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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

White-Washed Tombs ?


A few weeks ago I was walking into Malate Church car park and just in front of me was a young street girl, barefoot and a bit messy. Just then from inside the church another young girl came out, in her father’s arms dressed like a princess. There was a wedding on, maybe she was a flower girl. I wondered just how different their lives were likely to be. For one there would be school, college ,a comfortable home and perhaps her own wedding one day ; for the other a less certain future, no school, no home, and as Malate is a notorious red light area, the best scenario was that she might become a vendor or beggar. And at worst, fall victim to the pimps or pedophiles. Whilst there is suffering in every life, it did seem that the dice were loaded from the beginning.

Later as I came out I saw her again, standing by the outside wall of the church weeping, her hands cupped over her eyes.  Somehow even without any religious instruction, everybody knows where to go to cry don't they ? I could easily imagine her guardian angel collecting those tears and whisking them up to the throne of God. He is really for the poor.

Later, in the car park as the wedding crowds dispersed she was begging for coins from the wealthy guests as they got into their cars to go to the reception and eat but she received nothing at all from them. Whatever celebration of love took place inside the church, compassion didn't quite make it as far as the car park.




Here of course the church is very much mainstream, rather than persecuted it has found respectability, and so its members enjoy the benefits, a symbiotic relationship between the church and people. But where’s the love ? I wonder how perilously close we are to the state of the scribes and Pharisees, little more than white washed tombs, appearing righteous on the outside but empty and dead inside. 

Coincidently the building is in the process of receiving a P15 million Peso renovation, putting a new coating on the outside of the ancient building, making it look even more attractive, it looks a lot like white-wash too !

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Eternal Life ...a preview (from St Faustinas Diary)-


Today I was in Heaven, in spirit, and I saw its inconceivable beauties and the happiness that awaits us after death. I saw how all creatures give ceaseless praise and glory to God. I saw how great is the happiness of God, which spreads to all creatures, making them happy; and then all the glory and praise which springs from this happiness returns to its source; and they enter into the depths of God, contemplating the inner life of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, whom they will never comprehend or fathom.

This source of happiness is unchanging in its essence, but it is always new, gushing forth happiness for all creatures. Now I understand St Paul who said Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love him

...O my God, how I pity those people who do not believe in eternal life; how I pray for them that a ray of mercy would envelop them too, and that God would clasp them to His fatherly bosom.

Today I was led by an angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is ! The kinds of tortures I saw : the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God ,the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that ones condition will never change, the forth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it-a terrible suffering since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by Gods anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell ,and, despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan, the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words and curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings.

There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that no one has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like.

...But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there, are those that disbelieved that there is a hell.

Jesus said .Write, speak of my mercy. Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy (the sacrament of reconciliation). There the greatest miracles take place (and) are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him ones misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no hope of restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of Gods mercy ! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late.

.On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls no one have I excluded

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Will the Voice of the Bird Be Silenced?

by Francis MacNutt (from the Spring 1997 issue)


Perhaps what I am to say here will touch only some of you. But for you, it may be very important news, and for the rest, it is also important, especially if you have never thought about it. I have to admit I never thought about this topic until a few years ago. I always thought about praying for healing, in terms of healing for sickness.

So what is this new realization? It’s simply that I better start thinking about praying for the aging process. Although I’m not sick, some parts of me seem to be wearing out. I hear cracking in my neck when I turn my head, and there’s a place in my right knee that hurts when I go upstairs. I hear creaking and crackling and feel pains that I never used to have. Yet, I’m very healthy.

You can see a dramatic example of this ordinary slowing down process when you read the U.S. standard of excellence for track performance. I’ve been entering a few seniors’ track meets, so naturally, I’m interested in what I might be running or throwing (I’ve recently taken up the javelin) compared to others. It really is amazing when we compare the distances and speeds achieved at different ages. If you are a 30 year old male, it would be excellent to run 100 meters in 11 seconds, but by the time you reach 70, you can expect to drop to 15 seconds. And in the javelin, it would be excellent if you threw it 203.5 feet at 30, but at 70 you would do well to throw it less than half that, at 95 feet (and you are allowed to throw a lighter javelin after 60!).

The last chapter of Ecclesiastes (12:4-5) describes it this way:
            When the voice of the bird is silenced,
            and song notes are stilled,
            when to go uphill is an ordeal
            and a walk is something to dread;

These realistic but gloomy thoughts are not new, of course. But I’ve never read anywhere in a book on healing, anything about healing the aging process. Isn’t this amazing, considering that we all will face this question unless we die an untimely death? Do we just gracefully accept gradually falling apart? Or, are the conditions of aging something we can pray to slow down or reverse? Yes, I believe we can do something by asking God’s life and strength to fill and renew every part of us.

