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Then afterward I will pour out my spirit upon all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions;
Even upon the servants and the handmaids, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth: blood, fire, and columns of smoke; The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, at the coming of the Day of the LORD, the great and terrible day.
Then everyone shall be rescued who calls on the name of the LORD; For on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant, as the LORD has said, and in Jerusalem survivors whom the LORD shall call.
(Joel chapter 3)
Last week I attended a very special Mass celebrated by His Beatitude, Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jersualem at the Abbey of Latroun in the Judean hill country to the east of Jerusalem. This Mass was being said for Philippo, a young Italian man from Siena who had been called by the Lord Jesus to come to the Holy Land to live the life of a hermit in the countryside of Israel and to offer his life of solitary abandonment to the love of the Lord and to enter into deep prayer for the conversion of all the peoples to the Messiah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. I witnessed Philippo make his first vows to Jesus in this solemn ceremony of "Profession Eremetique Temporaire" to pledge to be faithful to this arduous calling. I wept during the Mass when I saw his parents who had traveled from Siena deep in prayer generously offer up their son to the service of their Lord. I thought of the extraordinary sacrifice of their lives that Philippo and his parents were making in order to bring many lost souls to Jesus that they may gain salvation and be with the Lord for all eternity in the boundless joy, peace and love of His Heavenly Kingdom far removed from the wilderness and desert of this earthly life. Over the years selected souls have been called from across the world by the Lord to Israel for this purpose and like Philippo, through prayer and sacrifice are being prepared by Jesus for the great harvest of souls that the Lord hungers for.
At the sight of the crowds, His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the Master of the harvest to send out laborers for His harvest."
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom He sent ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place He intended to visit.
He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the Master of the harvest to send out laborers for His harvest.
Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves…
Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.'
If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you….
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you...say to them, 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you'. Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you go out into the streets and say,
'The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.' Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, 'Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.'"
Whoever listens to you listens to Me. Whoever rejects you rejects Me. And whoever rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me."
(Luke 10: 1-16)
The Lord has been bringing these chosen souls – His faithful workers - across my path and into my life during the three years I too have been laboring in the "soul fields" of Israel. Priests and nuns and laypersons from many nations, and even the Italian hermit, have been called to Israel to pray for conversions, preach repentance from sin and turn the hearts of the peoples here in this land to the Lord and His gift of salvation in Jesus Christ in what is still the time of
(For a comprehensive understanding of these "present times" in which the Church and the world are living please see http://www.markmallet.com/blog/
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
"Oh, that today you would hear His voice, 'Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion in the day of testing in the desert,
where your ancestors tested and tried Me and saw my works
for forty years. Because of this I was provoked with that generation and I said, "They have always been of erring heart, and they do not know My ways."
As I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter into My rest."'"
Take care, brothers, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God.
Encourage yourselves daily while it is still "today," so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.
We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end,
for it is said: "Oh, that today you would hear His voice: 'Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion.'"
Who were those who rebelled when they heard? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt under Moses?
With whom was He "provoked for forty years"? Was it not those who had sinned, whose corpses fell in the desert?
And to whom did He "swear that they should not enter into His rest," if not to those who were disobedient?
And we see that they could not enter for lack of faith.
(Hebrews 3: 7-19)
For He says, "In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you."
Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
(2nd Corinthians 6: 2)
One day, I went up to Jerusalem to meet one of these laborers for the Lord, a holy lady from Mexico who was called by Jesus fifteen years ago to leave everything and follow Him here to work in the Holy Land for the salvation of souls. I arrived an hour early for our meeting on the Mount of Olives, having driven up to Jerusalem from the coastal town where I live. We were to meet at the Church of All Nations at the Garden of Gethsemane and to attend Holy Mass together. This large basilica church was built over the Rock of Agony, where Jesus in fervent prayer to God the Father sweat blood before His betrayal by Judas on the night before His crucifixion. As this is one of Christianity holiest shrines, there are always many pilgrims inside the church. It can be very crowded with tour groups and quite difficult to pray due to distractions caused by the people moving around and the flashes from their many cameras.
Therefore, I decided to park higher up on the Mount of Olives above the Gethsemane church and look for a place of solitude to pray until my fellow laborer for souls arrived. I spotted a tall church bell tower in the distance and headed for the grounds of this convent believing that perhaps I could enter and pray in their chapel. I had never visited this particular place before and did not know the history of why it was built on that spot or who resided there. I entered a side street and found the large entrance door to the church and convent grounds. It was closed and locked. I noticed a bell and rang it. A small Arab man answered the door. I greeted him in my poor Arabic and then asked if he spoke English. He confirmed that he did. I inquired as to what shrine it is. and he informed me that I had come to the
Russian Orthodox Convent of the Ascension
where about 60 nuns lived and prayed and worked. Most were quite elderly he told me. The convent grounds were quite large and were situated on the heights of the Mount of Olives within an Arab Muslim neighborhood called A-Tur. "At-Tur", or "Et-Tur" in Arabic means, "The Mount." This village is also called "Tur-Malka" which means The Mount of the Queen, based on the Hebrew word Malka which means Queen.
According to the Russian Orthodox tradition, this sacred site is where Jesus while being observed by his apostles and disciples and His Mother Mary ascended to heaven 40 days after His resurrection . This site is also where the head of St John the Baptist was buried after his beheading by King Herod Antipas in the king's dungeon. The head of St John the Baptist was found in the 4th Century in a jar hidden in the chapel adjacent to the church. A metal cage inside the chapel marks the site of the hidden head. Inside the cage is a painting illustrating the event of the finding of the buried head. This happened in 452 AD when two monks found the site after St John appeared to them in a dream, and directed them to the cavity where the head lay buried.
St John the Baptist is a pivotal and important figure in Christianity as he was the prophesied "forerunner" of Christ, proclaiming the Advent or First Coming of the Messiah whom he identified as Jesus at His baptism, calling Him the "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world''. The long-awaited Redeemer and Savior for whom Israel had been yearning had appeared. Even John's name revealed God's merciful plan to save mankind from their sins through Jesus Christ.
John in Hebrew is "Yochanan", which means: Yo (God) + Chanan (Pardoned). Thus the name John in Hebrew means "God has pardoned". And Jesus, whose Name in Hebrew: Yeshua or Yashua
means salvation, deliverance, Yahweh is salvation.
Here I had been led by the Lord's providence to pray in solitude for the conversion of Jerusalem and all Israel at the place where Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection to "sit at the right hand of the Father", and
"from where He will come again to judge the living and the dead" on that great and terrible Day of the Lord.
I also could not help but make the connection that I had been guided here purposely by Jesus as one of His faithful disciples - one of His laborers for the souls of the 21st century - and that I, with Philippo, and the Mexican lady and all these Russian nuns, and all the others whom the Lord has called here to the Holy Land to pray and sacrifice and witness Jesus' saving love and truth were preparing the hearts of these lost sheep for Christ's second coming just as St John the Baptist as a "voice crying in the wilderness" heralded the first coming of the Messiah.
Josef, the Arab doorman to the convent led me through the sacred grounds and brought me to the Chapel of the Ascension. There, all alone except for solitary silent nun writing in an old book under the stained glass window, I prayed before the cavity where the head of St. John the Baptist was found, for the conversion of all the inhabitants of Israel, secular unbelievers, Jews, Muslims, Bahia's, Druze, Cercassians and all other peoples, nations, tribes and tongues living in the Land.
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on land or sea or against any tree.
Then I saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
"Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites…
After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb."
All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God,
and exclaimed: "Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
"Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"
"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
"For this reason they stand before God's throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
(Book of Revelation Chapter 9)
Josef left me for an hour and returned to escort me out. As we walked toward the big door Josef surprised me when he said, "You know, I too am a Christian. I was a Muslim, but now I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. May I tell you how this happened?" I responded that certainly I would delight to hear his testimony! We sat on the bench near the door and Josef began to tell me how he had turned his heart to the Savior of all humanity, Jesus the Christ and been converted. He was married and had children. He lived right there on the Mount of Olives in the village of At-Tur. Some years before, Josef's infant daughter had become sick and they had taken her to the
Augusta Victoria Hospital
which is located on the north side of the Mount of Olives. Josef's baby had spent several days in the hospital under the excellent care of the doctors at Augusta Victoria. Each day Josef went to the hospital to be with his little baby girl and the doctors encouraged him that she would be fine. On the seventh night of her stay in the hospital Josef woke a little past midnight having had a mysterious and terrifying dream. Josef explained that in his night vision he saw his little infant daughter in a glorified state at the top of a long ladder with tears rolling down her cheeks with her little arms outstretched towards Josef who was at the bottom of the ladder looking up at her. He knew she was in heaven by the light emanating from her face and body. She beckoned Josef towards her in heaven by waving her little hand to him. Beside his baby daughter at the top of the ladder was Someone whom Josef did not know. He sensed He was mighty and majestic and that all heaven must belong to Him. Josef 's baby girl was with Him there.
When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set, he stopped there for the night. Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep at that spot.
Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground, with its top reaching to the heavens; and God's messengers were going up and down on it.
And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying: "I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac;
; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants.
These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south. In you and your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing.
Know that I am with you; I will protect you wherever you go, and bring you back to this land. I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you."
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he exclaimed,
"Truly, the LORD is in this spot, although I did not know it!"
In solemn wonder he cried out: "How awesome is this shrine! This is nothing else but an abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven!"
(Genesis Chapter 28: 12-22)
Josef awoke from his dream and a few moments afterwards Josef heard the phone ringing. It was the hospital calling him to come quickly. When Josef arrived at the hospital his baby daughter had died.
"Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the Shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for Him, and the sheep hear His voice, as He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.
When He has driven out all his own, He walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow Him, because they recognize his voice…
I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear My voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd...
How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify to Me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among My sheep.
My sheep hear My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
(Gospel of John 10:7-10)
Josef told me that soon after the death of his baby daughter a Christian missionary approached him and shared with him Jesus' words from the Gospel of John. Josef recognized immediately in those words the voice of the Great Shepherd of the sheep whom he had "seen" at the top of the ladder at the gate of heaven standing beside his own baby daughter who was clothed in light. Immediately, Josef gave his life to Jesus Christ and began to follow the Good Shepherd for the reward of eternal salvation at the cost of losing everything he had on earth. His wife left him and took their other children away from him. He was rejected by his Muslim family, neighbors and village folk in At-Tur.
He lost his livelihood and he became destitute. After nearly two years as a vagabond, a homeless, poor wanderer on earth yet blessed with a heavenly hope and the gift of faith in Jesus, his Messiah, his Savior, Josef was taken in by the old nuns at the Russian Orthodox Convent and he served them as their doorman. Today, Josef, one of the Lord's precious laborers of souls in His harvest field of Israel, witnesses his faith in Jesus to any and all at prayer meetings and in the alleys and backstreets of At-Tur. Right there on the sacred Mount of Olives where Jesus– the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world - ascended into Heaven to sit on the Throne of the universe at the right hand of His Father, Muslims and many others are coming to know their mighty Savior, their merciful Lord and are turning their hearts to the Good Shepherd of their souls who calls their names and marks their foreheads, sealing them for eternal life in Him.
Blessed be God in His Angels and Saints.
During a recent retreat as I spent time with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Jesus reminded me of a commitment I made last year to three nuns in Rome which I had not yet fulfilled. By relating to you the entire story it should serve to increase your faith, reveal the efficacy of the intercession of the Saints and Our Blessed Mother and uphold the truth of the Church's teaching about the extraordinary graces that are accorded from Our Lord through the hands of His holy Mother to those who make use of the sacramentals which have been given as gifts from heaven to His Church, if only the one using them exercises even the smallest "mustard seed of faith." Also, by writing this account I may fulfill my promise to the nuns to broadcast widely this favor I received from their holy foundress and to bring glory to Our Lord and bless Him in His saints.
Jesus has blessed me abundantly with the gift going to Rome with eleven other Christian women from Jerusalem to attend the Holy Mass in Saint Peter's Square for the Beatification of our beloved Pope John Paul II on May 1 – the Feast of the Divine Mercy. As I was thinking about this precious opportunity our Lord reminded me of the promise I made to three Sisters of Charity belonging to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta's Order last year while I was waiting in line to enter the Basilica where Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI would say the 2010 Easter Vigil Mass.
My 14 year old daughter Daliah and I left our hotel near the Borghese Gardens during the afternoon of Holy Saturday and headed by tram to St Peter's Square. By the generous grace of Our Lord I had been given five passes to the Easter Vigil Mass. As only my daughter and I would attend the Mass that night, I thought how sad it was that the other three passes may go unused when there were thousands of people from around the world who desired to be with Our Lord on this most sacred of nights at the Great Mass celebrated by Christ's Holy Vicar but who had not been fortunate enough to obtain tickets as I had.
In the tram as we were approaching the stop near the Vatican I shared these feelings with my daughter and said to her, "let's pray to Jesus and tell him how much we want to share our extra tickets so three persons who love Him would be able to adore Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We prayed our Lord "to send three nuns to claim the tickets" because we believed that they surely would be Jesus' faithful adorers. My daughter and I then got off the tram, found our way to the court and took our places at the end of the long line of people that was winding around St Peter's Square awaiting entry into the Basilica for the Great Mass of the Easter Vigil. Hundreds of people filed in behind us in a matter of minutes. Daliah and I were positioned in the middle of the queue that curved all around the court of St Peter's Square, with hundreds of people in front of us and hundreds of people behind us. As I stood there waiting I imagined in my spirit the vision from the Book of Revelation of the Throne of God and of the Lamb where all the faithful children of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit would be gathered before Him in the Heavenly Court…
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the Israelites…
After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb."
All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed:
"Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, "Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?"
I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows." He said to me, "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
"For this reason they stand before God's throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
In the midst of this beautiful meditation, Daliah and I saw three nuns in white and blue saris coming straight towards us in the queue. The nuns were wearing the distinctive habit of the Sisters of Charity of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta's Missionary Order. They approached us and asked us, "Do you have three passes for us for the Mass tonight?" We were astounded. I quickly replied with immense joy and amazement "Yes, we do have tickets for you! For all three of you! We have exactly three tickets and we just prayed on the tram coming over here for our Lord to send three nuns to claim them!" They gratefully took the passes and joined Daliah and me in the long queue and gleefully as "sisters" we began to share with each other about our wonderful life in our Lord Jesus Christ. As we were speaking with the three Sisters of Charity a large group of their sisters arrived who already had passes for the Mass, and they came up to us and stepped into the line with us. (I quietly begged pardon from the people behind us for the 15 or so nuns who had jumped the queue, but told them not to mind, as there are plenty of "rooms in our Father's House!"
Filled with joy at Jesus' immediate answer to our prayer in the tram and granting our heart's desire to give the passes to exactly three nuns I began to share with the sisters an account of the time when I received a great favor from Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta whose sanctity the whole world was blessed to witness. I love and venerate her for so transparently and powerfully revealing the Life of Christ in her own humble life. This tiny nun, who like St Paul, was in body the smallest of stature yet in her soul she was totally conformed to the image of the Son of God, full of the Holy Spirit, and reached the "full knowledge of the Son of God, to mature personhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ." She, like St Paul, spoke the Truth in Love boldly before "kings and emperors," - the mighty and powerful ones of the age, even unto the hallowed halls of the Congress of the United States of America where speaking in the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit the little Saint warned these great men,
"The fruit of abortion is nuclear war."
"When you hear of wars and reports of wars do not be alarmed; such things must happen, but it will not yet be the end.
Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes from place to place and there will be famines. These are the beginnings of the labor pains… You will be arraigned before governors and kings because of me, as a witness before them.
But the gospel must first be preached to all nations
… do not worry beforehand about what you are to say. But say whatever will be given to you at that hour. For it will not be you who are speaking but the Holy Spirit." (Mark 13:7-11)
Here is the account I shared with the three nuns of the precious favor that I received from their holy Foundress of the Sisters of Charity:
In 2007 during my trial of breast cancer I met by the Lord's Providence another breast cancer patient with whom I journeyed through the months of my chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Her cancer was much more advanced and according to her doctors her prognosis was very poor. The doctors had told her that her life expectancy was about six months to two years. I loved Donna at our first encounter at St Luke's Hospital as the Holy Spirit flooded me with His love and compassion for her and He gave me a great grace of deep faith to trust our Lord for her healing.
Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with Him, and said, "Lord, if you wish, You can make me clean."
Jesus stretched out His hand, touched him, and said, "I do will it. Be made clean." And the leprosy left him immediately.
( Luke 5:12-13)
The day that I met Donna I began to pray and offer up sacrifices for her and I asked others to intercede for her healing. Many other faith-filled Christians from several churches in the area where we lived and even throughout the world in various countries as far away as Medjugorje began to pray for her. Donna's hope rose and her faith strengthened, and she prayed fervently to Jesus to grant her longer life so she could raise her young son to adulthood and teach him to have faith in the Good Lord. Her son was five years old at the time of Donna's stage 4 cancer diagnosis in 2006. Donna felt a great devotion to the Mother of God and asked her to intercede with to her Divine Son for her healing. As our spiritual relationship progressed, aware of this love Donna had for Our Blessed Mother, one morning before I went to daily mass, while praying, I had a sudden realization that Donna did not have a Miraculous Medal** and I felt a strong desire right then to obtain one for her. I continued praying for her healing and then I thought to ask for the help of the Saints in heaven for Donna to receive graces of strength and faith. I began a litany starting with St Paul and ending with Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta imploring them to pray with me to Our Compassionate Jesus to heal His beloved Donna and increase her faith.
A short while later, I left my house to go to daily Mass at a church across the valley near the hospital. I lifted my heart and soul to adore our Thrice-Holy God during the Mass and then proceeded to leave the church. As I was nearing the big doors, an unfamiliar woman approached me and asked me a question which stunned me. "Do you have a devotion to Blessed Mother Teresa?" to which I responded, "Well, yes, I do, along with many Saints." Then she put out her hand and said to me, "Take this, this is for you." In her hand was a Miraculous Medal! Not three hours had passed since I had prayed to my Friends in heaven before Our gracious Lord Jesus, His Holy Mother and His Saints had responded to my supplication. They had desired to give this wonderful gift - the Miraculous Medal - to Donna to encourage her, lift her hope, and deepen her faith. I learned that Mother Teresa was known as the 20th century's "Apostle of the Miraculous Medal", as she (and her Order) distributed tens of thousands of these medals to people during her lifetime. I gave the medal to Donna the next time I saw her and told her the extraordinary way I had received it for her, direct from heaven. It is now 4 years since that remarkable event and Donna is still raising her son who is now 10 years old.
** (The Miraculous Medal, also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, is a medal created by Catherine Laboure following a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Many Catholic Christians around the world (and some non-Catholics) wear the Miraculous Medal, which they believe will bring them special graces through the intercession of Mary if worn with faith and devotion. On the night of July 18, 1830, Catherine awoke upon hearing a voice of a child calling her to the sisters' chapel located in the Rue du Bac, Paris, where she heard the Blessed Virgin Mary say to her, "God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world."
On November 27, 1830, the Blessed Mother returned to her and displayed herself inside an oval frame, standing upon a globe, wearing many rings of different colors, most of which shone rays of light over the globe. Around the margin of the frame appeared the words ? Marie, con?ue sans p?ch?, priez pour nous qui avons recours ? vous (in English, O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee). As Catherine watched, the frame seemed to rotate, showing a circle of twelve stars, a large letter M surmounted by a cross, and the stylized Sacred Heart of Jesus crowned with thorns and Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced with a sword. Asked why some of her rings did not shed light, Mary replied, "Those are the graces for which people forget to ask." Catherine then heard Mary ask her to take these images to her father confessor, telling him that they should be put on medallions, and saying "All who wear them will receive great graces.")
*The Divine Praises
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.
May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Yesterday morning before driving towards Jerusalem to the Benedictine Monastery at Latrun situated in the Judean hills where I go to attend Mass on Sundays with a dear Catholic sister, Marianne I had a sudden flashback to an event that took place in Pennsylvania five years ago. I didn't think any more of it, until after Mass, at Marianne's home where we usually go to share a meal and fellowship together until she told me that she had been feeling a very strong sense from the Holy Spirit of the importance and urgency to pray faithfully every day the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the world. She also told me that she had been teaching her thirty year old daughter about the prayer and the Feast of the Divine Mercy that Our Lord revealed to Saint Faustina as a "sign for the end times."
Here are some of Our Lord's gracious and terrifying words to St Faustina:
"You will prepare the world for My final coming. (Diary 429)
Speak to the world about My mercy ... It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (Diary 848)
Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near. (Diary 965).
I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. (Diary 1160)
Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (Diary 1588)
He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice." (Diary 1146).
In addition to these words of Our Lord Sr. Faustina gives us the Words of the Mother of Mercy, the Blessed Virgin,
"You have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for granting mercy." (Diary 635).
Just then, the flashback made sense! The Holy Spirit was speaking the same message to both of us through different means yet at the same time.
The event the Lord reminded me of was a day when I was at home. I was quite tired physically that day and went upstairs to rest on my bed. I was aware that the hour of mercy, three o'clock in the afternoon, the hour Scripture and Tradition assigns to the death of Jesus on the Cross for the world's salvation, was approaching and it was my custom to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet everyday at this hour. I felt an intense struggle within me. My spirit yearned to get out of bed to pray the Chaplet, but my "flesh" was refusing. As the minutes passed the hour of three o'clock my struggle intensified, but I did not yield to the Spirit.
When He returned to His disciples He found them asleep. He said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch with Me for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Just then I heard my cell phone ringing downstairs in the kitchen. I wondered who was calling, and the urge to go and answer the call was strong. It pressed on me and I quickly hopped from the bed and ran down the stairs to answer it before the final ring when the caller would hang up. The voice on the other end was anxious. A young blind friend from Beirut who had lost his sight during the Lebanese civil war and whom I had come to know by the Lord's providence and whom I encouraged in his walk of faith was calling from a local hospital. He was at the bedside of another young man, a friend of his, who had just been brought in as an emergency case from a terrible car crash that occurred earlier and he was in a coma. The doctors feared he would not survive, and if he did, they did not hold out hopes that he would come out of the coma, let alone ever make a good recovery. Rudi explained the grave situation of his friend and implored me to pray hard for him, believing that my prayers would be heard. In his trial of blindness he often struggled in his faith, and doubted, but he knew that I trusted Our Lord very much and I was grateful for the confidence he placed in my intercession for his friend. I knew the Lord would hear my prayers, but I did not know how He would answer them. I thought immediately of the condition of the young man's soul and what might happen to him should he die as Rudi implied to me that his friend was not in a state of grace.
Was the battle that took place in my soul up in my bedroom from my own weak flesh or the evil one trying to prevent me from praying? It is reasonable to assume that both were at work against the Holy Spirit. But I had been nudged harder by the Spirit to go and answer that phone call and by yielding to His inspiration, the powerful prayer that Jesus taught to Saint Faustina now became urgent as never before to me …a matter of life and death for this young man and his eternal destiny. I ran up the stairs and got down on my knees and prayed fervently the Divine Mercy Chaplet with all my heart, mind, soul and strength before
Jesus in the Image of the Divine Mercy for our merciful Lord to empty out the depths of His mercy on the young man to heal both his body and save his soul.
Here I share with you some of the holy conversations Our Lord Jesus had with St Faustina:
"Once, as I was going down the hall to the kitchen, I heard these words in my soul: Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy." (Diary, 687)
"While I was saying the chaplet, I heard a voice which said, Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet; the very depths of My tender mercy are stirred for the sake of those who say the chaplet. Write down these words, My daughter. Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them.
"...Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties, obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least. Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moment depends on you prayer. You know the whole abyss of My mercy, so draw upon it for yourself and especially for poor sinners. Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul." (Diary, 1777)
"When I entered the chapel for a moment, the Lord said to me, My daughter, help Me to save a certain dying sinner. Say the chaplet that I have taught you for him. When I began to say the chaplet, I saw the man dying in the midst of terrible torment and struggle, His Guardian Angel was defending him, but he was as it were, powerless against the enormity of the soul's misery. A multitude of devils was waiting for the soul. But while I was saying the chaplet, I saw Jesus just as He is depicted in the image. The rays which issued from Jesus' Heart enveloped the sick man, and the powers of darkness fled in panic. The sick man peacefully breathed his last. When I came to myself, I understood how very important the chaplet was for the dying. It appeases the anger of God." (Diary, 1565)
"... My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one. ....
Write that when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior." (Diary, 1541)
"January 28, 1938. Today the Lord said to me, My daughter, write down these words: All those souls who will glorify My mercy and spread its worship, encouraging others to trust in My mercy, will not experience terror at the hour of death. My mercy will shield them in that final battle..." (Diary, 1540)
After I completed praying the Chaplet for the young man I felt a deep sense of peace.
The next day, I received another phone call from Rudy who excitedly told me that to the astonishment of the doctors his friend had awakened from his coma later that same day following my praying of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Not only had he come out of the coma but he was attempting to walk in his hospital room.
A day later, I received a "thank you" phone call from the young man's brother, and I shared with him the unfathomable love that Jesus has for not only his brother but also his entire family and about the mercy of the Lord for them all. I encouraged him and his whole household to put all their trust in the Merciful Savior and walk with him the rest of their days.
"Jesus, I trust in You!"
You Satisfy the Hungry Heart.
I recently shared with you a dream (which was set in America) and which I believe was shown to me from the Holy Spirit warning the faithful about increasing tribulation and persecution which the holy Catholic Church could face in the time to come. In my vision, there was a pseudo-church where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was not celebrated and Holy Communion was denied to those few faithful whose hearts were burning with love and desire to receive their Lord and Savior in the Most Holy Eucharist. While visiting with my spiritual director, a holy priest in Jerusalem, I shared with him my dream and he quoted me from Daniel 12:11…
"From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished…"
This verse is from the vision that the Prophet Daniel was given for the "end time."
"As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time; many shall fall away and evil shall increase."
Many shall be refined, purified, and tested, but the wicked shall prove wicked; none of them shall have understanding, but the wise shall have it. From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the horrible abomination is set up… Blessed is the man who has patience and perseveres…. (Daniel 12)
My spiritual director and I spoke about the many "signs of the times" that any one of the Lord's children walking in the light of Christ can readily observe concerning the increasing evil and deepening sinfulness in this present world and the growing apostasy and degradation within the Church. He encouraged me to continue loving and trusting and desiring Jesus and to "remain in Him."
Remain in Me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing…
If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you… Remain in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love…
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
It was not you who chose Me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…
This I command you: love one another.
If the world hates you, realize that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you....
And they will do all these things to you on account of My Name
because they do not know the One who sent Me.
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin...(John 15)
I pondered this possibility that like in prior periods of intense persecution of the Church there could come a time, even in America, where Our Lord's chosen and faithful children might have to meet clandestinely in hidden places for Holy Mass in order to receive the "Kiss of Jesus" in Holy Communion, or even be unable to receive Him in the Blessed Sacrament if too few holy priests remained to celebrate the Eucharist. It was then that I remembered a time when Our Lord Jesus in His sweet and merciful love came to satisfy my hungry heart when I longed to receive Him in Holy Communion but could not go to Mass.
Before Christmas in late December 2007 after enduring months of treatment for breast cancer, I had to go to St Luke's hospital for a PET scan to see if there was any cancer evident anywhere in my body after all the rounds of chemotherapy and radiation had been completed. It was my custom and joy to go to holy Mass on a daily basis and I was full of sorrow that on that day because of the time of the scheduled scan I would have to miss Mass and therefore I would not be able to receive my sweet Jesus in Holy Communion. The scan was done in a closed MRI machine. Inside the MRI chamber I felt like I was enclosed in a warm and cosy "cocoon". The concerned technician called out to me inside the machine and asked me if I was doing alright inside the enclosed space. I told her that I was more than fine, and that she need not worry about me or call to me again as I was enjoying the peace of the "cocoon" and that I was praying. It had become a "sacred space" for my conversation with Jesus.
Inside my "cocoon" I poured my heart out to the Lover of my soul. I told Him how disappointed I was not to be able to receive His "Kiss" today in Holy Communion but that I knew He was with me spiritually and dwelling in my heart. For as long as the PET scan lasted I was in spiritual communion with my dearest Friend. When the scan was completed I joined my family who had been waiting for me outside and we set out for my parents' home in New Jersey as we were going to spend Christmas together. While my husband drove, I began to recite the rosary quietly and at one moment slipped into sleep with the rhythm of the prayer and the motion of the car. When I awoke I saw before my eyes a large Host too big to consume. Yet, I opened my mouth and was able to receive it and chewed it and swallowed it. The Lord had come to me and satisfied the desire of my heart, giving Himself to me in
I have heard that others have had such an experience. Saint Michael had brought to the little Spanish girls of Garabandal the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord in Mystical Communion.
Another occasion took place during my time living here in the Holy Land. My husband and I had planned to make an excursion together up to Jerusalem on a Friday. I call it an excursion and not a pilgrimage because I had offered in prayer on the Thursday night before our trip to Jesus a sacrifice: I would not exert my will on my husband the next day while in Jerusalem and press him into visiting the holy shrines. You see, my husband does not yet have faith and thus, he is not interested in going to the holy places to pray or attend Mass. Each time previously when we went up to Jerusalem I had always asked my husband to wait for me while I did these things. This time I vowed to offer as a sacrifice to Jesus that I would spend the entire day with my husband going about the holy city doing the things that he wanted to do instead of what I wanted to do. He wanted to casually walk through the streets of the old city and do some shopping in the souk. My Lord knew how much this cost me, as I would have rather delighted to be at holy Mass and receive Jesus in Holy Communion and to pray to Him inside the holiest shrines of Christianity. There we would be in Jerusalem – in the City of the Great King – and simply be passing by the places which Jesus sanctified with His Blood. For me, it was indeed a great sacrifice, but for love of my husband out of love for Jesus I offered this mortification and denial of my own desires up to Him.
On that Friday morning as I was waking up I had an extraordinary dream! I saw a huge Host suspended in the air. It was enormous and too large to consume. Yet, somehow I was able to receive it and consume it. Immediately, I called out to my husband who was still with me in our bedroom and shared my amazing experience with him. He didn't know how to reply to me, because I was telling him something spiritual.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.
Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually.
The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone… we have the mind of Christ.
(1st Corinthians 2:13-16)
My Lord had come to me again and given Himself to me in Mystical Communion. I remembered my offer of sacrifice to Jesus from the night before and considered that He was blessing me with this gift of Himself in this extraordinary way perhaps because I would not be able to receive Him in Holy Communion at Mass that day because of my vow!
With joy in my heart from the morning experience with my sweet Jesus, we left for Jerusalem to spend the day together as husband and wife. We ate hummus in my husband's favorite little spot in the old city, we walked throughout the old cobblestone streets looking at all the wares of the shop owners. We sauntered about the walled city casually with no specific goals or plans. Going along the Via Dolorosa with my husband I was fully aware of the sacred events that took place on that street, but I said nothing to my husband as we walked along. I pondered in my heart Our Lord's Passion as He carried His Cross for the salvation of the world more than two thousand years ago on that ancient avenue. And suddenly my husband spoke out and asked, "Ann, do you want to get a holy statue for Claudio to send to him?" Claudio was our dear Catholic friend from Rome who was suffering from a recurrence of thyroid cancer. I was delighted with my husband's thoughtful suggestion and I believe it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. We walked into a shop and looked around and I asked my husband to pick out a statue that he liked for Claudio. My husband selected a wooden statue of the Lord Jesus depicting His Resurrection – an image of hope and life.
We purchased the statue and continued the rest of the way on the Via Dolorosa ending up in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This church is built over the sites where the final events of Our Lord's Passion occurred and where Jesus' body was laid after the crucifixion in the borrowed tomb and where Christ rose from the dead on the third day in His Glorious Resurrection. At this point, I asked my husband if I could take the statue inside and place it on one of the holy sites and pray for Claudio's healing before we would send him the statue. My husband encouraged me to go inside and do it. I placed the wooden icon on the place where Jesus' body was laid after it was taken down from the Cross and I prayed for our merciful Jesus to heal Claudio.
Then I desired to go and speak with Jesus again about Claudio where He waits for us - hidden in love for us in the Blessed Sacrament - inside the Tabernacle. I knew there was a chapel inside the church where the Tabernacle was located. I went towards the chapel and on my way I noticed a small group of pilgrims receiving Holy Communion from a priest at a private Mass which was being celebrated at the altar of Mary Magdalena, to the left of the tomb of Christ. I stopped and gazed from a distance with a heart full of love and desire longing to receive my Jesus in Holy Communion. I knew that I could not join them to receive Holy Communion as I had missed the entire Mass. But just at that moment, an unknown priest slipped up to me from behind and asked me, "Do you want to receive Holy Communion?" I was very surprised with much excitement I immediately answered him, "Yes, I do!" to which he responded, "You cannot." I was speechless because I didn't understand why he would ask me if I wanted to receive Jesus only to tell me that I could not. My heart fell, but immediately he added these words,
"Jesus loves you very much, and gives Himself to you spiritually."
Then I understood, the Holy Spirit was speaking through the priest about the Mystical Communion I had received that morning in my dream. I said to the priest that the Holy Spirit must be confirming the that my experience was real to which the good priest rebuked me gently by saying, "Why do you doubt?" As Jesus knew my soul's desire to receive Him in His tender love he had come to satisfy my hungry heart.
Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. (Psalm 38:9)
For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you…
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst."
Hymn: You satisfy the Hungry Heart
You satisfy the hungry heart with gift of finest wheat,
Come give to us, O saving Lord, the bread of life to eat.
As when the shepherd calls his sheep,
They know and heed his voice;
So when You call Your family, Lord,
We follow and rejoice.
With joyful lips we sing to You,
Our praise and gratitude,
That You should count us worthy Lord,
To share this heavenly food.
The mystery of Your presence Lord,
No mortal tongue can tell;
Whom all the world cannot contain
Comes in our hearts to dwell.
You give yourself to us, O Lord,
Then selfless let us be,
To serve each other in Your name
In truth and charity.