Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Nine Minutes in Heaven

News Video from CBN.com

During a minor surgery Crystal  McVea took a nine minute journey into heaven which restored her faith in God.

Jesus: Sacred Heart of Love

By Stephen B. Whatley

New work of art painted by artist Stephen B. Whatley in 2013 | Flickr.com

The following excerpt regarding the new painting is from website of artist Stephen B. Whatley:

Spontaneously created on the Feast Day of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 7th, a new tribute drawing, by expressionist painter Stephen B. Whatley, to the bountiful love that can be received from the Sacred Heart of Jesus in faith...especially through the following prayer, published in the prayer book, The Illustrated book of Jesus (William J. Hirten Co. 2011):

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in thee,
Whatever may befall me, Lord, though dark the hour may be;
In all my woes, in all my joys, though nought but grief I see,
O sacred heart of Jesus, I place my trust in thee.
When those I loved have passed away, and I am sore distressed,
O sacred heart of Jesus, I fly to thee for rest.
In all my trials, great or small, my confidence shall be
Unshaken as I cry, dear Lord, I place my trust in thee.
This is my one sweet prayer, dear Lord, my faith, my trust, my love,
But most of all in that last hour, when death points up above,
O sweet savior, may thy face smile on my soul all free.
Oh may I cry with rapturous love, I've placed my trust in thee.

Pastel on paper.
16.5 x 11.5in

Monday, June 24, 2013

St. John the Baptist: Saint of the Day for June 24

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Excerpt from Catholic Online

John the Baptist was the son of Zachary, a priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, and Elizabeth, a kinswoman of Mary who visited her. He was probably born at Ain-Karim southwest of Jerusalem after the Angel Gabriel had told Zachary that his wife would bear a child even though she was an old woman. He lived as a hermit in the desert of Judea until about A.D. 27.

When he was thirty, he began to preach on the banks of the Jordan against the evils of the times and called men to penance and baptism "for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand". He attracted large crowds, and when Christ came to him, John recognized Him as the Messiah and baptized Him, saying, "It is I who need baptism from You".

When Christ left to preach in Galilee, John continued preaching in the Jordan valley. Fearful of his great power with the people, Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Perea and Galilee, had him arrested and imprisoned at Machaerus Fortress on the Dead Sea when John denounced his adultrous and incestuous marriage with Herodias, wife of his half brother Philip. John was beheaded at the request of Salome, daughter of Herodias, who asked for his head at the instigation of her mother.

John inspired many of his followers to follow Christ when he designated Him "the Lamb of God," among them Andrew and John, who came to know Christ through John's preaching. John is presented in the New Testament as the last of the Old Testament prophets and the precursor of the Messiah. His feast day is June 24th and the feast for his beheading is August 29th.

Pope Francis: Christians cannot be anti-Semitic, we share common roots!

News story from RomeReports.com

June 24, 2013 - While speaking to a delegation of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, Pope Francis underlined the importance of the strong bond that unites Christian and Jews. After addressing the audience as 'elder brothers and sisters', the Pope reminded that the Second Vatican Council and its declaration 'Nostra Aetate' were in the forefront of promoting cooperation between the two religions.  

“In that Council text, the Church recognizes that “the beginnings of its faith and election are to be found in the patriarchs, Moses and prophets”. And, with regard to the Jews, the Council recalls the teaching of Saint Paul, who wrote “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.”

Pope Francis also told the assembly that he was personally acquainted with many Jewish leading figures. The Pope said that he has enjoyed talking and exchanging views with Jewish people since his days as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Back then he even hosted a TV show and wrote a book with Argentinian rabbi Abraham Skorka.  Finally, Pope Francis ended his speech with the Hebrew word for peace: 'shalom'.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pilgrim Virgin Statue spreads Fatima message

The National Pilgrim Virgin statue at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. (John Heuertz photo)

Excerpt and photograph from The Catholic Key

By John Heuertz

The story of Our Lady of Fatima is known to some extent by millions upon millions of Catholics and non-Catholics worldwide, including a Muslim in Kazan who recently built a Catholic church there in her honor.

What isn’t as well known is that statues of Our Lady of Fatima are constantly traveled worldwide to promote devotion to her, and ultimately to lead the whole world to love Jesus more.

And now, the Fatima statue known as the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of the USA is here for stops at 23 different Kansas City - St. Joseph diocesan parish churches and institutions in the month of June.

The Kansas City - St. Joseph diocesan division of the World Apostolate of Fatima asked that the WAF’s national office bring the statue here, and coordinated its appearances locally.

Her message is the Gospel message of prayer, sorrow for sin and reparation for it, said Harkins and E. William Sockey III, the statue’s curator.

