I start this blog mid September and still I have problems on how to discern the many topics I have jotted down. Each message and as soon as I post the previous one, is placed for days at the Altar of Sacrifice (during Mass), and I ask for His will to be done. Many things start happening whether at Mass or at home, and I write notes and notes, and finally, some 10 days before posting the blog, I try to make sense of all that has been given to me.
I have been led to enumerate the problems we are facing as a Christian family and you know them well, and yet, my Lord has used this list of disasters to inculcate in my brain the urgency I have to change myself, or better said, to tune up my soul to the Master’s Heart so that He can change me further… There is no question that the spiritual warfare existing around us is growing by the day.!
A. The darkness around us: In general, as a world, we are in big trouble with what resembles the “plagues” imposed on Egypt centuries ago.
1. Confusion reigns in the practice of medicine.
1) A recent program presented in television about cancer discussed the many treatments that could give more days of life to patients, but the truth is that we have evidence that we can win the war with other forms of medicine. I have seen patients cured and not people who are advertising products, but true scientists, including a lady orthopedic doctor from San Francisco General. Money has taken over the practice of medicine, and only drugs and expensive treatments are offered. There is no money to continue studying other forms of medicine since it does not sell a product to make money…
2) In my own case, my own present illness (POTS) sends me to take my blood pressure many times a day. I just discovered that often but no always, any full meal will drop my blood pressure. So, to go to 6:30 AM Mass without problems, I must refrain from eating… My needs for medication to treat high blood pressure have diminished by about 80%, and I take small amounts when truly necessary. At times I even think of specialists on POTS who may know that this powerful inability to regulate the blood pressure exists but may have no idea to the degree that it can go in its variance. So, how many patients can be given even smaller amounts of medication but not told to take it only when strictly necessary and according to blood pressure numbers…?
Eventually in the future, I will give some data about our brains… You will be amazed, and I will do it just to prove that it is such a sophisticated computer, that it could not just have come from “no-where” as many wants creation to be… It will very important to know those facts on this our gorgeous computer and take great care of it, and it starts with a daily blood pressure after the age of 40!!! Have your doctor told you to do so? Or does he/she waits for you to visit the office every 3-6 months to take your blood pressure? Hmm… This last plan is super dangerous… Our blood pressure normally changes heart beat by heart beat, and only taking it daily and jotting it down, one can figure out a range, and if it is safe, then O.K. But as the body ages, blood pressures will go up and you can then alert your own physician to treat it. However, for doctors just to check your blood pressure to bring you to the office (?) may be a poor plan.
In a previous parish I used to take blood pressures once a month on a Saturday night between Masses, as a service to the parishioners offered by the parish governing body. I would find very hi blood pressures in elders very often, so hi that they SHOULD have had to truly run to the emergency room, and this after Mass when they were relaxed. Yet, most of the time, they would confidently say that it had been fine at the doctor’s office, and that was it. I quit taking blood pressures simply because I was not servicing them well by being a witness to their potential for an imminent stroke… Oh, by the way, an automatic blood pressure cuff bought at Walmart (I have used Omron units for many years) costs you between $60 and $80, according to the sophistication of the apparatus.
Now, imagine that this deregulation of the autonomic nervous system or POTS with its blood pressure instability was once estimated as present in nearly 500,000 Americans, (Robertson, 1999). However, with research advances and growing physician education the number of people found to have POTS symptoms is steadily rising. It is now estimated that one out of every hundred teens has POTS (Fischer, 2007). Shouldn’t all of us be aware of this fact, especially hi school teachers? Why should the medical establishment not take care of keeping us abreast with all these maladies?
3) Use of Statins: the drugs that lower bad cholesterol.
I do not want to make you unhappy but the lies about cholesterol grow by the day… Personally, if I were given all the money that Bill Gates has in order for me to take any of those drugs, I would rather die very poor. TV commercials are merciless in presenting just one part of the truth and leaving the most important information for you to figure it out… For example, did you know that Niacin or vitamin B3 can lower our bad cholesterol? I did the experiment on my own body and the laboratory results proved it to be true. I am sure I mentioned this to you before but I want to repeat it in order to prove that this “plague” consists in having information that is one sided…for monetary reasons… Ouch! You are free to trust your doctor as long as you have ALL the facts and ask the pertinent questions. That is your right as a patient….
2. Adult stem cells are great substitutes for embryonic stem cells and even superior (do not carry the potential for cancer). The media has confused this subject matter (or shall I say, lied about it) and our medical profession stands by silently with their arms crossed. Recent actions by the Courts and reversal coming from pressure from the White House, could make God become ready to destroy us all for allowing the killing of innocent human beings in its stage as embryos and with no scientific need for it…
3. The lack of respect for human beings have allowed several radiology departments not to keep checking their equipment as they are supposed to do, and X-ray units have given patients the equivalent of 25,000 times what they may get in one chest x-ray! This report came this month of Sept.!
4. The killing of the innocent is a major force. There is a push for global abortions and our tax money in the amount of 23 million dollars recently went to an African country to change their constitution in order for them to get their Roe vs Wade. Ouch…My third grandchild is in route and I received an Internet picture of this 9 week old fetus who they tell me was moving one leg while the picture was taken! So, at 9 weeks this was not just a blob of tissue!!! Why do we as a society place so much interest in killing babies worldwide?
Why does life per se be considered second hand when it comes to the weak (babies, elders and mentally challenged human beings)? Racing horses get better care! And last August 29, the television media decided to give an Emmy award in some category to an HBO documentary titled, “You do not know Jack.” Mr. Dr. Kevorkian was in attendance and very happy. The worse thing is that he was a pathologist, one who only sees cadavers and examines them for cause of death… I know this subject very well because my husband was a pathologist and later did a second specialty and became an anesthesiologist. But before the children were born, I accompanied him many times to morgues to do autopsies. I am wondering now if seeing cadavers as his patients… gave Dr. Kevorkian an easy feeling to help humans become cadavers as well…
There is no cohesive policy for human rights elsewhere, and take China where 40 million men have no wives right now, after the one child policy and the destruction of female fetuses… To have brothers and sisters in China is against the law…
5. The lies of scientific research
Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawkins, a man in his sixties, semi-paralyzed and needing a sophisticated computer assistance to talk, came to Larry King to discuss his new book written with another physicist from Cal Tech University. He said that science can explain the creation of the Universe without a creator; therefore, God is not the author of the Universe…Deepak Chopra came to say that the ideas of modern science are enough and has nothing to do with personal beliefs. He referred to Dr. Hawkins as the most important figure in our time.
