Reporting news connected to Christianity and Catholicism with biblical insight. Publicizing God's word through signs, wonders, and miracles of faith. While exploring this blog, it's our belief that visitors will experience the presence of the Holy Spirit through inspirational stories of faith.
In my opinion, it's wonderful news to be willing to share the Catholic faith on television with the general public.
With the Dominican Sisters appearing on Oprah Winfrey, perhaps the doors will open for other inspirational stories to be televised that are connected to the Christian faith, especially about caring individuals who have devoted their lives to God's work in supporting world peace and charitable causes. -Loci B. Lenar
The photograph and following story is from Catholic Online:
The sisters were everything beautiful and truthful that the Church has to offer: they were Christ to Oprah and to a world in need of its meaning in Him.
By Sonja Corbitt
BETHPAGE, TN (Catholic Online) - It was a luminous report, burgeoning with respect, ripe with joy. It was a shot of glory between baking salmon fillets, disciplining a wayward 3 year old, and folding a load of colors.
Having previously abandoned Oprah for her politics and new-ageism after years of following, I was a little anxious at the treatment our Dominican convent in Ann Arbor, MI might receive at the hands of reporter Lisa Ling and Harpo producers.
But when, straight out of the chute, the convent was described as “thriving,” the young women “flocking” to it as they never had before, and the laughing, bright, fresh faced sisters proceeded to preach a full Catholic sermon simply by sharing their home and way of life, my apprehension turned to laugh-out-loud delight.
A Golden Opportunity Seized Through the Virtue of Hospitality
A golden opportunity rejected by other convents in the nation, the Ann Arbor Dominicans’ hospitality challenged conventional worldly wisdom in a forum that can only be characterized as miraculous and that represented Catholic women in the most refreshing way I have ever seen on TV. Because the convent is home to 100 sisters whose average age is 26, the feature communicated the vitality of a relationship with a living Christ in the most captivating way.
What constitutes restriction and freedom, happiness and joy, contentment and emptiness? How can I find fulfillment when the fabulous job, the designer duds, the handsome, fascinating boyfriend, and all the comforts and ideologies of modern life are not enough? Where can I “give who I am”? Where does consumerism and “being skinny” cease to matter for women?
These were the questions raised by the sisters’ testimonies of being called by God to religious life. “Did you hear an audible voice?” Oprah asked.
“God wanted me here and made it very clear,” 22 year old sister Francis Mary answered.
Those unexposed to Catholicism or religious life who might have expected inanity or “girliness” from a community of young women, were handed what amounted to a Catholic treatise wrapped in pithy packaging by one of the professed sisters: “Everyone is on a journey in life. But we are on a more intimate journey.”
Another went on to add that in the religious life [people] are “free to pursue God fully,” while admitting that such a life is not “for every woman,” only those in whom “noise gnaws at the human soul” and pleads for silence there.
Those who imagined religious life requires rulers hidden in the recesses of religious habits or faces clouded by somber melancholy were shocked at the brightness, the transparency and the unrehearsed sincerity of the nuns’ answers and a look at their daily routine and experiences.
What About Sex?
When asked about sex, and leaving it behind along with physical motherhood, one sister pointed out how the pervasive sexualization of our society “undermines the dignity of the human person,” while another took up the same thread by expressing that religious men and women “use the same desires [that “regular” people experience] for a greater calling.”
One postulant expressed her recent willingness to abandon sex and physical motherhood for the greater intimacy of spiritual motherhood, in part, because she did not “want to be an object.” Speaking of most nuns and their “spiritual marriage” to Jesus, Sr. Francis Mary admitted, to raucous laughter, that He is a “hard husband, because if something goes wrong in the relationship, I know it’s me.”
By far though, one of the best accounts was given by one of the sisters whose very loving, pre-convent relationship ended in separation, only to ultimately be rediscovered again later in God; she had entered the convent, and he the priesthood! What a breathtaking image of the Christian life, and it was on the world stage.
Spiritual Motherhood and Freedom
The sisters were everything beautiful and truthful that the Church has to offer: they were Christ to Oprah and to a world in need of its meaning in Him. I felt as though, finally!, someone was speaking with my voice and my faith, and not by rejecting men, sex, society, or even necessarily material things, but by their acceptance of something inexplicably more holy and beautiful. It was real feminism at its best, and true spiritual motherhood, for who knows how many vocations will be born from the womb of this broadcast?