“Our Lady asked four things of us at Fatima,” Sockey said. “To cultivate personal devotion to Jesus, especially in the Eucharist. Not to leave the practice of our Faith to Sundays only. To go to Confession at least once a month. And to never be satisfied to live with even the smallest sins.”

Our Lady of Fatima’s message is for all of humanity, not just Catholics and Muslims.

Read More: Our Lady of Fatima

A Marriage Blessing Prayer

Marriage at Cana - Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Prayer of the Day for Sunday, June 23, 2013 - Catholic Online

A Marriage Blessing Prayer

We thank you, O God, for the Love You have implanted in our hearts. May it always inspire us to be kind in our words, considerate of feeling, and concerned for each other's needs and wishes. Help us to be understanding and forgiving of human weaknesses and failings. Increase our faith and trust in You and may Your Prudence guide our life and love. Bless our Marriage O God, with Peace and Happiness, and make our love fruitful for Your glory and our Joy both here and in eternity. 


Stained glass window photographed inside St. Mary's Catholic Church, Denville, New Jersey.

Friday, June 21, 2013

St. Thomas More - Saint of the Day for June 22

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Saints and Angels - Excerpt from Catholic Online

Feastday: June 22,

St. Thomas More, Martyr (Patron of Lawyers)

St. Thomas More was born at London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford to study law. Upon leaving the university he embarked on a legal career which took him to Parliament. In 1505, he married his beloved Jane Colt who bore him four children, and when she died at a young age, he married a widow, Alice Middleton, to be a mother for his young children. A wit and a reformer, this learned man numbered Bishops and scholars among his friends, and by 1516 wrote his world-famous book "Utopia".

He attracted the attention of Henry VIII who appointed him to a succession of high posts and missions, and finally made him Lord Chancellor in 1529. However, he resigned in 1532, at the height of his career and reputation, when Henry persisted in holding his own opinions regarding marriage and the supremacy of the Pope. The rest of his life was spent in writing mostly in defense of the Church.

In 1534, with his close friend, St. John Fisher, he refused to render allegiance to the King as the Head of the Church of England and was confined to the Tower. Fifteen months later, and nine days after St. John Fisher's execution, he was tried and convicted of treason. He told the court that he could not go against his conscience and wished his judges that "we may yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation." And on the scaffold, he told the crowd of spectators that he was dying as "the King's good servant-but God's first." He was beheaded on July 6, 1535. His feast day is June 22nd. 

Read More: St. Thomas More

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pope Francis calls for Christian Unity during general audience

By Loci B. Lenar

On June 19, 2012, I posted the following commentary on
Christian-Miracles.com regarding Christian Unity:

Through prayerful discernment, Our Lord Jesus is calling everyone to pray for Christian unity and healing between religious denominations by reconciling differences. This goal will be accomplished with the power of prayer and through the Holy Spirit.

"Thus the word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, listen to the house of Israel saying, 'The vision he sees is a long way off; he prophesies of the distant future!' Say to them therefore: Thus says the Lord God; None of my words shall be delayed any longer; whatever I speak is final, and it shall be done, says the Lord God."  Ezekiel 12:26-28

Additional news regarding this matter was first posted on  Christian-Miracles.com in 2008.  Visit the website to read further details regarding this issue.

News Story from RomeReports.com

June 19, 2013 - With Rome's intense summer heat, Pope Francis made his way to St. Peter's Square, blessing children along the way. He even gave a baseball cap to a child to protect him from the high temperatures.

During his catechesis, Pope Francis described the Church as the Body of Christ.

“If the head is separated from the body, a person cannot survive. It's the same for the Church. We must always stay intensely connected to Jesus.”

The Pope added that the Church is not an NGO, or a cultural or political institution. He explained that the Church is a living Body, Jesus is the head who nurtures and guides it along the way. He also called for Christian unity.

“We Catholics should pray together, but we should also pray with other Christians. We must pray so that God may grant us all unity. Unity!

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he said,  that unity is possible. But to start of, one must first look for unity at home, in one's family and parish.

“We shouldn't follow the path of division, nor the path of conflicts among us. No! We should all be united. All united despite our differences. Always united. That is the true path of Jesus.”

In light of his call for Christian unity, the Pope said that  very morning, he met with an Evangelical pastor. They both prayed together precisely for Christian unity.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vatican sources say second miracle approved for John Paul II

The following excerpt is from Gazzetta Del Sud

Vatican City - The process of declaring former pope John Paul II a saint took a major step forward Tuesday, when the board of theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved his second miracle. Now, the proclamation of his sainthood needs only the approval of the commission of cardinals and bishops and the final signature of Pope Francis, Vatican sources have told ANSA.    

