What is This Saint of the Year Devotion All About?

This isn't superstition. St. Faustina and her religious order did the same thing!

I would like to explain to you about the practice of picking a saint at random to be your “holy protector and intercessor” for the year. Actually, the saint is the one who chooses us though.The tradition of letting a saint “pick you,”is not a new one. St. Faustina wrote about it in her diary, "Divine Mercy in My Soul".
The excerpt is below. . .

“There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Year's Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year. In the morning, during meditation, there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past. But, hiding this desire from my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that. When we came to refectory for breakfast, we blessed ourselves and began drawing our patrons. When I approached the holy cards on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation I took one, but I didn't read the name immediately as I wanted to mortify myself for a few minutes. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my soul: ‘I am your patron. Read.’ I looked at once at the inscription and read, ‘Patron for the Year 1935 - the Most Blessed Eucharist.’ My heart leapt with joy, and I slipped quietly away from the sisters and went for a short visit before the Blessed Sacrament,where I poured out my heart. But Jesus sweetly admonished me that I should be at that moment together with the sisters. I went immediately in obedience to the rule.”

Excerpt from "Divine Mercy in My Soul, the Diary of St. Faustina"

Saturday, December 21, 2013

As I close this blog and open up the new one,
Patron Saint of the Year 2014,
I want to thank everyone who has participated and who has benefited and shared those benefits with others! I know that you have been blessed, more so than you know, and that you have caused great joy in heaven by acknowledging our heavenly intercessors!

Should you wish to continue your journey with a new saint, or if you know of someone who is interested in walking with a saint, please have them contact me at mare54n@gmail.com.
My new blog, currently under construction, so please check back often, especially to read the connection stories, can be found at http://iwanttobeasainttoo.blogspot.com/.
My prayers for you will be that the love of Jesus and His Holy Mother be with you throughout this Christmas season and that the New Year contains much joy, happiness and blessings for you and your family!
God bless you abundantly and may He continue to
rock your world!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cemeterians of the Holy Ground


The ministry of Cemeterians is as old as creation itself. It has always had many diverse dimensions depending on religion, race and culture. Since the beginning of time, people have prayed for their deceased loved ones in their own manner.
An invitation to be a Cemeterian has been extended to all the living, the Church Militant, from the Church Suffering, to pray for them, since they are unable to pray for themselves any longer. The ministry of Cemeterian urges the living to actually go to the graveside and pray for their deceased loved ones, so that the suffering souls may receive special graces and indulgences.
“An indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the 1st to the 8th of November; on other days of the year it is partial. (Enchiridion of Indulgences)
“The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead. Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them”. Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1032.
“An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin”. Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead.Catechism of the Catholic Church #1471.
“Since the faithful departed, now being purified, are also members of the same Communion of Saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins, may be remitted. Catechism of the Catholic Church #1479.
“Through indulgences, the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sins for themselves and also for the souls of purgatory”. Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1498.
“And if the faithful offer indulgences in suffrage for the dead, they cultivate charity in an excellent way and while raising their minds to Heaven, they bring a wiser order into the things of this world. Although indulgences are in fact free gifts, nevertheless, they are granted for the living as well as for the dead.”
“One day, rapt in ecstasy, Blessed Mary of Quito, saw in the midst of a large space, an immense table covered with heaps of silver, gold, rubies, pearls and diamonds and at the same time, she heard a voice saying, ‘These riches are public property; each one may approach and take as much as he pleases’. God made known to her that this was a symbol of indulgences.
The purpose of this ministry is to encourage people to go the graveside of their deceased loved ones and pray for their release from purgatory. They know when we go to their grave. If your loved one has already been purified and gone to Heaven, our Heavenly Father gives our prayers to another languishing soul.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Catholics frequently invoke the holy women and men of the church. But how many people make up this exclusive group?

