Archive for December, 2012

Reflections for 2013 and the Year of Faith

December 25, 2012

I dedicate this blog for His birthday, to the most beautiful Baby ever born , Jesus of Nazareth

I have wondered what God would inspire me to write that has not been discussed in the last four years that I have posted blogs in this site. Yes, repetition is a teaching tool in any subject because it helps rewire our brains with the review of the same Truths but full of saving power, since this blog is all about the mercy of God. Four themes started to emerge and all of great importance for this Year of Faith and the New Year as well.

1. A call to sanctity versus just holiness of life

2. The call to re-arrange my life to become a channel of grace hour by hour for my brothers and sisters who will be dying at such time so that they can repent and ask for forgiveness. If they never heard the Good News, to be enlightened, repent and believe in a God.

3. The urgency to start my job as John the Baptist did, announcing the Good News and becoming an instrument of His mercy through my own crosses.

4. A more detailed focus on God’s love for me, a call to be aware of such love since I was born and as the source of power to complete the first three items, but  also paying always attention to the paralleled action of evil forces trying to debunk such effort.

As you can see, these topics are common subjects in our spiritual life; yet, in a new way I understood the magnitude and the importance of these practices done on a daily basis. It seems that God keeps coming into our inner spiritual life step by step, with more demands of our time and love, and also with more exciting ideas of His Presence and His care for us.

So, here we have 2013, a new year but slightly worse than 2012. We end this year with a greater division among United States citizens in regards to a further powerful change into socialist ideas. The sad part is that it is all based on money matters. Under the appearance of love for the poor, the government wants to order citizens to share their money with others, but under laws and regulations which in some cases lack morality or infringe on our freedoms. We have not learned the lessons of the times of the now defunct Iron Curtain. Latin America, a part of the world with great Catholic values or so I thought, has been disbanded… The drug cartel has contaminated many countries and many die daily because of this money making diabolic activity.

I could go on and on and opinionate and repeat what we all know well. There is no question in my mind that we have very powerful spiritual powers that have taken over our world and the question is not what they are or why, but what can we do about stopping this none sense. What can we do to address the present state of the world, with all its furious attack on the dignity of human beings and upcoming issues against our religious liberty?

For a few months, EWTN has been showing, a series of programs with the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola taught by Father Timothy Gallagher, OMV. He wrote a book titled “Discerning the Will of God.” But on Sunday, December 2, he came to speak with a panel from Franciscan University of Steubenville, titled “Discovering God’s Will.” This reminded me of someone else, a Jesuit whom I met and was able to hear his wisdom on the same matter; so, immediately I looked for his book in my library.

So, let me quote here words from Servant of God, Reverend John Anthony Hardon, S.J. It was February 2, 1997. The place: Assumption Grotto Shrine, Detroit, MI. He lived there and this was 3 years before his death. I spent with many others a day with him talking on the subject of “SANCTITY.” I took notes and wrote them in the back of his book, “Retreat with the Lord,” which is a guide based on the Spiritual Exercises as proposed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, and in order  to make a 30 day retreat but at home. And by the way, after I left my well paid job in February of 2000 due to the abortion on demand issue, I did this retreat immediately. It is easy, well written, full of graces… This is what he said in 1997:

“Ordinary catholic’s, priests, bishops, religious, mothers and fathers, WILL NOT SURVIVE IN THIS CENTURY. Only Catholics can re-Christianize one pagan nation after the other, including our own. Therefore, we need saints to Christianize America. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius for 400 years have sanctified millions by changing ordinary catholics into heroic catholics. He spoke of what these exercises can lead us to do:

1. A spiritual inventory of our lives

2. Recognize that true freedom of our will is only one thing, to choose the will of the Son of God.

3. In God’s Providence, we must be channels of grace for others.

4. We can also review what true humility is all about.

5. We accept that the Bishop of Rome is the Vicar of the Church, and that we know as much of God’s revealed truth as we accept to obey him. He is the physical ambassador of Christ on earth.

6. We will develop a deep and strong love of the Cross and it is not just merely enduring the cross, or suffering or resigning ourselves to all trials and pain, but loving it! The cross is the will of God crossing our wills, and you must embrace it because you must love the One sending it to you. The definition of pain is whatever contradicts the human will. When we embrace it, we pay with our most precious possession: our will.

7. He explained how Sanctity is not an end in itself. We ought to become holy to be used as channels or communicator’s of His grace, and the most effective communication is the love for His Cross.

As I explored these notes, I found myself realizing that God has directed me at all cost to the Jesuits. I have told this story before but in this Year of Faith, it must be told again. We had gone to Costa Rica to supposedly stay there forever with four kids, the oldest 10 and the youngest 18 months. Major medical errors in Ann Arbor, MI at the time of the birth of my fourth son had left me with problems in my womb and major bleedings showed up, and in Costa Rica I almost died dropping in a matter of hours my hemoglobin to 7.5 grams. By now, some 8 months into our stay in this country, we had found out that the social security medical system was defective. Major medical errors were evident. We realized that if I needed further surgery to take out my womb, it had to be in the U.S., where despite the errors I had suffered, the overall practice of medicine was the best. So, we came back after 14 months spent in this my country of origin.

We ended up in Adrian, MI but jobs for my husband, a pathologist at the time, were few. He decided to retrain and become an anesthesiologist as I was. He found a residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. I found a job at the Cleveland Clinic and now I was the only major source of income for our family. In the next story, please notice how God is into everything. From Michigan, I contacted a real estate company seeking an agent to proceed and buy a home in Cleveland. They referred me to this lady who was Catholic and who attended Gesu Parish led by Jesuits at University Heights. This church was located across John Carroll University, another Jesuit learning place. And so it began my journey with the Jesuits. This realtor insisted that I should by x home just to be able to send the children to Gesu elementary school and in time, be ready to send them to St. Ignatius Hi School, far in the west side of the city. So, of course, the house was located half a block from the rapid transit train that could take them to that hi school…The plan was perfect and it worked out as devised…Notice how difficult would had been if I had to figure out what schools to send the children to, and shortly after the fiasco of our trip to Costa Rica, where I personally spent $200,000 for the transportation of electrical devices needed for the home (washer, dryer, refrig, etc.) plus our important furniture and dishes, pots and pans, paintings, clothes, and the like.  But God’s Providence was doing it all…

Years past and my first professional persecution came to be, but at this time, my husband was another anesthesiologist and with more chances to relocate. We left for Indiana and after 3 years there, here comes this God of love and called me to move on a May 4th while at a Marriott Hotel, in Houston Texas, as I was attending a medical meeting. And sure enough, in the next three days and as I arrived back to So. Bend, IN, we had offers for a job in…. Cleveland, OH. There again, the second two sons were able to join St. Ig, as we call it for short. My oldest finished his college at John Carroll University. My second son stayed in So. Bend to attend the University of Notre Dame. My third son embraced the desire to become a theologian and left for Franciscan U. of Steubenville, OH and which he easily explored because of our location in Cleveland. My youngest son ended up at Columbia University in N. Y, but since we had to pay $26,000 a year for his education, he had to transfer to John Carroll University and got his pre-medicine studies finished there.

So far, this God of love had weaved a series of events so that our family could get a certain education in specific Jesuit schools and this is why I was so well versed with Fr. Hardon. But the signs do not end here. Fr. Hardon was a great friend of then Bishop Burke, now Cardinal Burke!!!  Bishop Burke was instrumental for us to visit the Vatican and participate in a general and private audience with Blessed John Paul II…. and this because my theologian son had migrated to La Crosse, WI to work in his then Diocese as a Minor Seminary director.  Well, in time, Fr. Hardon donated his library to this now Cardinal, and such library is now housed at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in La Crosse! Keep in mind that Fr. Hardon was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in Cleveland! God loves to weave our lives in order to direct our attention to certain people that we need to follow, or revere or learn from.

Please stop here for a moment and after these stories, think of how unimportant it is for all of us to make plans for our future life… I would go further and say that it is dangerous for us to do what we want… His plans are perfect and not only for ourselves, but they cover the lives of many others. Just imagine our responsibility if we do not show up at a certain moment in a certain place for the sake of someone else…  Our only plan should be a daily abandonment to Divine Providence. He takes it from there. In fact, trying to figure out our “mañanas” is also a waste of time. We have to figure out our “today’s.” And in this Year of Faith, I regret any moment when I gave too much thought to my future. God is soo exciting. He left us a menu of things to do and not to do, and worrying about tomorrow was a no, no. Every persecution that I have endured was perfect… These crosses are now seen as emblems of love from this God. How could I have tasted this crazy love He has for me, had I not endured so many crosses that gave me the opportunity to see His mercy protecting me. Well, as you can see, early in this month I was given plenty of clues as to what to write.

In this very same day of December 2, another interesting program came through EWTN. They presented the life of Blessed Alexandrina Maria de Costa, born on in 1904 in Portugal, some 200 miles from Fatima. On April of 1924 and at age 20, she was trying to defend her purity and threw herself from a high window and became paralyzed. The Lord asked her to give Him her hands, feet, head and heart, the latter to be pierced with a lance for the salvation of mankind. She did. In 1934, ten years into this cruel status, Satan began his attacks on Alexandrina with tempting visions. On one occasion, Satan threw her out of her bed into the floor and when she complained to Jesus, He answered, “It was necessary to save souls. I select certain souls and happy the soul that understands the value of suffering. Lean on my Sacred Heart! Do some Eucharistic reparation, because I feel so abandoned, so lonely, and so I have chosen you to give Me company.” On Oct of 1938, she consented to suffer Calvary, the exact same month when St. Faustina died. Notice that she had to give her consent… She then spent her last 14 years without any food except for the Eucharist. Throughout her life, she had two spiritual directors: first a Jesuit and when he died, a Salesian who prompted her to dictate her own story. She died on October 14, 1955, at the age of 51.

Notice that here I had met the same themes: the price of sanctity, a huge cross and how she became a channel of God’s grace to save souls. I did not know it at the time but here I started the learning of how these times in the world require that we pick up our crosses and participate in our own Calvary with the distinct purpose of becoming what we call “victim souls.” Yes, the Lord chooses special people to live this life and we see it in the Saints and in Alexandrina, but also, we all should make an effort to join to the best of our abilities, this work of making of our crosses a great vehicle for the love of our neighbor. In other words, I started to feel that God is waiting from all of us to do what He did, to become victims for the good of others, or else we will continue to be bystanders of the moral destruction in our planet with the subsequent loss of many souls to hell.

The call started to enter my heart: I must take my crosses and stop complaining about them; instead, I must live the pain and offer it right and there, every hour if possible, for the salvation of those who are dying at the time so that they can repent and recognize Jesus as their savior. Why didn’t I think of it years ago? I wonder if some of us Catholics had entered into this routine of suffering with Christ for the sake of our neighbor, and offer it up for their salvation but on a constant basis, if we may have aborted so much tumult in our Church and in the world at large. And here I understood a huge truth: Satan was involved all along… trying to make a joke of our faith in God… But why this attack on our faith?

It is in the Bible. St. Paul clearly speaks about it… Ephesians 6: 10-17.

“Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from His mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So, stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace (As if saying, once you know the Truth and live it with your righteous life, run to tell others). In all circumstances, HOLD FAITH AS A SHIELD, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

It is obvious that the hater of our faith is the devil… And in the case of Blessed Alexandrina, Satan tried his very best to quench her faith, even in circumstances as difficult as been paralyzed for 31 years… And in this Year of Faith, guess what? Holding the Word of God through St. Paul’s teaching as a light in the darkness, I can see that Satan will work overtime trying to destroy our efforts of growing in faith in this God of love, using all kinds of ways to confuse us, divide us, lying to us, and one tactic that he loves is to “distract” us so that we do not pay attention to all those things that can make our faith grow, and instead, end up full of doubts of His love for us. Once you doubt, the door to God’s mercy closes… “Jesus I trust in You is not just a saying,” but a warning that without faith we deny His mercy for us.

On December 6th, I visited my new internist, the first I have had since 1988! It all went superbly. Thank you for your prayers. She referred me to an ophthalmologist.

December 8th. I received this idea: the spiritual life is not to do things like praying, studying the Bible, trying to figure out how to obey the Word of God. Instead, the spiritual life is a state to be and relate to God, to be in His Presence, and from there we pray and work and try to obey the Commandments. We first go to the source of love and mercy, spending the day with Him as we do whatever we must do for ourselves and others. I suffered much “oppression” during the day; as I was praying one of my Rosaries, my Mother said that Satan was after me, gave me a few instructions and the oppression disappeared in an instant. I have shared before this type of sudden exit of this state of my soul and mind. Please, notice this event because towards the middle of the month I learned much more and it will have another name: inner darkness, interior desolation and not caused by Satan, but allowed by God.

On Monday, December 10 we had in our parish the Advent Penance Service. I had experienced much fear of driving in the darkness of night with my left eye being partially shut down plus the need I have for a new lens for my right good eye. And yes, I have an appointment with the ophthalmologist for January 15, but this fear made me miss an evening Mass this past December 7th with the retired Archbishop/interim administrator of our Diocese. Well, this Monday I wanted to attend this service because they use the confessional where one can sit down and confess face to face. My knees prohibit it any other way. As I drove back home, the fear of driving at night was gone. No doubt that the power of this Sacrament is real. In fact, I noticed how well lighted are the lanes in this ferocious expressway, which is hard to really not see where we are going!  Of course, I am not going to overdo it and not use the expressway when necessary, like with rainy or foggy conditions, but in general, this fear is gone.

December 11th: It became clear that personally, one of my main jobs for this Year of Faith is to be aware of the spiritual warfare going on and that could become worse in order to make me doubt in God’s love for me. He will do his best to tempt me to run away from what God’s will is for me. I realized that the time is here to train myself to see my daily crosses as an invitation to become the best disciple possible.  

