Examination of Conscience: how is our personal relationship with Christ our King? What does it mean? Are we missing something?

A. INTRODUCTION

It is September 24 when I start writing this blog… Normally, I am almost done with it by this date of each month or have even posted it already. There is so much that I have to share and yet, it has been super difficult to get to the core of the topic to be discussed because it may bother you with guilt feelings. However, I have been confronted myself all month with the core of this message. You will also see why it has been a trying time regarding my health. So, I will start just sharing day by day and then I will develop the topic of this blog.

August 6. Yes, August is the right month. I did not share this last month because I had a more important topic to write about… But it was on this date that I woke up with the most severe pain in my good left knee and the right one which suffered some trauma about 7 years ago, was even worse. I immediately knew that my immune system was reacting to something. Suddenly, I realized that I had taken a medication bought at a different pharmacy and that this time was coated in red color… I had taken 6 pills in the last 3 days (Aug.3-5). I know that my immune system is a mess, so much so, that when in 2002 I was contaminated with mercury from two silver or amalgam dental fillings that were removed without special precautions, and it was my choice since constantly each one releases mercury, within two months I was allergic to 60+ different foods…. You know that story. So, my immune system has always being problematic with asthma until age 13.

Apparently these pills were coated with the colorant red No. 40 to which I am deadly allergic to… So, after 6 pills my immune system erupted and became a severe case of an autoimmune reaction. The immune system when teased with allergens (things that we are allergic to), reacts with two main chemicals that attack joints and produce a severe inflammation, which makes our nerve ends send messages of danger to our brain, and pain is the result. Ever since and little by little, I have stopped going to daily Mass. If I go to the supermarket, it takes a lot of preparation to make it to the store. But why? This attack of my immune system, which cells live in our gut, now react to any food I ingest, no matter if I am allergic to it or not. Worse, my blood pressure pills are salmon colored and I react to them and also I react to any color in food. So, one Sunday I could not make it to Mass. For the rest of the Sunday’s, I had to do strange things. This past weekend, I ate my last meal at 3 PM on Saturday so that I would not insult my body with more inflammatory reaction in many hours before Mass. I then got up at 4 AM on Sunday in order to take my colored blood pressure pill, and then treated my reaction with acupuncture… By 7 AM I was ready to go to 8 AM Mass with an empty stomach… so that the pain could be bearable enough. The previous week, I went to Confession on Saturday and stayed for 4:30 PM Mass… Afternoons seem to be better and this way I avoided the early Sunday liturgy… Of course, I still have this autonomic system imbalance that shows its worse actions in the mornings.

Alright, what is wrong with this picture? NOTHING… God, in His great love for me and others, allowed this HUGE CROSS for these days prior to the elections…

 Of course, this cross was sent to suffer with Jesus for the sins of those who are planning to transgress with their vote against the right to be born, the right to freedom of conscience, etc., but also to offer it up in atonement for their possible future action and for their conversion according to God’s will in their lives. I know that God is behind it because the joy that has come with this horrible painful condition it is simply a dream… This is not from Satan… This is from my God so that I could be crucified with much pain and offer it up for our U.S. and for other important reasons, like for our Church. All oppression bouts ceased as the suffering continued. But the trick here was to say and unequivocal yes to this pain and the grace also came to do so.

But at the very same time, this God Who is sooo merciful, landed my eyes on a BRAND NEW program in the San Francisco PBS television station, aired for the very first time on August 10 and produced in San Fran! It was called, “Immunity Solution,” and I will share much about it at the end and why you should know about it… You can cure your own cancer, especially of prostate and breast, and yes, it is pure science with tons of studies worldwide, and this bibliography appear in a book on the same subject… It reveals how eating the right foods… especially onions and mushrooms, can protect your DNA and your immune system when it goes ballistic, like mine had done 4 days before… and it even can cure lupus… and multiple sclerosis… which are auto immune diseases.  So, my Lord surprised me!  To this date, I am following the program and the pain is about 50% better! Again, as we say in Spanish, “El Señor aprieta pero no ahorca.” (The Lord squeezes but does not strangle us)

B. NOTES FROM MY JOURNAL

Well, now let’s start with my journal notes for the last 4 weeks. I will try to be succinct in order to try to make this a short blog.

Thursday, August 23.

After Mass, at home with much pain, I said to myself, “Although God is in total charge and my faith in this is 100% since I refuse to ask for any changes, He will win this battle of food followed by severe pain. I need to resolve my left eye problem since I need to renew my driver’s license on March 2 of 2013… If I lose it… well, no more driving to Mass… except on Sundays when my son drives me there.” As you can see, here is another cross added and offered up ip so facto for the conversion of politicians. At 2:50 PM, I wrote, “I feel strongly that I must accept this situation as a gift for unborn babies, for our freedoms, for the Church and for the conversion of many, by keeping Satan away with a ‘yes’ that may stop his temptations on those souls.”

Saturday, August 25.

I made a cardboard with the information I need to practice and to go along with the sacrifice of physical pain. Sacrifice is excellent, the cross is crucial, but the quality of our yes to it… as discussed many times before in other blogs, is also crucial.

What I wrote in the cardboard I keep with me all day; eventually placed it in smaller cards to keep one up and one downstairs… until I make it a habit to do it. It is nothing new since I wrote a similar sequence in past blogs but here it is because it will help me later to develop the core topic. The idea in practicing this way of daily living is to simply show my God how much I trust His love for me, and this way, His grace can be summoned many times a day, which is also called His Mercy… I want first to remind you of the definition of mercy, one that encompasses all that He can do for us.

 Sirach 18: 7-13.