It’s not like the healing of disease, because aging is natural. After a joint has moved so many times, its cushioning (cartilage) wears down, and one bone grinding on another bone creates inflammation. It’s like my 1991 car with 82,000 miles on it. It’s a wonderful car, remarkable for its age, but can it continue on in the same condition until it reaches 200,000 miles? At the very least there are scratches on its finish. But, just as the car can be restored in many ways, I also believe we can pray to hold back or even restore many of the effects of the aging process. The rather worldly author of Ecclesiastes also says, “However great the number of years a man may live, let him enjoy them all, and yet remember that dark days will be many” (11:8). I believe in my own life that I can see the results of the prayers of so many friends, and especially Judith, for my hearing is excellent and I can still read without glasses.

To my shame, I remember the days when I was impatient with older people, driving their big cars so slowly, meandering down the aisles of grocery stores, taking forever to count out their change at the check-out counter. So, one improvement in my attitude is that I’m learning to be more patient with others, as well as myself.

So now we’re learning a new thing, and that’s always exciting: we can pray for new life, even as we grow older. As I said above, I don’t recall finding anything about this in all of the books on healing I’ve ever read (although somewhere, someone must have written about it). And yet it’s a question you will be asking yourself, in the future, if not now.

Another fascinating question (I don’t have the answer) is: “Would Jesus have grown old in the way we do, if he had not been killed in his 30’s?” Praying to counteract the effects of aging is so different from praying to be healed of illness from a virus or a bacteria. What we are praying for here is more like a creative miracle: “Lord, please restore the disintegrated disc,” or whatever. It’s not so much “take away” (the sickness) as it is “add” (the vitality, cushioning, etc.) and “restore” (the nerves in my ear).

Yet, there is a “taking away” we can pray for: the taking away of pain. Personally, I believe that many of the pains that afflict the elderly (and, in turn, tend to lead to sadness and melancholy) will be taken away or, at least, diminished if we ask the Lord. This is not just a theory, because we have seen pain go away so often as we pray.

Of course, we accept the fact that at some point we must die; Lazarus, resurrected from the dead by Jesus, is no longer with us. But wouldn’t it be ideal if we might simply die, in our sleep perhaps, with our mind and most of our senses intact? Is that being too idealistic? There is bound to be some slowing down; I don’t expect to throw a javelin 200 feet, it’s just that some effects of aging seem to go counter to human dignity, and I think we can pray about some of those aspects. So, I now believe that some of the effects of the aging process can be slowed down, or even turned back. And this is part of the Good News.

Bible Verses About the Aging Process
• Deut. 34:7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.
• Deut. 33:25 …your strength will equal your days.
• Ps. 92:12-15 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
• Isa. 40:30-31 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
• Isa. 46:3-4 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

This year the novena starts on March 29th (Good Friday) and ends on April 7th - Divine Mercy Sunday.



Jesus said to Sister Faustina:
"I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My mercy, that they may draw there from strength and refreshment and whatever grace they need in the hardships of life, and especially at the hour of death. On each day you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls, and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy, and I will bring all these souls into the house of My Father. You will do this in this life and in the next. I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls". (Diary 1209).





First Day of the Novena (Good Friday)



Today, bring to Me all mankind,especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.



Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.



* Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (see how to pray this prayer at the end of the novena)



Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen. (Diary 1210-1211).



Second Day (Holy Saturday)



Today bring to me the souls of priests and religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me the strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them, as through channels, My mercy flows out upon mankind.



Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in us, that we may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.



* Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy



Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company [of chosen ones] in Your vineyard - upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.







Third day (Easter Sunday)



Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.



Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.



* Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy



Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.





Fourth Day (Easter Monday)



Today bring to Me the unbelievers and those who do not yet know me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.



Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.



* Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy



Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.





Fifth Day (Easter Tuesday)



Today bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart; that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal, and in this way they alleviate My Passion.



Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of heretics and schismatics. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.



* Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy



Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of heretics and schismatics, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.





Sixth Day (Easter Wednesday)



Today bring to me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who would keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is able to receive My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.



Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.



* Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy



Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon the souls of little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.





Seventh Day (Easter Thursday)



Today bring to me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.



Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy. These souls are united to Jesus and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.



* Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy



Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their lifetime, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy.

Amen.





Eighth Day (Easter Friday)



Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.



Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of the purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.



* Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy



Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen





Ninth Day (Easter Saturday)



Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: "Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will." For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy.



Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.



* Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy



Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls, who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.





How to Pray the Chaplet



Jesus told St. Faustina, "This prayer will serve to appease My wrath. You will recite it for nine days, on the beads of the rosary, in the following manner: First of all, you will say one 'Our Father' and 'Hail Mary' and the 'I Believe in God'. Then on the Our Father beads you will say the following words, "Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world." On the Hail Mary beads you will say the following words, "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world." In conclusion, three times you will recite these words: "Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world." (Diary 476)

- Begin with: one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and The Apostle's Creed.

- On the Our Father Beads say the following words:

"Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world".

- On the Hail Mary Beads say the following words:

"For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world".

- After the five decades say three times:

"Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world".

- At the end, say three times: "Jesus, I trust in You."



"My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy."