Week 3-Forty Days in the Desert-An Oasis of Peace

Through prayer become friends with Jesus

It’s been a little harder this week to get this post out. Seems there have been some technical difficulties taking place with the host company. There must be some good fruit coming. I hope the Lord is touching your hearts as He is with us and our family.

The beauty of this is to see my children dialoging with the Lord and the scriptures. Not only do we encourage relationships and build unity in the family, but we encourage them to have a heart to heart relationship with their eternal family.

Remember the Holy Spirit is the author of the Word. Never begin your prayer without the help of the Holy Spirit.

Also be sure to make a conscious effor to get to the sacrament of reconciliation during this time to fortify your strength for the continued journey and refresh your soul in the ocean of mercy. Remember our Lady just said, it is through the priests that she will triumph. Really ponder these words for her purpose for coming into the world.

Catechism of the Catholic Church References: 737-741, 797-98, 1472-74, 1502

Daily Reflection:

“Dear children, tonight your Mother is happy, joyful together with you. I would like to extend happiness to you. I would like to give you love, so you can bring this love and spread it to others. I would like to give you peace, so you can give this peace to others, so you can give this peace especially to families where hatred exists. I would like you, dear children to renew the family prayer, all of you. I would like you to encourage others to renew this prayer. Your Mother will help you.” (10/17/88)

Day 1

“Dear children, with motherly perseverance and love I am brining you the light of life to destroy the darkness of death in you. Do not reject me, my children. Stop and look within yourselves and see how sinful you are. Be aware of your sins and pray for forgiveness…” (11/2/10)

“…It should be of no concern to you how anyone else acts; you are to be My living reflection through love and mercy.” (St. Faustina replied, ‘Lord but they often take advantage of my goodness.’) “That makes no difference, My daughter. That is no concern of yours. As for you, be always merciful toward other people, and especially toward sinners.” (Diary 1446)

Jn. 11:1-4, Mt. 10:8, Mk. 14:12-15, Jn. 20:20-23

Day 2

“…My children you do not desire to accept that you are weak and little, but you can be strong and great by doing God’s will. Give me your cleansed hearts that I may illuminate them with the light of life, my Son. Thank you.” (11/2/10)

“…Oh how painful it is to me that souls so seldom unite themselves to Me in holy Communion. I wait for souls and they are indifferent toward Me. I love them tenderly and sincerely, and they distrust Me. I want to lavish my graces on them, and they do not want to accept them. They treat me as a dead object, whereas my Heart is full of love and mercy. In order that you may know at least some of my pain, imagine the most tender of mothers who has great love for her children, while those children spurn her love. Consider her pain. No one is in a position to console her. This is but a feeble image and likeness of my love.” (Diary 1447)

2 Cor. 10:3-6, Rev. 21:2-4, Acts 3:16-23, 4:10-12

Day 3

“Dear children! Today I call you to come closer to my Immaculate Heart…” (10/25/98)

“…Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is in the Tribunal of Mercy. (Sacrament of Reconciliation). There the greatest miracles take place and are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no restoration and everything would have already be lost. It is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that souls in full. Oh how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God’s mercy. You will call out in vain, but it will be too late…” (Diary 1448)

Lk. 8:43-47, Prov. 3:1-12, Ez. 36:26, Act 4:16-20

Day 4

“….I call you to renew in your families the fervor of the first days when I called you to fasting, prayer and conversion. Little children, you accepted my messages with open hearts, although you did not know what prayer was. Today, I call you to open yourselves completely to me so that I may transform you and lead you to the heart of my Son Jesus, so that He can fill you with His love. Only in this way, little children, will you find true peace – the peace that only God gives you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (10/25/98)

“…First, do not fight against a temptation by yourself, but disclose it to the confessor at once, and then the temptation will lose all its force. Second, during these ordeals do not lose you peace; live in My presence; ask My Mother and the Saints for help. Third, have the certitude that I am looking at you and supporting you. Fourth do not fear either struggles of the soul or any temptation because I am supporting you; if only you are willing to fight, know that the victory is always on your side. Fifth, know that by fighting bravely you give Me great glory and amass merits for yourself. Temptation gives you a change to show Me your fidelity.” (Diary 1560)

Mt. 26:35, Lk. 22:33-34, Gal 2:20, Ps. 46, Jn 11:39-40

Day 5

“Dear children! Also today I am with you in a special way contemplating and living the passion of Jesus in my heart. Little children, open your hearts and give me everything that is in them; joys, sorrows, and even the smallest pain that I may offer them to Jesus; so that with His immeasurable love, He may burn and transform your sorrows into the joy of His resurrection…” (2/25/99)

“…I remind you my daughter, that as often as you heart the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking. It was the hour of grace for the whole world – mercy triumphed over justice. (Diary 1572)

Jn. 11:44, Is. 55:8-9, Jn. 2:5, Lk. 23:43

Day 6

“…I now call you in a special way, little children for your hearts to open to prayer, so that through prayer you may become friends of Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (2/25/99)

“…My daughter, try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it; and if you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore in the Blessed Sacrament, My heart, which is full of mercy; and should you be unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant, I claim veneration for my mercy from every creature, but above all from you, since it is to you that I have given the most profound understanding of this mystery.” (Diary 1572)

Jn. 15:11-17, Heb. 11:8-11, Jn. 10:27-29, Rev. 7:14-17

Day 7 Review

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March 18 Annual Apparition thru Mirjana

"I desire to lead you on the way of God"

Annual Apparition to Mirjana

Today, March 18, 2011, the visionary Mirjana Soldo experienced her regular annual apparition.

In the early days of Medjugorje, when Mirjana received the tenth secret and her daily apparitions ceased, Our Lady promised that she would appear to her every year on March 18, which also happens to be Mirjana’s birthday.

