Mary Undoer of Knots

Christ came to bring JOY;

Joy to children, joy to parents,

Joy to families and friends,

Joy to the sick and elderly,

Joy to all humanity.

In a true sense, JOY is the keynote message of Christianity,

And the recurring motif of the Gospels.

Go, therefore, and become Messengers of Joy!

~ Pope John Paul II

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Time For A Resolution!




Are you looking for a Meaningful Resolution to start the new year?

Are you tired of the same old resolutions to lose weight and exercise more?

Well look no further! Here are some ideas to help you
exercise your faith by resolving to walk with God!

Resolve to spend time in silence with Jesus, every day.

Turn off the TV and spend less time on the cell phone/computer/Internet. You can’t listen to God if you are too busy listening to other things! Don’t be afraid of the quiet.

Get to know Blessed Mother better. Make a 33-Day Preparation for Consecration with her, relate to her every day in some kind of profound way, read books about her, contemplate her words in the Gospels.

Pray the Rosary often and meditate on the mysteries of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

Thank God the Father, and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, each day, for all that you can think of that each has done for you or those you love. Develop an attitude of
gratitude.

Resolve to accept little hurts, insults and misunderstandings without an argument or answer back to the one who has hurt you. Instead, resolve to love that person all the more, and offer your acceptance of these little crosses to Mary to give to her Son and to help you become humble, like her.

Resolve to forgive every day, and ask Jesus to forgive those same people who have hurt you.

Fast on something every day and offer it for the conversion of sinners everywhere. You can fast on a specific treat you like, or an activity you like, for example, turning off the TV for the day, skipping a meal, turning off the computer games, etc.

Pray St Gertrude’s prayer and/or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy or make some other offering for the Holy Souls in purgatory.

Try to go to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for some time every week.

Try to help someone every day.

Add some or all of the Liturgy of the Hours to your prayer life. Resolve to pray daily morning prayer, or vespers or the office of readings, etc.

Try to pray all throughout the day, by keeping Jesus involved in every aspect of your day.

Pray simple prayers all throughout the day, every time you think about it. You can pray a Hail Mary, a Glory Be or a short prayer like, “Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.”
Make an examination of conscience each night before bed, and try resolve, with the help of God’s grace, to do better the next day.

Resolve to be Jesus in this world, to everyone you meet. Pray that people will not see you, but will see JESUS in you.



 
 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mary: The Surest and Shortest Way To Jesus

 
          Seven or eight years ago, I made it my New Year’s resolution to stop trying to lose weight.  I decided that dieting was a ridiculous resolution, and I never kept it, so why not make this year more meaningful, spiritually speaking.  So instead, I resolved to get to know Blessed Mother better.  It remains one of the best decisions I ever made in my life.
 
          When I embarked on this journey of building a relationship with Blessed Mother, I admit I had the all-too-common view of our dear Mother, seeing her as many do, just another person in the bible, and wondering why we ‘worshipped’ her.  I had listened to too many Protestant friends over the years, telling me that we did, and I thought, well, maybe they were right and knew something that I did not know.  P.S.  -- WE DO NOT WORSHIP MARY. 
 
We love Mary and we honor her because God chose her as someone special.  He chose her to bear His Son, and Jesus, our Savior and King of the Universe, permitted Himself to be a virtual prisoner of her womb for 9 months before entering the world.  He chose her to be the one person whom He would completely depend on for warmth, food, drink, clothing, education, shelter and human love.  He gave Himself to Mary, and if we are to imitate Him, then we must do the same, giving ourselves to this humble, pure Mother of God and Mother of us.
 
That being said, I glibly said to Blessed Mother, while driving to court one day in early January, something like this:  “I have no idea who you are or why you are important, but I am loving this Catholic Church of ours, and since she says you are important and we should love you, I have to try to understand this.  Please help me.”  Well, help me she did!
 
A few weeks later, I resolved to try a 33-Day Preparation for Consecration via St. Louis de Monfort that I had read about.  (You can get free copies of it online – click HERE for more details).  I only did it because I trusted the Church enough to know, that if there were popes saying this was the surest way to Jesus, then I had to at least open my mind to trying it.  So I did.
 
The first time I did it, I only lasted a week or so.  I did not understand what I was reading, and some of what I was reading could not yet break through to my cold, stony heart.  However, as an intellectual, I made the decision to try again a few months later, this time making it a little further.  Then finally, on my 3rd try, I made it from beginning to end, with my consecration date being the Assumption of Mary, August 15th.  Yippee!
 
As I was doing it in those early days of my relationship with Blessed Mother, much of it was an exercise in faith, trusting but not understanding, permitting the graces to flow, but not believing whole heartedly that they would.  Of course that did not stop her from showering grace upon grace on me.  I did not know it then, (although I trusted something would come of it), but those first feeble steps toward her took me many miles closer to her Son.  That’s just the way she is, always bringing us to her Son, always pointing us in the right direction.  Since then, I have made the consecration prep an annual gift to myself, and even added some other days here and there for extra graces.  I am in the middle of another 33-day prep for consecration that will end on January 1st, the feast of Mary, Mother of God.  I can hardly wait! 
 
