“Do not let anything afflict you, and do not be afraid of any illness or accident or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection?”
These merciful words spoken by our Lady to Juan Diego also applies to us today.
Infant Jesus of Prague,
Pray for Us
Michael, Michael, of the morning, Fresh chord of Heaven adorning, Keep me safe today And in time of temptation, Drive the devil away
Glorious St. Michael, the Archangel, Pray for Us”
“Oh, how glorious it is, how holy and great, to have a Father in heaven!” St. Francis of Assisi
St Jude Thaddeus, Pray for Us
“When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens, I will spend my heaven by doing good on earth.”
Saint Thérèse de Lisieux
Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayers. St. Padre Pio
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah,[c] the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.~ Matthew 16:13–17
The movie “Son of God” came out in theaters yesterday February 28th. We encourage you to see the movie and tell your friends and family to join you! Spread the word about this film so that as many people as possible can watch it.
We watched the film today. It was beautiful, powerful, inspiring, superbly done, and simply breath-taking! This film about Jesus’ life and teachings will rekindle and build up your faith.
Below is a link to the movie trailer: Son of God trailer
11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.
9 I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
GOD is always with us no matter what we are going through in life. Trials and temptations will always come, but GOD has promised to see us through. In the face of adversity, put all your trust in GOD, remain calm, JESUS will NEVER FAIL you.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Psalms 37:23
Every year we come up with a New Year’s resolution. At the end of the year, how many of us ever lived up to these resolutions. I don’t know about you, but as the year goes by, I totally forget all about it, only to make the same resolution again the next year.
As children of the Almighty GOD, our number one resolution for each New Year should be to get to know GOD more and more by reading his word (the Bible), living the gospel (obeying GOD’s word and putting to practice what we read, for example, loving our neighbor as ourselves), and reading the Scriptures and praying often.
In addition to praying the rosary, we need to read the Bible daily, even a few verses each day.“Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Catechism, 133). Reading the Holy Bible brings us closer to GOD because we get to know HIM more and to know what pleases him. It guides our path and keeps us in the right course. If we do not read the Scriptures, how do we share our faith with others?
This New Year, let Christ be at the center of our lives. Let Christ be a part of everything we do. Seek his face in every decision you make. In time, you will come to realize that our LORD is a living GOD.
Praise GOD always because it pleases HIM. JESUS CHRIST is Lord and GOD at all times, not only when things are going well, but also in bad times. The Bible says we should thank GOD always.
I believe GOD will make this year a wonderful one for his children. So, be cheerful and TRUST and have FAITH in the Lord. Approach the New Year with strength and boldness, not with fear. When you count your blessings, fear and doubts disappear. Fear is not a gift from GOD, so always rebuke it in Jesus Name.
Throughout the year, remember always that GOD directs the steps of the righteous. He knows and sees everything, he will not let you cry a needless tear or abandon you.
Love, Peace and Joy!
Today is the Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord. The word “epiphany” means manifestation. The Epiphany celebrates the manifestation of the Savior, Jesus Christ, to the gentiles (non-Jewish people) in the persons of the magi—the three wise men Melchior, Balthasar, and Gaspar.
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.’ 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. … After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2 :1–3,9–11)
God began His work of the redemption of mankind with the Jewish people as seen in the Old Testament. For example, He gave the Jewish people the Ten Commandments through the prophet Moses. He also spoke of the Savior’s coming through the Old Testament prophets until finally Jesus came into the world. The manifestation of Jesus to the three kings symbolizes that Jesus’ coming into the world has made reconciliation with God now open to the gentiles as well.
“All the nations you have made will come and worship before You, Lord; they will bring glory to Your name. 10 For You are great and do marvelous deeds; You alone are God.” Psalms 86:9–10
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before Him … .” Psalms 22:27
The gifts of the three kings: gold, frankincense, and myrrh also have special significance. The gift of gold signifies that Jesus is a King. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus is referred to as “the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” The gift of frankincense signifies that Jesus is the High Priest and also God. In the Jewish tradition throughout the Old Testament, the high priest would offer incense to God in worship. For the same reason, the priest incenses the altar during the Holy Mass to honor the presence of God. The last gift, myrrh, seems at first, a strange gift for a newborn baby because myrrh was used as part of Jewish embalming and burial customs. This last gift signifies that Jesus has come into the world to die as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of mankind in order to reconcile mankind with God.
How does the Epiphany apply to us today?
First of all, we can be thankful for our knowledge of the One True God, the loving Creator of all mankind who loves us so much that He sent His Son to reconcile us with Himself. Furthermore, because of this knowledge, we must make time and effort to worship God each day by attending the Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion every Sunday and as much as we can during the week, making time to adore Christ like the magi through Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as daily prayers such as the Most Holy Rosary.
Secondly, we must resolve to manifest Christ to others—to bring Christ to whomever we encounter by our words and actions. The light and love of Christ must shine through us, so that all those with whom we come into contact may be drawn to Jesus for the salvation of their eternal souls.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34–35
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14–16
In Chapter 4 of the Gospel of John is the beautiful account of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus and was so moved by the experience that she told everyone in her town.
“Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ They came out of the town and made their way toward Him. … Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony … and because of His words many more became believers.” (John 4: 28, 29, 39–41)
The vision of Saint John in the Book of Revelation gives us a hopeful and triumphant image of a redeemed mankind.
“ 9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9
Like the three kings, may we earnestly seek Christ and His Kingdom! Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, may we manifest Him to others!
A Blessed, Happy, and Holy New Year to all of you! Let this year be for you an opportunity for renewal in Christ!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
How can we be open to the renewing power of God?
Firstly, we must resolve to leave behind sin and amend our lives. Then God will give us the strength and grace to detach from sin and thus improve our lives, grow in holiness and charity, and be closer to HIM. Though none of us is perfect, we must resolve and strive not to sin because sin offends God and separates us from HIM. In addition, we must resolve not to sin because of our love for God who is our loving and faithful Creator, Father, and Friend.
Furthermore, whenever we realize that we have fallen into sin, let us quickly go to Confession to obtain pardon for our sins, be reconciled with God who loves us so much, and obtain graces to detach from sin. It is Jesus Himself waiting for us in the Confessional, who works through the priest to pardon our sins.
God has given us many means through which HIS abundant graces can flow into our souls, renew our souls, and make them holy such as:
- Frequent (every Sunday or even daily) participation at the Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion
- Frequent (monthly or even weekly) use of the wonderful Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)
- Daily prayer (i.e. daily Rosary)
- Holy reading (i.e. the Holy Bible and other Christian books)
This year, let us also renew or begin a resolve to serve God in everything we do. Everything in our life must be oriented to the service of God! We must realize that whatever gifts we have, wherever God has placed us, and whatever influence we have among our family, friends, and community are the means God has chosen to save other souls through us. God has called each of us to be a special light wherever He has placed us. We are lights in the world because we carry within us Jesus, the Light of the World, the Everlasting Light.
Furthermore, we can trust that God is guiding our lives so that our souls and those around us may grow ever closer to HIM.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~ Jeremiah 29:11
“16 Thus says the Lord,
who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters …
18 ‘Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.’ “~ Isaiah 43:15–16,18–20
Recommended books for the New Year:
- “Jesus, Our Eucharistic Love” by Father Stefano Manelli
- “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas à Kempis
- “I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux” by Father Jean C. J. d’Elbée
- Story of A Soul: The Autobiography of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux by John Clarke, O.C. D.
- The BOY who met JESUS: Segatashya of Kibeho by Immaculée Ilibagiza
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given … And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ~Isaiah 6:9
10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” ~Luke 2:10–12
It is important at this time to reflect upon God’s great love for us which made Him come down to earth to reconcile mankind with Himself and show us the way to everlasting life.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” ~John 3:16
May the celebration of Christ’s birth today be for you a source of hope, peace, and joy!
Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Feliz Natal! Joyeux Noel!
Sweet Infant Jesus,
I bring to you this day, and all the days of Advent, my heart, my love, my very life, together with those little acts of self denial and sacrifice, made in your honor, and of which you alone know. Let me, I beg of you, heap these gifts around your crib that they may on Christmas morning prove my love for you, and may love and adoration serve to warm your poor stable and make bright, and happy your birthday, sweet Jesus!
*In these final days before Christmas, let us continue to prepare our hearts and souls to receive Jesus anew by purifying ourselves through frequently attending Mass (even daily Mass) and receiving Holy Communion, frequent use of the Sacraments (i.e. Confession) and prayer.
Tomorrow will begin the third of the four weeks of the season of Advent, in which we prepare ourselves in a special way for the coming of Jesus. The word Advent means ‘coming.’
Firstly, we prepare ourselves to celebrate Christmas, the historical birth of Jesus Christ, His first coming into the world. The angel Gabriel told the poor shepherds who were nearby when Jesus was born, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “(Luke 2:11) The Mass readings during Advent remind us how the people of the Old Testament waited in hopeful expectation for the coming of the Messiah.
Secondly, in addition to celebrating the historical event of Jesus’ birth, the most important event in all human history, we prepare ourselves spiritually to receive Him and His grace in a special way at Christmas. This way, our hearts and souls can become spiritual mangers ready to receive the Child Jesus.
