Thursday, December 29, 2016

Surfer Priest saved by Medjugorje

“I hated my life. My life was a waste, and I was hoping it would somehow come to an end”…Then the Queen of Peace Changed Everything.

It all began one night in March 1992 when, to the surprise of his friends, Donald decided not to go out partying, as was the usual routine, but to stay at home for the night. He felt immensely depressed, a longing and emptiness occupied his very being. “I found myself sitting there alone in my room with nothing to do and no one to turn to. My existence was laughable. My life was a waste, and I was hoping it would somehow come to an end…I hated my life. I was restless and anxious about everything.” Looking for a way to fill the time, he began browsing his parents’ bookshelf, not to find anything to read but, preferably, land on a National Geographic for the pictures. Instead, his hand landed on something else, an odd book about a subject so alien and obscure to the teenager that it was intriguing enough to read. The book was called The Queen of Peace Visits Medjugorje.
By Daniel Klimek

Heroine, cocaine, opium, marijuana, excessive alcohol, not to mention hallucinogenic drugs like mushrooms (psilocybin) and LSD – he consumed most of these before the age of 18, many before he turned 14, the addictions growing stronger as the existential emptiness deepened. What sounds like an introduction to a Hunter S. Thompson novel actually constitutes the autobiography of a Catholic priest. Fr. Donald Calloway of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception retells his dramatic and heart-wrenching life story in No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy.
As a destructive youth, Calloway spent his adolescence succumbing to temptations large and small, from sins of the flesh with constant promiscuity, to crimes against the law with thousands of dollars of grand theft in stolen merchandise, as well as nightly partying with friends consuming all forms of drugs and addictives while listening to heavy-metal music.
At one point, Calloway became a follower of the rock band the Grateful Dead, inspiring entrance into a psychedelic culture which—among other things—left him with a big Grateful Dead tattoo on his arm. To this day he has it, as a remembrance of the past he lived. The past he left. To this day he doesn’t have a clue how that tattoo got there, being stoned to oblivion during the night of its implementation.

During his youth, Calloway was such an angry and rebellious kid that he names a chapter in his book “Animal” in describing himself, his early mentality, his vicious ways. His family (especially his parents) suffered great emotional trauma as a result of their son’s behavior. For a while, they lived on a military base in Japan, for Calloway’s stepfather was an officer. This didn’t last too long. Running around with Japanese gangs, stealing tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise—from electric guitars to cars—got young Donald Calloway arrested and deported from the country. He was escorted through the airport by military guards with chains and shackles around his hands and feet, while he spat at his captors and threw out verbal obscenities to surrounding pedestrians, angrily cursing his way onto the plane.

Although, like any angst-filled adolescent, Calloway developed a strong hatred for his parents—notwithstanding their efforts to help their struggling son, praying for him and checking him into rehabilitation facilities numerous times—a guilt-stricken consciousness still haunted him about his younger brother, where a stronger bond existed. Fr. Calloway describes his feelings poignantly:
“The only bond that I had left with my family was with my little brother, Matthew. When it came to him, I felt terribly, almost inexplicably conflicted. Ten years younger than I, he would often plead, ‘Brother, play with me.’ A part of me wanted to stay home and be the big brother I wanted to be and thought he needed. But I was so preoccupied with my girlfriends and drug buddies that I didn’t want to commit to anything domestic.”

After returning from Japan and checking into an ineffective rehabilitation clinic in Pennsylvania, things did not get any better. For years the drugs continued, so did the promiscuity, the theft, and another arrest. In terms of his growing addictions, Calloway describes vividly what a poisonous rabbit hole he fell into, hitting rock bottom in what reads like a distant and dreary space.
“On one occasion, I even found myself in a crack house, crawling around on the rug on my hands and knees looking for any cocaine that might have fallen on the floor. There were cockroaches running around and maggots in the sink from all the unwashed dishes. A crying baby could be heard, unattended in a back room. Yet there I was on the floor, right along with the baby’s mother, searching frantically for white specs on the floor. If we found anything white, we’d put it in the bowl and smoke it, even if we didn’t know what it was.

So, what on earth could have turned this rebellious youth, this struggling addict, this “animal” (as he later described himself), into a devout Catholic priest, not to mention into an eloquent author of books on theology and Mariology?

It all began one night in March 1992 when, to the surprise of his friends, Donald decided not to go out partying, as was the usual routine, but to stay at home for the night. He felt immensely depressed, a longing and emptiness occupied his very being. “I found myself sitting there alone in my room with nothing to do and no one to turn to. My existence was laughable. My life was a waste, and I was hoping it would somehow come to an end…I hated my life. I was restless and anxious about everything.” Looking for a way to fill the time, he began browsing his parents’ bookshelf, not to find anything to read but, preferably, land on a National Geographic for the pictures. Instead, his hand landed on something else, an odd book about a subject so alien and obscure to the teenager that it was intriguing enough to read. The book was called The Queen of Peace Visits Medjugorje.

Essentially, it was the story of the Marian apparitions in Medjugorje which brought on the crisis of his conversion. He was only one of the first of a long line of Christians who were to fall under the spell of the mystical Bosnian village, embracing that land of mystery.
“This book showed me a side of things I had never really heard of or experienced before, but I certainly could relate to the radical nature of the message…It wasn’t long before I realized this book was presenting me an offer to change my life and surrender to something greater than myself – to believe in God and be different. It was a revelation that required a revolution in my thinking. Could this be the way out I was looking for?”

