Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bruce Van Natta: Saved by Angels

Bruce Van Natta: Saved by Angels - Amazing Stories -

The following excerpt is from

He was pinned under a massive logging truck. Bruce was certain he would die until the miraculous happened.

"I tried to pull my self out from under the truck. It was the most incredible pain you can think of. I got myself just to the point where my head is sticking out from underneath the front bumper of the truck. The very next thing, I just called out, 'Lord, help me.' I called it out twice."

Instantly, all of the pain left Bruce’s body.

"At that point, I became unconscious. My spirit left my body and floated into the ceiling, and now my spirit is looking at the accident scene from above.

"The man I had been working with was on his knees above my body. I can hear him saying things like, 'I’m sorry. I’m sorry.' But on each side of him, also on their knees were huge angels. They would have been about eight feet tall. They didn’t have wings, just very, very broad shoulders. Between the two angels and him, it took up the whole truck.

"There was a bright light shining around each one of them. They were matching bookends. They didn’t budge; I never heard them say anything. They just had their arms underneath the truck, not holding the truck up…but they had their arms angled in toward my body.

"There was no pain, just peace. I can’t even describe the peace I felt in the ceiling up in the garage."

Bruce knew he had a serious choice to make.

"I was definitely on the very edge of life and death. There were two thoughts in my head. One was, 'Shut your eyes and give up and die. You are just going to go to heaven anyway.' It was very loud. There was another voice in my head, much quieter. Much more of a whisper, 'If you want to live, you’re going to have to fight and you are going to have to fight hard.' The next thing I knew, my spirit went back down into my body just like a shot."

Bruce was conscious as he was flown on a life flight to the hospital. Doctors there doubted he would even survive the next few hours. His ribs were broken, his pancreas and spleen crushed, and several major arteries had been severed.

"We found out from doctors later that I had five places that major arteries were completely severed. I found out from doctors that were was a medical study done in 2001. According to that study, by the University of South California, they’ve used my case and compared it against that study. According to that, they can’t find anyone else in the world that has ever lived with five major arteries being severed.

"I should have bled to death in a few minutes. So, my thought is the angels were there to somehow hold me together."

Read More: Saved by Angels

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Psalm 95:1-6

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;

let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving

and extol him with music and song.

For the LORD is the great God,

the great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth,

and the mountain peaks belong to him.

The sea is his, for he made it,

and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,

let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.


The stained glass window detail was photographed inside St. Virgil Catholic Church, Morris Plains, NJ, USA.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

A Bridge is being Built for Christian Unity

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Anglican Ordinariate: 'We Don't Have to Swim the Tiber; A Bridge is being Built' - Living Faith - Home and Family - Catholic Online

The following excerpt is from Catholic Online:

By Deacon Keith Fournier

LONDON, UK (Catholic Online) - I received a response to an article we published on the "Becoming One" gathering of those coming into full communion through the Anglican Ordinariate in the United States. It was from an Anglican priest who identified himself as "Father Luke". He wrote, "I am still in san Antonio. I wait for the plane back to Reno. My EMC (Episcopal Missionary Church) parish has voted to enter the Ordinariate, and I am pleased to have gotten together with my fellow travelers here in San Antonio. We do not have to swim the Tiber; a bridge is being built."

The imagery is apropos. This historic overture toward Anglican Christians is prophetic. A bridge is indeed being built and Pilgrims are crossing over and coming home. The implications have only begun to be realized; not only within the Anglican and Episcopal world, but within the Catholic Church. I am convinced this a part of an unfolding movement of the Holy Spirit which is fostering restored communion between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches as well as the healing of the divisions occasioned by the Protestant reformation in the West. Pope Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity. We should not underestimate the significance of what is occurring in this pregnant moment in Church history.

I have followed the movement of Anglican Clergy and lay faithful toward the safe harbor that is found in the Bark of Peter and written extensively about it. I have grieved along with many Anglicans as their own Christian community was torn asunder by the rejection of both orthodoxy and orthopraxy. It is my conviction that the influx of these Anglican Christians into the full communion of the Catholic Church through the Anglican Ordinariate is a work of the Holy Spirit, a gift to the Catholic Church and marks the beginning of the coming full communion of the whole Church.

This is the beginning of a new chapter in Church history. Pope Benedict XVI is the "Pope of Christian Unity" and the new chapter has only just begun to be written as the Third Millennium begins.

Read More: Christian Unity

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Miracle at St. Mary's Church and Parish

Donna Ott - St. Mary's Parish, Denville, NJ
Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Faith Leads to Miracles at St. Mary's Parish -

By Loci B. Lenar

God is remarkable, especially when He surprises us with miracles. “It was unexpected,” says Donna Ott, sharing her testimony about being healed of a painful arthritic condition.

