This blog is written to honor our Mother in the Feast of the Annunciation, and to thank her for her participation in our redemption through a “yes” that was unique, trustful, without fears, why or why not’s, and which now serve us as an example to follow.
My left eye continues to be in the way of writing in this computer for prolonged periods of time, but I became more alarmed even than last month about our present situation in the U.S. Later, I will mention those specific reasons that I am sure the Holy Spirit brought for me to ponder upon. So, in the midst of being startled about our present times, the question was: “If God is calling me to see these specific points of these very disturbing times, is He expecting me to do something about it that is new…? What am I doing in spiritual terms to prepare for the national Presidential elections of next November? And if I should start now, what is it?” As time passed, things were revealed to me and Satan was more active than any other month. Later, I will give you proof of this assertion. This immediately made me suspicious that what I am going to share with you, Satan really does not like…
But having a bad eye is one thing, but when it got worse to the point that I was losing more vision, I knew that God was allowing it for me to truly prove to Him that He is in charge and will win this battle. So, He helped me understand what do about helping my vision go back to where it was one month ago (a long story and not necessary to go into this medical understanding), and yes, it got better. But still, there were a couple of days when I had a headache that would not allow me to do anything, and could not use my eyes too much. This was the ground I needed to take the evil one by the horns and to trust that God was the Master of this situation. If you have never had a problem with your eyesight, beware that you have no idea what it is to struggle with this very important sense. We spend so much time in pursuing what we want or like, that we forget to thank for all the gifts we have received. For me, it also has been a very important moment to realize that we can talk and write and preach about the Kingdom of God, but if we do not get to the roots of our own spiritual health in a hurry, our job is not as powerful in spiritual terms for those who read it or hear it or see it.
Finally, it also became clear to me that this moment in time in the world and the Church and in this country, is demanding action… on my part, and this action cannot wait any longer. I understood that I had to do a 360 degrees radical turn and enter a frame of mind that seeks God day and night with a yes to His will that is also radical… And I mean so radical that I have to quit thinking beyond each present moment. And this change in my mind can be done through grace and reason; the latter by using science. I have talked about the human brain over and over. Obviously, since I had lost my memory and got most of it back since in 2008 when I came to live in the area of San Francisco, a great place for neuro-scientific research, I have read and listened to so many programs that have to do with the capability that we all have to re-wire our brains due to our brain plasticity, and I have referred to it many times before.
In the last 3 weeks, it became super obvious that in spiritual terms, I have to re-wire my brain. I have to induce my neurons to automatically act in ways that change for the better my day to day relationship with God. He does it but I have to die to myself, and that dying depends on my cooperation with God for His grace to make it possible. Yet, this dying of my self-will, this cooperation, must be helped by a way of living with a radical “yes” to His will. It has to be a “yes” that is more refined, more radical, more automatic in being exercised, and my brain must be wired to be present all the time while awake to my need to do whatever He tells me but with great “gusto.” Yes, He does it for me, He will win such battle of re-wiring my brain, but I must use science to lead me to this change. And this change is very important in order to grow into professing faith that lacks fear, or trust. Trusting in God’s love for me, but so radical that it can move mountains, will bring His mercy over the entire world for this time in history… This turned out to be the best Lenten practice of almsgiving…
So, I will divide the rest of the blog as follows:
I. A few highlights of my day to day understanding of my need for change with specific reasons that will lead me to be open to God’s action and change my spiritual journey but radically, most especially in preparation for the U.S.A. national elections of November 2012. Also, in this section, I will quote the ideas of two ex-Catholic gentlemen who truly convinced me that I must run my spiritual race with great urgency and like never before.
II. List of the fruits that I could obtain by attempting this God-led re-wiring of my brain in order to become an effective intercessor in the midst of the present times.
III. Re-wring my brain: how to do it
IV. Closing remarks.
I. My day to day understanding of an urgent need for a radical spiritual metanoia.
Wednesday, February 22.
I was suffering signs of oppression, not depression (later I have more to share regarding this diagnosis as God proved to me the difference). Despite feeling this way, that is, wanting to run away from writing blogs or doing any work for the Kingdom beyond my daily prayers and fulfilling the Commandments, but in total isolation from the world, my joy at Mass was huge. In some days like this one, I enter the sanctuary and look at the Tabernacle and I start smiling to the point that it does not stop until I get out after Mass. I cannot control it. I cannot reason with my brain to stop it. It comes from within, and His Presence melts me like if I were within a microwave oven.
There was an event at Mass or something that someone did that made me uncomfortable, and I found myself saying “no” to paying much attention to it because I had this total conviction that God was in charge and will win this battle. I wish I could feel that way all the time. In hindsight, I now understand that He was showing me how I could in time re-wire my brain to be open most of the time to this grace. Again, re-wiring of the brain by itself is powerless to get the grace of having faith that can move mountains. It only predisposes the soul to be on the alert and say “yes” to the present moment, whatever it is, knowing that Someone greater than me is in charge. PLEASE RE-READ THIS LAST STATEMENT… In no way I am trying to say that I can control how I feel about others by just re-wiring my brain. I cannot, except by grace, and that grace comes from His mercy, and His mercy is able to land in my psyche and soul by my openness to His will by fasting my own, asking for His mercy and by my practicing almsgiving. (More on it later).
But God was not done at all on this day… Sometimes, He mesmerizes me with His love and detailed attention to my needs. At 9:30 PM all oppression left me as if by magic. At 10:30 PM and out of the blue, I received another grace. I wrote in my diary:
“1. If my room if full of the dust coming from the heating duct system, Blessed be the Lord.
2. If I suffer rejection of any kind, Blessed be the Lord.
3. If my left eye is bugging me too much, Blessed be the Lord.
4. If my blood pressures are fluctuating too much, Blessed be the Lord
5. If my health is in the way of the simple home cleaning chores, Blessed be the Lord.
And I bless the Lord because He wants it or allows it and therefore, I know it is the best for me.”
The list is much larger but this will give you an idea that my re-wring had started and unbeknownst to me…! And suddenly I remembered that March 22 marked another anniversary of the day decades ago when Sr. Mary Faith took me to my first Charismatic prayer group (500 people, one of three in the city of Ann Arbor, MI). I have told you this story before: I had gone my parish in Ann Arbor, St. Thomas Apostle, in order to find out how I could have my first grader, the son with whom I live now, make his Holy Communion at age 7, because we were selling our home and moving to Costa Rica, and in Spanish, this child could not comprehend the spiritual science of this great moment for him. She said after my asking statement, “Are you a member of the Word of God Community?” I did not know who they were at all. So, she invited me to one of their prayer meetings, and offered to accompany me two more times after that, with the condition that if I did not like the first one, I could pull out of the deal.
I let her out of the hook after the first one by telling her that I would go back on my own and seek to participate in the Life in the Spirit seminars to be “baptized” in the Holy Ghost as per Acts of the Apostles. Of course, I did, and by the following May 19 (519 in my blog site’s name…) I received this anointing and the rest is history… I was led to know the Son of God at age 6. Now, I entered a new relationship with the Spirit, and years later, my Father became a well known separate in nature entity through knowing His Son and in the power of His Spirit. And this day, I had so much joy at Mass because that same Holy Spirit was probably feasting in my soul on our anniversary. But many think that God is a dead… but He cannot be more alive than He already is…!
Monday, February 27.