Lisa Ling’s investigative report for Oprah inspired me to deeper love: to a greater, more total, more radical obedience, a brotherly love on which I place no limits, shocking generosity and simplicity, and an attractive, positive modesty and its accompanying spiritual allure.
In a world where religious brothers and sisters probably hold the seams of a morally teetering earth together with their invisible, fervent, ceaseless prayers for us all, the broadcast revealed the Church in all her glory through our religious brothers and sisters. Surely those sisters inspired Lisa Ling to investigate true freedom, for the last words about them before the end of the show were hers, “Their lives are much more liberating.”
Is any one of you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the presbyters of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
For inspirational news of God's healing grace touching people's lives including a variety of devotional prayers for daily use, please visit the following link: Christian-Miracles.com
The stained glass windows were photographed in various Catholic churches throughout the state of New Jersey.
Several blogs use my photography from Flickr.com to illustrate a story or news item with good intentions. I do appreciate their support and they have my approval to continue to do so.
However, it's been brought to my attention that some blogs with an intolerance to Judeo-Christian beliefs are posting my photographs on their sites to discredit religion in general. Furthermore, inappropriate conduct that targets a person’s religious belief is nothing less then disrespectful. Therefore, permission is denied to guilty parties and their websites for inappropriate exploitation of photographs and all the images should be removed as soon as possible.
However, in Luke 6:27-28, I am reminded of the following, "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."
Psalm 27:1 states, The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?
In order for people to change their wrongful ways, Our Lord Jesus calls us to pray for them daily. May Almighty God pour out the Holy Spirit and bring forth conversion and peace to everyone that has lost their way to the road of salvation.
The above photograph of the stained glass detail of Moses and the Burning Bush is one of the images in question. The photograph is the right side of the double doors leading into the entranceway of the Church of St. Joseph. The Catholic church is located on New Street in Mendham, NJ, USA.
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) is a celebrated 16th-century icon of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The image, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe (Spanish: Virgen de Guadalupe) represents a famous Marian apparition. According to the traditional account, the image appeared miraculously on the front of a simple peasant's cloak. The image still exists; it is on display in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. It is perhaps Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image, and the focus of an extensive pilgrimage. The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is December 12. She is said to have appeared to Saint Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City between December 9 and December 12, 1531.
The Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dover, NJ, has a beautiful replica painting on display of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I photographed the picture during my visit to the church.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Local6.com reported that an unexplained image appeared in a hospital prayer garden window and drew a number of people into the hallway before disappearing. Several people used cell phones to photograph what appears to be the face of Jesus.
"This was just a sign for me to not worry about what is going on in my life and that everything else is under control," Joel Cruzada said. "It was an enlightening experience."
For additional information on the story, please visit the following links:
The Gloucester County Times of Woodbury, New Jersey, reported that on March 23, Easter Sunday, 9 year old Gwynna Crawford photographed a cross reflecting on a neighbor's house. Her mother and a neighbor were unable to find the source of the reflection. "I thought it was a reflection from the sun, I don't know. It came on Easter and thought that was pretty cool," Gwynna said. The story appears in the March 25, 2008 issue of the Gloucester County Times with the upper photograph printed on the front page of the newspaper.
Throughout the world, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the crucifixion on Easter Sunday. In my opinion, the Lord's timing is perfect for sending a sign to humanity in order to reflect His love and change the heart of skeptics, especially in a society of secularism. On Wednesday, March 19, I visited my spiritual advisor, Father Richard Tartaglia of Saint Mary's Church, Denville, NJ. I communicated to Father Richard a message imparted to me by Jesus regarding a sign that the Lord would send with a cross similar to what appeared on my property in 2005, 2006, and 2007 in order to affirm my story and validate it as truth. To view the photograph of the cross that appeared on my fence (Loci B. Lenar), please visit the following link: http://www.lenarpoetry.com/
Regarding miracles, Jesus said in John 4:48, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe."
For more details on the Crawford photograph and story, please order a copy of the March 25 issue from the Gloucester County Times at 309 S. Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ 08096.
A brief version of the story appears on NJ.com at the following link: