I offer this blog in honor to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
“Come Holy Spirit; come by the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your most beloved spouse.”
This short prayer is said between decades in a Rosary that was placed by one of my sons in an old IPod, and prayed by Gretchen Harris. It has become a very sweet way for me of calling God through our Mother’s intercession, and I learned it well since I use this particular program to pray my daily three Rosaries against the evil one.
This blog will contain the following topics:
I-Nik Wallenda and his stunt over Niagara Falls.
II. A few words from St. Louis de Montfort about the Rosary…
III. Evangelization during my recent vacation
V. A small reminder regarding 2012 science about how to decrease the aging of our brains.
I. Rik Wallenda and his stunt over Niagara Falls.
Little did I know that I would receive the most extraordinary teaching on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (June 16)… Well, looking back, probably my prayer above produced this miracle.
Because this stunt is familiar with great details to us in the U.S. and Canada, but not so well known to other parts of the world where this blog appears to be read (of course I do not know who reads it but several countries in the world appear as having contacted the site), I will give some history about Nik Wallenda’s extraordinary crossing over Niagara Falls walking on a tight-rope.
Born in Sarasota, Florida, U.S on January 24, 1979
Due to the location, the wire couldn’t use supports and had to be custom made. As a result, the wire was able to sway significantly in the breeze, making the crossing more difficult than it would have been with stationary supports. The wire was two inches (five centimeters) in diameter, a fraction of inch wider than the wires Wallenda typically uses.
Wallenda’s chosen path took him 1,800 feet (550 m) across the widest part of the falls. He slowly inched his way across the slippery wire, praying and praising Jesus Christ as he went. As he was taking his first steps over the water he told reporters "It’s a beautiful view… A dream in the making." Wallenda did not falter or totter in the slightest during his walk, nor did he stop to do any extra feats during the walk (as he often does). Talking to ABC reporters live, as he entered the final phase of the trip he admitted, "I’m drained… My hands are going numb. I feel like I’m getting weak."
ABC required Wallenda to wear a safety harness. After the decision was made in mid-May, a spokesperson for ABC explained "We had always made clear from the beginning that significant safety precautions would need to be taken. This is the outcome of that."
After completing the walk, Wallenda said it was more difficult than he had expected. "That mist was thick. It was hard to see at times. The wind was wild. It’d come at me one way and hit me from the front, and hit me from the back." (My note: this describes our lives at times) Weather instruments showed gusts up to 14 mph during the walk. He further remarked that the turbulent waters below made it difficult for him to see the wire. Long-time circus performer, Jackie LeClaire, remarked "aerialists always try to calculate risk. Nik couldn’t do that because this walk had never been done before.” Local historian, Paul Gromosiak, who has researched daredevil activity in the Niagara region for his books, said Wallenda’s proximity to the falls made his act far more dangerous than any prior event.
Wallenda describes himself as a challenge-driven person. "Don’t tell me, ‘It can’t be done,’ because I’ll find a way to do it," he says. Never give up, he says, and one can "achieve the impossible." He credits God for his success, saying that what he does on the high wire is a gift from God. He grew up in a "a Bible-believing, God-fearing family" and describes himself as a "born-again Christian." Faith is "the most important part of my life," he says. Before every wire walk, he joins his family in prayer and wears a cross as he performs. Along the way, he calmly prayed aloud. He is married and have three children: He is a member of a generation called the Flying Wallenda Family.” (End of report on his life)
But why am I reporting this extraordinary stunt in this blog? I never thought I would see the similarities with our spiritual life. I further understood that the wire was equivalent to Jesus in the spiritual life. We must be in constant contact with Him. This man’s brain guided his feet and arms using the balancing rod to keep contact with the rope. His brain had been trained and wired into doing this. In our case, what keeps our soul – our divine brain – informed as to how to stay on the wire and to be in contact with our “wire” Jesus, is our faith…
The question was how to train for this stunt that basically we perform on a daily basis from Baptism to death? What else is needed? How to generate the faith required to keep the balance and not lose contact with the wire?
On Monday June 18, after Holy Communion, He reminded me that I should keep an eye on this stunt for my own spiritual health. I came home and started to make some coffee and turned the TV. The set was left an ABC and Rik Wallenda was on the Good Morning America show. Of course, I did not know that God was going to finish His teaching of two days before. He amazes me! His detail and guidance is simply a dream… They were asking a few questions to Nik about his success in crossing from America to Canada with the most difficult stunt ever performed in the world so far. He has broken 6 world records with previous performances.
He was asked how he was able to do it? He answered, “You tell yourself that this wire could be over any place, water, land or mountains. Therefore, all I have to do is to concentrate on the wire. He was asked about his hands getting numbed while walking on the wire. He said, “They were getting numbed because the balancing poke weighs 40 pounds, and it demands therefore much effort from the arms. They asked, “And how do you keep your calm?” He answered, “I pray constantly… Didn’t Jesus say to pray always? “
Here I had the complete picture of the teaching that had began 48 hours before. Our spiritual life is the same: as long as we concentrate on the person of Jesus (wire), He will lead us to the other side (our Promised Land – heaven). The balancing poke represents our crosses, and so they can be heavy. Yet, the crosses or balancing rod are indispensable to keep our balance in staying united to the wire (Jesus)… The misty water, the wind, the darkness around represents our flesh and the evil one. Yet – the cross, the balancing rod – keeps us going but with Jesus at the center of our walk!