The first miracle attribute to John Paul was an "inexplicable cure" - the first of two steps on the path to sainthood. The pontiff's successor Pope Benedict XVI, who abdicated earlier this year, sanctioned the beatification after a Vatican commission officially attributed as a miracle the inexplicable recovery of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, from Parkinson's Disease. The Vatican ruled that that came through the intervention of John Paul II. The second miracle that will be attributed to him remains a closely guarded secret but sources say it will "amaze the world". The Catholic Church has been keenly awaiting the canonization of the charismatic John Paul II, one of the most popular popes in history, since he died in 2005 aged 84.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Prayer for Employment

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

Prayer of the Day for Monday, June 17, 2013 - Catholic Online

You govern your creation, O God,
and bring it to perfection by the work of our hands.
Hear the prayers of your people who ask for work
that will enhance their human dignity
and promote the up-building of your kingdom.
Enable them to provide for those confided to their care
either by family ties or by charity we owe to one another
for the betterment of human life.

We ask this blessing in the name of Jesus
who laboured with his own hands while he lived on earth.


Happy Father's Day!

Photo by Loci B. Lenar
May Our Heavenly Father bless all father's on this special day and guide all family members with the Holy Spirit to build a pillar of faith in their homes for peace and unity.  ~Loci B. Lenar

Father’s Day Prayer - Saint Jude Chapel

God our Father, you govern and protect your people and shepherd them with a father’s love. You place a father in a family as a sign of your love, care, and constant protection. May fathers everywhere be faithful to the example shown in the Scriptures: steadfast in love, forgiving transgressions, sustaining the family, caring for those in need. Give your wisdom to fathers that they may encourage and guide their children. Keep them healthy so they may support a family. Guide every father with the Spirit of your love that they may grow in holiness and draw their family ever closer to you. – Amen

Friday, June 14, 2013

Keys to Receiving God's Blessing

Photo by Loci B. Lenar

By Loci B. Lenar

If you're struggling with finances, put your faith and trust into God's hand. God will bless your finances through tithing and almsgiving. By giving to your church, you are helping to spread the good news of the gospels to the community, especially with helping those who are in need of God's love and mercy.

What does scripture say about giving to God's work? ..."Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." (Malachi 3:10)

Jesus said, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

Descendant of Charles Darwin becomes a Catholic apologist

Laura Keynes - Catholic Herald

The following Excerpt and photo are from CatholicHerald.co.uk


A direct descendant of Charles Darwin has become a Catholic apologist.

Laura Keynes, a great-great-great-granddaughter of the English naturalist, has joined Catholic Voices, the project set up to speak up for the Church in the media.

She writes in this week’s Catholic Herald about how she returned to her childhood Catholic faith after a period of agnosticism.

The daughter of an atheist father and a mother who had converted to Catholicism but later became a Buddhist, she was baptised Catholic. But she says she drifted into agnosticism in her teens and “away from any contact with the Church”.

When she began studying for a doctorate in philosophy at Oxford she started to “reassess those values. Relationships, feminism, moral relativism, the sanctity and dignity of human life”.

The debate sparked by Richard Dawkins’s book The God Delusion inspired her to read more about the subject, and she concluded that “New Atheism seemed to harbour a germ of intolerance and contempt for people that could only undermine secular Humanist claims to liberalism”.

“That I freely chose to be a Catholic after much thought and analysis, and wasn’t brainwashed into it, baffle my friends and family alike,” she writes.

Read More: Catholic Herald

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

St. Anthony of Padua - Saint of the Day for June 13

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Biographical Information from Catholic Online

Saint Anthony was canonized (declared a saint) less than one year after his death.

There is perhaps no more loved and admired saint in the Catholic Church than Saint Anthony of Padua, a Doctor of the Church. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal. He first joined the Augustinian Order and then left it and joined the Franciscan Order in 1221, when he was 26 years old. The reason he became a Franciscan was because of the death of the five Franciscan protomartyrs -- St. Bernard, St. Peter, St. Otho, St. Accursius, and St. Adjutus -- who shed their blood for the Catholic Faith in the year 1220, in Morocco, in North Africa, and whose headless and mutilated bodies had been brought to St. Anthony’s monastery on their way back for burial. St. Anthony became a Franciscan in the hope of shedding his own blood and becoming a martyr. He lived only ten years after joining the Franciscan Order.

So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, so that the most unlettered and innocent might understand it, that he was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946. Saint Anthony was only 36 years old when he died. He is called the “hammer of the Heretics” His great protection against their lies and deceits in the matter of Christian doctrine was to utter, simply and innocently, the Holy Name of Mary. When St. Anthony of Padua found he was preaching the true Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he then went out and preached it to the fishes. This was not, as liberals and naturalists are trying to say, for the instruction of the fishes, but rather for the glory of God, the delight of the angels, and the easing of his own heart. St. Anthony wanted to profess the Catholic Faith with his mind and his heart, at every moment.

