My training has continued in my schooling to become an effective evangelizer. Little by little I have gotten very aware of how easy it is to be formed for this job for which I was called the moment I entered the Catholic family through my Baptism… Yet, there are many voices out there, which do not leave me with the confidence that I should have as a daughter of the Father in heaven. I have been amazed at the brain washing that these forces produce in our brains, and at the end, we end up trying very hard to do it with God, but not living a life that trusts that God will win all our battles. So, the whole matter stands in the lack of training I have had to “truly” believe that God has a plan and that such plan is unique for each of us, and as Jesus came and reveal it. I hate to write this but I must: we keep window-shopping for Saints and seeing what they did and admire it all and that is good, but we never sit down to jot down what needs to be done in our own lives and seek a change NOW. Grace is sooo abundant that it is not even funny… There will be much repetition of the main message for this blog, but the Lord probably does it as a tool for brain washing me. Sorry!
But first, I must present some of the reasons why I must hurry up and do my part and God will take it from there. The state of the world is calling all of us to believe without a doubt that He will hear our prayers to intercede for solutions if such prayer comes with a sound discipleship… I want to take this subject and analyze it as I would as a CEO in medical practice wanting to evaluate the problems as I did in the surgery center that I directed. SO, I WILL START WITH AN ANALYZIS OF THE PROBLEM.
I. We must examine the state of confusion worldwide and I am going to use the following format.
A. Let’s take the Catholic Church: at the beginning of this month and by pure action of the Holy Spirit, I noticed that in one of my “AOL favorite sites” was a blog from some cleric in this country. There, I found out that in one Diocese, the titular Bishop wanted to hear from his sheep about what they needed implemented in their parishes or to understand the issues that genuinely concern the folks in the pews. What I read was very painful. I will divide the answers in several categories, and after that, make a diagnosis of the disease and how to treat it.
1. PERSONAL PREFERENCES
a) One woman wrote that she attended Mass regularly and was active in several parish ministries, including the parish’s faith formation program. However, she became disillusioned with the Church’s lack of strong opposition to the war in Iraq and, as a consequence, stopped attending Mass. What stunned her was that, despite all of her active parish involvement, no one member of the parish staff or any parishioner ever reached out to acknowledge her absence, to ask if anything was wrong or to discuss the reasons for her non-attendance.
b) Another one wrote – Well, as a very shy person, I like to be left alone. I’ve been to Masses at parishes of the “let’s turn and greet our neighbors” type and those are painful for me.
c) Another member of this Diocese said, — What struck me from reading the article and the comments here is that no one style or approach works for everyone — i.e., there is no one “thing” that every parish can do that will magically solve these problems for everyone. Some people find a more restrained, stand-offish parish off-putting; some people, like me, find an aggressively welcoming parish off-putting. Perhaps the thing to do is to let each parish find its own level, its own style, its own “charism”, if you will; a single solution mandated from the top isn’t necessarily going to work. Perhaps parishes should be encouraged to be innovative in looking for what works for them, as long as they aren’t doing or preaching anything heterodox. And since ethnic and territorial parishes aren’t what they once were, perhaps parish-shopping to find the one that suits you isn’t such a bad thing after all.
2. PASTORAL INSENSITIVITY
A number of readers mentioned that they or family members have left the Church because of the manner in which they were treated by a priest, deacon or lay representative of the parish.
Frequently, this rejection or perception thereof, centers around the reception of the sacraments: parents whose child is refused baptism because they are not regular church attendees; couples who are denied marriage because they are not registered parishioners; long-time parishioners in hospitals or nursing homes who become upset when the parish priest does not visit or celebrate with them the sacrament of the anointing of the sick; family members who are angered by the failure of the celebrant at the funeral liturgy to speak personally about the deceased, or by being prohibited from offering a eulogy at the end of the liturgy of Christian burial.
3. POOR PREACHING/LITURGIES
Some priests and deacons rely too heavily on “canned homilies” or preach on topics unrelated to the Scriptures of the day or to the daily realities of their hearers. Frequently, the music selected does not reinforce the liturgical theme of the Sunday or elicit congregational participation.
4. THE TRUTH
Another lay person wrote – “As a person who just reverted to the RCC after spending over 30 years in Pentecostal/non denominational churches, I would offer that what I experience at one Mass is more ‘anointed’ than any of the other services I ever attended. Why? Because Catholics believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist (communion). You can have all of that ‘anointing’. I’ll never leave the Eucharist ever again. No occasional grape juice and bread cubes will ever make up one Mass.
“And that’s not even to get into Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, and how proof texting is the standard of those ‘anointed’ services. I’ll take the linear reading, every day, of the word of God and ancient tradition.”
5. THE BLAME GAME
The failure of the Church is that it is not worshipping with the Traditional Holy Mass!
My diagnosis: we have lost the reason why we are Christians and Catholic. We lost our identity. The actual blame should be imposed on all of us for having failed to KNOW THE MASTER on a personal basis… If we know Him, then we ask Him what parish He wants us in and stick to it. I have done that for many years, and my present parish, even that I have considered leaving it because of the need to use a super busy dangerous expressway for 10 minutes and now with my bad left eye, but God has produced all kind of miracles to sign to me that there is no way I can do that… It is a simple matter. My Father knows best!
And how does He let you know which one is the parish? I have no idea if He has many different ways, but in my case, I visited some 7 parishes, and in 6 of them, I felt a brutal sense of oppression just entering in, and with good celebrants and nice laity around me. I had forgotten the whole story. In fact, just one week ago, I visited a local parish looking for all the confessionals being equipped with a face to face section because I cannot kneel due to pain in my right knee, and it was one of the ones I had inspected on my arrival to California in 2008. Sure enough, I felt the very same oppression but never felt in my present parish when I first visited. It was until I revisited this church that this feeling just experienced reminded me of how He used to alert me.
Another example: in 1989, I moved to Cleveland for the second time, and it was easier since I knew many suburbs. He chose the house for me: it had a small room next to the foyer and which I needed as a prayer room. I was married at the time and I needed a separate place for my prayer. I had asked God for a house with a prayer room and after seeing many homes, I found this house. It had a parish that was awesome, or so I thought, with perpetual adoration, and yet, in a few weeks, on a Sunday Mass, a “Brother” from some Order gave the homily…. (Hmm) and told us how we had to ignore Rome! My now theologian son and I left at the time of the Creed, as if going to the bathroom and when everybody was standing and praying, just not to produce scandal… The Pastor called me some days later when he learned I had retrieved my official membership, and he begged me to come back. I had been a parishioner for maybe 4 months. I had to tell him why I could not and moved to a parish half hour from my home… with perpetual adoration – St. Paschal Baylon serviced by the Order of Priests of the Blessed Sacrament, founded by no less and no more than St. Peter Julian Eymard… So, trust me, God is very good at directing us to the right place.
Treatment: we must implement in parishes programs to teach people how to develop a personal relationship with this Jesus of Nazareth Who lives there.
Well, here is where I found a few interesting points. Some of us who are pretty faithful to God and some who serve Him in the parish in many ways, including priests, we make a major mistake: we run the race, we are believers and are good people but ignore the fact that we all need a system to grow daily… O yeah! This relationship with Christ is very dynamic… and “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1Cor. 2:9. Basically, the sky is the limit. He gave us the rules, ways, teaching, the merits of His Passion and Cross, plus He added the Holy Spirit so that we do not get lost or fail to understand what is needed in our lives. And this blog will speak of the basis of this life… to be practiced every second of every minute of every hour. Then, He takes over and does the rest, and we get to know Him just like any other person around. Once we know Him, and fall in love with Him more and more, then parishes can be problems if we make them, but He does not allow it because we attend the parish not as a social gathering, but primarily to be with Him…
I was telling my son how wonderful is to know that He is there in the Tabernacle. I never see it as a box… I do not even think about it. I look towards it because He is there, but I get so distracted with His PRESENCE, and even if I feel depressed because of my POTS illness, or because I ate something with the thickener carrageenan that causes depression in some of us, my joy is just out of this world… Of course, I was an only child and from very young I learned to be by myself and feel very comfortable. In the other hand, if I had to be very social, I can do that as well… But yet, my main attraction is Jesus, my Master!
B. Our world is going mad!
1. Egypt has seen a constant insurrection.
2. Our country, U. S .A., has seen so many groups protesting the games going on in Wall Street. It is a just cause but wonder how much manipulation is under this movement, and yes, a Mr. Van Jones, a well known communist, has recently asserted that we will see much discontent. I just saw parts of the movie, “Karol, a Man who became Pope.” He saw the same horrors of communism in the name of re-distribution of wealth, and Russia and Nazi Germany lost the war they fought in those days. I CAN ONLY SEE Satan bringing division, confusion and violence (at times) which promotes hatred and resentment… Not good!
