The month of September was a month of much suffering (pain in my body) mixed with the wonderful week spent with Pope Francis in Cuba and the United States. EWTN in two languages, CNN and Univision were my back and forth informants. EWTN/espanol was my source to hear him in Spanish and not with translation in English… What a difference! CNN had the best pictures (clear and easy to watch for me because of my vision problems). Univision had also everything in Spanish and extra information from Mexican reporter Maria Antonieta Collins who traveled with the Pope from Rome to Cuba to the US to Rome again, yet they would have commercials here and there!
Pope Francis became the most famous person in the world and in the U. S. and Cuba because the crowds were huge and therefore, the interest was high enough to make money for the non Christian TV stations. It was clear to me that right behind the entire week, it was the Holy Spirit calling souls to the streets since they had to endure LONG HOURS OF HEAVY WAITING to be processed for security reasons. Without the crowds the reporting from non religious stations would have been minimal. This was the first hopeful feeling that I received from his visit and realized that God can do all things…
The second hopeful and joyous message was to see this older Pope having the physical stamina to speak so many times in English and Spanish and survive even with his obvious painful sciatica. Our God was with him and he witnessed what it is to follow Jesus.
The third hopeful message was to hear how this Pope said the CORRECT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME WITHOUT OFFENDING ANYONE while developing themes that were extremely necessary for the different crowds and for all of us in our Catholic Church! Wow! There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit chose this Priest to be Pope…
The fourth hopeful meaningful story is to see the reporters from CNN and Univision getting so engaged and joyful about what he said, how he said it, why he said it as if he were their Pope. Of course, some of these reporters were Catholic but not all.
Overall, all my horrible pain in my knees and worse than ever before, did not win over my watching and enjoying it all because I KNEW QUITE CLEARLY THAT THE YEAR OF MERCY HAD STARTED for us in the US! Our God surprised us and helped the Pope and the crowds and provided excellent weather for the entire feast of 20+ talks between homilies and visits to lay groups. The entire scenario gave me an idea of the scenario for the time when Jesus will come back at the end of times…
Besides these scenes of the Papal visit the Lord added for me and before the Pope came, a few wonderful programs via EWTN/espanol with stories that were phenomenal. There is series called “Cristonautas” and translated would be called “Navigating with Christ,” which I wished were translated into English and shown in EWTN/English.
I will now share some of what I lived according to the calendar dates.
Saturday, August 29
After posting the addendum to Augusts’ blog, I wrote in my journal that the pain in my right knee was worse than ever and thought that maybe the position I had for 3 hours during the surgery since the surgeon had to work from below and above the pubic area (lithotomy position), had caused more damage to that knee. I did develop severe spots of fibromyalgia, which are like knots around both joints which are extremely painful to the touch. I did not have them before the surgery!
Sunday, August 30
After attending Mass, I turned the television on and happened to find a baseball game for teens (World Championship) between Japan and the U.S. and I felt the most powerful love for the players. This love came upon me like never before I had loved players in any sport. I prayed much for them! There was no doubt that this was a gift of His grace and one that has continued more often than not. Even more, when I find myself passing judgment on anyone and only in my mind, I immediately regret it and feel much love for those I had just judged.
Monday, August 31
After praying the Rosary with EWTN/espanol, I found myself watching the life of St. Camillus de Lellis. He was born in 1575, shortly after the times of Luther and God called him to serve the sick. Just this fact was interesting for me since it was my call as well.
On this day, I started experiencing a severe allergy to the second narcotic ordered by my urologist for surgical pain.
Thursday, September 3
This day I called the office of my urologist to ask how could I send a message to this man since the Tramadol pills ordered by my general doctor to take care of my joints pain had to be used and in higher amounts for the surgical pain, due to the extreme allergy to the second narcotic he had ordered (both of them caused severe diarrhea with blood…), and asking him to write for more Tramadol instead and clarifying to the pharmacy the reason why. The office lady who answered gave me her email address to write to him. I did send a long email to this physician clarifying that I am not an addict and that I used Tramadol for pain in the knees caused by multiple allergies to foods and/or food preservatives.
