One year ago for the December blog, I was surprised to have been inundated with ideas regarding evangelization. Nowadays, I find the term “new evangelization” being discussed in thousands of ways, and of course, this is going on for years. So, I could not dare to write anymore about the many aspects of evangelization in general since I wrote enough in this past year. But again, I will only touch evangelization for my own soul. I must say that on a personal basis, I have spent many moments of this 2011, trying to hear the Spirit of God as to how I should become a sharper than a two edge sword evangelist. I have never taken so seriously this aspect of my spiritual life, and as a woman, I have so many hints from the Bible that reminds me of how women have also being called to be great announcers of the Gospel.
The greatest of all: Our Lady… She ran to her cousin Elizabeth…! She was again sent for the first time that I know of and after her assumption, to Mexico of all places. Please, keep a list of these hints that God has sent all of us. She appears painted by God Himself, and 9 million Aztec Indians got converted when many Spanish priests could not do much about the effort of evangelizing the new world. Wow! God could have sent the Archangel Gabriel again! Or He could have sent any great saint of the past, but in 1531, a woman clothed with the sun as it says in Revelation 12, appeared in person to an Indian, Juan Diego, and later, painted in his cloak or tilma!
Of course, she has been sent over and over and over since 1531. She is a busy Mom… What a SIGN she is to us. And some saints have said that she is the one who serves as a bridge to get to her Son, and no different than to the initial event of the “yes” that she emitted to bring Him to this earth as a little Babe. And just think that the Holy Ghost espoused Our Lady in order to make Baby Jesus, and I am sure that the same Spirit sent her to Elizabeth, her cousin. As you can see, there is a central theme in the history of our salvation: the Holy Spirit and Our Lady.
And other women have also been chosen to evangelize at important moments in our Catholic history. Mary of Magdala did not stay away from the tomb… Many times I think of her persistence… What about if she had not come to look for her Lord, only 24 plus hours after He had been buried? What about it? I am sure that the Holy Ghost was involved in this act as well and sent her. Here is another major link in evangelization terms. Our Lady trusted the Archangel Gabriel, and I am sure she did because she trusted God. The same happened with Mary Magdalene. She trusted the Angel and believed what he said, to go and tell Jesus’ disciples that He was risen!!! So far, these two women never doubted. Wow. The disciples when told by Mary Magdalene about the Resurrection, doubted… Hmm. They even doubted when Jesus visited them… and one of them never believed in His resurrection until the very end… (Thomas).
Then, and only after Pentecost, we have the 11 male Apostles and other disciples becoming a great force of evangelization up to this date. Fear and doubts were gone. At the same time, women have stayed around helping out, and the most outstanding woman that mediates the evangelization efforts of the Church at large, continues to be Our Lady. Besides, as our Church needed major reforms here and there, extraordinary women came along, all loving much the Woman clothed with the sun. So, we have quite a few female stars and these are just a few names: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Therese of Lissieux (Doctor of the Church and patroness of missionaries…), Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Mother Angelica Rizzo (still living and a saint in the making).
These women were chosen to do unthinkable things for the Church. Well, they did not do it; they just said “yes” but with total trust that God was able to do great things, and they were also persistent as Mary of Magdala, and so, God was able to use them… The original pattern continues… And the Holy Ghost was very important for them too. I know because in the 1980’s I found Mother Angelica in a couple of conferences of the Charismatic Renewal of the Catholic Church where she was a guest speaker.
All in all, God has hinted us that the original manuscript, one where He created the first man and woman to work together, has been kept alive. Satan was there from the very beginning, even tempting the Son of God, and he is still here, and now, showing up every place to discourage, to divide, to create fear and to accuse, to promote hatred, and we are at a junction of the history of the world, when we all must take over this non sense, since we can do it… This general scenario has been very present to me this year, as I have written in previous blogs.
Or, said in other words, I sensed all through 2011 that I have to “watch and pray” so that I can be so alert to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and be ready to pay the price in order to be a true effective evangelist… I must say that the entire year was one where I was prompted, helped, blessed by growing in a determined determination to be all what God created me to be. It is as if God is writing the script of the last chapter of my stay on earth, and I have been called to cooperate as never before, and to respond with the best trust I can muster in His love and mercy for me and all peoples.
Well, in this blog, I will try to share some highlights of how He came to show me how much He loves me, and direct me to make some resolutions for 2012.
The world affairs at all levels are worse than a year ago. Our American politics is simply driving some of us crazy… It is not a campaign of ideas, but a campaign of attacks and division. I will not even go into that one. The American birth-rate has fallen steadily too – from 18.7 live births per 1,000 population in 1935 to 13.8 per 1,000 in 2009 and people are living longer and having fewer children. Of course, this a huge threat for the monies we all have to supply to the social security retirement fund.