Thirdly, we call to mind, with a joyful hope, the fact that Jesus will come again-His Second and Final coming. The Mass readings during Advent also remind us of Jesus’ second coming and the need to be prepared at all times to receive Him with joy at His Second Coming, when He comes in the clouds of heaven with great power and glory to separate the wicked from the good.
“Behold I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”(Revelation 22:12–13)
“Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
8Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 98:7–9)
How can we prepare ourselves during Advent?
We can prepare ourselves this Advent by amending our lives. Let us resolve to make Christ the center of our lives through prayer (i.e. the Holy Rosary), frequent participation at Holy Mass and Holy Communion, and frequent use of the Sacraments (i.e. Confession) in order to purify ourselves so that we may be ready to receive Him at Christmas and always.
Have A Blessed and Joyous Advent!
On December 9th, 10th, and 12th of 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in Mexico as the pregnant Mother of God to Saint Juan Diego. Saint Juan Diego was an indigenous man who recently converted to Catholicism. (The Spanish had conquered Mexico only a few decades earlier. Later missionaries came to bring Christianity to the indigenous people of Mexico.)
Our Lady left a Miraculous Image of her appearance on Saint Juan Diego’s cactus fiber cloth (tilma), which still exists today and is on display at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Our Lady came to offer faith, hope and consolation to the indigenous people of Mexico and to bring peace to the land. Her appearance also brought an end to the human sacrifices that were part of the Aztecs’ offerings to their false gods. She led them instead to Jesus, her Son, the One True God.
Early in the morning of December 9th, 1531, Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego for the first time. Saint Juan Diego was walking to attend the Holy Mass in the morning as usual. (It is said that Saint Juan Diego walked 15 miles every day to attend the Holy Mass!) Our Lady said:
“My dear son, whom I love tenderly, know that I am the Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God; the Giver and maintainer of life; Creator of all things; Lord of Heaven and Earth, Who is in all places. I wish a temple be erected here, where I can manifest the compassion I have for the natives and for all who solicit my help.”
She asked him to go to Bishop Juan Zumarraga and request to have a church built on the barren hill of Tepeyac which is now part of Mexico City. Juan Diego went to the Bishop as Our Lady had asked. The Bishop asked Juan Diego to ask Our Lady to give him a sign.
On December 12th, Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego and told him to pick the Castillian roses (found naturally in Spain) that miraculously appeared on Tepeyac hill, though Tepeyac hill is a barren area with cactus plants and despite the fact that it was winter. Saint Juan Diego put the roses in his tilma which Our Lady carefully arranged in his tilma. She told him to bring them to the Bishop as the sign for him to believe her request. Our Lady told him only to open the tilma full of roses in the presence of the Bishop.
- Saint Juan Diego and Bishop Zumarraga
Saint Juan Diego went to see the Bishop and then he opened the tilma and the roses fell to the floor. To everyone’s amazement, the Image of Our Lady had appeared on the tilma by the direct power of God! The Bishop built the church as Our Lady requested and within the next nine years, nine million native Mexican people were converted and baptized to the one true faith and established an era of peace!
Many scientists (including scientists from NASA) have studied the image and have shown that the miraculous image is not a painting! There is no pigment and there no brushstrokes on the tilma. Also, since the tilma is made of a simple cactus fiber cloth, it should have rotted after 20 years, but it has been miraculously preserved over the past 471 years! The image was also left unscathed by a bomb blast in 1921 when a bomb was placed directly in front of it by anti-Catholic Mexican people. Furthermore, digital enhancement of the eyes of Our Lady in the Image shows the reflection of the faces of Bishop Zumarraga and Saint Juan Diego. Five eye doctors who examined Our Lady’s eye said that they looked into a human eye. Dr. Jose Aste Tonsmann carried out the most famous research studies of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s eyes in the image. Even the constellations on her mantle have been identified to match the constellations in the sky of December 12th 1531!
All of this confirms what the faithful have always believed—that this truly Miraculous Image was produced directly by the hand of God!
Our Lady of Guadalupe is also the same woman described in the Book of Revelation. “There was a great sign in the heavens, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”(Revelation 12:1–2)
The image is full of symbolism which communicated to the native people of Mexico to embrace the Catholic faith, the gospel of Jesus Christ—to turn to the One True God. The miracles attributed to Our Lady of Guadalupe continue to this day. Her image still continues to communicate to us the need to seek her intercession that she might bring us to Her Son Jesus.
During one of the apparitions, when Saint Juan Diego was concerned about his dying uncle (who Mary later healed), she said,
“… Do not be afraid of any illness or accident or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Do you need anything else? ”
These words still bring comfort today and help us remember that Mary is always at our side.