Sunday, September 6
I celebrated in my heart the feast of the Child Jesus or better known as Divino Niño, although EWTN had done so the day before.
Tuesday, September 8
This was the feast not only of the birth of the Virgin Mary but also of Our Lady of Vailankanni or Our Lady of GOOD HEALTH who appeared in India! I wanted to attend Mass but I still had much difficulty in driving and parking and walking to church and back home. On Sunday’s my son drives me to the main entrance of the church and it is easier for me, yet, I received the blessing of being able to do it.
Wednesday, September 9
I received an answer from the urologist office via his assistant saying the following:
“Good afternoon, I am sorry to inform you that Dr H. is no longer with our practice. I had Dr B. review your records and message and advised me to let you know to have your Primary Doctor refill your med. Please call me if you have any questions”
As you could imagine, my entire being went into disbelief… I did call and spoke to another lady who happened to be the personal assistant of my urologist Dr. H., and she was very touched as well by his leaving the practice. She spoke of him very highly and told me that if and when he opens his practice again, she would not mind to follow him! She added that my postoperative visit for October 25 will be covered by another urologist.
I thanked the Lord profoundly to realize that this man was held in great esteem by someone who knew him well, but I also imagined myself talking to a brand new doctor about my surgery he did not do!!! In the other hand, the pain in my knees was worse than ever and regardless of eating or not. God clearly established that my increase of pain could be remedied if I prayed as many Rosaries per day as possible for the worldwide disaster I had just seen in television (thousands of refugees coming out of Syria in route to Germany and some countries opposing their passing through their territory) PLUS for the huge crowds seen that showed up to watch innumerable football games (college and NFL). It did make a lot of sense and I wrote in my journal this: “It is urgent that I suffer for all of them and to SAVE their SOULS.”
Friday, September 11
This is a famous date for all us in America but the Lord also used it to ask how He wanted me to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which I will share at the closing of this blog.
Saturday, September 12
I made it to a nearby Target store and bought some urgent items although feeling great pain, pain which increased as I came back home and could not even bring inside the bags from the car until my son came hours later and did it for me!
Monday September 14 and Tuesday September 15
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows were observed in these two days and it reminded me of my own sorrows. However, my pain was nothing compared to the loss of her Son who was unjustly martyred! It helped my soul and mind.
Wednesday, September 16
I prayed the Rosary with the EWTN audience and after it, my Father in heaven came to say, “You have a clear path to follow but praying Rosaries is very important since Satan will fight you LIKE NEVER BEFORE. So far we have done one third of the job in preaching what My mercy is all about in your life with the writing of blogs for seven years. The next work is to proclaim with your own spoken words My Kingdom as a blessing of My mercy, and it will cover the second one third of this work. The last one third will be made of publications in the form of books of some of the blogs and with all your blessings received to reverse your memory loss and the food that it is a source of one kind of depression.
“So far, the blogs have helped many and this is why Satan will be often bothering you as he has done before, using others to persecute you in order to incite your growth in resentment and hatred of your neighbor, all of which will impede My Holy Spirit to guide you in doing My will with total trust of being the best for you, the key to your further spiritual growth.”
Friday, September 18
I must note here that in recent days EWTN/espanol has been a great source of teaching. It was true in this day as well. I took some notes in Spanish which below I will translate for you.
10:30 AM – Cardinal Antonio Cañizales – The program was called “The Mission.” Subtitle: “Directly from Rome” or Roma en Directo. (2014)
“The clue to solve all kind of problems is the presence of faith, but faith depends on our prayer in order to be able to have a relationship with Christ so to be able to do what He did: to love, serve, pardon and stay near those who suffer.The best service that we can render is to evangelize and this is a call for all Christians. Yet, if we want an evangelizing Church, we need a family that evangelizes. (This was exactly the main topic for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia). I have something to add to this topic and will do at the end of the blog.
“The Church needs to change her heart and not her structures. This was said by St. Theresa of Jesus, St. John of the Cross, St. Francis of Assisi and other Saints and all of them lived the Beatitudes.”