“The sum of man’s is great if it reaches a hundred years; like a drop of sea water, like a grain of sand, so are these few years among the days of eternity. This is why the Lord is patient with men and showers upon them His mercy. He sees and understands that their death is grievous, and so He FORGIVES them all the more. Man may be merciful to his fellow man, but the Lord’s mercy reaches all flesh, REPROVING, ADMONISHING, TEACHING, as a shepherd guides his flock; merciful to those who accept His guidance, who are diligent in His precepts.”

As you can see, there are very important reminders in this passage. 1) It compares our life on earth with our life in eternity to a drop of sea water… So short… Should we make of it the most of it? You bet! 2) God’s mercy understands what our death means, that is an end to a very short part of the life of our soul, and therefore He forgives us big time… 3) Yet, besides forgiving us, He tries to help us while on earth with admonition and teaching… 4) But the greatest of all is that WE HAVE TO BE OPENED, DILIGENT IN ACCEPTING HIS GUIDANCE… This is the part that we have to become experts at.

Here I am sharing the content of my little card, and pretty much what I had shared in my prior blog, conducive to accept God’s guidance,but shorter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Abandonment to Divine Providence is the child of perfect trust in God’s love and mercy (Fr. Jean Pierre de Caussade, SJ).

This trust must be blind and consists of:

1. Doing the will of God at each present moment for the love of God and His glory and for the love of neighbor and as if nothing else matters. I must keep my attention on what is happening in the NOW, and ask myself” “What is it?” Once I find what is going on, I place myself in the Presence of God within and wait for guidance. I must do that over and over and a thousand times a day, until I train my brain to do it automatically…

2. Praying for myself often during the day so that I can do so.

3. Must not dare to think of the past: humiliations, persecutions, and much less on those who provided them. In fact, if I find myself meddling with these memories and reliving those sufferings, I must offer them up for their souls again and again, in case I did not do so at the time.

4. Must never wonder what is next nor care to know.

5. Must ignore any overt lack of faith I witness in some members of the Church. I must ignore the best I can the lies and deceit coming from the media and pray for them right and there. I must stop trying to understand our crisis of faith and the state of the world. Instead, I must BE AWARE that it is a fact but that my work is to be a servant doing what servants do, and offer it up for them.

6. I must always be ready to lose it all: material and emotional, in perfect conformity to what God wills.

7. I must often review my notes on my examination of conscience for daily living. (You can find it later)

8. I must constantly say yes to my crosses, especially my physical pain, and offer up not only such cross but the cross of total denial of myself, as this card explains and for the conversion of souls. (End)

On this same day, I found in one of my Bibles this entry:

July 16, 2009 -7:15 AM Adoration Chapel St. Mary Church, Walnut Creek, CA (Notice the date…!!!! Mama’s intercession was definitely there!)

At Mass (6:30 AM) in the main church and after Communion, I had had a vision: a thick darkness was ahead and Jesus was walking towards this darkness holding my right hand. I, in turn, held hands with my sons, daughter-in-law, and with the rest of the world.

At the Chapel He said, “Your greatest cross will be the darkness you will find in the Church. Yes you are giving Me your will but still you are doing things out of duty or on behalf of your needs or worldly imposed ideas! You must embrace your crosses because you want to save souls at all cost! That is the primary aim of doing so. Ask My Mother today to intercede for the gift of embracing them but because you are crazy about their salvation, and therefore willing to also do whatever is needed and suffer whatever for them. Until you do that, your free will given to Me will have much to be desired, and therefore, it will prevent miracles in other souls. LOVE IS THE MAGIC KEY THAT SAVES OTHERS. The cross is the magic key to love them as I do. — Your Lover to My beloved.”

As you can see, it was so clear as to why I must embrace my cross in order to love my brothers and sisters a little closer to how He does it.

Monday, August 27.

In the local ABC news at 11 AM P.T., I learned of a story that sent me to cry for about 5 minutes. I thought of St. Monica (being her feast day), and prayed for the person as a mother would do.

Tuesday, August 28.

With great difficulty and joint pain, I made it to Mass and offered it for what I had learned the day before. Great love I had for those involved in the story. So, I knew that God would receive my prayer of support. .

August and September’s Republican and Democratic Conventions

I could not listen to either one. I know what they stand for and mostly prayed for them when the main candidates for President and Vice-President spoke, but I muted the sound. I simply prayed Rosaries intertwined with Chaplets of Mercy. The latter has so much meaning for me. When I offer the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for sins, I am offering the Eucharistic Jesus Himself… In all instances, I was blessed with the grace to see these men and love them… Of course, there were two Catholics among them… Do we need to pray for them!

Wednesday, September 17.

My Mother gave me a hint for the topic for this blog… She sent me to the Book of Nehemiah. More on it later.

Many days in September

I was able to say many Rosaries a day and exclusively for the elections and to stop Satan from doing what he does well – dividing, confusing, and lying. It was a month full of Our Lady’s feasts. On September 8 we celebrated her birthday, but I also celebrated her feast under the title of Our Lady of Vilankanni, or Our Lady of Good Health!!! She is honored in India. I  would love to have her picture from India and I asked a priest to get me one but he never did… Yet, she is in my heart especially because of my health! On September 24, some of us celebrate Nuestra Señora de la Merced, or Our Lady of Mercy. I was baptized in a church dedicated to her with this title. She is also venerated as patroness in Dominican Republic and Perú.

C. THE STATE OF WORLD AFFAIRS

I want to just mention a few things that are going on in our world that truly enhanced my desire for a personal conversion and as soon as possible!!!