The historic news that emerged from the ecclesial council held on February 11, 2013 was Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation. But that was not the day’s only newsworthy event: Benedict called the consistory to vote on three canonization causes. Then on May 12 the Catholic Church recognized another 802 saints. Blessed Laura Montoya Upegui of Colombia and Blessed Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala of Mexico both founded religious orders at the dawn of the 20th century. Blessed Antonio Primaldo and the other 799 saints-to-be were residents of Otranto in southern Italy, killed for refusing to convert to Islam after Ottoman Turks besieged their town in 1480. These 802 men and women will join the more than 10,000 saints the Catholic Church already venerates. The precise number of Catholic saints will always be debatable. Early Christian communities venerated hundreds of saints, but historical research by 17th- and 18th-century Catholic scholars determined that very few of these saints’ stories were backed by solid historical evidence. Lives of such well-known figures as St. George, St. Valentine, and St. Christopher were based either on a legend that often predated Christianity or were entirely made up. Other saints had local followings. In rural France, St. Guinefort was venerated as the protector of infants after he saved his master’s baby from a snakebite. St. Guinefort was a dog.

The prospect of venerating dogs or folk heroes troubled some church leaders. During the Middle Ages, popes began claiming canonization was a power of their office alone. Initially all that was needed was a bishop’s permission for a holy man or woman to be venerated as a saint. In 1588, Pope Sixtus V integrated the sainthood process into the papal bureaucracy, charging the Congregation of Rites and Ceremonies with vetting potential saints. In 1969 Paul VI created the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to oversee this process. He also suppressed several saints’ cults largely on the basis that the acts and miracles attributed to the saints, or in some cases even the basic facts of their existence, could not be historically verified. People already under their patronage could continue to venerate these saints, but they no longer appear on the Roman calendar, and no new parishes or other institutions would open under their name. Revisions to the canonization process in 1983 ensured we will see more saints in the future. John Paul II eliminated the office of Promoter of the Faith, or, as it’s more commonly known, the Devil’s Advocate, a canon lawyer tasked with arguing against a person’s possible canonization. Consequently, John Paul II canonized more saints than the popes from the previous 500 years combined.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Who is the hardest person in your life to love?
Have you tried to see him/her from God's perspective, as His
beloved son or daughter?
Ask your patron saint to help open your eyes today.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Memorizing favorite Catholic prayers is easy if you break them into parts. Here's a beautiful & traditional prayer to recite before your crucifix.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013



If it wasn't enough, mystically speaking, that last week saw a papal consecration of the world to Fatima, with participation of representatives from shrines at Akita, Japan, and Medjugorje, Bosnia-Hercegovina (Akita being a site where a statue wept and messages about the future were allegedly heard), there is also the fact that, in what to many was a surprise move, the canonization of a major mystic was announced in the same flurry of activity.

A comeback for mysticism?

The new saint will be Angela of Foligno, who lived between 1248 and 1309 and became devout after Saint Francis of Assisi appeared to her in a dream.

As Pope Benedict explained back when she was beatified:

"Certain events, such as the violent earthquake in 1279, a hurricane, the endless war against Perugia and its harsh consequences, affected the life of Angela [photo, above] who little by little became aware of her sins, until she took a decisive step.

"In 1285 she called upon Saint Francis, who appeared to her in a vision and asked his advice on making a good general Confession. She then went to Confession with a Friar in San Feliciano. Three years later, on her path of conversion she reached another turning point: she was released from any emotional ties. In the space of a few months, her mother's death was followed by the death of her husband and those of all her children. She therefore sold her possessions and in 1291 enrolled in the Third Order of St. Francis."

What Angela, once married, and a mother, with quite a worldly lifestyle, experienced is what's known as total mystical union, which goes so far beyond earthly experience as to be ineffable. There was communication, but not in the verbiage we know. It is, so to speak, over our heads. "I truly heard these words", she confessed after a mystical ecstasy, "but it is in no way possible for me to know or tell of what I saw and understood, or of what he [God] showed me, although I would willingly reveal what I understood with the words that I heard, but it was an absolutely ineffable abyss." Angela of Foligno presented her mystical "life", without elaborating on it herself because, said Benedict, "these were divine illuminations that were communicated suddenly and unexpectedly to her soul." [Click here for the Pope's full remarks; here to read, for free, her book]

It takes a while, as we can see, for certain people to be declared saints and for their mysticism to be accepted.

SantaTeresaSaint Teresa of Avila, who we honor this day, experiences mystical union along with what she called "rapture."

"I should like, with the help of God, to be able to describe the difference between union and rapture, or elevation, or what they call flight of the spirit," she wrote. "I mean that these different names all refer to the same thing, which is also called ecstasy.

"It is much more beneficial than union: the effects it produces are far more important and it has a great many more operations, for union gives the impression of being just the same thing in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end, and it all happens interiorly. But the ends of these raptures are of a higher degree, and the effects they produce are both interior and exterior.

"In these raptures the soul seems no longer to animate the body, and thus the natural heat of the body is felt to be very sensibly diminished: it gradually becomes colder, though conscious of the greatest sweetness and delight. No means of resistance is possible, whereas in union, where we are on the ground, such a means exists: resistance may be painful and violent but it can almost always be effected.

"But with rapture, as a rule, there is no such possibility: often it comes like a strong, swift impulse, before your thought can forewarn you of it or you can do anything to help yourself; you see and feel this cloud, or this powerful eagle, rising and bearing you up with it on its wings."





Saturday, September 7, 2013

At the apparition site of Medjugorje, Our Lady reportedly gave five wonderful promises, on September 2, 2012, for those who pray for atheists (the ones "who have not come to know the love of the Heavenly Father").
The promises are:

1. "I will strengthen you."
2. "I will fill you with my graces."
3. "With my love, I will protect you from the evil spirit."
4. "I will be with you."
5. "With my presence, I will console you in difficult moments."

The prayer:

"In the Name of Jesus, Who said that anything we ask in His Name will be
given to those who believe, I ask that those who have not come to know the
love of the Heavenly Father will be blessed with the knowledge that they are
loved by Him beyond all human reasoning and understanding. Please grant
them the gift to feel His love as it enfolds them to such an extent that they
will be unable to resist or deny it. May the knowledge of the Heavenly
Father's infinite love stir within their hearts the desire to return that love
to Him, and to reflect it to all others. May their lives be a pure
reflection of His resplendent love. I ask this in the Name of the Father, and
the Son, and the Holy Spirit, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen"

[resources: Fear of Fire]

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Remember ...
All saints were sinners.
(For us, that means) ... 
All sinners can be saints ...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Guardian Angels
What kind of relationship do you have with your guardian angels? Are you aware that you might have more than one angel working for you, according to your needs and prayer requests? Do you realize that even the archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, know who you are and that they want to be involved in God's plans for you?
Angels are popular even among non-Christians, but most of the attention given to angels lack one very important piece of the picture. Jesus says, "You shall see heaven open up and the angels of God ascend and descend on the Son of Man."
The word "you" in the original Greek is plural; it's meant for all of Christ's disciples. He wants us to realize that angels travel between between heaven and earth to work for our benefit, but their ministry depends upon Him. Angels deliver God's messages to us, angels help us every day, angels love us, angels enjoy being in a relationship with us - but it is always through Jesus.
When the archangel Michael battled against the dragon, he defeated Satan and his minions because of the future victory Jesus would win on the cross. The holy angels defeated the evil ones "by the blood of the Lamb" that would be shed millennia later on our behalf. Their victory depended on Jesus.
The responsorial Psalm is a song with the angels. Whenever we praise God, angels join us. If we praise God in the midst of difficulties, angels surround us in a chorus that fills the air with their trust in God and their love for us and their holiness. Evil spirits won't stick around. Why not? Because this trust and love and holiness come to earth through Jesus. He is always in the midst of our praise.
No concern of yours is too small -- nor too big -- for your angels. Have you lost something? Ask the ministering angels to lead you to it. Are you waiting to get through the red tape of bureaucratic paperwork? Send an angel to put your papers on the top of the pile. Are you going on a long drive? As the angels to clear the way before you. Ever need a parking space near the store on a stormy day? Ask an angel to go save a spot for you.
Angels listen to us. They learn how they can minister to us when we ask out loud. One day, while on a pilgrimage in the Holy Land, a group was climbing a steep hill and there was a man who was running out of breath and energy. He said, " Ministering Angels, push me!" Immediately, the man was able to move faster and easier to the top of the hill. What a great witness to the exhausted people who heard him and saw the results!

Monday, August 5, 2013

I have had sooooo many write and tell me about their children leaving the church and how they want to pray to their children's saints for their redemption ... this is a beautiful prayer for all of you ... know that I am praying for them too.
Watchful Father, You gave me the responsibility to bring up my children in the Catholic Faith, which has the fullness of Your Son's teaching and the riches of His seven Sacraments. I pray for my child(ren) and any person who has left the Church founded by Your Son, Jesus. May they return to the one true Church in which all are one in You. With Your Son's death, I unite my prayers, works, joys and sufferings in reparation for any of my sins which may have led anyone away from you and Your Son's Church. Through the merits of Your Son's sacrifice on the cross, may they be brought back to Jesus and His Bride, the Church. I ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Monica, pray for us.
(keep in mind that St. Monica prayed for 30 years for the conversion of her son, St. Augustine! Never give up hope!)


When you see those shows on "hoarding," and you get a strange feeling, maybe it's because there's a spirit attached. It is very strange, even eerie. Hoarding in this sense means those who are addicted to keeping things -- filling their homes with junk and even garbage. They can't throw anything away, including worthless, unsanitary items.

While we don't usually think of clutter as a "toehold" for the devil, it can be just that, argues author John LaBriola in Onward Catholic Solider. "God is a God of order, not of clutter or chaos," he says. "The spirit of disorder or chaos is a subtle, yet reliable toehold.

"If your bedroom is buried underneath a pile of dirty clothes, if your family room is strewn with empty pizza boxes and old newspapers, if your desk is submerged under piles of paper, then Satan has an opening.

"Clutter and chaos do not come from God. Clutter and chaos are a derivative of sin and therefore, where there is chaos there you will find a potential home for evil spirits.

"Whether it is money, shoes, purses, tools, religious articles, golf clubs, music, books, etcetera, excess accumulation of goods lends itself to spirits of greed, gluttony, and self-reliance," says the author (whose book we highly recommend). ""If you seem absolutely compelled to have the latest model or version of an item, then that is a potential entry point for evil spirits. If you financially strain yourself to keep up appearances, then that is a potential entry point.

"If you hoard money, seeking earthly security above eternal security, then that is a potential entry point. If you have a wardrobe that is sufficient to clothe a small army, then that is a potential entry point. The amassing of earthly honors and rewards can also become a point of entry."

The solution? A life of discipline and simplicity. It's how saints conducted themselves.

However: a compulsion toward cleanliness or order can also be an entry point for Satan, states LaBriola. Anything obsessive is suspect. The key word: balance. "To demand sterility and spotlessness, to be obsessed with cleanliness, can be an opening," he claims. "Don't let Satan use good virtues like cleanliness or orderliness to draw you away from God. Proper order usually includes cleanliness, but proper order always puts God first. The spirits of chaos, disorder, perfectionism, compulsion, sloth, anxiety, and so forth operate here."

Is it a virtue to keep something and not waste? Yes. As long as the item is useful. Is it a virtue to be clean? Absolutely. As the saying goes, cleanliness is next to Godliness.

But remember that the devil is a spirit of extremes, compulsions, and obsessions (hear the hiss?).

(thank you to www.spiritdaily.com for their wonderful articles!)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mercy and Confession:

10 Tips on How to Confess Well

Fr. Ed Broom
by Fr. Ed Broom on July 23, 2013


In the context of an Ignatian retreat it is always beneficial to prepare oneself to make an excellent Confession. To make a good confession demands prior preparation! The better the prior preparation, the more abundant the graces and the more overflowing the river of peace in your soul! Following are ten short helps to make the best confession in your life!
1. IMPROVEMENT/UPGRADING THE RECEPTION. As Catholics two of the most important actions we can accomplish are to go to Confession and to receive Holy Communion. In these Sacraments we have a direct contact with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This being the case, we should make a concerted effort to improve our encounters with Jesus in these Sacraments. In other words we should never take these Sacraments for granted. Also be keenly aware of the concept of dispositive grace. The abundance of graces are received in direct proportion to the disposition of the recipient. On the walls in the sacristies of the Missionaries of Charity is written: “Say this Mass as if it were your first Mass, last Mass and only Mass.” We can apply the same principle: Confess as if it were your first, last and only time.”
St. John Bosco in action
St. John Bosco in action

2. PRAYERS BEFORE. All is grace! A source of abundant grace is the Communion of saints. Why not pray to the holy Confessors to help you to make a good confession. The following are a few: The Cure of Ars (Saint John Marie Vianney), St. John Bosco, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, Saint Leopold Mandic, Saint Padre Pio, Saint Francis Regis, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Saint Anthony Claret, and Saint Ignatius of Loyola. “Get a little help from your friends (the saints)….”Pray to them to help you to confess well—that each confession you make is better than your prior confession!
3. PREPARE THE NIGHT BEFORE. Have a good examination of conscience booklet. Find a quiet and contemplative place to examine your conscience. Utilize the crucifix and Divine Mercy image to elicit sorrow and trust. Written! Write down the sins so that you will not forget them once in the confessional! Also, pray for your confessor— to his guardian angel—before you enter the confessional!
4. SELF-KNOWLEDGE. One of the classical steps to make a good confession is contrition but also firm purpose of amendment. This entails rewinding the film of your life and seeing the various falls into sin. But also to capture what were the preceding causes that led to the sin. Maybe it is a person that jeopardizes your spiritual life. Who knows maybe it is a recurring situation at work or family? Maybe it is your physical state of weariness? Still more, maybe it is some improper use of the electronics media and lack of prudence? You will notice often a pattern that is established that leads to the slippery path and collapse. For this reason the faithful observance of one’s DAILY EXAMEN can prove a valuable tool to know oneself and even supply for the necessary knowledge to avoid the near occasion of sin.
5. BIBLICAL PASSAGES TO PREPARE. The Church highly recommends the use of Sacred Scripture as a means to prepare us for a better reception of the Sacraments. Two excellent passages I would recommend: Lk. 15 and Psalm 51. Lk. 15 presents the Parables of God’s Mercy, and the greatest is the Parable of the Prodigal Son. By praying Psalm 51 you have one of the best “Act of Contritions” ever composed, by none other than King David after having committed adultery with Bathsheba and killing an innocent man. Praying with the Word of God adds extra power to one’s prayer!
6. FREQUENT CONFESSION. The saints highly recommend frequent confession as a most efficacious means of growing in sanctifying grace. Confession either restores sanctifying grace or it augments it. Of course this presupposes a thorough preparation!
7. SACRAMENTAL GRACE. Each sacrament communicates grace. However every sacrament communicates a specific grace pertinent to that specific sacrament. For example, the specific sacramental grace communicated in the Eucharist or Holy Communion is that of NOURISHMENT. It is the Bread of life for the journey on the way to eternal life. The Sacramental grace of Confession is different. It is HEALING! Jesus came to feed us with His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Furthermore, He came as Divine Physician. Time and time again in the Gospels we see Jesus healing. The blind, deaf, deaf-mute, lepers, paralytics, even the dead, were healed and brought back to life by Jesus. Even now within the context of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, Jesus heals us. The Sacraments of healing are the Sacraments of Confession and the Anointing of the Sick.
8. QUALITIES OF A GOOD CONFESSION. In the Diary of Saint Faustina the most important qualities of a good confession are highlighted in # 113: 1) complete sincerity and openness; 2) humility; 3) obedience. Adhering to these qualities one cannot go wrong! Reminder! We want to strive to make better Communions and Confessions until the end of our lives!
9. AVOID DISCOURAGEMENT. Even though one might fall frequently, never give in to discouragement. Some bad habits have possibly clung to us for decades. Many have a “Micro-wave” spirituality—namely instant holiness! It does not work that way! Change is often tedious, laborious and painful. The key is to keep praying, working, fighting as a true soldier of Christ to be liberated from the shackles of sin. Of course a key message from the Diary is that the worse thing possible is to fail to trust in God’s infinite mercy! As St. Paul reminds us, “Where sin abounds God’s mercy abounds all the more.”
10. MARY AND MERCY. Never forget to invite Mary to be present in your remote preparation for Confession, your immediate preparation for Confession. Even ask Mary to enter with you into the Confessional so that you make the best confession in your life. Blessed Pope John Paul II called the Marian sanctuaries—Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe—“Spiritual clinics”. How true! Lines of penitents await to meet the merciful Jesus in the confessional in these Marian Sanctuaries. Among the many beautiful titles of Mary are the following: “Mother of Mercy, Mother of Good Counsel, Health of the sick.” Behind many powerful conversions is of course the grace of God but also the maternal intercession of Mary!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

When you pray,
do you ever let Jesus get a word in?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Join me in saying ...
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much.
I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby
that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion." -
Prayer of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dear God,
Please bless everyone today.
(NO exceptions)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

When Jesus was on the cross
I was on His mind ...
Does that make you jump for joy
(for your salvation)
or run and hide?
(because of your sins)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Too often we react in retrospect. The damage is done. Heart problems. Cancer.

Where is the prophetic healing?

We need to anticipate. The Holy Spirit does this for us. He sees and guides. He helps us stay ahead of the game.

What is "prophetic healing"?

That's praying to gird ourselves against that which may afflict us in the future (or may be in an incipient stage). It's to strengthen. Each cell can be girded by the Holy Spirit against insult from chemicals, from viruses, from accident. It is to shield.

It's to put the body in harmony with the spirit.

It is to envelope.
Otherwise, the terrain around us is capricious (and too often, deadly).

Think about it: there are thousands of ways that we can meet our demise and this makes it all the more important that we pray before anything takes root, that we buffer ourselves, that we ask the Holy Spirit each day to touch any part of us that needs to be touched and to guide us as far as what we should eat and how we should live and how we should protect ourselves against any eventuality (especially those we don't expect). In this fashion can you rest better assured!

For if it's God Will, you can be protected against anything. Call it preventative "prayer medicine." Call it a spiritual "vaccine."

Another way of saying it is that we should pray for the minor miracles.

Ask for general health and also for protection against prominent ailments (arthritis, diabetes). Be specific. Be encompassing. See not with the eyes of the world, which are the eyes of fear.

A minor miracle is when the Lord intervenes before something becomes a crisis -- before it necessitates a major miracle.

Move the hill before it is Everest.
We must pray not in retrospect but proactively. Move forward in faith. Nip it in the bud. Don't let fear take hold of you. Consider God your real doctor. St. Catherine of Siena did that. There are prayers that ask this saint's patronage -- as well as that of others --

Your angel is also at the ready (just waiting to be asked).

Pray aggressively -- with an ardent heart -- against anything that may come in a negative fashion and you'll be enveloped in power. There is endless power in prayer (when it replaces anxiety) and there are prayers that are cancer-killers. We saw a few years back how an English Cardinal named Newman has been cited for the miracle cure of a living Massachusetts man.
"Lying in a hospital bed after surgery on his spine, unable to walk and in agonizing pain, Jack Sullivan propped himself up on elbows and prayed," reported a newspaper. "Not to some vast, unknowable god, but to a specific figure in the Catholic Church, vastly respected, yet mortal: Cardinal John Henry Newman, an Englishman who died in 1890. The healing, as Sullivan tells it, was almost immediate. He felt a tingling all over, was flooded with warmth, and, as easy as that, he could walk."
That's a major miracle. Never discount such! But how many more "minor" ones are there (or could there be)?
The Spirit vivifies our cells. He controls the molecules. He can rearrange anything if it is the Will of God because it is empowered by Him. Little miracles of vivification eventually become a big one.
Healthy food? Exercise? That's all good. But we can get a bit carried away, trying to follow all the advice and contradiction.
Keep it simple and keep it powerful and take every cell and tissue and organ of your body to the Blessed Mother for shielding under her veil.

In turn she'll take you to her Son -- Who sees every cell in your body in less than a glance and brings you into the harmony and health and fearlessness of Heaven.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

5 reasons to adore the Sacred Heart
By Father William Byrne

If you had a May wedding, the bridesmaids wore blue. If you had a June wedding, the bridesmaids wore red. Such was the custom not so long ago for Catholic nuptials. Blue was to honor the Blessed Mother and red to honor the Sacred Heart. While most brides today have never heard of such devotions, some brides and grooms will still bring flowers to our Mother at their weddings. Many parishes continue to crown the statue of Our Lady in May and have communal rosaries. I think the Sacred Heart of Jesus has faded a bit from Catholic consciousness. I know it's not a competition, but I think it's time for the Sacred Heat of Jesus to get the attention it deserves.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a human heart that is inflamed with divine love, is a powerful meditation and an important theological bridge that helps us understand who Jesus is and how much he loves us. In this June, the month of the Sacred Heart, I think it is time for us to renew our devotion and so I offer you 5 reasons to adore the Sacred Heart.

1. A Sacred Sonogram - Imagine if sonograms had existed at the time of Jesus. Just a little more than a week after the Annunciation when Mary says yes to being the mother of God, we would have seen something amazing on that screen, a little beating heart. That tiny pulse, undetectable to the human ear but resounding in heaven, meant that our God has a heart.

2. What John didn't hear, but the angels did. - At the Last Supper, John the beloved laid his head on Jesus' chest. Jesus knew that Judas, one of his chosen Apostles, was going to betray him. What John did not hear but what echoed in heaven was the sound of a breaking heart. The Sacred Heart is as human as yours and mine, it is a sign of the true humanity of Jesus. Its beat quickened when Jesus laughed with a loved one, and it ached with sorrow when he experienced betrayal. Think how truly his heart feels your joys and sorrows.

3. Blessing not bitterness. - "But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out." (John 19: 33-34) The Sacred Heart of Jesus was wounded and from that wound came blood and water. From his suffering, blessings flowed - the water of Baptism and the blood of the Eucharist. From our pains and hurts, what flows? Grudges, blame and anger or mercy, compassion and forgiveness? Don't wait for suffering to come to turn to Christ on the cross, but begin to pray now that when we are put to the test, blessings and not bitterness will flow from our wounded side.

4. Certain wounds never heal. - When the soldier thrust the lance into Jesus' side, he was already dead. As Thomas learned, those wounds never healed. He was able to feel the marks of the crucifixion and put his hand into Jesus' side. The water and blood, Baptism and Eucharist, have never ceased to flow from the Heart of Christ. His mercy is without end. After you receive Communion at Mass, stay after a few minutes and recall his overwhelming, never-ending generosity. Pray that just as his love flows from the cross into you and me that they may flow from you and me into the world.

5. Like unto Thine. - The Sacred Heart of Jesus, a human heart, opened the gates of heaven for each of us. In Jesus, humanity entered into union with God that could only happen when God became a man. As he took a human heart, he invites us into his divinity. This June pray this invocation, old and yet so new:

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine. Heart of Jesus, burning with love for me, inflame my heart with love of Thee. Amen.