December 12. In this glorious feast of my Mother I had made plans to attend the 10 AM funeral of the father of a friend in my parish. Then, because of being her feast day, I had planned to stay for the noon Mass just to honor her. The funeral Mass was a beautiful Marian Mass. I arrived early and had prayed two rosaries before Mass, and after the funeral, I made my consecration to her. After Communion, I had a vision of what I would have to do and with whom (my third vision of this sort in the last 3 years). Then my Lord said, “You will be told two things in the next Mass and after Communion.”

By 11:35 AM I was ready for Mass number two. Then I started to feel depressed, oppressed and decided to come home without waiting for the noon Mass. I did not know if this was from the evil one but for sure it was not from something I had eaten (true chemical depression) because I was fine all morning. At 2:30 PM at home and suddenly, I knew that I had to go back to the 7 PM Mass in Spanish! I was against it since it would be night time and I had already honored her. So, as I normally do, I called the Holy Ghost and told Him to show me in the Bible the word “go” and I would. Of course, it came and in Joshua 2, I found it. I also remembered that He had mentioned that I would hear about two things He wanted to tell me in my next Mass. By this time, there was no oppression.

Well, I went to this Mass and found myself without any darkness. At the same time, it made me think of Latin America and the lack of faith in our countries. Yes, there is a lot a faith for Our Lady but a personal relationship with the Crucified is not the main event of their lives. Actually, the Hispanic TV is openly immoral in the US and in Latin America. I realized that I also owe much love for these places and that may be I was born into the Spanish language precisely to announce to them this personal relationship with our Jesus. After Communion my Lord mentioned the two things and asked me, “Are you ready to lay down your life for your brothers and sisters? I said, “Yes.” He added, “Do you agree to become a saint?”  I was startled by the question and suddenly remembered that I was not interested ever to become a ‘saint’ and recognized as such. And this not because I felt unworthy or had a false humility. I simply always wanted to be with Him and to seek Him in His Eucharistic Presence wherever I was, and to do whatever I could to love Him and His kids as well. Yet, apparently He wanted my “yes” because for what it implies. The two questions were related to each other. In other words, seeking holiness is a must, but accepting to become a saint means much more… It is like saying, “Yes, Lord I want to lay down my life for others and accept the worse crosses possible for their salvation.” At this time, I had started to put together these episodes of inner darkness which will strengthen heroic virtue.

December 13. It was 11:20 AM when I started to understand much more regarding sanctity and holiness. Asking to be a saint is like subscribing to a magazine. You get many things in a magazine: worldly stories, commercials (lies from Satan!), but you are also subscribing to receive persecution, or meeting people who will not understand what you do or write or say. Yet, this subscription to become a saint will also bring some coupons: that is the power of personal intercession for me and others which will grow as my power to say yes to suffering increases to the heroic level. But wanting to become a saint beyond seeking holiness is optional and I may not choose to lay down my life for my neighbor. It also clearly that I may not truly be seeking to love my neighbor at its highest form… that is, to lay down my life for them… And for the New Evangelization, I finally started seeing the importance of accepting these interior desolations to be a part of my preparation for this work.

Then I understood much more. Satan will try to stop my embracing of sanctity if I let him. Three things will stop him: 1) My “yes” to God’s will because it shall be representing the love of God at its best. 2) My yes to love my brothers and sisters in all possible ways and as a full time daily job with the purpose of laying down my life for them. 3) Prayer, especially of the Rosary. Here I was given an insight into spiritual warfare, very necessary as I said yes to become a saint and receive many more crosses.

Then I was taught why the Rosaries have so much power over Satan and it was similar to what I had shared some blogs back. 1) Her yes gave her power over Satan because her faith in God’s love and mercy was unique, perfect, and exactly opposite to what Satan did before he was ousted from the heavenly host. 2) Her love of neighbor was immediate after her yes to God. Satan hates human beings. She acted otherwise. 3) Her prayer in the house of Elizabeth was also to exult this merciful God and savior. 4) She embraced her crosses, from a trip to Egypt with a baby to standing at the feet of her crucified dead Son. So, saying the Rosary simply honors her for what she did and that earned her power over Satan. The Rosary also honors her Son as it reviews His life. It also is a mini Gospel that announces the Word of God in the different mysteries. I am sure that my Mother under the title of Guadalupe had been very active since the day before interceding for my understanding of these items, and of course, my extra Rosaries for each day are now directed to keep Satan away. In the other hand, periods of oppression have continued until I finally know why they come. It is also important to note that on 12/12/12, I ended up praying 6 Rosaries, which may have gotten the grace for 12/13 to understand all of this, sanctity versus holiness. My Mother said on this day, “Run, run, we are almost there, and know that all along up you are being trained as a spiritual warrior.” Hmm!

December 14. On this day and at Mass, I consecrated myself to the Cross as I celebrated the feast day of San Juan de la Cruz, a saint who suffered so much, and perhaps more than Alexandrina, since he was persecuted by his own confreres. I was invaded at the time with extreme darkness. I then remembered that St. John of the Cross was asked by Jesus, “What do you want?” This friar said, “To follow You and to be held in contempt!” (Wow!)

Also, on this day, as I was looking for some papers and ended up with the letter when HealthSouth of Birmingham, AL, major stock holder of the surgery center I directed for them in Toledo, OH, let me go… because they had sold the stocks to the Catholic organization called, “Mercy Health System” and the sale was contingent to my going away, since the latter did not want to pay my $225,000 per year. I had just passed this surgery center through the Joint Commission Assn. review board for safety with the highest percentage ever in the U.S. for a surgery center. It was a reminder of the futility of using names that do not match their works. Money was more important than mercy. I had been used to revive this surgery center which was not doing well at my arrival, and now that surgeons had much comfort in the safe way we treated their patients, I was let go.

Yes, I must admit that the private group of anesthesiologists of one of the hospitals owned by this Mercy system, St. Vincent’s, was going to provide anesthesia services for the surgery center, and yes, they had invited me to be part of their group and I would end up staying as director. Well, God had other plans. I did not accept this proposal because the main directors of this group were Indian anesthesiologists, and at that moment, I feared them due to previous clashes with similar doctors from India. But I suspect that this was part of my Lord’s directing me to California, that it is to have suffered several major disasters with Indian docs years before, where money was more important than the safety of patients, so that I could not remain in Toledo… Had I stayed, I would have not had the time or technical assistance to witness in the Internet that Jesus, the little tiny baby of born in a stable is real, wonderful, alive, generous and merciful. And yes, this God also wanted me to start my Calvary of 5 years in Toledo without a job before He would allow me to put my house in the market… I needed to be purified for this job of writing without any theological background. In fact, I almost ended up with a job in a nearby small town (2006) with two Indian anesthesiologists, and my pay would have been, $25,000/mo with no other benefits. They offered it. I said no for the same reasons…

In another occasion (2005), I would have become director of a surgery center in Mishawaka, IN (next to So. Bend), belonging to the St. Joseph Hospital where I had been before, and on a Friday after my work for a month as they were testing my knowledge in anesthesia, they expressed great admiration for my work and said that the next week I would be given the contract to sign, and to start thinking of selling my home in Toledo. On Saturday night, I received a call from them that they would not want me… I thought of St. John of the Cross and smiled on this day. Little did I know that soon after (2008) and as I left for California, a sacristan from my Toledo parish would complain to the Ohio Medical Board of trying to kill her, of using an alias and of trying to pass a $20,000 check without funds to pay for a roof repair.  I repeat these stories because seeking holiness of life comes with a huge price ticket, and yet, God walks with us even in the littlest details. Jesus came to call us to this type of life. Satan tries his best to twist facts and persecute us, and of course, he even tempted Jesus… This is a good sign for some of us to know for sure that we will be persecuted by many and that Satan is in the middle, but that souls must be saved at all cost and He will make us walk on water if need be, in order to change this world and convert it.

This same day of December 14, the U.S. Hispanic community presented a Teletón (Telethon) to get funds to help Hispanic children with disabilities in the U.S. They have done it in Mexico for 16 years. Of course, we have had it in English for years too, in the first weekend of September and Labor Day. But it was on this particular event that I heard of many children who were diagnosed as having cerebral palsy since birth. In many of these cases, medical mismanagement is the cause. I remembered that my third son could have been in that category after major medical errors were done while in labor for this child. I still remember my pediatrician saying to me that most likely this child would be retarded due to an all night fetal distress in the womb, while I was sedated until morning hours.

SUDDENLY, I realized how much my God loves me… Not only this child is normal but a great writer and dedicates his life to theology as assistant to an Archbishop in this U.S. But why didn’t I enter into this truth with much more passion, the truth that God is crazy about me? Shouldn’t I be always smiling from ear to ear because Jesus is here with me, alive, and loving me to pieces. What is wrong with me? Just imagine seeing your child grow and dependent on many others for everything and being exposed to be mistreated by care-givers! The worse scenario is to realize that one day, mother and father die, and this image of Christ may suffer abundantly but due to human errors of the past. And THIS GOD had averted the whole situation… Shouldn’t I be ready to do whatever He tells me, just as a thank You note to Him… for this huge miracle? It amazes me how stupid I am… I cried several times during this Telethon. First by seeing these images of God so deformed and retarded, and second, because in my particular case it took me so many years to see how much God loves me…

I started to feel repentant for my insistence of stopping these blogs… Who cares if they are read or not; who cares if they only help one “sheep”… I began to see that this spiritual darkness or oppression is a small price to pay for this love of His. I started to understand that I have to use these oppressions for the good of the spiritual disabilities of others.

Monday, December 17. I woke up very sad… I had horrible pain in my knees. I had to go to the post office and very early (to avoid the super crowds) to mail my Christmas letter, one that was too long. This year, I wanted to just send plain cards and the push came over the weekend to write the letter precisely because I must tell others of His goodness, since He has been so great with me, as I was still watching the “telethon” on Saturday. It was a way of evangelization without trying in this precious Year of Faith… Many will not need it, but may give them some hope for this tough spiritual journey. I even asked my pastors to keep the people receiving this letter in their intercessory prayer… Well, my Lord wanted it that way… And, I already received a card of some neighbors from my first trip to Cleveland, neighbors of the home chosen by a Catholic realtor… Remember? The wife always writes three words, but we have kept this relationship for 30 years. They are Catholic and their only son was a classmate of one of my sons at the elementary school, Gesu. This time, the card came with many kisses (she wrote –> xxxx’s) and hugs and true happiness responding to my Christmas letter, and like never before. There it is what the Holy Ghost can do…

 I left for noon Mass despite that I was not feeling well. It was rainy and ugly. At 11:30 AM, another brutal attack of spiritual darkness and with my other pains, made me run back home. As I arrived near my house, I remembered I had to visit a 7Eleven to get some money at the ATM machine. I entered and also decided to buy the paper and took a long time to gather $1:08 to pay for it. Two men were behind me and very patient with coffee in their hands. I apologized for taking the time to look for the 8 cents instead of receiving more pennies. We came out almost at the same time and these two men entered the truck next to my car. I then saw the Costa Rican flag. I asked them if they were from Costa Rica. And yes, one of them was, Orlando Rodriguez, also born in the city of San Jose, and now he lives very close to me in my own city. How do you like that?

By now, the oppression was gone. I was totally covered by the certainty that this Jesus had allowed this crazy circumstance just to let me know that for Him all things are possible. It was like finding a needle in a haystack. He is so funny. The day after my Mother’s feast, 12/12/12, He was all over me… Every place I went to buy whatever, people would go out of their way to smile to me, to love me, to help with my shopping cart and bad knees. While driving, I kept saying that He was too much… and yes, His Presence was awesome… The sad part is that He is that close to all of us, but most people seem not to know it. Some of us just have to go tell them that Christmas is everyday… Our heart and soul is the stable where He sleeps, and we should just call others to realize that we can carry Him everywhere…

Tuesday, December 18. On this day I had fell asleep in my chair (the night before) and woke up at 2:30 AM. I returned to bed and as He has done some times in the past, He started dictating the main format of this blog. This meant to turn on the light and take notes. Around 3:30 AM, with great consolation for what He had done for me, I thanked Him and went to sleep. I suddenly woke up at 5:30 from a dream… My maternal grandmother and great Marian woman, my main caregiver as a child, was telling me that I should follow what the Lord had told me to do so many times for the sake of the Kingdom. Another friend appeared and said something related to what she said. I woke up and could not figure out what it all meant. The readings of that day were about the dream St. Joseph had. He had his own plans to divorce Our Lady quietly, but God had different ones and this dream is a dramatic proof for us that God is into everything. Just imagine if he had left Our Lady and when she was found with child, she would have been stoned to death…

It was after I heard this reading for the Mass that my eyes opened up wide. Sometimes He calls us to very dramatic moves and at times sort of weird decisions, and in my case, I have doubted that I should be part of such job. It means that my faith is so incomplete… If you think I have great faith, I have to tell you that I do not… Just think how much I have received… since I was a child and knew Him personally to this date… I keep placing some doubts as to what He wants of me, and I have not one instance in my life where I could say that He was not behind guiding me. Just to know Him as a real person is a grace that deserves many sufferings on my part! I will pay with Purgatory time, and worse, I even recognize the fault but keep trying to escape certain duties.

Wednesday, December 19. I woke up deeply sad. I made it to noon Mass. I came home and finally I was able to put things together. I was led to get out the diary of St. Faustina and sure enough there it was:

Entry 134: O my Jesus, You have tested me so many times in this short life of mine! I have come to understand so many things, and even such that now amaze me. Oh, how good it is to abandon oneself totally to God and to give Him full freedom to act in ones’ soul. (I wrote on the margin of the diary on 11/14/1994, “Me too.”)

135. During the third probation, the Lord gave me to understand I should offer myself to Him so that he could do with me as He pleased. I was to remain standing before Him as a victim offering. At first I was quite frightened, as I felt myself to be so utterly miserable and knew very well that this was the case. (The Lord said to her) “You do not understand this today. Tomorrow, during adoration, I will make it known to you….

When I came to adoration, I felt within my soul that I had entered the temple of the living God, whose majesty is great and incomprehensible. Although I saw nothing externally, God’s presence pervaded me. At that very moment my intellect was strangely illumined. A vision passed before the eyes of my soul; it was like the vision Jesus had in the Garden of Olives. First, the physical sufferings and all the circumstances that would increase them; then the full scope of the spiritual sufferings and those that no one would know about. Everything entered into the vision: false suspicions, loss of good name… MY NAME IS TO BE “SACRIFICE.”

I wrote in the margin this: 3/27/1993: “Probably my name too.” On 11/14/1994: “echo.” On 10/23/2008: At St. Mary’s parish I wrote: I freely consent to receive the new name: “sacrifice.” Hmm… Of course, because I was in the midst of much memory loss, I had forgotten this detail.

136. And the Lord gave me to know that the whole mystery depended on me, on my free consent to the sacrifice given with full use of my faculties. In this free conscious act lies the whole power and value before His Majesty. Even if none of these things for which I offered myself would ever happen to me, before the Lord everything was a though it had already been consummated.

At the moment, I realized I was entering into communion with the incomprehensible Majesty. I felt that God was waiting for my word, for my consent. Then my spirit immersed itself in the Lord, and I said, “Do with me as You please. I subject myself to Your will. As of today, Your holy will shall be my nourishment, and I will be faithful to Your commands with the help of Your grace. Do with me as You please. I beg You, O Lord, be with me at every moment of my life.[

927. On those two days (the last two days of the carnival before Ash Wednesday), I received Holy Communion as an act of reparation and I said to the Lord, “Jesus, I offer everything today for sinners. Let the blows of Your justice fall on me, and the sea of Your mercy engulf the poor sinners.” And the Lord heard my prayer: many souls returned to the Lord, but I was in agony under the yoke of God’s justice. I felt I was the object of the anger of the Most High God. By evening my sufferings had reached such a stage of interior desolation that moans welled up involuntarily from my breast. I locked the door of my room and began an adoration; that is to say, a Holy Hour. Interior desolation and an experience of God’s justice – that was my prayer; and the moans and pain that welled up from my soul took the place of a sweet conversation with the Lord.

417. April 26, 1935. On Friday, when I was at Ostra Brama to attend the ceremony during which the image was displayed, I heard a sermon given by my confessor. This sermon about Divine Mercy was the first of the things that Jesus had asked for so very long ago. When he began to speak about the great mercy of the Lord, the image came alive and the ray’s pierced the hearts of the people gathered there, but no all to the same degree. Some received more, some less. Great joy filled my soul to see the grace of God…

418. When the sermon was over, I did not wait for the end of the service, as I was in a hurry to get back home. When I had taken a few steps, a great multitude of demons blocked my way. They threatened me with terrible tortures, and voices could be heard: “She has snatched away everything we have worked for over so many years!” (End of quotes.)

It is on this day that I realized that my oppressions are necessary and part of my love for God. As St. Faustina was suffering so much in Poland, Blessed Alexandrina was living the same mystery of suffering in Portugal. In both instances, obedience to the will of God and most importantly while under heavy crosses plus Satan working full time against them, made them “saints”. That is, they are able to this date to mediate the salvation of many souls because their suffering is still present at the Throne of Mercy.

Sunday, December 23. At Mass, one of my friends and volunteer in the Rectory came to ask me how I was feeling and said, “Do not give up,” and with great emphasis. It was strange to hear her say it. Later, another dear friend said, “Stay strong.” I did not get it at the time… But the Holy Spirit came and made me realized that my approach to live a new life for the sake of converting souls require both attitudes… and that God had given these messages to two dear friends, in order for me to be reminded how much I must keep embracing my crosses and doing exactly what I have been told, since again,  God loves me so much that my yes should be always perfect and decisive.

I will now share with you what all these experiences of this month have brought me. On 12/12/12, I was given a personal plan to live the rest of this Year of Faith. I made new cards and I carry them with me and you know all of this material but want to tell you that I am very seriously following it.  

1. Abandonment to Divine Providence is the child of perfect trust in Gods’ love and mercy. This trust must be blind and consists in doing the will of God at each present moment for the love of God and neighbor as if nothing else matters. Therefore, I must stop all imaginings about the future and keep my attention on what is happening now, and submit to it as Our Lady did, with a definite Yes that has no worries or questions. He is with me and He will do whatever needs to be done…But how to help myself stay under His reign opening the doors of my soul to the Holy Ghost?

1) By Inviting the Holy Spirit to take over whenever I feel tempted to worry or wanting to know about what is to come.

2) Daily Mass offered for my growth in faith and to trust like a child would. This means that instead of condemning the world or religious scandals, I must be merciful as my Father is and offer my suffering and prayer for them, and trust like a baby, that Daddy loves all of us.

3) Rosaries offered to stop Satan and to be able to offer my crosses without any repugnance of carrying them for the salvation of many.

4) Chaplets of Mercy said in expiation for the sins of the world and asking God for His mercy for many to grow in faith for Him.

5 Frequent moments of adoration of God within, the Holy Trinity, as the day goes on.

6) Frequent periods of time adoring the Eucharistic Jesus as I beg for His mercy for these times.

7) Frequent consecration of my life to Our Lady

2.  I will make a list of all my crosses, and train myself to embrace all kinds of suffering. I will do that by offering the pain every hour as possible, for the salvation of those who are dying in that hour. (I have found out that much joy comes from accepting the Cross as a means of redemption, personal and for others.) I will understand that spiritual darkness is either from God directly and in order to join Him at Calvary, or allowed by God and instigated by Satan, using other persons. Yet, these oppressions are gifts to present to the Throne of Mercy for the salvation of many souls.

Luke 14: 27. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple.”

To endure darkness leads to great light.” St. John of the Cross.

3. I will take very seriously the idea of becoming a “victim soul” for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

4. I will keep a file of facts of the many times when God has shown His love for me with signs and wonders.

5. MY DAILY PRAYER must include:

You know this prayer of former Edith Stein, now St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and I will write it in two languages:

Dios mío, no quiere conocer tus caminos. Para eso soy tu hija. Eres Padre de sabiduría y un Padre también para mí. Y si me llevas a través de la noche, sé que me llevas a Ti.

My God, I do not want to know your roads. That is why I am your daughter. You are a Father of wisdom and a Father also to me. And if You take me through the darkness of night, I know that you are taking me to Yourself.

Final comments:

After all I have written, words may move others but it is clear that my actions, my way of following this Babe and Messiah King, are the donkey that will carry Him to other hearts. I can talk all day about Faith and how much I need to grow in it, but my actions are the ones that this Messiah King will hear and that will melt His Heart, so that His mercy can come down by buckets of grace and love and much, much faith in His love for us.

So, in the Internet, in the presence of all who may read this blog, I am promising the following to the Babe at the manger for this Year of Faith, and hopefully also until the day I depart from this earth.

1. To become abandoned to His Divine Providence and as never before. By using the plan written above, I will be begging God to give me the grace to do so. I do accept again to become a “sacrifice” for the salvation of many souls. From this Christmas Day 2012 on, I will close my eyes to anything that I find troublesome in His will for me and similar to what Jesus felt at the Mount of Olives, and will say yes to it, in order to turn around and offer it up for the redemption of many.

2. When periods of oppression or interior desolation come to make me desist of my abandonment to His providence, I will call the Holy Spirit and His Spouse, my Mother, in order to accept the desolation without wanting to end it or trying to run away from His will for me, and at the very same time, to turn around and offer it for my brothers and sisters.

3. The help of Our Lady will be sought day and night to give me the faith she had, the love of God and neighbor she had, so that Satan can be ousted from my life and that of others.

4. The New Evangelization for me has started. So,

a) Every hour even when I may forget, I solemnly offer my crosses for the salvation of those dying at that hour, and for every woman who is planning to abort a baby, so that grace will enter her heart and abort her plan.

b) At the 3PM hour (PST), I will also  offer my crosses and sufferings for the Roman Catholic Church, especially for those members who are lukewarm and for those who receive Him in mortal sin. This offering will be asking Jesus for His mercy for our Church Worldwide and seeks a New Pentecost in order to make more saints to Christianize America…

c) At 12 PM (PST), being 3 PM in the eastern U.S., I also offer my crosses for the three branches of our Government, asking the Throne of Mercy to take over their hearts.

Amen to all of the above! Maranatha!  

I want to leave you with a two interesting quotes from the book, “Retreat with the Lord,” by Fr. John A. Hardon

From St. Ignatius of Loyola

1. If God gives you a harvest of trials, it is a sign of the great holiness to which He desire you to attain. Do you want to become a great saint? Ask God to send you many sufferings. The flame of divine love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the cross, which the infinite charity of the Savior uses to finish His sacrifice.

From Fr. Hardon: Power over demons: Not surprisingly, Jesus first gave the apostles power over the evil spirit. As Ignatius never tires pointing out, those who proclaim the gospel are in deadly competition with the devil.

May you have a very blessed New Year 2013