Disclaimer

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


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Monthly Messages from the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: July 2019



Our Lady's Monthly Message to the World on July 25th:
   "Dear children! My call for you is prayer. May prayer be a joy for you and a wreath which binds you to God. Little children, trials will come and you will not be strong, and sin will reign but, if you are mine, you will win, because your refuge will be the Heart of my Son Jesus. Therefore, little children, return to prayer until prayer becomes life for you in the day and the night.  Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Lady's Special Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo on July 2nd:
   "Dear children, according to the will of the merciful Father, I have given you, and will still give you, evident signs of my motherly presence. My children, this is a motherly desire for the healing of souls. This is a desire that every child of mine may have true faith, to live to see wondrous experiences, drinking from the spring of the words of my Son - the words of life. My children, my Son, by His love and sacrifice, brought the light of faith into the world and showed you the way of faith. Because, my children, faith elevates pain and suffering. True faith makes prayer more sensitive, and does acts of mercy - a conversation, a gift of alms. Those of my children who have faith - true faith - are happy despite everything because they live the beginning of heavenly happiness on earth. Therefore, my children, apostles of my love, I am calling you to give an example of true faith, to bring light where there is darkness, to live my Son. My children, as a mother I am telling you: you cannot go on the way of faith and follow my Son without your shepherds. Pray that they may have the strength and the love to lead you. May your prayers always be alongside them.  Thank you." 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

There's Grace and Power through the Rosary (if people only knew)


"Dear children! Today I call you to begin to pray
the Rosary with a living faith.  That way I will be
able to help you."

Words of Our Lady
of Medjugorje, 6/12/1986

Last Saturday, 7/6, I had another unusual experience during our parish's monthly First Saturday Rosary.  During our prayer, I saw my Rosa Mystica statue "transfigure" (the word I use to describe when it takes on a lifelike, dewy complexion); something I've seen happen many times before with my statue... but when it appeared to blink its eyes then move its mouth, I started paying closer attention.

I watched as the statue seemed to intermittently move its lips during parts of our prayer. I was so impressed, I picked up my cellphone and started filming discretely, hoping I'd capture the phenomena on video - below is what I managed to record.


Viewing the footage over and over, I am awed and thankful.  At the time it was happening I had the conviction Our Lady wasn't praying the Rosary with us... but, rather, she was praying her own words alongside us - perhaps in another language - as well as, praying a blessing over all of us present; a benediction, mysterious and powerful.

Incidentally, among the "15 Rosary Promises" of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she promised "signal graces" to those devoted to her favorite prayer - it's the very first promise on the list... so our Holy Mother coming to visibly bless us through a treasured and much-venerated image is not a farfetched notion at all; it's simply another instance of Mary keeping her word (read all the promises here).

"Dear children! You are not aware of the graces
that you are living at this time in which the Most High
is giving you signs for you to open and convert."

- Words of Our Lady
of Medjugorje, 7/25/2014

What I do find more astonishing, and somewhat frustrating, is that so few people take advantage of Our Lady's promises.  For example, only about 15 parishioners regularly attend our First Saturday Rosary despite the size of my parish and the publicity in our weekly bulletin... and only a handful come to pray the daily, morning Rosary.  This tells me there are many parishioners missing-out on the tremendous outpouring of goodness this particular prayer has to offer; I'm convinced Mary is spiritually present to listen... to pray... to console... to strengthen... and to bring healing.  If people only knew, perhaps more would come to our monthly gathering or anywhere else where the Rosary is publicly offered.

So for those reading this who are devoted to Mary - who pray the Rosary regularly, whether alone, or as part of a group - KEEP IT UP!  Share the devotion and its associated promises with others, especially with those who don't know about the Rosary.  Start a Rosary Prayer Group!

From one Marian/Rosary Devotee to another: trust me - Our Lady sees our every effort and blesses us in return.  Signs, or no signs, have confidence that our Heavenly Mother always keeps her promises.

"The rosary, little children, is especially dear to me.
Through the rosary open your heart to me and I am
able to help you."

- Words of Our Lady
of Medjugorje, 8/25/1997

Monday, July 1, 2019

Saint of the Month - July 2019: Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta


Luisa Piccarreta
The Little Daughter of the Divine Will

Luisa Piccarreta is not officially a Saint but her life and virtues are currently under review by her diocese for potential Canonization.  What I like is that she was a laywoman who lived a humble life of obscurity, patient suffering, and sublime intimacy with Heaven.  She rarely left her small bedroom during her lifetime yet her name is now known worldwide, thanks mainly to the alleged message entrusted to her by Jesus that has since inspired countless souls, including canonized Saints; the great St. Padre Pio (d. 1968) was an admirer who often referred pilgrims to Luisa's home.  Indeed, God's providence appears clearly at work in regards to this hidden soul - so who was Luisa Piccarreta?

Luisa lived all her life in Corato (Bari), Italy.  She was born there on April 23, 1865, to pious parents and baptized the very same day in its parish church of Santa Maria Greca. Nine years later she received her First Holy Communion, as well as, Confirmation in the same church.

Luisa, writing on her bed.  She produced a diary
comprised of multiple handwritten volumes.

As a child, Luisa was precocious, joyful, pious, and even possessed a streak of mischievousness, but as she approached her teen years she grew more and more timid.  The latter may have been due to the fact that, after receiving First Communion, inner locutions with the voice of Jesus commenced through which she received preparatory spiritual guidance.  These were followed not long after by recurring "dreams" of being harassed by evil spirits that led her to also develop a lifelong devotion to the Mother of Christ in whom she found maternal comfort. As a result, Luisa consecrated herself to Mary at age 11 and, after one particularly trying episode of demonic assault, Our Lady came to her and reassured her with the following words:

"Why do you fear? Your angel is by your side, Jesus is in your
heart, and your Celestial Mama keeps you under Her mantle.
Why do you fear then? Who is stronger? Your guardian angel,
your Jesus, your Celestial Mama, or the infernal enemy?
Therefore, do not run away, but stay, pray, and do not fear."

From that point on Luisa was freed from diabolic attacks and her faith-life only continued to deepen; her love for God growing exponentially.  She exercised her faith through prolonged periods of prayer, spiritual meditation, and frequent Eucharistic Adoration, which all served to ready her for the profusion of remarkable charisms that would soon come her way.  

One day, at age 13, Luisa was home when she heard a clamor coming from outside. She rushed to the balcony to see what was happening and was met with an extraordinary sight - instead of seeing the familiar street below, she was transported to ancient Jerusalem where she witnessed a mob of people and Roman soldiers shouting at the figure of Christ in their midst.  Jesus was carrying his Holy Cross and, in his suffering and humiliation he looked up at Luisa and pleaded:

"Soul, help me!"        
      
It was a defining moment in Luisa's life; a direct personal invitation to follow the Lord as a victim for sinners... and follow she did.  Luisa was so distraught she let out a cry and fainted. Relatively healthy up to that time, she began experiencing frequent states of unconsciousness that left her bedridden - immobile, in pain, and stiff as a board.  These states lasted for hours and, even days at a time, and all efforts to wake Luisa were unsuccessful.  Her family's opinions of the situation ranged from chronic illness; a desire for attention; outright deceit; and even demonic possession!  They misunderstood her and took out their frustrations by accusing and humiliating the poor girl, which added to her suffering.

Luisa in prayer and meditation.

When all the earthly remedies employed to cure Luisa were exhausted the family called in the parish priest - who, to their amazement - was able to immediately wake the youngster through just a simple blessing!  So for the next several years it became the norm for her to be found each morning in her "usual" state of unconsciousness and the priest to be called over to awaken her.

In the meantime, unsuspected by everyone, much was taking place in Luisa's soul during her periods of unconsciousness - she was actually in a spiritual state of profound union with Jesus, Our Lady, and various saints who guided and encouraged Luisa in her faith-life.  She also relived the pains of Christ's Passion in her limbs in reparation for the sins of mankind... and, at the express command of her various confessors, Luisa eventually recorded her mystical experiences and revelations in a series of journals (totaling 36 volumes) which, when taken as a whole, comprise the message of "Divine Will".

A painting representing Luisa's reception of the Sacred
Stigmata, which she asked Jesus to keep hidden.

In summary, the Divine Will revelation is a mode of spirituality - a "gift" from God, according to this Italian seer - which, when practiced conscientiously serves to...

   +   Unite our imperfect human will with God's Divine Will so as to
        operate as one will - that of God's. 

   +   Allow Jesus to mystically live his Divine Life in us by invoking
        his Divine Will to infuse each and every one of our actions; thus
        elevating our acts from a mere human level to that of the divine.

   +   Bring to fulfillment the words of the Lord's Prayer: "... Thy Kingdom
        come Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." 

Until the day she died, Luisa's long life - at least on the exterior - was routine and uneventful.  She tried to enter a cloistered convent but her effort was sabotaged by her own mother so she remained at home - a virtual prisoner in her room - where she did lace work to earn a modest income; prayed; suffered in reparation for sins; put into writing her daily experiences, revelations, and insights into Divine Will; and conversed with a small circle of trusted family and friends, including prominent prelates who sought her counsel.  Her life was a literal fulfillment of words once spoken to her by Jesus:

"You will be a nun, but the true little nun of my heart.
You will remain cloistered in a room, without ever moving,
in which you will pray, suffer, and be always with Me." 

As with other mystics in the history of the Catholic Church, Luisa's life was rich in exceptional spiritual gifts that served to enhance and confirm her personal mission as the apostle of the Divine Will and a victim-soul for sinners. As already stated, she experienced a daily altered state of consciousness (ecstasies), received heavenly apparitions and visions, and suffered the Stigmata of Christ invisibly (from 1895)... but, in addition, she underwent the Mystical Marriage; had the gifts of prophecy; the ability to heal illnesses; and, most astoundingly, from about age 17, she progressively ceased eating/drinking and eventually survived on the Eucharist, alone, which she received during Mass offered every morning in her room.  And, as if all of this was not enough, we add the fact that despite being confined to her bed, 24/7 for over 60 years, she never developed bedsores!

St. Annibale di Francia, Luisa's confessor and spiritual son.

In Luisa's later years, despite her insistence with her caretakers to maintain strict discretion over the supernatural favors allegedly granted to her (e.g. the miraculous abstinance from food), news of the seer did escape the confines of her bedroom walls; rumors of miracles circulated in Corato and beyond.  Luisa was either revered or ridiculed, but regardless of the people and clergy's opinion of her, she accepted everything with humility; neither delighting in praise or holding resentment for misjudgements and insults directed her way. Furthermore, she was obedient to every confessor assigned by her bishop, among them the illustrious St. Annibale Maria di Francia (d. 1927), who reviewed, discerned, and approved the first 19 volumes of her writings.  This saint remained a staunch supporter of Luisa, and personally practiced and promoted the Divine Will spirituality until his death. 

The little daughter of the Divine Will died at the age of 81 on the morning of March 4, 1947.  Luisa's body was exposed to public view for three days, during which, it did not exhibit signs of decomposition nor did it undergo rigor mortis.  Instead, her corpse was supple and flexible, yet it could not be laid in a prone position in a standard coffin.  Luisa remained in the seated position she maintained on her bed and a special coffin with glass windows was constructed to accommodate her body.  The funeral procession was a triumph and thousands turned out to escort the late mystic to her final resting place in the cemetery (her remains have since been transferred into the parish church of Corato).


Above:  Luisa's tomb in the Church of Santa Maria Greca, Corato.
Below:  Photos from Luisa's funeral showing her lifelike body and
the custom coffin created for it (click images for larger images).

   

To the joy of many Divine Will supporters and prayer groups around the world, the Cause for Canonization for Luisa Piccarretta was officially opened by the diocese of Trani in 1994, giving Luisa the title "Servant of God".  For those wanting to support the push for her sainthood, below is the official prayer for glorification distributed by the Postulation for her Cause.

"... Luisa is great and the world will be full of Luisa!"

- Words of Padre Pio to a Mrs. Rosaria Bucci,
a friend and promoter of Luisa's message

+ + + + +

Prayer to obtain the Beatification of the
Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta

  O Most Holy Trinity, Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us that as we pray, we should ask that our Father’s Name be always glorified, that His Will be done on earth, and that His Kingdom should come to reign among us.


   In our great desire to make known this Kingdom of love, justice, and peace, we humbly ask that You glorify Your Servant, LUISA PICCARRETA, the little daughter of the Divine Will, who, with her constant prayer and suffering, deeply yearned for the salvation of souls and the coming of God’s Kingdom in the world.


   Following her example, we pray to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to help us joyously embrace the crosses of this world, so that we may also glorify Your Name and enter into the Kingdom of Your Will.  Amen.

[Conclude with an Our Father, Hail Mary, & Glory Be]