3. The very active and money making market of sex-slaves… In the Hispanic TV channels, one hears horrific stories of Latino young girls (12 year olds and older) being sold by their parents to evil men to be used as sex-slaves. On Nov. 15, the Dr. Oz program had a segment called, “Sex trafficking in America.” There are Internet sex trade malls that are growing at a record pace. They sell boys ages 6-10 and girls from age 11 up, to potential buyers (pimps), according to the person giving the report of one of such malls. If the children fight against being used, they are beaten severely. The sex slaves make no money. The pimps make about $17,000 a week and tax free…! It is a multimillion dollar business. We started with contraception, followed by abortion, and now, we destroy lives at any age… This is pure evil madness!
4. I have been watching a program called “India”, and have seen over and over what Mother Teresa saw and addressed… This country is so advanced in technology, and yet, poverty is beyond comprehension. Of course, everywhere in the world we have hunger and homelessness… including right here in the U.S. Africa continues to lose many to hunger… How can this be happening today in the XXI century?
5. One is afraid of using the Internet because there are many trying to own a piece of information in your own computer.
6. Dr. Oz again, this famous cardiac surgeon who has a daily program to help our health, brought a panel to discuss the right to die for those who are suffering much. A lady who suffers from advanced multiple sclerosis and who is in a wheelchair unable to do anything by herself, came to discuss the subject.
7. The so called social media has become a frightening source of destruction for many. Besides, it can keep you busy all day and at the end, you gain very little.
8. Education has become a “god” in our times. Often I hear so many people saying in television that they finally found themselves by attending college and having an education. Some will say that they know who they are once they educated themselves. Even in my times as a child, it was expected of me to pursuit my education with great desire as if my entire future depended on it. In our times and recent statistics say that 700,000 students take the SAT every year, and they have 150 to 200 suicides from students who could not pass it…
Well, I could spend hours writing many things that are evil from the start. But what could we do about it? We could do SO MUCH if only we knew what God can do… for us… and cooperate with His graces…
II. Now, I will share some of the particular teachings received by dates, and how I have been instructed in practicing the essence of discipleship, so that He can win all my battles, including a constant growth in this relationship.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011. I was looking forward to this precious Feast of All Saints because I was in Tepeyac, MX on Nov. 1, 1992, and had prepared for 33 days using the St. Louis de Montfort format in order to consecrate myself to her. I did and bought an expensive gold chain with her image, and had them inscribe my name and date. On this day but in 2011, I attended early Mass (6:30 AM) so to avoid the crowds of later Masses. However, from beginning to end of this feast, I suffered with a severe depression, or perhaps, it was simply oppression from the evil one… The illness of POTS does give depression in the mornings but only some days, but it usually disappears by afternoon… Not on this day… It was a very tough experience.
Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 – This was the third anniversary of my first blog. I have written 70 of them and several other pages. The depression or oppression continued, which eventually confirmed to me that Satan was partially involved. With the oppression, I get a deep desire to quit all blogs and to go hide in a corner… And this exactly what I am not called to do by my Baptism and Confirmation. There are two other major indications that Satan is involved is: 1) I get out of these oppressions very fast and without any effort. In fact, this month of November has been so plagued with oppressions, that I am suspecting this whole blog is irritating Satan very much. 2) Sure enough, the moment I finished the main writing of the blog on Nov. 23, I was free of any oppression! Hmm.
I said to my Mother, “Please, Mom, take over this dilemma and beg for answers to the Holy Trinity. I need to know what the will of God is into all this… for my work in these times when we need to change so many things in our spiritual ascent, and some of us have to go and remind others about it.
She sent to me to page 300 – In the New Testament, it was just the prologue for the letter to the Philippians. So, it had to be in the Old Testament where I found: 2Sam 5:17-25. — David needed to fight against the Philistines, and they had even taken some land from Israel. So, twice David went to the Lord for guidance. After the first war won with God’s help, the Philistines returned and took back some territory. So, God intervened and told David the strategy he needed to defeat them and he did (to make a circle around the enemy and attack from all sides at the same time).
I surmised that it was obvious that the enemy had come back twice (like Satan does in our lives), and yet, God won both battles. No doubt that I will always know what the will of God is for me because He will be there helping me out, and of course, if I trust Him as David did, and if followed, He will do whatever He has to do for me and others, as strange and difficult as it may seem. I understood very clearly that in order to KNOW THE WILL OF GOD IN MY LIFE in each present moment, I must trust that He is in charge every step of the way with no doubts at all even when the enemy attacks with depression/oppression or not. The topic for the next blog was obvious: “Suffering and its role in discipleship that requires to be faithful to God’s will,” which depends on my love for Him and neighbor, and the latter totally depends on how automatically I trust in His divine providence, since trust spills HIS Mercy over me and others. The Truth in all of this is only one: God loves me so much that I only have to expect Him to do so always… Any doubt and I sink, just as St. Peter did! AGAIN, knowing God’s will and having the power to follow it is the product of total annihilation of my will at each present moment, and to be certain that He is in charge. I understood that exercising my self-will even in very small things, may interfere in my knowing what He wants me to do for others and for my own growth, and equipping me to do it.
Our Lady helped me much on this date. She said, “A ‘yes’ to the will of God (love for Him) and offering these sufferings for the salvation of your brothers and sisters (love of neighbor) will keep you in route of knowing what He wants you to do. Yet, remember that you should love God with
1) All your heart (or that your heart cannot be in any other place but ready to say “yes”)
2) All your strength (to ignore the battle wounds and keep going, acknowledging that the enemy is always around trying to infiltrate your heart with doubt and fear, like in any battle; yet God is there to win it for you)
3) With all your soul or mind, that is, praising Him in spirit and His Spirit will guide you.
4) Yet trust in God (faith without fear) is essential to best love God. You should repeat to yourself often, “Yes He can win my battles, yes He will do it and yes He is doing it right now, and therefore I adore Him and thank Him because what is on going on in my life is all I need (suffering, depression, oppression, hi blood pressures in some days not amenable to treatment, low blood pressures other times, poor sight, etc.)”
10:45 AM. “So the battle is over! No one can confuse you. His mercy coming from your trust is enough and this is opus Misericordiae, the work of mercy for your soul. You can talk about His mercy and read St. Faustina’s Diary over and over, but until you say, “Jesus I trust in You,” and mean it and show it, reading about it has little benefit for your soul. The process becomes informational for your head more than merciful for your soul.
“The more you trust in Him, that many souls you can win for Him because He not only will win your personal battles, but the battles in many hearts. NEVER FORGET THAT. It is very important in the work of evangelization”
I inquired if I should bypass Mass since I did not feel too well, still with some depression! I opened the Bible looking for a “yes” or no and found Wisdom 14-15. It described the present times so well, including the potter’s clay idols. I realized that the times are calling some of us to trust in God more than ever, in order to win Satan’s battles going in the entire world. So, I decided to go to Mass because I need His Presence in order to cooperate with God in the endeavor.
Shortly after and as I was puting my home Bible away, I found a message written in one empty page that I had received precisely on July 16, 2010. 7:15 AM – Adoration Chapel St. Mary Walnut Creek – My Lord said, “Love is the magic key that saves, and the cross of everyday is the key to love as I love them! If you keep faithful to Me at every present moment, you will be able to grow in this love for others as I love them… and regardless!”
11 AM: Holy Spirit: “’Do not be afraid’ was written in the Scriptures many times because fear corrupts your faith and destroys your trust (faith without fear). When fear arrives, know that you are bowing to the idol of your own self. Stay away from worrying, from your fears. The treatment is to ask for God’s mercy to supply you with the conviction that God is winning your present battle of fear! Do not hesitate in becoming a soldier in the war within, as David had to go and actually win the war with God’s assistance and STRATEGIES. You must know that the battle is against the evil powers and principalities and that love will have all the bullets necessary to win it. Yet, your trust must be exquisite. You must believe that every hair of your head has been counted for that moment, and ACT AS SUCH. This love of God or total trust in his love for you and the offering of your suffering in each present moment for the salvation of others will be the gun that will destroy your self-sufficiency symptoms, when you doubt with fear that God may forget to win this inner war for you. So, refuse to wonder about what is next because your sacrifice of not worrying about the next moment could have eternal consequences for other souls.