As I was saying the Rosary with the EWTN Nuns at 8:30 AM, I had a clear indication that when I pray the Rosary I must do it without an attitude of begging, but actually recognizing the victory lap I am running with each Hail Mary. First of all, it is the Word of God because it is composed of Bible quotes. The Our Father was composed by Jesus Himself. And also, we are asking Our Lady to pray for us, like at Cana. Is this is not a victorious prayer, what else could it be? And PBS had just shown over the previous weekend a program from a physician who had cancer of his brain!!! I had bought his book in 2009, but never read beyond the introduction. Therefore, here I want to pass on some more about the Rosary… from a scientific point of view as it appears in this book. Huh!
Book: “Anti Cancer – A New Way of Life.”
Author: David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD – Written in French and copyrighted in 2007. English translation: 2008
This man is French, a neuro-psychiatrist researcher, a former director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, PA.
Quotes from his book:
“Cancer lives dormant in all of us. Like all living organisms, our bodies are making defective cells all the time. That’s how tumors are born. But our bodies are also equipped with a number of mechanisms that detect and keep such cells in check. In the West, one person in four will die of cancer, but three in four will not.”
“I have cancer of the brain and was diagnosed for the first time 15 years ago. I received conventional treatment and the cancer went into remission, but I relapsed after that.”
(His doctor could not give him advice to prevent any relapse after his original surgery and chemotherapy. He was offered to just keep surveillance of the disease in case it came back. So, he started on his own to study the mechanisms that the body has to deal with cancerous cells.)
“Eyes opened: until we have brushed up against mortality, life seems boundless and we’d prefer to keep it that way. It seems that there will always be time to set out in search of happiness. First I have to get my degree, pay off my loans, and let the children grow up, retire… I’ll worry about happiness later. When we put off till tomorrow the quest of the essential, we may find life slipping through our fingers without ever having savored it. Cancer sometimes cures this nearsightedness, this dance of hesitations.”
(He embarked in finding out about food that can act as a medication. For example: green tea blocks tissue invasion and angiogenesis – and this word means the growth of vessels to supply oxygen and nutrients to the tumor cells. He went into researching the body-mind link and narrates the case of a veterinarian who when still very young discovered osteo-sarcoma in his leg, underwent an amputation followed by conventional treatment but it spread to his hip and thorax. He was expected to live but a few weeks. He threw himself into an intensive practice of meditation using Yoga. 30 years later, he is still alive)
“Proof of the Mind-Body Link: If the experience of helplessness and despair promotes growth, will a state of serenity, on the contrary, slow it down? Certain exceptional cases suggest it may be so.”
(He narrates in detail different studies of this connection and how Yoga, meditations, qigong and modern Western methods uses breathing as the gate for healing.)
“The Mantra and the Rosary! Over the past 15 years, Luciano Bernardi, MD, PhD, of the University of Pavia in Italy, has been interested in autonomous body rhythms that form the foundations of physiology: variations in heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, etc. He explored how these rhythms fluctuate from one moment to the next and at different times of day. He knew that a sound balance between various biorhythms is perhaps the most accurate indicator of good health.
“Dr Bernardi tracked the conditions that could lead to a temporary disorganization of these rhythms and examined the way the body then recovered its equilibrium. To do so, he had his subjects perform exercises such as doing arithmetic in their heads or reading aloud, all the while measuring the micro variations in their heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow to the brain and breathing patterns. But the great surprise came from what is called the ”control” condition.
“In order to measure the physiological changes set off by the mental exercises, they had to be compared with a so-called neutral condition – in which the subjects talked aloud but without mental effort or stress… They had to recite a text they knew by heart, thus requiring no particular attention. Since the subjects lived in Lombardi, a deeply Catholic region of Italy, he quite naturally thought of having them recite the rosary.
“When Dr. Bernardi’s subjects started reciting a stream of Ave Maria’s, unexpectedly, all the biological rhythms being measured started to resonate”
(The point is that they were saying the Rosary and a priest was leading it, and doing it this way, this exercise slows down the breathing to about 6 breaths per minute!!! The explanation as to why it happens is long but this experiment was accepted as true science as you can read below.)
“In 2006, Julian Thayer and Esther Sternberg, researchers at Ohio State University and at the National Institute of Health, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, a review of all the studies concerning the amplitude and variation of biological rhythms. They concluded that everything that amplifies variations – as happens in the states of resonance or ‘coherence’ described by Bernardi – is associated with a number of health benefits:
1. Better functioning of the immune system
2. Reduction of inflammation
3. Better regulation of blood sugar levels.
“Those are precisely three of the principal factors that act against the development of cancer. Between birth when the amplitude of biological rhythms is the greatest, and the approach of death, when it is the lowest, amplitude of variation declines by approximately 3% a year. This means that the body progressively loses its adaptability; it has increasing difficulty maintaining balance when faced with the hazards of our physical and emotional environments and which are associated with many health problems. And the balance responds best to training your breathing and concentration. This is exactly what Dr. Bernardi discovered by showing the impact of practices as a Buddhist mantra and the rosary.” (End of quote)
O.K. I have spent much time in this topic but I could not let it go… I did it on purpose so that for the rest of your lives, when you say the Rosary, especially when you answer to another (important), your breathing slows down and you get health benefits. In general and irrespective of this valuable religious jewel, this book should be in your library. It is a good reminder of how much we can do in naturopathic medicine, also known as integrative or functional medicine and strictly scientific, since the author does not seem to be particularly religious at all. It is my gift to you for this Easter celebration… Our Mom is into everything, and our Church devised a way to honor her, Him and help us with our health. Wow!
Tuesday, February 28.
The book “The Blood Sugar Solution” by Dr. Mark Hyman was coming to the market on this date. This doctor was the one that through another book of his, the Ultramind Solution, gave me the hints I needed to detoxify myself and recover my memory. He had appeared in the San Francisco PBS station in 2009 when I found him and proceeded to use his ideas for this formidable process of memory recovery. This time, he was about to appear in March in the same PBS station bringing the information to CURE DIABETES TYPE II, the diabetes that has an onset later in life versus type I which shows up in children y and in young adults. This method of eating also produces weight loss when the person is overweight. It also decreases the bad cholesterol and improves one’s memory. Here are a few ideas of his presentation from his website in order to inform you of the science that is available.
From Mark Hyman, MD
January 24, 2012
“Genes do matter, but just a little. New research proves that type 2 diabetes is nearly 100 percent reversible without medication or gastric bypass. While some may have a genetic predisposition, those genes only get turned on when doused in mountains of white flour, white sugar and fat. Type 2 diabetes is almost 100 percent preventable and curable with dietary intervention. Diabetics have four times the risk of heart attack and dementia as well as an increased risk of a spate of cancers, not to mention nerve damage, liver failure, kidney failure and blindness
“At Saddleback Church this past year I partnered with Pastor Rick Warren, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Daniel Amen in a social experiment. We put the church on a wellness program based on rigorous nutritional science and lifestyle medicine that included eating real whole fresh food, getting off of the addictive drugs of sugar and processed fats from industrial food, and learning how to shop, cook, eat, move and celebrate life together. We had dozens of diabetics who not only lost weight but also got off their medications and even insulin and reversed their disease.
“My new book The Blood Sugar Solution, which comes out at the end of February, is a personal plan for individuals to get healthy, for us to get healthy together in our communities and for us to take back our health as a society. Obesity and diabetes is a social disease, and we need a social cure.
“My personal hope is that together we can create a national conversation about a real, practical solution for the prevention, treatment and reversal of our diabesity epidemic.
“To learn more and to get a free sneak preview of the book go to www.drhyman.com.” (End of report)
So, on March 1 and 2, I decided to make some DVD copies of the program, and eventually, I thought of asking my son to burn other copies to distribute to many other friends. And you do not have to be obese… to cure your diabetes… Not only that, but many of us are not diabetics but pre-diabetics, and with this regime one can abort the future illness. Pre-diabetes is having blood sugar levels in the upper numbers of normal.
I started doing these copies with a DVD recorder that is not old. Yes, I bought it in early 2009 here in California, but I hardly used it because it was very difficult to understand how it works… Yet, I had already done some recent taping of previous programs from PBS. However, none of the copies I made of the Blood Sugar Solution were able to be burned or copied by my son. They were not good…(More on this later).
On March 5th I had read in the Internet the words of a cleric that wrote and paraphrasing, “Forget about almsgiving and fasting without a relationship with Christ.”
On March 6, Fr. Pacwa at the EWTN Mass said and paraphrasing, “Forget about what theologians say because they will not help without you knowing Christ!”
Wednesday, March 7.
I started to understand all about the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving but in a new way! I received on this day a plan for practicing these three devotions, and this would end up helping me to grow in my personal relationship with Christ. I had the perfect solution to undergo a major conversion in a very clear and different way, not known to me before. I will share this program in section III, which aims at re-wiring my brain.
Sunday, March 11.
I was very ill in the early morning, with a headache and other symptoms and I hardly was able to make it to 8 AM Mass. At one point I thought I would cancel altogether my going to Mass, but God helped me and I heard one of the best homilies on the subject of worship of God. The celebrant priest said that to worship God is not just coming to Mass on Sunday’s. We worship all the time in all we do, how we serve others and done for the glory of God, without other god’s in the middle.
But this day was full of other surprises. That afternoon, I heard a program in CNN making a recollection of stories of people with Alzheimer’s, like Charlton Heston (the famous actor who played Moses), Glenn Campbell, President Reagan, and others. The emphasis was on the caretakers and the previous programs with interviews of their family members were shown, dating as back as Dec. of 2002. All said that their most difficult part was to see their loved ones live in a world where they could not enter or be part of. I then remembered my own memory loss and the huge miracle from this God of mercy…
But still God was not finished… on this beautiful Lord’s Day.
By chance on Friday March 9, I had bought the local newspaper. On this Sunday, I talked to my son as to what to do to resolve the problem of my DVD machine. I checked the newspaper that was already put away and found a place with DVD recorders on sale. I thought of buying one the following day but I let it go. Later that afternoon, he offered to buy me one and went out and did it late that day. Then, when at home, he set it up but it would refuse to make copies. The screen would argue that the blank disk could not record!!!!! Several types of blank DVD’s were tried to no avail. My son is a database engineer and certainly super capable of finding out ways to make this DVD machine work and could not… So, I blamed the Devil…
On Monday March 12, while at Holy Hour before the noon Mass, I asked the Lord to help me grow in this new way of prayer, fasting and almsgiving that I was already practicing. I was oppressed… No doubt about it. Again, let me repeat it: I get these oppressions like once a week, and they do not seem to be depressions. On those hours, I feel like stopping the writing of this blog and even stopping daily Mass due to the difficult expressway and my bad eye. It always appears as a temptation not to do what I believe is God’s will.
So, I said to my Lord, “I need a sign to figure out if this oppression is from Satan. If it is, well at least I know and will not pay attention to such ideas. If it is not, send me a sign,” and thought about the DVD machine. I asked Him to “heal” this machine as a sign that Satan was behind it… He said, “Ask Me at the time of the Consecration.” I did. I came home and suddenly, and by chance, I found that this Blood Sugar Solution program was going to be aired that same day at 12 midnight. It was not scheduled the morning of Monday before Mass because I had checked… So, at 4 PM I decided to record the homily of the EWTN Mass, and yes it recorded it. That night, I had not problems recording the Blood Sugar Solution… And yes, some copies have been sent to friends, and more I have to burn, but now, I also found out that I could do them in my own computer…and by myself!
But Satan was around indeed… and God used his nonsense and proved to me that every time that I want to escape His will, it is a temptation from Satan and that I feel it as oppression…Hmm… It then made so much sense… But of course, I was already practicing my new Lenten devotions and was able to be instructed about the genesis of this feeling. This is why I am passing this info to you, because HE IS ALIVE and was involved in sending this sign… Satan is a very busy spirit. Yet, prayer, fasting and thanksgiving as a way of life and as I will explain it later, seem to do the trick… Also, the use of Biblical verses for this process is essential. He reminded me that He took care of Satan when He was tempted precisely by quoting Scripture… Huh! Why didn’t I think about it?… But of course, I have no theology behind me… And the best news is that hopefully, in a few months, my brain will be re-wired and I will automatically handle EVERY PRESENT MOMENT in the power of the Holy Spirit Who have helped me understand my need to be a busy worker for the Kingdom of God and trained me for it. And when I feel oppressed from this day on, I must simply bear it, say yes to it and not pay attention to any feeling that seems to push me away from God’s will. What a lesson and gift!
Tuesday, March 13.
I received some verses that were followed by some stories read via AOL and which are very related to the verses, as follows:
Jeremiah 8: 4-8; 15.
Israel’s conduct Incomprehensible. “Tell them: thus says the Lord: when someone falls, does he not rise again? If he goes stray, does he not turn back? Why do these people rebel with obstinate resistance? Why do they cling to deceptive idols, refuse to turn back? I listen closely: they speak what is not true; no one repents of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone keeps on running his course, like a steed dashing into battle. Even the stork in the air knows its seasons; … but my people do not know the ordinance of the Lord? How can you say, ‘We are wise, we have the law of the Lord.’ Why, that has been changed into falsehood, by the lying pen of the scribes! We wait for peace to no avail; for a time of healing but terror comes instead.”
Here are some examples that illustrate today what Jeremiah was talking about.
1. British Government Says Christians Don’t Have Right to Wear a Cross or Crucifix at Work
Two British women are headed to court to argue for the right to wear Christian crosses at their workplaces, but a group of Christian ministers is reportedly set to back employers’ rights to ban the regalia. At the heart of the issue is whether or not the crosses are a "requirement" of the Christian faith. According to a document leaked to the Telegraph that allegedly contains their arguments, the ministers are set to tell the court that crosses are not required by religious doctrine, thus supporting the government’s case that employers cannot be forced to allow such symbols.
Nadia Eweida and Shirley Chaplin were both told by their employers to cover or remove the Christian symbol hanging around their necks. When they refused they each faced consequences. Eweida, a British Airways employee, was placed on unpaid leave in 2006 when she refused to remove the symbol. The company eventually changed its uniform policy and rehired Eweida, but did not compensate her for the suspension period. In Chaplin’s case, the longtime nurse was reprimanded for refusing to cover up a cross around her neck, She was subsequently assigned to desk work instead of her usual rounds.
2. CRANSTON, R.I. — Lawyers for the 16-year-old Rhode Island atheist who sued over a prayer banner displayed at a public high school at Cranston High School West, are asking a court to order the city of Cranston to pay $173,000 in attorneys’ fees. The ACLU says Ahlquist is entitled to $25 in damages. The group also says the $173,000 request does not cover all the time spent on the case.
The request was filed in U.S. District Court in Providence by lawyers retained by the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The lawyers sued Cranston and its school committee on behalf of Jessica Ahlquist, a junior A national association that says there’s no proof for the existence of God is managing a scholarship fund set up for a teenage atheist at the center of a dispute over a prayer banner at a Rhode Island school. A federal judge ruled that a prayer banner at a Rhode Island high school, Cranston West, is unconstitutional. It has been removed. A school committee on Thursday decided not to appeal.
3. Florida: Armed with brooms, mops and "unholy water," atheists with the Humanists of Florida gathered on Saturday to symbolically remove holy oil that “Polk Under Prayer” put down on Highway 98 near the Pasco-Polk county line last year. Richard Geringswald, pastor at Northside Christian Church and director of Polk Under Prayer, could not be reached for comment.
"We come in peace," Humanists of Florida director Mark Palmer announced before he and members of other atheist organizations launched their cleanup. Palmer reportedly said Polk Under Prayer’s blessing "sends a very bad signal to everyone in Polk County, and [anyone] who travels through Polk County who doesn’t happen to be Christian."The unblessing project, he explained, was "not about atheist rights," but about "welcoming everybody into Polk County." (Scary stories)
Friday, March 16.
I was summoned to watch parts of a 4 hour program in PBS… I did not want to do it… Several times I had seen it announced in the PBS station, but I was not interested. On this day, I was basically forced to watch some of it, and my heart was totally broken. Worse was to hear my God insist that I had to share some part of this documentary with you. I am soo sorry for doing so, but I must obey… Too many miracles were happening around me, like the “healing” of the new DVD machine, for me to dare to disobey.
It was an interview in 1988 of “thinker” scholar Joseph Campbell (1904- 1987) and done by Bill Moyers, well known member of the U.S. media. The title: The Power of Myth. I am sure that most of you know of Mr. Campbell especially in our Church. I say it because I found out that the behavior and ideas I found in the 1980’s in a particular Order of nuns in Cleveland match his ideas, and yes he was a Catholic, admitted by him in this program.
Here are a few sentences of what was said … BUT PLEASE do not despair… This is evidence that something went very wrong in our Church after Vatican II. I now see that the end of Council and start of its implementation coincided with Satan working overtime to confuse souls and in the U.S., at least, books and TV programs were appearing in the 1980’s, completely explaining the concept of God with many ideas coming from every possible non Christian religion, besides bringing the feminist movement into the Church. It is possible that other authors appeared at the same time, except that I truly do not want to know about it, and sufficient for me is to have found these men speaking a language that made me at times wonder how could they twist the Truth so much, if not led by evil forces tempting them to do so!
Mr Campbell said that God is an idea, a thought, transcendent, and because we cannot know this idea, we call it God. He then discussed the paintings of Michelangelo and said and I am paraphrasing, “They give us this image of God of an old man and the good and evil concept, but does not reflect what actual “living is on this earth” means. You have to have a road map to spirituality. The best you can do is to find fulfillment, because you are God in your deepest identity. You are one with God. God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It’s as simple as that.
“The Shinto belief never acknowledges Adam and Eve, when good and evil were defined by some other religions, which tend to blame the serpent for everything, since snakes are a sign of life for some cultures because they shed their skin. The cobra is a sacred animal in India. A sacred king serpent appeared always near Buda. In the other hand, some religions say that life is evil unless you are baptized or circumcised. Actually, Schopenhauer wrote that life should not have been because life is trouble!”
He spoke of goddesses, and how important the female figure is in history … “This goddess concept expresses itself well in Mary, the mother of Jesus. The virgin birth is a myth… that came from the Greeks, since they were familiar with this concept and that is why it is only Luke who describes the virgin birth in his Gospel. It actually refers to the birth of the spiritual man or when God emerges, and that is you. So, Jesus was born normally.“
“I don’t have to have faith because I have experience.”
“Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.”
Something that actually scared me the most was to hear a PBS announcer saying that this program in 1988 was questioned at the time and they doubted it was an intelligent and well crafted program, but that in 2012, they are running it because many are interested in hearing Joseph Campbell’s views in order to learn lessons for our spiritual living in the here and now! A much older Bill Moyers came to add that in 1988, people misjudged the content of this presentation, but he defended Campbell saying “that these were lessons to learn regarding what life is all about. Life is to be lived in ‘self-discovery,’ and finding the truth in your life by listening to the voice inside that only you can interpret. This self discovery allows you to find your strength and passion and mission to be true to yourself… so that you can live the life that has meaning for you…” (End of quotes)
But if you think, God was not trying to scare me into a radical inner conversion, and using the word scare as a gracious gift of His to alert me of the root cause of what we are living, He was not done with me. Also in PBS they are running right now a NEW program by another ex Catholic, Dr. Wayne Dyer. I want to add it here for comparison.The title: Wishes Fulfilled.
He said, “Our higher self is all known and almighty.” He quoted Uell Anderson who in 1986 wrote that the three magic words are, “You are God.” Dyer continued, “Yes, you can place wholeness in you to make it happen. You must feel the extraordinary power coming from the Tao, the Source…“
He was discussing with the PBS announcer the package they wanted listeners to buy in order to help this public station with the necessary funds to keep functioning, and he mentioned that he is sharing in this package a DVD called, “Experiencing the Miraculous.” Now, hold to your seat because later he explained some of the content of this DVD!
He has been battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia and loss of his hair with chemotherapy, but he is fighting this disease with power because he believes that he was healed to feel so as he gave lectures to 160 people who accompanied him to Assisi, Lourdes and Medjugorje… and how these places truly produced miracles and he was one of them… He was given an inner power to heal himself…
From the Internet: Who is Wayne Dyer, PhD? He is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He’s the author of over 30 books, has created many audio programs and videos, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows.
Dyer holds a Doctorate in Educational Counseling from Wayne State University and was an associate professor at St. John’s University in New York. Despite his childhood spent in orphanages and foster homes, Dr. Dyer has overcome many obstacles to make his dreams come true. Today he spends much of his time showing others how to do the same. When he’s not traveling the globe delivering his uplifting message, Wayne is writing from his home in Maui. With self-deprecating humor, Dr. Dyer explains how being listed as third on the “Most Spiritually Influential People” (I say, Ouch!)
His most affecting teaching is taken directly from the story of Moses in the Old Testament: how saying the words “I Am” creates a direct connection with one’s highest calling. Dyer’s daily affirmations include: “I am well. I am content. I am loved. I am God (meaning love). I am peace and abundance. These mantras are borrowed from the famed Biblical response mentioned above.
My take of the last two gentlemen: O.K… I did not know what to do after been exposed to these foreign strange concepts! I felt like crying, but at the same time, I felt shame that I had not truly kept an ear on this malady and pray the Rosary more often for these strange pagan ideas under the cover of Christianity, or making of Christianity a myth. I have been sooo distracted… One thing that truly saddened me was the use of Bible verses and visits to places we have in great esteem as Assisi and Lourdes, as part of his lecture. And Dr. Dyer is using all these ideas from Taoism and Hinduism and applying them as something so new, when actually ALL OF HIS IDEAS are the ways that our brains work: we can re-wire ourselves so easily with however nonsense is the latest trend, but we as a culture, as a Church, have not dogged enough into the science of the brain to enlighten others that you can be duped with these quotes and ideas, pretending that they are centuries old, and they are, except that those cultures created them by re-wiring their brains with so called “positive thinking” and attributed this change to gods of all sorts. In other ways, they had a soul (as images of God) and they were looking for the Creator and could not find Him with flesh and bones, and so they started using their brains and their natural human wisdom, ending up with the creation of gods and goddesses and systems of belief.
We then, took all those philosophies and religious beliefs and now have the New Age, which talks about “life or energy forces” within. These energies which they call forces which guide us to “become true to ourselves,” the famous phrase used by present pagan proponents of these ideas, also were identified as chakras, or parts of the body where these energy forces controlled parts of the body. Yet, ALL ALONG, God has created us with brains that run our bodies and does it with electricity… Of course, there are energy forces within, or electrical currents which also produce magnetic fields and they run our corporal machinery with fantastic perfect rhythms. Remember, and never forget this, chakras are “the XX Century type of transformers” that we saw in our electrical wiring in the streets. These transformers simply modulate the electricity coming to our homes so that it does not fluctuate much for the sake of the different machines we run using electrical power. And yes, by stimulating our own chakras, we affect the electrical flows in different part of our bodies, and I calm the pain when I eat some food to which I am allergic, by using electro-acupuncture in the areas assigned to these natural transformers or so called chakras. This science is sooo beautiful, that I will repeat again what I explained many blogs ago, as to how to learn if you allergic to X food… I already wrote by many blogs ago.
You must get a friend to do it with you. If you think you are allergic to apples, then, standing you extend your arms to the side as if you were crucified. The friend then pushes down with his/her hand, your arms and you resist the force the best you can. Then, you do the same but in one of your hands you hold an apple. The friend repeats the same maneuver and magically, when it pushes the arm with the apple, if you are allergic to it, you have NO FORCE left in the muscle of that arm to resist it and your whole arm is brought down like nothing! Why? Because the electrical flow needed to contract the muscles of the arm with the apple, cannot produce energy for the muscles to do it, due to a disturbance to the magnetic fields caused by the presence of the object that the immune system remembers to reject… So, do we have energy forces within? Of course… if we are alive, because electricity is the force running our bodies made by a God Who is the most extraordinary scientist/physicist…
We have proof that we are run by electricity with our electrocardiograms… which are the depiction of the electricity passing through our heart muscle… It is all there! In the other hand, our brains not only use the same electricity and can give us proof of in the electro-encephalogram, but are extremely plastic, or susceptible to re-wiring, and so the basketball players, by practicing over and over trying to get the ball in the basket, wire their brains for these extraordinary computers to calculate the amount of force in the arm and the direction for the ball to enter the basket. The piano players also wire their brains by practicing over and over.
II. List of the fruits that I could obtain by attempting this God-led re-wiring of my brain in order to become an effective intercessor in the midst of the present times.
I was appalled when I understood that all along, Jesus had left clear instructions for us to do certain things as part of following Him, and He never said that we should do it just once in a while… Every Lent we are called to practice it for 40 days, but now I have this feeling that if done all year and year after year, our brains will automatically choose to do it by a simple modification of a very plastic brain.
At the end, practicing these devotions of prayer, fasting and thanksgiving in this new way and longer than 40 days, we could get these fruits:
1. It becomes a “complete and acceptable” sacrifice, and the Bible, Old and New Testaments, clearly repeat over and over that what He wants is not just sacrifice of offering animals or incense but a contrite merciful spirit. It helps us to keep focused in becoming true ambassadors for Christ.
2. It is a form of expressing a superb form of trust in His love and mercy, or it renders faith without fear… (Remember that fear comes from parts of our brain with unsolved conflicts, which many times we do not even know they exist in the unconscious sphere).
3. If we end up radically trusting that He will win all our battles, we can move mountains and our intercession for ourselves or others can be very powerful, and yes, this practice will open the doors for God to win more battles. One thing is to believe He can, and another, to act up in this belief, and this plan that I will reveal to you soon, can open doors wide.
4. We will be able to hear the Holy Spirit’s guidance and will have the wisdom to understand it and the courage to execute it. This practice leads and helps to live a continuous Pentecost within.
5. It will help eradicate any “looking down” or paying attention to what is wrong in our lives, in our neighbor, in the Church, in the world, etc. because in time, this form or re-wiring of the brain will moderate our natural tendencies to pass judgment. Again, practice, practice, practice like the sports players and musicians.
6. Graces will abound (and I am finding out that it is working for me as such and even so early in this process.) It stops any analysis of the problems and the trust that comes with it, invites God to fix them.
7. It will facilitate the grace to pray all the time but not just saying words by heart. The Holy Spirit will take over. Just the other day, rain was pouring in this very busy expressway and as I entered it, I found myself saying, “My God and my Lord.” John 20:28. I was not thinking about God or prayer, and yet, the words of St. Thomas inundated my soul and mind, and suddenly I had arrived to the exit for my parish. It was a magical event.
8. There is a sense of separation from any news with worldly agendas, and I am experiencing a dislike for excessive repetitive news or make-believe stories.
9. It is like been born in the Spirit but not as a concept that I work at, but as a reality that I easily live.
Personally, there is a new agenda in my head: instead of thinking too much about what is wrong in the world, the Church, etc, I find myself thinking about what am I suppose to be doing to pray instead of passing judgment. This is why I will mention in the actual plan, to review daily the list of battles that God has won for me, and lately, I have added others. For example, if I am upset about something that the media brings about the latest scandal in the Church, even if it happened decades ago, I am wiring my brain to think that this Church founded by Jesus, is so universal, that when I move from place to place, I know I will have a parish nearby… What a consolation that is! This Church is sooo huge that it is almost impossible in human terms for it to disappear (that is if we do not believe what He said that His Church will never be destroyed). In the 1980’s, I remember watching these huge Protestant gatherings at the Chrystal Cathedral in Los Angeles. Now, this church is gone and the building is the possible site for another Catholic church… Hmm.
III. Re-wiring my brain
1. Purpose of this re-wiring: TO CREATE A VERY METHODICAL WAY TO LIVE THE PRESENT MOMENT, but in the PRESENCE OF GOD…
2. How to do it.
In this 360 degree conversion long process, the three Lenten exercises of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are a simple practice but done all the time and in an active way and it allows me to live in God’s Presence on a more constant basis. I enter into this way of living remembering that it is a form of loving God with all my heart and mind, soul and strength. Besides, Jesus practiced them. He prayed (and the Holy Spirit made sure that the Evangelists would mention this detail many times over), He physically fasted for 40 days… before His public ministry (big hint that even God submitted Himself to fasting…) and He also fasted His will and carefully mentioned that He had come to do the will of His Father. He practiced almsgiving by forgiving His persecutors and curing many diseases and liberating many from demonic forces. But the greatest form of almsgiving was to lay down His life for us by submitting Himself to a very cruel death…
PRAYER: I have written many times about prayer and all of you also know this subject matter very well. It comprises: (a) prayer at specific set up times (Mass, Holy Hour, Rosary, Chaplet of Mercy, Lectio Divina, Liturgy of the Hours), (b) praying in each present moment. There is little to expand here, except that I will extend this topic when I discuss the practice of fasting.
FASTING: this fasting is of my will… at all cost and with premeditation. How to do it?
1. With a resolute yes to His will for each present moment and most especially for my crosses. This is an active engagement of my will. I immediately do two things: 1) I accept it with a big yes… and usually say, “This moment is as perfect as it can be because God allowed it and has a purpose for it.” 2) Then, I dispel it with prayer, which means that I quit thinking of these crosses, the pros and cons, the why’s of them, etc. Obviously, I use a prayer to the Holy Spirit as I have shared before, or pray a Hail Mary said with the specific intention of asking the Mother of God to pray for me, or the Jesus’ Prayer, or the Memorare, or to the Eucharist (O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be forever Thine), or to the Holy Trinity (To You be praise, to You be glory, to You be thanksgiving through endless ages, O Blessed Trinity. Holy, holy, holy Lord, the heavens and the earth are full of your glory), etc. This is something that I know I have to remind myself to do all the time. It is a process of re-wiring, so some day, through God’s grace and the plasticity of my brain, I will do it automatically. After all, Jesus said to pray always, and St. Paul said the same, to pray unceasingly.
2. By refusing (or fasting my will) to wonder for too long about all present moments. If I catch myself in this very human action, I do not recriminate myself or spend time examining why I was doing it, but turn to prayer immediately, and let the Holy Spirit take it from there, and He does! And this refusal is accomplished best again by saying, “Each moment is as perfect as it can be, and so it will be the next one,” but truly contemplating the immensity of the love of God arranging such moment, since it is so perfect because He is perfect in all He does, and so I must actually thank Him for it and the next moments to come. It does work. Again, it is another form of re-wiring my brain so one day, automatically when wondering what is going on now or later, I stop to realize that since all present moments are mandated or allowed by God, they are perfect and therefore, there is no need for me to find anything else about it.
3. I must often remember to be ready to lose everything, as mentioned in the last blog: comforts of life, secure situations (emotional or financial), reputation, a good name, and be ready to receive persecution.
4. Fasting my will should be also accompanied with frequent remembrance of certain Scripture verses, which being the Word of God, can exert great power to keep my attention in doing God’s will for each moment. These Scriptures I use all the time and I am sure everybody has his/her own familiar and preferred verses:
For God all things are possible, Lord please help me to do Your will.
The Lord is my Shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.
I am the servant of the Lord. Do unto me according to Your Word.
I want to see, Lord.
I want to believe. Help my unbelief.
If today I hear Your voice, help me not to harden my heart.
5. Fasting my will requires other practices that help my soul receive graces to do it, like repenting often for all sins, even minor sins on a daily basis with purpose of amendment; plus receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis and as needed.
6. It is necessary to daily, preferably in the morning, to read my history of salvation, that is, to remember all the victories that the Lord has provided for me. Said differently, I must” look up” and fix up my eyes on Him by reviewing so many things that He already has given me. In my last blog I made a list of all the victories and I use such list for this purpose. This is very important as I said before, for re-wiring the brain to be cognizant that He is alive, Present, engaged in my life at every moment as He has been all along in my yesteryears.
My greatest gift to others is to seek their salvation but with great desire and “gusto” and dedication. I must lay down my life for them… and I now practice specific ways to do it.
Spiritual works of mercy (almsgiving):
1. I must forgive everyone who may have scandalized me or persecuted me. This month I found out that the opposite of love is not hatred but resentment. Resentment is the mother of hatred. Resentment is a form of lack of forgiveness and every time I pray the Lord’s Prayer, I am asking my Father to forgive my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me. So, I better understand that I must constantly address my need to forgive. And any feeling of resentment must be dealt ASAP with prayer and fasting as written above… It does work! If Jesus forgave His assassins because they knew not what they were doing, in my case, it is not a hint or a suggestion… It is a mandate. When I pray, I must do it with this intention, especially when I am present at the Eucharistic Table or when I say the Hail Mary, so my Mother can pray for me that I can be faithful to this seeking of the forgiving of others at all cost.
I had received on March 12, these ideas of practicing the Lenten three devotions in a very different way than any other Lent and started right away. So, for the entry of March 19, you will find out the fruits I already received by practicing prayer, fasting and almsgiving as I am explaining it now. It was very consoling to see how God had a plan all along…
2. I must offer my suffering in atonement ofor the sins of others and for their salvation especially those in public life like Politian’s, but must accept the suffering before I offer it up. You cannot offer something that it is not yours…and you accept it when you declare it perfect and necessary, or allowed by God and therefore sacred.
3. I must pray for others as a routine act. It is not if I remember or pray for those whom I like, but pray for everybody especially as I encounter them in each present moment… especially TV personalities and people everywhere. God has a plan for all of us, and I have been convicted to believe that He will place me in “X” situation for me to raise my heart in love and prayer for the other. If I am never conflicted by other’s behavior, I may never think of praying constantly for them and perhaps never at all.
4. I must abstain from judging others… at all cost. If I see someone acting in a way that gives me scandal, I must EXCHANGE my judgment for a prayer for the person involved and do it quickly until my brain is totally re-wired to do so. This done over and over and through time, it will become a way of being kind and merciful towards my neighbor.
5. I must be patient and kind with those who make me impatient, and always remembering that they are images of God. I use an image for these cases: if this person were Jesus, what would I do? Love Him and so I must love them right and there. I have been doing it in the expressway and letting cars get in my lane with ease… It does work! I find myself with the freedom of accepting their aggressive driving skills, which I normally detest!
6. I must serve others in different ways: with a smile, a thank you for anything good done to me.
7. I must preach the Gospel to others, in words and living It, as led by the Holy Spirit.
Corporal works of mercy (almsgiving):
1. I must feed the poor (e.g.: a $20 bill given to those who seem to be homeless). I must clothe the naked even if I do it with an act of love… which sometimes mean more to them than money. I have experience this with some homeless people and as I have narrated before, and they become transformed when they are clothed with love in whatever way is expressed.
2. Passing on information of things to help my neighbor’s health is a form of almsgiving.
IV. Closing remarks
Regarding the Present Moment: what I now have understood after these last weeks is this: one thing is to talk about living in the Present Moment, and another very different is to live in the Present Moment. The Present Moment must be lived and to do that, I have to show a determined determination to do so by living what Jesus taught us, plus to dress in sackcloth… a famous phrase that many figures from the Old Testament offered when asking for God’s mercy. Dressing in sackcloth, living with a repentant heart and practicing prayer, fasting and almsgiving, is the surest way to receive His mercy in so many unexpected ways, for me and for my neighbor.
For example, God has promised in Isaiah 30: 21 that … He will guide me to the left or to the right…and He does it all the time. The problem is to hear Him…this very soft voice that Elijah experienced… So, I need the grace to truly live each moment at a time, because His voice is always in the present tense… I cannot seek guidance for something that happened yesterday nor for something that may happen tomorrow because He is a God of the now, as He called Himself, “I AM.” And this is the trick… Even when we have to discern our future, when we truly have to make a mighty decision in our lives, our tendency is to pretend to figure it out in our time frame, and not in the present moment that God has decided to reveal His guidance.
If we truly have faith, and if we are praying, fasting and practicing alms-giving as previously described, the answer will come loud and clear, in His time and it will be for His glory. Not only that, we may not even want to have an answer for our future, because we have become certain that He reveals is to us in the perfect present moment of our life…Faith shown by our indifference of what is next, is the fastest way to be freed of any fear or anxiety for what is to come! And you can add to that, much success in evangelizing others. If I try to figure it out in my time, I can build fear, anxiety and practice curiosity. And this is not how the Holy Spirit works…
We must understand that if a decision has to be made, that battle will be won at a very set time, and that it will be revealed to us at the right moment, not one minute early or late, and it comes accompanied of a certitude that is written with the indelible ink of His love. It was in these last weeks that I looked back, and yes, I had that happen to me several times. He came to change my routing with certitude and power. I have told those stories before, but I never saw it as His action in the present moment of my life, one that He created for me. This certitude turns out to be like an insurance plan and one feels free to live every Present Moment with ease and in tranquility…. Of course, again, we have to be disposed to live a moment at a time under His grace, and this comes with prayer, fasting and almsgiving. I know that I will never do a perfect job at those Lenten practices, but He is happy with me just being disposed to do the best I can, yet full of “faith without fear” that He is in charge…
Examples that now, in hindsight, appear to me to be “present moments full of grace” when He directed me to the right or the left: (Yes, you know about all these next stories, but I believe that they need to be rehashed as proof of His perfect direction in each different time as promised in Isaiah 30:21. Sorry for the repetition!)
