Monthly Archives: May 2010

Responding to Jesus’ Call

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I just love today’s readings (http://www.usccb.org/nab/readings/052710.shtml). They’re so rich. But this one line struck me in particular:

“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”

In my darkest moments, sometimes I cannot hear the voice of Jesus. Or perhaps I hear, but I do not rise up to seek Him.

Thank you, Jesus, for calling to me. Were I truly your lamb, I would come to you, the Good Shepherd, without hesitation. But since I am not fearless, and since I have not yet attained childlike trust in you, I pray for the courage to stand. Help me be strengthened by those around me who come to me with encouragement; may I not to dismiss them. Help me to see those who support me as a blessing; may I not take them for granted. And above all, Lord, give me the humility to take the hand of a friend who wants to pick me up and lead me to You.

Amen.

"Lord, What About Him?"

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The Lord has just told Peter to follow Him and Peter wants to know about John. (John 21:20-25). The Lord has called each of us to great intimacy and discipleship, but we can be distracted by many things; especially how He works in the life of someone else. We are tempted to measure the value of our discipleship by the way it is perceived by others.
The Lord expects us to keep focused on him and to faithfully use the gifts He has given us to the best of our ability and with the help of His grace we will reach our end, which is holiness.
Isn’t this a freedom?

"Getting Close to Jesus"

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Even if we would hear the voice of Jesus, or see Him in a vision; it is not possible to be more intimate with Jesus than when we receive Him in the Eucharist.

This month’s Day of Prayer and Healing at the Pilgrim Center of Hope was about encountering the Risen Lord and Adoring Him in the Eucharist. The above quote is from Tom; he spoke about the gift of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion) which is the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Eucharist summarizes the salvation plan of God, His mercy and immense love. Jesus said: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger…” (John 6:32)

Go to Jesus in the Eucharist! Attend Mass during the week when possible, spend time in the presence of the Eucharist. Spend that time in silent prayer – “looking at Him and opening yourself to Him.” For us, spending time with Jesus in the Eucharist has made an incredible difference in our lives! We have encountered a deep peace, a joy and healing that we believe is of our Lord Jesus.

We live at the Pilgrim Center of Hope. The building itself used to be a convent and there is a chapel where the Eucharist is kept in the Tabernacle. We are able to spend time with Jesus in an extraordinary way. You are welcome to visit the Chapel, or visit your local Catholic Church.

If you are not Catholic and would like to learn more about Jesus in the Eucharist; contact us! We would be happy to answer any questions (or direct you to the proper resource for the answers!).

Spiritual Motherhood

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I often tell people that I am the person I am today because of the mercy and love of God, my parents and my husband. My parents have been married 56 years; they are a faithful and loving witness of two persons in love with each other. The fruit of their love bore three children; I being the oldest and the only daughter. It was their love and commitment for each other that gave me a desire to marry and have a family.

My husband, Tom and I have been married 30 years. We have been unable to have children and adoption did not work out for us either. While it has been a sword in my heart; I have needed to depend on the Lord’s mercy and the love of my husband. We have often been told we have many “spiritual children” through the years of our ministry. Yesterday, I was reminded of this when I received a phone call from a friend, Barbara, wishing me a “Happy Mother’s Day from a spiritual child.” Her message touched my heart deeply. I was so happy to have received Barbara’s phone call.

There are so many married women unable to have physical children. Next time you meet a married woman who has not been able to conceive – thank her for spiritual motherhood and encourage her to “give life through her gift of herself as woman and by praying for others”.

Happy Mother’s Day to my “sisters in Christ who choose to live a spiritual motherhood”!

LAST DAY!

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Spending 21 days in Italy was grand! We have had two remarkable pilgrimages; 44 pilgrims in the first group and 35 in the second group. It has been powerful learning about the traditions of our Catholic Faith, walking in the footsteps of hundreds of Saints, walking through history and experiencing many blessings and an abundance of grace.

The Holy Shroud of Jesus Christ was the primary purpose of these two journeys of faith. – seeing the image on the shroud makes you want to cry out to God for His mercy and in thanksgiving for what His son did for us.

It was awesome to see thousands of people gathered in Rome for the Papal Audience, in Turin for the Holy Shroud, and in Padua to venerate the Tomb of St. Anthony! Praying along side people from Italy, France, Poland, Germany, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and other countries give testimony that the faith is not dead! On the contrary, the Holy Spirit is moving in many hearts and minds!

We have learned so much from these two pilgrimages and believe they have been instrumental in building up the body of Christ!

Would you like to hear about the ‘miracles’, the experiences, the gifts from these two pilgrimages? Come over to the Pilgrim Center of Hope for tea, coffee, or a drink!

St. Mark the Evangelist Tomb

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It’s real! When we read the Gospel of Mark, as Christians, we believe it is the inspired Word of God. When you SEE the Tomb of St. Mark who wrote the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament with 16 chapters – you realize how time is eternal! He is real! His tomb is in the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice, Italy. Today, the pilgrim group joined several Venetians and other visitors in a glorious Sunday morning Mass!

The Mass in Italian and Latin reminded us of the universality of the Catholic Church, that we are members in this large Church – the body of Christ! As we exchanged the sign of peace during Mass with those around us…some simply smiled, others spoke in their native language while some, like myself, tried to repeat the words in Italian!

The Basilica is grand! Built in the 11th century; it has marvelous mosaics depicting the life of Christ on the ceiling, the walls along with the scenes from the Bible. And yet the Worship service – the Mass -felt as if we were home! Indeed, we are home in every Catholic Church throughout the world!

We welcome you to join this incredible universal Church!

Followers of Saint Francis

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Just spent two days in a small, walled city that dates over 1,000 years! It is Assisi, Italy – known for one of its residents, a young man who was once called “King of the Party or Parties” -his name is Francis. He changed the history of his village – choosing a radical life as a follower of Jesus Christ, after encountering the Resurrected Jesus Christ! His joy and desire to live a simple life attracted hundreds of men and women to follow in his footsteps that led to a life of immense joy and hope!

We met his followers – Franciscan Friars, men who were attracted to live a life of immense joy and by spending time with people by telling them of God’s love and mercy. One young Franciscan Friar, approached our small pilgrim group to welcome us and asked if we wanted to hear about the Franciscan way of life! Of course! Assisi is the heart of Franciscanism! This young 30 year old was Friar Daniel,who was from Rome, but living in Assisi. Friar Daniel, in less than 10 minutes, invited us to think about our priorities in life. Do our careers, or other choices we make in life consume us to a point that we loose our peace? our faith and hope in God? Do we love God? The Friar assured us that the Heavenly Father who created us loves us and know us.

Simple message – do we actually hear it with the ears of our hearts?