Note: just so that I do not forget: I had promised to post information about Vitamin D3 in the “pages” section of this site; however, in this era of Internet resources, I have opted to let you do your own digging on this vitamin. I feel that I should not be selecting just a few paragraphs here and there from different sources. For example, it will be much different if your source comes from a traditional allopathic center, which may be great in treating disease but not at the top of preventing it, like Mayo Clinic, than if it comes from allopathic doctors who see nutrition with different eyes. Count me on this last group. So, I do not want to pick and choose information nor give you my side of it by quoting those I respect because of their knowledge in preventing disease through nutrition.
Main topic: If you think that I am going to add more ideas as to how to evangelize others, well, you will be disappointed…Well, not so…You will be relieved because we have great spiritual writers, past and present, who have spoken about it, taught us about it, gave us hints on what we need in order to become evangelists, including several Encyclicals from different Popes, etc. This blog will focus on something else. Spiritually speaking, this month has become one of the most interesting ones for me. I have been summoned to be trained as an evangelist, or to go to school to become like dough in the hands of God to bring the Gospel to others. In other words and believe it or not, HOW TO EVANGELIZE MYSELF, first and foremost… At the end of these 4 weeks, I seem to be dancing with joy because trying to follow what I have learned to do, I have found a fountain of togetherness with the Crucified that is more constant, more beautiful, more extraordinary…
Said in other words, I have been in love with this Man/God more minutes out of a day than even last month. What I suppose has happened is that I have become more manageable for His Spirit to take me to “mountain tops” of awe due to this closer encounter, and this brings His Gifts upon me to UNDERSTAND how I must be trained as an evangelist; the WISDOM to do it; the FORTITUDE to say yes to whatever minor persecution I encounter here and there, and even become eager to be persecuted for the sake of my formation… Huh! That is new in my life. His love for me from His Eucharistic Presence on this earth has left me at times like a drunken woman, and resentments that were present for brothers or sisters have melt like ice in a pan with hot oil… and I then feel so much love for them. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!
The topic started with my realization that we are told how we are expected to bring others to the Catholic Faith… In general, our present day Apostles are excellent at teaching us the need to evangelize and that we must seek a personal relationship with Christ to do it… Yet, what I came to understand, at least for me, was that all the information I found told me about my need to be transformed, to convert, to enter into this relationship with Jesus in order to become a missionary or evangelist, BUT the detail or guide as to how to do it or HOW DO I ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT TO FORM ME, day by day, was not clear. I have all the faith and trust that the Spirit will lead me… and there is no doubt about that… Yet, the wider I open the doors of my soul to Him to lead me, that more effective I can be to bring the Gospel to others. But the fine detail as to how I propitiate in practical terms the reign of the Holy Ghost in my inner temple was not clear to me.
I suddenly became thirsty to run and tell everyone about my Jesus Who is waiting for them in each Tabernacle… And yet, I realized that I need a Pentecost in my heart that is ongoing and well managed by my soul in what regards to receive it… Of course, I can do it with Him Who strengthens me as long as I become a babe in His arms… How to do so, is what I learned this month and He called it: “Your School of Evangelization.” It is basically a PRACTICAL course on how to remove my ego and human tendencies from my soul, and let Him do His job. Once bathed in His Love by His Spirit, no one could stop me, not even Satan… Huh!
The problem I have is how to pass the story to you. It has so many angles that came little by little, and putting it together is hard for a woman who has to type with one eye which hardly sees anything anymore.
Sometimes I find excellent teaching coming through the NET and I keep it in my files. It so happened that sometime at the end of August, I found this document below from which I am copying a few parts. It is about evangelization, and these quotes will give you a glimpse of what this holy Cardinal is telling us about this topic, and also to review the importance of evangelization and our missionary calling and duty as baptized Catholics.
A New Pentecost: Inviting All To Follow Jesus
Pastoral Letter on Evangelization
Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap.
June 12, 2011 – Pentecost Sunday
3. Evangelization starts with each Catholic’s ongoing conversion
We can only share what we have received.In preparing to evangelize, we are called to conversion, which means continually to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ individually and as a Church. The Good News nurtures us, makes us grow, and renews us in holiness as God’s people.4
Conversion is ongoing in the hearts of believers and it consists in knowing not just about Jesus, but in actually knowing Jesus. It comes about through the power of the Holy Spirit who gives us the grace to invite Jesus into our lives, to put on the mind of Christ by rejecting sin, and to accept the call to be ever more faithful disciples of Christ in the Church. It is a fruit that comes from prayerful dialogue with Christ our Redeemer. Unless we undergo such a conversion, we have not truly accepted the Gospel.5
We know that people experience conversion in many ways. Some experience a “sudden, shattering insight that brings rapid transformation. Some experience a gradual growth over many years. Others undergo conversion as they take part in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults — the usual way adults become members of the Church today. Many experience conversion through the ordinary relationships of family and friends. Others have experienced it through the formation received from Catholic schools and religious education programs. Still others have experienced ongoing conversion in renewals, ecumenical encounters, retreats, parish missions, or through some of the great spiritual movements that have blessed Church life today.”6
Personal conversion for each of us will involve different steps depending on our relationship to Jesus and his Church. “For those who practice and live our Catholic faith, it is a call to ongoing growth and renewed conversion. For those who have accepted it only in name, it is a call to re-evangelization. For those who have stopped practicing our faith, it is a call to reconciliation. For children, it is a call to be formed into disciples through the family’s faith life and religious education. For other Christians, it is an invitation to know the fullness of our message. For those who have no faith, it is an invitation to know Christ Jesus and thus experience a change to new life with Christ and his Church.”7
5. The Meaning of Evangelization
Evangelization involves handing on the faith to our own families; in other words, becoming mentors in this way of life to a new generation of disciples. As Saint Paul reminds us with passion, we are all called to be “ambassadors of Christ.”10
I hope, through our efforts, that together we will restore the word “evangelization” to its proper meaning. It means simply to share the Gospel, the Good News, through word and deed. That is why the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are called “Evangelists.”
Over time the word “evangelization” has developed negative connotations for some and been misunderstood to be an aggressive or manipulative form of proselytism. Catholic evangelization is never proselytism. Evangelization always seeks to propose our faith and never to impose it. It is always respectful of human dignity and authentic freedom.
The Church exists to evangelize, to share the Good News with all people. We are called to do many things in the Church, but our primary mandate given by Jesus and powered by the Holy Spirit is to evangelize. Correspondingly, every Catholic is asked to make it his or her own responsibility to reach out and encourage others to join with us in Christ’s family, the Church.