1. The media kept reporting about Jesus’ marriage from some IV Century writings. There were other people named Jesus, including an Old Testament prophet. The Book of Sirach derives its name from the author, Jesus, son of Eleazar, son of Sirach. Sirach 50:27 says so: “Wise instruction, appropriate proverbs, I have written in this book, I, Jesus son of Eleazar, son of Sirach, as they gushed forth from my heart’s understanding.” So, we can presume that there were other people named Jesus.  In the other hand, how do they know if this was a lie written by one of His enemies? The prophet Mohammed cannot be touched but Jesus can be the subject of innuendos…! I get tired of this non sense.

2. 13 New York City high schools are distributing to their students the morning-after pill for contraception without the parent’s consent. But why? Well, in 2011, 7,000 teens in New York City had unplanned pregnancies and the city pays for their care and the care of the infant. Parents can opt out of this plan approved by the city, yet only 1-2% has done so. The interesting part is that when a teen asks for the contraceptive, the school does not even have to let the parents know about it, and the law is behind them. However, a tattoo requires consent by the parent of the teen…                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

3. I lived two blocks from the Ann Arbor Stadium where the University of Michigan Wolverines play their college games. It was difficult to live there if a particular Saturday, the games would take place in this stadium which seats more than 100,000 people. I could not go shopping for food and I was working and needed to use the weekend to do so. But the point is that thousands upon thousands will go to these games and the NFL ones as well. Thousands will watch them at home. What does it say of our culture?

Worse: a recent program with “Kaitie” (Couric) in ABC, addressed the topic of brain injury after these head to head collisions done on purpose to advance or to stop a ball from getting to the opposite side. We are identical to the Romans who threw the Christians to the center of an arena to be destroyed by beasts… Also, some defensive players are very heavy on purpose. Here, the industry of becoming fit is simply ignored and allows the damage to the body of these players…What gives me much personal pain is to be an spectator of a sport full of violence and which could provoke a player to lose consciousness or become paralyzed from the neck down…  Are we crazy!

Even as a mother, busy practitioner, relatively new to this country’s sports which were not played in Costa Rica, without anybody telling me much, I invented to expose my kids to music lessons, hoping that they could play in the high school bands and be part of the weekend fun, and yet, never to practice the sport because of their brains… As it turned out, this idea had to come from the Holy Spirit and since I come from a family with musical gifts, all four did very well with four different instruments, and the four did become members of the band of their beloved Jesuit high school in Cleveland, St. Ignatius, which happened to be one of the best in football in the State of Ohio!!! One of them was also a member of the Notre Dame Band when Notre Dame was doing great…

4. Free range parenting: for $350 in the city of N.Y., a woman will take children (small ones ages 5-8) to a park and leave them alone unsupervised, and the adult will be far away in her car. This is done so that the children can learn how to trust, how to use fear positively and in doing so, they can find themselves…. and develop confidence and independence…! (Ouch! 1,000 times).

5. Recently, the space shuttle Endeavor was sent to a Museum in Southern California… and it was scheduled to pass near us between 10 and 11 AM… The media kept us very informed of the time so that people could gather in different places to see it… They expected expressways to slow down as drivers would also like to take a peek while driving… And it truly happened…

6. There is a recent book which has sold millions of copies by the name of “50 Shades of….” Of course, I will not give you the full name, but it has been discussed by Dr. OZ and Katie Couric during day time TV. The lady author appeared in this last mentioned program and I forced myself to watch it, just to see what this author would say… It was one of the most difficult viewings for me because I realized that pornography is now being aired during the day and with great positive comments about it. How many children in California could be listening to these programs at 3 and 4 PM? I became sick… to my stomach! Where have I been in all of this?

7. EWTN showed several programs covering the previous Family Conference gathering in Phoenix, AZ. There was an excellent panel where lawyers and a Bishop explained at length what our problems with the HHS mandate to be implemented sometime in the future may mean… I wished this part were repeated several times before the national elections. One physician spoke of the climate in hospitals in order not to work against our own consciences. I lived that and had to leave jobs because of the abortion on demand subject. Yet, it could get worse for many people. For example, Catholic printers could not refuse to print T-shirts with the message of allowing same-sex marriages. Or a Catholic photographer could not refuse to photograph the ceremony of a same sex marriage. (Ouch and ouch)

8. The author of the many books for kids on Harry Potter where black magic is advertised, after having collected already 9 billion dollars, she now came with another book but for adults to be released on September 27. On September 26, one million copies had already being pre-ordered…

9. The I-phone 5 placed huge numbers of people in line outside Apple’s stores and 3-4 days before of its release. This fact speaks of insanity.

Well, these are just a few recent examples of where we stand in our world… The question here is obvious: what have you and I done to pray and sacrifice for these aberrations and most importantly, for ourselves to love these people just because they are beautiful human beings lost in the crowd scene of a world gone mad? Do we lose sleep over it? Or, do we lose sleep only about our little lives and our rights?

D. WHAT IS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST?

1. Let me start with a Biblical definition of what a personal relationship with Jesus is.

Luke 8: 19-21

The mother of Jesus and His brothers came to Him but were unable to join Him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and My brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

There you have it. In order to have a personal relationship to Him as we have with our mother and brothers requires that we act on whatever He asks us to do. Here I must add that it seems to me that just being a good lay person, or a nun or ministerial priest is not sufficient. We do not have a personal relationship with Jesus unless we truly follow His teaching. For this, I must die to myself… embrace my crosses and follow Him but done with gusto… for His glory, in thanksgiving for His love for us for this short time of life we have on earth. And we have to have a plan to train ourselves to act on His Words in order to truly enter into an ongoing relationship with Him!

