I am posting this blog mid week just because I need silence during the weekend when we celebrate His Divine Mercy. Besides, I normally use the last weekend of the month to do it and this next one is a blend of two different months! In the other hand, this past month was so full of His mercy, that I should tell you about it before the actual feast. I will start by giving repeated updates of my health day by day and fairly boring, but I want you to compare those notes with what happened and how God answered my plea… by purifying my “yes” to His will with the greatest invention possible in order to re-wire my brain through images… with the results of my health improving greatly. Amazing. Yet, if you find it unbearable, proceed towards the end of the blog and read what happened on Holy Saturday, April 23… You will be amazed! He was truly Risen!
I also want to mention that when I started this blog in November of 2008, I was interested in starting a web site on the Mercy of God by the following Divine Mercy Sunday on April 19, 2009. However, with time I realized that I cannot take a chance and promote more information about His Mercy when so much has been written on the subject matter, plus having a religious Order dedicated to spread this devotion in Massachusetts. Reading and reading about it is not going to help anybody and I would be taking your precious time for which I would be responsible in God’s eyes. Rather, my work is to pass on what His mercy does in my life. Also, I want to mention that I daily say a family Rosary plus one for many people: personal friends, members of Congress, the President, my parish, etc. and intertwine both with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I suspect that this devotion of connecting a prayer to honor the Mother of God while one meditates on the life of Jesus united to the Chaplet of Mercy, is another extraordinary way to obtain many, many personal conversions and blessings for many people. I even placed the community Rosary in the side of “pages” in this blog and left many empty spots, which are filled up in my own Rosary, but that you can fill up if you print the posted one with your personal family members or friends or enemies, and I promise you that you will see many fruits!
Sunday, March 27. I was very sick with the usual symptoms of POTS and just before His mercy would bring some solutions!!! My cough was better but I was trying to eat only those foods to which I am not allergic to. However, depressions would arrive for short periods (1-2 hours). After Communion and not feeling well, I said to Him, “I must top these blogs if I do not better my health. I have written enough. My body is not able to endure the fiery traffic of the 680 expressway to and from my parish with very high blood pressure despite treatment. I should stop coming to Mass during the week Do something or send me a sign that I should continue.”
Monday, March 28. – I went to Mass but it required 5 cough drops to survive the Mass and Holy Hour.
Tuesday, March 29. I made it to Mass but again very sweaty, nauseous. I was almost certain that daily Mass was going to be out of my schedule. I knew that my immune system is crazy because of the food allergies I suffer and that some of my electrical patterns are blocked, after studying many new books on the subject matter. I have known this science for many years. Conventional medicine has no answers for POTS.
Wednesday March 30. I did not feel well and missed Mass. Going to the supermarket requires much effort. Cooking (standing)requires much effort. I wrote, “POTs is rampant.” The writing of blogs subject came back and I had a severe indigestion about the matter. At 2:50 PM I wrote, “Never to write another blog. I am done.” Depression was present. I gave the problem to Him and at 2:55 PM, the depression lifted suddenly and completely. Hmm!
Thursday March 31. I went to Walnut Creek (where my parish is) to buy organic foods for my new diet of trying to eat less toxics and only foods that I am not allergic to, but could not go to Mass since I did not feel well.
Friday April 1. No depression today. I have kept balancing my electrical current three times per day and I am eating things that do not bother me, because allergies to foods or other forms do block electrical flows. I must remind you that electricity is what moves our body and we have the electrocardiogram to measure such electricity in our hearts, or the encephalogram that depicts the currents in our brain in the form of waves as well. I want to be sure that it is clear that this form of treatment is valid and that I have treated my own migraines headaches with it since the 1970’s. It also offers great pain relief for my inflamed knee…
Saturday, April 2. I made it to Mass but later at home, I ended up with depression and a belly ache. Again, all these are symptoms of POTS. By afternoon I decided to offer this horrible day to Him to be used for the Kingdom and suddenly, all ailments left… I realized that all along He was trying to guide me into saying “yes” to all of these bad moments in order to receive His mercy. I had to remember that in the midst of the depression or nausea or sweating, I must stop and with great purity of heart thank Him for His will, which had to be perfect for me…and accept it with eagerness and this way make powerful intercession at the throne of His mercy.
Sunday April 3. My Pastor was the celebrant and spoke beautifully about the importance of confession. He has a way to say it without making others feel he is harsh or pushy.
Fr. Zachary, a visiting priest for EWTN, had the Live Benediction from Hansville and spoke about Lent and its three parts to be practiced: prayer, almsgiving (meaning that we give ourselves away…) and fasting (especially of our own will)…Wow!
Tuesday, April 5. When I came home from Mass, I found an email from a friend from Toledo who was relating the case of another woman who spent 6 days in a hospital with different symptoms. She had visited many doctors and nobody prior to this incident gave her a diagnosis. In the hospital she asked for a doctor who is a specialist on electrical circuits of the body, and sure enough, he diagnosed her as POTS… The doctor who diagnosed her said that it was an electrical imbalance… And yes, my God and my Lord had me already in the same understanding and that is why I am giving myself treatments to balance those electrical circuits…
Wednesday, April 6. At 11 AM and during prayer, I received the following Bible story:
1. Page 705. Proverbs 4: 1-2; 5-6; 8, 10, 12, 20-22.
“Hear, O children, a father’s instruction; be attentive that you may gain understanding. Get wisdom; get understanding. Do not forget or turn aside from the Words I utter. Forsake her not, and she will preserve you; love her and she will safeguard you; the beginning of wisdom: get wisdom; at the cost of all you have, get understanding. Extol her, and she will extol you; she will bring you honors if you embrace her.