He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus, to whom He miraculously appeared, and is commonly referred to today as the "finder of lost articles."

Prayers for St. Anthony's Intercession

Statue of St. Anthony photographed inside the Hall of Candles at the Shrine of Saint Joseph.  The Catholic Shrine is located on Long Hill Road, Stirling, NJ, USA.

Photograph Copyright Loci B. Lenar

Saturday, June 08, 2013


Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

Excerpt from SpiritDaily.com - Spiritual News from Around the World

Too often we react in retrospect. The damage is done. Heart problems. Cancer.

Where is the prophetic healing? We need to anticipate. The Holy Spirit does this for us. He sees and guides. He helps us stay ahead of the game.

What is "prophetic healing"? That's praying to gird ourselves against that which may afflict us in the future (or may be in an incipient stage). It's to strengthen. Each cell can be girded by the Holy Spirit against insult from chemicals, from viruses, from accident. It is to shield.

It's to put the body in harmony with the spirit. It is to envelope.

Read more: Spirit Daily

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Photograph by Loci B. Lenar

The following excerpt is from Catholic Online

The heart is the center of a person, the place from which he/she makes the choices which will affect the world within them and around them. Devotion to the Heart of Jesus reminds us that it is in His Sacred Humanity that we find the pattern for becoming fully human ourselves. In His Incarnation, saving life, death and Resurrection, we receive both the pattern - and the means - to become more like Him.

The Feast of the Sacred Heart reminds us of our mission in a Culture which has forgotten God. Let us spend the month of June in Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, lifting up our Nation, indeed the whole world, to the One in whom we place all of our trust. He will not disappoint; His Heart still beats with Mercy and Love for the world.

A 3D virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel

News from RomeReports.com

(Click on the link for a 3D Tour of the Sistine Chapel)

It's known as the most famous chapel in the world. Generation after generation, its priceless artwork is admired by art lovers. For centuries its frescoes have witnessed the conclave, when the successor of Peter is elected to lead the Church.

The Sistine Chapel as we now know it, was completed in the 15th century under the orders of Pope Sixtus IV, which now bears his name. Six centuries later, technology allows everyone to virtually see the Chapel and the Vatican Museums.  By logging onto www.vatican.com everything is just a click away.

In the first stage of the visit, our guide explains that the Conclave, where Cardinals elect a new Pope, takes place right before Michelangelo's  Last Judgment frescoes. Through the chimney installed at the Chapel, they communicate with the world. Black smoke means a candidate has not yet been elected and white smoke means there is a new Pope.

The second stop is in front of the Chapel's frescoes. Anywhere they look, visitors are surrounded by biblical episodes. The north wall illustrates different passages in the history of Jesus Christ, including His Baptism, the Sermon on the Mount and the Last Supper. On the opposite side, the south wall features scenes from the life of Moses. To the east, one can view the resurrection of Jesus and the dispute over the body of Moses.

But undoubtedly, the third and final stop in the tour is the most impressive. Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Last Judgment. The biblical scene recounts the end of time, when Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead. All of humanity is depicted in front of the High Altar.

The guide also explains the history of Creation, through nine scenes from the book of Genesis, which are depicted on the Chapel's ceiling. It's the end of a relaxing and detailed 3D virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel.

The website's creators are already working on their next project, which includes a virtual tour of Saint Peter's Basilica.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Author Stephen King’s Pro-God Response to Atheists and Non-Believers

Stephen King - Photo From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The following excerpt is from TheBlaze.com:

Author Stephen King believes in God — and he also thinks that the universe is built in a such an organized manner that the notion of “intelligent design” is wholly supportable.
King, known for penning thrillers and horror books that both entertain and create intrigue in the minds of readers, made these comments during a recent interview with NPR. Considering the writer’s prominence, his views on God and intelligent design are noteworthy.
So, what did he say, exactly?
During the exchange, King had some interesting words for atheists and those who are unsure about the existence of a higher power. In particular, he charged that these individuals miss all of the signs that overwhelmingly point to structure.
“I choose to believe it. … I mean, there’s no downside to that. If you say, ‘Well, OK, I don’t believe in God, there’s no evidence of God,’ then you’re missing the stars in the sky and you’re missing the sunrises and sunsets and you’re missing the fact that bees pollinate all these crops and keep us alive and the way that everything seems to work together,” he said.
All of these structures, he noted, suggest that the world was built by a higher power — a figure who organized everything and structured it accordingly.
“Everything is sort of built in a way that to me suggests intelligent design,” King added.