11 AM – The above program was followed by the “Way of the Cross,” which I proceeded to pray. While doing so, I saw the picture of a woman representing the Virgin Mary. I thought: “How ugly is this actress acting as Our Lady.” My Mother spoke and said, “No creature is ugly because he/she is an image of God.”
After this short interruption I continued following the Way of the Cross and I heard how Jesus was attached to the cross from hands and feet and in horrible pain coming from the entrance of the nails in His extremities while the weight of His body was pulling them down. Besides, He was dehydrated and this part of His Passion lasted 3 hours. As a physician I could follow the fact that His nerves were pinched and pulled for this time and the pain produced had to be unbearable. I felt an excruciating pain in my heart and very sorry for my sins because I could have done more to save souls and I did not do it, including doing something so easy like praying more Rosaries for this intention. I have received so many blessings and for nothing. I SHED TEARS FOR 10 MINUTES. I also remembered that the Our Father has the petition to forgive our trespasses and I am sure Jesus, the author of this prayer, was including the little we do for our neighbor to save their souls. We have no zeal as He did.
After The Way of the Cross, I started writing in my journal regarding how we pray it especially during Lent but as lip service. I remembered how He led me to see 22 times the movie “The Passion of Christ” in 2004-2005. Of course, He was trying to call my attention to my need to understand His Passion from within His wounds, wounds received verbally from his persecutors and the wounds during His condemnation and walk to Calvary to the last moment of extreme physical pain and emotional pain, as He saw His disciples running away and not keeping Him company except for John, despite that He had invited three of them to be awake and pray while He was at Gethsemane.
3:30 PM – While praying the fifth Rosary I realized that as a Church we could have done what was done at the Battle of Lepanto and use the Rosary as the weapon to defeat the present evil, the present battle against the modern world that lost the TRUTH, FAITH AND LOVE. Our battle right now consists in electing a U. S. President in November 2016, a candidate who is the choice of God. As of this month, if one of the candidates constantly shows no love for neighbor every time he opens his mouth, then he is not a follower of the Ten Commandments and unless he converts, he is not the choice. It is clear: we the people can elect the next U. S. President and the one that God wants for us, and IT IS UP TO US! We cannot complain for the results of the upcoming 2016 election. IT IS SUPER INTERESTING that this campaign and election will occur during the Year of Mercy.
As I transcribed what I wrote above from my journal, I realized that Mercy came to our land via our Pope and should reactivate our zeal to bless this country with the best President. Shame on us if we do not do it! It seems that our trust in Him fails in cases like this.
Therefore, I am calling you voting citizens of the U. S. to RECEIVE this message not only as citizens of this great country but as disciples of Christ as well! Three Rosaries should the minimum that every one of us should pray for this intention asking God for His mercy but with a heart totally convicted that “the Rosary is the weapon for the end times,” a phrase preached by St. Pio of Pietrelcina.
Saturday, September 19
1:30 PM PT – Pope Francis arrived in Cuba. What stayed with me were these words of his on the topic: “the culture of meeting with each other” – He said, “The world needs reconciliation. We are living a 3rd. World War but in stages. Christ is alive.” Looking at a group of young people he said, “This is the voice of Christ.”
Something else that surprised me was to hear that in Cuba there are 400 ministerial Priests for 11million Cubans! (Ouch). Here again I felt very guilty. WE AS A CHURCH ARE TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS SITUATION IN CUBA even that now it seems to have changed somewhat. I asked myself: “Did I ever prayed as an intention of my community Rosary to give me much love for Fidel and Raul Castro and all Cubans, asking at the same time for God’s mercy over them?” Never… Did I know well this situation? O yeah… My own husband was an admirer of these men plus the “Che (Ernesto) Guevara” from Argentina, and he, a dissipated Roman Catholic became a communist as well because of these men…! In those days I knew of many Cubans in Panama who had left their country and I already knew Jesus in the Eucharist as alive as ever… I even was a very devout medical student who attended Sunday Mass at St. John Bosco parish, not my own, just to be with the poor and to pray to my Lord for them. Yet, my spiritual formation was minimal and much growth had to come, even as we speak when the pain I suffer in my knees and other ailments are there partially for me to suffer and further convert and be a true daughter of my Dad in heaven. Rarely He speaks to me and yet, His voice is so calm, so different and so loving.
