Tag Archive: Rosary


Fatima and Its’ Secret

M_Fatima-sun

Just after midday on Sunday 13 October 1917, between 30,000 and 100,000 people (estimated to be 70,000) witnessed the miracle of the sun. Newspapers the next day reported the wondrous event, as factual and being witnessed by Christians and non-Christians alike. Most of my remarks which follow, are quotes taken from knowledgeable publications which will be indicated appropriately. My hope is that each of us begins to see the reality and love of God. The miracle of the sun was the first time, since the birth of Christ that God intervened publicly in behalf of mankind. Why then? Why at this point in history? These are valid questions. Ones that we, all, need to reflect on, pray over and, in no small way, make changes in our way of living.

The first two parts of the “Secret of Fatima” had been revealed earlier in the year of 1917. The first secret showing souls suffering unimaginable torments crying out in anguish, in hell. In the second Mary urged, “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace”. -1 Translation presented by Sister Lucia in the “Third Memoir” of August, 31, 1941 for the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima.

The Third secret, revealed later (July 13, 1917), is translated:

I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!’. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it’ a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father’. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God. -2 Translation of “The Third Part of the Secret”.

We saw in the first two secrets the key thought being the salvation of souls destined for hell. This third part is crying out to all of us: “Penance, Penance, Penance.”

Let’s look more closely at the following images. The angel with the flaming sword represents the threat of judgment which hovers over the world. A world consumed by fire is no longer considered impossible or pure fantasy. Man, with his own creativity, has forged that flaming sword. The vision then shows the splendor of the Mother of God as the sole power which stands opposed to the force of this destruction. The avenging angel, as though temporarily restrained, summons the world to do penance. The importance of human freedom is underlined: the future is not cast in concrete. Indeed, the whole point of the vision is to bring mankind’s free will onto the scene and to steer freedom in a positive direction. The vision speaks of dangers and how we might be saved from them.

One other famous expression of the “secret” is: “my Immaculate Heart will triumph”. It is these words that we must allow to awaken our slumbering souls. What devotion to Mary do we have? Do we run to her as we would our worldly mother? Do we trust her? She has continually begged us to pray her rosary, to trust her, to seek her motherly love. The words of St. John Paul II probably say it best. “Thanks to St. Louis of Montfort, I came to understand that true devotion to the Mother of God is actually Christocentric, indeed, it is very profoundly rooted in the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity, and the Mysteries of the Incarnation and Redemption”. -3 His Holiness John Paul II “Crossing the Threshold of Hope”. He chose to dedicate his life, his papacy, to Mary. In consecrating himself to Mary, he entrusted his entire life to her, so that she could best apply it to the interests of her Son, Jesus Christ.

We read something like this and we can think, “Oh brother”, or “That’s not for me”, or maybe, “I have too many other things to do”. We can think up so many seemingly reasonable excuses. But if we analyze each of them, don’t we just come to the real meaning behind each statement, which is: “That is too much trouble”? “I have a life to live”. “I have things to do”. “I have mouths to feed”. “I need to grow”. We are destroying our own human nature and corrupting it with worldly rationalizations.

We are on this earth for ONE reason, only. We are to find our way BACK to our Creator. He breathed in us a soul, the only spiritual aspect of our being. That soul, paraphrasing St. Augustine: “Our soul is restless, until it rests back with You.” Meanwhile, we seek out worldly goods, pleasures, comforts as if they will calm the restlessness inside each of us. They don’t, but we persist in our search for happiness. As we continue that search for happiness, we ignore the one burning sensation in each of us, the blissful re-union with our God.

I ask four things from each of you.

1) Go to http://www.myconsecration.org and request the free copy of the Total Consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

[Either request (a) or (b) below ]

a) Total Consecration, According to St. Louis Marie De Montfort, or

b) Thirty Three Days to Morning Glory, by Father Michael Gaitley

Whichever you follow, your life will be changed forever.

2) Go to http://www.flameoflove.us and request the book,

The Flame of Love , The diary of Elizabeth Kindelmann

3) Pray the Rosary, everyday.