There are three ways to evangelize. We witness , which is the simple living of our faith through our good actions and virtuous deeds. We share our faith in an explicit way, typically by describing how God is working in our lives. We invite others to experience Christ’s saving love by walking with us in our Catholic Church.
7. Pastoral Planning & Evangelization
Paulist Father Robert Rivers has written a provocative book called, From Maintenance to Mission: Evangelization and the Revitalization of the Parish. His premise is that evangelization has the power to bring new unity to the Church in periods of upheaval, and can lead to an experience of reorientation within the Church and a renewed impact on the society in which we live in this new millennium.
Evangelization challenges all baptized Catholics to a conversion to Christ, by living their faith fully, inviting others to faith, and living these Gospel values in the world. It gives us a new lens through which we can view our Catholic faith. This lens is threefold: spiritual renewal, missionary activity, and action for justice in the world.
Many parishes are truly mission-based today and they have fervor for this outreach. Others are maintenance-oriented because their parishioners often have a consumer culture mentality. They come to Church to get something, and they expect the leadership to provide it. All the energy and resources of the parish are oriented to serving the people who are present, rather than reaching out to those who are absent.
We must work to help our parishioners to move beyond being consumers to being disciples who share actively in the mission and the ministry of Jesus. We are called to evangelize out of love for Jesus Christ and of the people
Our task in our parishes is to foster ongoing conversion, turning consumers into disciples and disciple-makers. We need to prepare men and women who witness to the faith and not send people into the witness protection program. Every Catholic can be a minister of welcome, reconciliation, and understanding to those who have stopped practicing the faith.16
10. Immediate Steps
Pastors, in consultation with their parish pastoral councils and staffs, will need to strategize on how best to evangelize in their local circumstances. Like Pentecost, the process must be steeped in prayer and the desire to be led by the Holy Spirit. The outreach that needs to be done will require planning and training. Some parishes may want to establish evangelization teams and pastoral zones within the parish for the purpose of outreach. Those involved would benefit from reading Go and Make Disciples, a document from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has recommended goals, strategies and tactics for the work of evangelization.
Faith formation is central to the task of evangelization. Training evangelizers to visit homes, to contact the families of children in religious education programs and youth ministry, and to be involved in outreach and welcoming must be part of the process. The RCIA programs are ways of helping the entire parish have a sense of mission and welcoming.
I encourage all Catholic families to develop a spirituality of the home that renews the practice of regular family prayer. Spouses: pray with one another; parents: pray with your children. Reach out to extended family members and Catholic friends and neighbors, and invite them to attend Mass with you. What a stronger Church we would be if every family was able to help just one other family return to the practice of our faith.
I ask all Catholics to pray to the Holy Spirit this Pentecost and to ask for the wisdom to understand the particular gifts God has given you for building up the Church. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to recognize those people for whom God would like you to be the face of His Church. At the proper moment you can then invite them to return home to our blessed Catholic family.
11. That All May Know Jesus
Blessed Pope John Paul II traveled to the ends of the earth to share the Good News so that the world could come to know Christ Jesus. Like the late Holy Father, we must be convinced that the Kingdom of God is spread by word of mouth. Jesus says: “He who hears you, hears me.”19
In Blessed John Paul II’s letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, he challenged us with the words of the Gospel, “Duc in Altum”, to “cast our nets into the deep.” He wrote: “We must rekindle in ourselves the impetus of the beginnings of the Church and allow ourselves to be filled with the ardor of the apostolic preaching which followed Pentecost. We must revive in ourselves the burning conviction of Paul who cried out: ‘Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.’”20 Let us repair and strengthen our nets together so that we might better carry out the mission that the Lord has given us, to be his ambassadors. “Faith is strengthened when it is given to others.” 21 End of quote.
Next, I will give you highlights of how the curriculum for my schooling developed during the past month. As always, there will be repetition from day to day… but this repetition the Holy Spirit felt necessary for my soul. So, I will write as I got it regarding date and content and regardless of repetition.
Sunday, August 28. I was taken to reflect in my past life. When my husband was told on the day after Thanksgiving of 2000 that he needed surgery because he most likely had cancer, he never reacted negatively. Surgery was schedule for December 6. He agreed to go to confession when a Jesuit priest friend of mine but also chaplain in this hospital in Toledo, approached him. I learned about it after the fact. He was told that he had 6 months to live and he never showed despair. He was very content with the prognosis. That takes holiness… But, he had fallen into atheism as a follower of the ideas of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara… So, what happened?
On this day, the Lord explained to me something I never paid attention to… I had never put my husband down for his lack of religious fervor and BY pure GRACE… and unbeknownst to me then. Be sure and understand that this grace passing through me, was a grace that needed to be present for many years, so that at the end of the life of this man, he could easily agree to receive the Sacraments and even embrace death as a saint would. This was the action of the Holy Ghost that I had no idea was there, nor did I recognize it until this date of August 28, 2011. In awe for His mercy, I thanked Him over and over! I was evangelizing and did not know it! I am sure that if he had needed me to talk about converting at some point of our 37 years together, the Holy Spirit would have sent me to do it. But in his case, it was a quiet acceptance of where he was at, which left him without resentment to accept Christ in his death bed…
Here is where I started understanding other aspects of the School of Evangelization or how we prepare to become effective evangelists… I was reminded that at times we have to use words, like John the Baptist did… But most often than not, we evangelize with love and it is the most powerful way of doing it, when we respect others where they are at, just like Jesus did with the prostitute, which presumably was Mary of Magdala, one of His most faithful disciples.
I was reminded that the action of loving others (grace from God) comes if we live always prepared to be guided into becoming a disciple, a servant and the best of all servants. The best servant ends up not resenting others, and the devil loses the battle. Our love is a merciful love, and with the Mercy of God operating in our hearts, Satan has no chance… to divide and create more resentment. Yet, one needs the Holy Spirit in full operational mode… I understood that because each soul needs a different approach and in my humanity, I have no hint as to how to proceed, my work is to attend the School of Evangelization in order to become a bridge for souls to encounter Jesus in the many ways and forms that they need the message to be heard… It is simple spiritual logic…
Not only that, but I have noticed that we have all kind of programs for everything: how to raise kids, how to take care of elders, how to raise holy teens, how to invite others to Church, how to form their faith in Christ, and at the end, as a professional and previous manager of a health center, the question is if those whom we submit to our plans truly become saints… In anesthetic parlance, was my anesthetic harmful in any way to the patient, and how did I prevent any mishaps? Regarding my taking the Gospel to others, all I need is to die to myself and resurrect in the Holy Spirit…His Light is imperative for my call to holiness and also as much as for those whom I bring to the Church… On this day, I finally opened my eyes and realized my responsibility: I must become dough in the Spirit’s Hands in order to play the right tune for every soul whom I am inviting to become a saint. Just to bring people HOME and have more dissipated members may turn to be a sin in itself…Our human plans for evangelization may not have lasting fruitful results.