Sunday, September 20
At 5 AM as I prepared myself with much Tramadol on board to attend 8 AM Mass, the Pope celebrated Mass in the Square of the Revolution with a huge picture of “Che Guevara” in the background. Notice that “che” for us means someone from Argentina since they use very often these three letters without meaning a specific thing. It is comparable to many English speaking people who during their conversations repeat over and over as they speak of different topics the words, “you know.”
The Cubans had 3 months to prepare the music specific for his visit and adding a Caribbean flavor… In his homily, one sentence truly struck me: “Si no vivo para servir, no sirvo para vivir.” English: “If do not live to serve, I am not good to live.”
In his meeting with young people, this is what called my attention of what he said:
1. We should have two eyes: one of flesh to look around. One of glass to dream…!
2. Let’s talk first about what we have in common. Later about what separates us!
3. Social friendship seeks the common good but hostility destroys. The worse hostility is war. Become capable to create social friendship.
4. Another word: hope. Young people, hope is not a state of optimism. Hope is something more. It knows how to suffer or sacrifice for others. It has the capacity to create life.
5. Children and elders are discarded because they not produce. But hope helps us to see the future and practice social friendship.
6. Young people without hope look like retired beings as they keep lamenting and running away from life.
7. An African “saying” says: “If you want to walk fast, walk with company.” In the culture of encounter, let’s not get lost from each other. (end of the ideas that caught my attention).
If you are reading this blog it is because you believe in Jesus and therefore, most likely you have heard all the points made above by the Holy Father. So, why do I take time to repeat them? Well, simply because they bring us to look into our own souls and diagnose our position in this culture of encounter. Are we engaged? Or, are we simply hearing these profound statements and let them go as nice but not with the desire to live them? Which one will describe our souls at this moment in the history of the world and of our Church?
Even that I was very consoled by the time I went to 8 AM Mass, my pain in my knees was horrendous that even walking a short distance to receive Communion was very difficult. I offered the Mass for Pope Francis’ safety and pastoral success in Cuba and the U.S.
After Mass my son and I came home and had breakfast and told him that I could not clean the dirty dishes from the night before because of the pain in my knees being terrible. Yet, as I went to the kitchen to add my plate to the dirty dishes, the pain of my knees had disappeared and this with just Tramadol taken early that day at 6 AM!!! Therefore, I cleaned the kitchen and came up to my room still without any major pain… Two hours later I had it back…THIS IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HOW HE GIVES ME HOPE… He proves to me that He is around more than ever by doing miracles as huge as the described above.
Monday, September 21
The Holy Father celebrated Mass in Holguin (the third largest city in Cuba) and from there he visited Santiago and then he flew to the US. I will not write any more about his talks or homilies because it is not necessary. I only did it for his first homily in Habana, Cuba just to give you an example of what I did for most of his talks. I kept taking notes of those sentences or messages that touched my heart to be reviewed slowly in future weeks and see what my Lord wanted to tell me on a personal basis. BUT THE MAIN QUESTION WILL ALWAYS BE if I am leaving all behind to follow Him as the 12 Apostles did?
Tuesday September 22
On this day the World Meeting of Families for 2015 started in Philadelphia. The main talk was given by Bishop Robert Barron and he, as always does, left me in awe at the profundity of his teaching… Amazing gift we have in this brand new Bishop now a resident of my State of California.
Thursday, September 24
My health kept me suffering very much but totally sustained and mesmerized by the programs coming from different cities that Pope Francis visited and by talks y homilies from the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Tramadol seemed not working well and I started to suspect that I might have developed an allergy to the small mesh placed next to my urinary bladder to avoid falling as before. I wrote to my theologian son the following:
My son: we have upon us the GREATEST ACT OF MERCY FROM GOD.
