Saturday, June 28, 2014

Are we heading toward some sort of worldwide moment of truth or chastisement?

Joan Wester Anderson

By Joan Wester Anderson

Sometimes hard times occur through no fault of our own but are just a result of living in an imperfect world. God does not send suffering to his children, but as C. S. Lewis once noted, 'pain is God's megaphone.' It gets our attention. When these periods come, our job is simply to endure, getting through them the best we can.

People who are attempting to move closer to God will often find obstacles in their paths. There is a saying that if you're not doing anything for the kingdom, Satan leaves you alone. But if you're becoming an effective soldier, you find yourself under attack.  A members of my Wednesday night prayer group often jokes that if the weather is bad, the car breaks down, or a headache develops, it will happen on a Wednesday, giving us an excuse to stay away from our two-hour prayer time and the graces and spiritual insights that might have resulted. But the Bible confirms our observation: "When you come to serve the Lord," says the book of Sirach (2:1), "prepare yourself for trials." The solution here is to persevere. Relief will come.

Suffering happens, too, as a result of sin, freely chosen. Should we be surprised when children brought up on a steady diet of immoral movies and television programs act out what they see?  Should we be surprised when people dabble in the occult, settle problems through violence, abandon their responsibilities? One emergency room physician told me his personal theory: "if people simply lived by the Ten Commandments, we would have no health-care crisis in our country, because hospitals would not need to treat those suffering from gunshot wounds, victims of spouse or child abuse, those suffering from sexually transmitted diseases or drug overdoses, and so on." Instead, hospitals could use their resources primarily for those ill with diseases.

As God continues to try to get our attention, what lies ahead? Few people believe that the current era heralds the end of the world or the Second Coming; Jesus told us no one would know the day or the hour this would occur. But will there be a repeat of what happened when the Fatima prophecies in 1917 went unheeded? Or are we heading toward some sort of worldwide moment of truth or chastisement, when God's people may have to summon the courage to take a stand and get involved in society as never before?

Perhaps. But it's possible that there are more wondrous events ahead too. One pastor had a vision in which he saw himself in a crowded football stadium. Suddenly the Holy Spirit was beside each person in the stadium. Instantly everything stopped, because God was showing every person just where he or she stood on the pathway of life and eternity.

"They will be my witnesses...to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

***

Author and lecturer Joan Wester Anderson was born in Evanston, Illinois. She began her writing career in 1973 with a series of family humor articles for local newspapers and Catholic publications, and was a monthly columnist for two national magazines during the 1980s. She has published more than one thousand articles and short stories in a variety of publications, including Woman’s Day, Modern Bride, Virtue, Reader’s Digest, and the New York Times Syndicate.

Her 15 books include WHERE ANGELS WALK, TRUE STORIES OF HEAVENLY VISITORS, which was on the New York Times best-seller list for over a year, has sold almost two million copies and been translated into fourteen languages. Published in fall, 1994, were the sequel to ANGELS, titled WHERE MIRACLES HAPPEN, and for children, AN ANGEL TO WATCH OVER ME. Both books were written in response to suggestions from readers, and were followed in rapid succession by three more in this series. FOREVER YOUNG (Thomas More Publishers), the life story of actress Loretta Young, was published in November, 2000. The actress had read the angel series, and requested Anderson as her biographer. The two became close friends. Anderson’s book, IN THE ARMS OF ANGELS (Loyola Press) covers angelic activity primarily during the past decade, including stories of hope from the 9/11 and Columbine School tragedies. Her most recent books, GUARDIAN ANGELS (Loyola Press),  ANGELS AND WONDERS (Loyola Press) and ANGELIC TAILS, focus on amazing and tender stories of God’s answers to prayers.

Anderson has appeared on national television programs including “Good Morning America,” “Oprah,” “20/20,” “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw” and “Mother Angelica Live,” and was featured in such documentaries as “Angels–Beyond the Light” (NBC), “Angel Stories” and “Stories of Miracles” (The Learning Channel), and many videos. She was a story consultant for the television series, IT’S A MIRACLE, lectures in cities across the country, and has been interviewed on hundreds of radio talk shows.

