10/16/17

Pope John Paul ll - The Final Confrontation

The final confrontation


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Pope John Paul II
The following comes from a June 1 posting by Father C. John McCloskey on the Catholic Thing.
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.
“We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it. . . .How many times has the renewal of the Church been brought about in blood! It will not be different this time.”

Bicentennial talk given in the United States by the future Saint John Paul II, then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Kraków, Poland
My eyes almost popped out when I first read this. I could not believe it was authentic, but I have checked it repeatedly and yes, he did say it. And he said it to us Americans, who were at perhaps the apogee of our greatness, short of the fall of the Evil Empire.
Well, how seriously should we take this? Very, very seriously. After all, the speaker was about to become one of the greatest popes in the history of the Church. In addition, he was a mystic and, yes, a prophet and truth-teller who suffered under Nazism and communism, as well as in a certain sense also from Islam. (Recall that he was almost killed by a Muslim assassin, only to be saved by the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, according to his own words.)
Let me be clear: my musings on the words of John Paul are not meant to encourage you to sell your property, close the bank account, build a bomb shelter, and await the rapture. That is not the Catholic thing to do. But it’s hard not to “ponder these things in [our] hearts.” What exactly did the pope see or have revealed to him? Perhaps the best place to seek the answer is his writings, although we lack space to comb through them all here.
We can also look around us at the remains of what was once called the Christian West, noting a host of behaviors and beliefs that seem custom-made to initiate and accelerate decline. For example, we find in the West depopulation, legal abortion, open homosexuality and same-sex “marriage,” epidemic levels of pornography use, declining marriage rates, and rising cohabitation rates.
Politically, even supposedly tolerant and democratic states like our own are beginning to deny the religious liberty rights of families, businesses, and churches. In addition, we observe growing centralization of power in the hands of those unfavorable to any faith except the idolatry of health, wealth, and technology. They place their long-term hope in the possibility that science may one day arrest death. They watched too many Star Trek and Star Wars movies as children. Unfortunately, they may well go where many men have gone before – and not simply into outer space.
This, surely, is the Anti-Church that St John Paul foresaw – in any event it is here, it is growing, and to a great extent it has already demolished Europe.
What are we to do? First, of course, do not despair. As Catholics we live this life looking forward to the next. We can’t lose, for as St. Paul put it, for us death is gain, not something to fear.
How then to confront and combat the Anti-Church? Imitate the lives of the first Christians! Consider this justly famous description of Christians in the anonymous Letter to Diognetus, written in 79 A.D.:
“For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. . . .They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring.
“They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. (2 Corinthians 10:3) They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. (Philippians 3:20) They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. . .they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonored, and yet in their very dishonor are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; (2 Corinthians 4:12) they are insulted, and repay the insult with honor; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers.”
If we live as the first Christians did, we too can confront and triumph over the Church of the evil Global Empires.

10/13/17

The 1975 Rome Prophecies


Pope John Paul with Ralph Martin

Prophecies Given At St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy
During the Closing Eucharistic Celebrations (Pentecost Monday 1975)
of the International Conference of the
Catholic Charismatic Renewal


"Because I love you I want to show you what I am doing in the world today. I want to prepare you for what is to come. Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation… Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for my people will not be there. I want you to be prepared, My people, to know only me and to cleave to me and to have me in a way deeper than ever before. I will lead you into the desert…. I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on me. A time of darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for my church, a time of glory is coming for my people. I will pour out on you all the gifts of My Spirit. I will prepare you for spiritual combat; I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has never seen. And when you have nothing but Me, you will have everything: land, fields, homes and brothers and sisters and love and joy and peace more than ever before. Be ready, my people, I want to prepare you…"

"I speak to you of the dawn of a 'new age' for My church. I speak to you of a day that has not been seen before...Prepare yourselves for the action that I begin now, because things that you see around you will change; the combat that you must enter now is different; it is new. You need wisdom from Me that you do not yet have."

"You need the power of my Holy Spirit in a way that you have not possessed it; you need an understanding of My will and of the ways that I work that you do not yet have. Open your eyes, open your hearts to prepare yourselves for Me and for the day that I have now begun.

My church will be different; My people will be different; difficulties and trials will come upon you. The comfort that you know now will be far from you, but the comfort that you will have is the comfort of My Holy Spirit. They will send for you, to take your life, but I will support you. Come to Me. Band yourselves together, around Me. Prepare, for I proclaim a new day, a day of victory and of triumph for your God. Behold, It is begun."