“Call your brothers and sisters in heaven to intercede to give you the victory over your doubts which “always” make the trust of God, just words said! When you trust in Him with faith without fear, you are professing the CREDO in action. When you trust in God, you are using your Baptismal and Confirmation graces in the power of the Holy Spirit to win your internal and external battles of doubt. Your trust will enliven your wisdom to accept and offer your suffering and your understanding that God is in charge. You will remember and have knowledge of the Word of God that shows you how God fought many battles for Israel, including the coming of the Messiah King to facilitate these gifts received, and how He offered His life for you to go to the Father. If you trust God, you will be in awe (fear of God) of all that God has done through the centuries and in your life. And all these Gifts as pondered in awe, will cement in your heart the He is in charge, and terminate your fear.
“STAND on these truths; reveal them over and over to your intellect; repent for your failure of making His promises and love, your own, and ask for His mercy for you to stay focused and then à let it be… Let Him be in charge of all your battles. All!! The Church cannot change the grave actions during the XX Century, unless her members change. The Church is one, holy, apostolic, but you, the member, must cooperate in God’s plan of redemption so that each of you can defeat Satan. You forget that these battles are unseen, quiet, minor to a certain point, but relentless and constant, until souls become dissipated. Become a warrior within. Understand the battle and its impediments to win it. Say yes to God’s will but surrendered, ‘awake,’ fixed on the cross and love God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul but meaning it as explained before. Take suffering as the best medicine to obtain the redemption of your brothers and sisters.”
11:25 AM before Mass: I said, from the bottom of my heart and because of His mercy in explaining all of the above to me, “Jesus I trust in You.” No depression on board. Yes, the renewal of the Church is possible if we only catechize our members to let God fight their wars and learn how to cooperate with Him. I also realized that we can change just “some” around, but God with our sacrifice and trust can truly reform His “entire Church” as in a new Pentecost. It is a simple war in the hands of God. THIS WAS A HUGE SIGN, the sign I was seeking… and one that directed me to become the best servant possible for the present times… I wondered is the Souls in Purgatory were interceding for me, so that I take this teaching seriously and save many… even when I may never know who they are.
Thursday, Nov. 3.
11:05 AM before Mass. I understood deeply what it means to deny myself. My trust in God presupposes that I follow His methods, ideas and His teaching. Therefore, when He sent his disciples to preach the Gospel, He asked them to go without an extra tunic or sandals, and no money. He wanted physical poverty. However, in my self-denial I am called to be spiritually poor, or not possessing my own ideas; I am only called to do whatever He has told me in His Word and with His example plus the Spirit’s dynamic guidance. It was a call for me to RELY IN HIS LOVE, in His Spirit, leaving myself behind in total poverty in all aspects, trusting that He will provide for all my needs, and using it as a holocaust for the success of evangelization of brothers and sisters. So, part of this schooling in evangelization, is knowing that I have to leave my ego and plans behind as a crucial step for success. Another core for the success of evangelization is trusting in God’s love for me and others while praying for self-denial and patience for God to be my Shepherd in each present moment.
Friday, Nov. 4
The Gospel for the Mass of this day was about the servant who lost his job and before leaving, he did many things to gain friendships for his future subsistence; therefore, he decreased the amounts of money owed to the master who had fired him. The EWTN priest, Fr. Maurice Emelu visiting from Nigeria, showed me the graces he has to unwrap the meaning of this Gospel. Fr. Maurice enumerated several characteristics of this servant:
1. Abuse of power. 2. Selfishness. It was all about himself and not the master. 3. He showed horror for suffering and wanted to evade the cross of possible hard jobs that he would not like. 4. He also wanted to be self-sufficient, and not beg or work hard.
Father Emelu gave us the perfect example of our present times: the gospel of lies, of deceit, explaining away ethics and morality. He was astute and represents those who pursuit what they want for their own benefit. And Jesus hinted that this gift of being so astute, should be present in us, His followers, but to do good. Fr. Maurice finished saying that we are the children of light and must realize that we are managers of God’s gifts. So, we MUST BE PROACTIVE in promoting His Kingdom, and cited some saints, including the saint that we were celebrating on this Nov. 4, St. Charles Borromeo, who said that we must move from virtue to virtue and not be content with what we are (or the status quo. More on it later).
I was very taken by the points applied to my own soul: I may show abuse of power by using my Baptismal Gifts of the Holy Spirit but for my own good… and never thinking that were given to be shared with others. In this sense, I can be selfish and not think of God, my Master. I show constant attitudes of wanting to flee my crosses and want to be self-sufficient, using my ego to run my own life.
11:05 AM before Mass: I heard my Lord tell me, “Every suffering is very important. Each humiliation has meaning “ So, I proceeded to offer my desire to suffer, to expiate for any pride in my life, the pride of self-sufficiency. I said the family Rosary/Chaplet of Mercy. At 11:55, my Lord asked me, “Now, do you believe what you just prayed for?” I said, “I do.” He answered, “No, your face and heart reveals fear, tiredness of the present moment. Embrace this moment as under the protection you just solicited. Dissipation is to pray just in case and keep worrying about what you asked for. I am here. I will be with you and fight with you this battle.” – What a consoling statement!
Sunday, Nov. 6. An extraordinary amount of joy came over me as I arrived in Church for 8 AM Mass. I had been working very hard to do everything possible to constantly trust in God’s love, as indicated to me in so many ways in previous days, and apparently this also produced a total indifference to any dissipation I observed around. There was no pain involved.
Monday, Nov. 7
It was a day of many events that taught me the same subject: God was in charge. He wanted me to attend a conference on Nov. 8, presented by a group in our Diocese called, “Catholics at Work.” The problem is that they hold the meeting in a country club some 20 miles from my home and very early (dark outside) and with Mass at 6:30 AM, followed by breakfast and the presentation. So, on this day, God took me by the hand and I went to Danville to check up the site and found the place in plain sun light, and also went to take my application for a new passport. I was without one since 2007. God had been pushing me to get a new one, and on this day, with the power of the Holy Spirit, both things were done in one hour and 15 minutes. It was awesome to see this God so busy… He gives you the orders and the power to do things like on eagle wings. These kind of days are so important! He shows to be so alive, so present, so loving, and one have but one regret: not to give in and follow Him with every ounce of “gusto” because He does what He has promised to us out of great love.
In the afternoon, He led me to understand that His will sometimes is very demanding, and yet, we have to recognize that He will supply the strength and power to obey it.
1) Some of the things He asks may look a little “crazy” or very crazy in front of others, as I was called to live in Toledo when I was not allowed to put my home on the market for 5 years, and without a job… At one point, I had the invitation from my son here to come and live with him, and this was on February of 2007, but I was asked not to move a finger although to accept the offer… On Thanksgiving of the same year, I was led to look for a real estate agent. On January 7, 2008, I was given permission to place the house on the market, and it sold in 4 months… because someone needed my home, a man who had had a stroke in February 2008, and needed a one story home built for the use of a wheelchair (wide hallways). I have told this story before, but I want to repeat it to emphasize how real this God is…
Just imagine this scenario: eleven homes were in the market in a one mile stretch of my street. Had I placed this home on sale much earlier, I would have lived the worst nightmare, having to keep it clean and ordered in anticipation of any showing, knowing very well that most of the showings are not due to a true interest, but in order for the buyer to compare prices and styles with the home they already have an eye on.
2) At times, these strange calls from His will may seem to us not too important for the Kingdom of God, or so we think, but looking back, those calls were extremely important, and it is my case.
3) His will can call us to spiritual poverty, to humiliation by looking a little or a lot crazy, and to do what He did … I was also reminded that Jesus was called to die on a Cross when at the same time He was calling Himself the Son of the Father in heaven… He was called to scandalize many by curing people on a Sabbath, or allowing His disciples to eat some ears of corn from a field on a Sabbath, and He bringing the story of David, and how he and his soldiers ate the sacred food only allowed to be eaten by the priests!!! Jesus was trying to teach them about love… King David, soldiers and His disciples were all hungry…He also scandalized by eating with tax collectors and allowing a prostitute to touch His feet. He had the gull to tell his followers that unless they became like little children they could not enter the Kingdom.
These topics came to my mind in a matter of minutes and truly taught me to expect that the will of God can be an enigma, a true call to die to self, and yet, it is the most blessed way to trust in God like a baby would do… If we, on the contrary, keep the will of God on one side, and at the same time, expect to please other’s expectations, we may be truly in the hands of Satan by being on the verge of disobeying God’s will. I understood that to be sure that anything I feel it is His will for me, it should be passed through the scandal of the cross, of suffering and with a huge Yes to His will no matter what. God, in His great love and mercy, will make sure that He will not confuse me, and at the same time, bless me with joy and signs as needed. But notice that so far, many things were taught and revealed pointing to one topic: to trust Him like a baby does his/her mother. It is all about rahamin — the Hebrew word that denotes the love that a mother has for the baby in her womb… and a precious imagery of His mercy…
Tuesday, Nov. 8.