Around 3PM, I felt oppressed. I had to learn so much and truly become changed from head to bottom and it frightened… I was then reminded by the Holy Spirit that this fear was from Satan himself… and I heard this: “Stand in awe for Who God is and for what He can do and will do in your life. This will defeat Satan the fastest with the help of your Mother in heaven.” Immediately the oppression was gone almost all. It was a great teaching of how Satan erupts in our lives quietly, and we think that our fear is human and let it stay, when actually is from the enemy and we have much power over it… I have ways to fight the fight… and trust in God’s mercy by being in awe of His love for me and what He has done for me forever and ever, and this makes Satan escape in a hurry… This point was part of the curriculum of my schooling, later to be shared.
Monday, Aug. 29. My illness of POTS was prevalent on this day and it is a challenge to remember that it is a favor God does to me, by suffering with Him… It is actually a privilege…
Tuesday, Aug. 30. I as not feeling well at early Mass and later in the day, and yet was offering it up for my Pastor who was in route to India. On this day I understood that no illness, no possible work for the Kingdom beyond a monthly blog, and what could it consist of, etc., should distract me. I also kept wondering if my illness of POTS, if my left eye with problems, if my fear of visiting doctors because of major errors suffered in the past from their care, if all of this was all from God to purify me for the work of evangelization. But was Satan also involved? Of course, the story of Job keeps coming to my mind.
The Holy Spirit as always was available to teach me and I understood this, “You trust and I will do. Whatever happens will be allowed by God regardless of your questions. Your work is to TRUST THAT GOD’S MERCY IS LARGER THAN ANY OTHER EVENT OR POSSIBILITY! Saving souls is the goal. You have been told many times of the work you have been prepared to do. You have started by bringing the story of His love for you to the Internet. God will do the rest as needed.”
I, of course, recognized that it made sense and yet, requested a nice Biblical story to help me… I hardly get ignored when I ask for a “divine second opinion”…
2 Maccabees 8:1-6. The story goes like this:
1. Judas Maccabeus entered the village secretly and summoned his kinsmen (6,000), those who remained faithful to Judaism.
2.They together implored the Lord (prayer as a community) and asked:
1) To look kindly on His people who were being oppressed in all sides
2) To have pity on the temple, which had been profaned
3) To have mercy on the city, which was being destroyed and about to be leveled to the ground
4) To hearken to the blood that cried out to Him
5) To remember the criminal slaughter of innocent children (Hmm)
6) To remember the blasphemies uttered against His Name
7) To manifest His hatred of evil.
3. Once Maccabeus got his men organized, the Gentiles could not withstand him for the Lord’s wrath had now changed into mercy and Maccabeus had victory everywhere.
There is no doubt that Judas trusted God, and he had only to ORGANIZE the people… So, evangelization is a form of organizing the people of God, those faithful to Him, and as we pray together, we bring many to believe because God gives in and with His Mercy as He did for the believing Jews in the times of Maccabeus, He bombards the enemy… Of course, our main enemies are Satan and his demons, our flesh and the world… So, there it was the beginning of my understanding that it can be done, but we have to trust that for God all things are possible, ask for His help, and expect His mercy to explode with answers… Soo easy…
Wednesday, August 31.
At 3PM, I did what Maccabeus and others did and prayed to God for His mercy to help in my different enterprises: my eye, general health, protection against the evil one, salvation of my family, ministry of Opus Misericordiae through blogs and whatever else with whomsoever and in whatever format.
And so, the beginning of my understanding of the curriculum of the school of evangelization to which I am called to follow began, and it came with the first installment. It will be shared at the end of this blog. However, it was completed on Sept. 8, on the Feast of Our Lady’s birthday, which happens to be the feast day of Our Lady of Good Health, in Vailankanni, India… And as always, she is into everything. As time passes by, my love for this Woman clothed with the sun seems to grow exponentially. She is a real mom to me… I would not know how to live without her love and teaching and assistance with her intercession before the Throne of Mercy. It is soo good to have a Mom in heaven and so active…By the way, notice that Our Lady’s title in Vilankanni is of “Good Health” and I need good health!!! I went to her website and I can even attend LIVE Masses on Saturdays and Sundays at her Shrine… via Internet… Huh! So, I have been praying to her for my health with a novena prayer that appears in her website. Do you want to know her better? Go to www.vilankannishrine.org – I also sent a prayer request to her shrine at email@example.com
For online Masses – www.live.vilankannishrine.org
Thursday, September 1. This is how God loves to treat me. I was not doing well with the exacerbation of POTS symptoms. I had lost a few pounds just by eating vegetarian meals… I wondered if I was releasing some toxics that were making these symptoms more obvious. I needed to buy two step-stools and was not sure if I felt like going after the 6:30 AM Mass. Home depot and Wal-Mart in the city I live are in the same shopping center. So, I asked the Lord for guidance and was told to go. I asked Him for a spot to park near the entrance, since at this time of the morning, around 7:30 AM, many construction workers are buying materials.
I indeed found one at the Home Depot store. As I entered, a tall older woman was passing by (a manager) and she asked if she could help. I asked where the step-stools in this big place were. She replied: “Because the season is over, we do not have any left, but go to Wal-Mart. You will find them there…” I was amazed at the timing so that I did not have to start walking and looking until I found someone to ask. I got out and re-parked in front of Wal-Mart. I entered and suddenly, a younger man was walking nearby and was another manager. I asked where the stools could be and he said, “I will take you there because they are hiding in the back” And so, he did…In fact, some were too small. But he found others that needed to be assembled; so he broke the package and assembled one for me to see the size. It was the perfect size. Had he not being there, I would have missed this second kind… I came home in “AWE” of God’s mercy… You ask and you get. He seems to enjoy this kind of detail of His love…
Saturday, September 3. During this day, I did gather some topics that demanded of me my formation as a disciple, because they pointed out at the moral decline we live in.