"...I will renew my Church. I will renew my people. I will make My people one. I am calling you to turn away from the pleasure of the world. I am calling you to turn away from seeking the approval of the world in your lives. I want to transform your lives...I have word for My church. I am sounding My call. I am forming a mighty army...My power is upon them. They will follow My chosen shepherd(s)..."

"Be the shepherds I have called you to be...I am renewing My church. I will free the world."
"Know that I, your God, brought Peter and Paul to Rome to witness to My glory. I have chosen you also and have brought you to Rome to bear witness to My glory, confirmed now by your shepherd. Go forth to the healing of the nations. Know that I am with you; and though you may pass through tribulation and trial, I will be with you even to the end. I am preparing a place for you in glory. Look to Me and I will deliver you from the power of the evil one. Behold I am with you now, all days, even till the end of time.

"...You have know the truth these days. You have experienced the truth these days. It is clear to you at this moment what the truth is. It is the truth of My kingdom, My kingdom that will prevail...I want you to take that truth, to rest in that truth, to believe in that truth, not to compromise it, not to lose it in confusions, not to be timid about it, but to stand simply, in love, firmly rooted in the truth as foundation stones upon which My church can have new life and new power." ( Prophecy recieved by Ralph Martin) of Renewal Ministries. 

TAG -  Fr. John Randall

‘Plant Me Where I Will Bloom!’

plant-me-002Image Source
The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord, they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bring forth fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green, to show that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. (Ps 92:12-14)
Ralph Martin recently received the following letter from a friend of Renewal Ministries. As he said, it is a “great story of a woman’s journey.” We share it with the hope that it will encourage others to ask the Lord that they too would be “planted in the house of the Lord” (Ps 92: 13). Surely this is a prayer He longs to answer!

Dear Ralph,

I am so thankful for your ministry! You probably remember our wonderful Fr. John Randall of Providence, Rhode Island. He was very special to me. As a child, my mother use to put his radio program on in the house everyday (The Spirit and The Word). I do believe that soaking up that truth every day during childhood had an impact on me.
When I was about nineteen years old (I’m thirty-nine now), I started spending a lot of time at the local Adoration chapel. I was longing to get closer and closer to Jesus! I started asking Him to “plant me where I will bloom!” I wasn’t even quite sure where I had gotten that prayer from, but I kept asking!

Fr. John Randall
Shortly after that, my mother mentioned that a nearby parish was having a Life in the Spirit Seminar. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but I knew it was a chance to get closer to Jesus, so I went. It was a turning point in my life; God did begin planting me where I would bloom!
I began meeting with a small group of people guided along with Fr. Randall’s Bethany Discipleship points. Fr. Randall was so formative to me from my childhood—how amazing that he also played such a role in my formation as a young adult! Next to my mother, I would say that he is the person who has had the most influence in my life. My husband and I were married by him. I am so thankful to be able to call on him from heaven to pray for me every day!

Now I am busy on my home front; that’s my place for now! I occasionally get out to a prayer meeting with Don and Pat Turbitt (Renewal Ministries’ country coordinators).
I love listening to you and Sister Ann. It reminds me of listening to Fr. Randall—that truth ringing through that seems to cut right through me! Thank you!!

10/12/17

Our Lady of Fatima

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2017


Our Lady of Fatima




10/8/17

One can really feel the power of prayer here

Fr. Marin Marić: “One really feels the power of prayer in Medjugorje”

date: 07.10.2017.
Fr. Marin Marić is a parish priest of parish Dezevice. Dezevice is a place not far from Sarajevo, 912 meters above the sea level and is consecrated to Our Lady of Snow, while St. James of the Marches is the patron saint. When visiting Dezevice, you can see cave of St. James of the Marches, his water and much more, as well as many faithful who come to this place and pray to obtain their vows and pleas. It took more than 600 years for faithful to find out more about St. James of the Marches. Two years ago there was the International Symposium on St. James of the Marches, and the book on his work in Bosnia was published later on.
Fr. Marin Marić often comes to Medjugorje. In the programme of radio „Mir“ Međugorje he spoke on his calling and the experience of Medjugorje. In 2007 he walked from Kupres with his friends to Medjugorje:
„Before that pilgrimage I used to come with my family here and my mom used to say to us: “Now my children, you have the opportunity to confess here.” From that time on, the confession remained something ordinary for me and each time I come to Medjugorje, I go for confession here. Each time I would come here, either as a child, or now as a priest, was something special. One can really feel the power of prayer here. So many people, sick ones, those who do not believe, those who converted, mothers, grandparents praying with the genuine faith here to the Heavenly Mother. It is that spirit of the prayer that imbues everyone coming here with sincere faith. I gladly come here to pray on a pilgrimage and I will continue coming as long as I am able to. Only when I leave Medjugorje  I can speak about the fruits of Medjugorje. I am thrilled to hear about so many conversions, healings and miracles that take place here. Truly, we in Medjugorje need to pray to Our Heavenly Mother for holiness of sacraments, particularly confessions and Holy Mass, so all could remain in this Holy atmosphere“, said Fr. Marin hosting on our radio „Mir“ Međugorje.

Thousands of Polish Catholics formed human chains

Poles Form Rosary Chain At Border

From France 24:
Thousands of Polish Catholics formed human chains on the country’s borders Saturday, begging God “to save Poland and the world” in an event many viewed as a spiritual weapon against the “Islamisation” of Europe.
Reciting “Rosary to the Borders”, they called to be protected from the dangers facing them. The episcopate insisted that it was a purely religious initiative.
The goal was to have as many prayer points as possible along Poland’s 3,511-kilometre (2,200-mile) border with Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia and the Baltic Sea.

10/2/17

Medjugorje: Our Lady's Message to Mirjana of October 2, 2017

"Dear children, I am speaking to you as a mother - with simple words, but words filled with much love and concern for my children who, through my Son, are entrusted to me. And my Son, who is of the eternal now, He is speaking to you with words of life and is sowing love in open hearts. Therefore, I am imploring you, apostles of my love, have open hearts always ready for mercy and forgiveness. According to my Son, always forgive your neighbors, because in that way peace will be in you.
My children, care for your soul, because it alone is what truly belongs to you. You are forgetting the importance of family. A family does not need to be a place of suffering and pain, but a place of understanding and tenderness. Families who strive to live according to my Son live in mutual love. While He was still little, my Son would say to me that all people are His brothers. Therefore, remember, apostles of my love, that all people whom you meet are family to you - brothers according to my Son.
My children, do not waste time thinking about the future, worrying.
May your only concern be how to live well every moment according to my Son. And there it is - peace for you!
My children, do not ever forget to pray for your shepherds. Pray that they can accept all people as their children; that, according to my Son, they may be spiritual fathers to them. Thank you!"
Video of Apparition  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUVPuW5qsAY&feature=youtu.be

10/1/17

Pro-Life Progress

Pro-Life Progress Under President Trump


President Donald Trump has been making so much progress in the area of pro-life and religious freedom that by the time you are reading
this article, there will be many more things that have to be added to it!

No president has accomplished more for the Culture of Life at the beginning of his term than has President Trump.

President Trump’s first and most important achievement was keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House. She is an extreme and avid supporter of abortion and Planned Parenthood.

Once in office President Trump did the following:

He signed an executive order reinstating and enhancing the Mexico City Policy (MCP). The order not only reestablishes the original MCP’s prohibition against Agency for International Development (AID) funding of groups that perform or promote abortion in foreign countries, but also extends that restriction to all federal departments and agencies. Further, the measure bars, to the extent permitted by law, the funding of organizations that support or participate in programs of forced abortion or involuntary sterilization. By this one action, the President kept 9 billion away from the abortion industry.

President Trump then sent Vice President Mike Pence to speak in person at the March for Life. President Trump tweeted to the crowd, “The #March for Life is so important. To all of you marching --- you have my full support!”

President Trump has expressed his support for a bill passed by the
House of Representatives, namely, H.R. 7, which would place the Hyde amendment into federal law (eliminating the need for annual Congressional action) and extend it to all federal spending, not just expenditures authorized through the Department of Health and Human Services. The legislation would also bar the government from subsidizing insurance plans that cover elective abortions.

President Trump was able to seat a pro-life justice on the US Supreme Court. Justice Neil Gorsuch has ruled against the Obama administration’s HHS mandate and has written a book opposing the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. President Trump signed into law House Joint Resolution 43, which revoked the Obama administration regulation that required states to give Title X family planning funds to Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions.

President Trump continues to publicly call for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and to work hard with the Congress to make sure this happens. He told the New York Times that organizations that now perform abortions could continue to receive federal funding if they stop performing abortions. Planned Parenthood rejected the offer.

The Trump administration’s State Department announced that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will no longer receive federal funding because its participation in China’s forced abortion policy violates federal law (the Kemp-Kasten amendment).

President Trump signed an Executive Order to restore protection of religious liberty against the Obamacare HHS mandate and against the unreasonable interpretation and application of the “Johnson Amendment,” which restricts Churches and non-profit organizations from speaking their minds on politics. The President said that they should always be free to say what they think.

Priests for Life will continue to work closely with this pro-life President, and we urge all of you to help us advance policies like this by signing up for and participating in our Action Alerts.

9/25/17


(c)Mateo Ivankovic 2017


J.M.J.
September 25, 2017

Dear Family of Mary!

 September 25, 2017 Message from Our Lady, Queen of Peace:

"Dear children! I am calling you to be generous in renunciation, fasting and prayer for all those who are in temptation, and are your brothers and sisters. In a special way I am imploring you to pray for priests and for all the consecrated, that they may love Jesus still more fervently; that the Holy Spirit may fill their hearts with joy; that they may witness Heaven and Heavenly mysteries. Many souls are in sin, because there are not those who sacrifice themselves and pray for their conversion. I am with you and am praying that your hearts may be filled with joy. Thank you for having responded to my call." (September 25, 2017)

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
Mary TV

9/19/17

Ten Short Prayers

1. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
2. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.
3. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
4. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
5. My God, and my all!
6. Jesus, my God, I love Thee above all things.
7. Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, on fire with love of us, inflame our hearts with love of Thee.
8. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.
9. Blessed be God.
10. Heart of Jesus burning with love of us, inflame our hearts with love of Thee.

9/18/17

Prayer / Blessing Against Storms from the Pieta Prayer Book

The ever popular pieta prayer book

Prayer / Blessing Against Storms from the Pieta Prayer Book

(where you see the cross, make the Sign of the Cross)

Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. + God became man, + and the Word was made flesh. + Christ was born of a virgin. + Christ suffered. + Christ was crucified. + Christ died. + Christ rose from the dead. + Christ ascended into Heaven. + Christ conquers. + Christ reigns. + Christ orders. + May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning. + Christ went through their midst in Peace, + and the Word was made Flesh. + Christ is with us with Mary. + Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the Generation of Juda, the Root of David, was won. + Holy God! + Holy Powerful God ! + Holy Immortal God! + Have mercy on us. Amen!

9/13/17

Medjugorje: Sister Emmanuel Newsletter



Medjugorje, 14 September 2017
Exaltation of the Cross


Dear Children of Medjugorje, praise be to Jesus and Mary!


                                                               
1 - On September 2, 2017, Mirjana received her monthly apparition at the Blue Cross in the presence of a very large crowd. After the apparition, she conveyed the message that Mary gave us:
"Dear children, who could speak to you about the love and the pain of my Son better than I? I lived with Him; I suffered with Him. Living the earthly life I felt pain because I was a mother. My Son loved the thoughts and the works of the Heavenly Father, the true God. And, as He said to me, He came to redeem you. I hid my pain through love, but you, my children, you have numerous questions. You do not comprehend pain. You do not comprehend that through the love of God you need to accept pain and endure it. Every human being will experience it to a lesser or greater measure. But with peace in the soul and in a state of grace, hope exists; this is my Son, God, born of God. His words are the seed of eternal life. Sown in good souls they bring numerous fruits. My Son bore the pain because He took your sins upon Himself. Therefore, you, my children, apostles of my love, you who suffer, know that your pain will become light and glory. My children, while you are enduring pain, while you are suffering, Heaven enters in you and you give a piece of Heaven and much hope to all those around you. Thank you."

Watch the apparition here:

2. Strange events! During this apparition, a rather common phenomenon occurred once again. But on this day, it was on a scale I had never seen before. People in large numbers began to howl blasphemies and yell like animals as soon as the Blessed Mother appeared. This went on for some time, and then everything gradually calmed down. When people who are tormented by demons are in the presence of Our Lady these demons sometimes manifest their anger in this way.
A priest who was there with us told me at the end of the apparition that he had perceived the coming of the Mother of God within his soul, and the luminous cloud on which she stands. This cloud slowly moved downward, pushing the demons down into the abyss, which unleashed their revolt and even prompted them to fight against each other. This priest belongs to a team that works with an exorcist every week, and he has the gift of seeing in spirit what is happening in the invisible realm. These realities are not new; the Gospel reveals a number of them to us. However in our days, with the growing number of harmful practices and the serious sins that are being committed, many people are opening their doors to Satan and his angels without being aware of it. Let us therefore pray a great deal to the Mother of God, because she was chosen by God to crush the head of the serpent. She is the best exorcist after Jesus! The Rosary prayer is a very powerful weapon against the forces of evil.

An exorcist from the diocese of Milano, Don Ambrogio Villa, reported what Satan said during a recent exorcism. Summoned to answer the questions which the priest asked him, Satan said: "For us (demons), Medjugorje is our hell on earth!" (See PS 1). No surprise there! Given the intensity of prayers surrounding the daily visits of Our Lady, given the evenings of adoration with people in their thousands, given the many sincere confessions, conversions and reconciliations, it isn't surprising that the enemy of humankind feels awful there. But we must keep watch! He is doing everything he can to oppose the plan of the Mother of God and to destroy it. This is why our Heavenly Mother is counting on us today more than ever. She asked us again this month at the Blue Cross with Ivan, to pray for the plans she has for Medjugorje and for her projects. "I need your prayers to help the world," she said at the very beginning of the apparitions. Let's not let her down, because a lot of what will happen depends on our prayers and our fasting! It actually depends on our good will to live her messages or to ignore them.

3. With whom are you suffering?
The Blessed Mother has given us an extraordinary message! Let me try to explain.
When we are seized by suffering, a wound opens up within us, and this wound makes us very sensitive and vulnerable. Delighted to see us so vulnerable, Satan takes advantage of this and tries to infect this open wound by injecting his own poisons, his own thoughts. He will make subtle suggestions to our consciences, with twisted words, using the weakness of our nature damaged by sin. He tries to make us believe that these suggestions come from us.
For instance, despair: "Considering everything you've already suffered, you just cannot endure this new blow, it's better to kill yourself!"
Doubting God's love: "You think God loves you? Not at all! Look at what he's doing to you! Don't bother going to mass or praying anymore, you're wasting your time, this God couldn't care less!"
Revolt: "Why did this happen to you? Why did God take away your young husband, while my unbelieving neighbor still has hers? How unfair!"
Bitterness: "Well now it's over, I'm shutting myself down, locking myself in. Leave me alone! My life is now meaningless,"
Hatred: "These people who hurt you so badly, they deserve your hate! Take revenge! They're going to pay for what they did, and it's going to be bloody!"
Guilt: "This trial fell on me because I deserved it! It is God's punishment, because I am no good."
The list could go on and on... Do not ever listen to any of these suggestions, even if they violently invade your mind! Satan always makes a lot of noise. If we listen to him, we suffer even more and lose peace completely. How can we discern this? By comparing these suggestions with the words of Jesus in the Gospel. Would Jesus say "You need to take revenge?" Or "You need to hate this person"? "You should shut yourself in"? "Kill yourself"? "Doubt the love of the Father"? Of course not! So we need to disconnect with those thoughts and tell Jesus "I don't want these thoughts, they are not mine.  The enemy is after me, but I chose to be with you!"
Jesus himself comes into our wounds, but in a completely different way. In the silence of our heart he whispers "Don't be afraid! I am with you! Your suffering is also mine. Look at my hands, my feet and my side. I too have suffered. Together, you and I, we will make it." 


And then Jesus asks us for a favor: "Give me your wound. Offer up your pain!" If we offer up our suffering to Jesus, he receives it with deep gratitude. And then what does he do with it? He puts it onto his own wounds and makes it his own! And what came out of the wounds of Christ? Bitterness, hatred, despair? Definitely not! From his wounds came healing, consolation, peace, forgiveness, all the graces and even the sacraments. His suffering is redemptive. "By his wounds we are healed" says St Paul. Therefore our suffering, when bound to His suffering, becomes co-redemptive, and we take part in the work of Redemption accomplished by Christ. There is only one Redeemer and that is Jesus Christ. But having hidden our sufferings in the wounds of Christ, we help Him to extend the grace of salvation further still! Through Baptism, we really became the body of Christ. "I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the Church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions", says St. Paul (Col 1:24). We then become co-redeemers, just as the Mother of God is the co-redemptrix (See PS 2). That is when joy flows through us, not because of a love of suffering (which would be a perversion), but for the love of Christ, seeing the fruits of salvation achieved through our offering. The soul experiences its greatest joy when it is in deep intimate love with Christ and in our participation in His work. All the joys of the world are nothing compared to this joy. Because then indeed, "Heaven enters us!"
"Apostles of my love, you who are suffering, be aware that your pain will become light and glory. My children, while you are enduring pain, while you are suffering, heaven is coming into your being, and you are giving a piece of that heaven, as well as a great deal of hope to all those who surround you."
This is the real question: when I am suffering, whose voice shall I choose to listen to? Will I suffer with the evil one who wants to destroy me, or with Jesus who wants to save me?
4. On 8 September, for the Nativity of Our Lady, Ivan received an apparition at the Blue Cross and Mary again invited us to pray for families, for young people and for holiness in families. "Dear Children, even today I would like to invite you to pray for families. Pray for holiness in families, pray for young people! My children have gone away. They have moved away from my Son Jesus. Pray, dear children! Know that I pray for all of you and intercede for you before my Son."


5. This month, just before the feast of St Padre Pio, I will be moving up from my 60s to my 70s. On this occasion, I thank my Creator for the gift of life, and for having called me to be consecrated to Him. The Spouse he gave me is my every joy. I ask Him for the ability to serve you, my dear friends, for a long time to come, if that is His will. May I ask you for a wonderful birthday present? Ask a priest to celebrate a mass for Mary's plan to be fully accomplished. May her dream come true: may Medjugorje experience again the fervor of the early days of the apparitions! THANK YOU with all my heart.
6. The next live broadcast in French will be on October 3rd. The September 3rd one can be seen here:
Dearest Gospa, thank you for revealing a glimpse of your secret about suffering. Yes, your children are suffering! Please come in person to collect our tears and offer them to your Son Jesus. Console us and strengthen us in this spiritual battle against Evil. Be by the side of those who suffer and make us angels of consolation and peace.
 Sister Emmanuel +

9/7/17

Featured article from September's Spirit of Medjugorje

"This is for You"
By Debi Byham
     "I am going to Medjugorje for a miracle," was the last thing I said to my family and friends before boarding the airplane on September 17, 1997. I had no idea, at that time, how God could bring healing or peace into my troubled life. I had suffered from guilt, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for 27 years after a tragic car accident that claimed the lives of three people, including my best friend Debbie. I was the driver. I spent years in therapy, talking with psychiatrists and psychologists. I took antidepressants to get through the day and sleeping pills to get through the night. I even went to a nutritionist, thinking that if I ate better, maybe I would feel better. But none of those things helped. I had no peace and no hope for healing in my future. My soul was in a dark, desperate place. 
     As a last resort, I went to our parish priest and I told him everything about my past. He told me that he knew my friend Debbie's family and that he was even at her funeral in 1969. He told me, "Debbie's mother is a faith-filled woman and she would not want you to suffer like this. You have to get in touch with her." I said there was no way I could meet with her because I did not want to remind her of her daughter who died. He told me he would be remiss in his duty as a priest if he did not intervene in some way. 
     I met with Debbie's mother and brother at a restaurant. One of the first things they said to me was, "We have never blamed you for what happened that night." It felt like they were giving me permission to have a life. I didn't really believe them, because I did not think that kind of forgiveness was possible; however, I was so grateful for their compassion towards me. Debbie's mom told me stories about what it was like in the hospital before her daughter died. Those stories were really difficult and painful for me to hear, and I never thought about them again. Until I went to Medjugorje! 
     One day, my Aunt Eileen called and told me she was going to Medjugorje. "I think you should go with me," she said. "It is a prayerful place and I think you might find peace there." I said I would go with her, even though I knew nothing about Medjugorje. When I told my husband I was going, he asked me why I was going. I told him I was "going for a miracle". I told him that if a miracle did not happen to me, I would not be coming home. And I meant it. In fact, I told him that I needed a sign – a sign so big that it would say, 'Debi, this is for you.' Since I knew God could not change the circumstances of my past, I left for Medjugorje with a heavy heart and with a very narrow view of how big and loving our God really is. 
     As a pilgrim, I visited the holy sites, climbed the mountains, prayed the Rosary, and reflected on the Stations of the Cross. I listened to the sermons of many priests and to the testimonies of the visionaries, who always talked about the importance of forgiveness in attaining peace. I was not sure it was possible for me to forgive myself for all the pain I had caused in so many people's lives. During one of our walks, my aunt and I looked up in the sky and saw the sun spinning, pulsating, and changing size. It seemed to be leaving the sky and coming right up to my face. Beautiful colors were radiating out from around the spinning sun. When this incredibly awesome light show was over, my aunt said, "Debi, you have just seen the miracle of the sun!" Since I did not know the story of Fatima, I did not know what she meant. I also did not know, then, that this miracle of the sun would be a really important sign for me later in my journey.
Debi and her Aunt Eileen at the Blue Cross
Debi and her Aunt Eileen at the Blue Cross
     As we walked up Mt. Krizevac, our priest, in a very prayerful way, would reflect on each Station of the Cross. By the time we got to the Third Station, his reflections were starting to feel like stories from my painful past. It seemed like I was walking up my own Calvary. I wanted to stop. My aunt said, "I know these stories are hard for you." She wanted me to hang in there. I guess I never really understood the Way of the Cross. 
     At the top of the mountain, I saw people walking over to the cross and touching it reverently. I, however, walked off by myself. There I was, on the top of this mountain overlooking all of Medjugorje, and I felt like I was in a bottomless pit. I was so far away from peace and I was pretty sure that, within two days time, when our plane left, I would not be on it. That was my worst moment in Medjugorje. 
     I turned around and saw my aunt and her friend sitting on the ground, quietly praying the Rosary. I went over and sat in front of them, put my face in my hands, and cried my heart out. I was hoping that some of those Hail Marys were for me. My aunt told me later: "When I saw you up there alone, I prayed to the Blessed Mother to come and wrap Her arms around you so you wouldn't be tormented anymore." That day was my birthday. 
     Later that evening, in the lobby of the hotel, I visited with Tom and Jeff, some friends that we met in Medjugorje. With them was Paul, a young man in a wheelchair, who didn't have any legs. When he told me that he lived in the hotel, I was surprised that I had never seen him before. He confided that he was too depressed to come out of his room. I knew exactly what that was like. 
     Tom suggested to us that we go to the Blue Cross. Paul said, "Why are you going there?" Tom said, "To pray." Even though it was after midnight, Jeff and his friend, Joe, said they would go to the Blue Cross. Paul said he would go, but he wasn't going to pray. I said I would go, but I wasn't going to pray either. 
     We climbed up Apparition Hill to the Blue Cross. The guys picked Paul up out of his wheelchair and carried him up the hill. All of a sudden, Paul said, "All you rich people come to Medjugorje looking for miracles. There ain't no miracles here!" That really grabbed at my heart because I went to Medjugorje for a miracle, and I started to cry. Before I knew it, I exploded with the information about that horrible accident, and shared all the details of my past that I had kept hidden for so long. In that moment, Tom put a piece of wood in my hand and said, "This is a relic of the True Cross; hold it." He squeezed it into my hand and prayed out loud for me. Jeff tried to comfort me and said, "God will take care of you." I remember yelling, "Yeah, right! Where's He been all my life?" Paul kept saying: "It was an accident; get over it." 
     Paul lost both legs as a soldier when he stepped on a landmine. I understood the bitterness and pain Paul experienced being a 27-year-old man who would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. But I did not understand him yelling at me to "get over it." 
     All of a sudden, I saw a white light over to my right. As I looked at the light, I saw a woman come out of the light and sit down on a rock near us. She was wearing a long white dress and white veil. She was sitting in a listening pose, her head bent towards us. She looked like a statue: the folds in her dress did not move, her head did not turn. She reminded me of Michelangelo's statue of the Pieta, the Madonna, because she was in that kind of a pose. She seemed to be lit from within – illuminated and glowing. (I am embarrassed to admit that I thought she was rude to sit there and listen to all of the pain in our lives.)
Vicka right before she prayed over Debi
Vicka right before she prayed over Debi
     One of the guys, noticing the time, said it was time to leave. Joe and Tom carried Paul right past this 'lady in white' and walked to the bottom of Apparition Hill. I did not want to walk by her, because I knew she heard everything I said, and I was ashamed. However, the moment I stood, so did she. She walked right up to me and said, "This is for you." I did not even look to see what she was giving me. I was so overwhelmed by her compassion, that I put my arms around her and hugged her. I laid my head on her shoulder and cried. Jeff, standing behind me, kept saying: "Come on, Debi, it's time to go," and he pulled me away from her. When I looked down, I saw that she had given me her white shawl, made of the same fabric as her dress and veil. It was very soft. As I held it, I thought, 'I will always remember what compassion feels like!' Then I looked up into her face and said, "Thank you." She gave me the most wonderful smile, like she loved me. 
     Later, on our way to Vicka's to hear her testimony, I asked Joe who he thought the lady in white was who appeared to us at the Blue Cross. "I think it was the Blessed Mother," he said. When we assembled at Vicka's house, the interpreter was talking about Mary's messages to us. The hardest part of the message, for me, was hearing about forgiveness, because I believed that I would never be able to forgive myself for causing so much pain in so many people's lives. I felt like I was light years away from peace. 
     As Vicka was praying over the group, a conversation that Debbie 's mom had with me that night in the restaurant, that I had blocked out of my mind, came back to me clearly. She had told me that she took a room across from the hospital so that she could go back-and-forth every day to visit her daughter in the burn unit. She always stopped at the chapel to pray to our Blessed Mother. She said that she had a close relationship with Mary because Mary knew what it was like to see Her child suffer and die. (I was really troubled by that story.) One day, while kneeling in the chapel and praying to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, someone tapped Debbie 's mom on the back. She turned around and saw a lady in white standing there. The lady said to her, "Do you have somebody here in the hospital?" She said, "Yes, my daughter is here." This lady in white said to her: "You don't need to pray for your daughter. It is God's Will what happened. You need to pray that you have the grace to accept God's will for your daughter." Then this lady disappeared. She did not walk out of the chapel; she just disappeared. 
     After Debbie died, her mom said, "I know that God sent that lady to me to let me know that Debbie was going to be in Heaven." She told me she never had to go to a support group for parents who have lost a child, because she knew God called her daughter to be with Him. 
     Here I am, standing in front of Vicka, KNOWING that God sent that same lady in white to me. The lady who appeared to my friend's mom in the hospital chapel in 1969 was now appearing to me in 1997. And I knew, without a doubt, that THAT was the 'great big sign' that had my name on it! That was the moment that I knew God was real and that He loved me. When Vicka reached out and prayed over me, I knew God was confirming that He really did send me help from Heaven. The shawl that I was given was truly a gift from the LORD! 
     We went back to the Blue Cross that evening, and this time it was me that wanted to pray. Tom said, "I have to tell you a story". Five years earlier, his uncle, a priest, took a group of pilgrims to Medjugorje. As they climbed Mount Krizevac, they saw a lady in white effortlessly walking above the rocks while everyone else was struggling to climb over the rocks. The pilgrims wanted to talk to her, but they could not catch up to her. The priest told the pilgrims that he would ask Vicka who the 'lady in white' was that everyone saw. Vicka said it was the Blessed Mother, who climbs the mountain every day, praying for peace. That was the moment I knew I would never spend another moment hating myself. I figured that if God loved me that much – that He would send this special lady to me – I needed to forgive myself, and allow God to heal me. 
     One week after I got home, on the night before the anniversary of the car accident, my husband and I drove to a nearby town to pick up his car. I confided to him that I was nervous about going to work the next day, as that anniversary date was always so painful to me. I was afraid my memories would crash over me and I would lose my composure at work. As I pulled out of the parking lot of the car dealer, I could not see out my windshield. Even though it wasn't dark yet, I couldn't see the road. I stopped my car, put my window down, and looked out to see what the problem could be. I saw the sun spinning; it was pulsating and the colors were radiating out from it. The sun was leaving the sky and coming right up to my face. I thought, 'Wow! The miracle of the sun at home! I thought Mary lived in Medjugorje!' 
     That night I consecrated myself and my family to God and to the Blessed Mother. I knew She was saying that I was going to be all right tomorrow, the anniversary date of the accident, and through all of my tomorrows, because She would be with me. 
     When I woke up the next day, instead of thinking about the car accident, I thought about the beauty and awesomeness of seeing the miracle of the sun in my hometown. That image got me through the whole day. When I got home from work, I went upstairs to my room and got all of the medication out of my drawer and I threw it away. I then called the psychiatrist and said, "I need to come down one more time. I want to say goodbye." Even though this doctor was not Catholic, he believed every word I shared and was moved by my story. He said, "I am so happy for you, but I am so sad that it took 27 years for you to experience peace." I happily reminded him that indeed, 27 years is a long time to suffer. But in God's time, 27 years is a blink of the eye!
Debi with her shawl in 1997
Debi with her shawl in 1997
     I have learned through this experience that "Better is one day in His court than a thousand elsewhere" (Psalm 84:10). I now have a much clearer picture of the value of suffering. For me, pain and healing have brought me closer to God, hence the joy and peace in my life today. 
     Mary's messages to the world came alive for me after my return home. I bought my first Bible because I was filled with a desire to read, know and live the Word of God. Even though I had been going to daily Mass for over 25 years, I went because I was desperate for a healing word from the priest. Now I go to daily Mass to celebrate God's goodness and to thank Him for His presence in my life. 
     Now, as I celebrate the 20th anniversary of that first pilgrimage to Medjugorje, I can say that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH THE LORD! One important lesson I have learned through this experience is that love, forgiveness, and reconciliation are not just gifts from the LORD to us. They are to be gifts we give to each other. 
     Note: All five of us at the Blue Cross that night saw the 'lady in white.' Her appearing to us changed all of us in a myriad of ways. But that's another story.