“Hear, my son, and receive My Words, and the years of your life shall be many. On the way of wisdom I direct you; I lead you in straightforward paths. When you walk, your step will not be impeded and should you run, you will not stumble. Hold fast to instruction; never let her go; keep her for she is your life. My son, to My Words be attentive, to My sayings incline your ear; let them not slip out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them; to man’s whole being they are health.”
NOTICE THAT SINCE WISDOM COMES FROM THE HOLY GHOST, this teaching was a summons to live in His Presence and to be obedient to His Word.
2. Then I was led to the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 1:19-46. Paraphrasing: Moses reminded the Israelites of their fears when God ordered them to go and take possession of the land of the Amorites. They sent 12 scouts and said, “The land the Lord gives us is good.” But they refused to go defying the command of God!
Moses said, “You set to murmuring in your tents, ‘Out of hatred for us the Lord has brought us up into the hands of the Amorites and destroy us.’” Then Moses reminded them that God had parted the Red Sea and took care of them in the desert. Also, how the Lord carried them as a man carries his child all along the journey. He said to them, “Despite this you would not trust the Lord, your God.” Eventually the Lord got angry and told them that no one man of that evil generation would get to see the good land that He has sworn to give to their fathers. So, the Israelites repented and decided to go for themselves to fight for the land of the Amorites but the latter chased them out.
Of course, they fought on their own… and not as act of obedience to God… How many times are we going to talk about obedience to God’s will and we in the XXI C keep acting like the Israelites in the time of Moses? I was also fascinated with Proverb’s explanation that we must seek wisdom (Holy Spirit). It is so easy to do… I just keep bugging Him. As I wrote before, many years ago I memorized a prayer, which by the way was not forgotten with my problems of memory. I will repeat it here.
“Como Holy Spirit, enlighten my heart to see the things that are of God; come Holy Spirit into my mind that I may know the things that are of God; come Holy Spirit into my soul that I may belong only to God. Sanctify all that I say, think and do so that it all may be for the glory of God.”
I use it often and once I say it, I know that I am covered… He will be there with all the wisdom that I need. And that wisdom includes remembering in awe of all the times I crossed the Red Seas of my life…And also, I will be attentive to His Word, to His commands without too much turmoil on my part. He does it but I get the power to live it. Moses tried very hard to confirm the Israelites in the truth of their dependence on God, and how God had solved all their problems, but they would not listen… Moses kept reassuring the Israelites not to have fear and understanding that God only helped those who followed Him unreservedly. In Deuteronomy 4, he talks about the advantages of fidelity towards God.
I ALSO keep training myself to utter phrases from a prayer I had written in 2002 but recently edited, called the Path of Total Abandonment:
“Thank You Father for this moment. You created it. You sanctified it. You sent it. (I enumerate all my maladies, my needs, my sufferings.) I receive it. I celebrate it; I embrace it; I accept it and love it as Your will for me for the sake of Your greater glory. I renounce to explore the content of any future moment nor review with details all the harm I have received, since You allowed it. I am the servant of the Lord. Do unto me according to Your will. I unite this moment with the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God at each Mass celebrated today in the world. I offer it as a holocaust in atonement for my sins, especially for my weakness of not saying a perfect yes to Your will, and in atonement for the sins of all Roman Catholic Priests and of my children.”
There is no question that these different ways to call for wisdom and to reaffirm my yes to His will are very important. I understood it well. I agreed with it. However, how not to forget to live this yes 100%, 24/7? Well, a few days later (April 12) I would have a way to help my conquest for the most perfect yes to His will.
Thursday April 7. I was up and able to go to 6:30 AM Mass. I had sought advice from the Lord and since I had to go to Mass no matter what because it was the birthday of my youngest son who lives in Birmingham, AL, I had to try my best and it meant that the earlier hour attempt may secure that important intercession for my son, since by noon my health may have not permitted it… Notice here that still POTS was a very important item in my daily life.…
Sunday April 10. My third grandchild was born in Omaha, NE… A precious almost 8 pounds baby boy, Antonio Martin Maria… His mother wrote, “When he was in my tummy he would kick a lot during the Salve Regina as part of our family rosary (with the other two children, ages 51/2 and 3). We sang the Salve Regina for him after he was delivered.” Just imagine that this little baby already likes to hear about Our Lady! This was an awesome day when LIFE was celebrated in my household. Antonio will be baptized this coming Saturday April 30 in Omaha, NE.
Tuesday April 12. THIS WAS ANOTHER AWESOME DAY! I went to noon Mass but arrived at 11 AM for my Holy Hour. On this great day, this God had a big surprise for me and used neuroscience. Shortly after I finished the Rosary I understood the following: “Imagine that you are placing a trash can in front of the Tabernacle and label it: ‘the “yes to God’s will” can’. Throw in it all your needs, desires, fears, questions about the present moment or anything that bothers you like what is going in the world or the Church BUT as soon as they come into your mind. Make a list of the current needs and also place them there. Every time you desire something to be solved, you come to Me in this church (in images of course) and deposit your need in this can. I promise that I will take care of it in the proper time. As you drop your need, say, “Jesus I trust in you.” And you can say it with faith because you are giving Me all your problems. Also, place a smaller golden bowl on the side of the Tabernacle and when suffering much for whatever reasons, come here and deposit your pain in the bowl and offer it up. If you feel gratitude for something I did for you, come and deposit your thanksgiving in the bowl. If you want to praise Me, come and drop it in the bowl”.
Sure enough, from this day on I have done so, and miraculously, the moment I take whatever is bothering me, like symptoms from my illness or the temptation not to write blogs, etc. and drop ALL in the “yes” can, either they seem to disappear from my conscious mind or they may remain but they do not bother me anymore. And in the interim, what I am doing is living the words, “Jesus I trust in You.” That is, not just saying words that anyone can say, but actually giving Him all my needs and acting out my trust in Him. Of course, my brain is being wired up day by day, and as I type this paragraph many days after April 12, it is becoming so easy to do. The action of abandoning myself to His divine providence, to His mercy, has totally erased the need to chew over and over whatever I need or whatever disturbs me. It is simply a dream come true.
Besides, this gives me an opportunity to make a short spiritual visit to the Risen Jesus and tell Him how much I love Him. This has been the best idea to practice the “yes” of Our Lady. And again, the truth is that just by complying with this self emptying, this self abandonment to His Divine Providence, His grace erases any other thoughts about the need… As the days passed, even my self-given naturopathic treatments for POTS are working to the point that I am about 60 % better…All it took was to give the matter to Him and He is taking care of it…
Wednesday April 13. On this day I had another extraordinary understanding of “el Sí de María.” There is much power in living her yes as discussed above… I understood that her powerful intercession for us is not based on her being immaculately conceived, or on her being the Mother of God, the Messiah King. Her power of intercession stands on her “yes” or the most perfect abandonment to God’s Providence without any hesitation. This encouraged me to keep placing all my needs in the trash can as an act of trust in God’s love and mercy for me. The more I do it, or the more I tend to do whatever He and she modeled for me, that is, total conformity to God’s will, that much more I can ask for the end of legal abortion on demand; for the end of all unjust laws; for peace in the world; for many to find Christ; for all Priests to develop a deeper personal relationship with Jesus and to fall in love with the Crucified like never before, and therefore, we laity can enter a revolution of desire to meet Jesus in a very personal encounter by simply watching our Priests being transformed from glory to glory…
I was assured of something else which, was mentioned in a previous blog… We try to get Satan out of the way but saying just words… like telling evil to go away, and all along, what gets rid of Satan is my “yes” to God. Isn’t’ Our Mother famous for her power over Satan…? Hello! She is human like us and she can overpower the devil… Of course, every time I make a trip to the can and throw whatever is causing fear, anxiety, division in my heart, distraction, etc., and giving it to Him, but in “reality” since the brain does not know the difference (remember the neuroscience that I have talked about), every time Satan is defeated… Also, all false statements from the world via this media communications tsunami, they cannot take root in my soul because my trust in God is being lived all day and therefore, His mercy is poured on my soul all day as well… Huh! And so far (as of the posting of this blog), this is still working.
In fact, in the Holy Father’s audience of April 20 which I also will quote later, he also refers to evil in these terms:
Explaining the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter to an estimated 13,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict said the drowsiness that Jesus warns all believers against is "a certain insensitivity of the soul to the power of evil, insensitivity to all the evil in the world; we don’t want to let ourselves be too bothered by these things. We want to forget them or we try to think they aren’t so serious."
But, the Pope said, the lack of awareness about evil is the flip side of an equal lack of awareness about the presence and love of God. "This is our real drowsiness," the pope said. "We don’t feel God’s presence, it would disturb us," so we "stay on the path of our own comfort." (I thought here of how this going to visit Him in spirit to drop my needs in the trash can, it also exercises the awareness of being in His presence and on being in touch with His love by dropping everything at His feet with total trust that He will have answers for me according to His designs…)
"We must also stay vigilant in order to do good, to struggle on behalf of the force of goodness," Pope Benedict said. Unlike Jesus, whose humanity allowed him to experience suffering and anguish at the thought of suffering and death, but whose obedience led him to accept God’s will completely, the pope said, most people "struggle against God’s will," thinking it will lead them into slavery.The Holy Week and Easter liturgies, which culminate in the proclamation of Christ’s resurrection, are a clear reminder that true life and freedom come from doing God’s will, the pope said. (Wow!) End of quote.
Thursday, April 14.
At the 3 PM hour I was meditating about my “yes” trash can and wondering what Bible story would suit my can story. And I was led to open the Bible and there it was,
Luke 12: 22-40.
He said to His disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens; they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds! Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will He not much more provide for you? O you of little faith? As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 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.
“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when He comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared for at any hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” End of quote.
There I had the most splendid reason why I have to give all to Him and let my Father in heaven take care of the rest, and my “yes” trash can has been a great gift in order to live the verses above. In fact, when He says that life is more than food, He clarified it further at the well after meeting with the Samaritan woman, when He told his disciples, “My food is to do the will of the One Who sent Me and to finish His work.” John 4:14. In other words, our food should be always to say yes to His will like our Mother did and as He did all the way to the Cross. How could we be resurrected people every day of the year, from Easter to Easter, without eating the right food?
In the evening I watched a program of how to help young people to hear the call to the ministerial Priesthood. All of this is the work of God, but as for me, how can I help in bringing the youth to hear the call? By eating the right food, and that is to show obedience to my Father’s will… and then, using the fruits of my yes to ask for God’s mercy, and it gets done… Anything that emulates His Son, moves my Father’s heart… My “yes” trash can will stay in front of His Real Presence for years to come…
But He was not done on this April 14… At 9:30 PM I understood this:
“Never doubt that prayer becomes a presence. Prayer becomes a relationship. Prayer becomes a conversation between two who love each other! Prayer is not reading. Prayer is not saying something to God written in a paper, but using the written words if needed to tell God about our love and desire to obey Him but with true desire to do so.The same is with reading the Bible. Simple reading is not the point, but being present to the author, the Holy Spirit, and with His help understand what God is telling us and having the desire to run to do it. It is in the doing of what it says that the reading is completed. “
Friday, April 15. On this day I was bugged by the idea that for some 8 years I have been told to go and talk about how alive He is everywhere and about my experience of His Presence, and I was wondering if the blogs would be sufficient. I immediately realized that I had run to my parish and throw all this nonsense in the trash can. Who cares what happens. If something is to be done, He will take care of every detail and the way that will be done…
Saturday, April 16. At the 3 PM hour, I was sent to a page and it was Job chapter 1. He blessed the Lord for everything…I understood how our vocation is always evolving. We can have changes in our life of 360 degrees like Job did, and if we learn from him to say always, “Blessed be the Lord,” we will do the right thing and give much glory to God. It is actually another way to say yes to God’s will and to trust in His mercy, and sure enough, Job’s story shows us the fruits of his “yes”.
Holy Wednesday, April 20. For some days, I have tried to keep as silent as possible, not only to my questions about my future, but also, watching less TV and saying more rosaries instead. I went to noon Mass but arrived quite early and was able to say two extra rosaries with the Chaplet of Mercy intertwined. I still had time to hear my IPod with many renditions of the “Pescador de Hombres” and Ave Maria’s as I mentioned in my last blog. However, I was given a page to read in my little Bible before the music.
Luke 9:1-3. He summoned the Twelve and gave them POWER AND AUTHORITY over all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food nor money. And let no one take a second tunic.”
The blessing of the “yes” trash can was even more evident. It is an invitation to take nothing for my journey: my fears, my desires, my wants, my self- protective measures, my own wisdom, my personal plans for the future, all must be thrown away and allow Him to guide me in the work of proclaiming the Kingdom. Said in other words, in order to be effective evangelists, we must drop the extra baggage obtained after our Baptism and proceed to eat only the bread of doing the will of God in order to finish God’s work since He said it, “My food is to do the will of the One Who sent Me and to finish His work.” John 4:14. It also means that saying “yes” to His will in a radical way is in itself the propelling force that prepares my soul for the Holy Spirit to use me as He feels necessary.
Holy Thursday, April 21.
This first day of the Solemn Triduum was coming with many thoughts and questions about what to do for the Church as a lay person. I was ready to place the whole topic in the “yes” trash can since I remembered that most of the time I do not have to know ahead of time anything that the Spirit wants me to do. But at 10:50 AM I received this understanding:
“You cannot do more or less than any baptized person. What you do is not what is important but how disposed you are to submit your will to His will to do only what He has created you to do! Anything else is not really from God, but if you do what He wills without you intervening in the matter of each present moment of your life, even if very little and minor in the eyes of the world, it has more power than an atomic bomb because the power of God enables the act to become profoundly redeeming to many souls and profoundly glorifying to God, the Holy Trinity. Then, I was led to:
Sirach 29: 10-11. Spend your money for your brother and friend, and hide it not under a stone to perish; dispose of your treasure as the Most High commands, for that will perfect you more than gold.
11:10 AM. “Those who persecute you in any way: words or lack of them, coldness, judging you from afar, even your best friends, everything is necessary. How can you be trained in the “school of the yes of Mary” without having to practice this agreement with what God allows to happen, even if it comes from good souls but who still proceed without divine wisdom. King Solomon sought wisdom. You also ask for it day and night! Once you make God’s wisdom the treasure of your heart, you will be reminded of any occasion when your will is the product of your flesh and not of God.
“All human beings were created to become saints so that they could find the way back to the Father’s home. This plan has been in place since the first man and woman were created. Disobedience to God’s stops all who follow Adam and Eve’s path, who wanted to know the difference between good and evil. However, there is one more way that can teach you how to tell the difference: the wisdom of the Spirit of God, except that you are not in charge of getting it by yourself even when you want to. This wisdom is a God given grace and comes only through obedience. Had Adam and Eve stayed away from eating the forbidden fruit, they would have been gifted by God with such gift of discernment between good and evil.”
I further understood that we can have Bible studies, at a parish level or at learning centers to get a degree, or new translations of the Mass as the one coming, or retreats, or even renounce having a family like priests do in order to serve us, but we “all” are not fully with Him until we live each day silent to the outside noise and totally present ot the Holy Spirit within, but also radically willing to obey His promptings. It is then that we are called to make huge moves, or changes of work like Abraham, Moses, Our Lady and the Twelve Apostles and many more who have done the same since. Otherwise, as sheep with a Risen Shepherd, if we do not follow Him through the guidance of His Spirit, we could die (spiritually) of hunger for His Truth and maybe even killed by a wolf (Satan). End of these reflections for this day.
Good Friday, April 22.
I did not feel too well in the early part of this day. I was not hungry and ended eating something at 11 AM (it was good since it was a day of fasting). I prayed about going to the afternoon liturgy in my parish. There were going to be two of them: one at noon and mostly for those who work and use the lunch hour to attend. The pastor invited all those retired members to come to the later one at 2 PM. My problem was the parking scenario. At 1 PM they had scheduled a 15 min. talk from a Protestant pastor, but if the noon people stayed longer, well, trying to figure out at what time to arrive and not having to worry about where to park was an enigma. Yet, and as always, God is in charge and I tend to forget it over and over…
I finally gave all to Him and sure enough, I arrived at 12:55 PM with a full parking lot but just as a lady was coming to his car and signaled me to wait for her spot, and a spot pretty near the side entrance of the church…She said she could not wait any longer because she had to work! I realized that there is no way than I can catch this God not doing everything for me… As it turned out, when I went to the main entrance door, they were just going to distribute Communion to the 12 noon group. About 15 minutes later I was able to get a good sitting when the first crowd left. After Communion I gave myself to His Majesty while in my mouth, and promised to keep sending all my worries to the “yes” trash can before they divide me and give me fear…!
Holy Saturday, April 23.
9:15 AM: I wondered if I should go to the Easter Vigil Mass. I have never gone in the previous two years in California since my health has been precarious and the service is long. I had to discern His will… and suddenly I found myself understanding the following:
HOW TO KNOW GOD’S WILL? Simply by self denial and embracing the cross of the moment, whatever it is, self imposed, imposed by others, the world or Satan, and by following Him to do whatever He teaches in Scripture. God is faithful to reveal His will for even little things, if we truly keep ourselves in total submission to live the life of a disciple as He defined it. Then, immediately I found myself taking notes of the above plus a number of elements that comply with doing what He has taught me.
