A Video That SHOULD Be Shared With ALL Politicians…Especially The Incumbent President of Our Great Nation…
“[...] The First Amendment was not written to protect people and their laws from Religious Values.
It was written to Protect those Values from Government Tyranny.”
~ Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President
This should have been shared with you yesterday…
Thankfully, it is Never Too Late ;)
As I shared with you on the 30th of April, May is the Month of Mary ♥
And yesterday, as you all know was “May Day.”
Labour Day in many, many countries.
And whose feast day? St. Joseph the Worker. Patron Saint of many, many things, and not surprisingly of Workers!
What I really want to say though is that it is More than appropriate the St. Joseph be celebrated and remembered on the first day of his Spouse, our Mother, Mary.
Who better than Her and Jesus’ Protector and Provider?
As I have shared with you many, many times, we have attended Retrouvaille, A Life Line for Hurting Marriages.
Guess who is Retrouvaille’s Patron Saint?
Come on now, you got this…
Yup, St. Joseph!
I share with you a Beautiful Prayer based on Matthew 1:18-25
We ask your prayers, St. Joseph, an upright man, a spouse who planned to divorce Mary in secret and who by God’s grace was able to see his role in God’s plan.
We ask you in our behalf to pray to God that our marriage be healed. We are enveloped in pain and despair as you must have been when you learned of Mary’s pregnancy. Be for and with us, Joseph, in our hour of doubt. Let us listen to and heed the voice of God as you did.
Be our intercessor to your Jesus, to give us the blessings to change, to listen, to forgive and most of all to hope that our marriage will heal and our family remain whole and holy.
We give you honour quiet St. Joseph, for you are a spouse like us, who while knowing pain, did not divorce. By God’s grace you nourished the Holy Family and the Saviour of all families throughout the ages.
On Being Loved
Dear Lord, thank you for the love of the many good people who support, encourage, and assist me. Their love is beautiful in its many facets and modes of expression. There is love in gestures and actions and self-sacrifice—so many ways to love that I never would have recognized if I were not so needy.
— from Never Give Up
REMARKABLE TRUE STORY OF CLAUDE NEWMAN AND
THE MIRACULOUS INTERCESSION OF
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Claude Newman was an African American man who was born on December 1, 1923 to Willie and Floretta (Young) Newman in Stuttgart, Arkansas. In 1928, Claude’s father Willie takes Claude and his older brother away from their mother for unknown reasons, and they are brought to their grandmother, Ellen Newman, of Bovina, Warren County, Mississippi.
In 1939, Claude’s beloved grandmother, Ellen Newman, marries a man named Sid Cook. Soon Sid becomes sexually abusive toward Ellen, which deeply angers Claude. In 1940, Claude works as a farmhand on Ceres Plantation in Bovina, Mississippi. The plantation is owned by a wealthy landowner named U.G. Flowers, and Sid Cook was born and raised on this plantation. One biographer also has Claude getting married also in 1940 at age 17 to a young woman of the same age.
On Dec.19, 1942, Claude is apparently still very angered by Sid’s abusive treatment towards his grandmother Ellen, and egged on by dominant friend named Elbert Harris, Claude lies in waiting at Sid Cook’s house (Sid Cook and Ellen Newman have since seperated). Claude shoots Sid as he enters, killing him, and takes his money, then flees to his mothers house in Arkansas, arriving on Dec 20th.
In January 1943, Claude is apprehended in Arkansas and is returned to Vicksburg, Mississippi and makes a coerced confession on Jan. 13. Despite protests of Claude’s lawyer Harry K. Murray, his confession is admitted as evidence, and he is found guilty by jury, and is initially sentenced to die in the electric chair on May 14, 1943. Later an appeal to retry the case is rejected by State Attorney General and he is rescheduled to be executed on January 20, 1944.
The majority of the information that will now be presented comes from a tape recording of a radio show interview of Father O’Leary a priest who came to know Claude very well during Claude’s imprisonment.