Before I continue: please let all of us who are reading this blog pray much starting one week before January 21, when we will have the 8th Annual Walk for Life at the Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco and also it will be done in Washington, D.C. The Wall Street protestors at times have placed their tents in this Civic Center Plaza. I can see Satan working overtime and we, the people who serve Jesus the Christ, can truly stop any problems, by praying and sacrificing ahead of time and on the day of such march, in order to secure a peaceful acceptance between the pro-life groups and the Wall Street protesters. We are all souls made in God’s image, and we both are seeking justice, and actually we should be partners for social justice. We know that some thieves have infiltrated the protester groups and that our pro life members could be attacked for no reason, as it has happened in the camps in Oakland and San Francisco, where they have attacked each other. SO, PLEASE, LET US BE IN PRAYER AND ASK FOR GOD’S MERCY FOR BOTH GROUPS.
II. Events of the last month which ultimately led me to my resolutions
Nov. 28 – Nov. 29. During these two days I suffered with great depression. Please notice that I will mention this feeling OFTEN from now on, until God intervened and had an answer for it… It is pure science, and yet, He did not solve this problem earlier; my take is that He wanted me to suffer and offer it up as discussed before. In other words, He hears our prayer, knows of our cross and does not solve it, simply because it is through our crosses that He can do so much for our own spiritual growth and that of others. The problem is that with this feeling of sadness (chemical in nature), I get overwhelmed with the possibility of the work to be done for the Kingdom. Yet, at all times, He has a plan, and He truly is in charge… This is why I am making a big deal of this story of depressions… especially those that come when I have not eaten products that truly can produce it in my brain!
So, on Nov. 28, I truly begged Him to help me understand how is it that I would have to undertake this work of evangelization in whatever ways He has said I should. He answered, “Never forget Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who danced on fire… As in the Book of Daniel, I am in charge of the fire and of you!” – Sometimes I end up laughing… He is so right… Another time He reminds me to go back into my life history and see when I was abandoned by His mercy… Of course, I never find this fact!
On Nov. 29, I was again not feeling too good and overwhelmed by the possibility of what I have been told to do and many times and for years. At 4:25 PM, He had this to say, “Approach what you have been told to do with eagerness. You must multiply your gifts, and this can only be done under the fire of the cross. Many wait for your words of encouragement and this service will grow… Your age will not go back, but age has nothing to do with your job, since it is I Who will do the work through you. Realize that you cannot decide how to do My will for your life. I want you to feed millions but you are still too proud to do the “crazy” things (in the world’s eyes) needed to do the “most” for feeding the spiritually poor. You continue to walk your way, or hoping to do so! End it. Be opened to suffering, humiliation and do things that the world cannot accept. Are you willing to say yes right now?”
(I said yes but asked, “What will that be? How to do it?”)
“Like your Mother, run to serve without thinking of yourself! I know what you want to know all the why’s of your call. How many times shall I tell you to hear what I expect of you, and then, let it be. Go to page 788 of your Bible.”
Sirach 19: 17. – “All wisdom is fear of the Lord; perfect wisdom is fulfilment of the law.” He added, “There you have a reminder: Do what I tell you, and that is perfect wisdom. And with perfect wisdom, My Holy Spirit will win all the wars according to My will for you and multiply your gifts, so that they can be offered for the good of others.”
At noon Mass, I felt very oppressed even during the Consecration, to the point of quietly crying, and normally, I have so much joy during this time. I had a deep anguish. (Notice how the lack of a chemical in the brain can affect us so much... More on it later.) After Communion, my Lord already hinted that soon I would be feeling better… Of course, I dispatched it as His direct help for my brain, and little did I know what He had in mind!
A Hispanic television network was transmitting Live, a Teleton (Telethon in English) to get money for children that suffer from physical and mental disabilities. I felt sad that I do not remember on a daily basis of the treasure of being fairly healthy, and my lack of thanksgiving to God for what I have. Again, depressions became minimal crosses. This day long program was very helpful for my soul.
A profound sadness was present. These depressions often bring out memories of my past persecutions. I wrote some in my journal and will not mention them here, but it was clear that God has allowed these persecutions, and some so cruel, unreasonable, precisely to say “yes” to each difficult moment, and become trained in the science of the Cross. On Dec. 10 (5 days later), I ended up turning on the TV and had been left on EWTN. Mother Angelica was talking about faith, a program originally aired on June 16, 1992… She said something full of meaning for me, but that relates much to these days with depression. She said, “Faith is to believe in God in the darkness. Theologians may know all about faith but do not know God in the darkness!” Right on! Again, God wanted me to hear it in order to give perspective to this particular cross…
Going back to this Dec. 5th, this cross of feeling depressed gave me much fruit of understanding. I wrote in my journal, “A relationship with Christ is also a relationship with His Body, the Church! My work consists in preparing my soul, one that allows the seeds of faith, hope and love, to germinate and grow into a huge tree that passes the Truth to others but anointed by the Holy Spirit. But just preaching about Him will not do it. Praying just in case and as a routine, and after doing so, taking off to plan the salvation of others will not stop the power of Satan against those souls, nor the harassment of the world and of their own flesh. It is only my relationship with Him that will aid in supplying the “grace” needed for me and for others. In other words, I must cooperate first to enter into His Presence , which requires a constant upkeep of the soil of my soul! A preacher can only change others with his/her words if they come from a soul that allows the seeds of grace to grow, out of love for the Beloved, the Christ. Anything else may produce fruit but not permanent or lasting.”
Later, in a moment of prayer I asked my Mother, “What about all the plans I have been told I must follow. Don’t they seem strange and crazy?” (Again, keep in mind that I was under the cross of sadness, and everything gets magnified in the wrong direction of resisting the will of God for me.)
She said, “Just look at your past. It has been your style of life. You seek Him and He sends you and grace is always abundant.” (I made a quick recollection: from Indiana I was sent to Cleveland after this move being announced in Houston, TX, and for the second time after a prior major persecution there and to receive another persecution; then I was left sitting 5 years in Toledo without a job, and finally California and I survived all moves) She was right!
I went to Noon Mass and was sent to read the little Bible in my purse.
John 15: 7-20. “Anyone who does not remain in Me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in Me, and My Words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become My disciple. As the Father loves Me, so I also love you. Remain in My Love. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My Love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in His love.
“I have told you this so that My joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. This is My Commandment: LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I LOVE YOU . No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones’ life for one’s friend. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from My Father. IT WAS NOT YOU WHO CHOSE ME, BUT I WHO CHOSE YOU, and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name, He may give you. This I command you, love one another.
“IF THE WORLD HATES YOU, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember that word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.”
I was astounded… Wow… This was a reaffirmation of what I had understood hours before. But he continued and sent me to:
1John 2: “Beloved, the way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep His commandments. Whoever says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with Him: whoever claims to abide in Him ought to walk just as He walked.”
Days like this one fill me with so much hope. I understood how the Holy Spirit gives you understanding as it happened in the early morning, but in front of His Eucharistic Presence, His Spirit completes the lesson by bringing the same subject as it appears in the Bible. Amazing!
The big day arrived and unbeknownst to me… I went to early Mass and was still very depressed… Later on, I went to a health food store and while looking for some vitamins, my eyes passed over a product called Inositol… It rang a bell but it was not quite clear as to why I knew this name. After coming home, I realized that Inositol is considered one of the B vitamins. SUDDENLY, I remembered that Inositol is vital to prevent depression in some of us with probably low levels of serotonin, or with some problem in allowing serotonin to enter our brain cells to keep our mood normal. I have been taking this vitamin forever and somehow, I ran out and with my bad memory of recent months, I never bought it nor missed it at all… Hmm… (I cannot take a general vitamin product because I am allergic to iodide, and all of them have it… So, I take them separately)
I ran out again and went to buy it. On this date I started taking it in fairly hi amounts to increase my body levels, and later I have decreased the dose to normal amounts. What Inositol does is precisely to facilitate the entrance of serotonin inside the brain cells… And by DECEMBER 20th… my depressions have been minimal and at times, I have gone 4 days straight without any sadness!!!!!!! Again, this is of immense importance for any of us with my genetic makeup… and this God of love and mercy, once more allowed my suffering, but when the cross was understood and embraced for the right reasons plus offered up for the good of others as a routine, He opened my eyes and led me to Inositol.
After experiences like this one, it is almost impossible to pretend that He is not alive and always next to us, within us, directing, blessing, guiding and giving us His love. Just imagine if one of my grand kids may have inherited my genes… This science is also crucial to be passed on in a world that knows little about my experience on food induced depression. Yet, more was coming about this subject that He was preparing the soil for. In hindsight, all along He was impressing on my head the need to share this information.
What a day… In this day, Our Lady Who Unties Knots is celebrated in Argentina and Brazil as Nuestra Señora Desatanudos. I have mentioned her before at length, but let me repeat it: she came from Germany to South America in a miraculous way. She is venerated in the Church of St. Peter am Perlach, city of Augsburg, Germany. I suspect she was untying the knots of my memory to remember about Inositol! You can find much about her if you “google” her under this title.
I also had a great time with the Live Mass from Washington, D.C. since she is the U.S. patroness under this title of the Immaculate Conception. I attended the noon Mass in my parish. My very Marian Pastor celebrated the Mass. I did another personal consecration to her while still mesmerized by the blessing received two days prior.
In the afternoon I received 3 verses from the Bible.
Proverbs 21:3 – “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
1Sam 15:22 – “Does the Lord so delight in holocausts and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord? Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission than the fat of rams.”