4) Pass this post on to those you love.

TheSteppingStones

Here are some other Posts that have a similar theme. Click on any one of them:

1) Getting Closer to Mary and Jesus
2) Message of Mary’s Maternal Love: Homily by Pope John Paul II
3) The Rosary, A Prayer
4) The Rosary, The Forgotten Connection

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TO THINK ABOUT…

souls in purgatory

Here is a thought. What if all the people, who we “know must be in hell”, aren’t in hell? “Oh they must be”, you reply “look at how they lived their lives. Look at what they did.” Even our legal law says that things aren’t always what they appear to be. Legal law recognizes that sometimes there are lessening (mitigating) circumstances. Are we the final judge and jury?

How do we know what happens in the split second before death? Does God, Who abounds in love, Who IS love, give them one final chance? Did He cause their lifestyle to flash before them? Did the horror of their ways assault them and they cringed in terrible shame and remorse? Did they beg for forgiveness? Maybe hell, right now, does not have as many souls as we think! We know that Purgatory exists for those whose lives fell short, that didn’t quite make the “passing –into –heaven” grade. They are waiting for all the stains of their lives to be removed. Maybe, Purgatory is filled with more souls than we ever imagined.

These are just thoughts. If they are counter to the Catholic Church’s teachings, then I renounce them. But, and it is not that big of a “but”, if there is some semblance of truth to this, then I think we should look at the importance of Purgatory. Today is all Saints day. This day we remember and honor those lives that excelled in God’s goodness. We use their lives as measuring rods for ourselves. We strive to be like them, to imitate them, in some way. How often, though, we fall short; we fall FAR short. Then we too, will have to endure Purgatory, as well.

We read, “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins” in 2 Maccabees 12:46. There is a purgatory. Mankind has recognized this from before Christ. WE can help those who are there. Tomorrow is All Souls Day. These are not the Saints that we honor today, but those who wanted to be, who strove to be like those saints, but failed.

In the book, “The Flame of Love”-1 the diary of Elizabeth Kindlemann, we read again and again, the urging of Mary and Jesus to pray for the dead. “If at any moment”, Mary says, “someone prays three Hail Mary’s in my honor, while referring to the Flame of Love-2; they will free a soul from Purgatory.” She goes on to say, that during the month of November, one Hail Mary, again referring to the Flame of Love, will free ten souls. I know this statement will raise some eyebrows, and doubts, but listen to the words of Jesus. On March 27, 1963, Our Lord said, “The face of the earth will be renewed because something like this has not happened since the Word became Flesh. Earth will be renewed by Our Lady’s intercession.” And Mary is pleading for us to pray the Rosary, and to include the Flame of Love phrase.

Why the Flame of Love? Why, now? We can only speculate as to why this urgency has fallen upon us. We know that all of us have had our heads turned in the wrong direction, and, might, even now, continue to look away. Allowing the Flame to enter into and take over our heart is the only answer that will help us, help the world. If we truly want our hearts to be changed, then listen to the words of Mary and Jesus. The urgency in their words, their desire that we become part of this movement, is clear to us. We realize that we can/should participate in this global movement to help the world return to God. If we truly are affected by the Flame of Love, then we will want to, no, desire to pass this Flame on to others.

If we do nothing else, during this month of November, pray for the souls in Purgatory. They (our relatives included) are waiting to be released, finally back into the arms of God. Let’s empty Purgatory, PRAY THE ROSARY!!

-1 “The Flame of Love” visit http://www.Myconsecration.org

-2 “referring to the Flame of Love”: Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, spread the effect of grace of thy flame of love over all of humanity, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

While praying each decade of the rosary, meditate on some aspect of the mystery and apply it to your own life.

