NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church and our Holy Father. This "little work" is purely a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: September 2016

Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on September 25th:
   "Dear children! Today, I am calling you to prayer. May prayer be life to you. Only in this way will your heart be filled with peace and joy. God will be near you and you will feel Him in your heart as a friend. You will speak with Him as with someone whom you know and, little children, you will have a need to witness, because Jesus will be in your heart and you, united in Him. I am with you and love all of you with my motherly love.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Lady's Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on September 2nd:
   "Dear children, according to the will of my Son and my motherly love, I am coming to you, my children, but especially to those who have not yet come to know the love of my Son. I am coming to you who think of me and who invoke me. To you, I am giving my motherly love and I am carrying the blessing of my Son. Do you have pure and open hearts, and do you see the gifts, the signs of my presence and love? My children, in your earthly life, be led by my example. My life was pain, silence and immeasurable faith and trust in the Heavenly Father. Nothing is by chance: neither pain, nor joy, nor suffering, nor love. All of these are graces which my Son grants to you and which lead you to eternal life. Of you, my Son asks for love and prayer in Him. As a mother I will teach you: to love and to pray in Him means to pray in the silence of your soul and not only reciting with your lips; it is even the least beautiful gesture done in the name of my Son - it is patience, mercy, the acceptance of pain and sacrifice done for the sake of another. My children, my Son is looking at you. Pray that you also may see His face and that it may be revealed to you. My children, I am revealing to you the only and real truth. Pray that you may comprehend it and be able to spread love and hope; that you may be able to be apostles of my love. In a special way, my motherly heart loves the shepherds. Pray for their blessed hands.  Thank you."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Holy Relic Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 9/24/2016

There was a tangible excitement in the air as we started our prayer meeting tonight. I think it was partly due to what happened last month - when I witnessed our host family's Rosa Mystica statue moving its mouthas though Our Lady was reciting prayers along with us.

I noticed our prayer members were a little more attentive and focused on the statue... and the fervor in their voices and demeanor was definitely turned up a couple of notches while we prayed. I must admit - I was excited, myself, but alas, nothing unusual happened with the statue this evening.

Still photos of our host's Rosa Mystica statue, showing the opening and closing of its lips.

Yet, despite all the extra devotion displayed, it wasn't just over the statue - I think the other reason for the expressive piety was because it may have finally dawned on most of our members (after four years of monthly meetings) just how exceptionally blessed we are by the Blessed Virgin Mary; that for some bewildering reason, we've been graced with many extraordinary manifestations of her maternal presence... and I state that with no sense of self-importance; it's just the truth, given all that we've experienced throughout the years (e.g. fragrances of flowers, appearances of escarchas, and the transfigured face of the Rosa Mystica statue).

So as people prayed tonight, they did so not as though they were praying to a God who was distant from us... or calling to the Blessed Mother up in Heaven somewhere; rather, I got the impression that people prayed today with wide open hearts and with a heightened conviction that Jesus and Our Lady were right there beside us in our little circle of prayer. It's how we should've been praying all along... and how we should continue to pray in the months ahead.

Celebrating the presence of God in each other, via our group's fellowship dinner.

At the end of the Rosary, I didn't detect any hint of disappoint in peoples faces over not witnessing signs tonight. Instead, I think the added fervor resulted in people leaving the Gruber Home more uplifted than usual; joyful and unburdened from a month's worth of life's daily trials.  Indeed, it was a much greater blessing than seeing the statue move again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Speaking Presentation & Holy Relics Presentation: Sacred Heart Church, 9/13/2016

The large statue outside the church
Praises be to God!  Tonight, I was privileged to bring the lives and relics of Jesus, Mary, and 11 Saints/Blesseds to yet another parish on the island of Oahu.  This time around, I was invited to speak at the Sacred Heart Church in Waianae by its team of RCIA facilitators.  I've never been to this parish before, given its distant and remote location on the leeward coast of the island, so I was excited to be able to faith-share with some of the members of the small, close-knit community.

But this presentation was actually the most difficult for me to prepare for; many obstacles were thrown at me due to work and personal matters.  In particular, I was incapacitated for several days last week by a severe cold... and then also developed an uncomfortable, oozing pink eye.  Plus on top of it all, my presentation slideshow and relics weren't even prepped yet. I was almost on the verge of cancelling the presentation, but instead, I mustered all the faith I had in the Lord, trusting that He would make me well enough to speak tonight and help me to finish my preparations.... and sure enough, I recovered, finished my prep-work, and received a green light from my doctor to proceed with the presentation.  In lieu of how things turned out this evening, I'm glad I wasn't forced to cancel.

Left: Devotional medals and informational pamphlets on several Saints and Blesseds for free distribution.
Right: Some of the Sacred Heart parish's RCIA members and sponsors awaiting the presentation

My new Waianae spiritual family proved themselves to be an open-hearted audience. Despite the presentation lasting longer than normal, they were patient and showed genuine interest in the various topics I discussed throughout the talk. Afterwards, many of them enthusiastically collected the Holy Face Medals and various devotional pamphlets that I brought with me for distribution... before venerating a splinter of wood from the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ and the relics of Our Lady; St. Joseph; Bl. Alberto Marvelli; St. Bernadette of Lourdes; Bl. Carlos Manuel Rodriguez; St. Gemma Galgani; St. Lucy of Syracuse; St. Margaret Mary Alacoque; St. Maria GorettiBl. Maria Pierina de Micheli; St. Padre Pio; and the recently canonized, St. Teresa of Calcutta.

After the presentation, audience members collected devotional items and venerated the relics of
Our Lord, our Blessed Mother, and various Saints and Blesseds on the display altar.

If receiving an invitation to return for another talk is any indication of a positive response, then I think I can safely report that tonight's presentation was very well-received; the inhabitants of Heaven have done their work of evangelization - Our Lord and Our Lady, along with the Saints and Blesseds, have left their blessed mark in the hearts and minds of the Waianae faith-community.  Thanks be to God!