Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Love of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary: "Your Offering Is Pleasing to the Father" by Rita Ring

September 11, 1994

Title:  Your Offering Is Pleasing to the Father

Jesus:  My dear child, do your everyday activities, according to the Father's will in love. Pray for intense union with Me. I love you so very much. I am Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God. I am guarding your way. I am not far off. I am with you this very day.

  Souls are being lost. Say your morning offering. Offer all your actions united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass going on around the world. Your life is important to your brothers. Your Father wants this offering. Pray for greater union with Me. Bind your heart to our Lady's Heart and be placed so deeply in My Heart.

I am Jesus, your precious Savior, I love you so much.

R.   If the lights in the world go out, if I am in darkness, I still have the awareness of God's presence within my being, no matter how dark. If the wind blows and sun ceases to give its light, I still am at peace because of this interior union with God.


September 5, 2001


September 5, 2001

Jesus and Mary did not appear as usual in light on the building.


Jesus:  You realize this union within you. Your struggles may be times when you are deeply united to Me. Spend your moments being aware of My constant love for you. Discipline your thoughts to put worry aside and focus on My love. My love never falters, it is forever burning in your heart. I love you so much.

R.  I am realizing every time I meditate on Mary and how one she is with Jesus, my heart is drawn so close to Him. It is through her I become more deeply united to Him, I am drawn closer in union with Him. Her sufferings, her love, her heart, leads me to such closeness to Him.

   A man at church could not get the lights on around the tabernacle. All the other lights were on but they would not go on. Jesus said to me, "I can light up the room. If I showed Myself, you would be blinded by the light.."  That if He truly showed us His might, we may be blinded.

  He is the Almighty God. He told me once: if He showed Himself to us in great light, we may fall down to the floor, we could be blinded by the rays!

  Oh how foolish we are and how blind to not realize He is God and He is truly present in such love, waiting to give Himself in love to us in the Holy Eucharist, and wanting us to share His love. He wants us to love Him!

    Jesus, open up my closed heart to know You more and feel Your presence. You are my beloved. You are why I live. You I love with my whole heart!

    Today I feel a quiet awareness of Him. It is in these times my faith is strengthened. He gives me just as I need. Today I need to depend on my faith. I long for the times I feel His presence more, but it is in these moments, I grow in my faith.

Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous

Mary TV Daily Reflection 8/31/10

c/o Diane Freeby

August 31, 2010

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! With great joy, also today, I desire to call you anew: pray, pray, pray. May this time be a time of personal prayer for you. During the day, find a place where you will pray joyfully in a recollected way. I love you and bless you all. Thank you for having responded to my call."  
(August 25, 2010)

In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 14, Jesus tells the parable of those invited to a wedding banquet, saying that when you are invited you should "go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, 'My friend, move up to a higher position'". (Lk 14:10)
  It is interesting that the host calls such a humble person his "friend".  

In another Gospel passage, this time from Matthew, Chapter 25, Jesus tells the parable of the wise and foolish virgins with their lamps.  He explains that when the foolish virgins return with their lamps finally full, the door will be closed.  And when they knock and say, "Lord, Lord, open the door for us!", the Bridegroom will reply, "Amen, I say to you, I do not know you." (Mt 25:11-12)

And yet again, in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 13, Jesus tells warns his listeners to strive for the narrow gate, because once the door is closed, "Then will you stand outside knocking and saying, 'Lord, open the door for us.'  He will say to you in reply, 'I do not know where you are from.' And you will say, 'We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.'  Then he will say to you, 'I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!'" (Lk 13:25)

Well, what am I getting at?
  In each of these Scriptures, Jesus is talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, the Wedding Feast!  He is making it clear in each one that the most important thing necessary for us to enter the Feast and be welcomed in, is to be known by the Master.  To the virgins who come late, he says very severely, "Amen, I say to you, I do not know you."  To those attempting to enter the house after the Master has locked the door he says, "I do not know where you are from."  But to the humble guest he says, "My friend, move up to a higher position."  What is the connection?

To "know" in the Scriptures generally means to have "experienced" someone.  A man "knows" his wife, because they are intimate, they are married.  Friends "know" each other because they have spent time together, they have shared their lives, and they have served each other.  The humble guest was "known" by the Master as a friend.  Clearly it is important to Jesus that we are known by Him.  

My point?  I think Our Lady understands that it is through a deep personal relationship with Jesus that we will be saved.  She wants us to "know" Jesus and she wants Jesus to "know" us. We need to have a loving and intimate relationship with the Lord.  That is the way to Heaven. And how best can we develop such a relationship?  Through personal prayer.  "

May this time be a time of personal prayer for you."  Only by spending time in conversation with Jesus can we become friends with Him.  We can open our hearts to Him, sharing our deepest thoughts, our truest selves.  He can share His heart with us as well.  It is the way we will be "known" by Jesus.  

We don't want to get to the door of Heaven only to realize that we haven't made ourselves known to Jesus.  Now is the time for personal prayer!  This is not a time to make a "name" for ourselves, it is a time to make a "friend" for ourselves.  It is time to draw near to the most merciful Jesus and become best friends with Him.  Then, like the humble guest, Jesus will spot us at the door and say, "My friend, move up to a higher position."    

"During the day, find a place where you will pray joyfully in a recollected way."

In Jesus and Mary!

Cathy Nolan 

Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous

[MaryVitamin] Pius XII, St. Louis de Montfort & the Rosary

Mary Vitamin for August 31st


Topic: The Most Holy Rosary

Pope Pius XII
We consider the Holy Rosary the most convenient and most fruitful means, as is clearly suggested by the very origin of this practice, heavenly rather than human, and by its nature. What prayers are better adapted and more beautiful than the Lord’s prayer and the angelic salutation, which are the flowers with which this mystical crown is formed?
Pope Pius XII, Ingruentium Malorum (On Reciting the Rosary), #8.
 Encyclical promulaged on 15 September 1951.

St. Louis de Montfort
[T]he Holy Rosary is the root and the storehouse of countless blessings. For through the Holy Rosary:
  1. Sinners are forgiven;
  2. Souls that thirst are refreshed;
  3. Those who are fettered have their bonds broken;
  4. Those who weep find happiness;
  5. Those who are tempted find peace;
  6. The poor find help;
  7. Religious are reformed;
  8. Those who are ignorant are instructed;
  9. The living learn to overcome pride;
  10. The dead (the Holy Souls) have their pains eased by suffrages.
St. Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, 40th Rose.

When does a day pass, in which a soul is not faced with one of these ten trials? Daily recourse to the Rosary is a balm to many evils. I will identify which malady ails me today and bring this problem to our Lady in the Rosary.

Marian Vow:
Fr. Stefano Manelli, FI
And as Our Lady carried Jesus about, we, by our Rosaries may keep Him in our affections when we go home, or through the streets, and amongst men, and to our place of work.
Father Stefano Manelli, FI, Devotion to Our Lady(Academy of the Immaculate)

Marian Seraphic Pathways:
Marian prayer should pervade the whole course of the day … with the recitation of the Holy Rosary (at least one crown)
Traccia, #29

I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Thanks be to God for graces received.


Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous

PAKISTAN - Waters diverted, Christian village flooded on purpose, 15 dead, hundreds homeless . . .

Pakistan floods: Flooded homes in Southern Punjab

Image by Oxfam International via Flickr


Multan (Agenzia Fides) – Local NGOs have reported to Fides on the building of a dam to save some land and divert floodwater towards other areas inhabited by Christian citizens, in Punjab, near Multan, where inhabitants of the Christian village of Khokharabad suffered damages from deliberately diverted water, causing loss of human life, homes, and crops. 
Khokharabad is a Christian village near Muzaffargarh, a city of 250,000 inhabitants on the outskirts of Multan, in the southern Punjab Province, central Pakistan. The area was strongly affected by the floods that, according to UN figures, have created more than 800,000 refugees. The village was completely flooded, causing severe damage to the Christian population of the place who are mostly poor people dedicated to subsistence farming. 
According to information sent to Fides by some local NGOs operating in the area, the flooding in this case was "guided" by Jamshed Dasti, a local politician of Muzaffargarh and owner of parcels of land near the village. He has seen to the construction of dams and barriers to divert the flow of water to the village and thus save his own possessions. 

Pakistan floods: thousands of houses destroyed...

Image by Oxfam International via Flickr

The inhabitants of Khokharabad were not even notified and had no time to escape: the entire village was wiped out. At least 15 are dead and 377 Christians left homeless.
Taj Masih, one of the leaders of the village, said: "It is an inhumane act. Our village was flooded on purpose. Dasti, just to save his own land preferred to leave 377 people without home or harvest, our only source of livelihood. Now we have nothing." 
Dasti has denied any responsibility in the incident, saying that the decision to raise barriers was made by the Department of Agriculture in the District. Department officials, in turn, say they have received orders to do so. The Governor of the District denies having given such orders. Everyone is quick to find a scapegoat, but the fact remains: it has taken place at the expense of Christian citizens. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 08/31/2010)

Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous

Monday, August 30, 2010

[MaryVitamin] Prayer, Our Lady and the Holy Spirit


Mary Vitamin for August 30th
Topic: Prayer, Our Lady and the Holy Spirit
Father Gabriel Allegra, OFM
This veneration [of Our Lady] does not spring from our emotions, although it influences our feelings. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, who is the Soul of the Church and who continuously moves the Church to imitate Christ, and love, venerate and obey His holy and Immaculate Mother.
Mary's Immaculate Heart, (Franciscan Herald Press: 1985), 3.
Padre Pio
[R]emember the graces of prayer are not earthly but heavenly waters and no effort of ours can make them flow. Nevertheless we must prepare ourselves for them with great diligence, humbly and tranquilly: we must hold our heart open toward Heaven and await the celestial dew. Do not forget to carry this thought with you when you pray because it will bring you nearer to God.
Nesta de Robeck, Padre Pio, (Bruce Publishing: 1958), 111.
Today when I pass my image of Our Lady and say my regular prayers, I will remember that if I am reminded to pray to God through Our Lady, that I was prompted by the Holy Spirit. This is not my work but the work of God. I will concentrate on seeing my prayer as an act of the will rather than an emotional response to the image.
Marian Vow:
Fr. Stefano Manelli, FI
She is the "stamp" and most perfect "matrix" of Jesus, Her divine Son; She is always the most perfect "matrix" who reproduces Jesus in all those who give themselves to Her, especially those who give themselves to Her as Her "absolute property", attentive and docile under Her maternal action in purifying and sanctifying their souls.
The Marian Vow of Unimited Consecration to the Immaculate, (Immaculate Mediatrix Editions: 1996),17-8.
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.


Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous

The Love of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary: "Glorious Mysteries" by Rita Ring

September 10, 1994

Glorious Mysteries




Messenger: The connection between Mary and Jesus is so strong. To understand Jesus' life, I can see it much clearer through Mary. She raised Him from a Baby and showed Him her gentle ways. She guided Him in all the ways a mother guides her child.

Mary and Jesus are so closely united. She held Him as a Baby, she saw Him all through His Life and suffered so when she received His lifeless body under the cross. She knew that He was dead. What an experience to feel the Life gone from His body! They locked Him in the tomb and she stayed close by, not wanting to leave Him.

Now, Mary with all her memories, all her love, in her most tender heart that lived all the moments of Jesus' life, beholds Him alive after the Resurrection! Such joy for her to see her most beloved Son in such splendor and life!

Jesus is Life. Once again, Mary through her tender heart, the heart that lived His Life with Him, the heart overjoyed while she felt Him grow in her body, the heart that held Him as a Child, that peered into the Baby eyes of the Son of God, the heart that was torn in her chest by the seven sorrows of her life, now beholds Jesus, truly alive and full of such brilliance!

Oh, Mary, let us experience Jesus through your heart. His joys, His sufferings. Let us know your Son more. Help us to love Him through your heart, to see Him through your eyes. From the first moment of conception until He ascended into heaven, let us experience Jesus through your heart. As the Child Jesus was formed in your womb, as you guided His little Life through your gentleness and love, guide us to be more and more like your Son.

Mary speaks: Oh, my beloved children, if you could see what I saw. If you could see my Son's Life. You can experience His Life in your heart. Pray to be led by the Spirit to know and love God more. I am your loving Mother. Through my heart I lead you to the Heart of my dearest Son. The Spirit will give you His gifts to lead you closer and closer to the love of God. It is through Jesus you are led to the Father. I am your Mother and I forever take you to the gentle Heart of my Son.

My Son loves you so much. I saw my Son born. I saw Him die and I saw Him rise for your life eternal. Do not throw away this great gift, the gift of Himself. He gave that you might live.

It is in your commitment to my Son, it is in your love and service to Him that you will inherit the Kingdom prepared for you. I saw Him as a Baby, I watched Him as a Child and I saw Him suffer so for love of you. He gave His Life that you would have life.  




Jesus took the Apostles to the town of Bethany and gave them His final blessing.

He raised His arms and ascended into heaven.

They stood below in utter amazement of what had happened.

He ascended to the Father. He had risen from the dead. 

These are the Glorious Mysteries.

Imagine the grief in the hearts of Mary and the Apostles to see Him go!

Jesus remains truly present and with us in the Eucharist.

He gave Himself on the Cross. He gives Himself to us this very day in the Eucharist.

He loved us so much He died for us. He rose to give us new life.

Jesus is truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist.

He gives Himself to us this day. He wants us to visit Him in the tabernacle.

Who are we that He loves us so much?

R.  Oh, my Jesus, help me to realize more how much You love me and that You gave Your life for me. You rose from the dead so I could share in Your life. You did this for me. You remain this very day, in the Eucharist! He gave us a special sharing in His life through baptism. He remains with us in our hearts. God dwells within our hearts.

Jesus:  I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, My precious ones. I dwell within your heart. Keep your souls forever holy. I want to dwell in your heart.

R. We should be holy.

Jesus, make me holy. I want You in my heart. I am Yours, Lord, I ask You to sanctify my soul.

Mary, help me to love Jesus through your sinless heart.

Jesus:  I am your precious Savior. I have not left you, I dwell within you, My beloved one.



Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and the Virgin Mary

R. When the Holy Spirit descended on Mary and the apostles, what joy for Mary's heart.

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit. A giant wind blew and there appeared over their heads, parted tongues of fire.

The Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and the Virgin Mary.

What joy for Mary to see the apostles so fearless.

Oh, Holy Spirit, come to us, fill our hearts with the fire of Your love. Where we were full of fear, make us fearless, for we long to have the courage to do all God asks of us.



As Mary appeared at the old seminary


Mary was taken up to heaven. 

  She lived her whole life in service of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now she was taken up to heaven.

  Mary has not left, she remains with us. She is wherever Jesus is. She is our spiritual mother. She is forever by our side. She loves us as she mothers us with such motherly love.

  Who are we to have Mary as our Mother?

  Mary's statue in the residence chapel: face changed. She is so gorgeous. Like other statues, she looks so beautiful!  I see Jesus and Mary, from when Jesus was a baby to His hanging on the cross, to His rising. 

  Mary watched it all. A young Mary and older Mary, a sad Mary, a joyful Mary.

  His mother forever in union with Him.

  He was carried in her womb and formed in her body.

  She held Him as a child.

  She peered into His eyes on Calvary.

  She held Him under the cross.

  Now she sees Him aglow after the Resurrection.

  To know Christ is to see Him through Mary's eyes. Feel

Him through Mary's heart. Love Him through Mary.


February 5, 2004



The Coronation

The Two Hearts - the Sacred Heart - the Immaculate Heart.

Mary is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

  Can you imagine Mary's great joy to be crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth?

  Can you imagine her immense joy to be in heaven?

  Can we imagine her joy to see the angels and saints praising God?

  Mary is my most beloved mother and now she reigns in the courts of heaven.

*  She who carried the baby Jesus in her womb, who held Him in her arms, who walked by Him during the passion, who stood under His cross, who held His lifeless body and watched Him, locked in the tomb...Now is taken up to heaven and crowned Queen of Heaven, forever to reign in the courts of heaven with her Beloved Son!

Mary, my mother, is crowned Queen.

  She forever intercedes for us, her beloved children, and cares for our every need as a loving mother.

  Jesus gave to us His mother and she is the Queen of Heaven.


Mary appearing in priest residents chapel.

Note:  I see the same beautiful face of Mary on the Sorrowful Mother statue, I am seeing it now.

God lives in us.

Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous

Ivanka speaks to pilgrims:

Medjugorje Witness

Find the Answer To Your Questions in Our Lady’s Messages - Visionary Ivanka


There are hundreds of buses bringing pilgrims from all over, Italy, Poland, The Czech Republic, as well as pilgrims driving from all parts of Croatia and the surrounding region, not to mention the numerous pilgrims from the United States, Mexico, and other nations. They are coming to be with Our Lady and many of them are here for their first pilgrimage. The visionaries are speaking to them on a regular basis, and a few days ago, the Medjugorje visionary, Ivanka spoke to thousands of pilgrims. She shared her remembrances of those first days when Our Lady began to appear to the six Medjugorje visionaries. You can read about some of those stories from the beginning days by clicking here. The following are some of the messages of Our Lady that Ivanka shared with the pilgrims:

Visionary Ivanka August 25, 2010

The Medjugorje visionary Ivanka speaks to pilgrims gathered. In her talk, Ivanka shared the witness of what Our Lady has taught her throughout these 29 years.

“I want to greet you by saying, ‘Praised be Jesus and Mary.’ Still, after 29 years, I ask God, ‘Why have you chosen me?’ God gave me a great gift, but at the same time, a great responsibility. I am a simple person, mortal like you. I accepted His gift, and I pray daily that He will strengthen me, so I can follow His Will.

“It is beautiful to be able to see Our Lady with our eyes, but, if we don’t know Her in our hearts, it is empty and meaningless. Our Lady invites us to open our hearts, to pray from our hearts, and then we will not be empty. With prayer, our lives will have new meaning.

“I am a living witness to the fact that God is among us and loves us. God is not far from us, we are the ones who have gone far away from Him. Our Lady shows us a way to stay close to God by praying all four Mysteries of the Rosary, and fasting on bread and water every Wednesday and Friday. Our Lady says, ‘With prayer and fasting, even wars can be stopped.’ Family prayer is especially important to Our Lady.

“Our Lady’s first message to us concerned peace. She invites us to prayer, conversion, and fasting. Today, these are still the main messages Our Lady is asking us to respond to. I believe that all those who live these messages will have answers to any and all their questions.

“Our Lady dictated Her biography to me. She showed me the future of the Church as well as the whole world. She had me write all of this down, and, She will tell me to whom and when to release this very important information.

“On May 7, 1985, Our Lady appeared to me for the last daily apparition I was to receive. It was the longest daily apparition I had experienced, and She revealed to me the Tenth Secret. I am standing here before you today as a living witness that life after death does exist. Have you ever wondered about life after death? God and Our Lady gave me a wonderful gift. Our Lady brought my mother with Her from Heaven. My mother hugged me and spoke to me. I saw her as I’m seeing you at this moment. Again, what a gift for me, but, I believe it was also a great gift for the world. Now I can speak with authority that eternal life is real!

“Our Lady invites us by saying, ‘Dear children, go on the way of conversion through prayer.’ We have the freedom to choose Our Lady’s Way or the way of the world. Our Lady has asked me to especially pray for families. Our Lady said, ‘satan is strong and desires to destroy the family.’ If families are broken, then the world is broken. Everything that is good comes from our families; good priests and religious, good doctors, and good marriages. Our Lady asks us to be respectful of the Sacrament of Marriage. We must renew family prayer and attend Mass together as a family. She invites us to monthly confession. The Holy Bible must be in the center of our families.

“I pray daily for all the families of the world. I am asking you to begin praying for your family. Thank you for coming today, I know you came not for me, but, to hear Our Lady’s message of love. God bless you.”

Click on the link below to
Send us your feedback on this article

All Fields are Required

Enter Your Feedback Below:
500 remaining characters.

Copyright SJP Lic. Caritas of Birmingham. Used with permission. All information contained on this site including all text, images, sound tracks, logos, including all matter which may not be viewable to the user, and all matter which, may not be, or is downloadable and/or printable, are protected under international copyright and cannot be used without permission from Caritas of Birmingham, other than non-commercial personal use and/or for positive personal promotional purposes of said material.

Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous

Mary TV Daily Reflection 8/30/10

August 30, 2010

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! With great joy, also today, I desire to call you anew: pray, pray, pray. May this time be a time of personal prayer for you. During the day, find a place where you will pray joyfully in a recollected way. I love you and bless you all. Thank you for having responded to my call."  (August 25, 2010)

Time for another miracle story from Denis!  It really has nothing to do with this beautiful message, but maybe we all need our faith built up again!  Enjoy!

"One day I became infuriated when I happened to overhear one of the children call his sister a name while they were playing out in the yard.  All our family prayer aside, I knew that if the relationships between members of a family weren't right, the Holy Spirit would no longer dwell in our home.

"I remembered that in school I had my marriage class read an article by a family counselor who advocated a family meeting every week in which members of the family could air their grievances freely.  So I immediately called a family council for that evening at 8:00 P.M.  When we gathered around the table I was about to explode, because I was still very angry, when the thought came into my mind, 'Perhaps someone else here has a grievance, and before I blow up about what's bothering me, I should give the kids a chance to talk first.'  And so I asked, 'Have any of you got a problem with your life in this family?  Any criticisms about the way your mother and I are running things?  You can say anything you want, just do it respectfully.'  I pointed to the first child.  'Do you have any problems?'  As I went down the row pointing to each child, asking my question, ten year old Elizabeth, who was sitting on the other side of the table started waving her hand.  'Daddy, I have a complaint.  You never take us anywhere. Other families go on vacations.  Fathers in other families take their kids camping.  We always just go to our grandparent's home for the summer, but you don't do other things with us. You're always working on projects around the house.  I think that's selfish.  You ought to take us camping!'  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  She was telling the truth!

"The day before, as I was splitting wood for the winter, the thought had gone through my mind, 'Don' take for granted, as a teacher, having the summers off.
  Your children have never seen the ranch in California where you grew up.  Before they get much older you ought to think of taking them on a trip to California while you still have the summers free.'  We still had five weeks of summer left before school was to start again.  'Elizabeth, you're right!  Let's go to California!'

"Cathy interrupted the kid's enthusiasm, 'Wait a minute. (We had just had our sixth child.) There's no way I'm taking a trip to California unless we have a bigger car!'
  She was right. Even going to Mass on Sunday was difficult because of the size of our car. 

"So I said, 'Mom's right.
  Let's pray and ask Jesus to give us a bigger car so we can go to California!  When we pray as a family we'll ask him, and each one of you, in your own relationship with Him, ask that he give us a bigger car!'  Everyone agreed.  I can still remember their little heads bobbing up and down.

"Neither Cathy nor I mentioned this petition to anyone.  We just left it with Jesus.  Two days later the phone rang.  It was a friend who worked at a local hospital.  'Denis, as you know I'm planning on taking my family back to California.  (For this purpose he was trading in his old suburban for a new one.  He also had six kids.)  But the dealer where we're getting our new car isn't really giving us what's its worth as a trade in. I'd rather you have it.  Would you take it off my hands for a dollar?'  It turned out that he and his wife had been praying about it for some time and had been constantly getting a passage from Scripture that they thought confirmed that they should give us the car!

"In two days we were on our way to California.  In exactly one month we were back, the day before school started.  Everything I had wanted to do on that trip happened! Thank you, Jesus, for providing that wonderful car for us, and for our safe trip!" (Denis)

Our Lady calls us to "Pray, pray, pray!"  God wants to do miracles in our lives!

In Jesus and Mary!
Cathy Nolan


Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous

Saturday, August 28, 2010

From Mark Mallett: The Heart of God:

The Heart of God

Artist Unknown


WHAT you are about to read has the potential to not only set women, but in particular men, free from undue burden, and radically change the course of your life. That’s the power of God’s Word…

Ask your average man what his first priority is, and he will almost always tell you it’s to "bring home the bacon," "pay the bills," and "make ends meet." But that’s not what Jesus says…




Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous

Our Lady Gave a Message:

Medjugorje Headlines

August 27, 2010 - Apparition Tonight to Ivan


The apparition tonight to Ivan took place on Apparition Mountain. Many pilgrims began to make their climb several hours before. About an hour before the apparition, Ivan announced, “We are beginning the Rosary in preparation for Our Lady. We will pray the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries. Tonight, we will pray for families and for young people.” The Rosary was prayed with singing between the decades. After the Rosary, Ivan began the Seven Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, and Glory Be’s. Our Lady appeared shortly before 10:00 P.M. and the apparition lasted about 10 minutes. Following is Ivan’s description of the apparition:

Description of Ivan’s Apparition on Apparition Mountain August 27, 2010

It is truly difficult to describe… every meeting with Our Lady is an experience; especially it is difficult to describe the love of the Mother, how much She loves us all.

Tonight, Our Lady came to us here very joyful and happy, and at the beginning, as always at every meeting, She greeted us all with Her Motherly greeting: “Praised be Jesus my dear children.” Then Our Lady prayed over all of us here with Her arms extended for a longer time. She prayed especially here over the sick present and She prayed specially also over the priests present. She then blessed us all with Her Motherly blessing and blessed all the religious articles brought to be blessed. Our Lady then said:

“Dear children, also today, anew I call you in this time of grace, to pray in your families. Pray with your children. Dear children, rest, rest in My Son. Decide for My Son. Set out with Him and then you will receive peace and joy – love will enter your hearts. Dear children, the Mother prays for you. The Mother intercedes before Her Son for all of you. Also today, I desire to say to you that I love you. Follow me. Thank you, dear children.”

Ivan recommended all of us, our needs, our intentions, our families and especially the sick. Then Our Lady continued to pray over us and left in an illuminated sign of the cross with a greeting, “Go in peace my dear children.”

Pilgrim writing petition
Our Lady in Medjugorje has often said, "Give me all your problems and difficulties." The above scene is a common one on the Mountain. Pilgrims writing their petitions, words of thanksgiving and letters of love to Our Lady, with the certainty that Our Lady hears and answers their prayers and sees to their needs. The visionary Jakov once said, that Our Lady knows even what is going on in his little toe. If this is the case, what of all the situations of our lives? The loved ones in need of conversion, the sick in need of healing, the families in need of peace? The Mother prays for us, the Mother intercedes for us before Her Son.

Pilgrims climbing
The visionaries of Medjugorje have said that when one of the Ten Secrets, the Great Sign appears on Apparition Mountain in Medjugorje, that people will flock from everywhere to see it; everyone, from the highest in society to the lowest. Though that event has yet to take place, tonight, for these pilgrims, the Great Sign was not the one forecasted in the secrets, but instead was another Great Sign: the Woman clothed with Sun, with the Crown of twelve stars. Though only Ivan sees Our Lady tonight on the Mountain, Her presence causes these pilgims to flock to be with Her. They come from all walks of life, some are of the highest in society, some are from the the lowest in society, and everything in between; all tonight, with no societal classes except that they are children of Our Lady.

August 27, 2010 sunset
As a beautiful sunset takes place over the village of Medjugorje, these pilgrims have arrived early to be close to Our Lady. Certainly, when Our Lady appears, She sees everyone on the Mountain, but who would not want to be near to the Mother, to be as physically close to Her as possible? Is this a grace that many today do not understand, and will be yearning for when Our Lady no longer appears? The grace of being in Medjugorje, and physically near to Our Lady, will leave all future ages in wonderment of what has passed in our midst.

Pilgrim praying by statue

The statue of Our Lady commands a view over the pilgrims gathered tonight. The Queen stands ready to deliver Her words to Her subjects, Her desires to be fulfilled:
"...pray in your families..."
"...Pray with your children..."
" in My Son..."
"...Decide for My Son..."
"...set out with Him..."

and Her encouragement to assist us:
"...then you will receive peace and joy..."
" will enter your hearts..."
"...the Mother prays for you..."
"...The Mother intercedes before Her Son for all of you..."
"...I desire to say to you that I love you..."

The Queen, the Mother says,  "Follow me."

Our Lady and Moon
As the sky darkens, Our Lady’s light increases. Right at the time when Ivan began the seven Our Father's, Hail Mary's and Glory Be's in preparation for the apparition, the moon rose slowly and majestically. There was a sense of awe and wonder, as one by one those gathered on the Mountain looked up and saw the moon crest the tree line overhead. It was a small gift from Our Lady, a token of Her presence amidst those gathered on the Mountain for prayer group. The moon generates no light of its own but only reflects the light of the sun. Man’s consolation and God’s proof that even in the darkness of the night, the sun still shines. In the darkness of today's world, the Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace, shines for us so that we may understand that Her Son still shines.

Copyright SJP Lic. Caritas of Birmingham. Used with permission. All information contained on this site including all text, images, sound tracks, logos, including all matter which may not be viewable to the user, and all matter which, may not be, or is downloadable and/or printable, are protected under international copyright and cannot be used without permission from Caritas of Birmingham, other than non-commercial personal use and/or for positive personal promotional purposes of said material.

Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous

The Sacrament of Penance by Fr. Nilo A. Lardizabal, OP

Sacrament of PenanceMaking the Sacrament of Penance available to people is one of the many highlights whenever I give retreats. Many make sure that they confess their sins.

In one such retreat to students, a young woman came to me. I led her to the usual sign of the cross to start the sacrament. Surprisingly, she did not make the sign of the cross. Then she mentioned that she was a “born-again” Christian.

Curious as to why she wished to avail of the Catholic sacrament of Penance, she just mentioned two things. First of all, in all her troubles and worries, she found no one to talk to. Even her best friends, though willing to lend an ear, had big problems of their own. Secondly, she mentioned too that as a born-again, she confesses directly to God, but she neither hears nor feels anything when she does it. Giving her sound advice, I prayed over her and blessed her.

Many Catholics have apparently set aside the benefit of the sacrament of Penance. But now we see a resurgence of people who desire it. There are many who are so hungry to hear the Word of God and see how the Lord can change their lives. Or in some instances, others would just want someone to listen to them. It seems even members of their own families are too busy for quality time. It is for this reason that Jesus himself established this sacrament so that our transgressions can be forgiven.

A Note on Sin

All human beings are sinful according to the Letter of Paul to the Romans 5:12. It is true that Jesus, through his death, paid the debt for our iniquities. The Bible is clear on this. 1 John 1:7 states that “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”

Then there’s the reality of Original Sin. The Bible holds that all men and women have been conceived in sin. (Cf. Job 15:14) But all is not lost, for the love of God is still greater than all our shortcomings. It is simply a matter of humble acceptance of one’s imperfection, and the Lord will grant forgiveness. But as stated, we have to do something. The Bible teaches us that it isn’t enough to “go directly to God” when in fact Jesus himself taught that one must confess his or her sins.

Jesus: The Merciful Listener

Our Lord himself showed us through Scriptures the reality of the forgiveness of sins. In fact, this was one of the many reasons why there was a growing tension and anger with Jesus by the authorities. But as "God becoming man," they failed to understand this basic teaching.

He himself enunciated: “But that you may know that the Son of man has authority to forgive sins on earth” – he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” (Mark 2:10-12)

He was despised for this as a blasphemer, but Jesus never took back his words. In other instances, he was more daring: “So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven: hence, she has shown great love.” (Luke 7:47). Then in Mark 2:5: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Child, your sins are forgiven.’”

These actions became the nucleus of the sacrament of Penance. More than just forgiveness, the sacrament of Penance involves a very personal approach where a listening ear will be waiting, or a word of comfort will be given. These are very important for people who have no one to turn to.

Later on in the story of Jesus, as he approached his final ascent into heaven, he commissioned his apostles to carry on the work of forgiveness of sins. To the apostle Peter first in Matthew 16:19: “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

One cannot just set aside this very great grace endowed by Jesus to Peter. Commentators say that this apostle, and later all the apostles, were being called to a special ministry (cf. Matthew 18:18) – a ministry of healing. The sacrament of Penance has been such ever since.

The apostle John, another witness to Jesus’ life, word and works was clearer in his words. He recorded in John 20:23 these words to the apostles: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” In other words, this power and grace endowed by Jesus to the apostles is a very lucid ministry for other people where the mercy and love of the Father will be manifested.