He spent the whole night reading the book, until the early hours of the morning. In the process, the inner beings of his soul were transformed from the anxiousness and restlessness he previously experienced to a deep serenity and peace that radiated and pervaded his spirit. The messages of Medjugorje touched him on a higher level, the return to prayer, peace, fasting, a reconciliation with God and the need for conversion. For the first time, something offered him hope from his abusive past, from his life of sin and despair.

“The Virgin Mary was saying things that were so clear and captivating that I found myself moved and literally experiencing emotion in a deep way. This was a kind of emotion I hadn’t experienced since I was a little boy who really loved his mother and wanted to make her happy. And yet the Virgin Mary was saying that she was my mother, that she was the mother of those who had gone astray and was calling us back to God, to Jesus. She made it clear that she was not God, but she was pointing to her Son and saying He is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. I found myself totally falling in love with this mother, this woman.”

The aesthetical quality was sublime. He was experiencing a beauty he hadn’t felt in a very long time. In this Woman, the Virgin Mary, he found a beauty that was not poisonous and sinful—like his past encounters with women—but pure and refreshing, an immaculate gentleness that offered a ray of hope and emanated a radiant light into Donald’s darkened world. Spiritual and sublime, this attraction led Donald to a small prayer of the heart, in which he revealed his longing for this mysterious presence in front of him.

“As I continued to read, I said to her in my heart, ‘I want to believe. I really do. You are piercing the little bubble of my world and offering me something more than I ever heard. I need this.’”
This inner need, this spiritual longing, was being satisfied. As he continued reading, a strange, but wondrous, rebirth from death to new life occurred. “Although I was in serious despair about my life, as I read the book, I felt as if my heart was being melted. I hung on to each word like it was transmitting life straight to me.”

Then a new day came. “Early in the morning, when I closed the book, I said, ‘The message in this book is life-changing. I have never ever heard anything so amazing and convincing and so needed in my life.’ One might say that this was my first prayer. Whoever this Virgin Mary was, I believed what she was saying – that she was my mother and came from heaven for me.”

Instantly, after telling his overwhelmed mother about the experience, Donald—though not a Catholic yet—ran off to Mass for the first time in his life, speaking to a priest afterwards, confessing his entire past to the man. When he came back home, Donald began throwing out all of his filthy possessions from his past life, from drug paraphernalia to pornographic magazines ranging from his Playboy and Penthouse collections, to his heavy metal records, and his water bongs and pipes. Six 30-gallon bags were the result.

After clearing his space of all distractions, Donald knelt by his dresser and deeply desired to go into prayer. But he didn’t know how to pray. As he recalls, “Until earlier that day, I had never said a prayer in my entire life.” This did not stop him, however, from falling into an overbearing ambiance of deeply healing and purifying tears. His past was still very prominent in his mind and the remorse, the regret that was felt was overwhelming – the need for forgiveness encapsulated his entire being.
“In fact, I started crying so hard that I could hardly breathe. I had to literally gasp for air because I was crying so uncontrollably. There were torrents of liquid coming out of my eyes. Before long, the clothes I was wearing were soaking wet.”
Hours of such excruciating crying led to inexplicable tears of joy and, all of the sudden, Donald felt an immense peace in his heart, a tranquility that surpassed understanding. “I started to feel almost bubbly and giddy, almost like a child being tickled by his father. Suddenly, I was animated. I had life again and felt so much different. My body tingled all over. I was so wrapped up in Jesus that I became aware of how much I was loved.”

This purifying peace led to something inexplicable, a mystical—if not downright supernatural—experience. Like thousands of patients who have reported undergoing near-death experiences, Donald left his body.

“But all of a sudden something below me and within me – this is very difficult to explain – knocked me out of my body. I literally felt as if I had left my body. My physical form remained on the couch, but my soul or spirit had left.” The experience paralyzed him, as he gradually saw his body farther and farther away from him, his spiritual presence being slowly removed from the physical. Out of desperation, he led out a penetrating, spiritual cry to that person who had just touched his soul. “Mary!” What happened next was phenomenal. Donald was “violently slammed back” into his body.
“After I got over the shock of the impact, a feeling of peace overwhelmed me, a peace that was tangible. Then I heard a voice, the most pure feminine voice I have ever heard and ever will hear. It was within me, it was outside of me, it was like liquid love being poured over me. It was pure maternal love. It said, ‘Donnie, I’m so happy.’ That’s all I heard, but I knew who it was. Nobody called me Donnie but my mother. Nobody. I knew this was the voice of Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mary. I was so at peace that I felt like a little boy snuggled close to his mother’s breast. I was so at peace, so loved, and so at rest that I went into a deep sleep. I hadn’t slept like that since I was a young boy.”

The phenomenon that Donald experienced, in addition to leaving his body, is called an interior locution (locution cordis), the mystical grace of hearing a spiritual presence – in this case, Our Lady – in an interior way through the depths of the soul.

After his profound spiritual experiences, an official conversion to Roman Catholicism followed. What also followed was the desire for the priesthood. Not just any priesthood. Donald wanted to become a Marian priest, both for Our Lady and for the reason that the Marians of the Immaculate Conception are the official promoters of the Divine Mercy devotions of St. Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun and mystic who experienced visions of Christ in the 1930s. Donald saw himself, through his past, as the poster-boy for Divine Mercy. For, through the grace of God, he received the greatest mercy after a life of sin.

Becoming a priest meant going back to school. For this high school dropout, this wasn’t the easiest task. Notwithstanding, through his subsequent education and efforts, Donald was able to encounter some of the most eminent Catholic intellectuals and scholars in the world. After earning his GED and spending some time in community college, the Marians sent Donald to study at the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, where he earned his B.A. in theology and philosophy. It was at Franciscan that he encountered some of his favorite professors, including the prominent Catholic intellectuals Scott Hahn and Mark Miravalle. Donald admits that Professor Hahn had an influential impact on his studies, implementing a deeper love of God in his mind.