This is the very sticky part for me… Because I have known Him as truly alive in the Eucharist since I was a kid, I pretty much cannot add much as to why many have not entered into a true relationship with Him. However, this gift received was given for a reason. This grace has contaminated my life forever. I just do not know what it would be not to know that when I enter the church building, He is there waiting for me… I have to smile and be in His Presence for the time I am in front of the Tabernacle. And this relationship pretty much pulls me to want to hear His Word and act on it… My life at home without the daily Eucharist (in the last 7 weeks) is now more dedicated to Him than ever. Yet, this dedication to Him means to pray and pray and suffer for those He loves soo much. At the same time, He is within me… and I know it, and I consult the Holy Trinity and adore Them and praise Them for this gift of having being Baptized and Confirmed as a member of His family..

2. This following of Jesus has many rigorous calls that includes to take the Gospel to many but out of love… One thing is to write books and speak the Truth, and another is to do it with great devotion for the souls that need to be converted.

Jesus had sent the Twelve to the mission field and sent them without a walking stick, sack, food, money, etc… (Luke 9)  They obeyed Him and left everything behind: jobs, wives like Peter, mothers, fathers, etc. This can only be seen as a gesture coming from a personal relationship with their Master. It is a tremendous example of self denial in one hand. In the other hand, in exercising perfect trust in God’s Providence.

3. John 14: 15, 21 – If you love Me (personal relationship words), you will keep My commandments. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves Me, and whomever loves Me will be loved My Father and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.

4. There was a recent program which asked this question: “How do we know Jesus personally? Is it by knowing His biography? No, we know Jesus in the Church where He is among His Body.”

I say: of course, He is present in the Word read before He comes to the Altar of Sacrifice! Besides, He is already there present in the Tabernacle even before the Mass. But I would differ with the previous assertion… because it is half of the answer. I believe that to know Him personally, He comes to us… in the Church, in His Body as this cleric said. But any relationship is a give-and-take. We need two to “tango” and we have to go and give Him our love… in order to complete this personal encounter. And this love means that I take to Him my commitment and action to obey His commands. My gift to Him is my acting on His Word and then, yes, when I receive Him, we become one and He will reveal Himself to me. On how carefully we keep a check on our behavior between Masses will determine how much we can relate to Him personally. I wonder if we are catechized enough to believe that our love for Him depends on how we keep His commandments. And if we do not love Him as He required it, well, we do not have a true personal relationship.

Or are we like the Pharisees… We have had a visiting Salesian priest whose homilies are extremely well presented. He wrote the following in our bulletin titled: GOD SEES THE HEART”.

”Too often what we really are and what we claim to be, are miles apart. We call this condition ‘hypocrisy.’ This word comes to us from the ancient Greek theatrical language. It was used to describe actors in a play. Ancient actors would carry different masks in their hands as they acted. Masks bearing different expression were attached to sticks and could be held before the face as needed. A smiling mask suggested humor; a frowning mask suggested sadness, etc. These actors were called the ‘hypocritos’. This word means ‘one who wears a mask.’ We use the word today to refer to people who pretend to be one thing when they are actually something else. … People who live one way at church and another way at home are hypocrites! …”

 And I will continue some of his reflections in the segment F.

E. A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST AND EVANGELIZATION

How can we go and sell our personal relationship with Christ if we do not have one? We who call ourselves religious and actively interested in seeing the entire world saved, we must first cultivate a true personal relationship. He takes it from there. And this relationship stands on our trust in Him for everything in our lives, everything, which means to truly deny ourselves, embrace our crosses with great ardor, and understand what following Jesus means… and try to follow it the best we can. This form of servanthood is key to show Him our love with all our heart, soul and mind and the love for our neighbor but caring for them as our own kids or brothers or sisters. ONCE THIS IS established in our lives, PRAYER BECOMES true prayer… Prayer comes from relating to the other. Saying words will not take us any place. Prayer should start within by saying, “Abba, Father”… And in the context of living a life of great love and trust in Him, HIS MERCY WILL CHANGE THE WORLD… and ourselves as we live this short time on earth.

Once we become related to Him all day long, we will have so much joy and peace and much desire to embrace our crosses as great instruments to offer for others. It is then, as He did with the Twelve, that He will send us everywhere to evangelize with words, with books if it is His will, but mostly with our witness… However, we must deny ourselves moment to moment and not try to peek at our adventure in evangelization. He is in charge of everything because His Holy Spirit is the only One that can give the grace to others to be converted. We also must not try very hard to convert ourselves in order to do great things for God… No, we have only to convert ourselves and become true servants…and the rest is up to Him… And we know that we are in the journey when we live in peace and with joy and with a happiness that comes even from our crosses… This clearly establishes the fact that we are walking according to His will.

F. EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE FOR US CATHOLICS

Continuing from Salesian Fr. Sivy Koroth, – Do you hide behind a mask, pretending to be one thing, when in reality, you are another? Are you a hypocrite?… Look into your heart now. What do you find there? Anger? Unforgiveness? Pride? Hatred? Lust? Divisiveness? Deviousness? Or, do you find Love, Joy, Peace, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Kindness, Meekness and Temperance? What dwells in your heart is what you really are! God does not look at appearances. He sees the heart!

