3/31/09

Meetings with Father Jozo




If you can afford to purchase just one book during this year, then “Meetings with Fr Jozo” has to be the choice! This new hardback book is a revised edition of Encounters with Fr Jozo that was produced three years ago by Sabrina Covic. This time around it has added chapters and a fantastic range of photographs, some which have never been published before.


Meetings with Fr Jozo is by Sabrina Covic-Radojicic and published by Editons Sakramento of France.• The above photograph is one of many excellent images from the book and shows Fr Jozo meeting with Pope John Paul II in January 1993. Notice the prayer card of Our Lady which Fr Jozo always hands out pilgrims. It seems that the John Paul II was no exception!
Posted by pilgrim at 3:40 PM

3/30/09

Medjugorje: A time for Prayer


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On the apparition beat, it has been brought to our attention that a community associated with the famous apparition site of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina, the Oasis of Peace, has been prohibited from having Mass or Adoration any longer.
The community, on land just outside of the hamlet, was a favorite stop and prayer spot for many pilgrims and where seer Marija Pavlovic often had her apparitions. The order came from Ratko Peric, the bishop of Mostar, last week.


The Adoration monstrance there was broken open Thursday and the Host eaten, as ordered by the diocese, which also is disallowing Confession from being heard there, according to well-placed sources.While Bishop Peric, who long has battled with Franciscans who dominate the Medjugorje area, no longer has jurisdiction over the apparitions themselves,- (That authority is now in the hands of a Vatican Commission),- he maintains control over liturgical issues and also barred another community known as Cenacolo (which rehabilitates drug addicts and other troubled young people) from allowing a second seer, Mirjana Soldo, from having her monthly apparition in its large auditorium (she now receives the Blessed Mother at the "blue cross" near the base of Apparition Hill).

The communities have been described by some as Medjugorje's "defense walls." At the least, they are at the periphery.Is it all a move to restrict or move against Medjugorje itself? There is also the question of priests:
One, Father Petar Ljubicic, who serves as a spiritual advisor to Mirjana (and will supposedly reveal her first secret when the time comes) had requested a move back to Medjugorje and was in Citluk (the neighboring town) but instead has now been assigned an hour-and-a-half away to a parish in the Tomislavgrad area.


Meanwhile, Father Jozo Zovko, the pastor at Medjugorje at the time of the initial apparitions, and a well-known speaker on the events, has taken a year sabbatical during which he will not be addressing pilgrims. According to one report, the priest, who was jailed by Communists when he supported the seers in the early 1980s, will spend his year off on an island near Dubrovnik.


There are reports that this move was also initiated by Bishop Peric, who has long sought to silence the priest, and who attempted to remove some of his faculties, although health matters are also thought to figure into the decision and his order says Father Jozo himself requested the year off for medical reasons. The priest recently underwent treatment for a male-related affliction.

3/26/09

Its all about Jesus


IT'S ALL ABOUT JESUS"--It was about Me that [Moses] wrote." —John 5:46 -Moses wrote about Jesus. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote about Jesus in their Gospels. St. Paul wrote about Jesus in all of his New Testament letters. At Corinth, Paul spoke "of nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified."


The Blessed Virgin Mary spent her life treasuring Jesus and everything that concerned Him. The angels center their existence around Jesus.


In Lent, we prepare ourselves to enter into the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus is "the Resurrection and the Life. He is the meaning of Lent, the reason for the season. Jesus "is before all else that is. In Him everything continues in being. It is He Who is Head of the body, the Church; He Who is the Beginning, the First-Born of the dead, so that primacy may be His in everything.


It's all about Jesus. Is your life all about Jesus? Are your thoughts, words, desires, sufferings, works, leisure all about Jesus? Have you been crucified with Christ, so that the life you live now is not your own, but is the life of Jesus living in you? Are you immersed in the life of Jesus? This is what it means to be Baptized in Jesus.


In two weeks, Lent ends and the Triduum begins. Then on Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, we will renew our baptismal promises to be immersed in Jesus. At that moment, we will six times tell Jesus, "I do." Speak each "I do" to Jesus with even more love than a bride and groom say "I do" on their wedding day.


Make your life all about Jesus. - Jesus, I come to You to possess life. I will fix my eyes upon You moment by moment.

These very works which I perform testify on My behalf that the Father has sent Me." —Jn 5:36

3/25/09

Our Lady's Medjugorje message of March 25, 2009


Dear children!

In this time of spring, when everything is awakening from the winter sleep, you also awaken your souls with prayer so that they may be ready to receive the light of the risen Jesus.
Little children, may he draw you closer to his heart so that you may become open to eternal life.
I pray for you and intercede before the Most High for your sincere conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call. March 25, 2009

3/24/09

The voice of a child.



If the President, the congress, the senate, with all their power will not protect me, who is the very weakest among you, then how can they ever protect you?

You who have been given the precious gift of life, why do you deny it to me.
Do not I have the same right to life as you were given.
What evil have I done which causes you to want to destroy me.

I'm sure that you know that I am a child of God in the same way as you are.
HE created me the same as you and loves me the same as you.

So please let me live so that I to may grow up to know, love, and praise our God.

Defending Life


Watch 60 seconds video thats sweeping the nation.