1. I had fallen asleep in my chair and when I woke up at 1 AM, I turned on the television (to check during the days that hurricane Irene was devastating the East coast), but the television had been left on ABC and an old Oprah show was running… even that she is retired from this enterprise. I heard a famous woman who used to have her own day time show and who now will appear in the Oprah Cable Channel as a regular host. I heard this lady say this: “What we were authentically at age 30 is not the same at 35 or 40, and our relationships change. The first duty in your life is to be true to yourself, and people will respect you for that.” This is was a huge testimony for me regarding Satan… This is a confusing statement that makes no sense, but people act as if this were a Gospel Truth, and this phrase “to be true to yourself,” really is a way of saying, “to pay homage to their self will.” They have become their own gods. Eve is as alive today as ever.
2. Later that same day, Piers Morgan at CNN had an atheist in his show, Mr.Penn Jillette. Piers asked him if he prayed, what he would pray for? This atheist answered, “For the gift of knowledge…” Even atheists know what they need. Do we as Catholics think the same?
3. Alarming news came through different sources. Here is an example:
Sept. 2011 – One anonymous man was found to have fathered 150 children under the current system.
The New York Times reports on the case of Cynthia Daily, who used a sperm donor to conceive a child seven year ago, “Ms. Daily searched a Web-based registry for other children fathered by the same donor and helped to create an online group to track them. Over the years, she watched the number of children in her son’s group grow… Today there are 150 children”
Such prolific procreation can lead to problems for the children born of donors. Children who were born from the same sperm donor could unknowingly become involved in an incestuous relationship with someone that they did not know was a half-sibling.
The risk of incest is not the only problem. The revelations also raise fears that children from the same donor could share disease-causing genes that can spread through the population. In July, ABC News reported 24 children of one donor were at risk for a potentially fatal hereditary heart defect. In August, the Daily Mail reported a donor with Asperger’s syndrome fathered at least 22 children, some of which are already showing signs of autism.
How can a donor father so many kids? Some experts say the sperm donation industry needs tighter regulation. "We have more rules that go into place when you buy a used car than when you buy sperm," Debora L. Spar, author of "The Baby Business: How Money, Science and Politics Drive the Commerce of Conception," told the Times.
4. I started to realize that we are seeing a tremendous multiplication of distractions for our ongoing conversion. We write books and more books, religious and not. We have opinions and more opinions about the present age; American football stadiums are full watching human beings (players) basically killing each other for a ball of all things. Money is behind this destructive sport, lots of money.… Baseball is claiming many fans since the World Series is around the corner. The news are repeated over and over until one feels mentally exhausted.
After these two encounters with television guests, the rampant immorality of our culture that has entered most brains as a right provided by the Constitution, and pondering about the entertainment available, I felt a sense of the Presence of Satan and a furious presence of spiritual warfare. My question was: “What am I doing about it?” I had asked my Mother to get me some answers by September 15, her feast day, especially regarding blog writing. I wanted SIGNS… Period! I contended that the problem with my left eye’s vision may represent a sign to quit blogging.
Sunday, September 4. It was a very special day. My son and I entered the church at 7:30 AM. I usually say the Rosary/Chaplet of Mercy before Mass for my family and a few others. When I was finished, I had so much joy that I could just run dancing all over the place. This is a joy that one has no control over it and I have written about it before. I asked my Lord for what intention should offer this Mass. He said, “Let’s celebrate our love.” And the joy I had was basically hinting at the huge Presence of His love. Immediately I went back to my young years when this my love for Him erupted, and when I knew beyond doubt that He was present (although not visible) in the consecrated Host. I remembered how real the whole affair was and it has continued. So, this Sunday WE DID CELEBRATE IN STYLE! This is the first time we have done so. I started to wonder if it had to be because I was attending the school of evangelization since Aug. 31, although much more information was coming, but I did not know this at the time.
Tuesday, Sept. 6. I arrived at 11:15 AM for Noon Mass. I was sent to my little Protestant Bible (Psalms and Gospels) that I carry in my purse. As I opened it, I found some notes written just before the Psalms. It was written on September 23, 2010, the feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (exactly one year ago). It was a commentary on the reading of page 135 or Luke 9 where Jesus sent His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases and told them to take nothing for the journey. I suddenly had an epiphany… On this September 6, I understood that He was clearly stating that they would have power over Satan but they had to leave everything behind… To me, it meant two things: they had to trust in Divine Providence, and it also seems to hint that even their very selves or self wills had to be left behind…
After Communion He said, “Go and preach. Warn them! Yet, do not be afraid. True discipleship comes with authority over Satan…” My Lord said to check page 752 when I got home.
That afternoon I went to page 752: Wisdom 3:9 – “Those who trust in Him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with Him in love, because grace and mercy are with His holy ones, and His care is with His elect.” Here again, trust is of the essence. I also recalled that my son Orlando had written precisely on this date of Sept. 23 of 2010, regarding his decision to move to Alabama by January 2. I had asked St. Padre Pio to look after him… And of course, God and my Mother and this saint and many others were on this case because he found the woman he would choose to marry… This was a huge sign that God is into everything, if we truly trusted and live in awe of all that He can do and will do. It was awesome to see how the Holy Spirit guided me to this old information, since I was looking for signs…and He reminded me of how in charge He is of everything…
Thursday, Sept. 8. This was the other time when the plan for my schooling to become an evangelist was discussed further, on the feast of Mom’s birthday and her feast in Vailankanni. In the afternoon I did make the Consecration to her for which I had been preparing since my last one on August 15. I said to Our Lady, “It is not easy Ma to do what I am called to do, writing blogs in matters too hi for my little theology and possibly much more work to be done at the end of my life.”
She answered, “It is not easy because you think too much of yourself. If you lived in the present moment ignoring the rest, you would do what you must and hardly worry about what it is ahead of time or how to do it or with whom, etc. You make your yoke heavy due to the fear of what others may say or of any persecution or problems in the road ahead! All that you may need whether be material, emotional or the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, all will be given to you for His work through you for others! You need to re-wire your brain to live without counting the cost. Prayer as you were reminded two hours ago, is essential to summon the Holy Spirit to re-wire your way of thinking and action in spiritual matters! In the mean time, use all your worries and question marks as an opportunity to grow in total ‘abandonment to His Providence,’ which will summon God’s mercy because it proves to Him that you truly trust in Him.”
Shortly after, it was the Lord Who seemed to continue the teaching. I was sent to page 150 which is John 4 and the story of the Samaritan woman. He said or so I understood, “You should worship not in a mountain like she said or in Jerusalem, but in Spirit and Truth (as Jesus told the Samaritan). Abandonment to God’s Providence is a form of worship of God in Spirit and Truth. In Spirit because you do it expecting the Holy Spirit to show the way. In Truth because you are obeying God’s Word of trusting in His love and mercy. Go and tell everyone that letting go and letting God is the most powerful form of discipleship, that is of self denial with acceptance of all crosses that His Providence provides, plus you are following God since this abandonment is a form of following Him by worshipping Him in Spirit and Truth! All of it will give you the formation to evangelize others, as the Samaritan woman did!
“Abandonment to Divine Providence all day, at every breath, 365 days a year, turns a disciple into a successful evangelist! Evangelization requires workers who are trained to “live” as disciples, and therefore, the emphasis and essence of the training is on living abandoned to God’s Providence! All spiritual direction should be aimed to form evangelists, and therefore, to perfect their discipleship, and discipleship begins and ends with total abandonment to God’s Providence in order to be able to learn true self-denial in accepting all crosses in order to follow Me, and that is, to do the Father’s will, at all cost, including dying on a cross, and all out of love of God, for His glory and the salvation of souls.” There was no doubt that in the feast of her birthday, this Mother had interceded for me to find the Truth through correction of my behavior and with understanding of what entails to follow her Son.
Saturday, Sept. 10. I understood the reason as to why I have to attend the school of evangelization. The reason is because the GOAL OF THIS SCHOOL IS TO DAILY INCREASE MY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS, as I become the best disciple possible, under the auspices of the Holy Spirit, appropriating an ongoing Pentecost in my soul, so that His Gifts may bring power to my soul to announce the Gospel effectively, that is, to bring them home to become saints.
Monday, Sept. 12. The Feast of the Holy Name of Our Lady.
On this day I understood that self denial is really entering the wilderness as John the Baptist did. He was fit to evangelize when he came out of this self-imposed wilderness around 30 years of age? He was able to show great humility when he said, “I must decrease. He must increase.” He was able to recognize the Messiah King, even if He was his own cousin. His self-denial had given him wisdom, knowledge, repentance, understanding. He also was prepared to lose his life around age 32 or 33.
In the case of Jesus, again this God/Man also went to the wilderness for 40 days. He also came from the desert to proclaim the Kingdom of God and asked for repentance. For many of us, it takes 40 years in the desert of the world (like the Israelites when they left Egypt). But my wilderness consists in leaving myself behind and to live without specific plans because the Holy Spirit has them. I only have to clean my inner temple of all obstruction for the work of the Holy Spirit. It was obvious that I have to enroll in this school of evangelization, and follow the curriculum received. I must live an encounter with Him daily. For this encounter to happen and no matter how religious I consider myself to be, I must truly die to my reasoning, my fears, my curiosity, anxiety to know how to do it. I must interrupt with prayer any mental activity that seeks those answers. I must use other tactics, like recounting the many times that He has done great things for me, and be in awe of His love for me and do it often.
On this date, I received a card from a retired priest friend of mine who lives in the Midwest. We only exchange communications at Christmas time since 1989 when we saw each other last. This time, he was in Connecticut attending to his recently widowed sister, and decided to send this card recommending that I should continue writing the blogs. I lust mentioned that I had requested some signs by Sept. 15. Of course, the Holy Spirit moved this good priest to send such message within the time frame I had given to my Lord!
Thursday, September 15. Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. I offered the Mass in expiation for my sins of not engaging myself more often in the work of evangelization. I realized that I had lacked a sense of urgency to save souls. Yes, I prayed for them, but failed to interest myself as if each person were my son or daughter. This 12 noon Mass was awesome. We had a pianist and a cantor and the Church was filled for this week day Mass. I am sure that my Mother was very happy!
Saturday, Sept. 17. I understood that if I live attending the school of evangelization, keeping the curriculum practiced in my life, this will give me the power to evangelize by witness and also will be able to stop Satan.
Wednesday, Sept. 21. This I learned: in the amount that I die to self with purity of intention, that is to do it for the proclamation of the Gospel with great urgency to bring others to salvation, and be determined to let God and let go, I can do many things in the area of evangelization. A new Gospel should be written by the Holy Spirit in the pages of my life, but these pages must be cleaned up. They are too full of resentments, even little ones. They mostly come because they are the fruit of past persecution, whether little and major ones. The pages of my unconscious mind become filthy, crowded with images and feelings, and love for others cannot flow when I harbor resentment in any fashion. The school of evangelization will heal my soul.
One thing that the Lord has worked much with me this month is to ignore any spiritual dissipation around. In fact, I wonder at times if the malady in my left eye is simply to remind me that I must look at the wood in my own eye, before I look at it in the eye of my neighbor. I also understood that one major obstacle for my formation as an evangelist is that I try to analyze everything that is wrong, and not give equal time to rejoice in awe that He has a plan to address the dissipation. Also, to live knowing that the victory is His and that I am called to become a faithful disciple/servant to be part of His victory.
Finally, this is the list of what I have been practicing as best as possible in order to evangelize myself first and so become an evangelist. I have been strict with myself to follow the directions and as much as possible, and I have seen a tremendous increase of intimacy with the Eucharistic Lord. As said before, the program was revealed to me in three different dates: August 31, September 8 and September 12. The sense of it all is that I cannot afford to read more books or wait any longer, but to submit my soul to a time of living in the wilderness, so that He can use me to save souls. It is not a list of do’s and don’ts to bring others to Christ. It is instead, a list of what I must devote myself to do daily to become an evangelist.
ONGOING FORMATION TO BE THE BEST EVANGELIST possible!
I. A healthy prayer life in all its forms.
1) Daily Mass
2) Sacramental life.
3) Daily rosary and devotion to Our Lady with frequent consecrations to her Immaculate Heart. To always have in mind that she is the gate of heaven, the bridge to Jesus Himself.
4) Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the family. (In my case it was done in 1992)
5) Daily recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Asking for God’s mercy is essential for this formation into a credible witness of the Gospel.
6) Daily study of the Scriptures with a period for Lectio Divina, letting the Holy Spirit interpret the text to be used for the good of my soul.
II. Specific patterns of behavior to be lived at all cost!
1. Living the “yes” of Our Lady with purity of intention for my own yes to God’s will.
2. Living in fear of God, in “holy awe” of God’s love and mercy for me and all, and in particular, making a list of all the great things He has done in my life. In this way, I will be appropriating the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to wrap my soul in an ongoing Pentecost. This step is essential to be lived with constancy and deliberate consciousness about it, since it is the Holy Spirit Who can give me all that I need, like courage, fortitude, wisdom, knowledge, understanding of God’s will for me, and the power to live the “yes” of Our Lady almost on automatic pilot. Living a Pentecost in my soul every day is essential to live as the Apostles and disciples of the first Century!