I continue with more reflections on our examination of conscience:

1. In 1973 we had a federal law that allowed the killing of innocent babies…

From the Internet: “Roe v. Wade (1973) ruled unconstitutional a state law that banned abortions except to save the life of the mother. The Court ruled that the states were forbidden from outlawing or regulating any aspect of abortion performed during the first trimester of pregnancy, could only enact abortion regulations reasonably related to maternal health in the second and third trimesters, and could enact abortion laws protecting the life of the fetus only in the third trimester. Even then, an exception had to be made to protect the life of the mother. Controversial from the moment it was released, Roe v. Wade politically divided the nation more than any other recent case and continues to inspire heated debates, politics, and even violence today ("the culture wars"). Though by no means the Supreme Court’s most important decision, Roe v. Wade remains its most recognized.” (End of quote)

 Remember that in those days short years after Vatican II, we had tons of retreats and major conferences and in 1967 the Holy Spirit had arrived in our Catholic Church via some Protestant brothers and sisters to let us start our Charismatic gatherings. Nuns were running to take off their habits. It is obvious that Satan had entered the Church with the worse misconceptions about the Truths of the Vatican II teaching and we missed the ball… Satan used these temptations on members of the Church, and especially in the consecrated orders to distract us from what was going on in the Courts… Of course, EWTN came much later, 1981. Right now, it is wonderful to hear the Truth being proclaimed from the roof tops from Birmingham, AL, but still, in those days every parish had a pastor and nuns teaching and we all missed the potential massacres to come.

What was wrong with us? No matter what was going on in the Church at the time, were we truly loving Jesus by following His commandments that forbids the killing of human beings? It is most obvious that a personal relationship with Jesus was not a reality on those days…. And I include my lack of attention on this matter. I was in private practice, giving anesthetics to multitude of sterilizations… There was not a real forceful teaching from the Church at the time regarding sterilization, at least where I was … I lived in a palatial home in a very expensive neighborhood north of Detroit, and attended Mass at St. Hugo of the Hills. I had a 5 and a 3 year old boys and this major disaster still does no register in my memory. Mea culpa… Or is it that as a Church we were not really touched directly in our personal freedoms… and therefore we did not go to the streets and screamed loud and sent letters to the Supreme Court defending our babies?

2. 30+ years later, what do we have? In those days, 80% of Catholics would go to Sunday Mass. Today, only 30%. Are we seeing the fruits of our apathy of the 1970’s when we allowed babies to be robbed of their right to be born? Are we ready to look for answers and a new approach to evangelize the absent Catholics by changing our lives radically? We have been very busy in the last 30 years with many parish programs but it did not work well… Are we ready to admit that we have to change the routing?

3. Have we started to catechize the laity to know Jesus in the Eucharist as REAL Presence? When I say it, I do not mean to believe that He is present, but are we catechizing the sheep to have a personal relationship with Him because He is really present? Are we explaining to them what He said to establish such relationship? Do we place this subject in the first place in the formation of priests in seminaries, and in second place we relegate all the theological and philosophical knowledge they must get?

4. We must recognize with much humility that our Church and her human scandals have produced a major loss in credibility. Is this a problem? Yes and no. It is a major problem but really it should not dishearten us because I am sure that those scandals are not the basis of our crisis of faith. Our loss of faith has a lot to do with a world around witnessing lies to us to become powerful and proud, and we internally, not sitting down to take the bull by the horns… by facing our lack of trust in God that starts with a poor personal relationship with Christ, and not turning around to teach the world that Jesus is Present right and now with us but from our personal relationship with Him. Have we taught children how to relate to Christ personally?

5. How many times in a year, have we sat to think of St. Joseph, the carpenter, and Our Lady, and their example for us? They were obedient… to God… To say the Rosary and bypass thinking about her fidelity to God’s Word, may not provide fruits for our souls!

6. What about the Magi? They were astrologers in Matthew’s Gospel but the name magi was supposed to be a designation of the Persian priestly caste. They saw a star, which meant for them the announcement of the birth of a new ruler. They did not hesitate and traveled a very long distance following the star to find Him… Once they did they paid Him homage. Are we that interested as the Magi to go and see the Messiah King at least every Sunday? But not just going and reporting to a place for a liturgy, but reporting to Him directly out of love… and bringing with us tons of gifts of all the ways we obeyed the commandments for that previous week…

7. Jesus was tempted 3 times by the Devil … He rebuked him with Scripture passages, with the truth of the Word of God. Are we ready to answer Satan’s temptations with God’s Word, which requires that we know it and that we act on it on a regular basis?

8. Jesus called the first disciples. Through our Baptism He keeps calling us. Are we conscious of the call and how to be prepared to hear it by the way we relate to Him? Are we ready to leave ourselves behind (our need for power, for possessions, to control our destiny) and go to become “fishers of men.” This call is to be answered daily because He needs us for the many that He will place in our path. Am I ready to be attentive to the call and to change my ways and tactics so to obey the commandments to be able to hear the Holy Spirit in this outreach of evangelizing others?

9. On a regular basis, do we use the list of Beatitudes as way to examine our conscience and to be reminded of the cost of following Him… in order not to be discouraged when obstacles arrive?

10. Are we clear that breaking the commandments will take us to be least in the Kingdom of God, and therefore our evangelizing efforts may be curtailed as well?

11. Do we forgive our brother/sister seventy times seven times? Do we love our enemies, or at least, beg God for such grace?

12. When we pray the Our Father, are we truly cognizant of what we say…?

13. Money and God do not go together. If having money is in the will of God for us, it should be used to help others. If we cannot give freely is because we are attached to it, and we must clearly pray for detachment. But do we pray for it?

14. Are we totally dependent on God for clothing, food, health, etc. and NEVER WORRY ABOUT THEM. He will provide all if we seek the Kingdom of God first.

Matthew 6: 33-34 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness (meaning a moral conduct in conformity to God’s will or to submit to the plan of God for the salvation of the human race) and all these things (for our needs) will be given to you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for the day is its own evil!” Do we believe His Words?