So, in a summary of this teaching I would say that,
1. As Nik did, we must pray always!
2. As he did, we must have a relationship with Jesus (being in constant contact with the tight wire). This relationship is based on pure trust that our feet and the wire are going to team up for this crossing from life to heaven. For this to happen, we must trust that Jesus loves us as if we were His only child, and we must live this trust by saying “yes” to all He commands of us. Therefore, faith is at the center of my daily walk on the tight rope in route to my heavenly mansion, but my yes to His will is the feeding tube to receive the gift of faith.
3. The balancing rod, our crosses are heavy, no matter how we look at them. When our spiritual arms (our souls, our inner selves, temples of the Holy Ghost) start to get numbed by the force of the wind and the darkness around, then we persevere and say an even louder yes to all He has sent us. This is crucial… Satan runs when we obey the will of God with a huge “yes,” and again – it means that our “yes” to every present moment is the generator of the grace of faith that keeps our feet in contact with the wire… It also defines our personal relationship with Jesus. More on it later.
4. Nik Wallenda had a safety harness in case he fell in order to be rescued from dying like his great grandfather who perished this way. This device as in the case of Nik, was optional. He was against wearing it but he was pressured to do so by ABC. This device represents our rescuers: Our Mother in heaven (the Rosary), the Saints and the Angels. Again, this device is optional, but for some us, the word optional has no meaning. It is a must device to carry and use as needed. In section II I will quote St. Louis Marie de Montfort from His book: “The Secret of the Rosary.” It will not be as long as in my previous blog but he gives awesome ideas about harnessing our souls with true devotion to Our Lady via de Rosary!
5. So, our spiritual life is a balancing act where we must love God with all our heart and soul and mind by believing that He loves us more than we love ourselves, and by obeying Him with much delight and this proven by submitting to the crosses that will ensure that we can stay in relationship to the Way, to the tight rope, to Jesus. St. Peter had a similar moment with Jesus as He walked on water under His supervision. Jesus was disgusted with St. Peter because he had failed to have faith in His love and mercy… In our case, every time that the storms of life come to us, our crosses (the balancing rod) which fight against our trust in God, in those times, THERE IS ONLY ONE THING TO DO: We must say, “Yes” to all that is… We must ask for help to our Mother and the Community of Saints and all the Angels and Archangels. This yes in such perilous times is like glue… It sticks our feet to the Crucified…
II. ”The Secret of the Rosary.”
This little book contains what St. Louis calls Roses, fifty of them representing the fifty Hail Mary’s for each Rosary, and they are made of historical events related to the prayer of the Rosary and other themes. I will try to quote them in future blogs and as the Holy Spirit leads me. Yet, today, I will quote just two Roses: 34 and 44… plus some information from Popes and Saints regarding the Rosary.
Rose 34: “It is almost impossible to do real credit to the victories that Count Simon of Montfort won against the Albigensians under the patronage of Our Lady of the Rosary (the Albigensians could represent our present persecutors who want to rob us from our freedom of religion…) These victories are so famous that the world has never seen anything to match them. One day he defeated ten thousand heretics with a force of five hundred men and on another occasion he overcame three thousand with only thirty men. Finally, with eight hundred horsemen and one thousand infantrymen he completely put to rout the army of the King of Aragon which was a hundred thousand strong, and this with the loss on his side of only one horseman and eight soldiers!
“Our Lady also protected Alan de Lanvallay, a Breton Knight, from great perils. He too was fighting for the Faith against the Albigensians. One day when he found himself surrounded by enemies on all sides, Our Lady let fall one hundred and fifty rocks upon his enemies and he was delivered from their hands. Another day when his ship foundered and was about to sink, the Blessed Mother caused one hundred and fifty small hills to appear miraculously above the water and by means of them they reached Brittany in safety.
“Othere was also a Breton soldier, from Vaucouleurs, and he often put whole companies of heretics or robbers to flight unaided, wearing his Rosary on his arm or carrying it on the hilt of his sword. Once when he had beaten them, his enemies admitted that they had seen his sword gleam and that another time they had noticed a shield on his arm which had pictures of Our Lord and Our Lady and the saints upon it. This shield made him invisible and gave him the strength to attack well.
“Another time he defeated twenty thousand heretics with only ten companies and without losing a single man. This so impressed the general of the heretics’ army that he came to see Othere afterwards, abjured his heresy and declared publicly that he had seen him surrounded by flaming swords during the battle.” End of Rose No. 34.