Even Mr. King seemed dumbfounded and asked, “Who created God? They could not explain the concept of God because He is out of space time and we all know that… My question is, “how does this prove that He did not create us? They said that one believes in things that we are insecure about. Ouch! The laws of nature are tuned up to allow the existence of higher beings.
When the program finished, I wondered about how insecure I was at age 6 when I knew the Eucharistic Jesus as real and wanted to sleep near Him no matter what… I suddenly realized that either they or I were crazy. We could not exist together as sane beings within the scientific world. It was a petrifying moment and not because of the kind of program. My fear came from the ability of human beings to invent stuff, then call it science and later try to make it the law of the land. How many people heard that program and felt that at least they may have a point, being sooo intelligent! Ouch!
In fact, it brought a memory that it is even hard today to rehash. In the mid 1990’s while doing an anesthesia locum tenens (temporary job) in a small hospital in Ludington, MI, a nurse anesthetist learned somehow about my religiosity because I had inquired around where to find a church for daily Mass. She then brought to me a book from Deepak Chopra, MD, and wanted me to read it. She thought that his wisdom was very important to have… I had to say no and she was very upset that I was NOT OPENED to other ideas… Just imagine that I had to supervise her in her duties and as a temporary doc… Well, I did in paper by signing the anesthesia chart but in reality, I simply stayed away from making any changes in any anesthetic. Of course, she was a good anesthetist but I knew I had to be very careful. This is the place where they euthanized my patient and that I have told you about… They offered me a job and I had to turn it down, and in those days when it was very hard to find open anesthesia positions.
Television programs (news, movies, and soap operas), Internet, radio and sports of all kinds, give us the clearest pictures of violence… How can we deny that we are creating a generation of children/youth that thinks that “tackling” your opponent in a football field is good and the harder you do it, the more you are admired? Worse, I like American football, and I watch some games, especially when the University of Notre Dame is involved… Yet, I realized this month that to a certain point I was contributing to violence by not condemning this sport from my personal TV viewing. So, now I even pray “LIVE” with “love” and harder than ever, for mercy for the brains and necks of these young men, and for the multitudes that pay to see this violent sport. From media reports, here is what happens to those brains …
“– A detailed examination of the brain of a Penn football player who committed suicide showed he had the same disease caused by hard hits that has been associated with NFL players. The New York Times reported Monday that Owen Thomas was in the early stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a disease linked to depression and impulse control – primarily among NFL players. A former Penn captain, Thomas was found dead in April (2010) at his off-campus apartment. The research on Thomas’ brain tissue was done at Boston University, which has done much of the work on the impact of big hits on football players and others.”
A couple of days ago, two fighting females teens made the headlines, as they were photographed in a fight as if it were a boxing match. The mother of one of them was cheering her daughter but so were doing many people surrounding them. In one of the networks a family therapist psychologist was interviewed and he expressed the need to stop this trend. I found it interesting that our society has not owned this sin as a body. Every weekend we have sports of all kinds, and many as mentioned above are simply cage fighting, but we cheer them. What do you think this message tells the brain of teens and smaller children? KEEP THIS IN MIND, because we all are in this tragedy. We all are part of this Body…
Do we have a spiritual plan for this malady and then have God complete the rest as He wishes…? And pleeease, the spiritual plan is not to write more opinions on the subject matter, or offer psychological insights as what to teach these kids… The TIME IS HERE TO REPENT AND CHANGE OUR OWN WAYS… Just as Sts. Francis of Assissi, Francis de Sales, John Bosco, John Vianney, Ignatius of Loyola, and the rest did…, we too have to leave all behind, especially our own “will” and as the Evangelist and tax collector Matthew did, we have to run after our own ongoing conversion… TODAY!
How can we allow most TV commercials of all types to tell us lies? And lying has another surreptitious way to annoy me, and that is that implants doubts in all we say and do. I am sure that all Americans understand the lies we see in TV, but it also COULD WORK the other way around. When we hear a homily, do we feel that some parts are lies? I wonder. Or, people may simple tune off the meat of the homily as they are wired to do with commercials…! Have you seen the commercial with cheerios and how it cures heart disease due the fiber content? Ouch! Of course, commercials for statin drugs and Viagra like products are constantly sent to our brains and they eventually infest our neurons… and make us indifferent to the use of these drugs, so much they have been scripted in our unconscious mind. What I am doing when those commercials fly in front of my eyes is to ask for mercy for the company that paid for it and the actors… and do it with the best love for their souls as I can muster.
Regular television today is pornographic in word, concepts and pictures. Even in regular news, semi nudity and sexual innuendos are always there. Two of my sons supposedly sent me and others, emails which turned out to be Viagra commercials. Of course, their email address book had been hacked. My son here had to work on the “cookies” of my computer because I opened them. Ouch! He also found out that my computer’s virus coverage did not allow my cookies to be hacked… But just in case, if you receive any such horror as if I had sent it to any of you who is in my email address list, without any writing on my part but just a site to click on, please do not and most importantly, I had nothing to do with it. Yes, my computer was checked by my son but some 48 hours later and supposedly my protection would have eliminated this possibility, but I want to warn you!
We have created a quintessential disaster: We have fabricated a “personal philosophy” of life with a new psychology that explains it as being the “truth”. In this case, all is valid if it makes me happy. All is valid if it fits my desires, my so called self-realization so that I become what I want to be. This is Satan’s lie all the way to hell and back…
PROFOUNDLY DECEIVING MEDIA STORIES
From the local paper on Sept. 17, the big title was: Pope failed victims!