A. So, Tuesday came and I left at 5:35 AM for this 20 mile journey to Danville and got there and had another surprise… First of all, it was like going to Mass in our parish. Several parishioners were present. The lecture was OUT OF THIS WORLD… Miracles were many… When I arrived it was still dark, I had no idea about the main entrance of this building… and I went around and around trying to figure out where to park… So, I finally did since there were many spaces and in front of my car, another car parked at the very same time and it was one of our parish sacristans, Helene, carrying all the chasubles and sacred vessels for Mass, and the doctor who gave the lecture…!!! Helene became my guardian angel… I was even able to converse with the doctor giving the lecture about our fight for “life” issues.
The lecture came from the brain of a genius… This young woman is a gift from God to many of us, a researcher with a PhD from Stanford. I took notes. Among the things she said, "Adult stem cells are available in each human being. Researches found out that there are pluri-potent stem cells in our hearts (cells that can produce new cells for any kind of tissue or organ). The problem is that so far, if we inject 100 of these cells, only about 5 end up staying in the heart. (She is now studying a way to make the other 95 cells stick to the heart tissue in order to regenerate the entire heart…!) However, despite that our own cells are better than embryonic cells coming from another human being, we do not put our money in doing more research on adult stem cells." She explained why embryonic stem cells versus adult ones are very dangerous for humans and explained why.
Aborted fetal tissue and embryos are used to make vaccines and there is a possibility of a link with activating the genes of persons with autism… (Remember that the media and some researchers are denying it…This researcher is not…) There is a law that stops the increase of federal funds to support research with human embryos, but President Obama expanded the dollar amounts for such research. He also signed an executive order to ban federal funds for adult stem cell research.
So, despite that our own cells are better than the embryonic stem cells, we do not put our money in doing more research and prefer to use them. So, science is not objective about this truth! This is because the media has decided to convince people that ESC (embryonic stem cells) is the only option.
What is it that they do not want you to know?
1. That adult stem cells exist
2. That they are more effective treating animals in the U.S.. For example, adult stem cells from a dog, has cured the animal from congenital joint defects.
3. That adult stem cells are used to treat humans in many parts of the world.
4. That they are safer than the ESC’s.
5. That ESC’s can a) Form tumors. b) The patients need to take immune suppressant drugs forever because the body’s immune system always produces rejection of these cells. c) The treatment is not affordable.
The big news comes here: embryonic stem cells treatment costs $500,000 in the U.S.A. On the contrary, adult stem cells are affordable, and it costs between $10,000 to $25,000 in Europe and China. AND, Peyton Manning (famous quarter back from the Indianapolis Colts) was just treated in Europe with his adult stem cells. The same for Terrell Owens and Bartolo Colon who had it done in the Dominican Republic. Gov. Rick Perry just had a treatment as well. She explained that adult stem cells treatment can heal arthritis, heart muscle disease and rejuvenate nerve tissues, like Manning is suffering in his neck.
The whole research started with the cloning of animals – Dolly the Sheep. So, many feminists were happy thinking that they do not need men to have children… In her younger years, she was a feminist as well… Then they did trials with federal money support and the report came out on March 2011. They obtained viable female and male mice from two fathers!!! (Ouch)
Then they were interested in finding out if souls exist and they are working in the same field of embryonic stem cells research, in the cloning of a being with the head of a monkey and a human body, just to figure out where the soul resides! (Super ouch!)
If you want to expand your knowledge regarding this scientist, here are some data.
Name: Theresa Deisher, PhD – She formed her own company to research adult stem cells uses. Her web site: www.avmbiotech.com based in Seattle, WA
B.VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2011 (Zenit.org) Here is the text of an address Pope Benedict XVI gave Saturday to participants in an international conference on stem cell research, which was held at the Vatican. (Saturday was Nov. 12)
…Scientific research provides a unique opportunity to explore the wonder of the universe, the complexity of nature and the distinctive beauty of life, including human life. But since human beings are endowed with immortal souls and are created in the image and likeness of God, there are dimensions of human existence that lie beyond the limits of what the natural sciences are competent to determine. If these limits are transgressed, there is a serious risk that the unique dignity and inviolability of human life could be subordinated to purely utilitarian considerations. But if instead these limits are duly respected, science can make a truly remarkable contribution to promoting and safeguarding the dignity of man: indeed herein lies its true utility. Man, the agent of scientific research, will sometimes, in his biological nature, form the object of that research. Nevertheless, his transcendent dignity entitles him always to remain the ultimate beneficiary of scientific research and never to be reduced to its instrument.
In this sense, the potential benefits of adult stem cell research are very considerable, since it opens up possibilities for healing chronic degenerative illnesses by repairing damaged tissue and restoring its capacity for regeneration. The improvement that such therapies promise would constitute a significant step forward in medical science, bringing fresh hope to sufferers and their families alike. For this reason, the Church naturally offers her encouragement to those who are engaged in conducting and supporting research of this kind, always with the proviso that it be carried out with due regard for the integral good of the human person and the common good of society.— Hmm!!!
C. Nov. 14 So, this God surprised me the third time with the same subject matter: Diane Sawyer in ABC world news reported how a man was treated with adult stem cells and he who was in permanent cardiac failure, now plays with his grand kids.
I am wondering if this treatment could heal my POTS, by helping my immune system get quiet and not reject so many food allergies, which combined with toxics has most likely produced the imbalance of my autonomic nervous system. When God repeats this subject matter over and over, from Nov. 8 to Nov. 14, I suspect He is after it. I inquired about the clinic in the Dominican Republic and a family member reported that it does exist and it did treat Bartolo Colon. Yet, in the Internet, I was not too happy of what it offers. There are hundreds of treating places in the world and one has to study in depth which ones are truly safe. San Francisco, CA, does have a clinic for this purpose.
Wednesday, Nov. 9.
7: 30 AM. I made a list of all my crosses and a list of all the things and people for which I was applying my embrace for those crosses.
8 AM. I asked my Mother, “Do you agree with this plan?”
My Mother said, “Yes, but you wrote it with a defeated heart (due partially to your depression) but also, part is from a sense of un-welcomed servitude. You are not happy and excited about serving God in this way just because He loves you and the many graces that He has bestowed upon you. This offering should be a true holocaust – the death of your will being the most important of all. So, say yes, offer up all the crosses you wrote for the people you listed and take it to every Mass and place it on the Paten and Chalice to be united to my Son’s ongoing sacrifice at Calvary. The mercy coming out of this holocaust will astonish you! You can become the best servant and not just “serve” in many areas, but to serve with joy for the opportunity of belonging to the family of God the Trinity, and duly equipped with all graces to be a servant of God, not a slave but a friend of His for the salvation of millions of people. Do not forget that.
“If you understand who you are by the fact of being created in His image and equipped by His Church to receive the graces necessary for this short journey on earth, you would not hesitate in constantly and with a radiant face, offer holocaust in thanksgiving for those gifts received. But you are still blinded by the cost of the journey and tend to ignore that such cost is nothing! You could be homeless, paralyzed in a wheel chair, successful and rich and yet totally empty inside and /or with sons dependent on drugs or gambling. At least, once a month think about it! In this Thanksgiving celebration, thank God for all He has given you and the greatest gift of all – it is to receive Him in your mouth with a clear sense of His Presence.”
8:30 AM. I then said the Rosary with Mother Angelica and Nuns. Around 8:47 AM, while praying, I felt the Presence of my Father and it was very strong. I had tears in my eyes. I asked Him to make me faithful to Him at all times. I understood that this strong Presence came to hint me how important it is for me to conform to my crosses and offer them up, and also because I had repented after my Mother revealed to me my sluggishness in accepting my crosses, and proceeded to offer them up with purity of intention. So, my Father wanted to be here to show His acceptance. Amazing grace…
11:05 AM I was in Church close to the Tabernacle sitting in the first pew. At 11:20 AM, I said to Him, “There is so much work to do!” He said, “You just stay here at My feet like Mary did. I will take care of everything! But stay here not asking what to do and worrying about it like Martha did. Yes, there is much to do but it is your trust in My Love for you and them that spills mercy over all peoples. But how can you help out? I suddenly remembered the song of Bobby McFerrin of the Ave Maria sung in Barcelona and placed in my IPod by my son some months ago … But Jesus changed the words of another of his hits and said, “Do not worry. Be happy in My Presence!” I laughed… Worrying was not the real way to work for Him. He has the plan. I am just a servant…
Thursday, Nov. 11
I understood that the call to holiness cannot be lived in the past because it is gone. Cannot be lived in the future because the future never arrives… I can only live in the NOW, right now, and God will judge me accordingly. I was sent to page 795.
