Dear God, open a door for my message, so that I may proclaim the mystery of Christ. I pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians 4:3-4

R4C

R4C
Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You.
Psalm 19:14, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Nothing to fear or worry .... Help me Lord


Dear Lord,
Lately I've been so worried about things
that are out of my control.
Help me to trust that You are working 
every little detail of my life out
and that I have nothing 
to fear or worry about.
In JESUS mighty name, I pray.
Amen.

Mary, Undoer of Knots Prayer


We encounter knots in our lives which appear not to have any solution. But while these snarls of discord disrupt the tranquility of our faithful thoughts, God does not abandon us in our suffering!
It is through reconciliation, perseverance in prayer, and Mother Mary’s merciful intercession on our behalf that we can overcome these obstacles in our own spiritual pilgrimages.

O Virgin Mary, faithful Mother who never refuses
to come to the aid of your children;
Mother whose hands never cease to help,
because they are moved by the loving kindness
that exists in your Immaculate Heart;
Cast your eyes of compassion upon me,
and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know all the pains and sorrows
caused by these tangled knots.
Mary, my Mother, I entrust to your loving hands
the entire ribbon of my life.
In your hands there is no knot
which cannot be undone.
Most holy Mother,
pray for Divine Assistance to come to my aid.
Take this knot (mention need)
into your maternal hands this day;
I beg you to undo it for the glory of God,
once and for all,
in the name of your divine Son, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

source: The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Come and see


How can we know with certainty that Jesus is truly who he claims to be - the Son of God and Savior of the world? Philip was eager to tell his friend Nathaniel (who is also known as Bartholomew in Bartholomew) about his decision to be a disciple of Jesus. Philip tried to convince his friend that Jesus was the Messiah, whom Moses and the prophets had foretold would come. Nathanial was very skeptical because he didn't think it was possible for the Messiah to come from Nazareth, a town in Galilee. Nathaniel not only disliked the town of Nazareth, he despised its residents as unworthy Jews. "How could anything good come from such a place?"

Nazareth was at the crossroads of the ancient world where people from different cultures and religions would pass through. Perhaps Nathaniel thought its religious teachers were not orthodox enough in their understanding and interpretation of the law of Moses. Besides, how could the Messiah come from Galilee when the prophets said he would come from Bethlehem of Judaea? Aren't we all a bit like Nathaniel? We are skeptical when someone tries to convince us of the truth until we can comprehend it for ourselves.

A skeptical but earnest search for God's truth
So what kind of proof did Philip offer to Nathanael? Rather than argue with his friend, Philip took the wiser strategy of inviting Nathanael to "come and see" for himself who this Jesus claimed to be. Clever arguments rarely win people to the Gospel - but an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ can change one's life forever. When people are receptive to the word of Christ and when they see his love in action, the Lord Jesus himself, through the power of the Holy Spirit, touches their hearts and opens their minds to recognize that he truly is the Son of God who reveals the Father's love and truth to us.

When Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus, Jesus did something which only God could do! He opened Nathanael's heart and his innermost thoughts and desires to God's revelation. Jesus called Nathanael a true "Israelite in whom there is no guile." God had chosen Jacob, who was given the name Israel, over his twin brother Essau, because Jacob was a man of faith, without guile or cunning like Essau (Genesis 25:27). Nathanael, like Jacob, hungered for God and believed in God's promises. Nathanael knew the Scriptures. He had read the law and the prophets. And like Jacob he was waiting for the fulfillment of God's promises to his people Israel. Nathanael was an earnest seeker of God. He not only sought to grow in understanding of God's word, but he sought an intimate personal relationship with God as well. That is why he was willing to meet Jesus, to see if perhaps this miracle worker from Galilee might be the long-awaited Messiah and Savior.

God's word brings blessing and refreshment for those who receive it 
What is the significance of Jesus' revelation of seeing Nathanael "under the fig tree"? For the people of Israel, the fig tree was a symbol of God's peace and blessing (1 Kings 4:24b-25, Micah 4:4). It provided shade from the midday sun and a cool refreshing place to retreat, pray, and reflect on God's word. Rabbis often gathered their disciples under the shade of the fig tree to teach them the wisdom and revelation of God's word in the Scriptures. The rabbis had an expression for comparing the fig tree to being nourished with God's word in Scripture, "He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit."