“While Benedict was received graciously by Queen Elizabeth II in Edinburg and thousands turned out for the open-air Mass in Glasgow, the visit was taking place under the dark shadow of the sexual abuse scandals… (There we go again). Protests were planned by atheists and gay and human rights activists incensed by the pope’s handling of the scandals and by others opposed to the church’s stance on social issues …”
AND THIS WAS REPEATED EVERY DAY IN NATIONAL PAPERS in one way or the other. You know the story well since by the end of Sept. 19 when the Holy Father took off and returned to Rome, the media did not know how to repeat the same lie in different ways. It is strange that they did not photograph all these huge crowds that were protesting… But I have for you a big teaching I received from heaven on the occasion of this lies by the media, which you will find in the section of the main theme of this blog: repentance…
1. On two consecutive weekends, I saw the movie, “Karol, the man who became Pope.” We know what happened with all the wars of the XX C but in this story of our Venerable John Paul the Great, one asks at times, why? Here we have two regimes passing through Poland and destroying human beings in every aspect of their God given freedoms. Again, but why? It had to be demonic in nature. Our Lady had warned us in 1917, and yet, those who lived then were distracted or “blinded” because of personal sinful patterns or because societal brainwashing had taken its toll? Or was it because when we hear warnings about Satan we only think of others and not ourselves, that is Satan’s actions in our own lives? This was a time where we should have entered into a serious repair of our inner temples to hear the Holy Spirit speak to us through her and for us to reject the plan of Satan. But we did not! Are we doing the same thing now?
This movie also proved beyond doubt that God is in charge… He had chosen Karol, the future Pope, to take care of matters. Karol was attracted to a girl and yet, left everything behind especially when his own mother and only brother had died and he was in need of human love, and became “a man for others” (his own definition of what a priest is) Even during his life time, he already mediated two miracles!!! 1) His friend and same woman who married someone else when he entered the seminary, was cured overnight of cancer, although St. Pio was also into the cure… when then Fr. Karol asked this other future saint to pray for her. 2) The communist spy who was taping his conversations with sinners at the confessional, became a strong leader of intellectuals against his own party… And at no time in the confessional or anywhere, was Fr. Karol found to speak ill of the oppressors… Wow… Do you want to see what love can do? Well, there you have a majestic example and even more what he did as Pope at the international level, for God turns ALL bad things into good… (Romans 8:28, my favorite verse because of my many persecutions. It refreshes my soul!).
2. But God had more in store for me regarding hatred… On Sept. 9, I went to early Mass and when I came back while I was making some coffee, I turned on the TV set in our living room which had been left in one of many channels of the Comcast Cable service, and there it was the story of General Manuel Antonio Noriega, a movie from the year 2000. By the way, the Catholic Church in Panama honors Our Lady on this day as her patroness but it escapes me right now under what title.
Noriega as you know was a despot that governed the country of Panama by force. I saw how he even caught the hands of one of his followers for rebelling against his orders, and how he took refuge from the Panamanian people in the residence of the Apostolic Nuncio in Panama, who advised to give himself up to the U.S. government as a safer route versus losing his life with his own local enemies (this in 1989). I lived in Panama for 7 years and studied medicine at the University of Panama, which prepared me in the most complete way for my life as a physician in the U.S. The Panamanians gave me a free ride and charged me no money for tuition if I kept my GPA over 3.75. They are beautiful people, and there I saw what happened after I had left this country. In recent months Noriega was released from a U.S. prison, but what I still cannot understand is how he had the valor to use a machete to cut both hands of a fellow soldier under his authority. And he turned around some months later and went to confession with the Nuncio and it looked as if he really was repenting… Amazing!
3. Well, on September 22, Oprah had this new program for her last season in which she interviewed Ingrid Betancourt, the Colombian Senator who was running for the Presidency in 2002 when she was abducted by the FARC guerrilla. More on this story later. Yet, as you will read, her story is an extreme show of hatred from human beings towards other human beings.
4. On Sept. 23, Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the USA for 9/11!!! This tyrant showed more of the kind of “plain” craziness than actual hatred! But why?
5. Also on Sept. 23, Miss Sarah Shourd revealed how she spent 14 months of her life in an Iranian prison in solitary confinement, blind folded many times. She was released Sept. 14, but here we have another good example of our world going crazy or is it Satan working full time as in the times of Job?
CONFUSION IN OUR RANKS
Part of this current era of confusion and division (at least a century) has spread among us religious people, and divided us. You know the story: Vatican II spiritual legacy was maligned to the core and WE HAD NO DEFINITE PLAN TO ATTACK SATAN against his savage war against the Church. In general terms, we did not recognize on time that Satan was behind the whole issue in order to counter attack him, and I know because I lived the turmoil myself. By the 1990’s we had in place a massive campaign to discredit what the Council actually said, and voices rose with different ideas to fix it. Feminists wanted to start making women priests
I always laugh about this nonsense of priestesses… It is soo clear in the Bible that God did not intend to have women in the ministerial priesthood… Just imagine this God Who had the guts to die for us on a Cross… and Who is perfect, just, merciful and Who possesses all wisdom, just imagine Him getting confused and forgetting to call 12 Apostles made of men and women… Or forgetting to ordain Mary Magdalene or even His own Mom? But the justice of God was there… Wouldn’t men love to have babies themselves? Hmm. So, they were discriminated because they have to have a surrogate in order to see their genes expressed in a little baby!… But God could have allowed all human beings to have both sex organs and take turns to have babies… Why not? So, only men can be Priests of the Order of Melchizedech… So what? We all possess talents and gifts, and we all have been endowed to complement each other. Personally, as much as I love my Eucharistic Jesus, I am happy as a woman, very! The responsibility of ministerial priests is so huge because their job is sooo sublime, that I actually enjoy being in the sidelines receiving the fruit of their Ordination, Jesus the Christ alive.
In fact, I “probably” would never go to confession with a woman had they been accepted in the ministerial priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church… And simply not out of disobedience, but out of my need to follow my Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the agenda He left me. He loved us women while on earth very much and allowed women to take care of Him… according to Luke 8. So, through the years I have adopted (spiritually) three other sons (upon God’s recommendation), one Bishop and two Priests, and all three have lost their earthly moms. I pray for them with the same love as I pray for my other four blood related sons… and with the same family Rosary! Since they become “Christ” for others at the Eucharistic Table and at the Confessional, well, I take care of my Jesus in His representatives as He was taken care of 2000 years ago… Huh!
Corollary of this section: This exposition of what we are living today was not meant for you; it was meant for me so that I wake up once and for all and accelerate my pace of conversion…and then, I was led to pass it on to you and with regrets since you know every story. I personally had to rehash it in order to enter into the mystery of our global inefficiency of having a personal plan to deal with Satan in our lives. The plan is not to talk about him with fear and worry… Nah! The plan has to do with our POWER OVER HIM… In fact, on Thursday, September 23, 2010, I had been composing this blog for some 4 days and was afraid of bringing Satan up again… I already devoted a whole “page” to him. So, now, what to do? I had already recently typed in this blog all the above WORKS OF SATAN… In all of them you can see that he lies, he TEMPTS good people to bug others, he divides, he makes some human beings look like monstrous devils (e.g.: Mrs. Ingrid Betancourt’s abductors; General Noriega; Hitler; the fights between clans in different parts of the world, like Iraq, India, Pakistan, Iran, etc.).
Satan had clout in the Bible as we have said many times before. The Holy Spirit surely wanted us to be aware of his tenacity and hatred towards us humans, because he was a good angel who would have had to serve us, had he stayed in heaven… since we humans were made in the image of God!!! So, isn’t about time that we take this subject matter up and clearly see how powerful we can be, and what is it that can take our power away?
B. THE MAIN TOPIC: REPENTANCE
1. On Sunday, August 29 at Mass and after Communion I received this topic for this month. I was sent to a page in my Bible to be reviewed at home later. It was Luke 7 and it said that John the Baptist who came to preach repentance was baptizing everyone who approached him, including tax collectors… It is obvious that whoever came to be baptized had had a change of heart, especially since they were exposing themselves to be seen by the crowds following John. It was not a simple action; it was an act of repentance on their part. Yet, there were some Pharisees and scholars not baptized by John (obviously they did not want to repent and start anew) because the Bible says that “they rejected the plan of God.” Interesting: there you have it: “The plan of God is for us to repent.” Do you want it any clearer than this?
Then one reads that Jesus pardoned a sinful woman as she showed repentance and great love by anointing His feet with expensive oil! Others at the table with Jesus were not happy with Him forgiving this woman and allowing her to touch His feet. He even said to her, “Your faith has saved you.” So here we have a sandwich of crucial points: her repentance led to faith and love, and all three led to forgiveness of her grievous sins. Amazing truth! AND IT ALL STARTED WITH REPENTANCE…
It is interesting as well that in Luke 3: 8-9, John the Baptist not only asks for repentance but makes a list of the things one has to change in order to repent. Among them:
1) ”Produce good fruits as evidence of your repentance (Hmm). Therefore, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
2) “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has one. And whoever has food should do likewise.”
3) To the tax collectors: “Stop collecting more than what it is prescribed”
4) To soldiers: “Do no practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”
These passages exude the truth that repentance is essential to faith and love, and that repentance also means a change of heart, a purpose of amendment with definite plans… not just evanescing plans to do so!!! Yet, there is another aspect in order to repent… We must recognize sin for what it is…! And Satan scores twice in this aspect: 1) He induces us to sin. 2) Then, he tempts the entire human society to minimize or relativize sin.
Finally, sin takes another definition: I am alright if I work hard to be a good member of society and contribute with my agenda of goods, even if the means to get there are sinful. If I have to prostitute myself to get an education, so be it. If having a baby is in the way of my prosperity, then I must get rid of it. If someone becomes obnoxious because they remind me of what I should do through their witness of life, then I must get rid of them or at least make their life miserable by accusing them of sins that they have not committed! And on and on.
But we all are in the same predicament. We minimize our need to become converted on the basis of how hard it is to do so… I laughed the other day when a Hispanic TV channel said that we all want to do things only the easy way … just like the “multiplication table” of “1”… 1×1=1; 1×2=2, 1×3=3…etc. And we end up with this idea because we simply do not know the PERSONAL love of God for each of us as our Daddy, and therefore, the parable of the prodigal son does not apply to us!!! But the truth is that we only have to repent with a serious and pure heart and seek reconciliation with God, our Dad, as the prodigal son did, and voila, He personally sanctifies us through the Holy Ghost and through the power of the Passion and Resurrection of His Beloved Son… In the other hand, Satan wins a victory when we go to retreats and Bible studies as an informational activity, and unfortunately may not find the leaders truly and crazily in love with God, and therefore, at the end of the retreat or study, we go back to square one… and we stay there until the next effort that never truly expects major changes because no one around is showing the POWER of God in their lives. Ouch! Sorry if I offend with that assessment.
2. MY OWN SINS AND MY NEED TO REPENT
Yes, I started two months ago to lay down the plans to refurbish my inner temple according to what He taught us and according to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Last month I went to the bottom of the foundation for such cleaning of my temple and considered à
1) Doing the will of God always as the most substantial change I must implement in my life.
2) Sin per se is always an impediment in order to meet the Master. It is a simple matter. If I do not go to confession on a regular basis, I am allowing the disease of spiritual blindness and deafness to develop little by little and without I even realizing it. The darkness around us and that is why I went into the details of the list of negatives, is everywhere… We must have enough oil to light our lamps at all times to ‘see’ the Truth, walk on the WAY and find the Life IN THE MIDST OF THIS DARKNESS… These lamps need to have the “oil” of repentance with a dedication to do the will of God at all times and the best we can. How I wished that all Roman Catholics understood this truth about the need to confess our sins and to receive pardon… Our Lord showed us so many miracles related to opening the eyes of the blind… Hello! What a hint!
One of my major sins is resentment… The persecutions in my life have been so many, so crazy, so uncalled for, that I am sure that Satan was behind them and tempted many good people to find faults in me no matter what… Finding fault was not a problem. The problem was that a few of them organized attacks so brutal to the point that I now pray for those enemies that are around waiting to attack. Am I paranoid? Well, one gets pretty much ready for people to find fault in everything you do without too much reasoning behind, and simply because Satan is around all the time. Even this blog exposes me to gather enemies, not many, but even one person can suddenly attack. The worse part of this is that we do not want to think of Satan too often, just not to give him too much importance and act with paranoia…Wrong!… We have to think of Satan often but realizing that we have the POWER TO WIN THIS SPIRITUAL WAR! Hmm. More on it later.
About two weeks ago, I found the list of people who have persecuted me up to 2005…and it was a huge one… This finding of this list was probably a sign for me to include it in this blog. Many of them and as of Sept. of 2010, I did not hate or even dislike, but something inside me sent me to wish to never see them again in my life. In general and as I read the list, they had been forgiven from my heart. I had no major ill feelings at all..
But of course, in a “few” cases fear and disgust for what they had done to me still prevailed. This was resentment. But any form of resentment if present in our soul prevents full forgiveness and therefore, it is not true repentance. Or it could be argued that lack of resentment is the final stage of full forgiveness. The truth is that I only have to repent and pray for my transformation and He will erase those resentments. He is too merciful not to do it and there are many people who truly gave me huge pain, but now I do not even resent them, and that is how I now He can erase it even in the worse scenarios. Resentment is like having the walls of my inner temple full of graffiti. I only have to clean it with the help of His grace in order to “see” better and to “hear” better the guidance from the Holy Spirit, since all sin, no matter what kind of sin, will impede my vision and audio in my spiritual journey. I also understood that true RECONCILIATION with other human beings means forgiveness but with lack of resentment.
It may seem strange that I say that I have forgiven many and yet that I resent some of those forgiven. Well, for me, this is true… And I have no idea why. Again, there are some people who have hurt me a lot, and yet I feel full forgiveness for them in my heart with zero resentment. I go through what they did that turned my life upside down, especially with health professional persecutions when money was involved and necessary for my family needs, and I feel totally neutral and actually understanding of their sin against me at the time. They simply did not know what they were doing, and this is grace from heaven for my soul. To summarize, I found three different emotions in that list of people: 1) Those whom I have totally forgiven and no resentment is present even when the persecution was horrible. 2) Those forgiven but who still stir some resentment for what they did to me even that their deeds may have not been horrendous in nature. 3) A few who have hurt me much and I still have the capacity to love them automatically, that is, I have never worked hard at it, and therefore, it is a solid step forward in the restoration of my soul! All three stages can only be understood as a mixture of grace working on my humanity.
3. As I pondered on my potential to resent people, I found Satan working overtime in this area. I had never figured out this part, that is his insistence in tempting us 24/7. And then God sent me some EWTN programs trying to help me understand several things: the life of St. Pio, “The Night of the Prophet” shows Satan bothering him even as a child. EWTN Live showed members of the Order of St. Michael, and St. Michael’s protection was brought back to me, and reminded me of my experience during my recent trip to Omaha, NE… narrated in the blog of last July. I ended up summarizing these ideas as follows:
1) Satan has worked overtime forever and ever on all of us, and he will not go away.
2) I have to have a plan of action against his attacks and for me not to get tricked…. It is pretty much what Jesus showed us when Satan tempted Him. Embracing my crosses is one way to defeat him, as I stated in my message in the “page”section. But I found other important facts.
3) In this month of September I finally got it: these many persecutions of all kinds suffered for years were the result of Satan’s temptations to many rather good people, in order for me to develop resentment that would stay there to stain my soul. But worse, I would be deceived in seeing it more as pain for what they did to me than actually a sin and I would never be able to confess a sin which I did not recognize it as such!!! So, the end result is that I could not say that I love them (in order to obey the will of God fully in obedience to the second most important commandment), and this “little” sin was enough to damp my eyes and ears to hear God better and recognize it as a sin in order to repent… It was simply a vicious cycle where Satan deceived me and I became blind to a sinful pattern, even if it was not a huge sin.
4) I must explain that this month before I could “see” that lack of resentment is the last step of forgiveness, and that I can know when resentment goes away because I do not feel any pain as I remember the persecutory offense, I decided to use every time I needed it, a format of how to abandon myself to Divine Providence in order to help myself in this process of purification. In cases when I did not feel well and my blood pressure would drop much, I would read these words written in 2002 that were composed after a minor persecution at the surgery center I worked at…I may have shared these words with you before, but they are worth repeating. You will have them later.
5) There was a moment when I remembered that some 30 years ago I met a Hispanic couple who had come from another country and I gave them much help with furniture and other things to ease their arrival and all within the charismatic movement, since we were leaving for my country in our attempt to move there permanently, or so my husband wanted. We came back eighteen months later and by then, I was not allowed to be part of the huge American prayer group as before and could only belong to a small Hispanic prayer group and the wife (of this couple I had helped) was in charge. I further helped with her surgery for cancer as company for her in the hospital, but there was a very profound and new tone from both of them telling me that I could not be saved without my husband because he was the head of the household, and of course, he was an atheist. So, I found no support, no love, and lack of friendship that only 2 years before we had started.
Then as late as this month, I figured out that this good couple was probably tempted by Satan to act in this way and left me with so much resentment which has marked me even today and I have not been able to be part of any Hispanic group since, including right here in California. . To this date they do not know what they did to my faith.
So, for sure, strict obedience to God’s will hour by hour and as best as I could during September or this doing the will of God at all cost as I prepared it in 2002 (every time that something bothered me, I would read it until I meant it) has worked wonders for me to recognize resentment for what it is, and pretty much as a hidden impediment of love of neighbor…
6) But even on Sept. 23, St. Pio’s feast and after Communion, I was surprised as to how Jesus brought me to understand something else. He sent me to two pages in my New Testament and Psalms little book that I keep in my purse, plus page 752 in my Bible at home (Old Testament).
Luke 9: 1 “He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases…”
Luke 10: 17-19. 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 lighting form the sky. Behold, I have given you the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.”
I learned right and there that we have power over Satan right from the Lord and that we have to learn how to offer such power to the enemy… Then I understood that the Twelve and the 72 disciples, had all repented, abandoned everything and followed Him. They were doing the will of God with total abandonment to Divine Providence… and therefore, were also equipped to trample Satan… Hmm… And so we have seen it with all the Saints in heaven… Many of them lived constantly harassed by Satan but they never deviated from the Truth, the Way and the Life! Page 752 turned to be Wisdom chapter 2. Here are a few verses of this chapter:
“Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are real, and use the freshness of creation avidly. Let us have our fill of costly wine and perfumes.(It sounds like our present culture’s way of seeing life). Let us beset the just one, because is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings. Reproaches us for transgression of the law… He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the Lord. To us, he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, because his life is not like other men’s, and different are his ways. He calls that God is his Father. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. — These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them. And they knew not the hidden counsels of God…. For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of His own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world and they who are in his possession experience it.”
This reading showed me how forever and ever we have had proof of Satan tempting us to persecute others. Yet, in this feast of this great saint, I had the whole teaching rehashed again for me: yes, from Genesis one to the end of the holy Book, Satan has a special place in leading us to sin, but we have received power to defeat him…
4. Here is a story that shows how much power we have over the evil one.
Remember how I had mentioned Ingrid Betancourt, the Colombian Senator who was running for the Presidency and had just talked in a public way with the leaders of FARC, the guerrilla who have destroyed the peace of this country for the last 50 years… Just think about the tenacity of Satan and how this phenomena has even changed my own country with increasing degrees of violence related to the drug cartel from Colombia!… During this talk, Ingrid asked to stop all kidnappings. On February 23, 2002, while campaigning in a town controlled by the FARC, she was abducted with her campaign manager and other 13 people, among them some Americans. She spent 6.5 years in captivity. Please take your time to assess your own luxuries and freedoms in our world as I describe her life in the Amazon jungle:
1) This jungle is full of yellow fever, malaria and has 100 species of snakes. In the rivers they have many sharks, tarantulas, leaches, crocodiles, scorpions, wasps, spiders, all which thrive with the humidity of the place.
2) Her food: rice and beans and “arepas” (a flour tortilla) for breakfast. No dairy or vegetables. She recounts that with time, she dreamed of eating the arepas, the only pleasure for the day!
3) Daily life: she was tied to a tree with a chain around her neck. She started to realize the importance of our skin, a protection from the environment. She tried to escape 4 times because even if caught, death was a better option!
With time she realized that her captors had not managed to transform her into a monster thirsting for revenge, and that she had the ability to free herself from hatred (it sounds like the fruits of the 23rd Psalm!). In hindsight, she considered this to be her most significant conquest! Of course, this process took time but she said that “it was like breathing again.” NOTICE how as she refused to be tempted to hate, she became freer or able to “breath.” Amazing…
Her fellow hostages did not like her. Her faith had gotten stronger by reading the Bible (No doubt in this case that the Word of God is a double edge sword as she learned to wear the armor for spiritual combat). At one point in the interview where she appeared with her mother and daughter, Ingrid was asked if she had found the Bible helpful. She responded, “I did not find the Bible, I discovered it. Before this time, I thought that reading the Bible was boring!”
Her father had a terminal illness when she was abducted and he died one month after her abduction. She thought she had the right to be at his bedside as he died but could not. (Just think how much we take our freedoms for granted…)
Her daughter who was in France with her brother and grandma, said that “you cannot move on, you cannot mourn. This is not like death.” Grandma and kids went to the local radio everyday to tell Ingrid how much they loved her. Ingrid had a radio that she hid from her captors and which the other hostages hated her for, since if she was found with it, all would suffer the consequences.
Some hostages were shown as they were saying in past interviews how Ingrid was the most disgusting human being, because she was arrogant, bossy, took more of her fair share of food and became apathetic and bitter. I found interesting that in this same time frame, Ingrid was finding peace in prayer and in the Bible… The whole story sounded like the verses of Wisdom chapter 2… Ingrid had also arrived to the conclusion that since all were treated like animals, all started also behaving like animals. Around this time, the interviewer asked her if she was hating her fellow hostages and with a great smile and much peace, she said, “I have no hard feelings for them. I love them!”
She narrated how she had decided not to lose her humanity and when asked to take a number to be called just by that number, she refused, to the distress of the others. She had refused to be an animal and be treated as an object. This courage, this supernatural strength can only come from grace from the Holy Spirit! At one point she used St. Paul’s words when he was suffering very much (and as she herself was tied up to a tree) and meditated on Jesus telling him: “My grace suffices.” St. Paul discovered that the more fragile he was, the stronger he became… and this made much sense to her in the middle of the jungle…
She had lost everything: she could not move, could not go the bathroom without permission (bathroom was a hole in the ground, which every one used and smelled very bad), could not speak without permission, she was tied up to a tree under the rain and was treated as less than an animal! In these moments, and comforted by the Word of God, she would think, “It is not true. I am not an animal. I have something left, I have the freedom to choose what kind of person I want to be… and I can certainly become the person I think I should become and I have to start now…” THIS IS GRACE…
She kept praying to Our Lady of Guadalupe and forgiving those who abducted her and hostages who hated her. And then God pulled the ultimate blessing for all of them: Colombian army soldiers studied for a while how to act as FARC terrorists. Then, they hacked into the FARC’s radio inter communications and announced the need to fly the hostages to meet a new FARC leader some other place. A helicopter came with army soldiers posing as guerrillas and pick them up and flew them to freedom. She wrote all of this in her new book, “EVEN SILENCE HAS AN END.”
I had to place this story here because I personally was called to see two mighty things: 1) How God through His Word and prayer including to the Mother of God… can change a human being who should be hating her captors and fellow hostages. 2) How forgiveness and lack of resentment … triumphed and made this rescue the most extraordinary miracle… since for God nothing, nothing is impossible, when faith, hope and love are present. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.
5. Before I continue I want to make this announcement: I repent in this Internet venue (in a public way) for getting annoyed and resentful with the media and its lies said during the Holy Father’s recent visit to England, and NOT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT… and not just for them, but for myself. Of course, humanly speaking I must get annoyed and when resentment appears, I must repent and work on getting rid of it. Again and again, resentment is a form of lack of love, period. It was until Sept. 20 when I woke up and realized my sin (and it happened just before I saw the interview with Ingrid Betancourt!). We spend our lives responding to lies, innuendoes, open persecution and all kinds of childish behavior from any of our brothers and sisters, including the media. I let my “I” be overcome by voices of “children” who do not even know what they are doing. Enough is enough, in my particular case.
Look at the truth: the media sent darts all over the world, and God who is powerful and beautiful and crazy for us, sent huge crowds every place the Pope went in England. But beyond that, you could sense the majesty of the moment and the taste was all an “ecumenical mending of division”. It was not the Pope on his own right and charisma or the very loving Anglican Church or anything human. It was the Holy Ghost… And of course, He had this Pope predestined for all eternity to decide to do this trip to beatify a very holy man… What a story of Blessed Cardinal Newman. Wow… But even more interesting, we had our own way (EWTN) to watch the whole event and judge it ourselves… That is called the mercy of God. But again, look at me: I was not mad (after much prayer of years) but very resentful of this so called media, until something clicked and I realized I possess an atomic bomb to explode over the darts of the “news agencies.”