Donna related her amazing story during my visit to see Father Richard Tartaglia on November 17th.

I came to see Fr. Richard to drop off a large number of prayer requests from With Fr. Richard’s help and support, he has arranged for requests to be prayed for on Monday morning during Holy Hour adoration, including every third Thursday of each month at the evening prayer service held at St. Mary’s Parish.

While in the office, Donna showed me her hand – one can visually see that several fingers are affected by arthritis. Two fingers on her right hand have given her a great deal of difficulty, especially when she tries to write. “I’ve had daily arthritic pain in my fingers for nearly five years,” says Donna, a parishioner and administrative assistant at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

St. Mary's Catholic Church - Photo by Loci B. Lenar

The church is on the corner of Myers Avenue and Route 46, Denville, New Jersey. Father Martin Glynn is the head pastor at St. Mary’s.

However, Donna relates that on September 27, 2010, “the pain unexpectedly disappeared.” She was in the church office at her desk, listening to Radio Maria while doing paperwork; answering the telephones; and greeting visitors. The computer was connected to the website of Radio Maria and through internet streaming, she tuned into the Catholic radio program, Sacred Treasures. The show is broadcasted live every Monday at 3:00 PM (EST).

What makes Donna’s story even more interesting is that she was listening to my testimony on the radio regarding God’s spiritual blessings!

Radio host Kathie Duggan and I were discussing God’s signs that are related to our Catholic and Christian faith, including Archangel Michael and a cross which has appeared annually on my property in Mine Hill, NJ, since 2005. We also discussed, a website I launched in 2008. Documentation regarding my testimony is posted on the site.

While on the radio, I shared news of my healing from several medical conditions which resulted from receiving the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Both a heart ailment and years of suffering painful headaches were healed after being anointed with the sacrament by my spiritual director, Fr. Richard Tartaglia.

Donna continued and explained to me that at the end of the radio broadcast, she felt inspired to visit While on the website, she was examining photographs of a cross which appeared on my property including other pictures of interest. She says that a sensation of peace came over her while looking at the web pages. “The whole website touched me in its beauty,” says Donna.

While surfing the site Donna recalled and said, “I was holding my fingers and thinking about wanting them to feel better.” She didn’t notice until maybe ten or fifteen minutes later that all the pain in her arthritic fingers disappeared. She described having a feeling of inner peace that came over her.

Truly touched by God’s healing grace, she shared her story immediately with Fr. Richard. Donna said that Fr. Richard responded by saying “That’s faith!"

Without question, faith leads us to God’s gift of answered prayer. Fr. Richard agreed with me that Donna was blessed with a small miracle.

After leaving work at St. Mary's, Donna went home and shared the events with her husband Bob, and son Brian, including her other children. She said they were in awe of her story.

Donna has received a spiritual gift of God's divine love which she can treasure and share with others.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has blessed St. Mary’s Church and Parish as a place Where Miracles Happen!

Copyright 2010 Loci B. Lenar

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Book by Todd Burpo: Heaven is for Real

'Heaven Is for Real' - Fox News Video -

Excerpt from Fox News Interview: Life-saving surgery leads to a life-changing experience for Colton Burpo, a 4-year-old.  During surgery he visits heaven and sees Jesus and St. John the Babtist as well as his late great-grandfather.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Life Saved from Cardinal Van Thuan's Intercession

Seminarian Joseph Nguyen - CNA Photo
Seminarian may owe his life to Cardinal Van Thuan's intercession :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The photograph and following excerpt is from CNA:

By Benjamin Mann

Denver, Colo., (CNA/EWTN News).- Doctors said Joseph Nguyen was dead. His heart rate was dropping beyond recovery, and all brain activity was gone. But while they wrote his death certificate, Joseph's parents were asking an old family friend for help: a Vietnamese cardinal who is being considered for beatification.

Joseph Nguyen has since re-enrolled in seminary. He's seen his own death certificate, now stamped “VOID.” He has only two memories of the 32-day coma, which he says felt otherwise like a “great night's sleep.”

During the weeks that he hovered between life and death in 2009, Joseph says he had two encounters with Cardinal Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan.

The revered Vietnamese Cardinal died in 2002. In 2007 he received a prominent mention in Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical “Spe Salvi,” where the Holy Father cited his exemplary Christian witness during his 13 years as a political prisoner. His cause for beatification began in 2007 as well. In October 2010, the Vatican began its own inquiry into his possible sainthood.

Long before anyone thought to declare him a saint, the future cardinal was simply a priest– often celebrating private Masses in the homes of some Vietnamese faithful. Although Joseph Nguyen never met Cardinal Van Thuan during his earthly life, his father's family knew “Father Van Thuan” quite well. They thought of the priest “almost like a family member.”

