NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local diocese, 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 Administrator

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Our Lady's recent emphasis on PEACE

I had another remarkable spiritual experience this past May 12th, which also happened to be Mother's Day 2024.  I've only spoken about it to my prayer group co-members, but am now prompted to blog about it after a friend texted me this morning about a special plea made by Our Lady in Medjugorje.  In short, the Blessed Virgin requested through the visionary, Marija, a 9-day Rosary Novena "for World Peace" to be prayed beginning tomorrow: June 16th.  The novena will end on 6/24 - the eve of the 43rd Anniversary of the official start of her appearances in Medjugorje.

What is unusual about this request is that Marija was also asked to climb Apparition Hill each night during the novena where she will receive her daily visit from the Holy Virgin at 11:30pm (versus the routine time of 6:40pm - read about the details here); it adds an element of sacrifice to the entire matter and many speculate that the designated time is significant, in itself, not just for its deviation from the norm but also given its close proximity to 12:00am, which marks the start of a new day.

Now going back to my experience on 5/12 ... being that it was Mother's Day, I told Our Lady that I would write her an icon as my personal gift to her.  After thinking for a while as to what title of the Holy Mother I should illustrate, I settled on representing her as Our Lady of Peace, based on the mysterious image appearing on a pillar in our Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu (one can read about the Cathedral image here).

Shortly after making my choice, I was surprised to hear a female voice speak to me in a majestic tone, yet full of maternal love.  I knew it was the Blessed Virgin and her words were brief, but relevant and profoundly insightful ... and I immediately set about writing the icon, which took me roughly 3 days to fully complete; I titled it "Our Lady of Peace and Reparation" and below is a short clip showing the finished icon, plus the "message".

As previously mentioned, I only shared the experience with my prayer group, but after I learned about Our Lady's urgent request for a special novena for Peace, I couldn't help but think there was a close correlation between this recent development in Medjugorje; what I heard; and even the holy figures in our cathedral - ALL have an emphasis on PEACE and it has me wondering if something's up, especially with the ongoing war in Ukraine and the escalating war in the Holy Land.  Hence, my decision to share what I believe are also words from Our Lady ... and please note - I AM NOT A SEER - but I don't want to answer to the Lord for not having said something when I should've.

With everything happening one after another, I know for certain we all need to take immediate action ... but, of course, each reader must discern for themselves on how to accept this post.  Even if one dismisses my personal testimony, the Medjugorje Novena still deserves our individual responses.  

Reflecting on everything as a whole, I personally interpret this series of prophetic "lights" as indications that a difficult era is soon dawning upon our world, and we have to be prepared for it, via much prayer, especially through the Eucharist and the Rosary.

Again, we need to act ... and we can start by offering daily Rosaries in union with the Peace Novena asked for by our Blessed Mother.  Then we continue on by PRAYING FOR THE CONVERSION OF SINNERS; MAKING REPARATION FOR SINS; PRAYING FOR WORLD PEACE; and trusting that GOD IS IN CONTROL.

Lord Jesus, King of Peace,
have mercy on us.
Our Lady, Queen of Peace,
pray for us!
We ask for a speedy and
peaceful end to the
war in the Middle East ...
as well as, all other wars
raging in the world.
Help us to also amend
our lives.  Amen.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Saint of the Month - June 2024: Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist

[The following biography was adapted from the Vatican's
website for the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints]

Bl. Maria Candida of the Eucharist
The "Apostle of Communion"
Memorial: June 12th

Maria Barba’s family home was in Palermo, Sicily.  However, Pietro Barba’s work as a Judge in the Appeal Court took the family briefly to Catanzaro in Italy and it was there that Maria was born on January 16, 1884.  The deeply-religious family returned to Palermo when she was two-years-old.

At 15, Maria felt called to Religious Life but her family strongly opposed this; she had to wait for twenty years before she could fulfill her calling.  During these years of waiting she suffered interiorly but showed a remarkable strength of spirit and fidelity to her calling, unusual in one so young.  Her trials were to last until she entered the Teresian Carmel in Ragusa on September 25, 1919.  During this time she was sustained by a special devotion to the Eucharist, in which she saw the mystery of the sacramental presence of God in the world, the concrete symbol of His infinite love of humanity, and the reason for our trust in His promises.

Her love for the Eucharist was evident from the very beginning.  "When I was still a child she testified, and before I was old enough to receive Jesus in Communion, I used to rush to the front door to greet my mother when she returned from Mass.  There I stood on tiptoe to reach up to her and cried, “I want God too!”.  My mother would bend down and softly breathe on my lips; I immediately left her, and placing my hands across my chest, full of joy and faith, jumping for joy I would keep repeating: “I have received God too!  I have received God too!”"  These are signs of a vocation, for one who is called by God’s free and gratuitous will as a gift for the Church.

From the age of 10, when she made her First Holy Communion, her great joy was to be able to receive Communion.  From then on, to be deprived of Holy Communion was for her "a great and painful cross".  In fact, after the death of her mother in 1914 , she could only rarely receive Communion, so as to not offend her brothers who would not allow her to go out on her own.

The tomb of Bl. Maria Candida in Ragusa 

When Maria finally entered the Ragusa Carmel at age 35 she took the name Maria Candida of the Eucharist, which in certain aspects was prophetic.  She said that she wanted "to keep Jesus company in the Eucharist for as long as possible."  The nun prolonged the time of her adoration, especially every Thursday, when from eleven to midnight she would be before the tabernacle.  The Eucharist dominated her entire spiritual life, not so much for the devotion, as for the fundamental effect it had on her spiritual relationship with God.  It was the Eucharist that gave her the strength to consecrate herself as a victim soul to God in November 1927.

Maria Candida fully developed what she herself was to describe as her "vocation for the Eucharist", helped by Carmelite spirituality, to which she was attracted after reading Story of a Soul by St. Therese the Little Flower.  The pages in which St Teresa of Avila describes her own particular devotion to the Eucharist are well known.  It was in the Eucharist that the saintly Foundress experienced the mystery of the humanity of Christ.

In 1924, Sr. Candida was elected Prioress, a position in which she was to remain, except for a brief period, until 1947.  She established in her community a profound love for the Rule of St. Teresa of Jesus.  She was directly responsible for the expansion of Carmel in Sicily, making a new foundation in Syracuse and helping to secure the return of the male branch of the Order.

On the Feast of Corpus Christi during the Holy Year of 1933, Mother Candida began to write what was to become her little masterpiece, entitled "The Eucharist, true jewel of Eucharistic Spirituality".  It is a long and profound meditation on the Eucharist, which had as its goal a record of her own personal experiences and her deepening theological reflections on those same experiences.

She saw all the dimensions of Christian life summed up in the Eucharist:

  • Firstly, Faith: "O my Beloved Sacrament, I see you, I believe in you! ... O Holy Faith.  Contemplate with ever greater faith our Dear Lord in the Sacrament: live with Him who comes to us every day".

  • Secondly, Hope: "O, My Divine Eucharist, my dear Hope, all our hope is in You ... Ever since I was a baby my hope in the Holy Eucharist has been strong".

  • Thirdly, Charity: "My Jesus, how I love You!  There is within my heart an enormous love for You, O Sacramental Love ... How great is the love of God made bread for our souls, who become a prisoner for me!"

As Prioress, Mother Candida, acquired from the Eucharist a deep understanding of the three religious vows which can be seen in a life that is intensely eucharistic.  Not only their full expression but also a concrete way of living, a kind of deep asceticism and a progressive conformity to the only model of every person's consecration, Jesus Christ who died and rose again for us.

A photo of the Beata's body taken during her
wake in the Carmel of Ragusa.

The model of a eucharistic life is, of course, the Virgin Mary, who carried the Son of God in her womb and who continues to give birth to him in the souls of his disciples. "I want to be like Mary" she wrote in one of the most intense and profound pages of The Eucharist, "to be Mary for Jesus, to take the place of His Mother. When I receive Jesus in Communion Mary is always present. I want to receive Jesus from her hands, she must make me one with Him. I cannot separate Mary from Jesus. Hail, O Body born of Mary. Hail Mary, dawn of the Eucharist!"

For Mother Maria Candida the Eucharist is a school, it is food and an encounter with God, a coming together of hearts, a school of virtue and wisdom.  "Heaven itself does not contain more.  God, that unique treasure is here!  Really, yes really: my God is my everything ... I ask my Jesus to be a guardian of all the tabernacles of the world, until the end of time".

After she endured months of painful suffering from liver cancer, the Lord called Mother Maria Candida to Himself on June 12, 1949.  It was the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity.  Hallelujah!

Bl. Maria Candida, pray for us!

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Monthly Message of the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje: May 2024

  "Dear children!  In this time of grace, I am calling you to prayer with the heart.  Little children, create prayer groups where you will encourage each other to the good and grow in joy.

  Little children, you are still far away.  That is why continue to convert anew and choose the way of holiness and hope so that God may give you peace in abundance.  Thank you for having responded to my call."