Why Confession of Sins?

The effectiveness of the sacrament of Penance becomes more meaningful when we understand that in order to be forgiven, the penitent must first confess his or her sins. Why so? Because it is through personal “confession” (actual telling of sins) that the apostles then – the priests now – can judge whether to forgive or retain sins.

How can one retain or forgive if there is no individual telling of sins? And the Bible favors this: in James 5:6, we “confess (our) sins to one another and pray for another, that (we) may be healed.” Again, confession is a necessary ingredient for the sacrament, and the result of course is a grace-filled life – that of healing.

The same promise is recorded in 1 John 1:9: “If we acknowledge (confess) our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.” Note here that it is still Jesus who forgives sins, through the minister, the priest, just as the apostles were vessels or instruments of forgiveness.

Other Writings

Down through the centuries, these little verses from the Bible became the bulk of the formulation of the sacrament of Penance. The elements involved in it are still present – the penitent, minister, confession of sins, and forgiveness.

The early Church made sure that these are preserved and handed on unadulterated. The Didache (70-110) on chapter 4:13 states: “You shall confess your offenses in church, and shall not come forward to your prayer with a bold conscience. This is the way of life.”

Later on St. Ambrose (340-397) wrote clearer in the document ‘On the Holy Spirit’ Bk. 3, Chap 18:

See that sins are forgiven through the Holy Spirit. But men make use of their ministry for the forgiveness of sins, they do not exercise the right of any power of their own. For they forgive sins not in their own name, but in that of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

And this holds true up to today.

And just to add weight to these early writings, many church Councils affirmed the beauty of the sacrament of Penance. The Council of Constance (1414-1418) affirmed that the Christian has the obligation to confess his or her sins to a priest. And the Council of Florence (1438-1445) issued the sacrament of Penance as the fourth sacrament. And so on.

The Example of the Saints

It is for these reasons that many of the saints went to frequent confession so that they can trod the path towards holiness of life.

St. Dominic 

El Greco, St Dominic in Prayer

Image via Wikipedia

de Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers, made sure that he confessed his sins every week so that he can remain pure and chaste. The same holds true for the deacon St. Francis of Assisi. He had many penances to purge the body, yet he relied more on the spiritual healing of the sacrament of penance.

The patron of parish priests St. John Mary Vianney spent hours in the confessional. He truly was a “caretaker of souls”, and many were reconciled to God because of his ministry.

St. Padre Pio made sure that penitents were reconciled. He “retained” the sins of those he felt were not ready for confession. Still, many came to him, including a young priest named Karol Wojtyla, who in the confessional heard from Padre Pio that this penitent will “assume the highest position in the Church”.

Many of the women saints were even more remarkable in their desire for this sacrament. Many foundresses of great congregations were inspired and strengthened in the confessional. It was through the confessional where Mother Teresa of Calcutta affirmed her desire to establish the Missionaries of Charity. And if we go back down through the centuries, there are more countless women and men saints who were reconciled and strengthened by the sacrament of Penance.

Do We Want to Experience the Same?

The invitation for us Catholics in this day and age holds the same. Do we want someone who will listen to us? Do we wish to hear the forgiving words of healing? Do we wish to be forgiven of all our sins and burdens? Then we must confess our sins. This is the way of Jesus Christ because it is he who established this sacrament. It is also Jesus who forgives our iniquities.

It is through the sacrament of Penance where the penitent will be forgiven. How many have come out of the confessional teary-eyed with joy and comfort now that they have been heard, unburdened and forgiven?

Many are afraid though, and uncertain. Our “born-again” friends chortle that the priest is just a human being as the penitent, and therefore also sinful; so why approach a sinful person too?

First of all it is not the priest who forgives, it is Jesus. The priest, just like the apostles in the Bible, was commissioned with this ministry of healing. Secondly, the priest being sinful is the key ingredient why the penitent will be understood. How so? Because the priest as a human being, is also familiar with sin and has most probably experienced those sins too. He has experienced being tempted by money, power and lust. He has fallen in love, or felt depressed. He probably in his life said some lies, cheated, stole, etc.

But the priest is continually renewing himself through his ministry and especially through the sacrament of Penance. He is living proof that despite his sinfulness, and ours, God still loves us and desires to renew us always.


This is the final challenge for all of us. Penance renews and re-invigorates us. It helps us go through the day refreshed and joyful in the Lord. But we as Catholics have to do our part. The Lord says in the second letter of Peter 2: 9 that he gives each of us an “opportunity to come back to Him and be reconciled.”

The opportunities are always there. When was the last time I took that chance? It may be too late soon. We should always trust in the love and mercy of God. It is the way towards eternal life. And we have to begin it now. 

Posted via email from deaconjohn's posterous