Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Little Pilgrimage to a Little Known Saint

"Beaverville?? Where's that?!"

They had never heard of it before.  ("They" refers to the hypothetical group of people I made up for the sake of this post..) That's because it's out in the middle of Illinois somewhere.  Not in the middle of "nowhere."  I was there so I know Beaverville is "somewhere."  It's just that most people have probably not heard of this somewhere.

But I have!  It's the place where the "Cathedral in the Country" is located which sports the cemetary where a little known mystic-Saint (yet to be canonized) is buried. (see above picture.)  

"Hey! That looks like a picture of a statue of Christ with a gargantuan Church in the background!" Right on, faithful blog reader right on.  This Church is literally the size of a Cathedral and it's in a tiny "blink and you'll miss it" town called Beaverville. "Why'd they name it 'Beaverville'?"  That I don't know...

But the Church is beautiful! Amazing stained glass windows with rich imagery, ornate baldachino with the latin phrase "Venite ad me" above the tabernacle in the sanctuary, a gigantic, deep blue starry night dome, a lovely life-like statue of Our Lady to kneel before (when you look up into her eyes it seems so real!) and most importantly...

An open door on a Sunday afternoon!  Look at what I saw below:

This was my favorite image in the Church.  It was such a realistic looking statue.  It made me feeling I was really looking up at Our Lady.

(In the backright of this glass case is a zachetto -white cap - which Pope Paul VI wore.  I felt a lot of peace asking for his prayers here.)

Co-Founder of the Sister Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, the community which Sr. Mary Mediatrix - more on her later - belonged to.

Co-Foundress of the same community.  Mother Marie of the Blessed Sacrament.

After the visit inside the Church and spending time with Our Lord we (me and my friend) went to the cemetary to spend time with our little known Saint - Sr. Mary Mediatrix! (her tomb is the first picture at the top of this post.)

During the summer I read a short little book on this mystic and prophet called "Sister Mary Mediatrix" by Jeff Moniyhan.  Because of that I decided I had to go pay her tomb a visit.  She had a Priest-friend in her life for a period of time (Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, a Claertian) who could read souls, was also prophetic, and had the gift of having the presence of the Blessed Sacrament always in him as it only digested when he would receive Holy Communion in him the next day.)

It was a beautiful visit to Sr. Mary Mediatrix.  Who knew? A Saint in my backyard in Beaverville!  She died in 1959.  I hope to post a little about her life some time in the future  The same author also wrote a short book on Fr. Aloysius.

Sr. Mary Mediatrix and Fr. Aloysius, pray for us!


Saturday, January 4, 2014

True Peace Only Comes When We Live in Reality

As I said in the previous post (paraphrasing) don't worry about this next year or your future because the same God Who has been so faithful to you in the past will continue to be faithful in the future.

St. Francis de Sales put it this way:

"The same Everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day of your life. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings."

I mean how easy is it for us to forget how abundantly good God has been to us?  

Very easy.

When we forget Who God is though (an all-loving and all-wise Father Who has nothing but our best interests at heart) it becomes that much easier to lose our sense of peace.  Put another way, Who God really is and what God has to say - THAT'S reality. We are called and invited to abide in Him and listen to Him -to live in reality.  Outside of reality there is no true peace but if we live in the truth then we have peace.

As always I think Jesus says it best:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?o
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."
-Matthew 6:25-34

Faith gives the deepest part of our intellect - what the bible would call the "heart" - access to God, to the truth, to reality.  So let us not be of little faith but let us always remember Who God is.  Let us stay there.

"Abide with me." - John 15:4

Most of all let us hover often near Jesus in the Eucharist.  Let us draw near and keep company with the One Who is True, with Reality.  Then we will have peace because we will know Him Who is the truth and the truth will make us free.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's Been a While... 365 Days Worth

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
It was 2013.

As the waves of time roll on we often forget about the graces of the past.  It's easy to get caught up in our thoughts and activities in the now.  It's also sometimes easier to see the difficulties of our past rather than the blessings.  It's also sometimes easier to worry about the future and how things will turn out rather than remembering that the same good God Who took care of us last year, and the year before, will continue to protect, guide, and bless us.

Yes, oftentimes we haven't deserved those blessings.  Perhaps you've had a tremendous change of perspective recently or a conversion of heart and you're able to look back more easily than most and see how God has blessed you often in spite of you!

Can we just be grateful to God? Can we at least be just towards Him and give Him what is due to Him, namely, our gratitude? Can we ask pardon for past mistakes and sins while asking Him to brig a greater good out of them? Can we replace last year's negligences and evil with greater love and adoration in this new year towards such a good Father? Can we be more resolute in praying for others instead of forgetting to, or, even worse, deciding not to?

I think a good new year's resolution would be just giving God what is due to Him.

That would be your entire life.


And that's just the minimum requirement of justice! So we should never boast about being better than the next guy because, frankly, we all fall short.)

What would God's new year's resolution for you be?

Is there a sin He wants you to get rid of? A virtue you need to work on? Do you need to pray more? Go to Mass more? Make a weekly holy hour at he local adoration chapel? Who do you need to forgive? Who does God want you to love?  What has He been asking of you for so long and will you finally respond now?