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

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Holy Relics Visitation: Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, 9/28/2013

A relic of St. Catherine of Genoa, our September Saint, is prominently displayed on the
Gruber's home altar with a statue of our patroness, Bl. Alexandrina of Balasar.

It's always amazing how the different parts of the Gruber Family's prayer meeting program start of as random decisions... yet they, more often than not, seem to somehow "mesh" together as a cohesive message from God.  Last night's meeting was a good example of that.
Whenever we come together to pray the Holy Rosary, our host always begins the night with a personally written opening prayer, then we follow it up with a Scripture reading.  Saturday's passage was from John 12:24-26, which started with the sentence:
"... Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit..."
And soon afterwards we read a message from Our Lady of Medjugorje - the one she had recently given this past September 2nd - and it included the words:
"... I need humble apostles who, with an open heart, will accept the Word of God and help others to comprehend the meaning of their life along side God's word.  To be able to do this my children, through prayer and fasting, you must learn to listen with the heart and to learn to keep submitting yourselves..."
Immediately following the reading of Our Lady's message, it was my turn to share about a Saint of the Month, who so happened to be St. Catherine of Genoa (d. 1510, right photo), a valiant woman who dedicated a great portion of her life to evangelizing and selflessly caring for the sick in a hospital she ran in Genoa.  St. Catherine fasted rigorously on behalf of herself and the people she ministered to yet was sustained by a profound prayer life and her burning love for God. 
So it was clear to us, as we pondered and discussed all of the above, that there was a common theme to all three - that the Holy Spirit was again inviting us to reach out and minister to our neighbors out in the world (evangelize), as well as to humbly offer voluntary penances - much needed sacrifices - to draw down God's blessing for the success of our personal efforts, as well as the efforts of others who are also working in the Lord's vineyard.  And we all know how the Church is always in need of laborers to gather in the harvest.  It was a powerful message.  At least I felt it was.
So with that said, it was again another blessed event... and it made all the more special when we closed the night with a "Filipino Fiesta"; enjoying various delectable dishes from my homeland of the Philippines (Lechon, Menudo, Pancit, Pinakbet, etc.).  Me and my Kailua friends left the Gruber home very, very satisfied both in spirit and in our tummies.  As always, thanks be to God!

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