15. Do we do unto others whatever we want them to do to us?

16. How seriously we take His Words that say, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven!”? Matthew 7: 22-23

17. Are we ready to accept His warning regarding following Him? In John 15: 19-20; 31. He said that we are sheep in the midst of wolves; “so, be shrewd like serpents and simple as doves. Do not be afraid.” And later He speaks of the Holy Spirit coming to help us… Do we understand that to be shrewd and simple we need His grace which comes from keeping a healthy rambunctious personal relationship with Him? I lived this warning. In my second major professional persecution, I won a war against the lies presented by a colleague from Indiana sent to Cleveland, and they did not report me to the national data bank where they keep a list of complaints against physicians… The Holy Spirit told me what to do, and my adorable Protestant lawyer, a very Christian man, did it and I was able to stop this disaster. Once you are reported to this data bank, if you go to another hospital, they will request a report from this place and could close their doors to your application to be member of their staff.

I have mentioned this story before, and this past Christmas, the office of this lawyer in Cleveland sent me a beautiful E-card… It helped me to remember that God is faithful and merciful… I must also report that the woman who did this to me, I love her from afar. I know she came to make my life miserable because otherwise I would have remained as assistant professor of anesthesia in a major university in Cleveland… and most likely never end up in this beautiful State of California, weather wise…Can you imagine this horrible pain in my knees and having to walk on the snow? Ouch!  And also to be near the son that keeps my Internet needs and blog site in order! Also, I needed to get near  San Francisco  in order to hear about the health of my brain and how to detoxify it to get my memory back… O, this God is too much! Every cross has so many blessings… So, this lady doctor is one of my heroes… and Satan lost that battle.

18. How many times do we remember that for this relationship with the Crucified in order to be worthy of Him, it demands that we love Him more that father, mother, children and that we take up our cross and follow Him doing whatever He tells us?

19. Do we often realize the importance of feeding the poor as if we were feeding Jesus Himself? But this feeding is not only of food. We need to feed them love as well, and it can only be done by showing them our concern for them at all times, in whatever ways God leads us. In my previous parish, we used to feed the poor one day each November, and we even had buses coming from downtown Toledo with customers. I remember serving these people. They would love to ask us for a napkin or more coffee, and I felt they were happy not only for the food, but because of our care. In my side of things, I truly felt that I was feeding Jesus’ family…

When I became the chauffer of a homeless person, who actually did not belong to our parish but would come to get warm when the church opened at 6:30 AM and the streets were covered with snow, he would love to get in my car to be taken to eat his breakfast with the little money I would give him most days.  On my side of things, I knew that my Beloved would be soo happy each particular day when I cared for His child. I have mentioned this story many times and this man even went to confession after I pushed a little, and my pastor knew our customer and waited for him… He died just 3 months before I left for California, and I had prayed for it if it were God’s will. This man was a diabetic with no particular care, and my absence would have affected him much after two years of serving him, plus a stroke would have been extremely painful as well. His last Christmas (2007) on earth was wonderful, with many parishioners coming to give money for him for a total of $155.00, which allowed him to spend several days around Christmas in a cheap motel… but under a roof…

20. Are we ready to trust Jesus even if we are walking on water under a heavy storm without one complain, expecting Him to be in total charge of these moments? Are we?

21. More on hypocrisy according to Bible teaching: Are we hypocrites honoring God with our lips but our hearts are far from Him?  We in vain worship Him. (Matthew 15:8)

22. Do we remember that we lack nothing on this earth? Even persecutions and tribulations are part of a package of love and that He can multiply His graces and blessings over us at any time, as He multiplied the loaves and the fish for the multitude.

23. How many times I remember to be as humble as a little child. They do not have pride because they do not know what it is… Matthew 18:4“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

24. Do we understand that whatever we ask in prayer with faith (total trust that God is in charge and can do all things), we will receive it?  (Matthew 21:22) THIS COULD BE A NICE THOUGHT DURING OUR UPCOMING NATIONAL NOVENA TO OUR MOTHER.

25. Are we aware of our talents? But do we impose them on others as our gifts? Do we realize that our talents are rented or lent to us for the purpose of the Kingdom, and that these talents are to be multiplied by the number of souls converted?  And by the way, the more we multiply them, that much more we receive… (Matthew 25: 14-30)

26. Do we envy others for their talents that are competing with ours? Jesus knew that He was handed over to be crucified instead of Barabbas out of the envy of his enemies! (Matthew 27:18)

27. Do we enter Church and see the Tabernacle and “know” He is there but in our hearts we doubt that He is really present as the Apostles did when they saw Him after His resurrection? Even so, He sent them to make disciples of all nations, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always until the end of the age!” Do we really base our lives in this summons and teach others to do what He commanded (mostly with our witness) and truly believe that He is with us, like He was while on earth until the end of the world? How could we understand His promise to be present if we do not accept that He is alive in the Tabernacle, but truly alive and loving us to pieces?

28. Do we worship God in spirit and truth as Jesus commanded? John 4: 24 – “God is spirit and He desires our worship to be in spirit and truth!” So, do we stand in the Truth as a way to worship our Father?

29. Do we consider that the food for our soul consists in doing the will of God? (John 4:14)

30. Do we truly believe that Jesus is the Bread of Life by the way we act in front of His Eucharistic Presence?

31. Do we remain in His Word (which means to ACT ON IT) in order to be His disciples and get to know the Truth that will set us free? Or do we consider that if we reject to believe in His Real Presence in the Eucharist, that we open ourselves to Satan who “does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him.”? (John 8:44)

32. Do we believe the words of the man born blind and after his healing by Jesus, and no doubt a physical and spiritual healing, as he said, “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does His will, He listens to him.” John 9:31.