The Resurrection  –  The First Mystery:

Many references in the Old and New Testaments speak about three days. Three days in the whale, re-building the temple in three days, three days in the wilderness, and others, all heralding Jesus being buried for three days. Glo Resurrection There was no doubt that Jesus had died. He was seen crucified and buried. For it to end there, would have been a serious blow to His teachings. But, not only coming back from the dead, but in being seen breaking bread with others, people realized His words were true. He is the Son of God. Easter, the day we celebrate His Resurrection, is the most important feast day of the Catholic Christian faith. It is proof of Jesus’ humanity, in that He died, and, of His divinity, in that He rose up from that death. Our religion is one of hope and joy. It is not a time for long faces and sadness. Christ loves mankind, we have seen that proven again and again in His life on earth. He knows our weaknesses and reminds us that He has come to save the sinner, you and me. We, too, shall rise.

Ascension of Our Lord –  The Second Mystery:

Jesus spends forty more days with His followers. Presumably, He is answering their questions, and reassuring them that there is nothing for them to fear, for they too will gloriously rise. Christ’s bodily Ascension into Heaven, is a prediction of our own entrance into Heaven, glo ascensionnot just as souls, but as glorified bodies. Our souls will immediately go to our reward whatever our lifestyle has judged for us, but out bodies will wait for the resurrection of the dead at the Final Judgment. On that last day, the material world, itself, will be restored to the glory originally intended by God. The Ascension is a forerunner of the final day for all mankind. Lives that we live now, are steering us toward our final reward. The allure of this earth, its temptations for power, or glory, or pleasure, or material things can blind us and prevent us from living the life we should be living. What we see now, is a chimera, a dream, a fantasy, an allusion. We reach for it and it disappears. So we strive harder to attain it. But we grasp at air. Our reward, our goal, our quest is in heaven. Don’t lose sight of your purpose.

Descent of the Holy Spirit –  The Third Mystery:

Before He ascends to heaven, Jesus promises the Apostles the coming of the Holy Spirit. They, now, know that they will no longer see Jesus on earth. Fear gripping their hearts, they huddle in a small room praying, preparing themselves for this Spirit, Who is to come.glo descent For nine days, like a novena, they ask the Spirit of God to come to them. Picture this group, filled with emotions of grief at their loss, fear for their lives, confusion as to what to do, they truly don’t know what is going on, nor what is to happen. A calming peace suddenly, comes over them; a flame appears above each one’s head. They don’t question what it is. They try to stay with that peace as long as they can. No explanation is possible, but each knows that they are somehow different. No more fear, nor grief, nor confusion, the words of Jesus begin to make sense to them, their understanding comes together for them. Don’t ever lose sight of the gifts that come to us through the Spirit. Pray that He will come to you. Ask Him to enlighten you, and give you the courage to live the life that God has intended for you.

The Assumption of Mary into Heaven  –  The Fourth Mystery

What do we know about Mary? She, herself, was conceived in the normal way, but her conception did not have the stain of original sin. The Holy Spirit overshadows her. as a young girl, and she is to bear the child, Jesus. Not having original sin, herself, she does not have the effects of that sin, namely: death and tendency towards evil.glo assumption She is assumed into heaven. (Jesus ascended, by His own power. Mary is assumed, taken up by the power of someone else.) This great honor of being assumed into Heaven is shared by a handful of others, Enoch and Elija, to name a few. The role of Mary, both as the Mother of Jesus, and in connection with salvation history, emphasize the importance of her role in our lives. More and more, we realize that Mary’s association with mankind is one of Mediatrix of Graces. Through her the grace of Christ comes to us, and again, our lives on earth are sanctified as they pass through her hands to the heart of Jesus. This one mystery extols Mary and cries out to us to form a special bond with her, for she is like no other. Pray her prayer, the Rosary.

Coronation of Mary, as Queen of Heaven –  The Fifth Mystery

As though to emphasize her importance, we pray this last mystery. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and earth. The Queenship of Mary was established in 1954 by Pope Pius XII. glo coronation Within these past 100 years, we see the church recognizing the importance of Mary and the role she plays in our lives. It is also noteworthy to recognize that during these past 100 years, Mary has appeared to, spoken with, and performed more miracles for greater numbers of people. At the end of each appearance, the Queen of Heaven has urged us, the peoples of the world, her subjects, to pray the Rosary. She has asked us to pray it not only for ourselves, but for the suffering, the dying, the people waiting in purgatory, the sinners and the priests and religious. All are in need. The world is in need. The urgency of her words is there, for all of us to hear. Our Queen cries, as a negligent world goes about its busy day, caught up with its imagined “must do’s”, “must haves”. Are we listening? Please, Pray the Rosary.

