Friday, July 31, 2009

St. Mom of Assisi

Dear Mom,

Keeping a pet spider in your guest room for two weeks is a little over the top. I found it quite hard to concentrate on the rosary with that fuzzy little fellow making his rounds. I finally just offered it up. I was glad to hear that you jarred it and let it outside. Personally, I just vaccuum them up; I figure they get a 50/50 chance that way. I just have one question though; why don't you feel the same way about ants?

Love, Mary

May God forgive me, for I have sinned

Shortly before my daughter started summer vacation, she came home from kindergarten one day and asked me what "blank" meant [it rhymes with ducks.] May God forgive me, but I told her that it was an animal with a bushy tail that sort of looks like a dog.

Yes, America, there is a God

Yes, America, there is a God and we are always in His Divine Presence. You may not believe in Him but He believes in you. Many of us go through life utterly unaware of this Presence; some of us have run away from Him, some have hid their faces from HE WHO IS, others just don't want to be bothered by Him. There are others who are afraid of Him, "Perhaps, if I don't pay attention to HIM , He won't notice ME! "

I have done all of the above....none of them worked. The Lord called me by name, grasped me by the hand and pulled me from the pit I had dug for myself (with a little help from the ugly one). Yes, my conversion was miraculous, http://openingthefloodgatesofmercy.blogspot.com/2009/06/heart-of-jesus-infinite-in-mercy.html
but this grace was given in this manner so that I might tell others about it. It was a spiritual manifestation of the gift that is given to every single one of us. The gift of Divine Mercy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A strong word

http://heavenlyhand.blogspot.com/2009/07/strong-word.html

Memere

This is another posting from my mom. It is about my grandmother's passing from this world to our heavenly home. I was blessed to be present while this was happening, she had a very peaceful death . I could feel Our Lady's presence. Here it is:

I was about to continue with the "sifting stage," but I sensed the Lord telling me to move on. ( We are sifted our whole life in one way or another.)

I did not know where to start; so Mary suggested our experience at the nursing home where Memere was staying.

One day while Mary and I were working together, I told her we had to go to the nursing home right away to pray for memere. My sister-in-law welcomed the prayer support. This was on a tuesday morning.

We prayed the rosary all day. At one point, my sister-in-law tearfully said - "When is she going to die?" I blurted out - "on Friday."

We continued praying every day from morning until evening. On Friday evening, my sister-in -law said to me " You told me she was going to die on Friday." I said " She is - at eight o' clock."

There were several people in the room at the time, and they heard me say the time. Even as Memere's legs changed color, her hands were still moving on the rosary beads that someone had placed in her hand. A tear rolled down her eye and Memere died exactly at 8pm on Friday. You can imagine the scene.....Everyone was crying. We said a prayer of thanksgiving to God for "His Mercy."

Now, I want to explain.... I have had many experiences of this kind. I am not a psychic or a prophet. This only happens after a whole lot of prayer and only in situations where there is a need to help another person who is suffering. I can only give what I am given.

Dorothea

Michaela turns 6


Monday, July 27, 2009

The bottom falls out

I see now, in hindsight that the Lord never abandoned my family. Though we suffered very much, he was always there. Here is my mother's next post:

At Mary's request, I will tell you about the events following my second word - " Satan has asked that you be sifted as wheat! " [The bottom fell out.]

Within months, our business failed. I became ill. My husband was depressed. The children were frantic. We had no money for food or fuel or anything else. I prayed - prayed -prayed ..... "Lord, have you abandoned us? " Within a few days, we suddenly discovered our furnace restarted. We miraculously had heat [which lasted for three weeks, even though the tank read "empty"].

One morning, before anyone else was up, I found seventeen $10 bills in an envelope on my kitchen counter. Everyone was asleep - the doors were locked. No one knew anything about it. Where did the money come from?

My husband went grocery shopping. We were able to restock for 3 or 4 weeks. [This was in 1978.]

At this point, I have to tell you about a most tender miracle.... my children loved mashed potatoes; but we were trying to ration the potatoes so they would last.

