Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Forgiveness

For years since I've had the memory of Good Friday; I remember that our Lord asked, as he suffered an unspeakable and barbaric death: "Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing." This morning I awoke to this scene, finding myself in the midst of "them".

Truly, "them" always meant the roman soldiers who carried out the sentence. "Them" were the Jewish people who demanded his death, when Jesus didn't meet their expectation of the "Savior" they were expecting; "them" were the hierarchy of Judaism who suspected and mistrusted HIM.

This morning I found myself in the midst of these people. And I'm at the foot of the cross, in with the crowd that stood by as the Son of God gave His Life in exchange for mine. I stood there generations previous to mine, defying time and logic and finally experiencing the knowledge of complete and unmerited mercy.

"Forgive Lou Ann for she doesn't know what she was doing." Forgive her sin, forgive her selfishness, forgive her greed, forgive her inability to share with the poor, forgive her pride, forgive her vanity, forgive that she broken every Commandment; forgive that she never cared to know how I would see her heart if she had indeed died on the Highway in Silver City months ago. Forgive that alcohol has always been more important to her than My grace. Forgive that she never asks my will for her life, and when I ask her to do something for Me, she does it but not with her whole heart. Forgive that she has gone through the motions of her faith without truly giving everything to Me. Forgive that she has not ask Me first before making a decision. Forgive that she usually does everything her way, not Mine. Forgive that she spends very little time in prayer, often hurrying through the scriptures, the rosary, the prayers I've asked her to say. Forgive that she never offers fasting or sacrifice and prayer for the salvation of souls. Forgive that she doesn't speak to everyone she meets about the love I have for souls. Forgive that she reads during her visits to the Blessed Sacrament and refuses to silence her soul so that I can speak. And Father, not only forgive her... Father, please forget all her sins.

How did I find myself at Calvary? I asked Mary to take me there on November 13, 2007.
O Mary, my Mother and my gracious Lady,
I offer you my soul, my body, my life and death,
all that will come after it.
I place everything in Your hands.
O my Mother, cover my souls with your virginal mantle
and grant me the grace of purity of heart, soul and body.
Defend me with Your power against all enemies,
especially against those who hide their malice behind the mask of virtue. Fortify my souls that pain may not break it.
Mother of Grace, teach me to live by God's power.
(Diary 315)
Thank you, fair Lady and Gentle Mother!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Letter for Monica Antonia Socha

My Dearest Monica:

Today you were baptized into the Catholic Church! Your Mommy invited me to your first sacrament, but Grandma Paz was sick and couldn't come to be with you. One day, I will tell you what I suffered two nights before your baptism and how the intercession of some small saints saved me.

I want you to know that I thought of you today. Today is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, the day of your baptism! The first reading from 2Maccabees 7:1-2 and 9-14 speaks about what a person who knows God will withstand in order to remain faithful to God's law. They would be brave, noble, they would die with courage seeing their suffering as nothing compared to the hope of being raised from the died with by Him.

The Psalm for your special day is from Psalm 17 the final verse:

Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings.

But I in justice shall behold your face;

on waking I shall be content in your presence

R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.


The gospel was from Luke 20. The Sadducee who deny that there is resurrection came forward to question Jesus and proposed a scenario concerning a woman who married various brothers following the death of each; in Heaven who would bethe rightful husband? Jesus said there there was no marriage among the dead and that God was a God of the living and not the dead. For HIM all are alive.


I pray that at your baptism, Monica you lifted your heart to God. You gazed upon the beauty of the Lord, and received whatever gifts or spiritual senses He granted to you. May His glory and majesty pierce you to the core; knowing that He is preparing you for the day when finally enter HIS kingdom in all it's splendor and beauty.


In your life my sweet baby Monica, may you be in awe of His love for you. May He reveal to you His great majesty so that you can daily become more like Him.

Sweetheart, from the beginning you must believe that you are a "Saint" in the making. That you were truly fashioned and created in His image and likeness and that you are destined to return to the Father, your Creator in Heaven.

