Third Person of the Trinity, but such friendship depends on other parts of our temple building, since the more we seek holiness of life, that much more we seem the hear the Spirit within.

2. Knowledge of the Word: I made a list of most teachings and warnings from Jesus, precisely to emphasize how important it is to know what He asked us to do. BUT THE GREATEST HELP TO BECOME A GREAT EVANGELIST comes from knowing that the Word of God since Adam and Eve has been clear about how much God loves us. I would venture to say without fear of being wrong that what we lack today in all our Christian churches is an absolute certainty that God is crazy about us… One thing is to say that our Father sent His only begotten Son, and that Jesus loved us all the way to the Cross, and that the Holy Spirit, LOVE HIMSELF, resides within us. Another thing is to know that He loves us… like a mad Being. He will not take a no for an answer, and therefore He will follow us, waiting for our free will to let Him in.

If I were to change matters for a more effective evangelization, I would pray to the Holy Trinity through the intercession of Our Lady that I become totally crazy about Him precisely as a response for His love; that is to taste this Love of His. Also I would pray for the entire Church to feel such love. Here is the place where Satan wins many battles, by making us doubt His love and therefore, taking off with our own agendas for salvation. And for those who do not even go to Church, well, they need to see witnesses who are sure that they are loved with the obvious fruits that come from relationships where love is acknowledged both ways… And since for God NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE, if we ask we get…

I was watching Dr. Deepak Chopra in CNN talking about the case of two boys ages 12 and 13 at the time when they killed their father. The younger brother now 23 after 6 years of incarceration appeared with a woman who visited him during this time and now functions as his adoptive mother. Deepak is Hindu and had just returned from Thailand from a retreat of 3 weeks with Buddhist monks… He said that we have to heal our children by healing ourselves and that even babies in the womb can feel the rage of a mother. He concluded that love is the most powerful healing force there is, and this comes from a non Christian physician. Just imagine if we train all our Church members to feel the love of God and the healing that comes with it.

3. Trust in His loving Mercy is key as well: when Peter was drowning, he did because he became afraid as he saw himself walking on water. He did not trust that Jesus loved him so much that nothing would happen to him. Immediately, Jesus rebuked him for his lack of faith. To St. Faustina, He emphatically said that to trust in Him, to trust in His love, to have faith in Him without fear, would open the ocean of His mercy! Even Moses doubted God’s love by striking the rock for water twice. In our daily life, why should we be afraid for one second if He loves us that much and the Bible is full of such Truth. Why?  

4. Our Lady: as narrated before, she is the most powerful intercessor we have before the Throne of His Mercy. And she is the greatest exemplar of trust in God’s love for her despite the Announcement that seemed to be a challenging one for her life and reputation… So, she said YES! Why shouldn’t we say yes to every cross knowing that our Daddy loves us so much and will be there with us?

5. The Roman Catholic Church: she was founded by Jesus to be the distributor of His graces, mercy and love. She is a link between God’s love and each of us!

6. Prayer, prayer, prayer. No prayerful word coming from our mouths will be unheard. He prayed while on earth. There is no excuse for us not to have a robust prayer life. It is interesting that on this Sunday July 25, the Mass readings were all about prayer! The visiting Priest celebrating our Mass gave many examples of the Old and New Testaments, and said that the prayer of the righteous person can even change the mind of God! Huh! There is a great incentive in paying attention to our ongoing conversion… because  our prayer can convert atheists who have 6 months to live… Our kids do not get into trouble. Our grandkids seem to be holy from the start… It is amazing what prayer can do if we embrace the task of becoming true disciples… Evangelization depends very much in our constant aiming at living the Gospel, even in very imperfect ways.

7. The Saints: they are chosen by the Church not only as examples but as our allies at the foot of God’s Throne of Mercy. The same with the Holy Angels.

Here are other arguments for success: we do not become saints because we make it happen. The same Holy Spirit can change us as well to become worthy witnesses of the Truth according to the needs of the particular area where we live and work. I also suspect that the Holy Spirit is a concept in our heads… We do not call Him with the trust that the first evangelizers after the Resurrection did… He was real in their lives… He was the general leading them into the battle for souls.

MODEL TO REPAIR THE INNER TEMPLE OF FUTURE EVANGELISTS

1. If Jesus took 3 years to prepare the Apostles and disciples, we as a Church should form institutes of formation for 3 years for the formation of evangelists, whether using the Internet technology so to make it easier for classes and even discussions, without people having to live next to an institute. It could a separate sort of instruction among the different members like for priests, religious and lay people, since their needs are different.

2. This preparation would consist of one year of a reviewing important aspects of the Word of God; to review what He did, and how the disciples were transformed after Pentecost, when His LOVE descended upon them, plus all the future evangelists should review all documents, including this encyclical, to clearly realize why the evangelizer has to be a credible witness first, and that credibility starts when we know we are loved…

3. For the next two years, the future evangelist should be monitored by people who are already clearly established in the Gospel, on how to rebuild their inner temple and expecting a metanoia in their lives. The proof of having arrived at this metanoia is to be able to say yes to the following questions:

From Paul VI again: “Either tacitly or aloud—but always forcefully—we are being asked: Do you really believe what you are proclaiming? Do you live what you believe? Do you really preach what you live? The witness of life has become more than ever an essential condition for real effectiveness in preaching.”

4. The number of participants is not that important. We are servants and we do what the Gospel tells to do. Jesus did not use many in His time. Besides, that is God’s territory to send laborers to the vineyard to be prepared. He only needs a few determined individuals that want to become disciples first… and evangelists, second. The Holy Ghost  is speaking today if we want to hear Him… “We have only to be willing to carry it out.” Deuteronomy 30:14.

5. We already have our own communication media (EWTN) to unite all of us in prayer for this effort of renewing our inner temples in order to be sent… to evangelize the whole world. As for me, I am running the best I can… Yes, I show terrible tantrums when it comes to writing blogs like this one… I fear persecution… Yet, I have to pass this information and have you pray for this possibility, so that our modern Apostles could hear the Holy Spirit in this matter, and may be, adopt something similar as presented here. When my Mother showed up with a diagnosis for my present health condition precisely on her feast day and after we had agreed to get some signs from her Son, well, I know that I have to at least bug you with these ideas.

To close, remember that we only need in each country:

1. A couple of John Vianney’s, St. Padre Pio’s, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis de Sales, St. Dominic de Guzman, etc. Look at St. Pio… He never moved around. He evangelized millions from where he lived… That is holiness…!

2. A couple of Teresa’s, whether from Avila, Lissieux, the Andes, Germany, Calcutta, and few St. Claire’s. Notice how this Albanian nun, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, left a thriving evangelistic force all over the world because she followed the Gospel to a “t”. Hmm.

3. A couple of Francis’ of Assissi (although he may have been a Deacon?), Catherine’s of Siena, Maria Goretti’s, Gianna Berretta-Molla’s, Conchita’s.

All these Saints were radically in love with God because they knew they were loved by Him AND THEY ARE STILL EVANGELIZING, even centuries after their death! Our times are in need of RADICAL MEN AND WOMEN who need to be in constant uproar cleaning their inner temples in order to be used to bring millions to our membership, just like Facebook. We cannot afford lukewarm clergy, religious and lay people. The choice is ours. IF WE WANT TO STOP THE KILLING OF THE INNOCENTS, WARS, CLOSE THE EUROPEAN CLINICS FOR THE PRACTICE OF EUTHANASIA and  ERADICATE SEX SCANDALS IN THE CHURCH, let’s change ourselves first… We are blind if do not “see” that we all are created to be channels of grace for others. No more talk and more action — Let’s live the Gospel hour by hour. He is here with us, Emmanuel… What are we waiting for? And do not forget that I told you so, of course, if you persevered and read this long document…! We are invited to the “wedding feast” but we need to be dressed appropriately. The boat of Peter is in the middle of a strong wind made of deceptive cold religious practices that invite the media to attack. If we had a few John Vianney’s, Padre Pio’s and the like, we would see even the media running to confession!

Sorry for the “empacho” (indigestion) that I just gave you!

As I was driving in Walnut Creek, CA, on July 23, 2010, I heard my Lord say: “At the dawn of each day meet with Me in your journey of conversion. At the sunset of each day, repent for the sins you committed, but most especially for the times you doubted My love for you; make a plan of amendment for the next day and ask Me for mercy.”

So I answered, “Aha, you are sitting next to me!” “No,” He said, “I am much closer. I am within you… Never forget that.” Of course, I started crying in the middle of the expressway, as I heard Him while one of the songs of my new “cumbia” religious songs’ CD was playing “Alabaré, alabaré, alabaré a mi Señor”, and I believe that all of you know this song even in Spanish…. He is always with us… He is like a stamp on an envelope… If we only trust this statement He could do marvelous things in our lives because He is nuts for each one of us… But excuse me, I truly meant that He is nuts about us… and make no mistake about it.

 


%d bloggers like this: