Message August 25, 2017
The Message of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 25, 2017
“Dear children! Today I am calling you to be people of prayer. Pray until prayer becomes a joy for you and a meeting with the Most High. He will transform your hearts and you will become people of love and peace. Do not forget, little children that Satan is strong and wants to draw you away from prayer. You do not forget that prayer is the secret key of meeting with God. That is why I am with you to lead you. Do not give up on prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call."
A Pope a President and a Bishop
Excerpts of an article by Paul Kengorin the National Catholic Register Newspaper
I've been writing and talking quite a bit recently on Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and their extraordinary partnership to win the battle of the 20th century against the destructive force of atheistic Soviet communism -- an evil that Our Lady of Fatima had warned about 100 years ago.
But if there's a third person in that story, it's a bishop, an American Catholic renowned throughout the 20th century -- a remarkable priest named Fulton Sheen.
In retrospect, Archbishop Sheen began the good fight that John Paul II and Ronald Reagan would pick up and carry across the finish line.
...consider Archbishop Sheen's place in this historical-spiritual picture...in Archbishop Sheen...was there no more effective catholic apologist in the United States, teaching and preaching on every aspect of the faith, but he was especially effective in dissecting atheistic communism.
At the direct request of Pope Pius XI during a meeting they had together in Rome in 1935, the Holy Father advised Father Sheen to speak on communism "at every opportunity" and warn Americans of its dangers.
Sheen never failed to heed the request. It became central to his mission, message and outreach. Sheen read several languages and thus unearthed from Karl Marx's obscured writings various untranslated tidbits and introduced them to the English world. For instance, Sheen exhumed this Marx quotation from the original French, "Communism begins where atheism begins."
Sheen dramatically forecast that Soviet Communists had "put before the world a dilemma". An "apocalyptic" one: "They have thrown down the gauntlet to the world. The voice is either brotherhood in Christ or comradeship in anti-Christ". Communism was inspired not by the spirit of Christ, but by the anti-Christ.
Sheen said communists had failed to convince the world that there's no God. Rather, he quipped, 'they succeeded only in convincing the world that there is a devil'.
When Sheen was saying these things, Ronald Reagan and Karol Wojtyla were young men.
Five months earlier, he had openly expressed his suspicion of a possible alliance between the two dictators. They could find common ground in their joint hatred of good and God. "There is not a vast difference between them," Sheen said. "What class is to Russia, race is to Germany; what the bourgeois are to the Russians, the Jews are to the Germans."
Here, too, Sheen foreshadowed words by fellow Illinoisan Ronald Reagan, who would say there's "not a dime's worth of difference" between a fascist and a communist, as both were, at their essence, about the tyrannical power of an abusive state that controls and kills certain categories of citizens. It was a warning that Karol Wojtyla expressed to dismayed countrymen who were hoping for "liberation" from the Nazis by the Red Army.
All three men recognized these evils.
Hitler and Stalin were "two gangsters" - period. Both were "assassins of justice". They were modern equivalents of "Pilate and Herod -- Christ haters".
"The Anti-God regime is always the anti-human regime", says Sheen.
Once the Nazis were defeated, Sheen zeroed in on the communist threat. In the ensuing decades, he would call out that danger more ardently than any communicator - until, that is, the arrival on the world stage of Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II.
President Reagan's dad and brother were devote Catholics. But, it is unknown if Roald Reagan and Bishop Sheen ever met each other.
Archbishop Sheen and John Paul II, did meet. It was Oct. 2, 1979, at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Archbishop Sheen was weak, nearing life's end, but he wouldn't miss this moment, overjoyed as he was at the election of the Polish Pontiff.
As Sheen's biographer, Thomas Reeves described it the "feeble" Sheen made his way to the Holy Father. John Paul II hugged him and thanked him for having "written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus". He told his grateful servant that he had been aloyal son the the Church".
When John Paul II got back to Rome, he sent Archbishop Sheen a formal letter. In turn, the archbishop wrote the Holy Father what Reeves called "a lengthy, learned, and extremely moving letter" powerfully predicting that this new pope was one among four holy popes who had come along every 500 years (Gregory I the Great, Gregory VII, Pius V, who helped defeat the Ottoman invasion of Europe; and now John Paul II, who would help to bring down the Soviet Empire.) specially appointed by God for a great historical purpose -- here coming at the end of a 20th century with two world wars and a nuclar charged Cold War.
After an extraordinary life, Archbishop Sheen laid down his earthly life Dec. 9, 1979, in front of the Blessed Sacrament in his private chapel. He was declared "Venerable" by the church in 2012.
From there, the torch was, in essence, passed to John Paul II and Ronald Reagan to defeat the communist menace Sheen fought so brilliantly and valianty. When the pope and president proceeded to do so, they stood on the shoulders of Sheen.
A pope, a president and a bishop: Here were three great achievers and master communicators -- bold, fearless, courageous and also winsome, witty and likeable -- all from small towns, who waded into the wider waters of the world. The confluence of their efforts changed the century and the world for the better.
***Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. His latest book is, 'A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extrordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century".
September 2, 2017
"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 it brings 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."
The Catholic Imagination
By Rev. Frank Grispino, S. M.
The title needs explaining. It is based on faith that God became man in Jesus Christ on Christmas Day. The invisible became visible. Life inaccessible became accessible through the humanity of Jesus. The door to heaven was open to us.
Christ the Master Copy
One step in faith through the threshold and we see beyond the human and the things of this world to the spiritual and to God. The humanity of Jesus becomes the key to the divine. In the words of St. John, the Evangelist: "What we have heard, seen with our eyes, looked upon and touched with our hands, concerns the Word of life, that was with the Father was made visible to us" (John 1, 1-3)
Ennoblement of Man and His world
Jesus is our icon informing us that God and the world beyond is within our reach. We can also say that the divine presence made visible in Jesus, the Christ King, has made it possible that all in nature opens a pathway to the divine.
The enfleshment of God in Jesus has made it possible that not only is man ennobled, but all things at man's disposal can become mediums for the beyond. Did not Jesus use water as a means of spiritual rebirth in John 3, 5-7? Was not oil used as a conduit for healing in James 5, 14-15? Was not cloth that touched St. Paul used to bring healing to the sick in Acts 19, 11-27? Was not bread and wine used at the institution of the Eucharist in Matthew 26, 26-28?
A Bit of Heaven and Earth
Once we enter the physical structure we call church and the door is closed behind us, we find ourselves in a new kind of environment unlike any other. The furnishings become pointers to the beyond. Welcoming us are the friends of God and ours too: the statues of saints, and the angels, and the stained glass windows which give emphasis to the atmosphere of heaven that envelops us. And let us not forget our Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven and Earth! They compete for our attention and open a path to us to the heavenly kingdom. They seem to beckon us away from the weary and worn world prompting us to soar up and away to a welcoming radiant realm.
The Liturgy of Heaven and Earth
The dress of the priest blends with the surroundings and aids to transport the worshippers into the beyond. While the music gives free reign to the heart to space unknown, the incense overpowers the smell of the flowers and its rising cloud like our prayers reach up to the throne on high. (Revelation 8, 1-4) In the Mass, the earthly congregation is united to the heavenly choirs of angels and saints - all giving praise to our Creator, through our Redeemer in the power of the Holy Spirit. In such surroundings of quiet peace and holy joy e sense from the depth of our believing heart the soft whisper, "God is here. God is here." Where else do you genuflect upon leaving a Presence?
Using the Imagination
Divine faith comes into its own in church with the celebration of hearing God's word and the Mass. But earth connects with heaven apart from the holy sites and sacred rites. We can see ordinary daily life in an extraordinary way. Seeing a child can prompt thoughts of the creator, beauty in nature turns us to the awesomeness of God, the approaching beggar reminds us of the love Jesus has for the poor. All we need to do is to see persons, places, things as launching pads to the things of heaven. Try it Practice the Catholic imagination. And heed St. Paul's advice, "Think of what is above, not what is of earth." (Colossians 3, 2.)
“Earth is crammed with heaven
And every common bush
Afire with God
But only he who sees
Takes off his shoes”
Elizabeth B. Browning 1806-1860
'Echoes of Lourdes' Marist Fathers
P.O. Box 15575
Boston, MA 02215-2594
Father Bill Kiel will be spiritual director for a tour to Medjugorje Nov. 6-17, 2017.
The tour leader will be Nancy Schifano. For more information call: 1-724-244-8554
Immaculee Ilibagiza will lead a tour to Africa (ticket prices great these days.)
Anniversary day of Our Lady of Kibeho, Rwanda Apparitions (Church approved)
For information go to: immaculee.com
"If men knew what eternity is, they would do everything to change their lives." Our Lady of Fatima
With St. Pio's Feast day on Sept. 23 we wanted to include the prayers to St. Padre Pio to request him to adopt you (especially younger folks) as his spiritual child. When we photocopied this very old prayer - a dove appeared over St. Pio's head--neat!
Prayer to Padre Pio to Become a Spiritual Child
Dear Padre Pio, I recall your promise to Jesus. "Lord, I will stand at the gates of heaven until I see all my spiritual children have entered."
Encouraged by your gracious promise, I ask you to accept me as a spiritual child and to intercede for my request...(Here state your petitions) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen
Dear Padre Pio, From your place in heaven, please petition the Lord Jesus to watch over, bless and protect me, my family and all my loved ones. Through your holy intercession, I especially ask today for the grace of ...(Here state your petitions) Amen.
Our Lady Queen of Peace asks us to please help spred her message of love. Feel free to copy and pass on to others.
"If you knew how much I love you, you would cry for joy." June 24, 2013 Our Lady Queen of Peace to Ivanka