Anderson is a Catholic and member of St. Edna’s Parish in Arlington Heights IL., a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and a former adjunct professor at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. She and her husband live in suburban Chicago, and have five grown children and five grandchildren.

Website: http://joanwanderson.com/believe/

Copyright 2014 Joan Wester Anderson

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vatican theologians approve Fulton Sheen miracle



News excerpt and photograph from CatholicHerald.co.uk

The possible miracle needed for the beatification of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen took another step toward papal recognition on June 17 when a panel of theologians met at the Vatican, the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation has announced.

As a normal part of the sainthood process, the theologians met to consider whether or not the promoters of Archbishop Sheen’s cause demonstrated that the proposed miracle — the survival of a child delivered stillborn – occurred after prayers for the intercession of Archbishop Sheen alone.

In March, a seven-member board of physicians convoked by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints agreed that there was no natural explanation for why the child’s heart started beating over an hour after his birth.

The child, James Fulton Engstrom, is now three years old and developing normally. His mother, Bonnie Engstrom, said she had no precomposed prayer asking for help from Archbishop Sheen. “I just kept repeating his name over and over in my head: Fulton Sheen, Fulton Sheen, Fulton Sheen,” said Ms Engstrom.

Archbishop Sheen was a priest in the Diocese of Peoria, which covers central Illinois. He gained fame for his 1950s television show “Life Is Worth Living” and for his 16 years at the helm of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. He died on December 9, 1979, in New York.

In a statement released on June 17 by the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria said: “With the recommendations of the medical experts and now the theologians, the case will next be reviewed by the cardinals and bishops,” who are members of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

Read More:  Fulton Sheen Miracle

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Our heartfelt condolences and prayers are with friends and family of Reverend Monsignor James H. Murray



News and photograph from Saint Mary's Parish

The Reverend Monsignor James H. Murray, Pastor Emeritus of Saint Mary Church in Denville, NJ, died in the Lord on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Monsignor Murray, ordained a priest in 1956, faithfully served in priestly ministry for fifty-eight years.

The Reception of the Body will be on Thursday, June 19, at 2:00 pm in
Saint Mary Church
15 Myers Avenue
Denville, New Jersey 07834
973-627-0269

The Viewing will continue on:
Thursday, June 19, 2014, until 8:00 pm in
Saint Mary Church, Denville, NJ.

The Evening Prayer Service will be held at 7:30pm

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on:
Friday, June 20, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. in:
Saint Mary Church, Denville, NJ

Interment will be private.


***

As a parishioner of Saint Mary's Church, my heartfelt condolences and prayers are with friends and family of Monsignor Murray. May God comfort you during this difficult time. -Loci B. Lenar

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Join in Prayer on June 8th for Peace in the Middle East

Photo Credit: Elise Harris/CNA

Vatican: prayer with Abbas, Peres opening 'road to peace' : (CNA)

News excerpt and photo from CNA:

The Vatican has released the details for Sunday’s prayer between Pope Francis and the Israeli and Palestinian presidents, stating that although peace will not be immediate, it’s a starting point.

“The intent of this encounter is to open the road to peace,” Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa O.F.M., Guardian of the Holy Land, revealed to journalists in a June 6 press conference, telling CNA that “My hope is that this event will help to bring a new atmosphere in the Middle East.”

The prayer, the spokesman noted, will be divided into three parts following the chronological order of the three faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Beginning around 7 p.m., the first part of the prayer will be recited in Hebrew, honoring the Jewish faith. It will include an initial prayer, a brief musical interlude, a prayer of forgiveness, a second musical interlude, a prayer invoking peace, and finally a Jewish musical meditation.

The second part of the prayer, dedicated to Christianity, will follow the same structure, and will be recited in English, Italian and Arabic. The third part, honoring the Muslim community, will only be said in Arabic.

Following the three parts of the prayer, Pope Francis will give a discourse invoking peace, and then invite the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to give their own, beginning with Shimon Peres, who will be followed by Mahmoud Abbas.