Fast forward to the beginning of this year.  After giving myself to Mary over and over again in the years which followed, I found myself ready to give myself entirely to her Son by entering a Dominican monastery to become a nun on April 29th .  I was so sure, after a few years of discernment, that this was where I was called to be, that is until everything fell apart on March 19th.   
 
As God would have it, I had begun another 33-day consecration to end on March 25th, the feast of the Annunciation.  I was longing to enjoy that day as another consecration, just 4 weeks prior to entering the monastery and making my own fiat.  But alas, my entrance into the religious life was not meant to be.
 
I did make my consecration on March 25th, and feeling absolutely rejected by God, just days before, I was like a child in the arms of Mary.  I gave her everything, because I could not bear to face Him after such rejection and the confusion and sorrow which followed.  I wrote my own consecration prayer, and even my own ‘psalm’ of longing and mourning.  Oh, I know He did not reject me, but it sure felt like He did.  And I was not ready to come to grips with that, as I wondered what I would do, having given up so much, my business included, to give everything to God.  I did not know it then, but I was being emptied.   I was being purified.
 
In the months that followed, I prayed the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) and meditated on the mysteries of the Rosary.  When I prayed the Psalms and prayers of the office, I felt that if my mouth could say the words, then my soul would eventually catch up.  Since I felt I had nothing left to give God, I gave Blessed Mother every suffering, crying to her to mend this tear in the fabric of my soul.  And that is exactly what she did as I meditated with her on the mysteries of her Son, through the Holy Rosary.  Don’t let anyone tell you this is just repetitive prayer—THIS IS A GIFT FROM GOD.  And this gift brought me to peace and understanding and complete healing. 
 
Through suffering and the help and intercession of Blessed Mother, I was not only made whole again, but she brought me closer to her Son, taught me to trust and surrender, and she made me to know on a much, much deeper level, that God’s way is perfect.  His plan is perfect.  I have learned that I need not worry about tomorrow.  My Mother will not let me stray from the path too far, before pulling me back and scooting me closer to the Throne.  She loves me.  And she loves you, too.  Give her everything.  She will magnify it and give it to God.  At the end of your earthly life, come to heaven with empty hands because you have given it everything to Mary, and she will give you all of her merits and all of the love in her heart in return.  It’s a great deal, really.  Show up to heaven with my meager offerings?  Or show up to heaven with all that Mary gave?  To me, it’s a no-brainer.
 
Totus Tuus – Bl. John Paul II
 
 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Open Letter: To Everyone I Know Who Does Not Yet Know Jesus



        First of all, let me say, I love you. I love you all from the bottom of my heart. I can not even begin to express what great love I have for you, because in my life, I have learned not just to love by my own will, but through you, I have learned to love you through the eyes of God. And let me tell you something---As much as I love you, He loves you waaaaaayyyyy more than either of us has the capacity to imagine. And so this leads me to the reason for this letter.

        Over the past few years, you know what it has meant to me to give my life to God to become a nun. That has not happened, and I accept that as God’s will. But let me tell you, He has used everyone of you and every bit of this journey to bring me closer to Him. And I still want to give everything I am and everything I have for Him, which is why I want to give Him you, in whatever way I can. I want to bring you to Him in whatever way you and He will permit me. Truth be told, YOU have brought me to Him many, MANY times, when you probably are not even aware of how many times your love, your prayers, your kindness and goodness shown to me have brought me, along with you, right to the center of His Sacred Heart. This is why I want to tell you a few things, common sense things that you probably already know. But sometimes it is good for us to hear them over and over again, at different ages and stages in our lives, as we perceive them differently after experiencing life and walking this journey toward heaven.

        The first thing I want to remind you, is that Jesus is a known man in history, both written history and oral from the time He walked the earth. He was not just made up out of thin air in the past few centuries. While I believe by faith that He is both fully human and fully divine, let us not forget the fact that some things require absolutely no faith. Jesus was and remains a human being recorded in the written history of the world. His life and death were recorded as fact, regardless of whether someone wants to believe that He was resurrected or not.

        The second thing that is important to remember, is that the first followers of Jesus were so convinced of the reality of His life, death and resurrection, that literally thousands died in His name. This continues to this day, even though almost 2,000 years have past since He was crucified, died, buried and rose again in three days. But let’s not jump ahead. Let us ask the question first, would thousands of people willingly give up their lives in the days and weeks and months and years that followed Jesus’ death if he was just any old ‘good person’ or ‘good teacher?’

        Who do you say He is? I know you believe in God, but who do you believe Jesus to be? A good teacher? A good man? A prophet? Well, think about it for a minute. If your answer to the question of ‘who is Jesus’ is that you believe He is a good man who existed in history, then you simply must believe that He is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior and Lover of your soul. Why must you believe this? Because if He is not all that, then He is a LIAR.

Do you understand what I am saying? You can not be a good man, a good prophet, nor a good teacher, if you spend your entire adult life actively deceiving the Masses into believing you are the Messiah. So He must be one of two things: Either He is who He said He is, or He is a liar. When you put it like that, there can be only one answer. He can not be a good teacher, a good prophet, or a good person unless He is also the promised Savior that He presents Himself to be. A good teacher, a good prophet and a good person could not be considered good if they spent their lives trying to make people believe they were somebody they weren’t. At best, such a person would be considered mentally ill, and at worst, a liar.

        So if you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, then what must you do with that belief? You must follow Him and do what He says. Scripture is filled with His instructions for a good life lived in love. How do you know where to follow Him and what to do? Love God with all your heart. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your enemies. LOVE.

There are many ways to get to know Him and develop a new, deeper relationship with Him. If I could suggest something, begin by getting back to Mass. Learn what is (really) happening in the Mass, and you will never be bored again. All of heaven is there! Listen to the readings (there are more scriptures read in the Mass than any other church I know), listen to the homily and don’t let it stop there.

Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and tell you what to think, what to do. God loves you more than anyone on the planet loves you. Can you begin by offering just a few minutes of every day to Him? He won’t intrude---Are you listening? He WON’T intrude. If you ignore Him, He will let you. He waits to give you everything, but He will not force it on you.

If you give Him your heart, even a few moments of silence directed toward him every day, your life will change forever and you will honor him by your act of love. If you don’t have enough desire to do this, then ASK HIM FOR THE DESIRE to spend time with Him. Ask HIM to increase your love for Him. Ask HIM to wake up your soul to a new understanding of Him so that you long for Him and for Mass and for more, More, MORE! Start today….just open the door to Him, invite Him in and take a step out in faith. Even baby steps overwhelm and move the heart of a Father who sees His beloved child stumble and walk toward Him for the first time in a long time. You have a Daddy Who loves you more than any other you have ever known. He will run to your arms, if only you will let Him in.

        Our life on this planet is just a blip on the radar screen of eternity. We are mere visitors on this planet. This is our chance to get to know God and love God so that we can have eternity with Him in heaven. The evil one (satan) has deceived people into believing the devil does not exist. The evil one has deceived people into believing there is no hell. But if you believe in Jesus, then you must believe what He said. There is a hell, and the path to it is wide and there are many who enter it. But the path to heaven is narrow. When it is your time to end your life on this earth, believe it or not, your own soul will not choose heaven if it has not given it’s life to God. It will not be comfortable to be in His Presence. It is OUR CHOICE to live the way we live each day, whether good, bad or indifferent. Don’t let indifference to God now lead you to fear His Presence in the life to come.

God is pure love and mercy and no one who reaches out to Him will be turned away if they die in His friendship. You never know when your last day will be. You could breathe your last breath after reading this letter. Only God knows the days you have left, and He longs for you to find your way to Him before it is too late. Come back to Him, with all your heart. It is not enough to say you are saved. Every step you make is either a journey toward Him or a journey away from Him. There is no standing still in the spiritual life. If you are standing still, then you are moving away from Him. Period. You must move forward. You can not save yourself. Accept this and make a decision for God. He longs to be a part of your life. He longs to be a part of your family. He longs to help you make decisions and inspire you to every good thing He has planned for your life. Please let Him in, more and more each day.

        Have you ever seen the picture of Jesus knocking on the door? There is no doorknob on His side. If He is to come in, it will only be because you answered the call and invited Him in. Come to Mass. Receive him in the Eucharist. Give Him your days, hours and minutes. Give him your love. Give Him your life.


Will you answer the door?



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Consoling Our Beloved


 
I would like to share with you, an idea for meditation on the Sorrowful mysteries of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I try to pray the rosary every day.  For me, the prayers are like a mantra, supporting and intensifying the mysteries that are brought to mind, bringing peace, inspiration and answers, praise, thanksgiving and petitions.  Sometimes, I have to admit, that it has been hard for me to pray the Sorrowful mysteries, as there have been times in my life when I have chosen other mysteries that I felt more fitting to my situation, for example, praying the Joyful mysteries when I am struggling, looking for inspiration on how to say yes to the Lord and to surrender and accept everything He permits to happen in my life the way Mary did at the Annunciation.  Those were times when I was just too sad to add insult to injury by adding the Lord’s Passion to my plate.  But I was wrong.  It is in the Lord’s Passion where we find comfort and understanding and all things good.  And so now I try dutifully to pray His Passion, at least on Tuesdays and Fridays.

About a month ago, I was preparing to pray on a Friday, and I drifted into my old thinking for a minute, wondering if I was up to the intensity of pondering the agony, the scourging, the thorns and the Cross.  And then I thought, if our Beloved can endure it, I can at least think about it for a few minutes, pondering the mystery of it all.  But I did not want to simply think about it, pondering what it meant for me in my life.  I was feeling selfish.  Then the thought came to me of how there is no time in eternity, that all of time as we know it, is always present before the Father, whether past, present or future.  The nativity, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the future are always a part of the mind of our all knowing God and Father.  It made me imagine that I could console Jesus on every step of His Passion today, even in in 2012.  I could meditate on what I would say to Him if I was there with Him, what I would do and how I would feel.  I believe that this type of meditation truly does console the heart of Jesus, whether in retrospect as a meditation giving Him glory, or even in real time as He suffered, since He knew all of us when He gave His life for us, and knew how we would receive Him in our lives, in our time on Earth.

You may try this and find yourself standing away from Christ, looking at Him and praying your words of thanksgiving or sorrow or repentance to Him.  Or you may do whatever comes naturally to your own personality.  But for me, I imagined what I would say to Him if I saw Him suffering in the Garden, and I said these words in my heart and in my soul as the Hail Mary’s were spoken by my lips.  I caressed His holy and tortured face, I ran my fingers through His hair and I told Him I was sorry.  I told Him I wished he did not have to do this for me, and that I would do anything for Him, whatever He asked. 

When I saw Him about to be scourged, all I could say is, I’m so sorry.  Forgive me.  I begged Him to hold my glance so that I could offer words of Love as He Himself was tortured by hatred.  I tried to endure the emotion of seeing such a horrific offense being perpetrated against the One Who is my Beloved, so that I could stay with Him for every painful stripe He received.

After He was crowned with thorns and taunted as some counterfeit king, I could only fall to my knees and kiss His feet and hands, reminding Him, that to me and many generations to follow, He is true King, the King of our hearts and the King of the world.  We know the Truth.  Long live Christ the King! 

When I later saw Him, the heavy cross dropped onto His back, I could only mouth the words, I LOVE YOU.  I am here.  When He fell, I could see the wounds on His shoulder and His knees, as the weight of the cross pushed Him heavy into the ground.  I looked Him in the eye and kissed the wound on His shoulder, saying, You are loved.  I wish this didn’t have to happen, staying with Him for His journey to Golgotha 

Finally, when He was nailed to the Cross, I met His eyes with tears in my own, and I stood with Mary, John and Magdalene, comforting the human Jesus the best that I could, with my presence and my understanding of Who He IS, all the while knowing that this fully Divine Son of the Living God already knew.

What does a meditation like this do for God?  I believe it did comfort Him in the Garden.  What does a meditation like this do for us?  It brings us even closer in union to the Lover of our Souls, as we express our deepest feelings for Him, aided by our blessed Mother of the Holy Rosary.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace. ~ St. Augustine

Does it get any better than this? I believe these words of St. Augustine resonate with many of us, as so many of us have had a spirit-filled conversion or re-version to the faith after a time of being spiritually lukewarm or outright cold and distant from God. When we return to Him, we are blessed to bask in the knowledge that we have been given the immense gift of His great love and mercy for us. And even though we had the gift all along, we are inspired to see how our Beloved waited patiently for us to finally come to Him, ready to open it.

I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

Such passion! This is authentic closeness—not sentimental, superficial or manufactured, but deep, profound closeness to Father, Son, Holy Spirit and all of heaven. It is pure gift, and it is available to everyone with a heart for God. But this closeness is often like a dance with the Divine Lover of our Souls. Sometimes He permits us to feel very close to Him and our passions rise as we long to do everything we can for Him, bringing souls to Him, loving as He loves, giving as He gives. Yet other times, He is closer than ever, while He does not permit us to feel His presence. He gives us a desert experience. And it is in these experiences where the rubber meets the road, where our faith muscles are stretched and aching. It is these times where we must be vigilant, remembering that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. And when we grow in holiness over the seasons of our lives, God willing, we will grow to love these desert experiences, embracing them, and dare I say, loving them and thanking our Beloved for them. We will thank Him, because we will know that His will is perfect, and his plan is far greater than any plan we could manage to create for ourselves. And someday, we will see how our surrender, cooperation, faithfulness and love brought us to where He was calling us to be—smack dab in the center of His Heart.

Once we have received a taste of the goodness of the Lord, our souls hunger and thirst for more. We want always to live on the mountain with the Lord and bask in His love. But there are great spiritual benefits to the periods of desolation we experience. If we put ourselves on a steady diet of self-pity or distraction during them, we will make only baby steps or even backward steps on the spiritual journey. But if we thank Him, trusting and surrendering, He will help us to empty ourselves of all of the things that get in between us and a face-to-face relationship with the One Who loves us.

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you.

How often can we refer to these words again and again, seeing that we have separated ourselves from God by not embracing His plan for us. How often will we be on the outside, plunging into the things He has created, all the while ignoring the Creator? This is the story of our lives. Conversion is a continuing experience, not just a one time affair. We will not arrive at the summit of perfection in holiness during this lifetime, but that does not stop us from trying.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Who is Evangelizing YOU?

It has been said, that if you are not evangelizing the culture,
then you are letting the culture evangelize YOU!

      Pope Paul VI, in his apostolic exhortation known as Evangelii Nuntiandi, (‘to proclaim the gospel’), said that it was his duty as the successor of Peter, to confirm the brethren.  He wished in this exhortation, to encourage us in our “mission as evangelizers, in order that, in this time of uncertainty and confusion, they may accomplish the task with ever increasing love, zeal and joy.”  (December 8, 1975)


 Scripture gives us a succinct description of the manner of evangelizing:

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16)

 What is scripture telling us here?  This passage is telling us five basic things with regard to evangelization.

  1. Be prepared to speak when called upon. Always be prepared to give an answer.
  2. Know what you are talking about.    Give the reason for the hope that you have.
  3. Be gentle and respectful.  Do this with gentleness and respect.
  4. Keep a clear conscience (reconciled to God).  Keep(ing) a clear a conscience.
  5. When people reject you for the Truth you have made known to them, do not retort in anger and injustice, but remain in love so there can be no fault with you.  Those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their behavior.

The kingdom of God and salvation are available to every human being as a gift of grace and mercy.  For the Church, it is a question not only of preaching the Gospel from the pulpit, but also of affecting, through the power of the Gospel, mankind’s criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration, and models of life which are in stark contrast with the Word of God and the plan of salvation.” (Evangelii Nuntiando No. 19)

The Church itself is an evangelizer.  We, as the baptized Christian people who make up the Catholic Church, are called to this work of evangelization of the whole world—All of us.  In order to do so, we must begin by being evangelized ourselves.

Never let a question that comes to your mind go unanswered, especially if you are leaning away from what you know the Church teaches.  Pray for an answer, read to find an answer, ask a good priest to find an answer.  But never let your mind wander to what you think it might be, and never let someone who is not well-formed in their own conscience and understanding of the faith, scripture and Church teaching, give you the answer, without confirming that answer through orthodox sources.  You might be surprised at how much sense the Church makes, when you read and understand the true theology behind hot topic questions like abortion and gay marriage, instead of allowing yourself to be formed by the culture.  Give the Church a chance to explain.  “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”  JOHN 8:31-32 

There are many resources on the web, and many have wide and varied views of the Truth.  But by definition, there can be only ONE TRUTH.  Two versions of the same truth, if they do not line up perfectly, mean either one is right and one is wrong, or both are wrong.  They can not both be right.  We will attempt on this website, to only publish resources and articles which are based on sound Catholic doctrine and authority. 

Read your bible.  And make sure it is a good Catholic Bible and not missing any books.  The Ignatius Catholic Bible (RSV – Revised Standard Version) and the Navarre Bible are widely seen as some of the best translations.  Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church—WOW—Another incredibly beautiful document that might surprise you.  And read spiritual classics like The Diary of St. Faustina, or St. Therese’ The Story of A Soul, and St. Francis of De Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life, or The Joy of Full Surrender by Fr. Jean Paul de Caussade.  Our Church is rich with the goodness of its saints.  And YOU are one them!  Find your niche and open your world to a radical conversion and profound change of heart.

Once you begin knowing your faith better, (and we ALL need to know our faith better—We could not learn it all in TEN lifetimes), you will begin to look more deeply at your own life.  You will ask and permit the Holy Spirit to illuminate for you, the places in your own life which require attention, and you will work to conform your will to the will of God and the virtues of Christ.  This is important for you as well as for the Kingdom of God.  As Pope Paul VI says in his exhortation, “Above all, the Gospel must be proclaimed by witness.”  Your witness and the way you live in your community is more powerful than you think. 

When speaking of a small group of Christians living within a community, Pope Paul VI said that these people radiate in a simple and unaffected way,

“their faith in values that go beyond current values, and their hope in something that is not seen and that one would not dare to imagine.  Through the wordless witness these Christians stir up irresistible questions in the hearts of those who see how they live:  Why are they like this?  Why do they live in this way?  What or who is it that inspires them?  Why are they in our midst?  Such a witness is already a silent proclamation of the Good News and a very powerful and effective one.  Here we have an initial act of evangelization.”  (Evangelii Nuntiando No. 21)

But this witness is only the beginning.  It is not enough if it is not explained and justified, as Peter said in the scripture quoted above.  The believer who has come to be evangelized himself must then go on to evangelize others. 

“Here lies the truth, the touchstone of evangelization:  it is unthinkable that a person should accept the Word and give himself to the kingdom without becoming a person who bears witness to it and proclaims it in his turn.” (Evangelii Nuntiando No. 24)

This website is devoted to those who are dedicated to their own formation, and making themselves ready and committed to evangelizing others.  “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent.”  ACTS 18:9
reprinted from SentByTheSpirit.com

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sent By the Spirit.com


Just want to share with you a little of my latest venture.  I am no web designer, but with a little time on my hands, I started a new website, devoted to the new evangelism and the Catholic Evangelist!  So far, I have about 10 people committed to making regular contributions, so visit often to see new content as the site grows!  We have just launched ourselves with the first article today!