1. To know God’s will I must love God with all my heart, which means to say yes to everything He sends and wants of me all the way to any cross… as Jesus did. However the trick of this statement is that saying “yes” is just a word… I must live such “yes” in action in order to love Him above all else. If the cross is heavy, I must throw the pain immediately in the “yes” crash can and stop any internal talk about the matter. I should also offer the sacrifice of ignoring my will and throw it in the golden bowl. Then I thought, “And if tonight’s service is going to be long making it a cross for my comfort, well, so be it.”
2. To know God’s will, I must love my neighbor, and such love has several points to remember. For example: automatic forgiveness; lack of judgment; however, when the sins of others do not constitute a judgment because they are clear out of what they do, I must pray for them, offer my suffering for their salvation and trust in God’s love so much for me and them, that I totally rest my worries about my neighbor because His mercy will pour out. In other words, to love neighbor complying fully with what that means, I must engage myself in prayer for them all day as needed. I cannot observe what is lacking in their behavior and throw it in the trash can and forget about it. Right there I must pray for them for the Mercy of God to help them. I am my neighbor’s keeper since we are One Body in Christ, and this is essential to remember when following Jesus as a disciple.
3. To know the will of God without fear of missing it I must pray BUT any prayer should come from a heart 1) that says “yes” to His will as described in point 1. In other words, this yes presupposes that I have thrown away my self-will, not wanting to know what is next or when my needs will be resolved, etc. 2) I must also be clear that wanting to be in charge even of my spiritual growth with prayers, devotions aimed at changing the will of God for me, are not conducive to praying well. 3) My prayer should be one that asks for God’s mercy for all, especially for the Church membership, but never forgetting all people in the world of any faith, 4) plus the best prayer will mostly thank Him for His mercy, for His Presence, for His love, praising His Holy Name more often than not.
4. I must add to the above that to know God’s will I must show a solid trust that when my needs, especially the big ones, and all my wants and desires are given to Him (trash can), He will take care of every little detail. I understood that actually He has taken care of every detail but He has not been able to execute them out of my constant blocking of His mercy in my soul by 1) doubting His crazy love for me; 2) by wanting to take over the process with my own solutions, or 3) by simply worrying if He is hearing my pleas or assuming that He does not have time to arrange my life according to His will with every detail taken care of. Once this trust is in place, and I should beg for it all day or here and there as I remember, I simply can sit back and pray in thanksgiving ahead of time for providing all that I need. Venerable Solanus Casey was clear in this matter. In other words, we must thank God ahead of time knowing well that He will supply all our needs…
In this meditation of Holy Saturday, I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that often I want to know God’s will but with a quiet personal agenda underneath it all… The hard drive of my brain is so contaminated by the media communications overload that is at every corner of my life, that I must re-wire it with the proper understanding and never trust my brain which has been deceived without I even noticing it. I must remember Abraham… but not just because he had faith… That would be so little to remember. I must be clear that God changed his vocation 360 degrees and that Abraham submitted to God’s will. I must also understand that the will of God is not static. It is a dynamic process aimed to save many other souls via my participation in doing God’s will as He sees it fit.
I was also reminded that His will for me is a dynamic process because it has to be so, and I understood that it is so because many souls will not accept His redeeming action in whatever ways He has decided to do it, and therefore, He has to re-organize the lives of those willing to announce the good news to these souls. It is then necessary to become malleable in His hands and do all the things that will help reveal moment to moment His will for us. What about if Moses in his old age would have refused to tackle Pharaohs and all Egyptians and refuse to do God’s will? How can we witness to God’s mercy if we do not become modern Abraham’s and Moses’? Worse, why do we know all these stories and heard so many reflections on the subject matter, and do not run to obey?
By pure grace of God, on this same Saturday, ABC had the movie of the Ten Commandments with Charlton Hesston. I arrived from church towards the end of the movie, but I needed to see the parting of the Red Sea as Hollywood presented it, and how Moses had much to suffer from his own Hebrew companions in order to get close to the Promised Land, which at the end he could not enter… Ouch! Israel had no trust in God even after the parting of the Red Sea. But I cannot say too much about them (and I also have Jewish roots) because this God of Abraham and Moses who became Man for my sake has done astonishing things in my life, and I normally try to question if I still have to work for the Kingdom… I want to be the most perfect servant but usually I say, yes, but do not live such yes to be 100%, and so, I am a joke…
But remember that I was still seeking advice as to what liturgy to attend, Saturday night or on Easter Sunday. So, God in His great love for me continued His teaching and by 12 noon as I was watching the Easter Vigil Mass Live from Rome, I realized that the same liturgy in my parish would be long and prolonged with Baptisms and Confirmations and the rest, and I doubted that my health would be up to it. I was getting closer to cancel the 8 PM local celebration for this Holy Saturday when I asked the Holy Spirit once more: Tell me what to do? He sent me to open the Bible and found the story in Daniel 3 that we know so well!
1. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were bound and thrown in a furnace seven times hotter than normal for not worshiping the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had made.
2. In the furnace, a) they first agreed with God’s will and blessed Him for the place they were in… (Verses 26-28). b) They repented for their sins. (Verse 29). c) They prayed to God for His mercy with a contrite heart (Verses 34-45).