I love you, but Jesus loves you so much that He died for you, and His Mother waits to lead you to her Son, who in turn will lead you to the throne of His Father. The Holy Spirit will fill your with every grace you will need for the journey. Trust in the Trinity always, my dearest baby!

Antonia was my Grandma. She was your Great-great grandma and you were named after her. She was a very poor woman but very rich in grace. She always told your Great-Grandma, Nana and my mother that she was so poor she had no estate, no legacy to pass on to her only daughter, my mother, Lupe. All she had was the Faith. That faith was her only legacy to her daughter. That legacy has been passed on to me, and then to your Mommy, and now to you. One day, you will pass this great gift and inheritance to your children. Everything will pass away, Sweetheart. All riches, jewels, real estate, stock, and riches will pass unto dust, but this great faith will never fade or pass away. Happy Baptism, my precious little Saint!


Amen.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wait for the Lord!


.... take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the Lord!"

Psalm 27:14


JMJ

I'm almost finished reading : FATIMA IN LUCIA'S OWN WORDS. It was translated into English by the Nuns of Perpetual Rosary and published by the Ravengate Press Box 103 in Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138. In these memoirs, Sister Lucia the remaining seer in 1963 had been asked by the Bishop to write down her recollections of the events leading to the apparitions of the the Blessed Virgin Mary to three very young shepherds beginning in 1915 with the apparition(s) of an the Angel of Peace. Francisco and Jacinta were brother and sister, Lucia was their first cousin. The angel prepared the children by teaching them the prayers needed to recite the rosary which they use to recite by saying "Hail Mary" on the decade beads and saying "Our Father" on the single bead separation the decades. They were too little to know the prayers so their rosary said daily went very quickly and they were off to play.


The first prayer that the Angel taught them was to fall on their knees, bend their little heads till they touched the ground and then recite in (reparation for the sins of many) repeatedly:


"Oh Most Holy Trinity, we believe in You,

we adore You, we hope and trust in You, and we love you.

We beg pardon of all those who do not believe in You,

do not adore You, do not hope and trust in You,

and do not love You throughout the world"


Two more apparitions occurred where the children were taught the mystery of the "hidden Jesus" in the Eucharist, and were taught the prayers needed to recite the rosary.


Shortly after, the Blessed Mother of Fatima visited the children on the 13th of each month for a period of time. Of course, Jacinta being the youngest could not contain her joy of the apparition of Jesus' mother and told her family. Great pressure was placed on the families of the seers to take back what they claimed to see. Poor babies, they were told by the Blessed Mother not to disclose what she was showing and telling them, and they were being ordered by their parents to state that the whole story was a lie.


These children were persecuted and thrown into prison for not disclosing the "secrets" given to them by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and for not admitting to a lie. Francisco and Jacinta were told that they would be taken to heaven very soon but would suffer greatly until such time. But Lucia, the eldest of the three, (she was ten years old) would have to remain here on earth until the Father called her. She would be the keeper of the secrets releasing them when God told her to do so. Such obedience and humility is this story of these little souls who sacrificed and prayed for sinners and reparation to Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of His Mother.


Today's gospel Luke 15:1-10 are two stories Jesus told about a lost sheep and a lost coin. I imagine that the sheep wandered away, where as the coin was misplaced. No matter, how they got lost, the owner(s) see these lost things as having great value. One leaves ninety-nine sheep to search for the lost one; the owner of the coin sweeps every corner of the house searching for the coin. Both rejoice when they find what was lost.


Whether we wander away, or we are misplaced by mental illness, or misunderstanding, or gossip, or persecution, or mistreatment from the body of Christ that has been entrusted to care for us. God will find us! If we seek to be found. If we are in his heart today, let us not forget to offer sacrifices for our brothers who are currently lost or misplaced. Those who don't know Him, adore Him, hope and trust in HIM. The rosary is so beautiful and so powerful to win souls to His Divine Sacred Heart. His Mother is our Mentor, her humility our map to her Son's Heart.