I pray this venture will be used by the Holy Spirit as a tool to bring many people back to God.  It will take some time to get it known and off the ground, so please share it with everyone you know!  And if you have any ideas or if you feel called to participate as a contributor, drop me a line and let know!



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator,
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jerusalem My Destiny!



I have fixed my eyes on your hills,
Jerusalem, my Destiny!
Though I cannot see the end for me,
I cannot turn away.
We have set our hearts for the way;
this journey is our destiny.
Let no one walk alone.
The journey makes us one.
Other spirits, lesser gods,
have courted me with lies.
Here among you I have found
a truth that bids me rise. (Refrain)

See, I leave the past behind;
a new land calls to me.
Here among you now I find
a glimpse of what might be. (Refrain)

In my thirst, you let me drink
the waters of your life,
Here among you I have met,
the Savior, Jesus Christ. (Refrain)

All the worlds I have not seen
you open to my view.
Here among you I have found
a vision bright and new. (Refrain)

To the tombs I went to mourn
the hope I thought was gone,
Here among you I awoke
to unexpected dawn. (Refrain)

Composer: Rory Cooney

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spouse of the Holy Spirit


"It was with Mary and in Mary and of Mary that the Holy Spirit produced His Masterpiece ...God Made Man... For this reason the more He finds Mary His dear and inseparable Spouse in a soul,  the more powerful and effective He becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul...and that soul in Jesus Christ....  Mary was never led by her own will but always by the Will of God, who made Himself master of her to such an extent that He became her very Spirit....   Our Mother told St. Mechtilde:  'At the words of the Rosary...Hail Mary full of grace...I am aware that the Holy Spirit has showered so many graces upon me that I am able to give these graces in abundance to those who ask for them through me as Mediatrix.'

~ St. Louis de Montfort

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

St. Maximilian Kolbe

A single act of love makes the soul return to life.  Let us often make use of this means.

 January 1894 – 14 August 1941

St Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beautiful

What an absolutely incredible child!
I do not think I know anyone whose faith can compare to that of this precious saint.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Nothing left to do



Well, it looks like I may have come to the end of the road. It may literally take an act of Congress to help me to become a nun at this point, and since God could make these obstacles of mine disappear with far less than that, and He has chosen not to, then I really must come to grips with the fact that maybe He was never calling me in the first place.

It has been a rough day. I am completely devastated by the finality of it all, after so many years of longing for Him in this way. And even though I am convinced that HE put this longing in my heart, His silence and inaction speak louder than words, and it is simply too late for me to enter on April 29th. Absent a generous donor willing to take on my school loan, there is nothing left to do and nothing left to give. I have given everything I can think of, and done everything I can think of, and He simply does not want me, at least not for this.

Soooo….I don’t know that I will be writing here for awhile. This has been a long journey and I think it’s time to rest awhile.

Peace be with you during this Holy Week.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

10 steps backward . . .

I thought yesterday was going to bring the final piece of the puzzle, the final thing i needed to fulfill my dream and enter the monastery on April 29th.  I thought it was going to be one of the best days ever.  It was not.  Without going into detail, I find myself back at square one.  I am stunned and feel like a deer caught in headlights.  pray for me . . . please

fiat.

Letter to the Editor


I recently became so disturbed by opinions I was reading in a local newspaper, that I felt  there was a fire in my belly to respond.  I am very busy right now, and so I prayed that someone else would respond to the ridiculousness that was being perpetuated by people who are unconcerned by our loss of freedom of religion.  No one did, and I just could not continue to let this thinking go unanswered.  Sooooo.......If you are interested, here is a link to the letter I wrote to the editor of a local newspaper regarding the HHS Mandate and our loss of religious freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution:

Please Click Here:
Letter to the Editor Regarding the HHS Mandate

Friday, March 9, 2012

Children of God


It has been awhile since I wrote much on this blog. It is not that there has been nothing to tell, but that I can hardly put into words how blessed I am feeling and how generous is our God. No, I have not yet sold my house, and my entrance date is a mere 50 days away. But I have found myself more and more unconcerned with the actual date of entry, as I am at peace, and intent on doing the will of God, whatever that is, whenever it is, and wherever it may lead. Oh, please don’t get me wrong, I am confident I will be entering the Caterina Benincasa Dominican Monastery, but only God knows today, when that will be. My hope is in Him and not in my realtor.

There have been some beautiful gifts given to me by our Beloved in these days leading up to my giving myself entirely to Him as a religious, the greatest of which is the sson-to-be miraculous resolution of my Mom’s tremors.

If you have read my blog before, you know that I began praying through the intercession of Bl. Pope John Paul the Great, that my mom would be healed, since the beginning of Lent, last year. Well, on February 13th, the 47th wedding anniversary of my Mom and Dad, we received an incredible gift.

My mom had a long awaited appointment with a highly sought after tremor specialist at Geisinger Hospital, in Danville, Pennsylvania. The first miracle was that he actually spent TWO HOURS going over every inch of her, testing her nerves and muscles, and when he was finished, he said to my mother, “You don’t have Parkinson’s Disease. You don’t have essential tremors.”

WHAT?!? After all these years of suffering mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, she does not have what the other doctors said she had??

I do not know what the technical diagnoses is, but basically he proved to her that a muscle in her arm is reacting with a cranial nerve to send bad messages to her brain, by having her hold her head down, chin to chest, and to the left. The tremors stopped. He said that he can inject botox into her arm muscle in a certain place and it will cure the tremors! THANK YOU, JESUS! Thank you Blessed Mother and thank you Bl. John Paul the Great for your intercession. This is a gift not only to her, but to our whole family, her friends, and especially to me, who felt bad leaving her to enter the monastery, knowing she would be suffering at home, without her daughter. I know she would have my brothers and dad, but as her only daughter, I knew she will be missing me tremendously when I no longer live 5 minutes away from her. Thanks be to God for this glorious gift!

God has also responded to another interior desire of mine. It seems I have had some bad dental work, and the result has been to have re-treatments of a bunch of root canals with an endodontist and the necessity for crowns. I was devastated to learn this, as I had no choice but to charge the costs of dental work to a credit card, to the tune of more than $6,000, another obstacle requiring removal before entering the monastery. Well, last week, during my last appointment with the endodontist, he accidentally pulled off one of my crowns. Since he limits his practice solely to root canals, he would not put the crown back on. I was in a bit of a state of shock by this, as I walked out with my tooth in a baggie, wondering how I just spent so much money and would now have to spend a few hundred more to get the crown back on with my regular dentist. But just then, the thought occurred to me that God has always brought good out of bad situations when I let Him, so I tried not to fret. I went home and made an appointment for the next morning with my regular dentist.

Dr. Debra Lopatofsky is a highly skilled dentist and a dear, kind person. I was fully prepared to pay to put the ruined crown back on to my tooth, but she would have none of it. She wanted to do all kinds of work to my mouth to stabilize it before I enter the monastery, but I told her I simply can not do it. As much as I want to save my teeth and have things in order before I go, I have no money and need to sell my house and use what is left to pay my school loans. She said, “Let me do this for you.” And she did. For free. On a Saturday, her day off. And what’s more, along with prepping the one tooth for a new crown, she prepped another for a crown, so it will not fall out of my head. Then she saw two fillings she did not like and re-did those. If you are keeping track, that is two crown preps, two temporary crowns, two fillings and she ordered two permanent crowns. THEN, she began looking at these two crumbled teeth I have from previous bad root canals. She wanted to extract the roots. I did not want to do that until I could afford a bridge, a HUGE EXPENSE, and she asked if she could do that too. Can you believe the generosity and kindness of this dear child of God?? So she extracted the roots, and I will meet her again on Saturday, so she can prep those anchor teeth for a bridge and then put on a temporary bridge while the permanent one is ordered. This is such an amazing gift from God to me! I was worried about entering the religious life with my mouth still in such a sorry state, but I just figured vanity was no more, and I would end up with cheap ol’ dentures eventually. I was bummed about it because I LIKE my teeth, but I left it to God. Can you imagine the great financial cost this would be to me if I had to pay? I could never afford it. And here is this kind dentist, doing this out of the kindness of her heart, at her expense, and giving up her time. I am overwhelmed by the benevolence of God and of her. She is a beautiful, loving instrument in His hands. Please pray for her.  Lord, please shower Debra with your grace and blessings and grant her great healing.

Now let me tell you about another great gift I received last week. Silly as it may seem, and definitely nothing I ever intended to act upon, I had always wanted a little statue of Mother Teresa. I did not tell anyone this. It is silly, really, but I love her spirituality, and I have learned much from her example. Well, out of the blue last week, I received a package in the mail from an elderly man whom I have never met. He lives in Hawaii, and I helped him with some legal issues via telephone and letters. He loves to write good ol’ fashioned letters and I love to receive them! Well, he has been kind enough to make regular donations to the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations on my behalf, little bits here and there, shaking down his friends for money, and sending it in every so often as it has added up over the years to a nice sum. Anyway, there was no letter in the box, and when I opened it, I found a lovely statue of Mother Teresa! A few days later I received a letter from him (Bill), and he said the statue had been peering out at him for quite awhile now, when he passed by the bookstore, and he decided to buy it for me. He asked the sales girl if someone going into a monastery could have such things, and was told, ‘sometimes they can, sometimes they can not.’ So he said if I could not keep it, could I give it to someone who would enjoy it. Wow. Please pray for this dear man. St Lucy, please intercede for Bill and his eyesight.

I feel like I am living in an almost constant state of wonder and amazement these days, as I watch the Lord work in so many tangible ways for my benefit, showing me His great love for me, by showing me how He loves me through His own children. The Holy Spirit is inspiring people in so many loving and peaceful ways. It is a blessing and a gift to know God loves us even when we do not feel His presence on a given day. But what a joy it is to feel His love when He is showering us with consolation! I must remember this when the arid days of the desert return . . .

Oh, another dear person in my life, Ursula, who asked my Mom if we could all go shopping so she could help buy things I need for the monastery….white shirts, a coat, shoes…..stuff like that. Dear Father, please shower your blessings and grace on Ursula and her family.  Another gift, and another dear child of God helping me in more ways than they could ever imagine.…….. and always, more for me to marvel at as each day passes.  Oh, boy, did I mention the prayer group that collects change each week and shared it with me to help my vocation?  Bless them Father......

50 days……but who’s counting?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Religious Liberty

We are blessed to live in this time.  So many people need our prayers and our witness to Truth.  We must not be afraid to stand for what we believe and what we KNOW in our hearts.  We must not be afraid to stand for Who we know in our hearts......the Ancient of Days.....the Great I AM.....Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Here is an incredible homily on religious liberty . . .


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Didn't expect that . . .

I resigned my Washington State bar membership today.  The yearly fee was due tomorrow, and I just could not see paying for another year, when I have not used my license to practice in Washington since 1999.  I have kept it up, because it is not an easy thing to obtain, and I knew if I let it go, it would take a lot to get it back, maybe even re-taking the bar exam.  I thought, maybe I might move back out there, I mean, ya just never know.  But today I could not rationalize the fee, knowing that I AM going to be a Dominican nun soon, right?  I will never use it again, so what is the loss? 

But whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ. More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith . . . Phil 3:7-9

Yet still, I found myself filled with a rush of emotion and tears as I clicked the last click of the computer to confirm my decision.  Are you sure you want to resign?  You will no longer be permitted to practice law in the State of Washington.  Once you click 'yes,' you will be logged out of the system and unable to return. 

Yes.  I am sure.  Click!  And then cry.  I am either a damn fool or this will be an amazing story to tell someday, the way I have given up every tiny little thing, one by one, without even one logical, rational reason to believe that any of this will work out....except for the grace of God and my half of a mustard seed of faith that He is the one who has put this desire to serve Him in my heart.  If not, I am foolish and delusional at best.  But if it is as I believe, then heaven and earth will move to bring me to the monastery. 

Still, there are so many things that have to happen, including yet another deadline I was not even considering until today.  Soooo many things to do in sooooo little time.....And no offers to buy my house yet. 

Novena number 3 to St. Joseph starts tomorrow.  Lord, have mercy.

Prayer for Priests

It is so important that we pray for our priests, especially as we see the Church increasingly under attack by the secular world.

This is a prayer I composed a year or two ago for the priests in my life.  I am always adding names as I meet new people or hear of specific intentions.
Please protect these men from the wickedness and snares of the evil one.  Strengthen them to give everything they are and everything they have for Your people, whom they are called to serve.  May they speak only Truth, and be worthy examples of Christ on earth, preaching the Gospel at all times, proclaiming it loudly when necessary, and never fearing the consequences for doing so.  Give them courage, Keep them safe, and fill their hearts with Your authentic love and joy.  Help them always and everywhere to be Your humble and obedient servants, through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Fr. Peter O'Rourke, Fr. Joe Fleury, Fr. Mark Swope, Fr. Mike McCormick, Fr. John Chmil, Fr. Ed Michelini, Fr. Alphones Perikala, Fr. John Kita, Fr. Greg Kelly, Fr. Martin Boylan, Fr. Greg Villaescusa, Fr. Ed Scott, Fr. Jim Nash, Fr. Killian Loch, Fr. Joe Hornick, Fr. Joe Manarchuck, Fr. Jacek Bialkowski, Fr. Vince Langan, Fr. Andrew Hzdovik, Fr. Chris Sahd, Fr. Chris Washington, Fr. Joseph Kane, Fr. Cassian Yuhaus, Fr. Thomas Petro, Fr. John McHale, Fr. Phil Sladicka, Fr. Ed Buckheit, Fr. David Betts, Fr. John Grimm, Fr. Jim Rafferty, Msgr John Esseff, Msgr. Neil Van Loon 

The Dominican friars of St. Joseph Province

Deacon Joe Roinick, Deacon Bill Graham, Deacon Leo Lynn

Bishop Joseph Bambera, Bishop Joseph Martino, Bishop John Dougherty, Bishop James Timlin

Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Joseph Rigali, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo

Pope Benedict XVI


 from St. Faustina's Diary: 
O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church .... give us holy priests.  You Yourself maintain them in holiness.  O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil's traps and snares, which are continually being set for the souls of priests.  May the power of Your mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests, for You can do all things.