Professor Miravalle, a theologian and Mariologist, is a leading figure in the Marian movement, and also played a great influence on Donald. Miravalle is the president of Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici, a movement within the Catholic Church that hopes to gain papal approval to deem Mary as the Co-Redemptrix, becoming the fifth Marian dogma. Interestingly, Miravalle’s own connections to Medjugorje are not small. He has written numerous books on the subject and, when he was a doctoral student in Rome, his dissertation was called, The Message of Medjugorje: A Postconcilar Formulation of Lourdes and Fatima. The dissertation showed how the messages of Medjugorje align with Chruch tradition, ranging from the Gospels to the teachings of the early Church Fathers in their foundational elements and, of course, to Vatican II and other approved apparitions. The thesis was successfully defended in the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome in 1984.
Beyond inspirations like Professors Hahn and Miravalle at Franciscan, Donald went on to study with other greats. He received both his M.Div and S.T.B. at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and then earned an S.T.L. at the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio. At the Institue, Donald studied with such prominent theologians and Mariologists as Fr. Luigi Gambero and Fr. Eamon Carroll. Most remarkably, Donald took the last class that the great French theologian and Mariologist Rene Laurentin taught at the Institute. Laurentin himself has been one of Medjugorje’s greatest supporters for years, with countless of books on the apparitions.

Donald’s S.T.L. dissertation concentrated on the Mariology in the diaries of St. Faustina Kowalska, combining his love for Our Lady with his love for the Divine Mercy devotions. The dissertation was over 200 pages long, contained over 700 footnotes – in Latin, French, Polish, Italian, and Spanish – and, years later, was published into a book called, Purest of All Lilies: The Virgin Mary in the Spirituality of St. Faustina. He even graduated summa cum laude with his S.T.L.

The former drug addict, convicted criminal, and high school dropout graduated summa cum laude with an advanced degree, studying with some of the most renowned theologians in the world, and publishing his work into a book about the Mother of God. Today, Father Calloway is the House Superior for the Marians of the Immacluate Conception and their vocations director. He preaches his story throughout the world, reaching countless of hearts. His life story is an example of grace and divine mercy in motion, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and particularly her continuing work in Medjugorje. No Turning Back constitues a powerful and poignant testimony about one man’s journey, being led out of a tunnel of darkness and despair into the radiance of hope and belief in something purer, truer, and warmer than the temptations of contemporary culture – what the human soul longs for, spiritual sublimity and meaning in one’s existence.

Father Calloway has a new best selling book called “Champions of the Rosary”

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Missionary Image Manifests Heartbeats and Kickings of Unborn Baby
                                                                                                                              Dan Lynch

On today’s Feast of the Holy Innocents, we remember the first martyrs for Jesus Christ. They were the babies under two years of age in Bethlehem whom were killed by the raging hatred of King Herod who wanted to prevent a prophesied Bethlehem baby from becoming a rival King.

We also remember the unborn victims of abortion and the many manifestations from the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe of heartbeats and kickings of an unborn child. Some of these heartbeats have been confirmed by medical personnel listening with stethoscopes.

In their reverential devotion, many of the faithful touch and kiss the Missionary Image. In doing so, many have felt warmth, an electric-like current, and Our Lady’s heartbeat. They’ve also felt a womb of flesh, beneath which they have felt the heartbeats, movements and kickings of an unborn child.

God gives these signs at his pleasure to increase our faith, hope and love of him. The heartbeats are also a sign that life begins at conception and is not a “choice” for the mother because God, the Author of Life, has already chosen the child for life.

Below are some testimonies from witnesses of heartbeats and kickings from the Missionary Image at Johnette Benckovic’s Women of Grace Retreat at Malvern, Pennsylvania last summer.

On Saturday night at Malvern, I was alone with the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe image and I used the stethoscope provided to try to hear Jesus' heartbeat. I did not hear anything for the first couple of seconds, but then the sound of a baby's rapid heartbeat! Then, I was quite literally kicked by Him in the womb. I was being very delicate with the stethoscope, and He kicked the hand holding it. 

I thought I might be imagining what I had been praying for. I had been asking the Lord to reveal Himself to me in a unique way and I believe He did.

I repeated the above process, and the same thing happened. I knew then that I had received a great grace and miracle. I told Johnette on Sunday, but I have only shared this with my husband, daughter and one friend who needed encouragement.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this with you.



I had been thinking about how the Protestants I know would mock us for venerating the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, but my son's Confirmation saint is St. Juan Diego, the one to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared on December 12, 1531. So, I thought that I should go up to venerate the image. The second, the very second that I stepped foot on the stage, I began trembling to my core. (I know this sounds trite, but there is just no other way to describe it).  

Others were praying over the image and had their hand on it, so I tried waiting...but I hadn't noticed before how round and full Mary's belly was. I told myself that was silly and that I had seen so many photos and pictures of the image, but then again, how could I have missed how obviously and truly pregnant Mary was. And then, I did what most people do when face to face with a pregnant woman-my hand shot out. And as my hand made contact just under the black belt- boom boom! I drew my hand away and my trembling grew worse.

A second time I reached out and was kicked! No one said anything about the baby Jesus kicking! Just that if one used a stethoscope, one might hear a heartbeat, but this sweet baby couldn't wait for us to get one I guess. A third time I reached out, only to be greeted by the energetic kick again. I did not need to wait, but hurried back to my seat (I'm not sure how since my legs were trembling so hard) only to find a dear sacred sister was sitting next to my bag. I was so grateful and my heart swelled as we began singing and then reciting the Rosary together before hours of adoration and contemplation.

 For years, I have loved talking to teens of the sweet baby Jesus and while worshipping this past year at the Shrine of Saint Anthony, I have prayed that my heart, too, might so resemble Mary's that the infant Jesus would come to me.  If only I could have imagined that He would choose this Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so dear to my own son. 

I was profoundly moved by the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe when I first saw her on Friday, even before I knew that this was a digital image taken from the original. One of the women told me about it and then I read the description on the image that explained it. I was moved by how reverent the women were as they patiently waited their turn to pray before the image.

Two nurses brought a stethoscope on Saturday and we listened for heartbeats. I heard a strong heartbeat from Our Lady and a softer one from Baby Jesus. I also heard a swishing noise that a woman told me was the amniotic fluid.

I made another visit on Saturday and again heard the heartbeats.  I felt as if it was a special blessing. It helped me to feel closer to the humanity of Our Lady and Jesus. I am very grateful.

I didn't hear anything on Sunday but during the Consecration and Holy Communion I experienced a deep healing. I was drawn after Mass to kneel beside the Blessed Mother and thank her. it was hard each time to pull myself away from her. I could have stayed there for hours.


Concluding Prayer for Today’s Feast of the Holy Innocents

O God,
Whom the Holy Innocents confessed
and proclaimed on this day,
not by speaking but by dying,
grant, we pray,
that the faith in You which we confess
with our lips may also speak through our manner of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
— Amen.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Advent 2016, Christmas Eve

I  have not posted much during Advent because I kept thinking things would get better. This has been the most difficult Advent of my life.  I am not from a family of die hard Catholics, as a matter of fact myself, my husband and one 30 year old son are the only practicing Catholics in the family. The year of Mercy has apparently done nothing to convince any of my blood relatives of their need for Christ and redemption.   As the press beats up on Donald Trump, my immediate family is pummeling me. Electing a president who challenges the Godless society of our time you would think to have made things better. Not yet.

A long time Catholic friend of mine said, I love saying "Merry Christmas," again. So that is a start.

For my entire life I have looked to Advent as a time of Hope, and Joy. This year, as in others, it seems that most of the closest people to me want to steal the Joy, the magic of new life in Christ.  I am making a choice right now to say no to the darkness and walk in the light.  To be Joy and Hope to any and all who are open to receive it and to pray, pray, pray for those who are still struggling to believe in the loving gift of the Christ Child. It is about the Fathers gift of his only Son to us. The gift of salvation and everlasting life. The message is profound because it goes with us into eternity.
I guess my message for this Christmas is to make peace with your enemies as best you can and accept the things you can not change.  I am giving my family to the Holy Family and praying for the entire world. We all fall short of the Glory of God.
In His precious Love,
~Margaret of souls for Jesus

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Novena

This Christmas Novena starts on December 16th. Don’t forget to pray each day – *Click here to get novena reminders by Email! * – No spam, just prayers…
Christmas Novena
Prayers to be used during the Novena of Christmas, or at any other time. Please join us in praying this novena as a preparation for the coming of our Lord on Christmas!
Spread the word to get more people praying during this wonderful season!

Join thousands of faithful people in praying the Christmas Novena for an end to abortion!




Christmas Novena Prayers

Opening Prayer

O Lord, Word of God, You, whose glory is complete, came to us in perfect humility as a child in the womb. Your love for us and humility is unsurpassed and brings us to our knees in prayer and worship.
Your incarnation forever changed the world.
All Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and forever shall be, world without end.

Day 1 – Joy

O Lord, infant Jesus, fill us with Joy! The birth of any child is a cause for joy and so much more is the birth of You our Savior. We pray in union with Mary, Your mother, for a greater joy this  Christmas.

Day 2 – Humility

O Lord, infant Jesus, grant us great humility! You gave us the model of perfect humility in your incarnation, life and death. We pray for a greater Humility this Christmas.

Day 3 – Faith

O Lord, infant Jesus, give us the gift of Faith! You, Lord, deserve our complete faith. We pray for deeper and more perfect faith in you this Christmas.

Day 4 – Hope

O Lord, infant Jesus, bring us the Hope that saves! Your birth to the Virgin Mary brought a Hope to the world that continues to sustain us. We pray for a saving Hope this Christmas.

Day 5 – Love

O Lord, infant Jesus, inspire in us Your selfless love! You humbled yourself to become like us in all things but sin, and even humbled yourself to die on a cross. We pray that you will help us to love as You love this Christmas.

Day 6 – Peace

O Lord, infant Jesus, give us Your peace! You are the Prince of Peace and the ultimate fulfillment of your incarnation brings us to you in heaven where peace will come to perfection. We pray for peace this Christmas.

Day 7 – Forgiveness

O Lord, infant Jesus, move us to forgive others as you forgive us! Your Divine Mercy is unending! We pray for Your Divine Mercy on us and that we may participate in Your mercy by forgiving others this Christmas.

Day 8 – Holiness

O Lord, infant Jesus, inspire us to be repulsed by sin! You, Lord, are holy but we are not. We pray that you will make us holy and keep us from temptation this Christmas.

Day 9 – Life Eternal

O Lord, infant Jesus, bring us to live eternal with You! Jesus, your nativity was not without purpose. Your purpose was to bring us to You. We pray that you will bring us to Life Eternal with you this Christmas.

Closing Prayers

We pray also for these intentions… (State your intentions here)
May Your Holy Will be done in my life and with these intentions.
We pray that the work of salvation that Your first coming began will reach fulfillment in each of us.
All Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and forever shall be, world without end.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mother of Conversion, Pray for Us

I was saddened to hear today that it is likely that Rob Sherman, former national spokesman for the American Association of Atheists, was probably killed in a small-plane crash over the weekend. We were an odd couple of friends. I frequently had him on my radio show back in the day – and once he launched a small internet-based radio show, I appeared with him several times.
He was very much a showman, but not nearly as hostile to Christians as his rhetoric often sounded. I actually regarded him as more an agnostic than an atheist. He was profoundly pro-life, confounding the expectations of many. We once did a whole show debating the existence of God. At the end, he conceded there was a rational basis for such a belief, while not conceding any belief, himself. Privately, we often talked of God and faith and what all people – and Christians in particular – are called to be. Rob was a lapsed Jew, his wife a Catholic.
He was my friend and will be missed. On this Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe – or Our Lady of Tepeyac as I call her, I pray that Rob felt the mercy of God and the effects of conversion as his plane went down. Our Lady of Tepeyac is the Mother of Conversion.
I highlight today the Prayer of Miraculous Trust, which always acknowledges Our Lady of Tepeyac. Lisa Fixler at Full of Grace has added some tri-fold prayer cards for the Surrender Novena at her online shop. She has also added “Squirrel Shirts” to the collection related to The Next Right Step. I am thankful for Lisa, as she has been a primary support for my work since shortly after I first met her and her family. I am to be confirmation sponsor for her son – so I need to get back home so I can do my duty.
In these fearful times, turn to the saints and the holy angels to help you keep your eyes on Jesus. Today, ask Our Lady of Tepeyac to keep busy throughout the next year, converting the world as she once converted all the Aztecs. Ask her to intercede for the vulnerable unborn. And never neglect to add your intercession to that you seek from the holy saints and angels in bringing a great new light to our often terribly dark world.

Prayer of Miraculous Trust

We all need prayer. In Catholicism, we speak of the communion of the saints, which means that all the faithful – both here and departed – are fully alive to God, and we have access to the faithful departeds’ prayers if we only ask. (for those who have any theological doubts on this point, please see Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:27 and Luke 20:38). But the prayers of the Church Militant, that is the faithful still on earth, for each other are crucial – and even more crucial in these times.
Right around the turn of the millennium, the archangel, Gabriel, gave me a prayer and told me the time would come when we would need miracles – and many miracles would be wrought through the faithful use of the prayer.
Right now, our medical system is collapsing before our very eyes. We have more people uninsured than ever because Obamacare is forcing their cancellation. The early round of hospital closures has begun (four in Georgia, alone), people are being denied coverage – an eastern children’s hospital treated over 100 children with special needs for free because, under Obamacare, they had lost their specialty coverage. But of course, the hospital can’t continue to do that because both supplies and personnel are being lost. You know many of the horror stories, but it is far worse than you know, as both the media and officials are frantically trying to dismiss these realities. But with each new blow, more pieces of the system collapse.
When the normal means of healing are easily available, you should always take advantage of them. When God has provided abundant means of normal medicine, it is a presumption to demand only His supernatural medicine. Ideally, it is best to take advantage of both. But soon (and it is happening far more rapidly than I expected when this was enacted) availability of normal services will be spotty – and if you have something chronic or are elderly, much will not be available at all as surviving doctors start working under an implicit triage mentality because of the shortages of supplies and equipment. God will not leave you bereft.
Along with this posting I have linked to a religious supply house that has printed up thousands of prayer cards containing this prayer and instructions on how to use it. It is the Full of Grace Supply House which is also linked at the right hand of this page. The woman who owns it gave me most of them to give away. I always carry a supply with me. I asked her to carry them in her inventory, so that as many as possible might have access to them.
Now, if you treat these as some magic object, I have utterly failed my duty to you. There is no magic in the card, nor magic in the prayer. Rather, the instructions for the prayer teach you how to align your will with that of God. Having said that, there have been many startling results from the proper use of this prayer. Let me explain.
First, the Lord often acts to confirm His intentions. I tell you to acknowledge Our Lady of Tepeyac, which is Our Lady’s proper title in this image, though she is commonly called Our Lady of Guadalupe. I know this because she told me long ago. She is sent as the Mother of Conversion in these terrible times. It pleases Our Lord that you acknowledge, then spread devotion to His servant and mother in this role He has given her for these times.
Second, prayer must begin with faith, the knowledge that God is in control of all things. But it must not end there. The demons in hell know that Christ is Lord, they know Scripture better than you and all the greatest theologians combined and, as James said, they tremble because of that knowledge. If all you have is faith, you have nothing more than the demons in hell.
Faith must lead to trust, the trust that once you acknowledge and follow Him, whatever the Lord allows to befall you is for your benefit or instruction or that of another that you may give witness to, perhaps never knowing until judgment the witness you have given by your trust. Many Christians treat prayer as the cloth with which they rub the magic lamp to bind God to their will. Prayer is to bind you to God’s will – and to begin to understand it. That cannot happen unless you trust, knowing that His ways are not your ways. Some purported faith healers teach that God will always heal those who trust Him. They are right, but not in the way they think. Their imaginations are so impoverished that, whatever they say, the only good they can envision is of this world. God always heals for eternity – that you may have abundant life with Him in heaven. If that means you must suffer some here to quell your rebellious yearnings, than suffer you will – if you trust God. If you are a particularly useful soul, God may allow you to suffer in penance for others who do not know they need penance, that more might be saved. Trust.
Trust will lead to abandonment. That is giving yourself entirely and willingly to whatever God wants of you. Gabriel came to Our Lady, Holy Mary, and told her she would get a great honor if she accepted – become the mother of Our Lord in His human incarnation. But there was a catch, This would happen in a way that would subject her to shame and, perhaps even a brutal execution. What incredible faith, trust and abandonment she lived to be able to say almost immediately, “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word.” Of course, as Gabriel noted when he first spoke to her, she is “full of grace.” It is hard to get outside yourself. Some years ago, I was undergoing some serious suffering – and it would not go away. I begged and begged to know what I was doing wrong so I could correct it and escape my sorrows. Finally, the Lord, Himself came and said, “This is not about you.” Then He told me who it was about – someone I dearly loved who, unbeknownst to me, was in great spiritual danger. The Lord asked was I willing to accept this penance on the person’s behalf, for he desperately needed it. Foolish and self-centered as I was, I am proud I said yes – and soon was rewarded by seeing how much it was needed. Abandon yourself to His will – and don’t feel bad when He shows you what a silly, little fool you are. He only does that to those in whom He sees great promise. Be glad of your rebukes.
Finally, it is good to have prayer partners. It is even better to have one who already beholds the Face of God, for the saints’ faith is assured and will not fail. Take full advantage of the communion of the faithful. We are really going to need all hands on deck.
Know that with God, the intention is the action. Keep your prayers of petition short. It is not the length of them that aligns you with God, but the trust behind it. If you had perfect trust, all your intentions would merely be stated and then you would accept perfectly what God sends you. If you pray long in petition, you risk deluding yourself it is the Herculean nature of your efforts rather than the effortless grace of God that brings light, and thus become vainglorious. And yet, do not begrudge those who must make long, moaning prayers of petition. It is their lack of faith warring with their hope that makes it necessary. Such brevity is not for all prayer. Prayers of worship, praise and thanksgiving may be said at great length, either privately or in community. Also, when a demon is involved, prayers of intercession may go for weeks, but that is best left to priests under most circumstances.
Do not say this particular prayer more than once for any specific intention. To do so is to fail in trust – and defeat the purpose of this prayer, which is abandonment to God’s will. Certainly, God knows how needy we are, so you may say other prayers for the same intention if the need arises, but not this one. If you can, it is best to say it and then let it go, trusting that whatever comes of the matter now is for your eternal good regardless of what happens
I saw a pithy saying last week I will end with: “Don’t worry about tomorrow. God is already there.”