After giving the speeches, the Pope and the presidents, along with Patriarch Bartolomeo I, will exchange a sign of peace in shaking hands. Pope Francis and the two presidents will then plant an olive tree together as a symbol of peace.

Read more: Pray for Peace

Monday, June 02, 2014

Delivered from Danger by the Power of Prayer



News story from CBN TV

A heart malfunction caused Steve DeMoss to go into a coma from which he miraculously awakened after being anointed with oil by his pastor.

Doctors told Sharon DeMoss that Steve needed to wake up from the coma within 5 days, or he would suffer major brain damage. On the fourth day, he was showing no signs of recovery. She called a local church for prayer. “They came over immediately and they spent a long time,” Sharon said. “We worshipped. We prayed together. We held hands. We prayed over him. They anointed him with oil.”

By the next morning, Steve was awake and had no signs of brain damage. “When I woke up, my wife says, ‘Do you realize what just happened?’ I had all these tubes in me and everything. Then my kids came to me, my daughter and one of my sons, we huddled and we realized that the worst had passed.”

“I remember just being able to breathe after that,” Sharon said. “Like, it was going to be okay.”

“That was a pretty joyful realization that God’s restored what we had almost lost,” Steve said.

That same afternoon, Steve was walking around the hospital, and he was released just days later. “When I woke up, I heard that people were praying all over the world,” Steve said. “I had friends in Senegal, Uganda. I really believe that the prayers of the people is what brought me back. It was extremely touching for me. It just made me feel like, ‘I am so glad I am a part of the body of Christ.’”

***

"Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven."  (James 5:14-15)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Miracle Boy Meets Pope Francis

Photo by Andreas Solaro/AFP

News excerpt from Aleteia.org

Born in May 2002 in Milan, little Pietro is the fifth child of Walter and Adele. At his birth, the doctors found that he was suffering from a lung malformation. The infant was doomed. The parents then asked Father Antonio Sangalli, a Carmelite, to baptize him right away. At this critical moment, the priest slid over a picture of Thérèse de Lisieux's parents, the Martins, who had lost four of their own children.

Walter and Adele decided to trust in the Lord and confide in Louis and Zélie Martin. And the incredible happened. (Full story here.) Although the doctors predicted he had only a few hours to live, a month later the small Pietro began to show signs of improvement. After a few weeks, he was officially cured.

The Alençon Shrine is dedicated to the Martins. Every year on July 12, it organizes a pilgrimage around this exemplary couple. The family of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus lived in Orne until Zélie's death in 1877. It was then that Louis Martin decided to move to Lisieux with his daughters, near his beautiful family. In Alençon, for obvious reasons, people are interested in news related to the Martins and Thérèse.

And, after the healing of little Pietro Schilirò which made it possible to beatify the couple on October 19, 2008, this is another story that brought joy in recent weeks: Pietro's meeting with Pope Francis on March 29 at the Vatican, at the audience with the deaf and blind. (Pietro has been deaf since age 3.) And the meeting was not trivial. While we know about Francis' attachment to the saint of Lisieux, the meeting also overwhelmed the little boy who had received the miracle from Thérèse's parents.

Read more: Miracle Boy

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Prayer Service Scheduled at Saint Mary's Church


St. Mary's Parish

St. Mary's prayer service is scheduled for 7:30 PM on Thursday, May 15, 2014.

St. Mary's Catholic Church holds a monthly service for prayer with Fr. Richard Tartaglia, including special prayer intentions which are submitted through the website of www.Christian-Miracles.com.  


Submit your prayer requests to http://www.christian-miracles.com/prayerrequest.htm

St. Mary's Catholic Church is located on the corner of Myers Avenue and Route 46, Denville, New Jersey.

Directions: http://www.stmarys-denville.org/directions.htm

If you cannot attend the prayer service, you can still join in by praying in unity for all special prayer intentions.

There is great power through the Holy Spirit when people join together in agreement while praying for God’s help and intervention.

Regarding prayer, Jesus said, "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (Matthew 18:19-20)

(The statue of Jesus is on display inside of St. Mary's Church.)


Photograph Copyright Loci B. Lenar