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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Messages

This Christmas, why not ask God for a miracle?
As I sit at my computerand begin to write, I am filledwith images of what has been going on this past year. The more I look at letters of wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles all trusting in God, I can’t help thinking there is hope!
Good people! When Abraham asked God to save Sodom and Gomorrah, and God refused, Abraham began toplead saying, “Lord, would you save Sodom and Gomorrah, if there were fifty good people and God said Yes. Then Abraham pressed forward, pleading, “If there were forty!” Then with each reduction Abraham continued pleading until he finally asked the Lord what if there were only ten men, would He save the city, and the Lord said yes! And to this day, in order for there to be a minion, a Hebrew prayer service, there must be at least ten men. Holy people!There is hope in the world! There is reason to rejoice!
We are at the time of our year when winter sets in. Traveling around our country, we see parts of our land going to sleep for the winter, the trees and bushes turning from velvety green and lush colors to multiple shades of orange, gold, and cranberry red. Our roses in our Holy Family Mission Garden, brave little soldiers that they are, have been weathering a particularly harsh winter. So many times, in the early morning, we have walked over prayerfully, only to see them with their stems bent over and their buds clenched tightly around the rose buds, protecting their promise of joyful arrays of roses that will greet us when Springtime comes upon us, when everything: plants, trees and flowering bushes prepare to bloom and fill our hearts with joyfulanticipation of things to come. And how much does Godlove us? All of a sudden, with cold, blustery winter storms threatening to come upon us, a yellow rose blooms. Not to be outdone, a red one follows. Then velvety white ones appear alongside more and more rich colors blooming. Bob says it is the bees that are responsible for the pricelessly colored roses that continue to greet us. And then we realize what the Lord is telling us – there is Life all around us!
Our Creator is alive and He has not forgotten His children! I am with you! I loveyou! Trust in me! The gloom and doom news on television tells us sales are down – people are not buying! It’s true. They’re not buying homes, or cars or 72” television sets. We find that people are turning back to God. They’re buying little things, which liftt heir spirits and point them back in the direction Our Lord wants them to focus on. They’re buying things which will give them hope. Our sales of books and DVDs have exceededour expectations. Years ago, many years ago, as a very holy priest saw the immorality and decadence of our great nation increasing, how close we were coming to being a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, he made a prophecy: “Those whobelieve in God will come to church on their knees, begging for God’s Mercy, for the Bread of Life. The churches willbe filled to overflowing! Mass conversions will come about! Those who do not believe will be jumping out of windowsand off rooftops!” And you only have to read some of ourPeople of God letters to see God is in charge! Those who haveplaced their faith in the golden calf are desperately trying tomake sense of all that is going on. And God waits!Remember the Prodigal Son of the Old Testament. When he received his inheritance, he went off and squandered it onimmoral living. Then, when he lost all he had, and in desperationwas reduced to tending pigs, he returned to his father withmore apprehension than joyful anticipation. But what did thefather do? When he spotted his son, he ran to him. He opened his arms and not only greeted his son; he prepared a feast for him. The son said, “Father I have sinned against God andyou; I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But to thefather this son had been dead and now had come back to life.If you know anyone who feels like the prodigal son, share this with him. Jesus on the Cross, prayed for everyone, died foreveryone, even those who were crucifying Him. How much does He love you? He opened His Arms on the Cross andsaid this much. Turn to God, Our Savior!At the Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris, Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, and toldher; “the world will be overcome by evils, but come to the footof the altar. Great graces will be poured on those who ask forthem with confidence and fervor. They will be bestowed onthe great and the small.” Another time, the young postulantnoticed that Our Lady wore rings on each of her fingers, andinquired why Mother Mary had rays shooting forth from onlysome of her fingers, to which Our Lady replied, “Those rayssymbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them.The gems from which rays do not fall are graces for whichsouls forget to ask.”Have you asked Our Lady lately to help you?If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the thirty five years wehave been researching the Shrines of Our Lady, and listened toher words, it’s that she is available; she is touchable. There’snothing Our Lord Jesus will not do for His Mother. There is nothing she will not do for us if we ask in prayer, and have hope that she will answer our requests. We can’t guarantee just what she will give you that you ask for, but we know thatshe is never outdone in generosity to those who believe inher ability to whisper in the ears of her Son. And what does she ask in return?
Pray two Memorares, one in petition, and one in Thanksgiving.
Light two candles, one in petition and one in Thanksgiving.
Believe! Thank Her for favorsreceived before they are received.
Love her Son.
Respect her Son.
Receive His Body and Blood in the Eucharist.
After Communion, thank and praise Him for your very life, for the breath you take.
Go before the Blessed Sacrament and talk to her Son.
Don’t hurt her Son by sinning against Him, bygiving in to the temptations of the world and the flesh.
Give Him one day a week, (Sunday) where you focus on Him fora change instead of the things of the world, where you listen to what the Lord may be saying to your heart, where He may lay out His plans for your life. Very often, we say to people,who have need of the Lord, (and today, don’t we all haveneed?) “Go before the Blessed Sacrament, and pour your heart out to Jesus.
And then, shut up! Give Him a chanceto speak to you.
”Family, we have been given many gifts this ChristmasSeason. Turn the eyes of your soul from the glamour of theworld, which can be blinding, so that you can see and bask in the warmth of the light that is your Heavenly Family. Our Church has many gifts to give us all year long, in the way of The Mass, Adoration, and various devotions. But at this time, we are thrice blessed with all the Advent and Christmas activities that are available right there in your parish. Takeadvantage of them.
For those of you who live in the areanear Holy Family Mission, come and spend a little time at the Holy House, speaking to Mother Mary.
Walk the 14 Stations of the Cross, which are beautiful, quiet and peaceful, andmeditate on the gift Our Lord Jesus gave us of His Passion.
And/or walk the 20 Mysteries of the Rosary, and meditate on the lives of Jesus and Mary, while praying the Rosary. Then come into the Mission and have a cup of coffee, or tea,or hot apple cider.
If you’re near the Shrine at Hanceville, Alabama, go and say Hi to the Divino Niňo, and if possible, say Hi to Mother Angelica. If you live anywhere near St.Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, go in and say Hi to Jesus.
Or go to the Cathedral in your city or the church in your neighborhood and say Hi to Jesus. If you live in California,Texas or New Mexico, take advantage of the Missions this Christmas season.
We believe the Lord wants us to tell youth at our Christmas gift to you this Season is to direct youto where you can get the most for your time and effort, at a Church, or a Shrine, or anywhere Jesus and Mary, the Angels and Saints, are there waiting to give you their own specialChristmas gift.
We always love you, but at this special time of the year, we love you more. Bob and Penny Lord

The Reason for the Season
Here at Holy Family Mission wesay, "Merry Christmas," since Jesus is the Reason for the Season. We have a lot to be thankful for all the blessings He has bestowed on usand we have even more work to do forJesus in the future.Now that the election has passed wecan get on with the work of building Culture of life.
There was a bright spot in the election in that the State of California has passed the law defining Marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
I want to make a comment here that my grandparents wouldthink our society is totally crazy having to define Marriage. Theywould never believe that we would not know the definitions ofmarriage, sin, life and so on. They would think it absurd thatgovernment would interfere and say we do not know whenlife begins.They were simple people, however, grandpa would tell youthat our Catholic Faith teaches us that life begins at conceptionand we celebrate the day the Lord Jesus became flesh on Marcht he 25th of each year, exactly 9 months before the birth of Jesus.(This being the time of his life in the womb of Mother Mary.) And he would furthermore take out his Bible and quote fromit about Marriage and sin and so on. Furthermore my grandparents were immigrants from Germany and Switzerland and were hard working entrepreneurs.They built up quite a farming operation before the great depressionand lost everything but the land during the Depression.They never mortgaged the land but all their savings werelost when the banks failed. During this time there was no FDICno FEMA and no Social Security. You were on your own. You had to do or die. There were no bailouts and no relief. Duringthis terrible time in our history they did not complain. Mostof the people in this area moved to California and worked onthe farms there.My father moved to Fresno and worked in the fields makingraisins. There he added to his wine making skills and at the ageof 21 he started the family winery here.
My point is this; many are comparing our times to the Great Depression. From my viewpoint, we are nowhere near that level of suffering and poverty. Furthermore, God help us if we getto 15-20% unemployment for more than one year. We are too soft to survive what our grandparents and great grandparentswent through.
We have become the now generation. Our motto is, " I want it and I want it NOW!" I cannot pay for it, so give itto ME NOW!"So what is happening? God may be sending us a little tasteof suffering and poverty to get us to turn back to Him and build the Culture of Life and abandon the secular materialism and its sister the Culture of Death.
It is time to study our founding fathers and determine whatthey had in mind, and read about the Pilgrims that came here and the trials and tribulations they had to make a living here. Let us not forget the God Who has blessed this land unbelievably with natural resources and beauty and we have benefitted from this land since we came here.
All He wants us to do is give Him what is due Him. Love one another and love Him. Thank you Jesus for the Father's gift of You to us.
This Christmas may we make a commitment to build the Cultureof Life and stand up for what is right and fight against what iswrong. Let us determine right from wrong and when in doubtseek out wisdom for our Church leaders.The future for our country can be great. During the 1930'smany people gave up hope, and many others just decided tostart over and try again, like my grand parents did.
To the Culture of Life in the USA! Merry Christmas! Brother Joseph

Monday, November 3, 2008

Saint Charles Borromeo Nov 4

Charles was made legate of Bologna, Romagna and the Marches of Ancona. Then he was named Protector of Portugal, the Low Countries, the Catholic cantons of Switzerland, as well as the orders of the Franciscans, the Carmelites, the Knights of Malta and many others. Charles was becoming a powerful man in the Church and he was still not a priest. He did hold minor orders, however at age twenty three. His slow methodical approach did annoy some people in the Vatican; but there was never cause for concern. The assignments were always executed to the exact degree of excellence of which he was expected to perform, and yet he was never in a hurry to get them done. Everything was customary and systematic. He was never harried. With the death of members of the family, he became in charge of handling family affairs, which he did again without getting overwhelmed, and at the same time accomplishing his goals more than satisfactorily.
St. Charles tried as much as possible to liberate himself from all the material trappings connected with holding a position in the Vatican as a legate of the Pope, and yet he felt he was required to live in a certain way, in keeping with his standing in the Church and also his place in his family. But these were traps to him. He wanted nothing to do with them. He committed himself to having a large household and a magnificent palace, befitting his rank and the type of entertainment he was required to put on. He would rather have lived as a recluse in a monastery, with only Our Lord as his companion. That would have been enough for him. Despite the temptations which came his way as a result of his titles and positions, he became more and more disenchanted with this way of life. He maintained mortification in his behavior; temperance and serenity in his demeanor.
We have to believe that St. Charles Borromeo enjoyed being such an intricate part of the workings of the Church, especially being such a holy young man; but he did have one problem which constantly nagged at him. He had been made Administrator of Milan. They had not had an archbishop living in the archdiocese for eighty years. And yet he could not go to Milan to dispatch his many duties. I mean, he was in effect, Archbishop of the Archdiocese, which is a full time job, but couldn't be in his archdiocese to do it. He was an extremely conscientious young man. He realized he was doing as much as he could handle, but felt that either he be allowed to administer his office on-site, so to speak, or give it to someone else who would be there working with the Church hands-on.
He may or may not have understood that he was a trusted member of the papal team. That word trusted is key here. There are not many people that can be arbitrarily trusted to do anything. If someone is a trusted employee, or a trusted member of a church community or government, that person is very special. That trust requires an action. In the case of St. Charles Borromeo and the Pope, that action was complete loyalty to the Pope and whatever he needed Charles to do for him. Charles was a yes man. He never gave a thought to not doing whatever was required of him; but he was torn between his obedience to the Pope and his obligation to the souls of Milan, which he judged he was not handling as well as could have been handled by someone there full time.
The Lord knew why He wanted St. Charles to be in this key position during this crucial time. It was the Council of Trent. It had been opened first in 1545 and adjourned in 1547, without ever having completed the task assigned to its members. Then in 1551, it was convened again under a new, determined Pope Julius III, but it was adjourned again after one year. The work had never been completed; it had never been brought to conclusion; the reforms, doctrines, none of these things had been instituted. "The Council of Trent was unquestionably one of the most important Councils the Church had ever convened." Until and unless all the reforms, dogmas, doctrines and declarations were formalized, the whole Martin Luther controversy was still up in the air. Until the questions raised by him and his fellow heretics were answered definitively, their errors clearly condemned, the dissidents would use this as justification to break away from Mother Church.
In going through the documents of the Council of Trent, it's interesting to observe the different attitudes of the popes, especially the contrast in the Sixteenth session in 1552, in which Pope Julius III suspended the Council, and the Bull for the Celebration of the Council of Trent, written by Pope Pius IV in 1560 and the subsequent opening of the Seventeenth session in 1562. Pope Julius III was completely defeated. He had tried to rekindle the flame which Pope Paul III ignited when he convened the First Session in 1545. Pope Julius III and his people had been victims of strong pressure by the German princes. Protestants had been invited to the Council in the spirit of reconciliation. But their demands were so ridiculous it was impossible to concede to them. They insisted that resolutions that had already been made by the Council, especially those regarding the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and the doctrine of Transubstantiation should be revised so as to be based solely on the Protestant interpretation of Scripture, and that the Pope had to agree to be subordinate to the Council. In addition, war broke out between France and Germany; the German bishops left the Council and never returned.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Beyond Sodom and Gomorrah?

Taken from our book Beyond Sodom and Gomorrah
We can Change the World!
We must Change the World!
Most beloved family, we have traveled a rough road together and we are nearing the end of this book and this Century. If we truly believe in Holy Scripture, that the Lord has used prophets down through the ages to speak to us, we have reason to be frightened. There is every indication, we may very well be speeding headlong toward the last days. Our concern should be not necessarily for ourselves (if we have been traveling the straight and narrow path which leads us to the Kingdom), but for our children and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, the future generations who deserve to live in a world free from plagues, nuclear holocausts and cataclysmic disasters of one kind or another. We need to pray for our Church, our country, and our world, and then do something about it!
"Take back our country; we must take back our world!"
The church was filled with mourners, people of all faiths, all backgrounds, including not only members and friends of the students who had been killed, but people from this small peaceful village, where peace once reigned and was taken for granted. The townspeople cried, "This doesn't happen in our village!" As we heard those cries, we remembered crying out much the same thing when we lost our son to an overdose of drugs. But it does happen, and there are no border guards to keep it from striking anywhere, where God is not the Supreme Head.
During the writing of this book, a massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado took place, Tuesday, April 20, 1999, where fifteen lives were lost and thirteen others wounded, not to count the countless others who will be scarred by this holocaust. It was pointed out that this having been the anniversary of the birthday of Adolf Hitler, the youthful terrorists planned their bloodbath for that day, in some twisted sense of honor to him.
Like most Americans, and probably a good deal of the population of the world, we sat shocked in front of our television sets as the story of this American disgrace unfolded. It reminded us of the Assassination of President Kennedy on Friday, November 22, 1963. We stayed glued to the television sets the entire weekend, right up to the funeral.
In Littleton, on Saturday night, at the funeral of one of the girls murdered in the High School, a minister preached to the young people, dazed and weeping uncontrollably for their classmate whose only crime was she loved Jesus, and she passed that love on to every one she met; she was everyone's favorite. When the killers approached her, they asked, "Do you believe in God? and when she replied, "I believe in God!" they shot her! A godless act against God and His little messenger on earth.
"I believe in God!" One pastor said that Prayer had returned to the schools! As we watched the scenes over and over again, almost praying it was not real, but another one of television's gory programs, we could hear the students crying out, "God! Oh my God!" as they ran for cover, their hands on their heads (instructions from the police who were afraid the gunmen would change their clothes and mix with the other students).
One minister told the students and the parents, "You must take back your schools!" He repeated it many times, "You must take back your schools!" This entire tragedy has had a great impact on us and our family. Our book, not yet finished, we were given an inspiration to go one step further and cry out to you, "We must take back our country; we must take back our world!" And how shall we do that?
A man of God had the courage to say, "Prayer has returned to the schools!" No one tried to stop those children from reaching out to the only real Help - God! And we believe, with all our hearts, that there will be a new beginning in Littleton, Colorado--God has entered the school and they are not about to let Him be shoved out!
This horrible negative, the killing of innocent children and teacher, is destined, like the killing of the Innocent One on the Cross, to become a positive; as Salvation came about on the Cross and Jesus rose from the dead, so these beautiful souls whose life was snuffed out prematurely will not have died in vain! Through the death of these martyrs, who had been earmarked to die (by possessed gunmen from their own school), prayer has returned to Littleton, Colorado and that will snowball until Prayer and God is resurrected in our schools, in our land, returned to a nation called to holiness by Pope John Paul II! Our Pope called upon us as a Continent of Hope to be a Nation of Life with Dignity for all.
Who is to blame for what happened last week in Colorado?
...or for that matter, the ten other high school shootings which have taken place within the last sixteen months in the United States?
We have to answer that with a question:
Who took God out of our schools?
Who ordered the ban on voluntary prayer by students in schools? (Will the next thing, as in Nazi Germany, be in homes?)
Who ordered teachers and coaches in schools to not allow, nor support or encourage prayer by students in school, under penalty of imprisonment or loss of jobs or both?
Who ordered, that the religious rights of the many be suppressed, for the agenda of even one atheist? The question you have a right to ask is, Why does one atheist have more rights than thousands of believers?
Do we have a system of checks and balances as our Constitution calls for, or is our country ruled by the Supreme Court, which is just an extension of the president who appointed the Justices for life?
There is a godlessness taking over this once Godly land. A godless people have infiltrated our country, our government, our courts. The words of our sacred Constitution, to accommodate a godless agenda, have been systematically and blatantly twisted so that the meaning of the original framers of the Constitution has now been disputed and ridiculed, accusing the Founding Fathers who wrote it, of being ignorant of its true intent when they drafted it.
Once that was accomplished, and the uproar died down sufficiently, there was no stopping evil from sucking the life out of our country. This plague has gotten so out of hand that laws and morality are virtually non-existent in this country. But the right to be as immoral as we please, and to impose that immorality on our neighbor is protected by various civil rights groups. They will defend anyone's rights as long as they are not pro-church, pro-religion or pro-God. And these organizations are funded by our government. What can we do?
Put them out of business!
Next time you vote, vote your conscience, your Catholic

Stop supporting violent and immoral films. Don't go to them and don't let your children see them. Protest to
your congressman.
Stop supporting violence, sex and immorality on television.
Find out who the sponsors of these programs are, and
write to them, telling them you will boycott their
products as long as they support those type of
programs. Then if that doesn't help, stop buying their
products and tell your friends not to!
Stop supporting violence and immorality in songs, musical
groups and rap groups.

Do not buy their products.

Do not give your children money to support these

Do not go to their concerts.

Do not watch these types of music video programs;
contact the sponsors and tell them why
you're boycotting them.
Vote your conscience! Stop supporting politicians and
public officials whose voting record is anti-Christian,
anti-life, pro-violence.
Don't keep voting a favorite son/daughter into office whose
voting record is not Christian.
Don't buy into the philosophy that his/her personal life
does not affect his/her performance in office.
Campaign against godlessness.
Speak up when decisions are made under the cloak of being
constitutional and they are not.
Vote for reform.
Insist that these Constitutional rights which have been
taken away from us be given back to us; make your
voice heard by your franchise as an American, to vote!
Insist on laws governing material being put on the Internet.

Does your child have his/her own website?
Does he or she go online without any supervision?
Are they getting into violence - neo-Nazism?
Is your child hiding para-military material in his rooms,
including weapons?
Are your children taking drugs?
Are they adopting secretive habits?
Are they blocking you out of their lives?
Be aware of what your child is doing.
Support your child.
Offset the godlessness which is being taught,
with the truths of God.
Most importantly, pray!
Pray, as a family,
pray as a community,
pray as a country!
Pray! Pray! Pray!
Pray constantly!
Take Back Your Country - Take Back Your World!
We are a part of the whole. All the evil that man does echoes throughout the atmosphere, reverberating, affecting the entire world. Mother Nature has joined her Creator, bringing about vengeance upon the world, throughout the history of our universe. In the "Roaring Twenties," the height of decadence in 1927, men and women in the United States were wildly enjoying a false prosperity - no limit to recklessness, irreverence, decadence, amorality - their souls decaying into wastelands where flowers of purity once bloomed.
Churches were being closed, priests murdered, martyrs by the tens of thousands piling one on top of the other, our cousins to the South in Mexico pleading for help; and we did nothing! The Lord was angry! Something had to be done about it! It had to be stopped - this wanton waste of lives and more importantly souls. Mother Nature joined her Creator and in 1927, the Mississippi River, which is usually one mile wide flooded, causing its banks to stretch to three hundred miles wide, flooding most of Arkansas and all of Mississippi.
Flappers kept dancing wildly, men kept drinking intemperately, and husbands and wives continued sinning against their Sacraments of Matrimony, adultery an accepted given! Something had to be done! 1929 came and with it the Stock Market on Wall Street crashed! Suddenly the frenzy halted; the never-ending flow of money, drink, drugs, dancing, infidelity, and immorality were no more! Yes, and irreverence became reverence!
The mask was off! Satan had exposed his ugly countenance. There was an air of desperation and despair in the air; the banks failed, the stocks were not worth the paper they were written on and bread lines started to form! Those who remembered there was a God Who loved them, returned to church, and fell on their knees. Those who had sold out their souls, to the gods of power, wealth, licentiousness, and wanton evil, jumped out of windows; their gods had betrayed them.
We came out of the Depression; things began to slowly look up. Then twenty years later, we had World War II and with it more jobs and more money; too much time and too much money, service men came home to wives who had found others to help them in their loneliness. All those who had gone to church daily began to go only on Sundays; and then not knowing they still needed God, they stopped going altogether. Again prosperity and all that goes with it.
Our world has gone through two world wars and we have lost young lives in countless others! God has spared our country from attack on our land. And what have we done, we have stood by and allowed Him to be slighted, maligned, and forgotten! And with Him, we have forsaken all that we once held dear - new gods filling our lives! Do you wonder, for one moment if the Lord is angry with the world and especially the United States, a country He has plainly favored with untold gifts and mercy? Never has a people had so much opportunity, and means, to spread the Good News to the world; and we citizens of the last decades of the Second Millennium, have said, We are too busy...Later Lord, I have to work seven days a week to live in the best neighborhood, to give my family what I never had. Was what you never had - murder in schools, children killing each other, mothers killing their own flesh and blood in their wombs, grandparents who were once the story-tellers and passers-down of tradition and heritage being locked away in homes?
What can we do? We can change the world!
How can we abate or lessen the tribulation and chastisement that is sure to come? We can pray; we can beg Jesus to "change His Mind." Many of us have been told intercessory prayer is not worth anything. God has already made up His Mind. Nothing we do is going to change it. But the Lord teaches us differently, in His Word....
"Have faith in God. In truth I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain `Be pulled up and thrown into the sea' with no doubt in his heart, but believing that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. I tell you, therefore, everything you ask for, believe that you have it already and it will be yours. And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive your failings too."
"Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened."
"Then He told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart.
"`There was a judge in a certain town,' He said, `who had neither fear of God nor respect for anyone. In the same town there was also a widow who kept on coming to Him and saying, `I want justice from you against my enemy!'
"`For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, `Even though I have neither fear of God nor respect for any human person, I must give this widow her just rights since she keeps pestering me, or she will come and do me harm.'
"And the Lord said, `You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now, will not God see justice done to His elect if they keep calling on Him day and night even though He still delays to help them? I promise you, He will see justice done to them, and done speedily."
We've been in churches where St. Luke's Gospel, above, was proclaimed, and right after it, in the homily, the priest discredited the very Gospel he had just read, by saying God has already made up His Mind. Yet, St. Paul tells us, "Pray, without ceasing!" "...we do not cease praying for you..."
Pray and believe! There is hope! We can change the world!
This brings us to the heart of this chapter, and of this book. While we believe that all the prophecies we have written about in this book are true, and there will be chastisement and tribulation, it can be lessened and minimized by our fasting, our prayers - especially before the Blessed Sacrament, and our supplications.
Whereas Jesus predicts the Last Days, He also assures us of hope in the wake of hopelessness, Light to cut through the darkness:
"...He said to them, `Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.'"
"Then they asked Him, `Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?' He answered, `See that you are not deceived, for many will come in My name, saying `I am He' and `The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end."
Jesus prophesied the Second Coming, speaking of the fright before His Coming and the joy which would follow:
"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
"`People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
"`And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.'"
Basically, everything you read in the Bible regarding tribulation and chastisement, you can pretty well count on happening, if it has not already. By the same token, however, all the benefits Our Lord has given us through Scripture and Tradition, especially with regard to praying for intercessory help, Angelic intercession and Our Lady's help are also there for us.
However, even prophecies which are Scriptural, can be conditional. The punishment can be lessened, or completely eliminated by the actions of the Faithful. A perfect example would be:
Jonah and the people of Nineveh.
The Lord told Jonah to walk through the city of Nineveh, and preach a chastisement against it. At first, Jonah fled from the Lord and wound up in the belly of a whale for three days. Then he set out to fulfill the Lord's command. He walked through the city of Nineveh, proclaiming "Forty days more and Nineveh will be destroyed." Nineveh was a big city, and it took three days to walk through the entire city. Now this was not a situation where the Lord had Jonah say to the people of Nineveh, "If you don't repent, I'll do this. But if you change your ways, I'll do that." No. It was a straight statement. "Forty days more and Nineveh will be destroyed."
But without any bargain from the Lord, the people of Nineveh reacted to the Lord's Word as given them by the prophet Jonah. They proclaimed a fast, and every one of them put on sackcloth and ashes.
Word got to the king of Nineveh. He tore his clothes, a sign of repentance, and made a proclamation:
"Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call out loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil ways and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold His blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.
"When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, He repented of the evil that He had threatened to do to them; He did not carry it out."
Now this is amazing! They believed in God's anger and punishment, as witnessed by how seriously they took the word of His prophet that Nineveh would be destroyed. But they also had great faith in God's Love and Mercy. There were no guarantees. As far as they knew, the punishment was coming. But they trusted that maybe God would relent and forgive, and in so doing withhold His wrath. And that's just what happened.
So here's a situation, where the Lord did not make any commitment to the people of Nineveh, but He did reward them for turning away from their evil ways.
There are prophecies of the end times which cause us to cringe - chastisements resulting from man's cold, callous, stubborn, hard heart, but on the other hand, there are prophecies speaking of God's Mercy, as a result of man relinquishing control of his destiny, softening his heart, converting and coming back to the Lord. As man's actions can be the catalyst for destruction of himself and the world, a reversal of those actions can bring about peace and harmony, Redemption of body and soul as was planned for us, by God, in the Garden of Eden:
"But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
"The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and of understanding.
"A Spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.
"Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together with a little child to guide them.
"The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.
"There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea."
We prayed a great deal writing this book. We had an urgency to write it and get it to you. Be not afraid, God is with us! As we bring to an end this book on Prophecies and Promises, we would like to quote St. Paul's letter to the Romans. It has to do with remnant, the key word in this prophecy and in this book. We believe that we all are called to be that raggedy remnant of the Lord, of which St. Paul and Isaiah before him, spoke. The Lord has called us, at this time and place, to be heralds of His coming, and with our words and actions, to help bring others to the Kingdom on the Last Day; because, remember and believe my brothers and sisters, we have truly been chosen; the responsibility is ours to spend each waking moment carrying out this mission.
"...Isaiah cries out, referring to Israel, `Though the number of the Israelites should be as the sands of the sea, only the remnant will be saved, for quickly and decisively will the Lord execute sentence upon the earth.'
"It is just as Isaiah predicted: `Unless the Lord of Hosts had left us a remnant, we should have become as Sodom, we should be like Gomorrah.'"
Remember we are called to be that remnant! See you on the battlefield! We can change the world! We will change the world! And then, we'll see you in Heaven...
For more information about this book click here

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Rosary

The Battle of Lepanto - October 7, 1571
It was the sixteenth century, and the Body of Christ was being attacked from all sides. On one side, poor innocent believers were falling to an enemy from within the Church. The Church in Europe would lose 6,000,000 of her most precious, faithful children to heresy. As they did not know what was happening, they did not fight. They did not pray for our Mother Mary's intervention. And so, they were lost to us. Praise God, they are now coming back home to their Church, and they are so very beautiful. Could it be the many rosaries said by their families and friends?
As this sneak attack was going on, other enemies of the Church were attacking. Turkish forces were overtaking much of Christian Europe. As this wave of followers of Mohammed invaded a country, they not only took lives, they took souls. The name of Christ was not heard in these lands for up to 700 years. They knew that they would never be able to subjugate their conquests unless they could take away all hope. Had Satan told them of his motto over the gates of hell, "All you who enter here, abandon all hope."
But they were not victorious where people prayed! The Turkish fleet was attacking Austria. The Austrian fleet under Don Juan was no match against the superior Turkish fleet. It looked as if another country would be lost to Islam. Her family is in danger? They need her? Mary to the rescue! Pope Pius V sent out word to the forces of Christ, to pray the Rosary. A Rosary Crusade was waged on the knees of the faithful, and the battle was won.
To the eyes of the world, the Austrian fleet was outnumbered. But there was a powerful general that could not be seen by human eyes. It was Mary and her Heavenly Army of Angels! Although the Austrian fleet appeared finished, they were not. They were joined by the Angels, with Michael the Archangel in front. Swords of faith drawn, they were poised, just waiting for their Queen's command. The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was placed at the helm of the ship leading the Austrian fleet into battle, to victory.
Man's weapons could not defend their land, but roses in the form of rosary beads moved Jesus' Heart and through His Mother Mary, He did the rest. Jesus, I trust in You!
Pope Pius V instituted the Feast of the Holy Rosary after this battle.

Battle of Vienna - September 11, 1683
We're in the seventeenth century and the Turkish forces are still forging ahead, hell-bent on conquering and subjugating all of Christian Europe. We find ourselves in Vienna, in 1683. The Emperor of Austria's forces are exhausted and discouraged. They are badly outnumbered and weary from battle. The Emperor in a last ditch effort, sends word to King John Sobieski, Sovereign of Poland, imploring his help.
Now, this was not the first time that King Sobieski faced overwhelming odds in battle. But the pendulum swung so overpoweringly in the enemy's favor, he did not know if this was to be his death rather than his victory. As the Turkish invaders were converging on Vienna, King John Sobieski turned to Our Lady of Czestochowa: "Give us victory, My Lady, grant us your help and salvation. As for me, do whatever you choose. I'll accept your will, whether it's life or death."
Suddenly a thought came to him: "Instead of honoring her (Mother Mary), we have passed a lot of responsibility on to her. Seeking honor and glory for ourselves, we've left the toil to her. But she has accepted it. I don't know why she loves us, yet she does love us, even if we repay her with ingratitude and disloyalty."
"Give us victory," he prayed, "and let it be your victory alone." He came before the people and asked them to join him in publicly placing all their trust in Our Lady. He knelt humbly before his Queen, Mary most holy and one by one all the people knelt with him. He began the Apostles Creed, reminding them what they believed, and what so many before them had died for. All the faithful prayed, only now, the prayers took on different meaning. They were no longer just words; they were a battle hymn: This is what we believe; and for this we die, rather than deny our Lord.
As they continued the Rosary, now reciting the Lord's prayer, the words "thy Will be done" took on new meaning. They were truly commending their lives to the Father, self-abandonment, the trust of children, of whom Jesus said: "The Kingdom of Heaven is theirs". The King placed his troops and all of Vienna under the protection of Our Blessed Mother. Man, woman and child, peasant and noble, King and soldier all intoned, with one voice and one hope, the supplication, "Mary help us". And help them, she did.
80,000 Christian troops, with King John Sobieski in front, defeated a fierce Turkish army consisting of 250,000 barbarians.
Now, the Turkish army was known for their inhumane treatment of soldiers and citizens. The mere thought of them approaching a village would bring terror into the hearts of men as well as women. What gave these people the courage to fight and win? The Mother of God, "Mary, Help of all Christians". What gave them the power and the ammunition to use against the enemy? The Rosary!

Join the Rosary Crusade to pray for our Country. On October 7 of this year we have our next Presidential debate. Pray that Our Lady intercede for our great country. Pray the Rosary

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Saint Francis of Assisi

When a pilgrim goes to the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, he is given a pamphlet which reads, “An Encounter with St. Francis in Assisi.” This is what we will attempt to do in this chapter, introduce you to, and pray you experience such an encounter with the Poverello of Jesus, your heart will burn to learn more about him. There is so much to know about St. Francis that it’s impossible in this short chapter to tell it all. In addition, Francis touches everyone in a different way, as does Jesus. We believe that Francis was the closest human being on earth to mirror Jesus. Francis draws you like a magnet. That’s how he got to us. On our first pilgrimage to Europe and the Holy Land, a side trip was included to Assisi from Rome. It was our first time in Rome, we had only one day to spend there. We didn’t want to leave Rome; there was too much we hadn’t seen. So when our guide told us that the next morning, we would leave bright and early for Assisi, Penny and I thought to ourselves, in your dreams; we weren’t going. We would explore Rome on our own. But the morning came, and we found ourselves boarding a bus for the three and a half hour drive to Assisi.We only spent four hours in Assisi, and an hour and a half of that was lunch. So for all intents, we had two and a half hours in Assisi. There’s no way you can even begin to experience Assisi in that period of time. When the bus was ready to go back to Rome, we begged for more time. We didn’t want to leave! But we had to leave. On our way back to Rome, we vowed that if we ever got back to Assisi, we’d spend a day and a half there. As it turned out, we returned the following year. Our planned day and a half extended to a week, and still we didn’t want to leave. From that time, 1977, to this, we have visited Italy at least once a year, but for the most part, three or four times a year. We have never gone there and not spent at least two nights in Assisi, to bask in the illumination of St. Francis.We’ve been asked many times, and even began asking ourselves, “Why do you keep going back to Assisi?” Is it because of the beauty of the town, and its surrounding area, including Santa Maria degli Angeli, the home of the Portiuncola? There’s no question that it is truly God’s country, but there are many little towns in Europe that are beautiful. We believed then, and we do now, there is an air of Francis about Assisi, which has never left. His presence blankets the town. You can feel him everywhere you go, in the streets, in the churches, among the people, everywhere. And for a few years, we were content with that explanation, because it is true. But it’s only part of the reason. About ten years ago, while we were doing research on this unique Saint, we came across the reason we keep going back to Assisi. Francis instructed the brothers, “Come back to the Portiuncola at least once a year. The Spirit of Jesus and Mary are very strong here.” Yes, then we understood. The same Spirit and power that made Francis the exceptional Saint he is, has never left Assisi. That’s what we felt in the air, the blanket that covers this holy ground. It is the Spirit, Jesus and Mary. Praise the Lord.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Saint Therese of Lisiuex

"If God grants my desires, my Heaven will be spent on earth until the end of time. Yes, I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth....I will return! I will come down!"

St. Therese is one of the most powerful Saints of the Twentieth Century. We have never prayed for the intercession of another Saint who lived so close to our time. She died in 1897 at the age of twenty four, and was canonized in 1925. When she died, she was virtually unknown, even in her own Community.
Within two years of her death, the power of her intercession began to be felt all over Europe. Prayers and novenas were made to her for favors, which were answered in abundance, usually preceded by the reception of a flower. She called herself the Little Flower of Jesus, a name which has remained with her until today. The swiftness of time in which devotion to this Saint grew, would be called in secular terms, a phenomena. We call it a Miracle.
On March 15, 1907, Pope St. Pius X, in a private conversation, called her "The greatest Saint of modern times". This statement, made ten years after her death, from a man who would himself be raised to the Communion of Saints, is a great tribute to the little Carmelite that no one had known at the time of her death.
A year later in the Vatican, the Prefect of the Congregation of Rites, Cardinal Vico, stated, "We must lose no time in crowning the little Saint with glory, if we do not want the voice of the people to anticipate us." He was about eight years too late. People began calling Th‚rŠse a Saint as early as two years after her death.
The power of intercession given to Th‚rŠse was undeniable. Truly, her prophecy made towards the end of her life, "God will have to do my will in Heaven, because I have never done my own will on earth," was coming about. Within a short twenty eight years after her death, in 1925, the little cloistered Carmelite was proclaimed St. Therese.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saint Padre Pio

Saint Padre Pio Feast day Sept 23
The Forgione family lived in the poorest section of Pietrelcina. Francesco was poor, but by his own testimony, he never lacked for anything. Values were much different in those days. A child considered himself well off if he had the basics in life. Francesco came from a good family. His father, Grazio, and his mother Maria Guiseppa, were hard working farmers. Their children’s well being was number one in their priorities. They were able to provide for their family’s needs, but not much more. There were no frills. Francesco grew up a very sensitive, very spiritual boy. It was as if he knew from earliest childhood, the road the Lord had for him to follow. He would always follow that road.His mother, Guiseppa, claimed that Francesco was a good boy, who never gave her any trouble. Naturally, she’d say that. She was a mother. Padre Pio, on the other hand, had a few comments to make about little Francesco Forgione. While he admitted that he was never spanked, he recalled his mother running after him, calling out, “Come here, you shameless boy!” When asked why she did this, the famous grin, and little twinkle came into his eye. “Little incidents with my sister.” That one sentence affirms that, while he was specially chosen, he was a normal boy!His world was the little church of Our Lady of the Angels. It might as well have been his home. All the important events in his early life, took place in that church. In addition to being baptized there, receiving his First Holy Communion, and Confirmation there, he went into ecstasy in that church, and had an apparition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at age five, there. “Our Lord Jesus appeared to Francesco, and beckoned him to come to the main altar.” He placed His hand on Francesco’s head. The course of his life, and his vocation were sealed. He offered himself as victim at that early age.Age five was an important time for Francesco, a turning point, so to speak. He began to have apparitions of Our Lady, which continued all his life. It was also then that demons began to torture him. There’s an elm tree on the Piana Romana (Roman Plain), which has been picked clean by over-enthusiastic pilgrims since Padre Pio lived there. Francesco used to sit under that tree to take advantage

"Padre Pio began to receive what he termed "red patches, about the size of a cent, and accompanied by acute pain." This is from a letter he sent Padre Benedetto on the Birthday of Mary, September 8, 1911. He went on to say, "The pain was much more acute in the left hand and it still persists. I also feel some pain in the soles of my feet." He told his superior that this had been happening, on and off, for almost a year. So from the time of Padre Pio's ordination, at twenty three years old, he began to feel in his body, the wounds of the Passion of Christ. The physical signs disappeared, but the pain continued...."
Taken from "Saints and Other Powerful Men in the Church."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Our Lady of Tears

Our Lady Who Cried
We often wonder why Our Lady comes to us, miraculously and cries. When we began our trip to Sicily, we didn't know about Our Lady Who Cried. We went to Siracusa because we heard of the great Greek and Roman amphitheaters. But you cannot visit Syracuse or Siracusa as it is known in Italy, without visiting the Shrine of Our Lady Who Cried. Quite honestly, we were more than a little skeptical, until we discovered all the invaluable, indisputable scientific evidence assuring us it was legitimate. Like Bishop Ettore Baranzini, we have always had reservation when it came to alleged apparitions and purported miracles. Only when Mother Church verifies do we write and make programs.
Our story begins in Syracuse on the 29th of August, 1953, Five months before, Antonina and Angelo Jannuso were married. Because they were a struggling young couple, with Angelo a poor worker earning the barest minimum wages, they accepted his brother's gracious invitation and moved into his small house on Via degli Orti di E. Giorgio. The day of their marriage, they received a plaster plaque of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as a wedding present. Although they were what we would call, lukewarm Catholics, barely doing their Church duties by going to church on Sundays, they reverently placed the plaster plaque on the wall above their bed.
Soon after they were married, they discovered they were to know the blessing of giving birth to a child. The couple was overjoyed, but typical of the hardworking poor class of Sicily, things were not going to be easy. They discovered Antonina had toxemia. This not only caused her to have excruciating convulsions, the convulsions, at times, resulted in her suffering bouts of blindness. On the day of the miracle, August 29th, Antonina was blinded, due to a seizure resulting from her convulsions. She was totally blind from three in the morning until eight thirty that evening, when her eyesight was totally restored.
She later wrote that she turned to the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary over her bed, to give thanksgiving to Our Lady for her returned eyesight, when to her utter astonishment what did she see, but the plaque of Our Lady was crying. She called out to her sister-in-law and aunt who, when she recounted what she had seen, thought she was delusional due to her illness. She said she then insisted they look closely at the image of Our Lady. They reluctantly did as she asked. When they moved closer to the image, they too saw the tears flowing from the eyes of Our Lady, and attested to the fact they, as well, saw some tears run down Her face unto the headboard of her bed. Needless to say, upon witnessing the image crying, they had mixed feelings - fright mixed with awe and wonderment. They immediately set out to advise the neighbors. They removed the plaque from the wall and carried it outside so the neighbors could see what they had seen. The neighbors could do nothing less than confirm that which they too had seen. The image of our Lady was shedding tears!...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good Newsletter articles Fall 2008

The following are articles that will be part of our Fall Issue of the Good Newsletter:

Dear family,
I was praying on what we should cover in this column; and then what should pop up on my desk? I found the following article which was written many years ago. The truth is always the truth, always timely. As we have been reading the following article about our beloved Church, the life of our Church and of our dear country, there is a tragic echoing ring to the message we were sending years ago to our brothers and sisters in Mother Church, and to our fair country.
Sunday, in our little country church, the recessional hymn was “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” I could barely sing; I felt a lump in my throat and my eyes were filled with tears. Oh, dear Lord what if we should lose our country and all it stands for? What if we should no longer be free to worship as we choose? Dear fair country, have I taken you and our liberty for granted?
I was working with a speech therapist the other day, and the passage I had to read was The Pledge of Allegiance. As the words came screaming off the page, I could barely keep from crying. Oh dear flag for which it stands, have I taken you for granted? As the words popped out of the page, challenging me to say them, I found myself choked up with tears. I remembered how my father, who came to this country when he was three years old, proudly saluted the flag, his hand on his heart, tears spilling unashamedly when he recited the pledge, his pledge to the United States of America. Do you know the pledge of allegiance by heart?
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under GOD, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
There is so much passion, the passion of Our Savior in those words, a liberty we would have to defend with our loved ones fighting overseas to keep those promises alive. The founding fathers had a plan, I believe under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our ancestors died for those words and their meaning. Our country is the only one that I know of that was founded under GOD! And our Holy Family wanted to insure this gift to us by GOD sending His Mother to look over this land, cover us with Her Mantle, protecting us, even sometimes from ourselves. And how She weeps!
“Our Lady as the Patroness of America.” Mary under her Immaculate Conception was the result of the worldwide Marian movement which culminated in the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1854. The Sixth Provincial Council of Baltimore had, in 1846, requested the Holy See that Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception be made patroness of the United States. The petition was granted in 1847.” (Dictionary of Mary, Catholic Publishing Co. N.Y.)
Our Holy Family is watching over this country. They always have! But there were other countries that were under the protection of Mother Mary, and they prospered! Take Mexico! Did you know that for many centuries our Lady of Guadalupe’s Image was on the flag of Mexico! And did you know that under her banner Mexico was one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Then the powers that be took her off the flag but could not take her out of the hearts of the people. And Mexico has not known the position it once had in the world. I could go on and on; Portugal was another country that suffered the same fate. I read somewhere that a man was praying, complaining to God how He could allow the violence in schools. Why doesn’t He do something! God replied, You threw Me out. I’m not allowed In schools!
“Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it!” My father was an enthusiastic student of ancient history. He taught us children that ancient history Is history that is bound to happen. When we study history that has passed and open our eyes to what is presently happening, we find that there is nothing new under the sun. Open my eyes, Lord that I might see! The mistakes we make and the little nothing sins we ignore, will grow into giant catastrophes. Read the Bible! It’s all there! That’s why there is such a drive to do away with the Bible.

Holy Family Mission news. (Brother Joseph)
We have completed the 20 Mysteries of the Rosary Chapels except for the metal roofs, which will be done hopefully this month. Seven of the 20 Chapels are committed so far. Please take a look at page 10 and 11 and consider a memorial for your family by having one of these remaining Chapels inscribed for your family.
We are bringing you new Super Saints programs this fall. The new programs include: Saint Rosalia, Saint Lucy, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and Saint Gaspar de Bufalo. We are excited about bringing these special Saints and Blessed to you.
Remember that we evangelize by bringing these Blesseds and Saints to you. We provide these programs at no cost to Mother Angelica's EWTN Global Network, so we depend on your generosity to get this done. You have always responded and we thank you for your continued generosity.
Then we make these programs available to you at as minimal cost as we can to continue our Ministry.
Recently, there has been an increase in interest in our books and dvds in the Asian countries. We are receiving orders from Catholic brothers and sisters of ours in places like Signapore, Philippines, Kerala, India and Hong Kong. They have a strong faith and in many ways are persecuted for their faith. There are pockets of strong Roman Catholics there and in most cases they have had a tradition of being Catholic for centuries. In the case of Kerala, India the tradition is that St. Francis Xavier brought the faith there. Another example is Cebu in the Philippines, this is the place of special devotion to the Infant Jesus of Cebu. The tradition there is that Magellan brought the image of the Child Jesus there as a gift to the Queen of the Philippines on the occasion of her birthday. Read more about this in "Miracles of the Child Jesus."
Please pray for the spread of our Catholic Faith in this region and for the faithful there that are evangelizing the pagans all around them. There are forces against the Church in every area there, and the battle in on there. It is encouraging to find such strong Faith among the young there.
This issue we want to remind you to register for our annual conference held this year September 26 - 28. See page 5 for information and registration form. If you have been here in the past be sure to return, if you have never been to one of these conferences, you owe it to your yourself and your family to come. Remember the words of Schlinder of "Schlinder's list." What is the value of one soul? We invest for our golden years; but how much do we invest in our eternal years.
Consider the ratio of our golden years to our eternal years. Pick a number for your golden years. Now pick a large number for your eternal years. The ratio is close to zero, which means that your golden years are nothing compared to your eternal years and yet we are spending all our energy, time and money on that ratio.
We have had a steady stream of visitors this summer, stopping here while on vacation on passing through on Interstate 40. We had a family reunion here on July 4 and the place was packed with kinfolk from all over the USA.
Good News - Bad News
Finally, last week someone close to our Ministry told us that after the election this fall, gasoline would be down to $2.00 per gallon. Wow we said, that would be good news! Then he proceeded to tell us the bad news that you will be able to buy gasoline only on Tuesdays and only 2 gallons maximum. And again we said, wow that would be bad news! Finally he told us there was more good news in that if they did not have any gasoline to sell, you would get a coupon that would allow you to purchase 4 gallons on the next Tuesday. Yes you guessed it, "if they had any to sell the next Tuesday."
So let us pray for our beloved America and that we choose wisely.

This is the article we wrote some years ago.
Dear Family, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
You are all this; but you are so much more; you have been called by the Lord to be Defenders of the Faith, and Soldiers of Christ.
Never before in the History of the Church and the World have we had such an awesome privilege and responsibility to serve God and country.
We have a vested interest in both our beloved Church and in our precious country.
We have seen the slogan (referring to our country), Love her or leave her.
We say (referring to our Church and our Faith), Love it, Learn it, Live it, or Lose it!
We are engaged in a Gentle Revolution.
In our travels around the world, we see our Lord and His Mother gathering soldiers for the battle ahead - love and knowledge of our Faith their armor and shield.
We are a chosen people called to a royal priesthood by virtue of our Baptism.
We have been mandated by our Lord, and all the successors of St. Peter our first Pope, to go out to all the world and evangelize to the lambs who have strayed, and to strengthen, arm and call forth those who have remained to join the battle.
Put on the armor of God! We are in the most glorious days of the Church.
More and more people are realizing what is missing in their lives is God.
We have over 100,000 converts coming into the Catholic Church each year, and that makes the Father in Heaven so very happy. But the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are pierced each time one of their baptized Catholic children leaves Home -leaves the Faith of their fathers - the Roman Catholic Church.
Whose responsibility is it to protect the innocent lambs of God?
Who will be held accountable for every soul who could have been touched by word or deed? Every soul is uniquely created by God and therefore precious to our Father in Heaven. When we stand before the throne of God, how will we respond when Jesus says, I chose you to be an instrument of hope, a bridge for the lost to cross over to the one true Church, but you were too busy. This is our Church. We belong to the family of God. Every child is our child.
Each child of God lost, puts another thorn on Jesus’ Heart, makes our Church the poorer, and makes us the weaker. We believe our Apostolate has been called to help save Jesus’ lambs from being led to slaughter by Judas goats today! We are determined to stop the father of lies from killing any more children, from robbing them of their God and then their lives.
No more are to be lost, as long as we have a breath left in our bodies. What part in the defense of the Church and her family are you being asked to take?
You have to know your Faith, in order to defend yourself and your Church.
You also must know if someone in our own Church is preaching heresy, or is denying the Church’s authority to determine the eternal Truths of the Church. Our Church is in danger. But Jesus made a promise, “The gates of Hell will not prevail against it (His Church).“ Some of our strongest Catholics, converts and those baptized Catholics who had left the Church, have come Home to the One True Church, the Roman Catholic Church, because Jesus wants us all to stand side-by-side, brothers and sisters in Christ, ready to live for her, prepared to die for her, if need be.
There is a madness spreading throughout the world a well-planned, well-disguised design to snatch the innocent and devour them. We are all partners in Christ. The Catholic who is led astray may be your child, your grandchild! The Catholic you will save may be your child, your grandchild! Every child is our child; every soul won or lost is a soul created by God! We, the Mystical Body of Christ, must save the children of God. We, the Church Militant will save the children of God!

Saint Catherine of Genoa
Catherine was born into the Fieschi family, at that time, the most influential of the Guelf families of Genoa in the Province of Liguori in the Northern part of Italy. This famous family produced the powerful, very dynamic Pope Innocent IV in 1234 and then his nephew Adrian V as Pontiff (for only a few weeks). The Fieschi family reached the pinnacle of fame and fortune in the fifteenth century, raising up a Cardinal, and a Viceroy James Fieschi. James would marry Francesca di Negro of Genoa, of an ancient noble family, linking two strong aristocratic families of Genoa. But the Lord had a greater plan; He was to send Catherine, fifth and last of their children, who would some day become a Saint.
It was 1447. Just as Jesus brought His favored three to Mount Tabor to strengthen them for the next high place, Calvary, so would the Lord raise up a Saint to balance in holiness the devastating blow that another, born in that century, would inflict upon His Church. Catherine Fieschi, later known to the world as Saint Catherine of Genoa, would become a Role Model, not only to the Catholic Church but also a much admired inspiration and unifying force to the entire Christian world, bringing back home those whom Martin Luther, the other child of the fifteenth century, separated from Mother Church.
She was destined to be wholly dedicated to the Lord, as His faithful bride, from her youngest years. At eight years old Catherine began to do penance, exchanging her soft luxurious bed for a bit of straw on the hard floor, and her fluffy pillow for a tree stump. She was an obedient child and showed signs of holiness even at that early age.
When she was twelve years old, Catherine had her first glimpse of God’s love; He shared with her some of the pain He had suffered during His Holy Passion. At thirteen, she disclosed to her confessor her desire to become a Nun. As he was also the confessor of the Nuns of Our Lady of Grace Convent where her sister Limbania was already a canoness regular, Catherine pleaded with him to intercede on her behalf. The Superiors rejected Catherine, because it was not their custom to accept girls of such a young age. This greatly hurt Catherine, but she never lost faith in her Lord and His love for her. Then, a year later in 1461, her father died.
A marriage of convenience is arranged for Catherine
With the death of Robert Fieschi, political maneuvering was necessary. How does a family keep its position? They marry off their children, uniting two strong families. And so, although Catherine must have thought sixteen years of age finally would be a suitable age to enter the convent, she became a political pawn, and a marriage of convenience was arranged for her. Her heart was again broken, but she obeyed and was married to a young noble of the prominent, well-to-do Adorno Family, also of Genoa.
The marriage was certainly not made in Heaven; the young husband Giuliano was the direct opposite from Catherine. Whereas she was holy and religious, he was wild and self-indulgent to the sacrifice of everything and everyone. The first ten years of married life were stark, unadulterated hell! He squandered all their wealth on good times and wild women. Catherine, after suffering five years of loneliness, unable to endure her husband’s infidelity and lifestyle, feeling deserted from everyone, even God, turned to the frivolous life of her class, going to parties and becoming more and more involved with the next party and new dress she would wear. Although her attempts at finding some meaning in life were innocent, they did not bring her the joy and peace she sought so desperately; and so the depression she had attempted to overcome grew worse.
God takes over in Catherine’s life, and she is never the same
But God never leaves us alone. It was the Feast of St. Benedict, March 21, 1473. Catherine’s sister Limbania suggested Catherine go to her confessor. The moment she knelt in front of this holy priest, Our Lord overshadowed her and wounded her so powerfully with His unsparingly unconditional Love, she was lost in ecstasy, and was unable to confess her sins. Catherine was suddenly filled with remorse for the life she had been leading. God appeared to be unfurling her life before her, like a film, showing her the many times she had betrayed the love He had for her. But, at the same time, through this Divine Wound as she called it, God revealed the sweet Love that never ended, the Love He had for her and all His children. With this striking contrast of God’s Love and the world’s false gods of empty promises, she became repulsed by all that her society had to offer and cried out: “No more world, no more sin!”
“(I) Have no longer either soul or heart; but my soul and my heart are those of my Beloved.”
When we are faced with the absolute, unreserved Love, Our Lord has for us, it is as if a giant, brilliant light enters our soul, and even the smallest transgression, compared to God’s generous Love becomes to us, a monumental sin. And who is to contradict the great Saints on this point? Are we not taught: To those who much has been given, much is required?
Catherine went home and wept through the night. When the Lord saw how very remorseful she was, He appeared to her, covered with blood, carrying the Cross. As He shared that part of His life and pain, she became deeply filled with His Love and, through that knowledge, a heavy sadness for the last ten wasted years, years she could have spent loving Him. For the next fourteen months, the more the Lord revealed His Love and her sins, the more she desired to be cleansed and lead a new life in Him. As one by one her sins were revealed to her, she repented, and they disappeared, consumed by the flames of His Love, never to reappear.
One day, while praying before the Crucifix, Catherine was lifted up to Our Lord’s wounded Heart on the Cross. This Heart, Which had been pierced out of love for all mankind, was on fire, glowing with the same flames that burned inside her own heart; it was the same fire that He had enkindled in her, the same blaze which had consumed her sins, never to resurface. This so affected Catherine she relived it for years, crying out: “(I) Have no longer either soul or heart; but my soul and my heart are those of my Beloved.”
Catherine was changed! She became totally absorbed in Her Savior. No longer did she need or desire the world and its trappings. After Our Lord appeared to her on the Cross and drew her up to Him, after she felt herself like John the Beloved resting her head on His precious Chest, she saw everything through His Eyes. She no longer had to decide what was right or wrong; rather how it was revealed in the Light of God. How would Jesus feel? What would Jesus do?
She made a general confession on March 24th (three days after her prior confession) and her new life began! We always say, God has a sense of humor. Of course, as calamity strikes, it is difficult to see beyond the darkness to the Light which is about to shine through. Catherine’s husband Giuliano’s life caught up with him and they were reduced to almost total poverty. We do not know if the new-found strength, displayed by Catherine, brought about the change, along with her unrelenting prayers for his salvation, or the frailty of the world’s possessions and glory; but you guessed it, Catherine’s husband was converted!
Catherine’s journey from riches to rags and eternal joy
Giuliano agreed to live a celibate life with Catherine, a life of perpetual abstinence. He became a Franciscan Tertiary. They moved out of their palace to a small house which was conveniently close to the hospital, where the two would serve the sick and helpless. Giuliano tended to the poor and the infirmed, selflessly and tirelessly, until his death on January 10, 1497.
In 1479, six years after their first move from the luxurious to the austere, they went from their modest home to two small rooms in the hospital. They supported themselves, with a small pension Catherine received from her parent’s estate. They served without pay, the poorest of the poor and the most destitute. For eleven years, Catherine served as a nurse, taking on any and all tasks, small and great. In 1490 she was asked to take over the administration of the hospital. Although she would have preferred caring full time for the ill, she took on her new task with the same kind of dedication and zeal. She handled financial matters efficiently, scrupulously accounting for every penny, never taking any recompense for her services. But she did not do this at the expense of her prayer life or her service to the poor and the sick.
Catherine was lifted up to Our Lord’s wounded Heart on the Cross
In 1493, a deadly epidemic spread throughout the province, claiming 80% of the population. Those who contracted the disease died, after suffering excruciating pain accompanied by high fevers. There was a very pious woman in the hospital dying from this highly contagious disease. She underwent the greatest trials, enduring unbearable agony for eight days. Catherine visited and tended to her often. Try as she may, the woman was unable to call on Jesus, the Shepherd for help. Catherine repeated, over and over again, “Call on Jesus.” No matter how she tried, the woman could not reach out to her Savior for consolation. She tried mouthing the words, her lips forming the Name of Jesus, but no sound came forth! One day, seeing the noble effort put forward by her holy patient, Catherine kissed her lips. Hours later, dizziness, flushed cheeks, accompanied by a raging high fever confirmed Catherine’s suspicions, she had contracted the deadly disease. Catherine narrowly escaped death. This close call with the angel of death, however, did not deter her from performing all her hospital duties. She returned to her patients, including the highly contagious, before she herself was completely recuperated.
We see in Catherine, the powerful balance of the Love she had for God, (the First Commandment) and through that Love, the love she had for neighbor (the Second Commandment), the same quality of Love shown by the Savior when He walked the earth - love for His Father, giving all credit to Him, and love for those He came to save, saying: “I am the good Shepherd; I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for My sheep.”
The above article is an excerpt from the chapter on Saint Catherine of Genoa which can be found in "Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists." by Bob and Penny Lord along with the lives of other Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists.

Requiem for the Age of Innocence
“While the crowds pressed around Jesus, He began to speak to them in these words:
`This is an evil age. It seeks a sign. But no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be a sign for the present age. At the judgment, the citizens of Nineveh will rise along with the present generation, and they will condemn it. For at the preaching of Jonah they reformed, but you have a greater than Jonah here.’”
How did it happen? How did we go from faith and fidelity to deception and betrayal?
“Those were the days, my friend; we thought they’d never end...” I still remember those days, the good old days, days filled with innocence, love and caring for one’s family, friends and neighbors, days where children revered their parents and grandparents, where the family stuck together, days of trust, days of honor, days of patriotism. Yes, we thought they would never end.
We believed in our country! We placed our hand over our hearts when we pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Tears came to our eyes, and our voices choked up a little as we sang the National Anthem of our country. We were Americans! When it was time to vote, an electricity filled the air, an excitement, with Daddy explaining the electoral system to us, the importance of casting our vote, and the merits and shortcomings of the different candidates. We were all involved, even those of us who were too young to vote. At four years old, I campaigned clandestinely, while my mother was on duty as one of the inspectors at the Polling Place. Franklin D. Roosevelt badges covering every inch of my favorite red coat, I would find myself being lifted bodily and carted to the other side of the Polling signs, when I wandered too close to the Barber Shop where the voting took place.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was our hero! We would have done anything he asked of us, even die; and many of our loved ones did! It was a time of patriotism and pride--We were Americans! Oh those were days of flags waving and speeches on the street corners, everyone crowding around the speakers or hanging out their windows to hear their platform. We believed in our country! We believed we had a personal interest in the destiny of our nation. What we said or did made a difference. We were important; we counted!
When did my world start to fall apart?
Then the war broke out. December was extremely cold in 1941. We were planning for Christmas as best we could, considering we had not fully pulled ourselves out of the Depression financially. But we looked forward to giving some small gift to each member of the family, to show how much we loved one another. My family had the radio on that Monday, December 8, 1941. We had heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor the day before. We turned the radio to the evening news, when we heard our President, Franklin D. Roosevelt declaring war on Japan. I’ll never forget that speech he gave to us on that occasion. “Yesterday, December 7, is a day which will live in infamy.” My big brother, along with many other fine young men immediately went down to the recruiting office on Tuesday morning and volunteered for service in the military!
Rationing was never really a problem for us; we had learned early to stretch what little we had. Coming out of the Depression, we made everything go a long way. Dainty suppers became the patriotic cry. They were hard days; but we survived, because we had a common cause which united us; we were no longer Italians and Jews, Germans and Irish, Blacks and Whites, Browns and Yellows; we were Americans. Rosie the Riveter became a badge of honor as our patriotic ladies donned dungarees (called jeans today) and men’s’ shirts, rolled up at the sleeve, put their hair in a net, and took up the slack in the defense plants, doing the jobs the men had done before they went overseas to fight the war to keep our homeland safe. Even our movie stars got into the battle. Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart joined up; Bob Hope and Betty Grable entertained the troops overseas, and the Andrews Sisters became a household name. USO was a haven for our homesick boys, where the average guy and gal could do their part for the war effort to give our fighting boys a little taste of home while they were away from their own home towns.
The war finally came to an end; we were victorious as we knew we had to be; we had God on our side. Our loved ones began to come home; many came back wounded, some physically and some mentally; the common denominator was they were never to be the same. The war had taken its toll on them, and on us. We were proud, but we were tired. The triumphant G.I.s returned to streets lined with cheering crowds and banners welcoming them. Our boys and girls were home. They had held back the enemy and saved our country and preserved our way of life. They were heroes. As our fighting men and women shared some of the horror stories of war, a little more of our innocence was taken away from us. After the war, there were rumors that President Roosevelt knew about the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor before it happened, but no one believed any of that. We blamed the Navy for having all those ships so close to each other in port at Pearl Harbor, making them such an easy target for the Japanese. President Roosevelt would never have allowed our soldiers and sailors to be put in such jeopardy and die the way they did during that horrendous attack.
Then, in 1947, as the Cold War accelerated, we became aware of just what had been given away to the Russians at the Potsdam and Yalta conferences. Russia had been given carte-blanche in Eastern Europe! They didn’t declare war on Japan until the day after the Atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima, and yet they were given territories as a reward, for what? Certainly not for having participated in that war. By this time, Roosevelt was dead, but the decisions he made at Yalta lived on for decades. And we let it happen! Feeling helpless and more than a little impotent, we resumed our lives; but somehow, we lost some of that strong feeling of patriotism.
Nevertheless, it didn’t finish us off. The Korean War broke out, which many said was just political. What were we doing in Southeast Asia, defending a country and a group of people we didn’t even know? We had to look on a map just to find out where Korea was. Many Americans felt we had no business being there. But we were still in the age of innocence, where we believed what our leaders told us. In the instance of Korea, they told us we had to defend the world against the spread of Communism, and so our boys were going to Korea to protect the American way of life. But there was an undercurrent of grumbling about minding our own business. Hadn’t we adopted a policy of Isolationism somewhere along the line?
When did the clock stop?
It was 1963. We were living in Camelot, with a young charismatic President and a princess occupying the place of First Lady. They were beautiful; their children precious--they made an admirable picture in which to mirror our lives. We were so happy, so filled with pride in our country and in our Church. On television, we saw the President of the United States gunned down like an animal. A nation wept! Staring in shock, our eyes, minds and hearts glued to the television, we all silently prayed it was a mistake. Within one year of the death of President Kennedy, our world exploded. The hippy generation descended on us with the long hair, rampant use of drugs, the Beatles and other drug-oriented musical groups taking over our young people. Violence came into our living rooms via what has become a deadly medium, initially designed by God to bring His Word to the world, but taken over by the evil one and his cohort. The potential Pauls became instead Judases, selling our God for thirty pieces of silver once again. Children no longer children playing children’s games, they turned to games promoted on television, games of violence and death until our schools became target ranges and our children, targets.
We must get down on our hands and knees, brothers and sisters, and pray for conversion, true conversion, major conversion. We must ask Our dear Lord Jesus for a return to innocence. Dear Lord, we want You to hold us in the palms of Your Hands. We don’t want a king, Jesus. We don’t want a new Church, a different Church, a modern Church; we want You and Your Church. Come, Lord Jesus! Save us!
The above article was taken from our book, "Beyond Sodom and Gomorrah," by Bob and Penny Lord.

Blessed Pope Pius IX
The Lord gives us the gift of Pope Pius IX
Family, the Lord has given the Church many heroes down through the centuries, and each person He gives us is for a specific reason for a specific time, but not only for that time. The Nineteenth Century is a perfect example of that. The Church suffered greatly during that century, but the Lord knew we needed Him to be at our sides to assure us that He would keep His promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. We have an expression which you may have read in any one of our books:
“In times of Crisis, God sends us special grace. This grace may come from Eucharistic Miracles, Apparitions by Our Lady, or Saints and other Powerful Men and Women in the Church. It may come in the form of Angelic intercession. It will come from anywhere the Lord deems necessary. There is only one thing of which we can be assured; it will come. He will use whatever or whoever it takes, whenever it is needed, to protect us from anything or anyone, who would bring us anywhere near the brink of hell, very often, even if it means protecting us from ourselves.”
The Signal grace we want to focus on in this chapter, the special Powerful Man in our Church we want to share with you, is Blessed Pope Pius IX. He was elected Pope at one of the most crucial periods in the history of the Church, and remained at the helm of the ship of the Church longer than any Pope before or since, 32 years. He is responsible for many great things during his papacy, including, but not limited to the Dogma of Papal Infallibility, the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, the short-lived Vatican I, and his ongoing battle against the elements who were out to destroy the Church, namely the beginnings of the New Age movement, and the liberals all over Europe, but especially Victor Emmanuel in Italy, who not only plotted to steal the papal lands, he ultimately forced our Pope to end his pontificate as a self-imposed prisoner inside the Vatican walls. These and many other attacks made against Pope Pius IX, lovingly called Pio Nonno, caused him much grief throughout his Papacy, but the Lord kept him in charge for 32 years for a good reason; there was a job to be done! God knew that Pope Pius IX could get the job done!
We want to take a minute out here to just thank our Lord Jesus for having given us the gift of Blessed Pope Pius IX. Very often, we don’t know; we find out in retrospect, just how the Lord has been in charge of our destiny. He is always there to watch over us. We don’t always realize this until after the fact. Not having been alive from 1846 to 1878, we don’t know if we would have been aware as it was happening, just how the Lord was with us. Now, 150 years after the fact, we can say “Wow, look how awesome the Lord is. He was protecting us through Pope Pius IX.” But back then, 150 years ago, did they really understand what was happening? It was a difficult, tense time. In retrospect, we can see how the Lord put the right man in the right job. But as we say today, “Where are all the Saints? We used to have all these Saints who protected and guided us. Where are there Saints today?”
And then the Lord reminds us how He gave us St. Don Bosco and St. Thérèse the Little Flower and St. Bernadette of Lourdes in the Nineteenth century, and Maxmillian Kolbe and Edith Stein, Padre Pio and Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II in the Twentieth century. And we have been blessed to be in the presence of a living Saint, Mother Angelica, these last twenty odd years, to sit at her side, and listen to her as she shares her spirituality with us.
How many other Saints are there out there today, just doing what the Lord wants, with no thought of Canonization, or world renown, just as those mentioned above most likely never thought about being Saints? Pope Pius IX was one of those people, without whom we might not have survived from the Nineteenth century to the Twentieth century, to now the Twenty First century. Do you know what we’re saying? When you say to yourself, Lord, where are you? Just look at those dear people whom we know about, who did the Lord’s work in the last 100 years. And those are just the ones we know about! And so we say, Thank You, God, for watching out for us.
Out of the frying pan.....
Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti was elected Pope in 1846, taking the name of Pius IX, in honor of Pius VII, who had been such a good friend and mentor to Mastai-Ferretti, who actually was responsible for his becoming a priest, and in his climb up the hierarchical ladder. Some thought his election was a surprise. Others thought he had been strongly considered from the very beginning of the conclave. He had shown the people as a young bishop in Spoleto, that he had feelings for them. He spoke out about the need for reform of the Papal States. He had even expressed sympathy for the nationalists. He might have been considered a good balance between the liberal and conservative factions in the Roman Curia. He was given the label liberal almost immediately, partly because of his earlier stand during the near revolution of the Papal States.
We have to take a moment out here to explain why the liberal element had become so strong in Italy. For centuries, Italy had been ruled by foreigners, who had systematically chopped up the provinces into little kingdoms. When Napoleon came in and conquered Italy, he crowned himself king of Italy, Napoleon I. He actually united Italy. During his reign, words like unification and constitution began being thrown around. He had done something that no one had ever been able to do. He also proved to the people of Italy that it could be done. So when he went out of power and the Congress of Vienna put everything back the way it had been prior to Napoleon’s take over, it was not at all what they had wanted. They had tasted of unification, and would never be satisfied until it had been accomplished. This is what our Pope Pius IX stepped into, when he accepted the task of ruling the Church and the Papal States. It was not going to be easy.
He realized he was in a hotbed of chaos. So he did all he could to appease the anger and feelings of abandonment in the people and calm the revolutionary factions. He tried to win the rank and file over immediately. He made many concessions. He gave money to the poor; released prisoners from jail. He did all the things Jesus tells us to do, as good shepherds of the flock. But you must remember, in addition to being the spiritual leader for the millions of Catholics in the world, he was also the secular or worldly leader of those people. He was like a king or an emperor. He had lands; he had an army; he had people whom he had to take care of. People had complaints about the State. He was the State. He was the last of the temporal popes in the history of our Church.
He didn’t know it at the time, but by trying to be fair and equitable, he wound up playing into the hands of those who would betray him and do away with the Papal States altogether. To those who wanted an independent, united Italy, they needed the support of the Pope. Italy was all chopped up. Austria controlled Venice and Milan. The French stationed themselves in Ancona. Naples and Sicily were also occupied by the Bourbons, who were also French. With each concession he made, he felt he would appease the masses, and the pressure would be relieved, the situation would be resolved. But all it did was cause the liberals to demand more. They actually misread him. They thought for sure that he would support a change in power. By the time he realized what he had done, it was too late.
The above article was taken from our minibook, "Blessed Pope Pius IX," by Bob and Penny Lord.