Friday, December 9, 2016

Saint Juan Diego

December 9 is the Feast of St. Juan Diego. He was born in 1474, eighteen years before Columbus discovered America. He was born in the village of Cuautitlan, Mexico located 14 miles north of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City. He was a Chicameca of the Family of Texcoco. His Indian name was Cuauhtlatoatzin that means “He who talks like an eagle”.

Juan received an early education and was later married and had children. He was a landowner, a small farmer and was involved in textile manufacturing. He converted to Christianity between 1524-25 and was baptized, together with his wife, Maria Lucia, by the Franciscan missionary Friar Toribio de Benavente. Maria died in 1529 and Juan became a widower.

Juan lived in Mexico before and after the Spanish Conquest of 1521 and before the establishment of Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English colony, in 1607. The Conquest was an apocalyptic event for the indigenous peoples. They lost their freedom, their land, their religion, their culture, their society and their great city of Tenochtitlan. Juan’s life bridged two cultures from the pre-Conquest worship of false gods and the human sacrifices made to appease them to the post-Conquest worship of the One True God and the end of human sacrifice.

Juan’s tribal family of the Chicamecas were part of the Triple Alliance with the Aztecs (Mexicas) and the Tlacopans. However, the Aztec Emperor, Montezuma, assumed total control and made enmities of the other tribes. They later allied with the Spanish in the Conquest of 1521.

Ten years after the Conquest on December 9, 1531, 57-year-old Juan, a recent widower, began his nine-mile walk from his home in Tolpetlac probably to Tlaltelolco near Mexico City “in pursuit of God and His commandments”, according to the Nican Mopohua, the earliest account of the apparitions written in 1545. Juan was walking to attend Mass and catechetical instructions.

Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan as he walked near Tepeyac Hill that was the former site of worship to the Aztec goddess Tonantzin. In a series of apparitions between December 9 and December 12 she identified herself as “the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the only true God in whom we live . . . .” She entrusted to him a mission to request Bishop Zumarraga to build a church on the hill so that she could manifest her Son to all of the people.

Twice the Bishop politely rebuffed Juan. He prudently requested a sign from Our Lady so as to believe her request for him to build the church.

Our Lady promised to give Juan the sign on December 11. However, on the appointed day Juan cared for his dying uncle, Juan Bernardino, and he stayed with him. On December 12, he left his uncle to get a priest to give him the last rites. As he approached Tepeyac Hill, Our Lady intercepted him and told him not to worry, that his uncle was well.

 Our Lady told Juan to go up to the top of the hill and cut and gather the flowers there. Juan obediently did so and found miraculous flowers growing in the middle of the frosty season that included Castilian roses that were native to the Bishop’s homeland in Spain. He put them together and returned to Our Lady. She helped to place the flowers in his tilma (cloak) and said that they were “the sign to take to the Bishop. Tell him, in my name, that in them he will recognize my will and that he must fulfill it. You will be my ambassador, fully worthy of my confidence.”

For the third time, Juan requested the Bishop to build the church. He said, “Here is your sign,” opened his tilma and the roses fell. At that moment the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe miraculously appeared on his tilma. The Bishop believed, the church was built, the miraculous tilma was displayed for the people’s veneration and it is still displayed today in the Basilica near Tepeyac Hill.