33. In the midst of suffering do we say, “I am troubled” and ask the Father to save us from the moment, or shall we say, “This hour has a purpose and I arrived to this moment because God has a purpose for it. Therefore I will not ask for changes.”  (John 12:27) And instead I remember His words “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in Me.” John 14:1. 

34. How much we believe in these His words? “If you remain in Me and My Words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become My disciples. As the Father loves Me, so I also love you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.” John 15: 7-10. Do we realize that one way to give glory to God the Father consists in becoming His disciple, and as He defined discipleship to be…?

35. Do I believe that His is in the Sacred Host complete – Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity? If not, should I always remember these His Words, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” John 20:29b

G. WE MUST RESTORE OUR CHURCH

Here we come to Nehemiah who was a lay person and he worked with a priest, Ezra. The Jews were preparing to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. This period involves the years between 538 B.C. to 331 B.C.

The achievements of the two men were complementary; each helped to make it possible for Judaism to maintain its identity during the difficult days of the Restoration. Nehemiah was the man of action who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and introduced necessary administrative reforms. Ezra gave his people a cohesion and spiritual unity which prevented the disintegration of the small Jewish community. He set a tone for the postexilic community characterized by fidelity to the Torah, Judaism’s authentic way of life.

Nehemiah as a layman, with his generous dedication of talents to the service of God and of God’s people remains an example of undiminished force for laymen today.

Ezra’s journey to Palestine happened around 398 B.C. and Nehemiah just before, around 445 B.C. Ezra’s guidance made him proclaim a fast in route to Jerusalem in order to humble themselves and ask God for a safe journey for themselves, children and all their possessions (Ezra 8).

“So we fasted and prayed for this and our petition was granted. The hand of our God remained upon us, and He protected us from enemies and bandits along the way.” (Ezra 8: 23, 31)

In Chapter 9: 6 – Ezra denounced mixed marriages with Egyptians and Amorites. Ezra prayed, “My God, I am too ashamed and confounded to raise my face to you, O my God, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads and our guild reaches up to heaven.” (Sounds familiar for our times?)

Chapter 10: 1  While Ezra prayed and acknowledged their guilt, weeping and prostrate before the house of God, a very large assembly of Israelites gathered around  him: men, women and children; and the people wept profusely.

Nehemiah 1: 5-7 –  I prayed, “O Lord, God of heaven, great and awesome God, You Who preserve Your covenant of mercy toward those who love You and keep Your commandments, may Your ear be attentive, and Your eyes open, to heed the prayer which I, your servant, now offer in Your presence day and night for your servants the Israelites, confessing the sins which we of Israel have committed against You., I and my father’s house included. Grievously have we offended You, not keeping the commandments, the statues, and the ordinances which You committed to Your servant Moses. “

The rest of the book explains how Nehemiah restored the wall of the city of Jerusalem and had enemies who tried to stop him. At one point, he had to use half of his helpers just to watch the enemies and the other half to do the job.

It is so clear how we are in the same type of situation. Yet, God put together a priest and a layman and provided a safe restoration of the Jewish people’s city, Jerusalem. The work of God happened but with several major deeds on the part of the Jews.

1) They examined their consciences and repented and fasted and prayed for God’s help. 2) Ezra made sure that major changes would be started, like terminating mixed marriages and established strict obedience to the commandments of the Torah. 3) This restoration was no just a physical change from exile to Jerusalem. No, this restoration was spiritual first and foremost. 4) God never left them and protected them until the Temple and wall around the city were restored.

Of course, of course, this is our situation. 1) We need to rebuild the Church in the sense of all of us asking God to make of the new evangelization a journey of change in all our hearts. 2) We must be re-evangelized to follow the commandments and to repent but truly from our hearts. 3) We need to start with our own inner temples… Restoration of our souls is the beginning and this is not negotiable. 4) We cannot continue to look O.K. in the outside, when inside we still do not know how to grow in this personal relationship with Christ. We can claim that we have one, but if we have it, it means that moment to moment, we are under His kinship for everything we do. If we are sick, we say, “Yes, Lord, so be it.” If we are lonely, we should say, “Yes, Lord, thank you.” 5) When we pray, we do it to adore Him and praise Him, allowing Him to change us from glory to glory but for the conversion of souls. 6) If we attend a Bible study, we do it with the emphasis on acting on what He commands us.

If I had to be the Ezra or Nehemiah of these times, I would write a protocol to restore our souls calling all Catholics to know Christ as alive, and teach them how easy it is if we simply act on His teaching… This working on the subject matter is based on trust. How can we say that we know Jesus, but not by name but by experiencing His love, and yet worry about what is wrong in our lives, personal or as a Church? It is impossible to imagine that our God sent us two saints, St. Faustina and Blessed John Paul II, just to be sure we knew about God’s mercy and how to extract it from His goodness, and yet, we react to the world around us, allowing others to intimidate us, when God is in charge! Yes, we have to speak loud about it, and yes, we are going to say a Novena to our Mother to help us, and it will go to the ends of the world…

Of course, our shepherds are taking charge. However, after the Novena and the elections, are we going to be changed and work hard at bringing others to Christ? Don’t we need to do whatever is needed to do His will but out of love for Him and neighbor? The elections may resolve some problems for us or make them worse; but let’s use this time to pray together for 9 days so that we can truly get to know the Crucified as alive… WE MUST TAKE OVER… Our God is ready to do it, if we simply trust that He can do it… Do I sound preachy? Of course, I do… We must run to tell everyone that He is alive, and show them with our faces of joy and peace in ;he midst of Calvary, that it is so… Otherwise we are hypocrites…