3/20/09

See The Catholic Charismatic Renewal with Pope John Paul


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Long Live the Charismatics. - Pope John Paul II, 1981
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Open yourselves docilely to the gifts of the Spirit. Accept gratefully and obediently the charisms which the Spirit never ceases to bestow on us. Do not forget that every charism is given for the common good, that is for the benefit of the whole Church. — John Paul II, 1998.
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Popes Paul VI and John Paul II both blessed the charismatic renewal but said that it will fulfill its purpose only when, like the early liturgical movement, it ceases to have a separate identity of its own and is absorbed into the whole Church.
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In other words, every Catholic should be a charismatic, baptized in the Spirit, empowered like the apostles.It is needed now, more than ever. Jesus is the one who sends the Holy Spirit. The Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. — Luke 11:9-13.

3/19/09

The Charismatic Renewal--Come Holy Spirit



THE CHARISMATIC RENEWAL
The idea for this post came to me this morning at mass. A couple of days ago I wrote about the baptism in the Spirit, using a talk I gave some years ago. Today I feel the need to add more of an overall picture. Through the years I have read and heard many testimonies about the difference the baptism in the Spirit makes in the lives of Christians.
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What does the Catholic Church say about the charismatic renewal? ***Watch this video for an overview. Look especially at the face of John Paul II in 1981 before he says, “Long life for the Charismatics” and listen to the praising in tongues afterwards!


Please read in your bible about the happenings at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21). The people in the upper room were already Christians, already followers of Jesus. But Jesus knew they needed more and promised to send the Spirit. Re-read Acts 2 and try to convince yourself that the baptism in the Spirit was not both needed and effective. Then ask yourself whether it is needed today. We read: “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…..”


How and where are people being led to the Lord and filled with the Spirit in these latter days?
A TV network, EWTN, now international, was brought into being by a simple tongue-speaking nun, Mother Angelica. I’ll bet that today, even at 85, despite her incapacities, she still has that twinkle as she looks back on the wonders God has worked through her.


Christ prayed, “That they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you….” (John 17: 21). I pray we are headed toward a time when all may be one in the Spirit. It will surely happen – because Jesus prayed for it!
Most of us should not expect so many fireworks — so much recognition – in our careers. But we should all have some fire in the belly, a glowing ember inside, that tells us God is working in us and we are part of an alive body of Christ, equipped to serve.


Once again, the invitation: Is God your Father? Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior? Then why not ask Jesus to give you more of His Spirit with an openness to any gifts he has for you? What could you lose except your resistance to the will of God for you? What could you gain? God is just waiting to give good things to willing, open, yielded souls. Dare to trust!


**Popes Paul VI and John Paul II both blessed the charismatic renewal but said that it will fulfill its purpose only when, like the early liturgical movement, it ceases to have a separate identity of its own and is absorbed into the whole Church. In other words, every Catholic should be a charismatic, baptized in the Spirit, empowered like the apostles.
It is needed now, more than ever. Jesus is the one who sends the Holy Spirit. The Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. — Luke 11:9-13.
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**Long life for the charismatics. – John Paul II, 1981.


**Open yourselves docilely to the gifts of the Spirit. Accept gratefully and obediently the charisms which the Spirit never ceases to bestow on us. Do not forget that every charism is given for the common good, that is for the benefit of the whole Church. — John Paul II, 1998

3/18/09

Medjugorje:-Our Lady's Annual Message to Mirjana.



Mirjana's Birthday Apparition. 18th March 2009
The visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo had daily apparitions from June 24th 1981 to December 25th 1982. During the last daily apparition, Our Lady gave her the 10th secret, and told her that she would appear to her once a year, on her Birthday the 18th of March. It has been this way through the years.



Several thousand pilgrims gathered in prayer at the Blue Cross today in preparation for Our Lady’s annual apparition to Mirjana. The apparition lasted from 13:52 to 13:58.


Dear children! Today I call you to look into your hearts sincerely and for a long time. What will you see in them? Where is my Son in them and where is the desire to follow me to him? My children, may this time of renunciation be a time when you will ask yourself: “What does my God desire of me personally? What am I to do?”


Pray, fast and have a heart full of mercy. Do not forget your shepherds. Pray that they may not get lost, that they may remain in my Son so as to be good shepherds to their flock.

Our Lady looked at all those present and added: Again I say to you, if you knew how much I love you, you would cry with happiness. Thank you.

3/17/09

Fr. Jozo speaks of the Martyrs of Siroki Brijeg

October 2000
You see on your right here, there is a tomb, a very interesting tomb. When the Communists came here fifty-five years ago, they found thirty Franciscans here in the monastery and they told them that there was no more God. And those soldiers that came were inspired by terrorism telling them that there was no more God, there was no more church, there was no more priesthood nor the need for them.


They were told to remove their habits. But not one of those thirty Franciscans was willing to even enter into a debate about this. An enraged soldier took the crucifix from the wall, threw it at the feet of the Franciscans and said, "Now you can choose, this is your last chance, choose - death or life."


One by one the Franciscans came forth and embraced Jesus. Jesus humiliated at being thrown on the floor. And each one, one by one, said, "You are my God and my everything." One by one they were taken outside,and they were thrown into the flames to be burned, here in the garden. Those were thirty brothers who went forth to their death with song. Some of them sang Salve Regina, others sang The Litany of Our Lady. They all blessed their enemy and forgave them.