Our Lady was true to her promise and manifested her Son to the millions of indigenous people who converted to Him. For the next seventeen years Juan lived as a humble hermit in a hermitage at the base of Tepeyac Hill and cared for the nearby church that housed the tilma.

Because Juan was learned in Nahuatl and Christian doctrine, he was able to explain the Miraculous Image on the tilma that spoke to the natives as a pictograph. He explained its significance and the story of the apparitions over and over again. He spent hours in prayer to Jesus and Mary and cared for her Image. He lived a life of poverty, chastity and obedience and was revered by all. He was Our Lady’s messenger, “The Talking Eagle”, to the day he died.

He died at the age of 74 in 1548 almost a century before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock. He was probably buried in his hermitage next to the church that he had cared for so well.

At Juan’s canonization Mass, St. John Paul II remarked on the formation of the Mexican people and said,
In accepting the Christian message without forgoing his indigenous identity, Juan Diego discovered the profound truth of the new humanity, in which all are called to be children of God. Thus he facilitated the fruitful meeting of two worlds and became the catalyst for the new Mexican identity, closely united to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose mestizo face expresses her spiritual motherhood that embraces all Mexicans.
Before his final blessing, the Holy Father said, “You have now in your new saint a remarkable example of holiness. . . . May he be a model for you and others that you may also be holy."
by:     Dan Lynch

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

the-immaculate-conception-by-giovanni-domenico-tiepoloThis Feast day is a high light of my year. My sister Patty was born on this day and my family is related to Pope Pius the lX, who instituted the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. I am in full agreement with the essay of Peter Howard in the article below. Many people are predicting a terrible future for this country and the world. Mothers never sit by and allow the worst for the family. Our stubbornness will determine the difficulty we will encounter on the road to salvation and friendship with her Son. What better friend to have than the humble Son of God.
~Margaret of Souls for Jesus

Mercy, Mary, and the Advent of Christ
Every sign of our times points to God, something great and something new in the world. In practically every instance throughout the history of God’s people, God’s salvation does not come in the way people expect it. He uses the most unusual instruments at times, such as King Cyrus of Persia (an outsider of the Israelites, a Gentile), who liberated God’s people from their Babylonian captivity and even issued a decree that allowed the Jews to rebuild the Temple. God uses who He wishes to accomplish His plan as He did when He moved Caesar Augustus to shift an entire empire to fulfill the prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. He didn’t have to do that to accomplish this, but it shows the world Who is really in charge of history and that God’s ways are not our ways (cf. Isaiah 55:8)
There seems to be a parallel in our moment of history, as there is tremendous change taking place these days. We are witnessing the collapse of a world order that has been so anti-Christ, anti-Gospel, anti-life. It is like the wailing cries of an exposed and wounded beast knowing its hours are numbered before it breathes its last, and in its desperation flails about in one last attempt to tout its strength and destroy its enemy.
This collapse signals also the coming dawn of a new beginning, literally a new renaissance, a rebirth — and with it a new hope if the world turns its hope to God and away from man. Is it mere coincidence that this is happening as the Church enters into Advent — an Advent that has been preceded by a historical and extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. What is God saying to the world and for what is this year of Mercy preparing the Church?
This year was given so that our hearts may once again be cleaned out and make space for the coming of Jesus Christ, Who came to deliver us from the evils of this world and give us the life that leads to true freedom — a deliverance and freedom that is only found and given to those humble enough to ask for it and receive it from Jesus Christ.

Magi5A perfect revelation of this truth is found in the “wise men”, the great kings of the east — kings of great power and wealth — who saw the signs in the heavens which spoke to the coming of a King of Kings. How were they able to find Him? Ultimately it was not by looking up, but looking down into a cave. They realized that in order to enter and see the King of Kings, they needed to stoop to enter. In other words, they needed humility to find and come before Wisdom Incarnate. And when they found Him, they found Jesus with His Mother.
This mystery playing out before the Magi, the shepherds and the Holy Family at Bethlehem, in the midst of an unknowing Roman Empire, is found perfectly explained in Mary’s Magnificat:
His mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.
What do take away from these historical events revealing God’s Wisdom Made Incarnate? It is what the Church puts before us during Advent. Mary is always the Advent of Christ, who prepares our hearts to be immaculate and humble like hers, so that we may be blessed to see God as the Beatitude announces to us. Like the unborn Christ, we place ourselves within the ark of Mary (while the world shifts all around us) and allow her to take us to the place where Christ can be born in our hearts. And, as the Advent of Christ and the Immaculate Conception, Mary actively sets out to “crush the head of the serpent” and everything that is at enmity with God, so that God may reign with His mercy and justice upon this wounded world. There is perhaps no better example of these truths revealed that in what took place on Tepeyac Hill in 1531 where Mary showed that she is ALWAYS the Advent of Christ and His Kingdom and that “wherever she enters,” as St. Maximilian Kolbe put it so well in his prayer of consecration to Mary, “she obtains the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, for it is through [her] hands that all graces come to us from the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”  (Mary and the New Times of Noah, Mary, Ark of Salvation “Last Call! All Aboard!”, Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Renaissance of Civilization, Mary, Advent of Christ, In the End, My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph)

stomeradorationmaryandjosephbabyjesusnativityIn this Advent season, let us be like our Mother Mary and St. Joseph, and ponder these mysteries in their hearts along with all that we have been given in these times. Let us ponder why we have been given the extraordinary Year of Mercy and how our lives must never be the same as we look to a new reign of Christ in the world—a reign that will come only after it has been purified through the work of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which Our Lady at Fatima has promised will happen. And as the Church in 2017 celebrates the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, may we contemplate the significance of her visitations in light of Mary always being the Advent of Christ. Let us especially “watch and pray” according to the critical message and warnings of Our Lady of Fatima as the Church brings its renewed heart and strength to a humiliated world that is being primed to receive anew its Savior, Who comes again through the merciful and sacrificial love of His Immaculate Mother. The renaissance of Europe and the Americas — as well as the restoration of all civilization — depends on how much we accept and incarnate these gifts in our own lives and in our families.

This message of consecration of families to Mary’s Immaculate Heart is so important that I am offering parishes a special opportunity to bring this message to their communities. All they need to do is pay for my traveling costs (flight + lodging + transportation) and facilitate a free will offering to support the family apostolate Heroic Families. Parishes would need to agree to provide strong promotion for the event to increase attendance. The event would consist of one 60 minute presentation with Questions and Answers (Q&A). Contact me today at and let’s get this critical message to your parish!
***For those wanting a more intensive immersion on the special centenary of Fatima beginning in 2017, Dr. Howard is now offering a separate speaking series titled: “Fatima: 100 Years Later — Family Consecration at the Heart of the Triumph”. Dr. Howard is an expert in this topic and is very passionate in sharing how important it is for families today. He is currently booking speaking events for 2017. Visit today to learn more on how to bring this soul-awakening event to your parish or conference. Tremendous fruits have already been experienced from these events.
Heroic Families Official Logo BANNER[1] (White)
Art for this post on Mercy, Mary and the Advent of Christ: Partial restoration of The Immaculate Conception, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, circa 1775, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less; Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy: The Three Wise Men” (named Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar), Detail from: “Mary and Child, surrounded by angels”, mosaic of a Ravennate italian-byzantine workshop, completed within 526 AD by the so-called “Master of Sant’Apollinare”; Nina-no (Nina Aldin Thune), 2006, own work, CCA-SA; Matthias Stom, circa 1635-1640, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less; all Wikimedia Commons. Logo for Heroic Families, used with permission.

Profile photo of Peter HowardAbout Peter Howard

Dr. Peter Howard presently lives in Illinois with his wife, Chantal, and five children. Dr. Howard is a professor of Theology at the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation ( In 2015, Peter and Chantal founded dedicated to the mission of “awakening Catholic families to their critical call to live their faith with courage, passion and purpose.” He is also a Catholic videographer (, author and national Catholic speaker who has spoken at the 2015 American Chesterton Society Conference, 2012 Midwest Catholic Family Conference in Wichita, Kansas; the United States Air Force Academy; parish retreats and on Catholic radio programs such as Radio Maria. Peter earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas [Angelicum] in Rome, Italy. Dr. Howard's theological expertise lies predominantly in Mariology and the teachings of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. He is the author of the 2014 book: The Woman: The Mystery of Mary as Mediatrix in the Teaching of Fulton J. Sheen. Like his spiritual mentor, +Fulton Sheen, Dr. Howard is passionate about evangelizing families by communicating the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith as the answer to the challenges and errors of the world. If you would like to invite Dr. Howard to speak at your parish or event, contact him at

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hate and Healing Psalm 97:10 "A lover of God hates evil."

I don't know exactly how this happens but I do know that our emotional wounds run deep. As I have gone from new born to 65 years old, I have always believed that hatred is very wrong. I have refused to recognize hatred in my life and in  my own heart. I know that all negative emotions are harmful to us. Unfortunately as we travel this road of life if  we choose God and travel towards Him we become holy. Holiness abhors evil. How does evil manifest in our lives?  More often than not it is manifest through the people closest to us. Through people we normally depend on for support and love . This is  a situation that blinds us and blocks purification, healing and peace. 

God our loving Father is on a world wide mission to bring love and healing to His creation.  Healing happens when we recognize our own faults and failings . We bring those situations we are aware of to Jesus in the Sacrament of reconciliation.  So we are faithful to the Sacramental life yet we are still sad, depressed, angry.  I have never confessed hatred for any one or anything.  Recently I knew I needed confession, I raised my heart to Jesus in front of the Tabernacle and much to my surprise his response was, "Tell the priest you hate _______!" ~Wow what a surprise!  I am obedient to God's voice in my life. I was worried, not sure what the priest would say. As God expected his holy priest handled the situation very well.  A well of tears I had been holding back for years was released and I received a much needed healing. This for me has been  a much needed life changing experience. 

I share this because I am not alone on this journey of love.  I also believe that many of us are afraid to call evil and hatred for what it is.  Don't be afraid to ask Jesus if there is something of hatred and evil keeping you from his peace and love.
God is with us,
~Margaret of Souls for Jesus  

Friday, December 2, 2016

*Our Lady's message to Mirjana Soldo of December 2nd, 2016*

Dear children, my motherly heart is crying as I am looking at what my children are doing. Sins are multiplying, the purity of soul is all the less important; my Son is being forgotten - honored all the less; and my
children are being persecuted. That is why, you my children, apostles of my love, with soul and heart invoke the name of my Son. He will have the words of light for you. He manifests Himself to you, He breaks the bread with you and gives you the words of love so that you may transform them into merciful acts and, thus, be witnesses of truth. That is why, my children,
do not be afraid. Permit my Son to be in you. He will make use of you to care for the wounded and to convert lost souls. Therefore, my children, return to the prayer of the Rosary. Pray it with feelings of goodness, sacrifice and mercy. Pray, not only with words, but with merciful acts. Pray with love for all people. My Son, by His sacrifice, exalted love. Therefore, live with Him so that you may have strength and hope; that you may have the love which is life and which leads to eternal life. Through God's love, I am also with you, and will lead you with motherly love. Thank

*Mirjana said that Our Lady was very sad.*