3. ANSWER FROM GOD: So an angel was sent and the fire did not burn them. On the contrary, the heat disappeared.
4. Then, they glorified and blessed God. (Verses 52-90).
5. King Nebuchadnezzar was converted (Verses 93-100)
DO WE WANT ANOTHER TRAINING PLAN FOR FUTURE EVANGELISTS? Notice what doing the will of God gave them: they refused to worship an idol and even that the chastisement was horrible, they first agreed with God that they deserve this treatment and repented, and asked for God’s mercy with a contrite heart, or the same to say, with a heart that was willing to be converted… THIS TRUST moved God to splash His mercy over them and they were not hurt from the fire, and at the same time, they witnessed the Truth to the King and he converted…. Wow and wow and more wow!
But let us not escape from contemplating that these three could have prayed for mercy to God because they had complied with the Law of not worshipping idols… After all, that was keeping the first commandment of Love… Yet, this would have been a trust that was iffy! It could have been done out of routine or fear to disobey the Law. However, they answered with great love for God and not only obeyed the law but loved God with a huge yes to His will by agreeing with His will for them with a contrite heart… and bingo, El Sí de María, worked as always does, and that is, they answered as servants and God, not only spared them from the fire but used them to witness to the King…
My mouth was wide opened and it refused to close… Wow… Then I heard these words, “You can be in any fiery furnace but if you love God above all things like these three men, if you repent while asking for God’s mercy, you will become an evangelist because God will reveal Himself to others through angels, through miracles but faster and more frequently through your witness. No matter how hard it is to see the world so confused with so many man-made gods, if you stay faithful to God’s will, nothing will happen to you even if at times the flames get too close for comfort. Just imagine if these three men had chosen to deny God to save their lives! Remember that Jesus suffered in the fiery furnace of the Cross, died and three days later resurrected precisely to give you His power of His own Resurrection so that you can resurrect others…Any fear of what is going on in the Church or in the world should be seen as a furnace that will never burn you because you have the keys for your resurrection, since those keys were given to you at your Baptism and kept in good working order with your Sacramental life. Furthermore, Christ is Risen, but this must be lived in every heart that follows Him by doing what Daniel’s friends did. So, go to tonight’s liturgy because I want you there.”
In route to Church I asked for a nice seat and good companions. I cannot take people moving too much next to me and some do… Since I cannot kneel because my right knee is painful, I needed nice human beings that would understand how I have to place my feet in front of the kneeler when they kneel. And sure enough, I found a Mexican family… Huh! Silvia was the mother, with Alejandra, 4 and 18 year old Roberto, a senior in a Catholic high school. Alejandra was a dream of good behavior. Roberto was a prayer warrior, sang loudly, was nice and did not move much… We spoke a little in both languages. One of the altar servers was another of Silvia’s sons.
As it turned out, this Easter Vigil Mass was the best ever, ever, ever I attended… Should I instead use the word, spectacular? I have told you about my parish before… It is a very strange parish… in the super good sense. But this night I felt the Holy Spirit visiting all hearts and the whole time, 2 hours plus… We did not have the typical charismatic music that could burn like a fire in the hearts of the people and make them shout with joy. We did not have a sophisticated choir like the Vatican has…. We did not have Latin. We had four foreign priests, one Filipino permanent Deacon and a seminarian from El Salvador in this Walnut Creek parish in California, USA. One of the extraordinary moments was after the ceremony of the Light. The electric lights came on and shortly after we were saying the Gloria… My pastor with great enthusiasm asked us to pull our key chains and during the refrain, “Glory to God in the Highest,” which all sing, to make noise with them… Just imagine what God was thinking! I am sure He was smiling from ear to ear… It was not the music making the noise. It was the faith of His people making the music of love to the Triune God…
It was on the following day, Easter Sunday, that I was sent to a verse in the Bible in Galatians 3:7 that says, “Realize then that it is those who have faith who are children of Abraham. Verse 14.…. that the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” This congregation was full of faith and we received the promise of the Spirit… He showed up LIVE and big time! There was joy, happiness, smiles, and to think that I almost missed this magnificent show of God’s answering His people. By the way, this was not a regular Mass. This was a town hall meeting of an encounter of God and His people. This was a show-down of His mercy…! This was Christ resurrected and making Himself present, not only at the Consecration but in the heart of all believers… and we all acted as resurrected people through the power of the Holy Ghost!
Three men probably on their early 30’s were baptized and confirmed… I thought of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego… Huh! They were tall, big guys and after they entered our Catholic family with the Sacraments of initiation, their faces were beaming the Presence of God… I have attended many Easter Vigil Masses in the past, but never have I seen the baptized men or women beam such beauty. The moment my pastor who is not too tall in comparison with these men, poured the water on their heads, I was sure that we were in the midst of a Pentecost…
In his homily, my good pastor, energetic and full of life did not use any notes. He made reference to three different groups of people around the empty tomb… 1) The disciples who shortly after His Resurrection and when sent by the Risen Lord to preach the Good News, they left totally inflamed with evangelistic fervor and preferred death than to deny Jesus or not do what they were sent to proclaim. 2) Those who had such cold hearts like the Pharisees and Sadducees, no matter what had happened, they would not believe in the Resurrection and in its power. 3) The soldiers who came to watch the tomb and even would lie by asserting that they fell asleep and that the disciples had taken His body, this in order to deny that Jesus had resurrected. Those, he said, are most of us, who for a salary and a rather quiet life do whatever to stay Easter after Easter without committing to anything, and so they stay the same (I am only paraphrasing him… I did not take notes.)
He told us of his own experience. The day of His ordination (20 years ago?), there were several men ordained in whatever place he was in India. An old priest attended the ceremony and at the end, he asked this old priest to give him some counsel. This old man said, and paraphrasing, “During your life as a priest, you will lose all you have and Jesus will give you all He has.” I thought that this is true for all of us common priests, as it was true for Abraham and Moses and anyone who takes his/her Baptismal promises seriously. We must loose ourselves first, our plans for retirement and how much money to accumulate for our last days; we must diminish so that He can increase, and if we have to move to a far away land or lead a bunch of complaining Israelites to the Promised Land, or lose our privileged positions of prestige and power for the sake of the Kingdom, so be it!!! My pastor, of course, called us to conversion and said that the first day of such change was right and there… and that we had to become disciples. (Well said… Notice here how my memory “ain’t” too bad… Even 6 months ago, my memory could not have retained this much detail… So, He is Risen and taking care of my needs in the “yes” trash can… Huh!)
Father also shared with us that we have had many confessions (some 1,200), and this in what I believe is a medium size parish. … And yes, I had commented to my son that the lines were long every time that they were offering confession and that was done throughout the Triduum, plus the day they had had the Lent Penance Service.
There are other little stories about this Mass: for our Baptismal promises, the “I do” from everyone was loud. The “yes” to the Creed was also loud. As I drove home, I only kept wondering, “Why was the Spirit so palpable. He is always there within us but this time He was moving hearts in ways higher than expected. I truly thought that the end times were here. But why this particular parish? And when I arrived in California in 2008, why was I led to it when I explored at least 5 other parishes and some closer to my home? Most importantly, what is God trying to tell me? Is it to advertise in this blog (almost ready to be posted) that God is still in the business of parting Red Seas? It was so funny… because when I arrived home around 10:30 PM and as I mentioned before, the movie of The Ten Commandments was ending with all the fanfare that went on with Pharaoh and his charioteers being drowned in the sea… after the Israelites crossed it like nothing…Of course, like then, right now He can do all things… Nonetheless, I am still wondering what is my responsibility after having felt the Spirit making His rounds in such public way?
Was God trying to make noise in my brain as to what He could do then (for Israel) and right now in my parish? Or is it that I have to do whatever He tells me and run and tell others that He is Risen, and if not convinced, then for them to visit our parish? After the movie, ABC had the nightly news and it was announced that a group here in Oakland — www.familyradio.com— have said that the rapture with Jesus’ second coming will happen on May 21, 2011… They also interviewed the President of American Atheists (www.atheists.org) who said that the idea is crazy and they have planned a big meeting in Oakland for May 21-22, about how the rapture’s deadline was not true…How I had wished we had these two groups in tonight’s liturgy. The one who affirms that the Bible is clear about this date, could learn that at the end, if we feel His presence within us and among us, who cares when the rapture may occur. The atheist may learn that our celebration on this great night was not a case of brainwashing and /or music craziness. It was just Emmanuel Who is with us and came to us through His Spirit and later in His humanity as well. And for course, because He is Risen!
ALRIGHT, I HAVE TO SHARE ONE MORE THING WITH YOU! I arrived in Church at 7:15 PM and left around 10 PM. I stood, I sat, and I felt in perfect health at all times! Hmm. I wonder sometimes if this POTS illness is part of His plan to show me that my unequivocal “yes” to his will is the fastest way for Him to take care of this malady! I stayed up late to see only the beginning of the Sunday Easter Mass Live in Rome.
Easter Sunday, April 24.
I watched Live the Easter Sunday Mass from Washington, D.C. with one of my favorite Cardinals. While the Consecration was happening, I heard these words deep in my heart, “It is not what I say (as a disciple) as much as what I am!” I was still wondering why God showed up as a Risen One on the night before and quickly realized that the people in my parish were not stating facts or debating about God. They were present and praying according to the format of the Mass but with faith; they also seemed to be transformed; they seem to be new and acting as resurrected people… I suspect that in our parish, the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost was moved ahead a few weeks.
In the Wed. audience of April 20, the Holy Father said,”When Jesus asked his disciples to stay awake while he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was asking every believer throughout history to remain awake to the reality of God and to the reality of sin. Jesus’ request that his disciples keep watch was a permanent message for all times because the drowsiness of his disciples was not just a problem in that moment; it is a problem throughout history." And I thought: “Well, we were awake this night. There was no spiritual drowsiness of any kind…” Alleluia!
Monday, April 25.
I spent most of the day trying to put this blog together. In the afternoon I received a beautiful message. My son with three kids, sent me a video of Gemma, age 3. In it she was talking at the table in front of her desert and raised her little left hand pointing with her index finger and said with great emphasis, “There is only one God.” From the mouth of babes we hear the truth. She had started to answer her Baptismal calling of evangelizing with the Good News…
Tuesday, April 26. Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel
Before Mass, as I did my Holy Hour, I felt a deep desire to offer this Mass for my work of running to evangelize the whole world. I placed my whole being in the paten and chalice and when He arrived, I gave myself to this God/Man but definitely in a new way! After Communion I reiterated my offering: “I am ready to go and tell everyone that You are alive with us in the Eucharist and do it by myself if I have to. No age, no illness will stop me if You so desire it. I detach from any idea that I need help to do it. You are in charge and I am totally free to take such life style, even if it becomes an immense physical challenge. If you want people to help me, You go ahead and do it and I will accept whomever, but understand that I am ready to do it immediately and alone.” I then placed all my doubts, my concerns and fears of such radical offer in the “yes” trash can, doubts which have plagued me in the past. At the same time, I felt that if I never get to do it because He decides to turn me down, I have complied fully with my priestly call to offer sacrifice on behalf of other souls so they encounter God. I felt much peace!
1. These times are screaming for attention.
Some of us are recognizing that we have to start doing something NOW, and that we cannot do it without God’s help, but He needs our wills to be like the Apostles who all left everything behind like security, family and jobs. Waiting for a better time for our radical yes does not seem to be reasonable. Some of us have to become fishers of men NOW. Reading more books, listening to programs that are good and Christian in content, reading the Bible and praying daily with much devotion are not going to bring major changes to this world that seems to be going crazy. Personally, I have heard enough reflections and do’s and don’ts. Therefore, I must run…
Examples of a world showing signs of great confusion, division, superficiality, blindness, denial of the Truth, added to many natural disasters.
1) As of April 25, there has been in just this month 292 tornados in the US. 5,400 severe weather reports. 10-15 inches of rain have landed in one day in some places. St. Louis, MO, saw winds of 200 miles/hour as you have seen in the news. We have had the worst floods in years. Paducah, KY, North Carolina and Virginia besides St. Louis have seen horrors in their weather. Worldwide, we have had earthquakes of great magnitude. Our last around here was last week, 3.4 of the Richter scale!
2) The secular news are outrageous and at times too childish. A famous TV personality who will retire her particular show at the end of May and after 25 years, she has been called by a famous writer, a spiritual guide for our times. As she has been airing parts of old programs in her concluding weeks, they showed how the shoes worn by Judy Garland in the movie The Wizard of Oz were brought to her studio from the Smithsonian. These shoes had to travel first class in the company of a curator from this museum, and with their own plane ticket… (Ouch). In a different type of program, they were advertising a book about a horse that was born very small and it befriended a dog… Even if someone gave me this book, I would refuse to read it…
3) A new version of the “killing fields” is going on in the Arab world. 400 people in Syria have been killed in the last weeks. In Libya one does not know from day to day, which side is killing the other. Of course, there are many other sites of unrest. In Mexico, a woman who belongs to the government spoke on April 25 about how wonderful it has been to have the rights of women validated. They now have 16 hospitals offering abortion on demand and 5,000+ fetuses have already been destroyed… (God have mercy on us!)
2. God is at work 24/7.
When I posted my last blog, there was no question in my mind that it had to be the last one. I could not figure out what other topic could be discussed. In fact, my belief at the time was that God finally had used the last blog to touch the most important topic: the “Yes of Our Lady” and that He would give me the O.K. to write for this end of April just a few words of thanks for those who came to the site. Well, He not only stunned me with the idea of how to LIVE the yes of Our Lady with a trash can and the golden bowl, but here are two other things He did so that I would understand how wrong I was.
Examples of how the Holy Spirit is alive as always.
a) I understood that I had to write to a man named Joseph and to alert him about something important. I said to the Lord, “No way. I am not anybody to bring this topic to this man.” But God kept pushing and one day in April, I said, “O.K. Holy Spirit, open a page in my Bible and show me the name of Joseph and I will do it.” I knew that the name of Joseph was present in both testaments and pretty much knew in what Books… But of course, the Holy Ghost wanted to impress me so that I could fear and tremble… I opened the Bible and I found this verse in 2 Maccabees 8:22: “Then Judas divided his army into four placing his brothers, Simon, JOSEPH and Jonathan, each over a division, assigning to each fifteen hundred men.”….. Ouch… I never knew it was there.
b) Then I felt I had to post this blog mid week as I mentioned before, but I had no idea if that was the plan of God… So, knowing that the Holy Ghost loves to help, on April 25 I asked Him, “What day of the mid week You want it posted: Day #3, Wednesday, or day #4, Thursday. I opened the Bible and I found Daniel 4: 1-3. “In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel, who had been named Belteshazzar.The revelation was certain: a great war; he understood it from the vision. In those days, I, Daniel mourned three full weeks. I ate no savory food, I took no meat or wine, and I did not anoint myself at all until the end of the three weeks.
Daniel 11: 2. “Three Kings of Persia are yet to come; and a fourth shall acquire the greatest riches of all. “ Well, Wednesday won this dilemma since there were more threes than fours. But you could say, “Why to bother the Holy Spirit in these little things,” and I would answer you, “Because He is the master of the message, the owner of my soul, the strategist, the advocate, and besides because my faith grows in this way, and this why I ended up accepting to go and proclaim the Good News to everyone He wants, in whatever personal circumstances, since He even showed up at my parish for Easter…” Aren’t those valid reasons?
3. Our Lady was not just the mother of God the Son some 2000 years ago, and now in heaven praying for us… She is more than that. She is also alive… I found her very alive in my life in 1988 when I enthroned her in my house under the title of “Our Lady Queen of the Universe.” I have felt her twice to be very present when I visited her in Tepeyac, Mexico. I am wondering if she was the one summoning her Spouse the Holy Ghost to our parish. To begin with, the parish is named St. Mary!!! Second, she even has a grotto built some two years ago under a pastor who was born on one of her major feast days and who is very Marian. She is not God; she will never be, but she is the best disciple evangelist God has… I love my Mother tons and tons and tons… During Holy Hours when I hear the many versions of the Ave Maria in my IPod, I cannot get over the power that this song has over my soul.
I am sure that this couple: the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, are working in my soul and making me pregnant with the Son of God so that I can go and witness what a God we have… He is alive. He is here! And the good news is that no matter what is going on, if we say “yes” to His will, we will be living eternally in paradise and bring many to the mansion that our Daddy has ready for us. Have a glorious Feast of Divine Mercy and this year we will not be crying the death of our Pope JPII, but making him Blessed… God is good, and His mercy endures forever.
4. I leave you with the words of Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. from his book “Abandonment to Divine Providence”. Chapter 4.
“So come! Never mind weariness, illness, lack of feeling, irritability, exhaustion, the snares of the devil and of men, and all that they create of distrust, jealousy, prejudice and evil imaginings. Let us soar like an eagle above those clouds, with our eyes fixed on the sun and its rays, which are our duties. We cannot help being aware of all these evils, of course, and we cannot be indifferent to them but let us never forget that ours is not a life governed by our feelings. We must live in those upper reaches of the spiritual life where God and His will are active in a process which is eternal and unchanging.”
And I say: AMEN. Alleluia. He is Risen!