Since we are going to start a year of faith, what a precious time it is to become new in the Holy Spirit, by giving God our inner temples and for Him to change us into lovers of the Crucified… Just talking about faith and not fully throwing ourselves into the ocean of His mercy is not sufficient; trusting that He is alive and therefore, that we have to go tell others how we live in Him, for Him, by Him at all waking hours, but coming from our transformed hearts will be enough… Words by themselves will not do it… We must understand that we are in the midst of a Satanic spiritual battle that is trying to attack all of us, religious or not. We have the answers to defeat Satan, but somehow we are distracted…

Words and personal experience will change the world at these moments where the world is becoming a nightmare. Talks with do’s and don’ts are not quite effective… It is what I do and do not do, that will change one person at the time. Like Ezra, let’s commit to do what the Bible says… especially acting on Jesus’ Words. Let’s pray for each other… Let our prayer be always ignited with love for the other. Lay people reading this blog, please pray for our shepherds… We can be Nehemiah’s… and be co-responsible (as our present Pope says) with our Priests to prepare the Church and the world for His second coming.

He is soo alive… For example, in my most recent confession, the priest gave me as penance to go and thank Jesus for the grace of having done a great examination of conscience. But the truth is that I just called on Him and asked Him to reveal to me my sins in detail… And He did… His mercy does reprove and admonishes and teaches… besides forgiving our sins…

H. FOR YOUR HEALTH

As promised, let me report on the program and book on immunity. I must emphasize that our medical industry is totally dependent on the pharmaceutical industry. Our allopathic medicine is geared to treat all our maladies with drugs, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. We never were trained to prevent the illness (beyond vaccines).

However, plant based foods contain so many chemicals, most of which are not even known or discovered but presumed to exist by the benefits and cures they provide, and many studies in the world have revealed that these foods are actually like medicines and prevent many diseases, curing some. Personally, I make a “green soup” which contains tons of broccolis and less of carrots, sweet potatoes, corn and celery. I mix it with a heavy duty blender. I only cook the sweet potatoes. The rest is raw. I freeze it in small containers. I found out that after I eat it, my blood pressure comes down…

Most people over 60 are taking 10 prescribed medications. Of course, each one of them full of secondary effects and put together, may create other problems. However with a plant based diet we can cure sleep apnea, fatigue diabetes type II, autoimmune diseases like MS (multiple sclerosis) and lupus; it can decrease blood pressure, makes us lose weight, plus it may totally eradicate some cancers: prostate, breast are some examples. It can also eradicate migraine headaches.

According to the author of this program recently produced in San Francisco by an East Coast regular physician (MD), the science behind is compelling. He argues that drugs can decrease the blood pressure, but does nothing to stop the hardening of the arteries. We have a health care crisis because just keeping patients with medicines but not stopping the disease itself, requires much money to pay for it. The basis of the plan is to use “nutrient dense” plant products, or plants that are full of chemicals that among other things, can stop the circulation around a cancerous tumor and make it disappear.

62% of our American diet is made of processed foods with zero nutritional value. 26% is made of animal meats which have actually substances that can produce cancer. These animals have been fed hormones and antibiotics… Only 8 % of the American diet comes from healthy produce. Such diet produces high levels of insulin released in order to process carbohydrates in all forms. Insulin is a fat depositing hormone and also produces cancer. It contains the IgF1 factor. But animal products also have this factor… Eating mostly a plant based diet can also take the desire for food. In other words, it changes the biochemistry of the body and the brain does no crave the same.

The author, Joel Fuhrman, MD, talks about a diet high on GBOMBS…

Greens (e.g. Broccoli so important… for detoxification as well; kale, lettuce, etc..)

Beans… at least half a cup a day.

Onions – super anti cancer agent

Mushrooms – super anti cancer agent and a modulator of an overactive immune system

Berries – very important to close blood vessels that feed cancer cells.

Seeds – of all kinds.

The name of his latest book that contains this plan is called, “Super Immunity.” If any of you who know me, wants a copy of the original program that came from PBS TV in San Francisco, please let me know I will send you a DVD copy.

P.S.:

1. I need your prayers in order to find a personal physician. I have not had one in

many years. Twenty years ago I had a cardiac catheterization in South Bend, IN, due to chest pain and was told that I had the coronaries of an 18 year old. My pain was due to acid reflux. I will never forget that when my two lady colleagues (one of which was the informant of lies against me as mentioned before), found out about the test results, they both became infuriated and did not believe that I had perfect coronaries…!!! In 2009, my arteries like the aorta and carotids (that take blood to the brain) and peripheral arteries were all fairly free of plaque. So, it is obvious that I would not take any anti-cholesterol medications regardless of the numbers… since cholesterol is but a minor factor in forming plaque. These drugs are very dangerous and can give liver failure.

I have taken great care of the chemistry of my body for many years with many vita-nutrients… So, if I were to get cancer, I would not accept any treatment for it, except surgery if there was an obstruction present. To tell a doctor that death is gain for me would place me in the category of being a mad woman.

I have obtained my meds from my home country but my friend cannot send them anymore. Besides, I need a local doc since I need to eventually visit an ophthalmologist before my driver’s license renewal… So, I need a good patient, religious doctor, who truly believes in Jesus… and could understand my point of view. If not, any doctor could refuse to take care of me by me not believing in the so called protocol of our allopathic medicine. And of course, Mr. Satan will be around. No doubt!

2. The writing of this blog has become a chore with my vision being curtailed by 50% in my left eye. Now with my auto immune system going crazy, I am wondering if God is signaling for me to quit. I only want to be totally certain about His will in this matter. So, please also pray for this intention and thank you so much for doing so.

 


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