Furthermore, how fitting that Mary should appear pregnant with her Son during the season of Advent of 1531, hoping to bring people to her Son in time for Christmas! May Our Lady of Guadalupe bless us during Advent, Christmas, and always!
For more information about Our Lady of Guadalupe:
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic Online)
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Feast: December 12)
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Wikipedia)
“Guadalupe” made in 2006 by Dos Corazones Films
1 Save me, O God, by your name,
and vindicate me by your might.
2 Hear my prayer, O God;
give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For the insolent have risen against me,
the ruthless seek my life;
they do not set God before them. Selah
4 But surely, God is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of[a] my life.
5 He will repay my enemies for their evil.
In your faithfulness, put an end to them.
6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7 For he has delivered me from every trouble,
and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.
We serve an awesome GOD who cares and loves us dearly, and does not turn his back on his children in their hour of need. A GOD that answers prayers. Nothing is impossible with GOD.
I just wanted to share this amazing story of survival and the love of GOD with you. Some of you may have already come across it (gone viral on YouTube), anyway, I just wanted to share. GOD bless, have a wonderful and blessed day!
10 “do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for
I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.“
No matter what situation we find ourselves in, struggles, trials and Satan’s attacks, we should find strength, comfort, and most of all depend on GOD’s promise: “Do not fear, for I am with you.”
Please pray the rosary daily as Our Blessed Mother has requested
(watch 2 videos below):
Prayer: I claim the protection of the blood of the LAMB.
Love, Peace and Joy!
Today is All Soul’s Day, the commemoration of all the faithful departed, all those who have died in God’s friendship. This was instituted in the Benedictine Monastery of Cluny by Abbot Odilo in the year 998 and then spread to the whole Church.
Those who have died in God’s friendship are either now in Heaven or in Purgatory.
“Those who have died in the grace of God and have no need of further purification are gathered around Jesus and Mary, the angels and the saints. They thus form the Church of heaven where they see God ‘face to face’(1 Corinthians 13:12). They live in a communion of love with the Most Blessed Trinity and they intercede for us.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
“Purgatory is the state of those who die in God’s friendship, assured of their eternal salvation, but who still have need of purification to enter into the happiness of heaven.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church) These souls are referred to as the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
We, “the faithful who are still pilgrims on earth are able to help the souls in purgatory by offering prayers in suffrage for them, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice. … by almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
*The Eucharistic Sacrifice is another name for the Holy Mass (also The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass). We can have Masses offered for them or offer the Masses we attend for them.
*Prayers: We can offer any prayers for their release from Purgatory, especially the Holy Rosary and St. Gertude’s prayer. Jesus promised St. Gertrude the Great to release 1000 souls in Purgatory each time this prayer is said:
“Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen.”
*Works of Penance: An example is making The Way of the Cross (Stations of the Cross) specifically for the souls for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. We can even offer our sufferings for their relief.
*Indulgences: “Indulgences are the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven. The faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains the indulgences under prescribed conditions for either himself or for the departed.”(Catechism of the Catholic Church)
**Conditions for gaining indulgences: One can obtain either a plenary (full) or partial indulgence by going to Confession, reciting prayers for the Pope (such as 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be), and completing a particular work to which an indulgence is attached (i.e. Adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament for at least 30 minutes, making the Way of the Cross, and especially between Nov. 1 — Nov. 8 visiting a cemetery to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, etc.). An indulgence is Plenary if one has no attachment to sin, but otherwise it is Partial.
A verse from the Old Testament:
“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins” (2 Maccabees 12:46).
In God’s infinite wisdom and mercy, He made a place for souls to be purified if they die in His friendship, but are not yet pure enough to enter Heaven. We must remember that God is holy. Only what is holy can enter into God’s Presence. When St. John recounts his vision of the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem, he said, “But nothing unclean shall enter it.” (Revelation 21:27) Also in the New testament, Jesus Himself said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”(Matthew 5:8)
More Resources on Purgatory:
- “Purgatory Explained: By the lives and legends of the Saints”~Fr. F.X. Schouppe, S.J.
Today, November 1st, is the Solemnity of All Saints, the day that the Church honors all the saints of the church–those who have been formally canonized as well as those known to God alone. (Today is a Holy Day of Obligation.)
The Saints are the men, women, and even children who have glorified God during their lives on earth and now enjoy His Presence in Heaven. During their earthly lives, some Saints were religious (priests, brothers, nuns/sisters) and some were laypeople (single or married). There are Saints from every race, nationality, and language.
An excerpt from the first reading for the Mass of the Solemnity of All Saints:
“After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”
All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:
“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.” ~Revelation 7:9–14
May all the Saints intercede for us today so that we too may become holy and one day enjoy God’s Presence in Heaven forever.