Hosea 6:6 – “For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than holocausts.
Notice how the Lord kept bringing me to the basics of the things I had learned in the previous three days. He hammered my soul with His Truth in so many ways. And the interesting thing is that with the new Missal, we now say, “It is right and just…” So, from now on, I will remember the three verses, all pointing to the basics of my spiritual growth, which is based on my personal relationship with Him, which in turn is the product of my obedience to His Word!
The 20-20 ABC program (one that I never, ever watch) surfaced with the topic of the destruction in India of female fetuses at all cost, to the point that in some towns there is a shortage of women to be married. Women are prompted to have ultra sound of their pregnant uteruses in order to determine the sex of the baby to abort it. This was another very disturbing case of how we lack that love of which He spoke so much.
I watched the movie of the life of St. Therese again, which has been aired before in EWTN. Her life is simply a dream and she did so much in just 24 years. That evening, I asked my Lord if I truly heard correctly that in my late years I still have to work for Him in the way He has instructed me for so long. I was reasoning that after all, He used St. Therese for only 24 years and made her a saint… and so, He can use so many other young people right now and in no time have many other voices to spread the Gospel, and without even making them great saints like the Little Flower.
I heard, “You are a physician precisely to take care of your own health to stay alive! You know Me precisely to tell others about Me! Put both together and you have the answer! Have I directed you through the years? (Absolutely, I answered). Are you spiritually worse off after so many persecutions for no apparent reason? (No). Are you better, have you grown more? (Yes). Have I ever left you alone? (No). I then shut up… and smiled! There was not a chance that I would gain any ground!
I stayed up to watch the Mañanitas, or the Happy Birthday that the Mexican people sing to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Hispanic television station had different people singing to her Live from Chicago, Los Angeles and Mexico City. Year after year, it is one of the most festive nights for me… I love her soo much and under this title, she is my favorite.
Monday, December 12…THE FEAST DAY OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE…!!!!
I was ready to honor her in every form I could, after the happy birthday salute!
1. 1 AM (12 midnight in Mexico) Live Mass from the Basilica in Tepeyac…
2. 5 AM (my time) – Live Mass from EWTN.
3. 8:30 AM (my time) – Live Mass from the Vatican… Wow!
4. I attended Mass in my own parish. I was there at 11:15 AM. I said the Rosary and once more, I consecrated myself to her. I asked her what she wanted of me if anything.
O.L.: “That the entire world gets to know my Son.”
(But how should I do it?
O.L.: “Just tell them about your life with Him. And also, I want you to do this for me:
1. Write the book with all the medical things you have found out to help people with depression and fluoride related to your loss of memory. Please, give it me to as a gift for 12-12-12!
2. Go ahead and do what He has told you about speaking of God’s mercy and all that you know.
3. Offer your crosses as a sacrifice for the work to be done.
I will take your needs daily to my Son and He will take them to the Father. Expect miracles.”
I promised her that I would do so. After Mass, my pastor reminded us of donated items to give as Christmas gifts and that were sold in the back offices to collect funds to feed the poor, and this was the third time he had mentioned it. I left in a hurry in obedience, and sure enough, I found a gift for my next door neighbor who is an angel to me. I do not exchange gifts of any kind at Christmas, and this has been done for many years, but with her, she always brings me gifts, and I she and husband are truly great neighbors.
I came home only to find out that I had left my consecration prayers in church. I went back immediately… and they were gone. We checked to no avail the sacristy box of “lost and found” items. A friend of mine who was still praying after Mass, helped me to check every pew and area of the church with no results. My own Catholic community had taken my papers… Yes, I keep a copy in a mini file, but it hurts me to have this done in my own parish. The only consolation I received is that may be, may be, the ones who took this personal format of consecration to Our Lady may be moved to do it themselves. Huh! And this because this God of love is always into everything… for the good of our souls!
Well, so far, I had been present (in spirit and personally) to four Masses in her honor…!!! Wow, and she had spoken and asked me for things she wants me to do. BUT THE MEAT OF THIS DAY WAS NOT DONE…
6 PM: I suddenly understood why Our Lady of Guadalupe was able to convert so many Aztec Indians to the Catholic faith… Of course, it became obvious that she asked her Son to do it!!!!! But what kind of heart she had to do so and be successful… I suddenly also saw all the beauty of this Woman and Mother of the human race and the reasons for being our most formidable intercessor:
1. She was taken into heaven and still lives a permanent “yes” to God’s will. She does what is “right and just”…. Wow.
2. She continues to be the epitome of humility.
3. She has total trust in God’s love.
4. She practiced love of neighbor in her own earthly life: ran to help her cousin and pleaded to her Son to make wine for the newlyweds at Cana.
YET, at the very same time, I know that millions come to see her at Tepeyac every December 12 and during the year. Some of the pilgrims walk for days to make it… since they are poor and unable to pay for transportation. Yet, Mexico is a center of extreme violence and has been so in different times in the XX C. I have reviewed that history (Masons) in these blogs and one asks,” But why?”
Latin America at large is very “Catholic” and yet some countries have seen so much turbulence. “But why?” What is wrong with this picture? We Catholics know very well what to do. We read the entire Bible every three years just by attending Mass, the greatest most extraordinary event on earth. We know that Our Lady is a formidable intercessor. We know that Mexico has had extraordinary martyrs/Saints and others in the process of canonization. Again, pilgrims come to see her on a regular basis with great faith…Yet, we as a continent are lacking something…
What will be our excuse when we reach our final destination? What are we missing? I finally understood on this wonderful Feast that we must do what she did… We must undergo a brutal inner conversion, and with the help of the Holy Spirit and her intercession, we can change the entire Americas, including our U.S.A. Yet, there is still one question that I could not answer: “Why is it that we as a Body, attending prayer groups of all sorts, and being part of many ministries in many parishes in countless Dioceses, worldwide, cannot make a difference? Why?
I started to suspect that our present organization for evangelization is very flawed and I have said so before! This time, my conclusions were the same and hopefully coming from the Holy Ghost. And I say it because the present model is not showing much success. O yes, we have grown, especially within the world’s youth, but we can do much more than that, because the violence and evil in the world are screaming to be tackled by us, sons and daughters of God the Father and NOW… The Aztecs offered babies as sacrifice… (Our same problem). So, evil spirits were reining big time on those days prior to 1531. And in soon to be 2012, we even have our own television network to bring the Good News to the entire world… and we still kill babies like nothing. Isn’t this a call to change drastically?
The Lord said that if we need something to ask for it, to knock, etc. And we do pray tons… As a Church in the U.S., we pray… and many Rosaries. But I am suspecting that such prayer is not coming from converted hearts, or from hearts which are pursuing a relationship with Christ as the primary spiritual occupation. I suspect that our prayer is not coming from temples that are built on rock, the rock of obedience to God out of love for Him, and from love of neighbor, as Our Lady showed us. It was until 8 days later that more was learned on this topic, and I am going to mention it now, just to complete the topic of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
On the morning of Dec. 20th, I did not get up on time to hear the EWTN Mass Live from Alabama. At 8:30 AM I sat to say the Rosary with Mother Angelica and Nuns. I begged God to protect us all, still filled with this question as to what to do to change this violent world and to bring souls home. I had to interrupt my Rosary prayers in order to write a note of what I was understanding (afraid that I may forget the entire content). Suddenly, out of the blue, I understood that Our Lady of Guadalupe was sent as a sign to us… I understood that this sign of her coming to earth (at Tepeyac) pregnant with child had been predicted when Ahaz refused to ask for a sign, and a prophet spoke of Emmanuel coming. Of course, I thought, it makes sense… Yet, I would have to find the reference in the Bible. The Mass in EWTN followed at 9 AM and it was exactly the reference I needed from Isaiah 7… “The Lord spoke to Ahaz: ‘Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky’ But Ahaz answered, ‘I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord.’ Then Isaiah said, ‘Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name Him Emmanuel.’ ”
I started crying… As I was saying the Rosary, my Mother was interceding precisely to give to my blog another point of view of this apparition: she came as a sign to evangelize the millions (from books I bought in Mexico at the Tepeyac center, they say: 9 million Aztecs in 10 years), and this insight came precisely on the day of this reading for the Mass! God keeps talking to us and we do not listen. Of course, this was her first apparition on earth… God even left this sign painted on a cloak that had to disappear some years later and it is still here after 5 centuries. She came pregnant with Emmanuel a second time since she was living on earth when the prediction of Isaiah came to be with the Incarnation. But she was sent back in 1531 to Juan Diego, and again as a sign that is still in Tepeyac… Wow. And we had a massive evangelization never seen before. Is this a hint or what? I was so surprised because I could have understood this sign exactly on her feast day, but God wanted it on the day of the reading of Isaiah 7… Hmm.
Back on her feast day, I started to suspect that we active devoted Catholics start with the wrong premise: that we are evangelized… We forget that our conversion is ongoing until we close our eyes for the last time. Many of us have learned a little of the “life in the Spirit”, with our Catholic Charismatic experience, but this conversion is just one of many and we run to sell what we have. Of course, we have to share what we have, but we must be always awaken to the fact that the Holy Spirit has much work to do in us, in order to GROW in our personal relationship with Christ.