The entire U.S. went bunkers with P. Francis’ meeting with the members of Congress…. No one would shut up about his genius to speak in English and say everything without offending… AMAZING GRACE… CNN went crazy. They covered everything with the best pictures. Univision, EWTN and on and on covered him and no one could explain why the crowds were enormous… Not ever seen in the U.S. history!!!!!!! Boehner was crying throughout… right in front with Vice P. Biden and both are Catholic. It was a picture of extraordinary proportions. I saw it all and thanked God that I was able to watch and hear every aspect of this monumental PRESENCE of the Vicar of Christ. I am glad that I am suffering a lot with more pain than ever in my knees and not going to have enough Tramadol to semi cover it… YEEEEES… I have to suffer for all of them… The Jesuits will have many priestly vocations… Yes, many will go back to the Church… Yes, many will look at the poor and homeless with a different eye… Pro choice democrats were all for the Pope… although not yet changing their views but every time they vote for killing babies or elders, Pope Francis will be in their memories…
WE HAVE STARTED THE YEAR OF MERCY AHEAD OF TIME…
Please keep praying for me to be able to suffer this horrible pain. This computer is dying anytime soon and your brother will buy me one but in the interim, Satan is right in the middle making my life miserable even through this machine. My hands cannot wash dishes unless I do it with gloves. They are dry and full of little "llagas". (End of email)
I share it with you for you to sense my degree of suffering but engulfed in the Mercy of God shown during the trip of Pope Francis to Cuba and the U.S.
Wednesday, September 30
I have tried very hard to write this blog because of my health but at least I tried my best. I will be slightly delayed in posting it, yet, I needed to witness to all of you how the Cross and the Joy of the Gospel as preached in the last week can subsist and help me. I only wait for a miracle of some sort in order to obtain His mercy and help me with my suffering with the much pain I suffer. Please keep praying for me. God knows you since you were in the womb of your mothers and I ask daily to bless you for your service of prayer for this poor woman.
Today I also received an invitation from the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Auco, Chile, to be present a Mass on October 15, 2015, to close the Jubilee Year for the celebration of the V Centenary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila and presided by Bishop Monseñor Cristián Contreras Molina.
This monastery is the one where our Saint Teresa of the Andes started her formation and where she died. These Nuns are the ones who sent me a second class relic (a piece of St. Teresa’s habit) back when I was in Toledo. They sent two of them and I gave one to my then Bishop and now Archbishop in Connecticut.
October 1, 2015
On this day of the feast of St. Therese of Lissieux, my friend since I was 2 years old, story that I have shared many times before, my Mother came to say this, “You are feeling concerned about the pain in your knees that it is so severe. Do not have any fear or concern for two reasons: 1) This pain is a great source of suffering which is needed at this point in your life. Only God knows what He needs of you right now for the good of others. 2) This pain represents a great gift to help you say yes to God’s will with the surest conviction that whatever you are going through is most perfect, necessary and a form of giving Him glory, that is to give Him back the gift of your own will. (I was amazed at understanding these things).
Also on this day, AOL reported this: “Among the 30 highest-paying jobs in America, the best-paying job of all is anesthesiologist.” I guess that my field of expertise is still the best paying job in the U. S.! I was used to make one quarter million dollars a year, and yet, my God was with me and I gave it away!!! I never had the desire to be attached to money, and this was simply one of His many blessings for me! I never struggled once to fight this attraction!
A. During the World Meeting of Families, the family was exalted in all its angles as necessary to grow in holiness and participate in the evangelization of the Catholic Church. However, something was forgotten! Some of us never had a family of two, father and mother to prepare our children for their future growth in faith, hope and love. And allow me to share a very important and deeply personal story of our family and only because I was led by the Holy Spirit to do so. I checked with Him several times and the more I did, that much more I realized that families without a father or mother will not condemn them to miss this call of preparing the children to seek holiness of life. One believing parent can do it through the grace of God.
This is our story: by the will of God, I married a good man who had a very sad childhood since age 3 when he was separated from his mother because she became extremely ill, and he was sent to live with a grand aunt in his father’s side and later never retrieved. His own father was an alcoholic. This child grew up and also became an alcoholic and left his Catholic beliefs, helped no doubt by a Bishop of his city in the Dominican Republic who asked him at age 17 for sexual favors. In due time, he became a follower of the ideology of Fidel Castro in Cuba as mentioned before and an atheist. Therefore, my work in our family was of father and mother in every aspect, from preparing them for the Sacraments to finding good schools (which the Lord had decided to be Jesuit schools) to paying for their college cost since I made much money in my practice. The miracle was that I never had a rebellious teenager. I could not remember of any suffering coming from them. At this point, two are distanced from the Church because of the scandals received from within her! Notice that not seeing their father attend Church on a regular basis and calling himself an atheist, did not affect them at all! THIS IS AMPLE PROOF THAT GOD REIGNED IN OUR FAMILY.
As time passes by I am surer than ever as to why I was prompted with son #1 to take this baby as soon as we came from the hospital and PRESENT HIM to Jesus in the Tabernacle at Precious Blood Parish in Detroit, MI. I told Him this, “Here is this baby. You gave him to me. Now, I give him back to You. Please to take care of him…” When the other 3 sons were born, I did the same since I felt it was only fair to do so. So, son #2 was presented at St. Hugo of the Hills parish in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Sons # 3 and 4 were presented at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. In retrospect, I now can see the wisdom from the Holy Spirit to follow this protocol never heard done by anyone else in modern times.
Therefore, the family could be made of one parent even when only one of them is present because God receives the love for Him from one of the parents. For families where mothers have children out of wedlock, this can also be possible and bring up holy children, as long as we put God in charge of them, and this representing a great act of faith from the parent and what that means for God… Jesus could not make many miracles in one town because He found no faith… When faith is present, even mountains can be moved. In those times, I did not know much about what I was doing or why I did it. Now, it is clear and it can give much hope to one-parent families. In my own childhood, my parents were not that religious but my maternal grandmother was… So, she formed me in believing much in the Rosary, Our Lady and the Eucharist. She was my true family.
B.I now will share what I received on Friday, September 11 and ahead of the glorious days lived with Pope Francis! I felt called to use this important special year to do everything necessary to save souls through His Mercy.
Personal plan to celebrate the Year of Mercy (Received while praying my second Rosary at 12:30 PM)
All about WHAT I MUST PRACTICE AS I ASK FOR GOD’S MERCY FORTHE ENTIRE WORLD and TO FINISH THE BOOK as an act of love for my neighbor.
1. Several Rosaries per day to obtain mediation from our Mother to keep this plan and for protection from Satan who will try to sabotage it.
2. One chaplet of Divine Mercy per day for these intentions.
3. Daily prayer to Our Lady Undoer of Knots (She is my favorite title for these times in my life since there are many knots that she could undo. Yet, I received her for the first time and as I shared months ago back in the early 2000, when living in Toledo and via a Hispanic TV station. The program was from Venezuela but spoke of her under this title coming from Germany to Argentina by Father Jorge Bergoglio… From Argentina she was taken to other South American countries. I found her picture via Internet in a book store in New York! I kept making more copies since and passing them on to many people…)
4. Daily prayer to the Divine Child Jesus
5. Daily offering of all my sufferings for the salvation of souls.
6. I must love God with all my heart and mind and soul by professing an unconditional YES to His will in my life with refusal to think beyond each present moment, and with the certitude that all which is happening or will happen to me is perfect and necessary for my salvation and of other souls. Or said differently, I must give myself to whatever God wishes and for as long as He wishes, and yet, never get personally involved in the pros or cons of each moment.
7. Trusting Jesus in action which means that I also must radically accept, embrace and offer up my crosses involved because of their sanctifying power as instruments of grace that cannot be wasted. To do so, I must often ask for assistance from His mercy with the grace to fulfill this duty of blindly trusting in His love for me.
8. I must love my brothers and sisters with my mind, with my heart and in action, refusing to judge or resent them, while daily asking for the grace to forgive their past or present offenses.
9. Daily I must offer this sacrifice of self-abandonment to His divine providence for God’s greater glory and for the entire Catholic Church in this special Year of Mercy, in order for all of us to receive His mercy and make us His collaborators to bring salvation to as many souls as possible.
From St. Therese of Lissieux
“Suffering gladly borne for others convert more people than sermons.”