While praying each decade of the rosary, meditate on some aspect of the mystery and apply it to your own life.

The Agony in the Garden –  The First Mystery:

Moving a little away from His apostles, the thought of what is to come, causes Him great suffering. Many of the saints felt that the suffering that Jesus experienced, in Gethsemane, was the worst He would experience. He knew that many would not embrace His teachngs.sor agony He is God, but He is man, as well. The fear of knowing what was to come and the anguish of knowing that for some it would not matter, how this must have devastated Him. He prays for it to not happen, that it would somehow bypass Him, and yet He prays, “Not my will, but Thine be done”. Mental anguish, how severe it is. It brings us to our knees, again and again. How often we hope, and pray that something will not happen. We are not ready to handle it. How seemingly impossible it is for us, to accept a death, a doctor’s diagnosis, an accident. It is truly heroic to whisper to God, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” Only a belief in a loving Father in Heaven will enable these words to be uttered.

Scourging at the Pillar –  The Second Mystery:

Jesus is secured to a pillar, defenseless and helpless. Roman soldiers take turns whipping Him, ripping His flesh. These men seem to almost take delight in inflicting this pain. sor scourgingHow many times, the lashes must have caused Him to wince with pain. The beating must feel like it will never stop. Why is He submitting Himself to this demonic torture? For us. For you and me. Our words, our actions, and our thoughts have cried out to God for vengeance. Jesus replies with love, love for us. As the god/man Jesus pays our debt, and does so with every drop of blood in Him. Think about this one event in His life, whenever life seems unfair. Think about His suffering, when the pain of our arthritis, migraines, ravages of cancer rack our bodies. He is suffering for us, because of us.

Crowning with Thorns –  The Third Mystery:

The scourging is over, but the inflicting of pain does not cease. Dressed in a dirty purple robe, a long reed is shoved into His bound hands, and sharp prickly thorns are pushed into his head, like a crown. sor crownTheir seems to be no end to the pain, the torture, the mockery. The mental abuse, here, is so easy to inflict. No strength is required, just verbal attacks. The mind of man seems to have endless ways of hurting someone. Here, these words of taunting, and mockery are used to cause more mental anguish, more despair, more devastation. He sits silently, accepting this because He, actually, loves these men who are beating Him. He loves you and me. What abuse do I feel that I am subjected to? What do people do that cause me mental suffering? What about my actions, how many of them cause pain to others? How sensitive am I towards others?

Carrying of the Cross –  The Fourth Mystery

He is condemned to die. He is made to carry the very instrument of His death. Let him feel the embarrassment, the taunting of the crowd as he passes by them. sor carryHis apostles have abandoned Him, in spite of the Transfiguration. Their own mortal fear has driven them away. Only Mary, John, some weeping women, and a reluctant Cyrene, are the only ones in the crowd who feel sympathy and sorrow for Him. This crowd, only a week earlier wanted to make Him their king, now they are excitedly anticipating His death. How easily the evil in the world can change our attitudes, our beliefs. Each of us needs to address what it is in our life that separates us from God. What prevents us from living how Jesus has shown us? Too easily, we give in to the whisperings within ourselves. We want the gratification. We want the pleasure. We want this way of living and not that. Stand in that crowd and explain to Him why we don’t want His way of life.

The Crucifixion –  The Fifth Mystery

At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “This is My Body. This is My Blood”. Here on Calvary the sacrifice to the Father is made. He gives up His life, Body and Blood, for us. The sacrifice is made for us, and the sacrament of the Mass perpetuates it for us. sor crucifixion As He hangs there on the cross, His life slowly slipping away, looking down His eyes fall upon His mother. (You know she is crying silently in her heart.) In still one more act of love for us, He tells Mary that she is now to be a mother to John. John, standing there for all of us, is told that he is to look to Mary and take care of her. Mary, the woman who bore Jesus, urged Him to perform His first miracle, and stands there at the foot of the cross, she is our key to her son’s heart. To Jesus Through Mary. Pray the Rosary.

group pic

Allow me to back track a little. I was able to attend Mass yesterday morning. Before Mass began, I was absentmindedly looking around at the people present. Sitting toward the back of the chapel, I was able to see almost all present. In the congregation were all ages, different walks of life, some with noticeable ailments, and yet though diverse, all were willingly here, not being urged by Canon Law. They were just here to pray to their God, partake of the Last Supper, and take Jesus home with them in their hearts. All seemed reverent and glad to be here. However, looking at the backs of their heads, (and not seeing their faces), no judgments could be made by me. Not getting lost in reading their faces, they were just … people… like myself. And the thought struck me, then and there, why can’t I see all people, the ones I will meet today, tomorrow, and throughout my life, why can’t I see them without judgments? Why can’t I see them without preconceived feelings or thoughts? Whether in church or outside, they (we) are all sons and daughters of God, deserving to be loved and cared for. Hold that thought for a while.

When I returned home, I had a few moments so I opened my email. A very good friend, I will call her Eileen, sent an email to me earlier. Returning from Mass, I began to read my back emails. To Eileen, I can only say, “Thank you. Thank you for thinking enough of me, that you would send me that link.” I never knew of, nor even heard of “MARYTV. I dutifully clicked on the line that said, “www.marytv.tv” and waited to see what would appear on my computer screen. What a joy!

This website is devoted to events that occurred and continue to occur in Medjugorje, a small mountain town in Bosnia Herzegovina. This town is where, on June 24th, 1981, Mary appeared to six Croatian children. I say, “…continue to occur”, because three of the children continue to see and experience Mary’s presence. Pilgrimages have been, and continue to be made to this special site, thirty two years after the first apparition. Many devout persons feel that this is the follow up to the Fatima apparitions. Mary’s appeal to us is stronger than ever, “Pray the Rosary”. Read about it. Understand its significance. Understand Mary’s role in salvation history. We cannot pass these off anymore as, “Oh, yes, I know about those things.”…and then go on with our lives without connecting to “those things”.

Look at what is going on in this world. Civilization is distancing itself from its Creator. Do you really think it is just a coincidence that people don’t want to pray? Don’t see the need to pray? Our belief structure keeps taking hits, is almost non-existent! Pleasure is sought after, more than our God? We really believe that having cars and TVs, and stocks and bonds are more important than owning and using Rosary beads? “Trust in God??? Nahhh, I just trust my instincts.” Do you think it is a coincidence that God is being removed from our walls, and our words? Our society values life only when it is talking about itself, the ME generation. If you still believe in a God, a spiritual entity, then why can you not recognize that a spiritual entity of EVIL also exists? Like the civilizations of old, our society is worshipping its idols of wealth, pleasure, possessions, and power. Obtaining these idols becomes of paramount importance to us. And so, we must remove anything that gets in the way of possessing them. Remove God. Remove love. Remove charity. Distort the meaning of love. Take from others. Hey, you can even keep what they have.

We will go mad, if we only focus on the problems that beset us, that ravage thisworld. Mary, the Mediatrix of ALL graces, our heavenly mother wants (no, desires and craves) for us to come to Jesus through her. To this end I would like to list some avenues that you might wish to use. In the future, I hope to discuss each of these on the Stepping Stones.

Site: Apparitions Links:
Medjugorje============ http://www.marytv.tv
Fatima =============== http://www.wafusa.org

Site: Devotional Reading Links:
Devotion and Consecration to
Mary================ http://www.myconsecration.org
The Flame of Love (Diary of:
Elizabeth Kindlemann)====http://www.theflameoflove.org

Devotional Reading
True Devotion to Mary ==============St. Louis DeMontfort
Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary==St. Louis DeMontfort
33 Days to Morning Glory ============Rev. Michael Gaitley
The Flame of Love =================Elizabeth Kindlemann

At the beginning, I asked you to hold the thought that all sons and daughters of God, deserve to be loved and cared for, by us. But why does this seem so impossible? Are we too busy loving ourselves, gratifying our own needs, and wants? Who has time to look out for someone else, we have our own needs to address? Is that it? Well, you are right!! (Did that surprise you?) We must look out for ourselves, but not in the way you are thinking, I am afraid. Go look at, and read some of the information, mentioned above. Maybe…just maybe, our interests, our goals, and our needs are all looking in the wrong direction. Instead of ourselves, we should be identifying what others need, feel, and want. In so doing, we just might understand their hurts, their pains, their feelings. We, just might, find out that they are exactly like us. They are suffering just as our Savior suffered, just as we are suffering. All of us, sitting in the pew, riding the train, pushing the shopping cart, walking our dog, pushing the stroller, each of us MUST get closer to the Christ. We must talk to Him, and listen to Him. Who better to teach us how to love Jesus, how to talk with Him, than Mary? The rosary that keeps coming up in this conversation, let it come up out of our pockets and pocketbooks, and be used. “Pray the Rosary”. Isn’t that what Mary has said both in Fatima and Medjugorje? Like a child, we must hold the hands of both Jesus and Mary throughout our life. Who knows maybe we can even skip a little, as we smile at our new found friends walking down the street.

What would Jesus do?

jesus and the rosary

What would Jesus do? That’s a very good way to start us thinking. It’s a good way to realize where we stand with respect to Jesus.  We attend the Sunday (and sometimes daily) masses. We say the rosary, and sometimes we even throw in an occasional good deed. We conclude, “Hey, I am not so bad”. And, we aren’t. But before we break our arm, patting ourselves on the back, we should consider a few things.

What is our view of the world? Do we see it as a thing of beauty, of promise? Or rather is it ugly and dirty and full of evil people? The people, that Jesus met, did He see them as lovable, forgivable, or did he avoid them? In the parable of the loaves and fishes the apostles wanted Jesus to send the people home, because it was getting late. He told His apostles to feed them. Tell them to recline on the ground and give them what you have. But there are so many, Lord. Yes, we meet so many people.  We read about so many people in the world doing evil, so very many people and we throw our arms up in despair. We think, “What can I possibly do?” The loaves and fishes parable wasn’t about feeding the masses, but rather helping the masses.

Ok, so how do we help these people?  99.9999% of them, we don’t even know, or haven’t even met. (I am not sure if I threw in enough 9’s). So how do we help them? First start with those people you do know, you meet, you hang with. Do they see the crucified, risen Christ in you? Not in an overly pietistic, showy way, but in a wholesome, caring way? Are you concerned about them? Do you pray for them? Now begin to widen your view and look at the many people in this world that also need prayers

Here is a question for you. “What is prayer”? When we go to mass on Sunday and the occasional daily mass do we realize that our thoughts, words and actions of that entire day can be put on the paten along with the bread? Anything we do for someone else, anytime we pray for someone else, these acts of love we will offer up on the paten. But, what we do only has merit when joined with Jesus. Only through, with, and in Him do our loving thoughts, words, and actions give glory and honor to God. Here is another question. Does the all-powerful God, the Creator of the universe NEED our prayers? He created us from all eternity for the express purpose that we learn how to love. Our thoughts, words, and actions that we offer to Him are the gifts of love that we have, that we feel towards others.

We can’t go to every place in the world. We don’t know everyone in the world. But our prayers can go there, can reach those people. Our loving prayer-life can take us to every place of evil, every person who is committing, or about to commit sin. Yes, there are so many. And that is why our every thought, word, and action should be, must be of prayerful love for the world. A powerful form of prayer, advocated by Mary, is the rosary.

Some aids for praying of the rosary. When you take out the rosary beads, remember that you are going to pray the rosary, not say it. We cannot be mindlessly muttering words. Our tongue should not be tripping over itself, as we rattle off the words. It might help if we think of five groups of people that we wish to pray for, that day. We can do this each time we say the rosary. The groups can change from day to day, or stay the same. This puts a face on a person, a need, a problem for whom we are praying. Groupings could be our immediate family, or our entire family tree. Priests, religious and those who take care of, or lead people. Heads of state. War torn nations. The sick and the dying. Those persons suffering with addictions of one form or another. The world afflicted with godlessness. I am sure you can make up more groupings, as well. The point is to take five groupings and assign them, that day to one of the five mysteries. Before you start the rosary, look at which mysteries you will be saying that day. Which mystery, which event seems to lend itself for any of the particular groups you will be praying for. Assign that mystery, for that day, to that group. Then, during the recitation of the rosary, think of that grouping, its needs and the specific mystery. As you pray the rosary, try to feel the words that you are saying to yourself (or aloud). Pray the rosary daily. Pray it as you would an act of love, a flame of love. Pray it for a suffering, hurting, confused world. Pray it for ourselves, as well, for we are part of that hurting and confused world. The world NEEDS it. We NEED it.

Mysteries of the Rosary:

Joyful (Mon. & Sat.)

Sorrowful (Tues. & Fri.)

Glorious (Wed. & Sun.)

Luminous (Thurs.)

The Annunciation

Agony in the garden

The Resurrection

Baptism of Jesus

The Visitation

The Scourging

The Ascension

Wedding at Cana

The Birth of Jesus

Crowning with thorns

Descent of the Spirit

God’s Kingdom call

The Presentation

Carrying of the cross

Assumption of Mary

The Transfiguration

The Finding of Jesus

The Crucifixion

Coronation of Mary

Eucharist Last Supper

rosary

We look at today’s world and it seems like it has run amok. Crimes and violence outnumber anything else that we hear about in the news. The number of terroristic attacks seems to be increasing, both in their frequency and their violence. Nations think nothing of the lives of people, even of their own people. Material things have become the “golden idols” of today. And, should we speak out against these things that go counter to the moral law, we are made to look like we are the ones out-of-step. The very foundations of our beliefs are attacked and belittled. Abortion and birth control are promoted as the norm. Gay and Lesbian marriages are protected under the rights of the people. To speak of God is to encourage the mocking of others. The philosophy of “The ME generation” has taken over and now dictates to others. If, it is what I want, then it is ok, licit and moral. This is the thinking of the Me Generation.

Make no mistake about it, do not belittle these occurrences, our faith and morals are under attack. Do not fall into the trap of “everyone else seems to accept it, so it must be alright”. That is the thought process of the weak, the vacillating, the unconvinced and the uncaring. The principles that are, and were, engendered in us as we grew up, are dying by the wayside. If we do nothing to bolster them, if we let them wither and die, because of our own uncertainty and lack of conviction, then we are the lukewarm that Christ despises. “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth”.-1 Even more sinister is the feeling of embarrassment in us, when we do talk about such things.

This is not intended to be a ‘fire and brimstone’ talk. Actually, it is just the opposite. The Apostles, fishermen for the most part, heard wondrous things from Jesus. How much did they really understand? They were attracted to this Man’s goodness and kindness. What He said, at times, must have been over their heads. But that didn’t matter, His presence and conviction reassured them, constantly. But then, He is taken away. He dies on the cross, and this man of gentleness and kindness seems irrevocably gone. His words are probably the farthest thing from their minds. All they knew was that the Master was gone. They were alone. The uncomfortable feeling of being orphaned, of no one around who could reassure them, this was too much to bear. Then come, the Resurrection and the Ascension, and Pentecost. All of a sudden, His words take shape again. They take on a meaning that they could now understand. They realize that His words were telling them, that they have to be like Him, to be Him. Live as He would. Have trust in Him. Death of body is meaningless, is unimportant to them. It is the death of soul that must be avoided. For if the soul dies there can be no resurrection, there can be no uniting with the Father in heaven. Christ’s words and actions take on a whole new meaning, and as a result so do their lives.

Today, our belief in Jesus, our trust in Him, like the Apostles, will affect HOW we live our lives. What are we willing to do with our lives? How are we going to live them? Do we feel uncomfortable talking about Jesus with other people? (I am not talking about incessantly doing this 24-7.) Simply, can we speak to others about our relationship with Jesus and His affect on our lives? Do we avoid conversations about abortion, or gay rights, or materialism, or prayer life? We are either with Him, or against Him. There is no middle ground. The middle ground is for the lukewarm, the vacillating, and we know how Jesus feels about these. If we cannot stand up for what we believe, then either our beliefs are meaningless, or we lack the courage required to be a Christian.

Many of Mary’s apparitions, like Fatima, urged the faithful to pray the Rosary. It is a means of growing closer to God. But the Rosary is not just the repetitive mumbling of words. As Pope Paul VI wrote in Marialis Cultis : “Without this (namely: the meditation on the mysteries) the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas.” Mary has urged us again and again to pray the Rosary, daily. The world of today clamors for devout prayer, a turning away from self, and movement towards selflessness. Do we think that the world will “magically” stop striving for its own wants, its own desires, its own pleasures? A reform is necessary. This reform, however, is too much for any one of us to bring about. It is way beyond mankind’s abilities. Our lives need to be filled with prayer and sacrifice. (Very much against the Me Generation philosophy, the ‘what’s-in-it-for-me philosophy’.)

Even the words, themselves, “sacrifice” and “prayer” cause an immediate knee jerk reaction. We seem to immediately cringe at the thought of voluntarily depriving ourselves of comfort, of time, of our freedom. (Shades of the Me Generation?) But Jesus is asking just that, to give Him our time, our comforts, our lives. Dedication to Him, and submission to His Will, must become part of our lives. Offer up to Him your prayers and sacrifices, in behalf of a struggling, suffering world desperately in need of God.

1- Revelations, 3, 16

Your Role in the World

Starting the Movement

In my last blog (Our Lady of…), Mary’s appearance at Akita, Japan was mentioned. In it, it was stated that if you did go to the website and were to read about it, you should read the third message, especially. In retrospect, I thought about it and realized it was too important of an event to not directly address this, in these blogs. Some of the contents of her third and last message, delivered on October 13, 1973 are as follows:

“. . . if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. . . Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary. I alone am able still to save you from the calamities which approach. Those who place their confidence in me will be saved.”-1

We can pass this off as sensationalism, something we might see in one of those daily tabloids. We might rank it right up there with the headline that jumps off the page at us, of someone having a Martian’s baby. Yes, we can and could, but should we?
Maybe, it is time to take stock of our lives and its direction. What is the purpose of life? Our life? Is there something more to it than being gratified with every pleasure imaginable? Do we eat to live or live to eat? Is our sole purpose in life to advance in materialistic things? Do we look down on others and treat them accordingly? Do we treat Jesus Christ as a myth, as a child’s story?

The fire falling from the sky probably describes bombs being delivered by missiles with fire trails, streaming behind them. Destruction being delivered by man, on man. No need for God to bring about earth’s destruction, man can do it, himself. But, if man is at the root of this destruction, then it can be averted. Mankind, all of mankind, must begin to recognize that Jesus’ message of love and the treating of each other with love is the only way we are meant to live. Forget the almighty dollar, listen to our Almighty God.

To expect the world to suddenly make a 180 degree turn is foolhardy. But it can happen, if we listen to Our Lady. Pray the Rosary, pray for peace in this world. Peace not just the stoppage of war, but peace in people’s lives, in our lives. Don’t just pass this off as much ado about nothing. Each of us has a responsibility in this task. We, all of us, must pray, and work at, making our lives respectable and wholesome in the eyes of God. We, all of us, must, by example, show our families, our neighbors, our co-workers, the people, we meet on the street what it means to love one another. We, all of us, must recognize that we do have a part to play in world peace. The most intricate and elaborate designs, made of Lego blocks, only happen after the first one is tipped over. If all of us start the design in our corner of the world, then all the corners of the world can change.

I have never said this before on a post. But, if you believe in what is being said, why not send it to a friend or loved one, (you can use the send to someone button below), or point them to this particular blog https://thesteppingstones.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/your-role-in-the-world/.

-1 http://www.theworkofgod.org/Aparitns/Akita.htm