Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why pray to Mary when it's Jesus who heals?

This question was posed to me today by a fairly agitated young woman who seemed bent on wanting to pick a fight. I had pulled my rosary out of my pocket while retrieving some change and she noticed it and said "Is that a rosary? Why do Catholics INSIST on praying more to Mary than to God or Jesus?" Being we were in a public place, I thought it a good opportunity to express my response very politely, yet forcefully, so that all those listening in would know exactly what I said.

After giving her the "Catholics aren't praying TO Mary so much as we pray THROUGH Mary to get our petition before Jesus" and seeing she wasn't going to even try to understand my reponse, I tried an old Fr. Corapi-ism on her. I told her "You pray directly to Jesus and I'll pray to him while seeking the intercession of His Blessed Mother Mary. We'll wait and see who gets to heaven first." The young woman was speechless.

This abrupt end to our exchange prompted an older woman in the next check-out line to begin laughing almost uncontrollably. Not wanting to make the younger woman feel any more discomfort, the older woman chimed in "That reminds me of a joke. Jesus was giving his annual tour of heaven when he ran across St. Peter and he said "Peter, what's up with all of these extra souls we seem to have around? Are you certain they all belong HERE?" To which St. Peter replied "Well, Jesus, maybe you should talk to your MOTHER about it." Jesus stammered, "MY mother!? What would SHE have to do with it?" St. Peter responded "Hey, I turn them away at the front gate, but they go around to the side door and SHE lets them in."

Everyone laughed and the young woman acknowledged that she had a lot of reconsidering to do. She understands now.

Chalk up another one for the good guys...and try to keep a sense of humor when someone wants to attack your beliefs. It's only going to get worse with all of the media attacks against Catholics going on today.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

From The Letter File

We get many letters and phone calls from various visitors to Sylvan Springs. Many times, they seem to be frustrated because they cannot find the "right" words to describe their feelings nor can they adequately describe what they may have witnessed while touring the grounds or reflecting in prayer in one of the chapels.

This letter comes to us from a well-grounded young man who decided to surprise his fiancee with a day at Sylvan Springs on November 10. Rome City has become a place of great inspiration for this young couple as they attempt to lay the spiritual foundation of their future lives together. There is no doubt that Our Lady is reaching out to them, as She is to ALL of Her children. The only difference is that this couple openly recognizes this fact and wants to do all they can to help. They are obviously without the financial resources to help secure these grounds, but they have something money cannot provide. They have the KNOWLEDGE that was born out of a willingness to BELIEVE. They have faithfully answered Our Lady's call and they have both received what it was She wanted to give them.

Our Lady wants us all to have this knowledge so that they may fully live in Her Son's lifegiving LIGHT. One of the greatest gifts you could ever ask for is waiting for you in Rome City. Come, take what you are given, and help to spread the message of OLA this Christmas Season.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

What's That With Our Lady of America in Milwaukee?

This photo was taken at St. Anthony de Padua in Milwaukee while the traveling OLA statue was visiting last month. It was taken shortly after the conclusion of Sunday's High Mass by Fr. Anthony Cirignani.

BTW: The choir's latin was awesome! And they have a COMMUNION RAIL!! It was a spiritually-charged day.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Leading The World By The Purity of Our Lives?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions that newcomers to OLA find as one of the most intriguing and pertinent aspects of Our Lady's messages. What defines "purity"? How far does it extend in our lives? Is it just about our actions and interactions or does it go deeper to include our food and nutrition? What about our environment and energy choices?

What are the realistic chances for being successful at achieving "purity" in this day and age?

Let's suspend our faith-based reasoning for a bit while we consider the confluence of current events in the world today:

The world is on a VERY thin edge at the present moment. Pakistan is de-stabilized and currently presents the greatest threat to regional and world peace since WWII. With a nuclear weapons program and a fractured government authority, Pakistan has become the top target for insurgent groups looking to establish a stronger base in the region. If any of them are successful in gaining control of even a portion of these weapons, it is certain they will use them as they have long proclaimed.

The screenwriter's guild is on strike in Hollywood and the media is all upset because some of our television programs have immediately gone to re-runs because nobody is available to write new material. Given what has come out of these writers the past 10 years, THIS IS NOT BAD NEWS! When it comes to "purity", the screenwriter's guild is, quite possibly, the greatest threat to success in achieving "purity" in these United States. The moral decline in what is portrayed on our televisions and movie screens begins with this core group of writers. The producers call the writer's strike "irresponsible". Now, that's the pot calling the kettle black. These are both VERY DANGEROUS GROUPS!

Food is being recalled with greater frequency. E-coli is becoming so prevalent, one begins to wonder if it hasn't been present all along and we are just getting better at detecting it. Our vegetables are losing their nutritional value due to soil depletion. We are bombarded with nutritional supplements from various experts. Meanwhile, obesity levels amongst all our age groups is growing steadily. Our children are the fastest-growing segment and are expected to not live as long as their own parents due to their level of health. This is not "purity" and it cannot be tolerated. "Honey, we're killing the kids!"

Oil and gas prices are shooting up again. China is now using more energy than the USA and world prices are reflecting it. Pollution levels are shooting up too. Whether or not you believe in Al Gore's rhetoric concerning Global Warming, the facts regarding energy use and consumption are indisputable. WE MUST LOOK TO CONSERVE CURRENT USE AND EMPLOY NEW ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES. Turn down your thermostat by 2 degrees and save 10% on your heating bills. Wash your clothes in cold water (let the detergent do the work) and save even more. Plan your errands or ask a neighbor to grab the few items you need from the store. I remember neighbors stopping by when I was young and saying to my parents "I'm going into town. Do you need anything while I'm there?" You don't hear this much anymore.

If one who just arrived on this planet were to examine the confluence of these various dilemmas from an entirely analytical perspective, they would easily discern that earthlings are in a big heap of trouble and their continuance of these same practices would be described as "willful self-destructive behavior". They do not change because they sense no hope. Hope is there, but it lies in working to achieve "purity" as OLA has asked.

With faithful eyes, we can see that OLA's message has come at a time most pertinent. As Fatima gave warning and remedy for the world situation in 1917, so has OLA's Rome City messages given warning and remedy for the current world situation.

We must work to make our lives "pure" on every level, not just on the interior. By striving for "purity" as individuals we will naturally draw others with us as we move through our daily lives. "Purity" may be seen as nonsensical to many, but to others, it is quite attractive and empowering. Do not let the first group distract you from your mission to lead the world by the "purity" of your life. Our survival may depend on it.