It is so simple. The New Evangelization has to start in our hearts, by us actively cooperating in the development of an ongoing Pentecost as she did. After my Baptism in the Holy Spirit, in this personal reawakening of His Presence in my soul, I never was instructed with details of the upkeep of my temple, which in time could be elevated by the same Spirit into the rank of a shrine or even a basilica, rich in spiritual architectural beauty. I never understood well what my duties were for the upkeep of this inner temple, in order to run and tell others. The importance of the cross was totally absent. To offer up my crosses as sacrifice was not mentioned. Our Lady and the Eucharist were vanished in order to promote ecumenical fellowship! And this came from extremely holy men and women, which leads me to suspect that Satan was around tempting the whole movement to stall by not using the powerful means of the Eucharist and of the Rosary, with Our Lady as the SIGN and teacher of how to evangelize the many.
In conclusion, this pair, the Spirit of God and the Yes and humility of Our Lady united to our solid yes to God’s will and love of our brothers and sisters and our crosses, are key to grow in holiness of life in order to evangelize millions as needed. I emphasize this point because it will be the key to my resolutions for 2012. On this feast of Our Lady, I started to yearn to change for the sake of God’s Kingdom but with a new impetus and ardor, or with the spirit of the New Evangelization.
Lo and behold, He started sending me some “clients” starting on this day, but I will mention them all at once:
1. A lady came to noon Mass who is a Catholic Adventist… She sought me to find out when the “service” would start. The word “service” hinted me to the fact that she was not Catholic. As it turned out, she was raised Catholic and has been Protestant for many years. I helped her to use our cards for the answers for the new Missal format. I mentioned that we would have a penance service that night and I invited her and offered my company if she needed me, and she immediately said she would come! She did not show up. But this encounter made me realize that we have 33,000 Protestant denominations. There is also something wrong with this picture. The whole experience sent me to want to change in a hurry in order to become a better instrument. I also saw this event as one where I planted a seed into this baptized Catholic, and she is now in my community Rosary intercessory list.
On this same date, after the evening Penance Service, I came home and complained to my Lord saying, “My blogs are not going to be of great help. What else can I do?” He said, “But your prayers with obedience to writing the blogs will. Your work is one of love and care for others; I will use you as needed…” And so He did as you can read in the next instances.
2. Days later, we invited several hundred people who are very poor, and some of us, offered to be present to mingle with them. Of course, for me, it is like having the best dessert. In the last decade, I have received the grace to truly love the so called “poor”. My Lord says that they are the rich but short of cash in their pockets (because they accept their material poverty like no one else). So, my God paired me with a man, mid fifties, sober for 99 days from the use of drugs and alcohol … and who happened to have Irish and Italian ancestry. He was Catholic for sure, homeless, and he writes songs. He sang one to me, in a very quiet voice. I, of course, shared with him my encounter with the Eucharistic Jesus at age 6.5 He loved the story. He thanked me at the end for the encounter.
He taught me the meaning of the word he had on his tee shirt. SOULS… He said that it means, “Sing Only Unselfish Love Songs.” I immediately understood a deeper meaning to it…which was corroborated some days later with a talk aired in EWTN from Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.. This particular series was titled Bedrock Basics… Nice name! Fr. Dubay defined what love for others is: “Seeking, willing and doing good to another even if you do not seek anything in return.” Then, he added, “I cannot be a genuine love for another unless I do love God first. Quoting 1 Cor 10 4-7, he added that “Love is always patient, kind, not jealous, boastful, conceited or rude. (OR the same that – Souls: sing only unselfish love songs…)
I will add here more of Fr. Dubay’s ideas: “Genuine love never disappears; it is eternal and increases our love for God, besides doing much good for others. You become a joyous person when you live in that selfless way because joy comes from such love.” He cited a few verses of Romans 12, but it led me to review more of this chapter and here it is:
Romans 12: 9-16, 21. “Let love be sincere, hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation…. Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”
As you can see, this homeless man brought me a gift… I would have not paid much attention to the words of Fr. Dubay unless I had been touched by my brother with his idea of SOULS… The new explanation of this word also points to the salvation of souls… In the other hand, the gift from this man came through the grace of obedience to the Word of God that calls me to exercise hospitality… It was a win-win situation… His mercy is at times, too much.
3. In this same day of the encounter with the man in the above story, I found a Mexican lady who promised me that the following day (when we would also have another sharing with the poor), she would bring her kids to meet me. She did, and 5 beautiful kids ages 12-3 came and hugged me… Her entire adult extended family hugged me with so much love! It is amazing how much we receive from others, if we simply get closer to them. They become Christ’s for us…
4. In another instance of this month, a lady from a very Catholic Asian country came to say hello to me before Mass. I was able to instruct her about the Real Presence. She had no idea! She had seen me on Saturday Masses and somehow took a liking for me, and one thing led to the other, and evangelization was done on a very crucial Truth. Of course, this so called liking from a distance and unbeknownst to me, was the work of the Holy Ghost through and through. But again, all of this was happening after the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and all that went on that day. Hmm. These two are always working together…
5. I also encountered a beautiful young person who has been catechized well, and yet, there are possible questions about God’s existence. Once again, I was delighted to share my experience with my Jesus Who became so alive in His Eucharistic Presence when I was 6 years of age… This is irrefutable evidence for anyone who doubts His existence. It gave joy to the person.
6. During this same period, I stopped at a 7Eleven to get some ATM money and bought the news paper. The employee and my Hindu friend Yazh was there, took care of me, and then he said, “God bless you.” He has said that before. This time he continued, “I tell you that because you are a Christian.” I smiled and thanked him. Then he said, “I have Mary in my home.” I inquired and very intrigued if it was the Virgin Mary and why he had her. He said that he found her picture in a trash can and took her home… Hmm. So, I had to tell him about Our Lady of Good Health of Vailankanni, India and he was going to look it up in the Internet…!!! Again, she is always in my evangelization routing… What a Woman…
I had no depression this day!!! Huh! And I found myself with more hints after practicing the love for neighbor. For many years, I have been told that my interest in naturopathic medicine, plus the things I have found out regarding depression (of course, now even Inositol is one more item to add) plus the close relationship of fluoride and memory loss in my life, etc., would be a bridge to this pagan world, in order to talk about God besides. And yes, this Lady clothed with sun had asked to write the book as a gift for her for this famous date of 12-12-12.
On this date, I went to a health food store and after asking a question to one of the employees about something I needed, somehow I started explaining to her how depression can start for some of us with carrageenan. She said that she has a girl friend who is always depressed. I told her how to make a differential diagnosis in her case, by asking her to take Slim Fast, and see if she gets depressed within one hour. This young woman became very excited about this news that might help her friend. I became suspicious that this Woman clothed with sun was trying to impress me one more time with the need to share all this information with the rest of human kind!
This same day in the afternoon, I went to a Lucky supermarket, found a lady whom I had helped before with naturopathic stories, and she led me to one of her clients who was asking about what to use for a colonic cleansing. This man, age 47 and looking like 70 years ago, is a recovering alcoholic. He was much opened to vitamins and nutrition for health reasons, and told me that he gets depressed often, except that he thought it was natural because of the economy!!!… He also lost his brother to suicide!!! There I had another opportunity to help someone else with the same subject of “eating” our own depressions for some of us with the genetic predisposition. He was amazed…I was amazed at the persistence of the Holy Spirit to place me in different places in different moments of a 24 hour period, in order to help my neighbors, but also, to pound in my head that what my Mother had asked to do for 12-12-12, it was truly a mighty need.
I woke up at 2:30 AM and suddenly felt that I have to write this book in haste in order to serve many. Amazing the pounding I have been subjected to… Later, I “googled” – carrageenan and depression – and there is no mention that this seaweed produces it…!!! I remembered that the New Evangelization was referred as the preaching of the Gospel with a new ardor and new methods. I suspect that in my particular case, the new methods could be to speak of medical realities not known yet to the general scientific community, and to introduce God at the same time for having helped me find these realities…!
This day, EWTN presented the life of St. John of the Cross, since his feast day had just passed. It was so important to review one more time that the Church through the centuries, being human, has gone through serious difficulties. It is interesting that Christopher Columbus arrived in America in 1492, and Our Lady is sent as a sign in 1531…St. John of the Cross was sent precisely at this same period, XVI C. to join hands with St. Teresa of Avila in order to REFORM THE CARMELITE ORDER.
A Fr. Maldonado hated St. John. He said that St. John did not fit the rest of the friars. He accused him of self-righteousness and pride; of being rebellious and disobedient, arrogant. He said this, “Fr. John wants to be venerated as a Saint.” St.John, in the other hand, would say,”Hide in the secret place of your soul. Your Beloved is hidden within. Love consists not in having all things, but in having great detachment and carrying the cross.” These two priests and next to each other, were thousands of years apart in their personal experience of God… Therefore, he was incarcerated in a very small humid storage room for 8 months or until he would renounce the reform of the Order. Of course, he was able to escape.
However, Romans 8:28 is again the Truth in this case. Since he was incarcerated for so many months, he was able to write so much to teach us the way of contemplation of a God Who is soo real and soo alive… Had he not been sequestered, he may not have had the time to leave us such a gift, and I am also sure that the cross of this horrible dark rejection enlightened this future Doctor of the Church to write sublime spiritual truths. Said in other words, all our crosses are essential in our ascent to God and in helping others to do the same.
St. John of the Cross died at age 49… but he lives among us with his writings, and in 2006 I summarized them as follows:
I shall go by the way I enjoy not
I shall go by the way I know not
I shall go by the way I possess not
I shall go by the way that I pray much
I shall go by the way that I suffer much
I shall go by the way that I love much
I shall go by the way that I forgive much
I shall go by the way that I forget much (wrongdoings received)
I shall go by the way of the cross…
And speaking about reform and conversion, this could serve as a list to remember in our own daily conversion and reform.
My oldest son arrived from Los Angeles and stayed until late Monday Dec. 26. Once more, when our family members get together, somehow, there is so much peace… It is kind of strange how the Holy Spirit is around…
I had no registered any depression for 3 days…!!!! I wanted to attend the 11 PM Mass, but it would be dark and with my left eye in jeopardy, I sought the Lord to find out if to do it. Around 4 PM, I suddenly received so much joy that I had to go downstairs where my two sons were and show them that God had to exist in order for me to experience this feeling of excessive joy. This served as a sign to attend the evening Mass.
III. My resolutions for 2012:
I have reviewed so many different recent events and many of them have revealed to me the need to do something about it. In the other hand, I can hardly do anything that can evangelize 9 million people in a short time like it happened after 1531. But I can put a plan together that could make me more available to the Holy Spirit in order to be used by God in this effort of saving souls. It is obvious that I cannot drag my feet too much longer. I must run… and let God do the rest.
The revisiting of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe left me with a strong sense that the Virgin Mary acted as a child would. She trusted God’s will for her like a little baby would his/her parents. She had not agendas. She had no ego. She loved God superbly by accepting what she was sent to do. She loved her neighbor as only she could with all her holiness. She accepted that the Holy Spirit would impregnate her as any child would believe a parent.
And since Jesus was clear in this aspect. “Unless you become like a child, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God,” it became obvious to me that I must become a child (not childish) but that I cannot become one just because He said so or because she did so. I need His wisdom to do so and His grace to empower me. Therefore, I must often ask for these two gifts that made possible the Incarnation of the Son of God then, and now; I need Him to be incarnated in my soul in order to take Him to others.
1. Therefore, I will ask day and night to be given the soul and mind of a little child, but I will also ask the Holy Spirit as often as possible and all day long to take over my soul and to impart all the wisdom and other gifts to become a child. So, the prayer that I have mentioned before will be in my lips, and thank God that I know it by heart.
“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 think, say and do that all will be for the glory of God. Amen.”
2. I will ask Our Lady for her intercession by reciting often the Hail Mary during the day, so that I can become like a child, trust like one, love like one, hope like one and believe in God’s love for me as if I were a child.
3. There is another story that already rendered major fruits. In June of 2010, I had started a continuous Novena to the Divine Child Jesus, or el Divino Niño as He is known in Colombia. I have the many novenas in Spanish that have been published in Colombia and which I had secured some years ago via a Hispanic religious bookstore in New York. On September 23 of the same year 2010, my youngest son let us know that he would be moving to Birmingham, Alabama, in order to continue his research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It is obvious that this decision had been made in the previous weeks, time when I was praying to the Child Jesus.
I wrote about the news to some friends on this same feast of St. Padre Pio, and by God’s mercy, I made a copy of the email and kept it with me all this time. I never make copies of the emails I send…! In it, I wrote how I had been doing this novena to Baby Jesus at 3 PM, the hour of mercy! I mentioned how my son had sent word of his decision and how… and here I will quote from this email – “Now, Baby Jesus is moving him to no less and no more than Birmingham, AL, just one hour from Hanceville, where He has His own Temple, also known as the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament… AMAZING GRACE, HOW SWEET THE SOUND. Just think what God can do and what our prayer can do…. Will you please pray for this my son that Satan stays out of the way and that he finds the right persons and housing in his way. He is not married and who knows if he is moving to find a good religious Catholic wife.. .”
And sure enough, he found the wife… Hmm… Therefore, for my particular life, for the efforts of evangelization, I am going to place this devotion to the Divine Child Jesus in the center of my spirituality… Besides, St. Teresa of Avila, St.Therese, St. Anthony of Padua, they also placed the devotion to His Infancy in the center of their apostolate. I will be praying daily to Him as a little Child and asking for His protection so that I can also become a child in the ways I approach Him.
4. I will also be very diligent to say “yes” to everything He allows in my life, but a yes that trusts like a baby.
5. I will do my best to love my neighbor in the way that St. John of the Cross carried his inner life despite persecution by his own friars. But again, calling the Holy Spirit and securing the intercession of Our Lady for all of this. In these conditions, I believe that I can become a much better evangelizer.
Thank you so much for all the prayers you may have said for me, and which led me to revamp my knowledge of the action of Inositol to help with depressions. I have been delayed with this blog because my left eye is not doing well when I use the computer for long periods of time. If you find too many errors in this writing, please understand that I do not even want to edit it too much, until my eye rests for a while. I wonder if my blogging may have to come to an end due to this malady. God shall decide it…
May you have a wonderful and very blessed New Year 2012.