Introduction: this will be one of the most difficult blogs I ever wrote… I tremble since it is possible that I may offend some of you… It will be posted much before the last weekend of the month because I was led to do it just before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
The present times in our U.S. are unique. We have lived with the law that kills babies since 1973… Now, we have another upcoming law that is much related to Roe v. Wade. It has to do with the destruction of babies, or how to prevent them. Besides of being so close in its content, what frightens all of us is that this new law will take away our freedom of conscience in religious matters… Yet, for me, personally and as a Roman Catholic, what truly frightens me is something else: where am I in this repetition of events, almost 40 years apart? We were sleeping when the first one came up, and 4 decades later, we seem to be still taking a nap in our spiritual lives…and later I will explain more as to why I think so.
The next topic that frightened me is the fact that in these last 40 years we have been exposed to wonderful spiritual programs, books, great preachers, retreats, television and Internet viewing, and we have this Goliath coming to us for the second time… My thoughts were mixed: I have known Jesus in His Eucharistic presence for several decades and have prayed so much through so many years, and yet, I am in the midst of recognizing that I still do not understand what is happening… Why are we facing another chapter of the same immorality and so far, our religious programs and prayers of the last four decades have not truly PREVENTED this upcoming law? This is my personal opinion that comes to me as an answer: many of us speak of a personal relationship with Jesus, but what does it mean in practical terms? It was then that the Holy Spirit started to shower me with understanding of what is wrong, and I then realized that God was calling me to change my life… Of course, in recent months, He has been guiding me to a new conversion for the sake of becoming a better evangelizer, but it became obvious that I need training, much training to remedy and understand that my faith has many holes…
This was the dilemma that I was living and on February 2, other matters came to be, matters that started to open my eyes big time…
Every February 2 is a very beautiful day for us Hispanics because we have a tradition to celebrate the feast of the Candelaria, or Our Lady of the Candles but in a special way and we gather to say the Rosary in honor of the God child (El Rosario del Niño Dios), in front of the crèche and then, the following day, we dismantle the crèche scene which had been put together before Christmas. Some families invite other families and after the Rosary, they have coffee and delicious sweets. So, February 2 is usually a day where I reminisce my childhood, but on this date in 2012, unfortunately or may be fortunately, I was suffering from oppression. I am totally sure that a couple days a month I suffer from this malady and that has to do with the evil one… It is usually not related to anything I ate or a true depression.
At these dark times, I want to quit everything regarding a public message like this one. Worse, all what I have suffered due to violent acts of persecution coming from nowhere, all of them come to my conscious mind and get me down even more. Suddenly, it lifts up if I keep saying to my God: “This moment is perfect and necessary. I say yes to this moment.” So, we are talking about a spiritual fight with the forces of darkness. Well, on this day, after Mass and praying the Rosary, I was led to the famous Biblical verses of St. Paul, and I almost quit writing anything else in this blog site… Here is what he wrote,
1Cor 14: 33-34. – “Women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law say. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husband at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church.”
Yet, God is always with me as He promised, and in my room, I have two prayer corners with pictures of my closest saints in heaven… This took me to think of all the Teresa’s (of Avila, of Lissieux, of the Andes, Benedicta of the Cross, of Calcutta), Catherine of Siena and Elizabeth of the Trinity, etc. Suddenly, I thought of St. Paul… What about if we adjudicate this passage to him and it was not so? Of course, even if he did, he only meant for women not to talk in the church and I presume he meant from the ambo. It probably was also a Jewish custom. I personally agree with it… We women have many other ways and more powerful ones to talk in the church: by our demeanor, our holiness, our love… Huh! In fact, our witness could have more power than any single word we may say… or write…
Even more, Our Lady represents us all… She was always behind the scenes but making much noise with her example and her few words in Scripture. This was a war that God had just won in my heart… Later on, I heard through ETWN how Blessed John Paul II referred to this same passage and brought up the equal dignity of man and woman. But by then, the Lord had already won this battle in my heart. It did not matter any longer. It did not bother me.
So, here I just narrated to you what it will become the core of this blog: God is with us all… on a personal basis… and He wins our battles always… and not just sometimes… God had allowed my oppression on this day when we were celebrating that He had been presented in the Temple at age 40 days, as the most beautiful, innocent, trustful infant…He came exactly at the time when Simeon had been summoned by the Spirit to be there to meet Him… Wow… Anna lived there but she also wanted to meet Him… In all of this, God was reigning and facilitated these meetings. The same with me… God knew of my memories of persecutions in the past which always bring a very sour taste… and there we have St. Paul who does not seem to be too gracious to us women. By the way, if a man is reading this blog, please understand that that to no fault of yours, you could not understand how it feels as a woman to be spoken about in those terms. Yet, GOD CAME IN AND WON THIS BATTLE FOR ME…
List of contents: the main topics to be discussed will be gathered in three sections:
A. I will describe our present Goliath…B. I will present the evidence of how God has won our wars in Scripture and I will share my personal battles won by Him. C. Concluding remarks.
A. Goliath – what is he all about in 2012
I am not thrilled to waste time and repeat stories that you already know… However, it became obvious that we have to review the pros and cons of all topics in order for the conclusions to be based on evidence, on real things… Sorry if it may bore you…
I. Our irrational thinking that airs constantly in our TV’s and Internet:
1. In a famous daily morning show with several women as hosts, this is what was said on February 8.
The hosts were discussing a Texas law that requires women to have a sonogram before having an abortion. The law mandates doctors to show women sonogram images, play fetal heartbeats and describe features of fetuses. Host JB called it "totalitarian," but host EH compared it to knowing the facts about a procedure before getting a cyst removed or having kidney surgery. An emotional host SS choked up while sharing her experience with abortion in an extremely intense debate. Host BW disagreed. She called the move to get an abortion "a tremendous decision" that can cause "fear and guilt." It would be "heartbreaking," she said, for women to be forced to get a sonogram in those circumstances.
Host WG took issue with her argument, pointing out that some women do not want kids, while others simply cannot afford to have children. She said that women who keep their babies do not get any financial help. WG’s point resonated deeply with SS. She heatedly said that the same people who oppose birth control and abortion often oppose food stamps, welfare and a safety net that would help women who cannot afford to have children. "We stop at the picket signs and we don’t help you past that!" she said, choking up. "I’m speaking as a girl who had a lot of abortions and I swear to God, if they had shown me a picture of the fetus… I would have put my child in a lot of situations that wouldn’t have been good because I didn’t have the mental capacity to deal with having a child."
I could spend hours picking apart these arguments… Yet, there is one core issue: it is all about me, my needs, my comfort, and nothing to do with respecting the life of a baby…It never addressed the responsibility of not getting pregnant to begin with, not with contraceptives but practicing chastity before marriage plus natural family planning after marriage… This is called confusion… Our enemy loves to do many things, but the main five are: he divides, accuses, lies, confuses and gives fear… It was obvious that their brains have been wired up to think under the banner of strange Gods, especially self-idolatry, and not with the Truth of the Bible, and this lady SS is “very religious,” or so she professes to be…
Notice here that we as Catholics and many other Christians as well, have been very active in marching every year to show our opposition to Roe v. Wade. Here comes a little warning: if I am a CEO of any organization, do I check the results of my plans for the company through the years? Of course, we have to. I did it when I was the director of a Surgery Center… So, since we have saved many lives but actually have placed a CEO and President for the Federal Government who believes in killing babies, what is wrong with this picture? Well, we have been marching and keep making NOISE, yet something is lacking, something that we have not done right… Just keep this in mind for later…
2. Tuesday, February 7
Report from the media: “Students at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania can get the "morning-after" pill by sliding $25 into a vending machine, an idea that has drawn the attention of federal regulators and raised questions about how accessible emergency contraception should be. The student health center at Shippensburg, a secluded public institution of 8,300 students tucked between mountain ridges in the Cumberland Valley, provides the Plan B One Step emergency contraceptive in the vending machine along with condoms, decongestants and pregnancy tests.
"I think it’s great that the school is giving us this option," junior Chelsea W. said Tuesday. "I’ve heard some kids say they’d be too embarrassed" to go into town – Shippensburg, permanent population about 6,000 – and buy Plan B.
Taking Plan B within 72 hours of rape, condom failure or just forgetting regular contraception can cut the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent. It works best if taken within 24 hours. Some religious conservatives consider the emergency contraceptive tantamount to an abortion drug.
"It’s a way for students to get the help or care they need," X said, adding that students appreciate the on-campus health care because the school, about 130 miles from either Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, is so isolated. (End of report)
(I must add that these pills are abortifacients by themselves and we do not consider it as such… It is the truth… )
3. Feb. 8 – Air Force Removes ‘God’ From Logo
Dozens of members of Congress are upset that the Air Force has removed the Latin word for "God" from the logo of an Air Force acquisitions office. The logo was recently removed, according to Forbes, after objections by the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. Jason Torpy, president of the association, said the word "God" had no place in the logo because not all members of the military are religious. "We just hope (the Air Force) can provide more equal opportunities for atheists and humanists in the military." “The action taken by the RCO suggests that all references to God, regardless of their context, must be removed from the military," the congressional letter states
4. The Susan Komen group in the name of curing breast cancer, have given money to Planned Parenthood to help them out to screen for this cancer… Yet, abortions on demand are not good for preventing cancer of the breast. For me this is sooo irrational. I know of people who have been cured of metastatic cancer… of the breast… A doctor right here in San Francisco General Hospital, cured herself of cancer in the 1970’s using detoxification with natural products. And she is not the only one. Well, I am going to share some information on natural ways to cure cancer, which I wrote in 2001 and edited in 2003. It will be placed in the section of “pages” under the title of “Cancer Matters.” For some reason, and I suspect that it is part of our blindness, we keep talking about finding cures for cancer, when many have already being found for half of a century. So, if you ever get cancer, keep this document I wrote in mind. Nowadays, 2012, we have many MD’s accepting these natural ways of treatment… Thank God! They do not use them on a regular basis, but they are not adamantly opposing them.
II. Religious liberty
Jan 26, 2012
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies. Of course, this has changed since then, but still it forces insurance companies to foot the cost? And groups who are self insured like EWTN will have to obey? Or, pay a yearly $600,000 fine if they do not?
Our California Barbara Boxer said that women have the right to contraceptives… Yet, many of us are denied our freedom of conscience… So, this right is not important but contraception is… Imagine if we compromise in this issue of religious liberty… What would be next? And this subject probably hides another agenda: a call to worship the State, the Government as supreme… Have we already forgotten Nazi Germany and communist Russia? Ouch! Are we forgetting that our right to freedom of conscience does not come from the State…?
III. Human life has lost value– we kill as needed and we use humans as needed…
1. Egypt and now Syria are killing each other as if these countries were not educated people. Iran is playing with threats of nuclear war against many of us…
2. The right to die has been nicely practiced in our world. I have narrated my encounter with euthanasia when I was practicing medicine. The major problem of this movement is that if the patient made his/her own decision, one could say it is their choice… But many times it is the family that makes the decision, unbeknownst to the patient, and they do it under the label of “comfort care”, or the use of enough narcotics to have the patients stop breathing, and this supposedly to treat their pain, even if it does not exist, and I lived this scenario…
Hospice care started in the 1960’s in England and later the idea of “death with dignity” became fashionable. In 1973, the Dutch considered assisted suicide or killing of the elder and sick to be mercy! (Ouch) In 1990, euthanasia was widely spread. In 2002, Belgium adopted the ideas from Holland… In 1997, a shadowy practice appeared that of euthanasia for cases of dementia…!!! Other cases that have been considered are those of chronically depressed people with no change with treatment.
3. The selling of young girls for prostitution purposes is rampant…
IV. Sin has lost its name. Lying is an accepted practice. We know that every commercial has some element that is not true… Politicians are well known for such practice as well.
V. Our brains have been wired to need CONSTANT entertainment, fun, and we seek it as a right…
VI. Success has been re-defined: it is all that allows our ego to do what it pleases. Of course, power, possessions and prestige are enablers of this success, and for this reason sought after as “gods”.
VII. Justice is a misnomer. The definition of marriage between a man and a woman is slowly being redefined. Here in California, the “people” made it stick to the original definition coming from Jesus lips; but a Judge struck it as unconstitutional, despite the fact that he who is gay (as reported by local media), did not excuse himself from rendering this decision.
VIII. The family has been denigrated as something one may choose or not. Or said in other words, MARRIAGE ITSELF between a man and a woman is considered something to do some times, after we test our living together and see if it works. In other occasions, it is considered a waste of time and living together is elevated to a great pedestal…Raising children then becomes a secondary aim…
B. God wins all our battles if we let Him!
I. A few examples from Scripture
1. Around 1850 BC Abraham sets out from Ur. He finally arrives at Caanan and acquires land. But… he encountered there a great famine and so he went to Egypt. Later he returns in stages to Bethel where he separates from his nephew Lot. He ends up in Manre. Abraham accepts to offer Isaac as a sacrifice on Mt. Moriah. Then Abraham returns to Hebron where he and Sara died. Notice how our father in faith submitted Himself to long trips and fought some wars along the way, and even agreed to offer his son as sacrifice. HE TRUSTED GOD with his eyes closed… He left an extraordinary example for us to understand that with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE… and how God won Abraham’s battles so that he would never stray away from total abandonment to His providence.
2. About the year 1230 BC the Jewish people fled their slavery in Egypt under the guidance of Moses and even Hollywood has brought it to the big screen. This is another historical event of how God won a huge battle for them. Yet, notice how many of us who profess to be very spiritual and dedicated to God, keep ignoring this majestic powerful deed of God… But why do we not live victorious already for what God can do based on what He has done for others? Why?
3. 1000 BC. The story of King David, his power over Goliath, and the many wars that God won for him keep illuminating our minds with what God can do, and from his lineage, the Messiah King would arrive…
4. God kept sending many prophets to direct and inspire His people. Some of them are: Isaiah received his call in 742 BC. Jeremiah is called while very young around 628 BC and died at age 41. Ezekiel received his call to become a prophet outside of the Holy Land (Babylon) in 597 BC. The Jewish people kept ignoring these prophets and their own history of battles won by God and sinned much; so, they were exiled to Babylon. In all of this, notice that history repeats itself up to 2012.
5. The Book of Judith. (About 485 – 464 BC)
Quote from the Catholic New American Bible: “The book of Judith is a vivid story relating how, in a grave crisis, God delivered the Jewish people through the instrumentality of a woman. The author who wrote the story sought to strengthen the faith of his people in God’s abiding presence among them. The Book of Judith is a tract for difficult times; the reader, it was hoped, would take to hear the lesson that God was still the Master of history, who could save Israel from her enemies. Note the parallel with the time of Exodus: as God delivered His people by the hand of Moses, so He could deliver them by the hand of a pious widow Judith.”
My take: Hello! Isn’t’ this our present moment in the world and most especially in the United States? I wish I could enter into the details of each period and the story of Judith in particular because it is amazing to see Judith presenting herself to the King without permission and possibly being executed for doing so (she was one of the wives who could only see him every 30 days). Yet, God changed the King’s heart after his fury… Chapter D verse 8, “But God changed the King’s anger into gentleness…” This is a beautiful example of how God wins our battles…
6. Jesus’ many miracles – They all exhibited the faith of the recipient or those around it. In one occasion in His native town He could not work any miracles because of their lack of faith that He could do them, despite of them knowing all the miracles He had performed throughout the region. Keep this in mind! Goliath can be done with if we have faith… So, it is obvious that we have to examine our own faith. Is it faith or just lip service and are we lacking works? And the next question would be: what works are we lacking?
The Gospel for February 6 has one of many examples:
Mark 6: 53-56 – As many as were able to touch his tassel were healed, and He always spoke of their great faith.
7. Sent prophets for our times…
1) In 1531 He sent His own Mother to the America’s… and it is now obvious to me that He was hinting to us how she was our model of faith… So, 9 million Indians were evangelized in about 10 years… But, He continued sending her… In 1858, she came to Lourdes to be a sign of hope for the sick. In 1917 she was sent to Fatima to warn us about the upcoming atheism to arise. She continues to come and be a “light” to remind us of the kind of faith we must have…
2) But God also sent a prophet from Ireland, Servant of God, Fr. Patrick Joseph Peyton, CSC. He was sent to sow the seed of hope for families and to give them a way to stay together, and this much ahead of the present state of dissolution of the family. However, here are some stories about Fr. Peyton’s faith, which had much to do with this movement still alive in 2012 called “Family Rosary Crusade”… This was happening as God was being called dead behind the Iron Curtain.
He was the sixth of nine children in a poor family but very rich spiritually, he said. Born on January 9, 1909 in Attymass, County Mayo, Ireland, and died June 3, 1992 in Los Angeles, CA. His remains were brought to the Holy Cross cemetery on the grounds of Stonehill College in Easton,Mass. At age 19 he fell in love with God and wanted to become a priest. His parish priest and protector did his best but because he did not seem to be a great prospect, he did not get a scholarship to get in the seminary… This was a harsh defeat for him and said no to the ministerial Priesthood but God kept after him. Well, he ended up in the United States because in 1927, his sisters who had migrated to America sent word that Patrick and his older brother Thomas could sail to the United States and join them in Scranton, PA.
On May 3, 1928, the Peyton brothers set sail and lived at the home of their already married sister, Nellie who was working as a housekeeper for the state Attorney General of that time. Patrick’s sister Nellie already spoke to Monsignor Paul Kelley of the St. Stanislaus Cathedral and told of Patrick’s inclination to pursue a priestly vocation. Monsignor Kelley told Nellie to bring her younger brother Patrick to the cathedral as soon as he arrived. By June 1928, with hard luck in finding a job, Patrick finally met Monsignor Kelley and was offered with a job of becoming the cathedral’s sexton. In the words of Patrick at that time, a sexton was just another name for a janitor.
Peyton took the job with initial hesitation but his daily presence at the cathedral brought back the calling for a vocation and he finally decided to pursue his vocation in the priesthood. Monsignor Kelley insisted that Patrick should complete his high school education prior admission to the novitiate. He and his older brother Thomas both pursued their religious vocations while working at the cathedral. During the spring of 1929, Father Pat Dolan of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, came to the cathedral in Scranton in search of new seminarians. Patrick and his brother Thomas formally entered the main seminary of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Notre Dame, IN in 1932.
After completing their high school studies in a Holy Cross school in Notre Dame, Patrick was admitted to the Moreau Seminary within the University of Notre Dame in 1932. On October 1938, Patrick’s health took a turn from good to bad when he started coughing blood. For months he ignored it until he could no longer concentrate with his work and on the night of February 6, he was brought to nearby Providence Hospital. Doctors discovered advance stages of tuberculosis on the upper lobe of Patrick’s right lung. At the start, Patrick was despondent and feared that was the end of his young life. His sister Nellie traveled to Notre Dame from Scranton and brought him novenas of the Blessed Mother. Nellie reminded Patrick of the never ending love of the Blessed Mother and how their family lived the life of prayer, especially the Holy Rosary. Father Cornelius Haggerty was also influential in this stage of Patrick’s life, encouraging the young seminarian to give it all up to God and seek the hand of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The doctors discovered that the patches in his lungs disappeared. He immediately packed his bags and left for the Holy Cross College in Washington, D.C. to complete his theology studies and take his final vows. On May 1941, a special dispensation from the Vatican allowed Patrick to be ordained as a priest but he had to complete his studies after being subjected to severe illness. On June 15, Patrick and his brother Thomas were finally ordained at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in the University of Notre Dame as members of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
With a war raging in Europe and another starting to boil in the Pacific, Reverend Father Patrick Peyton, CSC was given very light duties after completing his theology studies. His first assignment was to become the chaplain of the Holy Cross Brothers of the Vincentian Institute in Albany, NY. From Albany, Father Peyton’s mission started as letter of appeals to Bishops, the Catholic lay, even to non-Christians arguing and appealing the importance of the families praying the Family Rosary as the war raged on. Father Peyton won points for his mission to bring families together later on especially after the end of the war.
Utilizing radio, films, outdoor advertising and later television, with the help of celebrities, artists and advertising practitioners, Father Peyton was one of the first pioneers of evangelism using mass media. He would also pioneer in conducting public rallies to bring families to pledge to pray the Rosary as a unit. These series of Rosary rallies attended by millions would become the most significant event where Father Peyton could be best remembered. According to historian Hugh Wilford, "Peyton himself was deeply conscious of the political dimension of his mission, proudly proclaiming in a 1946 radio broadcast, ‘The rosary is the offensive weapon that will destroy Communism—the great evil that seeks to destroy the faith’"
God even sent him to California and no less and no more than to Hollywood and Fr. Pat won that battle. His faith allowed God to open the hearts of the “stars” from this famous place. He also went to the five continents and crowds gathered around.
Some of his words: “I obeyed God like a monkey.” “Our prayer is God’s weakness and our strength.” The very well slogan: “The family who prays together stays together.” “A world at prayer is a world at peace.”
He was asked in his later years and in Ireland praying at Knock (place of another apparition of Our Lady), what does Our Lady represent to you. He said, referring to the Salve Regina, “She is my life, my sweetness and my hope. After Jesus, she is all to me.” (Wow)….
Please read Fr. Peyton’s story many times… This is one of the best descriptions of how God wins our battles… Notice how he was transferred from Europe to America, by sending his two sisters to the U.S. much earlier. Notice how these sisters invited their two brothers to come!!! Notice also how even impendent death had no way to come early to his life. Also see how our Mother was behind the scenes interceding for Fr. Peyton… Are we going to do His will to the last point or not? God does not need our sapience and abilities. He only needs our faith… and we cannot walk out of possible jobs that will bring many souls to Him. Also notice the link between his work and Our Lady. And yes, I said 27 Rosaries in front of the throne of mercy in November 2004. Do we have here a hint to fight this Goliath…? But remember, Fr. Peyton had tons of faith… So, our faith and total trust (faith without fear) on God’s love for us, and by the hand of our Mother using the Rosary, TOGETHER, and not praying just in case, God can win our personal battles for a radical conversion and renewal of our faith, and for all laws to be repealed… But if we only understand that He can do it…!!!
II. Examples from my life
1. His day-to-day winning of my battles in the last four weeks
Thursday, Jan 26.
10:05 AM: I had not more pills to treat my blood pressure. They were in route from Costa Rica. And remember that I still have no permission to seek a local physician… But again, I have to be abandoned to His Providence…All of this because my ability to order my own treatment was terminated by a woman in my last parish who sent a letter to a State Board of Medicine telling them of how dangerous I was, even trying to kill her. (I have mentioned this story before, but it is important to bring it up simply because I need to show how He wins my battles.)
I then had to use several natural products, electro-acupuncture and hypnotherapy to relax my arteries, and this knowledge He led me to through the years. In other words, this battle had already being planned for me and in advance it had been won. On this morning, I heard this,
“No matter how much you “look down” with these troubles, no matter, “look up!” (“But how,” I asked) By knowing that God is in charge of this battle and will win not only the battle but the entire war (with Satan). You are to trust in His mercy and love, which will keep you walking on water and help others do the same. Any fear about what you are going through is looking down.
That afternoon (3 PM my time), the mail came with the medications I needed and ahead of what it normally takes… God just used this day to emphasize Who was in charge and to show me how He won this battle…
That same afternoon, someone in the Hispanic channel said something so profound, “Rencor: es el veneno que tú te tomas esperando que el otro se muera.” “Rancor: it is the venom you take expecting the other to die.” I stopped and realized that He also had won my battle of not resenting this woman who caused these problems of obtaining these medicines.
Friday, January 27.
I was still digging and trying to understand what is a personal relationship with Jesus. I heard this, “This personal relationship depends on your abandonment to His providence.” And here is what I received and it came as I said the Rosary/Chaplet of Mercy, and had to interrupt it to jot down ideas as they were understood! (By the way, at this time I had not reviewed by pure chance Fr. Peyton’s life, which occurred exactly on the day of the posting of this blog!)
Abandonment to Divine Providence
It is the child of perfect trust in God’s love for us, which must be blind (like that of a child). So, what is this trust? It means:
1.To never know where we are going next, but to be totally sure that God is directing us to our final destination in our Father’s Mansion, and this attitude must be kept moment to moment. In other words, to let God be God over my body, mind and soul.
2.To even never wanting to know what comes next… by rejecting all inner dialogues regarding pros and cons.
3. To be ready to lose everything:
a) Comforts of life
b) Secure situations leading to a predictable retirement life with all we need and want.
c) A good name attached to our success according to the world’s standards
d) A good name attached to our spiritual life that remains without major sins.
e) To lose our own will all day long by ignoring it over and over
4. To be certain that when we must make a decision, tiny for everyday life, or a huge one that means life changing, if we ask the Holy Spirit to make it for us and to help us to execute it, He will do so via
a) An internal conviction which is full of joy and peace (thus eliminating Satan’s influence and we know by the joy and peace that this spirit would not produce).
b) With a clear summons full of courage and determination
c) And with obvious other sign(s) that refute our flesh and the world’s reasoning, besides the joy, peace and courage with determination; and such sign(s) will be irrefutable for our understanding and guidance.
5. To understand that most of the time we may not find witnesses with such radical lives of trust, even in our own shepherds, and yet, never becoming discouraged about it and trusting blindly that the victory is the Lord’s, without pros or cons, why or why not’s. To trust without any doubt that His winning of our battles is completely independent of our flesh and other worldly influence, as long as we believe that it is so and cooperate with His work.
6.To trust is never trying to win our battles with our intellect and human abilities even in union with His blessings and graces. Instead, to trust means that His guidance will organize the winning of our battles, even our part in it, and our only work is to constantly be abandoned to His Providence by our absolute trust in His mercy.
7. To trust means that such life style demands
a) To be present to God within, Who’s Holy Spirit will be the guiding Light.
Luke 12: 11-12. When they take you before synagogues, and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be, or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at the moment what you should say.
b) It demands a robust prayer life, a repentant heart that receives the Sacraments to keep it clean and sanctified.
c) Asking for the intercession of Our Lady and trusting that she is a powerful Mother.
d) Plus the most important of all which helps to attain the previous demands: it is to be obedient to His Word and to say yes to all things He will us for us, most especially our crosses, but from a heart that wants to serve Him and neighbor at all times of the day and night, “willing” it not as a routine, but for God’s glory and love for Him and all others.
8. To trust from a brain that realizes that human intelligence is very limited, and that only God has the wisdom to take us to the places necessary to serve Him and others, but done in power, with victory in Jesus Christ through our absolute abandonment to His plans.
9. To trust that the fruits of living this way are 100% predictable, because such trust draws His mercy in ways that guarantee our “abandonment to His Providence”, and in turn, this abandonment protects us from our flesh, the world and the evil one. In other terms, the victory is complete in Him, through Him, by Him Who came, paid our ransom and left, in order to send His Spirit precisely for us to be trained in this ascent to His Heart for eternal life.
Mark 4: 26-34. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat so that it was already filling-up. Jesus was sound asleep. “They woke Him up and complained why He did not care for them. He quieted the wind and said, ‘Why are you terrified” do you not yet have faith?’” This was another reminder of what even the disciples were exhibiting: lack of trut in His providence!
Monday, January 30. I did not feel well. Blood pressure was high despite treatment. I heard this inner question, “Who’s the victory?” I answered with complete sureness , “Mine in Jesus Christ.” Later I heard in a religious TV program regarding how prayer is a relationship with Christ, and for me this is a partial truth. If prayer is done at a certain time of the day, this is good but not the exact answer as to how prayer can help establish and continue this relationship with Him. For example: do we consider the relationship with our parents, spouse, children or friends to mean that we talk to them once per day and that is it? Of course not… A time of prayer is a gesture of faith but without works…
Prayer is communicating with God to thank, worship and adore Him and to ask for what we need especially to convert from day to day, and it is time to listen to what He wants us to know. But the real relational prayer goes on all day, as we walk and work and write and do it knowing that we are present to Him. It is the prayer of Presence to the Holy Trinity within. It is an ongoing communication but at the same time, this relationship needs works… and this refers to our obeying His will and renouncing to know anything… It is trust in His love and mercy as indicated above. So, relationships are 24/7 and week after week in duration. A relationship is a dynamic process by its own nature.
In my Holy Hour before noon Mass, He taught me more on other aspects of this relationship with Him… I understood that in any relationship you must know the one you are relating to! You cannot relate to another whom you never met. But this meeting is not just once and that is it. No, it is a friendship that allows to develop trust in one another, which in turn leads to love the other more and more, whether as a friend or as a partner or future spouse. So, for this friendship to grow, we must be in God’s
Even more, I can read the Bible just as an exercise, something very good, and yet, do it not expecting to know Him better for our personal relationship to grow. The Word per se is powerful, a double edge sword, but the soil where this Word is seeded needs to take what It says with a purpose: to relate to Him, the Word of God Himself. Even more, I can know the Bible backwards and forwards, and yet not allow it to cut my heart like a sword because there is no purity of intention on my part. If I do it just to know the Bible, the Word of God as a word and not as a Person, I am doomed…
I was also instructed that whenever I remember something sad in my life or in the life the Church, I must think of something good, compare them and realize that the crosses of life have contributed to all blessings and graces already received… Little did I know that with this explanation He was winning a future battle for me…
Tuesday January 31.
I found myself watching a 7 AM program from 1987 with M. Angelica, Tony Melendez, the Mexico-American guitarist whose mother took thalidomide and he was born without arms… He was accompanied by a priest from Riverside, CA. The latter was involved in a major scandal discovered in the last two years, when I was already here. At the time, no one knew about it (and it had nothing to do with abusing children.) The program made my gut turn inside out, and yet, I remembered that it was not my business to condemn my brother since I am not sinless, and therefore, I cannot throw the first stone. Not only that, I also started to think of the good this priest did by encouraging Tony Melendez to even meet John Paul II when he visited the U.S. Even more, I realized that I have had two arms all my life, and therefore, in thanksgiving for such treasure, I had to turn around and pray for this priest with love…
All day it was a feast of knowing more and more about this relationship with God. Actually, the following reflections were winning my battles against any scandal in the Church. I wrote in my journal this:
“Abandonment to Divine Providence is the fuel, the gasoline that keeps our personal relationship with God alive, constant, fortified, and where prayer with communication with Him is not a chore but a delight. Prayer is to live abandoned to God’s will so much so, that the Holy Spirit is the one praying in us and for us! It is a surreal experience to find oneself in the Presence of God conversing with Him, asking for direction, repenting for one’s own sins, looking up when we have looked down, and doing it because we know that otherwise we drown in confusion and fear. The package comes complete: when confronted with major religious scandals, we easily go back to prayer for those in the scandal and repenting for the times we have repudiated them. It is like been born again in the Spirit.
“And been born in the Spirit is to love, to trust the Beloved and say yes to all things, circumstances, sufferings with the certitude that I am truly living, “Jesus I trust in You” statement. His mercy is the one, confronted with my absolute trust in His goodness and love for me, that will make me an instrument of His peace and love for others, a witness that needs not to speak from the ambo ever… And out of this personal relationship with Him based on my trust (given by grace but activated by my seeking to do whatever He tells me), I will even win battles for others. But first, I must “will” it for myself, cooperate with His grace, KNOWING FULL WELL THAT I AM A CONDUIT TO EVANGELIZE MANY SOULS… and no one can stop me… I am the dough; He then can change me to be all things to all people… So, ongoing prayer and trust can win all the battles of the world… all and not just a few.” (More on that later.)
I also understood that both Priesthoods, ministerial and common, tend to live with the idea that they gave it all to God in whatever vocation… and that we are just here to keep up the flame of our giving ourselves to Him done years before. This is exactly what Satan wants us to believe… Another times, He wants us to change the routing, and we should be as just confident that He knows what He is doing; that He will not allow us to make mistakes; that He will win every single battle that comes our way… We only have to trust in His mercy and abandon ourselves to His providence. And yes, we have to shut up our minds with its wonders and fears…THIS IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST… And a relationship by its own nature is a dynamic process.
The sad part of all is that the ministerial Priesthood has been the target of Mr. Satan, and we lay people know it, and yet, we keep complaining about the scandals… Ouch! The truth is that we laity could have changed the entire world and be the bastion of our Priests … We are a huge number compared with the Priests’ population. Yet, we do not have a personal relationship with Christ at all. If we did, and He is the Highest Priest and head of these men, we would have become lights for them… And those priests in need would be converted ASAP to live this personal relationship or to be totally abandoned to God’s providence day and night… And then, we together could go and change the entire world … And by the way, we do not need many lay people to do it… We need a good number but all head over heels with this God Jesus… and following in His footsteps. Of course, He abandoned Himself to His Father 100%… There is little to wonder about what we should be doing…
I arrived at 11 AM for the noon Mass. And there He was waiting for me. This day of the feast of a saint from my childhood, Don Bosco as we call him in Spanish, who when I was a child had a great army of Salesians (men and women) in Costa Rica, this Jesus was pounding me with many ideas.
