Stars of Holiness

 

 

WORDS which have been circling my heart…

As the darkness gets darker, the Stars get brighter. 

 

OPEN DOORS 

I believe Jesus is empowering those who are humble and open to His Holy Spirit to grow rapidly in holiness. Yes, the doors of Heaven are open. Pope John Paul II’s Jubilee celebration of 2000, in which he pushed open the doors of St. Peter’s Basilica, is symbolic of this. Heaven has literally opened its doors to us.

But the reception of these graces is dependent upon this:  that we open the doors of our hearts.  Those were the first words of JPII when he was elected… 

Continue reading

Now is the Hour


Sun setting on "Apparition Hill" –— Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina


IT
was my fourth, and last day in Medjugorje—that little village in the war-torn mountains of Bosnia-Herzegovina where the Blessed Mother has allegedly been appearing to six children (now, grown adults).

I had heard of this place for years, yet never felt the need to go there. But when I was asked to sing in Rome, something within me said, "Now, now you must go to Medjugorje."

Continue reading

That Medjugorje


St. James Parish, Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina

 

SHORTLY before my flight from Rome to Bosnia, I caught a news story quoting Archbishop Harry Flynn of Minnesota, USA on his recent trip to Medjugorje. The Archbishop was speaking of a luncheon he had with Pope John Paul II and other American bishops in 1988:

Soup was being served.  Bishop Stanley Ott of Baton Rouge, LA., who has since gone to God, asked the Holy Father: “Holy Father, what do you think of Medjugorje?”

The Holy Father kept eating his soup and responded: “Medjugorje? Medjugorje? Medjugorje? Only good things are happening at Medjugorje.  People are praying there.  People are going to Confession. People are adoring the Eucharist, and people are turning to God.  And, only good things seem to be happening at Medjugorje.” www.spiritdaily.com, October 24th, 2006

Indeed, that’s what I’d heard coming from that Medjugorje… miracles, especially miracles of the heart. I’d had a number of family members experience profound conversions and healings after visiting this place.

 

Continue reading

Wars and Rumors of Wars


 

THE explosion of division, divorce, and violence this past year is striking. 

The letters I’ve received of Christian marriages disintegrating, children abandoning their moral roots, family members falling away from the faith, spouses and siblings caught in addictions, and startling outbursts of anger and divisiveness among relatives is grievous.

And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is not yet. (Mark 13:7)

Continue reading

Why So Long?

St. James Parish, Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina

 
AS
the controversy surrounding the alleged apparitions of the Blesssed Virgin Mary at Medjugorje began to heat up again earlier this year, I asked the Lord, "If the apparitions are really authentic, why is it taking so long for prophesied "things" to happen?"

The answer was as swift as the question:

Because you’re taking so long.  

There are many arguments surrounding the phenomenon of Medjugorje (which is currently under Church investigation). But there’s no arguing the answer I received that day.

True Tales of Our Lady

SO few, it seems, understand the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Church. I want to share with you two true stories to shed light on this most honored member of the Body of Christ. One story is my own… but first, from a reader…


 

WHY MARY? A CONVERT’S VISION…

The Catholic teaching on Mary has been the most difficult doctrine of the Church for me to accept. Being a convert, I had been taught the “fear of Mary worship.” It was instilled deep within me!

After my conversion, I would pray, asking Mary to intercede for me, but then doubt would assail me and I would, so to speak, (put her aside for a while.) I would pray the Rosary, then I would stop praying the Rosary, this went on for some time!

Then one day I prayed fervently to God, “Please, Lord, I beg you, show me the truth about Mary.”

Continue reading

Mary: The Woman Clothed with Combat Boots

Outside St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans 

 

A FRIEND wrote me today, on this Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with a spine-tingling story: 

Mark, an unusual incident occurred on Sunday. It happened as follows:

My husband and I celebrated our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary over the week-end. We went to Mass on Saturday, then out to dinner with our associate pastor and some friends, we later attended an outdoor drama “The Living Word.” As as anniversary gift a couple gave us a beautiful statue of our Lady with the baby Jesus.

On Sunday morning, my husband placed the statue in our entry-way, on a plant ledge above the front door. A while later, I went out on the front porch to read the bible. As I sat down and started to read, I glanced down into the flower bed and there lay a tiny crucifix ( I have never seen it before and I have worked in that flower bed many times!) I picked it up and went to the back deck to show my husband. I then came inside, placed it on the curio rack, and went to the porch again to read.

As I sat down, I saw a snake in the exact spot where the crucifix was.

 

Continue reading

Look to the Star…

 

Polaris:  The North Star 

MEMORIAL OF THE QUEENSHIP OF
THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY


I HAVE
been transfixed with the Northern Star the past few weeks. I confess, I did not know where it was until my brother-in-law pointed it out one starry night in the mountains.

Something in me tells me I will need to know where this star is in the future. And so tonight, once again, I gazed up at the sky mentally noting it. Then logging onto my computer, I read these words a cousin had just emailed me:

Whoever you are that perceive yourself during this mortal existence to be rather drifting in treacherous waters, at the mercy of the winds and the waves, than walking on firm ground, turn not away your eyes from the splendor of this guiding star, unless thou wish to be submerged by the storm.

Look at the star, call upon Mary. … With her for guide, you shall not go astray, while invoking her, you shall never lose heart … if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal. —St. Bernard of Clarivaux, as quoted this week by Pope Benedict XVI

“Star of the New Evangelization” —title given Our Lady of Guadalupe by Pope John Paul II 


 

Mary, Majestic Creature

Queen of Heaven

Queen of Heaven (c.1868). Gustave Doré (1832-1883). Engraving. The Vision of Purgatory and Paradise by Dante Alighieri. PMA:J99.1734.

"Thou shalt behold enthroned the Queen / To whom this realm is subject and devoted."

WHILE contemplating Jesus in the Glorious Mysteries last night, I was pondering on the fact that I always picture Mary standing up while Jesus crowns her Queen of Heaven. These thoughts came to me…

Mary knelt in profound adoration of her God and Son, Jesus. But when Jesus approached to crown her, He pulled her gently to her feet, honoring the Fifth Commandment "Thou shalt honor thy mother and father."

And to the joy of Heaven, she was enthroned their Queen.

The Catholic Church does not worship Mary, a creature like you and me. But we honor our saints, and Mary is the greatest of them all. For not only was she Christ’s mother (think about it–He probably got His nice Jewish nose from her), but she exemplified perfect faith, perfect hope, and perfect love.

These three remain (1 Cor 13:13), and they are the largest jewels in her crown.