Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pope Francis: A Jonah for Our Times?

Gustave Dore_Jonah preaching to the Ninevites
The world was transfixed in early 2013 as three meteors broke through the deceptive calm of outer space. Thanks to the media, for a few weeks, people were confronted with the remote, but unsettling, possibility that the ultimate horror might come true—a killing fire, raining down from the sky.
Actually, humanity has been confronted by such a horror, and it did come true. And it left far more in its wake than the selective damage of the 2013 event, which was terrible enough—wounding 1,100 people in the heart of Russia, the most significant meteor explosion to hit earth in 100 years.

But the earlier event, which happened several millennia ago, brought no less than complete annihilation.  Although details are sketchy by modern standards, it was a cataclysmic, epic-sized event that incinerated all human beings in its wake. Even in our history-challenged day, most people know something of this horror, which was recorded in Scripture as the day “the Lord rained brimstone and fire out of heaven.”
The epicenter took place in two ancient cities, recorded by name as Sodom and Gomorrah. Even thousands of years later, the names alone cause many 21st century inhabitants—including Catholics—to either smile indulgently or bristle in indignation. It’s not hard to see why. The account of that terrible day of fire and brimstone is understood by many as a myth or fairy tale rather than history, and it includes the kind of “judgmental” language that  is so offensive to modern sensibilities.

The details are obscured in the terse language of Scripture but the meaning has always been clear. When male strangers arrive in the dissolute city of Sodom, the Sodomites demanded that they be turned over to them for sexual pleasure. Lot, the just man, objects: “Do not commit this evil,” he implores.

A common sense reading of the passages, not to mention centuries of biblical exegesis—have been clear—the evil spoken of by Lot is homosexuality.
The rest of the story is familiar, even to us “moderns.” In brief, the ancient Sodomites and people from Gomorrah refused to turn away from their evil intentions. God, through angel messengers, warns Lot that, because of their persistent evil, devastation will befall the entire region. The angels tell Lot and his family to flee. Everyone else is destroyed.

According to the Bible, this catastrophe was witnessed by Abraham, our father in faith.  Genesis 19:28 tells us that, looking from afar, Abraham “saw the ashes rise up from the earth as the smoke of a furnace.”
It’s a grim scene. But it’s so central that, at least a thousand years after the event—and two millennia before our time—two epistle writers, including the first pope, refer to it.
Jude, in his epistle, reminds the first generation of Christians that the evil citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah have a role to play: “They are set before us to dissuade us as they undergo a punishment of eternal fire” (1:7). And the apostle Peter included a future warning about Sodom and Gomorrah, saying that God “condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah [to destruction], reducing them to ashes, making them an example for the godless [people] of what is coming” (2Pt.2:6).

However, and interesting to note, God dealt very differently with another biblical “sin city.” Nineveh was a dissolute city, too, but God sent the prophet Jonah to call people back from their depravity. Jonah did so, and the people of Nineveh heard him and repented, showing their sincerity by putting on sackcloth and ashes.
By contrast, Sodom and Gomorrah did not repent. The distinction is crucial.

Now we come to our own times. Once again, an aggressive homosexual movement is sweeping the world. We know that the United States is beset with legal pressures to accept homosexual marriage and the requirement that gay couples be accepted as adoptive parents. The threat is so real, that as of 2013 traditional Catholic adoption agencies across the country are preparing to shut down rather than be legally forced to place children in homes without a married mother and father.

But the aggression of the homosexual movement goes much further. In fact, so many nations have accepted, or are considering, expanding gay rights to include marriage (including France, once a cornerstone of western Christianity) that the countries have become too numerous to mention. Clearly, we are now surpassing the homosexuality of Sodom and Gomorrah.

But many may ask—why would God single out one sin for so much punishment? Why do we need a modern day Jonah?
Scripture is clear, and if we think about it, our own reason should tell us reasons why. Sins of lust strike at the heart of the inner person—called in Scripture “the temple of the Holy Spirit.” St Paul says, “You have been bought at a great price,” reminding us that the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross, his unspeakable suffering and death, is in effect mocked by those who corrupt and sully their inner being with lust (1 Cor.6:20).

What’s more, in a deeply personal way, lust is the sin that destroys families—as well as the instinct to make families. It’s as simple as that. We all know it’s true—adultery, sex outside of marriage, pornography and perversions are cancers that tear at the heart of the family unit, that beautifully designed model of man, woman and child, designed by God to reflect the divine life itself. This assault on the most blessed of human pacts, the family, incites more than God’s displeasure—it incites his wrath: As Paul says in his epistle to the Ephesians (5:5-6) the sins of “fornicators” and “unclean and lustful persons” “bring down God’s wrath upon the disobedient.”

But we must go further. Homosexual acts are singled out in particular.  In Romans (1: 18, 26-27) Paul speaks about the “wrath of God” descending upon “women (who) exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and men (who) gave up natural intercourse with women and burned with lust for one another.”

Today, the Christian concern and alarm over homosexual sins is not some arbitrary singling out of a “lifestyle”—it’s the modern day aggressive homosexual movement which is calling attention to itself, by making demands on civilization that clearly reject everything that tradition, human reason, and God‘s laws have set in place. Homosexuality’s merciless demands that society publicly admire their sin, turn over the institution of marriage, and even bestow the right to raise children—is the modern equivalent of Sodom’s men trying to break down the door of Lot’s house to satisfy their own lustful pleasure.

Christians did not ask for this fight, but the times are clear. We must accept the unavoidable reality that, once again, gay rights are in full aggressive mode, as much, if not more so, than in Sodom and Gomorrah. St. Peter warns of “what is coming” and the context clearly indicates that another “reduction to ashes” is in store for depraved humanity. Clearly, we need another Jonah.
This spring, an event occurred which should give us reason to hope.

The event was the thoroughly unexpected arrival of Pope Francis—an event which our faith tells us was orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. Significantly, this pope has a track record of defending holy matrimony against the modern homosexual movement.
Three years ago, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, instructed his priests to bring the faithful to an upcoming protest against homosexual “marriage” as the nation of Argentina debated the expansion of homosexual rights. At the time, his message was widely noted, and also maligned, in secular Argentina (which ultimately became the first Latin American country to allow gay civil unions). However, the future Pope Francis continued, courageously, to speak out. As quoted by LifeSiteNews in March, 2013, he said:
“Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God,” wrote Cardinal Bergoglio in a letter sent to the monasteries of Buenos Aires. “We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
Since then, the United States and the rest of the world has slid even further down the path of indifference to grave sin. Even many Catholics have begun to shrug off the threat of gay marriage, suggesting that “maybe the time has come” to accept this eventuality. Few elected officials—if any—are standing up in public to forcefully denounce the appalling, strong arm legal tactics being used to inflict gay adoptions and marriage on religious institutions.

Many who want to follow God’s laws are asking, in near despair, what is to become of our country? What is to become of our world?
But now, take note that the relatively obscure prelate who fiercely stood up against the government in Argentina over the matter of homosexual marriage when others were silent is now our present Pope.

Could it be that God has provided us with a Jonah for our times?

 by Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M. Cap

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pope Francis: Where There Is Calumny, There Is Satan Himself!

POPE francis 23
 Pope Francis Continues To Speak On Satan
And The Works Of Evil!

 For the third time in as many weeks, Pope Francis has warned not to speak ill  of others, and again mentioned the devil in another striking homily this morning  in the chapel of the Vatican’s Santa Martha residence.
Calumny, he said, is worse than sin and is the direct expression of Satan.  “We are all sinners; all of us. We all commit sins. But calumny is something  else. It is of course a sin, too, but it is something more,” he said, according  to a Vatican Radio report.