Jesus: “You know the gifts you have. You know how I have directed you all your life. (I said yes to both). Is there any other assurance your need? (No). Who is in charge? (You are). So, it does not matter what will be. What truly matters is that you keep your eyes on Me, and I will then do the rest, even making you walk on water! Whatever will happen next is irrelevant! (Regarding my eye, my POTS with difficulty in regulating my blood pressure, my present and future telling the world about God’s work in my life, etc). It is irrelevant because I will win all your battles… I only want you to trust that all your things are in My hands, and trust blindly that it is so.” I was left dumbfounded…
Wednesday, February 1.
In the morning after praying the Rosary/Chaplet of Mercy, I was led to a page in the Bible:
2Samuel 24: 2- 9, 17. Paraphrasing: King David had the audacity to number the men registered for military service. It was obvious that God disliked any type of doubt that led David to assess the power available to fight the enemy. Again, God is the General in charge of the battle. David had faith in God… but not trust in Him (fear was present), and because he did not, Israel had to be punished with pestilence. (As it turned out, this was the first reading for the Mass of this day…)
The next Scripture was Mark 6: 1-6. The lack of faith in His native place impeded Jesus to work miracles.
Both passages fit beautifully: God wants a radical faith, one that lacks fear in order for Him to win our battles, and if not present, He cannot work any miracles!
Friday, Feb. 3.
I went to early Mass, came home and while saying the Rosary/Chaplet of Mercy, I received another interpretation for the Gospel where 5,000 people were fed and ordered to sit in groups of 50. This people knew that there was no food around and that this was a deserted place to buy it, and yet, they followed the orders of the disciples and sat to wait for the food. As you may recall, I had received many other ideas regarding this Gospel and that I shared last month, but this one apparently was reserved for this month… WELL, THEY HAD FAITH… that Jesus could do it… They probably did not even know how they would be fed but still they trusted Him, and a huge miracle occurred. It was a huge demonstration to me that this time, the faith of the people allowed Jesus to work out the miracle… I was convicted with the understanding that I do not see more miracles because I do not “expect” Him to be able to come up with the winning of all my battles.
Saturday, February 4.
I wrote this in my diary: I often hear other Christians calling to pray for different things. Normally, it is a begging form of prayer and not victorious… I wondered if we daily Mass goers would get together and pray with the certainty that the battle has already been won if we allow Jesus to work the miracles…
During the Rosary/Chaplet of Mercy, I understood very clearly that as David had offered sacrifice to God in atonement for his sin of counting the registered military men, and even purchased the place of sacrifice, even that the owner was willing to give it to him, just because this sacrifice had to cost him something as he said to the man, the same is with us. We can truly become the best and most costly sacrifice possible to God, by some of us abandoning ourselves 100% to His Divine Providence. Our purchase power or dollars are our trust (faith without fear) that God’s mercy will change this world and Church by saving all from the “modern pestilence” present today, but the actual sacrifice is our abandonment to His providence but each one doing it in our personal lives.
After the Rosary, I prayed and called the Holy Spirit and said, “Here am I Lord, I come to do Your will.” I then heard these words within my soul: “As you submit, I bless you. The littlest you become, the more I can do through you, and one of the most important characteristics of being little, is to be like a child who constantly trusts those who care for him. Indifference to what is and may be, is the most important sacrifice to be offered to the Lord for Him to reign in all you do, think and say. The Lord Your God knows your needs and enjoys giving you all you need for this mandate to be lived.
Wednesday, February 8.
During my Holy Hour I received these Bible verses:
John 14: 12-20. – Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will do the works that I do and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father and whatever you ask in My Name, I will do so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of Me in My Name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments and I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of Truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be with you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me, because I live and You will live. On that day you will realize that I am in My Father and you are in Me and I in you.”
This is one of the most beautiful dissertations of how faith in Jesus will do many things for us including answering our prayers. However He speaks of loving Him by being obedient to the commandments. When one loves another, it creates a relationship. So, being obedient directly helps this togetherness with Him. He reassures us of the presence of the Holy Spirit and finally He directly ties to this our relationship with Him, where we are one with Him, and this in turn puts us in contact with the Father through Him. All these elements were beautifully given to us to create a frame of thought so that our faith may become complete, without fear, with access to Him for help and in this way, we can do great things like effective evangelization… I ended up getting convicted that personally, I have to work in those areas so that the Holy Spirit can use me. It was clear to me that to be an evangelizer I have to pay attention to the whole program.
Later, I watched a program that I did not intended to watch and I was given some insight in regards to my need to have an expectation for everything. I learned this story:
“A farmer sows seeds and expects a harvest.The farmer has faith that a harvest will follow; otherwise he would not sow the seeds.”
This person continued and said, “It is the same with us and Paul says something similar:
Hebrews 11: 1. ‘Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.’
“Paul goes on and mentions all the great Old Testament figures that had faith, like Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. In the case of Abraham, he was put to the test and was ready to offer up His own son Isaac as a sacrifice, instead of an animal. So, in the lives of these great men faith became such a force that they trusted God fully. And faith is not historic. Faith is always in the now… Examples: no gambler goes to a casino to lose money; nobody goes to look for a job and not expect to be hired. In other words, faith needs hope before you expect the harvest or the job. Hope is expectation of things to come.
“However, Satan will try to strip you of your hope. He tries to tell you that you cannot be more than you are. He will try to keep you focused in the circumstances around, like negative news, the bad economy, the loss of our freedom of conscience, etc. When Satan strips you of hope, you end up with fear. But faith and fear are both forms of confidence… Fear is the confidence that the worse is going to happen. Faith is the confidence that the best is going to happen.
“In our lives, like the farmer, we are warehouses of seeds. When you cut off a driver in the expressway, you are sowing a seed of lack of love for neighbor. On the contrary, when you let someone pass in front of you, you are seeding kindness. When you forgive someone, you are seeding peace for yourself and the other. “
Galatians 6:7-9 – “Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.” (End of quotes)
As you can see, I did receive so much teaching on this day, as if the Lord were trying to warn me of areas that I must pay attention to, and in this way facilitate His winning of my battles. It became clear that the concept of expecting God to do what He has promised is essential to our faith.
Friday, February 10.
I learned something very good that is pure science and yet is tied up with spirituality. Dr. Weil, a physician well recognized and respected who has pioneered many advances in naturopathic medicine, even that he is regular allopathic doctor or MD, he came to talk in Dr. Mehmet Oz’ program. He said that there is scientific validation that if you keep a diary of all the good things you have received and add a gratitude message in the diary, you can experience much happiness even 6 months after you wrote them. This ties quite well with Jesus’ hints at our need to give thanks… But there is something else: unless we pay attention to all the good we have received, our faith may not be as robust… It is a form of realizing that God has blessed us and loves us. Besides, our fears can diminish as our faith grows, and that is trusting in His mercy. And one more thing: it tends to direct us to be less focused in our crosses, or at least to accept them in peace and joy because compared to what we have received they are not major problems. Here is an example of a God Who was giving me tools to cooperate in His winning of my battles.
Saturday February 11… Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
Of course, this was a huge day for me. I did my consecration to my Mother and asked her for signs of consolation for the illnesses I suffer. With my health up and down, I had been able to say yes to all of it, but the stress is still there when blood pressures are not amenable to treatment, etc. So, she got busy and one of her signs was this:
By chance and without trying to do it, I decided to dial a particular channel, ABC. I found a program/commercial that I already had seen about 4 months ago about a special blender with a powerful motor that can blend all kinds of vegetables and fruits and one can eat them raw but as a nice shake. It also can cook a hot soup. Since I became vegetarian precisely to hopefully cure whatever is going inside my left eye, and without permission yet to go and see an ophthalmologist for whatever reasons God wants it that way, I remembered how back in November I truly wanted this blender. I had even passed the information to my oldest son for his own use when he came from Los Angeles to spend Christmas with us.
This day, I thought about ordering it but felt that I had to pray more about it. The following day, this oldest son wrote an email asking me if I still was interested in this blender and that he would buy it for me. $399 later, I received the blender on Friday, Feb. 16…. But my Mother’s intercession was for sure going on, and my Father wanted to make more noise about it. On this Friday, I went down to exit the house to get to Holy Hour and noon Mass, and in route to the garage I felt compelled to check the front door, since I had ordered two books to share with a visiting priest and they were supposed to arrive on this day. As I opened the door, the UPS driver was arriving with the blender, so he proceeded to enter and place it in the living room. Of course, for Holy Hour and the Mass I made much noise thanking Him for being so funny, so loving, and for winning this battle: I wanted the blender but was not sure if I should make the expense, and He provided it… and blessed my son on top of it. Now, I can eat more fresh vegetables, even those which need cooking like broccoli, and receive the enzymes without being destroyed by heat, which have a great power over any abnormal growth.
2. The many battles God has won for me through the years.
I have a list of so many of them and that He has won for me and I could not tell you about all of them because it would make this blog a book… So, I will enumerate a few… and many of these stories I have mentioned before, but now I can see them as major battles that He won for me. Notice how He equip us for winning them even many years before!
1) He gave me a holy Marian grandmother who was my main caregiver. The gift of faith was never a question for me… from day one.
2) He decided to reveal to me what I was supposed to be when I grew up and this at age 4: a secretary (in order to type these blogs?) and a physician. At age 11 I became a secretary after attending night school for two years, besides my fourth and fifth grades during the day… At age 26 I was a physician, but the trick of winning this war was that I did not pay a cent for this education. He gave me enough intelligence to keep a GPA over 3.75, and in this foreign School of Medicine, they had a rule that this would entitle me not to pay tuition… and even that I was a foreigner, it was adjudicated to me. Just think about these two battles and how becoming a physician is now a key for my health issues, including the reversal of my memory problems. And yes, almost daily I come up with words in Spanish that have resurrected from my memory bank… My short time memory is getting better by the day as well.
However, the battle that was won for the sake of my memory recovery, is to have been ordered OVERNIGHTG to switch the training from one specialty to another (cardiology to anesthesiology). I would have never gotten to understand the role of fluoride in dementia that has nothing to do with the Alzheimer’s gene since I do not carry it. Still, fluorinated toothpaste and water would have done the damage in my brain… and receiving a general anesthetic (which I never have so far) would have never been in question, and I could have lost my memory without an explanation. It is interesting that the friends from Cleveland, who recently found my 2001 Christmas letter with my email, just forwarded to me a health newsletter which came with the latest information as to how fluoride can affect the brains of children. Check this up:
Young children exposed to anesthesia multiple times show elevated rates of ADHD
Public release date: 2-Feb-2012
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that multiple exposures to anesthesia at a young age are associated with higher rates of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children exposed to two or more anesthetics before age 3 had more than double the incidence of ADHD than children who had no exposure, says David Warner, M.D., a Mayo Clinic pediatric anesthesiologist and investigator on the observational study. The findings are published in the Feb. 2 edition of Mayo Clinic Proceedings (www.mayoclinicproceedings.org)
3) A major battle was won when He called me by name at age 6.5 and I fell in love with the Eucharistic Jesus of Nazareth. This was the most important war won for me… I was never tempted to sell my body before marriage or use any contraceptives ever. This also allowed me to never stop looking for Him and loving Him no matter the persecutions at hand.
4) Another major war was won when He wanted to give me a second language as a teen… And as you know well because I have written about it before, I was not chosen for this foreign exchange student scholarship, but 3 months before departure, the American Embassy in Costa Rica called to tell me that I had been selected versus the girl who had been chosen some 3 months before…God knew that I needed a second language to read medical texts in English, and to take and pass all the exams necessary to be able to come and train and later work in this country… He also knew that I was to write these blogs… in English!
5) He introduced me to the Life in His Spirit in a new way, and I became a Charismatic, so that I could get to know all about this new life.
6) He won all the battles of raising four boys while carrying on a full time medical practice, and to this date, I can only say that they have been a gift to me in every sense. Of course, I suspect that part of the format to win those wars, has to do with my call to present these boys as new born babies in Church, in front of the Tabernacle and offering them to Him for His glory. I did it in faith, and perhaps, such faith was behind their extraordinary lives. But that faith had been born in my childhood, and my personal relationship with Jesus was still giving me fruits.
7) God won a major war when He moved my then 8 year old son to ask for diet pop, and it contained the sweetener Aspartame, which had just come into the market…This led me to the discovery of depression being produced in him and myself.
8) Because of professional persecutions as mentioned before in these blogs, I ended up in Phoenix, AZ, in 1992… I was asked to cover a surgery center for three months that belonged to CIGNA, an HMO similar to Kaiser Permanente. They would evaluate my job and keep me permanently. At this point I was Board Certified and had worked in major institutions like the Cleveland Clinic. But God did not want me there (this was realized in hindsight)… The story is long and I cannot give so much detail, but I did not like the set up, and they became enraged when a nurse told them that in preoperative rounds she overheard that I had called an African American younger man, “boy”… Not so… Yet, I went to Phoenix to learn something dramatic for my life. Just think of the gift of being persecuted… when you read the story below, plus how God used persecution to re-direct me and years later all the way to retire in California. See, Arizona was attractive precisely as a retirement hub…
The battle that was won: I had to fly every two weeks to Cleveland to check the home, although I had left a maid in charge of everything and husband and kids were well taken care of. I would flight via South West on Friday evening and back on Sunday. It was during these flights that I ate some cottage cheese that depressed me for two hours. It was also God Who led me to buy some Weight Watchers cottage cheese in Arizona to eat in my apartment and also produced the same effect. This allowed me to compare this brand with the one I was used to buy in Cleveland, and this is how I discovered carrageenan, this natural sea weed that causes depression in some of us…THIS IS ONE OF THE MAJOR BATTLES WON BY GOD… How could I have figured it out unless I would eat the wrong product twice each trip, coming and going and every two weeks, so that it would be easy for me to spot the reason for the depression… and on top of it, to buy a cottage cheese that contained carrageenan as well, so that I could compare the products (since I would never know what South West served), and this way discover the reason…!
And it happens that these past days, this huge battle won by working in Phoenix was brought to life like never before… when I recalled that I went to see the movie “The Bodyguard” in 1992 in Arizona invited by a very close friend and his wife. He is a Deacon in the Archdiocese of Phoenix or perhaps now retired. I lost contact with him. The famous song of our departed Whitney Houston for this movie, “And I always will love you” brings me to believe that this is what Jesus tells each of us… He does not cease in showering His love and He is relentless…
9) In 1973, I was suffering for years of severe migraine headaches. My grandmother also did. A friend of mine referred me to a Chinese doctor, Dr. Hsu, who did acupuncture on me and cured me… After that, if I ate something wrong or trigger foods, then I would give myself a treatment with acupressure… (Using my fingers and applying pressure in the special points of my head, neck and hands). This led to my interest in learning, training and practicing acupuncture, and later, this is what I use to survive the symptoms of POTS and to understand this imbalance of the autonomic nervous system… This also led me to step out of the so called traditional medicine and learn more about naturopathic medicine, or HOW TO PREVENT DISEASE through NUTRITION… plus the whole chapter of toxicity due to pesticides and metals in our food. The above knowledge led me to better understand how to tackle my loss of memory and its possible hereditary consequences for my sons.
10) In 1990, I had been suffering from severe back pain for more than a decade. I was practicing pain therapy as an anesthesiologist, since we are experts at giving epidural anesthesia for obstetrics, and with back pain, we also inject cortisone into the epidural space to diminish the inflammation caused by protruded disks or by bone formation that is pinching nerves coming out of the spinal cord. Because of my pain therapy practice, I attended a conference in Maryland given by psychologists from Marquette University and which covered the psychological effects of pain in general.
During this conference, they divided those of us practitioners in groups according to any pain we were suffering. The back pain group was then taught how to do hypnotherapy for it, in case such pain had nothing to do with pathology in the spine. Hypnosis is neither New Age nor a joke. It is science applied to the brain in other to be able to release from our unconscious minds those memories of anger and resentment that are there but never dealt with, and worse, that are buried without us knowing what they are and which can produce spasms of the back muscles with pain. I was cured in one hour forever and ever… I used to take Darvon pills daily to survive the discomfort…In fact I had taken one before I entered the conference room and I never took one more since then. My question here is how many people are carrying painful memories that affect their health and have no idea they even exist…
I am sure that all of you reading this message can make a similar list of the battles already won for you. As you can see, my list has been super important in every aspect. In fact, these battles may have taken me to unbearable trials and who knows, to take “pain” pills forever and to live the stress of physical pain which is coming from the brain and not able to be cured in the part of the body where it is felt!!! But also notice that God had prepared me to be opened to “alternative” methods of medicine. Nowadays is getting very easy to respect these forms of treatment, but then, it was unheard of.