1. My sudden need to live near His Eucharistic Presence, which led me to a convent for my first grade in order to do so, and to learn thereafter all about His Sacred Heart. From then on, I knew I belonged to His Heart, and it has remained so since. There was never a question about it. So, this direction was a super gift for me.
2. To know what I would like to become when I grew up and I was only 4-5 years old, and yes, to become a secretary and a physician was planned, and it looks like the Holy Spirit was working in my brain at such early age and telling me where to go…I never vacillated or questioned my routing, ever.
3. After my internship, I sought a residency in Internal Medicine to end up specializing in Cardiology, got it, and overnight, I found myself wanting to go into Anesthesiology, even that I detested the operating room environment. It was too late to get a residency in Anesthesia and yet, God moved a doctor to create a position for me… at Sinai Hospital of Detroit… All of this happened in order for me to figure out the connection between fluoride, anesthetic fluorinated gases and memory loss… Without knowing this link with anesthetic gases, I would never have suspected that I could lose my memory with a general anesthetic… and also warned me about the presence of fluoride in tooth paste and tap water… This is a huge… finding for me and many others!
4. My first professional major persecution occurred in 1984 and I spent l985 at home, by choice, trying to heal from the sting of this unjust action. It was then that I was introduced to the topic of Divine Mercy and read the Diary of St. Faustina backwards and forwards. It was also when I remembered that as a child I had been exposed to it by my grandmother and still have it with me, a large picture of the painting of Jesus of Mercy but with the “Jesus I trust in You” written in Spanish, although printed in Dearborn, MI. I was asked to pursuit this interest in learning more about His Divine Mercy, and it did happen! So, staying home under the suffering of persecution was a directive that paid big dividends. Of course, part of the suffering was to wonder if when I found another job, these two doctors, woman and man, would lie about me and give me a poor reference! It never happened and in fact they later apologized to my husband for what they did to me. I now wonder if my praying of the Chaplet of Mercy during that year, helped them to apologize and today, I can say that I could love them with no problem… What His mercy does is out of this world!
5. With my second major professional persecution, I ended up doing temporary anesthesia assignments, and in 1994 met a nurse who introduced me to the natural supplement, barley grass, and this opened the doors to this day for my introduction and liking of naturopathic medicine. This was essential to eventually detoxify myself with natural products to recover my memory. There is no doubt that crosses have fruits…
6. But I had more fruits from God’s direction and when I was not able to enter a Professorship career at Case Western University in Cleveland due to the lies of a colleague from Indiana sent to this institution… and thank God it was so, so that I could end up in the area of San Francisco, where the science of the brain is so well publicized… and where I learned how to put together the need to detoxify my brain to get my memory back. This miracle was evolving for years…
7. And this last major professional persecution came about because I was rerouted from Indiana to Cleveland, and this was revealed to me at a Marriott Hotel in Houston, TX on May 4, 1981… I was reading the Gideon’s Bible in my hotel room when Joshua chapter 4 came to me and the Lord finished the explanation… as how I would receive offers of jobs for my husband and for me and to take them, and as Joshua, I would cross the Jordan River without getting wet. That Sunday May 7, the call came through and jobs were offered at Kaiser Permanente Cleveland. One thing led to the other one. He came at the perfect present moment and changed our lives. Just think if I had not suffered these professional persecutions!
Conclusion: These stories prove to me that if I live in the present moment, I have no reason to figure out, wonder or worry about what will be in the future present moments! So, my work is to perennially live in His Presence, obeying His will, fasting my ego the best I can and offering almsgiving for my brothers and sisters in the best way I can possibly do it as related before. Then the present moment becomes the “”sacrament” of the Present Moment”, and it is a sacrament because it is sacred, containing so many graces for my work for the Kingdom on this earth… This could also be called “to be born in the Holy Spirit,” since this way of life depends on the Holy Spirit reigning in my heart each present moment of my life…
Monday, March 19
Miracle from St. Joseph…
As always God is a dream of a Father and Shepherd. I am talking now about what happened on March 19, Feast of St. Joseph, a very, very special day for me because I was born in a capital city, San Jose. As a child, St. Joseph was like my best friend and I have told this story to you before: In my third grade (9 years old), my grandma bought me a Schaeffer pen, new in those days for us Costa Ricans. We were used to use the old way of inking a pen for each sentence. This way, I could fill up the pen and write for a while until it was time to add more ink… Oh, those days! Yet, I lost the pen in the next 48 hours of being in my possession, and it was expensive and a hardship for our budget. So, I asked St. Joseph, my Papa, to help me and I would say one Our Father daily for the rest of my life…
Within minutes I felt directed to go between our two beds – mine and grandma’s – that were placed next to each other in order to save some space in this rather small bedroom… I had checked under the beds to no avail. But suddenly I found myself feeling in between the two beds and there I found my brand new treasure, my pen…I kept my promise for about a few months and then I did not say the Our Father any longer in thanksgiving for this super miracle, but St. Joseph became a light for my path, and at the time I did not know that St. Teresa of Avila was also a great believer in the power of this “just humble” Saint.
So, on his feast in 2012, I had a wonderful day. The Mass was a beautiful. My Pastor spoke about how we should become silent and contemplative like St. Joseph to find God within… I always think that St. Joseph is so powerful as an intercessor because he spent many years of his life in a continuous Holy Hour… next to Jesus…
Also on this day we had our Penitential Rite for Lent. I had as confessor a Salesian who works in Africa and he was a very calming presence. I had problems with 3 confessors in previous 3 different parishes and several years apart, who whether they knew me or not, they offended me gravely by judging me through strange counsels. This priest came to change that image, and possibly this was what I needed (and exactly on St. Joseph’s Feast day…) The pain has been present every time that I enter a confessional…There is certain fear, but this time, I left with great joy, not just consoled for finding a good priest, but actually with a new image of a confessor, which probably will eradicate the previous images. He also prayed over me for at least two minutes with one hand over my head and before he gave me absolution, and this prayer I now believe did the healing, and pretty similar to the one I had when in July 2008, we were driving from Toledo to California. We had stopped at the University of Notre Dame Campus for late Sunday Mass and I went to confession there. The priest placed his hand on my head and sent me to proclaim the mercy of God…!!! And so it happened! God won this battle for me!
One of my sins confessed was my resentments that are normal for a short while since I am human and very imperfect, but what it is wrong and had to be confessed, is that I do not try immediately to ask for the grace of God to deal with them forever…It is interesting that this priest was assigned by my pastor to my usual confessional which has a face to face cubicle since I cannot kneel well with a sore right knee. But my precious adorable God, in His great mercy, was not done with this experience and made me read on March 20, the following story as told to Sr. Emmanuel, the French Nun that is based in Medjugorje, and whom I know personally, and reported by her on March 15 in the Children of Medjugorje website, but I never read until this day… And sure enough, this was the extra teaching I needed to finish learning from now on how to handle any resentment …
Quote: "Is it possible to be an apostle of the divine light? In this blessed time of Lent, we abandon ourselves to the divine mercy in order to be purified. Giulia gave us a marvelous and very encouraging testimony! She is a jolly Italian grandmother. But the relationship between her son, Luigi and her daughter-in-law, Sonia (a non-believer) has deteriorated so much that their separation seemed inevitable. Giulia tells me;
“The worst time of my life was the five years which passed between the separation of my son from his wife, and their divorce. The more time passed, the more infected the wound became. At the time of the divorce, Sonia unleashed an avalanche of accusations. I will not go into detail. But the worst thing was that their child, Manuele, my grandson, had become caught up in this infernal whirlwind. He was repeatedly interrogated by a social worker and submitted to psychological tests which were inhumane for a little boy of this age. He suffered very much. He felt torn between the love of his father and that of his mother, so much so that he felt forced into saying things that he did not want to. All of this caused me to suffer terribly, to such a degree that I began to howl with grief and sometimes to utter curses against my daughter-in-law.
“During the mass one time, when the priest invited us to offer the sign of peace, I gave the kiss of peace to all those around me. Then I closed my eyes and with enormous effort by will, I asked Jesus to help me. I visualized my daughter-in-law interiorly. (MY NOTE: notice how she used a mental image suggested by Jesus!!!…) In spite of the strong resistance which I felt within myself, I asked her forgiveness for having offended her and I forgave her for having broken my heart. Then, still interiorly, I embraced her saying: ‘I give you the peace of Jesus. May the peace of Jesus be in your spirit and in your heart!’
“Since that day, I have repeated this prayer at every mass, every day, at the moment of the sign of peace. (MY NOTE: she was re-wiring her brain!) I had to persevere with it for several months. Little by little my hatred and bitterness decreased until they disappeared altogether. The transformation was incredible. My son asked me: ‘But mother, how have you managed not feel any hatred for Sonia?’ I replied to him: ‘Luigi, I pray!’
Now the divorce is finalized. But Sonia comes willingly to my house, we greet each other graciously and we hug, and we talk calmly together about our little Manuele. It is the Lord who has done this! If He has done this for me… He can and He wants to do it ofr you too!”End of story)
And yes, the last words were meant for me… Just by going to confession and wanting to change my life and sin no more, like Jesus suggested to the prostitute, and I am sure with the intercession of my St. Joseph, from now on I have another answer by using my brain, again… in order to deal with any resentment … Alleluia… He is risen and I do not even have to wait for each Easter. He is here and alive and loving and runs our lives in impeccable ways, if we only believe that HE CAN ALWAYS, ALWAYS, win all our battles. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound…! For the Lord is my Shepherd and there is nothing, nothing, nothing I shall want!
On March 20, just some hours later, I went to noon Mass and found myself on those days when joy is out of sight… The moment I sit in front of the Tabernacle in the first pew, I dissolve in happiness. I even worry at times that I will form wrinkles around my mouth for smiling for prolonged periods of time. When I moved to pew number eight, I felt a little sad. These days where His Presence is sooo extraordinary and my joy so out of hand, I feel bad when I distance myself even a little from Him. Then, the moment I got in the car to come home, the Hispanic radio was playing “La Barca,” one of my most favorite songs in Spanish, that I cannot refrain but to paste here the lyrics in English.
1. Lord, you have come to the seashore looking neither for the wise nor the wealthy. You only wanted that I should follow You.
O Lord, with Your eyes You have searched me, And while smiling, You have called out my name. Now my boat’s left behind me on the shoreline; and with You I will seek other seas.
2. You know that I own so little; in my boat there’s neither money nor weapons, You’ll only find there my nets and labor.
3. You need the caring of my hands, so through my tiredness, others may find rest. You need a love that just goes on loving.
4. You, who have fished in other oceans, forever longed by souls that are waiting, my dear and good friend, as thus You call me.
There is no doubt that I am in love with this God Jesus of Nazareth… and He is sooo alive… While looking in YouTube for the above lyrics, I ended up with the August 2011 Medjugorje Youthfest Orchestra and Choir – La Barca and as they were singing in Croatian… I could spend a whole night just seeing these young people dance and sing moved by the Holy Spirit…and honoring my Mother, Queen of Peace. I also found another YouTube video from May 8, 2010 of the International Youth Festival in Medjugorje and they were singing Resuscitó (He is risen), alleluia… but in Spanish… And this was excellent for my ears in the days ahead of Easter. God is too good!
Thursday, March 22.
As I was finishing the endless editing of this blog and contemplating the immense responsibility that comes from it, I said to the Lord this, “I hope this is the last blog. You have given me many graces but when You tell about the work I still have ahead of me with details of how to do it, I am doubting that it is from You… What about if it is the Devil? Or my flesh? What about it? I am ready to do it, but wonder if it is truly You talking to me! I cannot do such job! I do not have any formation! So, I suspect that I am confused.” I immediately sensed a deep penetrating look of disgust on His part… And also immediately, I received a number for a page in the Bible…I use the St. Joseph Edition of the New American Bible.
Page 177 in the New Testament had the story of doubting Thomas, and how the Risen Jesus came to confront him for his incredulity… John 20: 24-29.
Page 177 in the Old Testament was this:
Deuteronomy 3: 23-27. (Moses speaking to the Israelites) “And it was then that I besought the Lord, ‘O Lord God, you have begun to show to Your servant your greatness and might. For what god in heaven or on earth can perform deeds as mighty as Yours? Ah, let me cross over and see this good land beyond the Jordan, this fine hill country, and the Lebanon.’ But the Lord was angry with me on your account and would not hear me. ‘Enough’ the Lord said to me. ‘Speak to Me no more of this. Go up to the top of Pisgah, and look out to the west, and to the north, and to the south and to the east. Look well, for you shall not cross this Jordan’”
Ouch and ouch and ouch… The two readings were cases of doubting… Hmm. Worse, in the second one, Moses is trying to blame the Israelites for his doubting when he hit the rock to get water more than once. And he started by trying to bribe God by citing His accomplishments…It seems like a despicable act of bribery.
Of course, this God of love and mercy was also quick to be angry with me. He has said to me so many times before, “If I have given you so many blessings, how is it that I would confuse you so much that you hear the same command over and over and I allow you to get confused?” So, this is not new for me… But today, after practicing my Lenten devotions for 10 days in this new way, He was more clear than ever before and with His own Word, that I have to quit doubting Him… Ouch. I opted to add this story to this blog that is already long, just to make this point: trust in His mercy and love for us has to be believed at every turn of our lives, in whatever circumstances and this belief has to be in action… Otherwise, He can get fidgety and with great reason… I will be at Mass tomorrow asking for His forgiveness…
Last holy thought: How to live in the present moment is described by a Saint with these words. “My God, I do not want to know Your roadways, since I am Your daughter. You are a Father of wisdom and a Father for me too, and if You take me through the darkness of night, I know You are taking me to Yourself.” St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. (Edith Stein)
Finally, the super good news is that THIS Lenten LIFE STYLE WILL BE MY SACRIFICE FOR THE ELECTIONS OF NOVEMBER 2012. After being confronted with two ex-Catholic men gone so far as to say that we are Gods… and with the present dilemma we have for our Catholic beliefs to be respected worldwide, the least I can do for Him, the Love of my life, is to offer Him prayer, fasting and almsgiving, but in a very serious way, a continuous way until my brain becomes accustomed to do it 24/7, that is even while asleep!!! I am posting this blog slightly early in order to have time to spend it with our Holy Father in Mexico and Cuba for my delight, but also praying for his safety and for stamina to do this trip.
Happy Easter and have a blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!