“Calumny aims to destroy the work of God, and calumny comes from a very evil  thing: it is born of hatred. And hate is the work of Satan. Calumny destroys the  work of God in people, in their souls. Calumny uses lies to get ahead.” Be in no  doubt, he said: “Where there is calumny, there is Satan himself.”
He then gave the example of St. Stephen, who was a victim of calumny,  wrongly accused of bearing false witness, and was martyred because of it. The  Church’s first martyr, the Pope said, does not repay falsehood with falsehood.  Instead, he “looks to the Lord and obeys the law”, being in the peace and truth  of Christ. It’s the way of martyrdom, he said, and there have been   numerous examples of those who have witnessed to the Gospel with great  courage.
But he added  and later repeated  that the age of martartyrs “is not yet  over” and that “even today we can say, in truth, that the Church has more  martyrs now than during the first centuries.”

“The Church has many men and women who are maligned through calumny, who are  persecuted, who are killed in hatred of Jesus, in hatred of the faith,” the Holy  Father continued. “Some are killed because they teach the catechism, others are  killed because they wear the cross … Today, in many countries, they are  maligned, they are persecuted … they are our brothers and sisters who are  suffering today, in this age of the martyrs”.

This age of “such great spiritual turmoil” reminded the Pope of an ancient  Russian icon that depicts Our Lady covering the people of God with her mantle:  “We pray to Our Lady to protect us, and in times of spiritual turbulence the  safest place is under the mantle of Our Lady. She is the mother who takes care  of the Church. And in this time of martyrs, she is the protagonist, the  protagonist of protection: She is the Mother. (…) Let us state with faith:  Mother, the Church is under your protection: Care for the Church.”

This is the third time at these early morning Masses that the Pope has warned  against speaking poorly of others. Last month he said it was the equivalent of  selling someone “like a commodity,” not unlike Judas, who sold out Jesus for 30  pieces of silver. A few days later, he warned against gossip, saying that  complaining behind each other’s backs is a temptation that comes “from the Evil  One, who does not want the Spirit to dwell among us and give peace.”

Since his election last month, the Pope has also made frequent references to  the devil. Observers have noted this emphasis with interest, especially as  explicit mentions of the devil largely fell into disuse in the years following  the Second Vatican Council. With his disappearance from Church texts, exorcists  complained that the rite of exorcism had become useless against demons.

Pope Francis’s frequent allusions to “Satan” and the “Evil One” may well be  part of an effort —one that Benedict XVI had already begun  to cast out the  presence of evil and so bring back healing and harmony to the Church, and to  parts of the Vatican in particular.

Taken From:  National Catholic Register. 
By: Edward Penetin 

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Spirit Daily has been reporting on Elizabeth Kindelmann -- a "victim soul" seer from Budapest who died in 1985 after receiving years of what are now called the "Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary" messages -- some with dramatic portents for the future.
Those messages met with the rare approval of a cardinal, Péter Erdö, primate of Hungary (also president of the Council of Episcopal Conference in Europe) and at least six bishops in Latin America -- along with her local ordinary. 

Somehow, in the flood of "revelations," locutions, and apparitions, these seem to have been missed.
But dramatic they are (and available in the way of a booklet, The Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary), which has a website and from which we hope to obtain booklets for distribution in the U.S.).

In addition to Cardinal Erdö, the seer drew the support of a second cardinal, Archbishop Bernardino Echeverría Ruiz, of Guayaquil [right]. The other bishops included prelates from Acapulco, Celaya, Tuxila, Hermosillo, Mexico City, and Durango. After requesting approval of the global Church for the organization based on Flame of Love, Cardinal Ruiz was sent a letter from the Vatican's J. Francis Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council for the laity, encouraging him "to take every measure for the association to give abundant fruits among its members" and inviting him "to continue with the tender task of spiritual accompaniment."

"Jolts" were coming to the earth, Elizabeth said she was told (by the Lord), jolts that will "give rise to a new world by the power of faith." The earth will be renewed, "for never has such a flow of grace ever been given since the Word became Flesh," she said she heard.
This renewing of the world will be tested by suffering and take place through the imploring force of the Virgin, the seer added.