O.K… Have I proven to you that this safety harness on our body while we pass through this life walking on a tight rope surrounded by present day Albigensians and all kinds of enemies, is simply a huge weapon to use if we pay attention and use it…? Do we have the faith needed to believe that His Mother and the Saints can help us? Do we really believe it? Or do we say one Rosary in a hurry just to be done? I wrote this much before I looked into this book of St. Louis, which I had browsed but had not decided what ‘rose” to quote this time. And lo and behold, I found the following:
Rose No. 44:
“A good method to say the Rosary: when you have asked the Holy Spirit to help you pray well, put yourself for a moment in the presence of God and offer up the decades in the way that I am going to show you later.
“Before beginning a decade, pause for a moment or two – depending upon how much time you have – and contemplate the mystery that you are about to honor in that decade. Always be sure to ask of Almighty God, by this mystery and through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, one of the virtues that shines forth most in this mystery or one of which you stand in particular need.
“Take great care to avoid the two pitfalls that most people fall into during the Rosary. The first is the danger of not asking for any graces at all, or that if some people were asked their Rosary intention they would not know what to say. So, whenever you say your Rosary, be sure to ask for some special grace. Ask God’s help in cultivating one of the great Christian virtues or in overcoming one of your sins. (My note: please notice that he is talking about asking for virtues… If we need something else and want to change God’s will for the situation, it is preferable instead to ask for the virtue of abandonment to His Divine Providence…!)
“The second big fault a lot of people make when saying the Holy Rosary, is to have no intentions other than that of getting over as quickly as possible! This is because so many of us look upon the Rosary as a burden, which is always heavier when we have not said it – especially if it is weighing on our conscience because we have promised to say it regularly or have been told to say it as a penance more or less against our will.
“It is really pathetic to see how most people say the Holy Rosary – they say it astonishingly fast and mumble so that the words are not properly pronounced at all. We could not possibly expect anyone, even the most unimportant person, to think that a slipshod address of this kind was a compliment, and yet we expect Jesus and Mary to be pleased with it! Small wonder then that the most sacred prayers of our holy religion seem to bear no fruit, and that, after saying thousands of Rosaries, we are still no better than we were before! (Ouch!!!) Dear Confraternity members, I beg of you to temper the speed which comes all too easily to you and pause briefly several times as you say the Our Father and Hail Mary. I have placed a cross (+) at each pause, as you will see:
“Our Father Who art in Heaven, + hallowed be Thy name, + Thy Kingdom come, + Thy will be done + on earth as it is in Heaven. + Give us this day + our daily bread + and forgive us our trespasses + as we forgive those who trespass against us, + and lead us not into temptation + but deliver us from evil. Amen.
“Hail Mary, full of grace, + the Lord is with thee, + blessed art thou among women + and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. +
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, + pray for us sinners, now + and at the hour of our death. Amen.
“At first, you may find it difficult to make these pauses because of your bad habit of saying prayers in a hurry; but a decade that you say recollectedly in this way will be worth more than thousands of Rosaries said all in a rush – without any pauses or reflection.” End of quotes from St. Louis de Montfort.
FROM MONFORT PUBLICATIONS AT THE END OF THE BOOK:
Why the Rosary?
1. For world peace
“Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world.” Our Lady of Fatima 1917
In his encyclical Mense Maio, Pope Paul VI urged Christians to pray to Our Lady Queen of Peace for world peace. He laid special emphasis on the Rosary, “the prayer so dear to Our Lady and so highly recommended by the Supreme Pontiffs.”
2. A means for preserving the home
“There is no surer means of calling down God’s blessings upon the family… than the daily recitation of the Rosary.” Pope Pius XII
3. For courage in the hardships of life
“… a powerful means of renewing our courage will undoubtedly be found in the Holy Rosary.” Pope Leo XIII
4. For healing the evils of our day
“We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times.” Pope Pius XII
5. A means of Christian perfection
“… Therefore we are sure that our children and all their brethren throughout the world will turn (the Rosary) into a school of learning true perfection, as, with a deep spirit of recollection, they contemplate the teachings that shine forth from the life of Christ and of Mary Most Holy.” Pope John XXIII
6. As a powerful means of obtaining graces from God
“Among all the devotions approved by the Church none has been favored by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary.” Pope Pius IX
III. Planting seeds of the Gospel during my recent vacation
As you may remember from the two previous blogs, since Easter I have been saying 3 Rosaries daily to contain the power of Satan in my life and have been offered for others as well, with fast miraculous results. Little did I know that this practice would work in other areas of my spiritual life. It was in this month of June that I have started to understand these major changes as follows:
1. I have become very focused on saying yes to the will of God and very often during the day. In moments when I am tired or my right knee hurts the most (usually exacerbated by foods to which I am allergic to), I easily stop to thank God for that moment and say yes to it with reverence and awe. It has been a magical time…I found a determination to accept every present moment as it is – and as a blessing with a refusal to wonder about what comes next. Yes, at times I start wondering what my responsibility is after these graces and want to run… Yet, very soon after, I find myself repenting for wasting time in the pros and cons… Before, I would do the same but with great pain. Now, very fast I become convicted of my servanthood/discipleship duties and with great joy and trust on God’s mercy, I abandon myself to His Providence.
2. In the midst of these moments, I have found people in my path and the seeds of the Gospel have been planted in their hearts in ways that I never knew would be possible. It has taken me by surprise to see the many clients He has sent me and how easy it was to bring the Gospel to them, especially in regards to the Eucharist. The Holy Spirit was truly present in every encounter.
These two previous points have taken me to understand that preaching the Gospel to the world starts with my own re-evangelization or the “new evangelization upgrade” for my soul. I have clearly felt that this process is totally directed by God because it always takes me by surprise; I am also cognizant that anytime that I would take over, I could disrupt to a certain point the success of my transformation. The only thing I must do to seek this stage of readiness, is for God to find me always available and disposed to love Him and my neighbor. Of course, my love of Him is at its best when I say yes to all He wants of me. Again, the “yes” of Our Lady is like a magic pill in order to live this kind of readiness.
As I had mentioned before, my youngest son, now in his thirties, invited me to visit him in a suburb of Birmingham, AL. He chose the first week of June for me to be there. He and his wife travel often because both are researches at the U. of Alabama in Birmingham. So, it had to coincide with their both being in town. He bought me the ticket and chose the route San Francisco, Atlanta, Birmingham, versus using a closer airport for me, like Oakland since the latter offered more stops to get there. I mention this because after the trip, I realized that God had sent me to evangelize in airports and at another house and I did not know it ahead of time. Here are some highlights of what happened. There are more but suffice with these I will share.
In flight from San Francisco to Atlanta, 5 hour trip, I ended up in back of the plane looking for a bathroom at a moment when all the 6 stewards’ were sitting and taking a break. They led me to a hidden bathroom in this huge airplane. I came out to thank them, we spoke a little and I ended up giving them a talk on how to recuperate a lost memory and how to prevent depressions… They all were taking notes and very happy to hear this information. I was surprised that I had ended up doing this. I referred them to my blog site since in the right side I have to two documents dealing with memory loss and fluoride and anesthesia… I told them that it was a religious blog but they could just check up the facts on the subject matter. Once more, God had a plan…Naturopathic medicine leads to Him as He has explained to me for years.
While waiting in Atlanta in this huge airport, I suffered because our arriving gate from San Francisco and the next departure gate for Birmingham were about two blocks apart. Walking on a bad knee which gets worse with the inflammation coming from so many allergies to foods and aggravated by restaurants meals, did become difficult… At one point, the son traveling with me asked me to go and have lunch by myself to rest the knee as he sat nearby and worked with his computer regarding a matter in his job… He is a senior data base administrator of the site.
I ordered something to eat and a girl (22) came to sit next to my small table. She turned out to be an opera singer, in route to Italy… She was Catholic and it was the first time traveling alone. Normally she is accompanied by her maternal grandma who is from Nicaragua…. This girl’s father is Irish and she looked like an American, but speaks Spanish and Italian as well. She lives in nearby Santa Rosa, CA but we were chatting in Atlanta! We talked about God… and the Eucharistic Jesus, and of course, Nicaragua is next to Costa Rica, and this provided a common ground… Besides, she was proud of having grandparents from Nicaragua. It was her grandma who started her into singing at age 9… God made this encounter possible to bring her to realize that no matter what, God should remain at the center of all she does… Again, seeds are sown and the Master of the Universe makes them grow in His time. Now, I pray for Alexis Collins with my community Rosary!
Saturday, June 2.
Now in Birmingham, I went to 7:45 AM Mass to the nearest parish, Our Lady of Sorrows and offered it for the Ordination ceremony and Mass coming at 11 AM at the Cathedral. Afterwards, I sat at home to watch LIVE the ceremony Ordination of two priests and two transitional deacons from EWTN.
In the afternoon, my son and wife took us to Cullman to the Ave Maria Grotto, located about one hour away at the St. Bernard Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1891. The Grotto consists of a landscaped hillside of 125 small stone and cement structures, the handiwork of a creative genius, Brother Joseph Zoetl, O.S.B., born in Bavaria and who lived in Cullman for 70 years. So one find scenes of Bethlehem, Montserrat Abbey near Barcelona, Spain, the Statue of Liberty, Cathedral of Mobile, AL, St. Therese Basilica, St. Peter’s Basilica, Monte Casino Abbey, the Leaning Tower of Pizza, Scenes from the Holy Land, Gethsemani, the Crucifixion , Mount Tabor, Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Benedictine Monastery in Korea, etc.
The place was beautiful. So, this Saturday was a day to honor Our Lady big time.
Sunday June 3… I went to 8:30 Mass. The pastor, this 81 year old Monsignor Martin Mueller, spoke about the Holy Trinity in a magic way… He kept saying that we all have to think of our Baptismal date and what it means… He asked the congregation if they knew the day they were born again, or the day of Baptism… He knew his and told it to us. I guess many people do not know it. Of course, personally, it is like a magic day and more important than my birthday. My oldest grandchild and I have the same month and day… July 17!!! I was baptized in the church of Our Lady of Mercy!!!!
In the mean time, we were staying in this brand new home, and the second floor is like a separate apartment. I had my own room and private bath. There was a TV room where I watched all I wanted to… and another area or a huge living room, plus another room office with a computer which I used while there. A Whole Food Market (organic products) as we have in Walnut Creek, is only 5 minutes from their subdivision… A dream!!! I had tons of time to pray.
That afternoon, my daughter-in-laws’ friends invited us at 3 PM just to meet me…They had like a cocktail event and invited other friends, all neighbors who also knew her. All were well-to-do, and I moved in that kind of crowd when I was rich (In my case, they were Chrysler, Ford and GM executives who were our neighbors in Michigan). The owners of the house were a retired neuro-surgeon and wife. Since I was a neuro-anesthesiologist it was fun to talk to him about our respective backgrounds… The wife was a beautiful lady, never belonged to any religion but I did not know it until the very end of the visit. The neuro-surgeon was a born again Protestant. These two and five other people, took turns to come to talk to me. Each time they asked why I was so “aficionada” to God… (In retrospect it was an evangelization meeting). Of course, I had to answer that the Eucharist, this Host (all were Protestants) is Jesus, something that I had understood at age 6.5 and that I fell in love with Him ever since.
As we said goodbye, the lady of the house said, “You are wonderful. You spoke about God but you did not try to convert me.” To what I answered, “Because I cannot convert anybody. I only love people or so He said I should do.” And in the short two hours there, I had truly experienced by the grace of God a great love for our host. She felt it. So, she smiled from ear to ear and gave me many hugs. She then told me about never being religious and how the husband had been. At the end as we said goodbye, he was kissing my hand expressing much love… a very humble gesture for a surgeon to do…
Tuesday, June 5. Because of EWTN being so distant from their house in Vestavia, about 25 minutes, I asked my companion son who had rented a car, to take me very early to Irondale and I was there by 9:20 AM praying Holy Hours until the noon time Mass. He picked me up after Mass. The previous day I had tried to attend the same noon Mass but we did not know it would take so long, and we were too late getting there… Of course, the 7 AM Mass was something I would not consider since I have problems with TV exposure. Unfortunately they did not use microphones for the noon Mass of this Tuesday, and I had purposely sat in the very back. I could not hear at all what was said in the homily. Yet, after 2.5 hours of being in His Presence, I did not mind that I could not decipher well what was preached. I thanked God for allowing me to have my own home (my son’s) right next to Irondale. No doubt that with God all things are possible.
Saturday June 9… BIG DAY… My traveling companion son with advice from my daughter-in-law, had called Delta Airlines to ask for wheel chairs for me at both terminals, Atlanta and SFO, since he could not be with me (he had not found space in my plane from Birmingham and had to go via Detroit to SFO). This way it would be easier to avoid more problems to the right knee. But just before I was ready to board the plane in Birmingham for Atlanta, they called me and gave me a new boarding pass….. This is unheard of unless my God was as always loving me to pieces on one side, and using me for evangelization in the other. Since in the bottom of the original pass said that I needed a wheel chair and it was in their computers, some Delta employee decided to assign me a seat closer to the entrance of the plane so that I would not walk that much!!!! And I ended up being seated just behind First Class… Just think how the Spirit of God works… I sat next to an Army soldier, young, born in Atlanta but lives in Alabama, Protestant, in route to an Army training area near San Francisco. Again, we talked Bible… I brought up the Eucharist… Another seed planted and only because I was assigned a new sitting arrangement… Hmm. I commented to him that I would miss the Heat/Celtics basketball game… the definite game which was to be played that evening…
A wheel chair was waiting for me in Atlanta and a precious 19 year old girl transported me some two blocks to the departure gate for San Francisco. She even offered to take me to a bathroom and being a girl, she waited inside. Afterwards, the girl brought me to the sitting area.
There I met an Italian woman, born in Rome but lives in Milan. She is a business woman… around 45. She must be Catholic and did not speak well regarding our Holy Father. I was able to taste (for intercessory prayer) the drought of the Catholic Faith in Europe. Satan has been so successful in this part of the world.
The people with any disability was asked to board first, and my pass with the wheel chair story served as proof and I had all the time I needed to enter the plane among the first ones and to sit in peace. I prayed much during these 5 hours of flying. I was supposed to arrive within 15 minutes of my son’s arrival coming from Detroit… But God is soo fantastic that his plane had to wait for a full hour with all passengers on board because the food sent to this plane was not in the specific container that fit the plane in its kitchen area. So, I knew I had to wait for him for one hour in San Francisco and sat in the luggage pick up area where he would find me in due time.
Later, coming from a bathroom, I stopped to talk to a young man… who had ear plugs and was using his lap top computer. Little did I know I was making a new friend. I asked him if he knew who had won the game Heat/Celtics… He invited me to sit down with him and watch LIVE in his lap top the last six minutes … And YES, God knew I wanted to see the game LIVE and not later encore when I knew the results… and arranged for my son to be late and signaled to me to check with this young man, and bingo, I watched my “Heat” team win… This 18 year old man is from China on an International scholarship. He is doing his junior year of hi school in a Catholic school in Erie, PA… He is not Catholic. He had come to San Francisco to visit with a friend. Fidex (his American given name) spoke good English. His dad is an architect in main land communist China. Fidex was also a fan of the Heat, so we joined hearts in this win. He wants to play basketball and I asked him if he wanted to be another “Linsanity.” He laughed!
