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|| Inspirational: Little Flower Welcomed|
Anonymous writes "Little Flower Welcomed|
Last week, Rome received a delightful visit. The relics of St. Thérèse of Lisieux -- the Little Flower -- were brought to the Eternal City.
For one week her mortal remains were transported with great pomp and honor from the Russian College, which bears her name, to various churches in the city, concluding with all-night adoration at the Church of St. Agnes in Piazza Navona.
Everywhere she went, she was greeted with prayers, flowers and songs, bringing a swath of joy to the first cold dark days of November.
Thérèse, born in 1873, visited Rome only once in her brief lifetime. At the age of 15, her father brought her here on a pilgrimage, where she met Pope Leo XIII at the papal audience.
She knew she was called to serve God as a religious sister, but had been denied entry into the Carmelite order because of her youth. She asked the Pope to allow her to join the order, but Pope Leo counseled her to obey her superiors.
Thérèse visited the Mamertine prison and the Colosseum, praying at the sites of the Roman martyrs. Meditating on their example, she put aside her own frustrations. Shortly after her return to France, the local bishop permitted her to join the convent.
Within the convent Thérèse thrived spiritually although her health soon began to decline. Under obedience, she wrote the “Story of a Soul” with her mother superior, outlining with simplicity her “little way.”
She succumbed to tuberculosis at the age of 24, after an exemplary witness of embracing suffering for the love of Christ, and was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925.
Once she joined the Carmelites, the Little Flower never traveled any further than her hometown, and yet she was named patron saint of missions because of her ceaseless intercession for missionaries and her promise to spend her heaven doing good on Earth. From her little world, she was able to see the biggest picture of all.
Ten years ago, in October 1997, Pope John Paul II declared Thérèse a doctor of the Church, although she had never earned a university degree or taught a course.
She was the youngest of the 33 people in the history of the Church to receive this exalted title. In his homily, John Paul II declared that “her spiritual itinerary shows such maturity and the intuitions of her faith expressed in her writings are so vast and so profound, that they merit a place among the great spiritual masters."
Thérèse’s autobiography was a best-seller throughout the 20th century and has offered spiritual guidance to millions of souls. Her simplicity and faith resonate in the longing to do something meaningful for God and others in all of us.
Thérèse takes a refreshing view of academic posturing when she writes: “When I read spiritual treatises, in which perfection is shown with a thousand obstacles in the way and a host of illusions round about it, my poor little mind soon grows weary. I close the learned book, which leaves my head splitting and my heart parched, and I take the holy Scriptures. Then all seems luminous, a single word opens up infinite horizons to my soul, perfection seems easy.”
In a society that esteems learning over wisdom, and titles over virtue, Thérèse’s “little way” reminds us that God chooses what the world deems foolish to shame the proud.
* * *
Elizabeth Lev teaches Christian Art and Architecture at Duquesne University’s Italian campus. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Posted by me on Monday, March 17 @ 14:12:33 CDT (2800 reads)|
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|| Inspirational: Padre Pio Credited With Parish's Conversion|
Anonymous writes "Padre Pio Credited With Parish's Conversion|
Former Orthodox Woman Says Saint Obtained Cure for Her
By Nieves San Martín
PESCEANA, Romania, NOV. 28, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The 71-year-old mother of a former Orthodox priest says she was cured of lung cancer through the intercession of Padre Pio. After the apparent miracle, the priest explained, he and his mother, and members of his parish, have become Catholics.
Lucrecia Tudor was born into the Romanian Orthodox Church and her son, Victor, followed a vocation to the priesthood. In 2002, he was working in Pesceana, close to Valcea, in south central Romania. Another son, Mariano, dedicated himself to painting, especially iconography, and lives and works in Rome.
The story of the family, and the church they are building dedicated to Saint Pio de Pietrelcina, was related to ZENIT by Italian journalist, Renzo Allegri.
Lucrecia was diagnosed with a tumor in her left lung more than five years ago. Romanian doctors told her surgery was impossible and she had few months to live. Lucrecia and Father Victor turned to Mariano for help, hoping that a doctor in Rome could be found to give a better prognosis.
Mariano contacted a well-known surgeon, who invited the young painter to bring his mother to Rome, where he would try to save her.
After reviewing the reports from his Romanian colleagues, the doctor examined Lucrecia with more detail, only to arrive at the same conclusion: An operation was useless. He could only offer medications to ease the sharp pain, which, he predicted would increase in the terminal phase.
Mariano kept his mother with himself in Rome so as to be near the doctor for checkups. He was working on a mosaic in a church and, as his mother does not speak Italian, he kept her close by. While he was working, his mother walked through the church, contemplating the paintings and statues.
In one corner, there was a large statue of Padre Pio. Lucrecia liked the statue and asked Mariano who it depicted. Mariano related briefly the story of the saint. In the coming days, he saw his mother spending all her time seated before the image, with which she chatted as if it were alive.
Two weeks later, Mariano took his mother to the hospital for her checkup. The doctor said the tumor had disappeared.
Lucrecia had asked Padre Pio to help her, even though she was Orthodox, and, she said, the saint had granted her request.
“The great cure of my mother, accomplished through Padre Pio in favor of an Orthodox woman, impressed me much,” Father Victor said. "I began to read the life of the Italian saint. I told my parishioners what had happened. They all knew my mother and everyone knew we had gone to Italy in order to try a surgical intervention, and that she had returned home cured, without any doctor having operated.
"In my parish, they began to know and love Padre Pio. We read everything we found about him. His holiness won us over. Meanwhile, in my parish other sick people also received extraordinary graces from Padre Pio. Among my people, there spread a great enthusiasm and, little by little, we decided to become Catholics, in order to be closer to Padre.”
The step from the Orthodox to the Catholic Church required a slow process. And there were difficulties of every kind, Allegri explained in relating the story. But the parishioners continued in the process and even decided to build a church to dedicate it to Padre Pio.
"The funds are the result of the savings of this poor people, and of the help of some German Catholics who heard our story,” Father Victor said. “And my parishioners are those who are bringing forward the work, working for free, naturally. […] After a few days, we celebrated solemnly the placing of the first stone. And it was a big party, because the Metropolitan Archbishop of Fagaras and Alba Julia of the Romanians, meaning, the highest authority of the Greek Catholic Church in Romania, came to celebrate […] To conclude this ceremony, the metropolitan wished to meet my mother, cured through a miracle of Padre Pio, and posed with her for a photo.”
Posted by me on Friday, November 30 @ 12:52:35 CST (2631 reads)|
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|| Inspirational: Teal glass rosary beads have begun to turn gold|
Anonymous writes "Iam new to the Catholic Moms website but would love to share this fabulous miracle with everyone.|
Last Friday morning I was sitting in a hospital waiting for my turn for a second mammogram in three days. The tech had red flagged my right side the day before and therefore I needed more conclusive testing. While waiting I was praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet on a rosary that I had purchased about a month prior. While faced with what could be a lifechanging test, I prayed to Mary, Jesus, Saints and Angels for intercession. I promised a life devoted to sharing the rosary with others. WOW did I receive an answer. My scan showed very likely that they were cysts not tumors and I would just need a follow up in six months. I was on cloud nine!
Four days later, as a parent volunteer, I was in my daughter's class continuing what I had started the previous Tuesday which was teaching the 2nd graders the rosary. We had learned the Joyful and this past Tuesday 10/9/07 we were working on the Luminnous Mysteries. I reached into my purse and pulled out the teal glass rosaries which I had prayed so hard on for a miracle and another miracle did I see! On each and EVERY bead was a gold color!! I have only ever seen one rosary in my life that a cantor from my church had that the chain had turned to gold but mine is actually the glass beads! This happened yesterday yet I am still in awe everytime I look at them. This morning I went to the religous store where I purchased them to show the owner and she said that this was not the first time that she had sold items that have turned to gold. She said accept it as a grace from The Blessed Mother. I feel so blessed. I am sure it is because she is happy that I am teaching the children the rosary.
So please, please remember to PRAY The Rosary every day!
Miracles happen everyday!
Deneen"Note: Posted on the www.CatholicMoms.com web site.
Posted by me on Saturday, November 24 @ 12:39:19 CST (9206 reads)|
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|| Inspirational: Beware of the book, Conversations with God.|
Anonymous writes "I am passing on this book warning that came from a friend of mine.|
Beware of the book, Conversations with God. Dr. James Dobson talked about this book twice this week. It is devastating and parents and Christian schools need to be aware of this. Do pass it on to church/e-mail addressees, Parents, Grand parents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, friends.
Please pay special attention not only to what your kids watch on TV and in movie theaters and the music they listen to, but we must also be alert regarding the books they read.
Two particular books, "Conversations with God" and "Conversations with God for Teens," written by Neale D. Walsch, sound harmless enough by their titles alone. These books have been on the New York Times best sellers list for a number of weeks, and! these publications make truth of the statement, "Don't judge a book by its cover/title."
The author purports to answer various questions from kids using the "voice of God". However, the "answers" that he gives are not Bible-based and go against the very infallible word of God. For instance (and I paraphrase), when a girl asks the question "Why am I a lesbian?" His answer is that she was born that way because of genetics (just as you were born right-handed, with blue eyes, etc.). Then he tells her to go out and "celebrate" her differences.
Another girls poses the question "I am living with my boyfriend. My parents say that I should marry him because I am living in sin. Should I marry him?"
His reply is, "Who are you sinning against? Not me, because you have done nothing wrong."
Another question asks about God's forgiveness of sin. His reply "I do not forgive anyone because there is nothing to forgive. There is no such thing as right or wrong and that is what I have been trying to tell everyone, do not judge people. People have chosen to judge one another and this is wrong, because the rule is "'judge not lest ye be judged.'"
And the list goes on. Not only are these books the false doctrine of devils, but in some instances even quote (in error) the Word of God.
These books (and others like it) are being sold to school childre n (The Scholastic Book Club), and we need to be aware of what is being fed to our children.
Our children are under attack. So I pray that you be sober and vigilant about teaching your children the Word of God, and guarding their exposure to worldly mediums, because our adversary, the Devil, roams about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). And how many of us know that lions usually hunt for the slowest, and weakest and YOUNGEST of its prey.
Pass this on to every Believer you know. God bless! And, if in doubt, look at the books yourself.
Posted by God on Monday, March 06 @ 12:27:46 CST (5446 reads)|
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|| Inspirational: 75th ANNIVERSARY OF JESUS APPEARING MARKS EXPLOSION OF DIVINE MERCY|
Anonymous writes "75th ANNIVERSARY OF JESUS APPEARING MARKS EXPLOSION OF DIVINE MERCY AS|
GOD PREPARES HIS PEOPLE FOR THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS
by Robert R. Allard, Director
Apostles of Divine Mercy
75th Anniversary of the appearance of Jesus to St. Faustina, February
Everywhere you turn, people are talking about Divine Mercy!
Hurricanes, Floods, Tsunamis, Global Warming, and Fires. Hardly an
article can be written about any of these events without the thought
of the Second Coming of Jesus and Divine Chastisement.
Today marks a very significant date for all mankind. Seventy-five
years ago on February 22nd 1931 Jesus appeared to St. Faustina as The
Divine Mercy with a special mission for her. He told her to paint an
image as she witnessed Him with two rays of light streaming from His
heart, one red and the other pale like water and to sign it “Jesus, I
trust in You”.
Jesus spent the next seven years speaking to her about His mercy and
asked her to record His words in a diary, which she named “Divine
Mercy in My Soul”. He made known to her that it was her job to
prepare the world for His final coming. Jesus told her: “Write:
before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My
mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass
through the door of My justice…”(Diary 1146)
“I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe
to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. In the
Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people.
Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole
world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal
it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they
themselves force me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the
sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of
The Blessed Virgin Mary also spoke to Faustina about the Second
Coming “I gave the savior to the world; as for you, you have to speak
to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the
Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a
just Judge. Oh how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of
justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it.
Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still time for
granting mercy. If you keep silent now, you will be answering for a
great number of souls on that terrible day. Fear nothing. Be
faithful to the end. I sympathize with you” (Diary 635).
Pope John Paul the Great, by Divine Providence, was immersed in the
message of Divine Mercy at an early age and commented that it was “his
job given to him by God to bring this message to the world”. He later
said “I give thanks to Divine Providence that I have been enabled to
fulfill the will of Christ by instituting the Feast of Divine
Mercy”(Visit to Poland ).
The diary has more than 14 entries where Jesus had requested that a
Feast of Mercy be established in the Church as a “Last hope of
Salvation”. Pope John Paul established the feast as Divine Mercy
Sunday during the canonization in Rome of Saint Faustina in the
Jubilee Year 2000 as the first saint in the new millennium!
Jesus told Faustina that “from [Poland] will come forth a spark that
will prepare the world for My final coming” (Diary 1732). No doubt,
this was Pope John Paul, who not only established the feast requested
by Jesus, but issued an unprecedented special plenary indulgence and
specified, as the duties of priests, the proclamation of that plenary
indulgence to all humanity.
If this wasn’t proof enough of God’s Providence in the matter, our
beloved Pope passed into heaven on the Vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday
after celebrating that feast and participating in the requirements of
obtaining the plenary indulgence!
Jesus told Faustina “Before the day of justice arrives, there will be
given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort:”
“All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be
great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will
be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet
of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will
light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly
before the last day” (Diary 83).
The Image of the Divine Mercy is central to entire message of Divine
Mercy and has a special importance by being displayed in churches,
especially on the Feast of Divine Mercy.
Jesus related several times the importance of the image on the feast.
He said “I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image,
which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first
Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy” (Diary
One day St. Faustina said to Our Lord “They tell me that there is
already such a feast and so why should I talk about it?” Jesus
answered “And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even
those who should be proclaiming My mercy and teaching people about it
often do not know about it themselves. That is why I want the image
to be solemnly blessed on the First Sunday after Easter, and want it
to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it” (Diary
Pope Benedict XVI also supports the Image of Divine Mercy in his
book “The Spirit of the Liturgy”. In it he explains the importance of
images in the liturgy and goes on to say that the perfect image must
represent the Paschal Mystery and also include a message of hope in
preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus!
The Divine Mercy image perfectly suites the recommendations of a
perfect icon for not only Divine Mercy Sunday, but for every liturgy
as well. Pope Benedict talked of the shameful stripping of sacred
images in churches during the twentieth century. If you haven’t read
the book yet, buy one and read the section on images.
Churches throughout the world that have permanently installed Divine
Mercy images are benefiting greatly. Jesus surely knew what He was
doing when He gave us this image. It is exactly what mankind will
need to maintain its hope in the years ahead through chastisements and
natural disasters that are inevitable. If it is true that a picture
has a thousand words, then this one has untold millions!
Jesus said “The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands
for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the
life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My
tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the
cross… Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just
hand of God shall not lay hold of him” (Diary 299).
Robert R. Allard, Director
Apostles of Divine Mercy
Posted by God on Monday, February 27 @ 12:11:09 CST (2514 reads)|
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|| Inspirational: EMERGENCY NUMBERS|
Feb 7, 2006
Emergency numbers may be dialed direct. No operator assistance is
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
When in sorrow, ......................................... call John 14
When men fail you, ..................................... call Psalm 27
If you want to be fruitful, ............................. call John 15
When you have sinned, .................................. call Psalm 51
When you worry, ................................. call Matthew 6:19-34
When you are in danger, ................................ call Psalm 91
When God seems far away, .............................. call Psalm 139
When your faith needs stirring, ...................... call Hebrews 11
When you are lonely and fearful, ....................... call Psalm 23
When you grow bitter and critical, ............. call I Corinthians 13
For Paul's secret to happiness, .............. call Colossians 3:12-17
For understanding of Christianity, ....... call II Corinthians 5:15-19
When you feel down and out, ......................... call Romans 8:31
When you want peace and rest, .................. call Matthew 11:25-30
When the world seems bigger than God, .................. call Psalm 90
When you want Christian assurance, ................ call Romans 8:1-30
When you leave home for labor or travel, .............. call Psalm 121
When your prayers grow narrow or selfish, .............. call Psalm 67
For a great invention/opportunity, .................... call Isaiah 55
When you want courage for a task, ...................... call Joshua 1
For how to get along with fellow men, ................. call Romans 12
When you think of investments and returns, .............. call Mark 10
If you are depressed, .................................. call Psalm 27
If your pocketbook is empty, ........................... call Psalm 37
If you are losing confidence in people, ........ call I Corinthians 13
If people seem unkind, .................................. call John 15
If discouraged about your work, ....................... call Psalm 126
If you find the world growing small and yourself great,..call Psalm 19
For dealing with fear, ............................... call Psalm 34:7
For security, ....................................... call Psalm 121:3
For assurance, ........................................ call Mark 8:35
For reassurance, ................................... call Psalm 145:18
All lines to Heaven are open 24 hours a day! Feed your faith, and doubt
will starve to death!
"Heavenly Father, you offer us abundant grace, mercy, and forgiveness
through your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to live a grace-filled
life as Mary did by believing in your promises and by giving you my
unqualified "yes" to your will and to your plan for my life."
Posted by God on Thursday, February 09 @ 13:40:27 CST (10193 reads)|
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|| Inspirational: God works in mysterious ways|
Anonymous writes "My name is Mary. Almost two years ago during a terrible blizzard my father had his third and most severe heart attack and was dead for an hour. Doctors thought he would either die for good that night or live and be a vegetable. The amazing thing is that a week after his heart attack I found out I was pregnant with my husband and my first child. When the doctor told me when the egg attached itself was the same day my father had his heart attack. The news of a new grandchild gave him the will to live. So GOD does work in mysterious ways."Note: Posted on www.CatholicMoms.com
Posted by administrator on Saturday, March 26 @ 10:14:16 CST (10673 reads)|
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|| Inspirational: The Son|
Anonymous writes " A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier.|
The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life.
He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.
The young man held out his package. I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this. The father opened thepackage. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.
He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift.
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he
took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture? People in theback of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one." But the auctioneer persisted, "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?"
Another voice shouted angrily, "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids. But still the auctioneer continued, "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?" Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. He shouted, "I'll give $10 for the painting!"
Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. "We have $10, who will bid 20?" "Give it
to him for $10. Let's see the masters." "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?" The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10."
A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!" The
auctioneer laid down his gavel, "I'm sorry, the auction is over." "What about the paintings?" "I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything.
God gave his Son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, "The Son, the Son, who'll take the Son?" Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
"Note: Posted on the www.CatholicMoms.com website
Posted by Administrator on Tuesday, January 25 @ 20:33:46 CST (10382 reads)|
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|| Inspirational: AVOIDING EMOTIONAL ADULTERY|
Anonymous writes "It is far easier to commit emotional adultery than you may realize. You may be converging on a chemical reaction with another person when:|
* You've got a need you feel your mate isn't meeting -- a need for attention, approval or affection, for example.
*You find it easier to unwind with someone other than your spouse by dissecting the day's difficulties over lunch, coffee or a ride home.
* You begin to talk about problems you are having with your spouse.
* You rationalize the propriety of this relationship with the opposite sex by saying that surely it must be God's will to talk so openly and honestly with a fellow Christian.
* You look forward to being with this person more than with your own mate.
* You hide the relationship from your mate.
When you find yourself connecting with another person as a substitute, you've started traveling a road that ends too often in adultery and divorce. But how do you protect yourself to keep this from occurring?
KEEP YOUR BOUNDARIES. You should put fences around your heart that protect sacred ground, reserved only for your spouse. Barbara and I are careful to show our deepest feelings, needs and difficulties with each other, and not with friends of the opposite sex.
REALIZE THE POWER OF YOUR EYES. As has been said, your eyes are the windows to your heart. Pull the shades down if you sense someone is pausing a little too long in front of your windows.
BEWARE OF ISOLATION & CONCEALMENT. One strategy of the enemy is to isolate you from your spouse, especially by inducing you to keep secrets from your mate.
EXTINGUISH CHEMICAL REACTIONS that have already begun. A friendship with with the opposite sex that meets the needs your mate should be meeting must be ended quickly. It may be a painful loss at first, but it isn't as painful as dealing with the wreckage caused by a sinful relationship.
PRAY DAILY that God would "keep you from stumbling." "Note: Posted on the www.CatholicMoms.com website
Posted by Administrator on Tuesday, January 25 @ 20:32:17 CST (2320 reads)|
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|| Inspirational: Our Celestial Bodyguards By Susan Brinkmann|
Anonymous writes " “The Angels of Jesus do not sleep!” St. Gemma Galgani said one night to her Guardian Angel.|
“Nevertheless, I ought to sleep,” the Angel replied with a smile on his face. “Where shall you put me?”
She commanded him to stay near her all night, which he did, by stretching himself out above her head with his wings spread. The 22-year-old saint completed this entry in her diary by saying, “In the morning, he was still there.”
St. Gemma, an Italian mystic who died in 1903, had the gift of seeing her Guardian Angel throughout her entire life and was shocked when she learned other people couldn't do the same.
Another popular saint who had a strong relationship with his Guardian Angel was St. Pio of Pietrelcina. He often sent his Angel on errands and regularly received the Angels of his spiritual children when in need of prayer,
including those in Purgatory. One night, he had so many of these Angelic visitations that he complained in the morning, “Those Guardian Angels kept me
awake all night!”
St. Frances of Rome, who died in 1440, was another soul gifted with the ability to see angels in human form. In her diary, she once described an Archangel sent to protect her. “He resembled in stature a boy of nine, but only a little taller . . . . He had lively sparkling eyes and the sweetest expression on his lovely face. He wore a white tunic and over it a tunicle that reached to his feet, clear as light and of an ethereal color, something like sky-blue and flaming red. His hair was like spun gold, long enough to
cover his neck and shoulders. . . .”
That every soul has a guardian angel has never been defined by the Church and is not an article of faith, but is repeatedly implied throughout Scripture. The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides guidance on angels, section 328-336. The Church Fathers have provided us with the most definitive information about these guardians who stand at our side.
St. Anselm, for instance, believed that “every soul is committed to an angel when it is united with the body.” St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that not only do baptized Christians receive an angel, but so does every member of the human race. These guardians never leave us, even when we sin, and will accompany us to our eternal reward of heaven or purgatory.
Their power is best illustrated in the famous story of St. Peter who was freed from prison by his Guardian Angel. This Angel had the power to put the guards to sleep, make the iron chains drop off of St. Peter's wrists and
ankles, and open every locked door in their path to freedom.
That our angels have the power to do these things, and more, is beyond dispute, but they will do nothing outside of the will of God.
How they operate is almost as fascinating as they are. They “speak” to us all the time, but with an interior voice — a mental suggestion — much like the Prophet Zachariah's revelations from an angel who spoke “in him” not “to him.” Some of the more specific functions they perform for us include:
One of the main duties our Guardian Angels have is protecting us from danger to our bodies and souls.
They protect our corporal life by shielding us from sudden danger or come to our help when we are hurt. There are thousands of stories of “strangers” who appeared to people in times of danger just long enough to help them before disappearing from sight. For most of us, we will not know how many perils our Angel prevented us from experiencing until after we die.
Our Guardian Angels' greatest job is saving our immortal souls. They do this by exciting pious thoughts or fear of God's judgment. They keep devils away, or at least prevent them from doing all they'd like to do. Guardian Angels prevent demonic activity by running a kind of “interference pattern,” through the interjection of good thoughts for evil ones, suggesting paths that lead away from sin, and strengthening us in times of temptation.
Enlighten and Instruct Us
Sometimes our Guardian Angels will allow us to suffer and experience trials or violent temptations in order to humble us or give us an opportunity to do penance and atone for our faults. For this reason, the Greek Fathers called
the Guardian Angels “Pedagogues,” or better yet, spiritual directors. Even an accident will sometimes be permitted in order to give us the occasion for even greater merit, such as in the case of Tobit, whose angel could have easily prevented the blindness that plagued him for so many years. In Tobit's case, these afflictions are sometimes allowed in order to gain us greater merit.
Accompany Us Through Death
It is a common Christian belief that our Guardian Angels are working the hardest while we are in our final agonies, warding off the last temptations of Satan, which are never stronger than in those last few hours of life on earth. When our souls leave our bodies, it will be our Guardian Angels' duty to escort us to our judgment, then to purgatory if necessary.
If we are in need of further purification, our Angel will often visit us in purgatory to comfort us, and will go off in search of friends and relatives to remind them to pray for us and thus gain us the fastest possible release.
At the end of our suffering, it will be this same angel who accompanies us to paradise.
Guardian Angels are said to be among the lowest choir of angels. Archangels, members of the next choir, are sometimes given to souls who will perform specific work for the Almighty during their tenure on earth. The next choir, the Principalities, are generally considered to be the guardians of cities, nations, churches and parishes.
Many saints in the course of our history have been known to never greet an individual without addressing a silent greeting to the heavenly companion at their side. During time of war and civil unrest, the faithful have turned to
the angels guarding their towns and countries for protection and there are innumerable accounts of divine intervention attributed to these angelic sentinels.
That we are personally attended by an unseen power is a fact of life too often overlooked by the faithful. One can only imagine how much different our lives might be if we resorted more often to the ready assistance of our
celestial body guards.
"A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me." (Ps.51:12)"Note: Posted on the www.CatholicMoms.com website
Posted by Administrator on Tuesday, January 25 @ 20:31:23 CST (10986 reads)|
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