Jesus offers the greatest gift possible - peace and friendship with God 
It is very likely that Nathanael had been thinking about God's word while sitting "under his fig tree" and reflecting on God's promise to send a Messiah King who would free his people from sin and oppression and usher in God's kingdom of righteousness and peace for the whole world. Perhaps Nathanael dozed off for a midday nap and dreamt of God's kingdom like Jacob had dreamt when God gave him a vision of a great ladder which united earth with heaven (see Genesis 28:12-17). Through the gift of revelation Nathanael recognized that Jesus was truly the Messiah, the everlasting "Son of God and King of Israel" (John 1:49). The Lord Jesus offered Nathanael the greatest gift of all - the gift of friendship with God and the offer of free access to God's throne in heaven.

Jesus promises that we will dwell with the living God
What does Jesus mean when he says "you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man"? One of the most remarkable revelations recorded in the Bible is the dream of Jacob (Genesis 28:12-17). God had opened a door for Jacob that brought him and his people into a new relationship with the living God. In Jacob's dream God revealed his angelic host and showed him the very throne of heaven and promised Jacob that he and his descendants would dwell with the living God.

Jesus, the Son of God, unites earth and heaven in himself 
Jesus' response to Nathanael's new faith in accepting Jesus as the Messiah is the promise that Jesus himself will open the way for free access to the very throne of God in heaven. Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promise to Jacob and his descendants - he is the way to the Father in heaven and the true "ladder (or stairway) which unites earth with heaven." In Jesus' incarnation, the divine Son of God taking on human flesh for our sake, we see the union of heaven and earth - God making his dwelling with us and bringing us into the heavenly reality of his kingdom through his Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus gives us free access to God's presence 
Jesus' death on the cross, where he defeated sin and won new life for us through his resurrection, opens the way for each of us to come into a new relationship with God as his adopted sons and daughters. The Lord Jesus opens the way for each one of us to "ascend to heaven" and to bring "heaven to earth" in the daily circumstances of our lives. God's kingdom is present in those who seek him and who strive to do his will. Through the gift of faith God opens a door for each one of us to the heavenly reality of his kingdom. Do you see with the "eyes of faith" what the Lord Jesus has done for us?

Heavenly Father, through your Son Jesus Christ, you have opened the way to heaven for each one of us. As you personally revealed yourself to your beloved patriarchs and apostles, so reveal yourself to me that I may recognize your presence with me and know the power of your kingdom at work in my life. May I always find joy and peace in your presence and never lose sight of your everlasting kingdom.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Our Lady Of Medjugorje - Messages 2017

Mary Queen of Peace

Our Lady to the six visionaries, June 1981



“It was June 24, 1981, the Feast of John the Baptist, the proclaimer of the coming Messiah. In the evening the Virgin Mary appeared to two young people, Mirjana Dragicevic * and Ivanka Ivankovic.* The next day, four more young people, Marija Pavlovic,* Jakov Colo, Vicka Ivankovic,* and Ivan Dragicevic saw the Virgin Mary, bringing the total to six visionaries. These visionaries are not related to one another. Three of the six visionaries no longer see Our Lady on a daily basis. As of July, 2009, the Virgin is still appearing everyday to the remaining three visionaries; that’s well over 12,820 apparitions.”




Mary, the Holy Queen, is Wisdom itself. 
The Father has selected Her for His work 
to instruct modern man 
through the messages She gives.




 02 January, 2017


"Dear children, My Son was the source of love and light when he spoke on earth to the people of all peoples. My apostles, follow His light. This is not easy. You must be little. You must make yourselves smaller than others; with the help of faith to be filled with His love. Not a single person on earth can experience a miraculous experience without faith. I am with you. I am making myself known to you by these comings, by these words; I desire to witness to you my love and motherly care. My children, do not waste time posing questions to which you never receive an answer. At the end of your journey on earth, the Heavenly Father will give them to you. Always know that God knows everything; God sees, God loves. My most beloved Son illuminates lives, dispels darkness; and my motherly love which carries me to you is inexpressible, mysterious but real. I am expressing my feelings to you: love, understanding and motherly benevolence. Of you, my apostles, I am asking for your roses of prayer which need to be acts of love. To my motherly heart these are the dearest prayers. I offer these to my Son who was born for your sake. He looks at you and hears you. We are always close to you. This is the love which calls, unites, converts, encourages and fulfills. Therefore, my apostles, always love one another and above all, love my Son. This is the only way to salvation, to eternal life. This is my dearest prayer which fills my heart with the most beautiful scent of roses. Pray, always pray for your shepherds that they may have the strength to be the light of my Son. Thank you." 01/02/2017

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 25 January, 2017 

"Dear children! Today I am calling you to pray for peace: peace in human hearts, peace in the families and peace in the world. Satan is strong and wants to turn all of you against God, and to return you to everything that is human, and to destroy in the heart all feelings towards God and the things of God. You, little children, pray and fight against materialism, modernism and egoism, which the world offers to you. Little children, you decide for holiness and I, with my Son Jesus, intercede for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." 01/25/2017

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 02 February, 2017 

"Dear children, you who are striving to offer every day of your life to my Son, you who are trying to live with Him, you who are praying and sacrificing - you are hope in this peaceless world. You are rays of the light of my Son, a living gospel, and you are my beloved apostles of love. My Son is with you. He is with those who think of Him - those who pray. But in the same way, He is patiently waiting for those who do not know Him. Therefore, you, apostles of my love, pray with the heart and with your works show the love of my Son. This is the only hope for you, and this is also the only way to eternal life. I, as a mother, I am here with you. Your prayers directed to me are the most beautiful roses of love for me. I cannot but be where I sense the scent of roses. There is hope. Thank you."

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25 February, 2017

"Dear children! Today I am calling you to profoundly live your faith and to implore the Most High to strengthen it, so that winds and storms cannot break it. May the roots of your faith be prayer and hope in eternal life. Already now, little children, work on yourselves in this time of grace, wherein God is giving you the grace - through renunciation and the call to conversion - to be people of clear and persevering faith and hope. Thank you for having responded to my call." 02/25/2017



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02 March, 2017 

"Dear children, with motherly love I am coming to help you to have more love and that means more faith. I am coming to help you to live with love the words of my Son, so that the world would be different. Therefore, apostles of my love, I am gathering you around myself. Look at me with the heart, speak to me as to a mother about your pains, sufferings and your joys. Ask me to pray to my Son for you. My Son is merciful and just. My motherly heart would desire for you also to be like that. My motherly heart would desire that you, apostles of my love, speak of my Son and of me to all those around you with your life; so that the world would be different; that simplicity and purity would return; that faith and hope would return. Therefore, my children, pray, pray, pray with the heart, pray with love, pray with good works. Pray that everyone would come to know my Son, so that the world would change, that the world would be saved. With love live the words of my Son. Do not judge, instead love one another so that my heart could triumph. Thank you."


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Annual Apparition to Mirjana, 18 March, 2017

"Dear children! My motherly desire is for your hearts to be filled with peace, and for your souls to be pure so that in the presence of my Son you could see His face. Because, my children, as a mother I know that you thirst for consolation, hope and protection. You, my children, consciously and unconsciously are seeking my Son. I also, as I passed the time on earth, rejoiced, suffered and patiently endured pains, until my Son, in all His glory, removed them. And that is why I am saying to my Son: help them always. You, my children, with true love, illuminate the darkness of selfishness which all the more envelopes my children. Be generous. May both your hands and heart always be open. Do not be afraid. Abandon yourselves to my Son with trust and hope. As you look towards Him, live life with love. To love means to give oneself, to endure, and never to judge. To love means to live the words of my Son. My children, as a mother I am speaking to you: only true love leads to eternal happiness. Thank you."

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March 25, 2017 

"Dear children! In this time of grace, I am calling all of you to open your hearts to God’s mercy, to begin a new life through prayer, penance and a decision for holiness. This time of spring moves you to a new life, to a renewal, in your thoughts and hearts. Therefore, little children, I am with you to help you to say 'yes' to God and to God’s commandments with resoluteness. You are not alone; I am with you through the grace which the Most High gives me for you and your descendants. Thank you for having responded to my call." 03/25/2017

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 02 
April, 2017 

"Dear children, apostles of my love, it is up to you to spread the love of my Son to all those who have not come to know it; you, the little lights of the world, whom I am teaching with motherly love to shine clearly with full brilliance. Prayer will help you, because prayer saves you, prayer saves the world. Therefore, my children, pray with words, feelings, merciful love and sacrifice. My Son has shown you the way - He who became incarnate and made of me the first chalice, with His exalted sacrifice He has shown you how you need to love. Therefore, my children, do not be afraid to speak the truth. Do not be afraid to change yourself and the world by spreading love, by doing everything for my Son to be known and loved by loving others in Him. As a mother, I am always with you. I am imploring my Son to help you for love to reign in your life - love that lives, love that draws, love which gives life. I am teaching you such love - pure love. It is up to you, my apostles, to recognize it, live it and spread it. Pray with feeling for your shepherds so that they can witness my Son with love. Thank you."

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 25 April, 2017 

"Dear children! Love, pray and witness my presence to all those who are far away. By your witness and example, you can draw closer the hearts that are far from God and His grace. I am with you and intercede for each of you so that, with love and resoluteness, you may witness and encourage all those who are far from my Immaculate Heart. Thank you for having responded to my call." 04/25/2017

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 02 May, 2017 

"Dear children, I am calling you to pray, not to ask for but to offer sacrifice - sacrificing yourselves. I am calling you to reveal the truth and merciful love. I am praying to my Son for you, for your faith which is all the more diminishing in your hearts. I am imploring Him to help you with the divine spirit, as I also desire to help you with my motherly spirit. My children, you must be better. Only those who are pure, humble and filled with love sustain the world - they are saving themselves and the world. My children, my Son is the heart of the world. He should be loved and prayed to, and not always betrayed anew. Therefore, you, apostles of my love, spread the faith in the hearts of people by your example, your prayer and merciful love. I am beside you, I will help you. Pray for your shepherds to have all the more light, so as to be able to illuminate all those who live in darkness. Thank you."

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 25 May, 2017 

"Dear children! The Most High has permitted me to call you anew to conversion. Little children, open your hearts to the grace to which you are all called. Be witnesses of peace and love in this peaceless world. Your life here on earth is passing. Pray that through prayer you may yearn for Heaven and the things of Heaven and your hearts will see everything differently. You are not alone; I am with you and intercede before my Son Jesus for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." 05/25/2017

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 02 June, 2017 

"Dear children, as in the other places where I have come to you, also here I am calling you to prayer. Pray for those who do not know my Son, for those who have not come to know the love of God, against sin, for the consecrated - for those whom my Son called to have love and the spirit of strength for you, for the Church. Pray to my Son, and the love which you experience from His nearness will give you the strength to make you ready for the works of love, which you will do in His name. My children, be ready. This time is a turning point. That is why I am calling you anew to faith and hope. I am showing you the way by which you need to go, and those are the words of the Gospel. Apostles of my love, the world is in such need of your arms raised towards Heaven, towards my Son, towards the Heavenly Father. Much humility and purity of heart are needed. Have trust in my Son and know that you can always be better. My motherly heart desires for you, apostles of my love, to be little lights of the world, to illuminate there where darkness wants to begin to reign, to show the true way by your prayer and love, to save souls. I am with you. Thank you."

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 25 June, 2017 

"Dear children! Today, I desire to thank you for your perseverance and call you to open yourselves to profound prayer. Prayer, little children, is the heart of faith and is hope in eternal life. Therefore, pray with the heart until your heart sings with thanksgiving to God the Creator who gave you life. I am with you, little children, and carry to you my motherly blessing of peace. Thank you for having responded to my call." 06/25/2017

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Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez - Annual apparition, 25 June, 2017

The apparition, which lasted 4 minutes, took place at Ivanka's family home. Only Ivanka's family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said:

Our Lady gave the following message: "Little children, pray, pray, pray." Our Lady was joyful and blessed all of us with her motherly blessing.

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02 July, 2017 

"Dear children, Thank you for continuing to respond to my invitations and for gathering here around me, your heavenly mother. I know that you are thinking of me with love and hope. I, too, feel love for all of you, just as my most beloved Son also feels it: He who, through his merciful love, is always sending me to you anew; He who was man; He who was and is God - one and triune; He who suffered in body and soul for your sake; He who made Himself bread to feed your souls and thus to save them. My children, I am teaching you how to be worthy of His love, to direct your thoughts to Him, to live my Son. Apostles of my love, I am covering you with my mantle, because as a mother I desire to protect you. I am imploring you to pray for the whole world. My heart is suffering. Sins are multiplying, they are too numerous. But with the help of those of you who are humble, modest, filled with love, hidden and holy, my heart will triumph. Love my Son above all and the whole world through Him. Never forget that each of your brothers, within himself, carries something precious – the soul. Therefore, my children, love all those who do not know my Son, so that through prayer and the love which comes through prayer, they may become better; that the goodness in them could win; that souls could be saved and have eternal life. My apostles, my children, my Son told you to love one another. May this be inscribed in your hearts and with prayer, try to live that love. Thank you." 07/02/2017


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25 July, 2017 

"Dear children! Be prayer and a reflection of God's love for all those who are far from God and God's commandments. Little children, be faithful and determined in conversion and work on yourselves so that, for you, holiness of life may be truth; and encourage each other in the good through prayer, so that your life on earth may be more pleasant. Thank you for having responded to my call." 07/25/2017

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02 August, 2017 

"Dear children, according to the will of the Heavenly Father, as the mother of Him who loves you, I am here with you to help you to come to know Him and to follow Him. My Son has left you His foot-prints to make it easier for you to follow Him. Do not be afraid. Do not be uncertain, I am with you. Do not permit yourselves to be discouraged because much prayer and sacrifice are necessary for those who do not pray, do not love and do not know my Son. You help, by seeing your brothers in them. Apostles of my love, hearken to my voice within you, feel my motherly love. Therefore pray, pray by doing, pray by giving, pray with love, pray in work and thoughts, in the name of my Son. All the more love that you give, so much more of it you will also receive. Love which emanates from love illuminates the world. Redemption is love, and love has no end. When my Son comes to the earth anew, He will look for love in your hearts. My children, many are the acts of love which He has done for you. I am teaching you to see them, to comprehend them and to thank Him by loving Him and always anew forgiving your neighbors. Because to love my Son means to forgive. My Son is not loved if the neighbor cannot be forgiven, if there is not an effort to comprehend the neighbor, if he is judged. My children, of what use is your prayer if you do not love and forgive? Thank you." 08/02/2017

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25 August, 2017

 "Dear children! Today I am calling you to be people of prayer. Pray until prayer becomes a joy for you and a meeting with the Most High. He will transform your hearts and you will become people of love and peace. Do not forget, little children, that Satan is strong and wants to draw you away from prayer. You, do not forget that prayer is the secret key of meeting with God. That is why I am with you to lead you. Do not give up on prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call."

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02 September, 2017 

"Dear children, who could speak to you about the love and the pain of my Son better than I? I lived with Him; I suffered with Him. Living the earthly life I felt pain because I was a mother. My Son loved the thoughts and the works of the Heavenly Father, the true God. And, as He said to me, He came to redeem you. I hid my pain through love, but you, my children, you have numerous questions. You do not comprehend pain. You do not comprehend that through the love of God you need to accept pain and endure it. Every human being will experience it to a lesser or greater measure. But with peace in the soul and in a state of grace, hope exists; this is my Son, God, born of God. His words are the seed of eternal life. Sown in good souls they bring numerous fruits. My Son bore the pain because He took your sins upon Himself. Therefore, you, my children, apostles of my love, you who suffer, know that your pain will become light and glory. My children, while you are enduring pain, while you are suffering, Heaven enters in you and you give a piece of Heaven and much hope to all those around you. Thank you." 09/02/2017

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25 September, 2017 

"Dear children! I am calling you to be generous in renunciation, fasting and prayer for all those who are in temptation, and are your brothers and sisters. In a special way I am imploring you to pray for priests and for all the consecrated, that they may love Jesus still more fervently; that the Holy Spirit may fill their hearts with joy; that they may witness Heaven and Heavenly mysteries. Many souls are in sin, because there are not those who sacrifice themselves and pray for their conversion. I am with you and am praying that your hearts may be filled with joy. Thank you for having responded to my call." 09/25/2017

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02 October, 2017 

"Dear children, I am speaking to you as a mother - with simple words, but words filled with much love and concern for my children who, through my Son, are entrusted to me. And my Son, who is of the eternal now, He is speaking to you with words of life and is sowing love in open hearts. Therefore, I am imploring you, apostles of my love, have open hearts always ready for mercy and forgiveness. According to my Son, always forgive your neighbors, because in that way peace will be in you. My children, care for your soul, because it alone is what truly belongs to you. You are forgetting the importance of family. A family does not need to be a place of suffering and pain, but a place of understanding and tenderness. Families who strive to live according to my Son live in mutual love. While He was still little, my Son would say to me that all people are His brothers. Therefore, remember, apostles of my love, that all people whom you meet are family to you - brothers according to my Son. My children, do not waste time thinking about the future, worrying. May your only concern be how to live well every moment according to my Son. And there it is - peace for you! My children, do not ever forget to pray for your shepherds. Pray that they can accept all people as their children; that, according to my Son, they may be spiritual fathers to them. Thank you!" 10/02/2017

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SEND YOUR PETITION (click link below)
Your petition will be placed in the presence of Our Lady's apparition.
http://www.medjugorje.com/your-petition/send-petition.html

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel


Oh, most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, 
fruitful vine, splendor of Heaven. 
Blessed Mother of the Son of God, 
Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity, 
Oh Star of the Sea, help me and show me 
here you are my Mother. 
Oh Holy Mary, Mother of God 
Queen of Heaven and Earth, 
I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart 
to succor me in my necessity 
(make request). 
There are none that can withstand your power. 
Oh Mary, conceived without sin, 
pray for us who have recourse to thee (repeat three times)
Holy Mary, I place this prayer in your hands (repeat three times). Amen.

*** This prayer is never known to fail. Say this prayer for three consecutive days and then you must publish and it will be granted to you.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Shape me Lord to the person You want me to be


Heavenly Father, 
thank You 
for Your love and mercy 
for I know that without Christ 
I can do nothing 
but praise God that in 
Christ I can do all things. 
May I be pliable clay 
in the Potter's hand 
and permit You 
to shape me into the person 
that You would have me be 
and use me in Your way 
and in Your time 
to Your praise and glory, 
in Jesus name I pray, 
Amen.

Pope Francis saddened by 'perfect' Catholics who despise others



VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God did not choose perfect people to form his church, but rather sinners who have experienced his love and forgiveness, Pope Francis said.

The Gospel of Luke's account of Jesus forgiving the sinful woman shows how his actions went against the general mentality of his time, a way of thinking that saw a "clear separation" between the pure and impure, the pope said Aug. 9 during his weekly general audience.

"There were some scribes, those who believed they were perfect," the pope said. "And I think about so many Catholics who think they are perfect and scorn others. This is sad."

Continuing his series of audience talks about Christian hope, the pope reflected on Jesus' "scandalous gesture" of forgiving the sinful woman.

The woman, he said, was one of many poor women who were visited secretly even by those who denounced them as sinful.

Although Jesus' love toward the sick and the marginalized "baffles his contemporaries," it reveals God's heart as the place where suffering men and women can find love, compassion and healing, Pope Francis said.

"How many people continue today in a wayward life because they find no one willing to look at them in a different way, with the eyes -- or better yet -- with the heart of God, meaning with hope," he said. But "Jesus sees the possibility of a resurrection even in those who have made so many wrong choices."

Oftentimes, the pope continued, Christians become accustomed to having their sins forgiven and receiving God's unconditional love while forgetting the heavy price Jesus paid by dying on the cross.

By forgiving sinners, Jesus doesn't seek to free them from a guilty conscience, but rather offers "people who have made mistakes the hope of a new life, a life marked by love," the pope said.

The church is a people formed "of sinners who have experienced the mercy and forgiveness of God," Pope Francis said. Christians are "all poor sinners" who need God's mercy, "which strengthens us and gives us hope."

source: Catholic News Service (CNS)
By Junno Arocho Esteves

Give - and you will have treasure in heaven


Where can you find true peace, security, and happiness? 
A young man who had the best the world could offer - wealth, position, and security - came to Jesus because he lacked one thing. He wanted the kind of lasting peace and happiness which money and possessions could not buy him. The answer he got, however, was not what he was looking for. He protested that he kept all the commandments - but Jesus spoke to the trouble in his heart. One thing kept him from giving himself wholeheartedly to God. While he lacked nothing in material goods, he was nonetheless possessive of what he had. He placed his hope and security in what he possessed. So when Jesus challenged him to make God his one true possession and treasure, he became dismayed.

What do you treasure the most?
Why did he go away from Jesus with sadness rather than with joy? His treasure and his hope for happiness were misplaced. Treasure has a special connection to the heart, the place of desire and longing, the place of will and focus. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. The Lord himself is the greatest treasure we can possibly have. Giving up everything else to have the Lord as our treasure is not sorrowful, but the greatest joy. See Jesus' parable about the treasure hidden in a field ( Matthew 13:44). Selling all that we have could mean many different things - our friends, our job, our style of life, what we do with our free time.

Possessiveness and fear robs us of joy and abundant life 
Jesus challenged the young man because his heart was possessive. He was afraid to give to others for fear that he would lose what he had gained. Those who are generous towards God and others find that they cannot outmatch God in generosity. God blesses us with innumerable spiritual goods - such as long-lasting peace, unspeakable joy, enduring love, abiding relationships and friendship that do not fade or fail - that far outweigh the fleeting joys of material possessions which fail to satisfy us beyond the present moment. God alone can satisfy the deepest longing and desires of our heart. Are you willing to part with anything that might keep you from seeking true and everlasting joy with Jesus?

"Lord Jesus, you alone can satisfy the deepest longing in my heart. No other treasure can compare with you. Keep me free from all discontentment, possessiveness, greed and selfishness, that I may have joy in knowing that you alone are my true Treasure and my Portion.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

My spirit rejoices in God my Savior


How strong is your hope in the promises of God? Mary is a model of faith and hope for us. And she is among "the first-fruits" of "all those who belong to Jesus" and who share in his triumph (1 Corinthians 15:20-24). There is a venerable tradition dating back to the early church which marks Mary's "falling asleep" (called the Feast of Dormition in many Eastern churches) and her heavenly birthday when she was received into heaven. Her reception into heaven is seen as a sign to all believing Christians of the promise Jesus made that we too would be received into paradise. At the last supper Jesus told his disciples that he would prepare a place for them in his Father's house. "And when I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:3).

The Holy Spirit makes faith come alive within us 
What enabled Mary to grow in faith and to persevere in hope in the face of obstacles and trials? The Gospel of Luke reveals the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in Mary's life. When Elizabeth and Mary greeted one another they were filled with the Holy Spirit and with a joyful anticipation of the fulfillment of God's promise to give a Savior. John the Baptist, even before the birth of the Messiah, pointed to his coming and leapt for joy in the womb of his mother as the Holy Spirit revealed to him the presence of the Anointed King in the womb of Mary.

Those who are humble and hungry for God receive his Spirit 
The Holy Spirit is God's gift to us to enable us to know and experience the indwelling presence of God and the power of his kingdom. The Holy Spirit is the way in which God reigns within each of us. Mary accepted her mission with uncompromising faith and obedience. She acted with unwavering trust and faith because she believed that God would fulfill the word he had spoken. Her great hymn of praise echoes the song of Hannah (see 1 Samuel 2:1-10) and proclaims the favor of the Lord: God exalts the lowly and he fills the hungry.

The Holy Spirit fills us with the joy and hope of heaven 
The Holy Spirit is ever ready to renew your faith and hope in God's promises and to make you strong in love for God and your neighbor. Do you live in the joy and confidence of God's indwelling presence with you through his Holy Spirit?

Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and give me joy in seeking you more closely. Increase my faith in all your promises, my hope in the joys of heaven, and my love for You as my All.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Nothing will be impossible to you


What kind of faith does the Lord expect of us, especially when we meet set-backs and trials? Inevitably there are times when each of us disappoint others or disappoint ourselves when we suffer some kind of set-back or failure. In this Gospel incident the disciples of Jesus fail to heal an epileptic boy. Jesus' response seems stern; but it is really tempered with love and compassion. We see at once Jesus' dismay with the disciples' lack of faith and his concern to meet the need of this troubled boy and his father. With one word of command Jesus rebukes the evil spirit that has caused this boy's affliction and tells the spirit to "never enter him again".

Pray with expectant faith
Jesus tells his disciples that they can "remove mountains" if they have faith in God. The expression to "remove mountains" was a common Jewish phrase for removing difficulties. A wise teacher who could solve difficulties was called a "mountain remover". If we pray with expectant faith God will give us the means to overcome difficulties and obstacles. When you meet trials and disappointments how do you respond? With faith and trust in Jesus?

Lord Jesus, help my unbelief! Increase my faith and trust in your saving power. Give me confidence and perseverance, especially in prayer. And help me to bring your healing love and truth to those I meet".

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

In Jesus, I trust and Hope


I am Greatly Blessed, 
Deeply Loved 
and Highly Forgiven.
And I claim God's Favour on me, 
Today and the days to come.
In the mighty name of Jesus I pray.
AMEN.