I realized that my “babies”, all these so confused lying reporters had little power over all the events. Ahead of time, the people in England were deceived with stories of this upcoming affront from Rome to the Anglican Church BUT it did not work because Anglicans are baptized and the Holy Spirit was in charge. Huh! Even more, I love the Anglicans so much more today after the way they treated my Pope. Huh! Love was created in my heart. Well, in the same way, I must love my “media babies” because they are just as beautiful, made in His image, throwing tantrums that the evil one makes them do, and instead of I being caught in responding to babies, I should explode in my heart the atomic bomb of love for them. Instead of becoming another child and getting mad at them, I have to pray for myself until I love them to pieces because I am their keeper.
I am a bridge of love of Jesus for them and I can do it from my home, from my pew, from anywhere and no one has to even know about it. I can visit them like my Mother did when she traveled to Eren Karem with prayers for their salvation, and the best way to save them is to lay my life down for them, as my Master did. But how? By denying myself of this resentment against them so my love can truly be complete, picking up the cross of their childish ways and loving them to pieces with the sacrifice of the suffering with my illness, prayer in all its forms, Rosaries to my “mamita” (as I call my Mama in heaven), added to a strict dismantling of any resentment from my heart with true repentance for this sin. I must love them before my prayers can truly work. So, help me God!
I have the power and the call to be their mother and father and “baby sitter” as well, since “Love is patient, love is kind; it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick tempered, it does not brood over injury…. (It does not resent…) It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…. LOVE NEVER FAILS… When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man (woman in my case) I put aside childish things.” Yeeea!
C. But what about if I treat you now to “sweet” nicer topics to conclude this blog? I will give you some more insights of how my month went and how I saw the mercy of God working over my life.
1. On Sunday, September 5, I went to Mass at 8 AM and was not feeling well with blood pressure swings and my right knee’s pain worse than ever. I fell some 5 years ago and hurt this joint. Since POTS creates a very high inflammatory status, this knee becomes very painful at times. I can only kneel for the Consecration, and I wonder if in the future, not even for this part of the Mass. So, I was so distracted that I did not pay attention to the date… After Communion and for the first time ever since age 6.5 years, I felt the very same desire to sleep near Him, the Eucharistic Jesus, as I felt then. It was awesome to finally relive what was a memory but not a reality as the very first time. There was a newness of feeling, like a brand new encounter with His Love.
Later on at home, I finally realized this was the feast of my beautiful Baby Jesus, the Incarnate Word when He was but a little Babe. Ever since and when in prayer, at times I take time to adore Him in the crèche of my inner temple and using my imagination I play with his pudgy toes and fingers. I can imagine when he was thirsty, hungry, traveling towards Egypt, or simply smiling like all infants do. By now, I had already started my continuous novena that came from Colombia, from His Shrine in the Barrio 20 de Julio, in the outskirts of Bogota.
But the Babe was all over my life… On this weekend I had received a package from Costa Rica from my childhood friend who sent me some bulletins with the stories of the feast of Our Lady Queen of Angels as they started their jubilee year. She mentioned that the relics of St. John Bosco had passed through the capital city of San Jose, and that they were waiting now for the relics of St. Anthony of Padua. She included a rather large picture/ painting of this saint, 16 by 11 inches, where St. Anthony is kneeling with the Bible opened, and Baby Jesus is standing over it looking like 18 months old… and they seemed to be conversing. Baby Jesus is only wearing a diaper and looks simply divine and huggable!
This picture had in the back the schedule for the showing of St. Anthony’s relics. I am sure she sent it because he is my patron saint. My middle name is Antonieta (Antoinette) and as child, June 13 was a huge day for me, since in Latin America the patron’s feast day is as important as our birthday… It was with this picture that I then recalled how St. Therese of Lissieux came to visit me at age 2 (according to my grandma’s story and told before in these blogs) and she is still a very close companion saint in my heart, and of course, her named was St. Therese of the Child Jesus. Then, another great friend since childhood, St. Teresa of Avila, she carried a statue of Baby Jesus to all her new foundations… Finally, all this revealed to me that devotion to Jesus in His infancy has always been an attraction and a call in my life…
2. Another great event for me in this month has been to read my third son’s blogs… I have learned many things and one that impacted me the most, is the blog he dedicated to explain at length the persecution suffered by our recently beatified John Henry Cardinal Newman… It was so soothing for my heart, especially as we heard his life been discussed during his recent beatification.
Yet another aspect of his blogs was his ability to write very well, or so I think. I suddenly remembered that we come from a family of writers, and out of the blue, I decided to “Google” their names and I found them.
1) Eloy González Frías, my paternal great grandpa born in the Canary Islands, the one with Sephardic Jewish roots. He came to Costa Rica and wrote the memoirs of his life and other books. He died at 105 years of age! Ouch!
2) Mario González Feo, a Costa Rican novelist, the half brother of my grandpa, son of great grandpa Eloy.
3) Jose Ramírez Sáizar, a first cousin of my mother and a famous Costa Rican poet.
I was amazed to find my family in the Internet. No doubt that Omar may have some good genetics behind his writings. And speaking of this young man, he placed this entry in Facebook about my grandchild Gemma, age 21/2… “Omar has a daughter who, when not allowed to take her image of Our Lady to bed with her, heard her cry ‘I want my Mary.’ We all do sweetie. We all do.” It was very warming to me to know that my Mother is already so precious for my grandchild.
3. My parish: when I go to 6:30 AM Mass, I usually see a younger mom with 3-4 small children. Finally and just about a week ago, I came out and saw her once more and commented on the beauty of seeing little children at Mass so early (the youngest in her arms at 18 months), and realized that she was waiting for the husband who was still praying with other older kids. It turns out that they have 10 kids and all home schooled!… I thought for a second that I was in Steubenville, OH where it is normal to see in Church bunches of kids per family. But this is California… Hello!
