Disclaimer

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


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: August 2015


"Dear Children... I intercede for you..."

Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on August 25th:
   "Dear children! Also today I am calling you to be prayer. May prayer be for you the wings for an encounter with God. The world is in a moment of trial, because it forgot and abandoned God. Therefore you, little children, be those who seek and love God above all. I am with you and I am leading you to my Son, but you must say your 'yes' in the freedom of children of God. I intercede for you and I love you, little children, with an endless love. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Lady's Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on August 2nd:
   "Dear children, I, as a mother who loves her children, see how difficult the time in which you live is. I see your suffering, but you need to know that you are not alone. My Son is with you. He is everywhere. He is invisible, but you can see Him if you live Him. He is the light which illuminates your soul and gives you peace. He is the Church which you need to love and to always pray and fight for - but not only with words, instead with acts of love. My children, bring it about for everyone to come to know my Son, bring it about that He may be loved, because the truth is in my Son born of God - the Son of God. Do not waste time deliberating too much; you will distance yourselves from the truth. With a simple heart accept His word and live it. If you live His word, you will pray. If you live His word, you will love with a merciful love; you will love each other. The more that you will love, the farther away you will be from death. For those who will live the word of my Son and who will love, death will be life. Thank you. Pray to be able to see my Son in your shepherds. Pray to be able to embrace Him in them."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

First Saturday Parish Rosary at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 8/1/2015


Despite how miserably hot it's been lately, our monthly prayer gathering at St. Anthony of Padua Church, went on as scheduled.  Our dedicated group of regulars faithfully showed-up to offer our First Saturday Rosary for Peace, and I am deeply appreciative for each and every one of them.  In addition to praying for World Peace, our Rosary was also offered for the protection of our island state from an approaching storm - Hurricane Guillermo. Each time there's a hurricane watch for Hawaii, it brings with it a general sense of anxiety for our residents and rightfully so... so there was a sense of urgency as we prayed yesterday because of what we could be facing.  Please kindly pray for us, too.

Our August Saint of the Month, who I briefly shared about - St. Jeanne Delanoue (d. 1736) - left our group with a wonderful reminder about life, in general; that true and lasting happiness cannot be gained through material possession... but only through a faith-relationship with our ever-loving God.

You see... St. Jeanne was the owner of a hotel and a religious goods store near a popular Marian Shrine in Saumur, France, so she profited immensely from pilgrims.  Prior to experiencing a solid conversion, her financial success made her worldly and materialistic (she even kept her shop open on Sundays, which was a big scandal in her time)... yet she wasn't completely happy.  Only after she turned her life over to the Lord, and began directing her resources towards caring for orphans and the poor in her community, did she find a sense of worth and joy in her life.  St. Jeanne eventually gave up everything to found the Congregation of St. Anne of the Providence, which is still active today in France and several countries.

St. Jeanne Delanoue,
pray for us.
After our Rosary Prayer ended, many of us went into the main church for the Saturday evening Vigil Mass.  To my surprise, our Fr. Nick's homily was an elaboration of the very same theme that we had just reflected on not too long before.  Father preached that all people are born with a "God-shaped hole" in our hearts that only Jesus can fill; trying to fill that hole with anything else (e.g. wealth, addictions, etc.) simply will not work, leaving us unsatisfied in the long run.  It's truly uncanny how the Holy Spirit harmoniously brings together different aspects of our First Saturday Devotion; without any coordination on our part, the priest had reiterated the message of St. Jeanne Delanoue's life.  

Anyhow, the next First Saturday Rosary will be prayed on September 5th, beginning at 4:25pm.  We invite all to participate and be inspired by the faith-example of our Saints and Blesseds.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Saint of the Month - August, 2015: Blessed Maria of the Angels Ginard Marti


Bl. Maria of the Angels Ginard Marti
A Martyr of Reparation ~ Memorial: August 30th

This courageous witness for the Faith was born Angela Ginard Martí on April 3rd, 1894, in Llucmajor (Mallorca) Spain.  She came from a very large family of modest means, but highly devout in background (two aunts were nuns), which undoubtedly played a big part in influencing her spiritual growth.  At 11-years-old, Angela made her First Holy Communion and it was at that point in her life that she resolved to give herself completely to Jesus by becoming a nun.

The Blessed in her youth
Before realizing her goal, Angela lived with her family and assisted them through her meager income earned from embroidering and hat making.  She had eight siblings that she helped care for and she also served as their teacher and catechist, diligently ensuring they learned their prayers and the basics of the Faith.  Despite her already busy schedule at home, Angela maintained a strict personal program of prayer and spiritual discipline which she sustained by participating in daily Mass.  She conscientiously followed this program until the age of 27 when she finally obtained her parents' consent to enter into religious life. 

In November 1921, Angela joined the Congregation of the Zealous Sisters of Eucharistic Adoration and took the religious name, “Sr. Maria of the Angels”.  The charism of the congregation centered on devotion to the Eucharist and she quickly settled into her vocation with enthusiasm and joy.  She was described by others as being a model religious - simple, deeply pious, obedient, and highly capable - and speedily rose to the office of Superior in the congregation’s convent in Madrid.  It was there that Sr. Maria of the Angels was called upon by the Lord to make her supreme sacrifice. 

The Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, which saw the destruction of churches and convents, and the persecution of religious and lay-faithful by Communist revolutionaries.  Deeply troubled and sensing the dire implications of these sacrileges events, Sr. Maria of the Angels prayed fervently before the Blessed Sacrament and was inspired to offer her life as a Martyr in reparation for the many offences against God that were rampant during the war.  As danger drew closer to their doorstep, the anxious Superior and her nuns were forced to flee from their convent on July 20, 1936. They dressed as civilians and disbursed to hide among sympathetic families in the city.  Before taking leave of each other, our Blessed encouraged her spiritual sisters with brave but somber words: "All they can do to us is kill us, nothing more." 

A 1st Class Relic of this Virgin-
Martyr in my ministry's custody.
Taking shelter in a nearby home, Sr. Mary of the Angels witnessed the destruction and looting of her beloved convent and continued with her fervent prayer of reparation.  Not long after she was betrayed by a servant and, on the night of August 25th, Communist militants came knocking at the door of the house.  A female family member came to the door and the police seized her, mistaking her for the nun, but with serenity and courage, Sr. Maria of the Angels came to the door and identified herself as the religious who they were seeking to arrest.  She was quickly taken away, and on the following day, martyred by a firing squad.

To the joy of her congregation and the Faithful in Spain, the heroic martyrdom of Sr. Maria of the Angels was recognized by the Church and she was Beatified on October 29th, 2005.  Let us pray for her speedy Canonization.

A Reflection:
As firmly witnessed by Bl. Maria of the Angels, the enemies of our Faith may be able to destroy our bodies, but never our faith and our souls.

A Short Prayer:
Lord, following the example of your faithful servant, Bl. Maria of the Angels, help us to do our best in placing the welfare of souls above the frivolous wants of our bodies.  Amen.