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, Ministry & Blog Administrator

Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Sojourn in the Desert

"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was
led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days
he was tempted by the devil.  He ate nothing during
those days, and at the end of them he was hungry."

‐ Matthew 4:1-2

The Lenten Season is always an intense and meaningful time for me and I think it's the reason why I had another vivid dream, which haunted me for several days.  It happened last week but I only recently decided to put it down on paper because of how impressed I was by it.  The drawing below, which I call "Sojourn in the Desert", is the end result.

So in my dream I found myself immersed in a desert.  It was night time but the light of the moon was unusually bright and I could clearly see the rocky landscape (it reminded of the Grand Canyon). Wandering around for a bit I came upon a wide ravine and an amazing sight...

There, ahead of me, was a large cat.  It was definitely a lion but with a weird-looking mane, which to me, looked too short. Behind the animal was a man leaning against a few boulders and I sensed almost immediately it was our Lord... and he looked haggard.

Poor Jesus - he was fast asleep and looking so lean; I heard him lightly snoring, too!  I was saddened because I could see that he was obviously weak and exhausted; worn out.  On his head, covering his brow, was a cloak that flowed down and wrapped tightly around his body so it must've been chilly although I couldn't feel the cold.  At that very moment, seeing Christ this way gave me a solid visual of how human he truly was; how, despite being Divine, he didn't exempt himself from any of the physical weaknesses and discomforts the rest of us mortals are subjected to: hunger, fatigue, cold, snoring, etc.  It was also somehow endearing.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot
sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all
points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:15

... but what made this dream especially intriguing for me was not just the imagery of the Lord fasting in the desert, which I'm already familiar with... rather, it was the lion.  I know Jesus is referred to as the "Lion of Judah" because of Revelation 5:5 and Mark 1:12-13 mentions him as being "among wild beasts" in the wilderness... but I've never read or heard anything specific - anywhere - about an actual lion keeping him close company in the desert.  Where in the maze of my brain did that come from?  What was it supposed to symbolize, if anything?

Furthermore, although the lion looked quite formidable, it showed no signs of aggression.  Instead, it just lay quietly beside Jesus - like an oversized pet kitty - in direct physical contact with his legs.  Based on my observations, I speculate that the lion was really keeping Christ warm, as well as, watching over him as he slept.  After thinking about it over and over, it kinda made sense, considering all the potential dangers lurking in the wilderness: venomous scorpions and snakes; bandits; and even other lions.  A lion would make for an ideal guard animal in Jesus' situation.

I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.

– Psalm 3:5

Incidentally, I did online research, afterwards, about lions in the Middle East and discovered there was a species of big cat - the Asiatic Lion - that is still found there... and guess what?  Male Asiatic Lions have a physical trait that distinguishes them from their African counterparts - shorter manes... like Jesus' furry bodyguard in the desert!  Now that's what I call uncanny.

The Asiatic Lion - note its short, sparse-looking mane compared to the
African Lion (inset), which is a more familiar image of the big cat.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Light of Lourdes

The oddest things can inadvertently get captured on live webcams; sometimes things that don't have an easy explanation. The amazing photos on this particular blog may just be an example of this phenomena. I did not take the pics myself, but a brother-in-Christ did, and he shared them with me to get my opinion on them.  I truly believe they're a genuine sign and, because the pics and the backstory are so inspiring, I felt the need to share them.

So just a bit of background concerning these photos - the man who took them ("Albert") is a personal friend who frequents Mass; is a strong devotee of the Blessed Virgin and St. Michael the Archangel; and a daily Rosary / Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer warrior. I recently introduced him to the Lourdes Shrine's live webcam - accessible in YouTube - and he's taken to doing his daily round of prayers every morning, while viewing the grotto of Our Lady's apparitions.

About a week ago, while praying the Rosary, Albert was surprised to witness the sudden and unexpected appearance of golden orbs of light "swirling" around in front of the statue in the upper niche of the Sacred Grotto (the exact spot where the Holy Virgin stood in her 18 appearances to St. Bernadette). He counted three large globes, which he said intermittently faded and reappeared throughout his prayer... and moved about too!  Below is a cellphone photo Albert snapped of his TV screen.  It's impressive and beautiful... and the story doesn't end there.

Two large golden orbs are captured in this photo.  Compare this pic to the
last image at the very bottom to see how truly unusual this is.

A few days after... again, while praying the Rosary, Albert saw another manifestation of light, which was more astounding than the first incident. According to the man, he was on the 5th Luminous Mystery, meditating on the Institution of the Eucharist, when he saw the grotto's crucifix begin to "sparkle" brightly before radiating streams of light down upon the altar... and significantly, the lights were reddish and bluish - the colors of Divine Mercy!  If that weren't enough, orbs of light again appeared and moved around in front of Our Lady's statue.  The entire manifestation lasted until the end of the Rosary and, fortunately for us, Albert had the presence of mind to take more pics, which he texted to me soon after - see them below.  Again, they're clear and beautiful!

Light can be seen in these photos emanating from the crucifix.

In these close‐up shots, the red and bluish lights are clearer.

In the photos below, orbs of light are also captured as they descend
to the hallowed niche where Our Lady once stood.

I frequently view the same Lourdes livecam at different times of the day and I've never seen anything like this before, nor any sort of solar lens flare on the camera, so I know the pics are not due to sunlight... and how appropriate is the light - representing the Precious Blood and Water - streaming from the crucifix to the altar at exactly the same moment Albert was contemplating the Lord's gift to us of his Body and Blood in the Eucharist?

I'm convinced these events are a sign from Jesus and Mary to Albert; special affirmation he's on a good spiritual path and should continue walking it.  Plus, Lourdes is a place well-known for miracles so why couldn't this be possible?  I'm glad Albert shared his experiences because not only is it extraordinary, but there's an underlying message in the pics for all of us, too, especially the illuminated crucifix photos.  As I like to say at times: pictures are sometimes worth a thousand words.

A screenshot of what the Holy Grotto usually looks like on the live
webcam (that's a priest in the grotto entrance, not Our Lady).

... and I almost forgot to mention one final and  important detail - Albert also told me that when the crucifix began streaming light, he touched its image on the television and immediately felt a mild "shock" flow into his hand then throughout his entire body, which left him elated with JOY.  He was still very excited when he later described it to me over a phone call - he said it felt as though Jesus had "moved" through him.  Amen.

For those reading who'd like to access the Lourdes Shrine webcam,
you can do so by clicking here.

Monthly Message of the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: February 25th, 2021

   "Dear children! God has permitted me to be with you also today, to call you to prayer and fasting. Live this time of grace and be witnesses of hope, because I repeat to you, little children, that with prayer and fasting also wars can be suppressed. Little children, believe and live this time of grace in faith and with faith; and my Immaculate Heart does not leave any of you in peacelessness if you have recourse to me. I intercede for you before the Most High and I pray for peace in your hearts and for hope for the future.  Thank you for having responded to my call."