3/16/09





Viewing the artwork above, one might suppose that it was painted to illustrate Our Lady’s appearances at Medjugorje – yet the painting was done in 1974, seven years before Our Lady first appeared in Medjugorje!
The simple painting is the work of Vlado Falak from the hamlet of Ĺ urmanci, which is part of the Medjugorje parish. It used to be displayed in the choir loft of St James church.
Posted by Pilgrim at 8:15 PM

3/15/09

Cardinal Ersilio Tonini--Medjugorje is a blessed place



Cardinal Ersilio Tonini: Medjugorje? A blessed place, a source of spirituality that transforms the mind

What do you think about the Medjugorje phenomenon?
“I think that it is a blessed place and a grace of God; who goes to Medjugorje returns transformed, changed, he reflects himself in that source of grace that is Christ. Christ is at the same time the tap and the source. If in Medjugorje, as it is obvious by now, many conversions happen, it surely means that there is the hand of God. I believe that we should look at Medjugorje with serenity and trust, appreciating all the good and holy things that happen in that place.”

What is happening to those who go to Medjugorje?
“They simply discover the source of faith and they are quenched by Christ through Mary, therefore they go with confidence to Medjugorje.”

A Bishop Emeritus has spoken of Medjugorje as of a satanic deceit.
“I cannot believe this. In any case, if he has really said this, I think that it is an exaggerated phrase, absolutely outside the topic. Only unbelievers do not believe in Our Lady and in Medjugorje. For the rest, nobody is forcing us to believe, but let us at least respect it.”

3/13/09

Excerpts from Fr. Jozo prayer to the Holy Spirit.



Fr. Jozo's Prayer to the Holy Spirit in Siroki Brijeg
October 3, 2000


Come, O Most Holy Spirit, come to us today. We need your love, because we desire to go on the new way to return to the Father, to take the step to the Father. O Come, Holy Spirit, You who makes all things new. Today grant a miracle in us and through us. Change our hearts. Take from us our hearts of stone and give us a new heart, a heart that knows how to love, how to pray, how to forgive. A heart that knows how to embrace the cross and recognize the will of God and carry it to the end.
Come, O Most Holy Spirit, You who are our peace, come fill us with peace. You who are love, fill us with love and blessing and salvation. We are not here accidentally. We have been called, that we may be able to recognize our call and our mission. We ask You to come O Most Holy Spirit, that our masks may melt away, that our true face may be revealed before You.
Come, O Most Holy Spirit, may a miracle happen today: the beginning of our conversion, the beginning of our true devotion. Come, O Most Holy Spirit pour out Your grace and Your strength on Your Church and convert us. Sanctify us. Change us.
Come, O Most Holy Spirit, we are the Church united together in prayer with the Mother. As the disciples at the very beginning, united together with Her in prayer for the gift of Your Spirit, for the gift of love, that we may be freed from selfishness and hatred, that we may be freed from every evil, and that we may start to love, that we may start to forgive and to pray, that we may start to fast.
Come, O Most Holy Spirit. Come bless us. Come, change us.You who are prayer, come and anoint us with prayer that we may become the Church that believes in the power of prayer. Come, Most Holy Spirit, renew prayer in us, that we may become the renewers of family prayer.
Come, O Most Holy Spirit, come heal us, come bless us, come convert us. O You who anoints with Your Peace, with Your Joy, with Your Love. Come anoint us.

In the last message O Blessed Mother, You say, that the one who prays, lives joy and peace and love. O Blessed Mother, here is the Church in prayer, here is the Church who desires to renew itself in prayer, firm in prayer, come to fall in love with prayer. O grant that these days may be the renewal of our prayer, of our faith through prayer, of our love through prayer, of a Christian life in prayer. Come, O Most Holy Spirit. Come, pour Yourself out upon us. The Church united together with the Mother is praying to you, You who make all things new. Grant that this Church may become new. It may become a Church of prayer, a holy Church, a sign amongst nations, your city on the hillside, your light on the way, Your Self.
Come, O Most Holy Spirit. Come and pour Yourself out upon us. Our Father who art in Heaven....Hail Mary, full of grace...Mother and Queen of Peace - pray for us. Mother of the Church - pray for us. Mother and Queen of the family - pray for us. Consolation of the Sorrowful - pray for us, help of Christians - pray for us, help of the sick - pray for us, gate of heaven - pray for us. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.


A warm greeting to all of you. Welcome to Siroki Brijeg. You are now in a sanctuary, in a church, that was the first to be built after four hundred years of Turkish rule. When the Moslems entered into our land, they had destroyed eighty monasteries in one year. It was terrible, a great sorrow for us. It is then that Pope Pius V called the entire Christian Europe, the entire Church to pray together with him, the Pope. The Church responded in prayer and a miracle took place. Heaven responded to prayer. And in the event that took place in Lepanto, the intervention of Our Lady could be clearly seen. The Turks no longer advanced forward. They were stopped. The Pope proclaimed that day The Victory of Our Lady, The Victory of the Rosary, Our Lady's Day, The Day of Her Rosary.


You are here in Our Lady's church. Here She has waited for you and greeted you as the great Blessed Mother assumed into heaven. No, you are not strangers. In the last message, She says that She loves us all. That She is our Mother and that She blesses us. And it is in this church that during this jubilee year, one can gain the plenary indulgence. It is the church of the jubilee. Here in this church our martyrs also have greeted you.


+++++You see on your right here, there is a tomb, a very interesting tomb. When the Communists came here fifty-five years ago, they found thirty Franciscans here in the monastery and they told them that there was no more God. And those soldiers that came were inspired by terrorism telling them that there was no more God, there was no more church, there was no more priesthood nor the need for them. They were told to remove their habits. But not one of those thirty Franciscans was willing to even enter into a debate about this. An enraged soldier took the crucifix from the wall, threw it at the feet of the Franciscans and said, "Now you can choose, this is your last chance, choose - death or life." One by one the Franciscans came forth and embraced Jesus. Jesus humiliated at being thrown on the floor. And each one, one by one, said, "You are my God and my everything." One by one they were taken outside,and they were thrown into the flames to be burned, here in the garden. Those were thirty brothers who went forth to their death with song. Some of them sang Salve Regina, others sang The Litany of Our Lady. They all blessed their enemy and forgave them.+++++


Today at their tomb, we learn who Jesus is for me today. Who is Jesus today in my family? Is Jesus today my God and my everything in my home, in my life and in my work? If truly Jesus is my God and my everything, then can I say that I don't have time to pray. If Jesus is my God and my everything, can I then say that I don't have time or I am not able to go to Mass on Sundays. Who is Jesus today for me and what am I prepared to give for Him today? This is a question that you must ask dear pilgrims. Is Jesus only a theory for you, is He only an ideology? Is He the One whom you have read about or studied about, or is He the One who is truly your God and your everything?

Tears of Mary



Tears of Mary at Crucifixtion

"My daughter, whatever I am asked through the tears of My Mother, I shall give lovingly."


Our Lords words to Sister Amalia on November 8, 1929 .....from catholictradition.org

3/12/09

About Purgatory



What about Purgatory?
March 12th, 2009 by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
Purgatory is one of those things we don’t hear about very much anymore. In fact, a recent survey conducted by US Catholic indicted only 73% of Catholics believe purgatory even exists (interestingly enough, 77% believe that their prayers can help those in purgatory get to heaven). I can understand how the idea of purgatory makes many uncomfortable. Honestly, it makes me uncomfortable. While obviously a much better place than hell, I really don’t want to go there. I don’t want my loved ones to go there. It’s much easier to think that if we live a good life, God will immediately welcome us to heaven with open arms. Unfortunately, save for the elect few who are perfect at death, this is not what scripture, the Church, or the saints teach us.
Matthew 12:31-32 tells us that “whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come,” which implies that there is a place where forgiveness can still be obtained after death. By the same token, 1 Corinthians 3:15 and 1 Peter 1:7 speak of a “cleansing fire.”
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church , the Church teaches that
All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. (1030)
The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned (Cf. Council of Florence [1439]: DS 1304; Council of Trent [1563]: DS 1820; [1547]: 1580; see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus [1336]: DS 1000). (1031)
This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: “Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin” (2 Macc 12:46). From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God (Cf. Council of Lyons II [1274]: DS 856). The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead . . .(1032)


Perhaps the saint who offered the most evidence for the existence of purgatory in recent times is St. Padre Pio. He was known to speak with souls in purgatory and dedicated much of his suffering and prayers to help free souls from that place of purgation. He is known to have stated that “I was talking with some souls who, while on their way from Purgatory to Heaven, stopped here to thank me because I remembered them in my Mass this morning,” and that “more souls of the dead from Purgatory than of the living climb this mountain to attend my Masses and seek my prayers.” St. Catherine of Genoa remarked that “There is no peace to be compared with that of the souls in Purgatory, save that of the saints in Paradise, and this peace is ever augmented by the in-flowing of God into these souls, which increases in proportion as the impediments to it are removed” and that “The ‘fire’ of purgatory is God’s love ‘burning’ the soul so that, at last, the soul is wholly aflame. It is the pain of wanting to be made totally worthy of One who is seen as infinitely lovable, the pain of desire for union that is now absolutely assured, but not yet fully tasted.”


So, then, souls in purgatory, although suffering, are also at peace, because they know that they are assured salvation. Still, they need our prayers and sacrifices and Mass offerings to help them move up to heaven more quickly. As Catholics we believe in the communion of saints which includes the souls in heaven, the souls on earth, and the souls in purgatory. We have a responsibility to pray for those who have passed on before us. In doing so, we can hope that others will pray for us after our time on earth is done. Despite what we may like to believe, Purgatory is real. We should be thankful that God does give us the chance to be made perfect even after we die.
Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur has a Master of Arts degree in Applied Theology from Elms College, and is editor of SpiritualWoman.net. She is also the author of Letters to Mary from a Young Mother (2004).
(This article is adapted from a weekly column Patrice writes for CatholicMom.com
Prayer of Saint Gertude the Great for the Holy Souls in Purgatory http://www.cwo.com/~pentrack/catholic/prstgurt.html

3/8/09

Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Fr. John Randall's talk.

Fr. John Randall



Friday, March 6th, 2009 at 8:19 am
Writing's of Dorothy Vining
BAPTISM IN THE SPIRIT
Recently I’ve been thinking I should write about the baptism in the Spirit as something that has been important in my life and the life of many, many Christians. Two things have come together that prompt me to do it now, especially since it doesn’t involve too much thinking. The first was finding a copy of a talk I was asked to give during a Life in the Spirit seminar some years back. The second was an online audio that I chanced upon by Fr. John Randall, an old time charismatic, telling what the baptism in the Spirit has meant in his life.
MY TALK
In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, the Lord says: “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.” And Paul says, “I will, therefore, all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
You see before you someone leaning heavily on the Lord’s sufficient grace.
I have always hated being the center of attention. I wouldn’t exactly say I volunteered for this talk. Rather, I was sort of pushed into it. Someone said, “Dorothy, why don’t you give the talk on Receiving God’s Gifts? Good. That’s settled.” I never said “yes,” or “OK,” or any of those positive things. I just didn’t say “no,” because I knew God wanted me to do it. I don’t know how God can make you know something without ever saying anything, but he can.
They say the fear of public speaking is the most common phobia. Anyway, it’s one I’ve had as far back as I can remember. In grade school I dreaded book reports because the teacher sometimes made us give them orally. Spelling bees were OK. I could spell and I didn’t mind getting up and spelling one perfect word. But I had to be perfect. Perhaps I feared that if I had to say more than one word people might find out I was not perfect. I would stumble and stutter and my mind would go blank in front of people.
Now, if that wasn’t bad enough, at the age of 33 I developed agoraphobia and I still had it when I first started going to prayer meetings nine years ago. Agoraphobia has gotten a lot of publicity recently — they now have centers to treat it and support groups — but back then it was called anxiety or panic attacks. I had them in stores, in buses, in cars, in theaters, in church, at meetings, at work. I saw psychiatrists and took medication. I was still taking medication when I attended my first prayer meeting.
I won’t go into detail about those years. Suffice to say when all you can manage is to sit still in the back row at a prayer meeting (you’ll always find your agoraphobics in the back, on an aisle seat, near an exit) one is not about to get up and say anything! God, through the prayers of a number of people, over the years, has very graciously healed my agoraphobia, after over twenty years of suffering from it. Believe me, when I can’t think of anything else to praise him for, this will do for starters. Fear can be just as crippling as any physical illness. Thank you, Lord.
I have never been able to express myself well orally. I listen to people who have that gift with amazement. How do they do it? They just open their mouths and speak in sentences and paragraphs and the whole thing hangs together and makes sense. I can write, but even writing doesn’t just flow. It comes in bits and pieces and I have to put it all together like a jigsaw puzzle.
As I mentioned, I’m supposed to talk to you about God’s gifts. If I’ve prefaced this talk by giving you some insight into my past (and present) dis-ease and some of the healing that I’ve had, it is because I want to impress upon you most of all that God is in the business of healing. God is our Father. He loves us with a Father’s love, better than any earthly father could. God is good. He is the personification of goodness. God is love. He can’t do anything that is not loving. God wants to bless us. He wants to shower good things upon us. He wants us to have abundant life - Abbondonza! as Father Joe Moore used to say. God doesn’t want us all tied up in knots and bound and hung up and wounded and hurting. He wants to free us and heal us.
Jesus is savior. Jesus is healer. Jesus sends us the Spirit to empower us. Jesus came to bring us salvation. The word “salvation” comes from the same root as salve — a healing ointment. God wants to gift us with healing, to pour balm into our wounds, to loosen us up and free us. And he wants to anoint us to heal others. As Mary Ellen quoted: “The glory of God is man fully alive.”
We read about spiritual gifts in 1 Cor. 12. All of God’s gifts are directed toward our salvation, our healing, our wholeness, our holiness, and fullness of life. These all mean the same thing. But God does not force himself on us. He is always there, ready to give us good things. As in the famous picture, God stands at the door and knocks. There is no knob on the outside of the door. We have to open it from within. We have to turn toward God and invite him to enter. That’s what repentance means. You can do it in an instant. It’s simply a decision to turn to God, to decide to follow Jesus, to invite the Holy Spirit to lead you.
According to the guidelines for this talk we must “turn away from non-Christian religions, spiritualism, witchcraft, occultism, sex outside of marriage, adultery, homosexual acts, murder, robbery, shoplifting, cheating, lying, slander, drunkenness, and getting stoned.” Serious sin will block the action of God in our lives but there is no sin so serious that with the grace of God we cannot turn away from it. We do not have to come to God all cleaned up. I like the way Father Carew put it: “God loves us just the way we are, but he loves us too much to let us stay that way.” For Catholics involved in serious sin the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) would be the way to show we really want to follow Jesus.
Next week we are going to pray for baptism in the Spirit for anyone who has decided to follow Jesus and wants more of his Spirit. With God, there’s always more. He’s inexhaustible. Luke 11:9-13: “If you then who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
With the baptism in the Spirit comes the spiritual power we all need. Again, from Luke 24:49: “I am going to send you what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” With those words, Jesus ascended into heaven.
And what happened at Pentecost? As we read in Acts 2:2-4 there came a wind from heaven and tongues of fire and those who had been fearful before and had denied Jesus and weren’t anywhere about when he was crucified began to speak in other tongues and preach the word so effectively that 3000 were added to their numbers that day! We need the Holy Spirit to be effective witnesses for God. The more we allow him to do in us, the more we can witness to. We cannot witness to what we have not seen or experienced. We cannot talk farther than we have walked, and the more we allow God to gift us and heal us, the more we can help others.
Different people have different experiences when they are baptized in the Spirit. Some may laugh or cry. Some are quiet and don’t feel anything at first. A common manifestation of receiving the Holy Spirit is the gift of tongues. Some say you haven’t been baptized in the Spirit if you haven’t received tongues but I knew of many instances when tongues were received sometime after the baptism, and if God will wait days or even months, he could wait longer. I remember a woman, a former member of this prayer group, telling how she was opening the refrigerator door to get a bottle of formula for the baby (some months after she was baptized in the Spirit) and she started praying in tongues for the first time.
Mother Angelica of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) relates that a priest drove by her convent as she was working outside and wanted to pray with her for the baptism in the Spirit. After he had done so, she thought, “Is that all there is to it?” The next morning she started to pray upon awakening and found she she couldn’t pray in English. Another Sister came to her door and since Mother Angelica couldn’t talk she just pointed to her mouth. “You have laryngitis?” asked the sister. And according to Mother Angelica in a short time all the Sisters in her convent had the same “disease.” The story of how those cloistered nuns started a worldwide TV network is truly marvelous. What can’t God do with a yielded soul!
Last year I was handed a tract by a Pentecostal Protestant which said, “Did you know that Mary, the mother of Jesus, spoke in tongues?” I had never heard that so I quickly looked it up. Turn to Acts 1:14 and then go to Acts 2:4. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was present when “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Some of the spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Cor. 12, like tongues and prophecy, are frequently manifested in prayer meetings. In prophecy, someone will speak out as God, in the first person. Sometimes prophecy is about the future. More often, it is an encouraging or uplifting word from God. Sure, he’s saying the same things he has always said but in fresh ways. (In fact, if it isn’t in accord with Scripture, it’s not from God.) What I like about prophecy is it immediacy. It’s God speaking to us TODAY. It’s God speaking to his people NOW, saying the same things he said 2000 years ago, but NOW, to US. I have personally received very little in the way of prophecy and I wrote about it before.
There are gifts of healing (gifts - plural) such as emotional, physical and spiritual healing. There is the working of miracles. We are hearing that we should be seeing more and more miracles in days to come. There are gifts of discernment of spirits and of hearts (I know people with these gifts), gifts of wisdom and of knowledge. God has many gifts he want to give his people.
Over the past weeks several speakers have mentioned how gentle God is when he works in us. God always does the right and loving thing. He knows exactly where we are and where we are coming from. He knows our woundedness and how much we can handle, then he gives us the grace to handle it. When I first joined the prayer group I volunteered for the book ministry because I wanted to do something behind the scenes that I would be comfortable with. Then I nearly resigned when they asked me to recommend books at the meetings. But it was a healing experience. I would never have volunteered to be a Eucharistic minister or to pray on a healing team, but when I was asked to do those things God saw me through it and now I am comfortable with them. Maybe you don’t think it’s a big deal for me to stand here and read a few pages to you but I know where I came from and the fear that used to curl and coil inside of me like a living thing. To me it proves God is a God who frees and heals.
The gifts of God, the charisms, are for the healing of the body of Christ. We are part of the body of Christ. They are for our healing and the healing of others. As we open more to the Spirit and the spiritual gifts, we find our lives being filled with excitement, with power, with wonder, and with thankfulness. Anyone who thinks being a Christian is dull hasn’t really tried it!
FATHER JOHN RANDALL'S TALK
Father Randall is an old-timer in the Catholic charismatic renewal. Now retired, 78 at the time of this talk, he tells how he was already a priest, baptized, confirmed and ordained, when David Wilkerson’s group ( of The Cross and the Switchblade fame) prayed with him for the baptism in the Spirit — and the difference it made. ~~(Click on difference to listen to Fr. John Randall) ~~~ Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled faces, behond the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another. – 2 Cor. 3:17.http://www.musingsat85.com/myblog/

Our Lady's Medjugorje Message to Mirjana of March 2, 2009


Dear children, I am here among you. I am looking into your wounded and restless hearts. You have become lost, my children. Your wounds from sin are becoming greater and greater and are distancing you all the more from the real truth. You are seeking hope and consolation in the wrong places, while I am offering to you sincere devotion which is nurtured by love, sacrifice and truth. I am giving you my Son. March 2, 2009

Medjugorje: Mirjana apparition with Our Lady.





The latest video of Our Lady's apparition to Mirjana, of March 2, 2009

3/6/09

Meditaion on the Our Father Prayer.



Meditation: Matthew 6:7-15


Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name… .
Lord, you are my King and God. I praise and adore you. I am your child and you are my everlasting Father. Right now, I want to come before your throne to honor you and praise you for your holiness. Father, help me keep my mind fixed on you and my eternal destiny.


Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven… Father, everything in heaven and on earth is yours. And that includes my heart. I want to do what you want me to do. I want to say only the words you give me to say. I want to go only where you will lead me. Father, fill me with the grace I need to build, brick by brick, the kingdom of God inside the city of man.


Give us this day our daily bread… . Father, you know I need you! I need your Bread of Life to live and to love, to learn and to grow. I cannot take a single breath without your grace. I hunger and thirst for you. I hunger and thirst, too, for more people to come to know you. Many are thirsty, but don’t even know it. Help me be an icon of your love for humanity. May my life help create a hunger and thirst for you.


Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us… Father, I need your mercy and forgiveness. I also need your help to forgive the people who have hurt me. Father, set me free from the pain of wounded relationships, especially those wounds that have caused me to develop an unhealthy outlook on life. Widen my heart, Lord! I want to reveal your mercy to the world.


Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil… . Father, help me to avoid all occasions of sin.
Give me the wisdom I need to avoid situations that put me at spiritual and moral risk. Open my eyes to the subtle temptations of the evil one, and give me the strength to say “no” to his deceptions.


“Father, I praise and worship you for your unfailing love for me! May I never forget your goodness!”
Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalm 34:4-7,16-19

3/5/09

Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.


Catholic Priests, Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island.

What Shall I Do ?

Billboard in Florida

What Shall I Do?
By June Klins
In the January 25th message Our Lady answered a question many people have wondered about – why She has been with us so long. She answered, "I am with you for this long because you are on the wrong path." Wow! That was the fourth month in a row that She admonished us. In December She said, "You are running, working, gathering - but without blessing. You are not praying!” In November She called our world a "turbulent world without hope." In October She described the world as "further from God every day, and which puts itself in the place of God and is destroying everything that is beautiful and good in the souls of each of you."


Our Lady must be so very sad that many are not listening or heeding Her messages. On that same day, January 25th, the Conversion of St. Paul, the second reading at Mass was from Acts 22, which was one of St. Paul’s conversion accounts. In this account, after Jesus says," I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting," St. Paul says, "'What shall I do?" And that was what my pastor's homily centered on, those four little words, “What shall I do?”.


Our Lady needs our help. We need to ask, "What shall I do?" These are critical times. She is not joking. She has asked us on a number of occasions to form prayer groups. “Prayer groups are powerful,” She said on June 25, 2004. Your family can be a prayer group. There are prayer groups that meet in a church; there are prayer groups that meet in homes. There are even internet prayer groups. One of our subscribers even began a prayer group at work about a year and a half ago. They meet once a week in an office and pray. He said that since they began doing this, there has been only one accident in their building, which in his words is “unheard of” in his industry. (I think one of the benefits of belonging to a prayer group is that when the chastisements begin, we will have each other for support.)


WE are also called to SPREAD the messages. One of our subscribers from Florida had a billboard put up with a picture of Our Lady that said: "I have come to tell the world that God exists." She has also had bumper stickers made with the same message. There are many ways to spread the messages. Many of you already do this, by sharing your newsletters with others. Many have sent a gift subscription to someone. Some have sent for our books and then shared them with people or donated to a library. If you have a creative way to spread the messages that you would like to share with our readers, please contact us. info@spiritofmedjugorje.org


Let us each ask, "What shall I do?" and then JUST DO IT!

3/4/09

A Reflection of Our Lady's Message of February 25, 2009



Message of February 25, 2009
“Dear children! In this time of sacrifice, prayer and penance, I call you anew: go and confess your sins so that grace may open your hearts, and allow it to change you. Convert, little children, open yourselves to God and to His plan for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


The Queen of Peace reminds us that this time is special, gracious, that this is the time of sacrifice, prayer and penance. Yes, this is the time that we started on Ash Wednesday, by bestrewing ourselves with ashes, as a sign of transience, the dust from which man was created and to which every living creature returns, including man. A man bestrewed with ashes is put on the road that has got its goal.
Lent is a time of forty days. It is a period that was familiar both to prophets and saints, a period which they used to spend in the desert, fasting and praying. Jesus, too, after having been baptised by John the Baptizer, went to the desert, where He devoted Himself to fasting and prayer. During that time He went through strong temptations by Satan. But He rejected Satan’s offers and promises, and remained faithful to the Father and to His mission.
The climax of Lent is in the Holy Week. Jesus passed through all temptations and humiliations. This did not confuse, but rather strengthened Him. At the end He took up the cross and death as the only way – through the grave to the final glory and Resurrection and the victory over death and sin. Likewise, our Lent confronts us, who are transient, with the intransient, the eternal. Lent brings us, sinful and miserable as we are, face to face with the grace and goodness of God. This is the time of our return to the Father. Throughout Lent one is called to see his limitations, his sins and weaknesses. To live without sacrifices, without fasting, without prayer, means to be hiding from God. This mantle of selfishness is so heavy that it blinds us. This wall of our haughtiness is so hard that it closes the last door of our hope. Therefore this message touches in us what is essential – our human nature. It does not allow us to hide our weakness but calls us to recognise it and to confess it humbly in the sacrament of reconciliation. This grace that flows and pours into us through the holy sacraments comes from God – not from our sacrifices and prayers but from the pierced heart of our Lord. Our prayer, our fasts and sacrifices are our humble response with love. For, the Lord created us without us and without our consent, but without our “yes” He cannot save us. This is the greatness of our Lent. My decision, my choice, my “yes” is great. It is in this that our human dignity is manifested. “What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them little less than a god, and put all things at their feet.” (Cf. Ps 8:5-6)
Who am I and where am I heading for? Who am I and why do I live? These are the questions haunting all generations. Only Jesus gave answers to them. Only He, and only His word is our way, our rule and measure of life. Lent is a time of imitation of Jesus in a special way: through fasting, prayer, penance, sacrifice and sacraments. There is no other way. It is from prayer and sacrifice that the light comes to each of us – that we may see what the world is offering us, and what the Lord is offering and asking.
Penance and sacrifice, fasting and prayer open my heart and the eyes of my soul so that I may see properly, that I may decide, in due time, for one goal, and that is my God. It is not an ordinary word, but the truth without which I am in error, in deadly danger, where I no more distinguish between the good and the evil. We are surrounded by various people, we meet the ruined and the disappointed, we meet seducers who offer us everything in the name of the Evil one. Young people are in great danger to decide for the wide road of sin, which ultimately means ruin. There are people who are completely committed to evil, and to its programmes and promises. Today it is necessary to switch off the television so that one could feel free and find peace. But, you will not be able to do it unless you have fasted and prayed. You are nervous without a cigarette, without a glass of your favourite drink, and you forgive it to yourself saying that you will sacrifice yourself in some other way. Unfortunately, we are never able to make this substitute sacrifice, because the first one failed to occur.
We are called to confession, to give up our sin for ever.
Once I visited one of the largest Buddhist temples. There are 12 thousand Buddha’s statues in it. At the temple entrance there is a dragon. Its paw is so bright that the question poses itself: “Why? A teacher of Buddhism explained to me that Buddhists leave their sins under the paws of the dragon for it to keep them while they are in the temple. And when they leave the temple their sins again follow them like a shadow. That dragon is some kind of a cloakroom for sins. But only for a short while the dragon keeps the sins lest they disturb one while he is in the temple.
I wonder whether you are aware of how exalted is our faith and our God! How our God gives us grace and responds to our needs, how He redeems our sins. No man can take sins upon himself. Nobody can destroy them, to burn them like paper. Neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist can say to you: “Have no fear! You have confessed your sin and it is no more in your conscience, in your life.” A thing like that surpasses human power. Only God forgives sins. In Jesus and through Jesus He forgives our sins. Jesus left this gift and this grace to the Church through His priests. Our sin has not been deposited in some darkness, in a space of oblivion. No! Our sin has been forgiven in a sacramental confession. In the confession it disappeared in the ocean of God’s mercy and love. Have no fear. After confession your sin will no longer weigh down upon you. Therefore the man whose sins have been forgiven, knows to whom he should go and to thank for the immense and divine peace in his heart, conscience and soul. Confession is medicine. Confession is a gift that only God gives to His children. This grace, this sacramental grace opens my heart and changes it, and I wish only one thing: Never more to offend my God and spurn His love!
I know that He has a plan for my life, my marriage, my profession, my cross. So during this Lent I am going to learn how to imitate Jesus and to keep Him constantly before my eyes.
O, Redeemer of sins, merciful victor over our sins and frailties, let us live in You so that Your mighty love may powerfully act in us, a love that is stronger than sin. O, victor in suffering, O crucified Saviour, in You we want to endure all dark hours. May everything that befalls on us be a way to the eternal light of resurrection. O, King of Hearts, may Your crucified Love shield and protect our tired and fragile love. Wake up in us what we lack: compassion with You, the love of You, faithfulness and perseverance in contemplating your passion and death. Let our prayer family come back to You, to Your cross and Your love in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Give us grace that we may be a sign to others like You are.


This month we are going to pray for the following intentions:
1. For all Christians who have neglected fasting, penance and prayer, that their hearts may open in this Lent, that they may respond to the call of the Queen of Peace.
2. For our prayer family, that we may be open to God and Our Lady for their plan for us. It is not us who have chosen Her, but it is Her who has chosen us. Let us pray that we may give a good example by our life, and by living the messages give testimony to all people.
3. Let us pray for all the sick, for all the strayed from the Church. Let us pray for all the responsible people in the Church and society that they may put the Lord and His will in the first place, and in doing so to serve all on the way to salvation. Let us pray for the visionaries, priests and all those responsible for the messages of the Queen of Peace, that in this time of grace Her will and Her plans may be realised.

3/3/09

Come Holy Spirit


In this Lenten season, Come Holy Spirit, Let the fire of your spirit fall upon us.
Pray and ask the Lord to Baptize you in his Holy Spirit.
John Baptized you with water, but in a few days you will Baptized in the Holy Spirit. Acts-15

3/2/09

Bishop Volpe speaks on Medjugorje



“Medjugorje is a place of grace, and the fruits - the many conversions - are a proof for it” (Mons. Giovanni Battista Pichierri)


Bruno Volpe spoke with Mons. Giovanni Battista Pichierri, Bishop of Trani, in Puglia, who declared, “I think that the prudent position of the Church on the topic is just and legitimate. The visionaries continue to speak, therefore, it is necessary to wait. But if the faithful are coming in such a great numbers, there must be a positive reason for it”.
The position of the Church is however very cautious. “This is true. There is a directive that prohibits the pilgrimages led by the Bishops and diocesan priests, but lately - in front of the extent and the evidence of the phenomenon - this rigidity is being a little attenuated”.
Excellence, do you have personal knowledge of people and faithful from your Diocese who have been converted and have changed their life or their lifestyle thanks to Medjugorje? “Off course, and I have no reason to deny it. I know good people who, before the visit to Medjugorje, were not true and authentic Christians, and they returned from there literally transformed. From this point of view, it seems to me appropriate to speak of a place of grace”.
What do you mean when you speak of a place of grace? “Conversion, accepting the sacraments that were rejected or abandoned for a long time, is a grace. I can affirm that this happens in Medjugorje, and with certain permanence. Conversions may also happen in other places, but if they are recorded in such abundance, I think that the hand of God is at work, his mighty will”.
Why is the Church so prudent? “It must be said that - concerning Marian apparitions - the Church leaves us free to believe or not to believe, for they are not a dogma of faith. The Church has given approval to many apparitions. Concerning Medjugorje, precisely because the visionaries - that I think healthy of mind continue to speak, which means that the visions are not closed - the Church has decided to defer the judgment. But postponement in itself does not mean denial”.
Some malicious tongues have even spread the suspicions of presumed religious business. “This seems to me exaggerated and unfair. I do not exclude the presence of some cunning ones, but this phenomenon is very diverse and often present around Shrines and Basilicas. I do not understand why some underline this when they speak about Medjugorje, and pretend that it does not happen in others places. All together, if there are those who draw economic benefit in a dubious way, they will answer in front of their conscience, but my opinion is that if this is happening, it is happening not only in Medjugorje”.
A famous retired Archbishop, an exorcist, wrote that it could be a matter of a satanic deceit. “With all the respect for my brother bishop and friend, whom I esteem, I do not agree with him. I think that this is an exaggeration. Many conversions happen in Medjugorje, which means that people come closer to God. Satan is doing exactly the opposite, he is dividing. In this case, Satan would toil against himself, which seems to me little credible indeed”.
Let us speak about Mary, who is this sweet creature? “The daughter of Zion, free from original sin, designed from God for the plan of salvation. She is the woman who said YES, she is contributing to the plan of salvation, restoring and repairing the negative act committed by Adam and Eve. Mary is indeed the Holy One, and a sure way that makes us reach the grace of God”.
Bruno Volpe
http://medjugorje.hr.nt4.ims.hr/News.aspx