"Know that the earth is like nature before a storm," Elizabeth, who died in 1985, says she was told. "It can also be compared to a volcano when it suddenly awakens, smothers, kills, and blinds everyone with the infernal smoke sprouting up and its falling ashes, that destroys everything around. The deadly ashes full of sulfur want to blemish human souls created in the image of God."
But the flame of the Blessed Mother is about to ignite, Mary told Elizabeth -- blinding Satan and freeing mankind from the "smoking lava" of hatred. 

"The elect souls will have to fight the Prince of Darkness," Mary intoned. "It will be a frightening storm -- no, not a storm, but a hurricane devastating everything! He even wants to destroy the faith and confidence of the elect. I will always be beside you in the storm that is now brewing. I am your mother. I can help you and I want to! You will see everywhere the light of my Flame of Love sprouting out like a flash of lightning illuminating Heaven and earth, and with which I will inflame even the dark and languid souls! But what sorrow it is for me to have to watch so many of my children throw themselves in hell!"

There will be persecution and the persecutors, warned Mary, will be the "cowards" who "fear for their well-being, those who know everything better than others."
They would attack as Herod once attacked, the Blessed Mother warned.
"My children," Mary concluded, "the Arm of my Divine Son is ready to strike. I can barely hold it back. Help me! If you invoke my Flame of Love, we can save the world together."

Her voice, said Elizabeth, was "full of majesty, power, and firmness" when she spoke of coming events. "I cannot convey with words the inexpressible astonishment and the wonder with which I heard that. After a few minutes of silence, she spoke in quite another tone, her usual and maternal tone of soft tenderness: 'Fear not, have confidence in my power as a mother.'"

Chaplet of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
(said with an ordinary rosary)
The Sign of the Cross is made five times in veneration of the Savior's five Holy Wounds.
On the Our Father [Pater] beads:
"Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for those who seek refuge in you."
On the Hail Mary [Ave] beads:
"Holy Mother, save us through your Immaculate Heart's flame of love."

At the end, the Glory Be to the Father is repeated three times.
(Also known as the Flame of Love Chaplet)




Our Lord Jesus Christ also taught Elizabeth a new prayer, and He invited her to propagate it, since He considers it to be a powerful means to blind Satan.
O my Jesus,
may our feet journey together,

may our hands gather in unity,

may our hearts beat to the same rhythm,

may our souls be in harmony,

may our thoughts be in unison,

may our ears listen to the silence together,

may our glances melt in one another,

and may our lips beg Our Heavenly Father,
together, to obtain Mercy.

Amen. *

(May 4, 1962)

* This prayer summarizes the essence and the goal of the message of the FLAME OF LOVE: the union of love with God and the call of love of Jesus to each one of us. It constitutes the way to live our life. Our thoughts, words, actions and even our silences, closely united to Jesus, obtain by Him, with Him and in Him, an eternal value.
Seems to me it's right in union with the Divine Will that Luisa Piccarreta gave us. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Words of Jesus on suffering -The reason for suffering

 Words of Jesus to St Gemma -The reason for suffering and her share in the Sacred Passion
--Gemma's reply of love

Jesus says to Gemma: "When I shall be a spouse of blood to you, I will love you, but you must be as one crucified. Prove your love for Me as I have proved My love for you; and do you know how? -By suffering pains and crosses without number. You must consider yourself honoured when I treat you thus, and when I lead you through thorny and sorrowful paths. It is with My permission that the Devil torments you, that the world fills you with disgust, that the persons dearest to you cause you affliction. ... And you, My daughter, must think of only one thing during this time, that is, of exercising great virtues. Keep on the path of the Divine will, and humble yourself, and be convinced that if I nail you to the Cross, I love you."

"My daughter "-Jesus said to me- "if you truly love Me, you will love Me even in darkness. Embrace the Cross, My daughter, and be certain that whilst you are satisfying your desire of suffering you are satisfying My heart; and remember, the more bitter the Cross seems to your heart, the more agreeable it is to Mine."
And again Jesus has said to me: "Do you know why I desire to send crosses to the souls that are dear to Me? I desire to possess them entirely, and for that reason I surround them with crosses, and I shut them in with tribulations so that they may not escape out of My hands; for that reason I spread thorns everywhere so that giving their affections to no one they may seek all their pleasure in Me alone. My daughter, if the Cross was not felt, it could not be called a Cross. Be certain that if you stand beneath the Cross you will never be lost. The Devil has no power over those souls who weep near the Cross. My daughter, how many would have abandoned Me, if I had not crucified them. The Cross is a very precious gift, and many virtues can be learned through it."

And to this Gemma writes: ‘The Lord delights in playing with souls that are very dear to Him, but He plays with them because He loves them. Now He consoles them, now He allows them to become well esteemed by mankind, and afterwards He allows them to become a laughingstock to the world. At one time He makes them so courageous that Hell has no terrors for them, and at another time, He allows them to be frightened at the least thing. Whoever thinks that he is suffering, knows little; but whoever suffers and yet thinks that he suffers little or naught, is enlightened. Whoever is humiliated on earth, is in Heaven and on the Cross; whoever has the first place on earth, has the last before God. He who knows the Cross, desires it; he who does not know it, runs away from it.'
Gemma was meditating on and even living the Passion of Jesus Christ, and from this meditation she drew all her consolation. 'To meditate on Thy Passion, oh Jesus, has always been a great relief to holy souls.'
And this is how she wrote of the fruits she gathered from this meditation. 'Every day I make a meditation, but always on the Passion. If I did not do so, it would seem to me that Jesus would reprove me thus:

"See, My daughter, here I am on the Cross, through love, a victim for your many faults. Consider well My sufferings, and then deny Me, if you can, the tender compassion that I deserve.'

[All the quotations in the following section have been taken from the “Lettere ed estasi di Santa Gemma”.]

‘When I see Jesus weep, my own heart is transfixed with sorrow; I think . . . I think how I have by my sins caused some of the oppression which Jesus suffered in the Garden. At that time Jesus saw all my sins, all my omissions, and besides, He saw the place I should have occupied in Hell, if Thy Heart, oh Jesus, had not granted me pardon.'
‘When I am looking at the Crucifix, it seems to me that Jesus turns to me with words of reproof and says: 
"If you allow yourself to sin you will crucify Me anew. Are not these sufferings enough?" Mia Dio! After these words could I hold out any longer? But Jesus turning to me, very pleased, added and repeated: "Love Me as much as you can, and I shall give you all that you desire. Love Me with all your heart and I shall forgive you all your sins." -Oh the infinite goodness of Jesus! All He asks of me is love! '

‘Many times I have asked Jesus to teach me the true way of loving Him, and then Jesus allows me to see all His open Wounds, and that He says
: "Look, My daughter, look how I have suffered! Do you see this Cross, these nails, these thorns? They are the works of love. Look and learn how to love."


The lessons which were taught in this school of love and suffering penetrated into the soul of the holy girl. The resolutions which she was thereby induced to make are among the most heroic that can be conceived, and the maxims she formulated almost divinely sublime.

‘I shall compensate Thee, oh Jesus, by treating myself as Thy slave, and by putting my shoulders under Thy Cross.'
‘Suffering will raise my spirits, and far from discouraging me will give me the strength necessary to correspond with Thy grace.'
‘Oh, how much I realize that by doing what the goodness of Jesus wills, every cross is changed into joy, suffering even becomes too pleasant! He has neither cross nor fear who is closely united with Jesus.'

‘My heart possesses Jesus and possessing Jesus I feel that I can smile even in the midst of so many tears. I feel, yes, I feel happy even in great suffering oh Jesus, whether Thou caresses me or strikes me, it is the same to me. Yea, when Thou dost strike me, I am all the more pleased, because it is really what I deserve.'
‘It ought not be that suffering should adapt itself to us, but we ought to adapt ourselves to suffering.'

‘Whoever loves Jesus has sufficient strength to suffer any cross whatsoever.'
‘Whoever truly loves, suffers gladly.'
‘The more a cross is contrary to my desires, the more it is like to Thine, oh Jesus.'
‘The masters of this world teach always with the voice, and You with suffering.'

‘Who knows how many would have abandoned Thee, if Thou had not held them to the Cross.'
‘ In loving it is Thou who delightest my soul, and in suffering it is I who delightest Thy Soul.'
'Why are you so afflicted, 0 my soul? You offend your Beloved if you do not embrace the Cross with gladness. If you do not send your thoughts to Calvary, you are not concerned about Paradise.'
‘Oh Jesus, You give crosses to those who love Thee! '
‘Oh Cross, when I am near thee I feel strong! '
'All my days are sown with crosses. Oh holy Cross, I have embraced thee! '
‘May my life be a continual sacrifice! May You increase my sufferings, my humiliations! '
‘If I had to live in the world without suffering I should say to Thee: "Let me rather die now. Either crucify my soul or make me die ! '

Upon hearing a cry like this-a cry that only the love of the Crucified could inspire, we shall now contemplate Gemma’s love for God:

In a letter Gemma says- ‘Oh Passion of Christ! You Angels of Heaven, bow down with me in honour of the Passion of Jesus; together let us catch the Blood of Jesus! Passion of Jesus, I love Thee! Angels of Heaven, come, let us all adore the Passion of Jesus! '

‘How sweet and good Jesus is to me, in spite of my being so wicked! How shall I ever correspond with the mercy that Jesus shows me? What shall I give to Jesus in exchange for all the benefits He showers upon me?'
‘It is true, is it not, Jesus, that love is the best exchange for Thy gifts? And even I can love Thee. But I do not love Thee because of Thy gifts to me. I love Thee because Thou art my Jesus, I love Thee because Thou alone art worthy of being loved. I love Thee because Thou art good, because Thou hast promised, You have sworn never to abandon me....'

‘I love Thee because You are my benefactor, my preserver, because You consume my soul and make my soul divine. Because You are my Spouse, I seek Thee always, I seek Thy affection, Thy friendship, Thy glory.'

‘You ask me how I should like to love Thee? With that purity with which the virgins loved Thee; with that fortitude with which the martyrs loved Thee. Yes,... You know, 0 Jesus (but do I say it too often?), I want to love Thee as Thy holy Mother loved Thee.'
‘I should like to possess the purity of the Angels, and even that of our Mother, most holy Mary.'
‘Do You know what chastisement I fear to merit? It is that of being condemned not to love Thee any more, my Jesus.'

‘Love demands love, and fire calls upon fire--Even from the depths of my unworthiness I love Thee, 0 my Jesus, and intensely. It would be impossible for me not to think of Thee. . . . I spend my days uttering burning aspirations of love.'
‘But what do You call me? What do You say of me? I am Thy delight, 0 Jesus? I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus; You are the staff of my life, the flame of my heart, the apple of my eye.'

‘See, Jesus, if You had shown Thyself less lovable; if You had not made me understand the extent of Thy love for me, I should have loved Thee less. But You have made me love Thee, and now I cannot do without Thee.'
‘What would happen to me if Jesus ceased to love me? I not to love Jesus, and Jesus not to love me? But it is a thought that terrifies me, and I beseech Jesus to continue to love me, to think of me, even though I do not succeed in loving Him as I ought.'

‘Oh dear Jesus, come to me, come! Do not be disgusted with my misery, for although it is great, Thy mercy is greater still. Come, and with Your purity, make my heart clean; with Thy meekness, beat down my pride. Visit my conscience, and if there is anything that displeases Thee, root it out and destroy it. Until my heart is full of true and solid virtue, do not come to it, do not expose to insult the honour of Thy glory, the greatness of Thy Majesty. Oh my God, You lower Thyself to the vilest of Thy creatures such as I am, repair the harm my sins have done, and raise me up, oh Jesus! And then, come to me always, oh Jesus....'

'I consider my soul as a high mountain with Jesus resting against it to prevent it from falling. Yes, it is indeed so! If Jesus did not sustain me I should fall. . . . 0 my God, make haste that I die, and die of love for Jesus! Do You not see that my heart and my body are in the throes of an agony and that I am on fire? Do You not see that I am a victim of love and that I shall soon die of love? The world wearies me; I long for one thing only, love, love, love.'

'What do You say, 0 Jesus? That when I am small then I am great? The smaller I feel, the more I feel I love Jesus. His love inebriates me, filling me ever more and more…I shall be alone with Jesus….What joy one experiences when one abandons oneself into the arms of Jesus! The faithful soul becomes His dearest child. He opens His arms to receive it, and presses it to His most Sacred Heart. Oh Jesus, I am in such need of Thy love!’

Source: "Blessed Gemma Galgani" by Father Amedeo C.P., Translated into English by Father Osmund Thorpe C.P., 1935.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

GoodBye Isn't Forever When You Step into Eternity

I don't really know how to begin this, I only know I have to write something about someone very dear to my heart that may soon step into eternity. Funny how you can become close with folks you meet online. A few commonalities and phone calls and you realize you have a soul mate that you'd have otherwise never met. Such is the case with my "hero"; Maddie. I won't identify her completely, but I will ask for your kind prayers for her ... just say Maddie, God knows her well! :) 

She's been living on 'borrowed time' for some time now. Cancer, among other maladies, has been her biggest cross. She's an animal lover and a people lover. She's led prayer groups even through her years of illness. She's offered many times to sit with folks she doesn't even know while they're getting their chemo treatments, even though she was currently undergoing her own treatments

Her Faith is phenomenal; and although she's had a few rough times and scares, it's been what's held her together. But it hasn't just held her together ... she has a peace and a joy that I can't even imagine under those circumstances. This is one of the reasons she will always be my "HERO"

Most recently, she's spent the better part of the last year in and out of hospitals with surgeries, chemo, radiation and other interventions caused by complications from the cancer. She's had sustained pain that most of us would faint from. Much of the cancer is in her lungs, but also went to the bones in the back of her neck to the spinal area and now it's spread to her brain. There's nothing more that can be done. No more chemo, no more radiation ... no more treatments. 

She will be going back to her home area from the treatment center in Texas and into a hospice for a last few months. Since I've known Maddie ... whenever we talk, it always pops up about how much she wants to hug Jesus :) We've also made a pact, that whoever gets there first will pray the other one there :) God can do anything of course, but it appears that she'll be taking the high road and getting there before me. 

The high road indeed. A while back, she'd asked Jesus to let her have her purgatory on earth ... I think He granted her that wish. Her son will be taking her back to LA next week. When she gets settled in, she will try to stay in contact on facebook as long as she can.

I wanted to write this to ask for prayers for her during the remainder of her time here on earth. She's assured me that the Doctors have said they can keep her comfortable as far as meds and pain goes now and the folks at the hospice will be kind and prayerful. There's a deacon there that she knows so that's nice and her son will be able to visit more. She will even get to visit with her pets a bit :) 

I believe with all my heart and soul that death is the beginning of the REAL LIFE we were meant to have. The eternity that God planned for us and Jesus redeemed us for through His Perfect Passion and Resurrection. But I can cry when I read a greeting card and since my own encounter with cancer and a hysterectomy, those emotions run even wilder than before; thankfully, she understands this too. You try to be strong for someone ... but most of my tears are cuz I'm amazed by her strength and peace and see the BEAUTY IN IT ALL

So this is a hard one for me 

The depth of her Faith and love of the Trinity and our Lady overwhelms me at times. Would that all just have half of what she's got; the world would be a much nicer place to be in till we get home. Jesus truly has given her His peace that goes beyond all understanding in this, praise be His Holy and Magnificent Name! 

So .. please keep Maddie in your kind prayers, even if she doesn't know you, somehow, I know that when she gets to heaven, she'll know who prayed for her and I can assure you that she will be most grateful and return those prayers without a doubt when you need them the most! So, when you see a cute animal, a beautiful sky, a gorgeous flower, think of my hero, Maddie and say a prayer for her please.