3. A deliberate daily effort to ask for God’s mercy to trust in Him, with the certitude that He can do great things for me, and that for Him all things are possible, so that my soul can be transfigured to become the evangelist that He wants me to be.
4. Always, always, looking for ways to love my brothers and sister where they are at, even when they persecute me, by blocking all resentment with the most perfect forgiveness that does not see the sin, and only the sinner as God’s image and worthy to be loved despite offenses. Here, I was sent to review the stories I had shared from 2002, and posted in a blog in 2010. I will paste some of them again, since they are crucial to remember for our formation as lovers of others, as Jesus was… This topic, keeping the second most important commandment in all its different aspects, is essential for my formation as an evangelist and it deserves more exploration.
FROM BLOG OF JANUARY 2010
Tuesday, December 10, 2002.
My routine was to get up at 4:30 AM and do a Holy Hour starting at 5:30 and receive the Eucharist at the 6:30 AM Communion Service. But this day, the O.R. schedule at the surgery center would start later than 7:30 AM. So, I was able to attend the Communion Service first and then stay for about 45 minutes in adoration of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus before I went to work. No matter how hard I tried, I could not find in my purse the wrist-watch, which I had not placed on my arm as yet, and I had to make two trips to find a clock outside the perpetual adoration chapel in order to check the hour so that I would not be late at the center, which was located about one mile from my parish…
When I was saying good-bye to my Lord, I felt that the Holy Spirit wanted me to understand something. I immediately started to take notes since I was going to spend many hours working and did not want to forget all the details of the message, and this is what I understood: “Remember that the center of true repentance is to acknowledge or own, repent and amend any and all sins against your primary occupation: to love… The watch was hidden from your eyes so that you would forget about time. Time is for men to switch from one occupation to another: eating, working, playing and sleeping. In My Kingdom, there is only one occupation: to love eternally, timelessly. You do the same: love all the time. Now, open your hands and your heart to receive My love so that you can give it to others.”
I did it and felt happy to receive it…but in my clumsiness I said, “Fill me up Lord now and every time that I am low with Your love, so that I am always ready to give it to my brother/sister.” “No”, I understood He meant, “It does not work that way. You are not a receptacle that needs to be filled up from time to time. You are only a vehicle of My love. It is like hemoglobin that carries oxygen to your human body. I give you My love (oxygen) coming from My Heart and you give it away to others (your brothers and sisters). Then, it will come back to Me and I will give it back to you to give it away once more in an endless circle of love. It comes back to Me, not because of your neighbor who received it and sends it back, but because of your obedience to the Gospel. This is why you must love all the time so that you do not stop the flow.”
“Whenever you resent, whenever you look at your brother/sister with coldness or indifference and especially without forgiveness, you stop the flow, and because this love of Mine is for them, you cannot use it since it was not meant for you. I suffer when you do not pass My love in this timeless wave of giving and receiving. I cannot fill you up because you are already full since I loved you since the moment of your conception! They are also full of My love since their conception but do not know it since they are blinded to My Presence! Love will triumph as long as you are willing to carry it for Me and be My eyes, My ears and hands with the best servant attitude that you can.”
I freaked out and left in pain for not having listened to Him earlier when He probably tried to tell me the same thing, but I was too busy with self-indulgences, self-satisfactions and self-love and I had ignored that I was a channel of His love 24/7… Ouch! (Shortly after, my wrist watch appeared in my purse as if by magic!)
Saturday, December 21, 2002. After 8 AM Mass, I felt that my Divine Eucharistic Child Jesus wanted me to give Him a gift for His upcoming birthday. It consisted in my clear understanding and my living the missionary work for the Kingdom. I received knowledge of many parts of this call and wrote them as soon as I arrived home. (I am only copying part of this lesson received in 2002 as it appears in the blog of January 2010))
6. I am my brother/sister’s keeper by virtue of the family created at the foot of the Cross. Ways that will help deliver this care (to be my neighbor’s keeper) are:
1) I will hide their sin from my eyes as best as I can and on a routine basis.
2) I will find their goodness and exult it in my eyes.
3) I will care for them to the point of death on a cross.
4) I will pray daily for them.
5) I will serve them as if I were serving Jesus Himself.
6) I will seek my mystical death or the detachment to any love that seeks any self- gratification. That is to love only for the sake of my neighbor and out of sheer giving as Jesus loves them.
7) If my brother/sister sins against me, I will pardon him/her 70 times 7 or over and over. I will proceed to empty myself of any resentment because of their sin and I will try to love them as myself for the glory of God and for His pleasure. I must always remember that my resentment makes my neighbor appear in front of the Lord as sinning over and over against me, and this will tie my neighbor up even further. So, on earth, I am the one that can free my neighbor by forgetting their sin.
7. My love of God and of neighbor can only grow in the fire of obedience to the Gospel. My soul must ignore sufferings, contradictions, sorrows, persecutions, because when it is dead to all, in the midst of these pains, it bears abundant fruit. These fruits are the virtues and they include the fruit of growing in loving others. This love of neighbor is one that does not seek my own satisfaction in the act of loving, rather the good of the one whom is loved. Love without the sacrifice of the Cross, without the suffering of self denial, is not divine love. It is only this divine love that has the power to beget more love and bring true peace.
8. I must pass the love of Jesus to my neighbor in order to keep this endless circle of love flowing in a timeless wave of giving and receiving.
9. I must contemplate the face of Christ in my brother/sister, so that I may be able to love them in Christ and Christ in them, in a seamless flow of love.
10. I should give thanksgiving to my Lord in a heartfelt and not lip service manner, and that is by loving Him with all my heart, soul and strength and my neighbor as myself as I trust (faith without fear) in His love and mercy for me in every circumstance.
11. In the Kingdom of God, there is only one occupation: to love eternally. My occupation on this earth should be the same!
Topic: Who is my Neighbor?
First Friday of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – Feast of St. Therese of Lissieux
October 1, 2004
Resentment against my neighbor
I woke up this day at 3:10 AM and I immediately started understanding many things about resentment and its origin. After 20 minutes of marveling at such teaching, I got up, turned on the light and started taking notes…
Resentment comes out of our expectations of what we need others to give us: good example, support, love, respect, company, goodness or simply “just” treatment, etc. When our expectations are not met, we resent.
Resentment will simply kill our love for neighbor and it could even lead us to want revenge. Resentment is an act of self-love. Resentment represents our self-will running free and wild without any trace of denial. Resentment comes out of judging others for not being what we expect them to be but for our own benefit, not theirs, even if my neighbor’s behavior is truly obnoxious. Resentment magnifies our self-idolatry. And so, we go through life resenting our parents, siblings, neighbors, teachers, students, peers, other religions, other nations. For example: the Moslems resent us for not believing in Allah. We resent the Moslems for not being civil about it and for denying us to have free choice in our God selection.
The only expectation we are allowed to have from neighbor is anything that will make our neighbor a better person (and never related to us or our need). In the economy of God, there is one special item that we should always expect of our neighbor: to be holy for God, not for us, and in His time and manner.
12. How magnificent is to meditate in the fact that Jesus mixed Himself with prostitutes because He did not expect anything from them, not even purity. He mixed with pagans because He did not expect them to have any faith in God. He intertwined three years of His life with 12 men whom He chose from all walks of life and sinfulness because He did not expect help from them and to become His support at a crucial painful time of His life in Calvary. He did not expect not to be denied by Peter, the head of His Church; He did not even expect their faithfulness as He patiently waited for Judas to sell Him for a few pieces of silver. He never resented anyone and therefore, He was able to pray for His enemies all the way to the Cross, because He expected nothing from them for Himself as He fully accepted the role of the true servant of the Lord by giving His own life, becoming a gift, self-donating His Being as a sacrifice for the sanctification of the whole human race. So, when following the Master, we have no Biblical basis to expect any brother or sister to be different than what he/she already is.
It is precisely this sacrifice of accepting my neighbor where he/she is at, and to love him/her because they are images of God first and foremost, that creates powerful waves of love that will remove their blindness and deafness forever. So, any resentment is a major block for this redemptive plan. (End of quotes from blog of January 2010)
The curriculum for my schooling on evangelization continues:
5. At all times I must expect Satan trying to break these resolutions with oppression, intimidation, fears, but we have a Mother with a doctorate on how to take care of him. She is crucial for moments when we know he is around and daily praying to her to protect us plus saying the Rosary with this intention in mind, will suffice.
6. (The last point) – Living every moment of my existence in total abandonment to Divine Providence. But how to do it? By constantly SUBSTITUTING all questions, worries, fears and desires to know what is next, with the following prayers (Here I must tell you that some of those prayers are in Spanish because my maternal grandma taught them to me and they never left my brain!… ):
1) Acordaos or Memorare, which I only know in Spanish…
2) Short consecration to Our Lady: Bendita sea tu pureza y eternamente lo sea, pues todo un Dios se recrea en tan graciosas belleza. A ti celestial princesa, dulce sagrada María, yo te ofrezco en este día, alma, vida y corazón. Mírame con compasión. No me dejes Madre mía. (English version: Blessed be your purity and eternally be so, because God delights Himself with your gracious beauty. To you heavenly princess, sweet sacred Mary, I offer you in this day, my soul, life and heart. Look at me with compassion. Do not leave me my Mother.)
3) Come 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, that all will be for the glory of God.
4) Jesus’ Prayer: Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
5) To You be praise, to You be glory, to You be thanksgiving through endless glory, 0 Blessed Trinity. Holy, holy, holy Lord. The heavens and the earth are full of Your glory.
6) Ángel de la guardia, dulce compañía , no me desampares ni de noche ni de día. ( My guardian angel, my sweet company, do not leave me day or night.)
7) St. Michael’s prayer.
Note: I have put into practice this form of praying when I am need to abandon myself to His Providence and in the midst of questions, worries, etc., and it works like a charm. I must also say that this topic of abandoning oneself to His Providence cannot be substituted for anything else. St. Francis de Sales called it “holy indifference.” He put it this way, “Ask for nothing and refuse nothing. The indifferent heart (the abandoned heart) is like a lump of wax in God’s hands and readily receiving every impression from His will.”
Of course, the classic book “Abandonment to Divine Providence” and my favorite, written by Fr. Jean Pierre de Caussade, SJ, is a source of pearls to understand that this abandonment is key to our holiness in life. I must quote him here to emphasize that my schooling to become an evangelist demands much attention to this topic.
–The holiness of the Old Testament saints, and indeed that of St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin, came through their absolute obedience to God’s will. Today, God speaks to us as He used to speak to our ancestors at the time when there were neither spiritual directors nor any systems of spirituality. To be faithful to the designs of God then comprised the whole of one’s spiritual life. Religious devotion had not become a science crammed with precepts and detailed instructions. Nowadays, no doubt, our special needs make this necessary, but in the old days people were less complex and more straightforward. Then, they knew only that each moment brought a duty which must be faithfully fulfilled.
-The duties of each moment are shadows which hide the action of the divine will.
–How easy is to be holy! If the business of becoming holy seems to present insufferable difficulties, it is merely because we have a wrong idea about it. In reality, holiness consists of one thing only: complete loyalty to God’s will…. Consider your life and you will see that it consists of countless trifling actions. Yet, God is quite satisfied with them, for doing them as they should be done is the part we have to play in our striving for perfection. There can be no doubt about this. Holy Scripture makes it very plain: “Fear God, and keep His commandments, since this is the whole duty of man.” (Eccles. 12:13). This is all we have to do. If we do our part, God will do the rest. Grace will pour out into us and will perform marvels far beyond our understanding, for “no eye has seen and no ear has heard things beyond the mind of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)… But what is the secret of finding this treasure? There isn’t one. This treasure is everywhere. It is offered to all of us all the time and wherever we are.
–To become perfect we NEED NOT understand the designs of God, but only obey them…. They are working together to enable us to reach perfection. And perfection is neither more nor less that the soul’s faithful cooperation with God. Theology is crammed with theories and explanations about the wonders of this state. We may know all about these theories and be able to speak and write about them brilliantly, teach them to others and give spiritual advice, but if we have only an intellectual knowledge of them we are compared to those who do God’s will and yet know absolutely nothing of theology and certainly cannot talk about its complexities, like a doctor who is compared with simple people who enjoy perfect health.
If a faithful soul accepts God’s will and purpose in all simplicity, he will reach perfection without ever realizing it, just as a sick man who swallows his medicine obediently will be cured, although he neither knows nor cares about medicine. We need know nothing about the chemistry of combustion to enjoy the warmth of a fire. Holiness is produced in us by the will of God and our acceptance of it. It is not produced by intellectual speculation about it. If we are thirsty we must have a drink and not worry about books which explain what thirst is. If we waste time seeking an explanation about thirst, all that will happen is that we shall get thirstier. It is the same when we thirst after holiness. The desire to know more about it will only drive it further away. We must put all speculation aside and, with childlike willingness, accept all that God present to us. (Wow)
–The reading of good books and any other pious exercises are useless unless they are the channels through which God operates. All our learning should consist of finding out what God has planned for us at each moment. Anything we read which is not chosen for us by God is harmful. … Without God, all our theorizing and reading is useless, and, as they are without the life-giving power of God, all they do is drain the heart and fill the mind. The will of God working in the soul of a simple, ignorant girl through quite ordinary sufferings and actions produces deep within her a supernatural activity, yet leaves her quite humble. How different this is from the case of a man, proud of his intellect, who reads spiritual books only out of curiosity and with no cling to God. What happens to him? Well, he receives only the dead letter of the message and his heart grows steadily harder and more shrunken.
–God continues to write His Word in our hearts, but the characters will not be seen until the day of judgment. The Holy Spirit writes no more gospels except in our hearts. All we do from moment to moment is live this new gospel of the Holy Spirit. We, if we are holy, are the paper; our sufferings and our actions are the ink. The workings of the Holy Spirit are His pen and with it He writes a living gospel; but it will never be read until the last day of glory when it leaves the printing press of this life.
-The complete and entire surrender of themselves to God is the supreme duty of souls called by Him to the state of abandonment. So come! Never mind weariness, illness, lack of feeling, irritability, exhaustion, the snares of the devil and of men, with all that they create of distrust, jealousy, prejudice and evil imaginings. Let us soar like an eagle above these 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.
Here on earth we suffer – to use the language of allegory – the attacks of monsters, owls and savage beasts. But terrible though these attacks are, behind them God is acting and giving us something of the divine which will give us the brilliance of the sun for here below both body and soul are refined and fashioned like gold and iron. The truly faithful soul accepts all things as manifestation of God’s grace, ignores itself and thinks only of what God is doing.
–From abandoned souls, God demands complete surrender to His grace. We must keep ourselves detached from all we feel or do if we are to travel along His path and live only for God and the duties of the present moment. We must stop imaginings about the future, keep our attention on what is happening now and not bother about anything that has gone before or what may follow…. All we can say can be reduced to this: “I feel drawn to write, to read, to question and examine. I obey this feeling, and God, who is responsible for it, thus builds up within me a kind of spiritual store which, in the future, will develop into a core of usefulness for myself and for others.”
–If we are truly docile, we shall ask no questions about the road along which God is taking us. Were we acting on our own we should have to rely on our experience. It would be too risky to do anything else. But it is different when God acts with us. Divine action is always new and fresh, it never retraces its steps, but always finds new routes. When we are led by His action, we have no idea where we are going, for the paths we tread cannot be discovered from books or by any of our thoughts. But these paths are always opened in front of us and were impelled along them. He asks no advice nor tells us of His plans. So, what can we do except trust Him? End of quotes from Fr. de Caussade.
III. Using my schooling for evangelization to help others.
It mean is to help others by OFFERING this plan of action, the effort to conform to it, as a sacrifice in atonement for my sins and the sins of our Catholic Church, especially for any fallen members, and for the salvation of all souls. I am truly working full time in this form of living when every moment is as perfect as it can be under the Love of the God Who is crazy about me and everyone else.
Conclusion: The present times are crying for action on our part. In my humble opinion, the universal Catholic Church needs soldiers that truly want to go to battle and rescue souls. We as baptized Catholics have it all. We have the power in Christ Jesus Who gave it to us. We know what to do but the evil forces have surrounded us with messages that are controlling our brains. Yet, a few disciples were left on earth after His death at Calvary, and here we are, 2,000 years later as a huge Church. Yet, we cannot keep people in the pews. Yes, the youth is active and they come and see… However, every day we are losing souls who die without the Sacraments. Personally, I have gone to many, many retreats… I have read many books. At the same time, I have lost the sense of urgency in fighting evil with God’s weapons. It means to me that those retreats and the reading of the books and the watching of huge numbers of religious programs, did not give me the thirst to save souls, and I am not speaking about the knowledge to do it and agreeing to do it, but the thirst that needs to be quenched ASAP. We are warm and yet not hot… What did Jesus say about it?
Our spiritual purses have holes. I sense that some of us are comfortable leading pretty religious lives and doing our best, but we have the power to win all the battles that the evil one places in front of us for the sake of those who have not met Him. We think that information and discussions and opinions will do it. Well, it is a good intention, but the brains of non believers, or dissipated believers, the CEO’s, those who attend Mass on Christmas and Easter only… as my Pastor says, those brains are wired with great opposition to change. Only God can change them… The whole planet has been thrown into confusion, where power, possessions and passions have redefined who we are. Slogans like the one that says that we have to be true to ourselves, are embraced as if they were really great themes in our lives… This smells like schizophrenia.
We need to use the weapons we have and take over this spiritual mess. We must first repent… because the Kingdom of God is at hand. He is waiting in every Tabernacle … Hello! If He is there, truly present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, some of us who truly think so, must be ready to change ourselves and start praying all day so that we act like it is so, at all times, everywhere, day and night if possible; we should fast as directed by God Himself. We should be calling God’s mercy and waiting for His direction through His Spirit. We should take our crosses and delight on them, but if we cannot delight on them, we simply ask for such grace. When any fear appears, we use prayer to conquer it. Personally, I know that He is giving me a chance to change and let the Holy Spirit use me in whatever ways… We cannot complain about how our religious freedoms are taken away. We are allowing it… by our dissipated witness, by not using the power given to us at Baptism. But we talk too much and do not give permission to God to take us to Calvary.
We do not have to control anything. We only have to learn to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. And the starting point of this engine of transformation, of transfiguration, is to TRUST that He can do it and asking for His mercy day and night, with a determined determination to abandon ourselves to His will, to His divine providence, second by second. I guarantee that all of us, at whatever stage of spirituality we are, we can truly become stars by allowing Him to win our battles, as in the times of Judas Maccabeus. He will take care of the mess mentioned above. It is a matter of denying ourselves, carrying our crosses with great happiness since they are designed to purify our indulgences, and following Him by doing what He did: to say yes to our Father’s will, no matter if His will may takes us to do great sacrifices.
The Lord is our Shepherd and there is nothing, nothing, nothing that we shall want. Let us pray for each other that we can run this race as fast as led by the Holy Spirit, and help liberate millions of souls with His Power as He transforms us from glory to glory…