If you then, who are evil, 
know how to give good gifts to your children, 
how much more will your Father in heaven 
give good things to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:11

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
Jeremiah 17:7

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The key to every door you will face today



source: Jerusalem Prayer Team

Pray and know God

“Pray that your eyes may be opened, that you may receive sight, that you may know yourself and be brought to God’s feet, and that you may see the glory of God and Christ, may be raised from the dead, and have the love of Christ shed abroad in your heart. Those that have most of these things still need to pray for them; for there so much blindness and hardness and pride and death remaining that they still need to have that work of God upon them, further to enlighten and enliven them. This will be a further bringing out of darkness into God’s marvelous light, and a kind of new conversion.”
source: Jonathan Edwards in his book Advice to Young Converts

If it dies, it bears much fruit


What can a grain of wheat tell us about life and the kingdom of God? Jesus drew his parables from the common everyday circumstances of life. His audience, mostly rural folk in Palestine, could easily understand the principle of new life produced by dead seeds sown into the earth. What is the spiritual analogy which Jesus alludes to? Is this, perhaps, a veiled reference to his own impending death on the cross and his resurrection on the third day? Or does he have another kind of "death and rebirth" in mind for his disciples? Jesus, no doubt, had both meanings in mind for his disciples.

The image of the grain of wheat dying in the earth in order to grow and bear a harvest can be seen as a metaphor of Jesus' own death and burial in the tomb and his resurrection. Jesus knew that the only way to victory over the power of sin and death was through the cross. Jesus reversed the curse of our first parents' [Adam and Eve] disobedience through his obedience to the Father's will - his willingness to go to the cross to pay the just penalty for our sins and to defeat death once and for all. His obedience and death on the cross obtain for us freedom and new life in the Holy Spirit. His cross frees us from the tyranny of sin and death and shows us the way of perfect love. There is a great paradox here. Death leads to life. When we "die" to our selves, we "rise" to new life in Jesus Christ.

What does it mean to "die" to oneself? It certainly means that what is contrary to God's will must be "crucified" or "put to death". God gives us grace to say "yes" to his will and to reject whatever is contrary to his loving plan for our lives. Jesus also promises that we will bear much "fruit" for him, if we choose to deny ourselves for his sake. Jesus used forceful language to describe the kind of self-denial he had in mind for his disciples.

What did he mean when he said that one must hate himself? The expression to hate something often meant to prefer less. Jesus says that nothing should get in the way of our preferring him and the will of our Father in heaven. Our hope is in Paul's reminder that "What is sown in the earth is subject to decay, what rises is incorruptible" (1 Corinthians 15:42). Do you hope in the Lord and follow joyfully the path he has chosen for you?


Lord Jesus, let me be wheat sown in the earth, to be harvested for you. I want to follow wherever you lead me. Give me fresh hope and joy in serving you all the days of my life.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Saint Jude Thaddeus, the Apostle, Worker of Miracles and Helper of the most difficult, desperate and hopeless


St. Jude was one of the twelve Apostles known as Thaddeus, and is a brother to St. James the Less, also one of the Apostles. 


"Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James" 
(Jude 1)

St Luke's Gospel includes Jude in the list of the 12 Apostles (6:16) and St. John mentions him (14:22). St. Mathew (10:3) and St. Mark (3:18) use the name Thaddeus without Jude. “Jude”, means giver of joy, while “Thaddeus”, another name he was called, means generous and kind. St. Jude is traditionally depicted carrying the image of Jesus in his hand. Base on a recording historian Eusebius in which King Abgar of Edessa asked Jesus to cure him of leprosy and sent an artist to bring him a drawing of Jesus. Impressed with Abgar's great faith, Jesus pressed his face into a cloth and gave it to St. Jude to take to Abgar. Upon seeing Jesus' image, The King was cured and he converted to Christianity along with most of the people under his rule. St. Jude also is shown very often with a flame around his head, which represents his presence at Pentecost, when he received the Holy Spirit with the other Apostles. In the Middle Ages, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (France) was a renowned devotee of St. Jude, as was St. Bridget of Sweden who, in a vision, was encouraged by Jesus to turn to St. Jude with faith and confidence. He told her that, in accordance with Jude's surname, Thaddeus (which means generous, courageous, and kind), "he will show himself to be the most willing to give you help."

St. Jude is the patron for difficult, desperate or hopeless cases. The Church teaches that "true devotion to the saints does not consists so much in the multiplication of exterior acts as in the intensity of an active love, through which, for our greater good and that of the Church, we look to the saints for the example of their lives, a share in their fellowship and the help of their intercession. The Church also teaches that the Triune God is the source of all life and grace. We pray to St. Jude as a brother, pleading with him to join in our prayer before the Most High. St. Jude has proven to be a friend and a beacon of hope to those who seek the Saint's intercession.