Ask for the graces everyday to enter into a deeper love of Mary's Son Jesus. She was chosen as an immaculate and perfect vessel of LOVE. Her "yes" brought Jesus to us, for our Salvation. Our "yes" to follow her example of following the Father's will perfectly, will bring us to her Son, though the Holy Spirit, to the throne of God the Father, who seeks to find this creation of "great value" crafted in the image and likeness of HIMSELF.
Don't give up. God will find us all. But once found and reconciled, the rest is up to us to surrender our will and pride to be used and to serve according to His will and good pleasure for the Kingdom. Wait for the Lord! ...and then like a good servant, wait on the Lord. In silence and great generosity give Him the best of everything, holding nothing for yourself.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The 35th Anniversary





Here we are at a Knights of Columbus Dinner at La Posta last year. This was also our anniversary night. Bishop Ramirez gave us a blessing that evening. Thirty-four years of experiences and life shared sometimes closely and sometimes as two individuals sharing the same path but on different sides of a vast river that separates us. We keep each other in sight, but time, obligations, and lack of care have at times taken their toll, each on our own path, yet in the same direction.
Sometimes so close that we are truly one person. Sometimes strangers in the same bed. But always committed to the same sacrament that united us for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health until death part us.

This year was so different. Frankie went to the Knights of Columbus Corporate Communion. All the Councils meet to participate at Mass together and to receive the Eucharist together. I didn't go, but Frankie said that it was so beautiful. Each month they choose a different church. This time it was the mission in San Isidero. Then he went to Dona Ana to pick up the twins and then he picked me up and off we went to the 11:00 o'clock Mass at St. Genevieve. Nana made us an excellent lunch. I wished that she had taken a picture of the lunch because it truly looked like art and it was too beautiful to eat. We asked Nana if we could take Father Richardo, because it was his birthday. So he joined the feast. Then we went home to change into our hiking clothes and Father and the twins joined us for a hike up to Dripping Springs. The boys took off like rabbits. Fearing that they would be lost, we had to run to find them. They didn't pace themselves and soon became tired and cranky. So Father and Frankie completed the trail and the boys and I waited on a rock under a beautiful shade tree. Soon Father and Frankie met up with us and then the twins suggested that they needed horses to take them back to their car. Poor Father and Frankie carrying a twin on their shoulders as the boys barked orders to their "caballo".
We took the babies home. Lia and Berto had brought them guitars which delighted them! On the way home, Frankie asked if I wanted to go to the novena that had been started for St. Jude. We went and said the novena and the rosary. How blessed we both were that day! Later, I told my husband and friend of 35 plus years that this was the best anniversary ever. It was such a wonderful gift from the heavens.
Also at the end of Mass as Father's custom, he asks "Donde es la fiesta?" The community is encouraged to announce birthdays, anniversaries and celebrations. The applause is always louder for the wedding anniversaries because some marriages are difficult and some are more difficult than others. I asked Frankie not to raise his hand. It was difficult for him to keep his arm from waving about like a flag for the 35 years he has lived through. I felt that the graces necessary to stay together were from Our Lady who intercedes for us and that personally I didn't merit any of those graces and surely didn't merit any (heaven forbid) applause.
Later after the rosary, the people sang "Las Mananitas" to Father. Then sneaky Father asked them to sing it again to commemorate our anniversary. Frankie got a big smile on his face. I thanked our Holy Mother for such a great grace.

Monday, November 5, 2007

So Thankful!


I am thankful for days the Lord gave me strength. The hours it took to give of myself unselfishly and with the grace that only the Spirit could provide to my children and my husband. My prayer was always let me raise my girls to know the Trinity and the Love that uniquely and lovingly created each of these most wonderful children.

How did we do it? I believe that we had love and where there is love there is God. And so he blesses our blunders and heals our mistakes, and He requires only love from us.

Today, I am sick. Sinking into a dark hole and all I want is rest. And I pray that the God of mercy heal our sins and our barriers to heaven that he gives us the resolve to pray with out ceasing for the salvation of souls, for the reparation of sins against the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heat of Mary;

Estoy tan cansada! That I such a sinnner have no merit but ask for mercy and for forgiveness, trusting that such is the mercy of God.

I want my God, to love you face to face.