Today, amidst cold and rain, Our Lady appeared to Mirjana at the Blue Cross area near the base of Apparition Hill in Medjugorje. She gave the following message:

“Dear children! I am with you in the name of the greatest Love, in the name of dear God, who has come close to you through my Son and has shown you real love. I desire to lead you on the way of God. I desire to teach you real love so that others may see it in you, that you may see it in others, that you may be a brother to them and that others may see a merciful brother in you. My children, do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. With Motherly love, I will show you what I expect of each of you, what I expect of my apostles. Set out with me. Thank you!” According to Mirjana, Our Lady asked all of us to pray for the priests, adding “Again, I emphasize that I will triumph together with them.”

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Week 2-Spiritual Exercise-Food for the Journey

"Open yourselves to God the Creator..."

Our journey has begun with Jesus and Mary in the desert. As with most journey’s we need to make sure we have enough food and water to make the journey. In this case spiritual food (the Eucharist) and water (the waters of the baptism graces that we received from this past week).

I am already experiencing the movements of the Holy Spirit as certain areas in my heart are being broken open, in the way the Lord is going to do a deeper healing in my heart. I hope you are all witnessing the same. As I mentioned, we are in this journey together.

Feel free to share your thoughts in this post with others. You do not need to include your name, but only your experiences through your prayer, and journaling with the Lord through His Word, and the messages given.

Pray for a greater understanding of the presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, and to remain in the love of God.

REMEMBER TO PRAY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, FOR YOU MUST GO TO THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR TO UNDERSTAND HIS WORDS. COME HOLY SPIRIT

Pay very close attention to how the Lord is moving in your heart with open eyes and hearts to understand the areas in your life where you may be experiencing troubles, or of constant conflicts over the same issues. The Lord may be getting your attention to these areas that are in need of healing, reconciliation, or to be used in a way for spiritual growth…Keep asking the Holy Spirit to reveal these areas if you are unsure.

Brief opening reflection….
(From Dialogue of St. Catherine of Sienna with the Father, “How God grieves over the Christian people, and particularly over His ministers, and touches on the subject of the Sacrament of Christ’s body and the benefit of the Incarnation”)

“…See how my spouse has defiled her face, and become leprous on account of her filthiness and self love, and swollen with the pride and avarice of those who feed on their own sin, what I say of the universal body and the mystical body of the Holy Church, I also say of my ministers, who stand and feed at the breasts of the Holy Church …

…Wishing however to restore man, who was enfeebled and could not satisfy for the above reasons my justice, the sins committed against Me, who am the Infinite good, I sent My Word, My own Son, clothed in your own very nature the corrupted clay of Adam, in order that He might endure suffering in the self same nature in which man had offended, suffering in His body even to the opprobitious death of the cross, and so He satisfied my justice and My divine mercy. For My mercy willed to make satisfaction for the sin of man and to dispose him to the good for which I had created him. This human nature joined with the Divine nature was sufficient to satisfy for the whole human race, not only on account of the pain which it sustained in its finite nature, but by virtue of the eternal Deity, the Divine and infinite nature joined to it…”

Catechism of the Catholic Church – CCC 1434 – 1460

Weekly Reflection:

“Dear children! Today I invite you in a special way to open yourselves to God the Creator and to become active. I invite you little children to see at this time who needs your spiritual or material help. By your example, little children you will be the extended hands of God, which mankind is called to witness and to become joyful carriers of God’s Word and of His love. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (2/25/97)

Day 1

“Dear children, at this time, do not only think of rest for your body but, little children seek time also for the soul. In silence may the Holy Spirit speak to you and permit Him to convert and change you. I am with you and before God I intercede for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (7/25/06)

“…strengthen yourself for combat” (Diary #145 – In reference to when the soul displeases the Lord in sin. St. Faustina was running away from the Lord in facing certain things within her. In what way am I running from the Lord and not wanting to defeat the sin in me?)

Eph. 4:23-24, Prov. 4:1-7, Luke 22:19, Isaiah 41:10, Rev. 5:11-14

Day 2

“…today as never before I invite you to live my messages and put them into practice in your life. I have come to you to help you and therefore I invite you to change your life because you have taken a path of misery, a path of ruin. When I told you, ‘convert, pray, fast, be reconciled,’ you took these messages superficially. You started to live them and then you stopped, because it was difficult for you. No dear children when something is good, you have to persevere in the good and not think, “God does not see me, He is not listening, He is not helping.” And so you have gone away from God and from me because of your miserable interest…” (3/25/92 in part)

“…Be not afraid of you Savior O sinful soul, I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My heart…” (Diary 1485)

Eph. 2:19-22, 6:16, 1 Thes. 5:8, John 14:23-27, Isaiah 45:3

Day 3

“…I wanted to create of you an oasis of peace, love and goodness. God wanted you with your love and with His help to do miracles and thus give an example. Therefore, here is what I say to you, ‘satan is playing with you and with your souls and I cannot help you because you are far from my heart. Therefore, pray, live my messages and then you will see the miracles of God’s love in your every day life. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (3/25/92 in part)

“…I am your strength, I will help you in the struggle. My child, do you fear the God of mercy? My holiness does not prevent Me from being merciful. Behold, for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth – the tabernacle; and from this throne I desire to enter into your heart. I am surrounded by a retinue of guards. You can come to me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and desire to grant you grace…” (Diary 1485)

Lk. 24:13-16, Lk 24:30-35, Is. 40:31, Mt. 13:1-9
(Ask the Lord in a special way to open your eyes to see, and your ears to hear for a greater knowledge and understanding of the Word He speaks here today for you personally. Write down what comes to your heart)

Day 4

“Dear children, today I invite you to prayer. Only by prayer and fasting can war be stopped. Therefore my dear little children pray and by your life give witness that you are mine and that you belong to me, because satan wishes in these turbulent days to seduce as many souls as possible. Therefore, I invite you to decide for God and He will protect you and show you what you should do and which path to take….” (4/25/92)

“…My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross, for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come then with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy. Do not argue with me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and grief. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace…” (Diary 1485)

(Meditate on the wounds of Jesus)

Mt. 13:10-17, Lk. 24:32, 2 Cor. 5:7, Ps. 36:6-13, Mt. 7:24-29

Day 5

“…I invite all those who have said, ‘yes’ to me to renew their consecration to my Son Jesus and to His heart and to me so we can take you more intensely as instruments of peace in this unpeaceful world…(4/25/92)

“Child speak no more of your misery; it is already forgotten. Listen My child to what I desire to tell you. Come close to my wounds and draw from the Fountain of Life whatever your heart desires. Drink copiously from the Fountain of Life and you will not weary on your journey. Look at the splendors of my mercy and do not fear the enemies of your salvation. Glorify My mercy…” (Diary 1485)

Mt. 10:24-26, Acts 8:26-40, Is. 53:7-12, Ps. 33:10-22

Day 6

“…Medjugorje is a sign to all of you and a call to pray and live the days of grace that God is giving you. Therefore, dear children, accept the call to prayer with seriousness. I am with you and your suffering is also mine. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (4/25/92)

“…My daughter tell souls that I am giving them My mercy as a defense. I Myself am fighting for them and am bearing the just anger of My Father. (Diary 1516) I have opened my heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. Sinners will attain justification and the just will be confirmed in good. Whoever places his trust in My mercy will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death.” (Diary 1520)

Jn. 10:10-15, Jn. 10:16-18, Jn. 4:23-24, Jn. 1:11-14, 1 Cor. 2:9-16

Day 7

Review

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he gained us in the beloved…” (Eph. 1:3-6)

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Pre-Lenten Reflection: New Life Bud’s Forth

Before my Son Jesus I intercede for your conversion

“Dear children, nature is awakening and on the trees the first buds are seen which will bring most beautiful flowers and fruit. I desire that you also little children work on your conversion and that you be those who witness with their life, so that your example may be a sign and an incentive for conversion to others. I am with you and before my Son Jesus I intercede for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (2/25/11)

My dear friends, this message speak very deeply to my soul, as most of them do, however this one is hitting me right where I am at.

You see, about six months ago, there was an event in our community area that caused a lot of upheaval for many of us. At this time, just before the upheaval our Lady spoke to the world and said that we her children were not humble enough, and that we needed to work on our conversions then, and work more towards humility. Many of us heard this loud and clear as we watched the events unfold.

Well this of course means pride has to go right? For many of us, we’ve been very humbled and very quickly as we witnessed those who were held in the esteem in the eyes of many fall from grace. And realizing how quickly God can remove a blessing for habitual sin.

Many of us during this time of prayer have been scattered and called into a new way of solitude, but that towards working on our Christian vocations which is our path to heaven. I have been writing about this in these postings if you have been following along. I can say for us, it has all come with tremendous blessings and fruit.

But at this time when the trial came some of us were in prayer and we were given an image of the season we were in, which was the fall. The leaves were falling to the ground, the seeds of the season fell to the ground to die and to shed its life, and all of creation was going into hibernation, or a deep sleep.

But the image continued and showed that when creation was going into its deep sleep, just like Adam when He awoke there would be a new creation, that is that the new spring time would blossom and a new foilage of flowers and leaves would come forth with all its brilliant colors, as it moved into the summer season again.

And here today, Blessed Mother begins her message as if she is showing us that she is continuing the work in us. She has repeated over the past few months that she is praying for us before her Son, for certain intentions.

This month is no different. She is still praying for us but for this month, she is praying before Jesus her Son that we receive the gift of conversion of heart. She is asking Jesus to give us the grace so that we can change our hearts.

Now this morning, again I prayed this message in the same light, and with this same understanding as I was led by the Holy Spirit. Today however the image came immediately where I saw Jesus crucified and our Lady standing beneath the cross interceding, begging Him to forgive the sins of the world and asking Him to convert hearts.

Behind Our Lady I saw a great number of people, however many of them were not looking at Jesus crucified, but look past Him as if they did not see Him, while some had their eyes on Him. It spoke to me of the unawareness of men who do not comprehend the magnitude of the greatest gift given to the world, and who do not even care that He gave His life for our salvation.

Today our Lady is still praying for us, that is her children that we comprehend the greatness of her coming to the world; and the greatness of the gift of her Son and what He did for our salvation. She is praying that we all should stand beside her and gaze upon our God who looks at us today and says, “See I have endured this for you my bride. See how much I love you…”

And like most marriages today, many spouses do not appreciate the love of their other spouse and take them for granted as we are doing this day with our mystical spouse.

The other day when I prayed this message as all of this was coming to light, Our Lady gave me the following words from a previous message on 2/17/89. The message said this:

“Dear children, tonight I don’t ask you to do anything special. I only with you to begin to live my messages. Dear children, I seek your action, not your words! You are happy when I give you a beautiful message, but live the message I give. May each message be for you a new growth. Take THIS message into your life, in this way you will grow in life. Your Mother cannot give you other messages if you don’t live the ones I already give you. Begin tonight to live the messages.”

For me on this day, it was convicting, and I felt like a sword pierced my heart. I know full well there are specific areas in my heart that I need to change. I know that I still need to continue on with my conversion, and there are some very visible areas in my vocation that I need to work on in growing in love and in virtue.

Lent is quickly approaching. It is a time to work on changing the heart, and stripping away through penance and fasting, what is displeasing to God. We have the full six weeks of Lent to work on each day that one area of the heart that needs either healing, conversion or a way to expand it more in love. To stretch ones heart is to go beyond ones comfort zone in an extraordinary way.

But in order to make something a way of life, it needs practice to do so. This is what Lent is for us. It is not about giving up the chocolate and the dessert or smoking just for that window of six weeks. It is about giving up that vice for your life as a way of life, in a way of dying to yourself, to grow closer to God.

I know this, but living it is another story. And here Our Lady said, I do not seek your word, she wants to see it done and lived out. Ouch, there is the sword! Now I have to do something about it right? When heaven reveals something of yourself, you have to do something about it, because if you don’t, well I think we all know what happens next.

So many times the dear Mother has convicted me this way. We cannot flock to be there for an apparition, and then just walk away saying, “Oh that was nice, or I experienced this or that…” No! We have to take to heart what was said, what was spoken to us in this time, and put it to life. Sometimes its easy, and others it is much harder, and will take more collective reflection to understand the meaning in our own personal life.

Just like the message she just gave to the world speaking about the trees budding forth, the above message she just gave me is no different but enhances the meaning behind the 2/25/11 message. She said,

“… but live the message I give. May each message be for you a NEW GROWTH. Take THIS message into your life, in this way you will grow in life.”

Isn’t this the same as her describing the new spring coming forth? She desires a new growth to come forth for us, to go deeper into our conversion, and to remove sin.

She is not going to tell us anything new. Every message has the same core meaning of prayer, penance, fasting, conversion, living the bible, and holy mass. All of this is pointing towards her Son, Jesus Christ. But apparently we still aren’t doing as she asked in the full context of what heaven desires for us.

Let us go back to her message again on 2/25/11. She also said,

“…work on your conversion and that you be those who witness with their life, so that your example may be a sign and an incentive for conversion to others…”

Now I can witness to this personally, as I learned throughout my journey and path of conversion, that I had to change first. It was not until after I began to change that I began to make visible changes in my family, with my children, and my spouse. This was not easy, and I will not make light of the fact that in general we as human creatures do not like to change. We are comfortable in our sin, because that is what we have grown used to.

The older we are the harder it is. For children in formation years it is much easier, because their hearts are open. But as they grow older, it gets tougher especially for teens to have the desire to sit down and pray, and attend holy mass often. Teens want to be out with the rests who appear to be partying and having a good time. However most teens are at the lonliest because they do not have parents or strong peers who walk with them in light, and they sit in darkness, roping others into their misery, and numbing their pain. And in most cases, parents aren’t even aware of what is going on in the hearts of their teens. Nor are they aware that most of them are already sexually active, and medicating themselves in excess with drugs or alcohol on a regular basis.

But my friends, living this message is not an option, this is required! What do I mean by this?

It is not any different for someone who wants to get good at something, such as a sporting event, or even let’s say dieting. A change of life style needs to occur right?

If you are practicing a sport, your are going to get better at the sport your are enjoying, right. Or if you want to lose weight, you need to implement a diet plan to stick to, and an exercise schedule right? All for conditioning and getting into shape either way. Isn’t it most often in the spring when the weather changes for those who live north of the sunbelt that is, that we begin a new to condition our bodies from the winter weight?

Well it is the same for your human spirit, the interior part of your being.

In Romans chapter 8, it says the body is opposed to the spirit, and the flesh has desires against the spirit. And if we live by the flesh, we are opposed to God. In order to strengthen the spirit, the flesh needs to become weaker than the spirit. Jesus already told us that our spirits are willing, but our flesh is weak.

So how do we help our spirit overcome our flesh desires? We need spiritual exercise!

We need a spiritual routine so to say to get our Christian practice back into shape. This will take a full conscientious effort to do so on our part. It does not come naturally easy, because we are naturally inclined to sin. We must work at not to sin.

Here’s another scenario; let’s take a small child. Is a small child naturally living good behavior all the time, or does a child naturally get itself into trouble. How many times does a parent have to tell a toddler, no, no, no…? And then the parent has to correct the actions of the child right?

To do good, one has to be taught the right way in how to do good. Blessed Mother has made it very clear that the world is headed for destruction. For her it is like witnessing a small child running out into the street in the middle of a highway. A child is going to get hurt, unless the mother stops the child from running into the street.

She was sent into the world, to stop the children from getting hurt, or in this case from death, eternal death that is. And now she is teaching us how to be good little children to please the Eternal Father. Just the way she taught Jesus. Like a good Mother, she will fulfill her duties in her maternal vocation as God has ordained her to do, to make sure her children come out of the darkness and into the light to be with her in heaven.

Dear friends, this world is passing. We are in this world only for a short time. Our final home is heaven. But what we do on this earth will determine if we finish the journey and enter the promise land. Remember, not everyone entered the promise land. It was only those who persevered and were faithful to God and lived His commandments.

We are in a special time. A time in history that has never occurred in the world since the beginning of creation. 30 years of apparitions of the Mother of God to the world. It has taken all of the 30 years, to begin to convert this world, and we are not finished yet.

Take heed the words of the Mother of God with great seriousness. If God so much in His mercy has allowed her to come to the world for this long, and we as a people on this earth do not take it with seriousness, I don’t even want to begin to imagine what the consequences will be in the end when all is completed.

Now is the time to come out of the darkness, and seek the light of God. There is no more room for those who are on the fence. Now is the time of decision. Choose life that it may go well with you.

Ave Maria!

“You know the time in which we are living. It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep, for our salvation is closer than when we first accepted the faith. The night is far spent; the day draws near. Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us live honorably as in daylight; not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual excess and lust, not in quarreling and jealousy. Rather put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh…” (Romans 13:11-14)

“Holy Family Workshop, Tools for Today’s Marriage and Family, Living the message of Medjugorje through scripture”

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Live your Christian Vocation

Bring love into your families...

For several days now, I have been pondering this message that has come with the rosary novena we have posted for unbelievers. Over and over I keep hearing the words of Our Lady that says, “…your Christian vocation…” Below is the message for the sake of this posting.

“Dear children! Today I invite you to comprehend your Christian vocation. Little children, I led and I am leading you through this time of grace that you may become conscious of your Christian vocation. Holy martyrs died witnessing I am a Christian and I love God over everything. Little children, today also I invite you to rejoice and be joyful Christians, responsible and conscious that God called you in a special way to be joyfully extended hands toward those who do not believe and that through the example of your life, they may receive faith and love for God. Therefore, pray, pray, pray that you heart may be open and be sensitive for the Word of God! Thank you for having responded to my call.” (11/25/05)

This message hits me right where I am at in these days, and that is the call to go deeper into the mystery of the marriage vocation that I live as my way of salvation, for this the vocation I am called to.

Now does that sound odd to say? Well it’s true. It is not my marriage. The sacrament of marriage belongs to the original author of marriage and to the Church He established. I participate in the sacrament of marriage as the vocation I was called to by God; that is called to serve and the way I choose to live my cross through another.

The marital union has existed since the beginning of creation between a man and a woman, and from the beginning it was meant to be sacred and holy, as an imitation of the mystical union of Jesus Christ with His Bride, the universal Church, and before Jesus it was man’s relationship with God and how to live in fidelity as God’s people.

In the marriage union with Jesus Christ as the bridegroom, there are multiple parts of his body in the one union where the living members are called to serve in the body of Christ, and to become fully alive and one with her Head.

Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about fulfilling your Christian vocation:

CCC 2030 (Article 3; The Church, Mother and Teacher)

“It is in the Church in communion with all the baptized, that the Christian fulfills his vocation. From the Church he receives the Word of God containing the teachings of ‘the law of Christ.’ (Gal. 6:2) From the Church he receives the grace of the sacraments that sustains him on the ‘way.’ From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all holy Virgin Mary; he discerns it in the authentic witness of those who live it; he discovers it in the spiritual traditions and long history of the saints who have gone before him and whom the liturgy celebrates in the rhythms of the sanctoral cycle.”

According to paragraph 2030 here, the Christian finds the identity of his vocation in the Church for these reasons:

a. He receives the Word of God with the teachings of the Law of Christ
b. He receives the grace of the sacraments that sustains him on the journey through life
c. He learns the example of holiness
d. He recognizes the model of holiness is from the source of all holy, the Virgin Mary whom Jesus patterned His bride after. (Just a note, what good Son wouldn’t want His bride to look like His own mother right – holy and pure, spotless and without blemish)
e. He discerns ‘authentic’ witness to those living the faith
f. He discovers his vocation in spiritual traditions and the long history of the saints who have gone before him, and in the continual cycle the liturgy celebrates

The primary order of man’s vocation in life is to make God manifest by acting in conformity with His creation in the image and likeness of God. (CCC 2085) Isn’t this what Our Lady is saying in her message when she said,

“….rejoice and be joyful Christians, responsible and conscious that God called you in a special way to be joyfully extended hands toward those who do not believe and that through the example of your life, they may receive faith and love for God…”

By your life give a visible witness that God is in the first place in your life. As a great saint said, ‘preach the gospel always, use words if necessary…

The Christian vocation is a call to holiness in whatever state in life you live (Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, Lumen Gentium). That is the Christian is called to live a beatitude way of life as Jesus preached on the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5). Blessed are you if you do these things He said. Not to talk about it, but live it.

More so, the Catechism speaks about how to live in the body for the Christian vocation….

CCC 2031 “The moral life is spiritual worship. We present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, (Rom.12:1) within the body of Christ that we form and in communion with the offering of His Eucharist. In the liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments, prayer and teaching are conjoined with the grace of Christ to enlighten and nourish Christian activity. As does the whole of the Christian life, the moral life finds its source and summit in the Eucharistic sacrifice.”

We so often forget that our human bodies;

(1) Do not belong to us, but they belong to God;
(2) The human body is created in the image and likeness of God, it is meant to be kept holy for God;
(3) The human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit;
(4) The human body receives the living God in the Eucharistic species. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood you have no life IN you.” (John 6)

Stop for just a moment and carefully reflect on this one scripture for a several moments; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 if you question this saying.

This is only one of several scripture references that refers to the sacredness of the human body. And this scripture passage is most direct and to the point. You have been purchased at a price. Jesus paid a great price for the sake of your life. He shed His blood. Do not think that if we abuse the human body that this will not go un-noticed on the day of judgment, because God will not take that lightly. We need to repent of any evil done to the body.

Therefore, we must live a holy and chaste life in the body for the sake of the kingdom of God, and for the salvation of the souls. If we want to know what holiness looks like in the body, we only have to look as far as the Mother of God who is perfect in her body, spotless, without blemish, the Immaculate Conception.

However to understand, and to put things in its proper perspective, to live your Christian vocation is first and foremost the number one call of one who says they are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ.

Now a Christian vocation can look like any of the following in the whole scope of the universal church;

– Priesthood; men chosen by God to shepherd his people; and ordained sacrament of the Church
– Religious; consecrated men and women who offer their lives in the body to serve the Lord for the sake of His kingdom
– Missionaries; those who devote their lives to serve the poor and spreading the gospel to bring Jesus Christ into the world
– Marriage – instituted by God
– Even Singles but must live in chastity for the sake of the Kingdom of God
– Youth must live modestly and in purity in the bodies, obedient to their parents and guardians over them “in the Lord.” (that is children must obey under the law of God. If a parent is not living the law of God, the child is first to obey God).

Let’s put aside for a moment our careers as a though of a vocation. First and foremost as a Christian you are called to live the commandments of God, and the first commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and neighbor as yourself.

The vocation you participate in is primary to any other trade vocation you may participate in. There is a difference between your job as a trade vocation, and your vocation to serve God, which is for the sake of building the Kingdom on earth.

For a priest, he lives both his job and his vocation in the same as a man of God, in the person of Jesus Christ, and spiritual fatherhood to the Church whom He serves.

For a religious or missionary, the primary purpose one feels called to such a life, is the desire to serve God and His Kingdom through a life of prayer and serving the poor. Yet all is an offering to God first, and then to neighbor second.

The Sacrament of Marriage and Family life has its own unique role and is the make up of about 90% of the Church, and it is the most disordered in its primary purpose.

First of all, let’s look at the discernment process of these vocations. Keep in mind the gift of marriage is authored by God Himself. God had a design for marriage from the beginning of man’s existence.

However today, the majority of men and women don’t even give it a second thought of discerning their vocation, nor discerning their perfect spouse. Couples are too quick to jump into the fairy tale idealism of marriage for their own sake, and not for the sake of the Kingdom of God. I know this to be fact, one because I was one of them, and also because I am surrounded by countless couples who are married.

Now a priest or religious will discern for years their vocation all the way up to when they profess their final vows.

If married couples took the time to discern and digest what God’s plan is for marriage, and the in depth mystery of the vows that are said on that holy day, then I doubt that we would be having the crisis in marriage and the family that we are today, and we would see fewer divorces.

One of the beautiful gifts of the Croatian people in the marriage right unlike the American way is that the Croatian people profess their vows on the crucifix. They understand that the vocation that they are entering is their path of the cross through the other, and that they are choosing this path of salvation towards heaven. There are no divorces in Medjugorje. A miracle in itself!

The culture of this people know the meaning of suffering and hardship, for they lived under oppression for hundreds of years.

So what is it about our modern day culture that thinks of itself to be so advanced and progressive, and has lost is heritage? I say it’s but only a matter of convenience. It is easier to run from the cross than to face the cross.

Going back to the marriage tradition of the Croatians, that same crucifix that blessed their marriage is also what hangs over the marital bed of the couple, as a reminder of the vows they professed sealed in the blood of Jesus. It has to be taken to heart that these vows actually mean something.

Let’s just say for one moment, which would by the way never happen. But for the sake of discussion, what if Jesus said, “Ah, no thank you. I’m not going through that for the one I love…” Then those who died for his name, died in vain.

Jesus allowed himself to be crucified to show every generation of human beings that the price He paid is worth dying for. His hands and His feet are nailed to the cross. That means it is permanent and He’s not going anywhere. This is what He calls to those who say they are His, that they live their Christian vocation to the point of death, either dying for ones spouse to himself or herself, or shedding blood for the sake of His name.

Remember, Our Lady’s words above, “holy martyrs died witnessing, I love God above everything…” For the martyr it did not matter what the world thought about them, they had God in the first place, and just like Jesus died from the world, to prove to the world it was worth it.

Look now husbands and wives at your spouses.

Is your spouse worth dying for?

Are your children worth dying for?

Do you have the courage to die for another and lay down your own pride and your selfish desires?

Does it matter if they don’t show their appreciation in the eyes of God? No it doesn’t you must do the right thing anyways…as God sees all things and knows all things. Do what is good for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

“Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church…” (Eph. 5)

In other words, husbands die for your brides! Do what is necessary to let your wife know that she is loved by you. That is not run off with the boys and leave the wife behind. That is not chasing after the dream job at the cost of never being home with your family. The primary vocation of marriage is to serve God first, and then your spouse.

“…you husbands should live with your wives in understanding showing honor to the weaker female sex since we are joint heirs of the gift of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered…” (1 Peter 3:7)

Husbands do we hear these words? The salvation of your family is on you. The eternal future of your children depends on you. Are you leading your family to sin, or to life?

Your are the head of your family, and you will answer to God Himself who placed you in charge of your family to be his image, His representative of the Father’s love. You are to be the image of Jesus Christ and the model for your families. And the catch is here, is if you want God to hear your prayer, this is how you must live! God is watching!

Children are third in line, and then career. Another disorder in the family today is the parent putting children first before their sacrament. All the love is poured out to the children, their activities, their school and the days are busied up with busyness. Families need to be together in the homes, eating together and must above all things make time to pray together.

Now ladies, listen to these words, as a woman to other women, “Wives be subordinate to your husbands…” (Eph. 5) May women shutter at these words, I know this, because I used to be one of them. But I have learned and have come to a deeper understanding to its meaning and live it to see the fruits of this mystery.

If husband and wives are living under the plan of God, there is a natural order in God’s plan of creation. God created man says the book of Genesis, “he created him male and female…” in His image and likeness. (Genesis 1:27) Male and female are equal in their human dignity as both are in the image of God, but they are much different by their nature. Each man and woman has their own natural gifts.

The woman by nature is the weaker female sex. The make up of a woman is of a softer heart, and moves more with emotions. Men were created to guard and care for God’s creation as gift. Woman is created out of man and is God’s created gift for man.

The burden of responsibility falls upon man to lovingly give up His life for his bride. If the husband is living out his role as God has ordained to be, then wives will naturally follow the lead of the husband all in the name of love.

When a wife is combative with her husband, then problems usually result. It was because Adam listened to His wife and disobeyed God that sin entered the world. It was no mistake the serpent went to the woman first, who is the weaker of the sex. It knew what it was doing. But in the garden scene, God convicted Adam for not defending and protecting his wife, and from here is where the curse and divisions began. God made it very clear from the beginning, husband is head over his wife. (Genesis 3)

It was the sin of Adam that Jesus came to redeem who became the New Adam. And who was He giving His life for? His Eve, beginning with the New Eve who is the model and pattern of His Bride, the Church. But we need to pass through Jesus to be created as new creatures. And the way to Him is through the Blessed Mother.

This is such a beautiful mystery to behold. And this mystery is gifted in the gift of vocations founded in the universal Church.

If we understand our vocations as such then we have a new way and a deeper meaning for living them for the sake of God and His Kingdom.

Couples will not rush in haste to have the shot gun weddings, nor will they seek to co-habitate for self seeking pleasures for free sex. Living has a purpose and a meaning now.

Honestly there is so much more to be said here about living the Christian vocation, but this is something that must be searched for in the individual heart. Come to know your identity and who you are…seek the Lord with all your heart; and there is where you will find your treasure….

“Finally all of you be of one mind, sympathetic loving toward one another, compassionate, humble. Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult, but on the contrary a blessing because to this you were called, that you might inherit a blessing…” (1 Peter 3:8-9)

“Holy Family Workshop, Tools for Todays Marriage and Family, Living the call of Medjugorje”

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Heal from the Sins of Your Parents

"Father forgive them..."

“Dear children! Today in a special way, I invite you to take the cross in the hands and to meditate on the wounds of Jesus. Ask of Jesus to heal your wounds, which you dear children, during your life sustained because of the sins of your parents. Only in this way, dear children, you will understand that the world is in need of healing of faith in God the Creator. By Jesus’ passion and death on the cross, you will understand that only through prayer you too can become true apostles of faith, when in simplicity and prayer, you live faith which is a gift. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (3/25/97)

I have to say that I have been reflecting quite a bit again on this message that was given by our Lady in 1997. This message has particular meaning for me in my own life.

Not only do I feel that it touches my heart from the healing of my own woundedness, but I am also aware of the effects of my sinfulness upon my children and their behaviors because of the environment they grew up with living in our home.

Some days I wish I could just reinvent time; but I know it is not so. Our Lady often says in her messages begin ‘anew’ today…and to not look at the past but seek God’s mercy.

Many of us are stuck in our wounds and we do not know how to get out of them. And we have behaviors or should I say triggers that salt the wounds in our hearts that set us off and we lash out at our loved one, often not even giving second thought to why we reacted in such a way.

Let’s look at how Our Lady began this message. She said…

“Dear children! Today in a special way, I invite you to take the cross in the hands and to meditate on the wounds of Jesus….”

The key word here is “in a special way.” Our Lady is asking that we take the crucifix and meditate on the wounds of Jesus in a special way.

What would be a special way for us?

Let’s just say for example you are going through a very trying time like in your marriage, or having problems with your own children. Often in these times for me, I run to the crucifix I have in my home, which is fairly large. I will hold him not only in my hands but I will press Jesus to my heart, and seek refuge in Him. I gaze upon His wounds where his hands and feet are nailed to the cross. Whatever it is that I am going through I visualize not only Jesus on the cross, but myself or the one I love crucified on the cross.

I ask Jesus to show me how to pray particularly for this situation, and what He would like to do with it. Even most recent I have been suffering from worry and anxiety, and I asked the Lord to come into the area of my heart where this fear was coming from in His perfect love to cast it out. I was humbled by His response when I asked Him to do so. He said, “My love, let it be for now…”

Now when He responds in such a way, at least in this situation, I had a deep understanding I was carrying a burden for someone but I did not know who it was until later in the day, when I found my daughter was suffering in the same way.

We don’t always comprehend why we go through what we go through but when we do go through it, there is always a purpose behind it, either for our own spiritual growth and healing or it may be for someone else.

So Our Lady continues to say….

“Ask of Jesus to heal your wounds, which you dear children, during your life sustained because of the sins of your parents. Only in this way, dear children, you will understand that the world is in need of healing of faith in God the Creator…”

My friends look at what is happening here! Jesus wants to heal you and your wounded hearts. Let’s look at the world today and the given chaos and disorder the world is plagued with.

How many of us grew up in perfect God filled holy homes? I would say about 1% right? And if you did, God bless you! You can teach us much. But for the sake of the 99% of us who did not, it is clear why the world is such a mess.

Can the sins of parents be handed down to the children? Absolutely positively YES! We can begin with Adam and Eve as a matter of fact, as one example. Then we can look at the whole of the Old Testament by the curse of the people for who did not obey the Commandments of God. The Lord made it very clear that the sins of the parents would be passed on to the third or fourth generation! (Exodus 20:5-6, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 5:9)

There are many examples in scriptures that give proof to the Word of God and keeping his commandments. However how about real life in a so called modern progressive society that thinks it does not need God or a Savior in the world.

Let’s take one example for now just for the sake of argument. Look at the sin of divorce. YES, divorce is a sin. The first cause and effect of divorce results in the sin of adultery, and leading ones spouse into adultery.

What are the effects on children of divorced parents?

Every child is affected from divorce in one way or another. Many children feel unloved, unwanted, abandoned, abused and more. They turn to drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, rebel, and more so…

If satan has succeeded in divorcing mother and father, he has succeeding in winning the soul of the next generation, that is your children.

Our Lady is leading us to a remedy in these situations. She is pointing the way to her Son, Jesus Christ crucified. She said meditate on the crucifix and ask Jesus to heal your wounds from the sins of your parents.

Were your parents, smokers, drinkers, divorced, argue a lot, violent home, living in unchaste relationships, multiple partners, reckless environment, drug users, addicted to pornography, sexual abusers, suffer from depression, gluttonous … and the list goes on. Even parents who suffer from forms of diseases have effects on their children.

Were you abandoned by a mother or father?

Do you fear being alone now?

Were your parents always away from the home, never taking the time with their children? Have you also picked up this behavior with your own family?

Have you picked up any of these behaviors or patterns?

How have these impacted your relationship with your parents?

If you have the same behaviors, how do you see it affecting your own children?

Do we really think that God does not know the pain we are carrying in our hearts?

Our Lady makes it very clear in her message. She continues to say,

“Only in this way, dear children, you will understand that the world is in need of healing of faith in God the Creator. By Jesus’ passion and death on the cross, you will understand that only through prayer you too can become true apostles of faith, when in simplicity and prayer, you live faith which is a gift…”

She clearly states that through Jesus Crucified is the “ONLY WAY” that the world will come to healing in faith in God, by His passion and cross. She makes it clear the world needs healing. Folks we are the world; we are the make up of the world, and it begins in my heart and your heart.

How many have lost faith in God because of experience they have had from the family or their parents. Do we not understand that children learn the love of God through their mother and father and the love they give. If there is no love in the home, then the perception of God’s love is lost!

Our Lady is making it so easy for us. But we have to come to the understanding, a complete and profound understanding that Jesus did not die in vain. He died for a purpose, to free us from sin, to heal our wounds, to bring us to new life IN HIM.

We are blind, deaf, dumb and mute to the love of God! He came to open the eyes of our hearts, to open our ears to His Word, and visibly see His body nailed to a cross for a purpose.

How can we not look at the crucifix and not ask ourselves why would someone willingly allow this event to occur if there was not a reason for Him to do so. This should raise the mind and the heart.

Do this…Take 5 minutes of your time, and gaze at Jesus crucified. Ask Him to teach you more about His love for you. Say nothing more, and just be silent with Him.

If you are not affected, then take more time, for the wounds in your heart are much deeper than you think. What would this crucified lover say to you in this moment?

If we only knew the love He has for us, there would not be enough gratitude in the world to thank Him for what He has done. Resolve now in this moment to crucified your pain to the cross, and unite it with Him who obtained the grace for you in it.

“I consecrate myself for them so that they may also be consecrated in truth. I pray not only for them, but for also those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you Father are in me and I in you that they may also be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory that you gave me so that they may be one as we are one. I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, and that the world may know that you sent me and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me, I wish that where I am they may also be with me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world…” (John 17:19-24)

Do not think that if you follow Jesus, that you will not suffer. Because here it is by His word He said, “where He is, we will be with Him” all the way to the Cross. Give Him glory in your suffering that it may not be in vain.

Ave Maria!

“Holy Family Workshop, Tools for Today’s Marriage and Family” Live the Call of Medjugorje

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So What is an Unbeliever? Am I?

"If I do not wash you, then you will have no inheritance with me..."

“Dear children, I am coming to you, because with my own example, I wish to show you the importance of prayer for those who have not come to know the love of God. You ask yourself if you are following me? My children, do you not recognize the sign of the times? Do you not speak of them? Come follow me. As a mother I call you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (4/2/2006)

What is an unbeliever?

According to one of the visionaries of Medjugorje, an unbeliever is someone who does not experience the love of God.

If we look at it in this term we can say that almost every human being is an unbeliever right? Because in truth how many are daily experiencing the love of God, or encountering God in their every day prayer, or prayer life?

In the scriptures, St. James addresses an unbeliever. The apostle said,

“What good is it my brothers if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (Jas. 2:14)

By this we can say that an unbeliever is one who may read the gospels, knows and believe in the gospels, but does NOT have works, nor does he live according to the gospels and does not do what is good. Well now we are getting somewhere.

We cannot limit the term unbeliever to one who is godless or does not believe in God. We would be wrong in saying this. In truth, everyone is an unbeliever because our faith is very weak, especially in times of temptation, or times of suffering and trials. And in all truth, not every one is living the gospel to perfection. If we were then we would never see one abortion, nor would there be war, emnity or strife….

For someone who says they have faith (which is a gift from God) is worthless if there is no love behind the faith. If you question this, then just check yourself in the examination of conscience from 1 Corinthians chapter 13, defining what love is.

Love of a believer is one who believes all things for the good, hopes all things, endures all things. Someone who is in love exercises great patience, kindness and great charity nor matter what may come his way good or evil. If we have none of these gifts, then your faith is nothing and empty without works, and you are only a loud sounding gong, in other words you are just filled with chatter and making a lot of noise.

Every Christian, and I repeat EVERY CHRISTIAN (no one is excluded) who says he knows God and has experienced the love of God, is called to pray for unbelievers, to live the Commandments of God and of Jesus to love of neighbor and knows what needs to be done for the greater good.

To know what needs to be done does not mean someone always has the strength to do the good. Only love for God can we find the strength to do good, because divine love in us will act through us according to the knowledge given us.

When a heart experiences the love of God, then at every moment and in every situation, a response is not only possible, but will be carried out with joy.

Mirjana (visionary who is called to pray for unbelievers) has said repeatedly, “If you can only see the tears in our Lady’s eyes when she speaks about her children, the unbelievers, you would immediately pray for them…” Mirjana emphasizes that when we pray for unbelievers we are actually praying for ourselves and OUR FUTURE, because bad things come from unbelievers. The one who prays for the grace to love is praying for happiness and well being for themselves and for others.

Let’s just give this some thought for a moment. Let’s look at a situation that may occur in a family of someone who may be acting as an unbeliever in the home environment. Someone may be discouraged or angry for something that happened to them. They will bring this negative behavior into the home and carry it forward to other family members. They may stir up arguments, fights or bring it about in other ways of emotions, such as mockery, temper tantrums and so on.

If we do not have the tools or the grace to exercise virtue in these moments, and the strength to turn to God for our situations through prayer, then it is not just one person who is the unbeliever, but all who are affected by the one persons actions. Then what good comes from that?

Therefore a day should not go by without praying for those who do not know the love of God.

For this we will post meditations and reflections of prayer for unbelievers to be prayed with your daily rosary. Keep watch for further postings….

“Faith of itself without works is dead…” (Jas. 2:17)

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