That family bond deepened when Cardinal Van Thuan became Archbishop of Saigon, and subsequently a prisoner of the Communist regime.

In 1975, Joseph Nguyen's parents immigrated from Southeast Asia to the United States, where their son was later born. Joseph knew about Cardinal Van Thuan's heroic life, and appreciated his message of peace and hope. But the young seminarian never imagined he would be describing details of his own life, and near-death, to investigators for the cardinal's canonization.

It began in August 2009, during Joseph's third year in the seminary. He was assigned to hospital work, visiting and counseling the sick, as well as bringing the Eucharist to Catholic patients. Early in the fall, he caught what he thought was only a common seasonal flu. When the illness worsened, he asked for leave from the seminary to recover at home.

“I remember October 1st,” he recounted to CNA. “I had no idea why I was gasping for air.” His father drove him to the hospital, where he checked himself in. But Joseph has no memory of that event, or the emergency tracheotomy he received after losing the ability to breathe.

Later, he would hear about the day he was pronounced dead, while his parents kept hope alive and prayed fervently for Cardinal Van Thuan's intercession. He would also hear about how, on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, while still comatose, he began violently pulling the tubes from his body, stopping only when his father placed a rosary in his hand.

He'd also learn about the second time his body seemed to be shutting down. That time, no one declared his death. They'd already seen one seemingly impossible recovery.

When Joseph awoke, after 32 days, he knew nothing about any of this. A doctor explained he had fallen ill not only with a seasonal flu, but also the H1N1 “Swine Flu,” and severe pneumonia. Friends and family later told him the details of his month in the coma.

But when he could speak again, Joseph had his own story to tell.

“During my coma, there are only two things I remember,” he said. “The only two things I remember are two visions of Cardinal Van Thuan … He appeared to me twice.”

Joseph said he not only saw, but actually met and spoke with Cardinal Van Thuan, during two vivid incidents he described as a “separation of soul and body.” Although he said he couldn't reveal the details of the ecounters, he did say that he suspected that they occurred while his doctors were observing his loss of brain activity and decline in vital signs.

“Soon after the second visit” with the cardinal, he said, “I woke up from the coma.” He had “no idea what had happened,” or why he had “all these tubes and wires” coming out of his body, particularly the tube in his neck that kept him from speaking.

Doctors thought it would be months or years before he could speak, walk, or study. But within days he was talking and breathing normally, racing his nurses around the rehabilitation room.

He also received an entirely unexpected phone call from Cardinal Van Thuan's sister in Canada, who ended up giving him one of her brother's rosaries.

Read More: Cardinal Van Thuan's Intercession

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Prayer: The Lord is My Shepherd

Stained Glass Window Detail of Jesus
Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Hackettstown, New Jersey
Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Prayer: The Lord is My Shepherd

Lord, we are Your people, the sheep of Your flock.
Heal the sheep who are wounded,
touch the sheep who are in pain,
clean the sheep who are soiled,
warm the lambs who are cold.
Help us to know the Father's love
through Jesus the Shepherd and through His Holy Spirit.
Help us to lift up that love, and show it all over this land.
Help us to build love on justice and justice on love.
Help us to believe mightily, hope joyfully, love divinely.
Renew us that we may renew the face of the earth.

Daily Devotional Prayers

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Pope Benedict Calls for Worldwide Prayer to End Abortion

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict Calls for Pro-Lifers Worldwide to Pray Against Abortion -

The photograph and following excerpt is from

Pope Benedict XVI has issued what Catholic pro-life advocates are calling an unprecedented request for prayers worldwide from all pro-life people against abortion.

The head of the Catholic Church will begin Advent by celebrating a solemn “Vigil for all nascent human life” at St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday, November 27.

The call is not limited to Catholics as the Pope is asking that “all Diocesan Bishops (and their equivalent) of every particular church preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements.”

Mary McClusky, the Special Projects Coordinator at the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says the call is especially important at a time when attacks on the dignity and worth of human life seem to be at an all-time high.

“At this moment in history, when societies are now endorsing the killing of humans as a perceived solution to social, economic, and environmental problems, the Holy Father is reminding us of the necessity and power of prayer to protect human life,” she said. “Despite the challenge of these events being held on Thanksgiving weekend in the United States, Catholics should not miss this opportunity to pray for unborn life.”

She said the Pope’s call “may help increase awareness among family and friends about abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and other threats to children in their earliest days and weeks of life” while women who have had abortions “may be inspired to learn more, or to begin a much-needed conversation about healing from a past abortion.”

Human Life International is calling on pro-life people to join in the historic event.

“We hope that Catholics understand the historical significance of Pope Benedict’s invitation,” said Joseph Meaney, HLI’s director of international coordination.

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula, interim president of HLI, says Christians of all stripes can find unity in the call to prayer against abortion.

“We recognize with the Holy Father that as the assaults on human life that are accelerating around the world have evil as their root cause, the most powerful response we in the Church can make is to pray in unity for an end to the assault,” he says.

Barreiro will be present at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome with Pope Benedict to pray for the protection of human life on November 27th.

Read More: Pope Benedict Calls for Prayer Worldwide

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Jeff Markin: Back from the Dead, Reborn Into the Light

Jeff Markin: Back from the Dead, Reborn Into the Light - Amazing Stories on

By Sheryl Fountain – It was the morning of September 20, 2006. Jeff Markin recalls heading for work as usual. What he doesn’t remember is driving himself to the hospital.

He had called his boss and told him he didn’t feel well. His boss was concerned and convinced Jeff to go to the emergency room. Somehow Jeff made it. Once he got there, he collapsed.

Dr. Chauncey Crandall was doing rounds in the intensive care unit that morning. He recalls, "An alert call came over the PA system that someone had arrived at the hospital with a massive deadly heart attack. Then a second call went out over the PA system and specifically asking for me because I was the cardiologist on that day. When I arrived there, it was like a war zone. It was chaos. Everyone there fighting to keep this man alive."

The ER staff worked on Jeff for 40 minutes. They shocked him a dozen times. Despite their efforts, there was no response.

Once Dr. Crandall decided the team had done everything medically possible, he called the time of death. Medically Jeff was dead, but he was still experiencing consciousness.

"I was standing in the back of a funeral home, and at that time, I determined that I had died," Jeff Markin says. "This funeral home was empty and was wondering where all my friends and family were."

While a nurse prepared Jeff’s body for the morgue, Dr. Crandall updated the charts.

"As soon as my note was completed, I walked out through the door to this emergency room and I heard this voice say, 'Turn around and pray for this man.' I wanted to ignore that voice because I said to myself, How can I pray for that man? He’s dead he’s gone. There’s no life in him, so I keep walking. The voice came back again and said, 'Turn around and pray for that man.' I stopped and thought I need to honor the Lord. So I turned around at the doorway, and I walked to the side of the body.

"The nurse was on the other side of the body, and she’s looking at me like, 'What are you doing? Why are you here?' And I stood there next to the corpse and I opened my mouth and these words came out: 'Father God, I cry out for this man’s soul. If he does not know you as his Lord and Savior, Father, raise him from the dead now, in Jesus name.‘"

‘I remember staring at bright lights and they were swirling around," Jeff says. "Out of those bright lights came an image and he told me that he was there to look over me and make sure that everything was going to be fine."

Dr. Crandall continues, "The other doctor walked in the room and I pointed to him and said, 'Shock this man one more time.' He looked at me and said, 'Dr. Crandall, we can’t shock him. He’s dead. There’s no life in him. He’s gone.' I said, 'For me, shock him one more time.' That doctor out of respect and honor for me went over to that body with those defibrillator paddles and put his paddles on that patient and shocked him. Immediately an instant heartbeat came back. Instant perfect, regular, which we’ve never seen before. Then suddenly this abdomen started moving and starting breathing and then a couple moments later, the fingers started twitching."

They immediately moved Jeff to the intensive care unit. Three days later, Jeff woke up with no evidence of brain or organ damage.

"Once I woke up, my daughter Jillian was there," Jeff says. "That’s when she told me what had happened."

Dr. Crandall says, "When I came in Monday morning, Jeff was sitting up in bed, and I said, 'Where were you that day that I prayed for you in the emergency room?' And he said, 'I was in total darkness and I was so disappointed.' I said, 'Jeff, what were you disappointed about?' He said, 'I was alone for eternity.'"

Jeff recalls, "He asked me at that time if I was willing to accept God into my life and into my heart and I did. I just opened my arms and accepted God. It was just a very emotional time and I remember crying in his arms."

Today Jeff is back at work and gets regular check-ups with Dr. Crandall.

"He still has no heart problems or residual complications from his brush with death," Dr. Crandall says.

"To know what I had gone through and to be fortunate... That’s been part of my daily battle is why me," Jeff ponders. "Why have I been so fortunate to have God shine on me? It’s been tremendous. I’ve been physically reborn. I’ve been spiritually reborn, and I’m just very grateful for that."

"This day that I prayed for Jeff was a day of very little faith. It wasn’t one of my big God days," Dr. Crandall says. " I was so much in a rush with my work, and I didn’t have a lot of faith backing that prayer up that day. But the Lord asked me to do it, so I honored the Lord and prayed. That’s all we need. Just a spark of faith like that mustard seed, and when you cry out to the mighty Holy Spirit, He will take over. Miracles are real, and they’re real today."

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