This month I will report on my pilgrimage of the last 4 weeks and as the Lord guided me to understand my freedoms! This will be the outline of this presentation, just in case you may not be interested and want to quit this reading now!
1. How I was given the inspiration for this topic on freedom
2. What the world says it is.
3. What the Roman Catholic Church says it is
b) Fides et Ratio Encyclical
4. Highlights of different days of this month that helped to elucidate the ultimate freedom.
5. Personal understanding of what freedom is.
6. Examples of freedom in other people
8. Update regarding my ongoing cure of POTS
1. How I found the topic for this month
September 27. I went to 6:30 AM Mass. The first reading had to do with Job and how God allowed Satan to take everything away from him. His answer: “The Lord giveth it. The Lord taketh it. Blessed be the Lord.” Little did I know that these words would be part of the evangelization of my soul during this month! After Communion, I was asked and still in Church to look in a certain page of my little New Testament/Psalms book in my purse. It was Luke 18.
1) There is a blind beggar and he is told that Jesus was passing by. He asked for His mercy in a loud voice despite of being told to be silent… He calls Jesus, Son of David, a title related to Jesus’ role as Messiah. Of course, he gets his sight back… What do we see in the blind beggar that helped him be noticed and ultimately healed as well? He showed determination, lack of fear of those calling him to be quiet, and an inner sense of the divine by calling Jesus with a mighty title. In order words, the man had faith and “prayed” loud rendering as well honor to the King, but he was “free” to shout despite what other people said!!! And of course, he got to “see”… Hmm… Not only that, but this beggar generated love for Jesus by moving the bystanders to praise God!
I then started pondering about how should I approach the Throne of Mercy at all times… In the case of Job, he had it all and lost it. His story was the total reverse situation of the blind beggar; Job also prayed with words of extraordinary acceptance of God’s will and without anger! At the end, both won God’s mercy… Just imagine if Job had not been open to lose everything: family, money and his own health! His friends came to shut him up with many crazy arguments and just as the blind beggar, they asked him to be quiet. But Job never lost faith in God, and both kept their hearts opened to have God come back and render mercy to them. Notice also how Job became free to lose everything despite Satan’s work, and free to trust God despite the terrible losses. Instead, God used this tragedy to enhance Job’s freedoms and spiritually he obtained the ultimate success: the freedom TO TRUST GOD IN INFIRMITY, which actually is faith in and love for Him… Ah… what a gift! At the end he recovers all material things plus children, but by then he was free of any attachment, human or material, since by now, He was closer to God than ever… Wow… Now, tell me if the cross is actually a straight route to freedom!!! LONG LIVE OUR CROSSES… Amazing grace, how sweet the sound… These huge crosses of Job and the blind beggar rendered magnificent fruits, and these examples should be a great hint to us…
2) In the same page given to me in this little Bible, the chapter of Luke 19 begins and here we have the story of Zacheus, the chief tax collector and very wealthy. He was wealthy like Job but not a friend of God… He went out of his way climbing the sycamore tree to see Jesus. He did not have to do it… After all, he had a job and was rich…I bet you that what moved Zacheus to look for Jesus was his inner emptiness despite his economic status. We all keep repeating the same mistake: we follow the counsel of the world and aided by our fears, we pursuit security in all forms, ignoring all along that our souls were created in love, to be loved by God, and so much, that He sent His only Son to help us come back home and as His own kids… Wow… Why is it that we keep not giving a chance to this Truth? Once this Truth starts freeing us from this major mistake, then we really start knowing God, and the rest is history!
But for Zacheus, the only thing he had to do was to show up because Jesus was able to turn around and invite Himself to stay at his home! Hmm…! Wow! Just imagine what it took: to show up and God took over… This invitation immediately changed the “empty” heart of this tax collector and he offered to give half of his possessions to the poor and to repay four times anything he had extorted from anyone. This was freedom for his heart… He had found the meaning of his life. His emptiness must have disappeared because money was not needed to fill this void… How exciting what God can do in our hearts and so fast, if we just show up, to Sunday Mass for example … Here we also have examples of how some are chosen to work for God early in life (Job). Others are recruited much later like Zacheus, but all received the same payment… FREEDOM THROUGH God’s MERCY! I was taken by these three men…
The blind beggar seemed to have known the Scriptures and possibly he was a believer within his Jewish faith. Yet, even without being able to see Jesus, God had given him the identity of this Son of David. Do not forget this fact: he could not see Jesus’ face but knew His Presence and His title… Isn’t this the same we have in the consecrated HOST? In fact he was set free by simply meeting the Messiah without his human eyes knowing Him, but he had the eyes of faith and the Truth in front of him , like we do with the Eucharistic Presence, and that was enough for him to believe in Jesus power! Wow… Once he “sew” Him he even decided to follow Jesus!
And Zacheus had done the impossible (even to climb a tree…!) in order to have a glance at Jesus, simply because his heart had been freed to be ridiculous. This last man should be a cousin of Mother Angelica who said, “Unless you do the ridiculous, you will not get the miraculous…” But who healed his fear of what others would say? My theory is that he was healed by the PRESENCE OF JESUS! Wow. How much we could gain by just sitting in front of the Eucharistic Jesus! And yet, he had to show up for all of this to happen! And by acting as such, all three received God’s mercy with spiritual healing for the three of them, and physical healing for two of them (Job was covered with wounds). Also, in the case of Zacheus, there was instant repentance for his sins and he even made a public amendment. Wow! His initial freedom from fear to do the ridiculous gave him the gift of repentance in the Presence of God Messiah. So, seeking Jesus, being in His Presence, should make us free of worldly attachments and bring us a sense of turning around our ways to follow Him.
I came home and later at 3 PM, I said my continuous novena to Baby Jesus and prayed the preparation for consecration to Our Lady, as I had been asked to do some weeks before. This preparation is made of many petitions asking the intercession of my Mother for me to change, to become new, reformed … It is in one of the “pages” in this blog site. For some time I have realized that those petitions are for me to be further evangelized… and in order to become freer!!! But it was at 3:45 PM when I understood and very clearly that the topic for this month’s blog was on freedom. But what is it?
2. What is freedom for the world?
Oct. 11. I decided to find out what others think freedom is and among many opinions I chose a few:
“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” Thucydides, Greek historian – 460-404 BC
“Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire.” Epictetus quotes. Greek philosopher – 55-135 AD
“He who is brave is free.” Seneca, philosopher. Mid-1st. AD
“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Thomas Jefferson. American. 3rd US President – Author of the Declaration of Independence. 1762-1826
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” Mahatma Gandhi. Indian philosopher, 1869-1948.
“Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.” Bertrand Russell. English logician and philosopher – 1872-1970
“Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.” Voltaire. French philosopher and writer. 1694-1778. (Ouch!)
“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey.
I WANT TO ADD HERE THESE THOUGHTS and part of them will make sense when you read the end of the blog regarding THE LOVE OF THE BELOVED (dating God)…
From Anais Nin – French born novelist. 1903-1977.
“There are two kinds of freedom in the world; the freedom of the rich and powerful, and the freedom of the artist and the monk who renounces possessions. (I politely disagree with this statement but the others are very good!)
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing. And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
“Do not seek the ‘because’ – in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions. We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are. The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” (Hmm)
3. The Roman Catholic Church definition of freedom
1) Catechism of the Catholic Church
I. MAN’S FREEDOM
“God willed that man should be ‘left in the hand of its own counsel,’ so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to Him.” Gaudium et spes 17. Sirach 15:14.
“Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.” St. Irenaeus.
1731: Freedom is the power rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliverate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.
1733. The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to the “slavery of sin.” (Romans 6:17)
II. Human freedom in the economy of salvation
1739. Freedom and sin. Man’s freedom is limited and fallible. In fact, main failed. He freely sinned. By refusing God’s plan of love, he deceived himself and became a slave to sin. This first alienation engendered a multitude of others. From its outset, human history attests the wretchedness and oppression born of the human heart in consequence of the abuse freedom.
1740. Threats to freedom. The exercise of freedom does not imply a right to say or do everything. It is false to maintain that man, “the subject of this freedom,” is “an individual who is fully self-sufficient and whose finality is the satisfaction of his own interests in the enjoyment of earthly goods.” — By deviating from the moral law man violates his own freedom, becomes imprisoned within himself, and rebels against divine truth.
1741. Liberation and salvation. “For freedom Christ has set us free.” (Gal. 5:1) In Him we have communion with the “truth that makes us free.” (John 8:32). The Holy Spirit has been given to us and, as the Apostle teaches, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor: 17). Already we glory in the “liberty of the children of God.” (Romans 8:21)
1742. Freedom and grace. The grace of Christ is not in the slightest way a rival of our freedom when this freedom accords with the sense of the true and the good that God has put in the human heart. On the contrary, as Christian experience attests especially in prayer, the more docile we are to the promptings of graces, the more we grow in inner freedom and confidence during trials, such as those we face in the pressures and constraints of the outer world. By the working of grace the Holy Spirit educates us in spiritual freedom in order to make us free collaborators in His work in the Church and in the world. (I say, Amen!)
2) Fides et Ratio – Faith and Reason Encyclical
I just want to copy here from my own theologian son’s blog of October 15 titled, “MY THEOLOGY ON TAP,” (www.regnumnovum.com). This will give you another look at what the Catechism says about freedom.
“Trying to give a summary of Fides et ratio in 45 minutes, in a bar, while fighting a battle with a serious cold, which is sapping your ability to speak with every passing syllable, is not ideal. But it can be fun. This is what I did last night at the Old Chicago in Downtown Omaha. The turnout was middling, but there was a good deal of engagement I thought. I prepared a good deal for this talk, and I think it paid off. If you’re interested in it, check out the page Theology on Tap on the tabs at the top.
(Part of the talk given) “Once the truth is denied to human beings, it is pure illusion to try to set them free. Truth and freedom either go together hand in hand or together they perish in misery.
This is heavy stuff. If you reject truth you ultimately reject freedom. The person who does not hold fast to truth is never truly free. But what truth are we talking about here? John Paul II is clear that we are talking about the truth of the human person. He’s talking about the “meaningfulness of being,” about “the identity of the human being,” about the “dignity of the human person.” How, my friends, can be known who we are, not just what, but who we are, if there is no truth? How can we discover the grounding of our being, if there is no ground?”
A Clear Calculus
The Holy Father’s calculus here is really very straight forward because we know what happens: if there is no objective truth then we cannot say anything definitive about human nature. If we can’t do that, then there is no human nature. If there is no human nature, then there is no fundamental human dignity to which we can appeal. If there is no appealing to intrinsic/fundamental human dignity, then there is no protection from atrocity, and we perish in misery.” (End of quote)
I ended up wondering how much time we Catholics spend studying and accepting the Word of God, the words of our Popes (Chair created by Jesus) in regards to the Truth, all based in Scripture as well, but put together by them under the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the times of evil and violence in our world? Does anyone talk about arming ourselves with faith and reason before we go to vote in regards to the dignity of the human being? But the most challenging question was regarding how many of us live lives that announce His Truth that makes us free?
4. Some highlights on different events in this month which will bring you to see how this topic was evolving in my mind by the action of the Holy Spirit.
September 30. I had gone to 6:30 AM Mass and during the morning hours I also had to shop in several places for different things I needed. Both times as I was driving, I felt clearly from within a call to turn off all noise (radio) and to be in His Presence within… And yes, the feeling was awesome once I adored Him in His little crèche and as an Infant, Who was probably napping in my inner temple. God is there and no matter under what age of His I use to adore Him. I understood that I must pay attention to Him during the day, as part of becoming freer.
Later that day and in EWTN, Fr. Dubay who recently passed away said in a segment of His Freedom and Authority series that “lack of authority is not freedom…” Freedom is tied up with obedience and most especially when living with others. Hmm. Then I thought that of course I live with another… God within… I made so much sense the incident of the morning regarding in obedience to turn off all noise to be present to the Other! God never fails to amaze me with His teaching tying up pieces of the Truth and day by day!
October 1. Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus.
On this day and while praying the Rosary at home, I was given the idea of making a list of all the freedoms I have experienced so far and through many years of seeking God. I did but I will tell you about it later. I suspect that the Little Flower was praying for me in order to get this inspiration. At 12 Noon Mass and after Communion I clearly felt called to live a radical Christianity. I had already being freed of many things (as you will see in the list I already had made earlier), but the darkness around is soo powerful, and more obvious during these last days of political campaigning, that I realized my need for a quicker and more radical conversion is of the utmost importance. In fact I felt a new call to the “mission field” and of course, it was the feast day of a great missionary, St. Therese…
3 PM: after praying my continuous novena to Baby Jesus and prayers to my Mother, I knew that I only need to live in the presence of God within saying yes to His will at all moments of my life and asking for God’s mercy to be able to see, to hear, and to keep the commandments. I learned that one week of doing so, was equivalent to one year of prayer but while keeping my will intact. I further learned that my best fasting is to fast my will and striving to do His will (the Truth) so that my prayer can move mountains, and He said I could… It is not wishful thinking! Huh!
And voila, I also clearly realized that my unalienable right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that is, my freedom, starts with freedom within given by the God Who created me for His pleasure, and for me to give Him glory. I can be free even if externally I am oppressed, in jail, persecuted, mistreated. It all depends if I give God the right place to set me free… and of course, His Truth sets me free. This is the case of the Colombian Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and of the 33 Chilean miners! This is the case of monks and nuns who live in enclosed confinement and surrogate to orders from the superior. In Christ, they can become the freest human beings. It all depends if they seek Him as Job, the blind beggar and Zacheus did!
October 2. This special day of the Feast of the Guardian Angels, and as a member of the Opus Sanctorum Angelorum, I thanked them for their work. But on this their feast day, I was illumined with the greatest explanation regarding my present illness, POTS…and I suspect that the Holy Angels had something to do with it, and course, those who pray for me regularly. More on it at the end of the blog when I will update you on this topic, and this is done not to disrupt the flow of my understanding of what freedom is all about but in my own life.
October 7. Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.
On this day I learned something new regarding the miracle at the Wedding at Cana. I always understood that it was Our Lady’s intercession the one that prompted the miracle, which in turn, prompted her Son to enter public ministry and ahead of His time as He hinted to her. She was also practicing love of neighbor of the highest quality… But there is another aspect here that I never had paid attention to it and how she kept her position as handmaid of the Lord, as a servant!
One servant, Mary, informed the other Servant, Jesus, about the needs of the couple, a man and a woman who had been united to become a family. Hmm… She never told Him what to do. Even more, when she asked the servants to do whatever He told them, she did not order them either to put the water in the jars. The miracle was up to God, her Son. He had to will it. She was just simply acting as the intermediary, as a servant of the couple and informing the Son about their need and sort of having things ready for Him to decide by alerting the servants. Yet, it was God who decided ultimately to honor this new family of two and Who ordered the servants to put water in the jars, and besides that, He produced the best wine possible.
Wasn’t this the best story for us to see the action of true servanthood plus how much God is willing to do for wedded couples, including accepting to accelerate His entrance into the arena of public life that would take Him to this cruel death on a Cross? Is this story a hint for us all? It certainly is the story of two Servants showing us how much they love us. And both were sooo free to love first and foremost… despite the consequences! It was a huge hint from my Mama on her feast day… and besides to be able to ponder in the next two points.
1) Do I love myself more, or less, than my brothers and sisters in all circumstances? Am I willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to love others where they are at? Hmm… A BIG LESSON! I also remembered that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit I left several jobs to stay away from abortions on demand. However, I had been freed by grace to suffer the consequences and not only of money needs for the family. You see, in the medical profession there is an unwritten law that moving often our practice from place to place may hide a problem with the doctor (like being difficult to get alone, or poorly trained, etc.), and more so for us hospital based physicians (radiologists, pathologists and anesthesiologists).
2) It was a great example of how we have to pray: dressed in all humility as a servant should, I must always ask for something if only agreeable to the will of God. And the Gospel for this day was all about, “Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find.”
On this same date of October 7, Fr. Thomas Dubay, SM, was talking on freedom… He quoted George Wiegle’s writings on JP II, and said that “freedom separated from truth leads to chaos, to anarchy. It is only your idea and my idea. If you do not recognize the Truth – the only way to settle the argument is for you to impose your power on me or vice versa! “So, Fr. Dubay concluded that you have to love the truth if you are going to have freedom! As you can see, my Lord was pounding my head with the subject of freedom… At this time, I had not even checked the Catechism on the matter. Again, the truth is of the utmost importance, the truth of our inalienable right for liberty and as a consequence, our right to live in order to pursuit that happiness of being free.
October 12: The first reading of the Mass for today was from Galatians 5:1. “”Brothers and sisters, for freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery (sin)”. On this vary day, the Chilean miners were getting ready to be brought up. The stories of their freedom, spiritual and physical, will never leave me. This day I needed to send some money to a friend out of this country, and I tried 3 times and different supermarkets where they have Western Union services and to no avail…They were short of help and mysteriously they did no have enough employees to send to the desk where they do the transaction… My health was not helping either.
October 13: The 33 miners were freed through a huge miracle…! Interesting date that God chose…But on this day, again I was not feeling well and needed to shop at a Target Store. I had been to Mass at 6:30 AM and come home to decide if I really should make the effort to go out again. I needed also to get this money and wire it to this friend who needed it. Probably because of the latter reason, I pushed myself out (or did somebody from within pushed me to do it?) and I went to Target first, since it was easier for traffic reasons or so I thought. There I found a 50 + year old man shopping for a product in one of the isles and he could not make up his mind, and I could not pass because he was in the middle with his cart and his mind immersed in what product to buy.
I said, “How hard it is to choose from so many products.”
Man: “It is like buying a car. I own a 9 year old car but want to buy another so that when I retire I have a car that is younger. “
I found myself saying, “Do you pray?
Man: “Well, God has so many things to do that He is not going to bother to help me with such decision.”
Then I answered, “God is so loving, so merciful and so crazy for all of us, and since He is also omnipotent and omnipresent, well, God always answers but we have to ask. Just recently, I was reading how St. Paul wrote, ‘You stupid Galatians.’ (Actually it had been a recent reading at Mass.) We are dull and stupid if we do not ask. Do you belong to any Church?”
Man: I was Catholic and went to elementary Catholic School but…!”
I interrupted and said, “I am too! But guess what happened to me?”
Man: “What happened to you?”
“At age 61/2 and in my home country, I begged my folks to send me to a boarding school where they had perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, just because I felt the need to sleep next to Him, His Eucharistic Presence, and fell in love. Since then, He is my alpha, my omega, my beginning and my end. So, ask Him and He will help you choose your car.”
At this moment, the man had tears in his eyes. He paused and said goodbye and how good had been to meet me… I KNEW THAT on this day where the miners were in the process of being liberated, I might have started the liberation of another man in Pleasant Hills, California. At least a seed was sown and the Big Chief, the Holy Ghost, would do the rest for him. But some human being had to start the freeing process…! A big lesson for me as well! First, I went even that I did not feel well. Second, I stopped first at this store, at a very specific time in the entire universe when this man and I had to meet. I went with the Bible quote of St Paul first – thinking that maybe we was a separated brother. But not… It was one of our sheep who had been brought in the faith as a child… and somehow had lost it… These are the times when I truly get scared! I never had to suffer any problems of faith because the Crucified came to rescue me at as a child! How much do I have to pay back and tell everybody about it? It truly bothers me to see my waste of time!
While I was saying the Rosary, I understood that freedom depends on a daily fidelity not to center my brain in what I want, nor what I desire. It is the constant cleansing of my inner temple from this “temptation” that releases the call to His mercy to make me even freer! In other words, I must think as a servant, act as a servant, be a servant.
For this servant mentality I realized through grace that I had to wire my brain up with the phrase “This moment is as perfect as it can be,” with full understanding that it is so because it is the product of the plan, the scheme that God has created for my salvation and of those around me.
Servanthood is therefore one short walk to freedom, inner and external freedom! It is pretty much again like the case of the Chilean miners. They were in the bowels of the earth, and a rescue capsule brought them back to the land of the living. The same happens with my soul, which easily gets trapped or chained in the bowels of my flesh (my will) and of course, the gate is very narrow, that is, the path of the capsule of the mercy of God. (More later on the Chilean miner’s story).
I must show this same courage to submit myself to His plan for the good of others as well. The question is not how am I to become free in Christ? He does it. The question is how I am going to wire my brain up to always say “yes” as a true servant – one that has no opinions or plans but lives the mandate to submit to His will, which is the same to say, to submit to His Divine Providence moment by moment.
There is another important item in this same topic. Praying all the time as I go through life will not make me run faster if not accompanied by a radical determination to be content with each present moment. God will not force me to do it even if I pray for His help. He respects my freedom of choice of good or evil. At the end, I must consent to say yes to each moment because of the spiritual beauty it represents! It should not be either a “yes, but…” This yes must be totally wrapped in trust in His mercy with not “buts’” at all.
I had gone to 12 Noon Mass and sensed from within that I would receive a sign! Around 7 PM, looking for something in my closet, I found a little brown plastic box with some prayers. In there I found a litany to the Infant Jesus that came from Our Lady of Victory parish in Lackawanna, NY. And yes, I used to travel in the early 80’s through this small town in route from Cleveland to the Abbey of Genesee in upper N.Y. State! I felt that my Lord wanted to emphasize that I should keep my devotion to His Infancy alive and well! Now I take this litany to Mass and frequently recite it in His Presence. Huh! I presume that this will help me to wire my brain up to be present to Him automatically within my temple with many parts of this litany memorized and as go through life.
October 16. Feast of St. Margaret Mary.
We had a healing Mass in my parish. It was a beautiful Mass. There is a man who always sings for the 8 AM Sunday Mass and who always covers these healing Masses. He was a policeman in San Francisco in his younger years… He is also a person who has received the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” which means that he reaffirmed as an adult the coming of the Holy Spirit in his Baptism and Confirmation. The songs used for this healing Masses are from the “charismatic movement” and simply divine. God was with us big time and He was felt by us. We serenaded Him in the Tabernacle as the anointing was going on.
And what did I get out of it? There is always healing: physical or spiritual. I came out with a deep feeling of contrition for the times wasted in my life, that is, for the things that I failed to do like praying for the salvation of souls but with great zeal for them, which means with great love, since zeal is a product of loving the other; for the time lost, wasted with the improper stewardship of my gifts given to me actually for the use of the community. I did serve but many years I did not do it always listening to the Holy Spirit for the routing, like the day when at Target, He had a customer to take care of, and for this reason the day before, He did not allow me to send the money via Western Union, so that I had to go out the following day!!! Just imagine the amount of retreats I have attended and the many hours reading the Scriptures, and yet, I had failed to run the race for me and others in a more fruitful way. I had not run to embrace His plan and to see each present moment as link in the chain of plans designed for me even before I was wonderfully made! In a way, it was contrition for the times that I was not free to follow the Truth and instead I had followed my will!
In other words, through the years, I did many things for myself and some for God. What I did for God was very good, and at times very sacrificial, but it is like giving Him something I chose to do in order to work out my own salvation. I did not spend sufficient time with Him… in prayer, reading the Bible or best, in front of His Eucharistic Presence, in order to know what each present moment is all about. His plan for me is unique, just like my finger prints. He does not make junk either and never did. What I do not do for the Kingdom will remain undone in the way He had willed it. I felt the need to go back to St. John of the Cross’s meditation, “I must seek the most difficult,” and a reminder that I have to become nothing, that I have to decrease like the other John said, so that He can increase, so that He can be everything in my soul. It was certainly a major healing Mass with a call to cry for the freedoms that I had rejected, in order to do my will. And by October 27, I had more comprehension all of this, as you will read later.
October 17. At home, around 11 AM and as I was waiting for the encore presentation of the Mass in Rome for the canonization of 5 new saints, I suddenly realized that as a team member I MUST GO AND TELL THE WORLD that He is alive and with the same excitement, but all the while as I work in the evangelization of my soul. The one way to proclaim His mercy to the world is not with words but in action, by going and telling others that He is alive, knowing well that the Holy Spirit will take over after I announce it. If He did it before (Acts of the Apostles), why not now again?
Then I started thinking that there were only 12 apostles sent and later 72 disciples. Later on, Paul of Tarsus was sent for the sake of the Gentiles like me, and from then on, God kept His Church growing. He can do the same right now with a bunch of us, but we need to run and desire a new life – to become little like the mustard seed and get to the ground by ousting our will and be fertilized by the Sacraments. But this death means TOTAL ADHERENCE to God’s will second by second… It is not what the will of God was for me and I want to keep obeying. Nah… It is everything that comes my way for each new moment.
So, for me the new evangelization is not new because it is the same Gospel, but proclaimed with a “new soul,” one that is revamped, re-evangelized, persistent and desiring to render fruit. It is a soul dead to the world and resurrected and free in Christ that will speak the right words to other people according to their interior needs! It is a soul that is willing to seek God despite persecutions and voices that tend to makes us spiritually frail or afraid! It is a soul that is ready to climb a tree if necessary and look ridiculous… IT IS A SOUL THAT IS FREE BUT FREED BY THE TRUTH because we are trying to live according to such Truth!!! We then can plant seeds of hope, of faith and love as the 11 and the 72 did and truly see the Holy Ghost do so much for us, including blessings of all kinds for our families and friends and many for ourselves as well!
And the greatest reward for me will be that I will become freer, free at last to be the best servant that is ready to receive the Master at any moment. Not a bad pay off!
October 18. St. Luke’s feast. I understood today after Mass how Martha and Mary differed in something very telling. Martha was the strategist. She was busy making things perfect to honor Jesus. Martha loved Him but she was in charge to show this love to Him. Mary, on the contrary, remained at His feet in clear submission to Him, and this kind of love Jesus applauded… Martha had plans and became uncomfortable with Mary. The latter had not plans, except to look at Him. I am super sure that Mary after a while of this contemplative state, would have been moved by the love of Jesus for her, to go and help Martha… Yet, Martha was not able to capture the freedom of Mary, of doing what the Master wanted of her for that moment, and became anxious… simply because she was relying on her own plans for service!!! She was serving but was not a free servant!
October 19: After Communion this was what I understood: “My personal evangelization is complete when I know my identity.
1) I am daughter of the Father
2) I am redeemed by Christ
3) I am guided by the Holy Spirit
And when this Truth is taken seriously, when I live it, then I can move mountains, hearts and the multitudes. But I have to allow the Trinity to govern my soul to truly live my identity (and only LOVE can reveal that to me; more on it at the end!). For example: here comes another election day in November. I have lived firsthand the power of prayer, yet, in past years I had to wear my shoes as an evangelist and live my Trinitarian identity and take drastic measures for the glory of God. I have told you about it before but it is worthwhile repeating in lieu of next November second:
November 3, 2002 I traveled to Mexico City to be with my Mother for the partial elections in the U.S. We needed a pro-life Congress to help the then U.S. President to forward the agenda of saving babies. I spent most of the day of Nov. 4, St Charles Borromeo’s feast day praying at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I had been there in 1993 with a group from So. Bend. This time, I was alone but had found a beautiful place to stay: a Benedictine convent, now with a few nuns and many rooms to receive pilgrims (like a pension), and only 2 blocks from the Basilica.
On Tuesday Nov. 5, 2002 I spent about 6 hours with her, and of course, I attended 6 Masses (one each hour as it is the custom in this Basilica.) It was very hard to say goodbye at the end of the day because I know she was there (not in the painting). The painting is only a reminder that she was painted by God in St. Juan Diego’s tilma in order to hint us that her spirit will be at Tepeyac and with us in the America’s… Not a small gift… And the fact that 9,000 Mexican Indians became converted in a short number of years after this painting was sent from heaven, and that prior to this apparition they were conducting human sacrifices using children, well, this was the place to be on this day while Americans were voting. I had voted by mail already. And sure enough, when I entered the US on Nov. 6 via Houston, TX in route to Birmingham/Hanceville in Alabama, I learned that we had a pro-life majority in the Congress…
On November 4, 2004 I was led to spend 11 hours in my parish in Toledo, with Mass at 8 AM and continuous Holy Hours with 26 Rosaries said during this time, and only asking for the Will of God to be done for the U.S. in this crucial election. Well, you know that Ohio did it by helping bring a pro-life President into power, despite that at 9 AM the other candidate had already counted his victory in OH by the early polls from people who had started voting since 6:30 AM.
HERE IS the point: prayer works most especially when we ask for the will of God to be done… Can you see how much time we waste with our opinions, not only giving them, but many of us taking time to hear them and getting saturated by them expressed everywhere and by everyone, from both sides like during election times? Yes, it is very important to be informed of all the facts and most especially when at times they are distorted, but at one point we have to move on and pray. So, this healing Mass kept revealing to me that yes, indeed, I had wasted many moments, and most especially, when I failed to say “yes” all day, and willing to do whatever according to His will. This can illustrate for you the importance of leaving my parish on the day of the healing Mass with this remorse of wasting time. Sometimes God has to remind us of both: our power in Christ through His Passion, Death and Resurrection and our lack of wisdom in remembering what He can do for us all when we obey Him.
For next Tuesday Nov. 2, I am planning to spend hours in front of the Tabernacle and hopefully from 6:30 AM Mass to 12 Noon Mass and offer both Masses 1) in atonement for the sins of all voters, 2) for mercy for them as well, 3) while I also beg for His mercy to do His will in this U.S.A. But this time around, it will all depend on my health! I will be in good company though: all departed Souls!
October 20. The feast of St. Paul of the Cross was as always a day to rejoice. As I had said before, He came to my life as a church size painting dating more than 100 years, and from one of his monasteries in England, which had fallen in the sea. The left over’s of the church of this monastery ended up in an antique store in Toledo. The manager of the surgery center where I was director told me that several Catholic pieces were in this shop, and she was not Catholic herself. This was an act of the Holy Spirit but at the time I had no idea!
I had my theologian son with me at this moment visiting from Rome and he helped me bring St. Paul of the Cross home. The Stations of the Cross were also available, although the painting of each station was gone, and they had put mirrors instead. I bought station No. 5, where Simon the Cyrene helps Jesus carry His Cross. St. Paul ended up in my garage because the painting was huge, and the home I was renting at the time could not house him. After my husband died, I bought a home precisely with high ceilings for St. Paul.
And again, as I said before, his picture came to me in 2002, and I then bought all his biographies and the four volumes of published letters written during his life, and a thirst grew in me to pay attention to Jesus’ Passion as never before… I also visited this Saint’s tomb in Rome in 2003, visit instigated again by the Holy Spirit to be there where his body rests, and yet, it was the moment I would meet another Paul, John Paul II, in a private audience! But, Mel Gibson gave us the Passion of the Christ movie in 2004 and again in 2005, and of course, as told before, my Lord sent me to see it in the big screen 22 times (He did not want DVD’s)… It was a miracle in itself because each time I was able to meditate in some part of His suffering, and without distractions or just watching parts of it at a time, as I would do at home.
What I truly think now, 5 years later, is that I was actually contemplating His Passion in a reverend, continuous act, and the actual contemplation rendered the merits I needed to stay in Toledo from 2003 to 2008 without a job, doing the will of God at all cost despite what others thought, and training myself to allow Him to provide!!! And I am happy to say that He did… I also wonder now if this was a nice way for Him to prove to me what meditating in His Passion can do, as St. Paul of the Cross wrote abundantly about, so that the purification of my own will would prepare me to become a blogger of His mercy on Nov. 2008, a plan that I never considered. It would have frightened me!
I also enjoyed immensely the well written blog of my son on St. Paul of the Cross, whose painting by the way is in storage some two blocks from where I live. When I left Toledo, I tried to give him away to parishes that bore his name in other States and it did not work. Then, I wanted to cut the painting in pieces since the size and weight was too much to carry across the country, and I sensed that St. Paul did not agree! But back to my son’s blogs, they are a delight for me. Yet, not only because “part of my flesh” is writing about our Faith in so many aspects of it, but because I learn much, and every time I read one, I remember that he almost died at birth after a medical error, and the baby was declared a possible retarded adult when given to me from still now, one of the best 100 hospitals in the U.S.A, William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. His blogs remind me that for God nothing, nothing is impossible, for indeed, He is mercy Himself.
5. How I understand freedom in my own life.
How have I experienced it, little by little, through the years? There are many reasons why we lose our freedom. We all know that sin is always related to disobeying the Truth, and of course, it takes our freedom away. But at this time I want to share with you my freedoms, experienced one at the time. Yet, I never had made a list of them nor comprehended the possible source behind the enslavement of my soul. As always, remember that I did not make myself free… He did it!
The Lord Jesus kept saying not to have fear… and the Bible as a whole is supposed to have 365 statements about not having fear, one per day of the year. Our John Paul II kept saying it over and over: “Do not be afraid.” So, these are my freedoms against my fears.
1) I am free to die anytime and loving it… In fact, I cannot wait to die… I dream of the day when I shall depart this flesh…
2) I am free not to desire money. I do not fear my future and have given at least half million dollars away and it gives me peace. Not once did I agree to plan my retirement… Not once, and despite many financial advisers coming after me to plea for my monies to multiply them for my old age. This grace was there at all times. Somehow, I was able to see that creating these images of not having to work and traveling all over to see new places as a retired person, with a good plan to survive many years in opulence, they always seemed funny! Retirement plans have been commercialized as the freedom to do whatever you want with enough money to do it, and yet this is slavery to a dream, a dream that does not count the emptiness of not living the Truth day and night, even if one is religious, and we also forget illnesses and the changes of an aging body. In time, and after some trips abroad, I could not survive going to “see” where Jesus was born… Who cares! I have Him all to myself in the Tabernacle and for some 15 min. after each Holy Communion.
For example, if someone paid for me to go to any place just by the sea or to a mountain top, I could not do it. I have no desire to do so. In the other hand, if God wanted me to travel, He would put it in my heart with no doubts about it. But at this point, I lost the lust to vacation unless sent (but I do not work for gain and I am not stressed out), or to see places, even if it is the Sixtine Chapel. In fact, when I was in Rome in 2003, I declined to go out and visit the Sixtine Chapel. This is part of the freedom that God has given me in matters of money and the pleasures it could give us. Now, I am super sure that this last paragraph must be “Chinese” for most of you… Yet, I want to tell you that at one time I was there, wanting to travel and to see places … And since I feel this freedom now, I must assure you that it truly means that it comes from God. He did it! It is the same to say that I do not need frescos and paintings of all types in churches. I do not need Latin or any other foreign language for the Mass. I only need to receive His love when I go to Church.
3) Again, I was free to lose a job needed for my family needs, if it meant to participate in taking away the freedom of a baby to be born to pursuit happiness, by killing them through an abortion demanded by the mother…
Where do I still have fear? Well, I fear a wheel chair for me or my sons. I am not free yet! I also fear to age and become a burden for my family.
1) I am free not to resent about 80% people who harmed me in whatever ways. I am still asking for the grace for the 20% remaining.
2) I am free to “love” some of my persecutors, a step beyond total forgiveness.
MY STATUS AS PART OF THIS WORLD CULTURE
1) I am free not to dress and use makeup and tint my hair for the sake of others. I have begged my Lord for permission to cease doing all of them, but as He did some 30 years with my diamonds, when I could not stand them, He said I had to look like the rest… in order to give a good impression as I try to evangelize those He puts in my life! But put in other words, my looks have no power to define who I am.
2) I am free not to even use my MD after my name. I purposely printed the new checks when I came to California and did not write MD after my name. Yet, it is hard to remember to sign them without it… but my signature became so illegible through the years of practice due to signing so many orders and charts that it does not look too obvious, and this is only when I forget to omit the MD after my name.
1) I have the freedom to love others without expecting to be loved back and even if they ignore me.
2) I have the freedom not to miss meeting with people in general, like with friends or socializing at all!
3) I am free to be alone, and any feeling of loneliness disappeared some 15 years ago. I can hardly remember how it feels to be lonely.
4) I am free not to want to be the best. This has always being a shocker for many around me, since apparently I was born without any desire to compete with other human beings. I am a perfectionist and always competed with myself to do the job better the next time around. Therefore, I was always performing to the best of my abilities, and teachers, university professors and colleagues picked up on it, but my persecutors seemed to think I was doing it to compete with them… Not so… In spiritual grounds, this got even worse… I compete to win the race, but not against others… However, I suspect that my work for the Kingdom reminds others of what they may not be doing and to no fault of my own, and this is when I become a target, since I suppose (and I do not know for sure) that they may feel uncomfortable feeling that they are not marching at the same speed.
5) I have the freedom not to call attention to myself… Again, the same reasoning above applies here. I have been told in parishes that I do things just to call attention… Hmm! And God knows my heart and knows that I am truthful when I say that I had so much attention as a child, student, professional, etc. that I never even had the need to be noticed… I was but not because I tried hard to be.
6) I have found out lately that I have obtained the freedom to love strangers. When I pray for people in the stadiums, especially with the Giants baseball team being in the news papers front page of this area, I truly love them all, Giants and Texas players, managers, spectators, and even the TV announcers. I tear at times as I ask for His mercy over them, and feel that they are like my own sons and daughters. Well, this is a rather new freedom because it was not there a year ago!
7) I have the freedom not to seek power of any kind. I do not want to be followed, obeyed, except if God places me again in a situation of governing a group. With my own sons, I refrain from pushing them to do anything I want or desire for them. I know that I pray daily for them and that this God Who has freed me, will provide for them in whatever way is best for them. For example, one of my sons has lived in Miami for some two years plus, and I always worried about the almost naked ways that our Hispanic community (especially women) present themselves even in our national TV news, which is mostly coming from that area. So, God opened other doors and he is in route to the U.S. “holy land” of Birmingham, AL (EWTN). In fact, a dear priest there has accepted to pray for him, the move and his finding of housing.
8 ) God has freed me for several years to say this: if all my four sons die today, I would be fine with me. But again, I am not free yet to see them paralyzed in a wheel chair or hurting in any way!
9) I am free to love the homeless. It was until God gave me a homeless man to drive everywhere during those years in Toledo, that I realized I was not free to do so before. I was afraid of them. I did not dislike them but could not show affection to them!
10) I am free to accept most crosses in my life, and especially the cross of my present illness.
But I am not yet free to love the politicians that are crowding the television and radio airways trying to destroy the opponent in every possible way. I am not free to love so many “doctors” of all kinds who send me newsletters to sell me the greatest natural product to cure my memory, for example…
Worse, even on Oct. 29, a Dr. Besser, pediatrician medical correspondent for ABC, gave his opinions about vitamins. He asked, “Do we need them?” He amply reiterated that there are not scientific studies proving that they are of benefit over a good regular diet… It really makes me angry to hear such “reasoning”… The truth is that studies cost tons of dollars, and only the pharmaceutical companies can give universities huge grants to prove or disprove their many drugs, some of which still kill us and have to be pulled out of the market. Dr. Besser also indicated that the FDA has no authority over this vitamin industry worth 25 billion dollars, and yes, it is abused big time. But even the FDA does not seem to work out well all the time either… The truth is that I cannot love Dr. Besser, and I should… He does not have bad intentions, but he is part of an industry that re-wired our brains to accept only what “studies” prove and all are about drugs… There you can see where I stand in loving people that lie to me without probably knowing about it. Germany has approved the use of natural products in their system of medicine for many years. Why? Personally, I do no age as fast as I should. I hardly have wrinkles and I should… My memory is coming back… Do I need antioxidants and vitamins in general? You bet I do. Yet, how I wish I could love all of them who keep us in the darkness, and especially when toxicity is ignored!
HERE IS THE GREATEST FREEDOM I HAVE RECEIVED
It is the greatest freedom to tell you this following story, which could easily make you think I am totally nuts, crazy, and possibly confused with reality. But I am free to be considered a dummy or worse, a weird person!
The other day we had a LIVE program in EWTN talking about the new translation of the Mass into the vernacular and why. It was well done and I am glad to have understood the things that will be changed and why. Yet, human translations will never substitute love. For the regular folk like me, a few changes here and there mean nothing. We have books and books about what is the Mass, and I am glad to a certain point because when I grew up, no one explained that the Mass is a representation of Calvary in real time to which I can join and be part of, remembering that this Sacrifice is what made me an adopted child of God, and besides, that His Sacrifice also provides me with His REAL PRESENCE on this earth.
But for me, the Mass is all of the above, but something more. The Mass for me is a meeting of love. God’s only language is love. No matter what words we say, except for the Consecration, I am there for this date of love. It is like a reality show. I show up and He shows up anew… at the Altar, where bread and wine are no more in the hands of the priest who in the person of Christ repeats His words of the Last Supper; so He comes to love me one more time for this new date and goes beyond the call of duty and He allows Himself to come into my filthy mouth to be one with me. That is called love… It is a date for me, and the reality part is that by both of us showing up, we become one… Wow!
Through the years, this love in me for Him has grown (of course, His is the same, all powerful, all present), and finally in years past, when I go for my date, His love simply covers me up the moment I arrive to church. The joy some days is so hard to control. I have always chosen the second pew in most parishes I attended. Now I have to seat a little behind hoping to have other human beings in front so that I do not disturb the celebrant with this immense joy that probably shows up in my face. Of course, I pay a huge price. Somehow, tall people totally deny me of seeing the Altar to greet the priest, so I have to move sideways. Some men and women are not too tall but they move constantly and ever so slightly sideways, but again, it forces me to move as well… While standing, many sway their bodies and they cannot be still. Sitting, they move their head more to one side than to the other and often. Why? I have no idea. I wonder if their brains have not been quieted enough from the outside noises. A few will read the Sunday bulletin at parts of the Mass. Others will look around, and yes… I am not free to love them yet and where they are at!
But the fact that I am dating the King of Kings at that moment brings me some patience. This joy and peace with tears at times for being so loved cannot be described in human terms. And this “date” is available to everyone who is baptized through the grace of the Holy Spirit. I was hired a little early and knew of His Real Presence as a kid, but no matter how late in life you get to desire and seek Him for this meeting of love, you will get paid the same than the one hired earlier; that is, the Mass will not be something you do on Sundays’ to avoid mortal sin… You will be there like the widow of the story and ask the Judge to give you justice, to tell you how to change, how to get free to be able to see that the Mass is a meeting of loves: His and yours, and I can assure anyone that He will give you this freedom to believe what at first sight sounds crazy, cursi, idiotic… but it is not!
October 27. I had pretty much put this blog together for its posting this weekend when I received after Mass (6:30 AM), one of the greatest revelations that explain my freedoms… as listed above. Again, this is the explanation that helped me but it may not help you, and I am not a theologian… Never forget that! Here we go:
When we are Baptized and Confirmed, the Holy Spirit (LOVE itself) comes to reside in our soul. However these three Persons are one God, so the Holy Trinity lives within us in our Temple (soul). It is the truth and our spiritual pilgrimage starts.
Then other human loves come to live in us, and our mind gets preoccupied and even distracted by our human flesh who falls in love with our own ego, with other humans (spouse, children, mother, father, brothers, sisters, family in general), with possessions, prestige, power, success, money, etc. The spiritual life as we call it is a call to balance those loves, and yet, the love of God should be at the top of the list. Some of the loves should never be encouraged; some human loves must be regimented by the Truth, and at all times, God should be the orchestra director of all of them.
“The world and the evil one” will over power us if we forget that God within, His love and mercy are in charge, and they do it by not allowing Him to reign in our soul and minds. The gate becomes very narrow between the pull from the outside and our fidelity to love God first and foremost. And here the words you read from Ms. Anais Nin, the French Novelist, make a lot of sense: “Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing. And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
“Do no seek the ‘because’ - in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions. We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are. The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.” (End of quote)
However, if I submit to God’s will, if I pray that I do so, if I ask Saints and Angels to assist me in this fight, and if I spend time with the Crucified here on earth to be in battle array with me, the other loves take the proper place, and the gate seems to become easier to pass. Some loves will disappear; some will remain but with no attachment. In time and little by little, my soul (with the Holy Spirit within) tells my brain that I am loved by Him, and this love starts growing and occupying more and more awareness in my soul. It is an experiential love. Suddenly I find myself attracted by His love everywhere I find it: His love via a friend, a spouse, a child, within us and mostly, His love in the form of a Host but with His Real Presence it It.
The gate starts opening more and more to the point that I can even choose death to retain this His love. I am sure that our Catholic martyrs all chose to die for this love. What is happening is that we are becoming freer and freer to choose His will against ours. Now, the gate is narrow and will remain narrow if I choose to run my will parallel to His will for me, choosing like a menu in a cafeteria, mixing my will with His. When I adhere to an strict acceptance to every present moment as perfect and necessary for me in order to open the gate of His love and close the narrow gate of my own will, then graces and mercy ensues and my liberation continues, at times in aspects I never thought even possible.
Very important: I only need one strategy: to submit to His will in everything without complaints or wishful thinking of changing it. So, let’s assume that one day I am lonely (not depressed; this is a clinical entity that must be treated and some cases prevented by not eating the wrong foods), and I need to be loved in whatever way. Instead of spending time in this yearning and need and even figuring out if one has someone near to love us, I should immediately turn around and say: “This moment is as perfect as it can be. I embrace this cross of loneliness. It is good for me because it is allowed by God.” I can assure you that such obedience will transform loneliness into a feeling of gratitude, of joy and a lack of feeling alone ever!
In fact, look at the rich, famous, successful in worldly matters and they seem empty shown in the way they abuse forbidden drugs… The feeling of emptiness is a sure sign that God’s love is not occupying our soul as it should with a real experience of this love of God for us. On this day, I realized that my freedoms have come little by little as I tried very hard to do God’s will. It opened the door for Him to come and replace external loves with Himself, inside me, with me at all moments of day and night. This explains why 2000 years ago, He was so adamant at teaching what was important for us, what path to take, what truth would set us free – to do the will of His Father… In fact He said:
“ 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)
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).
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate (self denial), for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” Luke 13: 24.
In the same way, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple. Luke 15: 33.
“Be doers of the Word and no hearers only, deluding yourselves, For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at this own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does.” James 1: 22-25. (End of Biblical quotes)
I believe that to be an evangelist, that is the one who introduces a person to the person of Jesus, one has to date Jesus, and the Mass is the scenario where His and our love meet, so that through repentance and love we can tell others about Him as Mary Magdalene did… This new evangelization requires a new me, a new creation in the love of Christ. We do not need too many strategies… So, how to become free? In hindsight, He guided me through a program that eventually dealt with many attachments and it is still in progress, but because I had known Him as real in my life since infancy, it was probably easier for me submit to everything He wanted, or almost everything. Here is a list of most important moves to start this work of evangelization of our souls, in order to introduce Him to others.
1) The ultimate freedom is to gladly and continually submit our wills to His. The ultimate freedom is also when I cease to be under the tyranny of my “I,” of my ego, of my flesh that also gets weakened with auto-sufficiency and opens itself to the tyranny of the evil one. Therefore, we should constantly re-wire our brains to say, “This moment is a perfect as it can be,” meaning that:
a) I do not question His will; no comments. I take the “Fifth”!
b) I do not wonder about my future.
c) I have no anxiety of what is happening because it has to be perfect coming from Him.
d) I say yes to His will out of love for His mercy (for His love for me or as a mother loves her baby) and to give Him glory.
e) I make up my mind to embrace every cross (loneliness, fears, too much work with excessive tiredness, persecutions, internal emptiness) with great ardor. Doing so, it widens the narrow gate and His love enters in ways never imagined, like my “crazy” dating that goes on at every Mass.
2) Prayer is very important but it has to be understood that our minds must rest assured that I should pray to give glory to Him, to adore Him, in order to receive Him who has set me free if I allow Him to do so!!! He already paid the price and His love (the Truth) is the only thing that can free me… But I must open up to receive such love by becoming a follower, a true disciple, a servant that only knows how to say, “Yes, Sir, Your will be done.” Period! He was clear when He said, “Do not call Me, Lord, Lord, unless you do the will of my Father.” However, prayer is something that needs to be done and time to be found… It is a show of reverence and intimacy to seek Him. He will reveal Himself to our souls proportionate to the amount of interest and time we place in this seeking of Him, just like any other lover seeks the beloved! And when too busy, He is within us, and being with Him is a matter of wiring our brains to be present to Him on auto pilot.
Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade, SJ, who died in 1751, wrote it so well:
“You want to find a little help in yourself and your good works? That is precisely what God does not wish; that is what He cannot tolerate in souls that aspire to perfection. What! Rely upon self? Count upon your good works – what a wretched survival of self-love, pride and perversity! It is to rid chosen souls of these that God makes them pass through a desolating state of poverty, wretchedness, and spiritual nakedness. He wishes slowly to destroy all the trust and reliance they have in themselves; to deprive them of all their resources, so that He may be their sole support, their sole trust, their one hope, their one resource! How accursed is that hope which unreflectingly you thus seek in yourself! O blessed poverty, O blessed despoliation that was the saint’s delight! Love it as they loved it! When by virtue of it, all trust, all hope, all earthly and created aids have been taken from us, we shall have no more aid, we shall have no more trust, we shall have no more hope save in God alone. This is the right hope, the right trust known to the saints, a hope and trust based solely upon the mercy of God and the merits of Jesus Christ.
6. EXAMPLES OF FREEDOM IN OUR TIMES
1) For sure, Ingrid Betancourt from Colombia and mentioned in the last blog, became free while chained to a tree…
2) The Chilean miners became free while lost in the bowels of the earth with no hope to be found, and even after been found, with controversial possibilities of being able to be rescued!
Just in case you did not notice, the miners came out all wearing the same type of T-shirt. In the back this was written: “Porque de Él son las profundidades de la tierra y las alturas del cielo, a Él todo honor y gloria.” — Translation: “Because to Him belong the depths of the earth and the heights of heaven, to Him be all honor and glory.” In the left sleeve of the shirts, the word JESUS also appeared. They were interviewed the following day and a Hispanic TV station presented 6 of them. One of them said that he learned to pray while trapped. And of course, their rescue was a miracle, and we all realized that it happened in a very short time (22 hours to bring out 33 miners plus 5 rescuers) and precisely on the same day that in 1917, we had the miracle of the sun in Fatima, Portugal… Was my Mother working overtime on this day? Of course, she was… A Chilean psychologist stated that in this operation, the Chileans had rescued the hope of perseverance.” Hmm. I am sure their own Saints, St. Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, S.J. and Carmelite St. Teresa of the Andes were interceding around de clock!
Victor Zamora was the poet. Mario Gomez was 65 and working in the mines since age 12. He therefore, has no lungs left. He said that God was with them at all times. The machine that started the descent looking for them, journeyed 688 meters into the earth (half a mile). On August 22, the miners were able to respond and this gave them hope. This happened on the feast of Our Lady Queen of the Universe! The first probe inserted provided food. The second one and later, provided “good” air, means to communicate and water. By now they had decided “to have faith, to pray, to live and if they died, to die with hope.” This is freedom!
The ultimate freedom of these miners is to hear them say in good Spanish that they did not want to reproach at all the owners of the mine and the poor safety it offered! They had complained for years about it. These men have lived 75% of their lives in the mines and only 25% at home with their families. Another sign of great freedom was that when the 5 rescuers went down expecting some to fight to be among the first to be rescued, none did. Their general statement was to do things right from now on because they had been born again…The chief in charge of the miners with great talent divided them according to personalities. One of them, very religious, led them to start praying and to read the Bible once they were found (after 17 days) and the Bibles were sent down. I understand through EWTN that our Holy Father sent them a Rosary each, which he had blessed. It is obvious that the final date and a little ahead of time as had been predicted, had to be a great date where we remember our Mother’s miracle in 1917…
In the story of the miners, there was one hero who was not trapped, but accepted to be the first person to use the capsule to descend to the cavern where they were trapped. He had no idea if the capsule would descend smoothly, or if it did not, if rocks would close the hole and he would become trapped as well. I will never forget his name because it was my own earthly father’s name. The capsule weighed 50 tons and to know that one has to travel half mile in this tight hole, well, one must love much to do it.
We must announce the Gospel but on “fire” with the love of Christ. For this to happen we must become one with His will so that the Holy Spirit can “fire” us up and enter a relationship with Jesus with which to present Him to others. Any other type of evangelistic effort lacks power and indelible change in the other.
“Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into Him Who is the head, Christ, from Whom the whole Body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the Body’s growth and builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4: 15-16.
“So, be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love as Christ loved us and handed Himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5: 1-2.
“Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what the will of God is.” Ephesians 5: 15-17.
“Brothers and sisters: I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that He may grant you in accord with the riches of His glory to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3: 14-19.
From St. Paul of the Cross
“The truth of God’s love was shown on the cross of His beloved Son, Jesus.
“And the way to grow in our relationship with God in times of physical and mental stress, is to strengthen ourselves by doing the things that God desires.
“It is a sign of great holiness when one is resigned in everything to the will of God. Everything that God wills is for our good.
“He knows how to console us when we least expect it. If anyone hurts you, look on him as someone of great value and, with the eyes of one who loves, see him as the person chosen by God to clothe you in holiness and in the patience, silence, and meekness of Jesus Christ.
“If you can learn to see God’s will as a source of strength, taking every difficulty you go through as something which comes not just from circumstances but from the loving hand of God your creator, you will soon be speeding along the short road to holiness.
“The troubles we have in life, if we see them as part of God’s loving plan and accept them as being what He wants for us, will actually help us to grow in knowledge and love of Him.
“Even when things are at their worst, keep your peace of heart and accept whatever God sends you as being for your good.
“In everything that happens, the best thing you can do is abandon yourself to His will.”
9. UPDATE ABOUT MY ILLNESS
Oct. 1, the feast of St. Therese of Lissieux, twas full of surprises. I was sickly and in my human mind, I was not going to Church at all. Yet, I received clear instructions to go at noon, this after I had already missed the 6:30 AM Mass. Well, I did go to Mass and I brought up the biggy to Him: "But what about my health in this my work for the Kingdom?" As always, this is a redundant question… Of course He knows and has done great things in my life for me to even bring it up. And yes, He answered, "You live your life according to the teachings I left you, and I will take care of everything else, as I have always done…"
I came home and graces continued to flow for this blog (the list shared of all the freedoms I have received). At 4 PM, local time, there was a Mass LIVE from St. Patrick’s Cathedral with Archbishop Dolan presiding where the relics of St. John Bosco were venerated. The Mass was 80% in Spanish… Most of the songs were in Spanish with a Hispanic choir. Even the Consecration was prayed in Spanish…
The incorrupt body of St. John Bosco when found years after his death, served to make a wax replica that was in N.Y. in a coffin, but his right arm was actually his own earthly arm!!! This was the actual relic. Archbishop Dolan blessed us LIVE with a first class relic of the saint, a separate gift from the Salesian Provincial in the U.S. Like all Hispanic gatherings… there were tons of "Viva Cristo Rey" and "Viva Don Bosco"… as we call him in Latin America.
I had a ball since I had not been to a Spanish Mass in many years… Well, maybe a few in my last parish but with American priest and school children. They sang one of my most favorite songs, "La Barca"… So, I wanted to re-live the Mass that repeated at 9 PM and by then, I fell asleep . Suddenly, I woke up at 12 midnight. I brushed my teeth but was not sleepy… And BINGO, there I understood how I must likely can cure my POTS… It was already the Feast of the Guardian Angels… and of course the end of my name says, “of the Angels,” plus I am a member of the Opus Sanctorum Angelorum.
All this time I thought that my ANS (autonomic nervous system, composed of two different branches, sympathetic and parasympathetic ) has lost auto regulation but on their own right… Yet, at this early morning hour I suddenly understood that POTS, or this de-regulation of ANS, has to be centrally mediated; it has to be in the brain itself. And sure enough, about a month ago the Holy Spirit had already sent me to buy books on the anatomy of the brain, which covers the ANS and its regulation from brain centers. It was in this moment of divine wisdom that I realized that this autonomic nervous system depends on orders from X part of the brain to keep their perfect regulation of breathing, pulses, blood pressures, gastrointestinal function, bladder function, etc… And of course, if memory loss is part of the syndrome of POTS, I wondered if this central place may be close to the memory centers…!!!
So, I went to the 2009 books, which are full of photographs, drawings and brain scans of each part of the brain and its function.
As it turns out, it explained a whole lot of things:
1. It talks about fluorinated gas agents… and how it affects the memory center in the hippocampus… The hippocampus also regulates the autonomic nervous system.
2. It also explains how if RAS which is part of the Reticular System that regulates the autonomic system is affected with any illness… then deregulation can occur or POTS, but the name of the illness is not given.
3. But RAS and the hippocampus are next to each other, and there it was the answer! These two sites are responsible for POTS.
THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT since fluorinated gases can do it for just one anesthetic…, some other toxic’s could as well. Yet, in my case, fluorinated gases must be involved. But what about in the general population, especially in teenagers (In a study of 2007, one of every 100 teens had POTS…)? I suspect that the number of individuals that lack the 5-6 genes involved in detoxification of the body as mentioned in the book of Dr. Mark Hyman, and that he suffered from, cannot take care of the huge amount of toxic’s in the environment… YET, THERE IS ANOTHER BIG… possibility here: fluoride in the water as mentioned before…!!!!! This could explain the huge amount of dementia in the population in general, but in people who lack these genes, not only the hippocampus is involved for memory problems but also RAS… and bingo, POTS becomes a terrible illness for a few of us!
Since this enlightenment on the parts of the brain that may be affected and giving me POTS and memory problems, I have started an even more drastic detoxification protocol, and by the end of this October I have advanced very much. For example, my Spanish continues to be great. My English is getting so much better and my short memory is showing some positive changes. I used to lose often my train of thought and now I easily can come back to what I was trying to say. I can memorize things I have to do for the day or places I have go for shopping for example, without checking several times. Cloudiness in my brain is gone.
But the most interesting palpable sign is that my blood pressure is going up again, as it was in the past. It is apparent that the side of the autonomic system (sympathetic) that was failing me is coming back with this heavy duty detoxification. Also, I do not have drops of blood pressure after meals as before. Of course, the cure is not complete as yet. Thanks to all who have prayed for me! But since the cure is in progress, please keep praying for me!