Thursday, September 30, 2010

Medjugorje -- Open your eyes

There is always the issue of spiritual blindness and you know how it is: no matter how many times you try to make others see the spiritual possibility of something, or a sign, or a manifestation (or heed your warning), they are closed. They can't see it. Often, they won't see it. They refuse. They will be surprised some day.
The Bible speaks about this when it mentions "scales" falling off Paul's eyes after his conversion:
"And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized" (Acts 9:18). He had been in darkness for three days, as perhaps some day an event will come that will cause many on earth finally to see after darkness.
Another translation is "veil" instead of scales: spiritual blindness is like a curtain in front of our vision. In the figurative sense, the word "scales" can also mean a coat of mail (1 Samuel 17:5,38). We speak of "scales falling from one's eyes" when we mean a sudden illumination or remembrance or a dissipation of harassing doubt.
For it is the devil who blinds us.
It is the pretentious who heed this not.
How many do you know who can't see into the spiritual backstage no matter how much you try to explain? How many do you know who don't really believe that the devil exists, or that Mary appeared at a place like Lourdes (or Fatima)?
No matter what transpires, they insist on a physical explanation. They have closed their eyes. They are blocked. Prayer need here! 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This 'cartoon' above was found by blogger (me) a few months after I found this article (below) out of some newsletter.
I happen to think it is a confirmation of truth.

     The following is written with a great deal of prayer, first-hand experience in Medjugorje, and being well involved with Medjugorje for the past seven years. It has taken quite some time to put the following into words and what is written cannot be understood without prayer to the Holy Spirit, nor can it be understood in onfy one reading. It will speak to you in various unique ways, different from one individual to the next, according to what the Holy Spirit inspires in you. We, therefore, ask you to pray deeply to the Hofy Spirit before reading and to study rather than just read.

     Israel was a chosen nation; Jerusalem, a chosen city; the Jews, a chosen people. Their history shows God's love for them unlike any other, pouring forth enormous blessings and graces. They were chastened when purification was warranted. Through these chosen people, a plan of salvation came to be when Jesus, born a Jew, came into the world.

     History will show Medjugorje to be so important that few historical events of such significant magnitude will match it. Noah and the flood, the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt, and the single most important event in history, the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior, are rarely matched as world-changing events. Medjugorje is like living the Bible. It is like walking with Christ 2,000 years ago. Its importance cannot be over estimated. We are in the midst of the Reign of God and few in the world realize it. Did not Jacob see in a dream, only once, angels descending from heaven, and then build an altar in a field to mark the sanctified spot. He called the place, Bethel, an abode of God.

     What then should we think of a place where the Queen of prophets and angels has visited daily, thousands of times over the past ten years, not in a dream or in spirit, but in glorified flesh and accompanied by thousands of angels? Regarding this place, Medjugorje, Our Lady herself has said: "This parish is chosen, you are chosen people through which I have a plan for the salvation of the whole world!" Why? Too much darkness has entered the world. Too many Christians and others can no longer see. Too much dust has clouded our view. Too much dust has been piled on the simple truth through the ages by passing rule after rule, law after law, when God gave us only ten to live by. But even these Ten Commandments mean nothing to so many, even Christians, today. What Christ did for us is minimized today because of our desires to be free from suffering, fasting, and hardships. Too many seek for the ease and pleasures of the world. How can we be witnesses to Jesus who suffered, when we do everything to escape it. Why do we need a plan for salvation of the world when Jesus is our salvation? Darkness has covered the earth. It is hard to see what Jesus really did. Our Lady has come to bring us to the Light. She has come to blow away the dust which has piled up through the ages, since She is the wind.*

Through prayer, Our Lady wants us to become a holy people rather than an unholy people. She wants us to start a new life. We must radically change the way we live. Yes, we who are Christians, must renew our hearts in a new Spirit of God. We must witness with our lives and, in this way, convert our fellow Christians and non-believers.

Our Lady said: "The wind is my sign. I will come in the wind. When the wind blows, know that I am with you. You have learned that the cross represents Christ; it is a sign of Him. It is the same for the crucifix you have in your home. For me, it is not the same. When it is cold, you come to church; you want to offer everything to God. I am, then, with you. I am with you in the wind. Do not be afraid." February 15, 1984

A Witness to God's Infinite Mercy by Jeff Gares through Our Lady of Medjugorje

A Witness to God's Infinite Mercy by Jeff Gares

Dear Friends:  Jeff Gares has graciously allowed me to share his story with you.  I know that you will find his story to be very inspirational.  Always be assured of my daily prayers.   Fr. James 

In Matthew 7: 13-14: Our Lord tells us “Go in through the narrow gate.  The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow.  A lot of people go through that gate.  But the gate to life is narrow.  The road that leads there is difficult, and only a few people find it.”

I think that we can honestly say in our own time that there has never been more opportunity for people to choose the road to perdition.  Whether it be through drugs, sex, pornography, or vain pursuit of material goods, the opportunity to turn towards sin is rampant in today’s society.  It seems that the darkness is everywhere.  However, we must remember that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. I would like to share with you how the Lord (through His mother’s intercession) pulled this wretched sinner from the depths of sin, and brought me into His own marvelous light.

My childhood got off to a rocky start as my father died when I was 17 months old.  I have no memory of him, but from all accounts he was a great man (although not Catholic).  A couple of years later my mother remarried.  The man she married was physically, emotionally, and psychologically abusive to her and to a lesser degree my brother and myself.  Needless to say this type of environment was not conducive for growth in virtue and/or love.  My mother was very badly wounded and I know now that my step-father was too. So basically I grew up not knowing that I was loved and thinking that I was unlovable. 

My teenage years followed, and in order to dull the interior pain that I felt, I began to experiment with all kinds of different remedies to try and alleviate that pain.  I was pretty popular and a decent athlete so I always had girlfriends and that meant fornication for me.  I also began to drink a lot of beer in my junior and senior years, which led to all kinds of drunken revelry.  I also began to experiment with Ouija Boards, and I began to see “shadow” type figures on occasion.  This fad did not last long, but I believe it opened the door for demons to cling ferociously to me.  The kind of demons our Lord said can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.  College was more of the same; sex, drugs, sports, and rock and roll.  I was killing my conscience.  During this time, six friends of mine (including my best friend and another good friend) were killed in two separate car accidents in the matter of one month.  Now this did give me pause to think about the four last things, death, judgment, heaven, and hell.  However, after a few weeks or months I was back to my same lifestyle.  My conscience was pretty much stone cold dead, and I could do basically anything without feeling guilty for my actions.

After graduation, I moved to Kansas City, MO and by this time the darkness around me was almost palpable.  For the first time in a long time I began to think that something had gone awry with me.  In 1999, at the age of 23 I had a cancer scare (luckily it turned out not to be cancer), but once again the scare gave me pause to think about my own mortality, and once again after the fear subsided I returned to my ways which were now growing more perverse.  I was living with my girlfriend, I was addicted to pornography and I would get so rip roaring drunk that I would go through blackout spells close to once per week. 

Enter September 11, 2001.  The events of September 11 shook me to the core.  I don’t know why I was so affected, but the terrible events on that day made me think long and hard about good and evil, and I became more introspected than I had ever been before.  Shortly after the events of September 11, I began to search for more meaning in my life, and by God’s providence I stumbled upon a book about a Marian Apparition site in a remote village in Bosnia.  I remember reading, no, devouring that book.  The messages of praying the rosary, penance, Mass, and confession began to light a fire within my soul, and I knew from the depths of my being that what Our Lady was saying was true.  Our Lady was saying that we have to return to God and do things His way if we want peace in our lives.  Our Lady also answered a very profound question I had throughout my life.  I wondered why, that in all my misery would God not help me, even though I would cry out to Him often in my wretched state.  One of our Lady’s messages answered that question in this way: Dear Children:  Today I am calling you to complete conversion, which is difficult for those who have not chosen God.  God can give you everything that you seek from him , but children you only seek Him when sickness, problems, and difficulties come to you, and then you think that God is not listening, and that he is far from you, and that he does not hear your prayers.  No children!  That is not the Truth.  When you are from God, you cannot receive graces because you do not seek them with a firm faith.  Day by day children, I am praying for you, and I want to draw you ever more near to God, but I cannot help you if you are unwilling to give up sin.  Therefore children put your life in God’s hands.

Well there it was.  The answer to why God never helped me no matter how many times I called out to him.  The reason God did not help me in my misery was that I was not ready to give up sin.  I was not ready to do it God’s way. So God had always let me do it my way, but my way was not the right way because He said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  So from that time on I knew I had to change.

The first thing I did was I began to pray the rosary, and through the rosary, Our Lady led me back to confession for the first time in 8-10 years.  Then I began to attend Mass as often as possible.  Our Lady, through the power of the rosary saved this wretched soul from my hell I had created for myself on earth, and possibly from the one that I was headed to after death.  Our Lord brought me back to life through His sacraments in the Church. He healed me and sent me on my mission which is continually unfolding before me.

Currently, I am married to a very beautiful and brilliant woman.  We have three beautiful girls ages 7, 4, and 6 months.  We pray the rosary together every night, and try our best to teach our children the truths of the Catholic Faith.  I have also co-founded a website with John Quinn called Courageous Priest.  Courageous Priest is dedicated to those brave priests who are not afraid to stand up to the rampant evil that is overtaking our nation and our world.   It is dedicated to those courageous priests who tackle controversial topics like contraception, abortion, and homosexual marriage. So if you would like to follow courageous priests like Father Corapi, Archbishop Burke, Archbishop Chaput, and yes, Father James Farfaglia, then stop by Courageous Priest and check us out.  

God Bless,
Jeff Gares

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rules for the Discernment of Spirits

Great Awakening
Rules for the Discernment of Spirits from Medjugorje newsletter, September 1993
So many claims from people throughout the world of having apparitions and/or locutions, gives reasons to stop and take stock before accepting at face value such a claim. We print the following rules taken from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. These rules may be applied also in our discernment of spirits relating to some of the disturbing prophecies and messages allegedly coming from supernatural sources. Devout souls are urged to begin all discernments with the Scriptural advice offered by St. John: "My dear friends, not every spirit is to be trusted, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets are at large in the world." (1 John 4:1)
Never were these words as true as today. The intent is not to condemn or commend present claims, regardless of their popularity. It is simply a cautionary note to assist us in the following of the ways of Jesus.
Here are the rules of St. Ignatius:
1.    Only God and his angels can give genuine spiritual joy, removing all sadness and fear caused by the enemy. For the enemy's nature is to fight against this kind of joy and spiritual consolation, suggesting innumerable false reasons and errors.
2.    Only our Lord God can bring direct consolation to the soul. It is the prerogative of the Creator alone to go in and out of the soul and to make it come alive and draw in completely to his divine love. God does this solely according to his divine will and not because of anything the soul may have achieved.
3.    When a soul is stimulated the consolation may come either from the good angel or from the evil angel.  They have opposing intentions. The good angel seeks to be helpful to the soul, enabling it to increase and ascend from good to better. But the evil angel seeks to draw the soul into his own wicked and malicious trap.
4.    The evil angel can transform himself into an angel of light and enter into the devout soul and then
leave the soul. He can suggest good and holy thoughts in line with the will of the devout soul. Later, little by little he contrives to achieve his own wishes and draws the soul to his secret deceits and perverse intentions.
5.    We should watch carefully the direction of such thoughts. If they are good from start to finish it is a sign of the work of a good angel. If some of the thoughts are good and some are bad, and if they cause the soul to be weakened or upset and lose its peace of mind then it is a clear sign that they come from the evil spirit, who is the enemy of our spiritual progress and eternal salvation.
6.    When the enemy of our human nature has been perceived and recognized by his serpent's tail, and by the bad end to which he leads, it is helpful for him who has been thus tempted to examine the direction of the good thoughts suggested to him, from the moment the enemy made him fall away from his spiritual delight up to the point when he has been completely trapped. Then, from this experience he will be able to be on his guard against these deceitful attacks in the future.
7.    As for those who are making progress from good to better the good angel touches their souls very gently, just like a drop of water going into a sponge. But the evil angel touches the soul very abruptly and causes noise and upset, like a drop of water which falls on to a rock. When the soul has the same disposition as the angel, the angel will enter easily and quietly, but when the spirit has a different disposition from the angel, then the angel enters with a great deal of commotion and upset.
8.    When a person receives a consolation unexpectedly, although we know that this means that it comes directly from our Lord God, he should be very vigilant and take great care to distinguish the actual consolation from the feeling of well-being that remains in his soul after the consolation has been received. Often, this feeling of well-being can be self-induced. It can come from one's own mind or it can be a suggestion from the good or the evil spirit. Its various resolutions may not be directly inspired by our Lord God. Hence these consolations should be very carefully examined before they receive entire credit and are carried into effect.
(*even Satan disguises himself as an angel of of light"
-2 Corinthians 11:14)


My mother, Susanne and myself, Judy

Excerpt from the book HUNGRY SOULS by Gerard J.M. Van Den AArdweg


Immaterial spirits take on material forms to make themselves visible, and these forms express essential features of their spiritual and moral state of being. Demons appear as repulsive creatures; if they disguise themselves as human persons, there is usually some abhorrent quality of shape or manners that puts the seer on his guard. An angel may appear "as a light whiter than snow in the form of a young man, quite transparent and brilliant as crystal," as the Angel of Portugal in the story of Fatima, thus expressing his heavenly origin.

The ghostly forms of souls from Purgatory show, on the one hand, recognizable characteristics of the face and body that they animated during earthly life and with which they will be united on the day of general judgment. On the other hand, the appearance of the ghost sometimes symbolizes its state of suffering and/or its individual moral imperfections: the "rust of sin" not yet cleaned off, the imperfect habits and tendencies that the person carried with him across the threshold into the afterlife.

These apparitions clearly prove that it is the individual person and not some depersonalized, anonymous "soul matter" that survives bodily death. The reports of so many seers over the centuries are doubtless reports of direct contacts with a supernatural reality and with real persons. If there is much symbolic in the way they appear, these symbols seem to be the most appropriate method to bring the living as near to the supernatural reality of Purgatory as they can possibly come.

In some mysterious way, the deceased is present, there and then, in the place and in the moment he appears. At the onset of an apparition, the seer and bystanders often observe physical phenomena such as atmospheric changes, a gust of cold wind, crackling sounds, a strange and sudden silence; the spirit develops its figure and form out of a hazy cloud or mist, or starts as a passing shadow. It is not unusual for animals to perceive something physical, too: dogs may become scared, and cattle or chickens become restless. The perception of a spirit cannot be reduced to a merely mental event, something internal in the seer; it is a manifestation outside of him. He can see the door opening or a strange light that makes the objects in the dark room visible; objects (such as a light-switch on the wall) cannot be perceived anymore during the time the phantom stands before it, but as soon as it is gone, the object is normally visible again.

There are roughly three variants of the visible forms or figures of appearing poor souls: either they come in the figures of the persons they were in life, with their typical clothes; amid flames; or again, as deformed humans with remarkable symbolic features that represent their sins and/or punishments—sometimes even as humanized animals or animalized humans. Ghosts from Purgatory are as a rule recognizable by their eyes and mouth, wrote the 20th-century seer Eugenie von der Leyen. "You never see such eyes in men . . . they demonstrate, or give to understand, misery. The mouth . . . this bitterness is found in no [living] human."

The saintly Bavarian mystic, Sister Maria Anna Lindmayr (1657— 1726), regularly saw the poor souls in a manner that characterized the spiritual or moral state of their souls. Their features symbolized their vices as well as the kind of punishment they suffered:

I have always been given to understand that: how you sin, so you must do penance . . . [Some] appeared to me very hungry, emaciated, in an indescribable form. These implored me to help them by fasting severely on water and bread, to correct what was wanting in them during their lifetime by their eating and drinking well and abundantly. Others again made known by their behavior their quick-temperedness and impatience and they implored me to help them by acts of patience and meekness. Such souls . . . were shown to me, their mouth locked with a nail.

Some souls do not show the fire they are in, at least not initially, but appear as they had been in life. A deceased friend of Maria Anna walked before her on the street when she went to church, early in the morning; this happened so naturally that the seer "did not give it a thought, otherwise I would have been frightened," and only when she was in the church did she realize what she had seen (by then the apparition had vanished). In a subsequent apparition, although no trace of burning or flames had been visible when it had manifested itself as the woman on her way to church, this same soul nonetheless demonstrated that it was burning by touching the foot of the seer "with a glowing finger."

The visible appearance of the soul of a woman who came to Eugenie von der Leyen changed in response to the question of the seer:

"Do you then suffer so much?"

"Look at me!" was the soul's reply. Then she was as if flooded with fire.

It is sometimes thought that the strange or fantastic — and of course, symbolic — forms sometimes adopted by souls from Purgatory, and the severity of the punishments in that abode, are merely products of the romantic imaginations of certain cultural periods, notably the Middle Ages and the Baroque. That theory, however, becomes rather improbable if we look at various trustworthy reports of well-examined apparitions made to psychologically healthy, virtuous, and even saintly persons of those periods, and then compare them to reports from less "imaginative" ages. The Servant of God, Mother Maria Anna Lindmayr, a balanced personality in the age of the Baroque, displayed a quite natural, sober attitude when she wrote that she "could never have imagined that things were that harsh in purgatory; yes, no one would be able to grasp it. I was instructed, though, by this [poor] soul [a deceased friend who repeatedly appeared to her in 1690], and so I could afterwards believe what otherwise I would never have believed." This kind of apparition does not differ much either from those of earlier times or from those of more rationalistic ages closer to our own century.

Moreover, it has always been believed, from the Church Fathers on, and in the Jewish tradition as well, that the sufferings of Purgatory surpass all terrestrial sufferings, so that the sometimes terrible images seen by those with whom the poor souls enter into contact, although "symbolic," can hardly be qualified as exaggerations of the imagination.

It cannot escape us that the seers of souls from Purgatory are often reported to be especially good and pious persons. That sounds logical, for God permits a soul to appear so that it can be released from Purgatory, or at least, that its suffering be mitigated, and the pious (or at least, compassionate) person is more likely to respond to its requests. (Of course, God may choose others for one reason or another.) These considerations may also explain why apparitions from Purgatory and burned-in hands are predominantly (exclusively?) found in Catholic regions, more precisely, when and where Catholicism is flourishing, especially the devotion to the holy souls.

Many canonized saints have been great helpers of the suffering souls. To honor the saints who are known for promoting devotion to these souls, the facade of the church of the Sacred Heart of Suffrage in Rome is adorned with beautiful statues of St. Augustine, St. Dominic, St. Francis Xavier, St. Victor, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Nicolas of Tolentino, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Gregory the Great, and St. Odilon of Cluny. On its stained-glass windows are the images of many famous saintly helpers of the poor souls: St. Francesca Romana, St. Bridget, St. Ambrose, St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Efraim, St. Peter Damian, St. Francis de Sales, again St. Catherine of Genoa, and others. As we shall see in later chapters, several recently canonized saints have also been zealous helpers of the "holy souls," including Padre Pio, Josemarfa Escriva, and Sister Faustina.

The poor souls themselves sometimes express a preference for visiting persons who are generous enough to respond to their supplications with often great sacrifices. "What then can I poor wretch give you for special help?" Mother Maria Anna Lindmayr asked a supplicating soul. "My child!" was the reply, "How is it with people on earth? Don't they like to be with their friends and benefactors? Therefore we, too, like to be with you." To a similar question, Eugenie von der Leyen got similar answers (from various souls): "You have always prayed for me" . . . "You attract us" . . . "The purer you are, the more you can help us" . . . "We are without pain when we are near you."

Thus many saints were regularly visited by poor souls. It is also true that certain other persons appear to have been specifically called to holiness by devoting their life in a heroic way to the alleviation or deliverance of the suffering souls. Their charity helps the poor souls while at the same time purifying and sanctifying themselves. Are there more women than men among these unselfish and spiritually privileged people? It would seem so, if we go by the documented reports about persons who entertained such self-sacrificing, intensive relationships with the poor souls. Should this correlation with the female sex be confirmed, it might be explained by the motherly, caring, and more compassionate nature of the woman.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Medjugorje Testimony of journalist Paolo Gambi

I recently spent three days in Medjugorje. And, as a journalist, I have never felt so useless before. For the first time in my career I realise my words cannot express what I would like to share. Call me unskilled or incompetent if you will, but when I try to describe what I have found inside me since my visit to the town I cannot find the words.

I was very sceptical about the Medjugorje phenomenon before my visit. But driven by a somewhat cynical curiosity I went to Medjugorje with a friend who had been there 15 times before and has co-written a book about the shrine. 

The whole car journey there was an unbroken dialogue between my mind and his heart; I could not understand with my brain what my friend was trying to share through his heart. And this is exactly what I am doing right now: I want to share the experience of my heart through the words of my mind. Is that possible?

Before my visit I found it difficult to believe that Our Lady had been continually speaking for almost 30 years in such a peripheral place. What’s more, I could not accept that Mary would be appearing on earth again to share some secrets about trials humanity will face in the future.

Actually, I confess I still find these things very hard to grasp rationally. Medjugorje is completely illogical, if you look at it in a purely rationalistic way. But as soon as I arrived I  stepped out of the Kingdom of Reason and into the Empire of the Heart. 

I visited Sister Elvira’s community, where people with problems of drug addiction found a way to live again. I encountered a local man, Michele Vasilj, in whose eyes I caught a glimpse of Mary’s sight. I met Sister Cornelia at the orphanage she runs, and there I was given a mysterious sort of prophecy regarding my private life; it was incredible.

I cried without reason while I was praying in the parish church. I have cried only once before like this. That happened when I prayed for the first time in a charismatic community (you may recall that I wrote about that experience in this slot last July). But this time my tears were much heavier and meaningful, a gift from Our Lady. 

I listened to the visionary Mirjana witnessing to her experience and I realised that some of the words she was saying from the balcony of her tiny house in front of about a hundred people were spoken directly to me. When I listened to one of Mary’s messages I realised the words spoke directly to my heart, giving me the solution to a problem I was carrying around like a heavy burden.

Many of you are probably thinking: he is pathetic. That is what I used to think whenever I bumped into one of the many Medjugorje devotees. Reason cannot grasp this phenomenon – at least mine can’t. Reason is inclined to say that Medjugorje relies on coincidence, autosuggestion and emotionalism. But these explanations no longer satisfy me. If you have experienced what I experienced you would understand why.

In fact, the point of my trip to Medjugorje has been precisely this: to discover that there is a mysterious spiritual dimension that is far beyond our understanding, that cannot be limited by our mind. So the only words that can be useful are these: come and see. In Medjugorje a new world could be unveiled inside you. At least, that is what has happened to me.

Paolo Gambi is a contributing editor to the Catholic Herald

September 25, 2010 Medjugorje Message to the World from Marija

Message of Our Lady of Medjugorje  ---  September 25, 2010

“Dear children! Today I am with you and bless you all with my motherly blessing of peace, and I urge you to live your life of faith even more, because you are still weak and are not humble. I urge you, little children, to speak less and to work more on your personal conversion so that your witness may be fruitful. And may your life be unceasing prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


Mary’s Humility, a Warm Cloak for All

Mary never preferred herself to others.
The first act of humility in one's heart is to hold oneself in low esteem. For her part, the Holy Virgin always had such a low opinion of herself that, even while being more full of grace than all men and all the angels, she never preferred herself to others. [...]
Mary saw her own smallness
It isn't that the Blessed Virgin believed herself to be a sinner, for humility is truth and Mary knew she had never offended the Good Lord. It isn't that she refused to admit that God had granted her more graces than all other creatures either, for a humble heart can discern God's special favors, in order to humble itself even more. In the higher light that opened up the infinite greatness and goodness of God, she saw her own smallness more clearly. [...]
Mary praised the Lord
When Saint Elizabeth said to the Blessed Virgin Mary "Most blessed are you among women. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Blessed are you who believed" (Lk 1: 42-45). What does Mary do? Bringing back all these praises to God, she answers by this canticle of humility: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord." It's a if she said: "Elizabeth, you praise me, but I glorify the Lord to whom all glory is due. You wonder at the fact that I came to you, but I admire God's goodness: "my spirit rejoices in God my savior" (Lk 1: 46-47). You praise me for having believed, but I praise my God for he wished to exalt my nothingness, and because he looked upon the lowliness of his servant.
Mary loved to serve others
Furthermore, let's say that proper of humility finds pleasure in serving others. That is why the Virgin hastened to visit her cousin Elizabeth to be of service to her for three months. Elizabeth was surprised that the Blessed Virgin came to visit...
She enjoyed keeping to herself
Moreover, humble persons like to keep to themselves and choose the last place. That is why Mary, wishing one day to speak to Jesus who was preaching inside a house (Mt 12: 46), didn't want to interrupt her Son's discourse nor enter the house where he was speaking, even by natural authority as Saint Bernard points out.
She shared her Son's dishonor
Finally, humility embraces contempt. We do not read that Mary was shown in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, when the people were welcoming her Son with so many honors. However, when Jesus is going to die, she isn't afraid to show up on Calvary in the presence of everybody and be recognized as the mother of the condemned man, who is dying an infamous death; she shared his dishonor. [...]
Hide under my cloak ...
She abhors the proud and calls to herself only humble souls: Let whoever is simple turn in here (Pr 9: 4). Mary herself took pains to let this known by confiding to St Bridget:
"Come here, my daughter, and hide under my cloak: this cloak is my humility."
After comparing her humility to a great cloak that warms souls, she added:
"A cloak can't warm someone unless it is worn; so to gain something by my humility, people must wear it, not only in their thoughts, but also in their actions." [2]

Marija was born on April 1st, 1965, in Bijakovici, in the parish of Medjugorje.
She still has daily apparitions. Through her, Our Lady gives her message to the parish and the world. From March 1st, 1984, to January 8th, 1987, the message was given every Thursday, and since January 1987, on every 25th of the month. Our Lady entrusted nine secrets to her.
Marija is married and she has four children. With her family, she lives in Italy and in Medjugorje.
The prayer intention that Our Lady confided her: for the souls in purgatory.
Since 1981, in a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina named Medjugorje, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing and giving messages to the world. She tells us that God has sent Her to our world and, these years she is spending with us are a time of Grace granted by God. In Her own words She tells us, "I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God".
Our Lady's mission is one of peace and love. She has come to earth to reeducate us and to help us convert and recenter our lives back to God. Our Lady's role has always been one of guiding people to Her Son, Jesus. What an amazing opportunity we have before us! It is important that we understand both the magnitude and the urgency of Our Lady's call to conversion, and that we respond with all our hearts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Curing Sinphobia

Curing Sinphobia
September 21st, 2010 by Mary Anne Moresco

Modern man is afflicted with a deadly disease.  This disease most often strikes not at the body, but at the soul.  This disease knows no boundaries.  It has reached epidemic proportions afflicting the young and old just as oft as those of middle age.  What is this disease of which I speak?  It’s a disease called sinphobia.
What is sinphobia?  Sinphobia is a fear.  It’s not a fear of sinning—for most surely we have no fear of that!  Rather sinphobia is the fear of speaking of sin as sin.  Sinphobics are so prevalent in our culture today, that it would be no stretch at all to call us a sinphobic society.

Who cares about sinphobia anyway?  Why not say instead: well I know what I think sin is, but if those others over there want to go ahead sinning, and saying it’s something good, and they think that’s okay, then I am not offended at all. The problem with this thinking is that sin is not about what offends me.  Sin is what offends God!  If we love God, then shouldn’t we be offended by what offends Him?
Furthermore, when sins are left unchecked by society, they multiply, and quicker than a lion tamer’s whip can crack, our sins and our brother’s sins are affecting all of us.  Sin never occurs in a vacuum.  Its effect is a rippling one.  Like a pebble tossed onto a smooth pond, sin’s impact moves outward from the individual to society at large, affecting us all.

Sinphobic societies are dangerous places to live.  If one can no longer refer to sin as sin, then we shall soon stop speaking of sin at all.  If we can no longer speak about sin, then we cannot anymore preach or teach about sin either.  And with no one to preach or teach about sin, how then can we ever learn the truth about sin?  It would seem that no place on earth exists anymore where the truth about sin might be spoken.  When the truths cannot be spoken, we soon find ourselves swimming in a cesspool of lies.  The lies can be spiritually deadly, and guide us away from truth and towards a mentality of political correctness.
Sinphobia impacts how we vote.  And this is where the devilish monster of sinphobia rears its most grotesque head. Cultures who cannot speak of sin, who believe there is no sin, typically elect leaders who believe there is no sin.  And Heaven help politicians who call a sin a sin in a sinphobic society—as a complete head-to-toe tar and feathering most likely awaits them!
Elected leaders who believe there is no sin can enact unjust laws—like abortion and euthanasia—with reckless disregard of sin, and of God’s moral laws.  The pattern becomes somewhat of a downward spiral for us all, a spiral in which our own sinphobic tendencies take us even further away from God through those we elect, and the unjust laws they proceed to enact.   Sin creates a proclivity to sin… (CCC1865)
Just as sinphobia impacts the political landscape, so too the disease impacts teachers, and what can and cannot be taught in school.  Sinphobia is what gives license to teachers to furnish impure sex “education” to students, but blocks teachers from teaching truths about sin.  If we could but cure ourselves of our sinphobia, we would be free in the classroom and elsewhere to declare the truth, as 11-year-old St. Maria Goretti so vehemently did to Alessandro Sereneli “It is a sin.  God does not want it!”  So how can sinphobia be cured?  Here are three steps we can take.

First, there is a lovely Lady in Heaven who had no problem talking about sin, even to young children.  In 1917, our Blessed Mother showed the children of Fatima a vision of hell, with souls falling into it for their sins, most especially their sins of the flesh. A big to-do was made of it all where our Lady promised a miracle on October 13th, 1917.   On this day the “Miracle of the Sun”  was witnessed by a crowd of 70,000 including non-believers.  It was documented by a secular press.  Heaven tried hard to get our attention at Fatima.  Are we listening?

We can listen to the Fatima message and do what Our Lady asked of us there (pray the Rosary, establish a devotion to her Immaculate Heart, ask pardon for our signs and stop offending God).  Or we can go on lamenting the evils of this world, and ignoring our Lady and the few simple things she asked—the few things she said would bring peace to the world!  She promised that in the end her “Immaculate Heart will triumph.”  If we do what our Lady asked of us, she will bring peace to the world, first by bringing peace to our souls.  She will help us see the truth about sin, and speak this truth as well.

Secondly, we can listen not only to our Heavenly Mother but to our Holy Mother Church, and her teachings.  Here we’ll learn that if we want to make it to our final home in heaven and be more like God, then sin is simply not the way to go.  The Catechism tells us how sin robs us of our resemblance to God (CCC 705), how some sins are mortal (CCC 1855) and some sins “cry out to heaven” (CCC 1867).  There are capital sins which we really want to avoid as they engender other sins.  The capital sins are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony and sloth. (CCC1866)   Scripture teaches:
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal.5:19-21)…  Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)

Finally, we can ask God through prayer to show us our sins.  We can trust He will be more than happy to answer that prayer.  We may not like the answer.  But if we honestly pray, then we can trust He will honestly answer.  Just as we can trust that He, who loves us infinitely more than anyone, would like infinitely more than anyone, to see us at last in full recovery from our sinphobia—and living in Truth.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

THE MYSTERY OF EVIL by Fr. Farfaglia

The Mystery of Evil | Posted by Fr. James Farfaglia


"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, `Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?' He said to them, `An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, `No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn’” (Matthew 13: 24 – 30).

Pope Paul VI and the future Pope John Paul II

Pope Paul VI often commented that this gospel passage had proven the most difficult for him to understand. Why does God allow the weeds and the wheat to grow together? Why does God allow evil to co-exist with good?

The Second Vatican Council ushered in an era of excitement and hope for the Catholic Church. Two world wars, the Korean conflict, the global tensions of the Cold War, and the Cuban missile crisis which had brought North America to the brink of destruction, were countered with a time of euphoria.

Shortly after the close of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI was overwhelmed by the universal rejection of many of the Council's teachings. The true teachings of the Council were hijacked, and the post-conciliar crisis ravaged the Church causing massive apostasy.

Throughout the remainder of his pontificate, the Holy Father lived a daily martyrdom. His secretary kept the morning newspapers away from the Pope until later in the day. At one point during the crisis, Paul VI delivered his famous Wednesday General Audience on the smoke of Satan entering through the cracks of the Church. His teaching was met with abundant ridicule, mostly from the clergy.

Pope Paul VI speaking to another General Audience said in 1972: "So we know that this dark disturbing being exists and that he is still at work with his treacherous cunning; he is the hidden enemy who sows errors and misfortunes in human history. It is worth recalling the revealing Gospel parable of the good seed and the cockle, for it synthesizes and explains the lack of logic that seems to preside over our contradictory experiences: 'An enemy has done this.' He is 'a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies,' as Christ defines him. He undermines man's moral equilibrium with his sophistry. He is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido, through utopian logic, or through disordered social contacts in the give and take of our activities. He can bring about in us deviations that are all the more harmful because they seem to conform to our physical or mental makeup, or to our profound, instinctive aspirations."

However, prior to these teachings on the evil one, let us recall an important moment in the Pontificate of Pope Paul VI. On July 25, 1968, the Pope published the encyclical letter Humanae Vitae.

My dear friends, back in 1968 Pope Paul VI warned the world what would happen if artificial birth control were to be made available:

“Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection” (Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, 17).

“An enemy has done this”. Satan has destroyed the modern world through sexual sin. The world is sexually out of control. The modern world has become obsessed with sexual sin and through sexual sin modern man is telling God: Non serviam; I will not serve. Do not tell me what to do about anything. I will do what I want to do.

Because of this total rejection of God, man has become dehumanized. Man kills his own children through abortion and has become obsessed with sexual perversion, especially homosexuality.

Moreover, the smoke of Satan that Pope Paul VI warned us about has made its way especially through the ranks of the Catholic priesthood. Thankfully we see signs of renewal. Newly appointed bishops are cleaning house and the refreshing waves of younger priests are noticeably reverent, obedient, orthodox and pro-life. However, we have a long way to go.

False prophets and charlatans, even seemingly orthodox ones, continue to scandalize the faithful by their immature and incoherent lives.  Pray for us priests, because we are the prime targets of Satan. 

We are engaged in a gigantic battle against evil. What are the weapons that we must use?

First of all, we must be completely convinced of the ultimate victory of our Savior, Jesus Christ. "Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father." The judgments of time will be corrected by the judgments of eternity.

Secondly, we must persevere. Do not allow discouragement to overcome you.

Thirdly, we must stay connected with Jesus. Left to our own resources, our fallen human nature cannot resist evil. Daily, structured organized moments of prayer are essential if we are to survive. As our physical immune system needs to be well nourished in order to resist disease, so too does our spiritual immune system need daily sustenance. "The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings" (Romans 8:26). Daily Mass, daily meditation on the Scriptures, daily recitation of the Rosary, frequent Confession and the solitude of Eucharistic Adoration are the preferred moments that provide health and strength to anyone who desires to continue the good fight.

Fourthly, your family life needs to be strong. Get back to basics: order, discipline, have dinner together, limit all the crazy activities, build up a healthy emotional life by building up a healthy social life. If there is peace and happiness in your family life, it will be very difficult for Satan to attack your home.
Fifthly, be very, very careful about the use of the TV and the Internet. Pornography is a very serious and common addiction.

Let us recall the words that I quoted from Pope Paul VI: “He is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido, through utopian logic, or through disordered social contacts in the give and take of our activities. He can bring about in us deviations that are all the more harmful because they seem to conform to our physical or mental makeup, or to our profound, instinctive aspirations."
Finally, get back to the regular use of the Sacrament of Confession. This is your greatest weapon against Satan. Satan has convinced the world that he does not exist. He has lied to the world that there is no sin. He continues to dupe everyone into believing that everyone is going to Heaven. When our Blessed Mother appeared to the three children of Fatima in 1917, they were allowed to see a vision of Hell. Thousands of poor souls were falling into Hell, and our Blessed Mother told the children that more souls were being lost because of sexual sin than any other sin.

“An enemy has done this”. Use these proven methods against the attack of Satan in order to gain the eternal salvation of your soul. “Whoever has ears out to hear”.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


June 15, 2000

Dear Children of Medjugorje,
Praised be Jesus ! 

The Gospa always amazes us with her maternal touch when it comes to helping her children and even remolding them if they abandon themselves to her with trust. For example, Samuel, a French hairdresser, came on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje last winter and now testifies :

" I was a homosexual. Although I had received a Catholic education as a child, I lived far from God. At 36, I was rushed to the hospital where they found out that I had AIDS. There, I remembered God, but once out of the hospital I continued for three years to look for the man of my life. However, going from disappointment to disappointment and from emptiness to emptiness, at last I understood that I was on the wrong track. I actively tried to redirect my life then towards God. He alone could give me the love for which I was desperately thirsting. I was open to conversion when a book on Medjugorje happened to fall into my hands and I discovered to my amazement that all kinds of people had found a new life there, a new hope. Though usually tears for me did not come easy, I cried my eyes out, I was so overwhelmed!

"I decided to go to Medjugorje. There I was struck by the intense presence of Mary, my Mother, all the more since she granted me a deep inner peace. As a result I tried my best to convert my heart everyday and to keep my eyes on God. One day Jesus showed Himself to me on the Cross. From that moment on I totally changed my life. Now I am a happy man! I told Our Lady that I want to serve her and to work for her, and she often gives me signs of her presence. In my struggles, she stands by my side and teaches me how to live every situation with love. I founded a prayer group with a friend. She too is on a path of conversion. We all pray the Rosary. I am a new convert, still weak and vulnerable, but each day my heart leaps with joy: I have found my Creator and my Mother!

"This sickness could have killed me, but God used it instead to give me life  to give me a new birth! To those who are today as I was before, let me say this: 'God exists, He is Truth!' "
In Medjugorje it is exceptional that the pilgrims can be present at two apparitions of Mary on the same day, and this was the case on June 2nd. Pilgrims were able to join Ivan's prayer group at the Blue Cross where Mary appeared at 10 PM.

Mirjana received her monthly apparition on the 2nd under the tent of the Cenacle at 10 AM that same morning surrounded by many pilgrims. We know that the Gospa comes on this day in order to pray with us for those who do not yet know the love of God. During the apparition, Mirjana's face was very expressive, and the conversation with the Gospa seemed to be intense. Toward the end, Mirjana opened her arms, which she doesn't usually do. Later Mirjana shared that the Gospa invited all of us "to bring the love of the Father to others. When you do that", she said, "I am with you." Then she opened her arms, and while looking at us said, "My apostles! My children!".

The Blessed Mother had concluded her message during her March 18th, 2000 apparition to Mirjana, by telling us: "I am inviting you to be my apostles!" An apostle is a disciple sent out on a mission. It's not by chance that the Gospa formally commissioned us during a message for the first time at the beginning of the Great Jubilee: John Paul II insists that each one of us now must take to heart the new Evangelization. On June 2nd, Mirjana shared that when Mary spoke the words "my apostles," she understood them to mean: if YOU are not my apostles, who will be?!

Let this call enter the depths of our hearts, so that we may answer not only with generosity - but with boldness! What a beautiful present to offer our Mother this June 25th in celebration of the 19th Anniversary of her coming for us to Medjugorje!

Dearest Gospa, so far we have done so little for you, but today we say YES to being your apostles!

Sister Emmanuel


This story was just circulated by Sr. Emmanuel, who was able to interview the boy’s family:
Dominik and the Youth Festival
A surprising event took place in Medjugorje on August 3rd, 2010. Since the articles on the internet about the events spread many errors, I wanted to make a serious inquiry before writing about it. So, below I have written the facts as I received them from Dominik’s family.
Dominik Juros, a young Slovakian of 16, born in a Catholic family from the village of Hran, came to the Youth Festival this summer with other young people from his area. During the preceding months, Dominik went through a period of inner rebellion, mostly concerning faith. He no longer wanted to serve at Mass as altar boy; and he refused to pray with his parents.
Although this group had signed up for a pilgrimage, they were not really interested in the Youth Festival or in God in general. They behaved more like tourists on vacation.
On August 3rd, the heat was extreme in Medjugorje. The group decided to go swimming at the waterfalls of Kravica with Janko, their guide, rather than follow the program of the Festival. Dominik slipped into the icy water, and sank 9 or 10 feet deep. He managed to surface several times, but no one noticed that he was drowning. Instead, people around him thought he was playing a game. Ten minutes later, Janko began to worry because he could no longer see him! So he swam to the spot where he had last seen him.
With the help of a few people, Janko was able to pull Dominik out of the water. But his heart had stopped. It took 15 to 20 minutes of resuscitation to make it beat again, but on the way to Mostar’s hospital, his heart stopped beating again. His lungs no longer worked. At the hospital Dominik was put into an induced coma and his vital bodily functions were taken over by medical devices.
The next day, his parents rushed from Slovakia to Mostar. After hearing what had happened, all the young people at the Festival started praying fervently for him, and this beautiful chain of love continued day and night! Even Dominik’s bus companions, suddenly seized by the fear of God, started to pray. Each went to Confession and they attended Mass with great piety.
On August 5th, surrounded by his family and with a lot of prayers, Dominik showed unexpected signs of awareness. Although unconscious, he would press his mother’s hand or shed tears. He woke up on August 7th, and his organs revived. His first reaction was to cry, begging his parents to forgive him. He grabbed the hand of his mother and asked her to pray with him, and to pray a lot. He wanted to confess his sins, so they asked a priest to come. He was then transferred to a hospital in Slovakia, where he began walking and talking freely. Four weeks later, he was back in school. His Slovakian doctor reports that Dominik’s recovery is shocking, considering what he endured.
Dominik shared some interesting aspects of his experience. For instance, although unconscious at the time, when he was taken out of the water, he saw his parents in Slovakia sitting in front of television, and he knew what they were doing and where they were going. On August 8th, according to people present and his own words, he became hypersensitive, felt intense inner struggles, and had unusual perceptions.
According to Dominik, while he was between life and death, he felt threatened by “dark figures” present in the hospital, some standing at the door and others causing havoc in the room, accusing him. These figures were constantly trying to prevent his mother from praying at his bedside. Dominik’s face lit up when he felt the presence of a person full of light, peace and joy, who he thinks was the Blessed Mother. When someone entered his room carrying some water, he knew that it was Holy Water and thought “Oh, blessed water! That will help me now!” He said he could perceive the prayers of his family as peaceful, positive, very helpful and full of life.
Dominik was able to see Purgatory. There he saw two young people, from a neighboring town, suffering. He saw that they had burned a car and later were killed in an accident. He saw Angels, splendid beings dressed in white, with beautiful faces. He said he saw Jesus face to face and said that Jesus had the most beautiful eyes. When his family was praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at his bedside, he asked them, “Can you smell that wonderful fragrance?” “What fragrance?” His mother asked. “The blood of Jesus! It has a wonderful fragrance!” He answered.
There are many details to the story that will not fit here, however it is important to note that Dominik’s mother consecrated him to Our Lady at his conception.
Dominick often repeated that we should love each other and forgive one another; that love is the most important thing in life. He insistently asked members of his family to treat each other with much more love, even in the smallest things, and to always forgive and to have no enemies. With his short, but sweet taste of Heaven, Dominik regretted that the medical team had saved his life!
We know that normally, after a few minutes under water, the brain is damaged for lack of oxygen. But in Dominik’s case, only God knows whether it is, medically, a miracle. This is of little importance! What is beautiful in this event, is that it happened when 40,000 youth of the Festival were praying in Medjugorje. The Lord used this teenager, going through a crisis, to put all his friends on their knees, (those present in Medjugorje and those in Slovakia), to inspire them to go to Confession and to turn their hearts to God. Moreover, to some of those kids who put earthly things in the first place of their life, and who thought they could make it without God, Dominik’s experience revealed another world, other values, and reminded them of the most vital commandment of Jesus: “Love one another as I have loved you!”
Dominik does not remember everything, but the effect of grace is very obvious in his life. He has turned into a young man who today prays profoundly, who lives his faith with fervor, and who happily joins his parents and family in prayer. He shows great reverence for the Cross of Jesus and for Our Lady. All his relatives are grateful for what the mercy of God did for him. Even his grandfather, a former obstinate opponent of Medjugorje, now wants to come. Magnificat!
From Sr. Emmanuel’s Medjugorje September, 2010 newsletter

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Do Not Deceive Yourselves

1 Corinthians 6:1-11, Psalm 149:1-6, 9, Luke 6:12-19

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"Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators, idolaters, or adulterers, no sodomites, thieves, misers, or drunkards, no slanderers or robbers will inherit God's kingdom." -1 Corinthians 6:9-10

"Make no mistake about this: no fornicator, no unclean or lustful person - in effect an idolater - has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with worthless arguments. These are sins that bring God's wrath down on the disobedient; therefore have nothing to do with" these sins (Eph 5:5-6).

Notice that in both passages above, from 1 Corinthians and Ephesians, the language does not refer to sin but to sinners. These sinners are so entrenched in their chief sin that they can be identified by its name. For instance, an adulterer is someone who is committed to adultery and has not repented of it. The adulterer has lost his identity and is now identified by the name of the sin that he has committed. By contrast, a person so entrenched in Jesus and His lifestyle of obedience and righteousness is identified by the name of the One to Whom he has committed and is called a Christian.

Many people are fornicators, adulterers, drunkards, slanderers, etc. Because it's commonplace, we can be deceived into thinking these lifestyles are acceptable. Do not be deceived! (1 Cor 6:9) All arguments to the contrary are worthless (Eph 5:6). Some of us were once entrenched in these sins (1 Cor 6:11), and some still are. So repent immediately! Invite others to do the same. "The person who brings a sinner back from his way will save his soul from death and cancel a multitude of sins" (Jas 5:20).

Prayer: Father, may I love sinners enough to share hard scriptures with them.
Promise: "Power went out from Him which cured all." -Lk 6:19
Praise: Spending much of his adult life enmeshed in alcoholism, Ryan accepted the grace to be totally alcohol-free.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Medjugorje - Apparition to Ivan at Blue Cross - Spet. 6, 2010

Our Lady Tonight: Accept and renew My messages

The apparition of Our Lady tonight, Monday September 6, 2010, to Medjugorje visionary Ivan took place at the Blue Cross on Apparition Mountain. After a rain earlier today, the temperature cooled a little and the light of day faded into darkness. Clouds cleared and the stars began to shine out in the night sky. Pilgrims began to gather around 7:00 P.M. and even earlier, and rosaries and singing preceded the apparition. Our Lady appeared to Ivan around 10:00 P.M. Below is Ivan’s description of the apparition:

Ivan’s Description of the Apparition at the Blue Cross September 6, 2010

Our Lady came very joyful and happy and at the beginning, as always, She greeted us all with Her Motherly greeting, “Praised be Jesus, My dear children.” Our Lady then immediately said:

“Dear children, also today, the Mother calls you with joy, accept and renew my messages. Dear children, I desire to continue to lead you, but today I desire to call you to live what I am giving you – so that I can give you new messages and to lead you through these messages – to lead you to My Son. Know that the Mother is with you and intercedes for all of you before Her Son and also today, desires to say thank you for having accepted Me and My messages and for living My messages.”

Our Lady then for a while, with Her arms extended, prayed over all of us here. She prayed over the sick present and She blessed us all with Her Motherly blessing. She also blessed the religious articles brought for blessing. I recommended also all of you, your needs, your intentions, your families and especially the sick. Our Lady then continued to pray over all of us with Her arms extended and She left in that prayer, in an illuminated Sign of the Cross saying, “Go in peace, My dear children.”

Our Lady’s apparition to Ivan lasted over 8 minutes
Though they cannot be seen, 1000’s of pilgrims spread across the rock strewn area. Sixty to seventy-five buses delivered people while many more walked to the Blue Cross. Tonight’s message reminds us of a similar message Our Lady gave 21 years ago. It was also during Ivan’s Prayer Group on Apparition Mountain. Our Lady said:

June 26, 1989
"Dear children, your Mother told you yesterday to renew the messages from now on. Your Mother asks, especially from you of the group of prayer, to live from now on the messages in prayer. If you want your Mother to give other and new messages, you first have to live those messages I have already given."

We could never have imagined in June of 1989, we would be still going to the mountain in 2010 to encounter Our Lady. Nor could we possibly have the imagination of what condition the state of the world would be in. We now understand the reason for Her coming. The world is in danger. Our Lady said:
November 29, 1981
"It is necessary for the world to be saved while there is still time…”
From Medjugorje
With Love,
'A Friend of Medjugorje'

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blessed Chiara Luce Badano

Blessed Chiara Luce Badano

Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, pray for us!

By Christopher Stefanick.

Sometimes we’d prefer that our lives be a different story than the one God seems to be writing. In our fragile existence it doesn’t take much to turn a romance into a drama, or an adventure into a tragedy. At a glance, the story of Chiara Badano—an only child conceived after 11 years of marriage, who died at 18 after a bout with a painful form of bone cancer—looks like an empty tragedy, but not from the perspective of the Divine Author.
Chiara seemed to have everything going for her as a teen. She had a loving, holy family and a rock solid faith that was nurtured by retreats and youth ministry programs. She was popular amongst her friends and was liked by boys. It’s not hard to see why. She was beautiful. Chiara loved to hang out in coffee shops. She was great at tennis, swimming and mountain climbing. Her outgoing personality and adventurous spirit made her dream of becoming a flight attendant. Chiara had a bright life ahead of her.
One day while playing tennis, Chiara experienced excruciating pain in her shoulder. Shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma. She watched her bright future slip away. But it’s here that the real story of her life begins—the story of heroic virtue.

Chiara’s joy was explosive and it only increased with her suffering. After one very pain-filled night she said, “I suffered a lot, but my soul was singing.” Google pictures of her on her death bed. Her eyes look like pools reflecting the glory of heaven. One of her doctors remarked, “Through her smile, and through her eyes full of light, she showed us that death doesn’t exist; only life exists.” Cardinal Saldarini heard of this amazing teen and visited her in the hospital. Awestruck, he said, “The light in your eyes is splendid. Where does it come from?” Chiara’s reply was simple: “I try to love Jesus as much as I can.”
Chiara had a profound sense of redemptive suffering. She often repeated the phrase, “If this is what you want, Jesus, so do I.” Like any teenage girl, she loved her hair, but with each lock that fell out she’d pray, “For you, Jesus.” She frequently refused morphine, saying, “I want to share as much as possible in His suffering on the cross.”
During one of her many hospital stays Chiara took walks with a depressed, drug-dependent girl, despite the pain of walking from the huge growth on her spine. When she was encouraged to stop and rest she said, “I’ll have time to rest later.” Ever thinking of others, she said, “I have nothing left, but I still have my heart, and with that I can always love.”

Chiara requested to be buried in a wedding gown. As the end of her short life drew near she told her mother, “When you’re getting me ready, Mum, you have to keep saying to yourself, ‘Chiara Luce is now seeing Jesus.’”

She died on Oct. 7, 1990. Her parents and friends were with her. Her last words were: “Goodbye. Be happy because I’m happy.”

Thanks to her local bishop, Chiara was declared “Servant of God.” For anyone wondering if Chiara’s cause for canonization was only opened to comfort grieving parents and friends, God recently put his stamp of approval on her story. A young boy in Italy was dying from meningitis. His organs were shutting down. There was no way to save his life. His parents learned of Chiara’s story and sought her intercession. He was fully healed. A panel of doctors has ruled that there was no medical explanation for this turn of events. Rome’s approval of this miracle and Chiara’s beatification are expected soon.

Reflecting on her pending death, Chiara said: “Previously I felt … the most I could do was to let go. Instead, now I feel enfolded in a marvelous plan of God, which is slowly being unveiled to me.” The story of our lives with all its riveting twists and painful turns is written by an author who loves us very much, and for him, even death is only a comma, not a period. The greatest protagonists in life’s story are the saints. They shared the eternal perspective of the Author. That’s why not even the most profound pain could take away their hope.
Here’s to yet another teen saint! Pardon my preemptive prayer, “Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, pray for us!”
Speaker and author Christopher Stefanick is director of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry for the Denver Archdiocese. Visit