I made and served the potatoes with the rest of the food; and I told my children they could each have one serving, but as they were eating, the bowl of mashed potatoes never emptied, the children had their fill; and I went into the next room and cried, because I had witnessed a most
tender miracle from my heavenly father. I was bowled over by the oil for the furnace and the seventeen $10 bills... but this last one touched my heart so deeply I could not hold back the tears.

More is coming, but this is enough for now.

Dorothea

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gift from God

My mother's name means "Gift from God" and she is surely this! She has received many graces and spiritual gifts from the Lord so I asked her to write for this blog and my other blogs also. Today she gave me her first post and here it is:

At the request of my daughter, Mary, I am sharing certain spiritual events in my life that have led me to believe [to know] of God's love and caring for us in a very personal and individual way.

I had been an "on & off Catholic" for many years before these things happened. [I started out as Greek Orthodox-having been baptized, communed and confirmed in that church. My father was of the Greek Orthodox faith and my mother was Catholic.]

About thirty plus years ago, I was at the beach, sitting with friends, and I heard the words "in my head"---" Taste and see the sweetness of the Lord." These words resounded in my head all day long. For the next several months, I tasted this sweetness in my spiritual life....thinking about God almost all the time [and loving Him with such a tender love.]

A few months later, I heard the words---" Satan has asked that you be sifted as wheat." As before, these words echoed in my mind all day. Well, the bottom fell out after this. [But this is another story for later.]

The following year, I heard [all day long] " Feed my sheep." I was very puzzled by this, as my family was struggling so much with health problems and lack of money [there were seven in our family.] We were living out the second word given to me [more about that another time.]

Later in the year, I heard the words ---" Little children, it pleases The Father to give you the kingdom."

As to the above, I did not write down actual dates---but I do remember the start of this to be 1976-1978.

When I thought about the words, they appeared to be stages [ both spiritual and actual.]

Dorothea

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sea of grace

Each morning when I wake up I thank the Lord for the gift of today. I ask the Lord for the grace to open this gift reverently and with great love. Next, I take holy water and ask Him to seal my mind, my mouth, my heart, soul, body and emotions in Him. Then I make the sign of the cross over my eyes that I may see Jesus in everyone and over my ears that I may hear His Word and that it may be planted richly within me. After that I just make my daily offering and go about my day. Since I have started doing this I have noticed a HUGE difference in my life. The Lord has been flooding me with grace upon grace.....a never ending sea of grace.

My Lord, my Life, my Love.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The signs of the times

"Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and be converted and I heal them."

Matthew 13:15

Take a look around you. Can you see the signs of the times? The whole earth is groaning.
This is a word that was given to my mother. " The whole earth is groaning." She also got
"I live in the praises of my people." Should we not praise Him? At the very least we should praise Him for his mercy and patience! Our country and our world are in rough shape. There are signs everywhere....wars, road rage, desecration of churches, blasphemy in art, abortion, the list goes on and on. Even nature is crying out! Why are we so blind? Do we want this for our children? Mother Mary says "Pray! Pray! Pray! " We as christians need to stand in the gap through intercessory prayer. Our very lives should be a prayer. The Lord's mercy is very great indeed, but we must accept this mercy and show it to others.

Praise thee, Lord, for thy mercy is infinite!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A great idea!

Check out this site! http://booksforcatholicinmates.blogspot.com/ Many people have Catholic books that could be given to those in prison. I'm definitely going to send shastadaisy a box as I have many classics just sitting on my bookshelves.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Suffering in the Garden

When I went to mass this morning the priest gave a homily that hit home with me. It was about keeping our eyes on the Lord. Everything looks different through the eyes of faith. Even suffering. On the days that I feel a lot of pain I have noticed that when I grumble and complain the pain is much harder to bear but if I unite it with His suffering and then peacefully accept it the burden is lighter. My illness [fibromyalgia , polymyalgia] has definitely brought me closer to the Lord and it has deepened my prayer life. I love meditating on the sorrowful mysteries and I sit in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus, lean my head against His and just suffer with Him.

Utterly Thine , my Lord and my God.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Begone satan!

When I was first converted I came under tremendous attack by satan [he doesn't deserve an uppercase s.] In my head I was always saying "Begone satan!" I was begoning [snicker!] satan so much that I forgot to keep my heart on the Lord. Now, most of the time I just say "Jesus" as reverently as possible, for at the name of Jesus every knee must bend and I figure if they're busy kneeling and getting up they won't have time to bother me.

My Lord, my heart.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fiat!

Everything matters. Every word spoken. Every word left unspoken. Every action and every failure to act. So often I hear the words, "Well, I'm not going to bother voting" or "Why bother speaking up about abortion? One person won't make a difference anyway." WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! One person does make a difference! Every word, every smile, every action DOES make a difference and one person CAN change the world. Mother Mary simply said "May it be done to me according to your word" and changed the course of history forever.

Truth

I love praying the rosary and the chaplet of Divine Mercy but there are times when I cannot pray formally. Sometimes I am going through a dry period, at other times He just wants me to be in His presence [or perhaps I should say...to remember I am in His presence since that is where we all are.] I know the dry periods happen to many people and I try to just wait on the Lord. What seems to help me through these periods is this:

I place myself in the light of His Truth and I speak heart to heart with Him about the great truths of life and then I meditate on them. One truth I like to think about is " I AM WHO AM." And He is. This never fails to inspire great awe in me. It also amazes me that we can call Him "Abba". I love calling Him "Abba", it always touches my heart that fallen human beings like us may call Him this! I place myself before Him just as I am [covered in the blood of Christ] sins and all because there is no hiding from His Truth. He is so gentle with us that even when He shows me my sins I still know His immense love for me.
Thank You Abba for sending us your son, Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"God grins"

Our Lord has a great sense of humor, I call them "God grins" and they happen to me quite frequently, I smile at Him and He always smiles back. Click on this link for an example of this. I'd also love to hear from others who have these stories, they really give our hearts a lift! http://heavenlyhand.blogspot.com/2009/06/god-grins.html

In His Presence

I brought a bunch of books to the beach this year. I just finished rereading The Practice Of The Presence Of God by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. I highly recommend this book. We are always in the presence of God. God is always aware of us, as we should be of Him. I try to do this and it gets easier and easier as time goes by. I work with Him, write with Him, read with Him, talk with Him [but sometimes I forget to be silent so that He can get a Word in edgewise.] Our lives should be a living prayer to Him. Sometimes I forget but He draws my attention back to Him. I have a long way to go, but compared to where I've been [ wallowing in the muck] the Lord has done amazing things in my life and continues to shower me with graces.

LORD, my heart will always be yours.

A wonderful homily

While I'm at the beach I attend a wonderful Catholic church called Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish. I heard a wonderful homily on July 12th that really touched me, it was humorous, insightful and reverent all at the same time. With the permission of the deacon who wrote it, I am printing it on my blog. His name is Deacon Dennis M. Jacobs and here it is:

Who would have ever thunk it? The man was an arborist. He ran a tree service. Amos' Tree Trimming, Inc. He lived in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, just south of the border with the Northern Kingdom of Israel. There were a lot of professional prophets of his day, people who would prophesy for a fee. It was the AFT & AOQ, Association of Fortune Tellers and Assorted Other Quacks. Amos wasn't part of that scene. He worked in orchards. But God chose him, Amos, to deliver His Word and truth to the people of Bethel, just over the border in the Northern Kingdom. Amaziel, the local authority, told Amos to shut up and get out, Amos said he had no choice. "The lion has roared, who will not fear? God has spoken, who can but prophesy?" That's Amos 3:8. So this ordinary man, Amos, became the vehicle of God's truth.

Four were fishermen. One was a hated tax collector. One a political zealot. There was nothing extraordinary about any of the twelve that Jesus sent out to preach, to heal and to expel demons. One of them displayed the sinful condition of humans to the worst extent possible. When one of them had a chance to cash in on Jesus, he took advantage of the opportunity. That's right, Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve the Lord sent out. They were ordinary people, given instructions to conduct themselves like prophets. And the Word of God worked through them.

I grew up surrounded by plastic saints. I remember being teased by some non-Catholic kids because we had a small plastic statue of Jesus on the dashboard of our family car. One of their favorite little taunts was, "I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I got my plastic Jesus." Lives of the saints, as told back then, made the saints seem far less than real. Perhaps it might seem lovely to be like them, but the way their lives were presented no one really could think he or she could be one of them. There was St. Aloysius Gonzaga, who, supposedly, was so modest he only looked at his mother's feet less seeing a woman would tempt him. Right, dude. Then there was St. Simon Stylite whose penance consisted in living on top of a column for seven years. There were thousands of other fantastic, unrealistic stories about saints. Actually, these stories made being a Catholic relatively easy. We all knew we wanted to be saints, but we also knew that we were real people, living in the real world. Sanctity, it seemed, was for eccentrics, not real people.

But Amos was not an eccentric. Nor were the disciples. Let me tell you about another person who was no eccentric. His name was Karol Wojtyla, or as we remember him, Pope John Paul II. Karol originally intended to become an actor and playwright before deciding to become a priest. Before he made a decision for the priesthood, he had been inclining towards a beautiful young Polish girl he had met. But he felt deep,within him the call to do more to protect and nourish the persecuted Church in Poland, and ultimately, in the world. As a new priest, Fr. Wojtyla, loved to go camping taking groups of young people on canoe trips. He would spend evenings in intellectual, philosophical discussions with them, motivating them to make a difference in the world. Even after being elected pope, while he was still vigorous he would do laps in the Vatican pool and go hiking and snow skiing. Pope John Paul II didn't go around working wonders. He didn't behave in an eccentric manner. But his life was Jesus Christ, and Jesus consumed him. "Our God is an all consuming fire," we read in the Letter to the Hebrews 12:29. The fire, the love, the power of God formed the ordinary into the extraordinary.

We don't have to go all the way to the top of the Church to find an example of God working his wonders through ordinary people. Just the other day, a young lady told me how she decided to change her life and make the decision for God due to a fellow worker whose Catholic faith motivated his life. I have said this many times, but the older I get the more I realize it: God uses you to make His presence real for me and for others. When I respond to the kick He gives me in the shins or other places, He uses me to make His Presence real to you and to others. He uses us, ordinary people, to do the extraordinary.

We, my brothers and sisters, are called to be saints. Not plastic, unreal statues, but real, true saints. We are to be set aside for the Lord. We are called to holiness. Holiness is not a matter of pietistic expressions. Some people use pietistic expression to appear holy but are anything but holy. They attach the phrase "God bless" to the meanest statements to appear to assert their own holiness. "She never lost all that weight she gained from the last baby, God bless her." "He still needs to control that personal problem, May God bless him." Throwing in "God blesses" and other pietistic expressions is not holiness. Holiness is a matter of saying and living, "God first, all else follows." St. Paul says in Romans 8:22 that all creation is groaning, longing for its Savior. We are not called to holiness so we can pose for a plastic statue. We are called to holiness so we can respond to that inward groaning of the world longing for meaning, longing for its Savior, longing for Christ. We are called to holiness so our children, our friends, the people we work with, and even total strangers, can experience the wonder, the power and the beauty of Jesus Christ.

God did this with Amos. God did this with the apostles. He did this with saints. He can and will do this with us. God makes us, the ordinary, extraordinary.

Jesus says that with faith we can move mountains. With faith, we can transform the world. Today, we pray for the faith that allows God to work through us.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Divine Mercy

One of the books that I brought to the beach is Divine Mercy in My Soul by St. Faustina. On page 333 it says " Speak to the world about my mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy." When I was in the presence of the Divine Mercy I had never even heard of St Faustina [ http://openingthefloodgatesofmercy.blogspot.com/2009/06/heart-of-jesus-infinite-in-mercy.html ] , but it was communicated [not through words] to me that I was in the presence of the mercy of Jesus. When I first saw the Divine Mercy picture it struck me like a bolt of lightning because it reminded me so much of my experience with Him, but I can also understand St. Faustina's dissatisfaction with this image. The colors of the rays which pierced my soul were colors I had never seen on earth and the reality of His Divine Presence is inexplicable in earthly terms. He is pure truth, pure mercy, pure love and pure justice. He knows us better than we know ourselves. The Lord is very gentle and kind and not one person on this earth should be afraid to approach Him. No matter how sinful a person has been in their past He will forgive them if they are truly sorry for their sins.

People sometimes ask me "Why you? What did you ever do to deserve this?" The answer is....I did nothing. This was pure grace. For some reason that only the Lord knows, He chose to make me an example of His mercy and for this I will always be grateful. The Lord has also shown me that this infinite mercy is for all who ask for it and I truly mean EVERYONE.

For years I have searched the internet trying to find someone who has been in the presence of the Divine Mercy in this way, if there is, please write to me as I would love to hear about it.

Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Saint Teresa of Jesus

I love St. Teresa of Avila, as a matter of fact, one could say she is my favorite saint [though Padre Pio runs a close second.] She is also my patron saint. Soon after my my miraculous conversion [which my mom believes was obtained through St. Teresa's intercession] I went to the bookstore to pick out a book and I asked the Lord for his help in choosing a good one. While browsing in the christianity section, a book fell off the shelf and hit my foot. [Very funny, Lord.....beside my foot would have been just fine.] I bent down to pick it up and when I looked at it I had to laugh because it was the autobiography of St. Teresa . So, I bought it and am enjoying it still!

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Jesus! Take the wheel! "

My family goes to the beach for a few weeks each summer, we love the ocean and my husband loves to go fishing. This year my huband and daughter left about an hour before me and I said that I would meet them at the cottage. I decided to pray the sorrowful mysteries on the way, I've always enjoyed praying in the car. Sometimes the Lord and I just chat, but I love meditating on the sorrowful mysteries. As I have spoken about in http://openingthefloodgatesofmercy.blogspot.com/2009/06/on-suffering.html I unite everything with Jesus, even every breath I take. This day was no different and I was praying with my whole heart when suddenly the skies opened up and rain started coming down in buckets. I couldn't see more than than ten feet in front of me [I don't like driving in heavy rain and of course there was a huge truck in front of me to top it all off.] I kept praying and uniting the sufferings of the moment with His but the rain got so bad I said "Jesus! Take the wheel please." Immediately, the song "Be Not Afraid" started going through my head and a feeling of immense peace came over me and I actually started enjoying the ride. By the way, Jesus.... you drive quite well for somebody who never had lessons!

It's funny, I had just checked out a blog called " Be Not Afraid" just the day before so maybe that's why the song came into my head but what was really odd is that when I switched lanes to get out from behind the truck, the license plate in front of me read "xesus" with a few numbers following it [Xesus is the Galician form of Jesus.]

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jacob

My mother and I were cleaning the church center the other day when all of a sudden she said "Mary! Come quickly! There is a man lying outside the door and he's not moving!" We ran over and opened the door and I leaned down and saw that he was breathing so I sent my mother to get my cellphone. Another man came over and gently shook him. He woke up with a start and looked dazed and confused. I told him I was going to call an ambulance but he shook his head no.
I said " Sir, I'm very worried about you and if you don't speak to me I'm going to call them." He looked up at me with bleary eyes and said "Sorry, I just needed a minute to gather my wits." He then stuck out his hand and said "I'm Jacob, like in the bible." I shook it and replied "I'm Mary, like in the bible." Then he told us that he was homeless and had been for 7 years. While my mother went to get him some money for food he continued to tell me a little bit about himself. He said his fiance had died last August, that he missed her very, very much and when he spoke her name it was said so reverently that it deeply touched me. I told him that I would pray for him. He thanked me and said he would always remember me because he had a sister named Mary. My mother gave him some money and we said good-bye. I felt honored to have met him for I saw Jesus in his eyes. So... Jacob, wherever you are, you have a friend and I will not forget you.

By the way, I glanced at Jacob's watch while we were talking and the time was 11:11 [but this is another story in itself].