However, I must tell you here of what happened to me about one year ago in this parish. It took me some time when I arrived in July 2008 to choose this site for my worship, which is rather distant from my home and having to use a very, very, very busy crazy expressway to go to and from… Of course, after visiting about 7 different parishes under much discernment, I was led to attend this one. Yet, I have to change the subject a little and tell you that prior to coming to it and for years before, I had a tremendous resentment towards people from India. I had encountered 4 female and 2 male anesthesiologists from that country in the span of my career and all six were so greedy, so difficult, and actually some of them were obnoxious…
This resentment then was spread to all kinds of Indian people, including priests… The last priest I had encountered for a short while in my previous parish in Toledo fell into that category of being somewhat resented as well. So, here I find a pastor from India, but at no time and not even once did I feel anything negative towards him. Strange! Yet, after time passed by, maybe 9 months or so, I realized that this younger priest is one of the kindest, nicest priests I ever met. Reports from other parishioners confirmed my feelings. He can be stern regarding getting late to Mass for example, but in the other hand, you never expect harshness from this man. He has this talent, this God given grace that I hope he will use forever of a magnificent kind leadership… And lo and behold, about the same time or close to a year ago, I found myself without resentment for all these 6 doctors. It had evanesced… I want to put this in here to illustrate what God does in our lives and especially with the present topic at hand. First of all, we all belong to One Body, and we all are our brother/sister’s keeper, plus to begin with, He had led me to this healing infirmary to get rid of such powerful feelings. And do not think that I want score points with my pastor since I have never given the address of this blog to him, although he was informed months ago about my healing in this particular aspect. I only passed on the news of the blog to two people in the parish, one American and one Mexican, when I started writing and under the heavy push of the Holy Spirit, so that only the Holy Ghost could determine if any others should know about this blog site.
1. Spiritual warfare existed from the very beginning of the Scriptures and Satan has been depicted in many stories in the Bible. It will never cease to be true for our lives in 2010. Good and evil are here to stay.
2. This warfare needs a plan of action, although we have been given power over Satan. So, this plan of action is actually His plan that we have to appropriate, understand, study, put into action, expecting God to be with us. Just like the Israelites fought so many battles against their enemies, and God was the general of each battle, we should know this subject inside out, but not with fear… John Paul II said not to be afraid over and over… Not to fear it is written about 365 times in the Bible. But why?
JP II said that the enemy (in those days, the Nazis and Communists) counted on Poland’s fear in order to subjugate them. It is the same with us. We should not ignore speaking of Satan just not to produce fear, but out of a healthy expectation that in Christ, with His Blood, death on the Cross and His Resurrection, we already won the battle. Nonetheless, we have to know what to do, how to cooperate in order to win our personal battles.
3. It is up to us to expect Satan around yet not in fear but in battle array… (Ephesians 6). We should use the “arms” to defeat him every time, and these are THE MAIN ARMS:
1) Loving God with all our heart and soul as we abandon ourselves, hourly to His divine Providence and thank Him for every present moment despite our heavy crosses.
2) Loving neighbor as Jesus loves them and REPENTING when we find sins in our hearts against our neighbor that are hidden like resentment of any kind; we should seek reconciliation so that forgiveness may be complete and our love for them become the healing touch for their souls.
3) Praying for ourselves, asking intercession from the Saints and most importantly from our guardian angel and St. Michael…so that we clean up our temple on an ongoing basis.
4) Interceding to our Mother as one of the greatest threats for Satan. She is an expert at dealing with him and especially through the Holy Rosary.
5) Being very active in obeying all the commandments since this battle requires our holiness of life in all its aspects.
6) Frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and of the Eucharist.
7) Daily we should recognize that the spiritual battle is not a personal one. It is one that affects my brothers and sisters and both ways. If I allow Satan to tempt me and pay no attention to my duties to appropriate the victory I have over Satan in Christ, I can extend Satan an invitation to do the same with my neighbor. On the contrary, if I do what I am supposed to do, miracles and signs and wonders will abound and will bring others to Christ, and/or become a witness encouraging others in their path to holiness.
Satan is sitting in every pew, every home, doing his best and we should know it, not to fear it but to show him our arsenal given by God and implemented, appropriated by the style of life depicted above… He will run…! In fact, every time that our brother/sister tempts us with persecution or lack of love of any kind, instead of resenting him/her, we should turn around and offer the pain it causes for the soul of the person, ask for God’s mercy for them and ACCEPT the invitation to this “call to arms” and apply it as a healing unguent to their souls… This should be memorized and practiced until our brains get wired and do it like breathing is, automatically.
I recently ran into this saying, “The majority of men meet with failure mainly because of their lack of determination in building new ideas to take the spot of those which fail.”
I say, “There is too much hatred in this world… It is up to us to love from our truly repentant hearts! The work to do is to repair our inner temples so that God can change others… and all of this must be done with urgency! I must always remember that when faced with bitterness, resentment, lack of forgiveness, I am the only one that can initiate changes. No one on this earth can do it for me, so that God can do the rest. We place too much importance in each other’s actions but based on what we “expect” others to be or do, and normally these expectations rise from our own short comings and insecurities…!
What am I personally doing it about it? Below I will share what I wrote in February of 2002 and mentioned in an earlier section. Therefore, when I have a problem of any kind, be it suffering or oppression from the darkness around, I purposely say these words and as often as necessary. They work wonders… In fact, I know that they are an invitation for God to win my battles as they appear, whether imposed by my own flesh, the world or Satan. They are a hymn of TRUST in His love for me and trust means that the ocean of His mercy simply pours over us, our families, parish, friends and even our enemies…
PATH OF TOTAL ABANDONMENT TO DIVINE PROVIDENCE
Thank You Father for this moment! You created it and sent it (or allowed it) and You sanctified it.
I receive it, I celebrate it, I embrace it, I accept it and I love it as Your will for me, for the sake of Your greater glory.
I am the servant of the Lord, do unto me according to Your will. I unite this moment and its suffering with the sacrifice of the Lamb of God in all the Masses being celebrated at this moment in the world.
I offer it to obtain Your mercy for the salvation of the world, for my family, for myself, so that we can all become holy as You Father, are holy, and in reparation for the sins of the whole world. Amen. (It must be prayed with “gusto”, with certainty and not just as more words to repeat…)