Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shimon Peres gives Pope Frances personal invitation to visit Jerusalem

News excerpt from RomeReports.com

A month and a half after his election as Pope, Francis welcomed the president of Israel Shimon Peres at the Vatican. Soon after their greeting, Peres asked the Pope to pray for his country.

As camera flashes went off, Peres joked with the Pope that now those sounds of camera shutters follow them everywhere. 

“It is part of our life now.”

They then met in private for about half an hour, using an interpreter to communicate. According to the Vatican press release, the Pope and the president spoke about the current political and social situation in the Middle East, peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and the importance of the city of Jerusalem. The Pope also expressed his concern for the conflict in Syria.

Pope Francis and Shimon Peres also highlighted the improvements in relations between Israel and the Holy See, since the creation of a bilateral permanent working commission 14 years ago.

Peres is on a three day tour to Italy, and will also meet with the Italian president and the new government. He will also receive the Medal of Honor for Peace at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Peres told the Pope he would pray for him there.

The Israeli president gave the Pope a Bible of Jerusalem with black leather binding, in Hebrew and English.

“It is the Holy Bible with a quotation.”

“Thank you very much.

In the first pages of the Bible, Shimon Peres wrote verses from the Book of Kings: “To His Holiness, Pope Francis, I hope you will prosper in everything that you do and wherever you go.”

“From the Book of Kings. With deep esteem. Signed by Shimon Peres, president of Israel. April 2013.”

The Pope gave the president a small white case with three commemorative medals of his pontificate.

Before saying goodbye, Peres invited the Pope to visit Israel.

“I am waiting for you in Jerusalem, and not just me, but all the people from Israel.”

Shimon Peres is the eight president that has met in person with Pope Francis at the Vatican, since his election on March 13.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Stephen B. Whatley Exhibits 'Paintings from Prayer' in London Show

St. James by Stephen B. Whatley

Saint James by Stephen B. Whatley | Flickr.com

Catholic Life has published a feature story on Stephen B. Whatley in the April 2013 issue regarding his beautiful 'Paintings from Prayer' now on exhibition and available for purchase at St. James Church in London. The show runs from April 17 to May 19, 2013.

The art of Stephen B. Whatley is also featured in the September 2011 issue of Catholic Life magazine. His inspiring story of being Babtized as an Anglican and then later being confirmed in the Catholic Church is an amazing reflection of his spiritual journey of faith. The article is reprinted on the following link: Stephen B. Whatley the Praying Artist.  ~Loci B. Lenar

'Paintings from Prayer' Exhibition - St. James Church, London

The photos and following news item regarding the exhibition is reprinted from the website of Stephen B. Whatley:

Now showing in central London is Stephen B. Whatley's 'Paintings from Prayer' exhibition at The Rectory, St. James's Church, Spanish Place, 22 George Street, London W1 (17 April - 19 May 2013).

The most recent of the artist's Catholic tribute paintings, Saint James - or James The Greater, one of the twelve apostles is on exhibit at the show.

A catalyst for the inspiration was the Statue of Saint James that stands high in St James's Church, Spanish Place. As a pilgrim who preached the Gospel in Spain, he is depicted with a staff and water bottle, palm fronds and a sword, symbols of his martyrdom ; while the scallop shell upon his hat is a recognized symbol of pilgrims in the Holy Land, as the shells are bountiful on the shores of Palestine.

Stephen was confirmed a Roman Catholic on this day April 23rd, in 2011, at St James's Church, Spanish Place; and his confirmation name is James.

April 2013 Catholic Life Magazine

For further information on where and when to see the exhibition in which this new painting is featured, please see the press release: Paintings from Prayer

St. James
Painted in 2013
Oil on canvas
35 x 24in/90 x 60cm

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Vatican doctors approve the miracle to make Wojtyla a saint

Excerpt from the Vatican Insider

By Andrea Tornielli - Vatican City

"A saint now!" The canonisation of Wojtyla is getting closer quickly and it could be celebrated next October. In fact, in the past few days, the medical council of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has recognized as inexplicable one healing attributed to the blessed John Paul II. A supposed "miracle" that, if it is also approved by theologians and the cardinals (as it is very likely), will bring the Polish Pope, who died in 2005, the halo of sainthood in record time, just eight years after his death.

Read More: Blessed John Paul II

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Our Prayers are with the Victims and Families of the Boston Marathon Tragedy

Heavenly Father

Heavenly Father, we pray for divine intervention to end the violence in our world and nation. We also pray for divine protection for our families and neighbors. Surround us with your guardian angels and bless us with your peace. We ask this through your divine son, Jesus Christ. Amen.  ~Loci B. Lenar

St. Michael the Archangel

Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel for God's Protection

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle,
be our protection against the malice and snares
of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray;
and do thou,
O Prince of the Heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who wander through the world
seeking the ruin of souls.

All Photographs by Loci B. Lenar

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Vatican declares healing of Colorado Springs boy a miracle after prayers to German nun

Excerpt from The Denver Post

By Electa Draper

The wheels of canonization grind slowly, but a German nun who lived 100 years ago could be named a saint because the Vatican believes a Colorado Springs boy experienced a miracle in 1999.  Mother Theresia Bonzel, who founded the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in Olpe, Germany, in 1863, is scheduled for beatification in November — a step toward sainthood — as a result of the boy's miraculous recovery. Two Colorado Spring nuns prayed to Bonzel on behalf of 4-year-old Luke Burgie, and the events that followed — over the next 14 years — have been closely scrutinized and investigated by church officials and doctors.

Sister Margaret Mary Preister and the late Sister Evangeline Spenner had just recited a series of prayers over nine straight days asking Mother Bonzel, who died in 1905, to intercede for Luke.

Doctors couldn't explain Luke's sudden recovery, and the Vatican machinery for investigating alleged miracles began to churn.

Journalist Bill Briggs, who wrote in depth about Catholic Church investigations into such supernatural occurrences in his book "The Third Miracle," said the process is, in a word, "rigorous."

"I think what would surprise people outside the church is how very dubious investigators are," Briggs said. "To examine these claims, they look at hundreds, if not thousands, of medical records and other pieces of evidence. It's the furthest thing from a rubber stamp."

Briggs said the situation or illness doesn't have to be terminal or even dramatic. The cure simply has to be rapid, complete and utterly inexplicable by ordinary means. The church interviews the original doctors in the case, and a team of independent medical experts then pore over all the records.

Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan on Friday congratulated the local motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration on the Vatican pronouncement of a miracle in the Burgie case.

Read more: Vatican Declares Healing a Miracle

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Are You or Someone in Need of Prayer? If so, Let Our Prayer Ministry Pray for Your Needs

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

By Loci B. Lenar

Prayer requests submitted on www.christian-miracles.com are prayed for  daily on our website, and weekly at St. Mary's Church (Denville, NJ) during Monday mornings at Holy Hour Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, including at the monthly prayer service held with Fr. Richard Tartaglia.

Many people are struggling with their finances and some are unemployed.  We all have family and friends that might be in need of prayer. Some may be suffering from an illness or dealing with a troubled marriage or relationship. We are all in need of hope, especially when trying to cope with burdens that affect our daily lives.

Regardless of circumstances that you might be facing today, God cares and loves you. Let us pray for your needs and ask for divine assistance to help you or someone that is in need of God's 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)

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

May Our Lord answer your prayers with divine favor!

A Selection of Daily Devotional Prayers

Submit Prayer Requests to: http://www.christian-miracles.com/prayerrequest.htm

Statue of Jesus photographed inside of Saint Thomas More Catholic Church, Madison Avenue, Convent Station, NJ.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Vision of Heaven Leads to New Life

News Story from CBN.com

Alan Youngblood was a very successful home builder who had no time for God until a New Year's Eve church service changed his life forever.

A Wake-up Call From Hell

Testimony from CBN.com

A drug binge put Carl Knighton at death's doorstep. The result was an experience of hell that changed his life forever.

(This sobering story about Carl Knighton will lead you back to God's love and mercy...a God of forgiveness and second chances.  ~Loci B. Lenar)

Monday, April 08, 2013

Pope Francis meets with first Protestant leader

News from RomeReports.com

April 8, 2013 -  On Monday morning, Pope Francis welcomed the president of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Nikolaus Schneider, in his first papal audience with a Protestant leader and his wife.

In a 30 minute meeting, the two leaders spoke about ecumenism. Both spoke about the martyrs as a bond between Christians, as well as the upcoming anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, and the possibility that both Churches will celebrate it together. 

At the end, the two exchanged greetings as well as gifts. Schneider gave Pope Francis a Bible in German, while the Pope gave him a papal medallion. After the exchange, the Pope enthusiastically thanked Schneider in German. 

Other leaders present at the meeting were German Cardinal Kurt Koch, the prefect for the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as well as German Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 

The Evangelical Church in Germany is a federation of 22 Protestant Churches representing a third of that country's population. 

Roma Downey Says Pope Francis Is 'A New Pope of Hope'

The following excerpt is from Christianpost.com

By Anugrah Kumar , Christian Post Contributor
Roma Downey, a Roman Catholic and co-creator of the History Channel's "The Bible" miniseries, said Pope Francis is "a new pope of hope," whose leadership and humility are sowing the seeds of hope in people's hearts and lives.
"It certainly feels like there's divine planning in all of it," actress and producer Downey, known for her 10-year role on the TV series "Touched By An Angel," said, referring to the pope's election last month, during an interview with Zap2it.

"The new pope, he's been wonderful, hasn't he? He's just inspiring such hope and belief," said Downey, who starred in the role of the Virgin Mary in the hit miniseries she co-produced with her husband, Mark Burnett, who is the creator of reality TV shows such as "Celebrity Apprentice," "Survivor" and "The Voice."

"People are reconnecting. People are being inspired by his leadership and his humility, by the tenderness with which he's approached his office, and the choices he's made so far," Downey said in the joint interview with Burnett, adding the pope is "showing a servant's heart."

Read more at Christianpost.com

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Divine Mercy Sunday

DIVINE MERCY by Stephen B Whatley | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

By Stephen B. Whatley

Today, Sunday, April 7, 2013, is the Feast Day of Divine Mercy, which always falls on the first Sunday after Easter.

In one of His many miraculous visitations with the Polish nun Sister Faustina (1905-1938) - now Saint Faustina - Jesus asked her to tell the world that, "the very depths of my Mercy will be opened on that day. I will pour out a sea of graces upon those souls that will approach the fount of My Mercy on this day....let no soul fear to come to Me, even if its sins be scarlet..."

In February 1931, Jesus had appeared to Faustina and asked her to have an image painted as He appeared before her - with his hand held up in blessing; the other hand on his breast, from which flowed two rays: the pale symbolising the water, which cleanses and purifies the soul. The red representing the blood which gives new life to the soul. Jesus said " These rays will shield the soul before the justice of my Father..."

He asked that the painting be inscribed with the words, Jezu Ufam Tobie (Polish) - meaning Jesus I Trust in You.

Since February 2002 I have felt compelled to paint and draw my own interpretation of this Divine Mercy image, according to the instructions given by Jesus - each time hoping to reveal this message ever more powerfully - often on Divine Mercy Sunday. Yesterday , in prayer, I felt a 'divine push' to create in order to show today - keeping all those most suffering in my heart and with hope for world peace.

Love Christ and your life will change: Jesus I Trust in You.

Peace and Healings on this day.

Divine Mercy 2013 by Stephen B Whatley
Charcoal, chalk Pastel & Oil pastel on paper.
23.4 x 16.5in/59 x 42cm

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A Prayer for God's Divine Protection: Psalm 91

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Psalm 91
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

They say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

 Surely he will save you
from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, "The LORD is my refuge,"
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

"Because they love me," says the LORD, "I will rescue them;
I will protect them, for they acknowledge my name.
They will call on me, and I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will deliver them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them
and show them my salvation."

Son's Life Sets Example for His Father

News Story from CBN.com

Andrew Sobel experienced enviable success in the business world, but something was missing. He turned to the Bible for answers and found more than he had ever hoped for.