Sirach 25: 10-11. He who finds wisdom is great indeed, but not greater than he who fears the Lord. Fear of the Lord surpasses all else, its possession is beyond compare.
It was obvious that my every present moment must be filled with awe for God’s works on earth, past and present, and not with the details of the crosses, the why’s and why not’s. We have too many Martha’s carrying and being distracted by many crosses, while Mary was in “awe” at His feet listening to Him! Martha was worried about her present moment, while Mary was resting in the trust of this awesome God and He would not deny her of this pleasure, of wanting to know all about Him and to follow Him more perfectly. Therefore, it seemed to me that holiness is the product of thousands of present moments lived in awe of God’s majesty and mercy, and not worrying abut the suffering of the moment as Martha did! (Hmm)
During my Holy Hour, I saw an older lady who came to kneel in front of the Tabernacle which is located in the left side of the Church. I was nearby. Some 10 minutes later she came to ask me if I had seen her purse… And of course, I had not. Then she started walking around and came to the kneeler again and found a purse and came to ask me it is was mine… I said no… So, she left it in the front pew. I later moved to my regular seat and she kept going out to the car and back looking for her purse. Finally, very close to Mass time, she came and picked up the same purse left abandoned and said to another lady: “Here it is… and opened it and recognized it.” This was a severe case of Alzheimer’s… I remembered my Mother talking about my other possible crosses and thought about my gift of correcting my memory so much… and about not having even the gene for this disease. Just on those grounds, I should be in awe all day long of God’s majesty!
Sunday, Nov. 13.
It was a day where I had a major revelation and just before I left for 8 AM Mass. I had a clear understanding that the problem with all of us who are religious and dedicated, is that we think that we know Jesus personally. We pray to Him, we believe in Him, we may be serving in many ways in the parish, and yet, we stay there, doing the same things. We seem to ignore the fact that knowing Jesus is a relationship that is dynamic and grows like any other human relationship. All of us can never know or understand the richness of it and how much we can grow in it. He is ready to give us holiness and we measure holiness by what we have read about the saints. We cannot fathom that we all are entitled to grow like all the canonized saints did and the sky is the limit. None of us gets to understand how deep this relationship can become because God is ready to give us as much as we are opened to receive. Many of us have a substantial relationship with God but are happy with the status quo. Yet, we seem to ignore that we could be in a much deeper relationship of love with God the Trinity.
We spend time telling others about Jesus and His Gospel and deeds, but do not seem to grasp the fact that He can reveal His Gospel with deeds and signs in our own lives for others to see and be evangelized. And He needs great saints NOW… not canonized but being true examples of faith and trust. Our worse enemy is our crosses which become stumbling blocks in our trust for such love of God for us. So, we end up missing many things when we do not allow this state of daily growth that does so many things for us: 1) We experience His delicious love in every event He orchestrates to make us live in awe of His majesty. 2) Our attachments drop, including the most important attachments: not to suffer and not to die… 3) Our talents and gifts are used more often than not even without us paying attention or trying hard. 4) It is a new life, the true “life in the Spirit.” 5) At one point we find out that reading books and hearing talks are less important than serving Him at His feet all day long, when He guides every step we take.
So, after the Rosary prayed in church but still before 8 AM Mass, I asked Him to help me to stay in the present moment obeying His will. He said, “You are begging! You have lost your trust. You should never beg. You should ask Me with a spirit of thanksgiving because you know that I will answer you, and whatever My will may be for what you ask, you know it will be perfect and necessary for our relationship to grow in trust and love”. At the Consecration I found myself begging again. So, this time I changed my tune pretty fast and thanked Him for hearing me! The Gospel was about the talents we receive and how we must multiply them. He was trying to teach me how to multiply His gifts, and the one gift of faith without fear (therefore, no need for begging) which equals trust, needed much attention.
Monday, Nov. 14.
The first major meeting at a park in Oakland between police and the Occupy Wall Street protesters, happened. I saw the insurrection of souls for just causes, but powers from behind bringing some violence. As these local events were aired, Bishop Lori was reporting their work on behalf of religious liberty in the first day of meetings of the USCCB in Baltimore. I realized as everybody else does, that we have a giant force sustained by Satan that little by little is taking our religious liberty away. Personally, I had to escape a good paying job in an excellent hospital in Toledo because of abortion on demand issues. Yet, we have the power against this GIANT… Our growth in discipleship should not be approached as another nice thing to do. We need to live growing in discipleship month by month as a necessity for the present times… because this GIANT is growing (immorality, open pornography in TV, lies about our beliefs, etc.) but we are not growing at the same pace. We need a tsunami of real disciples in the strict definition of discipleship as taught by Jesus. Opinions and studies will be too slow of a process. We need hard work at denying ourselves, taking up our crosses, kissing them and going to Calvary every day, as a training camp for us soldiers in this battle against this GIANT, whether you call it secularism or indifference…
This GIANT is no bigger than the one the young shepherd David killed… Did David do it? Nah. God did it. The problem is that we are not “watching and praying” to be able to see…There is nothing that can stop us. We are the ones stopping ourselves. This God is real and alive as ever. He has won all kinds of battles and forever and ever. Yet, we must do what He has told us to do… Yet, indifference is killing us…
Tuesday, Nov. 15.
Today I received a list of things to have in mind to become the best disciple I can be. I will share it in a separate page at the side of this blog, in case you may be interested. It will be titled: The Essence of Discipleship.
This Bible story was brought to me for encouragement and warning! Whenever I lose the way and doubt His love for me, and I despair with lack of trust, or any time I feel that my work to become a great disciple is too hard, I must remember that Moses felt the same way in Numbers 11, as follows:
The Israelites were complaining to Moses about not having meat. They recalled the cucumbers, leeks, garlic, melons and onions when they were living in Egypt as slaves. They were famished and only saw manna around them. They were crying at the entrance of their tents, and God became angry, to which Moses reacted with a question to Him, "Why do you treat your servant so badly? Where can I get the meat to give to all this people? I cannot carry all this people by myself for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you will deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need no longer to face this distress."
The Lord asked Moses to choose seventy elders to help him and promised him to produce meat for them. But Moses came up with a major doubt… "The people around me include 600,000 soldiers; yet, You say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month.’ Can enough sheep and cattle be slaughtered for them? If all the fish of the sea were caught for them, would they have enough?’ The Lord answered Moses, ‘Is this beyond the Lord’s reach?” Of course, the Lord provided quail in huge amounts but He became enraged with all of them and He struck them with a very great plague…
YET, I must remember that I do the same thing: complain about what I do not have; want to die instead of helping God win other souls, and worse, doubt that He can do it through me, not in thoughts, but in action by my lack of trust in His mercy and acting like Moses and the Israelites did… So, I must be careful because He will provide the help but I may end up with plagues in my life…
Wednesday, Nov. 16.
I want to share parts of a homily for this day in EWTN, given by Fr. Maurice Emelu, already mentioned. He has a gift… a major gift in the exposition of the Truth of the Gospel. It was the same Gospel of Nov. 13, but this priest gave me much to think about.
“In confession, priests hear more sins of commission than of omission… When we fail to use our gifts, we may be jeopardizing our journey to perfection. What do we do with our gifts and with our lives in promoting the Gospel? Edmund Burton (I do not know if I heard this name as spelled) wrote, ‘All what is necessary for evil to triumph in the world is for man to do nothing.’
“Laodicea in Revelation 3 was condemned for doing nothing. Jesus wanted to cut the fig tree for not producing fruit…In the Gospel today, the men were given the same amount of talents, one each, and two multiplied them, one more than the other, according to their abilities (the same for us). The third one did nothing, supposedly out of fear because the Master was very demanding… So he was condemned by the Master not for what he did, but for what he did not do… And this man made such mistake due to: 1) Fear of the Master being so demanding. 2) Indifference. He did not care. 3) `But actually his excuse was the blame game: because you are demanding, you are not worthy for me to multiply your money. Adam and Eve played the same game. Of the three, indifference was the worst because it is so subtle and we fail to use our talents to preach the Gospel.”
Thursday, Nov. 17
For almost three weeks, I had been warned that on this date there would be a major celebration in Vienna, Austria and streamed LIVE via marytv.tv, which belongs to the Medjugorje movement with apparitions of Our Lady, Queen of Peace since June1981, in what used to be Yugoslavia, now known as Bosnia-Herzegovina., and not yet officially approved by the Church. We said the Rosary together (Cathedral of St. Stephen in Austria and here, a soul in Martinez, CA)… Ivan Dragacevic, one of the visionaries, had a 10 minute apparition and talk with Our Lady. I asked my Mother, “Is it true that Ivan is talking to you.” She said, “Yes, it is; they are used to see me and hear me, and all as a gift from the Holy Spirit to them.” Then, I was part of the LIVE Mass celebrated by Christoph Cardinal Shoenborn. What a treat, since He is also involved with celebrating the Feast of Divine Mercy and presided over the first World Conference on Mercy some time ago…!!! What a small world.
The Gospel said, “As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Luke 39: 41-44. (Ouch! Aren’t we seeing this in our own U.S.?) The Cardinal asked if we also are making Jesus cry? He said, that we must give our witness of faith that comes with much suffering!
In all, what could be compared to the Catholic Church? This Mass with many priests and deacons and laity was exact to the one I saw in EWTN, in Alabama, and the same as in my parish in California… This same day, Dr. Oz presented tele-evangelist Joel Osteen. He has the largest church in the U.S based in Texas, according to Oz… I believe he said the church has 40,000 members all in this stadium like church building. I like this young man, but what he said about the success of his preaching was a mixture of God and the world through “positive thinking.” He said that you can do anything you want if you are given positive ideas to raise your hope. Comparing Vienna with the ministry of Joel, well, there was little to compare. The two events gave me more desire to become the best disciple/future saint possible for my beautiful Church!
During the Mass at my parish, I asked the Lord this: “Help me Lord to save souls.”
He said, “All the help is here with you. The only thing that could stop the work is you and your availability. How much do you truly love the cross of carrying many to My Heart? How badly do you want to save souls or is it a mere desire to help out, yet not out of love but out of duty? Pray, ask, knock that you become available every day more. I am a just God. I will not help you in anything that you do not want to do, and the more you love your brothers and sisters and desire them saved, that much more My grace will suffice for the work to be done.” I repented and offered the Mass in expiation for not having a constant thirst for souls.
Saturday, Nov. 19. I thought in these terms: we grow at a steady pace but at times in our own terms. If we go to a retreat we come out happy, with more graces, and yet we do not realize that a retreat is just a reminder of the larger “retreat” that we must live every day, every moment for our entire lives..
Sunday Nov. 20 – Feast of Christ the King
I realized that in order to truly celebrate this Feast, I must make Him my King… Sharing this Kinship with my ego is a joke on my part. How naïve I have been. Yet, at the very same time, I cannot worry about how to do it. I only have to desire it and offer my cooperation and He will do it. He is the King and left me with the power of His Spirit to be able to submit, as long as understand that I must allow Him do it. The best answer is: I must abandon myself to His divine Providence at all cost. When I run into trouble, I must pray: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. I am the servant of the Lord. I am here to do Your will.” He will give me all I need to settle down and as He has done it in past! These were the verses received late this day, which emphasized the same topic.
John 12: 24, 26 – “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it produces much fruit!!!…. Whoever serves Me must follow Me, and where I am, there my servant will be. The Father will honor whoever serves me!”
Wednesday, Nov 23. On this day before Thanksgiving, I found myself watching the Dr. Oz show, and he presented a “free” clinic set up in Los Angeles. They have no health insurance… One young man had a hi sugar of 355… and did not know he was a diabetic. A lady had a Blood Pressure of 217/127…! Another woman had a very advanced cancer of the breast. 40 million Americans have no health insurance coverage! How much do I have to thank God for all I have…!
Thursday, November 24 – Thanksgiving Day
Once more, God has spoken about adult stem cell therapy. I just received via email and for the first time, the December issue from an association to which I belong for many years, called LIFE EXTENSION, and deals with nutrition for a better health. They have a magazine that I receive via regular mail. This time, the December issue has arrived via Internet with the main topic being: adult stem cell therapy… And the email arrived as I was ready to post this blog.
Title of article: Suzanne Somers uses stem cell therapy to restore breast tissue.
For most breast cancer survivors, the only options available to reverse disfigurements are implants or painful, often unsuccessful reconstructive procedures. Suzanne Somers (well known actress) has led the way in finding an alternative to these approaches. In this exclusive interview, Suzanne reveals to William Faloon the intimate, challenging, ultimately successful experiences that helped her reclaim her health, femininity, and well-being using a non-FDA approved stem cell procedure . The surgeon who implanted the adipose-derived stem cells was Joel Aronowitz, MD.
In two weeks, I have received four messages about this type therapy. God is into something. He can be relentless. I am sure that if it is His will, I will get the money to do it. And yes, I wanted to use adipose tissue (fat) as the source of the stem cells because they are the ones mostly used to treat the immune system, or to replace the immune system present cells… My idea is that once done, I will not react to so many allergies with foods because I have basically a new immune system, and the autonomic nervous system will regain its balance, and I then can tell the entire world about the treatment of this malady… which right now has no cure!!! BECAUSE, for God all things are possible… He truly inspires me with His mercy and love… Please pray for me to understand further if this is something I should pursuit seriously. Thanks!
Closing arguments and remarks!
We have been talking about the changes coming in exactly a couple of days for the words of the Mass in the English speaking world. Our parish has used several Sundays to expand in each section of the upcoming changes. To me, it will be very hard because with my much improved memory but not as sharp as in the 70’s when we changed to the vernacular, most likely I will have to use the little Magnificat Missal forever and ever until I die, in order to respond correctly. Yet, I have been led to make some comments on my own… and always remember, this is not the Church’s view. It is my own sentiment and experience with God. So beware! Here they are:
We have heard and know that the Mass is an act of Jesus, the Head, and us, the Body, offering sacrifice. It should be the voice of the Church praying together, rather than just from a group of Catholics in “x” parish. So, we must participate in the Liturgy with all our hearts and attention with a global sense of unity, and the new Missal translation is not an innovation but rather using words that are closer to the original Latin text, so that it could help us to be even closer together in this Sacrifice.
My point of view: the disposition of my soul is not a switch that I turn on when I enter a church building to attend Mass. But why do I say that? Is this my opinion? Nah! This represents what God through many years have led me to understand and live. Yes, the Mass is a gift of Jesus to His Father, a holocaust, and we come to share in this gift by offering our sacrifices. The Mass, therefore, is the summit of my experience of Jesus’ Sacrifice at Calvary. I am given the grace to be present to this Sacrifice, and not because it repeats and repeats in every Mass. No, the sacrifice at Calvary was one and we simply are brought to be present to this ongoing event, since God has no past or future. He is eternal, and His sacrifice is in the now, present to us, and every time we are at Mass we become spectators, so to speak.
But my soul should enter the Liturgy as a continuum of my being a daily gift to my Father outside of Mass in all I say and do – or – with a huge yes to His will in total self-denial and loving my brothers and sisters in how many ways He leads me to do it, and as I cooperate with His Wisdom in each case. My gift also is made of crosses, of sufferings of all kinds; some coming from the world; some coming from Satan tempting others to mistreat me in whatever little or big way; some will come from my flesh, and most especially from my powerful desire to run my own salvation scheme, and that is, that I tend to follow the Gospel of Jesus but done “my way,” which usually is the easy way… Hmm! So, all these crosses are offered to my Father to be used in expiation for my sins and those of the whole world. I come to Mass with the gift of prayer, or the time spent with God outside of Mass, where I get instructed about my sins, and time dedicated to get to know Him better, to receive His guidance for what I must do or not in our personal relationship.
Yet, all of the above ideas are not do’s and don’ts because I cannot do it on my own… No way, José! I have to be mindful of what to do, try to do it, ask for help to my Father and grace will come to my mind and soul. However, there must be a determined determination (words from St. Teresa of Avila) of cooperation with God at every present moment. Example: when you live such intent and focus, things happen without any warning and we find ourselves immersed in them out of the blue! Yesterday, Nov. 22, I found myself driving in this furious challenging expressway (I love to go to the maximum velocity plus 5 more miles – since years ago, a policeman and patient told me it was O.K for them for drivers to do it!!! – and of course, using the left lanes at 70 miles/hour) and saying over and over: “To You be praise, to You be glory, to You be thanksgiving through endless ages, O Blessed Trinity. Holy, holy, holy Lord, the heavens and the earth are full of Your glory. Hosanna. Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna.”
Was I trying to remember to be in prayer at this point? No! I was just driving and paying my best attention to the craziness of many drivers who love to squeeze themselves where there is no space between my car and the one ahead… Or those who slow down in the left lanes answering their cell phones… I was trying to stay calm and collected and not get mad and resentful with those drivers, and instead, with great love for their stupidity, praying for mercy for them. Yet, on this day I was praying and praying and praying… and I felt like stupefaction, like centering prayer, but centering on the majesty and magnificence of God… Later, much later, I thought that it was like a case of practicing “fear of the Lord!”
Also, as preparation for the intended sacrifice to be offered in the next Mass, my day to day spiritual life must center in my crosses and their beauty. My cross of low blood pressures (like I have as I am editing this blog without any treatment), instead of high blood pressures present at the beginning of November, is important because I have to be super vigilant with many blood pressures taken during the day so not to use much medication, if any, but also, in this phase of the illness, my early morning depression is prominent. All of this is congruent with the rhythms of electrical patterns of our bodies. Electrical currents run our bodies… Minerals are very important for those currents to keep normal patterns. For example, low potassium can start producing skipped beats of the heart… or the electrical sequence in our heart for each contraction, at an average of 70 per minute, suffers when potassium is low… So, when the vagal side of my autonomic nervous system starts being the preponderant switch, instead of being in total balance with the sympathetic side, my peripheral arteries do not contract as hard and my blood pressure stays lower because the heart works less to propel the blood to my legs… It is just pure physics!
So this cross is heavy and it is not… because, I am a doctor of medicine and understand the disease and how to correct it… If this is not a gift, well, I do not know what could be! However, the other major cross is to find my medical community not quite there for me. On December 19, 2008, I spent 5 hours in the Emergency Room in a nearby Walnut Creek super hospital… (I reported it in one of my first blogs…) I entered with extreme LOW blood pressure and I left without a diagnosis… The cost: $7,000.00 – My cost: zero… Since I do not go to doctors or use it for medicines, well, Medicare and my personal insurance paid for everything… However, these were $7,000 thrown to the waste basket. The E.R. physician, a younger man, was delightful, nice and knowledgeable, and yet, it was until July 16, 2010 when my Mother alerted me to look into the AOL news and find a case that fit my diagnosis… Wow! Is God with us or not?
So, our crosses all are crucial for us and our neighbor. 1) They are always an instrument for our own growth in faith. 2) This particular cross of going to an ER, and hardly 6 months after I arrived in California, but being nearby a great hospital, had a meaning… a) It diagnosed where we stand in Medicine… b) It gave me the pleasure to see my Mother interceding for me and leading me to find my own diagnosis. c) It led me to deal with ups and downs of this POTS disease… d) It led me to review my knowledge of acupuncture which I practiced in the 70’s after President Nixon went to China in 1971 and opened those doors of treatments to the West. Now, I treat myself daily with a hand held electrical device with electro-acupuncture to “balance” my autonomic nervous system, and it helps very much. In fact, I was cured of recurrent severe migraine headaches in the 1970’s by a Chinese acupuncturist physician, Dr. Chu from Pontiac, MI, precisely with acupuncture. To this day, if I eat the wrong foods, like wine (although I hate it with passion) or chocolate, or cinnamon, I can get a headache and get it cured immediately with self-given electro-acupuncture. Also, my multiple food allergies cause me some pain in my legs and I cure it with one treatment of electro acupuncture… I tell you these things because God is into everything… AND HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER… It is not sporadic either. His mercy is like rain falling to give life to us, His plants.
So, again, my crosses are crucial so that I can end up in my parish celebrating the previous day walk to Calvary and offering them to my Father as a gift in union with Jesus’ gift, to expiate my sins and those of the whole world. After the “Ite Missa est” I go out to a world of sacrifices, hoping to be ready to come back to do the same for my next Mass. But my work in between each Mass is just ONE: To say “yes” to all that God wants of me – not trying to flee my crosses – not wasting time in trying to understand them or change them somewhat – and understanding that I am preparing my package of sacrifice to be offered the following day as a gift to my Father for Him to use it as He wants and for whomever He wants… It is pleasing to Him because it then comes from the soul of a true servant (similar, although not equal to His Son’s Sacrifice). So, my Father can also do great things in my life because He finds me with a denied ego, embracing those crosses He sent me or allowed, following His Son to Calvary, or said in other words, He can find the mustard seed on the ground, dead and able to produce fruit.
Satan brings crosses always… Fear, which often he instigates, is the top cross… Fear destroys trust in God. His mercy then gets bombarded since trust is not there 100% and 100% of the time. So, we have recourse to our Mother, Saints and Angels, because the fight can be out of sight.
I would say that my life should be made of constant “mini masses” where I offer my sacrifices of all kinds, all day long, by SUBMITTING to them with full understanding of their value. Also, I can offer my crosses and do not mean it… It may be just lip service when I am resisting them, or praying that they get changed or modified. So, you cannot offer what you do not esteem worthy of offering. These little details get lost in our daily lives and quite often. But if I recognize the glory of my crosses, this attitude triggers the reception of graces to deal with the struggles, until I go and offer them up with His Sacrifice at my next Mass, and get refueled with His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity to come home and keep focused again in the glory of the Cross… So, leaving as such, we should not worry too much about the change of words of the Mass. In fact, by the time we go to Mass, WE HAVE LIVED THOSE WORDS… in the intimacy of our inner temples. In this way, the new translation, one that is more accurate, truly goes hand in hand with my life, one of sacrifice offered up as His was.
The importance of this way of life is that we cannot change people’s hearts with just words… Many will come to Mass this Christmas (the CEO’s, Christmas and Easter only) and the new words will not be a magic spell. Jesus’ Sacrifice at the Altar is, but they have to open their hearts to the Master. He will not force Himself in… So, my sacrifice of every moment embraced and taken to every Mass as a gift to my Father and united to Jesus’, can intercede so that the Holy Spirit could enter and MOVE THOSE HEARTS, and perhaps with the new translation or directly as God knows each heart … It could be a smile from the welcoming committee as they enter. It could a memory of their childhood that brings them to feel happiness and then reconcile with the Church. And trust me, it will happen… My sacrifice also will help those who regularly go to Sunday Mass, and they will enter into the true mystery of our crosses and their beauty. It is not a brainer. This is the Body of Christ and each part has a part to play in the common good.
We do not change the world and the Church at large because we do not want to. We have allowed our brains to be wired with the wrong information. For example: I have the right not to suffer and seek happiness; or God promised me that He would give the desires of my hear (Psalm 37) and I want money and prestige and power, and in many cases, I may give a little to the poor, but if I become poor, I will not accept such cross.
We forget that the Bible has the same stories… and that it took the coming of a BABE, the Messiah King, to tell us how we can become super happy, with tons of joy and peace… Yet, His Way was through the cross… We are crazy if we think that it will be different for us to find happiness and fulfillment. Look at the hints! Jesus was denied three times by the first Pope… Ouch! Another one sold Him for a few pieces of silver. The rest fled when He was apprehended like a thief and crucified after a mock of a trial. But in our present days, we DO NOT MENTION THE CROSS AS A BLESSING in our faith formation classes… I am sure that homilists have to stay away from this topic because people will not come back to Church since their brains are wired up with a different message: pleasure, fun, power, prestige, money to travel and have great vacations. We, as a Church, were caught with our pants down… Sorry to say it. We spend much time talking about this cancer with different names, and we pray that it changes, but from hearts not willing to taste the way of Calvary and rejoice… God can win this battle in a jiffy, but He needs us as partners…and doing what He did… all the way to Calvary…
And our TRUST is demanded for His mercy to pour on us… in gallons and gallons… We cannot turn around and preach the Cross to people that have brains totally lied to by the media. Satan has done a great job… Wow! And yet, we have the victory in our hands… It is funny because as I look at the world with different groups camping out and protesting, I was sent to read Acts 17. Please read it… But here are a few excerpts:
Verse 5: Paul is in Thessalonica. “But the Jews became jealous and recruited some worthless men loitering in the public square, formed a mob, and set the city in turmoil (like our Oakland…)
Verse 13: Paul was then sent to Beroea by his brothers because of his preaching and subsequent persecution in Thessalonica. “But when the Jews of Thessalonica learned that the Word of God had now been proclaimed by Paul in Beroea also, they came there too to cause a commotion and stir up the crowds. (Sounds familiar?)
(So, Paul was sent to Athens ahead of Silas and Timothy.) Verse 16: “While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he grew exasperated at the sight of the city full of idols…” (I felt soo good… I do that at times…)
History repeats itself and over and over. Germany and Russia brought us chaos in the mid XX Century. So, God raised “Karol, the man who became Pope”… Watching the movie of his life in EWTN going on right now, Karol had many crosses, and yet, it was very important for him to experience them as a young man and later with health issues as an old man, and his holiness brought him to Rome, and the Iron Curtain went down… His crosses were part of his holiness and his holiness part of our blessing… up to this day. Through him, God won a big battle for all of us… Our Mother of Fatima came in 1917 to reclaim Russia as her own… even before they had officially become atheists… Then, God sent this man Karol who loved Our Lady so much and he finished up the job, and no doubt with her intercessory help… In fact, God won the battle against the bullet that came to lodge in his body… If we would think of these examples and all the battles won by God, we would be laughing and with our arms open to suffer whatever.
Yet, we have had a plan of action and a promise from God that He is there for us, but we seem to stir away from it in our personal spiritual journeys. We can use great saints’ teachings like John of the Cross, Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), St. Paul of the Cross. St. Louis Marie de Montfort has a beautiful teaching that he titled, “The Friends of the Cross.” In the other hand, if a bunch of us truly become friends of our crosses and PRAY LIKE THE WIDOW INSISTED TO THE DISHONEST JUDGE, our Father would fix everything in a very short time. He would send the Holy Spirit as in a new Pentecost to millions of souls… who seem not to see.
Now, I want to share how I deal with my crosses so not to resist them: my personal experience has taught me that when I feel I cannot take it anymore, and the cross is causing chaos in my soul, with despair, tiredness of suffering the same thing, with fear of not being able to take “X” cross,
1. I have to ask for His mercy as many times as needed, and resurrect Bible verses that assure me that God will win all my battles… All battles, not just a few. He will not allow one cross to last more than I can take it. The antidote against my crosses not being embraced is TRUST in His love. If do not have it, I repent and ask for His mercy to be able to have a blind trust in His love, over and over, again like the widow insisted with the bad judge, and He will answer. I prefer to go and do it in His Presence in the Tabernacle and try my case in His Court… It works very well!
2. If my constant yes to His will perils in any form, I ask for help but certain that He will be there… and Moses and David and the Apostles in the story of Acts, all attest that He won all those battles. Reading all those passages can truly bring much instant healing.
This method of asking and asking for help to embrace my crosses, will re-wire my brain through His grace, and in due time, my faith will become so strong! And my crosses will be embraced with gusto because I found the route to Resurrection Sunday…
I summarized my second to second handling of my discipleship in a little cardboard to carry in my purse. I wrote:
Yes to His will and all crosses involved.
Offer them up to God in expiation of the sins of as many souls as possible.
Ask for Mercy to embrace tightly all my crosses.
ODHS: Open the door to the Holy Spirit and God’s Mercy by
RTT – Refusing to think or worry about it, which means:
TT – Total trust that God’s mercy is winning all my battles
I want to write again the meditation of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and shared in a previous blog, who honored God the Father with these her words that accept the dark night (suffering):
“My God, I do not want to know Your ways. That is why I am your daughter. You are a wise Father and a Father to me too. And if you guide me through the darkness of night, I know that you are taking me to Yourself! “
SPANISH: “Dios mío, no quiero conocer Tus caminos. Para eso soy tu hija. Eres Padre de sabiduría y un Padre también para mí. ¡Y si me llevas a través de la noche, sé que me llevas a Ti!”
So, this Christmas, let it be the time to give Baby Jesus,
1.The gift of our unconditional yes to all our crosses, present and to come, so that when we get to Mass, we can unite them with His Passion that is ongoing, and then, we can help change hearts and right away.
2. Let us offer Him the gift of catechizing our hearts, our inner temples with the Truth about the Cross and our sufferings.
3. Let us give Him the gift of believing that He can win all our battles with this Trust in His mercy that supervises our crosses to become sources of grace for others.
4. Let us give Him the gift of going to Mass carrying our embraced crosses and thereby, truly offering praise and worship with all the Angeles, Saints and Our Lady around the Altar where the Lamb, this little bitty Baby was sacrificed some 33 years later after His birth.
5. Let us give Him the gift of believing that He, this Baby, will come to us in His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity to empower us to be the Father’s children destined to live from glory to glory.
The Holy Spirit will not resist such faith and trust as we present ourselves tied to our crosses, and He will renew our brains and our souls and we will become holy like our Blessed Miguel Agustin pro, who died on Nov. 23 of 1927 at the age of 36, saying Viva Cristo Rey. Long Live Christ the King. I love to think of Baby Jesus with a crown (not of thorns). He must have been soo cute. When I met my third grandchild, 6 months old at the time, Antonio, I thought of Baby Jesus. He smiled constantly…
We could use some intercessory help from our Mother and Saints whose feasts we will be celebrating soon:
November 23, 1932, first apparition of Our Lady of Beauraing.
Beauraing is a small town in the southern French speaking, part of Belgium, and it was here that the Blessed Virgin appeared to a group of children, Fernande, 15 year old girl, Andree, 14 with her sister Gilberte, 9, and Albert, age 11, between late November 1932 and January 1933. On 2 December, Albert asked her if she was the Immaculate Virgin, to which she smiled and nodded her head, and in answer to what she wanted she said simply: "Always be good."
On Thursday 8 December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a crowd of about fifteen thousand assembled expecting a great miracle, but they only saw the children in ecstasy, impervious to lighted matches held underneath their hands, pin pricks, or lights shone in their eyes. Meanwhile, the local priest, Fr. Lambert, and the Church authorities generally, were taking a very prudent and circumspect attitude towards events at Beauraing, and refusing to get involved: the local bishop ordered his priests not to go to the site.
On December 29, Fernande saw the Blessed Virgin with a heart of gold surrounded by rays, and this was also seen by two of the children on 30 December, as Mary repeated the phrase: "Pray, pray very much," which was only heard by Fernande. On the last day of 1932 all the children saw Mary’s golden heart. On 1 January 1933, Mary spoke to Gilberte Voisin asking her to, "Pray always," with the emphasis on always; the next day she told the children that on January 3, at what was to prove to be the final apparition, she would speak to each of them separately.
A very large crowd, estimated at between thirty and thirty-five thousand people, assembled that evening as the children began their rosary. After two decades four of them called out and fell to their knees, leaving Fernande, the oldest, in tears because she could see nothing. Mary spoke to Gilberte Voisin, imparting to her what has been seen as the main promise of Beauraing, "I will convert sinners," and then: "Goodbye." To Andree she said: "I am the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven. Pray always," before disappearing.
Fernande remained kneeling while the other children went inside for questioning, when suddenly, she, and many in the crowd, heard a loud noise like thunder and saw a ball of fire on the hawthorn tree. Mary appeared and spoke to Fernande asking her if she loved her Son and herself; when Fernande replied that she did, the response was: "Then sacrifice yourself for me." At this the Blessed Virgin glowed with extraordinary brilliance and extended her arms, so that the girl could see her golden heart, before saying, "Goodbye," and disappearing.
. In February 1943 Bishop Charue authorized public devotions to Mary at Beauraing, but it was not until July 1949, following the Second World War, that the shrine was officially recognized and two important documents issued. The first dealt with two of the many cures that had taken place at Beauraing, declaring them to be miraculous.
The second document was a letter to the clergy in which the bishop said, "we are able in all serenity and prudence to affirm that the Queen of Heaven appeared to the children of Beauraing during the winter of 1932-1933, especially to show us in her maternal Heart the anxious appeal for prayer and the promise of her powerful mediation for the conversion of sinners."
I am including this story of Our Lady because for years I have kept her in my heart with the request to “sacrifice myself for her.” I guess that all along she was trying to hint to me what now I know about suffering being a great sacrifice of the good of others, and as she did when just a young girl for our good.
Nov. 25. Venerable Solanus Casey, a great friend of mine, was born in 1870 (He died in 1952 or so).
November 27: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
December 1. Our Lady of Ratisbone, Bavaria, Germany!!!
December 8. Our lady of the Immaculate Conception, our patroness… Also, it is the feast day of Our Lady Who Unties Knots (worshiped in Germany, Argentina and Venezuela)
December 10. Our Lady of Loretto. St. Padre Pio died in 1968, as well as priest/monk Thomas Merton at age 54. He preached non violence.
December 12. Our Lady of Guadalupe, The Empress of the America’s…!!! The greatest evangelizer in the shortest time ever (10 years – 9 million converts)…
December 14. St. John of the “CROSS”….
December 22. Our Lady of Chartres (France)
HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR…
From Fr. Solanus Casey:
“Life is to live and life is to give and talents are to use for good if you choose. Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be strong. Do no pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks; then, the doing of your work shall be no miracle but you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself… at the richness of life, which has come to you by the grace of God.”
In my view his counsel of this beautiful priest who was not allowed to preach or hear confessions, is the constant practice of “fear of the Lord” and what it means for our souls… Sirach 25: 10-11. “He who finds wisdom is great indeed, but not greater than he who fears the Lord. Fear of the Lord surpasses all else, its possession is beyond compare.” Just doing this wondering about our lives and graces received and being in awe of what God has done for us, should entice us to embrace our crosses even more tightly and secure graces for our brothers and sisters! MAY THE NEW YEAR bring us more graces to hold to our crosses as instruments of grace for the entire Body of Christ.