C. FINAL COMMENTS
This is the time for our resurrection; we practicing Catholics have been walking with God for years but our hearts have grown cold and we do not even know it and all due to the world and the evil one who have made us drowsy with dissipation, rituals and distraction which clouds the fact that the King is here with us, and that the victory is already ours! He is working even when we are asleep to lead us to our eternal home. He will fight every single battle to get us there. We tend to act like dead bodies but death has not won. The best is to come! We have to wake up from this slumber and appropriate what is already ours: the Presence of God, Holy Trinity in us, and follow Him doing whatever He tells us but with total certainty that no matter what He calls us to do, or what our crosses and corresponding battles we endure, in Him we already have the victory over our flesh, the world (modern Goliath) and Satan.
Should we worry about losing our freedom of conscience? Of course not… Instead we should worry about our stupidity of not letting Him win all those wars NOW, by us submitting to Him in our moment to moment existence and showing Him how much faith with works we are ready to offer Him just because we love Him… Then, He takes over… This stance of trusting in His love (FAITH WITHOUT FEARS lived in our hearts and minds…), can produce atomic bombs of mercy to convert ourselves and the whole world… What else can God do to convince us? And please, do not forget that I told you so… It is up to each of us to take the “bull by the horns” and the bull is not what others do to us, but what we do to ourselves by being so distracted paying attention to the outside when it is our inside that needs vast repairs…And let me add that if this plan sounds hard to carry out, it is a myth… to think that way. A confessional is around the corner… Once repentance of being so dissipated sets in, I simply say “yes” to everything and live from moment to moment waiting for the Holy Spirit‘s guidance… I do not have to control my destiny because He has even won all my present and future battles, of course, if I let Him.
This statement may have shocked you and perhaps offended you! We have a Church that is very visible in this country of ours. Yet, we keep missing two thirds of the members! To me, this is proof that we are not truly doing all we can to bring them back. Yes, this is evangelization and for years we have worked at it in each parish… However, two immoral laws have been forced on us (well, one coming soon), and we do not sit down to ACCCEPT that this battle is the Lord’s… as all the previous battles talked about. So, if this so, what is it that we are not doing that is not allowing God to work miracles…? How do we take the bull by the horns…? What I believe we are missing is our lack of trust that He can TRULY do it… Of course we say He can, but the battles continue. This seems to indicate that He is not finding faith in the land… to knock out our Goliath.
The same is with our feelings and tendencies to sin. We normally try to teach that one has to stay away from those feelings and run from them, as if this can be done so easily… We ignore that the first thing we have to do is to accept the moment as it is… Our flesh or the world or the Devil has entered and tempted us. So, what to do? Ask for help… Trying to be brave is probably the hardest choice… You ask your Father in heaven for the Gifts of His Spirit to reign in your soul and BELIEVE that all wars, not just one but all, He will win for you. “Expect” that you will walk through the valley of “victory” and not death… Stand in the Word of God as our Protestant brothers say but mean it… Know beyond doubt that you have a Dad who is with you and a Son of God who paid already for this victory. Then watch what happens… You will be surprised. Satan wants us worried, fearful, afraid of our own sins which in turn keep us focused in the sin to be avoided and not in the Redeemer who will free us if we ask and believe He will do it. This is truly faith… at its best and complete.
Then, since faith is a gift, how can we appropriate this faith for our souls, or cooperate with God to receive it?
1. By walking into every corner of our lives clothed with the certainty that our battles are being fought and won by the Lord at every moment of our lives. At the same time, by doing so, by trusting Him radically and “uniquely”, I guarantee you that the ocean of His mercy will produce a spiritual tsunami in our lives. He is funny. He is creative in the ways He will surprise us with His mercy in the little things and in the big items!
2. We, therefore, cannot remain in the academics of Who He is and fail to recognize that each day is when I work out my salvation by submitting myself to His Lordship… but with real works. This is the time to look within and ask ourselves, “What kind of faith do I have?” If we do not trust God completely and at all times, then we will not understand Truth because His grace and mercy will not be available to know the Truth as the Scripture has it:
Wisdom 3: 19. “Those who TRUST in Him shall understand Truth and the faithful shall abide with Him in love, because grace and mercy are with His holy ones, and His care is with His elect.”
3. Something else: we must study the Word of God; the historical facts and interpretation by the Church from all its different theological compartments. Yet, we could spend the rest of our lives knowing the Bible quite well and not truly becoming a display with our lives of what the Bible says. The Bible is a double sword when I share it or receive its teaching from a heart that is abandoned to Divine Providence in all its aspects. Abandonment requires walking under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But how do I know how well am I doing it? Well, I have caught on some facts in my own life… When I lose fear of my suffering, when I yearn to die today instead of tomorrow and joy overwhelms me with this idea, when I cannot stand money or prestige or possessions, when I detach from all worldly ideas, when I feel terribly attracted to the poor and homeless, when I do not want to be known or recognized from any fame, then I have proof that I am under His Lordship… and have a personal relationship with the Crucified.
For me, and I am NOT saying that it is for you or the Church, the new evangelization is a personal journey; it is a process when I have to re-evangelize myself from inside out and understand and practice this personal relationship with Christ. The rules of engagement are clear: total trust in Jesus Christ. With such trust I can have the faith that moves mountains. I can become the mustard seed that grows into a tall large tree and which will scare Goliath, and all of course, in the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the sky is the limit of what I can do…
However, we can call the Holy Spirit for help and not be prepared to submit… SO, I have to ask and knock to receive this grace to submit to His Lordship 24/7. Personally I cannot go around and around talking about what is wrong everywhere – until I look inside and find what is wrong in my soul. My faith needs works. In my particular case this is what I am doing to produce the works that will prove my trust in God, for the Holy Spirit to go ahead with the doors and windows of my soul totally opened…
So, God Who is training me to TRUST…, has been teaching me to truly live my faith… And this what I say and very often during the day and mean it…, but most especially when I find myself looking down and finding all that is wrong in my life or in the Church, but this is added to a frequent calling of the Holy Spirit and a Hail Mary asking our Mother to help us out… and as discussed in a past blog.
1. I say yes to the moment (with an eye that bugs me terribly to write or read, or very high blood pressures because of the imbalance of the autonomic nervous system and not amenable to treatment, etc…)
2. Because this moment is perfect and necessary (knowing in my heart that it is perfect because God cannot will for me anything that is not perfect and necessary for me and others).
3. Here am I Lord, I come to do Your will.
AND AGAIN, SAYING IT AND MEANING IT…
Besides, nowadays when I question anything around me, my battles at hand, and the best example would be writing this blog and seeing my blood pressure go up 30 points just by the effort of my eyes, then, I turn around and add to the above statements this, “Lord, this is your servant. You are in charge and go ahead and win this battle for me in whatever ways you want.” This is a grace that has started to arrive that was not there some weeks ago. I have faith that He is in charge and not fear that He is absent from within but on the contrary, controlling all that I need to suffer or do or think, write or say. The moment I confront the truth of His Lordship over my soul, mind and body, I smile because I have totally certainty that it is so! I feel totally complete, happy, consoled and without fear that the bad present moment is totally controlled by His mercy. It is actually exciting because I realize every time that I do not have to worry about what is next for my life since my battles are being won in His time, in His way and for my most perfect benefit. Every time, I feel newly evangelized! So, this is the grace of asking and knocking for help….
Moreover, there is need for an inner evangelization to enter a radical commitment to submit myself to a new me, as the Biblical characters who sought Him for help and He won their battles every time, because their faith permitted Him to work the miracles. There is also a sense that I do not need my ego, my brain in order to make decisions any longer. He does them. And by the way, this is not a passive way of life… On the contrary, it is a very hectic active faith, hope and love that keeps me grounded in the Truth of Him being the Lord of my life, and therefore, to try to live it. Yet, it is the best spiritual gasoline to keep going this personal relationship with Him. It is a dynamo of grace… It is heaven on earth.
I always love to read the passage which was the Gospel for Feb. 14… Mark 8:14-21. “The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Jesus enjoined them, ‘Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.’ They concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread. When He came aware of this He said to them, ‘Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? And do you not remember when I broke the five loaves of the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?’ They answered Him, ‘Twelve.’ ‘When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how may full baskets of fragments did you pick up?’ They answered, ‘Seven.’ He said to them, ‘Do you still not understand?’ “
It was as He was saying to me, “Maria, don’t you remember when I moved you from Indiana to Ohio and all the benefits your family received because of it? Don’t you remember when I provided you with a medical profession? Maria, don’t you remember how I guided you to recover your memory. Maria, don’t you remember when I identified carrageenan for you so that you would not get depressed? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Is your heart hardened?” I normally end up saying, “Ouch and ouch and ouch and sorry, sorry, sorry, Lord because I have sinned against Your love for me…”
Wow!!!! We could agree that He could say the same thing to all of us… If the Bible if full of stories of Jesus fixing the needs of His people who have faith, where is our faith that He can do and will do whatever is necessary to turn the tide of the “goliaths” of our present age? Are we dummies or what…? There is my proof of why I have started to undergo this new evangelization of my soul resting assured that He will fix everything as long as I abandon myself to His Providence by TRUSTING THAT HE CAN DO IT… If I recite the 23d Psalm and not believe what I am saying, shame on me. If I say Rosaries and Chaplets of Mercy and not believe that the victory is mine already, and that these prayers are mainly for me to change from within and to trust in His mercy, shame on me.
For the same Feb. 14 Mass, some verses of Psalm 94 were read. I am including other verses, and it seems that this Psalm and Gospel readings are “love letters” from God to us…
Verses 8-11: Understand, you stupid people! You fools, when will you be wise? Does the One Who shaped the ear not hear? The One Who formed the eye not see? Does the One Who guides nations not rebuke? The One Who reaches humans not have knowledge? The Lord does know human plans; they are only puffs of air…
Verse 18: When I say, “My foot is slipping,” your mercy, O Lord, sustains me; when cares abound within me, Your comfort gladdens my soul.”
Verses 20-23: “Can unjust judges be our allies, those who create burdens in the name of law, those who conspire against the just and condemn the innocent to death? (WOW!) No, the Lord is my secure height, my God, the rock where I find refuge, who will turn back their evil upon them and destroy them for their wickedness. Surely the Lord our God will destroy them!”
My friends, I hopefully made my case… The fear of the Lord comes into place at this moment of history… Remember that it means to be in awe of His majesty, of His goodness, of His power, of His justice, of His mercy. Yet, He is only waiting for some of us who call ourselves religious and dedicated to Him in some form or other to have that fear… a very healthy fear… I know that we have to turn around our Church, and our Priests need to keep growing in this personal relationship with Christ that will allow them to shine like the stars of the sky, so that the rest of us can follow. For us lay people, let us pray for them day and night. The Lord our God will win their battles if we laity believe that He can do so… But at the same time, we have to start by believing that He is winning all our personal battles… Then, our prayer for them will be like the stone that killed Goliath. It will reach God like a stone into His Heart, and because of our faith… in His love for all of us, He will be able to work miracles in this Church of ours like never before. This is actually a summons for lay people: dare to live a life of trust in His mercy and refuse to pay attention to your personal battles, by trusting that He is doing something new every day, in you and in our Church…
May you have a very blessed Lenten season. And, sorry if I have offended you, but it is time to stop electing the anti-life officials and instead, reversing the wrong laws and not allowing the one for 2013 to make it to fruition. And remember, it is a piece of cake for God to do so… He only needs our faith and He will do it. I know because I spent eleven Holy Hours in front of His Eucharistic Presence in the first Tuesday of November of 2004. This story I have told before but it is worth repeating it. I was summoned by Him to pray for His will for the new President for the U.S. I was not allowed to pray for my pro-life candidate, who was a Protestant, against the pro-choice candidate who was Catholic… Ouch…
Ohio was this time the State that would determine the results… and not Florida as it happened in 2000. I did not know that at the time. By 9 AM (this I learned the following day), Senator Kerry in Columbus, OH had pretty much arrived at the conclusion of his winning in Ohio, since the exit polls were conclusive in his favor. That was the time I started the Holy Hours, after 8 AM Mass… Eleven hours later and 27 Rosaries with Chaplets of Mercy intertwined, exhausted, I went home and the victory for pro life issues was won by my God.
I am sure that many were praying that day in the entire country. Yet, what I am sure of is that no one in the State of Ohio had been summoned to be there for that many Holy Hours. I did not know how many ahead of time, but was ready with zone bars and water bottles. Time passed and He kept asking to stay longer… He was actually asking me to expect Him to do His will for this country via my faith, and this faith was most likely moving registered pro-life people who may not have planned to vote, to go and do it, and perhaps some others may have changed their minds and vote for pro-life issues, but Ohio voted pro-life and in abundant numbers not needing time to count up to the last vote. If He did it for Israel and kept Moses with his arms up so that they could win the wars against their enemies, why could not have been the same in 2004?
But of course, at the time I did not understand fully that this was a battle that He could win it for us, if He only found one person in front of His Eucharistic Throne asking for His mercy and bugging Him like the old widow did to the judge… My Mother had been summoned all these hours to pray for us via so many Rosaries. The Chaplets of Mercy were offered for all the voters…So, there you are with one more proof that for God all things are possible, and that even my purity of intention was kept in check. He did not want me to pray for my candidate… Nah… First of all, my prayer had to be pure in intention with respect to asking for His will… only. I also imagine that had I thought much of the candidates per se, I would have developed some antagonism and lack of love for the pro-choice one… That would have interfered with the health of my soul and with my prayer… Or perhaps may have produced anxiety thinking about the future with the pro-choice candidate, and this would immediately place doubt that God was in charge… Hmm.
So, remember and I will repeat again, as He does with me: in order to live out our faith, to live out our values, our deep moral convictions, we need to renew our faith by showing the confidence that God can and will do win our battles. The way to do it is by living such confidence in our personal lives, by energizing our personal relationship with Jesus the Christ. The short way to show such trust can be summarized like this:
“Any time that fear or anxiety about our present personal or national problems enter our minds, we are doubting His love for us. We are “looking down” as St. Peter did while walking on water and we may drown our faith. So, we should say, “Here I am Lord. I come to do Your will. It is your battle. You win it for me because I am just a servant?” Then refuse to say anything else with the certainty that the battle has already been won in His time and proceed to thank Him for His mercy in winning the battles for you, plus be prepared to have Him guide your actions and plans according to His will. It will happen! He does not want us sitting down and waiting for Him. He wants us busy but organized according to His plans to win the battle. And our faith so lived will send us to do and say what He wants us to… It is no different than when our Mother was sent in haste to serve her cousin… She went to win a battle for Elizabeth by helping her out in the third trimester of her pregnancy. But the perfect trust of this our Mother in God’s Word was the one raining mercy on Elizabeth…
If we get an army of believers who can “watch and pray” with Him with such confidence, He will find enough faith and will shower us with miracles that can prepare the world for the end, whenever it may be. For sure it will return the 2/3 of Catholics to Sunday Mass and Reconciliation to receive Him with clean souls and for Him to open His arms to all these prodigal children. I know that it will give us the peace that He spoke of plus joy and real happiness because our personal relationship with Jesus is a fact, and not just lip service or a concept, plus our excitement becomes incredible. Let us not fool ourselves and call a personal relationship with Him what is not. It is a yes or a no… He said it… and He cannot stand lukewarmness… I must die like the mustard seed to relate to Him. As it turns out this death is gain and victory for our families, Church and the world.
My excuses for being preachy… but I felt compelled to do it… My excuses also for this being a huge blog, but Fr. Peyton’s story came at the last minute (via EWTN when I was really not going to watch much TV and instead come to this computer) and I knew this was from the Holy Ghost… And remember, a family (we Catholics…) that prays together, stays together (that means that the other members will come. Huh). Let us say many Rosaries for the present Goliath’s defeat, BUT LET’S ask our Mother to pray for us in order to truly believe that the victory is ours… because God does the fighting for us and mean it, and if we do not have such faith, we should ask day and night for it and try to live the present moment with a huge yes to all that happens to us.
Note: Since my blood pressure goes up if I write for long periods of time because the strain of focusing my sick eye and good eye on this screen produces stress and automatically elevates my pressure, I have to take multiple short rest periods and suffer the disruption of the thought process as multiple times I have to walk out of the theme of the blog altogether. I am wondering if the end of these blogs is about to arrive… If they come to an end, I will post the decision a month from now. God has the last word… I shall see what He wants. Perhaps all that I had to share, has been said. I leave you with one of my favorite songs…
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the world Thy Hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee, how great Thou art! How great Thou art!
When through the woods and forest glades I wander, I hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; then I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee, how great Thou art! How great Thou art!
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; that on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin.
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee, how great Thou art! How great Thou art!
When Christ shall come, with shouts of acclamation and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim, "My God, how great Thou art!"