While Claude was in jail awaiting execution, he shared a cell-block with four other prisoners. One night, the five men were sitting around talking and eventually the conversation ran out. During this time, Claude noticed a medal on a string around one of the other prisoner’s neck. Curious, he asked the other prisoner what the medal was. The young prisoner was a Catholic, but he apparently did not know (or did not want to talk) about the medal, and seemingly embarrassed, he appeared angry and suddenly took the medal off from around his own neck and threw it on the floor at Claude’s feet with a curse and a cuss, telling him to “take the thing”. Claude picked up the medal, and after looking it over, he placed it around his own neck, although he had no idea whose image it was on the medal; to him it was simply a trinket, but for some reason he felt attracted to it, and wanted to wear it.
During the night while sleeping on top of his cot, he was awakened with a touch upon his wrist. Awakening with a start, there stood, as Claude told Father O’Leary afterwards, ‘the most beautiful Woman that God ever Created’.
At first he was quite frightened, not knowing what to make of this extraordinary beautiful glowing Woman. The Lady soon calmed Claude down, and then said to
him, “If you would like Me to be your Mother, and you would like to be My child, send for a priest of the Catholic Church.”
And after saying these words She suddenly disappeared.
Excited, Claude immediately started to yell “a ghost, a ghost”, and started screaming that he wanted a Catholic priest.
Father Robert O’Leary SVD (1911-1984), the priest who tells the story, was called first thing the next morning. Upon arrival he went to see Claude who told him of what had happened the night before. Deeply impressed by the events, Claude, along with the other four men in his cell-block, asked for religious instruction in the Catholic faith.
Father O’Leary returned to the prison the next day to begin instruction for the prisoners. It was then that the priest learned that Claude Newman could neither read nor write at all. The only way he could tell if a book was right-side-up was if the book contained a picture. Claude told him that he had never been to school, and Father O’Leary soon discovered that his ignorance of religion was even more profound. He knew practically nothing about religion or the Christian faith. He knew that there was a God, but he did not know that Jesus was God. And so Claude began receiving instructions, and the other prisoners helped him with his studies.
Several weeks passed, and it came time when Father O’Leary was going to give instructions about the Sacrament of Confession. The Sisters too sat in on the class. The priest said to the prisoners, “Ok boys, today I’m going to teach you about the Sacrament of Confession.”
Claude said, “Oh, I know about that! The Lady told me that when we go to confession we are kneeling down not before a priest, but we’re kneeling down by the Cross of Her Son. And that when we are truly sorry for our sins, and we confess our sins, the Blood He shed flows down over us and washes us free from all sins.”
Hearing Claude say this, Father O’Leary and the Sisters sat stunned with their mouths wide open. Claude thought they were angry and said, “Oh don’t be angry, don’t be angry, I didn’t mean to blurt it out.”
The priest said, “We’re not angry Claude. We are just surprised. You have seen Her again?”
Claude replied, “Come around the cell-block away from the others.”
After a few days, two of the religious Sisters from Father O’Leary’s parish-school obtained permission from the warden to come to the prison. They wanted to meet Claude and hear his remarkable story, and they also wanted to visit the women in the prison. Soon, on another floor of the prison, the Sisters began to teach some of the women-prisoners the catechism as well.
When they were alone, Claude said to the priest, “She told me that if you doubted me or showed hesitancy, I was to remind you that lying in a ditch in Holland in 1940, you made a vow to Her which She’s still waiting for you to keep.”
And, Father O’Leary recalls, “Claude then told me precisely what the vow was.”
Claude’s revelation absolutely convinced Father O’Leary that Claude was telling the truth about his visions of Our Lady. The promise Fr. O’Leary made to Our Lady in 1940 from a ditch in Holland (the proof Claude gave the priest that Our Lady really was appearing to him) was this: that when he could, he would build a church in honor of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception. He did just that in 1947. He had been transferred to Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1945 when a group African American Catholic laymen asked to have a church built there. The Bishop of Natchez, Mississippi had been sent $5000 by Archbishop Cushing of Boston for the “Negro missions.” The Bishop and Father O’Leary commissioned the church of the Immaculate Conception to be built, and it is still there today.
Father O’Leary and Clark then returned to the catechism class on Confession. And Claude kept telling the other prisoners, “You should not be afraid to go to confession. You’re really telling God your sins, not the priest”
Then Claude said,
“You know, the Lady said that Confession is something like a telephone. We talk through the priest to God, and God talks back to us through the priest.”
About a week later, Father O’Leary was preparing to teach the class about the Blessed Sacrament. The Sisters were again present for this lesson too. Claude indicated that the Lady had also taught him about the Eucharist, and he asked if he could tell the priest what She said.
Fr. O’Leary agreed immediately. Claude related, “The Lady told me that in Communion, I will only see what looks like a piece of bread. But She told me that It is really and truly Her Son, and that He will be with me just as He was with Her before He was born in Bethlehem. She told me that I should spend my time like She did during Her lifetime with Him– in loving Him, adoring Him, thanking Him, praising Him and asking Him for blessings. I shouldn’t be distracted or bothered by anybody else or anything else, but I should spend those few minutes in my thoughts alone with Him.”
As the weeks progressed, eventually they finished the catechism instructions and Claude and the other prisoners were received into the Catholic Church. The St. Mary’s parish (Vicksburg, MI) baptismal log has recorded his baptism on January 16, 1944. Fr. O’Leary officiated and a young nun, Sr. Bena Henken, served as his godmother.
Soon afterwards the time came for Claude to be executed. He was to be executed at five minutes after twelve, midnight, on January 20, 1944.
The sheriff, named Williamson, asked him, “Claude, you have the privilege of a last request. What do you want?”
“Well,” said Claude, “all of my friends are all shook up. The jailer is all shook up. But you don’t
understand. I’m not going to die; only this body. I’m going to be with Her. So, then I would like to have a party”
“What do you mean?” asked the sheriff.
“A party!” said Claude. “Will you give Father O’Leary permission to bring in some cakes and ice cream and will you allow the prisoners on the second floor to be freed in the main room so that we can all be together and have a party?”
“Somebody might attack Father,” cautioned the warden.
Claude turned to the men who were standing by and said, “Oh no they won’t, right fellas?”
The warden consented and posted additional guards for the party. So, Father O’Leary visited a wealthy patron of the parish, and she generously supplied the ice cream and cake, and everyone enjoyed the party.
Afterwards, because Claude had requested it, they made a Holy Hour, praying especially for Claude and for all of their souls. Fr. O’Leary brought prayer books from the Church, and they all said together the Stations of the Cross, and made a Holy Hour, without the Blessed Sacrament.
As the time neared for Claude’s execution, the men were put back in their cells. The priest then went to the chapel to get the Blessed Sacrament so that he could give Claude Holy Communion in the moment before his execution.
Father O’Leary returned to Claude’s cell. Claude knelt on one side of the bars, the priest
knelt on the other, and they prayed together as the clock ticked toward Claude’s execution.
A two week stay of execution is granted
Fifteen minutes before the execution, sheriff Williamson came running up the stairs shouting,
“Reprieve, Reprieve, the Governor has given a two-week reprieve!”
Claude had not been aware that the sheriff and the District Attorney were trying to get a stay of execution for Claude to save his life. But when Claude found out, he started to cry.
The priest and the sheriff assumed Claude’s reaction was that of joy because he was not going to be executed. However Claude said, “But you don’t understand! If you ever saw Her face, and looked into Her eyes, you wouldn’t want to live another day!”
Claude then continued, “What have I done wrong these past weeks that God would refuse me my going home?”
Father O’Leary then testified that Claude sobbed as one who was completely brokenhearted.
Bewildered, the sheriff then left the room. The priest remained and Claude eventually quieted down, then Father O’Leary gave Claude Holy Communion. Afterwards Claude said,
“Why Father? Why must I still remain here for two weeks?”
Father O’Leary then had a sudden inspiration. He reminded Claude about James Hughs, a white prisoner in the same jail who hated Claude intensely. This prisoner had led a horribly immoral life, and like Claude he too was sentenced to be executed for murder. James was raised a Catholic, but now he was a reprobate, and rejected God and all things Christian.
Father O’Leary then said “Maybe Our Blessed Mother wants you to offer this denial of being with Her for his conversion.” And the priest continued, “Why don’t you offer to God every
moment that you are separated from your heavenly Mother for this prisoner, so that he will not be separated from God for all eternity.”
Claude thought for a moment, then agreed, and he asked Father O’Leary to teach him the words to make the offering. Father O’Leary complied, and he later testified that from that moment on the only two people on earth who knew about this personal offering were Claude and himself, because it was a private matter between God, the Blessed Mother, Claude and himself.
A few hours later (still on the morning after his reprieve of execution) Fr. O’Leary came once again to visit Claude, and Claude said to the priest, “James hated me before, but oh Father, how he hates me now!” (This was because James had heard about Claude’s reprieve and was jealous) To encourage him the good priest said, “Well, perhaps that’s a good sign.”
During his two weeks reprieve, Claude generously offered his sacrifice and prayers for his fellow prisoner, the reprobate James Hughs . Two weeks later, Claude was finally put to death by the electric chair on Feb.4, 1944.
Concerning Claude’s holy death Father O’Leary testified: “I’ve never seen anyone go to his death as joyfully and happily. Even the official witnesses and the newspaper reporters were amazed. They said they couldn’t understand how anyone could go and sit in the electric chair while at the same time actually beaming with happiness.”
Claude’s death notice was printed in the Vicksburg Evening News on the day of his execution Feb. 4, 1944. His last words to Father O’Leary were, “Father, I will remember you. And whenever you have a request, ask me, and I will ask Her.”
Three months later, on May 19, 1944, the white man named James Hughs–the who Claude had offered his sacrifice for, was to be executed. Father O’Leary said, “This man was the filthiest, most immoral person I had ever come across. His hatred for God and for everything spiritual defied description.”
He would not allow a priest or any clergyman in his cell. Just before his execution, the county doctor pleaded with him to at least kneel down and say the “Our Father” before the sheriff would come for him. The prisoner spat in the doctor’s face.
When he was strapped into the electric chair, the sheriff said to him, “If you have something to say, say it now.”
The condemned man started to blaspheme.
All of a sudden he stopped speaking, and his eyes became fixed on the corner of
the room, and his face turned to one of absolute horror. Suddenly he screamed in terror–a horrible scream that shocked everyone present.
Turning to the sheriff, he then said, “Sheriff, get me a priest!”
Now, Father O’Leary had been in the room because Mississippi law at that time required a clergyman to be present at executions. The priest, however, had hidden himself behind some reporters because the condemned man had threatened to curse God if he saw a clergyman.
Upon calling for a priest, Father O’Leary immediately went to the condemned man. The room was cleared of everyone else, and the priest heard the man’s confession. The man said he had been a Catholic, but turned away from his religion when he was 18 because of his immoral life. He confessed all of his sins with deep repentance and intense fervor.
While everyone was returning to the room, the sheriff asked the priest, “Father, what made him change his mind?”
“I don’t know ” said Father O’Leary, “I didn’t ask him.”
The sheriff said, “Well, I will never sleep tonight if I don’t ask him.”
The Sheriff went to the condemned man and asked, “Son, what changed your mind?”
The prisoner responded, “Remember that black man Claude – the one whom I hated so much? Well he’s standing there [and he pointed], over in that corner. And behind him with one hand on each shoulder is the Blessed Virgin Mary. And Claude said to me, ‘I offered my death in union with Christ on the Cross for your salvation. She has obtained for you this gift of seeing your place in Hell if you do not repent.’
I have been shown my place in Hell, and that’s why I screamed.”
James Hughs was executed as scheduled, but the heavenly appearance of our Blessed Mother with Claude Newman and the subsequent vision of hell had instantly converted his soul in the last moments of his life. With the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Father O’Leary had taught Claude to unite himself with the suffering of Jesus by offering his own sufferings to Him, just as we all can do for others, and Claude’s suffering helped to pay the price for James’ remarkable last minute conversion and repentance. Therefore we must never under-estimate the the value of our suffering joined with that of Jesus Christ’s, and also the power and loving intercession of Our Blessed Mother in heaven.
~ From We Are Catholics
The Practicing Catholic has done it again!
Another post that I can identify with.
I know exactly what she means when she states:
It seems I have a bulwark, or a giant wall of protection, surrounding my heart. It’s been built up over the years as a defense mechanism to protect myself from heartache, disappointment, loss, and failure. Unfortunately that bulwark isn’t discriminating. It shuts out everything, including all the good and all the graces God is ready to pour out by way of the people He has placed in my life.
It is much easier to blow off a compliment than to have to accept it.
To accept that maybe I am not all that bad.
That I may not be all that flawed…
I was Very, VERY Blessed to have many remember an important date…well, important to me and my Mom perhaps…
I received many birthday wishes, some were deeply touching and made me believe that I may have SOME good in me, but I only believed that for a minute ;)
I have been Very Blessed with the People that surround me. They are Loving, Kind, Generous, Motivating and Very Inspirational.
However, if and when they tell me that I possess any of these qualities, I blush and point out my Million and One flaws instead of just saying Thank You…
I have to try very hard to learn and not smack people in the face…
So…do YOU do this too?
For the entire read, click HERE.
I do hope everyone is having a Happy Easter ♥
And for those of us that failed at Lent…know that we are not alone!
Here is a Wonderful Post from The Practicing Catholic written by Lisa Schmidt that truly spoke to me…
I try and fail…try a little and obviously fail…then really propose to try and fail…
Story of my life!!
But it’s good to know that we CAN Begin Again…
Enjoy the Post HERE.
If it won’t bother you on your deathbed, it shouldn’t bother you now.
~ Lou Holtz.
First of all, because no two substances in nature better symbolize unity than bread and wine.
As bread is made of a multiplicity of grains of wheat, and wine is made from a multiplicity of grapes, so the many who believe are one in Christ.
Second, no two substances in nature have to suffer more to become what they are than bread and wine.
Wheat has to pass through the rigors of winter, be ground beneath the Calvary of a mill, and then subjected to purging fire before it can become bread.
Grapes in their turn must be subjected to the Gethsemane of a wine press and have their life crushed for them to become wine.
Thus they symbolize the Passion and Sufferings of Christ, and the condition of Salvation, for Our Lord said unless we die to ourselves we cannot live in Him.
A third reason is that there are no two substances in nature which have more traditionally nourished man than bread and wine.
In bringing these elements to the altar, men are equivalently bringing themselves.
When bread and wine are taken or consumed, they are changed into man’s body and blood.
But when He took bread and wine, He changed them into Himself.
- Bishop Fulton Sheen
Our Habikins turns 4 today…
Where has the time gone??
Soon she will no longer be the youngest any more ..kind of breaks our heart, she seems to get the short end of the stick many times…but our solace lies in hoping and Praying that it makes her a more loving, caring, and empathetic individual.
Nice save there, huh? ;)
Happy Birthday, Habikins ♥
Que Dios te Cuide, te Proteja, e Ilumine a cada momento…
And if there is anything that I hope we can teach you, it is to always remember J-O-Y.
We Love You ♥
We may stink at Parenthood, but we are Trying ♥
We do the best that two imperfect individuals can…
Remember, we Love you, Always and All Ways.
Family is Very important, they drive us up the wall, and we don’t always agree, and yes, there are times that you will think that you would be better off without them, but when push comes to shove, Family is There. ♥ And we will always want the BEST for you.
Try, TRY to never take a moment for granted. Once the second passes, it will never return.
Even in trials, in pain, in suffering, there is a Lesson to be Learned…
Pray that you may have an open heart to find it…
Keep your Childlike Faith, Hope and Love for all things!
We tend to grow up and grow out of these…
As Mommy and Daddy always tell you, don’t be in a Rush to grow up so fast! Enjoy being a Little Kid!
Keep being Silly! Laughing is Good! No, it is GREAT!! Laugh at yourself and try to not take everything so seriously!
Don’t let what others think form who you are to become. Always remember God Created you PERFECT! He Loves You, even MORE than Mommy and Daddy! More than ANYONE ever will!
Always strive to be the Child He meant for you to be.
Let your decisions, who you become, what you do be led by His Love and Wisdom.
Learn to quiet this world and hear His Words ♥
And finally, there are many lessons more and much more we want to teach/show you, and those will come in time…but do try and forgive Mommy and Daddy for failing at being the Best Mommy and Daddy in the World…
Remember, we ARE, we truly are trying to be the best we can…forgive our shortcomings and realize that even in our failures, we truly thought, we sincerely believed we were doing the best for you ♥
Feliz Cumpleaños, Habikins ♥
I had never heard of this.
Will definitely have to look into it!
Thank you, Nina Roesner!
Word of warning…it may disturb you as a parent…
I was never a fan of that phrase…
I recall one of my Professors in University, Dr. Richards I think it was…She told us all that Men should be Greatly offended at phrases such as this.
That this kind of mentality reduces the male gender to an unthinking, unintelligent, incapable creature.
I liked that.
I hated growing up and always hearing, “El hombre llega hasta donde la mujer deja.”
The man will only go as far as a woman will allow.
I HATED THAT!! I found it such a pile of Crock! Why was the onus on US?!? Were not men rational beings as well??
I still feel this and I agree with Dr. Richards!
But I never completed the title phrase of this post…
Boys will be boys…
Ann Voskamp, thank you for completing it for us all…
“When the prevailing thinking is boys will be boys —
girls will be garbage.”
Please take the time to read THIS Blog Post by Ann Voskamp.
Being a mother of 2, soon to be 3 boys…
Being a mother…
Being a woman…
Being a Human Person…
Being a Child of God…
This touched me deeply…to tears…
Do not misunderstand! If you are a Man…
If you Think you are a Man…
If you Aspire to be a Man…
If you are a Father…a Dad…a Brother…a Husband…
This will be a very important read for you too.
Please read it and share.
God Love Us and Help Us All ♥
A Book I MUST Read!
Pope Francis has this ability to give me goosebumps and make me cry.
In a Good Way :)
And I get this feeling it’s not just me!
Here is a video that had me tearing up…and even as I type this and recall it, it has the same effect:
As I said…I am not the only one, thankfully!
Here is a Facebook status that a Dear Friend posted and comment received…
What is that on the horizon??
HOPE You Say?? ♥
Para todos los que entendemos Español…
Este video los va a conmover…
I wanted to share this Beautiful Article from The Wall Street Journal.
‘Go and Repair My House’
There is a power in the new pope’s humility.
~ Peggy Noonan
I’ll tell you how it looks: like one big unexpected gift for the church and the world.
Everything about Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s election was a surprise—his age, the name he took, his mien as he was presented to the world. He was plainly dressed, a simple white cassock, no regalia, no finery. He stood there on the balcony like a straight soft pillar and looked out at the crowd. There were no grand gestures, not even, at first, a smile. He looked tentative, even overwhelmed. I thought, as I watched, “My God—he’s shy.”
Then the telling moment about the prayer. Before he gave a blessing he asked for a blessing: He asked the crowd to pray for him. He bent his head down and the raucous, cheering square suddenly became silent, as everyone prayed. I thought, “My God—he’s humble.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of it and said so to a friend, a member of another faith who wants the best for the church because to him that’s like wanting the best for the world. He was already loving what he was seeing. He asked what was giving me pause. I said I don’t know, the curia is full of tough fellows, the pope has to be strong.
“That is more than strength,” he said of the man on the screen. “This is not cynical humanity. This is showing there is another way to be.”
Yes. This is a kind of public leadership we are no longer used to—unassuming, self-effacing. Leaders of the world now are garish and brazen. You can think of half a dozen of their names in less than a minute. They’re good at showbiz, they find the light and flash the smile.
But this man wasn’t trying to act like anything else.
“He looks like he didn’t want to be pope,” my friend said. That’s exactly what he looked like. He looked like Alec Guinness in the role of a quiet, humble man who late in life becomes pope. I mentioned that to another friend who said, “That would be the story of a hero.”
And so, as they’re saying in Europe, Francis the Humble. May he be a living antidote.
He is orthodox, traditional, his understanding of the faith in line with the teaching of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He believes in, stands for, speaks for the culture of life.
He loves the poor and not in an abstract way. He gave the cardinal’s palace in Buenos Aires to a missionary order with no money. He lives in an apartment, cooks his food, rides the bus. He rejects pomposity. He does not feel superior. He is a fellow soul. He had booked a flight back to Argentina when the conclave ended.
But these two traits—his embrace of the church’s doctrines and his characterological tenderness toward the poor—are very powerful together, and can create a powerful fusion. He could bridge the gap or close some of the distance between social justice Catholics and traditional, doctrinal Catholics. That would be a relief.
And he has suffered. Somehow you knew this as you looked at him Wednesday night. Much on this subject will come out.
The meaning of the name he chose should not be underestimated. Cardinal Bergoglio is a Jesuit and the Jesuits were founded by St. Ignatius Loyola, who said he wanted to be like St. Francis of Assisi.
One of the most famous moments in St. Francis’s life is the day he was passing by the church of St. Damiano. It was old and near collapse. From St. Bonaventure’s “Life of Francis of Assisi”: “Inspired by the Spirit, he went inside to pray. Kneeling before an image of the Crucified, he was filled with great fervor and consolation. . . . While his tear-filled eyes were gazing at the Lord’s cross, he heard with his bodily ears a voice coming from the cross, telling him three times: ‘Francis, go and repair my house which, as you see, is falling into ruin.’” Francis was amazed “at the sound of this astonishing voice, since he was alone in the church.” He set himself to obeying the command.
Go and repair my house, which is falling into ruin. Could the new pope’s intentions be any clearer?
The Catholic Church in 2013 is falling into ruin. The church has been damaged by scandal and the scandals arose from arrogance, conceit, clubbiness and an assumption that the special can act in particular ways, that they may make mistakes but it’s understandable, and if it causes problems the church will take care of it.
Pope Francis already seems, in small ways rich in symbolism, to be moving the Vatican away from arrogance. His actions in just his first 24 hours are suggestive.
He picks up his own luggage, pays his own hotel bill, shuns security, refuses a limousine, gets on a minibus with the cardinals. That doesn’t sound like a prince, or a pope. He goes to visit a church in a modest car in rush-hour traffic. He pointedly refuses to sit on a throne after his election, it is reported, and meets his fellow cardinals standing, on equal footing. The night he was elected, according to New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Vatican officials and staffers came forward to meet the new pope. He politely put them off: Not now, the people are waiting. Then he went to the balcony.
The church’s grandeur is beautiful, but Francis seems to be saying he himself won’t be grand. This will mean something in that old Vatican. It will mean something to the curia.
After the conclave, I’m grateful for two other things. First, after all the strains and scandals they still came running. A pope was being picked. The smoke came out and the crowd was there in St Peter’s Square. They stood in the darkness, cold and damp, and they waited and cheered and the square filled up. As the cameras panned the crowd there was joy on their faces, and the joy felt like renewal.
People come for many reasons. To show love and loyalty, to be part of something, to see history. But maybe we don’t fully know why they run, or why we turn when the first reports come of white smoke, and put on the TV or the computer. Maybe it comes down to this: “We want God.” Which is what millions of people shouted when John Paul II first went home to Poland. This is something in the human heart, and no strains or scandals will prevail against it.
I viewed it all initially with hope, doubt and detachment. And then the white smoke, and the bells, and the people came running, and once again as many times before my eyes filled with tears, and my throat tightened. That in the end is how so many Catholics, whatever their level of engagement with the church, feel. “I was more loyal than I meant to be.”
Much will unfold now, much will be seen. An ardent, loving 75-year-old cardinal in the middle of an acute church crisis is not going to sit around and do nothing. He’s going to move. “Go and repair my house, which you see is falling into ruin.”
What will the new Pope – Pope Francis I – be like? Here’s a glimpse.
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
~ Mark 10:43-45
I know you know…you know.
But I have not been in front of my Computer until now, so…
Meet the NEW POPE!
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ (Society of Jesus) from Argentina who takes the name, Pope Francis I.
Pope Francis makes a little joke in his first words to us. :D
“As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome, and it seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from far away, but here I am,” he told the crowd.
What a cool guy to be chosen pope! The first Jesuit, first to choose the name Francis, rides a bike to get around town, serves the poor in Argentina, runs a tight ship in his (former) diocese, and cracked a joke during his first speech as pope. The Church will definitely be transformed under Pope Francis I!
A glimpse into the mind of Papa Francesco I:
“In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptize the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage. These are today’s hypocrites. Those who clericalize the Church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it’s baptized!…Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.”
Hands started going up.
He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.”
He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill.
He then asked, “Who still wants it…?” Still the hands were up in the air.
“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.
He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.
“My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We may feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value.
Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.
You are special! Don’t EVER forget it.”
If you do not pass this on, you may never know the lives it touches, the hurting hearts it speaks to, or the hope that it may bring. Count your blessings, not your problems.
I remember growing up I’d hear Aunts and even my Mom say that they wish they had wives ;)
I never really understood it until I married.
Then…as I got older and entered into my Second Marriage, I have slowly learned that what the world portrays as an “Ideal” Marriage really isn’t.
When we hear, or in this case read, the word Submissive, an Ideal Marriage may not come to mind.
I have slowly been learning about the True Meaning of Submission.
Submitting to Our Lord, to our Spouses…allowing our Husbands to Serve us ♥
One of the Blogs I enjoy visiting is The Peacefulwife’s Blog.
A recent blog post really struck a cord with me.
I many times believe I am being respectful, loving and all…and after reading this, well…I mean, I know I have a lot to learn, but this really gave me a bit of very useful advice.
Hope it helps you too.
But I guess, I never really sat back and pondered on McDonald’s Drive-Thru…
Thus, a huge debt of gratitude to Christy Sheaff for her article on St. Joseph Educational Center’s Site.
Read it here, it is a very concise yet thought-provoking piece.
I do hope you enjoy it.
It is a Very Exciting and yes, nerve-racking time for Catholic Christians.
It is rather brief, but beautifully describes the conclave experience!
“In front of the crucifix and in front of the ‘Final Judgment’ painting, we say, ‘I call Jesus as a witness, and he will judge me that I have elected according to my conscience,’ so you can imagine … why it takes so long. And in the meantime, when everybody is casting their votes, we are praying, so it is like a big cenacle of prayer.”
~ Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga
HERE it is, in case you missed it above ;)
Faith is such a fragile thing…
We “know” that our Faith should not be placed on Humankind…that our Faith should be in Him and Him alone, and yet, we all meet those people that Increase our Faith! Not just in Him, but in His Creation!
How disastrous when a Human Being fails!
We quickly lose hope.
And if that person is involved with the Church…Aw Heck, we go on a Bashing Spree!!
The “See!! The Church is Corrupt! It is filled with Hypocrites!” and any variation thereof…
HOWEVER…if you’re as fortunate, as Blessed as I and have someone beside you that Lovingly, yet Sternly reminds you that the Church is a Hospital!! It is filled with PATIENTS!! NOT Doctors! There is Only ONE Physician, Our Lord.
And though some may appear to be Doctors, they are not. They too are Patients in the Hospital, and just because perhaps they are there more often, or have knowledge of cures, this does NOT make them Doctors!
Knowing this then, why do we immediately judge the Hospital and its Physician on Patients??
Because we can…
Because it’s easy…
Because then we have a “reason” to Not Go and See and Consult The Physician…
Point is…though the Patients may appear to be Healed.
Though they may appear to be much better than I and may even offer advice…
Remember…they are NOT Doctors! Do not place your Faith in or on them, or else, like me, your Faith may falter…
If Only our Faith were the size of a Mustard Seed…
“I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God
over one sinner who repents”
~ Luke 15:10
I know all too well that when one has “missed the mark” aka sinned…it feels like a downward spiral.
If you’re lying, you’re creating more lies to cover the one that you began with.
If you’ve done “it” once, you feel and are made to to feel that you already did it! So you can’t stop and so “no” now.
If you’ve been unfaithful in “little” ways, like conversations, texts, emails, lunches, etc. you try and justify them and feel like “Hey, I’ve come this far and not done anything, what’s one meeting or kiss or….”
If you’ve been unfaithful to your Spouse in “bigger” ways, there’s that sense of entitlement, justification…”I Deserve it. I don’t get it at home. I work so hard. She/He doesn’t understand/appreciate me.” and oh so many more. But to just stop…HOW? You can’t. You’ve done so much, come too far…
If you haven’t been taking advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) and you feel that it’s too much to remember, or that there is no use, no “fix” no Forgiveness for you…You’re Beautifully and Horribly Wrong!
Beautifully because it’s never too much or too late.
Horribly, because the burden, the pain, the shame are so heavy to carry…leave them! Give them to Him!
Whatever you’re struggling with…pornography, deceit, apathy, whatever!!
It’s NEVER TOO LATE †
Believe me, I know it’s hard! DAMN HARD!! But we don’t have to go it alone. In fact, I don’t believe we CAN…we need His Strength, His Support, His Resolve and Prayer…
You are Not Alone ♥