Fidex wanted to know more about me. He was curious as to how I chose him to find out about the game. I told him that it was the Holy Ghost. Of course, I could talk with Catholic religious terms because he is used to this lingo in Erie. I mentioned my recouped memory and problems with depression with carrageenan. He was very interested. I sent him to check my blog… to learn about fluoride and memory. At the end, when his friend called that he was waiting outside, Fidex said, “You are so nice. May I have a hug?” He got a hug and my promise to pray for him to become all that my God wanted of him. He left very happy…Another seed was planted.
The Holy Spirit had a bunch of work for me… It was a very successful week in many ways. Again, there were other episodes that were miraculous, but too personal to share here.
We have evidence in the Old Testament of God’s work with Israel and how He won their battles, and it serves to teach us how to keep walking on the tight-rope of our spiritual life but awaiting our battles to be won. Our present problems with this subject of our freedom of religion being trampled by the Federal Government, is no different than in any other century… Here is a short list and evidence that similar battles were won by the power and mercy of God since ancient times.
Moses left Egypt with thousands of Israelites and from enemy territory over a divided Red Sea. Joshua took the people of Israel to the Promised Land over a parted Jordan River and once there, fought with the enemies living in the area and won… King David, and as a teen, killed a giant with just a stone…The Lord also won many battles for him. I could go on and on to no end and you know all these stories. But what did they do as they conquered lands and enemies with victories? In general we can say that they 1) prayed, 2) fasted at times, 3) repented numerous times for mistrusting God’s love for them and 4) gathered evidence that God could do all things for them. But in general, the stories are identical to our present problems.
Later on, God the Father decided to send His only begotten Son, not only to atone for our sins but to stay with us… Wow! Is that mercy or what? So, God also organized us as a family. Jesus ordained male priests (not women), gave preferential treatment to women, participated in a feast of a wedding between a man and woman, explained what would keep us walking in the tight-rope as spiritual beings in order to pass to the other side, invented the Sacraments as aids to our walk, died on a cross to signal the importance of suffering to keep our balance on the tight-rope, and this way to end up living with God forever. YET, HE ALWAYS SPOTLIGHTED HIS YES TO THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER… He also gave us His own Mother to intercede for us… and she was the other model of the yes to God’s will.
The Church He founded under the Rock of Peter’s successors, would give us this flavor of family. If we are any place in the world, when we find another Catholic or even a Protestant, we feel a special bond with them. He had sealed this bond with His Blood. But of course, the Church was soon attacked from outside and from within. Nothing new! If Moses had to suffer the golden calf worship within his own people, we are doomed to suffer the same.
From outside persecution, we have had many martyrs (white and blood martyrs). We are suffering of this malady right now. The Church is being attacked by the media and politicians as a natural occurrence. Of course, the attacks from within have contributed to our losing credibility in front of our enemies. When we have a few Nuns (leaders of a Canonical Association) declare that the Vatican is a monarchy and we live in a democracy in the U.S.A… or when their excuse to fight for female priestesses is based on the fact that Bishops have not been able to protect us from priests’ infidelities, or when doctrinal errors are grossly heretical, etc. this smells like Satan is working full time to divide us, confuse us, using lies and increasing resentment amongst ourselves. Let me add here that I wanted to shoot my television screen when these nuns appeared in CNN. I felt repulsion. I immediately realized that they were overpowering me… I was giving them too much power and making me sin.
I added them in my intentions of the three Rosaries I pray against Satan and for me and others to do the will of God. I asked specifically for the grace of loving them in order for my prayer for them to be heard. And just 24 hours later I was feeling sentiments of compassion and respect for these women. This is how I understood them: they were just victims of a life lived without the “yes” of Our Lady… or trusting that God was in charge for the injustices they thought were committed in the Church against them. HERE I LEARNED that through grace, I am in charge of my own destiny in what pertains to allowing others to create havoc or resentment in my soul…
THIS BATTLE I HAD WON, but I must bring this point here: when we pray in defense of our liberty of religion, we must do it from hearts that are not resenting those who are oppressing us. We cannot allow them to steal the effectiveness of our prayer by succumbing to our normal tendency to dislike those who are oppressing us. Especially in our Rosaries, we must ask for the grace to pray for this injustice but also for the grace of loving our enemies… It happened to me and therefore, this is available to anyone of us. Satan is too intelligent… He creates situations that nullifies our power over him by making us lack love for neighbor and therefore, lose the victory we already possess in Jesus Christ Who also was persecuted and lost all His liberties, and yet, on the Cross He said, “Father, forgive them because they do not know what they do.”
Even more, our very normal human reaction against this injustice against our rights can distract us so much that we then act differently: we show fear, anxiety, lack of peace, worry, and we forget to stay close to His love for us and them. Worse, we forget to declare victory in our hearts that no one can truly do anything to us because in Christ we can do all things…The Truth of the Gospel leaves our hearts. We turn off the light of our love for Him and for others.
In the other hand, if someone asked me how to win this battle against our freedom of religion, I would say that the following points are very important:
1. We must understand with our human brains that we are not alone! God is with us… Emmanuel never left.
2. We must believe with our souls that we are not alone!
3. We must know that the victory is already ours because as in the times of Moses and Joshua and King David, God ends up winning our battles.
4. We must act or live the above actions… And the only way to do so is by asking God’s mercy for this grace, and His mercy runs freely when we accept the situation with a big yes for His will that allows it, and as we call for the help of Our Lady to intercede for our yes to all things, since God is in charge. His mercy brings us love for our neighbor, and we end up doing what she did. We start visiting in prayer, the temples or souls of our oppressors and Satan does not like it and runs away.
5. We add to this prayer and fasting and the Fortnight for Religious Freedom should be a success, provided that some other aspects get taken care of. Examples:
Our prayer can be toxic… that is that we pray but doubting that God can do it, or with a quiet wishful thinking that He may do it…In other words, if we pray with total absolute certainty that we are super powerful and that the victory is already ours, as in the times of Moses, and Joshua and David, well, people would see it in our countenance and God would not refuse our prayer. We would act victorious. We would become lights of hope for others. We simply cannot pray begging God just in case He is hearing us.
The question is, “how to pray with victory in our minds, with certainty that God is not only hearing us but doing something about it?” The best prayer is the one we say with “faith”… Yet, faith is a gift. How to receive this gift? To repeat it, I have found out that this state of mind with great faith comes from… “our yes” to His will in our personal lives. Of course, the yes to our daily crosses is a mine of power.
Then comes fasting… 1) First of all, we may fast just in case but lacking the certitude that Jesus had of its need before important moments, like He did in the desert before starting His public life or when He was about to choose His 12 disciples… It is a very solemn act of trust in God. 2) We can also fast food all we want or not watching TV or staying away from something we like to do. Unfortunately, the power of this type of fasting is not heavy duty, and actually may be a cheap holocaust. Again, the best way to fast as Jesus did, is to fast our wills… and choose His will over ours moment after moment.
And finally, how do I trust that God loves me and is in charge of everything? Again, and again and again: with the “yes” of Our Lady (el Sí de María). But why is it that this yes to God’s will is the key to everything? It is simple… To do what someone else asks of you is living in relationship with that someone, is knowing that someone, in this case God, and subjecting our being to His Divine Providence. If I wonder or have fear or anxiety about any present moment, good or bad, that is not a perfect personal relationship with Jesus.
So, here is the theme of a personal relationship with our Lord. Satan loves to play with this topic. Many talk about their personal relationship with Jesus… They know Him, they pray to Him, they preach Him and they seem excited… Yet, I suspect that there are many degrees of knowing Him, just like in human terms we may know a friend but superficially, or to certain point or deeply, like a mother know her child. However, there is only one powerful way that honors Him the most and the best: doing His will at every second of our lives. So, this “yes” to His will must be nurtured by the Sacraments, by prayer of the heart, where I adore Him, praise Him, thank Him for all He does for me and what He will do for me, and in this way, my FAITH GROWS and my yes becomes truly a yes and not a may be. And once my yes is not perfect, but as perfect as I can cooperate in offering it to Him, then is when ALL MY PERSONAL BATTLES ARE WON and my prayer for external battles are also answered.
There will be times when Satan will love to sneak around through others or the media and plant some seeds of doubt or worry. It is in these instances that I must act immediately and say “yes” to that moment and add, “So be it. I am the servant of the Lord. I am here to do Your will.” I must report that this vigilance is like a Molotov bomb for my flesh and Satan. But this yes is never followed by curiosity of what is to come… I cannot live in trust of God and be swallowed by His mercy if I worry about what may come.
And I know that it has worked in my life, although it has taken me many years to enter into the practice of my yes to each present moment without why’s and I know it works because 1) I never truly suffered with difficult teen sons, or poor grades on their part, or fights in the house with me or among themselves. To this day, they love each other very much. 2) In the latest years, I also have found myself evangelizing strangers at any moment or place. 3) With the yes to His will, although fighting it at times and repenting from it, persecutions came and went and I was not left with resentments at all. I truly love my persecutor/enemies, since the crosses they created for me kept me walking in the tight rope crossing my Niagara Falls or Red Sea or Jordan River towards my Promised Land and without major problems.
Of course, the Woman Clothed with the Sun of Revelations 12 has been my harness… Her intervention plus cultivating a personal relationship with the Holy Ghost, that is, calling Him often and listening to Him if turning to the right or left, is part of the harness as well.
BUT THERE IS something else I must bring about now… We are worried about our freedom of religion in this wonderful country. But are we equally worried about the freedom of the souls who are oppressing us? The Federal Government abuses are nothing if we place the whole issue under the power of God’s mercy aided by our inner conversion as true Disciples of Christ. Are we equally worried about our rights as we should be about their salvation? But one step further, are we conscious of the fact that our prayers for this problem lack power if we keep resenting those who are doing harm to us?
Let me give you a short story here of how ahead of us Satan is destroying souls and that includes us as well. There is web site called “pro-ana.” It is owned by a man, James, for people with eating disorders. The man has kept it for 6 years and claims the following:
“It is a lonely place to be when you are anorexic. In my website you can come from such isolation by sharing with others your choice or style of life. In this site, anorexics are able to complement each other”
He was asked, “How is this beneficial?” He answered, “I would not do it unless I felt it was helping them. They are in community and united to help each other.”
In this website, people brag about their skin-and-bone bodies. He teaches them how to increase their anorexia by training them to use a mantra that says, “Without food I am beautiful. Without food I am perfect.”
Well, this is the most perfect example of Satanic talk. Yet, how many of us recognize Satan in our lives? Most of the time, he is not going to come and tell us to do something wrong in the general sense… It is going to sound logical, sweet, compassionate, and even community related… It is going to sound good enough but the aim of Satan is not for us to do overt bad things. His aim is for us not to do the will of God for our particular life. So, how do I recognize Satan in my life? I cannot… Period… He acts like a serpent… conniving and hiding. Although THERE IS one way to intercept Satan in our lives the fastest: I must say “yes” to God’s will at all times in all circumstances with the deep desire to give Him glory. And the truth is that I may never even know in this life that Satan was about to take me to a different direction… My Mother’s prayers and my living her “yes” are enough… to produce the trust in God which will give me all His protective mercy needed for me and others.
But as a Church, the time is NOW…We have an extraordinary web site that the USCCB has put together aimed at educating and evangelize the whole world… This is like a luxurious expensive car that will carry many in the privacy of their homes to study our Faith, the whole Catechism, and perhaps be moved to say yes to our family. But we, the members must provide the gasoline for this car and the protection against the evil one, because he will be around… We, therefore, must offer the holocaust of our yes to God for everything, especially for our crosses, and with our fiat move this car until it arrives taking many to different parishes. Under the blessing of our “yes,” our prayer and fasting will add to the velocity of the car to take the passengers to where they belong, that is, where He lives in every Tabernacle.
In the following comments you will find out that even for our health, the time is right now!
IV. I was reading the book of Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a psychiatrist, a Catholic who at one point considered becoming a priest and he jokes that he could have been Fr. Amen; he explains how our brains are capable of being rejuvenated with simple steps. The SPECT (like a CT Scan) of his brain in 1991 at age 37 showed a bumpy toxic brain. He did not know he was not healthy and he did not drink alcohol or smoked, but he had many bad brain habits. At age 52 it looked healthier and much younger than 15 years before. The name of this 2012 book is “Use Your Brain to Change Your Age.” It is worthwhile to read because there are ways to keep our brain getting younger… But what I want to quote from this book is this phrase, where Dr. Amen quotes CS Lewis from his book The Great Divorce (all about lasting change), and added some comments of his own:
Lewis: “The gradual process is of no use at all … This moment contains all moments.” (Extraordinary concept)
Dr. Amen: For change to occur, you need to have a sense of urgency, in this moment right now! This is why many people decide to get healthy after having a heart attack or being diagnosed with cancer. My hope for you is that you do not need a crisis to start to get healthy and that the value of avoiding a crisis has enough emotional motivation.”
I would say that our family founded by Jesus must start thinking of renewing our “spiritual brains” and NOW…We do not need more internal crisis’ to happen. We could spend years speaking about the process of changing the Church, but each of our moments contains all other moments, since God is an eternal now. As for me, I have written in many places of my house, the word “Si.” This reminds me to live in the now accepting it as sent by or allowed by God, because,
1. I have the victory
2. I have from God all the help needed
3. It is urgent to work for the salvation of souls hand in hand as I face the problems of my rights being walked upon.
4. I must be cognizant of asking God for the grace of loving everybody and no matter what
5. I should expect that He will give me such grace.
6. I have the WAY to do all things because He keeps showing me what He can do through me…
7. I must have only one fear: of myself… that I try to expect others to do the job that as a Baptized daughter of my Father in heaven, I am capable of doing.
Let us pray for each other. As said before, it is not easy for me to say yes to write these messages with my left eye not seeing well, and without any formal theology formation. But with the Rosaries being prayed to stop Satan and to honor God and His Mother, and a fairly good prayer life, I have felt a renewed desire to say “yes” to God’s will regardless of what it may mean for my own will, even if I have to write blogs every month.
I will close with one of my favorite Psalms… It reminds me that with Him I can do everything…
The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures You let me graze; to safe waters You lead me; You restore my strength.
You guide me along the right path for the sake of Your Name. Even when I walk through the dark valley, I fear no harm for You are at my side; Your rod and staff give me courage.
You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come. AMEN.